The JCC Boston Diller Teen Fellowship is an elite leadership fellowship program for 10th and 11th grade students from the Boston area. Through workshops focused on leadership development; weekend retreats; a ten-day exchange with Israeli teens; and a 3-week seminar in Israel—where they will engage in Jewish ideas with teens from around the world—this one year will impact a lifetime.

Applications for our 2022-2023 cohort will open Spring of 2022. Fill out the form below to receive information once our applications open! 

Diller gave me a sense of empowerment and purpose. I have the skills to paint the world as I’d like.

JCC Diller Teen Fellow
Diller teen

Be Inspired to Repair the World!

The JCC Diller Teen Fellowship develops future generations of leaders with a strong Jewish identity, commitment to the Jewish people, respect for pluralism and love of Israel. The program operates in 32 communities in the U.S., Canada, the United Kingdom, South Africa, Australia, Argentina and Israel.

Twenty Boston-area 10th and 11th grade students are selected yearly based on their leadership aptitude, interest in Jewish learning, desire to connect to Israel, and passion for serving their community.

Every fellow is subsidized by the Helen Diller Family Foundation, the Boston-Haifa Steering Committee of the Combined Jewish Philanthropies and individual donors to JCC Greater Boston.

Applications (by current freshmen and sophomores) are accepted in the spring. Teens from all backgrounds are encouraged to apply.

Don't miss out on the year of a lifetime.

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Meet Sophia

Sophia Adler
Program Director, Diller Teen Fellows at JCC Greater Boston,

Sophia heads the JCC Boston Diller Teen Fellows program. She has been heavily involved in Jewish education, including completing various Jewish and interfaith fellowships, staffing Jewish camp experiences, and engaging students as the Student President of her university Hillel. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Macaulay Honors College at Queens College in Psychology. 

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Diller Teens In Action

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FAQs About the JCC Boston Diller Teen Fellowship

What is the Diller Teen Fellows Program?

The Diller Teen Fellows Program focuses on three outcomes. Throughout the yearlong Fellowship, participants will: 

  • Become EMPOWERED TEENS, equipped to discover their own journeys and guide others.
  • Form STRONGER JEWISH IDENTITIES and continue a lifelong exploration of their culture, history and heritage.
  • Become ACTIVATED LEADERS OF TIKKUN OLAM/SOCIAL ACTION, viewing it as their responsibility and opportunity to make the world a better place.

What is the time commitment?

Diller Fellows commit to:

  • Twelve Sunday afternoon workshops of five hours each
  • A locally-based, social action project
  • Three weekend retreats
  • Two full-day experiences
  • Three-week Israel Seminar, which provides an opportunity to both explore Israel and do meaningful community service in Haifa, Boston’s sister city
  • A ten-day hosting exchange with a Haifa Diller Fellow

Is the JCC Boston Diller Teen Fellows Program for me?

Diller Fellows come from different backgrounds but are joined together by the desire to:

  • Make friendships that will last a lifetime
  • Gain significant leadership skills
  • Question, search, and expand insights into Jewish identity and unity
  • Experience a cultural exchange with Israeli teens during a three-week Israel Seminar and 10-day Boston Mifgash (encounter)
  • Create and lead others in service learning projects
  • Learn and grow during a transformative experience

If you share these desires then the Fellowship may be for you!

What is the Israel part like?

Diller Fellows are challenged to develop and refine their relationship to Israel through many parts of the programming, including experiential learning, friendships with Haifa Diller Teen Fellows, a three-week Israel trip and hosting Haifa counterparts at home. On the Israel trip, participants have the opportunity to come together with 640 other teen fellows from around the world during International Congress.

The Israel trip is unique in that it gives Fellows an opportunity to tour Israel while sharing perspectives with teens from around the world. Fellows spend one week of their stay living with their Israeli peers exploring Haifa, learning about current events, and engaging in community service. They also spend part of their trip getting to know other Diller Fellows from around the U.S., Canada, the United Kingdom, South Africa, Australia, Argentina, and Israel.

COVID-19 Precautions

Health and safety will always be the force leading our decision-making. We will continue to follow accepted best practices protocols. Whenever possible, Cohort experiences will be conducted in-person. If circumstances prevent that from happening safely, in-person workshops will be supplemented by interactive virtual experiences, including cross-cultural workshops and meetups with international Cohorts. As guidelines may change throughout the year, all experiences are designed to be engaging and fun either in-person or virtually.  While we don’t yet know what will be possible in terms of travel and group gatherings,  Diller International is planning and hopeful that by 2022, international group travel will resume. Regardless of how the program year will shape out, our local staff and the International Diller staff is committed to our participants to provide a rich Fellowship experience.

How do I apply?

  • Applications for the 2021-2022 are now closed. Still interested? Fill out an interest form here
  • Application for the 2022-2023 cohort will open in Spring 2022.

Applicants to the program must:

  • Demonstrate leadership skills
  • Be dedicated to community service
  • Be interested in exploring their Jewish identity
  • Be interested in exploring their relationship to Israel
  • Commit to full participation in workshops, retreats, group projects, the Boston Mifgash (encounter) and three-week summer Israel Seminar
  • Be in 10th or 11th grade in September of the cohort year
  • Be a Jewish teen residing in the Greater Boston area 

What is the cost?

Fee for participation is $3,975, which covers all participation including the Israel trip. Financial aid is available to help with the fee. Every fellow is subsidized by the Helen Diller Family Foundation, the Boston-Haifa Steering Committee of the Combined Jewish Philanthropies and individual donors to JCC Greater Boston.