The JCC Boston Diller Teen Fellowship is a premier leadership program for 10th and 11th grade students in the Boston area.
Diller gave me a sense of empowerment and purpose. I have the skills to paint the world as I’d like.
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.
The JCC Diller Teen Fellowship is funded by the Helen Diller Family Foundation 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.
We're Here to Help
Shani heads the JCC Boston Diller Teen Fellows program. She has a strong background in project management and youth programming, including Jewish camping, teen grant-making, and the North American Federation of Temple Youth (NFTY). She holds Bachelors Degrees in Math and American Sign Language (ASL) from the University of Rochester.
FAQs About the JCC Boston Diller Teen Fellowship
What is the Diller Teen Fellows Program?
In order to create well-rounded future Jewish leaders, Diller programming focuses on six major themes:
- Jewish Identity
- Tikkun Olam (repairing the world)
Programming around these themes includes group discussions, workshops, conversations with community leaders, group work on projects, experiential service learning, international partnerships, Shabbat experiences, and more.
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 overnight 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.
How do I apply?
- Candidates must submit an application online along with two recommendations (one from a teacher/mentor and one from a peer) to be considered.
- The application period runs from April 5 to May 25, 2018.
- Personal interviews and group experiences for select candidates will take place in June.
- Final decisions will be announced in late June.
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 $3,800, 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.