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 wold—this one year will impact a lifetime.

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

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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.

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

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Meet Shani

Shani Fox
JCC Diller Teen Fellows Program Coordinator

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.

Diller teens on camels

Diller Teens In Action

Hear what recent Fellows have to say about their experience.

3 Diller teens

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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:

  • Leadership
  • Jewish Identity
  • Tikkun Olam (repairing the world)
  • Israel
  • Pluralism
  • Peoplehood

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 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.

How do I apply?

  • Applications for the 2019-2020 year will open in Spring 2019

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.