The Peer Leadership Fellows program trains Jewish high school students (in grades 10-11) to connect and engage with other teens. The PLF program is based on a successful model created by Hillel International, the largest Jewish campus organization in the world.
Hillel has mobilized college peer interns to professionalize its campus outreach, strengthen student connections, and boost participation. Hillel is partnering with PLF to bring its successful approach to high schoolers for the first time.
“I’m thrilled to be working alongside thoughtful leaders to bring this pilot into the teen space, to expand our reach, and find new pathways to connect with more and more Jewish teens,” said Adam Smith, Executive Director of Jewish Teen Initiative, which oversees the PLF program.
“We want the teens to be our community connectors—reaching out to their marginally- or under-involved peers, building those relationships and connecting them to opportunities which relate to their interests,” said Brett Lubarsky, Associate Director of Jewish Teen Initiative.
The PLF program launched last year on the North Shore, where it has been successful and is gaining momentum nationally, with three other cities looking to adapt the model. The original 14 Fellows say they feel very invested.
“It’s important for us to connect and be the voice of the future,” said Jacob Abisso, a junior at Gann Academy in Waltham. “It has been awesome to be part of something so big and to feel momentum build.”
The Fellows receive a $500 stipend, along with professional training in leadership, communication, and community organizing.
The Fellows have a diverse menu of events and programs to share with their peers. This spring, for example, they can participate at the Brandeis Design Lab where Jewish teens work together to find creative, design, and building skills to solve real problems facing the Jewish community and the world.
Also available—national service and leadership trips to New York City, Washington, DC, North Carolina and beyond.