Teen Philanthropy Movement

What is the Teen Philanthropy Movement?

NCSY’s Teen Philanthropy Movement (TPM) is a social action program designed to provide leadership training and lay a foundation of giving back to the world. Not only will students volunteer and provide aid to those in need, but they will also form “Teen-Foundations” to research non-profit organizations and create a “pitch” which will be presented to a panel of donors who will award more than $5,000 in grants to the cause of their choice.


To educate Jewish teens about the Torah perspective on giving, the importance of Tzedakah and its impact on society.


A Jewish community with strong roots in philanthropy, giving and leadership. A Jewish people committed to giving back and helping one another.


Students will partner with community leaders in learning about non-profit organizations as well as the Jewish concepts of philanthropy.

Teens Volunteering as part of Teen Philanthropy Movement

Local Teens Volunteer at the Jewish Gift Closet in San Diego as part of TPM in 2012

What is Tzedakah?

We believe Tzedakah is a core Jewish value. Although it is often taken to mean ‘charity’, it is more proper to translate it as ‘doing what’s right’ from the root word ‘tzedek’ meaning correct, righteous or just. Early on in our history, God praises Abraham for passing these values down to his children; “I have taken special notice of Abraham because he teaches his children, and his household, to keep God’s way by doing acts of Tzedakah and justice…(Gen. 18:19)” It is in this spirit that we pass these values on to our children and our collective household – the future Jewish community.

Philanthropy teaches an appreciation for money, and engenders the idea that we have a critical responsibility in this world; a responsibility not to be ignored. TPM changes the status quo. Responsibilities that always seemed restricted to adults are no longer out of bounds for us. Teenagers can and will take more responsibility and do more to influence and benefit society. -Brandon Lurie, NCSY VP of Teen Philanthropy 2011-2012

NCSY is grateful for its partnership with the Jewish Community Foundation of San Diego in developing TPM.