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Learn the power of giving and philanthropy

Start your fund!

The Teen Tzedek St. Louis Youth Philanthropy Program empowers teens to improve the world by launching them on a personal and engaged relationship to life-long Jewish giving. Participants typically enter the Teen Tzedek program during the year of their Bar/Bat Mitzvah, although it is not unusual for them to enter the year before or within a few years after.

Teen Tzedek provides teens with the opportunity to create their own philanthropic funds, and each year they allocate five percent of their fund to the Jewish charity of their choice. The lessons of giving and the philanthropy continue every year until they are at least 25 years old.

Teen Tzedek is funded by a generous grant from the Kranzberg Family Foundation, a Supporting Foundation of the Jewish Federation of St. Louis. If you have any questions, please contact Jody Gerth at 314-442-3881 or

What are the objectives?

  • To engage a growing number of youth in the ongoing care of our Jewish community.
  • To empower Jewish teens to change the world through philanthropy.
  • To create a greater community focus on Jewish giving through Teen Tzedek participants, their families and social networks.
  • To cultivate the next generation of leadership for our congregations and community agencies.
  • For Jewish teens to experience an allocation process for non-profit organizations.

Additional Benefits

  • Great tie-in with your mitzvah project.
  • Wonderful addition to a college resume.

Where does my money come from?
It can come from your bar/bat mitzvah gifts, babysitting money, allowance, etc. If you are having trouble coming up with the full amount you can go to your rabbi. Most congregations will help you be part of this program if you are having trouble coming up with the full amount.

How often can I allocate?
You can make as many allocations as you would like as long as each distribution to a charity is at least $18 and you keep a minimum balance of $300 in the fund.

What happens in the future?
When you reach the age of 20, your fund will automatically become a Donor Advised Fund. If you do not have a $500 balance at that time, you will have a year to bring the balance up to the minimum of a Donor Advised Fund.

Will Teen Tzedek help me figure out where I should send my money?
Yes, Teen Tzedek will help you find an organization that supports causes you care about most. Just find your passion and Teen Tzedek will help match your interests with organizations that need help.

Who else is in Teen Tzedek?
Teens like you who want to make a difference. As a matter of fact, get a friend to join and we’ll donate $25 to your fund! That’s more for you to allocate.

Join Teen Tzedek Today! Be a part of a powerful way to make a change in the world. Give yourself the opportunity to express yourself and support issues you really care about. Click here to apply. Click here to read more Frequently Asked Questions!

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