The Helen Diller Family Foundation is accepting nominations for the 2015 Diller Teen Tikkun Olam Awards. The program recognizes as many as 15 Jewish teens annually with awards of $36,000 each for exceptional leadership and impact in volunteer projects that make the world a better place. As many as five teens from California and 10 from other communities across the United States will be acknowledged for their philanthropic efforts. Anyone interested in nominating a teen, or any teen who is interested in self-nominating, should visit dillerteenawards.org to begin the nomination process. The deadline for nominations is Dec. 18.
Bay Area philanthropist Helen Diller created the Diller Teen Tikkun Olam Awards in 2007 as a way to recognize the next generation of socially committed leaders whose dedication to volunteerism exemplifies the spirit of tikkun olam, a central Jewish precept meaning to repair the world. The Diller Teen Tikkun Olam Awards have since granted a total of nearly $2 million to 55 Jewish teens from across the nation.
These awards are an opportunity for educators, civic leaders and mentors to nominate and acknowledge young Jewish teens whose thoughtful approach to making a difference is creating meaningful change – whether locally, nationally or globally. Projects with deep impact on a few individuals can be recognized
Past recipients of the Diller Teen Tikkun Olam Awards have made their mark through projects that champion a wide range of causes. They include building soccer fields and water wells to bring people together in war-torn regions of the world, donating textbooks and school supplies to financially strapped schools in California and around the globe, collecting and distributing shoes to homeless children so they can participate in life outside their shelters, raising awareness and changing attitudes about bullying and autism through peer-to-peer programs, and creating a vital community garden with myriad benefits for the community. Awardees have also been recognized by some of the world’s foremost institutions and leaders, including the United Nations Foundation, the White House and President Clinton.
“The foundation believes in the importance of shining a spotlight on exemplary Jewish teens to build future generations of strong Jewish leaders,” says Helen Diller, president of the sponsoring foundation. “It is our hope that the awards will not only validate the social efforts of a generation of Jewish teens but empower them to continue on their philanthropic journeys to repair the world.”
The Jewish Federations of North America and their network of 153 Jewish federations across North America continue to partner with the Helen Diller Family Foundation to inspire and encourage Jewish teen volunteer service nationwide.
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