The B’nai Mitzvah Fund Program involves our upcoming generation in the joy of tzedakah with a fund that encourages charitable giving. It is designed to teach Jewish teens about the world of philanthropy and social action through hands-on involvement. The benefits for this program are enormous. As a Bar/Bat Mitzvah, teens will have a chance to learn at an early age to become involved in the important work of our community.
In addition, a new fund has been opened to support the Teen Funders group. This group comes from the B’nai Mitzvah Fund holders. The Linda Alexander Teen Funders Endowment Fund will donate a percentage of the fund each year to the Teen Funders to distribute to charities selected at their semi-annual meetings. To donate to the Linda Alexander Teen Funders Fund, just go to “Donate Today” on this page.
Here’s how B'Nai Mitzvah Funds work:
1. At the time of a teen’s Bar/Bat-Mitzvah, s/he contributes a minimum of $250 to a donor advised fund in the teen’s name at the Jewish Community Foundation of CNY. A donor advised fund is a fund in which the donor “advises” where the money should be distributed. Choices include any legitimate Jewish or non-Jewish not-for-profit organization. Contributions can come from presents, prior savings, earnings or anywhere else.
2. All initial $250 B’nai Mitzvah Fund contributions will be matched with $250 from the Pomeranz, Shankman and Martin Charitable Foundation, making each B’nai Mitzvah Fund total at least $500.
3. The fund will be named the First & Last Name B’nai Mitzvah Fund at the Jewish Community Foundation of CNY. The teen will have the honor and responsibility of determining which charities will receive the money each year.
How much can be used for Tzedakah? Distributions from the Fund can be made immediately after the establishment of the Fund and continue for the next five years. They can “advise” as much as they wish be sent to multiple charities (minimum donation of $25). They can add money to their Fund at any time, in any amount they wish. They also can invite others to contribute for special occasions, like a great report card, a birthday or graduation, and...as with all contributions...these gifts are tax deductible.
Not sure which charities you want to support? The teens can support worthy causes that interest them, both Jewish and non-Jewish, local or out of town. We can be a source of guidance if they wish. All they need to do is decide which charities they want to support. We do all the paperwork. We will send a check to the selected organization informing them that a gift has been made from The Teen’s Fund. Each fund holder will have the opportunity to do this throughout the year. They will also receive an annual Fund statement listing the donations and charitable contributions made that year.
Too easy? Too good to be true? So, what's the point? The point is to encourage the habit of giving. These teens have already learned about it at home, in their synagogue or Hebrew School. This experience will help make it become a life-long habit – both an honor and a responsibility. "Giving" is a healthy habit with only positive side effects - it allows youngsters to stay in touch with their religious heritage, helps them develop a social consciousness and enables them to feel good by giving back to their community.
All B’nai Mitzvah Fund holders are required to attend the “Teen Philanthropy Through a Jewish Lens” session to learn more about the experiences of being a fund holder.
If you wish to make a distribution from your account, click to download the form and print it out. Click Here
If you want to open a B’nai Mitzvah Fund, you may contact Michael Balanoff as follows:
Cara Adelson *Rachel Alpert Jason Alweis Natalie Alweis Joshua Anbar David Antosh Eric Antosh David Becker Elise Beckman Ian Beckman Rachel Beckman Allison Bergman Rebecca Blumenthal Michael Bratslavsky Max & Hayley Burko Abigail Charlamb Brian Charlamb Jacob Charlamb Max Charlamb *Mae Cohen Aaron Costanza Noah Craig Sophie Craig Shayna DeMari Rachel Diamond Jonathan Eichholz Emily Eisenson Rachel Elman Geoffrey Engel Rachel Fagut Max Freeman Andrew Goldberg Natalie Goldberg Laurin Goldberg Kara Goldberg Samantha Greenky Sara Griffiths Samuel Griffiths Jenna Grossman Lillie Haxton Miriam Haxton Rebecca Herwood Edwin Hirsh Alexandra Horowitch Alethea Shirilan-Howlett *Aliya Iosilevich Alana Jocowitz Caleb Jacowitz Joshua Jaffe Samantha Jaffe Katelyn Jones Noah Kaplan Jennifer Kaplan Joshua Katz Noah Kellman Adam Kiewe David Rapp Kirshner Ariella Milner-Kornfeld Sarah Kornfeld Benjamin Koss Jonathan Koss Elana Kuppermann Leah Kuppermann Jonathan Leavitt Alex Fortin Lesser Sarah F. Lesser Molly Levy Joshua Lieberman Marissa Lipschutz
*new in this fiscal year
Katherine Lord Lexi Lorenz Peri Lowenstein Matthew Lynne *Stephanie Lynne Juliet Maloff Rebecca Margolis Brooke Meltzer Kevin Metzger Eli Miller Leah Miller Sarah Miller James Miron Danny Miron Ethan Moskow Jacob Moskow Dylan Muller Leah Jezer Nelson Ari Neulander Sam Passer Hadar Pepperstone Maya Pollock Caleb Porter Colby Porter Gabrielle Donna Ritter Adena Rochelson Rachel Rochelson Sarah Rosenbaum Ethan Machles Rothschild Alexandra Rusinek Jack Satterlee Rachel Scheer Sophie Scheer David Schram Nathan Shapiro Hal Schulman Max Schulman Isaac Signorelli *Shaynah Sikora Julie Silverman Sara Helene Silverman Oren Simchy-Gross Julia Berse Skeval Timothy Berse Skeval Chloe Smeader Max & Rachel Smith Anna Smith Alexis Snell Jacob Snell Nathan Sonnenfeld Lily Sorbello Abe Stanton Evan Stein Cory Stein Emma Stein Avery Stone Fish Sam Stoogenke Harrison Teich Rachel Teitelbaum Rebecca Teitelbaum Seth Teplitsky Ari Waffle Jeremy Wallace Annie Weiss Elihu Weiss Jack Wells Logan Woodard King Avi Young Sarah Young