GTK-JCFAchieving Philanthropic Goals

The Jewish Community Foundation partners with individuals, families and community organizations to help them achieve their philanthropic goals. During fiscal year 2012-13, the Foundation awarded and facilitated $98 million in 5,600 grants to more than 1,300 Jewish and general organizations in San Diego, Israel and around the world. The Foundation’s programs include extensive youth philanthropy education to instill awareness of community and familiarity with sensible giving in San Diego’s next generation of philanthropists.


Teens learn about the greatest needs in our community through the Philanthropy Leadership in Training Institute. Foundation staff lead the Institute in partnership with synagogues and Jewish agencies around San Diego. Teens learn the ins and outs of the nonprofit sector, how to give wisely and purposefully and involve themselves with the most pressing needs of the community. They address homelessness, healthcare, poverty, food insecurity and unemployment all with a perspective of Jewish values. As a team, participants develop a group mission statement and focus on organizations whose work fits those interests through a Jewish lens. At the end of each program, the students make grants to the organizations of their choice as a group.

Teen excellence in community service and leadership is honored through the Peter Chortek Leadership Award. The Award is supported by the Peter Chortek Youth Philanthropy Leadership Fund at the Foundation, established by Peter (of blessed memory) and Elaine Chortek to foster Jewish communal involvement by recognizing Jewish teens that practice the value of Tikkun Olam, repairing the world. Three teens are selected for the Award annually. The 2013 recipients, Ari Krasner, Jenna Lizerbram and Jacob Gardenswartz, each received $3,600 and an additional $1,800 in a donor advised fund at the Foundation to promote ongoing philanthropy.

Jacob (Grade 12) launched “Theater of Peace” – performing over 200 short skits about bullying to educate over 2,000 students across San Diego. Video:
Ari (Grade 12) founded a campus club affiliate of Jewish Family Service’s Hand Up Youth Food Pantry to promote awareness about hunger and has collected 1,500 pounds of food and raised hundreds of dollars.

Jenna (Grade 12) created YouthJamz, which has held four annual benefit concerts to start music programs for 800 underprivileged children in San Diego, India and the Congo.

For more information, contact Darren Schwartz, Philanthropy Officer, at 858.279.2740 or visit