WEST HARTFORD – The Jewish Teen Learning Connection (JTConnect) is the recipient of a $120,000 multi-year Springboard Grant, awarded by the Jewish Community Foundation of Greater Hartford (JCF).
The grant is intended to support JTConnect, a nonprofit organization which provides programs for Jewish teens in the Greater Hartford area, as it continues on a trajectory of rapid growth. According to the organization’s leadership, JTConnect has experienced an 83 percent increase in teen participation since 2017, with approximately 400 teens participating in JTConnect programs.
“The Jewish Community Foundation is excited to provide JTConnect with this new type of grant, which will increase engagement of teens in exciting, hands-on activities while also providing the resources necessary to support essential organizational development,” says Jacob Schreiber, president and CEO of the Jewish Community Foundation of Greater Hartford.
According to JCF, JTConnect engages teens from across the Greater Hartford community in interactive experiences grounded in Jewish learning and values. Teens examine religion, history and traditions through innovative programming that includes classroom study, volunteer projects and special events.
JCF’s Springboard Grant will support JTConnect’s newly hired full-time associate director, Cara Levine, who is working with JTConnect Executive Director Eric Maurer to grow and enhance programming and student recruitment.
“I am humbled and inspired by the investment that the Jewish Community Foundation is making in Jewish teen education in Greater Hartford,” says Maurer. “Sustainability has been a big question for our organization – until now. JCF’s Springboard Grant will help us maintain momentum and build upon our exciting growth.”
With the addition of Levine to JTConnect’s staff, Maurer, who previously had been building partnerships, diversifying program offerings and growing the number of teens who participate in the JTConnect programs, will focus his efforts on fundraising, board development and engagement, and strategic vision.
According to Schreiber, JCF is innovating its grant-making process to support the vibrant growth of the Greater Hartford Jewish community by piloting the Springboard Grant in 2020. The Grant funds specific initiatives for organizations that will yield transformative effects.
“We’re proud to work in tandem with the Jewish Federation of Greater Hartford – which provides JTConnect with generous annual funding support – so we can expand and sustain cutting edge Jewish education programs for our Jewish teens in Greater Hartford,” says Schreiber.