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JFS Receives $35,000 from the Hadassah Foundation

Jewish Family Service of San Diego Receives Funding for Groundbreaking Female Empowerment Program

San Diego County CAJewish Family Service of San Diego (JFS) has been awarded a $35,000 grant from the Hadassah Foundation to support the Girls Give Back teen leadership program, which enables Jewish teen girls in San Diego to address the challenges faced by young Jewish women in meaningful, self-directed, and ongoing service learning and leadership development opportunities. During the coming year, 30 Jewish girls will participate in the program.

Through the use of a high quality, year-long curriculum – specifically crafted for Jewish teen girls – the program educates girls on gender inequality while helping them develop concrete leadership skills and empower them to actively engage in the San Diego community through volunteer work and service learning projects.

“It is a tremendous honor for Jewish Family Service’s impactful Girls Give Back program to be recognized as a national leader in the development of young Jewish women. We are grateful for the Hadassah Foundation’s significant investment in Girls Give Back for the third year in a row, as it is vital to the program’s long-term sustainability,” explained Shana Hazan, senior director of strategic resource development at JFS.

The Girls Give Back program empowers participants to improve their self-image, build their confidence to take on future leadership positions, and develop meaningful relationships with Jewish peers. Under the facilitation of Krizia Puig, the new Girls Give Back coordinator, both returning and new participants will thoughtfully identify and prioritize gender equality issues to center on for new social action projects this year. Returning Girls Give Back members will lead the group’s Advocacy, Community Outreach and Middle School committees.

“The focus of this year’s program,” said Puig, “will be to unlock the teens’ creative potential while tackling important topics such as privilege and oppression; the social construction of beauty; body politics; sexual orientation; reproductive justice; violence against women; and feminism and technology, among others.”

Puig, a second-year graduate student of women’s studies at San Diego State University, recently presented information on the Girls Give Back program to Hadassah Southern California, the San Diego Jewish Academy, and Torah High School of San Diego. An information session held in early September attracted young women from diverse denominations of Judaism, including Orthodox, Modern Orthodox, Reform, and secular (Jewish, but not religious). About 25 percent of program participants receive financial assistance to participate in the program.

For more information, visit www.jfssd.org/ggb.