J-Teen Philanthopy Initiative Application

The J-Teen Philanthropy Initiative (JTPI) aims to inspire a diverse group of high school students to make a real difference in the greater Houston Community and beyond. Participants will raise and allocate upwards of $10,000 to address real community issues through a consensus building and project-based learning model. Teens will meet bi-monthly to research, explore organizations, and causes they wish to support, learn about the process of grant making, hear from local philanthropists, and explore Jewish values. 

JTPI is made up of three groups: JTPI First Year, JTPI Alumni, and JTPI Madrichim. Participants can receive up to 35 service hours. 


  • Must be entering 9–12 grade to apply 
  • Be willing to participate in a short interview upon applying
  • Pay $180 participation fee per student once accepted 

We are excited to receive your application to participate in the 2022-2023 cohort of the J-Teen Philanthropy Initiative (JTPI). Since you cannot save your progress and return to the application, we recommend writing your answers in a Word document and then copy and paste them into the application when you are finished. Review the short answer questions here. 

Please reach out to Barrie Skalsky, Teen Engagement Coordinator, at if you have any questions. 

Application Deadline 

Please submit applications no later than Sunday, August 1st . We encourage you to submit your application as early as possible. Spots are limited and will be prioritized based on submission date. Upon review of your written applications, you will be asked to participate in a 30-minute virtual or in person individual interview. 

The program session dates are outlined below. Excused absences need to be discussed in advance with the program staff. The opening program session on Sunday, September 18 is required for all participants and at least one parent/guardian. 

Sessions will be at the Merfish Teen Center at 6:00 PM and run 2 hours per session. 

The dates below are the program meetings for the first-year cohort: 

  • Sunday, September 18, Parent/Guardian and Teen Orientation, 1:00 PM  
  • October 3 
  • October 24 
  • November 7 
  • November 28 
  • December 12 
  • January 16 
  • January 30 
  • February 13 
  • February 27 
  • Weeks of March 20 and March 27- Site visits 
  • April 10 
  • April 24 
  • May 1- End of year Check Ceremony 
 I have reviewed the dates and understand the attendance policy.
I anticipate the following times may be an issue for me.