WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. -- J-Teen Leadership in White Plains was recently recognized as one of North America's top 50 innovative Jewish organizations.
The group was recently named to the list from the ninth annual Slingshot Guide, "a prestigious go-to resource for volunteers, activists and donors seeking to support the most cutting-edge and effective Jewish organizations and programs in the nation," according to a news release.
"J-Teen Leadership was selected from hundreds of finalists reviewed by 83 professionals with expertise in grant-making and Jewish communal life," representatives said in the release. "The Slingshot evaluators based their assessments on a range of factors, including each organization’s innovative approach, the impact of its work, leadership and effectiveness in achieving results."
The Slingshot Guide praised J-Teen Leadership “for its clear focus on service and leadership” and “relevance to the lives of Jewish teens of all Jewish denominations,” according to the release.
“As a unique model of teen engagement that is authentically teen-driven — started for teens by teens, we are profoundly honored to be included in the Slingshot Guide,” said Abbe Marcus, J-Teen Leadership’s executive director, in the release.
Josh Goldstein, a Harvard freshman, led J-Teen Leadership’s application process for Slingshot recognition while he was a high school student in Mamaroneck.
“I wanted to bring J-Teen Leadership into the conversation as an emerging Jewish organization and to make it part of the larger community,” Goldstein said in the release. “It had a wonderful impact on me in high school, and I wanted to help J-Teen Leadership grow in the coming years to provide other teens with the opportunities I had.”
Representatives said Slingshot’s recognition was "a critical step for selected organizations to attain additional funding and expand the reach of their work," according to the release.
J-Teen Leadership has more than 500 active participants throughout Westchester and parts of Connecticut with plans to expand, according to the release.
“We’ve grown exponentially, adding more participants each year, and as part of the Slingshot Guide, we are excited about the opportunity to engage more teens in community service wherever the needs occur,” said J-Teen Leadership Co-Chair Marc Hersch, a high school senior from Scarsdale, in the release.