Cumulative Grants Support Growth of JTConnect

The Jewish Teen Learning Connection (JTConnect) started in the early 90s as an afterschool program, Yachad: Greater Hartford Jewish Community High School, with teens engaging in activities while exploring their Jewish heritage and values. Today, JTConnect is a thriving nonprofit cultivating the next generation of Jewish leaders. Over the years, the Foundation has consistently provided grants to support the organization’s mission.

When the Foundation launched its Springboard Grant in 2019 to trigger transformative growth for Jewish organizations, JTConnect received the inaugural $120,000 three-year grant. The investment allowed the Executive Director to spend more time on fundraising, board development and engagement, and strategic planning. It also funded a new staff member who took over some of the Executive Director’s administrative duties.

“We needed to grow and reach more students — we could not have done this without the Foundation’s

Springboard Grant,” says Caroline Poland, Executive Director of JTConnect. “Continued support from the Foundation allows us to sustain our growth and enrich our programming.”

Following the Springboard Grant, the Foundation provided JTConnect with a $10,000 grant for its

2023 teen antisemitism conference and a two-year $18,000 grant in 2022 to expand its Teen Leadership Philanthropy Institute (TLPI) to three sites, Congregation Beth Israel, The Emanuel Synagogue, and Farmington Valley Jewish Congregation, and double the number of students participating in the program annually.

TLPI helps teens explore Jewish giving principles as they learn about causes, research and vet nonprofits, create fundraising campaigns and a strategic grant-making process through meaningful consensus conversations.

“TLPI has allowed me to draw upon all that I’ve learned from JTConnect and use it to address issues I’m passionate about and enact tangible change,” says Ali Benthien, a TLPI participant.

After their enriching experiences with JTConnect, many students move on to college ready to lead fulfilling lives through a Jewish lens. “My participation with JTConnect prepared me for living the rest of my life as a Jew,” says Elijah Chaimovitch.

Grants in ActionCumulative Grants Support Growth of JTConnect