Portland, May 2nd, 2013. More than 200 teens, parents, grandparents, community leaders and educators turned out for the Oregon Jewish Community Youth Foundation’s (OJCYF) 10th Anniversary Celebration at the Mittleman Jewish Community Center. (Photo credit, LeeAnn Gauthier)  The event  raised $53,000 in gross proceeds.

Benefit guests joined in the Mitzvah Moment paddle raise including OJCF Incoming President, Sharon Morell, Jerry Nudelman, Anne Nudelman, Jonathan Cohen, Jeff Nudelman, and Sallie Cohen

Guests joined in the Mitzvah Moment paddle raise including OJCF Incoming President, Sharon Morell, Jerry Nudelman, Anne Nudelman, Jonathan Cohen, Jeff Nudelman, and Sallie Cohen

OJCYF’s mission is to secure the future of Jewish philanthropy and to develop a strong generation of future Jewish leaders.  By involving Greater Portland area Jewish teenagers in the fundraising, allocation and distribution of money to both Jewish and secular nonprofit organizations, OJCYF teaches its youth the satisfaction of philanthropy while instilling in them a sense of responsibility in community. 39 Jewish teens from diverse high schools including OES, Sunset, Lake Oswego, Wilson, Lincoln, Beaverton, Riverdale and more participated in this 10th season of OJCYF.  There’s a organizational video celebrating the great work of the students:

Keynote speaker Jordan Schnitzer gave an inspired address during which he spoke about making a difference through a single act of kindness every day and remembering humility.

Keynote speaker Jordan Schnitzer gave an inspired address during which he spoke about making a difference through a single act of kindness every day and remembering humility. The Harold and Arlene Schnitzer CARE Foundation was the lead sponsor.

Event Chairs, Danielle Spring (left) and Maayan Agam (right) welcome guests to the OJCYF 10th Anniversary Celebration Benefit Dinner.

Dinner co chairs were seniors Danielle Spring and Maayan Agam, each of whom have been in OJCYF for 4 years.

Sunshine Pantry Executive Director Sharon Straus with OJCF Executive Director Julie Diamond. In addition to raising funds for allocated by OJCYF, the benefit also included a food drive for the Sunshine Pantry in Beaverton.

Sunshine Pantry Executive Director Sharon Straus with OJCF Executive Director Julie Diamond. In addition to raising funds for allocated by OJCYF, the benefit also included a food drive for the Sunshine Pantry in Beaverton.

Teens ran the evening, beginning with a mock allocation activity, and acknowledgment of the generous support over 10 years by the OJCYF “Angel” funders and original founders of the program and a Mitzvah Moment paddle raise. The teen-led band, Surviving Yesterday, provided upbeat entertainment. The dinner also included a donation drive for Sunshine Pantry. The pantry’s founder, Sharon Straus, attended.

The evening concluded with honors for the founders of OJCYF, Marcia, Stuart and daughter Julia Weiss, John Moss, then OJCF executive director and the San Diego Jewish Community Foundation which guided OJCYF in the early days.

Gross proceeds from the benefit dinner exceeded $53,000. Net proceeds will be awarded to Jewish and secular community nonprofits by OJCYF teen board members at their May allocations meeting. The teens have already allocated $6,000 already to Jewish and secular organizations that they visited during the year. OJCYF is a program of the Oregon Jewish Community Foundation, www.ojcf.org.

About OJCF

The Oregon Jewish Community Foundation is dedicated to creating, promoting, and facilitating a culture of giving, and serves as the guardian of permanent funds available to safeguard the quality of Jewish communal life in Oregon and Southwest Washington. The Foundation invests its assets to foster strong support of the community’s current needs while also providing resources for future generations.

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