4Front, the Baltimore Jewish community’s comprehensive teen initiative housed at the JCC, is proud to announce that it has received several funding renewals to further its work strengthening Jewish teen engagement in Baltimore.
The San Francisco-based Jim Joseph Foundation awarded The Associated: Jewish Federation of Baltimore with a renewal matching grant to further the work of 4Front. With the support of local donors, The Associated has raised $610,000 to fulfill this matching grant. This includes an additional three-year $300,000 renewal grant made to the program by the Baltimore-based Joseph & Harvey Meyerhoff Family Charitable Funds in support of the match.
Together, the funding will ensure that 4Front continues to provide diverse offerings for teens to explore their Jewish identity in ways that are meaningful to them, while elevating their voices in the community. 4Front also offers support and education to parents and Jewish youth professionals so that they can best care for teens during these transformative years. Serving as a communal network to connect organizations, 4Front will invest in a new website that offers local organizations a chance to share opportunities, events and resources for teens.
Since its establishment, 4Front has successfully connected over 4,000 teens with meaningful Jewish educational experiences through signature programs like the Social Innovation Fellowship, provided training to youth professionals representing 25 local organizations, and offered support and educational experiences to over 800 parents of adolescents.
“4Front continues to be a catalyst to inspire innovative new teen initiatives in our community, while providing a space for existing teen programs to collaborate and share resources,” said Barak Hermann, chief executive officer of the JCC.
The Jim Joseph Foundation matching grant for 4Front was awarded within the framework of the Jewish Teen Education and Engagement Funder Collaborative, comprised of national and local funders working together to expand and deepen community-based Jewish teen education. Baltimore is one of 10 communities nationwide participating in this Collaborative.
“Our present and our future is based on our ability to engage and excite teens about Jewish life. And through 4Front, we are developing an ecosystem that teens will want to opt in on,” said Marc B. Terrill, president of The Associated. “Thanks to the work of 4Front, which has been instrumental in this effort, we are making a difference in strengthening teens’ Jewish identity in Baltimore.”
The Associated: Jewish Federation of Baltimore initially received a five-year matching grant from The Jim Joseph Foundation to support a multi-faceted Jewish Teen Education Initiative in Baltimore. The initiative was designed to increase the number of teens engaged in high quality Jewish learning experiences and to deepen the engagement of teens currently participating in episodic experiences.
“We are so grateful to be able to continue our work in the Baltimore Jewish community,” said Diana Solomon, senior director of 4Front. “Teens are a crucial demographic to our community’s future and present. This renewal represents our community’s commitment to supporting teens- to prioritizing their needs and elevating their voices. Over the next three years, 4Front hopes to foster a stronger network of Jewish youth serving organizations, professionals, and families to ensure we are working together effectively towards our shared goal of creating meaningful Jewish experiences and an authentic sense of belonging for Jewish teens in Baltimore.”