Diller Teen Fellows Toronto FAQs

Who are the Diller Teen Fellows?

The Diller Teen Fellowship is an international partnership that inspires and empowers Jewish teens to be active, effective leaders. The 12-month program offers a select group of 10th and 11th graders the opportunity to focus on leadership skills, Tikkun Olam, Jewish identity, and a connection to Israel and Jewish peoplehood. The Diller Teen Fellowship program is active in 32 communities in North America, South America, Europe, Israel, South Africa and Australia. In Toronto, the program is implemented by UJA Federation of Greater Toronto. Twenty Greater Toronto Area teens are selected each year based on their leadership aptitude, commitment to Jewish learning, interest in connecting to Israel, and passion for serving their communities.

What is the Fellowship program?

The program is based on Jewish values and themes. Some of the values and themes we focus on are:

  • Leadership. Through its programs, the Diller Teen Fellowship helps develop the next generation of Jewish leaders.
  • Tikkun Olam. The Diller program aims to inspire young people to embrace the spirit of Tikkun Olam (Hebrew for “repair the world”) by inspiring them to serve as role models for community service.
  • Jewish Identity. Diller Teen Fellows explore Jewish values, community and history as they develop and enhance their own Jewish identity. This helps inform their decisions on how they want to live their Jewish lives.
  • Israel. The Diller program seeks to promote a strong physical and spiritual connection to Israel and to the global Jewish community.
  • Peoplehood. The Diller program explores the concept of Jewish Peoplehood – the idea of a collective Jewish experience, flourishing now and in the future – through multiple lenses.
  • Pluralism. Diller Teen Fellows embraces pluralism in the broadest sense. Fellows are introduced to a wide range of different Jewish practices, beliefs, values, and perspectives and are encouraged to develop an appreciation for the spectrum of Jewish expression. Staff and Fellows build programming around these six themes with engaging, experiential activities designed to promote critical thinking, communication and trust.

What will my experience be like?

You will be part of a group of peers with different backgrounds, joined together by the desire to:

  • Question, search and gain insights into Jewish identity and unity
  • Experience a cultural exchange with Israeli teens during a three-week Israel seminar and 10-day Toronto mifgash (encounter)
  • Cultivate lasting friendships with Toronto and Eilat-Eilot fellows through a significant partnership experience
  • Become a member of the Diller International cohort of 32 cities

What is the time commitment?

The Toronto Diller Teen Fellows is a 12-month (September to September) commitment:

  • 12 Sunday afternoon workshops
  • 3 weekend retreats
  • 10 day hosting of Eilat-Eilot Fellows in Toronto the spring
  • Three-week Israel Summer Seminar (July)

How do I apply?

Apply online or nominate a teen at jewishtoronto.com/diller

  • All applicants must apply online and participate in a group experience session and interview.
  • Applications are accepted from now until June 17, 2020.
  • Applications received after the deadline will be reviewed only after all on-time applications are considered.
  • Final decisions are announced in late July/early August.
  • The fee for participation is $3,800 which includes all costs for the Fellowship, including the Israel seminar. Generous financial aid is available. Each Fellow receives a substantial subsidy from the Helen Diller Family Foundation, and UJA Federation of Greater Toronto.

Now accepting applications and nominations for the 2019-2020 Fellowship year

* If you are a teen currently in grade 9 or 10
* If you’d like to nominate a teen in grade 9 or 10

To learn more, contact hhait@ujafed.org, 416-635-2883x5255 or visit jewishtoronto.com/diller

The Diller Teen Fellows program is funded by the Helen Diller Family Foundation, a supporting foundation of the San Francisco Federation’s Jewish Community Endowment Fund.