The Awards recognize up to fifteen Jewish teens who are extraordinary leaders in community service with $36,000 each. Awardees are teens who show significant drive and leadership in creating and leading a new initiative – or who have considerably deepened or expanded an existing project. They embody the values of tikkun olam, repairing the world.
Projects can have a local, national, or global focus benefiting the Jewish or general community. Applicants can create a new project or contribute to an established initiative if they demonstrate a current, significant leadership role in an existing organization or project. We recommend you view past Award recipients to get an understanding of the types of projects that have been recognized.
Yes. While recipients of the Award are regional, national, or international in scale, many recipients have been recognized as an Awardee for their impact on their local communities. You are encouraged to apply if the tikkun olam project is making an impact at any level.
While it is great to be involved in a variety of meaningful tikkun olam and community service initiatives, leaders are awarded for their current work on one specific project or initiative. Applicants should describe their work on a single project.
Applicants must be:
Note: Teens who have created and co-led projects with others are welcome to apply individually for the Tikkun Olam Award. In such cases, each applicant will be considered and evaluated separately, and no more than one applicant per project will be chosen as an award recipient.
Note: Teens are not eligible for the Award if they have a sibling who has received a Diller Teen Tikkun Olam Award in the preceding five years.
Yes, if you are 13-19 years old. The school grade of an applicant is not relevant. Only the age (13-19) at the time of the application deadline.
Applicants must be 13-19 years old at the time of the application deadline. If you turn 20 after the application deadline, you still meet the requirements.
Candidates receive an automatic confirmation message upon successful submission of an application. If you do not see your confirmation email, be sure to check your spam folder. Please contact the Diller team if you have technical difficulties or any questions: [email protected].
The $36,000 Award may be used to further the recipient’s philanthropic work or for their education. Recipients can speak with philanthropic advisors at the Jewish Community Federation and Endowment Fund, who will explain their financial options.
This is an Award that can be used to help fund your education but is not specifically a scholarship. Some recipients choose to direct some of the funds toward their project/initiative and some toward their education. Awardees can choose how to allocate the Award.
In addition to receiving a $36,000 Award, recipients travel to San Francisco in August for a retreat and Awards celebration weekend, including up to two guests. In addition, Awardees become part of a national cohort of Jewish teen leaders. As part of the cohort experience, Awardees can connect with one another, receive public relations support for their project from a professional PR firm, receive professional headshots, and are filmed for a video highlighting their tikkun olam project. Awardees also become part of a greater alumni network of other leaders, dating back to the first year of the Awards in 2007.
There is an extensive evaluation process with Review and Selection Committees that consist of over 100 volunteers nationwide. Reviewers use an evaluation system that focuses on current, demonstrated leadership, commitment, engagement of others, sustainability, and community service impact over time. Multiple evaluators read each application, and their scores determine which applications continue to semifinalist and finalist rounds. The Selection Committee then reviews the finalist applications. Awardees are selected through a committee process, and Awardees will be notified in late May.
To qualify for an Award, applications should:
No. The Award focuses on the established and demonstrated leadership of applicants currently working on one specific project. Applicants are not awarded for a concept that has not yet been initiated or is still in its very early stages. The application asks about the impact your project has, and you will need to be able to show through metrics what has been accomplished.
We encourage teens to apply and use the application as a tool to consider the elements of their work that are strong as well as their areas for growth. Many teens have said that it is a valuable experience just to be nominated and recognized for their work. Others have also said that the process of filling out an application and articulating their ideas on paper was beneficial and helped them move their project forward. Some teens who received the Award said they were surprised that they were selected, thinking they wouldn’t receive the Award amongst the other impressive applicants.
Yes. A nominee/applicant not selected in the past may apply again. Many applicants have received the award after applying twice or more!
The Diller Teen Tikkun Olam Awards is a program of the Helen Diller Family Foundation. Jewish values inform the work of the Foundation. The Foundation believes that supporting Jewish teens today creates generations of strong Jewish leaders. In the words of Helen Diller, “It’s never too late, too early, or too often to give back and make the world a better place.”
No. The Award recognizes individual leadership, so teens may not submit one application together. Multiple teens currently working on the same project can apply individually, if they are each eligible. We encourage individuals to focus on their specific leadership contributions. Applicants will be evaluated separately, and for any given project, only one individual leader may receive an award. If multiple teens apply for the same project, they each need to be comfortable with any selection outcome.
No. You do not need to be nominated to be considered for the Diller Teen Tikkun Olam Awards, and each teen who is nominated is also required to complete and submit an application. We encourage adult mentors to honor a teen leader by nominating them and encouraging them to submit their application.
Teens receive an email letting them know that they were nominated, along with instructions on how to complete the application process. Nominees fill out an application on the website in order to apply for the Award.
The Diller Teen Tikkun Olam Awards are merit-based and not based on financial need. No FAFSA or other financial documentation is considered.
While attachments are not required, applicants are encouraged to include attachments (up to 10 pages) that support their application. Examples of attachments include a resume, budget, or marketing materials.
No. If an applicant advances to the semifinalist or finalist rounds, they will be asked to submit contact information for references who are familiar with the project. Letters of recommendation may be included as optional attachments to support the application.
No. Projects can, but do not need to, be related to the Jewish community in order to be eligible for the Award.
August of each year.
Teens are not eligible for the Award if they have a sibling who has received a Diller Teen Tikkun Olam Award in the preceding five years.
We encourage teens to review the entire application or download the writeable PDF before beginning to answer questions. The application has several sections and can be completed over the course of 5 months, from August to early January.
No. Applicants are encouraged to seek feedback and guidance from others familiar with their project, but the teen must fill out the application themselves. The Awards team is also available via text and email if applicants need help completing the application.