Jewish Youth for Community Action (JYCA) is a youth-led organization empowering teens to become leaders in their communities for social and environmental justice. We need your help raising $40,000 by the end of the year in order to stay vibrant and strong in these politically painful times. This CrowdRise campaign by passionate staff, youth, Board members and community members has a goal of raising that total from new and long-time supporters, including you!
"Today the growing list of issues in the world can leave the average teenager completely overwhelmed. It's easy to feel powerless and lost, and unable to make a difference. JYCA gives youth like me an incredibly accessible way to gain insight and passion about social issues, and then develop the leadership skills to participate in protests, rallies, campaigns, direct actions and more. JYCA makes me feel proud to be Jewish." – 16 year-old JYCA participant
Will you make a meaningful contribution today to help youth in our communities grow a community of resilience and resistance together in this political climate?
Why are we fundraising?
The face of Judaism in our country has outgrown the programs offered our youth. When we offer our teens a Judaism that isn't risky, relevant to their lives, about their joys, their concerns, and their struggles we lose them. The present political landscape only intensifies this truth. JYCA takes Jewish teens seriously: as political actors, as social justice leaders and as people.
Our social movements NEED youth leadership to be successful. And youth need outlets to use their power to shape change and build the type of world that will meet everyone's needs. JYCA is one such outlet. We want to be as strong, vibrant and healthy as we can be in order to support our youth to grow as powerful and connected change agents in our movements.
Last year, after the election of Donald Trump, our program saw a record breaking number of applications. Addiitonally, the number of youth of color and working class youth in our program skyrocketed- and we were commited to being able to serve our youth regardless of their ability to pay. So we did it- we took on a large cohort and invited many youth with a lot of financial assistance: and we are commited to being able to continue running strong and meeting the needs of youth in our community! We are commited to our youth leaders' ability to lead with our support.
We are expanding and we need your help!
We are currently embarking on a 5-7 year regional expansion plan. In a year, we see JYCA running two additional programs in a new Bay Area region in partnership with organizations local to that area. In addition, we see a win in a social justice campaign that our youth are working on in a broad based coalition of movement organizations. In 5-10 years we want to have expanded our programming geographically to serve the larger Bay Area region. We want to be a hub for Jewish youth to engage in social action while networked with peers in other places- to fuel youth power in social justice movements and Jewish communities.
Will you make a meaningful contribution today so that youth in our communities can continue to support each other to grow as organizers and activists, to build hopeful and loving networks of resistance in the face of the current political reality?
More about JYCA!
From the 2017 Bay Area Slingshot Guide:
"Youth led, youth run, and youth focused—Jewish Youth for Community Action was founded in 1995 to offer Jewish teens a place to connect with their Jewish histories and personal identities through the lenses of tikkun olam and tzedakah. (Tikkun olam is a concept defined by acts of kindness performed to perfect or repair the world and tzedakah refers to charitable giving.) JYCA creates a safe space for youth to interact with their own Jewish identity in a way that is meaningful to them and to build a Jewish community based on shared values for social, racial and environmental justice.
From taking on the AIDS epidemic to addressing the death penalty, from organizing their peers to get involved in criminal justice reform to canvassing for progressive ballot measures in every election—JYCA youth are using their voices and visions to embody their Judaism and to change the face of their communities.
Going to the teens wherever they are—at home, in school, at the park, at protests, in synagogues—JYCA is able to maximize their participation, with a 93 percent retention rate. JYCA provides the framework for Jewish teenagers to completely design, develop, and shape the content of the programming they participate in, the impact they have in their communities, and the culture of that community. JYCA is able to help teens effectively lead and trains them in facilitation, curricular development, tracking social dynamics, active listening, and how to collaborate with important partners, leading to significant involvement and impact in the Bay Area.
JYCA’s two main local programs are the Leadership Group in Training and the Organizing Group, through which JYCA youth have developed and facilitated social justice workshops for their peers. JYCA youth have also worked alongside Bend the Arc’s Jeremiah fellows to get out the vote on progressive local ballot measures. JYCA is helping the Bay Area Jewish world rebrand Jewish social justice as irresistible, loving, and fun."
Will you make a meaningful contribution today to ensure that JYCA can grow and continue to support Jewish youth to work for collective liberation?
With love and gratitude,
JYCA youth, staff, board members and community partners