Blog with Springboard

The Springboard blog highlights the experiences of Jewish teens and Jewish teen professionals participating in community programs across Chicagoland and beyond. Dive into blogs about different Jewish teen events, leadership programs, trip opportunities, and more! Join us in celebrating the unique perspectives and contributions of Jewish teens and professionals in the Jewish community. To post a blog, please email

Springboard Blog

Springboard Blog

Meet our new Program Director of Teen Social Change Initiatives, Shoshi Shapiro

 Permanent link

My name is Shoshi Shapiro, and I am very excited to join JUF as the new Program Director for Teen Social Change Initiatives. Core to my beliefs is that every individual can make a difference (yes, Tikkun Olam was engrained in me early), and I am looking forward to connecting my personal values to work. 

To give you a little more about me, I grew up in NYC and came to the Chicago area for college. I studied Learning Science in the School of Education and Social Policy at Northwestern and completed certificates in Civic Engagement and Human-Centered Design. The nerd in me loves talking about human-centered design, museums and why voting in local elections matters thanks to my time in college. I also staffed USY on Wheels and Pilgrimage, which were two of the most meaningful summers spent exploring Jewish history and identity and of course racking up new states and countries.  

Fast forward a few years, I now live in West Lakeview. Shabbat and sharing Judaism with friends are part of my everyday life. I also foster dogs and adoption counsel through a local rescue, am an avid women’s basketball fan (both college and pro), sail in the summer with my dad, and assemble excellent cheese plates.  

Below are two photos- one of me and friends meeting the legendary Candace Parker (I am the one on her right), and the second is of my currently adoptable foster Auden who was very upset I was packing and insisted I not by sitting on the clothes. 

I am again so excited to be here and can’t wait to meet and make impact with you all!  

Candace Parker and Auden

Don’t Miss Upcoming program and Scholarship Deadlines

 Permanent link

Summer is just around the corner! Summer and School year leadership programs for the 24-25 school year are now accepting applications.  Here are some great experiences to check out.  

AMHSI Classic Program in Israel: Classic 6-week academic program, formally known as Foundations Israel, will take students on a 4,000-year journey throughout the History and Culture of Israel beginning with the Middle Bronze Age and ending with the Modern Middle East.Located outside of Tel Aviv in the city of Hod HaSharon, the AMHSI campus features renovated dorms, dining room, basketball courts, running track, music room, and the ability to walk to shops, restaurants, a smoothie bar, and much more Students are eligible for high school credits and optional college credits. Learn more and sign up here. 

Genesis Precollege Summer Program: Join an incredible Jewish learning community this summer at Genesis! You'll take classes taught by passionate Jewish educators, make incredible friends, and experience life on a college campus. Scholarships available, learn more and register here. 

Hartman Teen Fellowship: The Fellowship will run from September 2024 through May 2025. Applications are due May 31st. Jewish teens have big questions, face challenging dilemmas, and are searching for a place to explore new ideas. The Hartman Teen Fellowship is an extraordinary opportunity for North American high schoolers in grades 10-12 to cultivate Jewish identities that value Jewish Peoplehood, Israel, and humanity. Fellows will develop the tools to build an informed, meaningful, and bright Jewish future. Learn more and register here. 

JUF Israel Scholarships: Apply for a JUF Israel experience scholarships for fall and academic year programs. The deadline is June 1st and awards will be announced in mid-July.  

Springboard Access Grants: Now it’s even easier to try new programs in the Jewish community. With a Springboard Access Grant Springboard will provide up to 50% of tuition costs of your first overnight Jewish teen program up to $300 Learn more and apply here.