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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

Mazel Tov to the 18 Under 18 Honorees!

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18 Under 18 Group edited

Springboard, The Jewish Teen Alliance of Chicago (JTAC) and JUF are proud to announce the inaugural cohort of 18 Under 18 winners (listed below). These 18 outstanding teens embody one or more characteristics selected by JTAC: works toward inclusion of Jewish teens of all abilities; prioritizes raising money for tzedakah/charity or volunteering; teach their peers and love Jewish learning; motivate others to be involved in Jewish life; or stand out as a Jewish leader or role model. After going through a rigorous nomination and application process, the winners were selected from among dozens of applicants by a committee of JTAC teens and Jewish professionals.

The 18 teens are active in many organizations, including youth movements, Jewish camps, Jewish engagement programs (Voices, Diller, Seed 613, Research Training Internship, Moving Traditions, JSC, JSU, Or Tzedek, Write On for Israel), congregational religious schools, sports teams, arts programs, student government, and more. They represent 14 high schools in the city and suburbs and 16 congregations, and range in age from 9th-12th grade.

Teens gathered at JUF on the evening of March 7, along with representatives from JTAC, to meet each other, participate in a leadership session led by Kayla Lesch, National President of Young Judaea, take headshots and learn about translating their skills onto resumes.

The 18 honorees will be celebrated at a special community-wide event on April 25 at 7:00 PM at the Starlight Theater in the Wilmette Community Center. The evening will feature a performance by the comedic troupe The Altarboys as well as a dessert reception to honor these incredible teens and their accomplishments.

Information about the 18 Under 18 Celebration will be available at Over the next six weeks this blog and the Springboard Chicago Facebook and Instagram pages will highlight each of the honorees. We hope you enjoy getting to know this group online and that you will join us in congratulating them in person on April 25th.

Congratulations to Colman Adams, Rachel Aranyi, Syd Bakal, Maddie Brim, Daphne Budin, Gabriella Cooperman, Ben Gerstein, Joey Greenebaum, Rebecca Greenstein, Quincy Hirt, Kelly Kogen, Emma Milner -Gorvine, Lillie Murphy, Michael Rubin, Spencer Schwartz, Kalman Strauss, Abby Tzinberg, and Chloe Wagner!