Voices FAQ

How do I apply?

Applications for Voices are due in August and are accepted on a rolling basis. Applicants should be prepared for phone or in-person interviews. Click here to check out the application form.

How often does Voices meet?

Voices meets monthly throughout the school year on Sundays and for a minimum of two hours each meeting.

Who can apply?

Voices is available to students in 9th - 12th grades and open to students from all streams of Judaism. Students must be in good academic standing and committed to participating in each monthly meeting to the fullest extent.

How long are meetings and where do they occur?

Attendance at the seven board meetings, the opening and closing dinners, the all-day retreat, and the all-day site visit day is mandatory (unless previously discussed with Voices staff prior to the meetings). Board meetings are at least 2 hours long and they happen in a variety of locations (synagogues, JCCs, participants' homes, etc…). Most meetings occur in the late afternoon and early evening. See the dates and meeting descriptions on the application not only to get a good idea about what we will be working on throughout the year.

I keep kosher. Will there be anything for me to eat at the meetings?

Throughout the program, all religious practices will be respected, and dietary laws will be strictly observed.

How intense is Voices? This isn't going to be like school, is it?

Although Voices meeting are really fun, they definitely require focus and commitment. The biggest goal of the program is for teen board members to have fun! BUT, before you apply, you must be ready to make Voices a priority and you must be ready to read, write, listen, think, debate, wrestle and apply yourself throughout the year-long program. Homework (don't worry, it's never any more than an hour or so of work!) is assigned on a monthly basis and completion of all assignments is mandatory. Success of the program depends upon your FULL participation because your fellow board members will depend on you throughout the year.

Wait, you are going to give me $25,000 to give away? What's the catch?

It's true! Thanks to an anonymous donor, Voices is able to support 25 teen philanthropists with $25,000 a year for grant-making purposes. In addition, each teen board member is asked to make a personal monetary contribution (usually between $118 and $336) to the total amount as well. That way, each board member has a personal stake in the final grants and feels enormous pride at their accomplishments. It also provides for an even greater pot of money to do good with!

I'm so excited about Voices that I think I may want to do it for a second, third, or even fourth year! Are there any opportunities to grow in the program as a leader?

YES! Please see our Voices Alumni page for more information.

I still have more questions! What do I do?

Call Beckee Birger at 312-444-2820 or write us an email at rebeccabirger@juf.org, and we will get back to you ASAP!