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2009 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Jewish Student Union

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Nonprofit Overview

Mission: By creating and facilitiating after school Jewish clubs, JSU establishes a community for teens in public high schools across the country. Involved and unaffiliated kids alike join together in having fun, social justice projects, and Jewish learning opportunities. The ultimate goal is to expand the teen's interest in participating in the Jewish community at large via youth groups, conferences and events.

Results: Over 250 Jewish clubs in the country!

Direct beneficiaries per year: Roughly 20,000 students engaged in the course of a year

Geographic areas served: All of US and Canada

Donor & Volunteer Advisory

This organization's nonprofit status may have been revoked or it may have merged with another organization or ceased operations.

Community Stories

28 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

12

Client Served

Rating: 5

Michael Anderson is the best Jewish Learning Club leader ever! He's so fun and really finds amazing and interesting ways to teach us about things having to do with Judaism. And, he's so nice to everyone too.

5

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Lot of fun, we talk about pressing topics that are relevant to our religion. We organize to bring in speakers, advisors and pizza.

6

Client Served

Rating: 5

Israeli club at Niles North High School is a great experience for everyone involved. Our representative from JSU, Rabbi Donny Schwartz, is an excellent role model for all of us and for the Jewish community at large. In Israeli club we do various fun activites such as: play gaga, learn about Israel and Israeli culture and eat great food! Israeli club and JSU work together beautifully and enable Jewish teens from all over the midwest to learn more about Israel and embrace its culture and history.

5

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I love Niles North Israeli club. Every week we have a new and exciting event and it's simply great. Yep. I love it. It sure is so so so so so so so so so so so great.

8

Volunteer

Rating: 5

It has been great! I have been in the ETHS Israeli club for four years, and I am a president for my senior year. JSU always gets us to do the coolest things, and really shares the culture of Israel with both Jews and non-Jews in this diverse public high school.

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

JSU has been an amazing influence on my high school experience. The speakers that have come to my school to speak have been inspirational and made me organize my own beliefs about being Jewish. We have really fun activities. Last year, we made our own Matzah and had a speaker about how to make Matzah. It was an amazing experience.

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

its awsome! the programs are great and interestin! what other club gets israeli idol and a top 20 hip hop group in israel to come to their club!?!?!?! nobody, donnie is the best and israeli club rocks!!!

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

i LOVE my JSU. It's a personable, fun and delicious (pizza) introduction into Jewish culture and tradition. There's food, arts+crafts, informational presentations and activism. Most of it is student driven, but we couldn't do it without our wonderful, wonderful leader.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

We get to learn about jewish culture and soon plan to engage in community service when as the school year gets rolling. The union provides our clubs with the funds to have felafel making days and all kinds of fun activities. Our school appreciates it so much.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

JSU provides Jewish teens the opportunity to get to know other teens with similar backgrounds and values to themselves. Most Jewish teens in public high schools are rarely given the opportunity to meet with others with similar backgrounds and heritage. As a sponsor of cultural club where JSU has been instrumental, I see the positive impact it has on the lives of these kids. I have also volunteered on trips the JSU has organized, which gave high school students positive and productive things to do during their summer vacation.

2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Wonderful! I love being a part of Jewish Student Union. It enriches my faith and my knowledge of Judaiusm. JEW

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

It has been fantastic! Really been an important addition to my Jewish education, and an important part of our school environment. We look at social justice under a Jewish perspective and it has been incredible. Learning about Darfur, Uganda, and everything under a Jewish lense - truly inspiring.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

JSU is so generous and willing. They help us fund activities at out meetings which is very important to expand our high school Hebrew Club. Its very important to be accepting of different cultures and help make people feel comfortable. JSU helps make this possible

2

Volunteer

Rating: 4

This is my first year as president of the JSU club at my public high school; I had some great experiences as a Freshman last year an more this year, including Jewish Apples to Apples, a sukkah party, and an epic gaga tournament. This past week, we had an Israeli soldier come in and share her experiences.

2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I really enjoy JSU. I feel so comfortable there and the discussions are really interesting. I love our leader and the interesting topics we explore. I'm glad there is someplace I can finally be open about my Judaism and share it with those who don't practice at home.

1

Client Served

Rating: 4

JSU brings teens together in a fun communal and jewish environment. In high school it also helps non-jews learn more about judaism in fun ways which helps to lower anti-semitism.

2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I am a member of the JSU at Walter Payton College Prep, and I always look forward to attending the fun and informative weekly meetings. This past week, an Israel soldier came to speak with us about her experiance in this mandatory army. I have relatives in Israel and am interested in becoming a lone soldier in Israel, and our speaker was so supportive and helpful. I know my Jewish Identity would not be the same without JSU!

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

What a great opportunity for Jewish Highschool students to meet and be involved in so many Jewish experiences in the place they spend most of their time. Helps to keep teenagers connected to their roots in a way that makes sense to them.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

It's been a ton of fun, and I am very comfortable in the surroundings of Jsu. Playing games and doing activities make it fun, but I learn as well. I look forward to it.

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

I love going to JSU after school on Mondays. I try to go to as many of the meets as possible. The activities range from making Jewish food to having dissussions on Judaism and related ideas. JSU gives me a place to have fun and socialize with friends while also non forgetting and improving my Jewish identity at a public school. So far this year we have eaten in a sukkah, played gaga in the atrium and had a disscussion about repentence before Yom Kippur in relation to Michael Jordan, Kanye West and Joe Wilson. I plan to attend JSU for the rest of my time at high school.

3

Client Served

Rating: 5

Jewish student union has taught me much and is always a fun experience. Hope they can continue to spread the word through-out payton for a long time

3

Donor

Rating: 5

the work this group is doing with Jewish youth is phenomenal. Without breaking the bank, JSU has found a way to touch the lives of young Jews all around the area and enrich their lives with friendly, straighforward, honest and relevant information, discussions and experiences that bring these young people back into Jewish life. KUDOs to them

3

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have seen the way that the organization can change a student's life by merely participating in their after-school programs. JSU fills a void in the Jewish community; for so long, we have rightfully focused on funding day schools but have completely ignored the teens that for whatever reason wind up in the public school system. For the unaffiliated kids, JSU is a great engagement tool for them to become involved. And, for the already affiliated, JSU provides a home away from home at their school.

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Through club activities I have learned a great deal more about Israel. Also, I see kids and adults from different parts of the Jewish community cooperating together, which is encouraging. Sponsoring the club has brought Judaism into my life much more often, has strengthened my ties to Judaism, and has added to my personal happiness.

4

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I hosted JSU students at my house for a Shabbat dinner and simply listening to how JSU has impacted their lives as young Jews and as young adults as a whole, brightened my Jewish spirit.

3

Client Served

Rating: 5

I have been actively involved for the past 3 years of high school (I am a junior) and have been President of the club for the past 2 years. My freshman year we had about 8 people every club, this year we have between 32-38 every week! I always have people coming up to me in the hall asking what well be doing this week or next week, excited for wednesday afternoon. We have open discussions, presentations by speakers from different jewish organizations, joint clubs with the muslim learning club, and great advisor leadership.

3

Client Served

Rating: 5

My daughter has been actively involved in JSU at her school and it has been an exceptional experience for her--especially because we live in an area with a small Jewish population and limited resources.

3

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I just attended a Jewish Student Union event today and was absolutely blown away by their ability to engage disinterested teens. they provide a safe and healthy environment for teenagers and we need more organizations like them. They are incredible.