The traditional Jewish concept of tikkun olam – or “repair of the world” – blends charity, action and, as celebrated by the Helen Diller Family Foundation, innovation. The foundation each year funds the Diller Teen Tikkun Olam Awards to recognize the public service projects of Jewish teens. The program kicked off in 2007 with five awards to California teens and has since expanded, now honoring up to 10 teens, five from California and five from other communities across the country.
The teens get more than a framed certificate. Each teen is awarded $36,000, money to be used to further public service work or education.
“We wanted to make a bold statement to recognize Jewish teens who have engaged in extraordinary volunteer projects — to serve as role models for others to make the world a better place,” says Helen Diller.
“Second, it is intended to be a meaningful investment into their future — these teens’ projects and educations — to give them the capital that will help them leverage and expand their social action and learning.”
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