Teen Programs overview
Teen Travel Opportunities
Overnight Camp Grants
Education grants & Scholarships
Designed to prepare young Jewish teens for adulthood, our programs help them to become leaders in their community, learn about Israel, and access support in their personal Jewish journey all while enjoying the company of their peers.
Educating, engaging, and empowering Jewish teens to create their Jewish community one STEP at a time.
The Shapiro Teen Engagement Program [STEP] engages local teens with their community, their Judaism, and their connection to Israel, all while teaching valuable leadership skills.
Sally and Sam Shapiro (z’l) shared a vision to work with The Jewish Federation of Sarasota-Manatee to create a gateway for local Jewish teens to become engaged with their community, their Judaism and their connection to Israel. That vision has become a reality with the creation of STEP—The Shapiro Teen Engagement program.
STEP is a non-denominational engagement program for Jewish teens in Sarasota and Manatee counties that provides opportunities to grow, lead and travel while fostering a welcoming Jewish teen community and a connection to Israel. Alumni of the STEP program have continued to stay involved in Jewish life through participation in Hillel, Birthright, AIPAC, StandWithUs, study abroad and gap years in Israel. They have become youth group advisors, camp counselors, Jewish educators and more. This long term investment in our youth teaches them the importance of giving back and prepares them to become the next generation of Jewish leaders.
STEP is open to 8th-12th grade Jewish students in Sarasota and counties. Many events are free and there are no attendance requirements to participate in the program.
We are committed to providing teen scholarships for educational, experiential, and exploratory programs. Check out our teen travel options below.
Alexander Muss High School in Israel – Participate in this internationally accredited study abroad program where the land of Israel is your classroom. 6, 8, or 18-week programs are available. This is a partial scholarship. Click here for more details.
BMYA/LEAP – Develop leadership skills, explore who you are as an individual and as a team member, and learn first-hand the importance of Israel to Jews around the world. This two-year exchange program includes Mifgash (visits with Israeli peers) over two summers: one in Florida and one in Israel.
March of The Living – Join thousands of other Jewish teens from around the world in a once-in-a-lifetime experience as the entire group marches 3 kilometers from Auschwitz to Birkenau to commemorate Yom Hashoah. Afterward, fly to Israel for a week of exploration and celebration.
The Jewish Federation partners with the March of the Living Southern Region to process and manage much of this program. Please click here to review March of The Living guidelines and additional information.
Send A Kid To Israel/S.K.I.P – SKIP provides subsidies of up to $2,500 for teens and young adults to travel to Israel. This program is an important part of The Jewish Federation of Sarasota-Manatee’s commitment to continuity and identity for our community. Please click here for additional details.
Domestic Teen Travel – JFSM awards scholarships to high school students who participate in accredited, academic, experiential, or volunteer-based domestic travel programs. Scholarships are awarded on afirst-comee, first-served basis, and a personal interview is required. For more details, click here to see the full application requirements.
Overnight Camp Grants
Participation in Jewish overnight camp creates friendships and memories that can last a lifetime. In partnership with local philanthropists, the Federation offers grants so that any qualified Jewish child can have fun while learning to value their Jewish heritage.
- Need-based scholarships are available for children attending non-profit Jewish overnight camps
- The Wides Summer Camp Scholarship provides a limited number of grants to children attending camps designed to accommodate kids with special needs.
- All families with children who meet eligibility criteria can apply for a $500 incentive grant.
- Funding is limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis.
- Families who have made a contribution to The Jewish Federation of Sarasota-Manatee annual campaign within the past 12 months will be given priority.
Parent(s) and child(ren) must be Jewish, must have resided in Sarasota or Manatee County for the past year, and must be legal residents of the United States.
Education Grants & Scholarships
Each year, the Jewish Federation of Sarasota-Manatee awards education scholarships to qualified applicants attending college, community college, vocational/technical school or university.
The primary consideration for these scholarships is financial need. However, a good academic record, involvement in Jewish activities, and community service will all be evaluated.
All scholarships are open to students who identify as Jewish with the exceptions of The Robert Michelson Interfaith Scholarship and the Sandy and Marilyn College Scholarship, both of which provide awards to students of other faiths.
Students and their families must have resided in Sarasota or Manatee county full-time for at least two years.
Expected family contribution (EFC) from FAFSA at, or below, $25,000.*