$36,000 awards: The Hellen Diller Family Foundation National call nominations


The Helen Diller Family Foundation Will Award up to 15 U.S. Teens for Dreaming Big
and Taking on Daunting Social Issues

florida teensSAN FRANCISCO, September 24, 2015—The Helen Diller Family Foundation is now accepting nominations for the 2016 Diller Teen Tikkun Olam Awards, a program that recognizes up to 15 Jewish teens annually with $36,000 each to be used in support of a social justice project or to further their education.  This Call for Nominations presents an opportunity for educators, civic leaders, and teen mentors in communities across the United States, to acknowledge Jewish teens whose thoughtful approach to making a difference is creating meaningful change in their communities and the world around them.

Up to five teens from California and ten from other communities nationwide will be acknowledged for demonstrating exceptional leadership and successfully working to make the world a better place. Anyone interested in nominating a teen, or any teen interested in self-nominating, should visit www.dillerteenawards.org to begin the nomination process. The deadline for nominations is December 13, 2015.

The Diller Teen Tikkun Olam Awards began as the vision of Bay Area philanthropist Helen Diller in 2007, as a way to recognize the next generation of socially committed leaders whose dedication to volunteerism exemplifies the spirit of tikkun olam, a central Jewish precept meaning to repair the world. In its nine-year history, the Diller Teen Tikkun Olam Awards has given more than $2.5 million to 70 teens from more than 20 U.S. communities.

“Each year’s nominations for the Diller Teen Tikkun Olam Award are fascinating: we never know who will apply, what are the concerns of teens in that year, and what projects they will have devised to help solve the needs they uncover,” said Jackie Safier, Helen Diller’s daughter and President of the Helen Diller Family Foundation. “We do know that the unusual creativity, hard work, and passion demonstrated by each year’s applicants is impressive. The Helen Diller Family Foundation has been so gratified to initiate this national program and to support the vision and actions of the first 70 award recipients. These past recipients, community leaders of the future, inspire us with the hope they represent.”

A video of the 2015 recipients spotlights the power of commitment, passion, and leadership behind each teen project, and inspires hope for real solutions to real world problems. Past recipients of the Diller Teen Tikkun Olam Awards have made their mark through projects that champion a wide range of causes including: changing attitudes about bullying and special needs through peer-to-peer programs, outfitting a school district with solar power, building water wells in Tanzania and Nicaragua, improving life for kids with incarcerated parents, fighting hunger and promoting nutrition in low-income communities, and many more.

tikkum olam awardsThe Diller Teen Tikkun Olam Awards is one of many projects funded by the Helen Diller Family Foundation, a supporting foundation of the Jewish Community Federation of San Francisco, the Peninsula, Marin, and Sonoma Counties, to develop leadership in teens and enhance Jewish education.

Beyond bolstering national recognition of the teens and their projects, the Diller Teen Tikkun Olam Awards program fosters a growing network of award recipient alumni who collaborate on leadership, innovation, and volunteer service across the nation. Members of the alumni network inspire new awardees to follow in their tikkun olam footsteps by mentoring them in future endeavors.

Awardees have been recognized by some of the world’s foremost institutions and leaders, including the United Nations Foundation, the White House, the Clinton Global Initiative, Forbes 30 Under 30, The Jefferson Awards, CNN Heroes, and the Nickelodeon HALO Awards.


  • Teens may be nominated by any community member who knows the value of their project (except a family member) or may self-nominate.
  • Each candidate must be a U.S. resident aged 13-19 years old at the time of nomination, who self-identifies as Jewish.
  • Community service projects may benefit the general or Jewish community, with impact locally, nationally, or world-wide.
  • Teens’ work must be as volunteers—without compensation for their services.

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