By, Alana Hollander, JTFN Program Associate

If giving with intentionality is the destination, then the mission statement is the road map and coming to consensus is the vehicle. Using values exploration, teens are called upon to communicate their personal beliefs with their peers. Throughout the year the mission statement road map will be used, helping the group decide which route will best lead them to their achieve goals. From the start, teens will be challenged with the task to define what matters to them as individuals and how each individual can be represented within the group. As discussions unfold, teens will explore the final items they’d like to “pack” or outline as they discuss and make decisions through consensus. They will build respect, rapport and trust; and while not every item (or value), can fit when packing the car, everyone’s voice has been heard to determine what essentials are needed to reach their collective goal.

Mission Statement Workshop Resource by Jewish Teen Foundations of the Jewish Community Federation of San Francisco

Created by the Jewish Teen Foundations of the Jewish Community Federation of San Francisco, the Peninsula, Marin and Sonoma Counties, San Francisco, this activity combines the consensus building with mission building. Asking the important questions “what shared values do we hold and what is important to us as a group?” the workshop acts a funnel to direct personal values into a shared space, equipping the group with the necessary tools and conversations to create their mission statement.

Introducing Youth to Tzedakah Mission Statements Resource by Rabbi Jonathan Spira-Savett and Sue Schwartzman

Introducing Youth to Tzedakah Mission Statements was developed by Rabbi Jonathan Spira-Savett and Sue Schwartzman. Referred to by Rabbi Jonathan as his “bread-and-butter” this proven and tested resource helps teens to assess their giving priorities, understand the purpose of a mission statement, and enables them create their own personal mission statement.

Consensus Decision Making Resource by Seeds for Change

The Consensus Guidebook was created by Seeds for Change, an organization that provides strategic support and collective organizing to help other organizations and groups achieve positive ecological change. This guide offers a lot of information on the consensus process, why it is beneficial to use consensus and how to accomplish the decision making process in groups of different shapes and sizes. While this resource was not written specifically with Jewish teen philanthropy in mind, the guide offers useful hints and tools and activities that could be incorporated into your curriculum.