The Honeycomb team connected with Alyssa Goldman, program coordinator at the Jewish Federation of El Paso & Las Cruces, to discuss the Jewish Teen Philanthropy Initiative, which is about to launch across two very different communities.

“I’m already blown away by the youth of the community, I feel like it is going to be a very exciting couple of semesters with these amazing young people”, Goldman said about the establishment of this new initiative. After a long process, the program is thrilled have found not one, but two donors to match the funds raised by the teens. Goldman is now embarking upon connecting two communities which are not only separated by a state line, but a difference in community as well. Without the support of clergy in both communities, the Jewish Federation of El Paso & Las Cruces, and by the Joyce Jaffe Teen Philanthropy Fund, the teens in these communities would not be able to have this philanthropic experience.

This new project works alongside an existing model where teens have invested in a version of Donor Advised Funds (DAFs), with money from their own B’nai Mitzvah, which is then matched through the Jewish Community Foundation of El Paso and the Joyce Jaffee Teen Philanthropy fund. Goldman shares that this model “encourage[s] the participants to allocate a yearly amount into their own advised funds, so the money can grow in order to donate a larger amount.”

Goldman’s goal for this new initiative is to show how philanthropic experiences can positively impact their communities, and have philanthropy become a priority on the same level as other extracurricular activities. “I can’t wait to get started and move forward with empowering the youth to make their own impact” Goldman said. This attitude along with her ability to set up transportation for the teens from each community to travel to the other for their meetings, ensuring that every participant is able to attend, is a true sign that this program is set up for years of success.

The first meeting is in February, 2024, with plans to conclude the inaugural cohort in December, 2024. We can’t wait to see how things blossom in the desert under the capable leadership of Alyssa Goldman and the team at the Jewish Federation of El Paso & Las Cruces.



Written by

Matt Bergman

Communications and Engagement Manager