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Teen Philanthropy

How Teens are making a difference

Think you need to be an adult to be a philanthropist? Think again! Jewish teens are making a difference here in Minneapolis and around the world through the Genesis Mitzvah Fund Program.

Genesis Mitzvah Fund

What is a Genesis Mitzvah Fund?
Genesis Mitzvah Funds are typically established through contributions made in honor of a young person becoming a Bar or Bat Mitzvah. However, funds may be established at any time.

Once the fund balance reaches $1,000, it will begin to accrue interest. Then the fundholder can begin to make annual distributions from the investment income to charitable organizations that are important to him or her.

How is a fund established?
A fund can be set up in a number of ways:

  • Family members can set up the fund with an initial gift.
  • Bar/Bat Mitzvah guests are invited to make a direct contribution to the fund. ( See sample invitation insert below.)
  • The young person can set up the fund after his/her Bar or Bat Mitzvah from gifts received.

Additional contributions may be made any time as gifts to honor birthdays, confirmation, graduation or other special accomplishments. Donations may also be made to the fund as a tribute to other special people or events.

Sample wording for invitation insert

In celebration of my Bar/Bat Mitzvah, the ________ Genesis Mitzvah Fund has been established at the Jewish Community Foundation of the Minneapolis Jewish Federation. I would be honored if you would make a donation to this fund. Each year, when I distribute income earned from this fund to worthy causes, I will be reminded of the mitzvot of tzedakah and tikkun olam. Thank you.

Organizations supported by Genesis Mitzvah fundholders

Adath Jeshurun Congregation

American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, Inc.

American Jewish World Service

American Red Cross

Americares Foundation, Inc.

Animal Humane Society


Beth El Synagogue

Camp Ramah

Children's Health Care Foundation

Children's Home Society

Citizens Scholarship Foundation of America

Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America

Darchei Noam Synagogue

Doctors Without Borders USA Inc.

Evanston Parks Foundation

Friends of Yad LKashish-Lifeline for the Old

Gillette Childrens Hospital Foundation


Heilicher Minneapolis Jewish Day School

Herzl Camp

Hillel Foundation-U of Oregon

JCRC of Minnesota and the Dakotas

Jewish Community Foundation of the Minneapolis Jewish Federation

Kennesseth Israel Synagogue

Magen David Adom, U.S.A.

Masorti Foundation for Conservative Judaism in Israel

Mercy Corps International

Mazon Inc. a Jewish Response to Hunger

Mike Gallagher Show Charitable Foundation

Minneapolis Community Kollel

Minneapolis Jewish Federation

Nechama - Jewish Disaster Response

Nefesh B'nefesh Jewish Souls United Inc.

Northwestern University

Open Arms of Minnesota, Inc.

Project Foundation Home Away Centers, Inc.

Sharing and Caring Hands

St Louis Park Public Schools Foundation


Suicide Awareness Voices of Education

Susan G. Koman Breast Cancer Foundation

Synagogue Council of Massachesetts Inc.

Talmud Torah of St. Paul

Transition House

United Jewish Communities

United Nations Foundation

United Synagogue Conservative Judaism

Genesis Mitzvah Fundholder Profile

Contact Us

For more information, contact Morton Naiman at 952-417-2322 or