Diller Teen Fellowship


Growing Leaders, Connecting to Our Heritage

It’s never too early, too late, or too often to make the world a better place. – Helen Diller



The Diller Teen Fellows Program is Pittsburgh’s premiere leadership development program for Jewish teens in grades 10 and 11, funded by the Helen Diller Family Foundation and the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh.

Now operating in 32 communities in the United States, Canada, South Africa, England, Argentina, Australia and Israel, the goal of the Diller program is to develop future generations of active, effective leaders with a strong Jewish identity, commitment to the Jewish people, respect for pluralism and love of Israel. Together with our counterpart, Karmiel & Misgav Diller Teen Fellows, we explore four guiding principles:

  • Jewish Identity
  • Community Service
  • Leadership
  • Israel


Upcoming Information Sessions

Coming soon!

The Pittsburgh Diller Teen Fellows program is a 15 month international leadership program that, together with their counterpart Diller cohort in Karmiel-Misgav in Israel, partake in a prestigious international program which includes:

  • Educational Workshops
  • Weekend Retreats (Shabbatonim)
  • Overnights
  • Creating and Implementing social service projects

Two Amazing Seminars

Jewish Communities Mifgash
A 10-day visit from the Karmiel-Misgav Fellows to Pittsburgh (April 2017) –this includes at least 7 days where an Israeli Fellow will be hosted in your home! Don’t worry, they’ll return the favor when we go to Israel!

Israel Summer Experience
Three weeks of traveling, volunteering, and exploring Israel with the Karmiel-Misgav Fellows, and the other 16 international Diller groups (Summer 2018): one week of touring & exploration, one week of international congress (assembly of all Diller Fellows from around the world!) and one week in Karmiel-Misgav where YOU create the itinerary!

All Diller activities are based on the program’s “Four Pillars”:

Participants are challenged to define their strengths, weaknesses and personal leadership goals. Then we provide the tools, feedback and mentoring they need to experiment, collaborate and learn from their mistakes. The result? A meaningful experience they can apply to real world challenges.

Judaism & Jewish Identity
Diller Teen Fellows is based on a belief that true leadership stems from a strong sense of self, and an appreciation of others. Participants examine and reflect on their sense of Jewish identity in order to understand how their history, traditions and values motivate them to act in the world.

Participants gain a new perspective on Israel, informed by direct and authentic connections to the land, the country, its history and its people.
A peak experience of the program is the Israel Summer Seminar. The three-week seminar brings together all particiapnts to engage in their diversity, vibrancy and complex reality of modern Israel.

Tikkun Olam
Participants are given opportunities to create and lead tikkun olam projects close to their hearts. Students move beyone academic participation to engage in hands-on work to “repair the world.”

In order to apply, you must:

  • Currently be in grades 9 or 10
  • Complete the online application
  • Provide two references with your application
  • Participate in a group interview with other applicants

Recruitment for Cohort 10 will begin in the spring of 2018!

Diller Teen Fellows commit to:

  • 15-month program that begins in Fall 2017 and concludes into the 2018 academic year
  • Monthly Sunday afternoon workshops
  • Community service projects to be run Fall of the 2018 academic year
  • Two weekend retreats
  • Two Saturday to Sunday overnights
  • Ten days of hosting Karmiel-Misgav Diller teens in the Spring
  • Three-week Israel Summer Seminar: an opportunity to both explore Israel and do meaningful community service in Pittsburgh’s Partnership2Gether region of Karmiel-Misgav

Diller Fellows come from different backgrounds but are joined together by the desire to:

  • Make friendships that will last a lifetime
  • Question, search and gain insights into their own Jewish identity and unity
  • Experience a cultural exchange with Israeli teens during a three-week Israel Seminar and ten-day Pittsburgh Mifgash (encounter)
  • Create with and lead others in learning activities and service projects

If you share these desires then the Diller Teen Fellows Program may be for you!

Diller Teen Fellows are challenged to develop and refine their relationship to Israel through many parts of the programming, included but not limited to electronic correspondence and friendship with Diller Teen Fellows in Karmiel-Misgav, a three-week Israel trip, and Mifgash (encounter) and home hospitality with teens from Karmiel-Misgav, Pittsburgh’s Partnership2Gether region.

The Israel trip is unique in that it affords Fellows an opportunity to both tour Israel and spend time discovering the people and land, and also have a more intimate experience of the land. Fellows spend their third week in Israel living with their Israeli peers and doing meaningful learning activities and community service in the Karmiel-Misgav region. Teens also spend a week with other North American Diller Teens during the Diller International Teen Leadership Congress.

Applicants to the program must:

  • Demonstrate leadership skills
  • Be dedicated to community service
  • Be interested in exploring your Jewish identity
  • Be interested in exploring your relationship to Israel
  • Commit to full participation in workshops, retreats, group projects, the Pittsburgh Mifgash (encounter) and the Israel Seminar
  • Be in 10th or 11th grade in September of the cohort year
  • Be a Jewish teen residing in the Greater Pittsburgh area

Each participant automatically receives a $10,000 subsidy, resulting in a cost of $3,600 to the participant.

In addition, need-based scholarships are available.

Are you ready to make a world of difference in your life and in the lives of others?

Applications for Cohort 10 will be available in the spring of 2018.

Visit Diller Teen Fellows for more information about the international program.

Contact Us

Stephanie Aaronson

Director of Teen Engagement & Leadership
Diller Teen Fellows Coordinator




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