Rose Youth Foundation

Rose Youth Foundation 2014-15 MembersRose Youth Foundation 2014-15 Members

What if someone gave you $60,000 and said, “Take this money and use it to make our community a better place.” What would you do?

Each year, Jewish teens from throughout Greater Denver and Boulder answer this question together as grantmakers for Rose Youth Foundation.


Rose Youth Foundation is a diverse group of 23 Jewish students in grades 10 through 12 who want to use their Jewish values and the tools of strategic philanthropy to make a real difference in our community.

Rose Youth Foundation is a youth-led program. The members of Rose Youth Foundation identify community issues, set funding priorities and meet with nonprofit organizations in order to determine how they can use grantmaking as a tool to create positive change.

In 2001, Rose Community Foundation created Rose Youth Foundation in order to:

  • Empower Jewish youth with the tools and resources to solve problems in their communities through the practice of strategic philanthropy
  • Provide youth the opportunity to explore Jewish teachings and traditions in the context of contemporary issues and community service
  • Broaden and deepen participants’ connections to Judaism and to one another and create connections across the denominational spectrum of Judaism


Each year, Rose Community Foundation accepts applications from teens interested in joining Rose Youth Foundation. In order to apply, teens must be in grades 10 through 12, reside in Greater Denver or Boulder and identify as Jewish.

We value diversity and we seek teens who are not involved Jewishly, and those who are; those who are involved in community service and those who are not; those who are athletes and those who are mathletes. We encourage Jewish and Jewish-interfaith youth to apply. View our current members.

The application deadline for 2014-2015 has passed.  Please contact Ben Finan if you're interested in applying next year.

The Commitment

Rose Youth Foundation is a seven-month program, beginning each year in November. Members are expected to attend all meetings and retreats, contribute meaningfully to the entire Rose Youth Foundation process, participate in site visits to meet with prospective grantee organizations and spend time researching and reviewing grant proposals outside of meetings.

All members who are not graduating from high school and who meet the participation requirements will be invited to participate in Rose Youth Foundation for a second year. Teens who begin Rose Youth Foundation as students in grade 12 will serve for only one year.


Each year, Rose Youth Foundation members work together to explore Jewish traditions of giving, identify needs in our community and make grants totaling $60,000 to help address those needs.

For 2015, Rose Youth Foundation sought programs or projects addressing one of the following grant priorities:

  • Efforts to help unaccompanied youth under age 18 or families with children experiencing homelessness become self-sufficient
  • Efforts to close the academic achievement gap serving students in pre-kindergarten through third grade

The application period is now closed.  The Rose Youth Foundation 2015 Grant Priorities and Request for Proposals (PDF) is provided for reference only.

Learn more about our recent grants.

Donations and Endowment

In 2011, Rose Community Foundation began a campaign to endow Rose Youth Foundation, making a commitment to continue this program year after year. The ultimate goal is to raise $2 million dollars. To date, $1 million has been raised thanks to generous support from Rose Youth Foundation alumni, their families, individual donors and foundations.

Rose Community Foundation believes that youth are not only tomorrow’s community leaders, they are also today’s. An endowment for Rose Youth Foundation will mean that future generations of young Jewish people will have the chance to serve their community as youth grantmakers and that our community will continue to benefit from their leadership and perspective.

By participating in the Rose Youth Foundation endowment campaign, you are investing in the power and promise of youth while also helping others in the community through their grantmaking. A gift to this fund helps ensure that this program will continue forever. A $500,000 leadership gift from Rose Community Foundation will cover Rose Youth Foundation’s ongoing operating costs, guaranteeing that your contribution will support the annual grants made by the teens.

If you are interested in supporting Rose Youth Foundation's endowment, visit Rose Community Foundation's online donation page (In the "Please direct my gift to" field, choose Rose Youth Foundation Endowment.)or contact Sarah Indyk at 303.398.7416 or


Rose Youth Foundation’s Report to the Community

2001-2011: Ten Years of Impact

In 2011, Rose Youth Foundation completed its 10th year of Jewish youth engagement through grantmaking. In an effort to better understand the program’s impact on youth participants, grantees and on Rose Community Foundation itself, we contracted with an evaluator to conduct a ten-year longitudinal evaluation of Rose Youth Foundation.

We learned that alumni from Rose Youth Foundation’s first decade continue to feel deeply connected to Judaism and have continued their involvement in Jewish life. We learned that alumni believe that they can create real change in their communities, and that they are still using the collaboration and leadership skills they had learned in the program. Rose Youth Foundation alumni volunteer at high rates and continue to serve their communities as leaders.