Diller Teen Fellows

Now accepting applications for Pittsburgh Diller Teen Fellowship Cohort 7.
Click here to apply

Diller Teen Fellows

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Now entering its seventh year in Pittsburgh, the Diller Teen Fellows program is an international partnership that inspires and empowers teens to be active, effective leaders committed to repairing the world, with a strong sense of belonging to their community, the Jewish people, and Israel. 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, partakes in a prestigious international program during the summer, which includes a Leadership Congress with 400 Diller Fellows from North America and Israel, and a 10-day peer exchange in North America during which North American communities host Israeli fellows as well as monthly educational workshops and retreats. 

The Diller Program is dedicated to excellence in informal Jewish education through its core values of Excellence, Pluralism, Responsibility, Partnership and Peoplehood. Throughout the year, Diller Teens in each of 20 partner communities in North America and Israel participate in educational workshops, weekend retreats, and create and implement social service projects. Highlights of the program also include a three-week Seminar in Israel, the Diller Teen Leadership Congress, and a 10-day peer exchange in North America during which North American communities host their Israeli peers. Read the brochure.

The Diller Teen Fellows Program is looking for rising 10th and 11th grade Jewish students from Greater Pittsburgh who show potential to be the future leaders of the Jewish community and are committed to serving their community, honing their leadership skills and developing a lasting connection to Judaism and Israel.

Click here to apply to the Pittsburgh Diller Teen Fellowship

Read reflections of current participants in our blog, Pittsburgh Diller Teen Fellows.


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

  • Leadership
    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.
  • Israel
    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."  


Who is eligible to participate?
Teens participate in Diller their sophomore and junior years in high school.  Recruitment takes place the spring of teens' freshman and sophomore years.

Click here to nominate a teen to apply to the Pittsburgh Diller Teen Fellowship

What is the time commitment?
Diller Teen Fellows commit to:

  • 15-month program that begins in Fall 2014 and concludes into the 2015 academic tear
  • Monthly Sunday afternoon workshops
  • Community service projects to be run Fall of the 2015 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

Is the Diller Teen Fellows Program for me?
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!

What is the Israel part like?
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.

Requirements and costs
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

The cost to the participants for the entire year-long program is $3,000. Need-based scholarships are available.

How do I apply?
For the September 2015 cohort, the deadline is May 15, 2015.
Click here to apply to the Pittsburgh Diller Teen Fellowship
Please contact Program Coordinator, Chris Herman, at 412-697-3233 for more information. 


Housed at the Jewish Community Center of Greater Pittsburgh and implemented collaboratively with the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh and the Agency for Jewish Learning, the Diller Program is a key Partnership2Gether initiative in the community's work with teens. In Pittsburgh, the program is heavily subsidized through grants from The Helen Diller Family Foundation and the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh.

Hear what Diller teens and program leaders are saying about this great program, in this YouTube video, including footage from Israel.