Bay Area teens among 145 Diller fellows in Israel

Seventeen Jewish teens from the Bay Area departed July 18 on a three-week trip to Israel as part of the Diller Teen Fellows international leadership program.

The high school juniors and seniors are partnering with a group of their peers from the Upper Galilee. Groups from seven other metropolitan areas in North America — including first-timers Toronto and Boston — are partnering with other regions or cities in Israel. In all, 145 North American students are participating.

The 15-month fellows program is organized by Diller Teen Initiatives, a program of the S.F.-based Helen Diller Family Foundation. In addition to the trip to Israel, it includes educational workshops, weekend retreats and the creation and implementation of social service projects.

“These young teens are our future,” said philanthropist Helen Diller, who established the Diller Teen Fellows in 1997. “We need to invest in them, show them they can lead us and empower them to help repair the world.”