Ari Teman, Founder of JCorps Wins Federation Award

By Jacob Berkman (JTA)

Published November 10, 2009.
  • Print
  • Share Share

After weeks of deliberation and more than 600,000 votes, the Jewish Federations of North America has named its first Jewish Community Hero: Ari Teman.

Teman, 27, is the founder of JCorps, an organization that sets up young Jews with volunteer opportunities in nine cities over three continents – while working on virtually no budget.

A panel of judges from outside the federation system chose Teman for the Jewish Federations’ $25,000 Jewish Community Heroes prize after more than 600,000 online votes were cast to whittle down a list of more than 400 nominees.

The Jewish Federations made the announcement at the closing plenary session of its General Assembly conference in Washingon.

The contest was part of the federation system’s new multimillion dollar marketing and re-branding strategy to broaden its base of support.

Teman, a standup comedian by day, runs JCorps as strictly a volunteer on a budget that is probably less than the award he will take home. Yet the organization has enlisted some 10,000 volunteers for local community service projects in the United States, Canada and Israel.

“This will enable us to take in a lot more volunteers rapidly without having to worry, ‘Do we have to slow it down because we can’t afford to bring more people in?’ ” Teman told JTA.

Teman said he started the organization in 2007 on something of a late-night whim about how he could meet more Jewish people.

The prize money will help the program expand and perhaps allow Teman to hire his first professional staff member.

“The first year we started with $300,” he said. “We like to say that if we had no money we could still keep running, which is great, because it means the money we put in is for growth.”






Find us on Facebook!
  • Happy birthday to the Boy Who Lived! July 31 marks the day that Harry Potter — and his creator, J.K. Rowling — first entered the world. Harry is a loyal Gryffindorian, a matchless wizard, a native Parseltongue speaker, and…a Jew?
  • "Orwell would side with Israel for building a flourishing democracy, rather than Hamas, which imposed a floundering dictatorship. He would applaud the IDF, which warns civilians before bombing them in a justified war, not Hamas terrorists who cower behind their own civilians, target neighboring civilians, and planned to swarm civilian settlements on the Jewish New Year." Read Gil Troy's response to Daniel May's opinion piece:
  • "My dear Penelope, when you accuse Israel of committing 'genocide,' do you actually know what you are talking about?"
  • What's for #Shabbat dinner? Try Molly Yeh's coconut quinoa with dates and nuts. Recipe here:
  • Can animals suffer from PTSD?
  • Is anti-Zionism the new anti-Semitism?
  • "I thought I was the only Jew on a Harley Davidson, but I was wrong." — Gil Paul, member of the Hillel's Angels. http://jd.fo/g4cjH
  • “This is a dangerous region, even for people who don’t live there and say, merely express the mildest of concern about the humanitarian tragedy of civilians who have nothing to do with the warring factions, only to catch a rash of *** (bleeped) from everyone who went to your bar mitzvah! Statute of limitations! Look, a $50 savings bond does not buy you a lifetime of criticism.”
  • That sound you hear? That's your childhood going up in smoke.
  • "My husband has been offered a terrific new job in a decent-sized Midwestern city. This is mostly great, except for the fact that we will have to leave our beloved NYC, where one can feel Jewish without trying very hard. He is half-Jewish and was raised with a fair amount of Judaism and respect for our tradition though ultimately he doesn’t feel Jewish in that Larry David sort of way like I do. So, he thinks I am nuts for hesitating to move to this new essentially Jew-less city. Oh, did I mention I am pregnant? Seesaw, this concern of mine is real, right? There is something to being surrounded by Jews, no? What should we do?"
  • "Orwell described the cliches of politics as 'packets of aspirin ready at the elbow.' Israel's 'right to defense' is a harder narcotic."
  • From Gene Simmons to Pink — Meet the Jews who rock:
  • The images, which have since been deleted, were captioned: “Israel is the last frontier of the free world."
  • As J Street backs Israel's operation in Gaza, does it risk losing grassroots support?
  • What Thomas Aquinas might say about #Hamas' tunnels:
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.