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Goldensohn Initiative for Teens (GIFT)

The Goldensohn Initiative for Teens (GIFT) was created by the Anti-Defamation League's Southwest Regional Office.  GIFT is an eight-month program designed to educate tenth- and eleventh-grade Jewish teens about the Anti-Defamation League's mission to fight anti-Semitism and all forms of bigotry, to defend democratic ideals and to protect civil rights for all.
GIFT participants will meet the first Monday of each month from 6:00-8:00 pm. A kosher dinner will be provided.

Each session will focus on a single topic, such as A WORLD OF DIFFERENCE® Institute, Extremism, Religious Freedom/Civil Rights, Cyberbullying, Confronting Anti-Semitism, Holocaust Education, and Israel Advocacy.  ADL staff members and guest speakers will be leading the sessions and teens will be asked to take an active role during all activities.  Teens also will be asked to participate in a group project. 

GIFT is made possible through the generosity of the Edith and Sidney Goldensohn Fund of the ADL's Fund for the Future Southwest Region.

Requirements and Responsibilities for Teen Participants:
• Teens who are accepted to the GIFT program will be required to attend all sessions. 
• There will be only one make up session allowed for each participant
• Sessions begin promptly at 6:00 pm and last two hours.  It is the teen's responsibility to contact ADL if he or she has to miss a session.
• Each teen will be asked to participate in a follow-up activity after each session. 

At the conclusion of the GIFT program, teens will be asked to participate in a group project.  Teens will have the option of working alone or with a group, consisting of no more than three teens.  Ideas for the project can be a video message, PowerPoint, essay, poem, piece of art, poster campaign, etc.  The group projects will be presented on May 5, 2014 at our final session.

Parent/Guardian Responsibilities:

  • Parents will be asked to attend the first session on October 7, 2013 to discuss rules and responsibilities for the GIFT program.
  • Parents will make sure that each teen has reliable transportation. 


The application process consists of two steps.  First, teens are asked to fill out a GIFT application online.  The applications are due on August 12, 2013.  
The second part of the application process is the interview.  Once the applications are received, an ADL staff member will schedule an interview.  The interviews will take place throughout the month of August.  The interviews will be conducted by ADL staff members or lay persons.  The interviews will be held at the ADL Southwest Regional Office. Acceptance letters will be sent no later than September 4, 2013.

There will be a $100 registration fee for each teen once accepted.  This fee covers materials and kosher dinner at each session.  A teen's acceptance is not contingent upon this monetary donation and will not keep teens from participating.  There are scholarships available.

For more information or if you have questions, call ADL's office at 713-627-3490.


  • August 12, 2013   All GIFT applications are to be submitted online
  • August 13–30, 2013  All interviews will take place
  • September 4, 2013  All acceptance letters will be sent (on or before 9/4/2013)


Monday, October 7, 2013 6:00-8:00 PM
Welcome and Introduction

Monday, November 4, 2013 6:00-8:00 PM

Monday, December 2, 2013 (During Hanukkah)  6:00-8:00 PM
Religious Freedom/Civil Rights   

Monday, January 13, 2014 6:00-8:00 PM
Cyberbullying |

Monday, February 3, 2014 6:00-8:00 PM
Confronting Anti-Semitism

Monday, March 3, 2014 6:00-8:00 PM
Holocaust Education

Monday, April 7, 2014  6:00-8:00 PM
Israel Advocacy

Monday, May 5, 2014  6:00-8:00 PM
Project Presentation/Graduation  

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