Hello, I’m Daniel Lebowitz. As an active teen in the Pittsburgh community, I have participated in numerous programs, both religious and secular; however, Diller Teen Fellows Pittsburgh was the program that impacted my life the most. At first, I was reluctant to be part of Diller Pittsburgh Cohort 6, but quite quickly my feelings changed.
Growing up in the North Hills, I could count my Jewish friends on one hand. Three months into the Diller program, I had gained twenty Jewish, best friends from all across Pittsburgh. I had two Junior Counselors who looked after me like an older brother or sister would, and I had a program director who I could always count on to support me and my development as a Jewish teen and leader. The fifteen month program strengthened my Jewish identity, provided me with a greater Jewish community and sense of belonging, furthered my knowledge of Judaism, and strengthened my connection to Israel.
The Diller Teen Fellows program had such a profound impact on me that I ended up deciding to apply for, and later accept, a position as a Junior Counselor of Diller Pittsburgh Cohort 8. This fifteen month program afforded me the opportunity to continue to grow as a Jew, but this time I also had the opportunity to help provide an incredible experience for the fellows (as my Junior Counselors did for me). Without Diller Teen Fellows Pittsburgh I would not be the leader, the Jew, and person I am today.