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The Awards celebrate tikkun olam, or “repairing the world.” The Diller Family Foundation knows that supporting Jewish teen leadership today means creating and inspiring future generations of strong Jewish leaders in the global community. The Awards provide $36,000 for each recipient so that they may use it to further their initiative or education.

About the Helen Diller Family Foundation

Along with the Awards, the Foundation also funds the Diller Teen Fellows program, an international leadership program for Jewish teens. The Foundation has also supported a number of programs and institutions in the Bay Area and throughout the world, including UCSF, UC Berkeley, and UC Santa Cruz.


Statement of Values

The Diller Teen Tikkun Olam Awards is a program of the Helen Diller Family Foundation.  Jewish values inform the work of the Foundation in an effort to create ripples of good in the world.  In the words of Helen Diller(z”l),“It’s never too late, too early, or too often to give back and make the world a better place.”


The Foundation is committed to engendering respect for all humanity and building bridges of understanding between different cultures. We welcome diversity within the Jewish community and embrace its racial, ethnic, and religious differences. The Foundation condemns any organization or ideology associated with hatred, including, but not limited to racism, misogyny, anti-LGBTQ+ discrimination, antisemitism, and any other form of bigotry or harassment.



Meet the Staff

Megan Edelman

Managing Director

Megan Edelman comes to the Helen Diller Foundation Programs most recently from the Jewish Community Center of San Francisco where she was the Program Manager, Public Programs. She is originally from Manhattan where she volunteered with NYCares and worked professionally in Brand Marketing and Sales at CNN and Turner Broadcasting. Upon moving to the west coast, she worked at a news website startup and then moved to Travelzoo where she pursued her passion of travel and writing. Megan strives to be a positive and forward-thinking influence in her community. In 2020, she was selected to be a part of the Upstart Accelerator program. She lives in San Francisco with her beautiful blended family and rescue dog, Morty.

Lia Woertendyke

Program Manager

Most recently, Lia served as the People Operations Manager for Wild SF Walking Tours. Prior to her relocation to the Bay Area, Lia filled many roles at the Coalition for Hispanic Family Services in Brooklyn, where she was responsible for after school programs, curriculum for youth arts and activism, and teacher training. In San Francisco Lia is focusing on her commitment to social justice and community building through volunteer work with the Bay Area Childcare Collective, Alemany Farm, and her involvement in the nonprofit dance collective No Mirror Movement. She is also a certified community mediator through Community Boards.

Jen Smith

Executive Director, Helen Diller Family Foundation Programs

Jen serves in the newly created role of Executive Director, Helen Diller Family Foundation programs, leading the work of programs such as Diller Teen Fellows and the Diller Teen Tikkun Olam Awards, with a focus on strategic innovation. Jen has worked in the nonprofit sector, and within the Jewish community for two decades, primarily in the areas of youth leadership, social justice, interfaith relations, and civil rights. Previously, Jen served in senior leadership roles at the Anti‐Defamation League (ADL), where she developed and led a range of community‐based programs and campaigns, including: No Place for Hate, an anti-bullying initiative, Camp Interfaith (Camp IF), and the Imagine a World Without Hate campaign. With a strong commitment to fostering leadership through Jewish values, Jen worked for many years as a Jewish educator, and served on the staff and board of Camp Yavneh in New Hampshire.

Loal Isaacs

Deputy Executive Director, Helen Diller Family Foundation Programs

Loal Isaacs has a lifelong passion for experiential Jewish education. Prior to his current position, Loal held several leadership positions including the Director of Youth Philanthropy at the Jewish Community Federation and Endowment Fund, Director of New Initiatives at URJ Camp Newman, the Director of YouthFirst Programs at Jewish Family and Children’s Services, and the Program Director at the Center of Jewish Living and Learning at the Jewish Federation of the East Bay. He believes character is revealed through the way one goes about their work on a daily basis.

Throughout his career, Loal has always approached his work with dedication and humility, fully committing himself to modeling the approach to work he expects of his colleagues and students. He always strives to teach with the entirety of himself, from his knowledge to his actions, from his failures to his triumphs, everything is a lesson to be shared and interpreted by his students.