strengthening mental health capacity in Greater BOston

Meeting Youth Mental Health Needs

Gateways and BaMidbar are delighted to present DEVELOPING MINDS, an initiative that aims to strengthen the mental health capacity of youth-serving organizations in our community. This exciting new opportunity is made possible by the generous sponsorship of the Combined Jewish Philanthropies (CJP).

Developing Minds is a unique and transformative five-month program that will bring together professionals from various organizations to form a cohort. Participants will have the opportunity to engage with their peers, learn from each other’s experiences, and tap into the collective wisdom of organizations facing similar challenges.

Developing Minds supports both organizational leaders and youth-serving professionals. Participating organizations will be placed into one of two cohorts, each of which will feature two unique learning tracks. Organizational leaders look at mental health capacity through a systems lens, while youth-serving professionals receive training to better support youth.

Two Tracks of Learning

Open to ALL professionals at youth-serving organizations For 2-4 professionals per organization
Mental Health First Aid Opening summit
Mental, emotional, and social health for experiential educators Organizational assessment
Supporting staff well-being 4 coaching sessions
Closing summit Closing summit
Cohort 1 (Fall 2023)
  • Opening Summit: Thursday, October 26 from 9-3
  • Closing Summit: Tuesday, February 13 from 9-12
Cohort 2 (Winter 2024)
  • Opening Summit: Thursday, February 15 from 9-3
  • Closing Summit: Tuesday, June 4 from 9-12
Applications are due by noon on Thursday, September 14, 2023. For any inquiries or assistance with the application, contact Ali Shwartz at

Click Here to Apply for Developing Minds

Key Dates


Developing Minds is designed for youth-serving organizations committed to expanding mental health capacity and helping all youth thrive and fully engage in Jewish life.

The 5-month program will enable organizations to:
  • Recognize the impact and prevalence of mental illness and understand how organizations can use Jewish wisdom and community to help young people build resilience and thrive
  • Identify the signs and symptoms of mental illness in populations you serve
  • Integrate knowledge about mental health and wellness into organizational policies, procedures, and practices to promote inclusion and reduce stigma
  • Actively cultivate mental health and wellness within the communities you serve
As part of the cohort, organizations will:
  • Engage staff in two separate tracks of learning geared toward organizational leaders and youth-serving professionals
  • Conduct an internal assessment of mental health capacity
  • Create a sustainable plan for action based on the individualized assessment
  • Receive coaching to support implementation of that plan

At least 2 leadership-level staff should participate in the leadership track. They should be C-Suite employees with decision-making power who understand the inner workings of their organization.

These trainings are open to any youth-serving professionals at your organization. The same staff do not need to attend all offered trainings.

In addition to the 1-day opening and closing summits, the following trainings are offered to both the leadership team participating in the cohort and the youth-serving professionals on staff: Mental Health First Aid (8 hours), Mental, Emotional, and Social Health Through Experiential Education (6 hours), and Well-Being for Professionals (two 1.5-hour sessions)

Thanks to the generous sponsorship of the Combined Jewish Philanthropies, this program is FREE to participating organizations.


OUR MISSION is to ensure that Jewish youth and young adults have the confidence, skills, and community support to navigate life’s challenges and thrive in the face of adversity.

BAMIDBAR STRENGTHENS young people’s mental health through clinical and educational interventions. 

BAMIDBAR FOCUSES both on the individual young person and the ecosystem that surrounds them, including family and caregivers, school, peers, and Jewish professionals in settings such as camps, youth groups, Hillels, day schools, and synagogues. BaMidbar integrates a multidisciplinary lens that includes experiential learning, clinically-informed frameworks, and Jewish tradition.