Little Mensches Wins National Award from the JCCA

Mazel Tov to The Little Mensches for winning the Zahav Award from the JCC Association Biennial Excellence Awards!

The Jewish Federation is proud to support Little Mensches as part of the PJ Library/Shalom Baby program. 

When Jessica Fink's oldest son was five years old, she began looking for some type of charitable project she and her son could participate in on a fairly regular basis. After calling several organizations, however, she discovered that most of the available opportunities were aimed at children much older than her son, and/or required substantial blocks of time and were not appropriate for a five-year-old boy.

Jessica then reached out to Judy Nemzer and Vivien Dean, who together run the Shalom Baby and P.J. Library programs at the Lawrence Family Jewish Community Center with financial support by the Jewish Federation, to see if they knew of any mitzvah opportunities for her son’s age group. When Judy and Vivien could not think of any programs, they suggested that the three women start such a program together. Thus, Little Mensches was born.

This unique program, that continues to bring together 60-100 children and parents for various engaging activities once a month, was most recently recognized nationally by the JCCs of North America for creating “truly outstanding, visionary initiatives with maximum impact or potential for change”. 

“We are so thrilled that our wonderful program has received this recognition.  It has been a true joy to see so many members of our community - especially some of our youngest members - come together to learn about how to give back and make their world a better place.  We owe tremendous gratitude to our sponsors (Jewish Federation San Diego, Geppetto's Toys), and most importantly to the families who have played such an enthusiastic role in Little Mensches' continued growth and success”, says co-founder, Jessica Fink. 

The Jewish Federation is proud to support Little Mensches as part of the PJ Library/Shalom Baby program.  To sign up please contact Judy Nemzer at 858-362-1352 or Vivien Dean (North County residents) at 858-357-7863 or

Enjoy this video about what the Little Mensches program accomplished with Rady Children's Hospital.


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