Michael Jeser Outstanding Jewish Professional Award


The Michael Jeser Outstanding Jewish Professional Award is sponsored by Jewish Federation of San Diego in memory of former Federation President and CEO Michael Jeser, z’’l. Michael was a lifelong, passionate Jewish communal professional with a deep commitment to nurturing and mentoring talented young professional in the Jewish community. This award is in honor of his legacy and embrace of the San Diego’s Jewish community. 


The purpose of this award is to recognize a dedicated professional at a Jewish communal organization in San Diego. The nominee must demonstrate outstanding professional work and a commitment to the field of Jewish professional leadership.


The award recipient will receive up to $5,000 to subsidize a professional development experience or program, including relevant travel experiences. 

Applications are currently closed.


The Nominee should:


  • Be committed to advancing their career as a Jewish Professional.  

  • Be dedicated to the future vitality and vibrancy of the Jewish community and people.

  • Have knowledge of the issues facing the Jewish community.  

  • Approach to issues facing the Jewish community in creative and innovative ways. 

  • Be a team player and work collaboratively in the larger community. 

  • Seek continuing professional development in the field of Jewish communal service. 


Eligibility Criteria: 


  • The nominee must be a current employee of a San Diego-area Jewish organizationand must have worked in the San Diego Jewish community for at least 2 years but no more than 10.  

  • The nominee must be an entry to mid-level Jewish professional (e.g. not a member of an organization's executive/senior leadership team). 

  • The nominee may be any non-clergy from any Jewish communal service discipline (e.g. synagogue, education, etc.). 

  • The nominee must demonstrate interest in continuing a career in Jewish professional leadership. 


Responsibilities And Expectations of Award Winners: 


  • Attend Federation Community event (November 4th, 2023) to be recognized and receive the Michael Jeser Outstanding Jewish Professional Award. 

  • Develop and submit a proposed plan and estimated expenses for award monies within 4 months of receiving the award (March 1, 2024) to JFSD for approval (to be used within 24 months).

  • Serve on the Selection Committee for this award the following year. 

  • Submit a written summary and presentation on the professional development experience and the ways it has enriched their work in the Jewish community.


For additional information please contact Julie Gordon at julieg@jewishinsandiego.org.

Michael Jeser z"l truly embodied the gold standard of Jewish communal professionals. Your gift recognizes up-and-coming Jewish communal professionals in San Diego, provides significant funding for professional development, and honors Michael's incredible legacy.