CCA student among two recipients announced for 2023 Peter Chortek Leadership Award
Each year the Jewish Community Foundation of San Diego (JCF) facilitates the Peter Chortek Leadership Award (PCLA), an award created by the Chortek Family to foster Jewish communal involvement by rewarding Jewish teens who are practicing Tikkun Olam, repairing the world.
The Peter Chortek Leadership Award was established in 2011 by the Chortek Family to honor the late Peter Chortek z”l. Chortek was not religious but was fiercely proud of being Jewish and committed to making a difference. His passion and focus was Jewish education, believing quality Jewish education would help ensure a vibrant Jewish future. For Chortek, this meant being supportive of venues that would aid Jewish continuity, such as day schools, Jewish camps, Hillel, Birthright, March of the Living, Jewish Community Centers, and synagogues. A total of 30 awards have been presented to date.
This award recognizes Jewish high school students in San Diego who are making a difference in the community through their innovative leadership. Applicants must 1) Currently be in high school and have organized and led an extraordinary Tikkun Olam project that has benefited their neighborhood, community, environment, or world; 2) Demonstrate initiative, passion, and positive spirit, inspiring others to make a difference and creating awareness about their issue, cause, or project; and 3) Have a long-term vision for growth and sustainability for their work and have been involved with their project for at least one year before submitting an application.
This year’s recipients are:
Remi Morris, a senior at Canyon Crest Academy, utilized resources and connections to enhance the mission of STEP (Support the Enlisted Project) in providing basic necessities to enlisted soldiers and their families. One of Remi’s most successful projects was starting a campaign to provide relief for the displaced sailors impacted by the explosion on board the USS Bonhomme Richard.
Aiden Kleinman is a senior at La Jolla High School. Aiden initiated, researched, drafted, and lobbied for a San Diego Unified School District resolution on Fentanyl and Narcan Awareness/Distribution and Education in all San Diego Unified Schools. He worked with advocacy groups and successfully lobbied SDUSD board members to pass this resolution which affects all schools in the district, reaching approximately 120,000 students.
Peter Chortek Leadership Award recipients receive a $5,400 stipend, $540 to establish a Donor Advised Fund at the Jewish Community Foundation, and a professional video made about their project. This year the awards committee, comprised of two generations of the Chortek family and other community leaders, chose two recipients for the Peter Chortek Leadership Award. These awards were presented recently at a celebratory dinner for recipients and their families.
Applications for the 2024 Peter Chortek Leadership Award will be available as early as September 2023 and will be due January 2024. Students are encouraged to start thinking about service projects that qualify, and those who meet the application criteria are invited to participate in this remarkable opportunity. Competitive applicants for this award will have dedicated significant time and commitment to creating a new project or program to improve their communities, enhancing an existing project, or inspiring a large number of their peers to get involved in service projects or social justice programs.
Videos of all Peter Chortek Leadership Award winners can be viewed at: Peter Chortek Leadership Award Videos. For additional information on the Peter Chortek Leadership Award, visit the Jewish Community Foundation San Diego website at www.jcfsandiego.org/pcla — JCF news release
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