Peter Chortek Leadership Award

Peter Chortek Leadership Award

Honoring San Diego Jewish high school students who demonstrate excellence in community service, leadership and philanthropy.

For information about the 2018 application, please contact Claudia Ehrlich.

The Peter Chortek Leadership Award highlights high school students who inspire others through a volunteer service project that displays their initiative, passion and positive spirit. This award is based on the Jewish value of tikkun olam, or “repairing the world.”

Award recipients receive:
$3,600 Stipend, $1,800 To give to charity and a Professional Video about
your project.

Competitive applicants have created their own service project or enhanced an existing program or organization through innovative leadership.

Criteria for Award:

If you have any questions, please contact Claudia Ehrlich.

Past Recipients

Noa Eaton

Noa Eaton

Noa Eaton » Grade 12 – Canyon Crest Academy

Noa is the 2015 Peter Chortek Leadership Award recipient. She connected to her philanthropy in the 5th grade after participating in a Girl Scout house building project in Tijuana. Since then she has been committed to Tikkun Olam (repairing the world), literally one nail at a time.

Noa is a head intern at Casas de Luz and has been involved with the organization for over five years. Casas de Luz is a non-profit organization that raises funds and builds homes for families in need located in Tijuana. Noa participated and expanded the reach of the program starting as a bat mitzvah project and through her senior year in high school. She has helped over 130 students get involved, planned fundraisers and participated in builds. In addition, she has encouraged three others to fundraise for builds of their own for at-risk families and has created personal experiences for people, allowing them to become invested in this important cause.

Casas de Luz (CDL) focuses on three main programs through which they hope to help build sustainable communities in Tijuana. They started in 2005, building one home per year. In 2015 alone, CDL built eleven homes and delivered over 75 truckloads of donations.


Chortek winners 2014 group web
Noah Levinson, Joshua Kahn, Lily Greenberg Call

Noah Levinson » Grade 12 – Canyon Crest Academy

Noah has been a music entrepreneur since 7th grade, and is equally passionate about providing opportunities for disadvantaged youth in his community. Noah shares that while “we are told that today’s youth are the leaders of tomorrow, how can teenagers experiencing homelessness, poverty, foster care, or abuse mature into compassionate, responsible adult leaders?” Noah developed Hallow, a teen night club experience that raises awareness and funds for nonprofit organizations serving disadvantaged youth. Noah has held two Hallow events around Halloween and has raised funds for StandUpForKids and Just In Time Foster Youth. He is planning a third event for spring 2015.

Joshua Kahn » Grade 11 – Pacific Ridge High School

Joshua’s life was changed when he attended a three-week summer program in Chicago called Hands of Peace, a nonprofit that brings together Israeli, Palestinian, and American teenagers to discuss the Israeli–Palestinian conflict. Partnering with fellow student and co-leader Khalid Abudawas, Joshua spoke at local churches, mosques, synagogues, Rotary Clubs, and schools to secure $140,000 to start a San Diego program. In the past year, Joshua developed a cohort of 24 teens who are interested in pursuing a path to peace. Joshua said, “as a Jewish leader, I believe that it is my responsibility to create space to foster dialogue between people affected by this conflict, and in turn, a culture of understanding.”

Lily Greenberg Call » Grade 12 -San Diego Jewish Academy

Lily was one of the founding members of Girls Give Back (GGB) at Jewish Family Service in 2010. GGB empowers the next generation of female leaders to positively influence the world around them. Lily’s contribution was to develop a Girls Give Back Advocacy program, which directly trained 40 girls to impact their communities through advocacy. Civic engagement is a major family value in the Greenberg Call household. Lily explains that she was drawn to advocacy because, “it is not just a band-aid to cover and temporarily fix problems in society. Advocacy has the potential to make lasting change.”

Watch all of the past Peter Chortek Leadership Award winners’ videos below.

About the Peter Chortek Leadership Award

Peter Chortek z”l was not religious, but fiercely proud of being Jewish. He was committed to making a difference. His passion and focus was Jewish education, believing quality Jewish education would help insure a vibrant Jewish future. For Peter it meant being supportive of venues that would influence Jewish continuity. These include: day schools, Jewish camps, Hillel, Birthright, March of the Living, Jewish Community Centers and his synagogue.

The Peter Chortek Leadership Award was created to foster Jewish communal involvement by rewarding Jewish teens who are practicing tikkun olam, repairing the world.