Peter Chortek Leadership Award

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

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.”

2014 Recipients

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

Meet the 2014 Winners

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.”

Criteria for 2015 award (application will be available soon):

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.

Tikkun Olam Awards for teens around the country:

Diller 2013Know a teen with a passion for creating change? The Diller Teen Tikkun Olam Awards is seeking nominations of Jewish teens who are actively engaged in social action. Up to 15 teens from across the country will be selected to receive $36,000 each for their exceptional leadership in projects that embody the value of tikkun olam, or “repairing the world.”

Community members can nominate young leaders now for the 2014 Diller Teen Tikkun Olam Awards through a simple online form. Since 2007, this annual program of the Helen Diller Family Foundation has recognized 40 Jewish teens with nearly $1.5 million to further their projects and education. To nominate a teen or learn more about the program, visit All Jewish teen volunteers who are 13 to 19 years old at the time of nomination are eligible. For questions, contact or (415) 512-6432. Deadline for nominations was January 11, 2015.