My Two Shekels

Stories and reflections from Federation's President and CEO, Michael Jeser, about his own Jewish journeys, Federation's impact, and Jewish communities worldwide.

My Two Shekels: Check Your Assumptions at the Door


In 2004, I graduated with two Masters Degrees, one from the USC School of Social Work and one from Hebrew Union College (HUC) Zelikow School of Nonprofit Management (formerly School of Jewish Communal Service). Those 2 years of studying solidified that I was on the right path to serve the J…

Yom Hazikaron


This week was a week of more ups and downs for the Jewish people. As our community began picking up the pieces from the devastating attack on Chabad of Poway, our brothers and sisters in Israel went through yet another series of traumatic attacks from terrorists in Gaza. With over 700 rocke…

Remembering Lori Kaye z”l

Six months ago, the world was devastated by the massacre at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, when 11 Jewish souls were ripped from the arms of a tight knit and loving Jewish community.  Since then, incidents against other worshipers from churches in Sri Lanka to mosques in New Zeal…

We Will Never Stop


For years, the Jewish Federation of San Diego has proudly led the community’s effort to commemorate the Holocaust. But five months ago, when we began planning for this day, we never could have imagined just how meaningful it would become. The coincidence of timing is not lost on any of us…

Confronting the Shoah


My grandfather Morris Cohen was the youngest of 28 children.  Yes, you read that correctly.  His father, my great grandfather, was in in his 70s when my grandfather was born in a town near Vilnius, Poland.  My great grandfather was actually married twice (not at the same time), and had 1…