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Mount Sinai Obituaries and Services » Michael Jeser

Michael Jeser

January 29, 1976 - July 24, 2021

Service Information Mount Sinai Simi Valley - Kamenir Chapel

Service Date: Wednesday July 28th, 2021

Service Time: 12:30 pm

Mount Sinai Simi Valley - Kamenir Chapel

6150 Mount Sinai Drive

Simi Valley, CA 93063

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January 28, 1976 – July 24, 2021
26 Shevat 5736 – 15 Av 5781

The Jeser family has lost its king, its hero.

On Shabbat Va’etchanan Michael lost his four-year battle with Esophageal Cancer.

He leaves his much loved and adored wife, his Malka, Laura, and the four-year-old light of his life, Eleanore. He will be greatly missed by his brothers, his partners-in-crime, Marc and Dave, his sisters-in-law Elizabeth and Lisa, and his fourteen nephews and nieces. His parents, Faye and Paul, will never fully recover from losing their baby, their hero and their most special mensch.

From a very young age, Michael had a special relationship with Judaism and Israel. His very first trip (of many) to Israel was when he was minus two months old (when Faye was seven months pregnant). He was a graduate of the JCC pre-school in Orlando and elementary school at the Moriah School in Englewood (NJ). During High School (Dwight Englewood) he participated on the MARCH OF THE LIVING traveling to Poland and then to Israel.

After graduating from the University of Arizona, he spent a year in Israel on PROJECT OTZMA, where he taught English and led after-school programs in immigrant neighborhood schools in Shar Hanegev. In 2004 he received Double-Masters degrees from USC (Social Work) and HUC (Jewish Communal Service).

As a member of the Jewish Communal Service Michael’s professional experience included being part of the staff at the Metrowest Jewish Community Center & Camp Deeny Riback (NJ), Jewish Community Centers of Greater Boston, and the Jewish Community Center at Milken (LA). He was the highly successful and greatly respected Director of the Real Estate & Construction Division and Director, Geller Leadership Project for the LA Jewish Federation. Michael was the Executive Director of USC Hillel and the Jewish World Watch. In 2015 Michael was appointed Director of Annual Campaign and the Life and Legacy program for the Jewish Federation of Greater Portland (OR). For the past three years, Michael has been the CEO of the Jewish Federation of Greater San Diego.

The love for Michael has shown itself in many ways. The support given to him by the SD Federation’s leadership and staff has been beyond any expectations. When Michael decided to run a GoFundMe campaign to provide support for Laura and Eleanore, over 1,400 people responded! There have been over one thousand personal emails and comments on the many Facebook streams which announced his passing. As one close family friend wrote, ‘there are more tears than words.’ As his cousin from Israel wrote, ‘Michael, who gave you permission to leave?’

One of Michael’s ‘happy places’ was Camp Tevya (NH) where he attended from an early age through college when he was appointed Boy’s Head Counselor. His other ‘happy places’ included rooting for the Jets and Celtics, going to Disneyland, whale and eagle watching, going to the movie theater and eating popcorn, drinking with his brothers and close friends, and, most of all, sitting on the couch with Laura and Eleanore watching his favorite TV shows and movies.

The family has requested that donations in Michael’s memory be given to the Jewish Federation of San Diego (in support of the Michael Jeser Outstanding Jewish Professional Award), or Camp Tevya