San Diego Jewish Academy (SDJA) in California is bringing the issue of environmental sustainability to the forefront by creating a C-suite office focused exclusively on exploring this issue through the lens of Jewish teachings and values. SDJA, located in the Carmel Valley community of San Diego, has announced that Michael Zimerman will serve as Chief Sustainability Officer (CSO) to lead this endeavor.
In this newly created role, Zimerman will liaise with school leadership, employees, suppliers, parents, students, and the broader community to address sustainability. He also will develop and implement cross-disciplinary strategies to advance the SDJA culture of continuous improvement, embracing stewardship, and commitment to attaining organizational goals. Already, SDJA has a student run garden to promote locally sourced food and student health and wellness.
“We want to live our values of protecting the earth and leaving it better for the next generation,” says Chaim Heller, Head of School at San Diego Jewish Academy. “Normally this type of position is found at Fortune 500 companies, so we are thrilled to have Michael filling this role for us. His expertise in this area and commitment to sustainability will influence our students every day.”
Zimerman added, “SDJA’s leadership is inspiring and I very much look forward to being a part of the path this community takes stepping into the future.”
Zimerman brings over 20 years of international experience to the role. He obtained his MBA from the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management, has a B.Sc in Biology & Biochemistry, and holds a certificate in aquaponic technology. As a green entrepreneur, Zimerman was most recently a developer of utility-scale photovoltaic solar power projects and sits on the advisory committee for a San Diego based green technology start-up.
Photo: Located within Levana’s Garden is a sculpture of the four biblical matriarchs – Rebekah, Rachel, Sarah, and Leah. Each of the four was created especially for the school by four different female artists working in concert: Helen Segal, Cheryl Rattner Price, Barbi Dorfan, and Sigal Sherman.