Former Bay Area educator wins national JCC award

A former Bay Area Jewish educator has been chosen for the 2014 Morton L. Mandel Jewish Educational Leadership Award for his lifelong commitment to Jewish education.

Jody Hirsh, the director of Judaic Education at the Harry & Rose Samson Family Jewish Community Center in Milwaukee, Wisc., will receive the award March 30 in San Diego at the biennial convention of the JCCs of North America. The Mandel Award is presented biennially by the JCC Association, the leadership network of the JCC movement, to an individual or an institution, honoring outstanding contribution to Jewish education in Jewish Community Centers and JCC camps. 

Hirsh lived in the Bay Area from 1982 to 1989, holding positions at the Bureau of Jewish Education, Lehrhaus and Tehiyah Day School and teaching Jewish courses at U.C. Berkeley, Mills College and the University of San Francisco.

In addition to his claim to fame as the world’s only speaker of “Judaeo Cantonese,” Hirsh is an OBIE Award-winning playwright. His plays include the award-winning “Seeing Double,” produced by the San Francisco Mime Troupe in 1989, and “The Great King Herod Murder Mystery,” Israel’s longest-running play.