SDJA Office of Sustainability
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San Diego Jewish Academy Creates Groundbreaking Office for Sustainability

SDJA Office of Sustainability

For Immediate Release

August 22, 2019


Contact: Jason Edelstein, 510-239-1102


San Diego Jewish Academy Creates Groundbreaking Office for Sustainability

Green Entrepreneur Michael Zimerman Set to Lead Sustainability Initiatives

at Community K-12 School


(San Diego, CA) – In a first-of-its-kind strategic initiative, San Diego Jewish Academy (SDJA) 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, a National Blue Ribbon awardee located in the Carmel Valley community of San Diego, today 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, “it is increasingly apparent that the off-balance relationship between humanity and the natural world is reaching a tipping point. Our children are our best ambassadors for affecting change but they need our support. 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, ranging from his leadership in establishing a diamond processing industry in Canada to investment banking for the global mining industry. Zimerman 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.




San Diego Jewish Academy is a pluralistic K-12 school with a beautiful 56-acre campus and with more than 550 students. SDJA’s Lower School recently was awarded the prestigious National Blue Ribbon Award for Academic Excellence by the U.S. Department of Education, indicating test scores in the top 15 percent of all schools nationally.