The Ruby Award

Celebrating the Work of Jewish Youth Professionals in the Bay Area

The Ruby Award is a special opportunity to recognize excellence in Jewish youth education and engagement, established in 2020 in collaboration with the San Francisco Teen Initiative. Jewish LearningWorks is proud to give this award in memory of Robert Ruby, to honor his commitment to teen education.

The Ruby Award is offered to enhance the prominence and celebrate the essential work of professionals in the Bay Area who work with adolescents. This annual opportunity for recognition amplifies the importance of keeping our young ones engaged, and highlights the success of professionals who work with Jewish adolescents. Award recipients also receive an $1,800 honorarium.

Nominations for the 2024 Ruby Award are now closed.

The selection committee has announced the 2024 Ruby Award recipient: Adam Lowy, Lifelong Learning Moreh Derech at Congregation Beth Sholom of San Francisco.

  • Have at least 10 years of experience as a youth professional working directly with Jewish teens.
  • Have made a significant contribution to Jewish teen education and engagement.
  • Works in Jewish education in the San Francisco Bay Area, and currently works directly with teens.
  • The selection committee is composed of alumni of the tikea and Shofar fellowships and past Ruby Award recipients.
  • The Ruby Award will be awarded annually; while the Ruby Lifetime Achievement Award for Excellence in Jewish Youth Education and Engagement will be awarded every 5 years.
  • The selection committee will meet and announce the next Ruby Award recipient in April 2024.
  • Award recipients also receive an $1,800 honorarium.

The 2024 Ruby Award will take place on Thursday, May 16 during a celebratory brunch in San Francisco, followed by a learning session with Yehudah Webster, exploring the intersection of belonging and well-being. Learn more and rsvp here.

In 2023 we had the pleasure to present the award at the Peninsula JCC. You can read the teaching presented by Meg Adler, 2023 Ruby Award recipient, and view photos of the event on our blog.

Please direct questions about the award to Alisha Pedowitz at

In Memory of Rob Ruby

The Ruby Award honors beloved lay leader, Robert Ruby. Rob was one of the East Bay Jewish community’s most active and influential leaders for many years. President of Jewish Federation of the East Bay, Chair of the Berkeley Hillel Board of Directors, and officer of the BBYO national board were a few of the positions he held. Rob, who passed away in 2016, was especially committed to teen engagement. He knew firsthand from his own involvement in AZA as a teen, the power of leadership and social opportunities as critical pathways to Jewish identity and life. Above all, Rob was smart, funny, generous and kind — a true mensch. We are deeply grateful for his example.

Ruby Award Recipients

Recognizing and Honoring the Creativity and Innovation of Jewish Youth Professionals

The leadership role played by Jewish youth professionals is a cornerstone of both the vibrant present and future of the Jewish community. We trust them with the power to inspire our young to live the rest of their lives with purpose and meaning, informed by our Jewish values.

Jewish Youth Professionals

Engage Our Teens

When everything is said and done, youth professionals transform teens through the power of their presence, their loving camaraderie and the lessons of Jewish tradition.

Forever Inspire Change

Because this work today is a precious seed planted in their hearts, a long-lasting investment in their future, and the gift of Judaism as a way of life.

Make the World a Better Place

And because when we instill in our youth the pride in who they are, and the courage to embody our timeless values, we give them a blueprint to become the best version of themselves.