The JPro Young Professional Award provides premier recognition of extraordinary young talents, nominated by their colleagues, who are committed to the future vibrancy and vitality of the Jewish community. Winners of the Young Professional Award are recognized for their ability to exercise leadership and their demonstrated ability to grow as a professional. The award was established through a generous endowment created by The Andrea and Charles Bronfman Philanthropies.
The JPro Young Professional Award was preceded by the Kraft Award, named in honor of Louis Kraft, for his exemplary work in Jewish communal service. The award began in 1972 and continued until 1995.
Louis Kraft, born in 1891 in Moscow, Russia, became a model for his work in the Jewish communal profession. After serving as Executive Director of the Bronx YM & YMHA, Kraft became involved in the Jewish Welfare Board (JWB) where he rose to become the Executive Director of the organization. In 1947, Kraft helped establish the World Federation of YMHAs and Jewish Community Centers and has often been referred to as “the architect of the Jewish community center movement.”