Monday, October 31, 2011

Men's Event and Options Coverage in the San Diego Jewish Journal

San Diego Jewish Journal writer David Ogul just finished a great piece about Federation's recent Men's Event, and upcoming Options Event.  Full link after the jump.

Men and Women Make a Difference

By David Ogul
Every year, the Jewish Federation of San Diego County honors the commitment of local men and women to the Federation’s work. The Men’s Event (for men) and Options (for women) inspire and engage Jewish San Diegans to make a difference in their community and in the lives of Jews worldwide. This year’s events are no different.

The Men’s Event
The annual gala known as the Men’s Event, which took place Oct. 25 at the Port Pavilion on Broadway Pier, is among the Jewish Federation of San Diego County’s most important fundraisers. This year’s gathering did not disappoint.

Several hundred guests were treated to a program, “Generations of Love and Hope,” that featured local stories of family philanthropy. Those honored included: Sergio, Roberto and Ricardo Jinich; Bernard and James Lewis; and Joel, Brian, Brad and Lou Tauber.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Federation Responds to Turkey Earthquake

In the aftermath of the devastating earthquake in eastern Turkey yesterday, the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) has begun collecting funds for relief efforts. Responding to initial reports of hundreds of deaths and wide-spread building collapse, JDC is working with its local partners -- including Turkey's Jewish community -- to ensure the victims' immediate needs are addressed. JDC’s past humanitarian interventions in Turkey have included the provision of aid and training after earthquakes in 2010 and 1999. JDC staff experts are current determining what next steps are necessary, especially in the hardest-hit Van Province.

“Our hearts go out to the people of Turkey at this tragic time and we offer our condolences the families of those lost in the earthquake. Building off our historic work in Turkey, the disaster-preparedness training we have provided in the past, and the strength of our partnership with the Turkish Jewish community, we are responding quickly and strategically to help victims in their time of need,” said Steven Schwager, JDC’s Chief Executive Officer.

The 7.2 earthquake is the most powerful to hit Turkey in a decade. As rescue crews continue search operations, aftershocks plague the region. JDC’s multi-pronged involvement in the Turkish Jewish community began following World War I when it came to the aid of orphaned Jewish children. JDC’s work continued with its reinvestment in Turkey in 1992 by improving social services and Jewish community-based economic development, as well as its provision of disaster-relief and development efforts in the country.

JDC's disaster relief programs are funded by special appeals of the Jewish Federations of North America and tens of thousands of individual donors to JDC. JDC coordinates its relief activities with the U.S. Department of State, USAID, Interaction, the Israeli Foreign Ministry, Israeli relief agencies, and the United Nations. JDC has provided immediate relief and long-term assistance to victims of natural and manmade disasters around the globe and continues to operate programs designed to rebuild infrastructure and community life in disaster-stricken regions.

About JDC  
The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) is the world’s leading Jewish humanitarian assistance organization. JDC works in more than 70 countries and in Israel to alleviate hunger and hardship, rescue Jews in danger, create lasting connections to Jewish life, and provide immediate relief and long-term development support for victims of natural and man-made disasters. To learn more, visit

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Gilad Shalit Release

Gilad Shalit returns to Israel
It is with a sense of relief and joy that we share the news of Gilad Shalit’s release from more than five years in captivity. Gilad Shalit’s arrival home is long-awaited news for his family, for the people of Israel, and for those around the world who never gave up hope for his safe return from Gaza, where Hamas had held him in unimaginably harsh conditions and deprived him of visits by the International Red Cross.

We know that the government and people of Israel have made painful sacrifices as part of the terms of his release and our hearts go out to all citizens of Israel, particularly to those who have directly suffered the impact of Palestinian terror. Israel made a decision of extraordinary nobility, choosing to risk future dangers at the hands of an implacable enemy to save one human life today. Jewish tradition teaches that 'He who saves one life has saved the world.'

We express our gratitude to Prime Minster Netanyahu and the government of Israel and acknowledge the critical roles of the German and Egyptian governments in brokering these difficult negotiations.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the Shalit family as they are reunited with their son.

May the Israel Defense Forces remain strong and the people of Israel soon know the peace that they yearn for and deserve.”

Monday, October 10, 2011

Announcing 2011 OPTIONS - Women Changing the World

Options11CoChairsindoor Women Changing The World theme of upcoming Options event
OPTIONS QUINTET-- Lori Polin, Women’s Campaign Chair; Silvana Christy, OPTIONS Co-Chair; Alexandra Hirschhorn, OPTIONS Co-Chair; Ilana Umansky, OPTIONS Co-Chair; and Laura Tauber, Women’s Philanthropy Board Chair.
The Jewish Federation of San Diego on Thursday, Dec. 1, will host its annual “Options” event, the largest gathering of Jewish women in San Diego, with the theme of “Women Changing The World” intended to inspire attendees to engage and make a difference.
The emotional experiences of activism, leadership and commitment of guest speakers Erin Gruwell and Alina Spaulding will provide extraordinary examples of the power of women to change the world. according to Options cochairs Silvana Christy, Alexandra Hirschhorn, and Ilana Umansky.
spaulding alina 0008 Women Changing The World theme of upcoming Options event
Alina Spaulding
Alina Spaulding is director of communications at the American Hebrew Academy. She immigrated to the United States in 1979 with the help of many Jewish agencies funded by Jewish Federation dollars. Her parents tried to leave the former Soviet Union after her father, an Olympic hopeful, was seriously injured. They were granted permission only when the worldwide Jewish community stepped up.
Erin Gruwell Color 2005. photoshop Women Changing The World theme of upcoming Options event
Erin Gruwell
Erin Gruwell is the founder of The Freedom Writers Foundation. Sheis an activist/teacher whose steadfast commitment to tolerance and the future of education changed the lives of students already hardened by inner- city life. Using books like Anne Frank, The Diary of a Young Girl, she helped kids rethink their beliefs about themselves and the world around them. Her moving, true- life story was portrayed by Hilary Swank in the film Freedom Writers.
Andie Oster IMG 4564 Final 4x7 2010 Women Changing The World theme of upcoming Options event
Andrea Oster
The Jewish Federation’s prestigious Anne Ratner Award will be presented during Options to Andrea Oster in recognition of the leadership she has brought to Women’s Philanthropy of the Jewish Federation of San Diego County.
Registration and reception will be held at 5:30 p.m., Thursday, Dec. 1, at the Manchester Grand Hyatt, One Market Place, San Diego, with dinner and program beginning at 6;15 p.m. The couvert for the kosher dinner is $100, priced at fair market value. Eligibility requirement to attend the dinner is a minimum contribution of $180 to the 2012 Federation Campaign, or, for guests 21 and under, a $36 minimum contribution.

Attendees may register online or find more information via or calling 858.571.3444.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Peace Needs Partners

Shana Tova!

Good morning, and a Happy New Year to you!  Our strategic 
initiative The Israel Action Network, just published this great video promoting peace and hope this new year.  What do you think?