Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Women's Philanthropy Shares Seacrest Shabbat

Members of the Women’s Philanthropy board, accompanied by local children happy to perform a mitzvah, travelled to Seacrest Village for a pre-Shabbat visit with a number of enthusiastic residents. Women’s Philanthropy Social Action Committee co-chairs Samantha Cohen and Belinda Feldman organized the event, and were accompanied by Women’s Philanthropy Major Gifts Officer Debbie Kempinski.

The group brought the Seacreast residents Shabbat cards made by children of Women’s Philanthropy board members. The visit was highlighted by Shabbat songs played by talented student guitarists. The visitors also had the privilege of joining the residents in reciting the Shabbat blessings. The Seacrest residents were delighted to host the group, and greatly appreciated the visit. As one commented, “I loved sharing the Shabbat blessings with these wonderful people. This is exactly how I raised my children!”

As leaders of Women's Philanthropy, which supports and enhances Jewish community life through fundraising and educational and outreach programs, the program was a meaningful extension of the critical work of this Federation group.

For over 50 years, San Diego Jewish women have worked together to preserve and enrich our community's Jewish culture and heritage. We celebrate our traditions, explore our history and educate our community through a variety of volunteer opportunities. Our myriad efforts have a profound impact on the future of the Jewish community not only here in San Diego, but in Israel and around the globe. 

We invite you to join us in an environment where every Jewish woman can enrich and strengthen her identity as a woman and a Jew and help make a difference in our world.

At a time when apathy and assimilation threaten us, we invite you to join the thousands of Jewish women who are leading by example.

For more information about Women’s Philanthropy, contact Deena Libman at 858.737.7131 or

Monday, October 29, 2012

Federation Launches Emergency Fund for Sandy Victims

Hurricane Sandy, a storm of unprecedented magnitude, made landfall yesterday on the eastern portion of the United States. Seeing the response of communities across the region to the devastating storm, we are awed by the strength of the American people. The Jewish community and the Federation Movement send our support and prayers to those affected by the hurricane, and we will stand beside them during the recovery and rebuilding.

The Jewish Federation of San Diego County, in partnership with the Jewish Federations of North America, is launching a disaster relief fund to provide aid for communities on the eastern seaboard in response to Hurricane Sandy. These funds will go directly to efforts providing relief in rebuilding communities, providing comfort, and supporting critical services in the aftermath of this devastating natural disaster.

JFNA and Jewish Federations are committed to care for victims of global natural disasters, and have emergency relief plans in place to aid people in need. Last year, Jewish Federations raised funds for those affected by widespread storms around the U.S., and more than $1 million for victims of the earthquake, tsunami and nuclear crisis in Japan. Federations also raised $10 million in the aftermath of the southern Asia tsunami in 2004.

Donate to this special fund today. Make a difference. Together, we do extraordinary things.

Thank you for joining us in sending prayers, resources, and good wishes to all those impacted by Hurricane Sandy.

Friday, October 26, 2012

YAD Goes Pink!

This week YAD has been working hard to put the finishing touches on its Second Annual Pink Shabbat weekend. Building off last year's success, this year we are thrilled to be partnering with two amazing local partners. 

On Friday night, Moishe House San Diego and YAD’s Shabbat Connections Committee are proud to be part of the PINK Shabbat Weekend to support and bring awareness to the San Diego Jewish Community. Please visit our facebook event here: 

We especially welcome all those who have been personally impacted by breast and ovarian cancer.

All ages and affiliations are encouraged to attend!

Dress Code: Pink!
Potluck item will be assigned after you register
Optional donation of $5 to Sharsheret (

Sharsheret is national not-for-profit organization supporting young women and their families of all Jewish backgrounds facing breast cancer. Its mission is to offer a community of support to women diagnosed with breast cancer or at increased genetic risk, by fostering culturally relevant individualized connections with networks of peers, health professionals, and related resources.

On Sunday morning YAD and Jewish Family Serivce’s Breast Cancer case management program will be joining forces to participant in the Susan G Komen Race for the Cure. Why do we race? Of every dollar raised by the Race, 75 cents stays right here in San Diego to fund programs like our Breast Cancer Case Management program. Komen grants funding to many different San Diego agencies who provide a wide range of services from free diagnostic mammograms, biopsies, and ultrasounds to transportation, financial aid and social support. Next to the U.S. government, Susan G. Komen for the Cure is the largest funder of breast cancer research in the world. 

To join “Team JFS” as a participant or to donate to our team go to

Join Us for Resident Camp and Overnight Adventure Fair!

Federation Connects Young Adults to High Holiday Worship

Through Federation’s 2030 Project and Young AdultDivision (YAD) over 90 Jewish 20s and 30s purchased discounted high holiday tickets to San Diego area synagogues.  Twelve synagogues participated in this effort to engage these young adults in Jewish life.

“The goal is to lower barriers of participation in Jewish life for young people.  Many don’t have synagogue memberships but want a spiritual experience for the holidays.  By offering tickets at a discount they can see the value of synagogue connection without having to make a significant financial commitment.”  said Rabbi Janice Elster, 2030 Project Manager.  “Since over half of the participants were new to the program this year we know we are continuing to meet a need and that there are more young adults out there who want to find connection.  We hope to expand it in future years.”
Tim and Rachel Kitt

Rachel, age 29, said the following:As young adults, not ready to commit to one synagogue, or able to afford a year’s membership, the discount ticket program allows my husband and I to fulfill the most sacred Jewish obligation. Without this wonderful program, we would have to choose between traveling far to join other family at their non-San Diego synagogue, or not be able to attend at all. This program builds Jewish community as it allows for an easy access point for young adults to be involved in San Diego.”

Find out more about how the 2030 Project and YAD are engaging Jewish young adults at: or  

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Significant Security Situation Escalates in Israel's South Today

The Jewish Federation Israel Office is reporting a serious escalation of rocket attacks in Israel's south today. Since Tuesday night, October 23, over 70 rockets have been shot at southern Israel from Gaza, with roughly equal amounts landing in the Eshkol and Lachish regions.

It has been reported that two people have been critically injured and three lightly injured. Five homes have been hit and school has been cancelled in the south, with those living within 10 miles of Gaza instructed to remain in bomb shelters the whole time. Iron Dome, the IDF's missile defense system, has successfully intercepted the eight Grad rockets which were headed towards Ashkelon.

In response to the attacks, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said, "Israel will retaliate heavily to this terror."

In a later statement, Defense Minister Ehud Barak, stated: “If we need a ground operation there will be a ground operation. We will do whatever necessary to stop this…. No person or group who harmed Israel will remain unscathed." The IDF has since conducted air strikes over Gaza.

This spate of attacks comes in the middle of a national emergency drill, designed to deal with rocket attacks among other threats. Such security pressures are likely to play a large part in the voting patterns of southern Israel's residents. Around 900 rockets have hit Israel since the start of 2012.

The Jewish Federation of San Diego County and our partners in Sha'ar HaNegev have built a school in the south that is rocket resistant, can sustain these kind of attacks, and keep Israeli children safe. Your donation to Federation makes it all possible. Read more about the importance of this project here.

Our Israel office is keeping a close watch on the situation, and will provide updates as they become available.

For further information see:,7340,L-4296374,00.html

Friday, October 19, 2012

Seacrest Village Launches in Home Care Program

Did you know that the fastest growing segment of the population is 85 and older? That seven out of ten seniors own their own home, and 90% of them want to stay in it, as opposed to moving to a retirement community. In response to this growing need for care for our seniors, and to grant them the independence, dignity and quality of life they deserve, Federation community partner Seacrest Village Retirement Communities announced last week their new venture – Seacrest at Home!

Seacrest at Home looks to fill a critical missing link in the San Diego Jewish community. The goal is to use the same standards of quality care and respect associated with Seacrest Village, and to translate that to care provided in one’s home. Assistance with bathing, dressing, medication reminders, clerical duties, errands and escort to medical appointments will be available. Caregivers will also be trained on Jewish traditions, culture, and kosher law. Although there are no state laws requiring current home care agencies to conduct background checks on caregivers, Seacrest at Home will maintain the extremely high hiring standards practiced at Seacrest Village. This, along with caregivers' understanding of Jewish customs and progressive approaches in technology, will set Seacrest at Home apart from other services in the region. 

Seacrest at Home is scheduled to accept clients the beginning of 2013. For more information about Seacrest at Home or to schedule an in-home assessment, please contact Kelli Denton, RN, Director of Homecare, Seacrest at Home at (760)942-2695. 

Seacrest is one of 25 participating members of the Jewish Senior Services Council (JSSC) of San Diego, which was reestablished by Federation last year through the Community Planning & Innovation Center, to improve the quality of life for older Jewish adults in San Diego through community planning, collaboration, coordinated services and advocacy.

To learn more about this Council and more about issues critical to our seniors, visit

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Two Great Locations, One Great Book Fair!

Our partners at the San Diego Center for Jewish Culture and the Lawrence Family Jewish Community Center are excited to announce the 18th Annual San Diego Jewish Book Fair - and this year they've expanded to North County!

November 3-5
Don’t miss New York Times bestselling author Daniel Silva, Susan Isaacs, Harold Kushner and more at Temple Solel in Cardiff-by-the Sea. 

November 8-11
Come hear CBS News correspondent Dan Raviv, along with authors Jonathan Sarna, Daniel Gordis, Justin Halpern amongst otehrs at the Lawrence Family JCC in La Jolla. 

And don't miss to Family Day, Sunday, November 11th - it's free for families!

Book stores & box offices at both locations. Tickets on sale at the JCC box office now. Call 858-362-1348. Check out the full lineup at

Sunday, October 14, 2012

JCRC Interviews Local Candidates

With election season coming up - it's evermore important that our Jewish Community's voice is heard in the halls of local government. Federation's Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) strives to educate and advocate on issues of vital importance to the San Diego Jewish community in furthering the common good for all. We do so through information sharing, civil dialogue, and collaborative advocacy.

This week, your JCRC posed a series of questions to all San Diego County congressional candidates on critical issues including our local community, Israel, and Iran. We shared those responses here.

Click here to download your guide to the 2012 elections!

Friday, October 12, 2012

YAD Welcomes Newcomers to our Community!

Twice a year Young Adults from all over San Diego come together to make new friends, enjoy some free food, and learn about the Jewish Community in San Diego. This Newcomers Brunch was an amazing display of the future of the Jews in San Diego. Generously hosted by the Levitt Family at their beautiful Carmel Valley home, the brunch helps unaffiliated 20's and 30's make a new connection to their Jewish Community.

Activities at the brunch included: time to schmooze and mingle with other newcomers, ice breakers, break out groups, and a number of presentations from YAD Board members, and Federation staff. Newcomers learned about Federation's work both locally and abroad and got inspired to do a world of good. Guests also left with information from several partner agencies including: Center for Jewish Culture, the Lawrence Family Jewish Community Center, Jewish Family Services, and Jewish Community Foundation. The YAD Newcomers Committee also compiled lists of their favorite restaurants, happy hours, and hang out locations.

This brunch is a great example of a community coming together to welcome and embraces new comers to the San Diego area. It would have not been a success without help from the YAD Board, YAD Committee Members, Federation staff, community members opening their homes, and our partner agencies offering so many great programs!

For more great pictures of the event, check out our Facebook album!

Friday, October 5, 2012

Women's Philanthropy On a (Mini) Mission!

Members of the Women’s Philanthropy board hit the road on Thursday for a mini-mission to  three of Federation’s partner agencies. After a bright and early start, the tour started at Jewish Family Service (JFS), where JFS Director of Institutional Giving, Shana Hazan, led the group on a tour of the agency’s headquarters, and discussed its history and the scope of its work in the community. Other staff members discussed key programs such as Project Sarah, On the Go, Hand Up Food Pantry and senior services. 

While en route from JFS, Hillel Executive Director Michael Rabkin gave a mobile presentation on the work of Hillel San Diego, highlighting its vital programming on campuses throughout the county. As parents, the mini-mission participants were all eager to hear about the special support that Hillel provides for Jewish students.

Seacrest Village in Encinitas was the next stop, where Robin Israel, Vice President, Arthur and Sophie Brody Philanthropy Chair, welcomed the group with refreshments in the lovely courtyard along with Director of Annual Giving, Alyssa Law. They discussed the exemplary commitment to care for the seniors of our community that has earned Seacrest its stellar reputation here and around the country. A tour of the facility underscored the excellence of Seacrest’s work.

The day ended at the Lawrence Family Jewish Community Center (JCC), where Director of Development Ana Koslowski, along with Melanie Rubin and Melanie Rubin enlightened and inspired the group with their discussion of two of the JCC’s extraordinary programs: Inclusion and Senior Services. Even those participants who thought they knew all about the JCC were astonished to learn about these incredible, critical efforts. 

Board Chair Laura Tauber
As Women’s Philanthropy Board Chair Laura Tauber explained, “This was a very special opportunity for members of our board to learn about the work of Federation in our community through these “on the ground” visits to three of our partner agencies. They were impressed and inspired, and will carry all that they saw and heard today with them as they go about their vital work on behalf of our community.”