Friday, November 30, 2012

2030 Project Presents: Crazy Nights of Chanukah!

Chanukah is right around the corner! The first night begins December 8! Looking for something to do? There is a plenty going on for Jewish 20’s and 30’s in San Diego - and we have events for each night of Chanukah to fit with your schedule. From dinners to Jewish Heritage day with the Los Angeles Clippers! All the events for Chanukah are all listed on our Crazy Nights of Chanukah page on the 2030 Project website! Check it out for all the details and information to make your Chanukah celebration truly special! 

The 2030 Project is dedicated to involving young Jews to the community and to each other. The 2030 Project serves as an umbrella for all the groups or organizations working with 20s and 30s Jews in San Diego to help support them and get out information about their programs and events to a larger audience. In our Jewish community calendar we strive to involve Jews from singles, couples, to young families.

JCRC Hosts William Daroff at the JCC

JCRC Director Linda Feldman and William Daroff
Federation's Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) held its Fall meeting last night in the theater of the Lawrence Family JCC.  Tad Parzen, JCRC Chair, and Linda Feldman, JCRC Director, welcomed more than 60 community leaders with an informal dinner in the beautiful art gallery.  JCRC community updates were provided by Jennie Starr, Leslie Caspi, Barry Klein, Lisa Pearl, Rabbi Laurie Coskey, Caridad Sanchez and Jessica Nare.  They spoke about current projects related to Israel Advocacy, Public Policy/Legislative Advocacy and Interfaith/Intergroup Relations and encouraged participation from all those interested.

William Daroff, Vice President for Public Policy and Director of the Washington Office of the Jewish Federations of North America addressed many diverse issues presented to him by Rabbi Philip Graubart of Congregation Beth El.  William spoke about the presidential elections and whether the administration was really pro-Israel, how Jews vote and their influence in Congress, the threat of a nuclear Iran, implications of the latest UN vote and the fiscal cliff.  He also answered many related questions from the audience.  One very important message he left us with is that advocacy matters; we must understand and know that it is the average citizen whose voice is often heard by Congress over the lobbyists that knock on their doors ever day. We can make a difference.

For more information on the Jewish Community Relations Council, and to learn how YOU can make a difference, visit

Find more great pictures of the event on our Facebook.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

NCSY’s Project Chazon Presents: Real Greatness

A Multimedia Experience for Teens Powered by The Jewish Federation’s Community Innovation Center

Greatness. Conflict. Potential. What do these words mean? What do they mean to today's Jewish teen? How do they impact our lives? What does it mean to be truly great?

This Winter Break over 300 Jewish teens will gather as a part of NCSY’s Project Chazon to explore these questions and potential answers.

Chazon is a Hebrew word which means vision; Project Chazon uses mixed-media - like video, live-action and music - to create an amazing performance to enhance conversations about Jewish issues. For a taste, check out the trailer for last year’s production, “Children of Anarchy”, which took place at the LFJCC Garfield Family Theater:
For the last seven years San Diego locals, Rabbi Adam Simon and Josh Cohen, have been developing Project Chazon as a medium for Jewish teens to explore relevant issues through mixed-media and discussion. They have worked with San Diego theater artists including San Diego REP’s Todd Salovey, among others, to upgrade the theatrical components to its highest form. They have also worked with renowned educators to develop discussion and experiential education content for the teens. With over 20 individual shows over the last 10 year, there has never been a production in which the entire audience was not deeply affected by the performance. This fusion of the arts and relevant Jewish issues is one of the most powerful tools in Jewish education.

As part of the Jewish Federation’s of San Diego County’s commitment to innovation and building a vibrant Jewish future, the Community Innovation Center has selected Project Chazon as a grantee and aided in bringing the program to San Diego’s Jewish teens.
This year's production, to take place in San Diego’s Hilton La Jolla Torrey Pines, will present "Real Greatness", which follows the life of Nate, a teenager struggling with the true meaning of greatness, who is faced with an amazing opportunity...or is it a challenge?
The production will be followed by some snacks and an informal discussion group, which will explore the show and its messages from a Jewish perspective.

Teens should RSVP for this free event on Facebook at

Transportation from individual schools can be accommodated with sufficient interest.

For more information contact Adam Simon at or

Since it was founded in 1954, NCSY has been engaging Jewish teens around the world and reconnecting them with their heritage. Through the decades, NCSY has evolved and found new ways to make Judaism relevant to teens. Today, under the leadership of Rabbi Adam Simon, NCSY in San Diego has become the place for Jewish teens to connect with their Jewish heritage and be inspired by Jewish role models who empower them to become the Jewish leaders of tomorrow. For more visit or

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Join Us at OPTIONS 2013!

OPTIONS, the centerpiece of the annual calendar of the Jewish Federation of San Diego County’s Women’s Philanthropy and the largest gathering of Jewish women in San Diego, is celebrating its twentieth anniversary!

Scheduled for 5:00 p.m. on Sunday, January 13, at the Hilton San Diego Bayfront, OPTIONS will feature special guest speaker Campbell Brown. Brown, the Emmy-winning journalist who gained national recognition with her CNN program, Campbell Brown, will discuss her television news career, including covering the war in Iraq and Hurricane Katrina, as well as her personal story of meeting and marrying Start-Up Nation co-author Dan Senor. She will also discuss her conversion to Judaism and establishing a Jewish life with Senor, as well as the challenges of balancing her personal life with her profession.

Jessica Effress, Leslie Fastlicht Russo and Danielle Shulman
Co-chairs Jessica Effress, Leslie Fastlicht Russo and Danielle Shulman announced that OPTIONS is being generously underwritten by Pauline Foster and the Foster Family Foundation. Jewish Federation Interim President and CEO Michael Sonduck commented, “We are deeply grateful to Pauline Foster and the Foster Family Foundation. Thanks to their incredible generosity, OPTIONS will be affordable and accessible to our entire community. We look forward to welcoming younger women, first-time attendees, as well as longtime OPTIONS attendees to this exciting evening.”

For information on OPTIONS, go to or contact Deena Libman at or 858-737-7131.

See the Facebook Event here.

For great photos of the kickoff event, click here!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

THANK YOU for Showing Solidarity with Israel!

More than 1500 San Diegans representing 45 synagogues, schools and other Jewish organizations gathered peacefully on Sunday to show solidarity with the people of Israel, our closest ally in the Middle East, and to show support for the Israel’s right to self-defense. THANK YOU to all of our partners who collaborated in this genuine community effort, and to all of the San Diegans, religious and secular leaders who made it a priority to come together as a community in support of Israel and make our voices heard!

For great pictures of the event click here.

Over the last 10 days, more than 1,500 rockets have been fired at Israel, with 120 just yesterday. World leaders, particularly from the U.S. and Egypt, are working together to with Israel and the terrorist organization Hamas, to reach a ceasefire agreement, if possible. More than 110 rockets have been launched since Wednesday at our sister city for the past 14 years, Sha’ar Ha Negev. Kibbutzim Kfar Aza, Nahal Oz, Or Haner and Erez have been the main targets. Businesses and schools remain closed, including the Yitzchak Shavit High School, which the Jewish Federation supported through our generous donors, and which houses the Alexander Joseph Viterbi Art Center.

Hundreds of children have been bused out of the region through the Jewish Agency, though many residents have chosen to remain in the region. Tomorrow, 550 children and teens will be bused to other locales further from Gaza, and one bus of senior citizens will head to Jerusalem. Fortunately, only one person in Sha’ar HaNegev has been critically wounded, a firefighter who was responding to one kassam when another fell. Major issues include the limited size of shelters where many people are living full time, and the intense and chronic trauma that is prevalent. There also has been significant damage to homes, vehicles and businesses.

Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA), the network of 157 Federations in 300 communities throughout North America including the Jewish Federation of San Diego, has enacted its emergency protocol and is focusing its efforts on immediate relief to regions that have been under attack in Israel, direct services to vulnerable populations, and reinforcing local capacity under fire. JFNA is working with the Prime Minister’s Office, Ministry of Social Welfare, mayors in the South, municipal and regional councils, RAHEL (Hebrew acronym for the Israeli Government’s National Emergency Authority within the Ministry of Home Defense), Israel Trauma Coalition and our partners, the Jewish Agency for Israel (Jewish Agency) and the American Joint Jewish Distribution Committee (JDC) to continue to meet immediate crisis needs in the south of Israel, including Sha’ar HaNegev.

1. Donate to the Israel Terror Relief Fund
At this time, the news indicates that a ceasefire may be imminent. We hope this comes to pass, and leads to a lasting peace in the Middle East. However, a ceasefire will not erase the damage that has been done, and the needs that will continue to emerge from this devastating conflict.

As we sit around our respective Thanksgiving tables and count our blessings of home and health, love and friendship, let’s think of those whose thanks are focused on a brief respite from the air raid sirens and the threat of falling rockets. Our brothers and sisters in Israel need your support now. In a little more than the 15 seconds Israelis have to get to a bomb shelter once the alarms go off, you can make your gift today to the Israel Terror Relief Fund. Together we can help our overseas partners on the ground continue delivering immediate assistance. The needs are urgent. Your investments in helping Israel through this crisis are 100% tax deductible and 100% of every dollar donated goes directly to Israel.

Give Israelis hard hit by the current crisis even more to be thankful for.
2. Stay Informed - The better informed we are, the more intelligently we can speak to our friends and neighbors and take an active part in impacting public opinion. For continuing updates, please access the following links:

3. Send supportive messages to Sha’ar HaNegev

You can show support to our sister community in the south of Israel on our
Partnership2Gether Facebook page.

The Jewish Federation of San Diego today sent $50,000 in emergency funding from our reserves to the Israel Terror Relief Fund to help those most in need in the south of Israel. Our hearts and prayers go out to all of those who have suffered through this conflict and to our extended family in Sha'ar HaNegev. We fervently pray for them all, for their safety, for the safety of all Israelis, for a lasting peace and also for the safety of Palestinian civilians.

At the rally coordinated by Federation Sunday, we collected hundreds stuffed animals to help comfort the children of Sha’ar HaNegev as well as Palestinian children. These will be sent to the region this week.

As we prepare for Thanksgiving this year, we can count on the blessing of a strong Jewish community to help those who are less fortunate at home and around the world. As we think about our cherished family members, let’s also take a few moments to help our brothers and sisters in Israel rebuild their lives by giving to the Israel Terror Relief Fund. Together, we do extraordinary things.

Wishing you and your family a Happy Thanksgiving,
Claire Ellman
Board Chair, Jewish Federation of San Diego County

Michael Sonduck
Interim President & CEO,
Jewish Federation of San Diego County

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San Diego Jewish Academy Raises $22,000 for Sandy Relief

In response to the incredible amounts of work that still need to be done for communities on the eastern seaboard, last week the San Diego Jewish Academy held the MOTHER OF ALL GARAGE SALES, inviting the Jewish community to donate, shop and volunteer to raise funds and awareness for victims of Hurricane Sandy. Their momentous effort, and the out pouring of tzedakah from our community allowed them to raise more than $22,000, half of which was generously donated though Federation's Hurricane Sandy Relief Fund, which, to date, has raised over $100,000!

A HUGE todah rabah to SDJA for their hard work, dedication, and generosity
On behalf of the thousands of people, Jewish and non-Jewish alike, who will benefit from the extraordinary generosity of the students, faculty, staff, parents and volunteers of SDJA, we would like to say todah rabah, thank you!  It was an honor to receive your gift to the Hurricane Sandy Relief fund of the Jewish Federations of North America.  100% of your donations will go directly to agencies involved in disaster relief and recovery in the affected parts of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.

Respectfully yours,

Claire Ellman, Board Chair & Michael Sonduck, Interim President and CEO Jewish Federation of San Diego County

See great photos of the garage sale here

Friday, November 16, 2012

Join Us this Sunday to Show Solidarity with Israel!

Help Israel Now!

The Jewish Federations of North America started a new Israel Terror Relief Fund, to stand shoulder to shoulder with the people of Israel at this critical time. This new fund will help support the more than 1 million residents of Israel’s south, who have been living in siege, under rocket fire from terrorists in the Gaza Strip.

Jewish Federations are creating this relief fund to help our partners, the Jewish Agency for Israel, the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, and ORT, deliver immediate services and assistance on the ground throughout the south. Such services include trauma counseling, financial assistance, portable bomb shelters, and potentially other initiatives including bringing children in the strike zones out of harm’s way.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Escalating Events in Sha'ar HaNegev and Southern Israel

A message from Michael Sonduck, Interim President and CEO of Jewish Federation of San Diego County

Dear Friends, 

I am writing you immediately after participating in a telephone conference call of Federation executives with David Siegel, Consul General of the State of Israel. Below is the information that Consul General Siegel shared with us. As we learn more we will share it with you.

Since this past Saturday, there were over 120 kassams and mortar attacks on Sha’ar HaNegev and the surrounding region.

27 rockets were intercepted today by the IDF Iron Dome. These rockets would have fallen on densely populated civilian areas.

There have been 300 rocket attacks in the past 3 months, and 800 since the beginning of this year. That is two times as many as in 2011 and three times as many as in 2010.

Almost 1.5 million Israelis live within the region where they are required to be within 15 seconds of a bomb shelter. That is the same as 40 million Americans living with this threat. 

In a statement this afternoon, the Obama administration gave full-throttled support to Israeli airstrikes on the Gaza Strip. State Department spokesman Mark Toner denounced Hamas militants and others in Gaza for a barrage of rocket fire into southern Israel – and stated U.S. backs Israel’s right to self-defense.

In response to this situation the Government of Israel launched Operation Pillar of Defense, including a targeted air strike killing Hamas' top commander Ahmad Ja'abri, who was responsible for the abduction of Gilad Shalit and other attacks on Israeli citizens. In addition the IDF targeted stock piles of long-range missiles that represented a threat to large sections of Israel as well as launch sites and weapons factories.

Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu issued the following statement: 

“Hamas and the terror organizations decided to escalate their attacks on the citizens of Israel over the last few days. We will not accept a situation in which Israeli citizens are threatened by the terror of rockets. No country would accept this, Israel will not accept it.

Today, we hit Hamas strategic targets precisely. We have significantly debilitated their ability to launch rockets from Gaza to the center of Israel, and we are now working to disable their ability to launch rockets towards the south. The terrorist organizations – Hamas, Islamic Jihad and others – are deliberately harming our citizens, while intentionally hiding behind their citizens. On the other hand, we avoid harming civilians as much as possible and that is one fundamental difference between us. It also indicates the big difference between our objectives, and not only in our methods. They want to obliterate us from the face of the earth and they have no qualms about hurting civilians and innocents.

Today, we sent an unequivocal message to Hamas and the other terror organizations, and if need be the IDF is prepared to expand the operation. We will continue to do everything necessary to defend our citizens."

News from our sister city of Sha’ar HaNegev confirms what Consul General Siegel told us. As a result of the current situation, Sha’ar HaNegev’s Regional Council has put security protocols into action which include no school at Sapir College, Sha’ar HaNegev’s Elementary or High School. No businesses will be open that are within a 7 kilometer radius to the Gaza border this includes all of the industrial companies in Sha’ar HaNegev.

Locally, California Speaker John A. PĂ©rez released the following statement on the recent decision by Israel to launch airstrikes against Hamas:
“Today the Government of Israel responded to weeks of cross-border rocket attacks on Israeli citizens by launching surgical airstrikes on rocket emplacements in the Gaza Strip, as well as targeted attacks on senior leaders of the terrorist organization Hamas. I believe the Israeli government made the correct decision in avoiding attacks on areas with civilians present, such as schools and hospitals where Hamas has made a practice of storing and firing weapons. Every American should be concerned about this latest escalation of the ongoing conflict, and my thoughts and prayers are with the families of those who have been killed, Israeli and Palestinian alike.”

We will continue to monitor this situation, and pray for our families and friends in Israel.

    Michael Sonduck
    Interim President and CEO
    Jewish Federation of San Diego County

Monday, November 12, 2012

Friday, November 9, 2012

Federations Mobilize to Care for Hurricane Victims

As a Nor'easter storm bore down this week on so many already devastated by Hurricane Sandy, Jewish Federations continued to rally to provide immediate relief and long-term care for those affected by the recent catastrophic storm.

We are proud to share that your Federation has raised over $70,000 in relief for victims from over 170 gifts thanks to generous donors like you! Federations across the continent have so far raised nearly $1 million to aid victims of Hurricane Sandy, but there is so much more to be done.

Earlier this week, JFNA’s Emergency Committee authorized $500,000 – to come from both the Hurricane Relief Fund and the Emergency Committee Reserve Fund – for immediate humanitarian needs of Hurricane Sandy victims in the New York metropolitan area and New Jersey. The funds, which were distributed to UJA-Federation of New York and the 10 Federations in New Jersey, are being used for cash disbursements, food, shelter, clean-up kits and other basic necessities. 

“With snow falling and frigid temperatures around the Northeast, the victims of Hurricane Sandy continue to suffer,” said Cheryl Fishbein, chair of JFNA’s Emergency Committee. “It remains critical that Jewish Federations and our agencies work together to institute the lifesaving programs that are such a hallmark of our system.”

As the scope of Sandy’s impact becomes clearer, the JFNA Emergency Committee, in consultation with Federation and JFNA leadership, will allocate additional funds to meet other short-, medium- and long-term needs of storm victims, communal agencies and others. 

Federations across New York, New Jersey and Southern Connecticut are working in partnership with their local agencies to respond to needs in hurricane-stricken areas, collecting and distributing basic amenities for both the local Jewish and broader community. 

NECHAMA, a Jewish organization that specializes in post-disaster clean up, has been working in coordination with Federations to repair and restore Jewish institutions. Among the many institutions it has touched since the storm hit, NECHAMA this week cleaned up a Conservative synagogue in Hoboken, N.J. so that a Bar Mitzvah can take place this Shabbat.

Funds are still needed for recovery and rebuilding efforts. You can directly contribute to this effort through San Diego's Hurricane Sandy Relief Fund here. In addition, donors may text RELIEF to 51818 on a mobile device to pledge a donation or send checks to our mailbox at Jewish Federation of San Diego County, 4950 Murphy Canyon Road, San Diego, 92123. Please indicate "Hurricane Relief Fund" on all checks or in the designation box online.

Also, be sure to attend San Diego Jewish Acedemy's Mother of All Garage Sales on Sunday, November 11, morning to shop, volunteer, and make a difference! Read more here!

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.

1995 Federation Community Mission and Rabin’s Assassination

By Claire Ellman, Board Chair of the Jewish Federation of San Diego County

I never imagined 17 years ago that today I would be writing to you as Chair of your Jewish Federation and reminiscing about the Federation community mission when 200 of us went to Israel in November 1995.

I have been on many missions but this one was different. It left a mark on so many of us and we bonded in a way that was so unusual.

The Federation community mission to Israel that year was chaired by Rod and Gloria Stone who have both served as Chairs of Federation and in many other leadership capacities for our community.

I was a co-bus captain on the Blue bus and the first few days we had a great time- I remember so well arriving in the late afternoon in Jerusalem and after a welcome ceremony at the Haas promenade we went to our hotel. A group of us decided to take some of the “ first timers” to the kotel. However much in awe I still am as I descend the steps leading to the Kotel one cannot forget the faces of some of those who see it for the first time. To this day I can see the look on Myrna Cohen’s face as I watched her intently catch her first glance.  We have an eternal bond of that moment.

We shared so many wonderful experiences together which included of course a meaningful Shabbat. Being together with so many  from our community ( first timers and veterans) , CEOs and staff of our partner organizations and Rabbis and cantors made this so special.

But then it was November 5th and we were in Jerusalem out for dinner in small groups on Yoel Solomon and we heard the news.  I was sitting next to Gary Jacobs and we had nearly finished our dinner.  ( I still see myself sitting at that same table and chair  every time I pass the same restaurant even today!).  Rabin had been shot!. I don’t remember if we had  heard if he had died or not but Gary and I walked those in our party back to the hotel and the shock of the events embraced us.

We all sat in the lobby watching the TV and eventually went to our rooms. Alone in my room, I couldn't sleep at all and remember going down the hall at 2.00am to a friend’s room and joining them as they too were glued to the television ( which none of us understood) mesmerized with the images we saw over and over again until early dawn. The leadership huddled on the impact this would have on our mission and wisely decided that we should stay in Jerusalem and cancel our plans for going north. The next two days were a blur or shock for us all- veterans to Israel’s from the group were buddied up with first timers so they didn't’t feel so isolated and we spent the time walking the streets of Jerusalem feeling deeply for our Israeli brothers and sisters whose pain was so evident. How could this happen?? We stood in long lines on the day of the funeral to pay our respects to Prime Minister Rabin.

The rest of the mission took on a somber mood but one of tremendous cohesiveness and camaraderie. We bonded in a special way and to this day our experiences on that trip have kept us united. I came home with 10 copies of newspapers from those day to share with my family – I still have them- a remembrance of a very sad time we shared together with our community.

Many Federation and Community leadership and excellent professionals over the past 17 years were incubated on this mission.  Even though I was already involved in this community, this mission was a force that allowed me to progress and grow to this day.

Some of those, to name a few, who joined me on this journey of community involvement include  Federation Board Chairs, Women’s Philanthropy Chairs, Federation Men’s Event Chairs, JCC  and Hillel presidents, JFS and Seacrest Board committee and staff, JCF board members and staff , Synagogue leadership, and many others involved  community wide .  The impact that this mission made on our lives will always hold a special place in our heart. Thanks for the memories!! 

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Embracing Change: San Diego’s Jewish Innovation Experience

Lisa Haney
Federation's own Lisa Haney, Director, Community Planning & Innovation Center, wrote a great blog article for eJewishPhilanthropy about innovation in the San Diego Jewish community and Federation’s sponsorship role. This blog post coincides with the release of Slingshot 12/13 and the recognizes Tarbuton, one of our Innovation Fund grantees, and recent winner of the Eighth Annual 50 Most Innovation Jewish Non-Profits in America.

Read the article here:

Mazel Tov to Lisa, and to Jennie Star of Tarbuton!

If you’d like more information about Federation’s Innovation Fund and the grantees please contact Lisa directly at or 858-737-7140.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Your Dollars Do Make a Difference!

Written by: Debbie Kornberg, Director, Israel & Overseas Center 
Debbie Kornberg and Sha'ar HaNegev 
Mayor Alon Schuster

Recently, I was fortunate enough to be in Israel for 10 days. More specifically, I had the opportunity to spend some significant time in our sister community of Sha’ar HaNegev located along the border of Gaza. My purpose was to see firsthand how our Federation dollars support and impact our partnering agencies in Israel including the Regional Council of Sha’ar HaNegev, IBIM, the Jewish Agency, the JDC and JITLI. I was able to have face to face conversations with people I usually only communicate with via email or at best Skype on the computer. It was powerful to see the amazing achievements our partnering agencies are able to make through our community’s unified commitment to supporting Israel. Our impact has great breadth and depth, from reaching new Ethiopians Jews arriving at IBIM in Sha’ar HaNegev through the work of the Jewish Agency to the work of the JDC who help Haredi Jews find career paths so they may contribute to Israeli society. 

One of the realizations I had on my trip is that sometimes we cannot always understand the power of how our support affects people. During my time in Sha’ar HaNegev, I visited a kindergarten music therapy program. All kindergarten classes have this music class which serves, on the surface, as a music appreciation class, but on a deeper level serves as a place for children to be able to express their inner feelings. It is a place where they are able to deal with the emotional side of living in a difficult and volatile security situation being so close to the Gaza border. These children learn at an early age that where they live they have has only 15 seconds to find a safety room to take cover when a siren goes off, “red alert”. To any parent, one can only worry about the traumatic stress children must feel very time the red alert siren is sounded or even the anxiety of when the siren might go off. My last day in Israel, the one thing everyone worries about in Sha’ar HaNegev happened – “Tzeva Adom” “Red Alert”.

Adi in Music Class
On this particular day, it happened not just once but over 70 times as kassam rockets showered in and around the Sha’ar HaNegev Region. School was cancelled for all students and families were forced to stay by their “safe room” in their home where the walls are reinforced so they are protected from the kassam rockets. While the Iron Dome was able to stop 9 kassams from having direct hits in the region, there were two homes in Sha’ar HaNegev that were severely damaged. One was on Kibbutz Nachal Oz and the other was on Kibbutz Kfar Aza which was the home of one of the 5 year olds, named Adi, whom I had visited during her music class just days prior. It was after seeing pictures of her home that it became immensely clear how vital these programs are in the region. For 5 year old Adi, while she will have to deal with the trauma, she will also have a place to express her feelings.

Our Federation dollars do make a difference through the many projects and programs we support. Whether it is here in the States helping families through Super Storm Sandy or simply music programs like the one I was blessed to witness first hand in Sha’ar HaNegev, together our contributions do make not only a difference in the lives of others, but can make the difference.

Adi's Home in Sha'ar HaNegev, after a kassam attack

Adi's living room in Sha'ar HaNegev, after kassam attack

To learn more about Federation's life saving work in Sha'ar HaNegev - click here.


Federation Remembers Jan "June" Tuttleman

Jan “June” Tuttleman served as the immediate past chair of Jewish Federation of San Diego County, 2010- 2011.

She also served as Federation’s Women’s Philanthropy (formerly Women’s Division) President from 1999-2001, and served as a board member of the United Jewish Communities National Women’s Philanthropy and held the portfolio of National Endowment Chair.

She served on the boards of Jewish Community Foundation of San Diego, American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, and the Sanford-Burnham Institute for Medical Research.

After earning a PHD in microbiology, she was in the first cohort of students to receive the UCSD Rady School of Management MBA degree. Her personal financial investments were committed to the life science industry where her impact will benefit the lives of many now and in years to come.

Jan founded the Jewish Women’s Foundation of the Jewish Community Foundation, and Women Give San Diego to engage and empower women in philanthropy, and to improve lives by giving women the ability to help their families and strengthen their communities.

An inspirational philanthropist, Jan worked tirelessly behind the scenes and used her education and business savvy to benefit organizations. Her incredible ability to bring people together to help those in need was inspirational and awe-inspiring. When Jan wasn’t spending time with her husband and two daughters, she was a community visionary meeting with influential leaders and instilling in them a sense of awareness and obligation to San Diego and the Jewish community. Jan’s dedication to community was selfless, ubiquitous and inspirational.

Jan was a person of tremendous talent and epitomized leadership. Her altruistic dedication to helping those who cannot help themselves truly made her a hero, and an exemplary human being. It was never enough for her to empathize with a bad situation; she went out into the community and made a difference. Jan was a loving soul with a generous heart who made our world, and our community, a better place. 

It all began in 1994 when Jan attended a Women’s Division educational event, where she first heard of the life changing work of the Federation. She was impressed and inspired by what she learned. Shortly thereafter she became fully involved, joined the Women’s Board, where her leadership skills were evident right away. She rose through the ranks to become Chair of the Women’s Campaign and had the opportunity to travel on a Mission to Israel, falling in love with the country and became passionate about women’s rights in Israel, spending many hours speaking on their behalf. She formed long-lasting friendships with some of the women she met in Israel, some of whom came to visit Jan during her illness. 

In 1999, Jan became Women’s Philanthropy President where she instituted leadership programs for the Board members and visionary outreach programs, such as the Women’s Community Seder, a program that attracted hundreds of unaffiliated Jewish women who united for a deeply spiritual experience every year. Jan was a 2005 graduate of the Wexner Heritage Foundation leadership development program.

In 2008, Jan was the recipient of the Anne Ratner Award for extraordinary leadership in Jewish Federation Women’s Philanthropy and the San Diego Jewish community. Her sterling career in Jewish leadership empowered her to becoming Federation’s chair in 2011. 

Jan’s effervescent philosophy on life was “Set your sights high and reach for your dreams. Be passionate, courageous and adventuresome.” Since being diagnosed with stage-four brain cancer in September 2011, Jan was nothing short of and inspirational fighter, and steadfast in spirit. Dubbing herself “The Brain Warrior,” Jan was always interested in others, in discovering ways to help others who are battling cancer. Even as she suffered, her irrepressible spirit provided those around her with a sense of strength, hope and most importantly, faith. She remains a role model to her daughters, family, friends, colleagues and the community. Jan has been a truly inspirational figure in this community. 

On behalf of the Chair of the Federation Board, Claire Ellman, the interim CEO, Michael Sonduck, the entire board and staff and the community, we extend our deepest sympathies to Craig, Sophie and Emma and the entire family.

Donations in memory of Jan may be made to:

Jewish Family Services
Jewish Federation of San Diego County
Jewish Women's Foundation
Sanford Burnham Institute
UCSD Rady School
Women Give San Diego

Hashem yenachem etchem b'toch sha-ar avilei tzion v’yerushalayim 
May Hashem comfort you among the other mourners of Zion and Jerusalem.