Friday, August 30, 2013

Kicking off the 2014 Men's Event Featuring Michael Oren

On Wednesday evening, the 2014 Men’s Event, which is underwritten by the Mizel Family Foundation, got off to a great start with a Table Captain Kickoff Party at Mission Brewery in downtown San Diego. Over 60 men attended the kickoff enjoying some of the best craft beer in San Diego and delicious kosher catering by Felicia G. Federation Board Chair Theresa Dupuis spoke to the Table Captains about Federation’s past successes and vision moving forward. Event Co-Chairs Ira Feinswog, Jack Maizel, Ron Zollman, and Daniel Ellman addressed those in attendance - both educating attendees about the important role of a table captain and making the case for everyone to support the work of Federation. The biggest news of the night came when event underwriter Steve Mizel announced that New York Times Best Selling Author and Israeli Ambassador to the United States, Michael Oren, will be the keynote speaker at this year’s Men’s Event.

Michael Oren is an American born Israeli author, historian, and Ambassador to the United States. He is the author of numerous books including two New York Times best-sellers: Power, Faith, and Fantasy and the masterful Six Days of War. Ambassador Oren has been a visiting professor at Harvard, Yale, and Georgetown and has a Ph.D. in Near Eastern Studies from Princeton University. He has been named of the of the five most influential American Jews by Forward and the Jerusalem Post named him of the world’s ten most influential Jews. We are both honored and thrilled to welcome such a distinguished guest to San Diego!

We're excited about the upcoming event on November 20th, at the Del Mar Fairgrounds.  Stay turned for more information - and be sure to check out great pictures of the kickoff here!

Start Something Big this Year - Become a BIGPal!

Federation partner, Jewish Family Services, is looking for BIGPals!  You can make a BIG difference in a child's life - become a BIGPal today!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

450 Ethiopians Leave Gondar for Final Aliyah Flights

Thanks to critical funding from Federation, some 450 new immigrants from Ethiopia will board two Jewish Agency-chartered flights bound for Israel on Wednesday, August 27. Since 2010, thousands of Ethiopians have immigrated to Israel as part of Operation Dove’s Wings. Tomorrow’s flights will bring this historic effort to a dramatic close. Upon the flights’ arrival at Ben Gurion Airport, there will be a welcome ceremony webcast live at 5:00 a.m. EDT on The Jewish Agency’s website ( A recording of the webcast will remain on The Jewish Agency’s website for later viewing and sharing.

The new immigrants’ relatives will be on hand to greet them as will The Jewish Agency partners in Completing the Journey of Operation Dove's Wings, Israel’s Ministry of Immigrant Absorption, The Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA), the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews (IFCJ), and Keren Hayesod – United Israel Appeal (KH-UIA), among others. Speakers at the airport welcoming ceremony on August 28th will include: Jewish Agency Chairman Natan Sharansky, Sofa Landver, Minister of Immigrant Absorption, Housing Minister Uri Ariel, IFCJ President Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, KH-UIA Chairman Eliezer (Mody) Zandberg, as well as KH-UIA member Airtom Clerman and JFNA member Danny Labin, among others.

Operation Dove's Wings began in November 2010 with the Government of Israel (GOI)’s decision to bring 8,000 Falash Mura in Gondar to Israel. The GOI tapped The Jewish Agency to prepare those eligible for entry to Israel and to facilitate their Aliyah in concert with immigration eligibility standards regulated by Israel’s Ministry of the Interior and in preparation for their resettlement in Israel by the Ministry of Absorption. Since Dove’s Wings’ inception, The Jewish Agency brought 7,000 Ethiopian Jews to Israel, the majority of whom are members of the Falash Mura community, and several hundred of whom were eligible for Aliyah through Israel’s Law of Return.

To prepare these olim (immigrants) for a successful life in Israel, The Jewish Agency for Israel has run a community center in Gondar, Ethiopia for the past three years and with the support of IFCJ and JFNA. This center has provided a wide range of educational and social services. Upon their repatriation in Israel, The Jewish Agency housed these new immigrants in 17 absorption centers throughout the country that are run by The Agency and Israel’s Absorption Ministry.

Chairman Sharansky shared that “This is a moving historical moment, and upon the completion of operation Dove's Wings, we have come full circle with what started three thousand years ago."

Since 1948, with the founding of Israel, 90,000 Ethiopian Jews have immigrated to Israel. Sharansky thanked The Agency's global and Israeli partners for their sustained support to bring these olim to Israel and to facilitate their absorption there. He added that “The Jewish Agency will continue to assist any Ethiopians deemed eligible for Aliyah by Israel’s Interior Ministry, as we do for Jews worldwide.”

Minister of Absorption Sofa Landver said, "Three years after I advised the Prime Minister of Israel to bring Operation Dove’s Wings to an end, to close the compound in Gondar and to complete the journey of organized Aliyah from Ethiopia, I am proud to take part in this historic event. I wish to thank all our partners and promise that the Government of Israel will do everything in its power to resettle these new immigrants in the best way possible.”

Friday, August 23, 2013

Etgar Keret is Coming to San Diego!

RSVP today! Seating is limited!

Natan Sharansky Hands Keys of Jewish School to Mayor of Gondar

Jewish Agency Chairman Natan Sharansky
with local officials in Gondar
Another great example of your Federation dollars in action! At a ceremony yesterday in Gondar, Ethiopia, Jewish Agency for Israel Chairman Natan Sharansky handed to the city’s mayor the key to the Jewish school, which educated thousands of children before their immigration to Israel.

The Gondar school, funded and maintained by The Jewish Agency, taught mathematics, physics, computer skills and English to some 2,500 children in order to prepare them for life in Israel. The Jewish Agency donated all the school buildings and equipment to the municipality Gondar free of charge.

"Jews lived in Gondar for 2,500 years. However, their longing to return home never weakened,” Mr. Sharansky said at the ceremony. “Today we bring to an end a journey that spans thousands of years -- the conclusion of Operation Wings of a Dove.

“I express my gratitude to the municipality of Gondar, our longtime partners in this historic endeavor.  For us it is very symbolic that the Jewish community here is leaving behind a place of study.  It’s a promise we make all the countries from which Jews emigrate: that we will leave behind a school for their local community’s children.

The Jewish Agency’s longtime partner in resettling Ethiopia’s Jews in Israel, Israel Housing Minister Uri Ariel, also participated in the closing ceremony.

"This school was created to level the educational playing field between immigrants to Israel and native-born Israelis,” Mr. Ariel said. “We are committed to providing these new olim (immigrants) with a top-notch education once they arrive in Israel as well so that they will be able to thrive in Israeli society."

Operation Wings of a Dove was launched in November 2010 following the Government of Israel’s decision to absorb thousands of Falash Mura (people with Jewish lineage whose ancestors converted to Christianity under duress).  The Jewish Agency was asked to prepare these future immigrants for life in Israel and to assist anyone who Israel’s Interior Ministry determined to be eligible for resettlement in the Jewish State.

To this day, The Jewish Agency has brought some 7,000 immigrants from Ethiopia, the vast majority Falash Mura. The Jewish Agency’s community center in Gondar -- with the assistance of the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews and Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA) -- operated educational activities and provided welfare services to eligible immigrants. Upon their arrival in Israel, these new immigrants were housed in 17 absorption centers around the country, run by Israel’s Ministry of Absorption and The Jewish Agency.

Later this month, on August 28, the final en masse Aliyah flight of 400 Falash Mura will arrive in Israel and with it a close to the historic mission.  A welcome ceremony will take place at Israel’s Ben Gurion Airport for the new immigrants, their family members who immigrated years earlier and also representatives of various organizations that helped The Jewish Agency bring Ethiopian immigrants to Israel and assisted with their absorption. These organizations include the Ministry of Immigrant Absorption, Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA), Friendship Fund and Keren Hayesod, among others.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Older Adults: Going to High Holy Days Services? On the Go Will Take You There! Reserve Your Ride by August 28!

Federation funded On the Go is offering free rides to High Holiday Services! 

Jewish Family Service - one source for a lifetime of help
On the Go Email Blast
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Make your reservation now for a free ride
to High Holy Days Services!
Available to Adults 60+
This service is a door-to-door shuttle from the rider’s home to synagogue. Reservations must be made by Wednesday, August 28!
On the Go Shuttle
Participating Synagogues Include:
Congregation Beth AmCongregation Beth El
Congregation Beth Israel

Congregation Dor Hadash

Ner Tamid Synagogue
Ohr Shalom Synagogue
Temple Adat ShalomTemple Emanu-El
Temple Solel
Tifereth Israel Synagogue
Call Now to Enroll & Make a Reservation by August 28!
(858) 637-7320
Jewish Daily Forward
High Holy Days Service Areas
(3-Day Advance Reservation Required)

Eastern San Diego: 91941, 91942, 92115, 92119, 92120, 92124

Northern San Diego: 92037, 92111, 92117, 92121, 92122, 92130
North County Inland: 92064, 92126, 92127, 92128, 92129, 92131
Expanded Service Areas for High Holy Days Only
(7-Day Advance Reservation Required)

North County Coastal: 92024, 92007, 92075, 92067, 92014
Hillcrest, Normal Heights, Kensington:  92103, 92116

Pacific Beach, Fashion Valley, Serra Mesa, and Mission Valley: 92109, 92110, 92123, 92108
Should you give up your car keys? Click here to read more and to take a self-assessment for senior driving safety.
Want to help older adults stay connected to our community? Become a volunteer driver! Click here to learn more.
Please bring canned food for the Hand Up Youth Food PantryRemember to bring non-perishable food to donate to the Hand Up Youth Food Pantry during Yom Kippur services.

On the Go is a Division of Charitable Adult Rides & Services, Inc.
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Jewish Federation
Jewish Community FoundationEnrollment &
(858) 637-7320

Friday, August 16, 2013

Federation Hosts Hit Summer Social

More than 300 people gathered under the stars at the Hotel Palomar for Federation's summer social: Party on the Roof! The spirited crowd enjoyed appetizers and signature cocktails as they mixed and mingled, and learned about the work of Federation.

The evening featured Federation’s three major focus areas: Jewish Caring, Israel & Overseas, and Jewish Connections. Staff members chatted with guests about the work of spotlight programs within the areas, highlighting the breadth of Federation’s commitment to building a vibrant Jewish community in San Diego, in Israel and around the world.

“We are delighted that the Party on the Roof attracted a true cross-section of our community,” remarked Federation President & CEO, Michael Sonduck. “In addition to representing every age cohort, it was a wonderful opportunity for newcomers to Federation to join with veterans in a festive, casual environment. The evening perfectly reflected the fundamental commitment to growth and continuity that is so central to our work. We are very grateful to committee members Silvana Christy, Ira Feinswog, Karen Kogut, Danielle Miller, Guy Parselany and Laura Tauber for making this a great evening!”

The Party on the Roof kicked off the new program year, to be followed by events such as Men’s Event, OPTIONS and the San Diego Celebrates Israel Festival. Sonduck encouraged the guests to watch for announcements of the ongoing programming, and to stay involved.

The event was underwritten by Danielle and Brian Miller of Geppetto’s Toys, Andrea Feinswog of Andrea May Interiors, Ira Feinswog of Pet Emergency & Specialty Center, Jessi Shidransky of People Photography, and Carrie Miranda of Witless Photography.

Mazel Tov to the winners of our opportunity drawing:

Dinner at Fleming's Prime Steak House: Susan Hackman
Dinner at the Hotel Palomar: Hanna Harrar

For more great pictures of the evening - click here
Be sure to tag your friends!

Rabbi Graubart Reflects on Sha'ar HaNegev

Congregation Beth El's Rabbi Philip Graubart reflects on San Diego's sister city, Sha'ar HaNegev, in this week's parashah (Ki Tetze Deuteronomy 21:10-25:19). Federation has a longstanding relationship with this remarkable community, located on the Gaza border.

From Rabbi Graubart:
The day before our Israel group visited Sha'ar Hanegev, our sister city in the Northern Negev, ½ kilometer from Gaza City, six missiles fell in the vicinity. When I arrived, I took a quick walk around a youth village with Mayor Alon Schuster and I asked him where the missiles exploded. He smiled and said "not here." I chuckled, but after thinking about it I realized he was communicating something deeper to me, or at least I heard something more profound than on offhand joke.

I've always been fond of His Honor, The Mayor (He calls me "His Honor, the Rabbi," so I can reciprocate) mostly because of his quick, gentle sense of humor - a grace under pressure, and he's been under a lot of pressure with thousands of missiles falling on his little township over the past ten years, destroying schools and playgrounds and businesses. But this trip I saw him suddenly as a kind of Zen Master, or maybe a Rebbe with wisdom to offer: namely that he can't control what's going on in the rest of the country. Missiles fall in Ashkelon or Nahariya; traffic ties up Tel Aviv; the Chief Rabbi goes to jail in a corruption scandal; smugglers sneak drugs into the country through the Sinai - but none of that is his problem, because it's "not here." He can only fix what's in front of him - here, and now, not there and in the future.

This is not only practical, it's a spiritual sensibility and something to cultivate as we enter the holiday season (I'm writing this on Rosh Hodesh Elul, the official beginning of this Season of Awe). In the crudest sense, our task these days is to fix things: our relationships, the hearts we've broken, the lives we've wrecked, our sullied and damaged souls. But we can't fix everything, not even everything that we've personally and directly broken, so we have to prioritize. And the best way to prioritize is with the here and now: my family, in my house. Then, maybe, my friends in my community. Or my extended family, with whom I'm in touch. But never expanding the circle until we've finished with those closest, the proximate, the essential. And making sure we never venture into what we can't fix, what my friend the Mayor would call the "not here," the unsolvable.

Focusing on the here and now disciplines us, helps us cultivate our powers of attention. In a well-known Midrash, God appeared to hundreds of shepherds at the Burning Bush, but Moses was the first to realize the great miracle that the bush was both burning, and not consumed. It's that power to notice that qualified Moses for the job of spiritual leader, how he took in everything in his immediate area, and blocked out everything else. Another Midrash teaches that the Rosh Hashanah shofar blows a distinct message to all of us, all the time, but we're too preoccupied to notice, too lost in the "not here," and the future we can't control.

The fact is we are all part of what must be the most distracted generation of all time. None of us can enjoy a single conversation nowadays without wondering what's coming through our smart phones, or who's posted what on the latest, hippest social networking site (and we care very much about what that site might be). We can't read an online article today without encountering a link to take us elsewhere every line. Mobile technologies have made us obsessed with the "not here." Even as I write this on my laptop, with all the attention I can muster, my mind wanders to the button a quick pinkie reach away where I can check my email, of Facebook, or my texts. I'm writing to you, but I'm thinking of someone else. That's no way to do Teshuvah, no way to repair my world.

So this year, my spiritual hero is the mayor of our sister city, who taught me the discipline of the here and now, and reminded me of the ethic of the proximate: fix what's closest to you, before moving on. You owe it to yourself and your family. And one of my many resolutions this Rosh Hashanah is simply to speak with whom I'm speaking to, one at a time. Here, in front of me, facing me, now.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

BREAKING NEWS: Jewish Agency Brings 17 Yemenite Jews to Safety in Israel in Covert Operation

In response to heightened security concerns in Yemen, The Jewish Agency, which is funded by your gift to Federation, brought 17 Yemenite Jews to Israel.

The group consisted of two set of parents, who were brought directly to Israel from Yemen, and 10 of their children, who were brought to Argentina 2 years ago through the efforts of the Satmar community. These new immigrants landed in Ben Gurion Airport in Israel on Wednesday night and were brought to their new homes at a Jewish Agency absorption center in the South where they will begin the next chapter of their lives as free and protected Jews living of the State of Israel.

According to data collected by The Jewish Agency, a record number of 151 Yemeni Jews have come to Israel since 2009, reflecting the uptick in the number of anti-Semitic incidents there.

Jewish Agency Chairman Natan Sharansky shared: "Tonight we are privileged to engage in a mission that combined the saving of lives, the reunification of a family and immigration to Israel. Behind the scenes of this operation lies the dedication and expertise of The Jewish Agency and our partner organizations who all contributed to the mission’s success." Sharansky added, "The Jewish Agency stands at the ready to bring any Yemeni Jew who expresses interest in making Aliyah to Israel, and to help the local community in any way possible."

The timing of the covert mission coincided with increasing security tensions in Yemen. Several international bodies, including Israel’s Ministry of the Interior, Foreign Office, Absorption Ministry and The Jewish Agency, worked hand in hand—and expediently—to deliver the Yemeni parents from danger and to reunite them with their children in Israel.

The roots of this mission began in August 2011 when the Satmar Hassidic community convinced a group of 30 Jews in Yemen to move to London where they would receive refugee status. After leaving Yemen, the group learned that they were denied entry to the United Kingdom and would be brought to Argentina instead. 10 of these kids (six belonging to Yahia Karni and four belonging to Haim Karni) were on today’s flight to Israel).

In recent years, Yemenite Jews have been the targets of threats by Muslim extremists, including those identified with the terrorist group al-Qaeda. The number of anti-Semitic threats and attacks against the Jewish community there has been on the rise since 2008 when Jewish schoolteacher Moshe Nahari was killed, spiked in 2010 with the murder of Jewish community leader Aaron Zindani, and again in 2012 after the ouster of Yemen’s President Ali Abdullah Saleh.

As a consequence, the number of Yemenite Jews immigrating to Israel in the past few years has reached record highs. 

Currently, fewer than 90 Jews live in Yemen, according to Jewish Agency estimates. Half reside in the capital Sana'a in a protected area, while the rest are in Omran province’s city of Rida.

Just another example of your Federation dollars in action! Together, WE do extraordinary things.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Federations Participate in Peace Process Briefing at the White House

The Jewish Federations were invited to participate in a small gathering of top Jewish communal leaders at the White House yesterday evening. At the meeting, the group was briefed for approximately 90 minutes by Secretary of State John Kerry, National Security Advisor Susan Rice and Special Envoy Martin Indyk on the status of resumed Palestinian-Israeli peace negotiations. 

The Jewish Federations of North America Board of Trustees Chair Michael Siegal, who attended the meeting, issued the following statement:

"Secretary Kerry reaffirmed his and the President’s commitment, optimism and realistic approach to guiding the peace process forward. The meeting had a seriousness of purpose, and a hopeful tone that something of value can be accomplished. We recognize that the course ahead will be challenging, but there is an opportunity today that cannot be missed. Jewish Federations applaud Secretary Kerry, Ambassador Rice, and Ambassador Indyk for their hard work and wish them success."

Thursday, August 8, 2013

JFNA CEO Jerry Silverman Reports from the Kotel

Dear Friends,

Today (Wednesday) marked another eventful day in Jerusalem as the Women of the Wall organization (WoW) held their monthly prayer meeting at the Western Wall (Kotel) this morning, celebrating the new month of Elul. No arrests were made, but the WoW were not able to pray in the women's section of the Kotel, nor to pray with a Torah scroll as they had intended. Tikva Schein from our Israel office was present and reports on the developments.

Well before the announced start of the WoW service at 7am, the women's section of the Kotel was packed full largely by ultra-orthodox young women, leaving no room for any additional communal service.

The three hundred WoW supporters were forced to stay outside in the plaza area and were cordoned off by the police.

Police had urged both protesting sides not to create problems as police forces are required in greater number than normal today on the Temple Mount. Tens of thousands of Muslims are expected today for the last day of Ramadan. Police had assured the WoW that they would escort the group safely to the women's section of the Kotel, where they could pray – but this promise was not fulfilled. See the map attached to this email for the location of the service.

The Women of the Wall tried to bring a Torah Scroll in to the women's section but were not allowed. This attempt was in contravention of the high court ruling, stating that no Torah scroll is permitted in the area other than those provided by the Western Wall authorities, who prohibit any scrolls being used outside the men's section. Several WoW members stood outside the Kotel complex, holding a Torah scroll in protest.

Around fifty ultra-orthodox men and boys protested the WoW service, loudly blowing whistles throughout the entire service, causing great disruption.

In addition, Rabbi Shmuel Rabinowitz, Rabbi of the Kotel plaza, was broadcast leading an orthodox Rosh Chodesh prayer service over loudspeakers. This is the second time that loudspeakers have been used in this religious context; normally they are only employed for official ceremonies held at the Kotel.

A few tried to bridge gaps and talk to one another, but generally tensions ran high.

The protest drew the attention of all present and was fuelled by the heavy media presence.
In addition to the WoW prayer service and counter protest, a quiet group of over fifty national religious/ Modern Orthodox people protested the refusal of Police to admit Jews on to the Temple Mount, the most holy site in Judaism, for the full duration of Ramadan. Tourists and non-Jews have been allowed up as normal.

At the end of the WoW service, over ten women joined together in proudly blowing the shofar, as traditionally occurs during the month of Elul.

President and CEO
Jewish Federations of North America

Jane Fantel Appointed Manager of Israel Operations

Jane Fantel
The Jewish Federation of San Diego County is thrilled to announce the appointment of Jane Fantel as Manager of Israel Operations. This new position is designed to connect Federation’s Vision & Mission work with current and potential new partnering agencies in Israel. Living part-time in Israel, Jane will be a liaison establishing on-the-ground communication and assessment with our current partners including the Jewish Agency for Israel (JAFI), the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC), World Ort and our sister community, Sha’ar HaNegev, in addition to exploring new relationships that can further Federation’s reach and impact on Israeli communities in need. Jane brings with her many years of service to the Jewish community in a broad range of roles as well as her deep commitment to Israel which will undoubtedly be felt both here in San Diego and Israel. Working closely with Debbie Kornberg, Director of the Israel and Overseas Center, Jane’s frequent trips to Israel will allow for site visits and briefings on a more consistent basis, ensuring donor dollars are being used effectively and strategically.

Jane’s esteemed and enduring philanthropic career in the Jewish community began in 1974. For almost 40 years, Jane has been a consultant to a host of non-profit organizations, serving primarily the Jewish community. She has led successful capital-raising campaigns, and has served on the boards of many Jewish communal organizations including the Lawrence Family Jewish Community Center, Jacobs Family Campus; JPride; Temple Solel; the San Diego Jewish Academy; the Agency for Jewish Education; Yemin Orde Youth Village; and is a member of the Galinson Family Foundation of the Jewish Community Foundation. In 2005, she received her Honorary Doctorate in Jewish Non-Profit Management from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion for her 25 years of service to the Jewish community. Jane, her wife Laura, and their two children reside in San Diego, California and have a home in Jerusalem as well.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

This New Year, Start Something BIG!

More than 20 Big and Little Pals in the Jewish BIGPals program recently spent an afternoon at CeramiCafe rediscovering their artistic talent. Little Pals were excited to show off their creations to their parents and the Big Pals enjoyed teaching the young ones that you don’t have to be Picasso to have fun creating art together.

Jewish Big Pals are safe, trusting role models, providing friendship and enriching experiences for Jewish boys and girls from Jewish single-parent and non-traditional families. Big Pals mentor children ages 6-16 and help them develop self-esteem, Jewish identity, and lasting relationships that can change their perspective on the world—and make a big impact in their lives. This New Year, join us and embark on an incredible journey with a Little Pal!

Jewish BIGPals
A Mentor. A Role Model. A Friend.  

Learn more at our free information session on Tuesday, October 8. Read more here and register online.  questions? Contact Diane Marks Schachat at (858) 637-3371 or

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Exclusive Padres Discount Ticket Offer for Jewish Community

The Padres are extending an exclusive discount ticket offer for two upcoming August home games. Whether you had a chance to attend Jewish Community Day at Petco Park earlier this summer or you missed out, this is a great opportunity to enjoy Padres baseball at a discounted price and receive a cool giveaway item. Please feel free to share this offer with any other families or friends that you think would want to take advantage of this offer.

Each ticket purchased through this offer will receive a Padres visor with Padres spelled in Hebrew letters.

This online discount offer is available in select sections for the following two August games:

Thursday, August 15 vs. New York Mets, 7:10pm
Sunday, August 25 vs. Chicago Cubs, 1:10pm
KidsFest at the Park

To purchase tickets, click on the link below and enter the Special Offer Code: JCD

For questions or groups of 20 or more, please contact Logan Washburn at (619) 795-5137 or

Friday, August 2, 2013

Federation Assembles Task Force to Help Our Community's Elderly

Many of us have an elderly Jewish family member, friend or neighbor who could benefit from greater care. The number of San Diegans ages 60 and older is projected to more than double in the next 17 years, by then 25% of Jewish Americans will be 65 and older, and 90% of elders prefer to age in their own homes and neighborhoods.

Recognizing these facts, that challenges faced by thousands of San Diego’s estimated 25,000 elderly Jews are increasing as public funding for needed services declines, while the prevalence of chronic diseases such as diabetes and Alzheimer’s increases, the Jewish Senior Services Council (JSSC) identified “aging in place” as the top priority to deepen our community’s caring for seniors. With the leadership of Steven D. Solomon, Ph.D., who served as JSSC Chair, and Lisa Haney, Director, Community Planning & Innovation Center, an Aging Task Force worked for nearly 20 months, examining local and national research, listening to community members and speaking with informed professionals to develop a local blueprint for action.

An innovative SeniorLink Gateways to Care emerged as the #1 recommendation for helping elders live in their own homes safely, independently and comfortably, regardless of income, age or ability level, through a collaboration of agencies providing outstanding services to Jewish seniors. Hubs located in diverse geographic regions of San Diego County would facilitate far easier access to the full range of greatest identified needs including medical and dental care, religious practices, home repairs and maintenance, wills and financial assistance, hospice and burial care, friendly visitors, civic engagement, volunteer opportunities and others services to alleviate isolation.

For more information about the plan of action and the respective community representatives who participated in an Aging Symposium and the development of the “Aging in Place, Deepening OurCommunity’s Caring for Elders” blueprint for progress, please see click here. As Abraham Joshua Heschel said, “A test of a people is how it behaves toward the old. It is easy to love children…but the affection and care for the old, the incurable, the helpless are the true gold mines of a culture.”