Captivating Stories & Magical Moments


An Evening at Jewish Family Service’s Heart & Soul Gala

Jewish Family Service of San Diego experienced a truly magical moment at its 2019 Heart & Soul Gala on April 6 when a record-setting $1.5 million were raised in support of the 100-year-old nonprofit.

More than more than 600 guests, community leaders and partners gathered at the Hyatt Regency La Jolla at Aventine to celebrate JFS’s ongoing efforts to provide resources and support to more than 32,000 San Diegans of all ages, faiths and backgrounds.

All proceeds from the event benefit JFS’s ongoing efforts to help people in crisis move forward, while developing innovative strategies to break cycles of poverty and strengthen the San Diego community.

“The support received at this year’s Heart & Soul Gala will help fund life-changing services for children, families and older adults across our community,” said JFS CEO Michael Hopkins. “We are deeply touched by the outpouring of generosity from the community.”

The evening also shared the “captivating stories” of JFS’s 2019 Mitzvah Honorees:

Ilene Mittman, a volunteer at JFS’s Balboa Avenue Older Adult Center who, for the last 10 years, has been the heart of the center and a true champion of JFS. She has also encouraged countless friends, family members and acquaintances to get involved.

Aviva Saad, program coordinator at the Balboa Avenue Older Adult Center whose remarkable energy and drive has helped lead the center’s efforts to implement a schedule specifically designed to meet the unique needs of older adults struggling with dementia, and create a culture of care for participants, family members and caregivers alike.

ACLU of San Diego and Imperial Counties, a prominent force for the protection and expansion of fundamental rights in California’s second largest county and southern borderlands. In December 2017, ACLU joined with JFS and other core partners to launch the San Diego Rapid Response Network (SDRRN), a coalition of human rights, service and faith-based organizations, attorneys and others determined to help immigrant individuals and families – including refugees and asylum-seekers.

In late October 2018, when federal immigration authorities began releasing dozens of asylum-seeking families onto San Diego streets without food, clothing, transportation or shelter, SDRRN mobilized to provide emergency shelter and humanitarian aid to more than 12,000 asylum-seeking migrants to date released by the federal government into this region. Together, ACLU, JFS and the rest of the SDRRN has worked to ensure that “no one stands alone in our community.”

Organized by Gala Chairs Jamie Carr, Erin Combs Pearl and Scott Schindler, the evening included dinner, dancing and a silent auction to encourage awareness and philanthropy throughout the year. Evelyn and Ernest Rady served as Honorary Chairs for the event and provided a generous matching donation to all funds raised during the evening’s Fund-a-Mitzvah.

More than 90 underwriters generously supported the event. To view the full list, visit To learn more or get involved, visit


Mazel & Mishagoss

Previous article

Atlanta Musician ‘Rabbi Jake’ Takes the Country by Storm

Next article

You may also like


Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

More in ISRAEL

April 2024

Passover is a Slave Revolt

By Francisco Gil-White Editor’s Note: Francisco Gil-White is an historian, political anthropologist and academic expert on the Middle East. A political anthropologist and ...

Operation Swords of Iron

In September 2023, Dana Ben Kaplan was contacted by the Emergency Volunteers Project (EVP) for a firefighter training deployment to Israel in October. ...
February 2024

Curious at CCAE Theatricals

Running from February 16 to March 3, 2024, The Curious Incident of The Dog In The Night-Time, will be performed by CCAE Theatricals. Based on the ...