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Sara Schwartz and Crystal Chouinard Honored with Henrietta Rubenstein Staff Development Award (courtesy photo)

Encinitas and Santee Residents Named Jewish Family Service ‘Employees of the Year’

San Diego County CAJewish Family Service of San Diego (JFS) recognized Sara Schwartz and Crystal Chouinard with its Henrietta Rubenstein Staff Development Award for 2017. The annual award highlights exceptional team members who demonstrate excellence, initiative, professionalism and leadership in their role and is named after the late Henrietta Rubenstein, JFS’s executive director from 1951 until 1968.

“These recipients were nominated because of their commitment to learning and ability to be a teacher,” said JFS CEO Michael Hopkins. “They are both action-oriented and have earned the respect of the team and their peers. Sara and Crystal are an inspiration to our staff.”

Sara Schwartz, Database and Training Manager
Schwartz joined JFS in 2013 as a lead intake specialist. In 2014, she served on the Community Impacts team where she created a new department, built an agency-wide database and developed relationships with program staff to empower them encouraging them to embrace data and outcomes as integral parts of the agency’s structure. As one nominator wrote, “Her patience and can-do attitude have impacted everyone, from program staff to accounting to clients and beyond. If you are looking for someone who is working hard and working smart – look at Sara Schwartz.”

Crystal Chouinard, Advancement Services Specialist
Chouinard started at JFS in 2010 as a front desk receptionist, but her desire to work in software and systems led her to the development team where she is now a database specialist. As one nominator stated, “Relationships and communication drive our fundraising efforts, but it is Crystal’s knowledge of Raiser’s Edge that keeps the effort moving forward. She’s dedicated, intelligent, enthusiastic, kind, a learner, always willing to help and passionate about our work. Without Crystal, the development team would grind to a halt. She is a source of calm when the cyclical workload of development picks up. Her expertise allows the rest of us to do our jobs effortlessly.”

For more information about JFS, visit

About Jewish Family Service of San Diego – Moving Forward Together
Founded in 1918, Jewish Family Service (JFS) is one of San Diego’s most impactful nonprofit agencies – providing resources and support to more than 25,000 San Diegans every year. Through integrated services, the organization empowers people of all ages, faiths, and backgrounds to overcome challenges, set goals, and build more stable, secure, and connected lives. JFS is committed to helping individuals and families in crisis move forward, while developing innovative strategies to break cycles of poverty and strengthen our San Diego community. To get help, volunteer, or learn how you can join us in Moving Forward Together, visit or call (858) 637-3000.