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Gala Chairs Scott Schindler, Marie Raftery and Dr. Robert Rubenstein (Photo: Melissa Jacobs)

Jewish Family Service Names 2020 Gala Honorees

San Diego Nonprofit Honors Volunteers, Staff and Partners at Annual Fundraiser

San Diego CAJewish Family Service of San Diego (JFS) will host its annual Heart & Soul Gala at the Hyatt Regency La Jolla at Aventine on Saturday, April 25 at 6 p.m. At its signature benefit gala, JFS will highlight its efforts to provide resources and support to more than 39,500 San Diegans of all ages, faiths and backgrounds, and share stories of success from throughout the year. The event will also celebrate the contributions of its 2020 Mitzvah Honorees: Marcia Hazan, Danielle and Brian Miller, as well as HIAS, an international nonprofit that resettles refugees.

Danielle & Brian Miller

As owners of award-winning toy store Geppetto’s, Danielle and Brian Miller donate hundreds of gifts to JFS’s Embrace-A-Family holiday campaign and the Jewish Big Pals/Supporting Jewish Single Parents Hanukkah party each year. For more than a decade, the Millers’ passion for helping children thrive has strengthened the community and provided vulnerable families with the tools, resources, and support they need to transform their lives.

Marcia Hazan

Marcia Hazan served on the JFS Board of Directors for 18 years, generously investing her time and energy into addressing the urgent needs of her fellow San Diegans. Hazan was instrumental in expanding JFS programs for Jewish single parents, survivors of domestic violence, and low-income older adults. She served on the Behavioral Health Committee to support mental health awareness and combat the stigma that comes with accessing treatment. A strong proponent of social justice, Hazan played an important role in shaping many new JFS initiatives that have created lasting change in the San Diego community.


Internationally recognized for its work resettling refugees, HIAS helps displaced people from around the world reach safety and rebuild their lives. JFS’s partnership with HIAS began in the 1980s and has since helped connect thousands of refugees to housing, employment, and education, ensuring San Diego is a more humane, prosperous, and beautifully diverse place to live.

Partnering with Honorary Chairs Evelyn and Ernest Rady, Gala Chairs Scott Schindler, Marie Raftery and Dr. Robert Rubenstein will host an evening of dinner, dancing and a silent auction to encourage awareness and philanthropy throughout the year. Underwriting packages are available and tickets are $360; both can be purchased at www.jfssd.org/gala or by contacting danal@jfssd.org or 858-637-3013.

Current underwriting sponsors of the event include a longtime anonymous donor as Presenting Underwriter; Charitable Adult Rides & Services, Inc. as Title Underwriter; Lisa Foster & Alan Bersin, Mahau Ma & Sean Joseph, Marie Raftery & Dr. Robert Rubenstein, Lois Richmond & Family as Premier Underwriters; Cohn Family Foundation, Vivien & Jeffrey Ressler, and U.S. Bank as Dinner Underwriters; and Liz Nederlander Coden & Daniel Coden, Copart, Marjorie & Sheldon Derezin, MG Properties | Hanna & Mark Gleiberman, Marcia Foster Hazan & Mark Cammell, Kathy & Mark Jones, Lisa & Gary Levine | Lindsay & Mitch Surowitz | Arthur J. Gallagher & Co., Jennifer & Jay Levitt, Sylvia Liwerant, Karen & Jeffrey Silberman, Sarah z”l & Nessim Tiano, and Rhianna & Reggie White | Red Rhino Realty, Inc. as Heart of the Family sponsors. For a complete list of Heart & Soul Gala underwriters, visit www.jfssd.org/gala. (*z”l stands for zikhrono/zikhronah livrakha, meaning “May his/her memory be a blessing.”)

Proceeds 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. To learn more, visit www.jfssd.org.

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 39,500 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 www.jfssd.org or call 858-637-3000.

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