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Emily Jennewein Named Board Chair of Jewish Family Service

Two Additional Members Named to Nonprofit’s Board of Directors

San Diego CAJewish Family Service of San Diego (JFS) has named Emily Jennewein as chair of the nonprofit’s board of directors. Jennewein will depart from her role as first vice chair to replace Adam Welland as chair.

Emily Jennewein

An experienced leader in the Jewish community for the past 20 years, Jennewein served as president of Hillel of San Diego from 2017 to 2018 and 2014 to 2016. There she oversaw construction of the Melvin Garb Hillel Center at San Diego State University and won unanimous approval from the San Diego City Council to build the Beverly and Joseph Glickman Hillel Center at UC San Diego.From 2011 to 2013, Jennewein was president of the Congregation Beth Israel.

Jennewein’s daughters started the family’s involvement with the nonprofit after volunteering with JFS’s Hand Up Food Pantry.

“Emily’s dedication to the Jewish community, as well as San Diego at large, is well known throughout the region,” said CEO Michael Hopkins. “JFS is sure to benefit from her experience, and we are confident she will bring passion to the role and expand our outreach.”

Jennewein served as principal for a website and marketing communications firm for 25 years before retiring professionally. She graduated from Amherst College and received her Master of Business Administration from Dartmouth College’s Tuck School of Business.

“I feel truly honored to become chair of JFS’s board, and I feel an awesome responsibility to ensure that this organization serves the welfare of the entire community — making the world a better place for all,” said Jennewein.

In addition to Jennewein, JFS added two members to the board:

  • Li-Rong Lilly Cheng serves as director of the Chinese Cultural Center at San Diego State University and chair of the board of directors at the San Diego Chinese Historical Museum. Focused on the intricacies of communication, Dr. Cheng is a fellow of the American Speech, Language, and Hearing Association and the chair of the Education Committee for the International Association of Logopedics and Phoniatrics. A published author, Dr. Cheng travels globally to lecture on language learning and teaching, as well as cultural diversity.
  • Sid Voorakkara worked as deputy director of external affairs at the California Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development, where he promoted California’s economic advantages to start-ups to expand the state’s business opportunities. Voorakkara also assisted California communities during natural disasters, acting as a spokesperson and allocating resources. He later transitioned to consulting, and now serves as senior vice president at Strategies 360, a full-service research, public affairs and communications firm. Voorakkara is also chair of the San Diego City Ethics Commission.

For a full list of Jewish Family Service of San Diego’s board of directors, visit www.jfssd.org/board.


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 over 34,000 San Diegans this past 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.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the agency adapted, revised and expanded its services to focus on what was needed most, including critical food assistance through a no-touch drive-thru distribution, meal delivery and self-care support for seniors, safe spaces for people living out of their vehicles, and employment services and counseling. From response to recovery, JFS will be there for the community and offer much needed relief and vital necessities. Together, we will make it through this.

To get help, volunteer or support JFS, visit www.jfssd.org or call 858-637-3000.

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