LA JOLLA — Tickets are now available for the annual Heart & Soul gala of Jewish Family Service of San Diego, set for 6:30 p.m. March 12 at the Hyatt Regency in La Jolla. All proceeds from the event benefit the programs of Jewish Family Service. For reservations and to discover patron opportunities, call (858) 637-3034 or visit www.jfssd.org/gala.
The 2010 Heart & Soul Gala is chaired by Lisa Levine and Kate Kassar, with Auction Chairwomen Dawn Berson, Alysa Kaplan and Leslie Fastlicht Russo. This year’s theme, All You Need is Love, celebrates the accomplishments of Esther and Bud Fischer, Hand Up Youth Food Pantry and Military Outreach Program; Robert Rubenstein, Rubenstein Family Scholarship; and Rebecca McInnis, Embrace-a-Family Holiday Program. Jewish Family Service supports more than 50 programs.
When the effects of the economic crisis hit, honorees Esther and Bud Fischer wanted to help, especially struggling military families. Their generosity enabled the Hand Up Youth Food Pantry to greatly increase distribution at Camp Pendleton and Murphy Canyon Military Housing — more than 10,000 bags of food were provided to 1,200 families last year. Along with the expansion of case management and counseling, The Fischers have provided a safety net for the brave members of our armed services.
Honoree Rebecca McInnis lives by the concept of “pay it forward.” Searching the Internet for volunteer opportunities, she was drawn to the JFS Embrace-A-Family Program, which matches families in dire need with donors willing to help ensure a joyous holiday celebration by filling their wish lists. McInnis mobilized an army of volunteers which in 2010 embraced almost 100 families. She is inspired by the community’s response, especially among children who staged garage sales and did extra chores to donate.
Honoree Robert Rubenstein inspires others with his compassionate philanthropy. Concerned that families faced a difficult time in paying for higher education, Rubenstein established the Rubenstein Family Scholarship for recent high school graduates of the Jewish community who plan to attend college or vocational school. This program offers financial assistance to be used toward tuition, books, and supplies. More importantly, it ensures that deserving students are able to follow their dreams.
Jewish Family Service was founded in 1918 by a consortium of women’s clubs who sought to address the myriad of human needs of the time. Learn more at www.jfssd.org.