The Coast News Group
Gala Committee members Julie Rosoff, Orly Perez, Shira Schaffer, Doris Elihu, Carine Chitayat, Ruth Dahan, Sheryl Goodman, Kimberly Raoufpur, Reine Krief and Veronique Benchimol. Courtesy photo
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Adopt a Family celebrates bravery, honors resilience

It was an evening of inspiration at Adopt a Family Foundation’s sixth annual gala with the theme, “Celebrating Bravery, Honoring Resilience.” More than 200 guests supporting the Rancho Santa Fe-based nonprofit gathered at Building 177 at Liberty Station on March 31. 

Adopt a Family offers financial support to victims of terror in Israel. According to Carine Chitayat, chief executive officer and co-founder of Adopt a Family Foundation, guests listened to moving presentations from keynote speaker Almog Boker, followed by Yaniv Perez who lives in Sderot. 

During the course of the evening, attendees took part in both silent and live auctions while enjoying the musical entertainment provided by Shanee, “The Voice of Peace.”

“Our silent auction consisted of beautiful contemporary paintings which incorporated the theme of the night ‘Celebrating Bravery Honoring Resilience,’” Chitayat said. “These paintings were generously donated by seven local artists in the community and supporters of our foundation.”

Co-chairing the 2019 gala was Orly Perez and Shira Schaffer.   

For Chitayat, the evening was memorable on many levels. 

“It was heartwarming to see people from our community come together and bring their support for Israel. Everyone was very moved by the speeches and the emotion in the room was very powerful,” Chitayat said. It was wonderful to witness the supporters of Adopt a Family, personally hear about their gratitude, and the impact that they are having on the recipients of our foundation.”

Chitayat hopes that guests walked away from the evening knowing the annual gala is an invaluable fundraiser. The proceeds allow the organization to sustain and create new programs. 

“Adopt a Family Foundation embraces an Israeli family each year into its program and continues its support indefinitely,” she said. 

Chitayat shared that every year, the Adopt a Family Foundation invites an adopted family to San Diego for a week. This provides individuals with some respite while building strong bonds and friendships with families in the community. Also, the foundation assists in the costs of school tuition. 

“A substantial portion of the organization’s proceeds are dedicated to providing additional therapy sessions and summer camps to children who have PTSD,” she said. “This year we had five Israeli teens, their coach, Yaniv Perez, and his daughter at our gala, all of whom suffer from PTSD. They come to play in a soccer tournament against local teens in our community.”

Chitayat, along with other gala guests, were moved when Perez and one of the teens said a few words at the gala expressing their gratitude with the support of Adopt a Family. They described the experience as warm, supportive and one of friendship. 

Supporters and members of Adopt a Family host the teens during their Southern California stay. 

“This is a unique experience for all involved, and this experience truly strengthens their bonds with our community,” Chitayat said. 

For more information on Adopt a Family, visit