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Jewish Family Service gala names honorees

COAST CITIES — The date of March 21 has been chosen for the annual Heart & Soul gala of Jewish Family Service of San Diego and will be held at the Hyatt Regency in La Jolla. This year’s theme, “Visionaries,” celebrates the accomplishments of Sigrid Fischer for the annual Passover Food Baskets Project; JFS Past-Presidents Nadja Kauder, Lawrence Oster, Fern Siegel and Jill Stone for their dedication in expanding and changing the face of the organization; and the On the Go Consortium for financially supporting a new and innovative transportation program for the elderly.
The Heart & Soul Gala is a major fundraiser for Jewish Family Service, which has launched an Economic Crisis Response Program to serve the many community members in need. The program features educational workshops, support groups, and counseling services. The agency has experienced a 51 percent increase in the amount of people requesting help and support.
The Heart & Soul Gala of Jewish Family Service proceeds benefit the programs of Jewish Family Service. For more information or for Heart & Soul Gala underwriting opportunities and patron table reservations call (858) 637-3048 or visit
The 2009 Heart & Soul Gala is chaired by Felicia Mandelbaum and Barbara Lubin with auction co-chairs Jennifer Kagnoff, Dawn Berson and Ashley Stone.
Immediately after immigrating to San Diego in 1966, Sigrid and Jack Fischer began resettling the first wave of Jews from the former Soviet Union by hosting a Hanukkah party for 400 children. Sigrid Fischer then established the JFS “Kinder Fund” to enable these same children to have Bar and Bat Mitzvahs. Her many accomplishments as a community role model include helping to found the Hebrew Free Loan Association. For the last 10 years, Sigrid’s passion for helping Jewish community members in need has driven the annual Passover Food Baskets Project, which distributed 300 Passover baskets last year.
Motivated by their belief in the JFS mission, Kauder, Oster, Siegel and Stone stepped up to the JFS Presidency and changed the face of the organization. During their tenure as president, the agency grew from a $2 million annual budget to more $7 million and its continued service on the JFS Board has enabled the agency to expand to its current budget of more than $12 million.
Inspired to take action by the transportation challenges of older adults, the On the Go Consortium provided the financial support to initiate a new and innovative transportation program for the elderly. With the support of the Jewish Senior Services Council and Chairwoman Betty Byrnes, On the Go enables the elderly to get to doctor appointments, religious services, grocery stores. The On the Go Consortium includes Betty Byrnes, Betty and& Mel Cohn, Foster Family Foundation, Galinson Family Foundation, Joan and Irwin Jacobs, Terry and Martin Klitzner, Sheila Potiker, Vivien and Jeffrey Ressler, Sheryl Rowling, Elene and Herbert Solomon, Sarah and Nessim Tiano, Viterbi Family Foundation and two anonymous donors.