At Jewish Family Service, we are One Source for a Lifetime of Help.
When a family needs help following a disaster, when a family yearns to adopt a child, when a
single parent can no longer make ends meet, when a senior needs food, transportation, or companionship—we make a difference in
With more than 50 programs and services, we’re dedicated to serving
our entire community. You can see it in our past, you can feel it in our
present, and you can count on it in our future.
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.
Today, we have grown into one of San Diego’s premier human care service
organizations serving more than 35,000 people annually throughout San Diego County and the Coachella Valley.
Our Mission: Strengthen the individual, enhance the family, protect the vulnerable, with human services based on Jewish values.
Michael Hopkins, MSW Chief Executive Officer Michael has devoted more than 30 years to building and strengthening the Jewish community, with a majority of his professional career directing and growing Jewish Community Centers across the country.
Prior to joining JFS, Michael served as Executive Director of Nehirim, a national Jewish LGBT organization. Prior to that, he was CEO of Jewish Community Center (JCC) Metrowest, one of the largest JCC’s in the country with an $18 million budget and more than 200 full-and part-time staff. During his tenure with JCC Metrowest, Michael led a $23 million expansion and renovation and launched the nation’s first Jewish Health and Healing Center at a JCC.
Michael previously served as the Executive Director of the JCC of Richmond VA and has worked at JCC’s in Tucson, Columbus and Pittsburgh. He earned his Master's in Social Work from the Yeshiva University Wurzweiler School of Social Work.
Dana Toppel, LCSW, MBA Chief Program Officer Dana
has more than 15 years of experience working with a variety of
populations in both direct service and management capacities. Prior to
joining JFS in 2009, Dana worked as a director, consultant, and
therapist for the San Diego LGBT Community Center, University of
California at San Diego, and San Diego Youth & Community Services.
holds a Master's in Social Work from San Diego State University and a
Master's in Business Administration from the Executive MBA Program at
San Diego State University. She is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in
the State of California.
Guinevere Kerstetter, CPA, CGMA Chief Financial Officer Guin
has more than 30 years of experience in the field of accounting,
specifically in senior management positions in the non-profit human
services area and in the for-profit arena in both private and
publicly-traded corporations. She has been with JFS since 2002.
Guin graduated Summa Cum Laude and first in the School of Business
from West Chester University. She is licensed as a Certified Public
Accountant in the states of Kansas and Nebraska and is also a Chartered Global Management Accountant. Guin is a member of the
American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Nebraska
Society of Certified Public Accountants. She has served as a director
for various non-profit organizations.
Brenda Bothel, MA Divisional Director, Aging & Wellness Services Brenda has worked with older adults for nearly two decades. She joined JFS in 1998 as a Geriatric Care Management intern and has since supervised a variety of older adult programs. In her most recent role as the Director of Transportation, Brenda focused on keeping seniors connected and mobile through On the Go: Transportation Solutions for Older Adults. She created the Rides & Smiles® service in 2004, which has since grown into the largest volunteer-based transportation service in San Diego County, receiving national recognition as a program model of excellence.
Brenda has received numerous accolades for her innovative approaches to serving older adults, including the Channel 10 Leadership Award, AJFCA Leadership Award, and the Henrietta Rubenstein Staff Development Award. She holds a Master’s in Nonprofit Leadership and Management from the University of San Diego and a Bachelor’s in Social Work from San Diego State University. She currently is chairperson of the San Diego County Volunteer Driver’s Coalition and is a member of SanDag’s Social Service Transportation Advisory Committee.
Joel Craddock, MS, Ed. Divisional Director, Housing & Educational Services Joel
has held senior management positions within human service agencies for
the past 24 years. He has served on various boards and has an impressive
history of procuring and successfully managing local, state, and
federal government contracts. Joel has been with JFS since March 2003.
was responsible for the first expansion of JFS programs outside of San
Diego County, developing a 25-bed emergency shelter program for one of
Coachella Valley’s largest provider of homeless services. Currently, JFS
operates 170 beds, including emergency, transitional, and permanent
housing programs. Joel was also the first recipient of the agency’s
Henrietta Rubenstein award, given annually to the employee who
demonstrates excellence, initiative, professionalism, and leadership.
Joel has a Master's degree in Education from Southern Illinois
Linda Hutkin-Slade, MSW, LCSW Divisional Director, Clinical & Community Services Linda has been with JFS since 1999. She is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and received her Master's in Social Work from San Diego State University. Prior to coming to JFS, Linda worked more than 18 years in management positions in the Sharp Healthcare system.
During her time at JFS, Linda has focused on identifying and addressing gaps in services as well as the unmet needs of both the Jewish and larger San Diego communities. She led the JFS responses to three large-scale disasters, including the 2003 Cedar Fire, the 2005 Hurricane Relief, and the 2007 Wildfires. In 2008, Linda spearheaded a comprehensive Economic Crisis Response program, one of the first in the country to address the issues facing San Diegans impacted by the recession.
Linda is a member of the National Association of Social Workers and was a founding member of the Society for Heart and Lung Transplant Social Workers, serving in a variety of leadership roles for 15 years. She is a nationally renowned expert on the psychosocial impact of transplantation.