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2018 gala honorees_550px
2018 Gala Honorees 
Front Row (L to R): Inge Feinswog, Kira Finkenberg, Lois Richmond
Back Row: Marsha Berkson, Jill Spitzer, Jenny Daniel
Not Pictured: Estee Einhorn, Evelyn Rady
Gala_Marsha Berkson 
Marsha Berkson
I am someone who always wants to change it up and make it better. Jewish Family Service exemplifies, to me, the best in taking “good to great!” When I began my work with JFS, I wanted to attach myself to a progressive organization whose mission and staff were committed to making a difference with the people they serve—an organization that was growing and evolving with the needs of their community. I found this – and so much more – at JFS. In 2006, I created the Hand Up Food Pantry at JFS, an award-winning teen leadership program designed to alleviate hunger in the community. I wanted to provide a hands-on learning experience for our next generation – one where they could make a meaningful impact and truly understand the value of Tikkun Olam, the generous mission of helping to repair the world. 
We reached out to San Diego high school youth to get involved and developed leadership training and skill-building activities in the areas of food pantry operations, volunteer management, hunger advocacy, fundraising, goal-setting, and more. It was a full circle program—not just a one-off.My goal is for all of the young adults involved in Hand Up to embrace the life lessons of the program. JFS embraced the mission completely and has been a great and willing partner. Everyone I worked with in the organization displayed the ability and passion to move the project forward. They continually told me … you lead the way and we will be your partner.  They have never wavered on that promise! 

I am so very grateful and proud to have been selected for this very special honor.

Jenny Daniel
Jenny Daniel was born and raised in Mexico City. She and her family immigrated to San Diego when she was nine years old. Maintaining her connection to her Jewish faith and Latin heritage, Jenny attended the San Diego Jewish Academy, was involved in the Ken Jewish Community Youth group, and was a participant and a counselor for the Gary and Jerri-Ann Jacobs International Teen Leadership Institute. 

Upon graduating from Santa Clara University in the Bay Area, Jenny moved back to San Diego to be closer to family. After working for a public interest immigration law firm, she made her way to the social services field and landed a job as the assistant for the Community Services Department at JFS. In this role, she assisted with the food pantry, teen leadership, project SARAH and Jewish Big Pals programs and quickly developed a love and pride for JFS and its incredible impact on the community. 

Coming from a third-generation Syrian Jewish family with established roots in Mexico has prompted Jenny to seek experiences, both at home and abroad, helping to create social and political changes in those regions.Jenny has a passion for human rights, international politics and a general love for learning new cultures. So when a position opened up in Refugee and Immigration Services at JFS, she worked hard to transition into that department.

Jenny is currently the Employment Coordinator in the Refugee and Immigration Services Department at JFS. She coordinates two federally-funded programs and oversees a staff of four. With over 6 years’ experience working with both refugee and immigrant populations, Jenny has a strong knowledge of the barriers these populations face in kickstarting their future in the United States. Jenny is passionate about helping refugees navigate their new lives in the U.S. and setting them up for success. As an immigrant Jewish woman, Jenny loves having the incredible opportunity to carry out the Jewish tradition of “Welcoming the Stranger” on a daily basis.

Estee Einhorn 
Estee Einhorn
Growing up in San Diego, Estee Einhorn was brought up to recognize the utmost importance of Tikkun Olam from her earliest memories. At 13, Estee and a group of other teens, led and inspired by Marsha Berkson, founded the Hand Up Food Pantry, a teen-run pantry that started in coordination with Jewish Family Service’s moving into the Turk Family Center in 2007. With Hand Up, Estee helped set up the infrastructure to make monthly food distributions, do necessary fundraising, write grants, and advocate for the organization at the State Capitol. Today, the program continues to thrive and provide food for thousands of San Diegans. The idea that, rather than offering a hand out, Hand Up was there to help people help themselves, was really powerful for Estee. 

This early experience with activism inspired and empowered her to continue to be of service. At her high school, Estee realized that many students were struggling because they didn't speak English at a high enough level. So Estee founded Amigos en Ingles, a tutoring and mentorship program at a domestic violence shelter near the Mexican border. Estee and other devoted bilingual volunteers spent every Thursday helping children with their homework, teaching them English, and being there for them as role models and companions. She was also a member of the National Charity League for six years.

Estee went on to attend the University of Pennsylvania, where she was a proud member of the Civic Scholars Program, a unique opportunity providing undergraduates with a sustained four-year experience in high level civic engagement and scholarship. During that time, she volunteered at LIFT Philadelphia, where she guided locals in finding jobs and even getting their GEDs to help make them self-sufficient.

Estee has always been fascinated by different places, and traveled to 3 continents studying  their cities. After college, she moved to New York where she worked at the real estate investment and development firm Tishman Speyer and was an active member of Young Jewish Professionals (YJP). Estee currently lives in Washington, DC, where she continues to work for Tishman Speyer. She is also a member of Urban Land Institute and a volunteer at Reading Partners, an organization that partners with under-resouced schools to offer students that are struggling to read the one-on-one support that they need to read at grade level by fourth grade.  

Inge Feinswog 
Inge Feinswog 
Inge Feinswog came to the United States from Germany in October 1938, one month before Kristallnacht. She grew up in the Washington Heights area of Manhattan (“Frankfurt on the Hudson”). In 1954, Inge met and was married to the late Alfred Feinswog. Inge and Al moved to San Diego and began investing in and managing residential properties. They raised two daughters, Hanna and Carrie. Inge is now a happy grandmother of six and great-grandmother of one.  

Throughout the years, Inge has been a supporter of local community and Jewish organizations, as well as individuals who were in need of help. She is a life-long member of Tifereth Israel Synagogue, where she still volunteers today.  

During Al’s illness, JFS was supportive and a comfort. Now Inge’s main focus is to help the low-income elderly who are in need of assistance. She has made significant contributions to JFS programs serving Holocaust survivor and older adults. She is very proud of Jewish Family Service’s continued to dedication to our community’s seniors. 
Kira Finkenberg 
Kira Finkenberg
Kira Finkenberg has been in the music business since she was seven years old. Her father owned the New Mexico franchise of Ticketmaster and she worked her way through college as the Marketing Director’s assistant for Bill Silva Presents. After graduation, Kira was the Marketing Director for House of Blues Concerts, San Diego, and The Belly Up in Solana Beach. Today, Kira is the Owner and Founder of The Kira Co, a concert marketing and event company founded in 2003. 

The Kira Co. handles ticketing and promotion at some of the region’s best-known concert venues, including the Hollywood Bowl, MGM Grand Garden Arena, and the Valley View Casino Center.  Clients include Bill Silva Presents, The Andrew Hewitt Company, and Live Nation in Las Vegas and San Diego.  The company also produces Shop with A Jock for the Junior Seau Foundation and has been the Event Director for Taste at the Cove since 2003. 

Kira has been an avid ambassador for JFS since 2005, when her mother passed away and JFS stepped in to help her family during the difficult time. Inspired by her mom’s passion for helping others—especially kids who may have not made it without her help—Kira first joined Emerging Leaders at JFS as a way to give back. She has served on the Board of Directors of Jewish Family Service since 2014 and was a co-chair of the Heart & Soul Gala for several years. Kira also serves on the Board of Jewish Federation of San Diego  Anti-Defamation League. She is a proud member of the National Young Leadership Cabinet.
Evelyn Rady 
Evelyn Rady  
Evelyn Rady dedicated 17 years of her career to JFS, working directly with clients as a social worker, clinical manager, and supervisor. Previously, she worked with several social services agencies including adoption services and juvenile services in Winnipeg. As a social worker, Rady was able to help many members of the community, including Holocaust survivors and their children, during their time of need. 

Former coworkers say Evelyn was a compassionate, caring therapist, and an understanding supervisor. When talking with her staff about clients facing tough challenges, Evelyn often advised: “Just start where they are and realize they’re doing the best they can.”

Now retired, Evelyn and her husband Ernest continue to support JFS, providing ongoing donations through their Rady Family Foundation, including a recent $20 million commitment in honor of JFS’s centennial. 

Evelyn graduated from the University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Canada with a Bachelor of Arts and Master of Social Work (BA/MSW). 

Lois Richmond 
Lois Richmond 
In 1949, my husband, Dr. Earl Richmond, and I left San Francisco for the wonderful climate, sea breezes, and small town feel of San Diego. We loved the outdoors and eventually decided to raise our two boys here. 

After my husband died in 1972, I began a new life traveling the world. In 1989, I joined a tour group from the San Diego Museum of Art and traveled to the Soviet Union to see the Hermitage in St. Petersburg. My father was Russian, so I was excited to experience the country. During that trip, I was asked by the United Jewish Federation to contact several Jewish Refuseniks, who were just being allowed to leave the Soviet Union for the first time. Through these contacts, I became aware of not only the dilemma facing these people, but the possible need should they emigrate to the United States. 

Upon my return from Russia, I joined the Board of JFS and became involved in the newly organized Refugee Resettlement program. At that time, JFS was only a small social services agency housed in a single facility on 6th Ave in Hillcrest. With the influx of Russian emigres, additional facilities were needed. There was also a huge need for volunteers to meet these people at the airport and help them locate housing and medical treatment, learn English, and above all, find jobs.

Meanwhile, as the population in San Diego County grew from 350,000 to over 3,000,000, the aging population increasingly needed our help with transportation and kosher food delivery; as a result, Foodmobile was born. To help fund these growing projects, we worked the telephones soliciting donations for JFS, and continued sending out mailers asking for donations of clothing, furniture, and household goods for all those in need. 

As the need continued to grow, JFS needed to procure a facility that would better serve all of San Diego County as it expanded. In 2007, I was privileged to be able to help fund the first building on Balboa Avenue, and later with the help of many donors, a second building. Those combined facilities are now called the Joan & Irwin Jacobs Campus.

JFS has in many ways given my life not only a purpose, but a deeply-seated happiness knowing in some small way I have been able to help others and enrich the quality of life for many in San Diego. I will always be a Friend of The Family.

Jill Spitzer 
Jill Spitzer 
In 1984, Jill started at Jewish Family Service of San Diego as the Director of Professional Services. Two years later, after the retirement of JFS Executive Director Marianne Kaye, Jillassumed leadership of the 20-person nonprofit with an annual budget of $500,000. What came next was 26 years of proactively addressing the needs of the Jewish and San Diego communities, with a focus on reaching out to the vulnerable, lonely, and forgotten.

In the early 1990s, the Friends of the Family campaign was developed to fundraise directlyfor JFS. Jill and the agency also demonstrated their gift for entrepreneurship with the introduction of a car donation program, which works with nonprofits nationwide. This innovative source of revenuehas enabled JFS to create and expand vital programs.

JFS and Jill showed no signs of slowing down at the millennium. The agency was determinedto speak for those who have no voice, to help others achieve their potential, and to initiatecommunity projects that better our society.

As the number of Jewish single parent families grew, Jewish Big Pals and Supporting Jewish Single Parents were created. Project SARAH addressed domestic violence in the community. Older adults languishing at home prompted the agency to launch two additional senior centers. The thousands affected by the economic downturn were helped by the JFS Economic Crisis Response program and the Jewish Employment Network. Our Refugee Resettlement program, the model and largest among all JFS agencies nationwide, settled large numbers of Iraqis in San Diego. 

When the food pantry was expanded upon moving into the Turk Family Center, JFS took an innovative approach: engaging teenagers to run food drives, stock theshelves, and help manage the Hand Up Food Pantry in order to introduce them to tikkun olam and giving back to the community.

Under Jill’s leadership, and in partnership with astute lay leaders, a dynamic staff, and a generous community, JFS was transformed into a respected leader within the local and national social service sector.

Today, Jill is active with a number of organizations, including the Downtown Rotary Club, Senior Women’s Basketball Association, San Diego Senior Olympics, and the Association of Jewish Family and Children’s Agencies. She earned a Master’s Degree from Columbia University. Jill isa licensed clinical social worker in the State of California and is a member of the Academy ofCertified Social Workers. She is married to Mark and together they have one daughter, Rebecca and two grandchildren.