Jewish Family Service of San Diego Announces the July 2025 Retirement of CEO Michael Hopkins, Names New CEO - JFSSD
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Jewish Family Service of San Diego Announces the July 2025 Retirement of CEO Michael Hopkins, Names New CEO

SAN DIEGO (June 25, 2024) – The Jewish Family Service of San Diego (JFS) Board of Directors announced today that current CEO Michael Hopkins, who has been at the helm for 13 years, will retire at the end of June 2025. The board has selected Dana Toppel to become the new CEO when Hopkins retires. Toppel is currently the COO and has been an integral part of the organization for over 15 years.

Through a wide range of integrated services, JFS serves over 95,000 individuals annually, empowering people of all ages, faiths, and backgrounds to overcome challenges, set goals, and build more stable, secure, and connected lives. The nonprofit believes everyone should be treated with dignity and have access to the tools and resources to meet the challenges of today and plan for tomorrow.

“We are all indebted to Michael for growing our agency in size and impact to be the largest JFS outside of New York City. His transformational leadership changed the landscape for our community. It is no exaggeration that many hundreds of thousands of people have received life-changing support and services as a result of his vision and passion,” said board chair Deborah Bucksbaum Maio. “In over 106-years as an organization, Michael and Dana are remarkably only the fifth and sixth CEOs, respectively, demonstrating JFS’s strength and executive leadership continuity. Dana is an inspiring and dedicated leader who will carry on the traditions of innovation, partnership, and responsiveness. We look forward to a smooth transition and continued growth and community impact in the future.”


About Michael Hopkins

Hopkins has made an indelible impact on JFS and the San Diego community. When he began his tenure, JFS was a $16 million agency with just under 350 employees. Through Michael’s visionary leadership JFS has grown to a budget of over $115 million with almost 550 team members.

“I’m filled with appreciation, pride, humility and gratitude. I have witnessed how JFS’s work is critical and life-changing for the individuals we serve and transformative for the community,” said Hopkins. “And, early in my tenure, I realized that how we did the work also made JFS special, as we are a place for people with shared values working together to repair the world. I am continuously grateful for our incredible staff, tireless volunteers, dedicated supporters and visionary board members.”

His many accomplishments include expanding the JFS headquarters in Kearny Mesa to create the Joan & Irwin Jacobs Campus, enabling the agency to increase and centralize services; the creation of the Center for Jewish Care that assists community members who are experiencing trauma, grief or financial challenges; facilitating JFS’s leadership in the creation of the San Diego Rapid Response Network and its Migrant Shelter Services for people seeking asylum that JFS operates, now regarded as a national model; and leading the nonprofit through its Centennial Celebration and Campaign, to sustain the future of the organization.

CEO Michael Hopkins and CEO Designate Dana Toppel at today's JFS Annual Meeting.

About Dana Toppel

The JFS board of directors selected Dana Toppel as the incoming CEO after a thorough and diligent succession planning process. Over Toppel’s 15-year tenure with the agency, she has served as the director for older adults, divisional director for clinical and educational services, chief program officer, and for the past nine years, as chief operating officer. Previously, Toppel held roles at The San Diego LGBT Community Center and UC San Diego’s Mother, Child, Adolescent Program, and she is the founder and president of Make Work Work for Moms.

Toppel has played a crucial role in JFS’s strategic planning, navigated the organization through the COVID-19 pandemic while expanding critical services for the community to record levels, and has provided the vision and leadership for the nonprofit’s guaranteed income pilot programs, helping families achieve economic security through unrestricted cash assistance. Toppel has also been an integral part of JFS’s Safe Parking Program, now offering six safe parking lots for people living out of their vehicles to pursue more stable housing.

“Beyond any metric, what I am by far most proud of are the hundreds of thousands of lives JFS has impacted,” said Toppel. “JFS provides vital hope and help. I look forward to continuing the wonderful work that JFS does alongside our staff, board of directors, volunteers and supporters to expand hope and help to as many people as possible in the coming years.”


About Jewish Family Service of San Diego – Moving Forward Together

Founded in 1918, Jewish Family Service (JFS) is one of San Diego’s most impactful nonprofit agencies – providing resources and support to over 95,000 people every year. Through integrated services, the organization empowers people of all ages, faiths, and backgrounds to overcome challenges, set goals, and build more stable, secure, and connected lives. JFS is committed to helping individuals and families move forward, while developing innovative strategies to break cycles of poverty and strengthen our San Diego community.

To get help, volunteer or support JFS, visit or call (858) 637-3000.


Media Contacts:
Sandy Young, [email protected]
Molly Pincherli, [email protected]
J. Walcher Communications, (619) 295-7140