Jewish Family Service’s Center for Jewish Care and Hillel of San Diego Expand Wellness Services to Increase Support for Jewish Students - JFSSD
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Jewish Family Service’s Center for Jewish Care and Hillel of San Diego Expand Wellness Services to Increase Support for Jewish Students

SAN DIEGO – Jewish Family Service of San Diego (JFS) and Hillel of San Diego announced the start of expanded wellness services to provide mental health support for Jewish students on San Diego college campuses. Through an already strong partnership with JFS’s Center for Jewish Care, Miriam Kopf, LMFT, joins the JFS staff embedded in the Hillel of San Diego team to provide individualized assistance to college students who are navigating life challenges, especially now in a post-October 7th world. A licensed therapist, Kopf will support students across the Hillel of San Diego campuses coping with social and emotional challenges. Using a strengths-based and solution-focused approach, Kopf will lead workshops and meet with students one-on-one to teach grounding skills and help them connect with resources that contribute to long-term emotional well-being. Support services will be available to students attending SDSU, UC San Diego, CSU San Marcos and the University of San Diego.

“We are thrilled to expand our wellness offerings at Hillel of San Diego, in partnership with Jewish Family Service of San Diego, and bring on Miriam whose role is dedicated to providing students personalized support that is crucial now more than ever,” said Karen Parry, Executive Director at Hillel of San Diego. “Our continuous work with Jewish students across San Diego’s universities indicated a need for these resources, particularly at this time when Jewish students are feeling increasing anxiety, stress and depression.”

“Our partnership with Hillel began two years ago by creating mini food-pantries at the SDSU and UCSD Hillel centers. After weekly JFS deliveries began, Karen reported that the addition of these nutrition resources often allowed them to unearth deeper student needs, both financial or emotional. As we see at JFS every day, nutrition resources often offer an easy entry point to identify additional needs for support. This partnership aligns the Center for Jewish Care’s goal of ending Jewish poverty with Hillel’s mission to enrich the lives of Jewish students so that they may enrich the Jewish people and the world,” shares Carole Yellen, Senior Director of JFS Center for Jewish Care. “Based on our expertise, JFS will offer the technical and clinical support to ensure confidential services to students.”

Initial funding for the pilot project was secured by Jewish Family Service from the Natan Fund to place a JFS Mental Health Resource Navigation/Wellness Counselor at Hillel part-time to focus on student wellness. Hillel of San Diego received additional funding from Hillel International to expand the wellness program and increase the position’s time. Hillel of San Diego is seeking additional funding to ensure the wellness counselor position is full-time next school year and beyond.

Students who are interested in learning more about participating in Hillel of San Diego’s wellness programs should reach out to Miriam Kopf, LMFT, directly at [email protected]. Community members who are interested in learning more should reach out to Karen Parry at [email protected].

To learn more about the work Hillel of San Diego is doing for Jewish students, please visit To learn more about JFS’ Center for Jewish Care, please visit

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.

Hillel of San Diego supports students of all backgrounds to form deep, personal connections to Jewish life, learning and Israel. Hillel enriches the lives of students so that they may enrich the Jewish people and the world. To learn more about Hillel of San Diego, visit