In 2019, Jewish Family Service of San Diego (JFS), in partnership with the County of San Diego Behavioral Health Services, re-launched Breaking Down Barriers, an outreach program promoting positive discussions about mental health and wellness in under-resourced communities, often reluctant to have those discussions. In the past four years, Breaking Down Barriers has conducted or been a part of over 1,000 workshops/events and has reached over 17,000 people.
180 organizations, medical professionals, and individuals sign a letter to Acting Commissioner Miller demanding CBP strictly limit the detention of pregnant, postpartum, and nursing people, and their infants.
Time and time again, the Biden Administration continues to violate its campaign promises to establish compassionate, human-centered immigration reform, now with the planned revival of two Trump-era policies previously known as Prompt Asylum Claim Review and the Humanitarian Asylum Review Process (PACR/HARP). The fact that the Administration ended these policies upon taking office, only to reinstate them less than two years later, is inexcusable and horrific.
JFS Chief Operating Officer Dana Toppel has been named a recipient of the 6th Annual Debra Zanders-Willis Child Welfare Leadership Award from the County of San Diego Health and Human Services Agency. This award is given to a community partner or County employee who has shown exceptional leadership resulting in positive outcomes for children and families.
On Wednesday, a federal court largely denied the Biden administration’s motion to dismiss a lawsuit, Immigrant Defenders Law Center et al. v. Mayorkas, brought on behalf of people seeking asylum who were stranded outside the United States as a result of the Trump administration’s unlawful “Remain in Mexico” policy. In its decision, the court declared that, if true, the Plaintiffs’ allegations would amount to “acute and sweeping violations” of their “bedrock rights.” The court also granted the Plaintiffs’ motion for class certification, meaning they will be permitted to represent a larger class of similarly-situated individuals who had their cases terminated or received final removal orders under the original incarnation of the policy during the Trump administration.
Este miércoles, un tribunal federal denegó en gran parte la moción del gobierno del Presidente Biden para descartar la demanda en el caso Immigrant Defenders Law Center et al. v. Mayorkas, presentada en nombre de personas que buscan asilo y que quedaron varadas fuera de los Estados Unidos como resultado de la política ilegal de la administración Trump de “Permanece en México.” En su fallo, el tribunal declaró que, de ser comprobadas, las alegaciones de los Demandantes constituirían “violaciones agudas y generalizadas” de los “derechos fundamentales” de los Demandantes.
The Biden Administration’s consideration to reinstate family detentions — a practice it openly rejected throughout the campaign trail — is an abhorrent betrayal of its commitments to rebuild our nation’s broken immigration system and implement compassionate, humane policies.
Jewish Family Service of San Diego (JFS) announced today the addition of Dave Myers as its director of safety and security. Myers brings his extensive history in law enforcement to the role, where he will oversee security for all JFS programs and services.
The San Diego Rapid Response Network’s blueprint for humanitarian reception of people seeking asylum at its respite shelter network serves as a road map for how governments and communities across the U.S. can build upon the experiences and lessons learned from the model in San Diego.
San Diego Rapid Response Network (SDRRN), a coalition of human rights and service organizations, attorneys, and community leaders dedicated to aiding immigrants and their families in the San Diego border region, applauds the San Diego County Board of Supervisors for voting today to plan for and support people seeking asylum.
Due to the extreme weather conditions impacting outbound travel, our resources and current infrastructure are stretched to capacity each night. At this time, we are currently welcoming up to 300 asylum seekers daily. When conditions prevent guests from departing, we have to limit arrivals only to the most vulnerable asylum seekers released by DHS.
Due to the extreme weather conditions impacting outbound travel, our resources and the current infrastructure have been stretched to capacity. At this time, we cannot respond to requests coming through the SDRRN emergency hotline to assist in sheltering additional asylum seekers.
JFS has named Sunni Robertson director of volunteer engagement. With more than 17 years serving the San Diego community in the nonprofit sector, Robertson’s experience will guide JFS’s outreach to potential volunteers of all ages and backgrounds to help the nonprofit in providing resources and support to over 70,000 people every year.
In a letter to Commissioner Magnus, The American Civil Liberties Union, ACLU of San Diego & Imperial Counties, ACLU of Texas, Jewish Family Service of San Diego, and the Center for Immigration Law and Policy (CILP) at the UCLA School of Law, along with 83 advocacy organizations and 51 medical professionals, urge CBP to uphold the reproductive rights of migrants and not detain pregnant, postpartum, and nursing people, as well as infants, past time strictly necessary.
“All people deserve safe and adequate reproductive health care that upholds their dignity and autonomy, including those seeking their legal right to asylum in the U.S.” – Kate Clark, Esq., JFS Senior Director of Immigration Services.
The San Diego City Council confirmed today the appointments of Jewish Family Service San Diego (JFS) Chief Operating Officer Dana Toppel and Board of Directors Member Susan Davis to the City’s newly revived Commission on the Status of Women. Former U.S. Congresswoman Davis has been appointed as the Commission’s Chair. Mayor Todd Gloria announced Toppel and Davis’s appointments on August 26, 2022, in honor of Women’s Equality Day. Both members of JFS leadership have extensive backgrounds working within the community to advance women’s equality in the workplace and beyond.
Rabbi Freeman brings over 30 years of experience working in a variety of settings from synagogues to hospitals. She has focused on healing and the use of spiritual care as a modality to help individuals find peace with life’s most difficult situations. She often embraces tools and adaptions from the field of integrative medicine including dance yoga and mindfulness to open pathways to healing. Rabbi Freeman joins JFS after most recently serving as a chaplain and Clinical Pastoral Educator for Sharp Healthcare in San Diego.
“As an agency guided by Jewish values, having a rabbinic resource on our team, and specifically within the Center for Jewish Care, will be valuable to our staff, volunteers and board as we explore the work we do through our uniquely Jewish lens,” said JFS CEO Michael Hopkins. “We are resolved to lift our values in our advocacy work, meet the pastoral needs of individuals served by the Center for Jewish Care and amplify our sacred teachings with a contemporary perspective within our team.”
U.S. Senator Alex Padilla (D-Calif.), Chair of the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration, Citizenship, and Border Safety, visited the San Diego border region, and joined local NGOs and advocacy organizations to discuss their critical work to protect and welcome asylum seekers and how the federal government can support their efforts. Padilla also highlighted his commitment to protecting the right to asylum and his advocacy to create more legal pathways for migrants to safely arrive and be welcomed into the United States. As part of his visit he toured the San Diego Rapid Response Network (SDRRN) Migrant Shelter Services operated by Jewish Family Service of San Diego.
ACLU, Jewish Family Service, UCLA Center for Immigration Law and Policy Send Letter to Secretary Mayorkas Raising Concerns Over Continued Family Separations, Calling for Justice for Separated Family.
For the thousands of people looking for protection while they seek asylum, Jewish Family Service of San Diego (JFS) hopes that the Department of Homeland Security’s ending of the unlawful and cruel “Migrant Protection Protocols” (MPP, also known as “Remain in Mexico” policy) is the catalyst to many more actions to rebuild our immigration system into one that welcomes with compassion, safety, dignity and equity.
Today’s Supreme Court ruling allowing the termination of the unlawful and cruel “Migrant Protection Protocols” (MPP, also known as “Remain in Mexico” policy) is a welcome relief. The Biden Administration must now take immediate action to end this devastating program.
The San Diego City Council voted unanimously on Monday to approve Mayor Todd Gloria’s proposal to extend operations at one of the City’s Safe Parking lots to 24 hours, allowing for expanded opportunity for residents experiencing homelessness not only to safely live out of their vehicles, but also to access services and get on a path to housing.
Jewish tradition is grounded in obligation and responsibility to ourselves, one another, and our community. As Jewish communal professionals and clergy, we understand Jewish approaches to autonomy and community have long protected the rights of reproductive freedom and justice, as exemplified by cases where health, wellness, and life are at stake.
Jewish experience tells us that our reproductive freedoms are integrally bound to our religious liberty. At the core of the Jewish tradition is the affirmation of the sanctity of life. Further, the tradition recognizes that life does not begin at conception and the wellbeing (spiritual, emotional, and physical) of the parent takes precedence over an unborn fetus.
The California Welcoming Task Force held a press conference on Monday, May 23, 2022 to call for an end to Title 42.
As we approach Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Remembrance Day), Jewish Family Service is helping to promote a national matching initiative of our partner Kavod Shef. In 2022, 34 communities nationwide have partnered through KAVOD SHEF to address unmet needs of Holocaust Survivors. The KAVOD SHEF partnership involves collaboration between KAVOD, Seed the Dream Foundation, National Philanthropic Partners, Jewish Federations, local donors, and Jewish Family Service agencies.
KAVOD SHEF dollars directly respond to Survivor needs in nine emergency areas: food, medical, dental, vision, urgent home needs (utilities, rent, repairs), emergency home care, transportation, essential deliveries, and PPE.
In the coming days as the plight of Ukrainians and other Eastern Europeans continues to unfold – among many other conflicts and humanitarian crises across the world – Jewish Family Service of San Diego stands at the ready to “Welcome the Stranger.” We call for the end of Title 42 and a stop to inhumanely expelling asylum seekers and migrants arriving at the U.S. border.