As a child of Holocaust survivors, I learned early on the importance of supporting Jewish organizations to ensure Judaism survives. My parents, who were both from Germany, went from riches to rags. Although they lived approximately 20 kilometers from each other in Bavaria, they only met in the United States, where they each started their lives over, my dad as a young man; my mom as a teenager. Again, they lived near each other, this time among other German Jewish refugees. They didn’t know the language or other people. I know my mom’s family received financial support from HIAS, which helped. Each of my parents rebuilt their lives centered on Jewish activities. Through those activities they met others who became their friends and they met each other. In their new country, they created a home filled with love and rich in Jewish observances.

I, too, started my life over, albeit under significantly different circumstances, when I moved across the country to San Diego 5 years ago. Plus, I knew the language and a few people. Never having been involved in Jewish organizations as an adult, I began exploring Jewish life approximately 1 year after moving here. In fact, I chose to live in a place from which I could walk to the JCC knowing that somehow my new life would be centered on Jewish activities. I began engaging in the Center for Jewish Culture (CJC) programs, where I was warmly welcomed. Almost 2 years ago I joined Congregation Beth Israel (CBI) after attending several of their programs. Again, I was warmly welcomed. Now I am involved in life at the JCC and CBI where both have become homes away from home.

Only recently did I become familiar with the Jewish Community Foundation. My soul is at home in San Diego and so too now is JCF home for making charitable donations and bequests. Before moving here my trust named several Jewish organizations as beneficiaries as a legacy honoring my parents’ experiences. What a blessing to be able to honor my commitment to Judaism’s survival and my sense of community in San Diego by adding CJC and CBI to those organizations receiving bequests through JCF.