Jewish Family Service Board Chair Marie Raftery, left, honoree Aviva Saad; honoree Ilene Mittman; honoree Norma Chavez-Peterson, executive director of ACLU of San Diego & Imperial Counties, and JFS CEO Michael Hopkins. Photo courtesy of Jewish Family Service

Jewish Family Service Board Chair Marie Raftery, left, honoree Aviva Saad; honoree Ilene Mittman; honoree Norma Chavez-Peterson, executive director of ACLU of San Diego & Imperial Counties, and JFS CEO Michael Hopkins. Photo courtesy of Jewish Family Service

Jewish Family Service of San Diego raised a record-setting $1.5 million at its annual Heart and Soul Gala held recently at the Hyatt Regency La Jolla at Aventine. The signature benefit highlighted the nonprofit’s work to provide resources and support to more than 32,000 San Diegans of all ages, faiths and backgrounds.

All proceeds from the gala benefit JFS’ ongoing efforts to help people in crisis move forward, while developing innovative strategies to break cycles of poverty and strengthen the San Diego community. With more than 600 guests, community leaders and partners in attendance, the event also celebrated the contributions of the 2019 Mitzvah Honorees: the ACLU of San Diego and Imperial Counties; Ilene Mittman, a volunteer at JFS’ Balboa Avenue Older Adult Center; Aviva Saad, program coordinator at the Balboa Avenue Older Adult Center.

The event was organized by gala chairs Jamie Carr, Erin Combs Pearl and Scott Schindler. Evelyn and Ernest Rady served as honorary chairs and provided a generous matching donation to all funds raised during the evening’s Fund-a-Mitzvah.