What does it mean to build community and connection in a region as geographically diverse as San Diego County? We know that we have community members who live as far south as Chula Vista and as far north as Camp Pendleton, and we have heard that Jewish opportunities often are as geographically diverse as our community. Still, those who live in these areas are yearning for Jewish connections. This summer, Federation has embarked on a research process to learn more about what is happening for Young Families throughout San Diego County through a communitywide survey as focus groups around the county. So far, 250 families have shared there thought through a comprehensive survey and there have been two focus groups.
Federation wanted to better understand what this means and how it affects families in our outlying communities. On August 20th, Federation’s Chief Program Officer, Darren Schwartz, facilitated a discussion with a group of mothers from North County neighborhoods like Oceanside, Vista, Carlsbad, and San Marcos to learn more about the depth of their Jewish life and community. In the coming months, the Community Partnerships Committee, chaired by Caryn Viterbi, will review the findings of this study and determine how to best work with our community partners in addressing unmet needs of the families in our community.
We heard about opportunities families have created, such as meaningful friendships that have formed and joining together for informal Shabbat dinners. We also heard about challenges, including lack of organized opportunities for families with kids of all ages.
Federation is looking to host more focus groups around San Diego County and to talk to more parents, specifically in the southern and eastern parts of San Diego. If you are interested in helping us convene a group, please contact Carly Ezell Lobenstein at firstname.lastname@example.org.