On Saturday, May 9, 170 young Jewish San Diegans came out to enjoy a wonderful evening of philanthropy, mingling, and delicious desserts at NextGen’s first annual World of Good Wine and Dessert Gala. Upbeat music filled the dance floor of the beautifully decorated venue, with the walls showcasing photography from JDC Entwine trips around the world. There was also a silent auction with many fabulous prizes.
The gala showcased Federation’s impact in San Diego, Israel, and overseas with visual displays, video, and engaging speakers. Through highlighting the life-changing work that Federation makes possible, NextGen wanted to inspire Jewish young adults in San Diego to get involved with NextGen in ways that are meaningful to them.
Danny Fleischer, NextGen Manager, Carly Simms, NextGen Social Chair, and Ariel Moritz, former JDC Service Corps fellow in Turkey, all spoke about their passion for being leaders in the Jewish young adult community, engaging newcomers, and caring for all Jews in need.
Aaron Truax, Director of Marketing and Communications at Federation, concluded the program with a moving speech in which he described his recent experience on a JDC Entwine trip to Turkey. Aaron highlighted the time he spent with the elderly in Turkey, who, in times of conflict, rely on JDC for critical aid, such as food and medication.
JDC Entwine travel experiences offer young Jewish leaders, influencers, and advocates who are seeking to make a meaningful humanitarian impact a unique glimpse into Jewish life in more than 70 countries.
In Aaron’s final remarks he spoke of the thousands of vulnerable Jews in war-torn Ukraine who are receiving vital support thanks to our donors generosity, and the 3.4 million dollars in aid that was raised by our community for Israel during the past summer’s conflict. He also mentioned that more than 600 Jewish San Diegans were granted the opportunity to travel to Israel on Birthright, and thousands of San Diegans in need benefited from #GivingTuesday and Good Deeds Day programs – efforts that would not have been possible without the generosity of our community.
“The generosity that is continuously demonstrated by NextGeners never ceases to amaze me,” said Danny Fleischer. “In the weeks leading up to the gala, and on the night, approximately 45 NextGen members joined Federation’s Star of David Alliance monthly giving program.
This sort of participation reveals to me that young adults are interested in more than just fun social events that benefit great causes. Rather, it is a strong indication that there is a vested interest in securing a vibrant and long-lasting Jewish community in San Diego, which excites me more than anything else! Lastly, I would like to extend a huge toda raba to all volunteers, community partners, and local businesses, who generously donated resources and devoted their time to making this an amazing NextGen gala.”