On International Holocaust Remembrance Day…

On International Holocaust Remembrance Day,
A New Partnership Will Preserve Legacies

Today, as we mark International Holocaust Remembrance Day, Jewish Federation of San Diego County has an eye toward the future. We are proud and excited to announce a new partnership with San Diego’s local group of Holocaust Survivors, the New Life Club, on several important care and legacy initiatives. 

The New Life Club started in the 1950’s as a way for Holocaust survivors to gather, share their experiences, learn together, and celebrate the lives they made in San Diego after the Holocaust. Over the years, New Life Club members have held dinner dances and picnics together, celebrated members’ life-cycle events and New Year’s Eve and held a community-wide Holocaust memorial service each year. Some members have written about their experiences during the Shoah and continue to speak with incredible candor and urgency in the community and around the country. 

With this partnership, New Life Club has become a part of Federation, a development welcomed by both organizations. Federation is now working with the New Life Club, along with County Supervisor Nathan Fletcher and local community member Sandra Scheller, to establish a new public Holocaust exhibit, with plans to include pieces from the Chula Vista based exhibit RUTH Remember Us the Holocaust, an exhibit that shares a survivor’s story. Establishing a public memorial is the New Life Club’s next chapter as its members consider their legacy and desire to educate future generations. As a partner, Federation will support New Life Club’s social gatherings and make sure they are woven into the fabric of the community. We can also better support them as they work to develop the memorial and preserve their stories.

This partnership builds on Federation’s work supporting all of San Diego’s local Holocaust Survivors, which today number roughly 400, ensuring they live with dignity in their homes. Eighty percent of these 400 survivors are from the Former Soviet Union; one-third of local survivors live in poverty. Jewish Family Service of San Diego, another partner of Federation, plays an integral role in providing direct support to San Diego’s survivors. Federation grants funds to Jewish Family Service to help Survivors with food, medical care, and other needs. Beyond this critical work of addressing basic needs for survivors, Federation is also dedicated to raising awareness in the broader community about this population, their legacy, and their needs today.

New Life Club shares these goals as well. So, in addition to creating a generational legacy and developing a public monument and memorial, it is launching Friends of the New Life Club. Through this, community members can volunteer and help a Survivor with day-to-day needs, such as grocery shopping or home maintenance.

And today we mourn those who were killed in a senseless terror attack in Jerusalem. 78 years after the liberation of Auschwitz, on the day the world commemorates the atrocity of the Holocaust, it is unbearable that Jews are still being murdered simply for being Jews. May their memory be a blessing.

Shabbat Shalom,


Heidi Gantwerk
President & Chief Executive Officer

Jewish Federation of San Diego County
Joseph and Lenka Finci Jewish Community Building
4950 Murphy Canyon Road | San Diego, CA 92123
858-571-3444 | www.jewishinsandiego.org/


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