10 Things About Jessica Effress &
Jewish Women’s Foundation of San Diego


“Be your own best friend” because in order to take care of others, you have to take care of yourself first.

Jewish Women’s Foundation of San Diego (JWF) was founded by philanthropist Jan Tuttleman, to focus on improving the lives of Jewish women and girls while also empowering women as funders, decision makers and agents for change in the community. Since 2002, JWF has given over $1 million in grants to programs exclusively benefitting Jewish women and girls.

A recent study by the Women’s Philanthropy Institute showed that only 1.6% of all charitable giving supports organizations dedicated to women and girls. Led by Board Chair, Jessica Effress, JWF is part of a movement of women’s funds actively working to increase this percentage.

10 Things About Jessica Effress & Jewish Women’s Foundation of San Diego

#1 I grew up in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, and I have lived in Philadelphia, New York, Connecticut, Boston, and most recently Minneapolis. I am very happy to have been thawing out in San Diego since 2005.

#2 Empathy, for yourself and for others, is one quality I think everyone should nurture.

#3 I studied abroad in Florence, Italy my junior year of college, and go back to Tuscany as often as possible! We even brought our kids there in 2015. It will always hold a special place in my heart!

#4 I have always wanted to visit the World Heritage Site at Easter Island.

#5 We used to have a Portuguese Water Dog named Kona – she was afraid to go in our pool!

#6 By training, I am an architectural conservator. I worked on the historic restoration of the interior of Radio City Music Hall and in the cliff dwellings at Mesa Verde National Park.

#7 I love going to Comic Con and I even dress up!

#8 When I am having a challenging day, a walk on LJ Shores beach near my house, usually cheers me up.

#9 In this uncertain time, we are all trying to find the silver lining – the stay at home order has given me more time than I otherwise would have had to spend with my 18 year old daughter who will be going away to college in the Fall.

#10 20% of the 50,000 Jewish households in the county are touched by poverty. Single moms and their kids are disproportionately represented in this group. The most recent cycle of JWF’s grant initiative, focused on supporting Jewish women and girls affected by poverty, homelessness and hunger. JWF’s grants also help Coastal Roots Farm provide free delivery of organic produce to Holocaust Survivors who would not otherwise be able to afford these healthy options. These services have been even more greatly needed during the recent pandemic.


Jewish Women’s Foundation of San Diego