“What will happen when we think about what is RIGHT about people rather than FIXATING on what is WRONG with them?”– Don Clifton

For more than 100 years, Jewish Family Service has served as a source of strength and support for those who need it most, and every day JFS looks for new opportunities to live out the Jewish value of tikkun olam (repairing the world) and address the social and financial inequities that impact so many in our region. Marsha Friend-Berkson wears many hats from major donor to champion for JFS to ensure San Diegans of all backgrounds remain resilient and thrive.

#1 I grew up in Chicago and lived there until 1991, when I relocated to San Diego.


#2 I lost my mother over 18 years ago and wear a piece of her jewelry every day, which helps me feel like she is always with me.


#3 I LOVE to travel. Some of my favorite destinations are Hawaii, Thailand, Italy and France.


#4 I love Classic Rock, and I know the majority of the lyrics to all those 60s & 70s hits. It would be hard to stump me on Name That Tune.


#5 Trooper is my 4-year-old Labrador Retriever. I’m used to having multiple dogs, so I’m contemplating the age of my next pet since I’m not sure I want to go through the puppy stage.

#6 I’ve done immersive cooking trips visiting Vietnam and Italy. Next up is Croatia.


#7 I am a Gallup Certified Strengths Coach and work throughout JFS, helping teams and individuals to be more collaborative and productive.


#8 I have worked with JFS for close to 20 years, with my involvement getting deeper through the years. It is so inspiring to me that they continue to address the pressing needs in our San Diego community, from assisting immigrants and seniors to tackling issues like hunger, homelessness, and mental health.


#9 When Ricky lost his job at the beginning of the pandemic, the family finances got tight. When his wife Julie became sick with COVID-19 and had to take an extended time off from work, like many San Diegans, Julie and Ricky found themselves in a financial crisis. Julie states, “Food, diapers, and rent assistance (from JFS) have been a huge help to our family. We are so grateful; it has truly been a blessing.”


#10 The Jewish Family Service Heart & Soul Gala will celebrate the contributions of honorees Marcia Hazan and Danielle & Brian Miller of Geppetto’s. Chairs Marie Raftery & Dr. Bob Rubenstein and Scott Schindler and Honorary Chairs Evelyn and Ernest Rady invite the community to support JFS in addressing the most urgent needs of our community with impactful services and compassionate care.

Jewish Family Service
Heart & Soul Gala
Saturday, April 30, 2022
6 pm – midnight
Hyatt Regency La Jolla at Aventine