10 Things About Sharleen Wollach & Jewish Community Foundation San Diego


“Don’t let the past determine who you are, let the past determine who you want to be”

Jewish Community Foundation San Diego (JCF) combines donor-driven philanthropy, investing and education for maximum benefit in the community. JCF believes individuals can make a difference; together we change the world. JCF is a community foundation driven by faith-based values and many of the fund holders are not Jewish. 70% of the grants JCF facilitates are to the secular community. Historically, JCF has granted out over $1.7 billion, about 80% of that stays here in San Diego. Sharleen Wollach was doing a project for ChaiSouthAfrica, a fund of the Jewish Community Foundation, when she was recruited as JCF’s Chief Impact Officer.


#1 I grew up in Durban, South Africa and moved to San Diego 40 years ago.


#2 I love to travel internationally so any place I have never visited, is wonderful. I have been blessed to go to more than 50 countries and yet I still love Hawaii!


#3 For 2022, my resolution is to get out more – explore San Diego and all its beautiful places!


#4 I spend almost every Sunday in the summer at the beach, boogie boarding with friends and I am an avid Pickle Ball player.


#5 Antarctica on an expedition ship is on my bucket list!


#6 My late dad told me to “make sure you live your life the way you want your eulogy written”, so I’m trying to do that. It keeps me grounded and reminds me to be kind, patient, positive and empathetic.


#7 I was a volunteer in the community, always felt that it was a good way to connect and give back and that when I couldn’t give money, I could always give of my time. As a working mom, time was my greatest asset. I am passionate about building a strong community, making this world a better place, and helping generous donors find the cause and purpose that is meaningful to them.


#8 I am also committed to charitable estate planning, presenting ways to honor a donor’s lifetime of giving. It is a privilege to do this work.


#9 At the start of the pandemic, Jewish Community Foundation established three funds to support the entire community and with millions of dollars raised, we were able to provide support to over 75 local organizations.


#10 We encourage donors to support the organizations and causes they care most about, and we will help educate and inspire them along the way. We offer a collective fund called giv4 homelessness in san diego, supporting 12 curated non-profits working towards the solutions to homelessness which is available to the general public.


Jewish Community Foundation

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Esteban Villanueva