Joan and Irwin Jacobs Campus Dedication

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Jewish Family Service of San Diego Celebrates Grand Opening of New Campus

Completed Renovation Dedicated to Joan and Irwin Jacobs

SAN DIEGO (Jan. 31, 2016) – Jewish Family Service of San Diego (JFS) officially opened its new campus on January 31. At a special celebration for its capital campaign supporters, JFS dedicated the new space to Joan and Irwin Jacobs for their 20 years of championing the agency.  

The ceremony marked the completion of a four-year-long project to bring many of JFS’s employees, programs, and services together into two neighboring buildings on Balboa Avenue. Developed alongside the agency’s strategic plan, the campus design was directly informed by JFS’s emerging vision for its work and long-term impact in San Diego. 

“The Joan & Irwin Jacobs Campus is a reflection of our principles of being client-centered, promoting collaboration, and improving our ability to deliver life-changing services,” said JFS CEO Michael Hopkins. “The campus is designed to truly put clients first. We have positioned many of the services a client needs together in a positive, healing environment.” 

By design, the Joan & Irwin Jacobs Campus welcomes every visitor like family. Children can explore an outdoor play space and edible garden. Clients seeking nutrition assistance are invited to fill a basket in a new market-style food pantry that prioritizes dignity and choice. The Jacobs Campus’s open space architecture allows partners, supporters, and volunteers to walk through the doors and immediately feel part of the team, contributing their passion, energy, and ideas.

In addition to areas for client use, the Joan & Irwin Jacobs Campus includes new features that improve program efficiency and expand capacity. The campus includes a 1,800-square-foot commercial kitchen where staff will prepare 80,000 hot kosher meals annually for low-income and older San Diegans. With new walk-in refrigeration, the Hand Up Youth Food Pantry at JFS will be able to distribute more perishable foods – including fresh produce, lean meat and low-fat dairy – to individuals and families facing hunger.

Mission Hills-based architects Safdie Rabines were tapped to redesign the agency’s two buildings on Balboa Avenue. The result is an integrated campus with light, airy spaces that improve the client experience, and multiple open work spaces for staff to collaborate and develop strategies to meet client needs.

About Jewish Family Service
Since 1918, Jewish Family Service of San Diego has been a trusted community resource for individuals and families working to build better lives. Operating throughout San Diego County and the Coachella Valley, the agency’s integrated services are focused around three goals:
Empower Individuals & Families to Move Toward Self-Sufficiency, Support Aging With Dignity, and Foster Community Connection & Engagement. Many people first turn to Jewish Family Service with a specific need, such as job coaching or transportation, and that first contact often leads to a wide range of services, including counseling, education, nutritious meals, social connection, and more.

For the eighth consecutive year, JFS has earned a coveted 4-star rating from Charity Navigator, America’s largest independent charity evaluator that highlights the work of efficient, ethical and open charities. To find services, volunteer, or to learn how JFS empowers change in our community, visit


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