About us

Kindness Initiative is an outgrowth of a 2020 study, called “Poverty in the San Diego Jewish Community” and a subsequent community-convening to assess means for addressing the unmet needs of Vulnerable Jewish Households (VJHs). This study and convening were sponsored by the San Diego Jewish Federation, Jewish Family Services, Jewish Community Foundation, and the Isakow Foundation.

Kindness Initiative was established to evaluate the study, conduct a separate, subsequent analysis of data and additional interview findings, and identify actions to alleviate inadequate access to available services experienced by VJHs, as well as gaps in available services, for those with limited financial resources.​

More than 70 projects were identified as important to addressing issues to adequately meet the needs of VJHs. A community-wide implementation plan, based on prioritization of actionable projects, was then developed. These projects address needs in the following areas: Community education, collaboration & support; identification of VJHs; system-entry & information-availability; navigating existing services; options for affordable housing; health & wellness programs; food security; basic household necessities; employment assistance; transportation; preventative programs; and financial campaigns.

In collaboration with local service providers and with the support of a strong volunteer corps, Kindness Initiative is coordinating the implementation of this community plan, to alleviate poverty in the San Diego Jewish community. ​

Donor funds are utilized for a broad range of Member support, including: emergency payments to Member creditors, to cover essential expenses and maintain essential services; assist with auto repairs/purchases; implement navigation processes to effectively access services with dignity; leverage existing Service Provider resources and government benefit programs; develop a small administrative team and a large volunteer corps, which assists Members directly, through navigation, access to services, socialization, personal attention and advocacy; maintain a database and metrics to monitor and report results; and, if needed, to develop programs that are not currently available to VJHs.

Our Mission

To alleviate poverty in the San Diego Jewish Community

“Living in poverty” means being unable to meet basic human needs, including housing, food, and clothing.

Kindness Initiative defines “Jewish” as those individuals who self-identify as Jewish and their households, as well as individuals who work for Jewish communal organizations in San Diego County.

Our Visiom

An efficient and effective framework to meet basic
physical and psychological needs of vulnerable Jewish
households, with dignity, kindness, and Jewish values,
through organizational collaborations, volunteers, and innovation.


  • Respect
  • Empathy
  • Compassion
  • Community
  • Member-centric Service
  • Collaboration
  • Integrity
  • Innovation
  • Persistence
  • Excellence
  • Outcome-driven

Visit the following link for more information about Kindness Initiative’s “Service Standards,” HERE


A collaborative, comprehensive, coordinated, community plan/ framework to assist vulnerable Jewish households. The Kindness Initiative is an independent community poverty oversight and facilitation program, not an agency.


  • Assist Vulnerable Jewish Households (VJHs) in San Diego County, through a collaborative, comprehensive, coordinated, innovative, community plan

  • Expand the free Membership program so all VJHs can access needed services with dignity, and confidentiality
  • Improve coordination among communal organizations, which has been a barrier to identifying and assisting vulnerable households

  • Monitor community standards of care and performance

  • Collaborate with Service Provider partners, to provide Members with customized services

  • Provide supplemental services and client support through an extensive volunteer network

  • Recruit, train and coordinate a large Corps of Volunteers

  • Manage the structured, Member-centric Service Model

    • Identify VJHs

    • Access single-point-of-entry to Services Providers

    • Assess the specific needs of each Member

    • Develop a customized “Action Plan” to address areas of need

    • Assist Member with access to Service Provider Partners

    • Monitor client progress

  • Address existing service-gaps, including affordable housing; financial assistance; health & wellness; legal & accounting; financial literacy; subsidized access to Jewish community activities; information & resource hub with navigators; employment services; transportation challenges; socialization; and care coordination.

  • Create meaningful poverty prevention programs