Jewish Heritage Month
As part of the Union Bank Heritage Month celebrations, we are proud to sponsor the Local Heroes Awards and to honor various individuals for their positive contributions and influence they have made to the Jewish American community.
The honorees will be formally recognized as part of the Annual Local Heroes Awards, which Union Bank partners with public television station KPBS. The station broadcasts video profiles of the honorees throughout its Jewish American Heritage Month programming.
Congratulations to our 2012 Local Heroes of the Year:
Jill Borg Spitzer
Jewish Family Service of San Diego
Jill Borg Spitzer began working at Jewish Family Service (JFS) in 1984 when the agency had a staff of 20, an annual budget of $500,000 and focused on family counseling. As CEO for 25 years, Ms. Spitzer has focused on social issues, including domestic violence, youth mentoring, senior centers and hunger. JFS now serves more than 30,000 people every year, and it’s Hand Up Food Pantry, led by youth volunteers, serves more than 7,000 people. Ms. Spitzer has revitalized JFS’ fundraising capacity and completed a $12 million capital campaign. She holds a master’s degree from Columbia and is a licensed clinical social worker.
Born in Poland in 1925, at age 13 Gussie Zaks was sent to several concentration camps before losing her family at the Treblinka death camp. Once liberated, Ms. Zaks spent time in Sweden and Belgium; she immigrated to the U.S. and moved to San Diego in 1963. As a Holocaust survivor, Ms. Zaks educates others about racial and religious discrimination. Despite losing many family and friends to unspeakable acts of prejudice, she believes hate is not the answer. She has been recognized by the Board of Education of San Diego City Schools and has received San Diego’s Channel 10 News Leadership Award.
View Past Jewish Heritage Month Honorees