As Chief Executive Officer, she's diversified programs and revenue sources at Jewish Family Service of San Diego.
Member of Adelphi University’s Profiles in Success program.
Chief Executive Officer, Jewish Family Service of San Diego
Favorite Professor: Dean Workowski in Social Work.
Adelphi memories: “Adelphi was really a pioneer in the development of the bachelor’s degree in social work. I loved the fact that was able to do field work so early in my career. It really set me on the path to what I do today.”
Advice to students: ”Do not look for the perfect job your first time out in the field. Take a job and make the most of it. Learn as much as you can and gain experience. Don’t think everything has to be perfect in your first job – it’s not supposed to be.”
A Mission of Service
When Jill Borg Spitzer ’71 joined Jewish Family Service of San Diego in 1984, the community-based agency provided counseling and psychotherapy to a variety of clients. Quickly realizing that counseling was not the answer to every person’s needs, Ms. Borg Spitzer began to diversify their programs and their revenue sources.
Today, JFS serves more than 30,000 people every year, and maintains a presence throughout San Diego County and also in the Palm Springs area. Its programs include counseling, senior services, refugee resettlement, and parent, youth, and school-based initiatives.
“We really try to meet people’s needs where they live or go to school,” she says. “We’re devoted to providing compassion but also excellence, and our reputation has grown accordingly.”
A consummate social entrepreneur, Ms. Borg Spitzer has also revitalized the agency’s fundraising capacity. In her tenure, annual fundraising has increased to more than $3 million, including an innovative car donation program and several high-profile social events. JFS also recently completed a $12 million capital campaign.
“Funding and programs go hand in hand,” she says. “We need to think creatively and be 100% dedicated to making sure that programs and services continue unabated.”
Her unflagging commitment to her work has been contagious. Her vision guides the daily activity of dozens of staff and volunteers, and has shaped the agency’s success.
“I’ve been very fortunate to find a job that provides a great deal of personal and professional satisfaction,” she says. “I’ve always had leadership that supported me and made me feel like I was doing a good job. Now, I try to be that kind of leader and manager. You have to work hard, but you also have to balance a life outside the job.”
Ms. Borg Spitzer finds her own balance in her family and as a member of the San Diego Senior Women’s Basketball League. Last year her team, currently ranked second in the state of California, competed in the Senior National Games in Louisville, Kentucky, and she anticipates returning next year.
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