Russian band Marat World kept 400 guests on their feet, Feb. 3, 2018. (Photo/Courtesy JFCS)
Russian band Marat World kept 400 guests on their feet, Feb. 3, 2018. (Photo/Courtesy JFCS)

JFCS gala raises $675,000 for fire relief, children and the elderly

The vodka flowed and the zakuski were gobbled with gusto as 400 partygoers danced the night away at the 17th annual Émigré Community Gala, the always lively and well-attended signature fundraising event for S.F.-based Jewish Family and Children’s Services.

Held Feb. 3 at the Four Seasons Hotel in San Francisco, this year’s gala raised $675,000 to help North Bay wildfire survivors rebuild their lives, give care to the frail elderly, provide services to children with special needs and offer scholarships to young people.

“This gala gives our passionate émigré community and their supporters an opportunity to celebrate what we’ve achieved, while also raising crucial funds to help the most vulnerable,” said JFCS executive director Anita Friedman.

Israeli scholar Tal Becker, a faculty member of the Shalom Hartman Institute in Jerusalem, was the keynote speaker as well as the recipient of the JFCS Humanitarian Leadership Award. Celebrity attendees included state Sen. Scott Wiener and San Francisco mayoral candidates Mark Leno and Angela Alioto, along with Jewish actor Henry Winkler.