- JFCS News
JFCS’ Executive Director, Dr. Anita Friedman, was recently presented with the Silver SPUR Lifetime Achievement Award, the most prominent award for lifetime civic achievement in San Francisco.
Dr. Friedman was honored for her visionary leadership in health and human services and innovative social enterprises across the Bay Area. In addition to heading JFCS’ services and humanitarian work, Dr. Friedman has served on various local, state, national, and international boards and commissions, and served as a consultant to Israel’s Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs.
As a speaker and author, Dr. Friedman’s expertise includes social policy and programming for diverse populations; the financing of health and human services; developing innovative business and social enterprise models; and Holocaust and genocide education.
At the heart of Dr. Friedman’s visions and accomplishments is a vision for a strong and supported community. She says, “I grew up in a community of hundreds of refugee families, all of them coming to this country with nothing after having lost everything and almost everyone. So we started a community of survivors, and that taught me a lot about why community is so important.”
SPUR, the San Francisco Bay Area Planning and Urban Research Association, brings people together from across the political spectrum to develop solutions to urban challenges. Dr. Friedman accepted her award at the Silver SPUR Awards Luncheon, an annual event that honors individuals whose goals and achievements have made the San Francisco Bay Area a better place to live, work and play. Other speakers at the luncheon included Mayor London Breed and Mark Benioff, CEO of Salesforce.
This accolade joins Dr. Friedman’s numerous awards including the 2015 San Francisco Business Times’ “Most Influential Woman in Business Award,” the State of California’s Family Service Council Distinguished Leadership Award, and A Wider Bridge’s Leadership Honor.
When accepting her award, Dr. Friedman reflected on the work she does, saying, “Sometimes people ask, ‘You work in an organization that deals with human suffering all day, every day. Isn’t that depressing? And it’s not at all, because you see so many more triumphs than you do tragedies. It’s a great source of strength.”