Jacqueline Semha Gmach

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Jacqueline Semha Gmach has spent a lifetime dedicating her energies to the furtherance of Jewish culture.  A native of Tunisia, Mrs. Gmach is the curator of several San Diego-based Jewish events (san Diego Jewish Film Festival, San Diego Music Festival, Samuel and Rebecca Astor Library - among them the renowned San Diego Jewish Book Fair.  As the Book Fair Director, she herself became a source of inspiration to authors and helped sprout new national literacy events.   Some of her own writings have appeared in newspapers and magazines— (i.e. The Bird, A Bomboloni Story, is in the San Diego Jewish Journal, The Gilberta Story is in Yitta Halberstam’ Small Miracles.)

A San Diego Legend, San Diego County Libraries, a recipient of the 2008 Marla Bennett Humanitarian Magen david Adom Award and of the 2010 San Diego KPBS/Union Bank Hero for Jewish Education Month, and Woman of Valor at the Lipinsky Jewish Arts Festival. 

  • Author of From Bomboloni to Bagel: A Story of Two Worlds
  • A board member of San Diego Organizations, Anti-Defamation League, Agency for Jewish Education, American Technion Society, The Friends of the Israel Defense Forces, San Diego KPBS/Union Bank hero committee.
Jacqueline is currently Project Director A Sephardim and Mizrahim Collection: 50 Testimonies of Jews in Arab Countries during the Shoah (Holocaust), a Project of USC Shoah Foundation - The Institute for Visual History and Education. “Recently, when the State of Israel decided to conduct a nationwide collection of a similar nature, USC Shoah Foundation became a consulting partner to assist with a large-scale collection effort of Jews from the MENA region, as a result of the expertise developed at the institute under Jackie’s guidance.  As a result, hundreds of additional testimonies, conducted in Israel, will now be available to future generations.  This is in no small part due to Jackie’s leadership and vision.”  Stephen D. Smith, Executive Director, Andrew J. and Erna Finci Viterbi Endowed Executive Director


Violinist Eileen Wingard attended UCLA and the Hochschule fuer Musik in Stuttgart, Germany as a Fulbright Scholar. She taught instrumental music at a junior high in Los Angeles and then played in the Pasadena Orchestra from 1950 to 1966 and the San Diego Symphony Orchestra from 1967 to 2004. As of 2015, she was writing for an online newspaper, giving lecture-recitals, and teaching violin and viola.

She was the recipient of the College Avenue JCC's Volunteer of the Year Award, the JCC Music Committee's Honoree of the Year, the San Diego Performing Arts League Star Award, and was chosen as a Woman of Valor by the Lipinsky Jewish Arts Festival.

Various Biographies