NEXT ISSUE: EDUCATION & CAMP
VOL. XCVI NO. 3
FEBRUARY 15, 2021 | 3 ADAR 5781
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THIS WEEK Mind Your Business This week the AJT gets down to business: the Jewish entrepreneurs, real estate agents and professionals in Atlanta who help shape the economy. They tell us what they’re building and selling, how they’re weathering the pandemic and the kinds of innovative projects they’re developing. Among our stories is a Georgia Tech graduate student developing Airbnbs, an interview with the outgoing president of the Atlanta Commercial Board of Realtors, and an accountant offering tax tips. Many of our stories revolve around COVID and its impact on small business, office space, shopping centers and how we handle stress and anxiety. Plus the latest in the local residential real estate market. You’ll learn about new business ventures such as an app that keeps track of alcohol and food inventory, another that picks up unused food from hotels, restaurants and airports and delivers it to those in need. There’s also a company that offers affordable car insurance to food delivery drivers and the like. Our news section is also packed with construction projects: The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation's $17 million donation to the National Center for Civil and Human Rights to expand its building. One of the largest donations to the Jewish Federation of
Greater Atlanta and Jewish Family & Career Services was $5.6 million from the family trust of a Holocaust survivor who was both a community philanthropist and communal leader. And then there’s politics. Keeping us on our toes is U.S. Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene, known for her anti-Semitic rhetoric. Two Jewish groups supported the recent decision by the House to reprimand her. We also look into her QAnon movement’s Jewish following. Plus, we interview David Schoen, a high-profile Atlanta lawyer helping to represent former President Donald Trump in his impeachment trial. And AJC political reporter Greg Bluestein shares about his background and his upcoming book about the recent elections. Always so much to read and learn. That’s why we’re back next issue focusing on education along with further preparations for summer camp. ì Corrections and clarifications: In our previews of the Atlanta Jewish Film Festival last issue, the name of contributor Janice Convoy-Hellmann was spelled incorrectly and a preview by Jason Evans, “Howie Mandel: But, Enough About Me,” was attributed to another contributor.
Cover image: Upscale furniture store RH with this Buckhead location, has seen success during the pandemic.
CONTENTS NEWS������������������������������������������������� 6 ISRAEL NEWS������������������������������� 16 OPINION����������������������������������������� 18 REAL ESTATE������������������������������� 22 BUSINESS & PROFESSIONALS��� 32 ART��������������������������������������������������� 40 DINING�������������������������������������������� 41 CALENDAR������������������������������������� 42 COMMUNITY��������������������������������� 46 KEEPING IT KOSHER������������������ 50 BRAIN FOOD���������������������������������� 51 OBITUARIES���������������������������������� 52 CLOSING THOUGHTS����������������� 56
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NEWS Jewish Atlantan Takes Lead in Impeachment Trial By Dave Schechter Criminal defense attorney David Schoen is preparing for the highest profile case in a 30-plus years career that has seen him defend numerous high-profile clients and others lesser known but no less important. Beginning Feb. 9, the Atlanta resident and Orthodox Jew will be one of two attorneys representing former President Donald J. Trump in his impeachment trial before the U.S. Senate. Trump was impeached Jan. 13 by the House on a charge of inciting insurrection, stemming from the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol by a mob that earlier that day had attended a rally at which Trump spoke. Schoen, who maintains offices in Alabama and New York, feels honored to represent the 45th president but he is less happy about the circumstances. “I am deeply disappointed this impeachment proceeding is going forward and especially at a time like this, when the country is so polarized and the impeachment process has become so politicized,”
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he told the AJT. At the rally on The Ellipse, Trump repeated his claim that re-election was “stolen” from him. “We fight like hell and if you don’t fight like hell, you’re not going to have a country anymore,” he told an audience estimated to number 30,000 or more. Trump’s defenders stress that he also said, “I know that everyone here will soon be marching over to the Capitol building to peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard.” Pitched battles between protesters and police inside and outside disrupted and delayed for several hours the Congress ratifying the Electoral College vote that made Joe Biden the 46th president. Members of Congress and their staffs were forced into hiding. Five people, including two Capitol Hill police officers, died in the riot. Congressional offices and the Capitol Rotunda were vandalized. Conviction in the impeachment trial requires a vote by two-thirds of the senators present. If convicted, a second vote, to bar Trump from again holding public office, would require only a majority of the senators present.
Schoen and Bruce L. Castor, Jr., a former Montgomery County, Pa. district attorney, became Trump’s attorneys after a team of five attorneys withdrew Jan. 30. That split was said to have been a mutual decision, though there were reports of differences in how the defense would be conducted and its expense. Trump reportedly wanted his previous attorneys to base their case on his claims of voting fraud, rather than the constitutional issue of whether a president can be convicted after leaving office. Schoen has said that Trump has not pressured him to focus the case on voter fraud.
“My position on all issues is based on principles that I can defend using my understanding of the Constitution,” attorney David Schoen told the AJT in 2018.
NEWS Schoen is an In an 80Orthodox Jew page brief, who worships the House imat Congregapeachment tion Beth Jamanagers said cob and Conthat Trump gregation Ohr was “singuHaTorah. larly responIn 2018, sible” for the Schoen gave events of Jan. the AJT this 6, having creself-descripated a “frenzy” tion: “On among his supmany social porters. and domestic In their 14issues, I am page response, characterized Schoen and as being on Castor argued the left; on that the trial issues involvitself is unconing Israel, I stitutional and President Donald J. Trump was impeached Jan. 13 am characterthat Trump’s by the House on a charge of inciting insurrection ized as being speech at the stemming from the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol. on the right. rally was proMy position tected by the First Amendment. “I believe it is com- on all issues is based on principles that pletely unconstitutional to conduct an I can defend using my understanding of impeachment trial for a former govern- the Constitution.” The 62-year-old Schoen holds a masment official, now a private citizen,” ter of law degree from Columbia UniverSchoen told the AJT. Just days before the start of the trial, sity and a juris doctorate from Boston “I see absolutely nothing good coming College, and serves as chair of the Ameriof it for anyone,” Schoen told the AJT. “It can Bar Association’s Criminal Justice certainly is not really about ascertain- Subcommittee of the Civil Rights Litigaing facts or they would actually have tion Committee. Schoen was honored in 1995 by the conducted an investigation before rising ABA for his to judgment pro bono in the House. work in civil Now more rights cases, and more eviprimarily in dence appears the South. He to be coming also has repout showing resented the pre-planning families of of the riot and terrorism vicmaking it clear tims in litigathat it was tion against not incited by the Palestine former PresiLiberation Ordent Trump’s ganization. speech.” In SepW h e n t e m b e r , writing about Schoen told Schoen, the the AJT’s national press Marcia Caller has focused on Jaffe: “I rephis previous resented all clients, among Bruce Castor, former district attorney for sorts of reputthem Trump Montgomery County. (Matt Rourke/AP, file) ed mobster figfriend Roger ures: alleged Stone, and on Schoen’s having met with Jeffrey Epstein head of Russian mafia in this country, Isdays before the accused sex offender was raeli mafia and two Italian bosses, as well as a guy the government claimed was the found dead in his New York City jail cell. The Jewish press has taken note that biggest mafioso in the world.” ì
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Greene Remains Defiant, Jewish Groups Applaud Removal By Dave Schechter The day after the House of Representatives acted to punish Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, the Republican congresswoman from northwest Georgia’s 14th District disabused any notion that she might change her style. Greene posted on Twitter the morning of Feb. 5: “I woke up early this morning literally laughing thinking about what a bunch of morons the Democrats (+11) are for giving some one like me free time. In this Democrat tyrannical government, Conservative Republicans have no say on committees anyway. Oh this is going to be fun!” The “+11” referred to the Republicans who joined Democrats in the 230199 vote Feb. 4 that removed the firstterm member from the Education and Labor Committee and the Budget Committee. At a Friday news conference in front of the Capitol, Greene told reporters, “If I was on a committee, I’d be wasting my time, because my conservative values wouldn’t be heard, and neither would my district’s.” Not having committee assignments means that “I can talk to a whole lot more people all over this country, and I can talk to more people and make connections and build a huge amount of support.” Greene’s defiance aside, Jewish groups were pleased that the House took action. A statement issued by Allison Padilla-Goodman, vice president of the Atlanta-based Southern division of the Anti-Defamation League said that Greene “has promoted the QAnon movement and continues to be a purveyor of unhinged conspiracy theories based in antisemitism, Islamophobia, and racism. There is no place in our nation’s leadership for this hatred, and we have been advocating for limiting her involvement on congressional committees for several months. We applaud the House for their decision to remove her from her committee assignments.” The Jewish Community Relations Council of Atlanta said in a statement: “As a Jewish organization, JCRC is distressed with the danger of her antisemitic, racist, Islamophobic and conspiratorial rhetoric. As a Georgia organization, we are concerned about the divisive impact her words have on civic discourse in our state.” While acknowledging that Greene,
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Greene told reporters that without committee assignments, “I can talk to more people and make connections and build a huge amount of support."
in her Feb. 4 speech on the House floor, apologize to those she has hurt, hecktried to walk back some of her contro- led and harassed, and take concrete versial statements, JCRC said: “But she action to repair the damage she has caused and the fear did not apologize she has spread,” for the hatred she the statement conhas unleashed for cluded. years in building In a speech the public profile on the House floor that carried her to Thursday night Washington. before the vote, “JCRC of AtGreene expressed lanta believes in regret for some of the fundamental the conspiracy theJewish principle ories that she had of teshuva, the optouted, explaining portunity to atone that “I was allowed for sins and return to believe things to the fold. Rep. Greene must dem- “There is no place in our nation’s leadership that weren’t true onstrate true regret for this hatred,” Allison Padilla-Goodman, and I would ask about and engage in civil vice president of the Southern division of the questions and talk discourse, calling Anti-Defamation League, said in a statement. them people in to make this nation better and about them, and that is absolutely what safer for all, not calling people out for I regret.” Calling herself “a very regular their differences. The congresswoman must repent for her lies, false accusa- American,” Greene told the House, “I tions and misstatements, sincerely never said any of these things since I
have been elected for Congress.” The Democratic majority moved to strip Greene of committee assignments after the Republican caucus chose not to punish Greene, with Minority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy of California calling the House vote a “partisan power grab.” The 14th District takes in 11 counties and part of a 12th, stretching from the Tennessee border south to near Interstate 20. Rome is the largest city in the district, which was created in redistricting following the 2010 Census and has been reliably Republican. Greene began in 2019 seeking the Republican nomination to the House from the 6th District, but when Republican incumbent Rep. Tom Graves opted not to see re-election, she switched to the 14th. Greene advanced from the June 9 Republican primary and defeated Dr. John Cowan in an Aug. 11 runoff. In the Nov. 3 general election, she received 74.7 percent of nearly 308,000 votes cast, defeating Democrat Kevin Van Ausdal, who quit the race several weeks before Election Day. ì
Bluestein Tells How Atlanta Turned Purple By Robyn Spizman Gerson Greg Bluestein’s ever-evolving career in political journalism has led him to a new endeavor – that of author. In a recent conversation with the Atlanta Jewish Times, the senior political reporter for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution discusses his first book, “How the Peach State Turned Purple,” which was scooped up in a book-bidding war by Viking, a division of Penguin Random House. He shares with the AJT insights about how his passion for politics has reached national attention in the literary world thanks to what readers have witnessed, which is his up-to-the-minute, close-up view and vast knowledge of Georgia’s political landscape. AJT: How did you land in the political arena as a journalist? Bluestein: I’ve wanted to be a reporter since AJC beat writer I.J. Rosenberg came to speak to my fourth-grade class at Greenfield Hebrew Academy about covering the Atlanta Braves. I remember coming home and telling my parents about my dream, and then writing my first newspaper story a year later, at Woodland Elementary, with a catchy headline: “Woodland Catches Braves Fever.” Though my dreams got sidelined – for the next few years I thought I wanted to go into medicine – they were revived in high school when my best friend Jessica Schiffman’s father, Jim, took us to CNN in the middle of a major breaking news event. I never turned back. I joined the North Springs High School’s Oracle newspaper and at the University of Georgia plunged into The Red & Black, where I ultimately served as editor-inchief for my senior year. AJT: You’ve lived and breathed deadlines and politics for two decades. Tell us what you are most passionate about. Bluestein: I’m passionate about telling Georgia’s story from the perspective of someone who is born and raised here. And that means all sides of the story. I try to shape my work with the perspectives of major political players, activists and others from across the ideological spectrum. I’ve known Gov. Brian Kemp since I covered his state Senate run in college; I’ve known Stacey Abrams since she was a little-known newcomer to the state Legislature. I’ve chronicled the careers – good and bad – of all the dominant forces in state politics, and sharing
scrutinized our every word after our stories were published. I spent my senior year as editor-in-chief, leading a talented crew of dozens of reporters, photographers, editors and designers through a roller-coaster of developments at UGA.
Greg Bluestein poses for a photo after one of then-President Donald Trump’s many visits to Georgia last year.
their stories is what drives me.
Center – now shape how my wife Sheryl and I raise our two daughters. We are so fortunate to have such a strong, vibrant and supportive community.
AJT: Who is the most exciting person you’ve ever interviewed? Bluestein: I’ve had the chance to interview an amazing array of newsmakers, from presidents to celebrities. But one of my most prized moments was returning to the MJCC – where so much of my life has revolved – and leading a sold-out discussion [at the Book Festival of the MJCCA in 2017] with Dan Rather about his career as a reporter and anchor at CBS News. AJT: Is there any time you’ve been caught off guard and speechless? Bluestein: I’m not usually knocked off guard. But I was when Katie Couric interviewed me about the Georgia runoffs and mentioned something that I shared in common with her father: He, too, was an Atlanta political newspaper reporter, covering state government for The Atlanta Constitution. It was a really neat moment!
AJT: What motivated you to write this book? Bluestein: The story of Georgia is AJT: Tell me really the story about your colof national polilege days? Did tics for the next they prepare you? decade – and beBluestein: yond. And I’ve One of the first had a front-row steps I took at seat to capture AJT: What are your plans from the University Georgia’s political here? of Georgia was change for much Bluestein: It’s going to be a busy joining The Red of the last two year! I’ll be working on the book while & Black, the indecades, capping (GPB) A screen shot of WABE’s Lisa Rayam also continuing to cover state politics dependent stuwith one of the and Greg Bluestein moderating the Senate with a fantastic team of reporters at The dent newspaper. most exhilarating debate hosted by the Atlanta Press Club Atlanta Journal-Constitution. ì It was the best and exhausting last month, which was seen by more than 4 million viewers around the nation. training ground elections in modRobyn Spizman is a New York Times ern history. It’s a pivotal moment in the I could have imagined. Every day we best-selling author and media personality state’s history, and I am overjoyed to tell were on the front lines of covering a city who has written dozens of books, www. and campus teeming with great stories, it. robynspizman.com. and a legendary team of professors who AJT: Any details you can share about the book’s focus? Bluestein: The book is an account Traci is a highly experienced and of how Georgia transformed from one of respected attorney who passionately the staunchest Republican strongholds advocates for what is right and fair to the nation’s most captivating swing for individuals and their families, while A Family Law Firm state, ground zero for the disinformation helping them navigate challenging Traci A. Weiss, Esq. wars, and bellwether for the future of divorces and other family law situations Partner both political parties, culminating with with dignity and compassion. Family Law Attorney the story of the epic Senate runoff flips. Guardian ad Litem Warner Bates’ attorneys have 250+ years of collective litigation experience, AJT: Tell us about living in Atlanta handling complex matters while and being Jewish? maintaining our core principles: Bluestein: I grew up at the heart of the Jewish community in Sandy Springs Integrity. Excellence. Results. and live just a few miles from where I was born. The same community cornerstones that helped shape my life – Con3350 Riverwood Parkway, Suite 2300, Atlanta, Georgia 30339 gregation B’nai Torah, Camp Barney TWeiss@warnerbates.com | Learn more at www.WarnerBates.com | 770.951.2700 Medintz, the Marcus Jewish Community ATLANTA JEWISH TIMES FEBRUARY 15, 2021 | 9
QAnon Attracts Jewish Believers Despite Anti-Semitic Leanings By Jan Jaben-Eilon Members of the Jewish community – even in Atlanta – are not immune to the conspiracy theories spread by QAnon, a social media phenomenon full of anti-Semitic ideas, according to several researchers on the subject consulted for this story. “There were Jews wearing kippot in the riots in the U.S. Capitol,” which also included Q flags and shirts, noted Arieh Kovler, a British-born corporate communications specialist who has long studied extremism on the internet and now lives in Jerusalem. Some Jews, he said, entered the QAnon world through support for former President Donald Trump. “The Jewish believers are usually strong Trump supporters who slipped into Q,” he told the AJT in a Zoom call. Other Jews, including several in Atlanta, say they are unfamiliar with QAnon, but they espouse several of the QAnon beliefs, including that the 2020 election was stolen from Trump, according to those interviewed for this article. It’s obviously impossible to gauge
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One of the more memorable participants in the notorious Capitol insurrection Jan. 6.
exactly how many Jews buy into the QAnon beliefs. Kovler says they sometimes use fake names. “They don’t necessarily
advertise they’re Jewish.” That wouldn’t be surprising because QAnon is a “very anti-Semitic movement. Its text of drops [messages] are full of anti-Semitic tropes that have been around for millennial,” said Mike Rothschild, a Los Angeles area-based researcher who is writing a book about QAnon. He said that there have been several references to the Rothschild family [no relation to him] and a seeming obsession with Hungarian-born Holocaust survivor George Soros. Originally German, the Rothschilds established a banking empire and have long been philanthropists who have, among other areas, supported Israel. The family name is used to allege worldwide control of finance by Jews. Multi-billionaire Soros supports progressive ideas around the world and is a widely used trope to represent Jewish influence. Both names have been disparaged by Georgia Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene, who Kovler refers to as a “conspiracist for rent.” QAnon was initially considered a fringe phenomenon. Now, however, especially since the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, the Federal Bureau of Investigation warns that QAnon poses a domestic terror threat. “Q” has claimed to be a top intelligence officer with knowledge of Trump’s war against a global cabal of pedophiles, sex traffickers and wideranging conspiracies, including that the Sept. 11, 2001 attack on the United States was a hoax and that the Mossad killed President John F. Kennedy.
So, how are Jews attracted to QAnon? According to Marilyn Mayo, senior research fellow with the Anti-Defamation League’s Center on Extremism, there are two main ways Jews – especially women – are pulled into the QAnon community. One is through the anti-vaxxer movement which is “prevalent in the Orthodox community,” Mayo said. Acknowledging that this group includes some of her closest friends, Mayo describes them as vegan or extremely health conscious. “The pandemic makes people more prone to conspiracy theories. When there are worldwide crises, people want to know why this is happening. They are looking for answers.” The second way Jews are enticed by QAnon is through the belief that children are being kidnapped. “The hashtag Save the Children used by QAnon folks brought many Jews [and non-Jews] to the conspiracy community,” notes Mayo. That belief harkens back to the Pizzagate conspiracy that started in 2016 and falsely blamed Hillary Clinton with operating a sex-trafficking ring out of the basement of a Washington, D.C., pizza restaurant. An armed North Carolina man who believed the alleged plot actually drove to the restaurant and was arrested. QAnon burst onto the internet social media scene less than a year later. Mayo points out that conspiracy believers showed up again at the pizza restaurant the night before President Joe Biden’s inauguration – an inauguration QAnon supporters believed would never happen. QAnon supporters of Trump,
NEWS Rothschild believes the “disillusionwho they consider their “savior,” believed ment is only temporary. They will find he would retain the presidency, accorda way to reconcile what happened. The ing to the AJT sources. vast majority are In fact, too imbedded some QAnon beinto it. They’ve lievers became sacrificed so disillusioned much for it, their with the conhealth, famspiracy comily. Most people munity when want to believe. the prediction There’s very of Trump staymuch a feeling of ing in power this movement came to a deadunderstanding end. A number me, while my of Atlanta Jewfamily doesn’t. ish women had My family thinks agreed to speak I’m crazy. It’s with the AJT very cult-like.” about their beRothschild, liefs until the whose book, "The Jan. 20 inaugu“The pandemic makes people more prone Storm is Upon ration. Accordto conspiracy theories,” states Marilyn Mayo, senior research fellow with the AntiUs,” will be pubing to Mayo, Defamation League’s Center on Extremism. lished in Octosome believers ber, said that he are “pivoting,” saying Biden’s inauguration is just part of doesn’t speak to Q believers as part of his the overall plan. Some are focusing their research. “They are very evasive,” he said. efforts on March 4, the original date of “But I spend a lot of time talking to fampresidential inaugurations in the United ily and friends, those who are left behind States. Others are leaving the movement. by it.”
“Today, there are so many people He believes that the Jan. 6 riots were just the beginning. “I could foresee an act who don’t know what truth is. People are of mass violence and it could be directed in a bubble,” Mayo said. “If you hear family members talk against Jews,” about pedophiles, he said. “Jews learn how to chalare always the lenge them by first target. But asking questions. we should all That’s the best way be concerned, to reach people. not just Jews. They’re in a rabbit We can’t ignore hole and it’s hard QAnon and to pull them out. hope it will just Ask them for evigo away.” dence.” Whether ADL, meanor not some while, is keepof the Jewish ing its eye on believers unwhat QAnon derstand the may morph into. anti-Semitic “We’re still living underpinnings through a panof QAnon, Researcher and writer Mike Rothschild demic and a very many have says that within QAnon “There’s very much a feeling of this movement understanding polarized society. been eager to me, while my family doesn’t.” What happens share their when people are beliefs with friends, much like evangelical Christians angry and feel disenfranchised and what ideologies might they espouse?” are driven to “witness” to Jews. This may actually provide an open- Mayo added. “There’s always stuff pering for friends or family members to in- colating, on all sides. Our job is to expose it.” ì tervene, Mayo said.
ATLANTA JEWISH TIMES FEBRUARY 15, 2021 | 11
Blank Foundation’s $17 Million ‘Tzedakah’ to Civil Rights Center By Bob Bahr The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation has announced a $17 million gift to expand the National Center for Civil and Human Rights in Atlanta. The gift that Blank made through his family foundation will be spread over five years and fund a new wing of the center, which is located in Centennial Olympic Park next to the Georgia Aquarium. The aquarium was built by Bernie Marcus, who founded The Home Depot with Blank in 1978. In announcing the donation, which will place the new building sideby-side with the Aquarium, Blank acknowledged the Jewish roots of their philanthropic efforts. “The notion of giving back, the notion of tzedakah, if you will, making a difference in the world, you know, giving back in ways that we can’t say. We’ve been blessed, myself and many, many others. And so, these are all opportunities for us to, to say thank you, to give back to society.”
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Jill Savitt, CEO of the center, came to the Atlanta attraction early in 2019 from the United State Holocaust Memorial Museum. She told the AJT soon after she arrived that she owed a debt to her Jewish heritage and how it shaped her concerns about civil liberties. “Human rights came into being as a result of the atrocities of World War II. The collective guilt of the international community made it possible for mainly Jewish lawyers … to say we need certain laws and standards. We’re not going to let this happen again. It is an outrage to the conscience of mankind what happened to the Jews in the Holocaust,” she said in the AJT’s April 2019 story. Savitt said that the recent gift will help transform the museum, which is now largely an attraction for visitors, into a civil and human rights facility with a much broader mission. “Our goal over the next five years is to transform to not just an attraction, but full rights institution that does a lot more. And our goal really overall is to help people tap their own power to
Blank’s gift will help expand the National Center for Civil and Human Rights by 50 percent.
change the world around them. That’s what we believe our center can do because of the unbelievable stories that we tell.” The donation by the Blank foundation is part of a large capital campaign that Savitt said has collected $25 mil-
lion, about halfway toward a goal of $50 million, which will make it possible to expand the building with an east wing. The expansion is expected to add 50 percent to the building meeting and exhibit space and create a complex with over 50,000 square feet.
Over the years the Blank family foundation has given the Center over $20 million.
The center has seen a rapid expan- others, “Good Company,” with an ansion of its programs over the last year. nouncement that all the proceeds from It has started a program to train the Los the book would go to the National Center. Angeles police He told the department and AJT at that time has a number of that the book other projects was an urgent pending with plea to regain a major police sense of dignity forces around and community the country, inthat has partialcluding a proly disappeared gram that Savitt from American said would start society in reMarch 1 to train cent years. every officer in “We tend the Atlanta deto live much partment in humore in silos, man rights. isolation, both Over the individually years, the Blank as well as in family foundagroups. And I tion has given think that’s a over $20 million step backwards. to the center, A step forward, which Blank which is kind said he believes of the essence will help to in this book, is bring Amerithat, when we cans together. Jill Savitt is CEO of the National Center for Civil and Human Rights. live as commuHe was one of nities, we have the original a much higher donors for the purpose that will give us the spiritual construction of the building in 2013. Last year, Blank launched his book returns that are important to us leadabout the importance of giving back to ing a full and happy life." ì
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Root One Israel Teen Travel Takes Off By Bob Bahr Root One, the major new $20 million national initiative announced by The Marcus Foundation in Atlanta to pump new life into teen trips to Israel, is off to a strong start. Despite all the uncertainties connected with international travel during the pandemic, the program, announced in September, is running at full capacity and is being built out for future growth. As the program approaches the midpoint of its first year almost all of the 5,000 individual grants for teen travel in 2021 have been snapped up. They each provide a $3,000 voucher to defray the cost of the trip for 10th, 11th and 12th graders, leaving families to come up with $1,500 additional that’s needed for the multi- week program. According to The Marcus Foundation there’s been a 58 percent increase in participation this year, over the number of teen travelers in 2019. But the numbers only tell part of the story. For Rabbi Yoni Kaiser-Blueth, who developed Root One at The Marcus Foundation, there a qualitative goal as well.
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“We really want to build out a pipeline of teens that is connected to the next stage of Jewish life. The hope is that by getting kids to experience Israel at a deeper level, that when they get to college, they’ll have the ability to advocate for and to be part of the pro-Israel community on college campuses.” To build participation, the program partnered last fall with five of the major organizations that are involved with programming for Jewish adolescents: United Synagogue Youth, Ramah Israel, Union of Reform Judaism/NFTY, Orthodox NCSY and B’nai B’rith Youth Organization, which represent a broad cross section of Jewish life. That has since been expanded to over 20 organizations nationally. They have all been brought together to help prepare young people for a rich experience in Israel, according to Rabbi Kaiser-Blueth. “We want to create a marketplace of content providers so that each organization can select a menu of modules or topics that they want for their teams. We want them all to be engaged with their participants in the months leading up to their trip.” Among those who are coming up with new educational initiatives is Atlanta’s
Marcus Foundation’s Root One seeks to transform teen travel to Israel.
JumpSpark Atlanta organization, which el for us in moving the needle of engagement is itself a new way to more fully engage among teens here.” According to the executive director teens in Jewish communal life. In January the group hosted “Teaching Israel in 2021” of the national Root One program, Simon to help give 84 Jewish educators in Atlanta Amiel, who spent 13 years developing camwho participated the confidence and tools pus programs for Hillel, Root One is about a wide range of options for teens. to move forward. “There’s tremendous Kelly Cohen, Jumpopportunity for us to furSpark’s executive directher deepen their growth tor, said, “A lot of educain Jewish life, and so we tors get very nervous look at that as the arc of around teaching Israel, the Israel experience. So talking about Israel. And that’s where our investwe really want to help ment primary lies, in the give them the skills and entire arc of the Israel exthe resources to feel conperience.” fident in teaching about For The Marcus Israel, talking about IsFoundation, the grant rael and promoting teen Rabbi Yoni Kaiser-Blueth, who for the first year is just a Israel travel.” developed the Root grant, has down-payment on helpJumpSpark is about been a Hillel leader at George ing to build a long-term to launch a new Root One Washington University. commitment by a large teen program. It’s called the Amplifying Israel Team Fellowship in community of funders and nonprofits to which four teams of young people who are take the program to its next level. As foundation vice president Renay involved in the Israel trips are partnering Blumenthal sees it, Root with teens in a sister city One has the potential to in Israel, It’s a way Jumploom large in the future Spark’s Cohen hopes of Jewish life. to boost the number of “For Bernie Marcus, young people going to who established The MarIsrael next year by 90 cus Foundation, philanpercent. She sees Root thropy is not just about One as not just to build writing checks for things. partnerships in Israel but He wants to transform to help create a more dythings. He wants to crenamic future. ate change. And I think “These Israel proMarcus Foundation’s Renay that’s what he feels like grams are really building Blumenthal has a long history he’s doing. The ultimate a whole army of folks on in Atlanta philanthropy. goal of this program is to the ground who will be speaking from their own experience. Having change the trajectory of Jewish connection, got on these Israel trips, they will help to re- Jewish identity and connection to Israel for cruit others to go on Israel trips. Peer-to-peer our youth, and have kids be prepared before engagement has been a very successful mod- they step foot on college campuses.” ì
Holocaust Survivor Leaves $5.6 Million to Jewish Atlanta By Nathan Posner
“Frances cared deeply about the future of the Jewish community. … We will The family trust of a Holocaust sur- work hard to really train and engage vivor who was a longtime philanthro- young people to care as much about the pist to Atlanta Jewish communal service Jewish community as she did.” Bunzl’s daughter Suzy Wilner spoke recently gave $5.6 million to the Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta and Jew- extensively with members of the Federaish Family & Career Services. It is con- tion and JF&CS, helping to communicate sidered the largest endowment in those her mother’s priorities for her legacy. “Throughout her life, agencies’ history. my mother spoke of The gift by the growing up in a family Frances Bunzl Fam(both in Germany and ily Trust to the Atlanta here in Atlanta) that Jewish community will was focused on helphave a lasting impact ing others. We believe on the Jewish commuher gifts to the Fednity for generations eration and JF&CS will to come, according to continue that legacy,” those interviewed for Wilner said in the rethis story. lease. Bunzl was born The donation will in 1920 in Germany, be administered by the where she lived until Atlanta Jewish Founda1939. At 19, she fled the JF&CS CEO Terri Bonoff said the tion, part of the Federacountry after Kristalldonation “is a game changer” and tion that helps communacht and eventually will “give us peace of mind” to help the agency grow and meet nity members organize arrived in Atlanta. She the rising demand for services. their philanthropic was heavily involved in the Jewish and greater Atlanta com- intentioned funds before they pass away munities for decades and passed away so they can have the greatest impact. The gift will increase the size of the endowpeacefully at the age of 99 in 2019. The bulk of the $5.6 million to the ment of the Foundation by 50 percent, Jewish community will be split between nearly doubling it, Robbins said. These endowed gifts “make a trethe Federation and JF&CS. The donation had been years in the planning, as Bunzl mendous difference,” Robbins told the met with communal leaders and Federa- AJT. The Federation will be naming its tion professionals during her later years chief philanthropic position after Frances, he added. to talk about commu“It is the first time nity priorities and how any federation has enher legacy could help dowed a position. … It the Jewish community, is really helpful to us according to a press since it means that porelease about the dosition is endowed and nation. we have the dollars to Eric Robbins, pay for that position president and CEO of and we can use some the Federation, told of those operating dolthe AJT that “Frances lars in different ways, cared deeply about so every year we know Jewish life and the Jewthat we have that posiish people. She cared tion largely funded.” about us today and in JF&CS CEO Terri the future. Her gift will Eric Robbins, Federation Bonoff told the AJT sustain us today and president and CEO, said the the agency will be strengthen us in the gift will “sustain us today and naming its clinical future,” he said. “For strengthen us in the future.” services practice after the Jewish Federation, the gift will be used to enhance current Frances Bunzl, but the gift will also go programs and create new programs, in- far beyond that. “When we look at the cluding one which will target the next long-term stability of our organization, generation of Jewish leaders.” A new to have this endowment grow that much program “will be committed to the next instantly, is a game changer.” While the Federation has very generation of leaders and leadership,” specific plans for the funds it received, Robbins said.
Photos courtesy of The William Breman Jewish Heritage Museum //Frances Bunzl leaves large
donation to Atlanta Jewish community.
JF&CS will be using them in more general ways. “They wanted us to have the flexibility to use the funds in a way that we thought would have the greatest impact,” Bonoff said. The gift comes at a time when COVID-19 has stressed the budgets of many nonprofits. “It gives us security,” Bonoff stressed. “We have just gone through this
pandemic, our annual budget is around $17 million, there are a lot of places where we have risks because of the pandemic and a gift like this gives us the peace of mind that we can continue to grow to meet the demand without hurting the agency from a financial perspective.” JF&CS is preparing to use the donation to meet what it views as the coming “tsunami” of mental health issues, particularly among children and teens. JF&CS has “decided to launch a new center that will serve children, teens, and families' mental health needs, that will really focus around family and child well-being, and so having a gift like this gives us the certainty that we can go forward with confidence that we can accomplish that,” Bonoff told the AJT. “Choosing to spotlight the importance of mental health support by naming this service area in Frances Bunzl’s honor reflects the deep commitment JF&CS has to providing best-in-class support for the health and well-being of this community,” Bonoff said in the press release. “Legacy gifts such as this one support Jewish Atlanta long into the future.” ì
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NEWS FROM OUR JEWISH HOME allows for the survival of COVID-19 patients. The treatment still has a number of trial phases left to go through, but it is already inspiring hope for many on the front line fighting the disease. Ichilov director Ronni Gamzu, the former coronavirus czar for Israel, said the research “is advanced and sophisticated and may save coronavirus patients. The results of the phase 1 trial are excellent.” Illustration from magicmine; iStock by Getty Images // The human respiratory system.
Israeli Drug Cured Vast Majority of COVID Cases in Days A new medicine developed in Israel seems to be promising in helping to treat moderate and severe cases of COVID-19, according to The Times of Israel. In a phase 1 trial, a treatment developed at Tel Aviv’s Ichilov Medical Center seemed to be successful as 29 of 30 patients who had moderate or worse cases left the hospital within three to five days, and the other patient recovered as well but over a longer time, the paper reported. The medicine helps to fight what is called the “cytokine storm” in which the immune system overreacts to the coronavirus infection. It is believed to be responsible for many of the deaths from COVID-19. The treatment helps calm down the immune system and
Today in Israeli History
Volunteers at the Sheba Medical Center COVID-19 ward in Israel.
Volunteers Help COVID Patients Get Through Hospital Stays
A total of 35 former coronavirus patients, who have survived the virus and now have immunity, are engaging with current Feb. 18, 1947: Amid rising intercommunal violence, the British government asks the United Nations to decide the future of Palestine, leading to the partition plan the U.N. General Assembly approves Nov. 29, 1947.
Feb. 16, 1910: Miriam Roth, who elevates children’s literature in Israel, is born in Slovakia in the Astro-Hungarian Empire. She makes aliyah in 1931 but doesn’t begin writing her 23 children’s books until the 1970s. Feb. 17, 2013: Shmulik Kraus, one of Israel’s most influential musicians, dies of swine flu in Tel Aviv at age 77. Beyond a solo career, his collaborators included Esther and Avi Ofarim, Arik Einstein, and Josie Katz. 16 | FEBRUARY 15, 2021 ATLANTA JEWISH TIMES
Photo by David Eldan, Israeli National Photo Collection // Like most of their community,
Feb. 23, 1966: Young army officers take power in a coup against Syria’s Arab Socialist Ba’ath Party. Hafez al-Assad is named the defense minister, putting him in charge of the military in the June 1967 war against Israel.
Feb. 19, 2009: Facing terrorist threats, 10 of the fewer than 300 Jews remaining in Yemen are secretly airlifted to Israel. Most of Yemen’s 50,000 Jews left during Operation Magic Carpet in 1949 and 1950.
Feb. 24, 1874: Moshe Smilansky, an early Zionist leader whose influence ranges from the military to literature, is born in Ukraine. A delegate to the Seventh Zionist Congress, he advocates peaceful coexistence with the Arabs.
Yemeni Jews fly to Israel during Operation Magic Carpet in December 1949. Ten of the few Jews left behind took the same journey Feb. 19, 2009.
Feb. 20, 2009: Benjamin Netanyahu, whose Likud finished second in the Knesset election, is given the opportunity to form a government and invites Tzipi Livni of Kadima and Ehud Barak of Labor to join a centrist coalition.
Courtesy of Ministry of Defense // Upgraded
version or the Iron Dome anti-missile defense system during a recent test.
Israel’s Iron Dome Ready for Battles at Sea
Israel has successfully tested a new, upgraded version of the Iron Dome missile defense system. The new version is able to be used to handle missile defense needs at sea and is expected to be used to defend Israel’s strategic oil interests in the Mediterranean Sea. The already effective missile defense system has been used repeatedly to defend Israel rocket attacks. The highly advanced system plots the trajectory of the incoming rocket and launches interceptor missiles only if it determines the rockets are a danger. The U.S. military has also signed an agreement to purchase some Iron Dome defense systems in 2019. The new, upgraded system will be installed on the Israel Navy new Sa’ar 6-class corvettes, a small warship.
Feb. 21, 1955: David Ben-Gurion, in political semiretirement since December 1953, joins Prime Minister Moshe Sharett’s Cabinet as defense minister. He replaces Pinhas Lavon, who was forced to resign over a botched covert operation. Feb. 22, 1948: Arabs disguised as British troops and two British deserters detonate several truck bombs along Ben Yehuda Street’s shopping district in downtown Jerusalem, killing as many as 58 Jewish civilians.
The flagship Les Grands Magasins Cicurel et Oreco store, owned by Salvator Cicurel until 1956, is seen in downtown Cairo in the 1940s.
Feb. 15, 1975: A former leader of Cairo’s Jewish community, 1928 Olympic fencer Salvator Cicurel, dies. He kept his retail empire after Israel’s independence but had to sell to Egyptian Muslims after the 1956 Suez war and left for France in 1957.
patients and their family members to help make their time in the hospital more manageable. The program at Sheba Medical Center intends to combat some of the mental fatigue brought on by coronavirus and the isolation required by it. “Anyone who has experienced corona knows that the suffering from the basic symptoms is compounded by the loneliness and despair caused by the isolation,” explained Noa Pakter, the hospital’s community relations coordinator. The hospital has variety of COVID-only wards, from psychological to maternity, where volunteers help patients who are facing what the volunteer previously experienced. The volunteers are checked frequently to make sure that their antibody levels are where they need to be to still be immune to the virus. “People who weren’t there could never understand what it’s like,” said Tzion, a corona survivor in his early 40s. After he left the Sheba corona ward, recovered and felt strong enough, he joined Pakter’s corps of volunteers. “I try to bring things that will help them feel better, such as their favorite food for Shabbat. But the main thing isn’t the food; it’s the smile, the company, the presence. When people come to visit, they literally bring life!”
Feb. 25, 1928: Maccabi Tel Aviv and Hapoel Tel Aviv hold the first match in the city’s oldest soccer rivalry, resulting in a 3-0 home victory for Maccabi. Maccabi wins the rematch on Hapoel’s home field a week later, 2-1.
Photo by Zoltan Kluger, Israeli National Photo Collection // Aharon Zisling
(left) meets with newly arrived immigrants in Haifa in July 1946.
Feb. 26, 1901: Aharon Zisling, a signer of the Israeli Declaration of Independence and a leader in Jewish labor politics from the 1920s through 1955, is born in Minsk, Russia (now Belarus). He becomes Israel’s first agriculture minister in 1948. Feb. 27, 1974: U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger arrives in Israel from Damascus with a list of 65 Israeli POWs held by Syria since the Yom Kippur War, meeting a condition for Israel to negotiate disengagement in the Golan Heights. ì Items are provided by the Center for Israel Education (israeled.org), where you can find more details.
ISRAEL NEWS 39 Parties Will Compete in Upcoming Election By Jan Jaben-Eilon
their full four-year terms.” A fifth election is likely, as it is just a question of when, he added. It’s déjà vu all over again. Thirty-nine parties - Yogi Berra are vying for the Israeli vote. American Jews can According to probe forgiven if they feel fessor Ofer Kenig, a they have repeatedly researcher at the Israel heard about Israeli elecDemocracy Institute in tions. On March 23, IsJerusalem, the “lowest raeli voters will return number of factions” ever to cast their ballots for elected was eight – last the fourth time in less year. “This low record is than two years. not expected to be mainIn elections held tained this time. Based in April 2019 and again on recent polls, out of in September 2019, the the 39 lists registered to results were so split that run, between nine and no party was able to cob14 are expected to pass ble together a majority Nachman Shai is number the electoral threshold coalition government. eight on the Labor Party list. necessary to enter the In March 2020, the Blue A former Emory University visiting faculty, Shai served in Knesset.” That threshand White Party upset the Knesset from 2009 to 2019. old is 3.25 percent of the its voters by joining a coalition with Prime Minister Benjamin Ne- valid votes. Kenig said surveys indicate that at tanyahu’s Likud Party. That power-sharing government collapsed after failing to agree least five lists are in danger of not reaching on a national budget by a Dec. 23 deadline. that threshold: Meretz, Religious Zionist So, now there’s a fourth attempt to Party, Ra’am, Blue and White and the New attain a functional government. But this Economic Party. “We are seeing more pronounced time, there are some differences. Most notable for progressive American Jews, an fault lines and long-standing tensions in Israeli Reform rabbi, Gilad Kariv, could be Israeli politics,” Sperling observed. “But the elected to the Knesset. If that happens, that left-right divide is more amorphous.” Like means his party, the venerable Labor Party the recent elections, the biggest question is that led the country from 1948 to 1977, re- which parties would agree to join a Netanyahu-led government. turned from the almost Even those party leaders dead after some Israelis who insist they would had already announced not agree to enter a Neits demise. tanyahu government And, if Labor reare doubted after Blue ally attracts a lot of votand White Party’s leader ers and grows beyond Benny Gantz made the the current expectasame promise before the tions, a former Emory last election, and then University visiting facbroke his pledge. ulty member, Nachman “This is a unique Shai, could return to the time in Israeli history,” Knesset. He is number Sperling said. Because eight on the Labor Party of the coronavirus panlist. Currently visiting demic and resulting faculty at Duke Univereconomic downturn, sity, Shai served in the Knesset from 2009 to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu the domestic existential “is a tactician. First and foremost, concerns are even out2019. He taught at Emohe’s focused on his own political ry from 2019 to 2020. survival,” said Eli Sperling, the Israel weighing external exisspecialist for the Center for Israel tential threats like Iran, “It’s hard to make Education at Emory University. he said. “And Netanyahu projections” about the election results, understates Eli Sperling, has used the pandemic to create an ecothe Israel specialist for the Center for Israel nomic populist campaign.” Unlike in recent elections, Netanyahu Education at Emory University, now also a postdoctoral associate at Duke Univer- has also reached out to Israeli Arab votsity. “Rarely do Israeli governments survive ers, resulting in the four-party Joint List
dissolving into a three-party list with the versus everyone else. He’s trying to play fourth competing on its own. He also ma- every angle he can.” Sperling pointed out neuvered the joining together of far-right that the prime minister even visited the Christian community parties National Union in Nazareth recently. and Otzma Yehudit. “Traditionally, NetanTwo years ago, a similar yahu has rallied against merger was condemned the Arab voters. This is by both the American a new approach, which Jewish Committee and may be pragmatic.” the American Israel PubSperling refers to lic Affairs Committee beNetanyahu’s political cause Otzma was foundsurvival because the ed by the late Rabbi Meir prime minister is curKahane. rently on trial in three AIPAC called it a cases on charges of brib“racist and reprehenery, fraud and breach of sible party.” The merged trust. party this time around Like any election, also includes the Noam this one again will be departy, which is almost ex“Based on recent polls, out of the termined by who comes clusively focused against 39 lists registered to run, between out to vote for whom. the LGBT community. nine and 14 are expected to pass “Netanyahu is a the electoral threshold necessary to Sperling said voters may enter the Knesset,” said professor be fatigued, but so may tactician,” Sperling said. Ofer Kenig, a researcher at the the politicians in this un“First and foremost, he’s Israel Democracy Institute. precedented fourth elecfocused on his own political survival. This election is Netanyahu tion in less than two years. ì
ATLANTA JEWISH TIMES FEBRUARY 15, 2021 | 17
OPINION Playing Vaccination Roulette I was enjoying a party in a crowded hotel room where people were sitting on the beds and leaning against the furniture, when I sudDave Schechter denly realized From Where I Sit that no one — myself included — was wearing a mask. I woke with a start. It was just a bad dream. In the wide-awake world, the hosannas that greeted November’s announcements of COVID-19 vaccines gave way to disenchantment, as gilded pronouncements were tarnished by the logistical challenges of getting vaccine into arms. To borrow from political analyst David Axelrod, trouble results “when the details meet the narrative.” I have been both a player and a spectator in the game of vaccination roulette. Spin the wheel and see where the ball stops. It might be at an indoor stadium or a tent in a parking lot, at a grocery store or (soon) a pharmacy, or at a community health center or private clinic. Or maybe nowhere and you are forced to spin again. When a grocery chain opened its appointment site at 6 a.m. one recent day, the governor said there was “more demand than you’d see for a Georgia-Alabama SEC championship football game.” And for something far more important, I would add. Hopefully we hear of nothing in Atlanta similar to what a friend in New York City posted on Facebook: “Last week I was in shock when the executive director of a synagogue bragged to me that he sent the members of his Long Island congregation to [a hospital] in Brooklyn to lineup for the 1,800 or so doses that were earmarked for minorities, for the poor, for elderly people who do not have access to the internet. This gentleman had the gall to tell me over the phone that ‘minorities don’t believe in the vaccine.’ #disgusted” Too many Americans persist in their rejection of the most basic precautions against a potentially deadly virus, with predictable results. Georgia’s post-holidays spike in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations receded, but left behind a surge in deaths as a lagging indicator. When Georgia added people age 65 18 | FEBRUARY 15, 2021 ATLANTA JEWISH TIMES
and older to Tier 1a, I wondered whether there was a sufficient supply of vaccine to handle adding some 1.5 million adults to the highest priority group, which already included health care workers, first responders, and the residents and staff of long-term care facilities. Not even close. Until supply and demand come into closer proximity, an element of desperation will remain. I have friends who drove from metro Atlanta to near the Alabama border when their daughter found them appointments. The brother of another friend drove their 91-year-old father, who lives independently, to the northeast corner of Georgia because they could not make arrangements closer to home. I live in DeKalb County, which I name not to criticize, but to praise for responding quickly when informed that its computer system had sent appointment confirmations to people who then were turned away because their names were absent from an on-site master list. The county also fixed social media messaging that impugned people who, in good faith, had followed the instructions they received to secure those appointments. About a week after this column is published, I am scheduled to be jabbed in my upper left arm with a second dose of the Moderna vaccine. Even then, I will wear a mask and take care of where I go, because that remains the prudent thing to do. No one wants to find themselves patching a roof during a storm, but in essence that’s what the nation did for a year. The COVID-19 pandemic laid bare the human cost of failing to maintain a robust public health infrastructure. Public health departments often are underfunded, understaffed, and taxed by the myriad of services they are tasked to provide. Georgia’s legislature has shown a willingness to put more skin (read: taxpayer dollars) in the game, even as the governor’s budget proposal relied heavily on federal funds. The COVID-19 response last year left much to be desired. To reset the narrative, the new administration in Washington has increased the states’ weekly vaccine allotments and improved federal-state coordination, announced plans to add 200 million doses to the 400 million purchased by its predecessor, and deployed FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) to bolster the effort. What’s at stake is not only public health but restoring public confidence in the role of government as protector of its citizenry. ì
OPINION Letters to the Editor The AJT welcomes your letters. We want our readers to have an opportunity to engage with our community in constructive dialogue. If you would like your letter to be published, please write 200 words or less, include your name, phone number and email, and send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Letter to the editor,
Hillel, Georgia Tech to Jointly Oppose Anti-Semitism How sad that Jewish groups fear that adoption of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance definition of anti-Semitism will stifle criticism of Israeli policy. While the IHRA does specify that accusing Jews of dual loyalty, denying the Jewish right to self-determination, applying standards to Israel that are not applied to other nations, smearing Israel with classic anti-Jewish accusations (such as “blood libels”), calling Israel a Nazi state, and holding Jews collectively responsible for Israel’s actions are examples of anti-Semitism, there is nothing in the definition that would prevent anyone from saying, for instance, “Israel should be providing the Palestinians with COVID-19 vaccine; Israel should have accepted the Saudi Arabian Peace Initiative; Israel should not be expanding Jewish communities in the West Bank; Israel should allow Palestine refugees to return to the homes their forebears lost in 1948.” I personally disagree with each of these statements but they, and similar statements, appear in the media and are promulgated at pro-Palestinian meetings all the time. The situation at Georgia Tech, which led to Tech’s adopting the IHRA definition, did not arise because of anything said at the Palestine 101 meeting. The case arose because the organizers of the meeting barred the Hillel director from attending. And what of the pro-Israel speakers who have been shouted down by protesters or disinvited because of their views? Examples include Janet Mock, who withdrew from a speaking engagement at Brown University when students protested the fact that Hillel was a co-sponsor of the lecture; Bassem Eid, a Palestinian, whose talk at the University of Chicago was interrupted and shut down by students who accused him
20 | FEBRUARY 15, 2021 ATLANTA JEWISH TIMES
Disclamer to our readers: This section of the newspaper is a forum for our community to share thoughts, concerns and opinions as open letters to the community or directly to the newspaper. As a letter to the editor, we proof for spelling and grammatical errors only. We do not edit nor vet the information the letter contains. The individual signing the letter is accountable for what they share.
of being “pro-Israel;” and Nir Birkat, then mayor of Jerusalem, whose presentation at San Francisco State University was cut short by pro-Palestinian protesters. Similarly, the Islamic Society of North America withdrew an invitation to Wajahat Ali to speak at its national convention. ISNA gave no explanation, but Mr. Ali is sure the organization objected to his speaking directly to Jews about the Israel-Palestine conflict and seeking ways to resolve it. Toby F. Block, Atlanta
OPINION Letter to the editor,
Georgia Tech Wisdom and Caring Defining AntiSemitism When the Georgia Tech support for the worldwide definition of anti-Semitism was announced, it recognized the sacrifices and gifts that our military heroes, Jewish and gentile, have made for our great country. Thank you GT for your wisdom and love. Dr. Carol Fineblum, wife of Solomon, 94th Infantry Division MIA/POW. Stalag 11B, World War II, Needham, Mass.
Letter to the editor,
WHAT IS TRUTH 2000 years and worldly thinkers are still asking “What is truth?” They still say crucify good and turn evil loose. Their way of thinking defies Aristotle and the law of contradiction, which is the way of all reasoning. They conclude that if building “A” is taller than building “B” and “B” is taller than building “C” then “C” must be taller than building “A.” They reason if a man thinks he is a woman, he is a woman. If someone steps on a turtle or eagle egg, they are jailed but if a woman has a baby vacuumed from her womb it is lawful and the taxpayer pays the bill. What is truth? America just traded a brilliant businessman for a politician. A businessman can be described in one word. Their sole purpose and only function is described by that word…PROFIT. A politician is the exact opposite. As an example, when the first automobile was invented, the horse and buggy industry must have seen the writing on the wall. A politician would have sent the EPA, IRS, FBI and the rest of the alphabet soup to shut down the car factory. (Similar to the XL pipeline project.) A businessman would cancel all restrictions and make sure the factory is successful. How many individuals still use a typewriter, as another example? Why has America been the greatest nation ever? Have we reached our end? Will we now crucify the good (our Constitution) for evil (socialism, communism)? What is truth? Ed Huber, Copperhill, Tenn.
Letter to the Editor,
THE ENEMY IS WITHIN Is the pro-pandemic, genocidal GOP still the party of the defeated, deranged racist traitor Donald Trump? Or is the Republican Party now following the fanatical footsteps of that other infamous homicidal American politician Dan White, the crazy ex-cop who murdered San Francisco Mayor George Moscone and Supervisor Harvey Milk? Actually, FOX News’ favorite fresh fascist face Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Georgia) appears to conveniently enough be the political combination of Donald Trump and Dan White, a pathologically dishonest, crackpot QAnon conspiracy theorist whose hatred is clearly putting her on the path of political assassination and domestic terrorism. Marjorie is a violent psycho! But the tangerine tyrant Trump says Greene is “a future Republican star.” Here’s a suggestion for you neoNazi Republicans: Next time you attempt a domestic terrorist takeover, hijacking the federal government with hateful hillbillies is probably not the most effective approach. No “Twinkie defense” for Trump. Jake Pickering, Arcata, Calif.
ATLANTA JEWISH TIMES FEBRUARY 15, 2021 | 21
REAL ESTATE Residential Real Estate Continues to Roar in 2021
Marcia Caller Jaffe
Atlanta real estate agents revel in their positive scores for 2020 and look for more momentum in 2021. In retrospect, market watchers can evaluate the confluence of factors: low interest rates, fleeing central business districts, crime, emotional appreciation for a physical home, children out of school, job loss and fear of financial unrest. Now that the chips have landed, agents almost unanimously agree that 2020 was a steaming hot year for activity. For instance, RE/MAX released year-end figures showing an 11 percent increase in number of sales, a 15 percent increase in median price sold, a 25 percent decrease in average number of days on market and a 45 percent decrease in listings. Initially, with stay-at-home orders, the market fell but quickly rebounded as restrictions eased and homeowners redefined spaces, according to those interviewed for this story. Intown specialist Jon Effron said buyers are considering priorities that have gained attention during the pandemic. “What I heard most often last year: ‘Where should we put the Peloton?’” He and other agents weigh in on the impact of the pandemic.
Jon Effron Jon Effron & Company
Condominiums in neighborhoods that long boasted “live, work and play” were hit hard, as all the living, working and playing was forced inside relatively smaller spaces. For buyers in areas like City of Decatur or Candler Park, 2020 was a full contact sport. Multiple offer situations were commonplace, and I had one situation where my clients were one of nine offers under consideration. Conversely, selling a condominium right now in Buckhead is a challenging proposition. I’ve just had to explain to clients that our best-case scenario involves them selling their property for what they paid for it in 2016.
22 | FEBRUARY 15, 2021 ATLANTA JEWISH TIMES
Keri Greenwald Atlanta Fine Homes, Sotheby’s International Realty
The market is hot! Toward the end of 2020, I sold the same Heards Ferry home I had sold three years earlier. This time, we had 12 showings the first day resulting in a full price offer. This five-bedroom home sold for $915,000, 26 percent more than before! This trend will continue in 2021 as buyers take advantage of interest rates and change their location to work, study and play. Buyers are wanting more offices, exercise rooms, private backyards, pools, porches, and space. Additionally, after years of smaller homes gaining in popularity, I think we will see a trend toward larger homes again.
Eydie Koonin Eydie Koonin Group Atlanta Fine Homes, Sotheby's International Realty
In a year unlike anything we’ve seen before where up was down, in was out, you would think a global pandemic and unemployment crisis would have grounded the real estate market to a halt, but 2020 was different. In March, when people retreated to their homes, they saw things they didn’t have and believed they needed now in order to live in this new reality. For many, the home requirements changed: needing work and teaching space and living 24/7. Luxuries like a pool, outdoor living spaces, finished basements took on a whole new importance. One trend was many wanted to upsize. We are now faced with a market based on a simple economic principle – demand far outweighs supply. It has not been uncommon in the past 11 months for some listings to have multiple offers exceeding asking price. My hope for 2021 is that we return to some semblance of “normal.” My belief is residential real estate will continue to see explosive growth fueled by record low interest rates, significant relocation and lifestyles.
Lindsay Levin Berkshire Hathaway Home Services
I sold an English country home to a British buyer for $3 million. It had a nine-hole putting green, gorgeous pool, acreage, plenty of room for a family to feel as though they are at a resort without having to travel. In spite of the pandemic, I sold over $28 million of homes in 2020. The volume of business was not impacted, but the way we marketed and showed homes was. My business is typically 50/50 sellers/buyers. In 2020, it was 70/30 sellers/buyers. I had more clients moving out of town, empty nesters relocating closer to grandchildren, people who could work remotely moving to warmer climates. They moved to get more living area space, home offices and outdoor living area. Pool permits are at an all-time high and inventory is extremely low in resort areas, lake and mountain homes. There was not a seasonal real estate market in 2020. With the hope of kids having a normal school situation in 2021-2022, we expect a traditional busy spring market. Interest rates continue to be at an all-time low, motivating buyers and sellers on the fence and increasing the number of first-time buyers wanting more space.
Michael Schiff Schiff Real Estate Team/Ansley Atlanta
Unless there is a huge mortgage interest rate, our market will remain robust in 2021. Since rates are still hovering near all-time record [lows] and housing inventory continues to be low, the market favors sellers. People who purchased homes seven to 10 years ago have the most equity.
If one knows they are going to move in the next couple of years, this is a great time to sell. Homes that sell quickly are priced correctly and in the best condition. If one is in the market to purchase a home, be prepared to make immediate offers on any newly listed homes of interest.
ATLANTA JEWISH TIMES FEBRUARY 15, 2021 | 23
Jon Shapiro Jon Shapiro Group RE/MAX Around Atlanta
2020 was in my top five best years since starting in 1991. Basically “home” became more important than ever and there was prioritization to having the right living accommodations. Superior
outdoor living space was and continues to be in huge demand; 2.5 percent interest rates on 30-year fixed rate loans played into many first-time buyers, and bidding wars were commonplace in all price points. One notable trend was the move from urban to suburban areas and priorities shifted to square footage over location. With that said, the Intown markets we serve fared well. Atlanta seems to be unstoppable with every indication that 2021 will be another incredible year. Vacation homes nearby like Serenbe, Blue Ridge and Big Canoe are in demand!
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Debbie Sonenshine Coldwell Banker Realty
Most people want to forget 2020, but the real estate industry wants to celebrate! We never expected to have such strength during a pandemic. 2020 started off strong, then in mid-March schools closed, everyone stayed home, and the real estate market stopped. No one knew what to expect and we held our breath. After a few short weeks, buyers were anxious to go in-person to see the homes that they had been looking at online. The market was red hot again. Thus the realization: life is short, why not buy what you want? I had a very strong year with a one closing week that was the highest in my 40year career with two homes over $3 million and one about $1 million closing the same week. I sold several condos and townhomes in the $200,000s to $300,000s, plus everything in between. 2021 will be another strong year, possibly less frenetic. Those cooped up are ready to move to more or a differently configured space, less emphasis on commute, safer neighborhoods, and possibly more suburban living. ĂŹ
ATLANTA JEWISH TIMES FEBRUARY 15, 2021 | 25
Expert Weighs in on Commercial Real Estate By Marcia Caller Jaffe Treading in new territory charting the real estate horizon, Jeffrey Pollock, shares his views on Atlanta’s commercial retail, hospitality, office space, positioning into future trends. In the midst of head scratching over the post-pandemic recovery arc, will traditional office space companies stagger shifts, change cubicle arrangements, shift into a virtual culture? What will be the cost in mentoring and innovation traded for face-to-face office interaction? Pollock preaches flexibility. After growing up in Raleigh, he graduated from the Kelley Business School at Indiana University. He is now owner and managing principal of the eponymous Pollock Commercial Real Estate Services, which he founded in 2009. “We are known for in-town expertise; however, we service a wide variety of clients throughout Atlanta. We represent entrepreneurs seeking to purchase or lease new space, landlords and sellers looking to sell and lease their properties. We’ve assisted a range of diverse companies from high-growth tech firms to an ice cream factory.” Pollock just completed his term as the president of the Atlanta Commercial Board of REALTORS, believed the largest trade association of its kind in the nation. He described his experience there. “When I entered the real estate business, I was eager to get involved for the networking and continuing education opportunities. Over time, I chaired committees, taught courses, and I started
serving in leadership on the board of directors 10 years ago. I was nominated by my peers in 2018 to lead the organization as president in 2020.” Pollock shares his views with the AJT. AJT: Assessing the effects of COVID on our real estate market, how would you write this history? Pollock: It is challenging to generalize about the commercial real estate market because the various sectors were impacted by the pandemic quite differently. Warehouse and distribution properties are thriving while hotels and many retail properties are struggling. Our primary focus is on office space, and other than a handful of large transactions, the Atlanta market was generally stagnant. We have observed record-setting amounts of new space being offered for sublease, and there are several new office towers under construction that are only partially pre-leased. AJT: What do you think the first half of 2021 will look like? Pollock: We are anticipating a slow but steady return to the office as vaccines are distributed and the case numbers decrease. Larger tenants are retrofitting spaces and creating staggered schedules for employees’ return. We expect to see investment sales return and an increase in new deal volume by this summer. AJT: How does that compare to a post-COVID market?
Jeffrey Pollock is bullish on Atlanta’s postpandemic commercial real estate recovery, which he predicts may spill into 2022.
Pollock: I remain bullish on Atlanta, and we predict transaction volume will continue to increase. It may be 2022, however, until we can return to pre-pandemic market dynamics. AJT: Will corporations change their business model permanently to virtual office space? Pollock: Every company is evaluating their real estate needs from a safety and productivity perspective. We will see a small percentage of companies that will move permanently to a virtual model, however the majority of our clients have expressed a desire to retain an office even if not all of the employees are present simultaneously. We are hearing about challenges in recruiting, training, maintaining vibrant culture and productivity in the all-virtual scenarios. AJT: What about the retail landscape? Pollock: The pandemic has certainly intensified online shopping behavior, and health concerns and regulations surrounding dining has a chokehold on restaurateurs. That said, well-located retail will always adapt to accommodate the needs of the community it serves. In the short term, takeout, drive-through, outdoor dining and delivery services will prevail, but as soon as it’s safe, many customers will be eager to return to the rich culinary scene we have here. Big box vacancies are finding success with healthcare conversions, and there is a lot of energy around last mile (rapid order fulfillment) distribution so we will see the ‘order online and pick up in store’ continue to increase. AJT: Any deals to be grabbed for speculators? Pollock: Many qualified investors have capital ready to deploy for distressed assets, but we have not yet seen a freefall in value across most property types. In the short term, the hospitality sector is taking the hardest hit. ì Pollock and wife Libby have two children and are active at Temple Emanu-El. Pollock is involved in the Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta, participating in the leadership development program and serving on the Allocations Committee.
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Realtor Helps Orthodox Families Relocate I recently viewed a 13-minute YouTube real estate presentation by Hannah Fleshel, an agent of Keller Williams Realty. It lauds our dyChana Shapiro namic cosmopolitan city in the sunny south that fully accommodates Orthodox Jewish life. The Fleshel family moved to Atlanta in 2008 when Rabbi Yaakov Fleshel took a position in Jewish college outreach at Emory University, under the umbrella of the Atlanta Scholars Kollel and MEOR, a Jewish campus leadership program. At first the Fleshels lived in a townhouse near Emory; however, when they began to look for a house within the Toco Hills neighborhood, the process was not easy. Hannah Fleshel said, “My dad was a commercial real estate agent in San Diego, where I am from. I planned to join him, but it never worked out before he passed away. Real estate was always in the back of my mind, and when I could pursue my ambition, I decided to make that career change.” Fleshel studied for her realtor’s license and independently sold their townhouse near Emory. Real estate investor Adee Weismark saw Fleshel’s “for sale by owner” townhouse ad on the former website Frum Atlanta and helped her family find a new home. Weismark suggested that Fleshel pursue residential real estate, and in 2016 he led Fleshel to the team leader at Keller Williams Peachtree Road, where, in Fleshel’s words, “I am now part of a great team.” She added, “I love being a matchmaker who connects buyers and sellers for a winwin result. I remember my own difficulty finding our family’s forever home, and I use my experience to help others with desires and requirements similar to those of my own Orthodox family.” Before the Fleshels settled in Atlanta, they had lived in Jerusalem, Santa Barbara and Pittsburgh. A major factor in choosing Atlanta was its thriving and growing Orthodox community. Fleshel knows what other relocating Orthodox families want and need, including early childhood through high school educational choices; many synagogues; kosher groceries and restaurants; parks; Torah-study opportunities for men, women and children; Shabbat and holiday activities; and a mikvah and eruv (which allows families to carry and push strollers on Shabbat). Today, half of her business con-
Hannah Fleshel’s personal experiences help her guide others with their relocation concerns.
sists of referrals from the Toco Hills community. Fleshel expounded on making the video. “I heard about the Orthodox Union’s Jewish Communities Home and Job Relocation Fair, where thousands of Orthodox people who are making relocation decisions meet representatives from more than 50 cities. I attended the last fair as a realtor/Atlanta advocate, but because of COVID-19, last year’s fair was canceled. Past presenters were invited to prepare a short Zoom presentation. In order to create a compelling picture of Atlanta, I enlisted the advertising and filmproduction expertise of Elan Hertzberg who owns FilmTribe Productions. We completed the OU video, then Elan encouraged me to work on a more professional and comprehensive promo,” Fleshel said. “I receive at least one phone call every week from someone who is thinking about moving here because of Atlanta’s amazing Orthodox Jewish infrastructure. My video had nearly 2,500 views between all of my platforms in 2020. New Yorkers are leaving their state in droves, and we are happy to show them our Southern hospitality. One of my dearest friends here started as a client moving from the New York area, and we met at the OU relocation fair. I am blessed to help make a huge move and change that much easier.” In the video, Fleshel tours the three largest Orthodox communities in Atlanta. The viewer explores the most extensive one in Toco Hills and sizeable communities around Congregation Ariel in Dunwoody and Congregation Beth Tefillah in Sandy Springs. Fleshel and the camera also visit the Atlanta BeltLine, parks, museums and other family-friendly attractions. One segment shows a range of homes, townhouses and apartments, and the tour concludes with vignettes of people cheerfully calling out “I love Atlanta!” to the viewer. ì To view the video, visit Fleshel’s website, www.hannahsells.com. ATLANTA JEWISH TIMES FEBRUARY 15, 2021 | 27
Bibliowicz Sets to Master Airbnb Boom By Marcia Caller Jaffe After graduating Auburn University, Andy Bibliowicz spent the last nine years marketing beer. Coming from an entrepreneurial family motivated him to launch his first Airbnb property with an understanding of how to meet customers’ expectations. From that, he is building a formidable short-term rental Airbnb portfolio, which led to his acceptance into the highly touted Georgia Tech masters in real estate development program. Bibliowicz, who was born in Ecuador and is a graduate of North Atlanta High School, explained. “My motivation came from a necessity to learn and find happiness in an industry – ultimately construction and housing. I executed many of these projects in a way that allowed me to learn. It was very apparent going to Tech’s orientation that my experience in short-term renting was the main component of acceptance, as I was one of two students with little history or previous studies in construction, architecture, development, or city planning.” His properties cater to larger groups, with three-plus bedrooms, sleeping 10 or
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more. A decade ago, there were not many major city options for short-term rent. The few that were available were expensive, leaving many choosing a subpar hotel. A family of 10 might pay $900 a night on hotel rooms compared to Bibliowicz’ places at half the cost with a full kitchen, dining room and living room. For owners wanting to enter Airbnb as a renter, he warns, “Those thinking of modifying their current home into a short-term rental should [have an] under-
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It’s important that rentals photos match reality, Bibliowicz said. He maintains that the small touches make a difference.
Bibliowicz aligns with comfort, ample space and chic appointments.
standing how the renter will feel as they your pricing to be in the range of your loenter; what they will see, smell, expect cal competition.” Bibliowicz’s mindset has been to from photos versus what you actually provide. Having and creating realistic ex- provide homes for two or 12 guests. His pectations on both sides is key to renting main goal is to hold onto and maintain the property over making huge profits. a space that you may be sharing. “The amount you put in is also the He consistently makes 200 to 300 percent amount you get out. Small touches make on mortgages, and claims the benefit of all the difference and defining a connec- Airbnb is that there aren’t full-time renttion with guests is important. Hot points ers wearing out the carpets or blasting the heating, ventilation are comfort, overall deand air conditioning. sign and a great master “Truly understand space, which is where your underlying costs the guest is most likely and potential risks,” going to stay. he said to potential “Privacy is, by far, Airbnb homeowners. the most important. “My greatest fear isn’t a Keeping your home renter throwing a party, consistent to the pho[it’s] the water heater tos is also key. While not working. An undisyou might not have the closed party’s damage same linens, it’s imporis covered by Airbnb, tant that they get what while a water heater they saw in the photos isn’t. Being prepared for online or the dissatisfacthe inevitable is part of tion can be immediate. Something as small as A 32-year-old entrepreneur, Andy creating a budget and Bibliowicz used his short-term setting expectations.” the design of the duvet rental experience to help get into Bibliowicz recalled covers or that coffee and the highly sought after masters that COVID initially snacks are provided.” program at Georgia Tech. closed the short-term Bibliowicz’s financial strategy has been to cover full rental business. As people found a need mortgage and costs in two weekends. He to travel again, they began comparing finds homes with relatable mortgages, ef- Airbnbs to hotels and found that the inficient utilities and considers additional dependent property as opposed to essentially rooms stacked on top of one anothfactors, such as cleaning. “The reality is that weekends will be er at a hotel provided them an additional the most popular time. Focusing on that level of comfort. “My first goal is to get to 10 homes for what you need [to cover expenses]. Then ‘take home’ everything else. It is not while maintaining a balanced lifestyle. as uniform as it sounds, but weekends, Taking what I learn at Tech and combinwhen at the right price, will book consis- ing it with my experience will be my next tently while Monday through Thursday big goal. Conceptualizing space differently than the norm and seeing how to can’t be predicted. “Airbnb defines homes by size, num- create value in more minimal but equalber of people the space fits, and location. ly satisfying rental spaces – container Understanding those parameters, expect homes, tiny homes, etc.” ì
Retail Business Picking Up T h e stores, home improvement stores and bruised and stores that sell furniture and accessories battered re- and things for the home have done better tail real estate because people are spending more time industry in at home.” The upscale furniture retailer RH Atlanta is beginning to see has seen its stock rise 270 percent in the a brighter fu- last year and is even planning an expanture during the sion internationally this summer. The company, formerly Restoration first quarter of Bob Bahr 2021. That’s Hardware, rebranded itself in 2012 and despite an began building lavish, free standing locaabundance of leasing signs in retail loca- tions such as its massive new building on tions around the metropolitan area and Peachtree Road in the heart of Buckhead frequent announcements of retail bank- that opened in 2014. The company labels its showrooms as galleries. ruptcies and going-out-of-business sales. RH CEO Gary Friedman, in an earnLeo Wiener, president of Ackerman ings call in SepRetail, credits govtember, was blunt ernment stimulus in describing the packages for uncompany sucleashing a lot of cess despite hard pent-up demand times. after the initial “We are not shocks of the past building [expleyear. Ackerman tive] little crappy has seen business retail stores. ... We pick up dramatiare developing cally in recent buildings.” months, Wiener His buildings, said. as he describes “The third them, offer decoand fourth quarter rating ideas, an were a lot stronger immense, lavishly in 2020. It surprisproduced cataes people when I logue that is desay from our serHalpern Enterprises chairman Jack Halpern signed to inspire vice standpoint, believes that nothing can replace the a home filled with we had a slightly psychological boost that retailing provides. RH offerings, and a better year in comfortable, low-key environments that 2020 than before the pandemic in 2019.” Notwithstanding Wiener’s opti- serve snacks and coffee. The growth of these kinds of experimism, last year was a dismal year for many businesses that were once house- ential retail approaches is seen as crucial to the survival of the once all-powerful hold names. According to Foresight Research, 30 regional shopping malls that have fallen retailers and restaurant chains declared on hard times. Still Wiener, the Ackerbankruptcy in 2020, which resulted in man’s retail exec, sees a dark future for a record for individual retail closings. these sprawling, multi- level, enclosed Such venerable names as Lord & Taylor, structures. “I’d be shocked to see new malls built J.C. Penney, Neiman Marcus and Brooks in Georgia, maybe ever. We just recently Brothers sought bankruptcy protection. According to the National Restau- had North Point Mall in Alpharetta go rant Association, 110,000 restaurants back to the lender. I understand Town permanently closed last year, and that Center in Kennesaw is going back to the lender. It may help to reset the locations trend is continuing in the new year. Jack Halpern is chairman and CEO to do something a little bit more interof Halpern Enterprises, which has a esting or it may offer an excuse to tear long history in local retail real estate. down part of it and build, perhaps multiHe maintains that it’s not all gloom and family residences there. A few like Lenox and Perimeter Mall will survive, but we doom. “I don’t believe the downturn is a won’t have one every 10 miles apart like permanent change. In fact, some seg- we used to.” According to retail market trends, ments of retailing have actually done better during the pandemic, like grocery what are expected to do well as the econ-
RH, which has a location in Buckhead, has achieved retailing success on positioning its freestanding buildings as furniture galleries.
The large North Point Mall has been returned to its lender, New York Life, which is expected redevelop it as a mixed-used project.
omy returns are retail locations that of- development in what was once considered fer a unique, and often more personal a non-traditional location on the south side of Atlanta, shopping experiand he’s been ence. working with an Jack Halpern’s out-of-town comwife, Lynne, has pany to fill up seva women’s jeweral vacant Stein elry and accessoMart locations ries shop, Tassels, with individual which he said had small business its best year ever in boutiques selling 2020. He believes locally produced the store is thrivproducts. Well ing because people capitalized operaare looking to get tors with unique a psychological ideas are beginboost during these ning to tiptoe, as difficult times. he sees it, back to “ P e o p l e the Atlanta marhaven’t been ket. spending money Leo Wiener, president of Ackerman Retail, “I think on luxury travel or sees the key to retail success as solid there’s a lot of expensive clothes capitalization and an imaginative concept. debate as to what and had more discretion, more money to spend on a dis- retailing looks like moving forward. But cretionary basis. And buying jewelry was one thing is certain, you’ve got to give the consumer lots of choices and not be something that made them feel good.” Wiener at Ackerman is putting to- stuck in an old mature model that’s just gether a 475,000-square-foot mixed-use not bulletproof at this point.” ì
ATLANTA JEWISH TIMES FEBRUARY 15, 2021 | 29
Atlanta’s Office Market Adjusts to Pandemic The trickle-down impact of the nearly year-old coronavirus pandemic is being felt everywhere, including on Atlanta’s office market. “The office market is screwed,” according to Brian Gomez, vice president of commercial development for The Management Group. It mostly Jan Jaben-Eilon builds multi-family housing, but also manages office space. “Many tenants throughout Atlanta realized that they don’t necessarily need office space” because employees are working from home and meeting via Zoom, he said. To retain tenants, his company is giving rent relief in the form of two to three months’ free rent. Some tenants needed that help at the beginning of the pandemic last March, while others are only needing it now. In either case, the result will be an extension of their lease for those months at 105 percent of the rent. “It’s like giving them a loan.” Gomez said he hasn’t seen much downsizing, but he has seen some tenants just walk out of their lease contracts. “Some are personally affected by the pandemic, leaving work to take care of parents, themselves or kids who are not in schools,” Gomez explained. “Even before the pandemic, it was tight for many tenants; they had a hard time making rent. We understand that you can’t squeeze blood out of a turnip. All we can say
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To retain tenants, The Management Group is giving rent relief in the form of two to three months’ free rent, said Brian Gomez, vice president of commercial development.
is that we’ll keep their security deposit.” Gomez believes there will be a long-term impact of the pandemic on the office market. In some cases, office space may be converted into condos. In any case, he doesn’t see any new building of office space in the near future. According to Gomez, another downside of losing office tenants is that the properties are harder to manage. If there are pipe leaks in a building, tenants would notice
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Steve Selig, president and chairman of Selig Enterprises, says he’s “still bullish on Atlanta.”
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Selig Enterprises said its Midtown office project is completely leased, Selig said.
and notify him. Empty office space also attracts squatters. “We’ve had an influx of homeless people breaking into our office space,” he said. “It’s harder for me to secure the building.” Steve Selig, president and chairman of Selig Enterprises, who has been active in the real estate market since 1968, says he’s still positive about the Atlanta office market. “We haven’t seen much change as of yet,” he told the AJT. Although there might be fewer employees working for a tenant, they will require more space because of social distancing. Pre-pandemic, about 160 square feet per person were planned. Now it will be 175 to 190 square feet per person, the company estimates. “So, the net effect will be less than feared,” Selig said. Selig Enterprises is just completing an office project in Midtown at 1105 West Peachtree that is completely leased up, he said. Although the company hasn’t started any projects since the pandemic, he believes that when they do, they will need to be pre-leasing up to 50 percent. “There will be no more spec building,” he said. Another change Selig is seeing is a demand for more green space and balconies. “People are looking for more amenities,” he said. The company hasn’t experienced as many rent collection problems in its office portfolio as it has in retail, he added. Office rents have remained flat during the pandemic, but he expects a slight increase in rents for new space. “For older buildings, rents may be about the same, or a little less,” Selig predicted. “But I’m still bullish on Atlanta.” ì
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BUSINESS & PROFESSIONALS Supporting Small Business During COVID When the COVID-19 crisis first erupted in Georgia last March, the threat of the pandemic growing from a few weeks to months, small Flora Rosefsky business owners questioned how they could remain open and still pay their bills. Would their stores or shops ever again become safe places for customers? In the early days of the pandemic, the $349 million federal Paycheck Protection Program provided small businesses financial assistance to pay their employees, but that was not merely enough, according to seven Jewish owners interviewed for this story. Almost overnight, store owners and employees had to find ways to stay afloat with innovative ideas. It took grit, imagination and research to come up with new business plans, those interviewed said. “In those initial weeks of COVID, it was all about survival,” said Sugandha Rosenhaft of La Dee Da children’s art studio. “Moving very quickly, I made up Grab n’ Go Art Kits for parents to pick up,” she said in an email to the AJT. Now, almost a year later, with many changes in place, customers are back supporting small businesses such as La Dee Da and other Jewish-owned companies, while owners continue to follow CDC guidelines and find themselves increasingly dependent on the computer and virtual platforms such as Zoom.
Owner of Wee Bee Baby Boutique, Ashley Jacobsohn brings her son Lincoln with her when working at the store.
Doggie daycare to baby boutique At the start of the pandemic, Atlanta native Ashley Jacobsohn and her husband had owned a thriving dog daycare business in 32 | FEBRUARY 15, 2021 ATLANTA JEWISH TIMES
Roswell for 10 years. She received PPP assistance, so about a dozen people on staff were able to keep their pay and benefits in place. When people started working from home and not traveling, they didn’t need to board their dogs. “We went from boarding 50 or more dogs a day to exactly 0 overnight,” she emailed the AJT. At the same time her lease was coming to an end. “I felt fortunate to find a buyer. I closed on the sale of that business on a Zoom call from the hospital bed at Northside [Hospital] about four hours after having an emergency C-section to deliver our son.” After extensive research about her next business move, Wee Bee Baby Boutique opened its doors in Chamblee in November. Although the new business had space for classes, lactation consulting and birthday parties, those in-person programs couldn’t occur because of COVID. Before Chanukah, the boutique hosted a socially distanced “Build Your Own Menorah” party despite the health limitations. Jacobsohn mentioned the support received from metro Atlanta’s Jewish community during the pandemic. “Our landlord Eddie Dressler of Dressler’s Jewish Funeral Care is incredible and has been so supportive” she said. Describing her “Jewish grandmother network,” Jacobsohn said, “Atlanta’s Jewish grandmothers, who are friends with each other, whom I know well, take great care of us, spreading through word-of-mouth news about our new business.” Like other business owners interviewed for this article, Jacobsohn looks forward to when she can meet more of her customers in person. For now, she remains cautious, following CDC guidelines to protect her family, “our customers and our parents whom we love and want to keep healthy.”
had ordered as though people would be hosting large seders and having children and grandchildren all needing Passover food,” said co-owner Jodi Wittenberg. Not able to sell the Passover merchandise, the Toco Hills kosher grocery donated to families in need and also delivered carloads to the Jewish Family & Career Services’ Kosher Food Pantry and Yad L’Yad, a Toco Hills nonprofit providing kosher food biweekly to local Jewish individuals and families. During those early days of COVID, customers learned about the store’s inventory through Facebook Live events and an Excel spreadsheet, and the store only offered curbside shopping. Wittenberg outlined how Spicy Peach adheres to CDC guidelines during the ongoing pandemic. Fresh food handlers wear masks while constantly washing their hands. Employees must present a negative COVID test before coming back to work after traveling. Sanitizing wipes and hand sanitizer sit by the register and front doors. Masks must be worn inside, and if needed, the store supplies them. “We prefer no out-of-towners in the store, especially if from COVID-heavy communities, but we can’t really control that,” Wittenberg said. COVID health and safety requirements are prominently displayed on the front windows and entry door with a maximum of six customers allowed to shop in the store at a time. Curbside pickup is still available for those who need or desire it.
Memorabilia and antiques surround Yury Abramov in his Vintage Barbershop.
At The Spicy Peach’s front door, co-owner Jodi Wittenberg gets ready to welcome customers.
Passing on surplus After Purim last year, just as COVID gained control, Passover deliveries arrived from multiple vendors to Spicy Peach. “We
Government lifeline When shelter-in-place restrictions began in March, Yury Abramov, owner of Vintage Barbershop in Sandy Springs, had to close for almost a month. He later received PPP funding, which “helped in keeping staff on board, and with rent assistance,” Abramov said.
Upon reopening, after the government lifted the stay-at-home order, Abramov mandated masks to his employees and sanitized workstations with distance between them. Appointments were also staggered. He now offers private appointments and house calls.
Artist and childhood educator Sugandha Rosenhaft owns La Dee Da studio.
Virtual learning When COVID arrived last year, La Dee Da’s full schedule of classes, school break and summer camps, along with its ability to hold children’s birthday parties came to a halt. Because the business only had one full time employee and two teachers as contractors year-round, she only qualified for a very small PPP grant. Rosenhaft recalls taking a late-night trip to Wal-Mart wearing multiple layers of masks and gloves just to replenish her art supplies to make up her Grab n’ Go kits. Throughout the summer, La Dee Da became operational with in-person camps, and later with after-school art classes, while being extremely cautious and reducing maximum participation capacity. With children socially isolated in their homes, and parents struggling with childcare and virtual school demands, La Dee Da turned its space into virtual pods for teaching elementary-aged students. In addition to requiring all staff and children to wear masks, parents are no longer allowed to walk in to drop off their children, only curbside drop-off is allowed, Rosenhaft said. In addition to taking temperatures, sanitizing, frequent handwashing and more deep cleaning, an outdoor wash sink was installed so “we could all practice extra hand-washing after eating and playing.” The outdoor play area was revamped and the indoor play area, with its ball pit, toddler toys and tree house, was closed. “We have been lucky not to have any campers or staff members impacted by COVID-19 while attending our program thus far.”
BUSINESS & PROFESSIONALS
Customer Bob David stands with Kosher Gourmet owner Steve Gilmer at his store.
Meals on the run Steve Gilmer, owner of Kosher Gourmet, told the AJT that “COVID caused us to lose all our catering.” These days, Gilmer offers an online menu through MenuPix and provides more home deliveries in and outside his Toco Hills neighborhood. His takeout service also has grown. When customers were not holding big seders or only one or two were celebrating at home, customers purchased Seder in a Box filled with a traditional Passover meal. The same concept applies to the current Shabbat in a Box offering. Gilmer credits the Orthodox synagogue community, even more so during COVID, for their support. “Kosher meat cooked meals have increased.”
RECENT LISTINGS & SALES Ask us about our wonderful upcoming listings for the early spring market!
Standing at Toco Instant Printing shop’s front counter is owner Hal Rabinowitz.
Print on demand Last April, Hal Rabinowitz of Toco Instant Printing applied and received government PPP funds “because nobody knew where this was headed as business sharply declined,” he said. Designated as an “essential service” by local governments, he was able to stay open. Following CDC guidelines, Rabinowitz placed the now commonplace floor stickers that indicated how customers can maintain a 6-foot distance. He arranged sanitizer pumps on the counters, installed a large plexiglass divider at the main counter and put a “masks must be worn” sign on the front door. Rabinowitz and his assistant also wear masks at all times. Rabinowitz services a number of rabbis, teachers, and adults who work in several Jewish schools, synagogues and organizations in the area. When COVID raised its head
and families to use the new virtual platform. “The whole world began using this way to teach, so we were all on the journey together,” he said. Because there is a split-second delay when conducting music lessons virtually, teachers send their students recorded videos in advance. That way, when lessons begin, students can pull up the previously recorded tracks and sing or play along with the videos, “since we can’t play ‘live’ together over a Zoom call,” he said. As teachers mainly instruct from their homes, it’s only the office managers and store sales people who remain in his store, where CDC guidelines are Can’t stop the beat followed and staff is always When COVID hit in masked. the spring, in-person les“The support from sons at Sandy Springs Muour families, customers sic quickly switched to virMusician and owner of and our staff and their abilSandy Springs Music, Dave tual ones. Groups of Rock Szikman plans out the ity to change the entire way Band classes were paused. week’s schedule of teaching they’ve taught for years is The recording studio was assignments on his computer. nothing short of amazing sidelined. The pandemic time forced owner David and I am eternally grateful.” Like most of the small business owners Szikman and his staff to learn how to use high-definition webcams and small micro- interviewed for this story, a recurring theme phones with Zoom to improve the music les- was appreciation for the Jewish community’s commitment to shopping local – even during son experience. Then Szikman helped train his students a pandemic. ì last spring, those institutions closed. Fewer printed programs and agendas were needed for their religious events and programs. Even when the Jewish institutions reopened, smaller groups attended, so large quantities of printed materials weren’t needed. However, during the pandemic, as more retirees and other adults were staying at home, Rabinowitz observed more people coming into the shop with their family photos, immigration documents and genealogy records. They ordered copies and scans to be saved electronically, which could be shared with their family and friends via email or social media.
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Atlanta Fine Homes, LLC fully supports the principles of the Fair Housing Act and the Equal Opportunity Act. Each franchise is independently owned and operated.
ATLANTA JEWISH TIMES FEBRUARY 15, 2021 | 33
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Tax Pro Provides Expert View Awardwinning accountant Jay Starkman offers valuable tips on dealing with the IRS, election consequences, possible ways to Marcia avoid auditing, Caller Jaffe and most importantly, keeping more of your hard earned “gelt” in your pocket. He was the recipient in 2011 of the American Institute of CPAs Arthur J. Dixon Award, the accounting profession’s highest accolade in taxation. Starkman’s widely praised book, “The Sex of a Hippopotamus : A Unique History of Taxes and Accounting,” has been out of print for three years. Originally priced at $28.95, it has been resold on Amazon for as high as $775. He has published six articles in The Wall Street Journal, including one on Sept. 29 on the presidential election. “Bidenomics
May Repeat FDR’s Blunder: Democrats propose new taxes similar to those that plunged America back into depression in 1937.” Here are some hot issues with Starkman’s responses. And yes, your zip code or using bitcoin can raise flags. Will I get audited? Almost everyone gets computer-generated notices. IRS claims that it audits 2 to 4 percent of returns, with higher income at the 4 percent rate. It counts computer notices in its audit figures. The real audit coverage is a fraction of 1 percent. The IRS is expending its audit resources on abusive tax shelters, like conservation easements (there are 200 cases docketed in tax court now). For lower income taxpayers, the IRS spends disproportionate audit resources on verifying earned income tax credit. The result is IRS audits more lowincome people with low revenue potential. The chances of being audited are tiny, so one needn’t be fearful of claiming lawful deductions. Fear versus reality helps keep taxpayers honest. Audit risk is determined by your DIF (discriminate function) a secret formula.
Time for a Financial Check-Up Call Us? Laura K. Schilling, J.D., CPA, Certified Financial Planner (CFP®), Certified Senior Advisor (CSA®), is principal and founder of Financial Innovations, LLC and Laura K. Schilling, Esq, CPA, CSA, Estate Innovations, LLC. She is licensed to practice law in Georgia and Florida. Laura has been published in Forbes Magazine as well as Best Self Magazine. Clients benefit from Laura’s legal, accounting, and financial planning expertise. This diverse background enables her to review a client’s financial situation from many different perspectives. Securities offered through Triad Advisors, LLC. Member FINRA/SIPC. Advisory services offered through Financial Innovations, LLC. Financial Innovations, LLC is not affiliated with Triad Advisors, LLC. Over 4000 Jewish Atlanta voters participated in this year’s readers’ choice, to nominate and vote for their favorite business in a variety of categories. Laura Schilling won top ten place in the category of Best Investments and Financial Services in the 2020 Special Edition “Best of Jewish Atlanta: Readers’ Choice Awards.
Laura K. Schilling, J.D., CPA, CFP®, CSA® Financial Innovations, LLC and Estate Innovations, LLC
6111 Peachtree Dunwoody Road, Suite F101 Atlanta, GA 30328 Main 404-458-0065 firstname.lastname@example.org www.financialinnovations.biz 34 | FEBRUARY 15, 2021 ATLANTA JEWISH TIMES
It includes showing inadequate income for your zip code, deductions disproportionately high for a given income, failure to report income by third parties, whether a noncash contribution required an appraisal. Living in a high-income zip code is a DIF factor all by itself. Roth IRAs There is no age limit for contributing to a Roth IRA, if you otherwise qualify. Or, you can contribute to a traditional IRA and convert that, or an existing 401(k), 403(b) or 457 plan to a Roth IRA.
to claim a refundable tax credit on their 2020 return. The IRS is concerned about anyone using a virtual currency (ie. bitcoin) and has a new question on returns that everyone must answer. Filers can claim up to $300 of cash contributions to charity on their 2020 returns in addition to the standard deduction. In 2021, that becomes $600 for married filing jointly and $300 for single filers.
2021 possible tax legislation Jay Starkman expects the During the campaign, Biden administration to [Joe] Biden proposed cancelprovide more funding earmarked toward audits ing the Trump tax cuts, raisas a way to raise revenue, ing the top federal income Filing as a Married Couple? especially among higher tax rate back to 39.6 percent, If husband and wife wealth households. and raising the corporate have similar incomes, but one incurred disproportionate medical income tax from 21 percent to 28 percent. expenses, test whether married filing sepa- He also promised to limit low capital-gains rately results in a savings. There are other tax rates to the first $1 million in profits and situations for married-separate; one year I extend the full Social Security tax to income above $400,000. saved a client $150,000. Given the narrow Democratic Congressional majorities and the State tax history that the president’s Seven states presently party loses seats in a midallow S corps and LLCs to term election, Democrats pay taxes on behalf of the may not be too aggressive individual as a workaround in tax raises they will actufor the $10,000 limit on state ally pass. A 39.6 percent top tax deductions. Georgia, but individual rate is a foregone few other states, allows an conclusion, however, given individual income tax credit the weak economy, the effor such tax payments. fective date might be deConsider paying a layed until 2022. high state income tax using It’s little known that discounted film tax credmost non-itemizers with its, available in dozens of under $100,000 income can states. The discount is tax“The Sex of a Hippopotamus: have IRS complete the calable income, resulting in A Unique History of culation of tax and earned net savings of 6 percent to 8 Taxes and Accounting” is income credit. Anyone able percent, and there is a slight available on Amazon. to prepare and file their own risk of loss where credits return on paper should do so. were not properly granted. Starkman is a member of CongregaFor real estate taxes paid on unimproved and nonproductive real property, tion Beth Jacob. With wife Leah, they have one can elect to capitalize any otherwise three married children: an engineer, a banker and a computer tech. He is also known nondeductible property tax. for his tax humor. In terms of biblical times, he states, 2021 tips If you received a PPP [paycheck protec- “To avoid the bad reputation associated tion program] loan, you may be able to both with taxes, rulers should insulate themexclude the forgiven loan and deduct the selves from the collecting and especially expenses paid with the loan. Practitioners raising taxes. Go to Joseph and do what he are awaiting IRS guidance on applying this tells you,” Pharaoh tells his subjects (Genesis 31:55). double benefit. Why is Joseph remembered as a sucThose who received less than the full cessful and popular tax collector? His people Economic Impact Payment may be eligible were enslaved shortly after his death. ì
BUSINESS & PROFESSIONALS
How to Avoid Stress and Anxiety A year have to control. Actually, facing and dealago, few of us ing with your feelings can help you feel knew what more in control.” When you are feeling overwhelmed, was about to come our way. Dr. Garber said, “Do yourself a favor and As a result of return to the present and experience a the past year’s bite-sized break from worry. Instead of c h a l l e n g e s , repetitive negative thoughts, take refuge namely deal- in the present and enjoy the moment. ing with social Anything you do that is enjoyable can Robyn isolation and help reduce stress: savor a favorite food, Spizman Gerson d i s t a n c i n g , read a book or take a walk,” he continued. “Mindfulness takes us away from Jewish Atlantans have learned to become more emotionally resilient. To help us worries and helps to ground us. Connect with people who you continue to combat can reciprocally share stress, three Atlanta your feelings with and experts in the field lift each other up.” of human behavior David Woodsfelpulled upon scientificlow of The Woodsfelbased evidence when low Institute for Couoffering suggestions ples Therapy weighed for improving our in on chronic moodimood and outlook on ness. “Ask yourself, life. what are my feelings “COVID is multitelling me? Let yourplying the stress and self feel your feelings. anxiety all of us are Explore them. See feeling,” said Stephen where they lead. Is W. Garber, a psycholothere something you gist at the Behavioral need to understand? Or Institute of Atlanta. Stephen W. Garber of the change? Or do? Or not “Realizing that ‘under Behavioral Institute of Atlanta shares insights on mindfulness. do? Trust your feelings; stress, we all regress’ is the first step to accepting and manag- let them guide you,” he said. “Moods happens to the best of us. ing the feelings we are all dealing with. If you come from a long line of worri- It’s a good idea to share your fear, your ers, you come by worry naturally, which pain, your vulnerability. It is not such a makes things more difficult. Recognizing good idea to share your grumpiness. If this can help you put your feelings in per- your mood will bring others toward you, with compassion, share it. If your mood spective.” will push others away, Dr. Garber condon’t share it.” tinued, “Worry and Regarding pracfear have a survival tices he recommends value when you recbecoming more posiognize a problem and tive. Dr. Woodsfellow problem solve.” When suggested, “Gratitude, you worry, Garber kind words, and acts said to ask yourself, of service. Think “Am I just spinning about all the good my wheels, stuck in things in your life and my head and obsessput your appreciation ing about things or in words.” To couples, am I problem solving? he suggests, “Give Defining a problem compliments every and coming up with day. Do little things possible solutions can for each other, daily help you feel more in David Woodsfellow encourages touch each other, and control,”he said. positive ways to connect. do something nice to“Accepting the things you cannot control is difficult. gether. Every day.” Another Atlanta psychologist Beth When you try not to be anxious, you can make yourself even more anxious. It is Seidel said, “Most of the work I’m doing important to realize when you are anx- is with people who are struggling with ious, step back and accept you do not anxiety and depression. I am teaching
them how to be aware of what elevates and not what you can’t do so that you feel their anxiety and depression and better more empowered.” Dr. Seidel points to technology that manage it. Two main things I suggest can help. “I also like is deep breathing to Calm and Head Space, get their body to rewhich are two apps lax and the second is that provide all kinds self-talk, which is balof resources to help ancing your thoughts you manage anxiety because anxiety disor depression. From torts our thinking. I meditation to sleep teach them how to mediation and even insert truth and facts tracking your mood to balance the worried during the day.” or negative thinking,” On a final note, she said. Dr. Seidel offers deep “With more seribreathing methods. ous issues, it is impor“Belly breaths slow tant to focus on what down your heart rate, you do have control blood flow and relax over and what you do Psychologist Beth Seidel focuses on helping patients your muscles. Breathe not. The techniques reduce anxiety and worry. in through your nose still work either way, and out through your mouth, where you since when you are aware of your feelcannot push out any more air like you are ings, you do not feel as helpless. It’s imbreathing and blowing our birthday canportant to balance your thoughts, which dles. You want your stomach to deflate and don’t always have to be positive, but the then breathe back in through your nose and awareness can help you manage the worout through your mouth again.” ì ry better and focus on what you can do
ATLANTA JEWISH TIMES FEBRUARY 15, 2021 | 35
BUSINESS & PROFESSIONALS
Georgia Tech Hillel Partners for Propel Win Georgia Tech Hillel and Tikkun Olam Makers won the coveted $35,000 prize in the Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta’s first-ever Propel Pitch virtual competition of Jewish Atlanta Innovation. The competition challenged 12 recipients of Propel Innovation grants to submit video pitches for the most innovative and impactful ideas in Jewish Atlanta. Propel Innovation is a research and development accelerator for nonprofit organizations and entrepreneurs that are reimagining Jewish life here. The Federation launched the competition to recognize changemakers. The Propel funding will enable TOM at GT to work on more custom solutions to make life easier for those with dis-
abilities in Atlanta. TOM is an innovative program founded in Israel with chapters across the world in which students design and create prototypes of ingenious new products to assist people living with a disability, known as “need-knowers” in the TOM community. The funding will support student “makers” during TOM at GT’s first-ever Makeathon March 12-13. The makers will pair with “need-knowers” to create a custom prototype that is take-home-ready by the end of that weekend. As part of the Propel Pitch competition, 12 Atlanta organizations submitted pitches. On Jan. 14, judges narrowed the submissions down to five finalists and challenged them with probing questions that determined which projects would
secure funding. Accepting the top spot, Hillels of Georgia CEO Elliot Karp said, “Our team demonstrated exceptional vision, passion and business acumen. Hillel’s partnership with TOM is a beautiful example of the synergy and collaboration Hillel strives for in working with other Jewish organizations on campus. The Hillel/ TOM partnership not only benefits our Hillel students in terms of their connections to the Jewish community, but will also benefit countless people through their creativity, ingenuity and efforts at solving real life needs and challenges for people with diverse abilities.” Lauren Rekhelman is former staff lead for TOM at GT and program director for Georgia Tech Hillel. “Over the next
Judges Jori Mendel, top left, and Monica Hooks, bottom right, consider the pitch of Lauren Rekhelman, top right, and Teddy Lambert, bottom left,
few months, TOM student leaders and Hillel staff will work with community partners from JF&CS, Jewish Abilities Alliance, Camp Twin Lakes and more to engage up to 10 members of the Atlanta Jewish community living with disabilities.”
Breman Foundation Donates $12,500 To JF&CS
Engelhard Markets Sustainability
The Breman Foundation, Inc., donated $12,500 to Jewish Family & Career Services of Atlanta to support the JF&CS Emergency Assistance Program, which has expanded significantly in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The funding will help implement a management information system for the emergency assistance program and food pantry, according to a press release from JF&CS Jan. 25. “This new technology will increase process efficiencies that will enable a small staff to manage data and increase the number of people processed to receive emergency assistance and food pantry assistance,” JF&CS reported. “This will include functions like validation of need, payment processing and documentation of emergency resolutions agreed upon with clients, property owners, utility vendors, and others.” More than $650,000 has been distributed to Atlanta residents in need within the last 10 months. “As more people have suffered job losses, and decreased salaries due to the pandemic, JF&CS has worked to provide emergency assistance, resources, nutritious food, and career support to the community.” JF&CS CEO Terri Bonoff reiterated, “Our emergency financial assistance program and our food pantry have grown exponentially during the pandemic to help thousands of people in need over the past 10 months. This grant from the Breman Foundation will help support
By Marcia Caller Jaffe
36 | FEBRUARY 15, 2021 ATLANTA JEWISH TIMES
Terri Bonoff is the CEO of JF&CS.
streamlining the technology needed to get assistance to people in need as quickly as possible.” For more information about JF&CS emergency assistance program, including the food pantry, contact 770-677-9389 or visit www.jfcsatl.org/relief.
Google, Merck, the Georgia World Congress Center, Papa Johns, the Superbowl, Atlanta native Blake Engelhard, 27, TWO Urban Licks, and Hartsfield-Jackis deep into sustainability, feeding the son Atlanta International Airport. “It’s a hungry, while making win-win. These coma profit along the way. panies get tax benefits He joined Goodr, an and tremendous PR app that requests unvalue for their dedicaused food pickup and tion to sustainability. delivery from hotels, These are tough times. restaurants, airports This helps their marand the like for extra gins. Their tax savings food that would norare five to 10 times the mally be discarded. cost.” Engelhard, a RivOrganizations erwood High School pay Goodr for serand Wharton School vices according to the graduate, gained his size of the transporexperience working tation requested, for at Accenture, then volume ranging from an international tech a smaller vehicle to company focused on pick up palettes of Blake Engelhard uses market food and beverage, bread to a large cargo development techniques to shift and starting his own van. “Think about deunused food to the needy, while tech company before creasing waste manproviding benefits to donors. returning here from agement: 27 percent Manhattan to join Goodr. of a landfill is food. Now during COVID, “This a very heartfelt endeavor. Mil- consider all the takeout containers. Our lions of people go to bed hungry while users put food in tins and adhere to strict billions of tons of food go to waste,” he USDA food safety guidelines; how long it said. “This is about food insecurity and has been left out versus refrigerated, for logistics/ engineering technology like example. There are so many opportuniDoorDash, but with nonprofits.” ties as I look to build more partnerships Engelhard joined Goodr in busi- – maybe universities next. And there are ness development to build sales. The app hundreds of needy nonprofits on the rehas an impressive roster of users coun- ceiving end. Think of our name Goodr,” trywide and locally including Netflix, he said, laughing, “like do-gooder.”
BUSINESS & PROFESSIONALS
Buckle Supports New Gig Economy By Marcia Caller Jaffe Citing more than 2 million rideshare and delivery drivers in the U.S., Dustin Walsey, co-founder of Buckle, saw a gap where “gig” drivers had to buy expensive commercial car insurance as would a taxi driver. In 2017, he launched Buckle with the goal of helping gig economy workers access affordable options. One benefit Walsey notes is that Buckle doesn’t use credit history to determine rates, “I see that as discriminatory. These folks deserve a break. Think of how they have helped us during the pandemic.” Walsey previously worked for Akamai Technologies in business development serving Fortune 100 companies. For over a decade, he was the owner of Auto Town Insurance. When new industries evolve, entrepreneurs often jump on trend opportunities. Combined with the pandemic, Grubhub, DoorDash, Lyft, Uber, Postmates
Dimitri Tyryshkin, Buckle’s staff software engineer, assures that the components run smoothly.
Buckle co-founder Dustin Walsey grew up in Atlanta and was a gung-ho BBYO member. Now he’s advancing state by state setting up auto insurance for gig drivers.
and dozens of delivery services created market shifts. “The gig economy will remain critical to our world post-COVID,” Walsey said. “They have been on the front line supporting us as we work from home. After herd immunity, people will be jubilant and ready to break free. Local delivery habits will be forever changed and in-
tegrated in our society. Who would need to drive to pick up a prescription?” Buckle, operating in Georgia, recently added Tennessee and will go state by state to widen its footprint, Walsey noted. “Insurance is regulated at the state (not federal) level. Thus, we have to study each market and be efficient and nimble to eliminate friction. We have invested
Robin Blass Joins Harry Norman Robin Blass joined the Harry Norman Realtors Atlanta Perimeter office along with her team, including her daughter Lauren. “We are overjoyed to welcome Robin Blass and her team as they embody so many of Harry Norman’s core values,” said Jenni Bonura, Harry Norman president and CEO. “She joins our roster of talented agents across the city and we have no doubt her expertise and experience will continue to further her amazing success in the industry.” Blass brings decades of real estate experience in Atlanta. In 2020, the Blass team closed 110 transactions, totaling over $60 million in total sales, and Blass was the top agent since 1992 with her previous brokerage office, Coldwell Banker. She reports being the youngest recipient of the Atlanta Board of Realtors Platinum Phoenix Award in 2015, is one of the top 20 Realtors in Atlanta since 1996. Her team has also been recognized among the top performers by the Atlanta Board of Realtors. “It’s never easy making such a big change, but I am confident that this move is going to deliver on-going success for not only me, but my team” Blass said.
The Atlanta Board of Realtors recognized Robin Blass among the best in the local market.
“I know that my market knowledge and experience backed by the service and expertise of Harry Norman is a winning formula, and I look forward to what will come of this new partnership.”
heavily in data.” Buckle employs just over 50 people and uses a work-from-home COVID strategy. Enter IT whiz Dimitri Tyryshkin, Buckle’s staff software engineer. He came on in 2019 with a strong portfolio of supply chain logistics at The Home Depot, IT at Israeli VDO Net, and Citrix, a pioneer in videoconferencing. A native of Siberia, he immigrated to Israel in 1998, then moved from South Florida to Atlanta. In terms of his Buckle role, he said, “I’m a jack of all trades, doing staff software engineering that makes the accountants’ jobs easier. I wear a lot of hats, basically connecting how things work smoothly together. We are a work in progress, as we continue to add more states.” Walsey and his family are members of The Temple, while the Tyryshkins belong to Temple Sinai. The two entrepreneurs are brothers-in-law, married to sisters Jenny and Erika.
CNN Honors Richard Davis With Journalism Fellowship As longtime CNN exec Richard Davis retired last month, he was honored with a journalism fellowship in his name at the University of Maryland Philip Merrill College of Journalism. CNN and Merrill College established the CNN Richard Davis Endowed Distinguished Graduate Fellowship in Journalism. Davis, who retired at the end of January as CNN’s executive vice president of news standards and practices since 1998, is a 1984 graduate of Merrill College and a member of its Board of Visitors. CNN committed $300,000 to fund the fellowship, which benefits Merrill graduate students. “Rick Davis is a CNN original. CNN would not be what it is without him,” said Jeff Zucker, chairman of WarnerMedia News and Sports, and president of CNN Worldwide. “This fellowship will have a goal of supporting diversity in the newsroom as well as provide training for newsroom leadership. We can think of no better way to show our appreciation for Rick than the well-trained journalists of the future.” Of the honor, Davis said, “It’s hard to express my appreciation and joy since it combines three of my great passions: CNN,
Richard Davis was honored with a journalism fellowship in his name from his alma mater last month.
the University of Maryland and helping to grow diversity in America’s newsrooms. “I look forward to meeting and, yes, mentoring the recipients of the fellowship who will have the benefit of working with my remarkable colleagues at CNN’s Washington bureau. My connection to Maryland extends to my daughter Sarah, and sonin-law Jonathan Michaels, both Maryland grads. For me, this is a real family affair.” Davis earned his master’s degree in television production/communications from the University of Maryland in 1984 and established two Davis Scholarships in Journalism at Merrill College. He also has met and mentored scholarship recipients. ATLANTA JEWISH TIMES FEBRUARY 15, 2021 | 37
BUSINESS & PROFESSIONALS
Film and Food Get Creative By Marcia Caller Jaffe What better combination than Jews, food and film? Bustling scenes of Sandra and Clive Bank, owners of Added Touch Catering, schlepping, pouring, arranging, dipping, and refilling won’t be as vivid with the 2021 reimagined Atlanta Jewish Film Festival. They are, however, behind the scenes planning and executing a newly fashioned partnership with the festival’s events. The AJFF will also “produce” Festival in a Box for opening night. On Jan. 25, AJFF Zoomed the First Look Insider Preview Virtual Cinema, a free event explaining this year’s hybrid format and upcoming movie lineup. That night, Added Touch offered a winter-inspired meal with several choices. The AJFF’s virtual home movie options (smart TV, tablet, mobile device, home theater) span 12 days, starting Feb. 17, and offers world class films – narratives, shorts and documentaries. Closing night is Feb. 28, with an awards show March 10. Those purchasing a ticket to the events will have the option to purchase a gourmet meal that can be picked up or delivered (within a limited radius at an additional charge). Food on opening night features Partyin-a-Box with choice of hummus, meat or vegetarian charcuterie board, and dessert. Early birds get a bottle of wine. Each box
Clive and Sandra Bank are owners of Added Touch Catering.
Added Touch Catering will offer boxed food options for opening and closing night films.
serves two people for $45. Orders should or pickup of the Feb. 28 movie night. The be placed by Feb. 15 for pickup or delivery film is “Howie Mandel: But, Enough About Me” streaming at on Feb. 17, opening 7 pm. night. The film is Sandra Bank “Kiss Me Kosher” cited the compastreaming at 7 pm. ny’s history with Closing night, the AJFF. “We go “ Jew- l i s h - o u s ” back many years menu with a modwith the Atlanta ern take on clasJewish Film Festisics: Reuben egg val. I’ve always beroll, salmon patty, lieved in the conchopped liver, cept, and it helps latkes, Israeli salad, that Clive is such pickles, raspberry Closing night offers a “Jew-lish-ous” menu an avid movie adhamantashen and including chopped liver, latkes, roasted dict! Like everymandel bread. A beet hummus, pickles, egg rolls, salmon one, AJFF has had box serving two patties, hamantashen and mandel bread. to pivot, and we’ve people is $48. Orders must be placed by Feb. 25 for delivery come up with some new ideas. We have
normally been a generous sponsor of the opening night. COVID- 19 has not made that a viable possibility. “We, ourselves, are very strict in our kitchen. All deliveries and staff enter and exit from the same door, temperatures registered, etc. It’s a new world. Hopefully 2022 will be back to ‘the new normal’ whatever that may be.” Not part of Added Touch, the AJFF offers Festival in A Box, a special opportunity for opening night ticketholders who will receive a box full of fun comfort items needed to create the perfect stay-at-home viewing experience, including snacks, cozy layers, and more supported by the Sandy Springs Arts Foundation. The full contents will be a surprise! For details on tickets and food, visit AJFF at www.ajff.org.
Apps for Apples and Appletinis By Marcia Caller Jaffe Native Atlantan Scott Rosenblum sprang from Riverwood High School and Georgia State University to disparate careers in investment banking, men’s sportswear and credit card circuit boards. Little did he know that eating at his favorite restaurant would lead him to his current red-hot app, SkilletWorks. “I was a loyal diner at Little Alley Steak in Roswell,” he said. “Observation led me to the frustration of seeing firsthand the ‘pain’ the staff went through keeping track of inventory on iPads, faxing or texting to account for and order liquor and food. Then behind the scenes, there were all kinds of awkward procedures with multiple suppliers.” Under his parent company Hugo Posh, Rosenblum identified the problem and ran with it. He added, “As a teen I 38 | FEBRUARY 15, 2021 ATLANTA JEWISH TIMES
App entrepreneur Scott Rosenblum’s SkilletWorks makes it easier for restaurants to order inventory for both liquor and food.
knew Karatassos [local family that owns Buckhead Life Restaurant Group] and other kids in the restaurant business to get a good taste of it. I also have deep roots in Jewish Atlanta with my family, who owned Turtles Records and Tapes.” Rosenblum explored how the various arms of the restaurant business
interplay. “There is the bar manager, the kitchen manager and chefs. Imagine keeping track and ordering 1,500 to 2,000 varieties of wine.” With SkilletWorks, the app has a list of purveyors and items that input right into the supply system. The vast majority, 85 percent, of its current business is
alcohol. The rest is food. Sysco and Gordon Food Service are some examples. Only about 10 distributors control the liquor business, he said. The beta test for SkilletWorks was in July. Then COVID stalled it into a November completion. Currently it has 10 to 15 active restaurant groups with 30 in the queue waiting to come on, Rosenblum added. “Obviously since we charge by the unit, we are targeting larger national groups.” Subscribers pay a monthly fee: 10 or more units $99 each, under 10, $129 each. In the future, Rosenblum forecasted, “Right now we are having fun and adding more services like interfacing with QuickBooks and beefing up the application. I project 3,000 to 4,000 restaurants to come on this year. We have the offers, but it’s too early. We are definitely hiring more staff to get there.”
BUSINESS & PROFESSIONALS
Jody Pollack Crafts Judaica From Wood
Jody Pollack is executive director of the Atlanta Kosher BBQ Festival, a brisket chef and woodworker.
Compiled by AJT Staff When Jody Pollack isn’t busy leading the Atlanta Kosher BBQ Festival as its executive director and competing as a brisket chef – working amid smoke – he’s creating sawdust. As a woodworker, that is. Pollack makes mezuzot and
Pollack created this acacia butcher block menorah. He donated menorot to b’nai mitzvah students to celebrate Chanukah.
menorot from locally sourced wood. In fact, when a friend was “gifted” a significant portion of his neighbor’s pecan tree, in other words the tree fell into his backyard, he let Pollack cut up and remove some of the pecan tree in a manner reminiscent of Tom Sawyer and the fence, the Atlanta woodworker said.
Some of that pecan was turned to smoke via Pollack’s Big Green Egg and some to sawdust. Pollack transformed a significant portion into the Judaica items he sells. He also donated some of his menorot to b’nai mitzvah students who couldn’t have their parties or celebrations but could use the candleholders for Chanukah.
Some mezuzot were created from a pecan tree that fell into a neighbor’s backyard.
As for the smoke, Pollack announced the return of the Atlanta Kosher BBQ Festival planned for Sunday, Oct. 17 at Brook Run Park in Dunwoody. Check the festival website, https://theatlantakosherbbq.com/ and Facebook, www.facebook.com/AtlantaKosherBBQFestival, for updates.
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ART Breman Exhibit Connects Jews With Jazz H e r b Snitzer always seemed to have a knack of making the most of his opportunities in life. A day after he graduated art school in 1957 at Bob Bahr the age of 23, he moved to New York to launch his career as a professional photographer. About a year later he was the photo editor of Metronome magazine, a job that put him at the center of New York’s thriving jazz scene. Many of Snitzer’s photos of that time, including his portraits of Louis Armstrong, Jimmy Rushing and Miles Davis, are classics. Now 64 years later, after a long and successful career, the William Breman Jewish Heritage Museum has brought together 80 of Snitzer’s best photographs in a retrospective called, “A Jazz Memoir: Photography of Herb Snitzer.” Jazz artist Joe Alterman remembers as a youngster seeing Snitzer’s iconic image of
Photographer Herb Snitzer captured singer Jimmy Rushing in 1959 with the Duke Ellington orchestra.
the pianist Thelonious Monk and having it be a turning point in his life. “I remember being a young kid and seeing that picture he did of Thelonious Monk with the piano, reflecting on his glasses and saying, ‘Who is this guy? I want to hear his music.’ So to me, I’ve always been aware of Herb’s work and his work has kind of turned me on to a lot of the music that I really love.” Among the other famous pictures is
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40 | FEBRUARY 15, 2021 ATLANTA JEWISH TIMES
Louis Armstrong in this 1960 picture wore his gold star of David all his life.
Herb Snitzer is still active at 88, as a “visual historian.”
one of Louis Armstrong taken while he was photographs work so well.” Casadonte, whose Lumiere Gallery on the road with his sextet in 1960 in The represents Snitzer in Atlanta and provided Berkshires. Around Armstrong’s neck was the gold many of the images for the exhibit, believes star of David that the musician always wore. that the late 1950s was an important time in He had been given it by the Karnofsky fam- American history, in the history of the civil ily in New Orleans, who helped him buy his rights movement. He feels that Snitzer and first trumpet when he worked for them as a the magazine he worked for played a big boy. In a way the famous photograph seems part in what was happening then. “Metronome to summarize the inmagazine, which was fluence that Jews have the industry publicahad on the develoption for jazz at the time, ment of jazz over the was very much about past century. breaking down color Alterman, who is barriers, breaking also executive director down some of these of Neranenah, the Atrestrictive covenants lanta Jewish music festhat they would force tival, has highlighted performers to sign. the connections Jews This performance by Miles Davis at Snitzer was right at the like Snitzer have made the Apollo Theater is from 1961. forefront of all of that.” in the largely African During a program at The Breman American world of jazz, most importantly in the songs by Jewish composers that these Museum, Alterman recalls being corrected when he introduced Snitzer as a photogramusicians played. “Jazz is black music. But without these pher. “No,” Snitzer said, “I’m a visual histosongs, I don’t know where jazz would be,” rian.” He believed he was doing more than Alterman said. “It’s like a gift that many Jew- just taking pictures of musicians. “That’s one of the major takeaways I ish composers gave to the great Black artists in our country. Black artists created the have,” Alterman notes, “more than perhaps swing in the music, but a lot of the Jewish documenting jazz musicians, he wanted to lyricists created the swing in the words, and elevate black artists. He thought that was the most important thing. What he would it created an American language in song.” That same sense of connection seems like is his legacy to be more than just: he took to be present in many of the photographs as great photos of great musicians. He really did well. According to the curator of the exhibit, something to elevate Black musicians, who Tony Casadonte, Snitzer and the artists he were really ignored and not given the respect photographed achieved a very special sense that they really deserve in this country.” The exhibit, which was scheduled to of being a part of each other’s creative effort. “There’s an intimacy to the images,” run for only three months last spring, has Casadonte told the AJT. “These people were been extended to run in a virtual format unperformers. I think, as a photographer, Herb til the end of March. It can be viewed on The Breman website was in the moment and doing his performance and there’s almost like this collab- in an enhanced interactive format that the orative effort. And I think that’s kind of the museum hopes to use to help create a unique way jazz works. And I think that’s why these online environment for future projects. ì
Baum Further Carves Her Niche O w n e r What we sampled: restaurateur Mezze Tal Postelnik The colorful starters – choices to mix Baum was and match. 3 for $10, 6 for $18. raised in IsPickled mixed vegetables: tart, vinegary, rael and spent celery, carrots, onion, yellow cauliflower in seven years in large chunks. Italy, which Unusual peach/mauve colored beet gives her both cubes (almost resembling raw tuna) tangy t r a d i t i o n a l with tahini sauce, very unusual compilaMarcia hand-me-down tion topped with sesame seeds. Even better Caller Jaffe Sabra family the next day. recipes and the Splendid magenta purple shredded slaw experience and range for her two upscale with sumac. restaurants. As founder and CEO of Oliva Tabbouleh: Soaked bulgur wheat, Restaurant Group, she is laser-focused on chopped parsley, lemon juice, olive oil, toMidtown-BeltLine and ofmato cubes, and in this case, fering authenticity as a culgarlicky for sure. tural culinary staycation. Exquisite, marinated Maybe we are not travmushrooms eling to Israel, but we can Standard Israeli salad sure eat like it at Rina and with cukes and tomatoes. feel hip in the unlikely loHummus comes in three cation of the Ford Factory varieties along with pita: Lofts. The menu (accented Hard egg, pickles, slaw, in Hebrew) covers mezze, crispy chickpeas, slaw, $8. hummus, pita sandwiches, Pine nuts, beef herbs, platters, and skewers paired $10. with boozy milkshakes and We went with this one: cocktails, beer and wine. Roasted spiced butternut Fashioned after a squash, dukkah and harissa, Photo by Angie Webb beach café, the restaurant $8. // Mezze: Colorful exotic mix and match has a snazzy bar, seating arDukkah is a North Afrieas, modern lighting on the one side, with can-Egyptian mixture of herbs, nuts, seeds a patio extension on the Atlanta BeltLine. and spices. Harissa is a Tunisian-based chili More upscale sister restaurant Aziza pepper paste, and may contain caraway has a seductive interior with Moroccan, seeds, cumin, olive oil, herbs, paprika and Lebanese, Persian and Iranian dishes with garlic powder. Slightly sweet smoky and a modern twist. tangy, but not super hot. Off Howell Mill, as an Entrée offshoot of Aziza, Falafel Falafel salad: Feta (very Nation offers Israeli street mild), crispy chickpeas, rofood to go with some of the maine, grape tomatoes. The same items as Rina with all standout was the homemade the fixins’ and messy eatgreen goddess tahini dressing ing. and artful couli presentation. Literally a stone’s Dessert throw from Rina at Ponce The Tahini chocolate City Market is another chip cookie ($3) was mind Oliva res-taurant, Bellina blowing. “Chip” is an underAlimentari, a kaleidoscope statement. Slabs of gooey of authentic Northern Italfudgy chocolate rippled ian cuisine, vino, and mini through this creamy mound, marketplaces, featured preleaving us begging for more. Photo by Angie Webb // Hummus comes in three viously in this column. Baum helped us learn varieties. Baum said the For the purposes of more: secret is pinching the this article, our takeout chickpeas to assure softness. was from Rina, which pays AJT: What’s the secret homage to Baum’s grandmother, whose to making a good hummus? family photos grace the entrance. Baum: You have to cook the chickpeas Learn about exotic food combina- until they are very soft. When pinching the tions with flavors such as dukkah and chickpea with two fingers, they should be harissa. very soft and smash.
Photo by Andrew Lee // Tal Baum heads
Oliva Restaurant Group with four unique and healthy concepts.
Photo by Marcia Caller Jaffe // The dining room centers around the bar. The BeltLine patio is adjacent.
AJT: How has the pandemic affected
been getting even through these trying times.
Baum: The pandemic changed the way people use restaurants. We have shifted to online ordering and enhanced our takeout offerings at the beginning of the pandemic to adopt to the new norm.
AJT: What type of customers are you seeing there on Ponce? Baum: We have a lot of regulars from the surrounding neighborhoods, people walking the BeltLine, and also people from other areas of town who come to Rina just for the great food and fun atmosphere. ì
AJT: How would you compare Rina’s progress versus the more elaborate sister restaurants? Baum: Rina’s nature being on the BeltLine is more casual and relaxed. We have been loved by the community since day one and are grateful for all the support we have
Rina is located at 699 Ponce de Leon Avenue just east of Ponce City Market. Hours of operation are Monday through Thursday noon to 9 p.m., Friday and Saturday noon to 10 p.m., and Sunday noon to 8 p.m.
ATLANTA JEWISH TIMES FEBRUARY 15, 2021 | 41
Virtual Classes and Events:
WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 10 Virtual Parent Info Sessions – 10 to 11:15 a.m. During this session, we will introduce you to The Davis Academy, give you a chance to ask questions and learn more about how we shape great minds, caring hearts and confident leaders. To RSVP, call 678-527-3300 or visit http://bit.ly/360Bh7x.
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 11 Cub Club: A Presidential Celebration – 10 to 10:30 a.m. Join The Davis Academy’s Mini Cubs for a presidential celebration as we honor our nation’s presidents for a fun morning of storytelling, games and art. Families are encouraged to wear their favorite red, white and blue attire. This is a virtual community program welcoming all families with children ages 3 to 5. To sign up, visit https://bit.ly/2M933YA.
including four golds. Join us as JNF opens a window to her extraordinary worlds of athleticism, motherhood and entrepreneurship to help others with disabilities overcome adversity. More information can be found at http://bit.ly/39oDKuv. Atlanta Jewish History Talks: The Rise of Rich’s – 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. Join the William Breman Jewish Heritage Museum and Jeff Clemmons, historian on Rich’s department store, as he discusses the store that became synonymous with Atlanta and tied to the cultural, social, architectural, and philanthropical fabric of Atlanta. The class will be moderated by Tom Asher, president of the Rich Foundation. To register visit https://bit.ly/3oaNgpe.
Uncoupling: a Divorced and Separated Support Group – 1 to 2:30 p.m. Group providing support and resources, and a safe place to process and share experiences related to divorce and separation. Open to men and women of mixed ages. Issues explored are trust, rejection, custody, holidays, in-laws, infidelity, finances, communication, letting go, and what is brought up. To register with Jewish Family & Career Services, contact Helen Kotler at 404210-9571 or Julie Zeff at 619-818-6917. Gold Medal Paralympian: Keren Leibovitch – 1 p.m. Join Jewish National Fund’s Women for Israel to meet one of today’s most inspirational Israeli women. Leibovitch is a world-class swimmer: three-time world champion, five-time European champion, holder of three world records, and eight-time Paralympic medal winner,
Find more events and submit items for our online and print calendars at:
Calendar sponsored by the Atlanta Jewish Connector, an initiative of the AJT. In order to be considered for the print edition, please submit events three to four weeks in advance. Contact community relations director Diana Cole for more information at Diana@atljewishtimes.com. 42 | FEBRUARY 15, 2021 ATLANTA JEWISH TIMES
What You Do Matters: 2021 Southeast Virtual Event – 7 to 8 p.m. Together, we will pledge to ensure that the critical lessons of the Holocaust—lessons about the fragility of freedom, the nature of hate and the consequences of indifference—help shape the way forward. Join us to hear inspiring stories and important messages about the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum’s role during these challenging times. Visit https://bit.ly/3qEwukc for more information.
Design and Unwind With Hadassah Ketura – 7:15 p.m. Learn via Zoom how to make creative, fun party and holiday centerpieces to make your table “pop!” Hadassah’s Robin Hyman will lead the way. Visit https://bit. ly/3p2oidd for more information. Reimagining Retirement – Active Adult Series -- 7:30 p.m. Join Nourishing the Soul and explore the three workshops: Mourning the loss of my retirement; Redefining Myself: Who am I now that I am no longer working? Shalom Bayit: Peace at Home when we’re never apart. Visit http://bit.ly/3t2fNBa for more information.
MONDAY, FEBRUARY 15
Rosh Chodesh Society: Code to Joy – 8 to 9 p.m. Intown Jewish Academy presents a seven-part monthly online series for women. Join Dena Schusterman and Leah Sollish when they search for the answer to: What is the Secret of Happiness. Course login information given upon registration, https://bit.ly/2KTIcYl. Lifetime of Achievement Award Ceremony – 8 p.m. Join the Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta in honoring Michael Kay for his service to the Atlanta Jewish community. We’ll celebrate his engagement in community and chronicle his lifetime of commitment and involvement in Federation, partner agencies, and other community organizations. For more information, https://bit.ly/39Rw9DQ.
TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 16 Hadassah Heralding Our Heroines – 1 to 2 p.m. Join Hadassah and Faye Levinson, the daughter of Holocaust survivors, as she delves into the roles of women during one of the darkest periods in our history. To learn more, visit http://bit.ly/3qn18OF.
SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 14 Mah-jongg Madness Online – 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Join Congregation Beth Shalom and enjoy mah-jongg from the comfort and safety of home! You’ll play at open tables using tournament scoring to compete for prizes. Visit https://bit. ly/2M32tvj for more information. Virtual Tour of the Illinois Holocaust Museum – 12 p.m. Join the Congregation Etz Chaim Sisterhood and learn about the life and times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg. You’ll receive the Zoom link after you register at https://bit. ly/3o5s43Y.
It’s 2021: Now What? – Adult Spiritual Workshops -- 7:30 p.m. Using key concepts from the Mussar tradition of meaningful, ethical living, Nourishing the Soul Workshops will explore how we move on, https://bit.ly/2YxLNzf
concepts from the Mussar tradition of meaningful, ethical living, Nourishing the Soul Workshops will explore how we move on. https://bit.ly/2YxLNzf
Mishpatim Friday, February 12, 2021, light candles at 6:01 p.m. Saturday, February 13, 2021, Shabbat ends at 6:58 p.m.
WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 17 Atlanta Jewish Film Festival – The AJFF has reimagined the annual festival to combine at-home virtual screenings with select drive-in movies, expanded conversation with filmmakers and special guests, as well as other unique components. The festival runs from Feb 17- 28. Visit http://bit.ly/3iIczhz for more information. Breakfast for Dinner – 5 to 7 p.m. Turn things upside down in advance of Purim and in honor of the month of Adar! Enjoy a delicious array of hot and cold breakfast foods and loads of fun. Kids come in costume and receive a prize! Take funny pics with photo props, and enjoy a multi-generational, laid back event at Congregation Beth Jacob. Find more information, https://bit.ly/2XV32Kt
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 18 Atlanta Jewish History Talks: The Old Jewish Neighborhood of Atlanta – 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. Join the William Breman Jewish Heritage Museum and Dr. Marni Davis, associate professor of history at Georgia State University, as she discusses her research on the old Jewish neighborhood of Atlanta. The class will be moderated by ethnographer of the Atlanta Sephardic community, Dan Maslia. Learn more at https://bit.ly/3sLZJ6l. Reimagining Retirement – Active Adult Series – 7:30 p.m. Join Nourishing the Soul and explore the three workshop topics: Mourning the loss of my retirement. Redefining Myself: Who am I now that I am no longer working? Shalom Bayit: Peace at Home When we’re never apart. Visit http://bit. ly/3t2fNBa for more information.
Terumah Friday, February 19, 2021, light candles at 6:08 p.m. Saturday, February 20, 2021, Shabbat ends at 7:04 p.m.
MONDAY, FEBRUARY 22
SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 20 Midnight Screening of ‘The Vigil’ – 11:30 p.m. to 1 a.m. The Atlanta Jewish Film Festival presents its first ever midnight movie. “The Vigil” offers lots of chills and thrills, best traversed at the stroke of 12. Count down to the scary fun with a pre-show. More information can be found at http://bit.ly/3adcCht.
Lecture: The Book Smugglers of the Vilna Ghetto – 7:30 p.m. Emory’s annual Tenenbaum Family Lecture will explore “The Book Smugglers of the Vilna Ghetto: A Story of Spiritual Resistance,” with guest scholar David E. Fishman of the Jewish Theological Seminary. The lecture, sponsored by the Tam Institute for Jewish Studies, will be conducted virtually via Zoom. Register at https://bit.ly/361IxQK.
Jewish North Fulton – Mental Health Series – 7:30 p.m. Join The Blue Dove Foundation and the Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta for a book talk and conversation about the book, “#QuietingTheSilence,” a collection of personal stories from Jewish individuals aimed at raising awareness, understanding and hope for those who live with mental illness. More information can be found at http://bit.ly/3ssXqou. Family Hamentashen Making for Purim – 5 to 6 p.m. Join the Jewish Fertility Foundation for a Family Hamentashen Making for Purim event! More information can be found at https:// bit.ly/3o6IVTX.
Ongoing: Chabad.org Presents Jewish Kids Activities Online – Jewish art projects, videos, games, activities and more. For more information, www.bit. ly/2UgUFId.
TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 23
SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 21 Atlanta Purim Parade & Festival – 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Join Congregation Beth Jacob for this pre-Purim tradition! Bring the whole family, friends, co-workers and neighbors for a fabulous costume parade with original floats, followed by a festival packed with food, rides, music and fun! More information can be found at https://bit.ly/3nXTLM1. Little Shop of Horrors – 7 to 9 p.m. Join the Atlanta Jewish Film Festival for a drive-in screening of Mel Brooks’s “Little Shop of Horrors” at MercedesBenz Stadium’s The Home Depot Backyard. The drive-in experience provides guests the ability to watch on the big screen while staying socially distant from other attendees. More information can be found at https:// bit.ly/36cOx9c
Dealing with Historic Changes and Challenges in the Middle East – 10 a.m. Attend the B’nai B’rith International Achim/Gate City Lodge webinar for an interview with Anat SultanDadon, consul general of Israel to the Southeast and B’nai B’rith International CEO Daniel S. Mariaschin. Introduction by Helen Scherrer-Diamond, lodge president. For Zoom link, visit http://bit.ly/3pHWAT6 Hadassah Heralding Our Heroines – 1 to 2 p.m. Join Hadassah and Hyma Levin, director of education emerita of Beth Emet Synagogue in Illinois, as she guides us along the path of both known and unknown Jewish women inventors who have changed the world with their achievements. To learn more, visit http://bit.ly/3qn18OF. It’s 2021: Now What? – Adult Spiritual Workshops – 7:30 p.m. Using key
MJCCA Fitness – MJCCA is open. See the group exercise classes at www. atlantajcc.org/reopen. MJCCA Book Festival – In Your Living Room Live, click to view MJCCA’s upcoming Book Festival virtual events, www.bit.ly/3bk1mi7. BBYO – Tune in to BBYO On Demand, a new virtual experience for teens worldwide. Enjoy amazing programming and global events. Some of the sessions will even be led by our very own Greater Atlanta Region BBYO members. For more information, www.bit.ly/2QFlCD2. MJCCA Blonder Department for Special Needs – Please stay tuned to the Blonder Family Department for ATLANTA JEWISH TIMES FEBRUARY 15, 2021 | 43
Special Needs Facebook group for daily activities, chats, workouts and more. For more information, www. bit.ly/2Jmpl4x.
PJ Library – PJ Library is bringing fun, crafts, stories, Q&As, scavenger hunts, food demos and so much more. To join in and for more information, www.bit.ly/2WzFFqh. Repair the World – Repair the World welcomes you to sign up for its programming. Join from the comfort of your home for a discussion on compassionate care for ourselves and our community. For more information, www.bit.ly/2xhUsv5. Virtual Hillel Connections – If you’re looking for community, connection and meaningful learning opportunities or if you’re just bored and need a distraction during coronavirus cancellations, you’ve come to the right place. Hillel has virtual meetups and online gatherings that bring you together with Jewish and Jew-ish students from around the world in realtime. For more information, www. bit.ly/3af7wjA. Please send Virtual Classes & Events to email@example.com.
Community Services: Anti-Defamation League – The Coronavirus Surfaces Fear, Stereotypes and Scapegoating: A blog post from ADL to help provide accurate information, explore emotions and, most importantly, play a role in reducing stereotyping and scapegoating. To read more, www.bit.ly/3dp5a3t.
Atlanta Community Food Bank Text for Help SMS Function –The ACFB’s mission to provide nutritious food to the people who need it has reached a major milestone toward access to food for all. The Text for Help is ‘find44 | FEBRUARY 15, 2021 ATLANTA JEWISH TIMES
yan, allowing members to recite full prayer services including Mourner’s Kaddish. To participate via phone, dial 929-205-6099 and then enter the meeting code 404 873 1743. To be a part of services, visit the Zoom link, www.bit.ly/2wnFWlD.
food’ (no space). Responses will include a list of three different nearby pantries and their contact information. For more information, www. acfb.org.
Israeli American Council – IAC @ Home brings you the most innovative content online while helping build a national community with Israel at heart. With activities for kids, teens, young professionals and adults, you can stay connected to Hebrew, Israeli and Jewish heritage, online activism and to one another. IAC @Home lets you enjoy a coastto-coast community right from your own home. For more information, www.israeliamerican.org/home.
JF&CS - Emergency Financial Assistance – JF&CS is here to provide emergency aid for individuals and families. Please call 770-677-9389 to get assistance. For more information, www.bit.ly/2wo5qzj. JF&CS - Telehealth Counseling Services – Now offering telehealth options via phone or videoconference for current and new clients to help our community during this crisis. For more information about our therapy services or to make a telehealth appointment, email us at therapy@ jfcsatl.org or call 770-677-9474. JF&CS - Telehealth Older Adult Services – Aviv Older Adult staff are there to help provide resources, care plans and support for you and your family. Call AgeWell at 1-866-AGEWELL (1-866-243-9355) to find out how they can help. For more information, www.bit.ly/2wo5qzj. Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta COVID-19 Resources – The unsettling, fast-moving and unpredictable world of life with COVID-19 is upon us. As we’re all discovering, a worldwide pandemic disrupts everyone on an unprecedented scale. For updates and more information, www. bit.ly/3ahrNVM. Please send Community Service Opportunities to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Synagogue Livestreaming Services:
Temple Beth David — Kabbalat Shabbat services every Friday at 7:30 p.m. Shabbat morning service and Torah Study every Saturday at 11 a.m. on our YouTube channel, (https://www. youtube.com/channel/UC2GcbAI_ HdLRSG5hhpi_8Cw).
Ahavath Achim Synagogue – Shabbat evening services at 6:30 p.m. Shabbat morning services at 9:30 a.m. To watch and for more information, www.bit.ly/38dS4Ed.
Temple Beth Tikvah Livestreaming Services – Fridays at 6:30 p.m. Saturdays at 10 a.m. To join on Facebook, www.facebook.com/TempleBethTikvah/ or www.bit.ly/2ZlCvrr.
Congregation Beth Shalom’s Virtual Services – Erev Shabbat, Fridays at 6:30 p.m., Shabbat service, Saturdays at 10:30 a.m. Zoom minyan Sunday at 9:30 a.m. For more information, www.bit.ly/3gY0mUK.
Temple Kol Emeth Services – Shabbat services on Fridays at 8 p.m. View our services on www.kolemeth.net or www.facebook.com/Temple Kol Emeth-Marietta, GA.
Congregation Etz Chaim – Erev Shabbat Musical, Fridays at 6:30 p.m. Shabbat morning services at 9:30 a.m. Join in for weekly livestream Shabbat services. To join, www.bit. ly/3gWL02s. Congregation Or Hadash – Shabbat services Friday at 6:30 p.m. Saturday morning services at 9:15 a.m. Minyan Sunday and Tuesday mornings. To participate and get Zoom link, www.or-hadash.org. Congregation Shearith Israel – Daily and Shabbat services will continue at regular times through Zoom. They are counting participants in these Zoom services as part of a min-
Temple Sinai Livestream Services – Temple Sinai has live Shabbat services on Friday at 6:30 p.m. and Saturday at 10 a.m. For more information and to view services, www. bit.ly/2BXRfTF. The Temple Livestreaming Services – Find live streaming services here, www.the-temple.org. Please send Synagogue and Temple Streaming Services to diana@ atljewishtimes.com. Check the Atlanta Jewish Connector for updates: www.atlantajewishconnector.com.
CONNECTOR CHATTER Directory Spotlight www.atlantajewishconnector.com
Jewish National Fund USA
Jewish Fertility Foundation
In conversation with Daniel Peri, senior communications manager
In conversation with Emily Zaghi, national program director
How long has your organization been in Atlanta? Jewish National Fund-USA has been involved in serving and connecting the Greater Atlanta community with the land and people of Israel for over 25 years.
How long has your organization been in Atlanta? We have been around since 2015. In those six years, JFF has helped bring 50 babies to the world!
Where do you see your organization in 10 years? JNF-USA is working toward fulfilling its “One Billion Dollar Roadmap for the Next Decade,” which is underscored by the development of the Galilee and Negev to help relieve overcrowding in the center of Israel. In 10 years, we can expect Israel’s “frontier” regions in the North and South to have sizeable population growth and be world-leaders in culinary arts, high-tech, tourism and more. How does your organization help the community? The JNF-USA tagline is Your Voice in Israel. We provide an opportunity for the community to impact Israel’s narrative and history through our many projects, programs, affinity groups, and local and national events. Everything we do in the community is integral to our vision of building and connecting to the land of Israel. There’s a place for everyone at the table. We are unique, we are strategic, we are visionary, and we’ve been that way since 1901.
In conversation with Ben Halpert, founder and president
Where do you see your organization in 10 years? We believe that every city should have a JFF of its own, and our five-year goal is to open in 15 new cities. So, I suppose in 10 years we’d love to be in 30 cities! How does your organization help the community? The Jewish community embraces and celebrates families, but the journey to create those families can be fraught. Because family is so central to Jewish life, many individuals and couples experience tremendous stress and pressure when the path to parenthood is not so simple. Infertility remains taboo, something that, in many communities, is not talked about or openly acknowledged. When people dealing with infertility experience the Jewish community as steeped in pressure and cloaked in shame, the community can become something to avoid, a point of stress and anxiety, and not a refuge or place for connection and support. JFF is changing the conversation, helping those who need extra support on the road to parenthood, while helping to lessen the stigma of infertility. Our organization helps intended parents through financial assistance, for assisted reproductive technology; emotional support, with face-to-face and virtual support groups and mentorship; and education, for the medical community, Jewish communal leaders, and Jewish individuals and families.
Savvy Cyber Kids
How long has your organization been in Atlanta? Our nonprofit was founded in 2007, so roughly 14 years. Where do you see your organization in 10 years? Growing our global reach to have a greater positive impact on today’s youth! How does your organization help the community? We provide free information for parents, educators and students at our website and provide in-school/virtual education sessions to help raise kids to be educated and empowered by the technology they love. ATLANTA JEWISH TIMES FEBRUARY 15, 2021 | 45
COMMUNITY Or Hadash Installs New Rabbi Congregation Or Hadash convened its diverse community Jan. 30 by Zoom in a Brit Kehillah, a communal covenant, to officially welcome its new spiritual leader Rabbi Lauren Henderson. The South Carolina rabbi has been serving as Or HaStephanie Nissani dash’s rabbi since founding rabbis Analia Bortz and Mario Karpuj moved to Israel in July. The celebration, Henderson’s installation, attracted 160 participants and fell in time for Havdalah. This was the first time in its 18-year history that Or Hadash engaged in a Brit Kehillah celebration, according to Gail Duner, synagogue president. “There is no formal or ritual or liturgy that we have to use to define this event,” according to Duner, who was also an active member in the rabbi search committee. “Instead, the congregation decided that the best way is to bring the community together to sing and to learn.” The Zoom chat room was embellished with messages of love and blessings, welcoming the new rabbi and her husband Joel. The online ceremony began with members of the
46 | FEBRUARY 15, 2021 ATLANTA JEWISH TIMES
Congregation Or Hadash during Rabbi Henderson’s installation.
Rabbi Lauren Henderson blesses the wine during Havdalah.
synagogue singing to the tunes of “Layehudim,” followed by a collective Havdalah prayer led by Henderson, as she stood on the bimah of the synagogue, along with her husband, Joel, her mother and Duner. Those who participated in the installation via Zoom lit their candle, smelled the fragrance of the spices, blessed and drank their wine from their homes. Throughout the installation, Duner welcomed several guests who played pivotal roles in Henderson’s life: close friends, mentors, and teachers from rabbinical school and Mishkan Chicago, a spiritual community in which she spent years learning. Rabbi Lizzi Heydemann, a close friend and a mentor from Mishkan, spoke of her admiration for Henderson, saying how
in love she was with the Atlanta community, and that during Henderson’s time spent in Chicago, “she was working and flexing her Jewish wings, so she can come back to her native roots in the South, thus fulfilling her dream of becoming a rabbi.” Henderson’s smile could not be ignored as she listened to the kind words bestowed upon her, such as from Rabbi Mychal Springer, who has been her mentor and teacher, among others. “May the smile that you have invade your satisfaction and foster it and everyone around. May you always be able to access that smile.” That smile remained as Henderson was greeted by Or Hadash congregants, board members, and other guests such as Eric Robbins, president of the Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta. “What we need from you more than anything, we need spirituality, we need connection through this musical endowment,” Robbins said, referring to the synagogue’s musical use of their program. “We are going to get out of this pandemic very soon. We’re going to sing together and pray together, and I know you have an incredible way to do that.” Henderson didn’t come from a substantial religious lineage. In fact, she defines her religious voyage by immeasurable hours of reading, learning from the Torah and tikkun olam, repairing of the world. Henderson admits that her lack of traditional background gave her the stamina to immerse herself in hours of endless biblical texts, cover-to-cover, because all she really wanted is “to reclaim the religion as hers and own it for the first time,” she said. “Or Hadash and I have found one another and there was no other word but beshert [destiny], to describe what it felt like over that weekend just over a year ago.” Henderson met the congregation for the first time at the end of February 2020 and signed a threeyear contract April 1. During last month’s program, Henderson emphasized the significance of familiarizing herself with each individual within the community. “We will continue to discover more about one another through asking questions, telling stories, so that we can co-create this next chapter of the evolution of Or Hadash. Our work is to continue to create a community of warmth and light so
COMMUNITY that every person that walks through these doors will know deep inside that they are loved, valued and seen and known. …Our world needs this now. It takes all of us to share it.” The week following the installation, Rabbi Henderson shared with the AJT some of her goals for her new Atlanta community. “Above all, I think my congregation hopes and expects that I’ll be a presence in their everyday lives and a witness in key moments of celebration and struggle, when they or their family members are sick or dying. … I think they also expect me to inspire and challenge them, to connect them to sources of wisdom and inspiration and tradition that will help to ground them in difficult moments and to lift them up.” As with COVID-19, AJT was curious to discover ways that she would lead her congregation from the darkness
of this pandemic. As a newly installed rabbi, leading hundreds of people, “like Moses, Aaron and Miriam,” as some referred to her during the ceremony, there is a slight curiosity as to how she would handle her role during the pandemic. Heydemann compared Henderson to Moses, “an organizer and a strategist who led an entire community, and Miriam, who without her, the Israelites would be demoralized from lack of spirituality.” Henderson offered her perspective. “I really hope and pray that this first year is the hardest year I ever have as a rabbi, and it’s all smooth sailing from here! Certainly, starting off without being able to gather together in the normal ways has been incredibly challenging for all of us. “My predecessors at Or Hadash, Rabbi Analia and Rabbi Mario, built this beautiful kehillah with the partnership of so many visionary leaders, and going from two legendary rabbis to a new spiritual leader is a big change – even without the intervention of COVID! So much change has been thrust upon us, and the challenge is managing the change that we are forced into and the change that we have control over, while maintaining our core identity and stability.” ì
Rabbi Lauren Henderson is the new rabbi of Congregation Or Hadash.
ATLANTA JEWISH TIMES FEBRUARY 15, 2021 | 47
Judaica Spans Centuries, Continents
Elihu Siegman and Nancy Sokolove stand in front of a section of their Judaica collection wall.
The ceremonial, utilitarian and decorative items span centuries and were made and used in Jewish communities from many countries. Some of the objects were once part of Jewish homes, while others were reserved for specific sites and ceremonies. By Chana Shapiro Siegman and Sokolove designed the cusNancy Sokolove tom-made wall, which and Elihu Siegman live has rotating shelves and in a welcoming contemwas built by a carpenter porary house in a verin Asheville, N.C. dant setting in DeKalb Sokolove and SiegCounty. The focal point man are happy to anof the home’s living swer questions and offer and dining area is a 20entertaining and educafoot wall where their tional background inmuseum-worthy collecformation about each tion of Judaica is drapiece. While every item matically displayed. The is historically signifiwall showcases a comcant, most of the pieces prehensive selection of Canaanite oil lamp, middle Bronze have a personal family valuable objects, and, Age, about 1900 B.C.E., clay, Hazor, northern Israel: This is the connection. while enjoying the beauoldest piece in the collection. Sokolove explains, ty and workmanship of the collection, visitors may be treated to a “The majority of our collection of Judaica was passed along to us by Elihu’s parents, “docent” tour by Sokolove and Siegman.
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Among the items in the couple’s collection is a 19th century brass chanukiah from India.
Ludwig Wolpert Havdalah set, circa 1978, sterling silver: Using his bar mitzvah money, Elihu bought this Havdalah set from the famous silversmith whose studio at the time was housed in the Jewish Museum in New York City.
Aron Siegman, a scholarly rabbi who was as the more likely places) was a shared aca research psychologist and professor, and tivity they loved. And knowing that these his wife, Sarah Malina Siegman, a prolific pieces were not lost, that the items were painter, Jewish educator and mentor. Aron back in Jewish hands and passed onto was a refugee, whose family fled through future generations to live with and learn much of Western Europe during the Sec- from and be proud of, was a major motiond World War. Sarah was born and raised vating factor. What we own represents about a third of Elihu’s in Montreal, Canada. Beparents’ total collection. tween them, they were We continued building fluent in six languages.” the collection to a small Siegman speaks degree, primarily with personally. “For us, the modern and contempovalue of our collection rary items from artist isn’t monetary, but David Moss, Jose Fumewhat it represents, and ro, and others, with the we love to show it to visintention of continuing itors. We always learn the family legacy.” from their questions, Sokolove, a Philaand our children are redelphia native, is a gradminded to take a closer uate of the Pennsylvalook. To us, the collecnia Academy of the Fine tion’s great worth is Early 20th century German Arts and the University pedagogical, as well as seder plate, embossed silver: of Pennsylvania. She aesthetic, bringing JewThis is one of the more valuable pieces in the collection. was an exhibiting artist ish history, tradition, practice and craftsmanship to life. It’s a who became an art educator and curator tangible record of the creative expression and is now an art consultant for May Arof Jewish ritual and practice, both in Isra- chitecture. Siegman, owner of Siegman Associel and in every culture Jews encountered ates, Inc., is from Baltimore. He was an throughout the diaspora.” Siegman’s parents lived in Baltimore English major at Yeshiva University in New and Israel. They were prolific collectors York before receiving his architecture deof art and Judaica, and they regularly ex- gree from the University of Pennsylvania. plored flea markets and antique shops, Nancy and Elihu met at a party for a muas well as collecting throughout Europe, tual friend and married in Philadelphia. As a couple, they moved to the South, Northern Africa and the Middle East. They both came from strong, modern Orthodox first to Blowing Rock, N.C., then to Ashefamilies and for them, the concept of l’dor ville, N.C., and Siegman has projects in v’dor (from generation to generation) was both Asheville and Atlanta. The couple has unwavering. They were deeply involved in two children: Zeke, a University of Georgia Jewish education, which was a primary fo- sophomore, and Isaiah, a sixth grader at Atlanta Jewish Academy. The entire famcus for their children and grandchildren. Sokolove adds, “Aron and Sarah ap- ily enjoys spending time in art museums, preciated all types of secular culture, in- looking at architecture (particularly midcluding visual art, films and music. Scout- century and contemporary modern), and ing for Judaica in unlikely places (as well going for hikes wherever they travel. ì
COMMUNITY SIMCHA SPOTLIGHT
Wedding Announcement Rosbruck-Greenfield
Lynne and Tom Greenfield of Atlanta announce the wedding of their son Michael Greenfield to Michele Rosbruck on Dec. 20, 2020. Michele is the daughter of Robert Rosbruck of Brooklyn, N.Y., and currently Boynton, Beach, Fla., and Helene Suzann of Queens, N.Y., and currently Delray Beach, Fla. Michele is the granddaughter of the late Miriam and Sam Rosbruck of Delray Beach and the late Dorothy and Leo Schneider of Miami Lakes, Fla. Michael is the grandson of the late Ethel and Leon Firestone of Charlotte, N.C., and the late Irving and Miriam Greenfield of Long Island, N.Y. The wedding took place in their new home in Smyrna and due to COVID only immediate family and a few local friends were physically in attendance, but hundreds of friends and family were able to join in celebration via Zoom. The couple met online seven years ago on PlentyofFish.com.
Have something to celebrate? Share your simchas with the
Mazel Tov Rabbi Albert Slomovitz, interim assistant rabbi of Congregation Etz Chaim, received his third doctorate, an honorary degree, Jan. 31 from the Jewish Theological Seminary. He earned his first doctorate, a Ph.D. in American history from Loyola University of Chicago. Slomovitz received his second in 2004, an honorary Doctorate of Divinity from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion. Both honorary degrees were for his career as a rabbi.
Bâ€™nai Mitzvah Caleb Cohen became a bar mitzvah Feb. 6 at Congregation Etz Chaim. He is the son of Faye and Paul Cohen. Madeline Dorothy Cooper became a bat mitzvah Jan. 23 at The Temple. She is the daughter of Karen and Philip Cooper. Phoebe Louise Weintraub became a bat mitzvah Jan. 23 at The Temple. She is the daughter of Lorie Burnett and Robert Weintraub. Gavi Ethan Surden became a bar mitzvah Jan. 16 at Congregation Etz Chaim. He is the son of Lauren and Todd Surden. Alexander Brady Chalk became a bar mitzvah Jan. 16 at The Temple. He is the son of Scott Chalk. Josh Bradley Gotlieb became a bar mitzvah Jan. 16 at The Temple. Josh is the son of Marci and Ryan Gotlieb.
Births, Bâ€™nai Mitzvah, Engagements, Weddings, Anniversaries, Special Birthdays and more ... Share your news with the community with free AJT simcha announcements. Send info to email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org.. ATLANTA JEWISH TIMES FEBRUARY 15, 2021 | 49
KEEPING IT KOSHER
The Rumpus Maurice has a business appointment, and he arrives a little early. The receptionist points to a comfortable easy chair and asks him to be seated for a while.
Hamantashen Crackers Cooking and Prep: 1 ½ hours Serves: 6 Preference: Pareve Occasion: Purim Diet: Vegetarian, pescetarian, gluten-free, vegan Crackers 1/2 cup chia seeds 1/2 cup sunflower seeds 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds 1/2 cup flax meal 1/2 cup oats (gluten-free, if needed) 1/2 cup hemp seeds 1 1/2 cups filtered water 1 tablespoon kosher salt Topping 1/2 cup melted chocolate, in a piping bag Caramel, optional Jam, optional Vanilla cream, optional Preheat oven at 350 F. Combine all the dry ingredients in a bowl. Add the water. Mix well and let sit for 10 minutes until the water is incorporated. With a spoon or a spatula, press the mixture into a baking pan covered with parchment paper. Bake for 30 minutes. Cut triangles with a sharp knife and flip onto the other side. Bake again for 30 minutes until edges are golden. Let cool for 15 minutes. Drizzle the melted chocolate on top. Store in a jar or container for up to one week on the counter or one month in the freezer (if they last that long!) Recipe by Kelly Cohen Source: kosher.com 50 | FEBRUARY 15, 2021 ATLANTA JEWISH TIMES
Maurice settles down, picks up a glossy magazine, opens it, and tries to read. However, he finds that he cannot concentrate because he is distracted by a rumpus coming from behind one of the doors leading off the reception area. Maurice goes over to the receptionist and asks, “What’s going on in there?” She replies, “It’s a partners’ meeting.” “But why are they shouting at each other?” Maurice asks. “It’s a battle of wits,” she replies. Maurice asks: “Who is in there?” She answers, “Horowits, Lebowits, Rabbinowits and Abramowits.” Source: Chabad-Lubavitch Rochester, N.Y.
YIDDISH SLANG OF THE MONTH Yiddishe pooch n. A dog who has learned and responds to commands in Yiddish. “Daisy is a Yiddishe pooch. Tell her to go kibbitz (make wisecracks and give advice), and she chews the other dogs’ ears off. Not literally, of course.” Yiddishe pooches are for real; New Yorkers can even attend Yiddish dog training seminars in Central Park. Yiddishe means Jewish.
Yiddish Slang provided by Daniel Klein from his book “Schmegoogle: Yiddish Words for Modern Times.”
Superbowl Sportsmen By: Yoni Glatt, email@example.com Difficulty Level: Easy 1
1. Wife of Abraham 6. WNBA part: Abbr. 10. Homer's son 14. "Dragon Ball Z" genre 15. Type of armadillo that sounds like body art 16. "... and ___ dust shalt thou return" (Genesis 3:19) 17. Beef animal 18. Guinness or Baldwin 19. Thing 20. Jewish campus event with receiver Tyreek? 23. 1969 U.N. Peace Prize-winning agcy. 24. ___ hand (assist) 26. Quarterback Tom preparing challah? 31. A high priest and leader of Israel 32. "Sisters" Emmy winner Ward or a word after "Amen" 33. Full of rage 35. Japanese soup option 37. Homer's beers 40. Sports equipment 41. Ivy League sch in Philly 43. ___-CREF 45. '60s record albums: Abbr. 46. Kicker Ryan's temporary Jewish dwelling?
50. Shalom 51. "Matrix" hero 52. Tell quarterback Patrick to go faster? 58. Parsha Ki ___ 61. "East of Eden" director Kazan 62. "___ Lucy" 63. Co-singer that Phil always woke up to in "Groundhog Day" 64. Account execs 65. "___ hoot, don't pollute!" 66. Dust bug 67. Mt. Rushmore locale: Abbr. 68. Parts of feet
movies with Spielberg 21. Amused oneself (with) 22. "Never ___ sentence with a preposition" 25. Lansbury of "Murder, She Wrote" 26. Dots on a radar screen 27. Make like the Maccabees to the Greeks 28. ___-ray (disc format) 29. Shooters through rapids 30. Bar chart, e.g. 31. Big bird Down Under 34. Pts. of a decade 36. Again 38. Hi- ___ (players of 45-Across) 39. Sweating setting DOWN 42. "Bracketology" org. 1. Merit-badge holder 44. Best kind of straight 2. Against 47. Reddish yellows 3. Cambodia's currency (similar to 48. Removed the rind from Iran's) 49. "Rad" sounding fruit drink 4. Aviatrix Earhart 53. Kelly of morning talk 5. Announces with fanfare 54. Moses wore one to hold back the 6. Baruch follower rays of his face 7. The Baba ___ (great rabbi) 55. Make Aliyah, essentially 8. "A Streetcar Named Desire" 56. Adventurous Knievel character 57. Salty expanses 9. Centers of atoms 58. Channel with many B&W pictures 10. Structure 11. Paul Rudd helper, in Marvel films 59. Kind of tuna 60. One who served in '67 12. Suggestion from Waze: Abbr. 13. Hanks who has made several
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15 Years Ago// February 10, 2006 ì The JCC held its “Turbo Dating” event Jan. 31, which 32 single adults attended. The group, which consisted of 21- to 35-year-olds, switched between partners every four minutes and eventually had some time to “schmooze” with the other singles. Shelley Kurgan, the JCC’s 2135 Young Adults program coordinator, was proud of the attendance, saying that it exceeded expectations for the event. ì The Jewish Theatre of The South is celebrating the life of playwright Arthur Miller, who died a year ago, by producing one of his plays, “The Ride Down Mount Morgan.” While not one of Miller’s most famous plays, he wrote it in the '80s, reflecting Miller’s lifelong struggle with values and morals and how chasing the wrong goals can destroy the person and family. The play explores the depths and complexities of marriage and will be on stage for most of the month February.
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many are unfamiliar with the blessings and rituals, hosts are prepared with booklets and a tape from the cantor to help them. ì A new educational program of the AJCC is helping Jewish adults learn about Judaism and Jewish civilization. As part of a program with the Florence Adult Mini-School, students will be in classes for two hours a week. After the program, students will receive a certificate and a chance to study in Jerusalem. One student said their goal was to gain a better understanding of what it means to be Jewish. Another student said that “even though I’ve heard things before, they haven’t hit me in quite this way. This class gives me a good view of who I am and where I come from. These classes make me feel whole for the rest of the week.” Jimmy Carter, then governor of Georgia, would be elected president in 1977 and help create a historic peace agreement between Israel and Egypt a year later.
50 Years Ago//December 4, 1970 ì Georgia Gov. Jimmy Carter and his wife visited Israel Consul General Moshe Gilboa’s home last weekend to welcome Israeli Finance Minister Pinchas Sapir to the South. In turn, Carter received a special bible from Israel from Gilboa. ì A delegation of 32 Atlantans returned this past week from an intensive seven-day study of Israel’s human problems. The trip, titled Operation Israel: 1971, was 25 Years Ago// February 9, 1996 organized under the Atlanta Jewish Welfare Federation in cooperation with the United Jewish ì Some Jewish Atlantans are exploring one of the most pleasant Jewish traditions, Shabappeal. The trip included stops at the Suez Canal, kibbutzim, the Jordan Valley, and Masada, bat. Temple Emanu-El’s Home Shabbat Network is helping families embrace the Shabbat tradiamong many other locations. The group met with many prominent Israel leaders, including tions, attending services at the synagogue and assigned to families for festive dinners. While the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and other ministers of the Israeli Cabinet. ì ATLANTA JEWISH TIMES FEBRUARY 15, 2021 | 51
Adam Scott Cadranel
Paul Randolph Freeman
Adam Scott Cadranel passed away Feb. 2, 2021 after a courageous battle with a rare and painful form of cancer. He was born Feb. 14, 1989. Adam was a lifelong resident of Atlanta and a graduate of Emory University’s Goizueta Business School. Together Adam and their life partner Andrea co-founded Sittersphere, an innovative family services company the two nurtured together. Adam also loved music and performing at comedy clubs and cherished the many close friends and colleagues in their Arizona Lofts, Little Five Points, Criminal Records store, LGBTQ communities and everywhere they ventured. Adam saw the world more broadly than most and although it was a life too short, and at times too unfair, Adam lived it with passion, love, dignity and a concern for those less privileged, and they inspired others to do the same. You will be missed by many, but your soul is now free to soar and fill the world with all the love and light you held in your heart. Adam was preceded in life by grandparents Sam and Faye Shafferman and Nace Cadranel. Survivors include parents Steven and Janet Cadranel; sister, Lauren Cadranel; and life partner Andrea Krakovsky; grandmother Victoria Cadranel, great-aunt Norma Jean Long; aunt and uncle Kathie and Stevie Alhadeff and Elaine and Steve Katzman; cousins Marlene (Jamie) Green, Lisa Duffey, Aaron (Julia) Katzman, Sarah Katzman, Michael Katzman (Deanna Paul), Heather Alhadeff (Miguel Christie), Naomi Alhadeff (Ryan Stutzman), and Noah and Batel Alhadeff; and numerous additional cousins and close friends. The Adam Scott Cadranel Fund for Social, Racial and Gender Equality has been established in Adam’s memory at the Atlanta Jewish Foundation, https://atlantajewishfoundation.org/adamcadranel/. Arrangements by Dressler’s Jewish Funeral Care, 770-451-4999.
Paul Randolph Freeman, age 71, passed away Jan. 7, 2021, surrounded by his loving wife of 45 years and their three children. Paul was preceded in death by his loving parents Shirley and Bernie Freeman. Growing up, Paul attended Morningside Elementary School and graduated from Grady High School in 1967. Paul was an entrepreneur from the beginning. He opened his first business, a lemonade and cookie stand in elementary school, and then went on to selling promotional pins at high school sporting events. He was very proud of how successful they were. Paul carried that entrepreneurial spirit on to college. He attended the University of Georgia, where he got off to a rough start trying to balance living life to the fullest and studying for class. After almost flunking out, Paul went on to graduate with honors in the top 5 percent of his class with a coveted degree in accounting. Innovative at the time, Paul was always looking for opportunities. In college, he started selling room-size rugs for college dorms and later expanded his sales to other colleges and high schools. Paul traveled to Dalton to buy his merchandise and instantly made a friend with the vice president of a major carpet mill. Even at such a young age, Paul was very influential. He convinced this vice president to go into business for himself and the vice president has been thanking Paul ever since. There are countless examples of how Paul paid it forward. He had this innate ability to see an opportunity when people came to him needing help and providing his clarity and expertise to solve their problems and accomplish their goals. He helped start computer learning centers, paint manufacturing companies, countless restaurants and many others. The greatest example of this is when a friend introduced him to the founder of Floor & Décor, a hard surface retail superstore. The founder came to Paul with an investment opportunity that was risky at the time with no history or track record for success. Paul invested and became a very active board member. As they grew and took on monetary partners, Paul fought to keep the company on track and the founder in charge, and was a major factor in their success. Today Floor & Décor is publicly traded and has a market cap of over $10 billion. Paul’s true passion, though, was real estate. After college, Paul went to work for a small real estate and development company as an accountant. He quickly realized that the money was in selling and not counting it. Paul navigated his way through the hyperinflation '70s and '80s. In the early '90s, he started his first high rise in Destin, Fla. Although the economy was still shaky, Paul forged ahead. While other bigger development companies faltered, Paul came up with a unique financing opportunity that allowed him to quickly sell out his highend nonrental condominium, a first for the Destin area. From there, he built three more high rises in the area. He learned from each one and was committed to make each one nicer than its predecessor. Born and raised in Atlanta, Paul loved the city. He grew up as a '70s child and was known by all his friends as the “King of Riverbend” an apartment complex on the Chattahoochee River, where the parties were legendary. He always wanted to do something special in Atlanta but passed on opportunities that weren’t going to be a legacy. Paul, as a kid, loved the story of “Eloise at the Plaza” and fantasized about living on top of a hotel. In 2006, he got his opportunity to build his dream: the five-star St Regis Hotel and Residences. As the lead developer, Paul spent hours on each and every detail making sure that it would be an Atlanta landmark for years to come. He worked tirelessly to make sure the St. Regis was truly special and a place where he would want to live. From there, he formed Freeman Partners with his longtime associate and his son Adam. Reputation drove all aspects of the business and he was very proud of all its achievements. As much as Paul loved creating, he loved his family and friends more. Paul was incredibly warm and inclusive. His powerful and positive presence is known among all of his friends, of which there were many. Paul was definitely a more-the-merrier person. He lived life to the fullest and didn’t get cheated, traveling around the world creating life experiences. He believed strongly in tzedakah, giving to the Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta, Temple Sinai and numerous other Jewish and non-religious charities. Paul would tell you that his greatest legacy was his family. He loved them more than anything. Although in pain, Paul was fortunate to spend one last special weekend in the family condo in Florida with the people he loved most. He leaves behind his wife Viki; their three children Liann, Adam (Jen) and Staci (Jack); two sisters Laurie Gidlow of Dallas, Texas, and Melanie Fine of Memphis, Tenn., six loving grandchildren Lila, Brady, Chase, Hadley, Bryce and Dylan; and many nieces and nephews. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to Temple Sinai, Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta or AIPAC, 1200 Ashford Parkway, Suite 565, Dunwoody Ga. 30338.
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Charles Goldgeier 80, Alpharetta
Charles Goldgeier, 80, of Alpharetta, passed away Jan. 20, 2021, after battling COVID-19 for several weeks. He was born in Queens, N.Y. to Clara and Herman Goldgeier. After he graduated from Long Island City High School, he entered the Bernard Baruch College of Business of the City University of New York to study accounting. In 1961, he met Sally Silver, also of Queens, on a blind date. They were fortunate to have two sons and spend 57 years of marriage living and loving. In 1977, Charles was hired to join the controller’s staff of Atlanta’s Scripto pen and pencil company. They and their sons, Jimmy and Daniel, left New York City to become adopted Southerners. Close to retirement, he volunteered to conduct Shabbat services at Huntcliff Summit and The Cohen Home. But he was happiest being known as “coach” to the elementary students he volunteered to tutor. He spent several years at Abbotts Hill Elementary — his last school. With back trouble and difficulty walking, he had to stop tutoring. The stay-at-home pandemic routine had just begun. He terribly missed not being with “his” students. Charles was predeceased by his son Jimmy; and is survived by Sally, his much-loved and loving wife; his son and daughter-in-law Dan and Valerie Nozick of Seattle; and his sister Maxine McKeown of Las Vegas. His many donations were always made (to Jewish causes or not) in multiples of $18. In his memory, please contribute to a cause important to you.
Theodora Spiegel Haber 102, Sandy Springs
Theodora Spiegel Haber, known to family and friends as “Teddy,” passed away Jan. 21, 2021, in Sandy Springs. Born in Brooklyn, New York in 1918, she attended Hunter College in New York where she earned a bachelor of arts degree. She married Seymour Haber in 1943. During World War II, they were stationed in some very rural places, including Kearny, Neb.; Sumter, S.C.; and Sioux City, Iowa. After the war, they lived in Fitzgerald, Ga., and finally settled in Atlanta in 1950. Teddy worked as a paralegal until retiring in her 80s. When she was not caring for her family or working, she spent time volunteering with B’nai B’rith Women and numerous other civic service organizations. She was a great cook, had a green thumb and an extensive collection of house plants. She was enthusiastic at crocheting, making many baby blankets through the years, and dabbled in other arts and crafts, including copperwork. She embraced technology, using FaceTime and Zoom in her last weeks. She was a member of Beth Jacob Synagogue in Atlanta for decades and became affiliated with Congregation Or Hadash in Atlanta later in life. Teddy was known for her warmth and caring for other people. She got along famously with people from all walks of life. Throughout her very long and rich life, she would always take things in stride and make the best of any situation. She loved to socialize with friends. She traveled extensively across the globe, after retirement. Her family was a cherished part of her life and always a top priority. She was always there for loving support and advice in both good times and bad. Teddy is predeceased by her husband Seymour. She is survived by her sister Rita Marokko; two sons Michael (Rose) and Martin (Wayne); grandchildren Jeffery Haber (Allison) and Erin Bagen (Ethan); and four great-granddaughters Sutton, Quinn, Cylia and Eloise. Donations may be made in her memory to FOCUS + Fragile Kids, www.focus-ga.org, Congregation Or Hadash, https://www.or-hadash.org/ or the charity of your choice. Arrangements by Dressler’s Jewish Funeral Care, 770-451-4999.
ATLANTA JEWISH TIMES FEBRUARY 15, 2021 | 53
Carole Gloria Katz
Esther Kuniansky Rawn
Carole Gloria Katz, age 79, of Atlanta, died peacefully Jan. 18, 2021, following a seven-year battle with Alzheimer’s. Carole was born and raised in Brooklyn, N.Y. She was a loving and devoted grandmother. She was proud of each one of her grandchildren and was a strong presence in their lives. She was a graduate of Lincoln High School and Hunter College and earned her master of social work at the University of Georgia, and at 65, got a Ph.D. in gerontology from UGA with an emphasis on Alzheimer’s. Carole was always helping people. She had a long career as a social worker. In the mid-'70s, she worked with settling Jewish Russian immigrants in Atlanta. In the '80s, she worked at agencies such as Big Brothers Big Sisters, Jewish Family & Career Services, and Peachtree Hospice. In her later years, she was a speaker on using humor in healthcare and with bereaved families. Carole was the life of the party. She would always have a story to tell to keep everyone laughing and wanting to hear more. She loved to party, travel, and keep her family and friends entertained. She loved clowning around. In fact she was a clown named “Star,” occasionally performing at birthday parties. She never complained; she was full of joy and positivity. Carole was preceded in death by her husband Arthur Katz. She is survived by daughters Jody Goldstein (Cary) and Beth Morrison; son Scott Monsour; grandchildren Max, Landon and Graci Goldstein, Zachary and Noah Morrison, and Michael and Jacob Monsour; and brother Larry Ginsburg (Sari). A private graveside service was held. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to The William Breman Jewish Home Auxiliary. Arrangements by Dressler’s Jewish Funeral Care, 770451-4999.
Esther Kuniansky Rawn was born in Atlanta Oct. 8, 1927, to Marjorie Bleich and Isidore Kuniansky. She passed away Jan. 22, 2021. She graduated from Girls High School, completed her freshman year of college at the University of Michigan as a teenager, after which marriage and children interrupted her education. She returned to college after raising three children and, at the age of 48, completed her bachelor of arts in journalism from Georgia State University. Upon graduation, Esther began work for the Visiting Nurse Association, a United Way agency. She was in charge of a program for seniors, as well as creating an in-house newspaper that highlighted the work of board members and employees. She gave public talks on behalf of VNA to the Lions, Elks and garden clubs around Atlanta. Prior to returning to college at Georgia State, Esther served as president of The Temple Sisterhood; she was a board member of the Fulton County League of Women Voters; and she was president of a B’nai B’rith Women’s chapter that raised money for the visually impaired. Esther was active in Democratic Party politics. She and her husband, Stan, attended the presidential inauguration of Jimmy Carter in Washington. They were invited to a reception where they met President and Mrs. Carter. Esther married Stanley Rawn of Brooklyn, N.Y., her first love, when she was 19 and he was 21 and a student at Georgia Tech. They shared 73 wonderful years together, raised three children, traveled the world, enjoyed many close friends and extended family, book clubs and bridge games. Although active in the community, Esther’s husband and children always came first. She arranged all her community work and her bridge games so that she was always home when her children returned from school, to make sure that they were safe and secure. And if Stan needed her at the laundromat (to help wash Dick Van Dyke’s boxers) that always took priority. The above is pretty much direct from Esther’s pen at 92 years of age. Also, Esther was an agnostic, which had a very specific meaning for her. She would regularly purchase several boxes of Nabisco Mallomars and hide a couple away in recondite corners of the kitchen cupboards so that her children and her husband and whoever else toward whom she harbored suspicions would not be able to discover and devour them. Invariably, she would forget she had hidden them; sometimes she would find a box several years later and eat them. She held an unwavering belief that, in heaven, she will find old boxes of Mallomars that have been hidden, perhaps by God, perhaps by no one. It won’t matter to her how they got there, so long as they are there.
Murray Lynn 90, Atlanta
Murray Lynn passed away Jan. 31, 2021 at the age of 90. He was born in Hungary Sept. 19, 1930, during rising political upheavals in Europe. In the spring of 1944, he and his family were uprooted from their home and deported to the dreaded death camp of Auschwitz, where his entire family perished. At 15, the sole survivor, he was liberated by the American Army in the spring of 1945. Alone, he meandered across the continent for four years in search of an oasis of security, a safe haven. In 1948, Dublin, Ireland, became the stepping stone to his final destination of America. In the fall of 1949, he was granted a student visa to study in America. Soon after, he moved to New York, where he attended undergraduate and graduate school until 1956. Following his education, he moved to Atlanta to pursue a business career in sales and marketing. He rose to senior vice president, president and CEO of various companies, and served on numerous boards before retiring in 2000. As a survivor of the Auschwitz death camp, it was his enduring mission to bring a memorable era into sharp focus, to erase entrenched racism and virulent anti-Semitism, and sow seeds to bring forth eternal brotherhood and equal social justice for all. “To serve a cause greater than oneself” was his unswerving goal after retirement. He volunteered at the William Breman Jewish Heritage Museum to speak and bear witness to a wide range of audiences – including educators, government institutions and students – on civic lessons, and how unchecked and sanctioned virulent anti-Semitism defined Jewish lives and its history. He is survived by his beloved wife of 62 years Sonia Lynn and three children Roberta Lynn-Wechsler (Gary), Anita Lynn and Allen Lynn. Graveside services were held privately for family Feb. 3 at Arlington Memorial Park. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the William Breman Jewish Heritage Museum or Georgia Commission on the Holocaust. To sign the online guestbook, view the livestream of the funeral, and for Zoom shiva information, visit www.dresslerjewishfunerals.com. Arrangements by Dressler’s Jewish Funeral Care, 770-451-4999. 54 | FEBRUARY 15, 2021 ATLANTA JEWISH TIMES
The rising dance of birds of prey above the lake; winged ends of a diameter of air turning circles on a double helix, bonded by wind, looking downward, guided by shadows of one another on ice; so do we dance, in this long absence, spun toward the light. Esther was predeceased by her husband Stanley, who died in August 2020. Surviving Esther are her three children Hugh Rawn (Ann); Michael Rawn (Cynthia) and Marcia Miller (Mark); her grandchildren Ian Rawn, Jeremy Rawn, Amanda Gilbert (Chris), Lauren Miller (Zander) and Jason Miller, Benjamin Rawn and Anna Rawn; and her great grandchild Jacob Brekke. In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation on Esther’s behalf to The Temple or Weinstein Hospice. There was a Zoom funeral service Jan. 24. Arrangements by Dressler’s Jewish Funeral Home, 770-451-4999.
זיכרונה לברכה Obituaries in the AJT are written and paid for by the families; contact Editor and Managing Publisher Kaylene Ladinsky at firstname.lastname@example.org or 404-883-2130, ext. 100, for details about submission, rates and payments. Death notices, which provide basic details, are free and run as space is available; send submissions to email@example.com.
Lena Sisselman 105, Atlanta
Lena Sisselman, born May 28, 1915, passed away Jan. 24, 2021, at the age of 105. She was running a business when women did not venture out of the kitchen, and she was successful before computers, email and texts. Everything about the business was stored in her incredible memory. She did it all: family life, social life and her business Globe Chemical Company. Mrs. Sisselman was preceded in death by her husband of 65 years Sidney R. Sisselman; her parents Isaac and Sadie Melnick; her brother William Melnick; and sisters Annie Melnick and Gertrude Gulden. She is survived by daughters Rosalind Haber (Phillip) and Deborah Fialkow (Alan); and son Ivan Sisselman (Jill); as well as eight grandchildren, 17 great-grandchildren and four great-great- grandchildren, every one of them convinced she loved them best of all. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Congregation Beth Tefillah, Hospice of Georgia, and Ahava Early Learning Center of Ahavath Achim Synagogue. Graveside services were held Jan. 27. Arrangements by Dressler’s Jewish Funeral Care, 770-451-4999.
IN MEMORY OF:
Sue Kaplan Cohen 1962- 2019
To keep Sue’s memory alive in our hearts forever, we have built a park at the Northside Hospital Forsyth Campus. I would be very appreciative if you can attend the dedication event at the park. March 8, 2021 11:00 am Northside Hospital Campus at Forsyth, just off GA 400 RSVP: Robert Cohen at 678-480-7947 firstname.lastname@example.org THOSE WE LOVE DON’T GO AWAY, THEY WALK BESIDE US EVERY DAY. UNSEEN, UNHEARD, BUT ALWAYS NEAR, SO LOVED, SO MISSED, SO VERY DEAR.
TOGETHER THROUGH FILM
ATLANTA JEWISH TIMES FEBRUARY 15, 2021 | 55
CLOSING THOUGHTS Do You Want to Be the Decision Maker? A person told the Chofetz Chaim that he was afraid of assuming a position of authority to make decisions. The Chofetz Chaim responded, Allen H. Lipis “Who should asThe Bottom Line sume the position of power, someone who is not afraid of the responsibility?” Making a decision has power and responsibility and should never be taken likely. For most people, the decisions to get out of bed, what to wear and what to eat are insignificant, but if you are sick, then getting out of bed can be a major decision, and if you are getting married, what to wear is important, and if you are serious about losing weight, the decision can be critical. As a decision maker, you are subject to criticism, since it is unlikely that everyone will agree with your decision. When you decide, you have to avoid being emotionally affected by negative comments and reactions. When you have positioned your decision based on a critical analysis of what was available at the time of the decision, your decision should be able to stand up under scrutiny. Thinking ahead Good decisions are always based on an assessment of what might happen in the future. The Sages say that the person that is wise is one who thinks about the consequences of whatever he does. Neglecting to look ahead is the prime cause of unhappiness. In our everyday lives, too much food produces an obese person; too much quarreling affects a friendship and marriage. These basic decisions have long-term consequences. The same is true in business and in government. To address any good decision, a list of the obstacles to overcome is a good place to begin. It takes time to review all of the issues in making a good decision, so while speed is a good policy in action, it is not a good thing in thinking and planning. In listing the obstacles, it is important to differentiate between realistic fears and irrational fears. Do not excessively worry that something could go wrong. Saying no I found that until you have a complete picture of all of the issues affecting a decision, including as much information as you need, 56 | FEBRUARY 15, 2021 ATLANTA JEWISH TIMES
it is best to say, “not now,” and not decide until you have more complete information. When you say, “not now,” it often means “no.” Hurrying to judgment displays a definite sign of foolishness, because you have no concern for making an error. It is better to decline a request than to believe it will work out without knowing all of the facts. That is why it is always better to be patient, cautious and deliberate in deciding. There are times when the best decision is to stay where you are. When you have two difficult choices, remember this story. A fox saw a fish in the river fleeing from danger from a fisherman. The fox told the fish, “Come up on the land and you will escape the fisherman’s nets.” The fish then said,” If we are afraid here in the water, in the element that sustains us, how much more should we fear on the land, in the element where we would die.” Analysis and advice When faced with a decision that is unfamiliar, often we do not decide because there are rationales that support different courses of action. When there are choices that can be taken, this can often lead to delay, especially if there is no analysis of each choice. On the other hand, there can be too much analysis. This is paralysis by analysis. We keep studying the problem without ever reaching a conclusion. For business decisions, clarify your feeling about a product or a process based on reality, and not on your imagination. When you ask for advice, you lose nothing, and you gain understanding. You enrich the person giving the advice as well as your own. It’s a win-win for both parties. Rabbi Menachem Nachum of Chernobyl once consulted his rebbe, the Maggid of Mezritch. The rebbe asked why he needed advice, and the rabbi said, “Once I came home from school when my step-mother wasn’t home. I took a small portion of fried eggs, less than what she normally gives me. When she saw what I did, she slapped me and said, “Alein memt nit” – “You do not take by yourself.” That advice stayed with me all my life. What the rabbi learned is that he wasn’t to decide on his own. That is good advice for any important decision, especially for business decisions. The bottom line: There is no such thing as an insignificant act, no matter how small the decision. Every act may lead to something good, or something worse. It depends on the quality of the decision, and what it means for future events. ì
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