Atlanta Jewish Times, VOL. 99 NO. 4, February 29, 2024

Page 1

Simchas and Education & Camp


June 3-7, 2024

June 3-7, 2024

May 29-31, 2024

June 3-7, 2024


Priority Deadline: April 1

(Registration through May 1 or until filled)

Overnight ADD-ON available Overnight
Hoops Contest! Give it Your Best Top Winners get cash prizes! March Mitzvah Madness Kosher Eats • Live Music • Artist Market • Kids Zone • Community Partners • Hoops Contest • Entrance to Georgia Aquarium • And More! Tickets include entry to the Aquarium for the entire day $22 per person | $11 per child | $75 for a family of 6 Got Game, Prove It! Buy Tickets today! Georgia Aquarium 246 Ivan Allen Jr Blvd, Atlanta, GA 30313 Sunday, March 3, 2024 11am-3pm





Editor & Website Editor SASHA HELLER
Writer & Proofreader FRAN PUTNEY
ENGAGEMENT Events and Public Relations Coordinator KATIE GAFFIN
Jewish Connector Coordinator DIANA COLE
OFFICE Administrative Assistant REBECCA LABANCA 404-883-2130 The Atlanta Jewish Times is printed in Georgia and is an equal opportunity employer. The opinions expressed in the Atlanta Jewish Times do not necessarily reflect those of the newspaper. Periodicals postage paid at Atlanta, Ga. POSTMASTER send address changes to Atlanta Jewish Times 270 Carpenter Drive Suite 320, Atlanta Ga 30328. Established 1925 as The Southern Israelite ATLANTA JEWISH TIMES (ISSN# 0892-3345 IS PUBLISHED BY SOUTHERN ISRAELITE, LLC © 2024 ATLANTA JEWISH TIMES Printed by Walton Press Inc. MEMBER Conexx: America Israel Business Connector Atlanta Press Association American Jewish Press Association National Newspaper Asspciation Sandy Springs/Perimeter Chamber of Commerce Please send all photos, stories and editorial content to: CONTENTS NEWS 6 ISRAEL 20 SPORTS �������������������������������������������� 22 OPINION 26 SIMCHAS 28 EDUCATION & CAMP ��������������������� 42 DINING ���������������������������������������������� 50 CHAI STYLE 53 CALENDAR 56 JEWISH JOKE ���������������������������������� 60 BRAIN FOOD 62 OBITUARIES 64 CLOSING THOUGHTS �������������������� 68 MARKETPLACE 70 Cover Photo:Tamar and Aaron's elaborate chuppah was in red, peach, and white tones. March Mitzvah Madness Giveaways include signed baseballs from the ATL Braves! Give it your best shot at the hoops contest and win cash prizes! Buy your tickets today! Event is this weekend! Don't miss out on Harry the Hawk and his dancers! Fun for the whole family! Access to the GA Aquarium!

Atlanta Jewish Life Festival this Weekend

The Atlanta Jewish Life Festival is returning for a fifth year to the world-famous Georgia Aquarium. Tickets are on sale now for the March 3 event scheduled from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. entering through the Ocean’s Ballroom entrance at 246 Ivan Allen Jr. Blvd., Atlanta, GA 30313.

The event, founded by the Atlanta Jewish Times, is Atlanta’s largest singleday festival promoting and celebrating Jewish and Israeli arts, food, music, and culture while connecting the community to local synagogues, nonprofits, and social action groups with the hope to further strengthen the bonds and understanding of Jewish beliefs, traditions, and family.

This year, the festival is adding a splash of March Mitzvah Madness. This timely event calls for a “Hoop Contest.” Got game? Prove it and compete in the Hoops Contest. They’ll be giving away

cash prizes to the Star Players in each of the four age groups.

To cheer on the March Mitzvah Madness event is the Atlanta Hawks’ dancers and “Harry the Hawk” himself. Even the Atlanta Braves will be sponsoring and providing signed baseballs and four pack tickets to be awarded to hoops and raffle winners.

“We are excited to be back a fifth year, and I want the community to know that safety measures are in place,” said Michael Morris, owner and publisher of the Atlanta Jewish Times. “We are always excited for this unique opportunity to bring thousands of Jewish families together for kosher food, entertainment and a chance to meet informally with Jewish community service organizations.”

Festivalgoers can expect a variety of kosher foods, music, entertainment for the kids, a Purim costume contest, and the opportunity to meet the organizations and institutions that make up the Jewish community here in Atlanta.

Tickets for the event are $22 each, and $11 for children ages 3-12 (tickets

Tickets can be purchased at www. The website is also being updated regularly with information on the schedule, vendors and partners who will be participating in the 2024 event.

In addition, the festival is still accepting applications for vendors and community partners and sponsors. More details can be found on the website under “Get Involved.”

AJLF is presented by the Atlanta Jewish Times, metro Atlanta’s premier Jewish bi-weekly newspaper. Presenting sponsors for the 2024 event include Georgia Aquarium, Morris Family Foundation, and The Marcus Foundation. Platinum sponsor Billi Marcus Foundation. Diamond sponsors Lipsey Mountain Spring Water. Gold sponsors are the Northside Hospital, Kroger, Arthur Blank Foundation, Atlanta Jewish Connector, Balloons Over Atlanta, and AMP’D Entertainment. Silver sponsors are Button It Up, In the City Camps, RoughDraft Atlanta, Dressler’s Funeral Care and there are several more in the Mensch

tion, go to

The mission of the Atlanta Jewish Times is to create a sense of community throughout the geographically dispersed Jewish people of greater Atlanta. The AJT accomplishes its mission through the timely dissemination of local news and important national Jewish and Israeli interests; support of local synagogue, nonprofit and cultural endeavors, and events; the announcement of family simchas and lifecycle events; thought-provoking dialogue and debate on current issues and Jewish ideas; and the strengthening of the bonds and understanding of Jewish culture, tradition, and family.

While the AJT is distributed free throughout the community, on the web and through social media outlets, home delivery is offered as a convenience and as an opportunity for anyone in the Jewish community to support this mission. ì


MARCH Mitzvah Madness Hoops Contest

Basketball Shootout. Got Game, Prove It!


Each player will be using the same type of basketball

Players can NOT use their own basketball

All players will use basketball mini balls

Each player will be shooting on a basket with a similar net

Each player will have 1:00 (1 minute) to complete a round

Each player will shoot 1 round and the best scores will move on to the next round

The top 10 from each group will move on to the championship round

Each player will rebound their own missed attempts

Each player waiting to shoot will NOT interfere with others who are shooting

Each player will be ready to shoot when their number is called Players will be awarded points if they make the basket from any of the designated shooting mats

Each basket will have 1 timer and 1 score keeper, unless they are using the automatic scoring apps

The score keeper is the judge and their decision is final

The score keeper will turn in their results to the head score keeper to be tailed and posted

In the event of a tie. Each player will have 45 seconds to play a tie breaker round

Each player will abide by these rules or is subject to disqualification PROFANITY OF ANY KIND IS NOT TOLERATED. The player will be asked to leave.

An event benefiting the Ben Massell Dental Clinic

MARCH 14, 2024

7:00 PM – 9:00 PM




Dr. Jonathan Dubin | Dr. Richard Weinman

Liaisons to Dental College of Georgia

Dr. David Kurtzman

Liaison to Dental Residency Program

Dr. Joel Adler

Longest Serving Volunteer

Dr. Stephen Bankston

BMDC Chief of Staff

Dr. David Zelby

Immediate Past Chief of Staff

Dr. Michael Chalef | Mike McDaniel

Philanthropic Champions

Grady Health Systems


Dr. Lauren Abes

Mike McDaniel


Stephanie & Dr. Marshall Abes

Ellen & Howard Feinsand


Dr. Anushka Amin | Chris Cochran | Liz Galazka

Dr. Drew Shessel | Dr. Sidney Tourial

Dr. Melvin Washington


Outstanding Community Partner


© 2022 Jewish Family & Career Services of Atlanta, Inc.

Jewish Atlanta Leaders Reflect on Israel Trip

Midway through a Feb. 18 forum with rabbis and communal leaders recently returned from a week in Israel, Rabbi Adam Starr of Congregation Ohr HaTorah said, “Take a moment and see what’s taking place here. We shouldn’t take this for granted.”

Starr appeared to be addressing both his fellow travelers and an audience of about 200 people at Congregation Or Hadash in Sandy Springs.

Seated alongside Starr, whose congregation is Modern Orthodox, were rabbis from Orthodox, Conservative, Reform, and Reconstructionist Judaism, and leaders from the Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta, Anti-Defamation League, American Jewish Committee, and Jewish Community Relations Council of Atlanta.

Over an hour-and-a-half, they talked about what made this trip to Israel unique from previous visits, highlighting moments of significance, be it a place they visited, a scene they witnessed, or a conversation that moved them.

The rabbis acknowledged the diver-

sity of opinion among them, as well as the diversity of the movements they represent.

Rabbi Binyomin Friedman of Congregation Ariel said that many years had passed since he took a similar, multidenominational trip and he wanted to know “where other rabbis are at these days,” particularly after the Oct. 7 Hamas led terror attacks in Southern Israel and

Israel’s subsequent military retaliation in Gaza.

Putting theological differences aside, “We walked away with a certain sense of knowing each other and learning about nice people,” Friedman said.

Eytan Davidson, regional director for the Anti-Defamation League, said that he was struck by “the vulnerability, the way we were able to share and support each other. It was truly special . . . a sense of Jewish peoplehood in a way that I’ve not really felt in my life.”

Echoing that, Rabbi Brad Levenberg of Temple Sinai praised a “vulnerability on the trip from each of us and a caring to receive that vulnerability with concern and compassion,” necessary when touring such sites as the burned and bullet-riddled homes at Kibbutz Kfar Aza, where more than 60 residents were murdered and 18 kidnapped on Oct. 7.

From his perspective, Rabbi Ilan Feldman of Congregation Beth Jacob found that two important aspects of the trip were “just being with the chevra [“society” in Hebrew] on the bus” and being present to show solidarity from the diaspora with Israelis.

Rabbi Lauren Henderson of Congregation Or Hadash, the lone rabbi among the four women on the trip, said that the experience affirmed the need to promote and fund travel to Israel, for people of all ages. “Conversations are possible when your feet are on the ground that are not possible here . . . [where] it’s hard to get a real tangible sense of the situation,” she said.

Rabbi Mike Rothbaum of Congregation Bet Haverim highlighted voices he heard on the trip, including an Israeli

who urged “Don’t let the voices of extremism dictate the terms of the debate.” The challenge, Rothbaum said, is “as a diaspora community, how can we support these voices.”

That prompted Feldman, whose shul is located just down Lavista Road from Bet Haverim, to say, “The last thing I expected myself to say is that I agree with Rabbi Mike.”

“He’s such a mensch,” Rothbaum replied, before two rabbis high-fived each other, to the amusement of their rabbinic colleagues and the audience.

The reaction to some of Rothbaum’s other comments was less unanimous.

Referring to the 1,200 (overwhelmingly Jewish) people killed on Oct. 7 — the most Jews killed in a single day since the Holocaust — and the 134 Israelis still held hostage in Gaza, Rothbaum said, “We still haven’t processed that grief.”

Turning to the death toll in Gaza, he said, “A Jewish state with a tallis on its flag has killed almost 30,000 people . . . Can we grieve those lives even if we think this [the war] is the right thing to do?”

A mixture of applause and boos followed Rothbaum’s statement that “We’ve got to call for an end to the occupation of the West Bank and Gaza.”

Rabbi Joshua Heller of Congregation B’nai Torah discussed “a very important Hebrew word: concepcia.” Oct. 7 laid waste to various “concepcia” concepts on which conventional wisdom was based, he said.

“The people who busted out of Gaza thought, if we just fight hard enough we can make the Jews go away, and it turns out that concepcia was wrong” while on the Israeli side the idea that “If we just

Eric Robbins, Federation president and CEO, moderated the Israel trip forum. Listening (from left) are Leslie Anderson, executive director of the Jewish Community Relations Council of Atlanta, and Rabbi Lauren Henderson of Congregation Or Hadash.
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Rabbi Daniel Dorsch of Congregation Etz Chaim speaks at Israel trip forum. Listening (from left) are Renee Kutner, Federation chief operating officer; Rabbi Ilan Feldman of Congregation Beth Jacob, and Rich Walter, Federation vice president.

let enough supplies go through, they are not going to want anything more on their side of the fence, we can placate them, that concepcia was wrong,” he said, as was the belief that military assets could be shifted to the West Bank without endangering the kibbutzim and towns close to Gaza.

Rabbi Daniel Dorsch of Congregation Etz Chaim, who also is president of the Atlanta Rabbinical Association, had traveled Israel in November with other Conservative rabbis. “I wanted to see how Israel had changed from that first trip to the second,” said, comparing an “Israel in November totally in shock, looking down at the group, to an Israel that was beginning to look to the rainbow in the sky.

The families of the 134 Israelis held hostage are still searching for a rainbow.

Rabbi Peter Berg of The Temple said that he “left feeling that the hostages must be at the top of the agenda . . . a top, top, top urgent priority.”

To build support outside of the Jewish community, Berg said, “We have a responsibility to meet with leaders of different faiths and different faith traditions,” to translate the Jewish community’s concerns “into a language that other faith leaders will understand.”

“This is the hardest time to be a rabbi,” he concluded.

Several of the travelers singled out one moment as having been particularly emotional — visiting the Mount Herzl grave of Israel Defense Forces Staff Sgt. Rose Ida Lubin, a 20-year-old graduate of Dunwoody High School, who was serving with the border police when she was stabbed to death Nov. 6 in Old City precinct in Jerusalem.

“It was important to visit Rose Lubin’s gravesite. It was difficult and it was very beautiful,” Berg said. Visitors have left stones and other memorabilia, but part of her gravestone remains blank because the IDF has yet to give Israel’s current war a name.

Graveside prayers were led by Friedman, in whose congregation Lubin was a member. He had delivered a eulogy at her funeral on Mount Herzl less than three months earlier.

A short distance away, several thousand people were gathered for the funeral of an Israeli soldier, a man in his 20s. “All of us could hear the mother sobbing and people singing ‘Hatikvah,’” Israel’s national anthem, Berg said.

The experience at Lubin’s grave left Friedman “overwhelmed,” so he walked

to the parking lot, where he observed people leaving the soldier’s funeral.

There, he saw “a weariness in their eyes and on their faces and you knew that they had done this yesterday or last week and they knew that they were going to be doing it again next week,” Friedman recounted. “It is Oct. 7 right now in Israel. The clock hasn’t been able to move ahead from that perspective.”

Whether it was ducking a rocket

attack the day they arrived, painting a bomb shelter in Yokneam (a city in Northern Israel supported by Atlanta’s Federation), surveying the site of the Nova music festival massacre, having their bones rattled by the blast of an Israeli artillery shell, or conversations with Israelis across a range of political stripes, the week was “intense and important and meaningful,” Eric Robbins, Federation president and CEO, said. ì

(From left) Rabbi Mike Rothbaum of Congregation Bet Haverim, Rabbi Binyomin Friedman of Congregation Ariel, and Renee Kutner, Federation chief operating officer.

AJFF Opening Gala Outdoes Previous Year

More than 800 supporters walked the red carpet at City Springs in Sandy Springs for the 2024 Atlanta Jewish Film Festival Opening Night Gala on Feb. 13. Many commented that one of the most fulfilling factors was the return postCOVID of nine participating restaurant partners with gourmet bills of fare served table to table in the City Spring lobby area.

AJFF Executive and Artistic Director Kenny Blank said, “It’s exciting to see the community coming together four months from Oct. 7 and using this format where films echo history. Movies channel even the small acts in daily life to help us get through tough times.”

Co-chairs Leah Blum and Martha Jo Katz were on hand to salute the momentum gained, now heading into the 25th anniversary of the AJFF. Blum, who is also on the Film Review Committee, noted, “We are thrilled to present films to the community that bring people together for amazing discussions.”

Katz noted, “Also it’s great to have our restaurant partners back with this

800-plus turnout. There is also enthusiasm post-COVID and being just before Valentine’s Day.”

Cousins Katz and Blum joked that they are indeed “related to each other, and dozens of others there.”

Clad in pink, Georgia Congresswoman Esther Panitch was working the crowd in celebration of passing HB 30, colloquially known as the Antisemitism Bill.

She said, “I’m grateful for the tremendous support from the community, and our amazing ally, Governor Brian Kemp, who will arrive soon.”

Long time AJFF supporter (like offering free parking on-site), Sandy Springs Mayor Rusty Paul, chatted with Sandy Springs City Council mebers John Paulson (District 1) and Melissa Mulas (District 3).

Paul Root Wolpe stated that he was looking forward to “The Future,” a chamber piece intertwining politics and technology in a psychological drama, where an Israeli squares off with a Palestinian assassin. Others, like Producer Level sponsor Ed Mendel, were anticipating good things from the documentary celebrating the life of Gene Wilder.

Food partners were Alma Cocina

“DeKalb County is my home. I am excited to have the support of my predecessor, Judge Mark Anthony Scott, as I serve as one of ten judges on the DeKalb Superior Court. Please know that I am here to work with you and to serve you with integrity. “ -JUDGE BRIAN LAKE
AJFF Executive and Artistic Director Kenny Blank (right) concurred with event co-chair Martha Jo Katz about how far the festival has progressed in almost 25 years // All Photos by Howard Mendel Having recently opened in Dunwoody, the Message in a Bottle crew served grouper ceviche while giving back to the community. Owner David Abes is pictured on the right.
Superior Court Judge Brian Lake |
James Anderson, AJFF Board of Directors, compares film choices with Steve Labovitz, formerly on the AJFF Board of Directors, and Emory University’s Chair of the Film Department, Matthew Bernstein

Buckhead, C&S Seafood and Oyster Bar, Ecco Buckhead, Il Giallo Osteria and Bar, Imperial Fez, Message in a Bottle, The General Muir, City Bar, and The Select. Longtime community partner, David Abes, who recently opened Message in a Bottle in Dunwoody, served shot glasses of grouper ceviche with Aji Amarillo aioli, topped with shredded crispy tortillas. He commented, “We have always been driven to give back to the community. Here, tonight, in Sandy Springs, just a hop from Dunwoody, makes perfect sense.”

Another popular station was The General Muir, which served chilled smoked beet shots, herb oil, and a mini potato and onion knish with crème fraiche. A dessert table was accented with fresh strawberries, offerings from Nothing Bundt Cakes, and a variety of cookies and chocolaty treats. Among such hearty appetites, a few places ran out of food early.

Gathering in the theatre for show time, Blank partnered with Dov Wilker, executive director of the American Jewish Committee, appearing in a video about their forged partnership with keeping the community informed and engaging public officials, “especially during diffi-

cult times and utilizing their professional teams to unite for common missions.”

Dina Gerson, president of the AJFF Board of Directors, gave her best “shout out” to Coca-Cola for its steadfast partnership and for sponsoring that night’s film. All eyes awaited Governor Kemp who received a standing ovation before he praised the AJFF for being one of the world’s biggest with the “richness in culture that it brings.”

He spoke of his family’s recent visit to Israel before Oct. 7, saying, “It’s hard to fathom what happened just months after our visit.” He commended Panitch and State Rep. John Carson for taking action to get the Antisemitism Bill signed into law, and concluded, “Hate has no place in Georgia.”

Holly Firfer, star and longtime CNN professional, introduced the feature film, “Irina’s Vow,” by saluting “The Righteous Among Nations where non-Jews perform selfless acts and take risks rejecting the path of indifference. This saga beckons us to heed the lessons of history. We all hold the power to help shape the world.”

After the movie, Irina’s daughter and the actress who portrayed Irina, appeared on stage. ì

Lisa Lack and Leslie Gordon from The Breman Museum, chat with sponsor Ed Mendel and Dale DeSena (right). Governor Brian Kemp touted the cultural role the AJFF brings to Georgia as one of the biggest film festivals in the U.S.
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Holly Firfer, who introduced “Irina’s Vow,” chatted with Greg Kaufman, and Ryan Posner. Kaufman got his satin jacket in Las Vegas for the event.

Rose Lubin Jewish Pride Award Established

The Steinhardt Foundation for Jewish Life has established a new award in honor of Sgt. Rose Lubin, the fallen Lone Soldier from Dunwoody, that recognizes Jewish community members who have displayed an extraordinary sense of Jewish pride.

The Steinhardt Foundation for Jewish Life announced that it will award $100,000 to an individual involved in the work of Jewish engagement and identitybuilding in North America, whose work specifically inspires or furthers Jewish pride. The award will be split between a $70,000 gift to the individual and a $30,000 grant to the program or organization they have created.

The Rose Lubin Jewish Pride Award is named in memory of the Atlanta native who fulfilled her dream of Aliyah, at age 18, as a combat-trained soldier specializing in fighting terrorism. Deployed with the Israeli Border Police, Sgt. Lubin was off duty on Oct. 7, 2023, when she bravely defended her host kibbutz and neighboring communities, helping

injured victims to safety from near the Gaza border. Just weeks after the Hamas onslaught, Sgt. Lubin lost her life during a subsequent terrorist attack while guarding the Shalem police station near the Damascus Gate, one of the entrances

to the Old City of Jerusalem.

“Strengthening Jewish pride and supporting a positive sense of belonging to the Jewish people is of critical importance for the future of this generation. We can think of no one who exemplifies

Jewish pride more than Rose Lubin,” said Sara Bloom, vice chair of the Steinhardt Foundation.

Rabbi David Gedzelman, foundation president and CEO, explained where the original idea for the award came from

It is an honor to serve as the 50th Sheriff of DeKalb County. Thank you for supporting me in 2020 and throughout this term. Please know that I will continue being there for you just as you have been there for me. Let’s continue the work for a safer and stronger DeKalb County.
Rose is pictured as a child during her first visit to Israel.
(Co)-Georgia Sheriff of the Year, 2023
The Steinhardt Foundation for Jewish Life has established this award in honor of Rose Lubin, the fallen Lone Soldier from Dunwoody.

and how it evolved upon news of Lubin being killed while on patrol.

“We at the Steinhardt Foundation had been planning this award for nearly a year and then, in the aftermath of Oct. 7 -- upon hearing of the tragic death of Rose Lubin -- the Steinhardt family was moved to name the award in her memory,” Rabbi Gedzelman said. “Rose, an Atlanta public school graduate who fulfilled her life’s dream of making Aliyah and protecting Israel, perfectly epitomized the Jewish pride this award is intended to recognize and encourage.”

The Rose Lubin Jewish Pride Award is a cash award intended to recognize and promote an individual whose work in Jewish life exemplifies leadership, innovation, and creativity through founding a program, initiative, or organization that champions the Pillars of Jewish Pride described in Michael Steinhardt’s 2022 book, “Jewish Pride.” By honoring individuals, organizations, and programs that exemplify these pillars, this award has the broader purpose of inspiring their adoption as central goals and aspirations throughout the Jewish world and of encouraging new initiatives based on these principles.

“We hope the award will create more interest among Jewish leaders and creatives to spearhead new programs and initiatives that aim to promote and celebrate the pillars of Jewish peoplehood, Jewish joy, and Jewish excellence as central to their mission and commitment to Jewish pride,” Gedzelman said. “Now, more than ever, we need to inspire in our young people a sense of fearlessness around being Jewish and we believe that these pillars are essential to nurturing the Jewish pride necessary for our young people to stand up strong and affirm their Jewishness … we believe this award will highlight the kinds of role models who will inspire commitment to these values and spur others to create programs that exhibit them,” Gedzelman said.

Individuals nominated for the Rose Lubin Jewish Pride Award must have created programs that exhibit and promote Jewish peoplehood, Jewish excellence, or Jewish joy and their initiatives must demonstrate measurable impact, scalability, and financial sustainability.

To nominate someone for the inaugural Rose Lubin Jewish Pride Award, please visit The award winner will be announced in September 2024. ì

Rose Lubin was killed while guarding the Shalem police station near the Damascus Gate.

Colon’s Murderer Receives 30-Year Sentence

Chelci Chisholm has been sentenced to 30 years in prison for the 2021 murder of Marlene Colon, a popular local Zumba instructor and fixture in the Atlanta Jewish community.

The judge’s sentencing breaks down as follows: 20 years for voluntary manslaughter; and 10 years for two counts (five years each) of obstruction of justice.

Chisholm, an Israeli native who is also known as Malka Padalon, had been renting a room in Colon’s home at the time of the murder.

According to the court, Chisholm will serve the first 18 years in prison with the balance suspended. Sandy Springs police had reported that when “officers arrived, they encountered the woman suspect in the garage holding an object and challenging officers,” which is why the dual obstruction of justice charges were included in the sentencing.

A group of nearly 20 family members and friends of Colon were in attendance at the sentencing. Marieli Colon,

Marlene’s daughter-in-law, and mother of Marlene’s only grandchildren, shared in her victim impact statement, “Marlene was a powerhouse. She was dynamic and full of energy. She was a ball of fire. She was not like anyone else, she was unique, eccentric, she was full of life … She donat-

ed her time and skills at many assisted living communities and at the Jewish Community Center. Marlene wanted to help people improve their quality of life. Ironically, and most tragically, it was her kindness and overly generous nature that would lead to her death.”

Marieli continued that Marlene’s biggest source of pride were her grandchildren and that Marlene was cheering at her grandson, Matthew’s, tennis match just two days before her horrific murder. Marlene’s son, Jonathan, in his victim impact statement, remembered his

Over 500 Atlantans united to bring light and life back to the communities in the Israel Envelope at our Annual Gladys & Jack Hirsch Breakfast for Dinner. Whether you joined us or not we invite you to join us in making a difference for the land and people of Israel.


Beth Gluck, Executive Director, Atlanta

Nicole Flom, Senior Campaign Executive, Atlanta

Chelci Chisholm was sentenced to 30 years in prison for the 2021 murder of Marlene Colon. Marlene Colon is pictured with her sons, Jonathan and Loren

mother fondly.

“My mom … had a welcoming, warm heart as a pillar of our community, by opening her home to people in need, which ultimately cost her, her life,” Jonathan Colon said. In his statement, he condemned Chisholm for her actions and reminded the courtroom of the void now left in this family’s lives.

“She took my mom, a friend, a fitness instructor, and a unique, fun personality from us all. It has left a hole in our hearts which will never be filled,” he said. “This traumatic, horrific event is truly something we will never get over and we will carry with us for the rest of our lives.”

Colon’s granddaughter, Julianne, as part of her bat mitzvah project last September in a touching tribute to her late grandmother, donated 20 backpacks filled with toys, art supplies, and more to the Sandy Springs Police Department. The backpacks -- nicknamed “Nana’s Bags” -- will be given to children experiencing traumatic events. Sandy Springs PD officials thanked Julianne on Facebook for her donation, posting, “Julie chose a project that will help children going through hard times, while at the same time, honoring her grandmother.”

During her D’var Torah speech at her bat mitzvah, Julianne explained how Marlene’s love of giving inspired the backpack donation project.

“Every time my grandmother would come for a visit, she would bring me, my brother, or even my friends a tote bag full of stuff. This included fidgets, stuffed animals, stickers, bubbles, candy, and anything that she thought would make me happy,” Julianne said. “Unfortunately, tragedy knocked on her door, and G-d was unable to save her.”

While the family will never be able to fully recover from the loss of their matriarch, Jonathan Colon said the sentencing did bring a sense of closure.

“As a family, this is a huge burden off our shoulders,” he said. “We are very relieved that this horrific chapter of our lives can be closed.”

Loren Colon echoed his brother’s sentiments, adding, “A part of our lives will remain broken forever, but it’s time to start a new chapter while still honoring her memory.” ì


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This memorial garden in the Colon’s backyard has been planted in Marlene’s memory.

‘Into the Woods Jr.’ Opens March 7

Jerry’s Habima Theatre at the Marcus Jewish Community Center of Atlanta (MJCCA) has been inspiring audiences for 31 years with performances featuring actors with disabilities who defy stereotypes while creating memorable theater experiences for audiences. This year, Stephen Sondheim’s, “Into the Woods Jr.,” will be presented, with performances running from March 7-17.

The theatre group is Georgia’s only professional theater company featuring actors with special needs who perform alongside professional actors. Professional directors, choreographers, staging managers, lighting consultants, costumers, and sound engineers work with the company during each production to create immersive Broadway-style experiences.

“We’ve created a vibrant community where actors with special needs showcase their talents, build lifelong skills, and forge lasting friendships,” said Founding Artistic Producer Kim Goodfriend. “With about 90 percent of our actors returning each year and performances selling out, it’s clear that

our program resonates deeply within the community. The MJCCA’s commitment to this program underlines the significance of what we offer — an inclusive space where actors and audiences alike can explore and celebrate the richness of human experience through theater.”

The upcoming production of “Into the Woods Jr.” reimagines Sondheim and James Lapine’s musical, weaving an enchanting yarn where the realms of fairytales and reality merge. This youthful adaptation focuses on a baker and his wife, cursed to childlessness by a witch, whose

destinies intertwine with those of iconic characters like Cinderella, yearning to attend the king’s festival, and Jack, hoping for his cow to produce milk. As these characters embark on a journey through the mystical woods, they confront the complex consequences of their wishes

(From left) Katie Rouille as Baker’s Wife and Cynthia Outman as Cinderella (From left, back row) Luke Davis (Baker), Molly Drumm (Little Red Riding Hood); (from left, front row) Katie Rouille (Baker’s Wife), Cynthia Outman (Cinderella), Sean Wyatt (Jack)

and desires, learning vital lessons about responsibility and the intricate nature of dreams.

The show’s narrator, Michelle Cristal, has participated in the troupe’s productions for 15 years and her roles have become larger as her acting experience has grown.

“I have known most of the people in the show for many years, and we have become good friends. There’s a lot of work that goes into each show and it can be hard, but it’s all worth it in the end,” she said.

Michelle’s mother, Marilyn Franco Cristal, has accumulated many special memories over the years, seeing the productions expand in scope, bonding with the parents of the other cast members, and watching the sheer joy of the actors as they appear on stage.

“Michelle told me once that some people think the special needs community can’t do much, but by being in these shows they prove they can do whatever they set their minds to. I am very proud of all these actors have accomplished and can’t wait to see the show. I am always moved seeing everyone as they perform on stage,” she said.

Alex Dunay will return this year for his second production with the company. He first appeared in last year’s production of “Cinderella.” According to his mother, Lizette Dunay, he has wanted to participate in the shows for years.

“Alex had been waiting to turn 18 so he could be in one of the productions. Unfortunately, COVID hit at that time, postponing any plans, and he was finally able to realize what had been his ‘dream’ last year. Everyone involved has been so supportive, kind and nurturing. He loves theater and is so proud to be part of this group,” she shared.

Cast members rehearse eight weeks in advance of each show, with two additional weeks dedicated to tech rehearsals. During this two-week period, elements such as lighting, sound, and costumes are layered in, one at a time, for the production. Each Monday through Thursday, from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m., and on Sundays from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., cast members eagerly arrive at the MJCCA for scheduled rehearsals.

Honest feedback is given to all of the actors, who are frequently asked to slow down their delivery of lines or change the staging. Each production takes into account the specific needs of each actor, such as accommodation for the use of a wheelchair or walker. Whatever the need, Jerry’s Habima Theatre delivers! In fact, there is even an occupational therapist who works with the show’s actors and is responsible for leveraging the special talents that each person brings to the production.

“Today more of our actors with special needs are the leads in the shows. The times have changed, and many of these same people hold jobs, graduated from high school, participate in the community, and feel more comfortable performing. Also, technology got smarter, and there are devices we can use that help support actors as needed,” said Goodfriend.

The shows, beloved by the community, frequently sell out in advance of the productions. This year’s production is no exception. A limited number of tickets are currently available for selected shows and can be purchased by going to https:// Specific dates and times will be listed on the website. ì

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Alex Dunay (right) during his first season as part of Jerry’s Habima Theatre in last year’s production of “Cinderella.”

Atlanta Mourns Matriarch Janice Rothschild Blumberg

When this AJT writer visited Janice Rothschild Blumberg for the last time earlier this month, she was resting with several large pillows behind her, a soft blue bed jacket with rounded lapels neatly tied around her. From her Buckhead condominium in a prominent high-rise, she could look out at the broad expanse of the city where she had been born a century before.

And she could reflect on the critical role she had played in the history of the city as the wife of a pivotal figure in America’s civil rights movement, Rabbi Jacob M. Rothschild. As The Temple’s Senior Rabbi for more than 27 years, he became a leading voice for racial justice in the South.

Her health had taken a turn for the worse in the weeks leading up to what had been planned as a major celebration of her 100th birthday on Feb. 13. But for a woman who had seen so much history pass before her, she greeted this writer not with memories of the past, but of questions about the future.

Her first question upon entering her room was, “Tell me what’s going on in the world,” which was the perfect cue to describe how the community had been gearing up for months to celebrate her most remarkable life.

On Feb. 11, The Breman Jewish Heritage Museum lined up Melissa Faye Green, the celebrated author of the best seller, “The Temple Bombing.” She reminisced about how she had caught the eye of the young bachelor rabbi soon after his

arrival after the end of the Second World War and swept him off his feet. He wrote to a friend in another city that he would skip all the superlatives that he could enumerate, because she had them all.

According to her son, Bill, his moth-

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Janice Rothschild (far right) with her husband, Rabbi Jacob Rothschild, with Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr and his wife, Coretta Scott King At the age of 98, Rothschild published a memoir of her long life.

er’s favorite nickname, was the “Queen of Sheba,” because, just like the celebrated monarch of the Hebrew Bible, she had the power to attract and hold the attention of extraordinary men leading extraordinary lives. For 27 years, she was the gracious and charming presence that stood beside her husband, one of the towering influences in contemporary American Judaism.

Two years after Rabbi Rothschild’s untimely death in 1973, she married David Blumberg, a successful businessman who became the president of the International B’nai B'rith. She spent several years during his presidency touring the world meeting everyone who was anybody.

After her second husband passed away in 1989, she became close friends with Rabbi Gunter Plaut, one of Reform Judaism’s foremost Torah scholars and the author of “The Torah: A Modern Commentary,” which is a standard text, still found in many Reform synagogues.

With little formal training, she became a respected historian and authored a history of The Temple. She also wrote a critically acclaimed biography of her great-grandfather who was a leader in 19th century Reform Judaism and a chronicle of Rabbi Rothschild’s influence on American public life.

In this writer’s review of her memoir which, amazingly, she published just over two years ago, it’s mentioned that her life often resembled that of Woody Allen's fictional film portrayal of Leonard Zelig who seemed to show up wherever history was being made.

She took the great violinist Isaac Stern on a late-night tour of Atlanta in her convertible and she bumped into the Dalai Lama in a Washington subway. In a coastal Italian villa, she’s introduced to Pope John Paul II, then she’s off to Jerusalem to view the city with Yitzhak Rabin, the Israeli prime minister, who was assassinated in 1995.

She had been one of the important figures in Alfred Uhry’s successful revival of his Broadway hit, “Parade,” that is coming back to The Fox Theatre next year. In 1989, she was a technical advisor for Uhry’s Oscar-winning motion picture, “Driving Miss Daisy,” and even managed a small role in the production, which filmed one of the scenes in The Temple’s sanctuary.

For months, The Temple was planning its own birthday celebration on Sunday, Feb. 25, and there was even a small cardboard box in the synagogue’s reception area for children and adults to drop their birthday greetings. She died four days before that event on Feb. 21.

At her passing, Rabbi Peter Berg delivered his appreciation of her.

“I often told Janice that she was a walking Sefer - Torah. In so many ways she taught me how to be a rabbi of The Temple, how to be a Southern Jew, to “read history.” How to speak truth to power. How to keep the ego in check. All of us are the beneficiaries of the love she shared and the history lessons she bequeathed to us.”

A memorial service is planned at The Temple on March 11. ì

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At her 99th birthday celebration at The Breman Museum last year, Janice Rothschild Blumberg was interviewed by her son, Bill Rothschild.

Revolutionizing Healthcare in Israel, One Oleh at a Time

Together with Israel’s Ministry of Aliyah and Integration, the Jewish Agency for Israel, Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael (KKL), and the Jewish National Fund-USA, alongside Israel’s Ministry of Health and the Israeli Medical Association, Nefesh B’Nefesh launched MedEx as a stand-alone event to enable medical professionals to take major steps towards transferring their North American licenses before making Aliyah. The event is offered to physicians, nurses,


physician assistants (PA's), occupational therapists, physiotherapists, speech therapists, audiologists, dietitians/nutritionists, dental hygienists, and medical laboratory professionals.

Last year’s MedEx, held in Teaneck, N.J., was a resounding success, drawing hundreds of attendees. As a one-stop shop for medical professionals interested in making Aliyah, MedEx streamlines the immigration process to ensure they’re able to practice medicine as soon as they touch down in Israel. Already in its third year, MedEx has become a pivotal platform for healthcare workers, both those in advanced stages of Aliyah and those who are just beginning the process.

The MedEx experience is multifaceted. Participants delve into the Israeli medical licensing process, guided by on-site representatives from Israel’s Ministry of Health and experienced Nefesh B’Nefesh Aliyah advisors. It’s a unique chance to cut through red tape and make significant strides towards practicing medicine in Israel.

Compiled by AJT Staff

Report: One out of Three Reservists on TAU Campus are Female

New data from Tel Aviv University reveal a major change in women’s contribution to the war effort compared to the past: in the first months of the current war 6,657 TAU students were called up for reserve duty in the IDF (more than in any other Israeli university), including 2,228 women –

34 percent. Moreover, in January 2024, after most reserve soldiers had been discharged, 2,545 TAU students, including 755 (29 percent) women, remained in active service.

According to the university’s decision, all students called up for reserve duty are entitled to a grant of 2,000-9,000 NIS, based on their needs, and the type and length of service. The grants express TAU’s appreciation, as well as the understanding that when these students return, they will need to concentrate on their studies, with little time left for work.

Shir Shachar, 28, student for the master’s degree at the Faculty of Medicine: “I was called up for reserve duty right after the war broke out and served as a researcher in the Ground Forces’ Learning Unit. Our team included both men and women, and it was very exciting, with each of us contributing significantly to the common war effort. The commitment, dedication, and determination of all reservists in their tasks, whether in the field or behind the lines, are very important to success in combat. Only working together, with everyone doing all they can –we can win the war.”

Compiled by AJT Staff

Nefesh B’Nefesh launched MedEx as a stand-alone event to enable medical professionals to take major steps towards transferring their North American licenses before making Aliyah. Shir Shachar, 28, student for the master’s degree at the Faculty of Medicine // Photo Courtesy of Tel Aviv University
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Galilee Tech Community Unites, Preps for Revival

In a powerful display of unity and unwavering commitment to the revival of Israel’s northern region, more than 70 hi-tech startups convened in the war-hit Upper Galilee to pave a path for the eventual return to the north and a strengthening of the high-tech ecosystem there. Spearheaded by entrepreneur and investor Erel Margalit, chairman and founder of JVP and Margalit Startup City Galilee, the event signaled a pivotal moment in the region’s journey toward recovery and renewal.

The ongoing war, which commenced on Oct. 7 and has resulted in the evacuation of vast swathes of the north’s population, threatens the continued existence of the high-tech community established in Galilee. Recognizing this imminent danger, the event, held in Kibbutz Mahanaim, brought together key figures from Israel’s high-tech industry to provide assistance, explore investment opportunities, and express unwavering solidarity with the embattled startups of the region.

The gathering, which was also attended by major investors such as Iron Nation, Deloitte Catalyst, Intel Ignite and Invidia, underscored a unified commitment to empowering investments, providing immediate assistance to facilitate the resurgence of the Galilee.

The solidarity on display epitomized the high-tech community’s steadfast dedication to Galilee’s renaissance. This collective rallying cry for support and investment invigorates endeavors to rebuild and revitalize the region, reaffirming a resolute pledge to steer economic growth and innovation throughout 2024 and beyond, ensuring a fortified, vibrant future for Galilee.

Margalit said, “The high-tech visionaries in Galilee serve as the bridge to reintroducing stability and prosperity to the north. If Israel fails to make decisive choices regarding military engagements, such as those in Lebanon, it will likewise falter in its ability to orchestrate a return to order here in the north and bring our people back home. This endeavor is no less a victory than one achieved through military means. You, the entrepreneurs of this region, are the bridge to slowly begin to bring the return to the north.”

Professor Amir Yaron, Bank of Israel Governor, said, “I am pleased to take part in this important event in order to continue supporting the hi-tech industry as a driver of growth for the Israeli economy. Since the war, the hi-tech sector has

faced a significant economic challenge, yet it once again proves its substantial contribution to economic prosperity. There is a national obligation to continue acting to restore economic activity in the southern and northern regions of the country. In particular, support for local startup initiatives is crucial as they constitute a vital component for the growth and prosperity of the region.”

Giora Zaltz, chairman of the Upper Galilee Regional Council, said, “This conflict has unfolded in ways none could have predicted or planned. It persists, with residents evacuated for over four and a half months, its conclusion uncertain. The path to the conflict’s resolution will dictate residents’ return, as well as the north’s future trajectory. As I envision the future and the Zionist ideal, I assert that each of us must contribute, asking ‘where can I help, what more can I do?’ I pledge that within two years, we will not have merely 70 startups, but 170 thriving ones in our region.”

Dror Bin, CEO of the Innovation Authority, said, “Israeli high-tech cannot rely solely on the urban powerhouses of Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. The groundbreaking initiatives unfolding in Galilee are exceptional, and we stand ready to pledge our unwavering support every step of the way. The Israeli tech industry has always emerged stronger from crises, and even now, we are working hard to make it happen on the day after this war, in the Galilee and across Israel.”

Major General (Res.) Giora Inbar, said, “The government’s decision to evacuate residents from the north was a

grave misstep. Throughout history, the demarcation of our borders has been consistently determined by the plow - a modern plow, you are. It is the civil society, the exceptional generation, that will

provide us with national resilience far more effectively than the mere presence of tanks and planes.” ì

More than 70 hi-tech startup companies convened in the war-hit Upper Galilee with plans to revive the hi-tech industry in the area // Photo Credit: Erez Ben Simon

Jewish Owner Brings Super Bowl to Vegas

This year’s Super Bowl – a Kansas City Chiefs 25-22 win over the San Francisco 49ers that now stands as the most watched telecast of all time – drew 123.7 million viewers for a few core reasons, one being its first-ever Las Vegas setting. And the person most singlehandedly responsible for Super Bowl LVIII being played out in Vegas was Raiders’ principal owner, Mark Davis, son of the late iconic and controversial owner, Al Davis.

When Al Davis, a longtime member of Beth Jacob Congregation, a Modern Orthodox synagogue in Oakland, who went “to temple four times a year to pray for his [deceased] father,” according to a 1981 People magazine article, passed away on Yom Kippur 2011, he left behind a rather complicated legacy for, among other reasons, having infamously sued

the NFL over his Raiders being jettisoned from Los Angeles to Oakland back in the mid-'90s. In stepped his son, Mark, who doesn’t exactly lack bravado either, but is on far better terms with the commissioner’s office, a dynamic that factored heavily into the NFL looking favorably on his impassioned bid to host the Super Bowl.

From the moment it was announced in March 2017 that the Raiders were bound for the 24/7 neon flashing lights of Las Vegas, which followed years of fruitless efforts to build a new stadium in

Oakland, Mark made it abundantly clear that he wanted his team’s future home of Allegiant Stadium to play host to the marquee event of North American professional sports.

“He [Mark Davis] believed this would be a great Super Bowl location, so when he got the relocation approval that was one of the first things he was talking about, ‘When are we going to get a Super Bowl?’” Commissioner Roger Goodell said at the beginning of Super Bowl week during his state-of-the-NFL press conference. “I said ‘Mark, we’ve got to play a regular season game here first.”

The first regular season game at the stadium, monikered “The Death Star” for its imposing darkness and home team’s bold personality, was played on Sept. 21, 2020 … without a single fan in attendance. But a year later, at the conclusion of the back-to-normal 2021 season during which locals and tourists packed Allegiant Stadium every Sunday, Davis got his wish as the 2024 Super Bowl was awarded to Sin City.

“This stadium is extraordinary and we’re here and we can feel it …  and that’s our stage,” Goodell also told reporters. “For us, the stadium is key, the city is key. This city really knows how to put on big events. We’ve seen that.

“I couldn’t think of a negative thing about it. I think Las Vegas has also done an extraordinary job with the ability to host these big events, the ability to attract people here for a lot more than what people used to [come for]. People used to say this was just a gambling town. This is an entertainment town. This is a sports town. It’s an event town. We’re seeing that in the Super Bowl.”

For Davis, not everything about the first Vegas Super Bowl went according to plan. The temperature was unseasonably cool – rarely an issue when the host city is Miami or Los Angeles – and the two participants were ironically deep-seated rivals of the Raiders franchise: the Chiefs have been a longtime AFC West nemesis while the 49ers and Raiders vied for Bay Area supremacy for decades. Still, for the Raiders owner, it was hard not to be in high spirits with Vegas being at the epicenter of the sporting world for the first half of February.

“I’m absolutely thrilled,” Davis told reporters in December 2021 when the official announcement was made. “It’s just a confirmation of what we have done so far. The building that we built is absolutely magnificent. The city is absolutely magnificent. I’m just so excited that these things have come to fruition.”

By all accounts, Las Vegas and Allegiant Stadium, which cost nearly $2 billion to construct (approximately $750 million of public money was used to finance it) and lies adjacent to the Las Vegas Strip, made for an impressive host setting.

“There is no question Las Vegas is the best city for infrastructure for a Super Bowl,” the 68-year-old scion of the Davis family, who also owns the two-time defending WNBA champion Las Vegas Aces and will soon be officially introducing Tom Brady as a Raiders limited partner, told The Mercury News the week of the Super Bowl. “The people here really know what to do, how to put on oneoff events like they did with Formula I a month-and-a-half ago. It’s quite an undertaking, but it’s not just the local community that does the lifting. The NFL comes in with an army for Super Bowls. There’s a lot of things the host team does, but the majority is the Las Vegas Convention Bureau and the NFL putting the actual nuts and bolts together.”

Upcoming Super Bowls are slated to be held in New Orleans, Santa Clara, and Los Angeles. But because this year’s location drew overall high praise, it certainly seems that Las Vegas – just like Atlanta – is a strong candidate to host the game again before the end of the decade. ì

The site of Super Bowl LVIII, Allegiant Stadium, was a spectacle in and of itself // Photo Credit: Michael Clemens/Las Vegas Raiders From the moment the Raiders committed to moving to Las Vegas, the team’s principal owner, Mark Davis, was adamant about the city hosting a Super Bowl // Photo Credit: Las Vegas Raiders
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Israeli Levy Lighting it up for USF Hoops

When Romi Levy, a product of Herzliya, Israel, signed with the Auburn Tigers in late April 2020, barely a month into the pandemic, the 6' 3" versatile, sharpshooting forward could not have been more bullish about her college basketball future.

Upon committing to Auburn, Levy, the school’s first-ever women’s basketball player from Israel, and one who was a key cog in the Israeli 18U national team that secured a bronze medal in the 2018 U18 Women’s European Championship, remarked, “The basketball program in Auburn is exactly what I was looking for. I know that Auburn will be the best place for me to get better and better every day. Also, the most important thing for me is to be around good and positive people. That’s what I felt from the first conversation I had with the coaches.”

Yet three years later, following an injury-marred career at Auburn during which she was shelved for the entire 2021-22 season with a torn ACL suffered in the pre-season following a freshman campaign in which she garnered SEC AllFreshman Team honors, Levy transferred to University of South Florida by way of the ever-popular NCAA transfer portal. It appears the change of scenery has done her good: as a redshirt junior for USF this winter, Romi is averaging a career-high 14 points per game and is third on the Bulls in scoring and rebounding.

For the March Madness-contending Bulls, the offense doesn’t necessarily run through Levy, but she is getting considerably more opportunities to score from the perimeter (her specialty) than she did at Auburn where she often came off the

bench. Last winter, she only attempted 25 threes at Auburn – a number she is on pace to triple this year. And USF head coach Jose Fernandez’s faith in her has been rewarded – on Jan. 6, Levy dropped a career-high 32 points on Tulane before pouring in a team-high 28 in a 79-57 romp over Wichita State on Feb. 13.

“I think before I started my college career, I was just a three-point shooter,” the alum of Hof Hasharon High School told reporters following her 28-point, eight-rebound performance against Wichita State earlier this month. “Coming into college, things kind of changed. There’s a rumor that when you come into college, your shot kind of goes away. So, I think just playing at my old school [Auburn], the position that I played – I wasn’t really shooting a lot of threes, so now I’m just getting back to getting comfortable

with it. I know that I can do it. I just have Coach [Jose Fernandez] backing me up and feel more and more confident every day.”

Levy may have entered her first season at USF healthy, but certainly not carefree. Quite the opposite, actually. A month before the season tipped off, the Oct. 7 Hamas assault on Israel occurred and Levy started feeling ambivalent about playing college hoops stateside while her loved ones back home were living under clouds of terror. Tragically, she ended up having several high school friends murdered in the invasion, and her cousin was shot while on the front lines of the war.

Several weeks ago, Levy, who completed her mandatory national service in Israel before enrolling at Auburn, provided some rather candid responses when speaking to Tampa Bay’s ABC affiliate,

ABC Action News, about her family’s situation and the burden that she continues to carry.

“That day, I woke up and said, ‘Whoa.’ Something big happened. I started looking and thought that can’t be real. What is going on?

“I was speechless. I remember waking up, staring at the TV; this is basically a dream. That can’t be real. Israel is such a small country but really strong. Things like that you don’t ever imagine are going to happen. That was the first shock; what is going on for me being away from home.

“It was really hard. Definitely the day that it happened, I told the coach, and they reached out to me. They asked me, ‘Do you want to be here right now?’ ‘It’s OK, don’t feel bad if you need to take a day off.’ Nobody knows how to handle situations like this.”

As her first season at USF got underway, Levy didn’t appear to be sidetracked with greater concerns. On opening night against UT Arlington, Levy – sporting a wristband that said … ‘Israel is Alive,’” – chipped in 10 points, snagged three rebounds, and didn’t commit a single turnover in her team’s 76-61 opening night win. By the following month, Levy, who’s known for having an exceptional basketball IQ, tremendous court vision, and the ability to slide back-and-forth between multiple positions, cemented her spot in the starting lineup for the USF Bulls, a team that is squarely in the mix for an American Athletic Conference championship and potential NCAA tourney bid.

For Levy, personally, if the Bulls’ postseason run doesn’t pan out, she will have one year of eligibility left for another crack at her first-ever March Madness experience. ì

After coming off the bench for a couple seasons at Auburn, Israeli native Romi Levy (No. 11) is now one of the top scoring threats for USF // Photo Credit: Auburn Athletics
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Antisemitism Bill Abstention Draws Questions, Rebuke

From Where I Sit

And that’s what she got.

State Sen. Sally Harrell had reason to expect a difficult conversation when she joined a Feb. 13 Zoom call hosted by the Jewish Community Relations Council of Atlanta.

Harrell was invited to explain why she did not cast a vote when legislation defining antisemitism reached the Senate floor. The Democrat represents District 40, which includes Dunwoody, home to one of the larger Jewish communities in metro Atlanta. Jewish communal organizations had anticipated that she would vote for the bill, which ultimately passed the Senate and House and was signed into law Jan. 31 by Gov. Brian Kemp.

Several of the dozen or so people on the JCRC call voiced displeasure with Harrell. One called her reasoning “disingenuous.”

Another said that Harrell was “not looking out for the safety of your constituents in the Dunwoody area.”

Elsewhere in the Jewish community, Harrell’s decision has been spoken of as a betrayal.

“I recognize that I probably shocked a lot of you with my hesitations about House Bill 30. I actually shocked myself a little bit, too,” Harrell told the JCRC call. The decision not to vote was made about an hour beforehand and Harrell admitted that her “off the cuff” floor speech was “not one of my best . . . I don’t think I got across fully what I hoped to get across.”

Legislation defining antisemitism was first introduced in the 2022 session. A year ago, anti-Jewish leaflets were thrown onto property in neighborhoods with Jewish populations. Several months ago, neo-Nazis paraded outside a local synagogue.

Current events played a role in Harrell’s decision.

“Oct. 7 had happened and there was a lot of trauma associated with that,” which “I was processing with Jewish friends," she told the call.

She began hearing “different voices from what I traditionally heard about on this [bill] in my district.” Some came from the Muslim and Arab communities, including a woman with family in Gaza, whose words “were so impactful to me,” Harrell acknowledged.

That brought a rebuke from Libby Gozansky, who told Harrell, “What’s happening in Gaza is irrelevant to this piece of legislation," then added, “What are you going to do when the next hard thing comes up?”

Georgia’s legal code now includes a reference to the definition of antisemitism crafted by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance, which has been adopted — by law, by resolution, or by proclamation — by 35 states and the federal government (through a 2019 executive order by then-president Donald Trump).

The definition reads: “Antisemitism is a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred toward Jews. Rhetorical and physical manifestations of antisemitism are directed toward Jewish or nonJewish individuals and/or their property, toward Jewish community institutions and religious facilities.”

Harrell’s concern was with the IHRA definition’s accompanying examples of antisemitism, which include accusing Jews outside of Israel of dual loyalty, comparing Israel to Nazis, calling Israel “racist,” “denying the Jewish people their right to selfdetermination,” and applying standards to Israel “not expected or demanded of any other democratic nation.”

In an exchange of emails, Harrell told the AJT: “I have read and studied several different definitions of antisemitism and accompanying examples. Some of these were much easier for me to interpret and understand than the IHRA examples, therefore I think they are perhaps more useful tools for law enforcement and the general public. A

couple of them, in addition to pointing out when criticism of the Israeli government is antisemitic, also point out when criticism is NOT antisemitic. This is very helpful.”

Opponents of the legislation expressed fears that the examples could be used to stifle debate about Israel. Supporters maintained that the bill protected free speech and would aid prosecutors investigating whether anti-Jewish sentiment contributed to a crime and state agencies probing acts of discrimination.

“There’s a perception that HB 30 protects free speech, yet there’s also a perception that it does not. I had constituents come to me who shared that they were afraid to speak out against the actions of Israel because of their interpretation of some of the IHRA examples,” Harrell wrote.

She also noted that, even within mainstream of Jewish American organizations, there has been disagreement over whether the IHRA definition should be codified.

Harrell met with the American Jewish Committee before the General Assembly convened and “discussed my many concerns about codifying the IHRA examples into Georgia’s discrimination and hate laws. I have no problem with the IHRA definition itself, without the examples, and I had no problem with HB 30 as it initially passed the House [in 2023], since it contained the definition without the examples. Had the Senate not added the examples at the last minute, I would have voted yes.”

At the end of the JCRC call, Robert Wittenstein told her, “Thank you for taking the time. I know you knew this was not going to be an easy conversation. There are still a lot of people who are deeply disappointed.”

Harrell told the AJT: “Challenging conversations bring about progress toward understanding. I look forward to working with the JCRC on the many issues we have in common, including antisemitism.” ì

HB 30, commonly referred to as the Antisemitism Bill, passed in the State Senate and House and was signed into law by Gov. Brian Kemp on Jan. 31.

Love Triumphs Over War

When Tamar Fest and Atlanta native Aaron Greene planned their wedding for Oct. 11, they could not have foreseen the events of Oct. 7, along with the possibility of Aaron and two of his other brothers’ immediate calls to Israeli Defense Forces duty.

The wedding details pivoted and received international acclaim for celebrating in the streets of Jerusalem with hundreds of revelers. Tamar recalled, “Our Rabbi, Rav Erez Halevi, encouraged us on Oct. 7 to go ahead with the wedding, reassuring us that despite the terrible war, it’s important not to delay a wedding … and even more so, why now is an especially important time to be building a bayit neeman b’yisrael. He made the journey from the Golan Heights to Jerusalem for our wedding, through rockets.”

Tamar, hailing from Sydney, Australia, made Aliyah three years ago. Aaron, from Atlanta, made Aliyah seven years ago. Both students at Hebrew University, Tamar also works

as a barista. Aaron was ready to start college but has been in reserve duty since the beginning of the war.

The couple met at an event for lone soldiers. They started dating in August of 2021, were engaged in April 2023, and married Oct. 9, 2023, two days after the war started.

In terms of the ultimate commitment, parents Kerry and David (Atlanta native) Greene, who lived in Toco Hills and were active members of Congregation Beth Jacob, call themselves “accidental Israelis.” After sending their four sons to various schools from Chaya Mushka, Galloway, Torah Day School, and GHA, they moved to Israel for a one-year trial while their oldest son, Avi, was an IDF tank driver.

Kerry explained, “We didn’t want Avi to be a Lone Soldier. The youngest three boys wanted to join the IDF, so we stayed. We never thought this would be our lives, but we love it here and cannot imagine being anywhere else, especially now watching college campuses explode with antisemi-


As for the engagement, Aaron planned a surprise day and Tamar’s Army commander told Tamar to leave early. Tamar recounted, “I was confused, but happy to be getting the afternoon off. When I walked out the gate, I saw Aaron’s mother, dressed as a chauffeur and waiting outside her car.”

After a clothes change, Tamar was sent on a scavenger hunt with prepared clues, describing significant places, like their first date location. The last clue led to a beautiful tower at Hansen House, with views of the Jerusalem skyline.

“There were flowers and champagne – it was gorgeous.”

The original wedding plan was at a beautiful venue for 300 guests. The morning of the Shabbat kallah (Oct. 7), they woke up to alarms and rocket attacks. It is customary in Jewish weddings for the bride and groom not to speak the week before the wedding. After realizing the enormity of the catastrophe, they checked in with each


Tamar continued, “It was horrible hearing the news and everyone was in shock. Aaron was called up for reserve duty, along with all of his friends. He was allowed to stay home until after the wedding. On Sunday, the 8th, we decided that we couldn’t postpone the wedding with so much ‘unknown.’ We got married the following day on the Greene’s balcony with 50 guests. Hundreds of strangers lined the streets of Baka neighborhood to celebrate. Many people have come up to us since the wedding to share that our wedding provided light in a time of complete darkness.”

Tamar’s dress was by Mia Pava, an Israeli designer. She had her final fitting on the wedding day. Flowers were by Hanan Gershon. Tamar’s sister, Shevy, and her husband, Gabe, were the caterers.

Married for over four months, the couple has not cohabitated for more than six days at a time. Aaron, in Gaza, comes home every few weeks. Although he is incredibly proud to be

The elaborate chuppah was in red, peach, and white tones.

doing his part and serving Israel, he hopes soon to be released. She said, “He has been so selfless, delaying his studies for another year so he can pro-

tect Israel.”

Tamar concluded, “Israel is the place where the Jewish people belong, this war has shown us that.” ì

Above Left: Tamar and Aaron eagerly dove into the wedding cake.

Above Right: Tamar in prayer looking out through the roses.

Below: A rousing horrah enlivened the street scene.

Above: Aaron is boosted by his friends to reach Tamar’s chair. Below: Groom’s father, David Greene, is propped by wife, Kerry Tamar and Aaron look forward to spending more than six nights at a time together.

Couple Gets Happily ‘Hinged’

Paige Wolkin and David Port met as teens at Dunwoody High, but only “officially” met years later following a successful match on the dating app Hinge.

David sent the first message, and Paige didn’t see it until two weeks later. David had almost given up hope until Paige finally responded. Fast forward to more than two years of dating, then a 22-month engagement.

Paige recalled, “Luckily we met about six months before COVID, so we were comfortable enough with each other to continue dating.”

David, a creative director at

Learfield, a media data and tech service company for college sports and live events, surprised Paige, a speech language pathologist for Fulton County Schools, by getting on one knee on the terrace of the Bellyard Hotel in West Midtown with the Atlanta skyline in the background. With families and a photographer on hand, they followed with a meal at the Bellyard, then onto Ormsby’s, a nearby bar where the couple went on their first date.

The wedding took place at The Carlyle off Piedmont Road on New Year’s Eve. David said, “We chose Dec. 31 because we attended a New Year’s wedding in 2021 and had the absolute best time. That date doubled the ex-

citement knowing that we get to ring in the New Year at midnight.”

More than 200 guests in black-tie attire, sequins, velvet, shimmer, and tuxedos, did indeed bring in 2024 with a flowing fountain of champagne.

Paige’s dress (from Bridals by Lori) was designed by Rita Vinieris with a simple, strapless fit and flare gown. The flowers and décor were a mix of lush white blooms, heavy greenery, and a plethora of candles.

Paige said, “It was a dreamy and glowy New Year’s evening. For food, we passed hors d’oeuvres during cocktail hour, a plated entrée provided by Carlyle’s Catering, an assortment of desserts from Nothing Bundt Cakes,

and slices of Gino’s pizza for late night bites. Espresso martinis were our signature drink -- they are a favorite for the both of us!”

For music, Paige preferred a band, and David wanted more of a DJ vibe. A friend recommended Radial Entertainment which combined the feel of both. They chose a DJ along with a saxophonist and conga player. “Together they create combination of music like no other!” exclaimed David.

Rabbi Laurence Rosenthal, of Ahavath Achim Synagogue, shared some powerful words on how to adapt, adjust, and use the best language with partners in various situa-

A rousing horrah is always a balancing act.

tions when resolving disagreements and overcoming obstacles. Under the chuppah, David wore Paige’s maternal grandfather’s cuff links, and they used a kiddush cup from David’s parents’ wedding for special sentiments from both families.

Paige is glad that she used a wedding planner. “I highly recommend one if it is in your budget. Laura Potts with Sugar Event + Design was fabulous and made our vision come to life … I wouldn’t call myself a ‘bridezilla’, but because we had a long engagement, it felt like the planning was nev-

er ending, which caused extra stress and often over thinking.”

Paige and David went on a “mini moon” to Half Mile Farm in Highlands, N.C., for four nights in the luxury country Inn by Old Edwards to decompress and relax post-wedding.

“In the Highlands, we met the sweetest old man who gave us this marriage advice, and it stuck with us: There are going to be good years and there are going to bad years -- you just have to get through them both.”

Parents are Susan and Lawrence Wolkin and Judy and Robert Port. ì

All About the Details

Venue: The Carlyle

Hotel Block: The Bellyard

Makeup: Bogart Beauty

Hair: Sirene and Tinte Salons

Videographer: Luis Magarin

Food: Carlyle’s Catering, Nothing Bundt Cakes, Ginos Pizza

Florist: Caroline Worth

Every Friday between 11AM and 3PM, we are excited to offer you a special Shabbat menu.

Showcases the finest Jewish dishes, prepared by our skilled chefs. Enjoy the authentic flavors of the Mediterranean culture kitchen.

Paige and David rang in 2024 as a married couple // Photos by Bryce France David surprised Paige with a formal engagement in front of the Atlanta skyline. The couple signed the ketubah with family looking on.

Nine-Year Courtship ‘Seals the Deal’

Closing in on 2024, Max Goldstein, son of Dr. Cary and Jody Goldstein, and Caroline Solomon, daughter of Marc and Melissa Solomon, tied the knot at The Carlyle in Midtown on Dec. 30.

High school sweethearts, Max and Caroline, met when they were seniors at their friend’s 18th birthday party. Caroline was a patient of Goldstein Dental Center (Max’s dad) and always knew of Max. In fact, Caroline’s mom discussed setting Max and Caroline up years before. As fate would have it, they ended up meeting

organically in school.

Later, Caroline and Max both chose to attend the University of Arizona and formed many lifelong friendships in Tucson. After graduating, the couple moved back to Atlanta where Max earned a master’s degree at Georgia Tech while working as a graduate assistant coach under former Men’s Head Basketball Coach Josh Pastner. Caroline is employed as a content operations manager at Global Savings Group, and now Max is the basketball scout at Overtime Elite.

Ever creative and heading to score a “swoosh three pointer,” Max

had “Sweet Caroline” by Neil Diamond blasted over the loudspeaker at Fetch Dog Park in Buckhead. This, after nine years of dating, is where the couple really covered “the court” with love and in growing up together.

Prior to the wedding ceremony, Temple Sinai’s Rabbi Samantha Trief gathered the wedding party in a private room to sign the ketubah. Caroline recalled, “This was a really special moment and a complete surprise. It was so touching to hear all the beautiful blessings from our closest family and friends.”

Included in the ceremony were several sentimental objects: three

talits from grandfathers, with two built into the chuppah, and one wrapped around the couple during ceremony; two kiddish cups -- one from each family. The special one used during the ceremony was from Max’s own bar mitzvah. The challah plate, knife, and cover were all from Israel. Both challahs -- on Friday night and at the wedding -- were baked by family and friends.

The main event cuisine was a seated dinner with three options: Atlantic salmon with smoked tomato butter, filet of beef with cabernet demi glaze, or roasted baby eggplant and trumpet mushrooms with parmesan

Rescue dog, Maggie, was a wedding VIP. Caroline said that Max’s care for the pup is endearing.

polenta. Hugely into food, the couple prioritized a menu that was “beyond good into the delicious realm.”

Since it was New Year’s Eve weekend, in lieu of traditional wedding cake, Caroline and Max opted for a champagne tower and toast. Dessert was a mix of tarts and baked goods from Nothing Bundt Cakes. They also had a late-night bite featuring Chick fil-A biscuits.

The first dance was “I Don’t Dance” by Lee Brice. Brooke Berman, one of the couple’s best friends, selected the song as an homage to one of their favorite memories in planning the wedding and going to dance lessons to practice this “first dance.”

The flowers, by Caroline Worth Designs, were a mix of lush and enchanting arrangements featuring “a

harmonious blend of vibrant greenery and pristine white roses.” Caroline wanted the flowers to create a timeless and elegant look, “perfect for a romantic and sophisticated wedding.”

Aglow in the bloom of young love, Caroline said, “I love how Max is super motivated and always has positive energy. He inspires me to grow and be the best person I can be! I also adore how Max is such an amazing dog dad to Maggie.”

Max echoed, “I love how Caroline can light up a room. She is the most caring person I know, and she loves to make other people’s day.”

The couple’s adorable dog, Maggie, rescued from an animal shelter, was a guest at the wedding, for a first “woof” at the beautiful couple. ì

Other Vendors

Band: A Town

Bride’s dress: Martina Liana

Catering: Provided by The Carlyle

Wedding Planner: Sugar Event + Design (Laura Potts)

Invitations: Eberle Invitations

Videographer: @AlexanderAperture

Solomons (left) and Goldsteins (right) posed for group shot. Max lifted Caroline to “I Can’t Dance,” to the delight of the crowd // All Photos by: Anna Hall Photography The wedding party gathered outdoors in Midtown to cheer the couple.
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Father and son exchange goodwill.

Coplin Brings His ‘J’ Game

Jaron Coplin celebrated his bar mitzvah on Saturday, Jan. 13, at Congregation B’nai Torah with a Havdalah service, followed by a party at City Springs-Studio Theatre with 150 guests.

Coplin was celebrated for bringing his “A” game to both the ceremony and sports-themed soiree. City Springs-Studio Theatre was transformed into an exclusive pop-up athletic retail store called JC Sports. The theme, “Undisputed King of Sports,” was inspired by global sports-fashion retailer, JD Sports.

Jaron, a seventh-grade student at The Davis Academy, is an avid sports

enthusiast, and is known by nicknames, “J-Man,” “Stix,” and “J-Money.” He plays on The Davis Middle School basketball and baseball teams. He also plays in the All Saints Rec Basketball League and belongs to the Ninth Inning Royals travel baseball team. Jaron loves fantasy football and playing the video game, Fortnight.

Beginning at B’nai Torah, Jaron’s parsha, “Bo,” tells of the Jews not wanting to leave Egypt, but now faced with the Ten Plagues. He said, “This reminds me of how people are afraid to make changes, but sometimes it’s necessary to start anew. Just like my parents and their families who moved to Atlanta for a better life, I also had to switch schools. My mom is from

South Africa, and my dad is from South Georgia. Today, I’m becoming a bar mitzvah, taking on responsibility, and it has been hard, but necessary.”

Rabbi Joshua Heller connected the Plagues to unprecedented events in Jaron’s life, emphasizing resilience and embracing change. Additionally, the rabbi acknowledged that while “today may seem like the best day to him, it’s just the beginning of Jaron’s Jewish studies and adulthood.”

For his “bark” mitzvah project, combining his deep love for animals, Jaron partnered with Bosley’s Place, a non-profit rescue sanctuary for homeless and orphaned neonatal puppies. Jaron also plans to volunteer there.

In terms of the party, mom, Shelley, said, “Everyone brought their ‘J game’ to City Springs. The vibe was super high energy, fun, and felt like a New York City nightclub. Marci Miller, event planner, The Perfect Party Atlanta, provided an exceptional experience. Marci was in charge of overall decor, design, and logistics. Together with the decor, graphics, and City Springs’ lighting and technology, the space literally took my breath away when I walked into the room while Elliott and I snuck in for a peak earlier.”

Shelley was in charge of branding and graphics, logos, digital invitations, and the 10-foot graffiti/hip-hop inspired banner, motion graphics on the massive screen during cocktail hour,

Bar mitzvah MVP, Jaron, being lifted by his friends.

and customizations for giveaways.

Dad, Elliot, recalled, “The food, catered by City Springs, received high praise and scored a 10/10, but we didn’t get an opportunity to taste any thing as we never left the dance floor.”

The menu included themed items: Perfect Game Pretzel Bites, All-Star Tomato Soup Shooters with Grilled Cheese, All-Star Beef Sliders, Slam min’ Salmon, and Home-Run Pasta Bar. The kids enjoyed an impressive lineup, including the Ultimate French Fry and Tater Tot station, Champion Chicken Tenders, and Moneyball Mac n’ Cheese. The night concluded with a show stopping Drippin’ Ice Cream Bar and hot Krispy Kreme donuts with a Coca-Cola glazed reduction


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at the B’nai Torah ceremony // All Pho- The family at the party leaned into blue shoes. Tables had centerpieces of descending balls and neon accents. Merch check out room had 150 hand painted shoe boxes.

Larrabees Thrill with Fantastical Feast

Local interior design team, Julia and Ted Larrabee, like to build on their creative platform to entertain, surprise and dazzle -- in this case, a showcase for both their culinary and design talents.

Last December, Julia and Ted opened their Peachtree Corners home for a Fantasy Feast, a culinary experience inspired by “magical wizardry quiz-ine.” The theme was implemented through whimsical and magical costumes and food, incorporating “Alice in Wonderland,” “Cinderella,” and Hogwarts from “Harry Potter” to the evening of fun.

About the Fantasy Feast, Julia said, “We wanted to have a themed party that would do more than just the ordinary. We wanted guests to experience the unexpected, be challenged, and just have fun.”

The invitation promised “to please palates and tease imagination to recognize the ‘legendary’ paired with tantalizing table fare.”

After the RSVP phase, weekly messages went out, “Now that you have reserved your ticket, we want to set the stage for things to come. Wrap yourselves in a wonderfully whimsical wardrobe … choose a character from your favorite fairytale or fantasy story. Don’t forget fantastical feathers and playful adornments. Let your sophisticated inner child bubble to the surface like a simmering potion in a wizard’s cauldron.”

Once the party started, guests received clues about fairy tales or fantasy stories that inspired the upcoming course. They silently wrote down their answers and placed them in a “magic box.” After collecting the answers, the fairy tale would be revealed in preparation for serving the course.

The five courses were:

Appetizer: Inspired by “Alice in Wonderland” with grilled lamb chop (representing the Flamingo Croquet Mallet used by Alice and the Queen of Hearts in the Disney animated movie), a stuffed sweet pepper as the hedgehog’s ball. The edible card was the Queen’s soldiers and potato pavé was the magical layered cake. Everything was served in the Mad Hatter’s hat. The companion cocktail was a Mint Margarita.

Second: Inspired by “The Princess and the Pea,” was a large pea-shaped ball of crab salad served on a pillow plate garnished with rice paper puffs and paired with a pea flower cocktail.

Third: Pumpkin soup inspired by “Cinderella,” served on a miniature cast iron pot on which she slaved, accompanied by a carriage -- plated cheesy popover and paired with a

champagne cosmopolitan.

Main: Pirate’s feast a la “Pirates of the Caribbean.” Filet mignon, persimmon and golden berry salad, accompanied a crab cake, paired with Navy Rum Grog.

Dessert: A Hogwarts’ chocolate crepe envelope sealed with a white chocolate double heart seal. Inside was filled with orange pastry cream diplomat and finished with butter beer.

Costume-wise, Julia was the Queen of Hearts, and Ted dressed as Steam Punked Gentleman. His changing bowties were clues representing stories being presented in the food courses. Guests came dressed as Maleficent, Minnie Mouse, Zeus, a geisha, Dr. Who, a princess, Masquerade Queen, Blue Bird of Happiness, and many more zany characters.

Self-taught gourmet cooks, Julia and Ted began prep two months in

A masquerade queen poses by a fantasy scene. Julia as the Queen of Hearts and Ted as Steam Punked Gentleman are self-taught gourmet cooks and go for the unexpected and unique in entertaining.

advance by sending out cryptic invitations in vintage envelopes, sealed with a wax seal of a silver fox with weekly follow-up clues. Decorating for the event involved two weeks of details that went into preparation like burying clues. The week prior, food and drink preparation started and continued up to the event. They had two assistants, one in the kitchen and one server.

Ted commented, “Many guests stayed well beyond the festivities, helping to organize the clean up. Recovering from the event continues, but the time is being filled with planning for the next party.”

The evening ended by casting a magic spell over a smoking cauldron.

Some guest comments included:

“I’m 75 years old and have never before been to such a clever and wellorganized party.”

“I felt like my inner child escaped into a real enchanted feast where my taste buds were overwhelmed, and my imagination soared.”

“Julia and Ted spared no detail. The food and fairytales delighted everyone, filling our hearts with laughter and our stomachs with magical deliciousness.”

A first-generation immigrant of Minsk, Belarus, and a talented designer known for her bold and glamorous home designs, Julia was featured in the Atlanta Jewish Times Chai Style Column (June 12, 2019). Hailing from a long line of gifted fashion designers, Julia travels the world to find just the right details for her clients’ homes.

Julia said, “I love finding unique and uplifting design solutions for clients … discovering ways to deliver the unexpected in parties like this, is equally satisfying.” ì

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Steam Punked Ted is surrounded by partygoers. Above: “The Princess and The Pea” salad course was accompanied by a pea flower cocktail. Below: The pumpkin soup was prepared in cast iron to mimic Cinderella’s caldron. Above: The appetizer course was an “Alice in Wonderland” croquet mallet and edible card.
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Below: The chocolate crepe envelope dessert was filled with orange pastry cream and Hogwart’s themed.

Elegant Afternoon Tea with Terri

The British have long valued delicate scones, tea sandwiches, mini cakes, breads, and desserts served among smart to casual dressers with elaborate millinery statements. Readers might remember Russian Jewish immigrants who brought their kettles for “a glazel tea” with a sugar cube.

Local chef, Terri Hitzig, who has been featured in the Atlanta Jewish Times multiple times for her expertise in homemade comfort food, collage art, and desserts, has launched A Resplendent Tea Experience as a unique catering business. She describes her culinary journey as a blend of creativity and resilience, and said, “I’ve always been a baker, and artist, and a collector of antiques. Many people know me for my chopped liver and Jewish comfort food. After honing my skills as a pastry chef in Chattanooga, I returned to Atlanta marking a pivotal moment in my career as I decided

to focus on my small bite desserts.”

This decision paved the way for the establishment for afternoon tea where her love of baking, antiques, and art all elegantly converge.

Hitzig’s small bite recipes were a natural fit for an English afternoon tea business. Her use of antique dishes collected over the years adds charm to settings, creating an ambiance to transport guests to a bygone era. Collaborating with friends Leana Kart and Hilary Eiseman, they explored various tea rooms allowing Hitzig to refine her vision and elevate her niche business model in terms of taste and presentation.

Hitzig went through the steps and educational process to establish a firm foundation. She was guided by a mentor at the UGA Small Business Development Center in Gwinnett to gain insights from the “Tea Room Business” class at IAP Career College, serving as crucial steppingstones in shaping her business. Her decision

to carry general liability insurance reflects a commitment to professionalism and customer satisfaction. She also pursued a Management Serv Safe certification, further underscoring her dedication to ensuring the highest standards in food safety.

Hitzig explains, “My Resplendent Tea Experience business is a mobile delight, bringing the elegance of English tradition to various events like bridal showers, birthdays, baby showers, Galantines, and book clubs. The personalized touch extends to the creation of flavored syrups, sugar rose cubes, and homemade mayonnaise. My willingness to collaborate and tailor menus to suit each occasion showcases my versatility and customercentric approach.”

Her events last an hour-and-ahalf, aligning with the tradition of afternoon tea, offering a perfect respite for socializing and relaxation. The pricing model has a minimum of four at $75 per person. She requests

advance payment and a signed contract to ensure a smooth execution of events.

The afternoon tea concept originated in 1840, initiated by the Duchess of Bedford to bridge the gap between lunch and dinner. It highlights the timeless and social nature of this culinary tradition which encourages guests to dress up and embrace elegance to enhance the overall experience. Examples of Terri’s attention to detail extend to the tea service, with each guest having his/ her choice of tea and a personal teapot. The edible glitter-filled sugar cubes and flavored syrups further elevate the tea-drinking experience. The inclusion of a printed menu, featuring a collage she creates, also adds a touch of artistry.

Terri uses a three-tiered tray presentation, featuring three different finger sandwiches, scones with lemon curd, strawberry jam, and clotted cream, and a delightful array of three

Terri Hitzig (far right) celebrates afternoon tea with friends, Leana Kart and Hilary Eiseman, who traveled with her to nail down the concept.

bite-sized desserts that “reflects her thoughtful curation of flavors and textures. It’s evident that I strive not only to meet, but exceed the expectations of my guests,” claimed Terri.

Finding meaning in her personal journey, Terri wants to share her

strength in overcoming challenges. She stated, “(Coming from) a particularly abusive relationship, and finding support through Shalom Bayit, I’m committed to donate a portion of my net profit to Shalom Bayit at JF&CS. My afternoon tea business is not just

about catering culinary experiences, it’s a reflection of my resilience, creativity, and a deep connection to both the culinary and personal aspects of life. My story is a testament to the transformative power of passion, perseverance, and the pursuit of a mean-

ingful purpose.”

Future aspirations for Hitzig include a brick-and-mortar store, and the addition of products, like flavored syrups and creamers. For more information, contact Terri at ì

ATLANTA JEWISH TIMES FEBRUARY 29, 2024 | 39 Bring an Extra Mitzvah to the Bimah! Choose a Renterpiece for your simcha and support the Kosher Food Pantry of JF&CS. For more information, call 770.677.9337 or email Thank you for choosing Renterpieces for Best of Jewish Atlanta!
Terri’s format is presentation in three tiers. A sample of A Resplendent Tea Experience setting with antique china. Perhaps a Galentine’s tea event with red theme including Hibiscus syrup.

WWII Liberator Feted at 100th Birthday

More than 70 well-wishers filled the Berman Commons auditorium on Sunday morning, Feb. 18, to honor World War II veteran and liberator Hibby (Hilbert) Margol just days before his 100th birthday on Feb. 22. The event was organized by the Jewish War Veterans of Atlanta (Post 112).

A number of dignitaries and elected officials, including Georgia’s two United States senators, Jon Ossoff and Rev. Raphael Warnock, sent greetings of congratulations that were acknowledged at the event. Representatives from the Vietnam War Veterans and Veterans of Foreign Wars presented Margol with meaningful recognitions for his continued service and personal sacrifice to our country.

As a 19-year-old Army Infantrymen, Hibby and his twin brother, Howard, were among the first American soldiers to witness the horrors of the Dachau killing camp in Germany. As Margol tells it, on April 29, 1945, as his company approached the area, a strong and peculiar odor was noticed. The Margol brothers received permission to go investigate, with some thinking it might be a chemical plant. Instead, they found the terrible smell coming from a long line of train boxcars containing the bodies of Jewish camp prisoners. Some of the cars had been opened by the very first American soldiers on the scene

shortly before the Margols arrived. A photograph the brothers took with a Brownie camera documenting their sad discovery was given to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C.

More bodies were found as they ventured into the camp itself, but at the time they didn’t understand what exactly they had come upon. As Margol explained, “The concentration camps weren’t military targets, so we [the GIs on the ground] didn’t know much about them.”

It wasn’t until years later they learned that the unfortunate souls on the trains had perished on a long journey from the Buchenwald concentration camp, having been quickly loaded on the train cars as the Americans approached. And the grisly scene of piled bodies found inside Dachau was because the furnaces had stopped working.

Although Margol says he, like so many others who survived the war, never spoke of his experiences in the years after the war, it was a March of the Living trip to Poland in more recent years that made him realize he had an important story to tell. Even now as a centenarian, Margol remains a passionate and tireless speaker, telling his story illustrated with a PowerPoint presentation to school, church, and civic group audiences, whenever he can.

At the JWV event, an official Com-

mendation signed by Governor Brian Kemp was presented to Margol, citing his powerful testimony as one of the invaluable contributors to understanding this history and ensuring that it is never forgotten. He referred to Margol's story as “a beacon of hope and a reminder of the resilience of the human spirit.”

Margol also received two American flags, including one which was flown over the United States Capitol on Veterans Day secured by U.S. Rep. Barry Loudermilk (Georgia’s 11th district) and another from U.S. Rep. Rich McCormick of Georgia’s 6th district.

Among his formal interviews over the years, Margol has recounted

his stories to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, the Shoah Foundation, the Atlanta History Center, and for a televised National Geographic documentary. His brother, Howard, who passed away in 2017, gave many interviews as well, including one for The Breman Museum.

In a video interview he sat for with the Georgia Commission on the Holocaust in October 2020, Hibby shared: “To me it’s something I enjoy doing. I’ve spoken to an audience as small as two people and some as large as over 200 people … I hope and pray that people who listen to my stories, and their offspring, outlive the offspring of the deniers.” ì

Hibby Margol (center), with his wife, Betty Ann of 75 years, and representatives from local veterans’ groups, showing one of the special honors presented to him for his military service // Photo Credit: Helen Scherrer-Diamond Twin brothers, Hilbert (Hibby) and Howard Margol, are pictured during their specialized Army training.
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AJA Students Process Oct. 7 with ‘Hope & Despair’

The attack by Hamas throughout Israel on Oct. 7 left the collective Jewish community in a state of shock. The atrocities were shocking. The videos were shocking. The stories, and the vitriol, were shocking. And all of it was readily accessible on social media where even the youngest Jews could be exposed to the brutality, the hatred, and the propaganda.

To make sense of it all, and to help process through the grief they may have experienced, a talented group of seventh- and eighth graders at Atlanta Jewish Academy created an art installation entitled, “Between Hope & Despair,” that incorporated elements of the war with Hamas, like posters of hostages, into original works of art. The pieces expressed a

A select group of seventh and eighth graders at Atlanta Jewish Academy created an art installation in response to the Oct. 7 attacks by Hamas.

range of emotions – anger, frustration, humility, love, and sadness.

Parent coordinator and project leader Niffy Cohen, a native of Israel and an

To help students process the ongoing war in Israel, AJA parent coordinator Niffy Cohen, along with school counselor Silvia Miller, led an art project entitled, “Between Hope & Despair.”

artist, came up with the idea for the art project after the attack. Feeling helpless and thousands of miles from home, Cohen wanted to find a way to involve her

passion for art to help the Jewish community heal.

“On Oct. 7, we woke up to the horrendous tragedy unfolding in Israel,” Cohen

The artworks created by the students were on display at AJA. During the exhibition, the students and faculty were met with praise and pride from the community and some reported being moved to tears.

said. “As the days went by, I was watching from 6,000 miles away … I couldn’t go home to Israel to support my family and my country and began looking for ways to plug into the moment, to support the cause. I hoped to use my skills as an artist to help local Jewish Atlantans – and myself, of course – process our pain.”

After making a few phone calls to see who might be interested in collaborating on the art project, Cohen heard back from AJA where, conveniently, her children attend school. AJA school counselor Silvia Miller was also looking for a way to help the students deal with the tragedy and connected with Cohen to outline the project’s details.

Miller invited a select group of seventh and eighth graders to meet weekly with Cohen, and “we began sharing our feelings and forming a community around our pain,” Cohen said. “And I helped them create art to express their emotions.” She explained that each session began with meditations and conversations about the unfolding events in Israel and how the students’ feelings were evolving.

“Sometimes, these conversations flowed easily, and other times they were more difficult,” Cohen said, adding that several of the students who initially seemed hesitant “began to open up as they used the medium of art to express

themselves. It was beautiful to watch their feelings find expression through their art. And hopefully, there was healing and deeper understanding in that.”

Toward the conclusion of the creation process, Cohen and school leaders noticed the attention the project had garnered from other students, teachers, and parents. The project leaders decided to display the artworks so the community at-large could take comfort and strength from the students’ creative output.

“The end result was inspired, curated, and created by the students themselves,” Cohen said. “They wanted to create a space where people could come to connect to both the painful events that transpired on Oct. 7, and also to the range of emotions those events evoke. We wanted to express the emotions of both hope and despair … two major themes that came out of the discussion with the students and their artwork. These are strong and op posing emotions … and the exhibition in vited guests to walk through and live with those paradoxical emotions in one space.”

During the exhibition, the students and faculty were met with praise and pride from the community and some re ported being moved to tears.

“Lots of people commented that it was important to have a place to gather to mourn and process together, as well as to experience the pain of Oct. 7 as a community,” Cohen said. ì

The students incorporated elements of the Gaza war into their original works, including posters of hostages.
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Art project leader Niffy Cohen said that before each creative session, the students would participate in meditations and conversations about the unfolding events in Israel.

Epstein’s 50th: PTO Presidents Look Back, Ahead

Fifty years of Jewish education. Fifty years of shaping young, Jewish minds.

And fifty years of community, enriched by a nurturing PTO led by a series of dedicated presidents and boards.

Former Epstein School PTO presidents gathered on Jan. 31 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the school, share memories of their tenure as president, reflect on the past five decades, and experience the momentum leading into the next 50 years at Epstein.

Current PTO presidents, Jamie Segel and Adrienne Harari, served as hosts for the 50th Anniversary PTO Past Presidents Coffee. The team was honored to welcome more than 20 past presidents to the celebratory morning.

When describing the event, Segel said, “Spending time with so many generations who all had a shared experience spanning 50 years was so meaningful.” She continued, “We have all enjoyed our role as president and so many achieved great milestones while leading Epstein’s PTO – but hearing the array of accom-

plishments of this group, as a whole, was extraordinary. The PTO’s influence on the culture of Epstein is something special we all take pride in,” Segel stated.

Harari added, “We heard fun memories of making lifelong friends with other PTO members, prepping for student seders, working with the school’s board to

purchase our current campus, and even a few stories about the creative ways PTO kept our Epstein community connected during COVID … When reminiscing about the path from parent volunteer to PTO leader, it was fascinating to hear the love and adoration for Epstein still prevalent and palpable in everyone’s re-

marks. To me, that enduring connection is a direct reflection of the strength of the Epstein community.”

Lori Miller, Epstein director of annual giving, and former PTO president from 2001-2003, discussed the impact the PTO has had on the school’s growth over the years.

The Epstein School welcomed past PTO presidents in late January in celebration of the school’s 50th anniversary. PTO Presidents (top row, from left): Dede Feldman, Karla Tievsky, Sherie Gumer, Arin Tritt, Alli Halpern, Jen Salmenson, Gail Riesenberg, Sue Sandalon, Randi Levy, Suzy Goldman, Nancy Rinzler, Gina Genz, Michelle Neuberger, Dan Berger, and Lori Miller; (front row, from left): Barbara Obrentz, Carey Guggenheim, Justine Cohen, Adrienne Harari, Jamie Segel, Nadine Stein, Denise Gelernter, and Toni Adler.
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Groundbreaking for the Halpern building on the Colewood Way campus in 1995. (Left) Roz Cohen, who was the school principal at the time, went on to be the associate head of school. Cheryl Finkel, Head of School, is also pictured.

“The PTO has always offered programs that serve multiple purposes – assisting with school goals and initiatives, providing a social space for parents to interact with one another, and of course, meaningful, and fun moments for the students,” Miller said. “PTO is always very supportive of the faculty and staff, giving gifts for various occasions such as back to school, Hanukkah, and Teacher Appreciation Week, plus making sure that faculty have food and snacks available during conference days and other important times during the year.”

Miller then shared a personal anecdote from her earliest days volunteering with the PTO.

“I remember my first ‘job’ with PTO was Challah Chair. We were responsible for labeling and distributing challah to students on Friday mornings. It was a great project for a volunteer as Friday is always a special day at Epstein, leading into Shabbat. We had the chance to share a social morning with other volunteers and we had the opportunity to be in classrooms and interact with the students.”

During Miller’s time as PTO president, the school went “paperless,” which seems commonplace now, but at the time felt almost revolutionary.

“For years, every Friday morning, volunteers would come to school and sort flyers for every event and major project happening at school, and we would deliver them to every classroom for students to take home in their backpacks. This is the timeframe when many of our parents were creating personal email accounts, so we modified our communications philosophy. We created a one-page document that was still given to the children to take home but it encouraged them to review the weekly email they received. It sounds funny now, but this was literally life changing.”

Former PTO President Barbara Obrentz (1987-1989) shared about how her time serving as PTO president impacted her personally and professionally, as her children were matriculating through Ep-

stein at the time.

“How fortuitous it was for me to be president of the Epstein PTO in the late 1980s,” Obrentz said. “It was a transformative time of optimism and enthusiasm during the school’s physical expansion. This time period positively coincided with and mirrored my children’s educational growth and development at an early age. It serves as a marker for their involvement in their children’s lives today.”

Obrentz added that the collaborative relationships “we formed with faculty, administrators, and parents remain the foundation of my leadership style and my professional success.”

Fellow former PTO President Randi Levy, who served from 1993-1994, also recalled her time fondly and shared about how the PTO played a significant role in the school’s expansion to a new location.

“I had the honor of working with very creative and hard-working parents who were committed to supporting the staff and building an inclusive, fun, and engaged community,” Levy said. “The school was going through important transformations during my presidency, most significantly, the purchase of the Colewood Way campus. I take great pride in the integral role the PTO played in partnering with the Board, administration, and community leaders to enable such change.”

Miller shared a final sentiment about her time as PTO president, “My tenure was 2001-2003, which was a time of big change. We had recently moved into the new building which created such joy for parents and students. During this time, PTO was involved in a great deal of fundraising for the school including a few very large projects that required manpower and volunteers – Julie Love Carnival, selling wrapping paper, selling cookie dough, and more. Although this took a lot of volunteer energy, it was also very rewarding to see so many good things happening at school based on our work.” ì

Lani Ashner contributed to this report.

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Cheryl Finkel and various school leaders – board members and PTO board members, during the school’s 25th anniversary celebration.

AJA Chagiga Stages Original Musical

Chagiga, (“celebration” in Hebrew), is a much-anticipated annual highlight of the academic year at Atlanta Jewish Academy (AJA).

Each year’s Chagiga is written, directed, acted, staged, choreographed, costumed, and produced entirely by high school girls. Students oversee the off-stage aspects of the show as well, including set design, backstage responsibilities, props, and lights.

The 2024 Chagiga, “Mamma Mia!” opened Thursday evening, Feb. 1, with a second show on Sunday, Feb. 4, under the rubric “a play by women, for women.”

This year’s show was written and directed by senior, Leora Frank, who used songs by the group ABBA to infuse her story with the familiar music she set to original lyrics. Over the years, the Chagiga has established itself as an event that draws women

AJA performed an original version of “Mamma Mia!” penned by senior, Leora Frank.

from all sectors of the Jewish community who know that the evening will be an entertaining showcase for the creativity and skills of AJA teens.

As one mother put it, “There was so much talent on the stage; Leora wrote a great script and cast it perfectly.”

Another member of the audience stated, “The girls were so natural on stage, so confident, and it was clear that the girls

were enjoying themselves.”

The play was peppered with humorous moments that hit home. Many women in the audience related to actions in the play typical of today’s teens, including a moment when the girls “spontaneously” took a selfie on stage (it was in the script). In one scene, the top of a brightly decorated graduation cap was modeled: selfies and decorated “mortar boards” succinctly characterized

today’s adolescents. The cast of 12 included Hila Ben-Yaacov, Natalie Borochov, Birdie Freedman, Avigail Gadelov, Ayelet Hearshen, Eliana Linsider, Kayla Joel, Kayla Minsk, Gila Sadinoff, Hadara Seeman, Aiden Smolensky, and Gila Wenger.

In the introductory program notes of the playbill, Chagiga director Frank wrote, “Join us in celebrating the passion, dedication, and creativity of all the girls involved.

The cast of “Mamma Mia!” at AJA included: Hila Ben-Yaacov, Natalie Borochov, Birdie Freedman, Avigail Gadelov, Ayelet Hearshen, Eliana Linsider, Kayla Joel, Kayla Minsk, Gila Sadinoff, Hadara Seeman, Aiden Smolensky, and Gila Wenger.

Get ready to experience a show that will leave you singing, dancing, and falling in love with the magic of musical storytelling.”

Members of the audience enthusiastically complied, as they followed the fastmoving plot, in which a subplot was cleverly interwoven into the story line. A final fullcast rousing chorus (with choreography) ensured that the audience did, indeed, leave the theater singing and dancing.

“Mamma Mia” takes place in an inn in Greece, owned by a widowed mother whose daughter is uncertain about leaving home and going to Israel after she graduates. The straightforward story line takes a radical turn when the daughter surprises her mother by inviting three old friends from whom her mother has been estranged as a result of long-ago misunderstandings. The misguided reunion threatens to ruin the celebration of the inn’s 18th anniversary until honest confrontations and admissions lead to forgiveness, repairing the bond the friends once had.

A subplot concerning the mother’s intractable debt is also resolved when one of the old friends comes to the rescue. All’s well that ends well: the future of the inn is rosy, the mother and daughter’s relationship deepens, and the conflict resulting from the daughter’s well-intentioned, misfired surprise ends with a happy reunion. True friendship and family love triumph.

The show was produced by senior, Yael Mainzer, and this year’s Chagiga team included a junior director, Eliana Linsider, and junior producers, Dassie Chasen and Kayla Joel. The junior director and junior producers obtained hands-on experience for a future show in which they anticipate leadership responsibilities next year.

“Mamma Mia!” featured a lot of singing and dancing—and rehearsing—with musical direction by senior Hadara Seeman and choreography by senior Kayla Minsk, sophomore Gila Sadinoff, and director Frank. Scores of high school girls, working behind the scenes, did their part to ensure

that the show ran smoothly. Sets were deftly handled by an all-girl crew, headed by Izzy Khandadash, with props managed by Polina Vayner. Noa Geller and Talia Sarnat were in charge of costumes, and a team of high school girls helped with hair and makeup. Eliana Flusberg and Shira Oami led backstage responsibilities, supporting the action onstage.

An elegant enhancement of Chagiga was the intermission’s dessert buffet, featuring food referencing Greece, where the show’s action takes place. Seniors, Ella Katz and Danit Kutner, and an aesthetically attuned group created the beautiful array of delicious food, and open areas of the school were decorated by student Zoe Kaiser-Blueth and her committee, creating a thematic ambience for the program.

Preceding each show, a d’var Torah and the recitation of Psalm 121 were delivered by Mollie Glaser, and Noemi Bader, and Tali Geller recited prayers for the Israeli soldiers and hostages still in captivity.

Atlanta Jewish Academy has a broad performing arts program, supervised by AJA Director of the Arts, Breit Katz. Acknowledging the hands-on skills the seniors acquired for Chagiga, Frank thanks Katz for being “an all-round helper, who supported the girls in whatever we needed” and who mentored girls in stagecraft, sound, and lighting. On-stage and off-stage theater opportunities for AJA students include a Junior Musical for elementary grades and a Middle School Spring Musical, as well as the annual high school Chagiga.

Talya Gorsetman was the Chagiga advisor. Her desire was to be supportive, yet non-intrusive, honoring the uniqueness of a completely student-run show. She explains, “As advisor, my role was to help the girls navigate the complexities of putting on a production of this scale. Primarily, I wanted to focus on implementing the director’s particular vision and to help make the strengths of each girl shine.”

And shine they did! ì

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This year’s show was written and directed by senior, Leora Frank, who used songs by the group ABBA to infuse her story with the familiar music she set to original lyrics. Guests were treated to a delectable spread during intermission, with a buffet featuring food referencing Greece, which served as the story’s setting.


Local Israeli Folk Dancers Shine at Camp

Israeli folk dance instructor Meliss Jakubovic recently led a cadre of dance students to Machol Maryland, an Israeli folk dance camp located near Washington, D.C.

Dancers Blair Cohen, Marina Schwartz, Arielle Kurtze, Galya Fischer, Liora Dressler, Jason Holt, Dr. Danny Gottlieb, Sheryl Rechtman, Jami Rechtman, Marge Haders, Elaine Berger, and Rachel Stark – who serves as the Beginners/Intermediate Leader – joined Jakubovic for the intensive, four-day dance camp experience.

Jakubovic, who previously taught at The Epstein School for 19 years prior to COVID, welcomed back former students Berger, Fischer, and Dressler who studied under Jakubovic in elementary and middle school.

The camp, now in its second year, featured expert Israeli choreographers and attracted more than 250 dancers. Jakubovic, who has been teaching Israeli folk dancing across Atlanta for two and

a half decades, explained how the camp operates.

“During the day, there are teaching workshops and specialty sessions. We break for meals and rest, but that’s just the beginning. Dance marathons begin

around 9 p.m. each night and can go as late as 4 or 6 in the morning.”

Jakubovic shared that while the camp schedule can seem exhausting, the experience is well worth it as forever friendships are forged on and off the

dance floor.

“Dance camps are four days in a row of 18 hours a day of dancing … pretty much … and you grab a snack or a nap whenever you can. In the midst of it all, you are connected with people who share

Machol Maryland attendees (from left) Danny Gottlieb, Rachel Stark, Arielle Kurtze, Jacki Jacoby Smith, Jason Holt, Dr. Gordon Smith (Michigan group leader), Jami Rectman, Marina Schwartz, Sheryl Rectman, Blair Cohen, Marge Haers, Liora Dressler, Galya Fischer, and Meliss Jakubovic (Atlanta group leader).

the same love and passion as you do of dance, Israel, culture, and music. Some of my greatest and lifelong friends come from my dance camp world,” she said.

Jakubovic, who has certainly carved her niche in the Jewish Atlanta community, likes to joke that she has taught every Jewish child in Atlanta. Not only was she at Epstein for nearly two decades, but she also served as choreographer and stage manager of Shiriyah, “Myrna Rubel’s Epstein creation in which the entire middle school performed a singing and dancing celebration, all in Hebrew with a theme. This show was a staple in the community and sparked many graduates wanting to continue dancing with me into high school.”

Jakubovic also directed and choreographed Nitzanim, Atlanta’s only Israeli folk dance performing group, for nine years, and taught periodically at Temima, Yeshiva, Greenfield Hebrew Academy, Epstein Elementary, Marcus Jewish Community Center of Atlanta, synagogue events, and more. She explained that many of the dancers who attend her weekly session have been studying with her for most of their lives, and that several of her former Epstein students who were drawn to the folk dancing and culture at school sought out further instruction once the classes at Epstein had ended.

“While my time at Epstein was monumental for me to share my joy with the next generations, it wasn’t until recently that I saw the fruits of my labor blossom,” she said. “Many of my then-young elementary and middle school students decided to attend my weekly adult session.”

Jakubovic also noted that 2024 is the

100th anniversary of Israeli folk dancing as the first folk dance was officially choreographed by Baruch Agadati in 1924. The dance, Hora Agadati, differs greatly from modern folk dancing, Jakubovic said, as it is a simple, two-part dance with no turns.

“Now, many of the popular songs you would hear on the radio have a choreographed dance to them. The steps are more intricate and challenging, although there are many dances that are easier and slow,” she said. “There really is something for everyone – with so many different styles of songs and steps, there is a ton of variety.”

She then related the significance of attending Machol Maryland on the 100th anniversary of Israeli folk dancing after the brutal attacks by Hamas on Oct. 7.

“Especially following the Oct. 7 [attack], it felt more important than ever,” she said, adding that she is close friends with the camp’s director, Mona Atkinson, and that it was an honor “to support her endeavor of bringing so many dancers of so many generations together.”

For Jakubovic, as a folk-dance instructor, dance camps provide a link to her treasured past – and heritage -- and a connection to her future as she helps instill a love for the culture in a new generation.

“Going to Machol Maryland was a combination of my favorite thing in the world and a reunion of influential people in my life who share the same joy.”

Jakubovic’s weekly dance session, MacholAtlanta, is offering a new beginner’s dance cohort starting March 19. For information about the weekly sessions, workshops, and more, please visit www. ì

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(From left) Meliss Jakubovic, Jacki Jacoby Smith, Jami Rectman, Sheryl Rectman, Arielle Kurtze, and Rachel Stark

DINING Abes’ Best ‘Message’ Yet

Step aside fussy, faddish fusions to make way for Atlanta’s dining impresario and restaurateur, David Abes, walking the red carpet of 30A with Message in A Bottle, Dunwoody’s new standard-setting solid statement with real food.

Billed as “superior seafood,” Message in a Bottle nestles right in with some of Abes’ other concepts, bar{n}, and Morty’s Meats & Supply, around the outdoor space in Dunwoody Village’s new communal courtyard and ready for upcoming spring.

A man with a vision, Abes has long stated his plans to roll out the different concepts, methodically executing his road map to cuisine heaven. Remembering that a young Abes was general manager for the Atlanta Fish Market, COO for Buckhead Life Restaurant Group, director of operations for Here To Serve, and regional director for LDV Hospitality, “Message” is another leap forward to dine on fish so fresh it’s still leaping in the sea.

What we sampled:


Mariner’s Caesar -- presented with thick white anchovies and Old Bay croutons ($12)

Pacific Rim Chopped Salad -- Napa cabbage with sweet peppers, onions, basil, peanuts and Thai peanut dressing. Worth bragging about ($14)

Roasted Beet Salad -- herbed fromage blanc, pistachio was bursting with cubes in a rainbow of beets ($13)


“Have it Your Way” with Catch of the Day, casts a wide net of preparation options:

Ibiza -- lime chile broth and saffron rice

Nice (as in France) -- herb roasted potatoes, French green beans, olives, warm herb vinaigrette.

Malibu -- citrus ginger broth, sesame stir fried vegetables.

Our night’s “catches” were salmon ($28), grouper ($39), and Virginia bass ($30) prepared in the same order as above. The fish were so firm, different, and flavorfully cooked at the correct temperature, any could have been prepared in either method. Those not in the kosher realm might swoon over the gumbo, cioppino pasta, lobster bisque, and raw bar options.


Key lime pie; Banana’s Foster butter

cake; various sorbets. We “table split” the Chocolate Turtle Cake with chocolate ice cream, candied pecans, and caramel sauce.

Looking back since opening, Abes stated, “Message in a Bottle has exceeded all of my expectations the past three months. It’s really hard to gauge what was going to happen, especially opening towards the end of 2023. The overwhelming response from our community and beyond has been truly heartening. We are seeing guests from Alpharetta, Sandy Springs, and even Midtown. This one has definitely reached beyond Dunwoody. We are seeing that we filled a need in the market for consistently delicious, approachable seafood.”

“Message’s” interior is a blend of white shiplap, beachy, clever art -- like pairs of flip flops heading to the restroom. Abes’ gracious wife, Julie, greeted diners on a Sat-

urday night to a full, but not overcrowded room. Familiar Jewish faces abound, but in a nice mix of ages and ethnicities. Interior seating capacity is 100. A well-appointed room in the rear is available for private parties.

Working as husband-and-wife team, Abes said, “Navigating the creation of Funwoody (his term for the area) with Julie has been an incredible journey. While I focus on the daily operations, Julie adds the finishing touches with social media and restaurant decor. As empty nesters, it’s great to have our direction finally converging. It has deepened our personal connection which we really need as we gear up for our daughter’s spring wedding.”

Julie made special note that the glam turquoise glass custom chandelier was commissioned and imported from Israel, to miraculously arrive before the grand opening.

Also at the entrance, David pointed out the real “messages” in bottles that were of sentimental value in his career.

One Jewish diner commented, “Reminds me of the Western Wall with meaningful wishes on paper.”

To be sure, the Abes’ will prosper and flourish with their new endeavor.

Looking forward, the Funwoody Food Truck is serving as a test kitchen for restaurant group’s diverse concepts. In late spring, it will transform into a haven for Israeli favorites like shawarma, falafel, hummus, salatim with options for pita or bowls. Cyndi Sterne, director of operations, is returning to the kitchen to oversee recipes.

Message in a Bottle is located at 5515 Chamblee Dunwoody Road. Phone: 770670-6635.

Open Saturday and Sunday at 11 a.m., weekdays at 4 p.m. Closed Mondays. ì

David and Julie Abes operate as a power team in the Atlanta hospitality scene. Here, they pose in front of the thematic beach art. The table enjoyed three salads. Super, fresh fish can be prepared in multiple ways. Pictured here are Virginia bass and grouper. Julie commissioned this aqua glass fixture directly from Israel. The messages in bottles at the front entrance represent some of David’s meaningful milestones.

As our hearts stay turned towards Israel during this challenging time, we know many people’s thoughts are far away from summer plans. But we also know that programs will do everything they can to provide teens with opportunities to travel to Israel this summer.

If you know someone who is eligible for a $3000 RootOne Voucher, they can now apply for summer 2024.


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Chai Style Home

A Wonder Woman's House of Thoughtful Judaica

Hillary Holland, a woman with many dimensions, knows what she likes.

Here, in the Beth Tefillah neighborhood, she balances a busy family life with kosher catering as a side hustle, all nestled in a white columned home.

Here, the tongue-in-cheek punk and comic art play second fiddle only to her commitment to works from Jewish artists around the world and special reverence to the Lubavitcher Rebbe Menachem Mendel Schneerson (OBM).

Upon entering the Holland home, a five-foot-high colorful metalwork with one of the Rebbe’s most famous images is displayed in a rainbow of colors, the treatment of him is spellbinding.

Hillary said, “It was hanging in a Tel Aviv gallery, and I really admired it. My husband surprised me with it for our anniversary that year. It’s one of our greatest joys to have beautiful art and a double joy that some of it can reflect our values.”

A Miami, Fla., native, Hillary isn’t afraid to have fun with her collections by framing vintage Hermes scarves, commissioning a hip jazzed-up portrait of her husband by Israeli artist Amit Shimoni, and positioning a rare skateboard leaning against the focal fireplace. Note that Architectural Digest saluted skateboards in its “On Deck” column: “How a crude, handmade toy evolved into one of today’s top collectibles.” With a huge Rohlfs painting of Wonder Woman just opposite one of Marilyn Monroe, it mirrors Holland’s life of balance.

Skate through space with a sputnik Jonathan Adler chandelier and a large Van Gogh “Starry Starry Night” Be@rbrick, to find a life-sized horse that Hillary just “had to” repaint.

Jaffe: What are some of the most unusual pieces you’ve collected?

Holland: Almost everything in our house is kind of unusual or at least has a story behind it. The furry sheep in the living room are by Magrit and were a Chanukah gift.

The bear is from the Be@rbrick Collection based in Tokyo, but we took our kids to a Van Gogh exhibition and became obsessed with his work and the

sadness behind it.

Some of the framed works we have are vintage posters from Israel that we randomly found in a small and gorgeous gallery in Paris. They commemorate Israeli symbolism and anniversaries -- one being completed by Asaf Berg each year. We had them framed locally with Anthony Naturman. The vintage Hermes pieces were scarves I hunted for in shops and resale sites and had them framed in Miami before our move to Atlanta.

Jaffe: What went into your dining room?

Holland: The lighting fixture is sputnik-like by Jonathan Adler. The chairs are clear plastic by Phillip Strack for Kartell.

Jaffe: What’s unique about your child-themed art?

Holland: Our son’s room is great fun with a life-sized gorilla lamp with a movable arm and a life-sized teddy bear nightlight, both by Qeebo. The painting in the background has a strong protective Poppa Smurf wearing a Star of David rallying, “You Talking to Me?? Bad Boy Gangs” by Offensberg from an Israeli gallery. Certainly, enough to give a young boy confidence.

The large acrylic in the breakfast room of children tumbling called, “Street Brothers,” by Anna Maria Cimbal (Venice), is one of the first pieces we collected.

Jaffe: Share the uniqueness of the upstairs bedroom.

Holland: We kept it chalk white and barnlike as it was a room with unusual angles built over the garage. The white chairs are from West Elm. The life-sized horse was a gift and arrived in pewter, where I methodically painted it over in white to give a lace-like effect. The framed Hermes scarf there glows in the dark, and we liken it to outer space. The hand-drawn painting of the rabbi parting the waters is from Sfat and is lighthearted.

Jaffe: Describe the funky portrait …

Holland: There’s a great story about the punk rock portrait I commissioned to celebrate my husband’s birthday during COVID. Artist Amit Shimoni has this very distinctive style that he’s also created for celebrities and heads of state like Ghana, Princess Diana, Putin, U.S. presidents and more. Shimoni is known for his treatment of cultural icons by adding hip and pop vibes. It’s very sideways for

The Holland living room in blue velvet has a painting of Marilyn Monroe from a Tel Aviv gallery, adjacent to Rohlf’s painting of Wonder Woman reading “The Confident Woman” // All Photos by Howard Mendel


Below: The Hollands brought this painting of the Rebbe at about age 18 back from Venice.

Left: The fireplace has a vintage Hermes graffiti scarf and a collectable Be@rbrick from Japan, below a limited-edition Louis Vuitton skateboard.

someone who is as basically strait-laced as we are. We get a kick out of it every time someone asks about it.

Jaffe: You have art from various periods of the Rebbe’s life?

Holland: In the back hall is a very unique painting of him drawn from the likeness of his passport photo at age 18 by Daniel Ariel (2013). We brought it back from Venice of all places.

Jaffe: How do you use the outdoors?

Holland: It took us two years to get the pool in and running. We’re just now working on landscaping and decor so it’s a work in progress. It’s heated and has a dark tint with running waterfalls. We wanted it to be lagoon-like.

Jaffe: Your kosher catering business was featured in the Atlanta Jewish Times on March 15, 2023, “Holland’s Elevated NOSH Catering.” Now what’s cooking?

Holland: Often on social media I post that week’s menu for pick up on Friday. I use top-tier and kosher ingredients and, as of now, no meat. Some of my special dishes are jalapeño honey salmon, green goddess pasta, carrot roasted hummus, smashed potatoes. salmon bites with maple tehina sauce, chocolate peanut butter rice crispies bars, raspberry crumble bars … I am not AKC-registered but cook out of the Beth Tefillah neighborhood.

Above: The family likes to spend time entertaining outdoors by the lagoon-like pool. Right: This treatment of the Rebbe by Younis was an anniversary gift shipped from Israel.


Jaffe: Last word.

Holland: I treasure books; and my favorite store, Books and Books, in Bal Harbour Shops, has been a big source of my collection, particularly by Jewish publisher Asouline. If my husband wants to give me a gift, it would be a book from there. I recall with fondness the intimate rooms, colorful seats, and local owners. Growing up, we were not raised in households that collected art, so we feel lucky to be able to have fun and beautiful things around us. I maintain a healthy perspective on what’s important to have around and mostly want to be reminded of the things I love when I look around - my family, Israel, friends, seeing the world. ì

Above: This wood horse was a gift to the Hollands before Hillary painted over some of the pewter in white. Below: Hillary offers her homemade challah with Wonder Woman scarves in the background. Above: The boy’s bedroom has a life-sized gorilla lamp and a Poppa Smurf “Gang” photo from an Israeli gallery. Below: The Holland dining room has a Jonathan Adler sputnik chandelier and clear plastic chairs by Phillip Strack for Kartell.



Tot Shabbat at Etz Chaim - 5 to 6:30 p.m. Etz Chaim Preschool invites you to our monthly Tot Shabbat on Fridays. Bring your own dairy or pareve dinner, and join us for songs, dances, crafts, and fun! Find out more at

Kabbalat Panim and Kabbalat Shalom Shabbat Service - 5:45 to 8 p.m. Once a month at Congregation Dor Tamid we will gather for a Kabbalat Panim, an Oneg Shabbat before services at 5:45 p.m. We will then move to the sanctuary to welcome in Shabbat together at 6:15 p.m. Learn more at


A Royal Gathering - 10:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. Join Nurture and Davis Academy for a magical day of enchantment and warmth at our Royal Gathering. Immerse your little ones in a world where fairy tales and Jewish traditions come to life, guided by beloved princesses who will lead them on an exciting journey of discovery. Through interactive storytelling, games, and creative activities, children will learn the values of kindness, generosity, and hospitality rooted in Jewish traditions. This unique event promises to be a joyous celebration of culture, friendship, and the magic that happens when imagination meets tradition. Register at

MARCH 1-14


Atlanta Jewish Life Festival - 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The Atlanta Jewish Life Festival is Atlanta’s largest single day festival promoting and celebrating Jewish and Israeli arts, food, music and culture while connecting the community to local synagogues, nonprofits and social action groups with the hope to further strengthen the bonds and understanding of Jewish beliefs, traditions and family. Purchase Tickets at https://bit. ly/42EutIM.

The Vega Quartet Performs Music by Jewish Composers - 3 to 4:30 p.m. The Vega String Quartet Presents Music of Jewish Composers. Mendelssohn: Cello Sonata in D Major. Golijov: Tenebrae for String Quartet. Gershwin: Rhapsody in Blue (100th anniversary of its creation). RSVP at



Powerful Tools for Caregivers - 10 to 11:30 a.m. This program from AgeWell Atlanta helps family caregivers reduce stress, improve self-confidence, learn different ways to communicate, and increase ability to make tough decisions. Interactive lessons, discussions, and brainstorming will help you use the tools and put them into action for your life. Classes consist of six inperson sessions held once a week. Register at

Brain Health Bootcamp – 11 1 p.m. Join a fun, social class to strengthen your mind and body to stay sharp! With age serving as the greatest risk factor for cognitive impairment or memory loss, JF&CS is taking action with the Brain Health Bootcamp. The first of its kind in Atlanta, it is designed to provide memory enhancement techniques through cognitive stimulation, physical exercise, education, and socialization. Join by visiting https://bit. ly/451GNDC.

NCJW Atlanta Section Lunch n’ Learn: Ensuring a Quality Education for All - 12 to 1:30 p.m. Please join NCJW Atlanta for a Lunch ‘n Learn on “Saving Our Future: How to Fill in the Gaps to Ensure a Quality Education for All Our Children ” Register at


Emory University’s Tenenbaum Family Lecture: “Latinx Jews in their Adopted Homeland: Constructing New Realities and Claiming New Identities” - 7 to 9 p.m. How do Latinx Jews in the U.S. identify? Can they choose their identity or is it assigned to them? Are their ethnic choices ever strategic or instrumental? Drawing on the experiences of Latinx Jewish immigrants in the United States, the historical roots of Jewish migration streams to Latin America and a sociological comparative perspective, Limonic discusses how group construction is never static, and, in particular, how race, religion, and class are increasingly important mediating factors in defining ethnicity and ethnic identity. Learn more at https://


LifeSouth Blood Drive - 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Save lives, receive a gift card for donating. Register at Chabad of North Fulton at

Brain Health Bootcamp - 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Join a fun, social class to strengthen your mind and body to stay sharp! With age serving as the greatest risk factor for cognitive impairment or memory loss, JF&CS is taking action with the Brain Health Bootcamp. The first of its kind in Atlanta, it is designed to provide memory enhancement techniques through cognitive stimulation, physical exercise, education, and socialization. Join by visiting

Into the Woods Jr.- Jerry’s Habima Theatre – 7:30 p.m. Into the Woods Jr. is a whimsically enticing adventure, weaving together the stories of some of your favorite storybook characters including Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, a cunning Wolf, Jack and the Beanstalk, Rapunzel, and a Baker and his Wife who have been cursed by a Witch. Their journeys intertwine as they embark on their magical adventures into the woods in search of their happily ever-afters. Purchase Tickets at

Hoops Contest! Give it Your Best Top Winners get cash prizes!
Mitzvah Madness Kosher Eats • Live Music • Artist Market • Kids Zone • Community Partners • Hoops Contest • Entrance to Georgia Aquarium • And More! Tickets include entry to the Aquarium for the entire day $22 per person $11 per child | $75 for a family of 6 Got Game, Prove It! Buy Tickets today! Georgia Aquarium 246 Ivan Allen Jr Blvd, Atlanta, GA 30313 Sunday, March 3, 2024 11am-3pm


NCJW/ATL International Women’s Day Celebration – Mitzvah - 12 to 1:30 p.m. National Council of Jewish Women in partnership with Jewish Women’s Fund of Atlanta, advocates will participate in a mitzvah project Learn more at https://bit. ly/3OJPUTe.


Gan Katan -10:30 to 11:30 a.m. Congregation Or Hadash is thrilled to introduce a monthly drop-off preschool program at Machon Hadash this year! The program is designed for 3-5-year-olds and is taught by a wonderful, warm, experienced Jewish preschool teacher. After the children finish up each week, we invite parents and kids to stay for child-friendly snacks and schmooze, and for kiddush lunch, too. All are welcome - you do not need to be a member of Or Hadash. Register at https://

Parkinson’s Support Group for Patients and Caregivers - 12 to 1:30 p.m. Congregation Or Hadash offers support, help and resources for those struggling with Parkinson’s and those taking care of them. Meet new friends, get support, and gain insight into dealing with Parkinson’s. Find out more at https://bit. ly/4boZEfq.

A Night with the Dads II: The Daddening - 7:30 to 9 p.m. The Dads are back at Stage Door Theatre with their awardwinning improv comedy shows. All shows contain adult language and themes. Purchase tickets at https://bit. ly/3sBkvtK.


Torah Reading: Ki Tisa

Friday, March 1 Adar I 21, 5784 Light Candles at: 6:16 PM

Saturday, March 2 Adar I 22, 5784 Shabbat Ends: 7:12 PM

Torah Reading: Vayak’hel

Friday, March 8 Adar I 28, 5784 Light Candles at: 6:22 PM

Saturday, March 9 Adar I 29, 5784 Shabbat Ends: 7:18 PM

Into the Woods Jr.- Jerry’s Habima Theatre - 8:30 p.m. Into the Woods Jr. is a whimsically enticing adventure, weaving together the stories of some of your favorite storybook characters including Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, a cunning Wolf, Jack and the Beanstalk, Rapunzel, and a Baker and his Wife who have been cursed by a Witch. Their journeys intertwine as they embark on their magical adventures into the woods in search of their happily ever-afters. Purchase Tickets at


Flying into the Future - 12 to 4 p.m. Flying into the Future is where science and nature collide to bring you activities focused on STEAM – Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math. Chattahoochee Nature Center is all about forward-thinking at this Family Fun Day! Come ready to learn about flying animals and test your tinkering skills with STEAM-themed partners, crafts, and activities. Wings to Soar returns this year with their unique flighted raptor show! Register at https://bit. ly/3waxUuD.

Into the Woods Jr.- Jerry’s Habima Theatre - 1 p.m. Into the Woods Jr. is a whimsically enticing adventure, weaving together the stories of some of your favorite storybook characters including Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, a cunning Wolf, Jack and the Beanstalk, Rapunzel, and a Baker and his Wife who have been cursed by a Witch. Their journeys intertwine as they embark on their magical adventures into the woods in search of their happily ever-afters. Purchase Tickets at


Jeff’s Place Cafe - 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. Need a place to host your Monday-morning business meeting? Looking to meet a friend for breakfast and coffee? Craving some bagels and lox before heading into the office? Join Jeff’s Place by learning more at

Two Peoples in one Land - 7 p.m. A Local Palestinian -Israeli Initiative for understanding, non-violence, and transformation. Rabbi Hanan Schlesinger and Noor A’Wad are leaders of the West Bank based Roots/ Shorashim /Judur, an Israeli- Palestinian Grassroots initiative understanding, non-violence, and transformation. Roots’ work is aimed at challenging the assumptions the two communities hold about each other. Rabbi Hanan Schlesinger and Noor A’Wad will discuss their personal experiences through the lens of their proximity to the devastating events on October 7, 2023. They will also share how their work has changed in recent months, how Israeli and Palestinian communities view Roots, and what they see for the future. Find out more at


Women’s Torah and Tea - 8 to 9 p.m. Weekly women’s in-depth with Chabad of North Fulton and fascinating exploration of the chassidus book of Tanya. Find out more at

ATLANTA JEWISH TIMES FEBRUARY 29, 2024 | 57 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 Diana Cole for more information at


Mah Jongg at Temple Beth Tikvah - 1 to 3 p.m. Mah Jongg at Temple Beth Tikvah. Bring your card and come for games, a nosh and friendship. Register at

2024 Women’s Philanthropy Community Event - 6-9 p.m. Join Federation’s Women’s Philanthropy for an evening of connection, conversation, and dialogue on subjects that matter at the Women’s Philanthropy Community Event Featuring: Lizzy Savetsky A digital influencer with a passion for Jewish life, Israel, & fashion. Register at


Bright Smiles, Brighter Futures - 6 to 9 p.m. Join JF&CS for a special evening to eat, drink, mingle, and celebrate the dedication of our amazing volunteers who make our work possible. All proceeds go to the Ben Massell Dental Clinic to continue providing completely free, comprehensive oral health services to those most in need in our community. Purchase tickets at https://bit. ly/3uNnf8O.

Women’s Hamantash Bake - 7 p.m. Join Chabad of Gwinnett for a Hamantash Bake and spend a fun-filled evening with Jewish women, making delicious Purim treats! Register at https://bit. ly/48u4s0a.

Master Baking Class with Alon Balshan from Alon’s -7 to 10 p.m. Come and spend the evening baking with Alon Balshan, esteemed pastry chef and owner of Alon’s, who will lead us in a Hamantaschen baking demonstration. As the irresistible aroma fills the air, Rabbi Schusterman will engage in a thought-provoking and inspirational discussion about the holiday of Purim. Purchase Tickets at https://bit. ly/4bBqZuR.

Into the Woods Jr.- Jerry’s Habima Theatre – 7:30 p.m. Into the Woods Jr. is a whimsically enticing adventure, weaving together the stories of some of your favorite storybook characters including Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, a cunning Wolf, Jack and the Beanstalk, Rapunzel, and a Baker and his Wife who have been cursed by a Witch. Their journeys intertwine as they embark on their magical adventures into the woods in search of their happily ever-afters. Purchase Tickets at

ה"ב Get Your Purim On! For more information and a full list of megillah reading times, scan the QR code. Hamantaschen Baking Class
14th | 7 PM Family Fun Purim Carnival
24th | 10:30 AM - 1 PM Dinner Party & Comedy Show with Benji Lovitt
24th | 6 PM Sober Purim Party
23rd | 7 - 10 PM Something for everyone SERVING THE ATLANTA INTOWN JEWISH COMMUNITY WWW.CHABADINTOWN.ORG | 404.898.0434


Adventure-Based Summer Camp, Boarding School, & GAP Year for Youth & Young Adults with ADHD & Learning Challenges


The Academy at SOAR is an accredited, adventure-based, certified private boarding school in North Carolina educating youth with ADHD and Learning Difficulties in Grades 7-12 In addition to academic learning, our students gain essential social and emotional life skills to help them become more successful individuals As a result, students step into their future with an empowered sense of self-awareness, a new love for learning, and the ability to be successful unknown before


Summer Camp at SOAR offers a supportive environment where campers are encouraged to be themselves and are celebrated for their strengths Campers set personal goals and are supported by our staff and their peers to succeed Camp offers a fun atmosphere where participants feel like they belong and their challenges are understood With a small group setting, we are able to guide campers through social interactions as they get to know one another and begin to form friendships

I am proud to serve as one of your DeKalb County State Court judges and the first Latina trial court judge in Georgia. My commitment is to make sure you feel safe and that you have access to justice. I ask for your vote and your continued support.
“You answered my call when I asked for your vote and support four years ago. I ask you to stand with me in my re-election so I can continue working to make Cobb the safest county in Georgia.”
Sheriff of the Year, 2023
‘‘ ‘‘
DeKalb County State
Judge Ana Maria MARTINEZ


Israel Supporters

Difficulty Level: Easy


1. “Heroes” of classic TV

7. Rocking Rose

10. Strike caller

13. Exodus leader

14. Tsuris, so to speak

15. Biblical sister of Hoglah and Tirzah

16. Israel supporting 90’s TV star

19. Raw material for a smelter

20. Beginning of a fairy tale

21. Paul’s “Exodus” co-star

22. Beats in the ring, for short 24. Minim total

27. Israel supporting 90’s/2010’s TV star

31. Henri’s “Help!”

33. Aliens, for short

34. One and million divider?

35. Israel supporting 2000’s TV star

39. Chanukah need, perhaps

40. He raised Samuel

41. Push

42. Israel supporting 2010/2020’s TV star

46. “That ___ no concern to you”

47. Twelve, for short

48. Issuer of “123-45-6789,” et al.

51. Disney villain with pet eels

54. Acts by the Maccabees or the IDF

57. Israel supporting 2000’s TV star

60. Has

61. “... rose ___ rose” (Gertrude Stein)

62. “Another song!”

63. Mets div.

64. Wrestling match ender

65. Kind of car


1. Muslim pilgrims

2. “Gone With The Wind” heroine

3. NBA’s Marc or Pau

4. 13-Across in English, perhaps

5. “Don’t do that!”

6. Irritable

7. Emotion of those seeing the Torah being given

8. Hugs and kisses

9. Slim

10. Either of 51-Across’s eels, e.g.

11. TV bartender

12. It may not be easy to shoot

17. Fifth-century pope called “the Great”

18. Hofstra org.

23. Pirate that’s a 10-Down

25. Watch a lot at one go

26. Letters for a thief, maybe 27. Hamas supporters might form one

28. Put on TV

29. K-pop group of note

30. Not allowed, in Judaism

31. Shalom, to Miguel

32. City that celebrates Chanukah in the summer

36. Drink in Jerusalem?

37. Care

38. Bother

39. Kenobi, for short

43. Great singer Haza

44. Department store eponym

45. Wicked queens of Yisrael

48. Son of Jacob with a temper

49. Cause to jump, in a way

50. Ed of “Up”

52. Send off

53. Rav of Talmud

55. Second city of Nevada

56. Killer in the ocean

57. Absalom to David

58. Hole punch, of a sort

59. Author Fleming


Jewish Geography Solution S 1 H 2 O 3 W 4 A 5 R 6 I 7 S 8 E 9 E 10 S 11 T 12 S 13 G 14 U N N T 15 E R E M M 16 I R E T 17 H E B A 18 H A M A S E 19 M A C R 20 A M A D A N G 21 R A P E S 22 P 23 O T O N S 24 T 25 A I N E D T 26 R U E D 27 A 28 M 29 B 30 E L I Z E R 31 E S A W 32 C 33 A B 34 A L M 35 E D M 36 A N 37 C H U R I A 38 I 39 S 40 P 41 K 42 E T E R C 43 L O 44 U 45 D 46 S 47 W E D 48 E N R 49 N R 50 L 51 U R E R 52 E L I N E S 53 E 54 M 55 E T I C A 56 E O N S H 57 E 58 I 59 F E R S E 60 T T E W 61 A S H I N G T O 62 N 63 L 64 I O R A 65 P P A L I 66 A G O I 67 N N S L 68 E N D L C 69 Y S T 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65
ATLANTA JEWISH TIMES FEBRUARY 29, 2024 | 63 Visit my website for more information: YOLANDA mack DEKALB STATE COURT JUDGE for AGES 3-14 | JUNE 3 – JULY 26 OPEN TO THE COMMUNITY! 700 Cobb Pkwy N. | Marietta, Ga 30062 | 770-427-2689 Over 500 campers agree – Walker Summer Programs are the best way to spend your summer! Located just 2 miles from the Marietta Square, Walker offers a diverse selection of academic, athletic and artistic opportunities in the metro Atlanta community.


Jeanette Anne Urdong Bauman

98, Atlanta

Jeanette Anne Urdong Bauman, 98 of Atlanta, passed away Sunday, Jan. 14, 2024.  A private burial service for the immediate family was officiated by Rabbi Shuvall-Weiner of Temple Beth Tikvah on Jan. 16 at Arlington Cemetery in Atlanta.

Jeanette was preceded in death by her husband, Charles S. Bauman, to whom she was married for 58 years. She is survived by sons, William Bauman and Stephen Bauman of Atlanta, Ga., and Barry Bauman of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and their respective spouses, Juli Bauman, Alisa Bauman and Javier Romanach, as well as grandchildren, Betsy Pomerantz (Brett), Bradley Bauman (Celina), Cameron Bauman (Risa) and Caila Bauman and great-grandchildren, Beau Pomerantz, Parker Pomerantz and Ty Pomerantz,  Meyer Bauman and Blake Bauman.

A native of Sylacauga, Ala., and the daughter of the late Ethel Stark Urdong and Willie Urdong, Jeanette graduated from Jordan High School in Columbus, Ga. Prior to her marriage, she lived in Atlanta where she worked for the U.S. government during World War II. Upon marriage to her husband, Charles Bauman, in Dothan Ala., she was a devoted homemaker and had been active in the Jewish communities of Temple Emanuel (Dothan),Temple B’nai Shalom (Huntsville, Ala.) and Temple Beth Tikvah congregation (Roswell, Ga).

The family requests donations in honor of her memory be made to Temple Beth Tikva, Roswell, Georgia or to The Endowment fund of The Temple in Atlanta. Dressler’s Jewish Funeral Care, 770-451-4999.

Eva Mandl Blum

85, Atlanta

Eva Mandl Blum, beloved mother, grandmother and great-grandmother, died peacefully on Feb. 14, 2024 in her room at The William Breman Jewish Home in Atlanta, Ga., where she lived since moving from Champaign, Ill., her hometown of more than 65 years.

Eva was born on July 9, 1938, in what was then Fiume, Italy, as Nazi Germany was beginning its conquest of the European continent and war against the Jews. Her parents, Elizabeth and Martin Mandl, fearful of the rapid rise of antisemitism in their home city of Budapest, Hungary, found temporary safety in Fiume for the birth of their daughter. Soon after Eva was born, they returned to Budapest, where she lived until 1941.

Just before her first birthday, her father, Martin, left Eva, her mother, Elizabeth, and her sister, Georgine, to sail to the United States to secure employment and visas for his family to immigrate to America at a time when entering the country was virtually impossible. Due to his essential work as a metallurgist, recycling tin for the country’s armament production, he was finally able to procure visas for his wife and daughters to join him in America in 1941.

Eva first lived with her family in Baltimore, Md., until they moved to Chicago and, eventually, Aurora, Ill. After graduation from high school in 1956, Eva left home to attend the University of Illinois in Champaign, Ill., from which she graduated with a bachelor of arts in education in 1960. While in school she met her future husband, Edward I Blum. They married in Chicago on April 16, 1961, and settled in Champaign, where Edward owned Blum’s Clothing Store, and where they raised three children, Henry, Nancy and Ted. After her youngest child began elementary school, Eva returned to the University of Illinois to obtain a master’s degree in social work.

She was an active and beloved counselor for hundreds of people in her long career. Embodying the teachings of her mentor and professor, Rudolf Dreikurs, she devoted her life to helping family, friends and clients learn to take personal responsibility for their life choices and, thereby, live safe, secure, connected, and meaningful lives for themselves and their families. Her wisdom and love will live on with her family, friends and all the people who benefited from her wise counsel.

Eva is survived by her son and daughter-in-law, Henry and Vivian Blum; her daughter and daughter-in-law, Nancy Blum and Jenny Halliday; her son and daughter-in-law, Ted and Leah Blum; her grandchildren: Sali and her husband Aharon Cherniak, Anna and her husband Rotem Magal, Joshua and his wife Michelle, Abigail and Evan Blum; her great-grandchildren, Ronen and Leora Cherniak; her sisters Georgine and her husband Ralph Levin, and Susan Towbin; and her nieces and nephews. Eva Mandl Blum will be sorely missed and her memory will be carried on and perpetuated by her family and all who knew her. An online guestbook is available at

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to either of the schools her grandchildren attended: The Epstein School, 335 Colewood Way NW, Sandy Springs, GA,, or the Robert M. Beren Academy, 11333 Cliffwood Dr., Houston, TX, Arrangements by Dressler’s Jewish Funeral Care, 770-451-4999.


Carol Lee Meyer Carola

68, East Cobb

East Cobb’s Bagel Queen

Carol Lee Meyer Carola (68) passed away on Tuesday, Jan. 23, after a long battle with breast cancer. The fierce and big-hearted co-owner of Bagelicious was a beloved member of the community where she lived, worked, and played. Affectionately known as the Bagel Queen, Carol and her husband Tommy have long been champions of East Cobb, a suburb of Atlanta, Ga..

Carol Lee Meyer Carola, daughter of the late Hannah and Harold Meyer, was born in Queens, N.Y., on April 18, 1955. Upon moving to Atlanta in 1983, she married her husband and quickly became a vital member of the community. She and Tommy worked side by side for nearly 40 years.

She was a hard worker and a perfectionist, but above all, she was loyal. Most of the staff at Bagelicious have been there for 30+ years. No small feat in today’s work environment, especially in the restaurant industry. Her restaurant family loved and respected her, and they often spent Sunday afternoons together sharing a meal at Carol and Tommy’s home.

Carol had an amazing memory for names, faces and birthdays. She knew every customer by name, including their children and grandchildren. She had a way of mak ing everyone feel special with her genuine, heartfelt smile.

Despite the demands of the business, her husband Tommy, their children, and their grandchildren were the center of her world. She never missed a dance performance for Hannah or one of Alex’s baseball games. And when her grandsons came along, she did the same – loving every minute of it. She adored her two grandsons, spending valuable time with them several days a week and teaching them life’s important lessons.

She was the preeminent booster, advocate, and fan. Legendary for her support of the local community, she gave from the heart. Scores of local teams, schools, and orga nizations benefited from her and her husband’s generosity through the years.

Carol cared for her friends deeply, and nothing was ever too much. She didn’t ask what was needed because she somehow knew, and just made it happen – even when she was going through her own hell.

She is survived by her husband, Tommy, daughter, Hannah Lyndie Dombrowski, son, Alex George Carola, grandchildren, Landon and Jaxon Dombrowski, siblings, Ro slyn and Alan Barkoff, Maureen Levy, and Melvin and Donna Meyer, as well as her nieces, nephews, and grandnieces and grandnephews.

“I am very grateful. So much deep-felt thanks from the bottom of my heart. If you have money - donate money. If you have timedonate time. If you are smart and knowledgeabledonate that. Tomorrow, any of us could need help. I wish for you that you will get back more than you put in.”
Miriam Rose

Israeli Recipient of Basic Needs Assistance

Post-October 7th

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Patricia Braver Popky

88, Atlanta

Patricia “Patsy” Braver Popky passed away peacefully on Feb. 19, 2024. Patsy was born on Dec. 4, 1936, in Dalton, Ga., to Helen and Jack Braver. She graduated from the University of Georgia, where she was in the Sigma Delta Tau sorority and was a sweetheart for Alpha Epsilon Pi. After marrying the love of her life, Samuel Stephen Popky in 1961 in Dalton, Patsy moved to Sam’s hometown of Kingston, Penn. After Sam’s tragic death in a car accident in 1972 and the flooding caused by Hurricane Agnes, Patsy and her two boys moved to Atlanta to be closer to her family.

She was a devoted and loved mother and grammy. Patsy is preceded in death by her brother William “Bill” Braver, and is survived by her sister, Betty Braver, sons, Nathan (Sharon) Popky and Daniel (Shirley) Popky, grandchildren, Sam Popky, Rachel Popky and Dana Popky, and grand-dogs, Gus, Simon and Bella.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Patsy’s memory to Chabad of East Cobb and/or Adopt a Golden Atlanta. The funeral was graveside at Arlington Memorial Park on Wednesday, Feb. 21. The family sat shiva Wednesday and Thursday at 510 Huntwick Place, Roswell Ga. 30075. Dressler’s Jewish Funeral Care, 770-451-4999.

Obituaries in the AJT are written and paid for by the families; contact Editor and Managing Publisher Kaylene Ladinsky at 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

Marian Sue Shemaria

87, Atlanta

Marian Sue “Sukey” (Hoffman) Shemaria, age 87, of Atlanta, died Feb. 16 2024. She was preceded in death by her parents, Tobie and Melvin Hoffman, of Atlanta. She was born in Baltimore, Md., on April 11, 1936. The family moved first to Brunswick, then to Atlanta when Sukey was 4, where she lived the remainder of her life. At Grady High School (then Boys & Girl’s High) she met the love of her life, Hymie Shemaria, to whom she was wed on Aug. 8, 1955, at the old Standard Club of Atlanta.

Growing up in The Temple with a family dedicated to service and Jewish culture, Sukey quickly embraced her new Synagogue, Or Ve Shalom. She became an active member of the sisterhood and was very proud to be the first to serve as President twice. She helped start a phone committee to raise money for Sisterhood Donor and was an active leader of the OVS Social Club, often entertaining in the home she lived in with Hymie since it was built in 1958. She won a Women of Achievement Honor on behalf of OVS, and Hymie & Sukey were bond dinner honorees as well.

Sukey was never at a loss for words and enjoyed talking to anyone and everyone she met. She remained close with many family members, built a network of friends across the globe, loved to write letters, and send pictures to all. She always had a book in her hand, enjoyed reading, playing games, doing puzzles, and in her younger days bowling and playing Maj Jong with her friends. Most of all, Sukey loved her husband of almost 69 years and all of her family. She took pride in her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren who will miss her presence in their lives.

Sukey is survived by her husband, Hymie Shemaria; daughters and sons-in-law Marcia Green, Laurie and Joel Rosenberg, Kathy and Roman Canales; grandchildren and their spouses, Melissa (Green) and Kenny Kaplan, Michael and Michelle Green, Adam and Jazmin Rosenberg, and Hallie Rosenberg; and five great-grandchildren Rory and Elon Kaplan, Madison Green, Isaac and Eloise Rosenberg.

Graveside funeral services were held at 10:30 a.m., Monday Feb. 19, 2024, at Arlington Memorial Park. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Or Ve Shalom Synagogue to the Bennie and Matilda Shemaria fund. Arrangements by Dressler’s Jewish Funeral Care, 770-451-4999.

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Be Prepared

I come from a long line of prognosticators, a coterie of expert worriers who anticipated and planned for dire situations. These family members tended to ruminate about the “what ifs …” of the world and they were determined to avert the inevitable problems one encounters as one moves through life. As a result, my family, along with the Boy Scouts of America, identified fully with the “be prepared” slogan.

My siblings and I usually disregarded our mother’s presumptive warnings, but she was steadfast in her determination to protect us, whether we needed it or not. For example, let’s say I was about to go to the neighborhood drugstore. My mother always warned me to double check the veracity of my receipt and reminded me never to purchase an item in a box that looked like it had been opened before (duh). When I left for teen sleepovers, did Mom send me

off with, “Have fun?” Not exactly. Her parting words were variations of “Have fun but be careful!” Mom’s idea of a sleepover must have been much more exciting than four girls watching TV, playing records, and gossiping about boys.

It’s one thing to expect and accept trepidation within one’s own family, but it’s really embarrassing when it involves outsiders. I brought my best friend to a family affair at an aunt’s house. My aunt offered her a glass of soda, but couldn’t help herself, as my friend lifted the glass to her lips: “Don’t drink too fast. You’ll get a stomachache,” she warned. Of course, my pal was nonplused because the people in her family were in the habit of drinking a glass of soda at a pace commensurate with their level of thirst. I was used to my family’s foibles, but my friend was flustered. She took a small, slow sip and reached over to lay the drink on an end table beside her. My aunt nimbly managed to slide a coaster under her glass just in time. Naturally, my aunt always kept a supply of coasters handy.

Abundant opportunities for possible disasters were laid out for me when I was still optimistic at the age of 20, and I joyfully

announced to my assorted kin that my new husband and I were moving to New York. “How wonderful!” was not among the family responses I got.

Instead, I got, “You’re going to live in an apartment? They all have roaches!” and “New York is the most dangerous place on Earth.” (Most dangerous? Obviously, none of the aforementioned relatives had ever lived in Afghanistan.)

I was not surprised when a cousin gave me a super-sized first aid kit as a departing gift. My germaphobe mother tried to give me two bottles of Lysol. When I protested that they’d probably leak, in spite of being triple Saran-wrapped, she relented. Being a worrier, the possibility of the bottles leaking trumped carrying them. “Just watch your purse; New York’s full of thieves,” were the solemn words of an uncle. My grandfather, the progenitor of family worriers, slipped me a Hamilton and told me to keep it with me at all times, hidden in the innersole of my shoe. “You never know when you’ll need it,” he cautioned.

We lived in New York 12 years, and our children were born there. It turned out that my “what if…” family had prepared me.

I used my cousin’s first aid kit all the time, I bought and depleted countless bottles of Lysol, I quickly learned that everybody in New York guarded their purses, and my grandfather’s 10-dollar bill (I wore it in a boot in bad weather) enabled me to take a cab home from the subway stop in a blinding snowstorm.

I tried to shake my “what if…” upbringing, but I’ve failed. When our older daughter went to the circus with a classmate and two chaperones in pre-cellphone days, I prepared her, in case she got lost. I felt much better knowing she had our home and work phone numbers written on a piece of paper tucked in her shoe (more useful than 10 dollars!), along with the numbers of two neighbors. I always pack a rainhat and emergency poncho when I leave town, whether rain’s predicted or not. I have drawers of cotton balls, Band-Aids, arnica, and anti-bacterial cream. I possess three thermometers. I own an at least 50-year supply of masks and hand sanitizer, and friends and family know whom to call if they suddenly run out of toilet paper. Everybody isn’t obsessed with being prepared, but, thanks to my forebearers -- for better or worse -- I am. ì

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