Atlanta Jewish Times, VOL. 99 NO. 6, March 31, 2024

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VOL. 99 NO. 6 MARCH 31, 2024 | 21 ADAR II 5784 NEXT ISSUE: PASSOVER
Education & Camp

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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every month

what is BeWellATL?

BeWellATL, an initiative of JF&CS, is a collaboration with our Atlanta community partners dedicated to promoting the well-being of Jewish young people, age 12-26. We are here to provide support and tools to respond to growing mental health concerns, as well as resources for parents, caregivers, and Jewish professionals.

what’s next?

want to get involved?

Mental Health Shabbat: Beginning April 8th, synagogues and Jewish organizations all over Atlanta will be hosting Shabbat dinners throughout the month to raise awareness and destigmatize mental health. Contact Jessica Sacks, Community Outreach Coordinator, at

BBYO | Congregation Beth Shalom | Congregation B’nai Torah | Congregation Etz Chaim Congregation Gesher L’Torah | Congregation Shearith Israel | Congregation Ohr HaTorah Congregation Or Hadash | JF&CS Young Professionals | JWC Atlanta | MaCOM | MJCCA NextGen Federation | Temple Kehillat Chaim | Temple Sinai | The Temple | As of 3.21.24
community partners: BeWellATL is an initiative of Jewish Federations of North America, in partnership with Network of Jewish Human Service Agencies.
Thank you to our participating






Associate Editor & Website Editor SASHA HELLER

Staff Writer & Proofreader FRAN PUTNEY







Senior Account Manager & Team Supervisor MICHAL BONELL

Account Manager ILYSSA KLEIN

Account Manager SUSAN MINSK

CREATIVE & DESIGN Creative Director



Events and Public Relations Coordinator KATIE GAFFIN

Atlanta Jewish Connector Coordinator DIANA COLE


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 24 BUSINESS ���������������������������������������� 26 EDUCATION 28 CAMP 34 SIMCHA �������������������������������������������� 42 CHAI STYLE ������������������������������������� 43 ARTS & CULTURE 46 CALENDAR 48 KEEPING IT KOSHER ���������������������� 50 BRAIN FOOD 51 OBITUARIES 52 CLOSING THOUGHTS �������������������� 56 MARKETPLACE 58 Art Contest 2024 Enter by April 2, 5:00 pm Passover 1st, 2nd and 3rd Place Prizes! All Ages Welcome! Please create a colorful and creative passover art piece for the prompt: Passover is about freedom, justice, redemption and leaving our struggles behind — just as the Jews in Egypt did. How do you relate to this aspect of the holiday? Cover Photo: The children looked so festive in the colorful costumes // Photo Credit Tziporah Wayne, Happy Heart Photography
OFFICE Administrative Assistant REBECCA LABANCA 404-883-2130

Fundraiser Supports Ben Massell Dental Clinic

It was smiling faces all around at the Bright Smiles, Brighter Futures fundraiser benefiting the Ben Massell Dental Clinic, the only free dental clinic of its kind in Atlanta.

Hosted by Jewish Family & Career Services of Atlanta at the 42West entertainment hall, the March 14 benefit raised more than $150,000 for the clinic and featured guest speakers, special presentations recognizing clinic administrators, and volunteer health professionals who have helped cement the clinic’s century-long legacy.

As guests filtered in, they mingled with former patients, volunteer dentists and oral hygienists, prominent donors, and longtime supporters of the clinic. Prior to the evening’s presentations, a sentimental slideshow was projected onto one of the event hall’s massive walls, displaying memories from the clinic’s storied past.

“The Ben Massell Dental Clinic (BMDC) has a long history, going back 100 years,” said Terri Bonoff, CEO of JF&CS. “It was a dream of community leaders to be able to offer free dental services to those in the community who need it most. JF&CS, guided by Jewish values, is proud to have built on this legacy that weathered COVID and has returned to pre-COVID patient demand, while not yet at full strength in terms of volunteer dentists.”

The Bright Smiles, Brighter Futures fundraiser helps raise awareness about the importance of expanding BMDC’s network of volunteer dentists as the clinic relies on these oral health experts to volunteer once per month, providing fillings, extractions, crowns, prosthetic services, and cleanings.

“The dentists volunteer their time, and all other staff, equipment, and office infrastructure is supported with generous philanthropy,” Bonoff said. “Thursday’s event is foundational to build that support!”

Event co-chair, Dr. Lauren Abes, also discussed the critical roles that recruiting, volunteering, and fundraising play in keeping the clinic’s charitable business model sustainable and successful.

“The clinic is such a crucial part of

our Atlanta community. I love being a part of such a special place that helps adults regain their smiles but more importantly, their confidence,” Abes said, adding that she is proud to follow in the footsteps of her father, Dr. Marshall Abes, who also volunteered with BMDC for sev-

Dr. Lauren Abes, event co-chair, with her parents, Stephanie Abes and Dr. Marshall Abes // Photo Credit: Casey Nelson Photography Barbara Jones, BMDC Director, and Dr. Michael Chalef, Honoree Chair // Photo Credit: Casey Nelson Photography JF&CS CEO Terri Bonoff and Jon Amsler, Board Chair // Photo Credit: Casey Nelson Photography
Philip Malone III, BMDC patient, and Dr. Joel Adler, honoree Chair // Photo Credit: Casey Nelson Photography


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Homemade Gefilte Fish


Classic Plain

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eral years. “The clinic needs more and more financial support. We are grateful for those who came and donated.”

Several former patients were in attendance and shared their heartfelt stories, including Philip Malone III, who had been homeless and struggling with alcoholism and addiction before he found his way to the Ben Massell Dental Clinic. After six months of living on the street, Malone was eventually imprisoned after attempting to remove someone else’s luggage from the carousel bin at the airport. While behind bars, Malone was severely beaten by gang members and endured significant damage to his mouth.

“The dentist at the prison wanted to pull my teeth out,” Malone said, adding that he rejected that idea and told the dentist he needed to keep his teeth so he could gain employment. However, over time, Malone lost nearly all of the loosefitting remains of his ivories.

When he arrived for his initial consultation, the clinicians noticed how Malone’s self-esteem had been warped due to the holes in his mouth.

“I never smiled. My personality was truly affected because I couldn’t smile,” he said.

In a tribute video, Malone, eyes brimming with tears, shared a touching thank you to those in attendance who performed his free, life-changing oral surgery and those who played even the smallest part in supporting the clinic’s mission to help those who are most in need.

“It changed my life,” he said, without hesitation.

In the five years since his oral intervention, Malone has remained sober while completing finance school and now works in the finance office at an Atlanta-area Mitsubishi dealership.

During her speech, Bonoff recognized the dental clinic’s board members and JF&CS representatives who were in attendance. She then acknowledged the family members of Ben Massell who help keep the charitable clinic operational and able to continue offering free dental services to those who qualify.

BMDC Director Barbara Jones received the Stacy G. Fialkow Staff Appreciation Award, as well as a rousing standing ovation, in acknowledgement of her nearly five decades of service with the clinic. Ever gracious, Jones was quick to thank her longtime colleagues for their hard work and dedication over the years.

While attendees dined on delectable dishes from DASH Hospitality Group amid a bevy of collective goodwill, they could also bid on various items in a silent auction with all proceeds benefiting the clinic.

The evening’s honorees included: Drs. Jonathan Dubin and Richard Weinman, Distinguished Liaisons to Dental College of Georgia; Dr. David Kurtzman, Distinguished Liaison to Dental Residency Program; Dr. Joel Adler, longest serving volunteer; Dr. Stephen Bankston, BMDC Chief of Staff; Dr. David Zelby, immediate past BMDC Chief of Staff; Dr. Michael Chalef and event co-chair Mike McDaniel, philanthropic champions; and Grady Health Systems as an outstanding community partner.

The Ben Massell Dental Clinic serves community members who earn an income within 125 percent of the federal poverty line, have no dental insurance, and reside within Metro Atlanta. The clinic is just one of several communityoriented programs offered through Jewish Family & Career Services. For more information about the clinic, please visit ì

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Choice of Red or White


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Event honorees Dr. Richard Weinman, Dr. Joel Adler, Dr. Stephen Bankston, Dr. Jonathan Dubin, Dr. Michael Chalef, Dr. Mike McDaniel, event co-Chair Chair // Photo Credit: Casey Nelson Photography
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Supernova Film Captures Gripping Israel Tragedy

In the Israeli documentary, “Supernova: The Music Festival Massacres,” Ilan Regev plays back a recording of the frantic call he received at his home in Israel from his 21-year-old daughter Maya on Oct 7.

“Dad, they shot me, they shot me!”, she is heard screaming into her phone. “He is killing us, Dad, he is killing us.”

The documentary, which had its North American premiere at the Atlanta Jewish Film Festival last month, crackles with a heart-stopping sense of immediacy and drama. Much of what takes place is a minute-by-minute reconstruction of the atrocities that occurred when dozens of Hamas gunmen swept into the lightly guarded open-air festival site three miles from the border with Gaza.

From recordings made by some of the Israeli victims of the attack and from footage posted by Hamas on social media, the film brings us a close-up view of the horrors of that day. Many of the scenes show the murder, in chilling de-

tail, of some of the 364 victims of the attack at the site and of the 40 others who were taken hostage from the festival by Hamas that day.

Reviewing the scenes of the carnage took its toll on the co-director of the film Duki Dror, the Israeli filmmaker who started putting the production together within days of the attack.

In the discussion that followed the AJFF screening last month, Dror admitted that the experience touched him deeply.

“I was traumatized for sure. I had a few meltdowns. A good friend told me it was not unlike the trauma, the PTSD, that occurred when you work on projects about war, like in Vietnam. It was very vivid for me.”

For Dov Wilker, Southeast Regional Director of the American Jewish Committee who interviewed Dror for the film festival program, the documentary revived recent impressions of Israel.

Wilker was one of the two dozen community leaders and rabbis who last month visited the communities where the attacks took place. He feels that despite the shocking nature of the film, it carries an important reminder for us at this time of year.

“The important message here is the notion that Hamas really is out there to kill us. It’s an important reminder for us as Jews as we approach the holiday of Passover. Each year at our seder tables, we remind ourselves about freedom and our struggle for survival. And this is, sadly, yet another example of that struggle.”

Since its premiere in Atlanta, the film has had a number of screenings in major American cities. It has been bought by the BBC World Service and television networks in at least a half dozen Europe-

Filmmaker Duki Dror felt himself traumatized by his work on the documentary, “Supernova.”
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The Supernova Festival was one of more than 20 sites that Hamas attacked on Oct. 7.

an countries. The film is a pay-per-view offering on Vimeo.

There is a free screening available on YouTube of a documentary, “#Nova,” which is also about the music festival attack. It has had the most views in the history of Yes TV, a well-known Israel broadcast and streamer.

Atlanta’s Israel Consulate, in 30 screenings around the South, has shown its own version of the documentary footage of the attack on the Supernova festival as well as several kibbutzim in southern Israel. The latest showing, to a small, carefully vetted audience in Midtown on March 14, contained scenes that were, if anything, even more horrific than are available in the commercial productions.

Among those attending the Atlanta consulate event was 85-year-old Robert Ratonyi, who survived the Holocaust as a young child in Hungary. Fifteen members of his family, including his father, died at the hands of the Nazis and their Hungarian collaborators. Today, seven of his cousins survive in Israel. Several of them live in border areas of Israel and

have been evacuated from their home while the war continues.

He maintains that what separates the murders during the Holocaust from the recent atrocities by Hamas is in the way the Islamic extremists rejoiced in the killings.

“There was joy in these social media messages that Hamas was sending back to their friends and family in Gaza,” Ratonyi pointed out. “I’ve never witnessed that, even with the Nazis. Towards the end of the war, the Germans were trying to hide it. The Hamas terrorists were proud of what they did. They wished they could have killed more Jews.”

The impact of all that has happened in the last six months has taken its toll on community leaders like Dov Wilker. He considers the week following the attacks of Oct. 7 to be among his most difficult in recent memory.

“There was a collective sense of pain that we all had then,” Wilker says. “And I think for the past six months, it really has forced us to consider who we are as Jews and how we survive as a people.” ì

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There were 364 people killed at the Supernova Festival and 40 more were taken hostage.
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JFF Hosts Pathways to Parenthood Celebration

Jewish Fertility Foundation (JFF), a non-profit providing financial assistance, emotional support, and educational programming to individuals on a familybuilding journey, marked the expansion of their services to include those without a diagnosis of medical infertility. This expansion opens the door for many in the LGBTQ+ community to access JFF’s financial support and was celebrated with a launch event at the Distillery of Modern Art in Chamblee.

The event, Pathways to Parenthood, held on Feb. 29, was an evening of community-building, education, and entertainment, bringing the Atlanta community together. Scott Anklowitz, chair of the Jewish Fertility Foundation Board of Directors, explained the event’s importance, saying, “Jewish Fertility Foundation provides resources to those facing family-building challenges, and last night’s event was a powerful start, conveying to the LGBTQ+ community that we are here to help.”

Guests enjoyed schmoozing, a com-

munal art project, kosher brick-oven pizza, and signature drinks with Distillery of Modern Art’s own artisanal spirits, before moving on to the evening’s sched-

uled programming. The lineup of speakers was comprised of well-known experts in the Jewish Atlanta LGBTQ+ community, and the focus of their talks was to edu-

cate attendees about the family-building options and support available to LGBTQ+ prospective parents and where to turn to for assistance and advice.

Members of the JFF staff, along with Board Chair Scott Anklowitz, enjoyed the evening together and showing support to those in the LGBTQ+ community currently on a family-building journey. JFF Grantee Recipient Liz Reynolds with her partner and sibling, showing support for her sharing their journey.

Attorney Barbara Katz, whose decades-long legal focus has been on meeting the needs of traditional and non-traditional families, talked about the legal issues relating to assisted reproductive technology, adoption law, and legally securing one’s family.

Dr. Quinton Katler, reproductive endocrinologist and infertility specialist at Shady Grove Fertility in Atlanta, spoke about in-vitro fertilization, third-party assisted reproduction, and other pertinent medical technologies of particular interest to prospective LGBTQ+ parents.

Rebecca Stapel-Wax, director of SOJOURN, the Southern Jewish Resource Network for Gender and Sexual Diversity, spoke as a community leader, activist, and parent, about the landscape of the LGBTQ+ Jewish community and how it has evolved in the past decades till now.

Elizabeth Reynolds, former Jewish Fertility Foundation client and proud queer parent, spoke about her own experience working with JFF through infertility and her partner’s transition, to have their beautiful baby.

After these esteemed speakers shared their experiences and knowledge with the crowd, comedian and headlining act Sam Morrison took the stage. Sam is a Jewish LGBTQ+ comedian who has performed on “Late Night with Seth Meyers,” Comedy Central, the New York City Comedy Festival, and many other critically acclaimed engagements. He performed a routine that touched heavily on his experience being a Jewish, gay comedian. Morrison connected to the audience and kept all attendees laugh-

ing for the full, 45-minute set. His opener, Ian Aber, and host, Nate Allen, helped to warm up the audience with their delightful humor and quick wit.

“I was so happy to attend and support JFF’s Pathways to Parenthood event. It was such an uplifting and wonderful experience to see JFF engaging and supporting LGBTQ folks who want to start a family. I wish they were around when my wife and I were trying to conceive but I’m so happy I get to support new friends as a volunteer ‘fertility buddy’ in the organization. It’s making a difference for so many people,” said Karen Shacham, JFF Fertility Buddy Veteran.

To date, JFF has made a huge impact on Jewish communities across all of their eight locations and will continue to boast impressive statistics. Elana Frank, CEO and founder of JFF says, “What we have been able to accomplish since I started JFF is beyond anything I could have imagined. Across the country, we are delivering the necessary resources that Jewish families and beyond need to be fruitful and multiply.”

JFF would like to thank the Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta - Innovations Initiative for generously paving the way to expand JFF support and educate the community about this new opportunity and celebrate this milestone. Additionally, JFF thanks the following partners for their support: SOJOURN, 18Doors, REPAIR the World Atlanta, Honeymoon Israel, Jewish Interest-Free Loan Association, Congregation Bet Haverim, Ma’alot Atlanta, and Federation NextGen Atlanta. ì

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Barbara Katz speaks during the Pathways to Parenthood celebration. Dr. Quinton Katler discusses alternative family-building options.

Decatur’s New Torah Lights the Way

On Sunday, March 10, approximately 200 Jews of all ages danced and marched in the streets of Decatur to celebrate the dedication of a new Sefer Torah being welcomed into its home at the Chabad’s Decatur Jewish Center.

Rabbi Avremi Slavaticki stated, “It’s hard to describe the intense feelings of pride and joy experienced by the participants in this celebration! Witnessing the writing of the final letters in the Torah, dancing in the street, bringing it to its new home in the Decatur Jewish Center - it was a powerful testament to our community’s endurance and our bright future.”

Note that a Sefer (“Book”) Torah is a handwritten scroll of the Five Books of Moses, the first of which is the Hebrew Bible.

The event was topped off with a falafel bar catered by Israel Rosh (Kosher Kreations) and a lavish dessert buffet prepared in house. There was a magic show for the children, who then joined the crowd in dancing and parading with

flags. The ceremony included a tribute to the three fallen soldiers for whom the Torah was dedicated, as well as to Rose Ida Lubin, whose mother, Robin, owns the

building that the Decatur Jewish Center leases.

Currently, Decatur has a population of 25,000 and boasts a walkable down-

town and diverse artsy culture with easy access to the city and “kosher life” in Toco Hills. However, Decatur was not always Jewish-friendly. When Rabbi Avremi and

A Torah was dedicated to the Lubin family and three fallen soldiers // All Photos by Zoe Allison Gangemi
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Danielle Botstein and Liat Oren enjoyed bringing their children.

wife, Bracha, were scouting Decatur for a potential move, they came across the book, “Saturday School,” by Tom Keating, and were shocked to learn that less than 100 years ago, the city had changed their entire school system (by adding Saturday Shabbos as a required school day) with one goal: to keep the Jews out.

The Slavaticki’s knew then that this was the city they would choose as their new center to further nurture Jewish life. He was born in Antwerp, Belgium, while Bracha hails from New Orleans. The two of them developed a passion for working in the Jewish community while serving as counselors, teachers, and program coordinators through their teen and young adult years.

Elaborating on their role in Decatur, Slavaticki said, “It’s more important than ever for the Jewish community in Decatur to band together ... the winds of antisemitism are blowing, and we need to strengthen one another and stay positive."

Thankfully, the new Decatur Jewish Center provides a safe space to do just that. It’s a place for Jews to learn, socialize, pray, and discuss community activism. Their tagline, “Jewish Done Joyfully,” expresses their hope for the space. Currently, the center is offering services, bar and bat mitzvah lessons, women’s get-togethers, holiday programming, and a variety of classes. A new

program, Decatur Jewish Makers, which highlights local talent, will begin with an art workshop led by Ariel Czesler, an Argentinian native turned Decatur artist (March 27).

A youthful Sunday celebrant, Matthew Colon, a Decatur-area high schooler, came to the Decatur Jewish Center for the first time on March 10, and said, “After Oct. 7, it is very important for the Jewish community to come together. The Decatur Chabad felt very inclusive for the entire community of Decatur including all Jewish residents [in varying] denominations.”

Dr. Jessica Alt echoed Colon’s sentiments, “It was so special to celebrate the arrival of a new Sefer Torah. The party was wonderful and welcoming to all. We loved how fun they made it for the kids as well. It was important to us for our children to be there. For them to witness the hard work, love, dedication, and attention to detail it takes to continue tell our story, the story of the Jewish people from one generation to another. The Sefer Torah is at the core of our strength as a people. We look forward to uniting with the community in many more simchas.”

Rolene Jaffe (no relation to this writer) summarized, “Everyone was so excited, the moment was so special! It was just what we needed. May we go from strength to strength as a community.” ì

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Melvin Konner and his grandchild filled in a letter. Approximately 200 people attended the celebration.

Pinch Hitter Quilt Honors Volunteer Legacy

To commemorate the B’nai B’rith Pinch Hitter Program’s legacy of volunteer service spanning more than four de-

cades, a dedicated crew of crafters have meticulously sewed a quilt comprised of volunteer T-shirts with the plan to present the quilt to the community for display in a local museum.

“The Pinch Hitter Quilt is a magnificent work demonstrating both skill and art,” said Harry Lutz, Pinch Hitter Program Chairman. “It is comprised of 48 panels made from actual Pinch Hitter T-shirts from over the years, beginning with the 1980 shirt.”

The T-shirts had been distributed each year to volunteers to help identify them to the staff, residents, and patients in the facilities in which the program serves.

“The quilt was initially shown at the office of the Atlanta Jewish Times, who, along with its predecessor, The Southern Israelite, has always been a sponsor of the Pinch Hitter Program,” Lutz said. The group plans to present the quilt at each of the hospitals and senior centers the program has served in the last year and, eventually, for it to be permanently displayed for the community to appreciate.

The display will also include a placard, produced by Toco Instant Printing, that details the program’s history and spotlights the team of talented quilters, including Sue Eisen, Mimi Anapolle, Dianna Quinn, Nada Torrey, Sandie Hendler, and Ann Stephens. Also noted on the placard are the Pinch Hitter Program Chairs: Judge Gary Jackson, Founder; Joseph Benkiel (z’l); Matt Green; Mannie Lowe; and Harry Lutz.

Production of the quilt lasted nearly two years as the group had to coordinate plans and schedules to complete the project.

The Pinch Hitter Program, started in 1980 by Judge Jackson, is an annual community service in which local Jewish

volunteers “go to bat” for essential, nonmedical Christian personnel on Christmas Day in hospitals, assisted living facilities, senior communities, and nursing homes, allowing the workers to spend the holiday with their families. The program is organized by the Achim/Gate City Lodge of B’nai B’rith International Center for Community Action in Atlanta.

“To the Jewish community, the program is a way we demonstrate that we don’t just do for other Jews, but we are providing a service to the larger community,” Lutz said. “It’s a way to do something worthwhile rather than just spend the day eating Chinese food and watching movies.”

For Lutz, who assumed leadership duties more than two decades ago from program Founder Judge Jackson, serving as captain of this volunteer work force has been a labor of love, but a labor nonetheless that he is looking to pass on.

“I didn’t plan to continue to chair the program as long as I have, but several potential successors that I have trained have chosen not to follow up, and I am still looking to groom a new chairperson,” Lutz said. “The duties of the position are very straightforward, and I have developed the path to follow.”

And who knows? The group may have kicked off a new tradition by crafting the commemorative quilt … check back in 40 years to see if they’ve sewn a new one.

For more information about the Pinch Hitter Program, please contact Harry Lutz at 678-485-8179 or email ì

Pictured, from left, are Pinch Hitter Program Founder Judge Gary Jackson, Chair Harry Lutz, volunteer coordinator Rosanne Lutz, and Helen SherrerDiamond presenting the quilt in the Atlanta Jewish Times newsroom. One of the panels recognizes the group of quilters: Sue Eisen, Mimi Anapolle, Dianna Quinn, Nada Torrey, Sandie Hendler, and Ann Stephens.



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Purim Across Atlanta 2024

The streets of Metro Atlanta were much more colorful and lively this past weekend as local synagogues and Chabad organizations hosted their annual Purim parades and festivals. In every corner of town, costumed children (and some adults) enjoyed the festivities and volunteered in various community-oriented service projects, like baking hamantaschen and packing gift bags.

Some highlights from this year’s Purim weekend include:

Purim Parade and Festival in Toco Hills

This year marked 32 years of floats, performers, marching groups, motorcyclists, and costumed marchers parading down a half-mile of LaVista Road in Toco Hills to celebrate the festival of Purim. Since 1987, the parade and festival have become an iconic community event, with hundreds of onlookers (the majority in costumes) cheering the parade from the sidewalks on both sides of the street. Many of the floats tossed candy to the bystanders and entertained attendees with joyous music from mounted loudspeakers.

The parade led from the Toco Hills shopping center to Congregation Beth Jacob where there were games, activities, and rides for all ages, a playhouse, petting zoo, face painting, sand art, digital photo booth, obstacle course, pirate ship, kiddie train ride, several food trucks, and refreshment stations. The parade and outdoor festival activities at Beth Jacob were headed by Gail Linder, Melanie Frank, Rachel Goldsmith, and Leah Lubel, with the assistance of dozens of hard-working volunteers.

The Toco Hills Purim Parade is always a fun time for families // Photo Credit Tziporah Wayne, Happy Heart Photography Hundreds of community members gathered for the Toco Hills Purim Parade // Photo Credit Tziporah Wayne, Happy Heart Photography It was all smiles at the Toco Hills Purim Parade // Photo Credit Tziporah Wayne, Happy Heart Photography The Purim Parade was filled with festive floats // Photo Credit Tziporah Wayne, Happy Heart Photography The Toco Hills Purim Parade celebrated its 32nd year A trio of children are decked out in colorful shades // Photo Credit Tziporah Wayne, Happy Heart Photography The children looked so festive in the colorful costumes // Photo Credit Tziporah Wayne, Happy Heart Photography Now in its 32nd year, the Toco Hills Purim Parade has become an annual tradition // Photo Credit Tziporah Wayne, Happy Heart Photography
It really was “all fun and games” at the parade // Photo Credit Tziporah Wayne, Happy Heart Photography

AA Kesher Students Craft Baskets, Bake Hamantaschen

The Kesher students at Ahavath Achim synagogue learned the themes and traditions of Purim this year and created themed Mishloach Manot baskets. They also made close to 400 hamantaschen alongside community volunteers from Ahavath Achim on Sunday, March 10, and March 17.

The dozens of volunteers worked along with staff member Jackie Nix, who directed the students as they came to the kitchen, two to three kids at a time. Annsley Klehr, interim education director at AA, pointed out that each student in Kesher was able to actively participate, whether mixing dough, rolling it out, punching out circles, pinching the dough together, or adding different fillings.

At the AA’s Purim Palooza event on March 24, there were a dunk tank, inflatable obstacle course, a tot bounce house, balloon twisting demonstrations and instructions, games, a pancake bar, and, of course, the handmade-with-love hamantaschen.

Synagogue Volunteers, AJA Students Create Gift Bags

Jodi Wittenberg and Tzippy Teller, co-owners of The Spicy Peach kosher gourmet grocery in Toco Hills, decided to establish a new Purim tradition last Purim in 2023. This year, the duo sponsored a second year of sending mishloach manot gifts to Jewish assisted living residents in the greater Atlanta area.

They worked with volunteers from Congregation Ohr HaTorah, The New Toco Shul, Congregation Or V’Shalom and Congregation Beth Jacob Sisterhood and many high school students from Atlanta Jewish Academy to assemble and pack 600 Mishloach Manot bags. In addition to residents of Jewish HomeLife and Berman Commons who received gift bags last year, this year’s recipients included Jewish residents at Hammond Glen and Holbrook.

Each Mishloach Manot bag contained hamantaschen, a Danish pastry, yogurt-covered raisins, a small bottle of grape juice, and a chocolate wafer bar. The festive bags bore stickers which read, “Happy Purim, packed with love from the communities of Ohr HaTorah, Or Veshalom, Beth Jacob and New Toco Shul.”

An assembly line of volunteers working outside of The Spicy Peach packed, boxed, divided, and loaded the gifts into cars to be dropped off at the residences in time for Purim. Teller notes, “The adult and student volunteers, from four different synagogues, worked as a Jewish nation to come together to reach out and celebrate Purim with our fellow Jews.”

Royal Purim Tea Party in Dunwoody

Queen Esther’s Royal Purim Tea Party at Ashford Lane in Dunwoody was a smashing success as children came decked in creative costumes to enjoy the Purim festivities. The firstof-its-kind celebration in the redesigned, mixed-use Perimeter shopping center featured Purim-themed crafts, Puriminspired desserts, hamantaschen, readings from the Megillah, a bounce house, face painting, and a magical princess meetand-greet.

The tea party in Dunwoody offered plenty of tasty treats and, of course, hamantaschen // Photo Credit: Sasha Heller The Queen Esther Royal Purim Tea Party featured Purim-themed crafts, Purim-inspired desserts, hamantaschen, readings from the Megillah, a bounce house, face painting, and a magical princess meet-and-greet // Photo Credit: Sasha Heller Ahavath Achim Kesher students made Mishloach Manot bags Kesher students at Ahavath Achim created Mishloach Manot bags for Purim Ahavath Achim students and volunteers made hamantaschen Volunteer students helped bake hamantaschen. A group of volunteers at The Spicy Peach assembled Mishloach Manot bags

Or VeShalom ‘Savors’ the Weekend

Congregation Or VeShalom hosted the March 22-24 weekend-long Purim & Sephardic Heritage Festival (Savor) with special guests, Susan Barocas and Sarah Aroeste, weaving food and music to celebrate the rich aspects of Sephardic Jewish life.

Congregation Or VeShalom is one of the few remaining Sephardic synagogues in the Southeast. Savor pronounced saVOR, which is Ladino (the Judeo-Spanish language) for “taste or flavor,” is a Sephardic music and food experience co-founded by chef Susan Barocas and Sarah Aroeste, Ladino singer and author.

Sarah explains, “What we do best through Savor is help people experience, participate, and engage with the beauty and breadth of Sephardic history, culture, and language through food and music, using all of the senses.”

In the first two years of Savor, the duo did in-person programs in New York City, White Plains, Newtown, Conn., Naples, the Berkshires, Washington, D.C., and Istanbul. Of Atlanta, Barocas said, “The Atlanta community seems to

be one of the more cohesive Sephardic communities in the U.S., and I love the role Sephardi food plays at OVS, from bureka baking and the bazaar at Chanukah to family picnics.”

Aroeste is committed to bringing awareness of Sephardic music and culture to audiences around the globe. With eight Ladino albums, and two Sephardic children’s books (with three more on the

way), she is credited for helping to revitalize a tradition for all ages.

If Barocas’ name sounds familiar, she was guest chef for three Presidential Seders. She told the AJT, “Serving as guest chef for three seders in the (Obama) White House (2014, 2015 and 2016) was one of the great honors of my life. I was proud to bring Sephardic dishes ‘to the table’ including huevos haminados, Mo-

Hroccan haroset balls, and chicken with preserved lemon and olives, along with additional fresh, healthy dishes requested by the First Lady. I was nervous walking in, but the staff was very nice, capable and welcoming once they got over my cooking the hard-boiled eggs in onion peels and coffee grinds for eight hours.”

Baracos’ writing and recipes have appeared in the Washington Post, Lilith,

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Barocas and Aroeste brought their Savor program to OVS to span three days. The colorful eggplant appetizer started off the Friday meal. Sephardic menus often include stuffed grape leaves.

and Moment magazines, The Nosher, and several cookbooks.

Some items from Friday Shabbat

Dinner: Patlican salatasi (roasted eggplant, chopped tomatoes and peppers) with flat bread, Lemony yaprakas (ricefilled grape leaves), Turkish meatballs with lemon tahini sauce, Carrot rice pilaf, Fasulye (Turkish green beans with tomatoes) and Tishpishti (syruped cake). Highlights from Saturday Kiddush: Marinated feta and assorted olives, Hummus with honeyed roasted eggplant, lemony fennel-leek-chickpea salad (toasted walnuts on side), Black-eyed pea salad, Tzatziki with cucumber and mint.

After the Shabbat dinner, Barocas delivered a history of Sephardic Jews tracing heritage to Spain and Portugal. During the centuries of the Inquisition and especially following the official expulsion of Jews from Spain in 1492 and Portugal shortly after, many were absorbed into existing

communities in Northern Africa and the Middle East with the largest number finding safe haven in the Ottoman Empire. Most of the early Jewish settlers of North America were Sephardic.

Aroeste performed some traditional songs. One particularly frightful tune was about a girl in Salonica who mistakenly burned the grape leaves and was so severely punished, she went to court to convert to Islam.

Barocas summarized, “Sephardic Jewish customs have been with us for hundreds of years, and at the heart of Sephardic heritage are the enduring connections between music and food.”

The duo also sponsors Savor Sephardic travel adventures (of course, with food) including a cruise in May -- Rome to Seville -- which is sold out with possible wait list cancellations.

Special Note: This writer does not photograph nor record events during Shabbat services. ì


March 22: A musical Kabbalat Shabbat experience followed by a richly flavored traditional Turkish-Jewish Shabbat Dinner prepared under Barocas’ guidance by Chef Alex.

March 23: Tot Shabbat with Sarah and services featuring special d’vrei torah delivered by Sarah and Susan and featuring Sarah’s Ladino musical influence.

• Sephardic: Mezze Kiddush Lunch, featuring recipes by Chef Susan

• Evening Cooking Class by Susan, followed by Megillah reading

March 24: Bureka Bake Off – featured 12 bakers; Special Guest Bake-off Judges: chef/ restauranteur Shai Lavi, chef/restauranteur Todd Ginsberg, Aroeste, Barocas, OVS Rabbi Hearshen; and Purim Carnival for kids

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Chef Alex prepared a hearty Shabbat meal designed by Barocas.

Adams Looks to Improve Israeli Cycling

Sylvan Adams, the Canadian Israeli philanthropist, made a special visit to the Gaza border communities, an initiative led by Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, where he announced that he will be investing in the establishment of cycling and sports infrastructure for the region.

During the tour, Adams was exposed

Today in Israeli History

March 31, 2002: Prime Minister Ariel Sharon declares Palestinian Authority President Yasser Arafat the enemy of Israel and the free world after two suicide bombings in one day, including a Hamas attack that kills 16 in Haifa.

April 1, 1925: The Hebrew University of Jerusalem opens on Mount Scopus, fulfilling a dream first expressed in a letter from Heidelberg University professor Herman Schapira to the Hebrew newspaper HaMelitz in 1882.

April 2, 1979: Menachem Begin becomes the first Israeli prime minister to visit Egypt when he arrives in Cairo a week after signing the peace treaty with Egypt. A military band welcomes him with “Hatikva,” then he visits tourist spots.

April 3, 1994: Maj. Gen. Aharon Remez dies in Jerusalem at 74. A fighter pilot with the Royal Air Force in World War II, he served as the second commander in chief of Israel’s air force from July 1948 to December 1950.



to the harsh scenes in the kibbutzim and communities that were brutally attacked on Oct. 7. Adams also heard first-hand testimonies from Israelis who experienced Hamas’ heinous terror attack, losing loved ones, and miraculously surviving that day.

Adams said, “We will build back bigger, better, stronger and bring life back to this beautiful community. Let’s do it quickly. I’m imploring the government, really, don’t take your time, these things need to be done now. The sooner they come back, the sooner they can resume their lives. Let’s invest in the south, it’s so important. I’m asking everyone to join me, let’s rebuild this place, bigger, better, stronger.”

Adams was joined on the tour by Rami Gold, a cycling legend and member of Kibbutz Be’eri, who built and promoted cycling routes all over Israel, and together with Adams will promote the bicycle route infrastructure in area.

Compiled by AJT Staff

April 4, 1920: The Nebi Musa festival, a pilgrimage to the site Muslims believe to be Moses’ grave near Jericho, breaks into rioting in Jerusalem’s Old City, killing five Jews and four Arabs over three days.

April 5, 1999: Kfar Saba-based M-Systems applies for a patent for the USB flash drive, which can store 8 megabytes, five times the memory of most floppy disks. IBM begins selling the drives after the patent is granted.

World Health

April 6, 1999: An Israel Defense Forces medical mission flies to the former Yugoslav republic of Macedonia (now North Macedonia) to care for refugees from Kosovo. The hospital treats more than 1,560 people in 16 days.

April 7, 1973: Ilanit, Israel’s first entrant in the annual Eurovision Song Contest, finishes fourth out of 17 with the song “Ey-sham,” a dramatic ballad featuring “the garden of love.” Ilanit again represents Israel in 1977.

fessionals interested in making Aliyah, Nefesh B’Nefesh is expanding its medical initiative to Jewish communities around the world. Nefesh B’Nefesh will hold its first European MedEx in Paris, France, on March 31, as part of the organization’s newly founded International Medical Aliyah Program (IMAP).

Nefesh B’Nefesh Launches Medical Aliyah Program

After eight successful years of expediting licensing and placements for thousands of North American healthcare pro-

April 8, 1960: U.N. Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjold for the first time publicly criticizes Egypt for confiscating Israeli cargo on ships using the Suez Canal. Israel conditioned its 1956 withdrawal from the Sinai on the freedom of navigation.

April 9, 1973: Ehud Barak leads a successful seaborne commando raid on Beirut to kill three PLO officials connected to the Munich Olympics massacre: Mohammed Yousef al-Najjar, Kamal Adwan and Kamal Nasser.

April 10, 1974: Prime Minister Golda Meir resigns a month after forming Israel’s 16th government. Israel’s only female prime minister is reacting to the release of a critical report on why Israel was surprised in the Yom Kippur War.

April 11, 1909: Sixty-six families gather on the dunes outside Jaffa to claim lots in the new neighborhood of Ahuzat Bayit (“Homestead”), marking the founding of Tel Aviv. White and gray seashells connect families to parcels.

Nefesh B’Nefesh signed a multiyear agreement with Israel’s Ministry of Aliyah and Integration and Ministry of Health, to create an international program to streamline the immigration process for medical professionals, ensuring their ability to integrate into Israel’s medical workforce upon arrival in Israel. The objective of the program is to facilitate the Aliyah of 2,000 physicians over the course of the next five years. The International Medical Aliyah Program offers medical professionals an all-encompassing array of resources, services, and personal consultations and will now be offered around the world in various locations.

Compiled by AJT Staff

April 12, 1951: The Knesset establishes the 27th of Nisan as Yom HaShoah, Holocaust Memorial Day. The date is chosen because it is close to the start of the Warsaw Ghetto uprising without intruding on Passover.

April 13, 1948: Arab forces ambush a medical convoy bound for Hadassah Hospital on Mount Scopus in Jerusalem and kill 79 people, mostly doctors and nurses. A British military post 600 feet away fails to aid the convoy.

April 14, 1961: Illana Shoshan, who wins the 1980 Miss Israel title and in 2010 is voted the Miss Israel of All Time, is born in Kfar Saba. She becomes a fashion model, actress, film producer and activist on women’s issues.

Items are provided by the Center for Israel Education (, where you can find more details.

Sylvan Adams (right) is interested in investing in Israeli cycling and sports infrastructure. Nefesh B’Nefesh Co-Founders Rabbi Yehoshua Fass and Tony Gelbart; Ofir Sofer, Minister of Aliyah and Integration; Avichai Kahana, Director General of the Ministry of Aliyah and Integration; and MK Yonatan Mashriki, Knesset Health Committee Chairman with medical professional at the Nefesh B’Nefesh MedEx event 2024. Opening festivities are held at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem on April 1, 1925. // Central Zionist Archives The Organization rates the IDF’s emergency field hospitals the best in the world. // IDF Spokesperson’s Unit Families gather on the dunes to mark out their Tel Aviv homestead lots April 11, 1909. Illana Shoshan started as a beauty queen and model and became an actress, producer and activist. // By Robert Rafael, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Purim’s Giant Puppet Parade Returns

The Adloyada parade is back!

A procession of original giant puppet displays, designed by Israeli artists in cooperation with children from Jerusalem, marched through the center of the capital in celebration of Purim. The displays expressed appreciation for the bravery of Israel’s soldiers, the unity of the people, and the victory of the spirit.

In the parade, people from evacuated communities in the North and South marched alongside displays created by artists from towns in the Gaza Envelope. Families of reservists and groups from Jerusalem and other places also marched with them, displaying the essence of Jerusalemite resistance in one mighty procession.

The Jerusalem Adloyada parade began on King David Street, continued to Zion Square through Shlomo HaMelech Street, then turned onto Jaffa Street and left onto King George Street, concluding at the old Mashbir Square.

The parade took place this year for the first time since 1982, with the Jerusalem municipality, in collaboration with the Davidson Theater-Train Theater, reviving the Jerusalem Adloyada tradition in the city center. This year, especially, there is great importance in holding the Adloyada in Jerusalem. This Adloyada takes place five months after the horrific slaughter in the South, and it puts at the center the idea of recreation, inspiration, and imagination. The march is dedicated to the little heroes in our lives, our children, who bravely face the current times, demonstrating strength and immense mental resilience.

Jerusalem Mayor Moshe Lion said, “The Adloyada is beyond a Purim celebration; it is a march of the victory of the spirit and of standing tall. Jerusalem opens its gates and hosts everyone with love and joy, hoping for a promising future and unity of the people.”

Participating cultural institutions included the Tower of David Museum, Israel Museum, Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design, the Davidson Theater-Train Theater, Incubator Theater, Mystery Theater, Dancing Deer Theater, Ginogli Center, and the Bloomfield Science Museum. Additionally, top puppeteers and giant puppet sculptors in the country, as well as many communities from across the city, took part, including School Argentina (Experimental), Ha’Mifal gallery, Bak’a Community Center, Romema Community Center, Sha’ar Hityashvut High School, Jerusalem Art School, IASA - Israel Arts and

Science Academy, and more.

Among the artists presenting at the Adloyada are Adi Ana Telzhinsky, Shmulik Shochat, Itamar Hamerman, Shimon Pinto, Yinon Shahazoo, Eldad Shaaltiel, Anna Viktorova, Sivan Vaishentan Halevi, Lev Kraitman and Itamar Rappel (Midburn), Diego and Lea Rotman, Ilia Zamsov and Michael Ma’arik, Liron Gavish and Yoav Asher Schwartz, Ilan Green, Tair Nahum, Reni Mizrahi, Adar Goldfarb and Hadass Diamant, Maayan and Hila, Hop Channel with Sumsum Street puppets, Adam Yakin, Yulia Gines, Lili and Pluga, Michal Shochron, Alon Abidor, Dean Bar, Yaron Krevl, Idan Sclar, Shai Parsil, Itamar Shemshoni, and many more.

In honor of the holiday, Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael-Jewish National Fund (KKL-JNF) presents photos from Purim celebrations in the Land of Israel and abroad from the 1920s to the 1950s.

KKL-JNF has revealed rare archival photos from festive Purim celebrations during the British Mandate era and the early years of Israel. Even before the establishment of the state, the people of the Land of Israel prepared for weeks with costumes, decorations and displays, for the Purim parade – the carnival that was first named Adloyada in 1932. In Jerusalem, the festivities were expressed through elaborate costumes and magnificent gates, and hundreds of city residents, young and old, participated.

Jews around the world also dressed up to celebrate the holiday. Among the rare photos, one can see festive Purim

costumes from Egypt and Germany where children dressed as the iconic KKL-JNF blue box – a Zionist symbol like no other.

Efrat Sinai, director of KKL-JNF Archives, said, “We are proud to present a glimpse of the joy of the Purim holiday as captured over the decades through the lenses of the cameras of KKL-JNF photographers and members of Jewish communities in the Diaspora. Although the photos were taken in black and white, you can immediately feel the festive atmosphere and the dedication in preparing the costumes, all of which are handmade. It is always moving to remember how they celebrated this special holiday here and abroad back then, just like today.” ì

KKL-JNF Historical Purim Photo Archive
Compiled by AJT Staff
A girl dressed up as the KKL-JNF Blue Box on Purim, Germany, 1950. Israel Melamed in a KKL-JNF costume, Alexandria, Egypt, 1920. Purim parade at Horev School, Jerusalem, 1950. The annual Purim Bachar in Nissim Bachar Street // Photo Credit: Ricky Rahman The Lion of the Adloyada // Photo Credit: Dor Kedmi A display of the famous Jerusalem monster statue // Photo Credit: Nurit Katzir

Heyman Headed to WWE Hall of Fame

The “Wiseman” is finally getting his due.

Paul Heyman, a longtime titanic figure in professional wrestling and arguably the most prominent Jewish wrestling promoter in the sport’s history, will be inducted into the World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) Hall of Fame on Friday, April 5, at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia. Heyman’s induction ceremony will precede WWE’s two-day WrestleMania event held at Lincoln Financial Field, home of the Jeffrey Lurie-owned Philadelphia Eagles.

Heyman, 58, who grew up in the New York suburb of Scarsdale and whose mother, Sulamita, was a Holocaust survivor, cut his teeth in the world of pro wrestling when he was a teen, snapping photos at wrestling events with equipment he purchased from his bar mitzvah

gifts. Over the past four plus decades since then, Heyman has soared to great heights in the pro wrestling universe, serving as a promoter, broadcaster, and executive among other high-profile roles for the sport’s different leagues.

“I think everyone knew even back then I was going to find my place in this industry,” Heyman said to the Associated Press right after the Hall of Fame announcement was made early this month.

“I wasn’t shy about letting people know that. About letting people know that was my ambition.”

Later on, in the mid-1980s, Heyman, under his stage name “Paul E. Dangerously,” a nickname taken from the Michael Keaton flick, “Johnny Dangerously,” had a monumental impact on wrestling by becoming a manager in World Championship Wrestling (WCW), and forging relationships with some of the sport’s biggest luminaries such as Steve Austin, Arn Anderson, the Undertaker (aka Mean Mark Callous), and Rick Rude. Heyman and his acolytes became known as the Dangerous Alliance and quickly

became known as the most vibrant show in the WCW.

Heyman’s run in the WCW was short-lived however, as he was soon fired in the early 1990s after clashing with management. This turned out to be a boon to his pro wrestling career as Heyman went on to pilot Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW) – formerly known as Eastern Championship Wrestling -through which he championed a brutally violent, yet wildly popular style of competition that was fueled by alternative rock music. This approach, which soon garnered the moniker, “hardcore wrestling,” provided the sport with a national pay-per-view platform while ultimately ushering in WWE’s transformative “Attitude Era,” which lasted from 1997 to 2002 and marked the most successful period in pro wrestling history.

“The ‘extreme’ in ECW stood for the work ethic involved, the passion that was necessary and the extreme connection to an audience to whom and for whom we were always obsessed with under promising and overdelivering,” Heyman went on to tell the AP. “The legacy of ECW is firmly rooted in the very simple concepts of paying attention to the cultural curve and obsessively trying to stay a few steps ahead of it.”

Largely due to the transient nature of pro wrestling, ECW eventually ceased operations, and Heyman transitioned to WWE, where he emerged as a towering figure by the early 2000s. While serving as an iconic commentator for WWE and promoting some of its most prominent events and characters including bigtime celebrity Brock Lesnar, he remained

keenly aware of his familial history.

During a 2009 visit to the United Nations for Holocaust Remembrance Day, shortly before his mother lost her battle with cancer, Heyman shared some very poignant thoughts with the publication Slam! Wrestling when he remarked, “I wish I could find the words to accurately describe the holy obligation carried by the first generation of children of Holocaust survivors. It’s not a religious thing. It’s EVERY thing. The most influential moment of my life actually happened 20 years before I was born, when the British soldiers liberated Bergen Belsen on April 15, 1945.”

Heyman’s father, Richard, also had a background rooted in World War II as he served in the U.S. Navy on the USS Rescue (AH-18) in the Pacific Theatre. Following his time in the Navy, Richard went to NYU Law School before running a successful legal practice in the Bronx.

The Hall of Fame may be a milestone moment, but Heyman’s pro wrestling career is far from over. The “Wiseman,” after all, has earned the nickname by consistently managing the sport’s top talent and immediately following the HOF induction ceremony, Heyman will be front and center in this year’s WrestleMania, WWE’s marquee event, by being the official “advisor” to Undisputed Universal Champion Roman Reigns, vying to defend his title against Cody Rhodes.

“I consistently feel like I’m just getting started, and I’m just figuring this out,” Heyman also remarked. “To me, what is an incomplete body of work, because there’s still things I want to accomplish, I never felt comfortable accepting that is a reflection upon an entire career.” ì

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Paul Heyman, who has spent his entire professional life in wrestling, will finally be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame next month // Courtesy Facebook

Suns Owner Ishbia Seeks Playoff Success

A year ago, when Mat Ishbia, the president and CEO of Michigan-based United Wholesale Mortgage, the country’s largest wholesale mortgage lender, agreed to purchase the NBA’s Phoenix Suns and WNBA’s Phoenix Mercury from embattled real estate businessman Robert Sarver, he pledged “to think big.”

Having just completed his first year of ownership, Ishbia, who at 44 is the youngest NBA owner, has not just thought big, but has acted accordingly on many fronts from immediately landing superstar Kevin Durant in a mid-season trade last winter to recently securing the 2027 NBA All-Star Game for Phoenix. In line with his high-octane personality, Ishbia has made great strides in making the Valley of the Sun the epicenter of the basketball universe – even though the city hasn’t assumed that mantle just yet.

The ultimate barometer by which Ishbia’s stewardship will be measured is whether he can deliver the 56-yearold franchise its first-ever championship -- a milestone that in all likelihood, may not happen at the conclusion of Ishbia’s first full season at the helm. The Suns, a veteran-laden team built to win now but bedeviled by injuries to its core players (Devin Booker, Bradley Beal, and the 14time All-Star Durant, who’s still one of the game’s top mid-range shooters, have hardly been on the court together), inconsistent perimeter defense and proclivity for committing a rash of turnovers, are in danger of missing the playoffs.

“I think we have the best team in the league, but obviously we have to play it out,” Ishbia remarked on media day this past autumn.

They are currently slotted in for the anything-can-happen play-in tournament -- undoubtedly the Atlanta Hawks’ path to the postseason as well – where Mark Cuban’s Dallas Mavericks and/or Domantas Sabonis and the Sacramento Kings likely await. And should the Suns fall short of the playoffs, it would be a colossal disappointment, what with the team trading most of its future draft capital and committing to pay some $67 million in luxury taxes in exchange for the aforementioned veteran star power.

“I work for the community. I work for the fan base. Anything we can do to win, we’re going to try to [do],” Ishbia said during media day when justifying the organization’s bold moves. “We want to be the best organization in all of sports. I don’t think of it as risky or

not risky, we’re trying to win. If there’s a way to make us better, I’m going to do it, whether it’s on or off the court.”

Yet, that the Suns, who came agonizingly close to winning it all merely three years ago, are buried in a deep Western Conference has – for now at least -- been largely overshadowed by the monumental changes to Phoenix basketball since Ishbia arrived last winter. Ishbia, who as a senior in high school was named Jewish athlete of the year by the Detroit Jewish News before playing in three Final Fours for Michigan State as a walk-on, has engineered some impressive developments. A city that is already host to the men’s Final Four next month and the women’s Final Four in 2026, has over the past year been awarded the WNBA All-Star Game this July and the NBA’s version in 2027. NBA Commissioner Adam Silver has stated publicly that in his 32-year NBA tenure, the league has never awarded a city two All-Star Games within the space of the year.

“He’s really setting the bar high," first-year Suns head coach Frank Vogel said after the All-Star Game announcements.

Under Ishbia and Suns 34-year-old CEO Josh Bartelstein, also a member of the Jewish community, the development that will impact a far greater number of basketball fans was the decision last year to sever talks to extend the Suns’

TV rights deal with Bally Sports and instead make the games accessible on local broadcast stations owned by Gray Television across Arizona. It was impressive – the franchise sacrificed potentially tens of millions of dollars in guaranteed revenue for the sake of tripling the expansion of its games to over 2.8 million households.

“People focus too much on money,” Ishbia told Arizona Sports radio in the wake of his decision. “What I focus on is if I dominate from a fan experience, if I make it an amazing community asset, if we put a great product on the floor and we’re winning, and we take great care of our team members — all of the stuff I talked about at the press conference when I originally bought the team — money will follow … Yes, I believe we’ll make money. I don’t even know the details about the money. The reality is when I was told I have the option to do this and we discussed this, we said 100 percent we’re going to do the right thing for the fan base.”

Several weeks later, plans were revealed for a new team member business headquarters and a massive cutting-edge practice facility for the Mercury within Phoenix’s Warehouse District downtown. The 123,000-square-foot development, fueled by a $100-plus million investment and replete with a vast array of amenities including a fitness room, hot

and cold pools, and two practice courts, promises to be one of the elite facilities in all of women’s pro sports.

“We are working every day to make the Phoenix Suns and Mercury a worldclass organization on and off the floor,” said Ishbia upon the unveiling of the plan. “You create great culture by investing in people. A basketball franchise is so much more than a normal business, it is a catalyst for change.”

There certainly has been a whirlwind of change in Ishbia’s first year of ownership and only time will tell if it will be a catalyst for the Suns to make a deep postseason run that extends beyond the Western Conference Semifinals, where they have unceremoniously bowed out the past two seasons.

But as it stands, perhaps the most significant highlight of the Suns’ season was when former Suns forward and Orthodox Jew Amare Stoudemire, who from 2016 to 2019, played for the Israeli team Hapoel Jerusalem and later for Maccabi Tel Aviv before converting to Judaism while living in Israel in August 2020, had his No. 32 retired during a Ring of Honor ceremony at halftime on March 2. The long overdue recognition of one of the game’s most electrifying players was a spectacular moment for a franchise that has now established strong roots in the Jewish community. ì

It’s been a busy first year for new Phoenix Suns owner Mat Ishbia, as among other initiatives, he spearheaded the campaign to get Phoenix an All-Star Game // Photo Credit: Phoenix Suns social media


Leave an Empty Chair at Your Seder Table

From Where I Sit

01. 02. 03. 04. 05. 06. 07. 08. 09. 10.

In less than a month, at sunset on April 22, Jews around the world will gather with family and friends for the Seder that begins the holiday of Passover.

11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20.

As it is written in the Haggadah, the story of how “G-d took us from Egypt with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm” will be retold.

21. 22. 23. 24. 25. 26. 27. 28. 29. 30.

Rituals that many of us remember from childhood will be observed.

31. 32. 33. 34. 35. 36. 37. 38. 39. 40.

On the Seder plate will be foods associated with the Passover story. The bitter herb, for instance, meant as a reminder of the bitterness of slavery (or captivity).

41. 42. 43. 44. 45. 46. 47. 48. 49. 50.

There are recipes prepared just for this holiday, some associated with Ashkenazic, Sephardic, or Mizrahi heritage, and others long-time family favorites.

51. 52. 53. 54. 55. 56. 57. 58. 59. 60.

Set an extra place at the table and leave an empty chair.

111. 112. 113. 114. 115. 116. 117. 118. 119. 120.

The empty chair at our table will be for Tal Shoham, a 39-year-old husband and father, kidnapped when terrorists attacked Kibbutz Be’eri.

121. 122. 123. 124. 125. 126. 127. 128. 129. 130.

Tal was kidnapped along with his wife, his two children, his mother-in-law, a cousin of his wife and her daughter. All but Tal were returned on Nov. 25. Three other family members were murdered on Oct. 7.

121. 122. 123. 124. 125. 126. 127. 128. 129. 130.

The leaves on the branches on that side of the family tree include generations descended from my great-grandfather’s twin brother.

131. 132. 133. 134. 135. 136. 137. 138. 139. 140.

In late January, one of the Israeli cousins wrote on Facebook (translated from Hebrew): “Our lives stopped on the 7th of October. Time is frozen and we are not yet [at] the day after. And despite this I know that everything has its time, and things will happen. There is time for everything except one thing, those whose lives hang by a thread.”

141. 142. 143. 144. 145. 146. 147. 148. 149. 150.

As Israel prosecutes its war against Hamas, the global focus has been on the death toll and the humanitarian crisis in Gaza. Release of the hostages — all of the hostages — must be part of any ceasefire agreement.

151. 152. 153. 154. 155. 156. 157. 158. 159. 160.

During the Seder (from the Hebrew word for “order”), prayers will be recited and songs will be sung.

61. 62. 63. 64. 65. 66. 67. 68. 69. 70.

Passover is meant to be understood as a story of liberation and freedom.

71. 72. 73. 74. 75. 76. 77. 78. 79. 80.

Missing from Seder tables in Israel will be Jewish men, women, and children, who made up the vast majority of both the 1,200 people murdered in the Oct. 7 terror attacks and the 240 civilians and soldiers kidnapped and taken into Gaza.

81. 82. 83. 84. 85. 86. 87. 88. 89. 90.

After that “Black Shabbat,” which fell during the holidays of Simchat Torah and Shmeini Atzeret, pathologists spent weeks identifying the mangled and burned bodies. No hostages have been released since late November, when a few dozen women and children were exchanged for a greater number of Palestinians held in Israeli jails. The government believes that upwards of 30 of the remaining 134 hostages may be dead.

91. 92. 93. 94. 95. 96. 97. 98. 99. 100.

As you plan your Seder menu and seating arrangements, I want to make a suggestion.

101. 102. 103. 104. 105. 106. 107. 108. 109. 110.

Many of the hostage families are beyond frustrated with their government, which they fear has made return of their loved ones a secondary concern.

161. 162. 163. 164. 165. 166. 167. 168. 169. 170.

They have marched to the military headquarters in Tel Aviv and to the prime minister’s residence in Jerusalem, joined by thousands of other Israelis, demanding accountability for the intelligence and military failures, and associated government policies, that allowed the terror attacks to happen.

171. 172. 173 174. 175. 176. 177. 178. 179. 180.

In the weeks immediately after Oct. 7, Shabbat tables were set up in Israel and beyond, including in Atlanta, with empty chairs and photographs of the hostages. There have been fewer such displays since then.

181. 182. 183. 184. 185. 186. 187. 188. 189. 190.

When Passover begins at sunset on Monday, April 22, 198 days will have elapsed since Oct. 7.

191. 192. 193. 194. 195 196. 197. 198.

So, set an extra place and leave an empty chair at your Seder table. For those still held hostage. ì

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AJA Girls Soccer Celebrate Victory

The Atlanta Jewish Academy girls varsity team won their first game of the year against Atlanta Classical Academy with a hard fought, 2 -1, victory. The winning goal was scored by Ariella Schulman on a through ball from

Ella Katz. Schulman beat three defenders to the ball and scored. This was AJA’s first victory in a couple of years.

Compiled by AJT Staff


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Jewish Future Pledge Rebrands

Lawyer, law professor, and author Alan Dershowitz has signed on to commit to the newly rebranded Jewish Future Promise.

To enhance its mission and outreach, the  Jewish Future Pledge (JFP) has announced its new name and becomes the Jewish Future Promise. This name change marks a strategic expansion of the organization’s vision, emphasizing a universally accessible and deeply moral commitment to perpetuate the rich tapestry of Jewish narratives, principles, and cultural heritage.

In marking the occasion, JFP also announced that lawyer, law professor, and author  Alan Dershowitz has endorsed and has become a signer of the Jewish Future Promise. Dershowitz has spent his career protecting the Jewish faith and battling antisemitism.

“The time has come for Jewish donors to prioritize Jewish charitable giving, especially to groups that support Israel and fight antisemitism,” said Dershowitz. “I have prioritized my giving to United Hatzalah, a volunteer emergency medical service that treats Jewish, Muslim and Christian Israelis alike. If we ourselves are not for Israel and the Jewish people, who will be?”

“Alan’s endorsement of the Jewish Future Promise at this pivotal moment reflects a powerful testament to his enduring commitment to the Jewish heritage,” proclaimed Mike Leven, the founder of JFP. “His signature illuminates our community’s growth, approaching 50,000 devoted signers. This surge of support encapsulates our collective resolve to preserve the essence of our Jewish identity. As we transition to The Jewish Future Promise, with the advocacy of distinguished leaders like Alan, we reaffirm our unwavering dedication to the continuity and vitality of Jewish culture and values for future generations.”

Compiled by AJT Staff

Ariella Schulman and Kayla Joel celebrate the winning goal.

HOD Volunteers Distribute Candles at Capitol

Local Author Stern Releases New Novel

tion attended by 200 Jewish philanthropists and nonprofit executives.

If the detonation is not stopped, Iran will claim that the loss of Jewish lives begins to balance Israel’s assassinations of Iranian nuclear scientists, the use of the Stuxnet computer virus to damage its centrifuges, and the targeted killings of Iranian military leaders.

Volunteers from the Hebrew Order of David (HOD), Lodge Shimshon, with an assist from the Jewish-Christian Discovery Center and the Steven M and Betsy S. Kramer Family Foundation, distributed Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Remembrance) yellow candles to every Georgia state representative and senator on Monday, March 18.

The volunteers also distributed the gifts to Governor Brian Kemp in a private ceremony. Some were allowed on the state senate floor to present the bag containing the yellow candle to Lt. Governor Burt Jones. Additionally, the volunteers provided all state-wide officials with the yellow candle. In the distribution, HOD was honored to have help from David Joss, the Deputy Grand President of the Hebrew Order of David International.

Volunteers from the Hebrew Order of David, Lodge Shimshon, assembled distinctive yellow bags on March 11. The bags contained: a yellow candle; a flyer with meditation, prayer, and instructions for lighting the yellow candle on Yom HaShoah, sundown on May 5 this year; another flyer describing the He-

and complimentary tickets to The Breman Museum for each official.

HOD believes this was the first time yellow candles were ever distributed to a complete state legislature anywhere in the United States. The Georgia legislature passed an antisemitism bill this January, and the organizations knew they would get a welcome reception from the legislators.

In April, HOD will continue this effort by delivering many additional bags to Jewish houses of worship and Hillels of Georgia. Even this latter effort greatly expands on its original mission from previous years, started years ago by Worthy Brother Steve Kaufman of HOD.

This event would not have been possible without the generous funding from a Gather Grant from the Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta, tickets from The Breman Museum, and stop-gap funding from the Kramer Family Foundation. All the organizations mentioned in this article are charities, and the workers are all volunteers.

Compiled by AJT Staff

Author Harry Stern has recently released “The Insider,” a sequel to his first novel, “My Brothers’ Keeper.”

“The Insider” is a page-turning tale of vengeance and duplicity. An international terror plot targeting New York City becomes a deadly game of cat and mouse with Iran’s secret service.

Leora Bargal and Joshua Canaan, two top Mossad counterterrorism operatives, are enlisted to work with Detective Alex Ramirez and FBI agents to thwart Iran’s plan to bomb a New York cultural hub, the 92nd Street Y.

Stern has written and lectured on Middle Eastern affairs and their impact on Israel’s military challenges. Upon receiving his M.A. and doctorate from Columbia University, Stern moved to Israel, where he assumed the role of Director of Community Organization for Southern Tel Aviv and held a faculty position at Hebrew University, in Jerusalem.

Harry Stern’s “The Insider,” a follow-up to his first novel, “My Brother’s Keeper,” is available on Amazon.

Iran’s Quds Force has formed Unit 840. Its goal is to inflict maximum casualties on Jews worldwide. It has devised a plan to detonate a massive bomb at the Y during a national conven-

When Stern returned to the United States, he held the position of CEO of several Jewish organizations, including the Marcus Jewish Community Center of Atlanta and the Lawrence Family JCC of San Diego. REJA Press published his memoir, “Anemone in a Desert Landscape.” He then launched the BargalCanaan series of espionage novels in 2020 with “My Brothers’ Keeper.”

“The Insider” is available on Amazon.

Stern lives in Atlanta with his wife, Aviva. They have three children and six grandchildren.

Compiled by AJT Staff

Local author Harry Stern has released a new novel, “The Insider.” Hebrew Order of David volunteers Larry Laibson, Steve Kaufman, Steve Kramer, Neal Drucker, Eric Solomon, Mark Weiss, Joel Pflosky, Howard Levine, and Eric Solomon assemble the yellow bags. brew Order of David’s benevolent activities; Betsy Kramer, David Joss, Steve Kramer, Rabbi Albert Slomovitz, Larry Laibson, and Jeff Baumohl join Governor Brian Kemp in his office.
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David Joss, Rachel Slomovitz, Steve Kramer, Jeff Baumohl, Betsy Kramer, Rabbi Albert Slomovitz, and Larry Laibson at the State Capitol.


Galex Launches Children’s Book ‘Turtle Rocks’

Author Audrey Galex has published her first children’s book, “Turtle Rocks,” an inspiring, beautifully illustrated book with a heartfelt message about the importance of perspective, curiosity, friendship, and teamwork.

In an interview with WABE’s Lois Reitzes, Galex explained that “on the surface, ‘Turtle Rocks’ is a story about turtles that confront what appear to be rocks on their journey to join their friends sunning themselves on a log on a pond. Beneath the surface, the story is about attitudes, character traits, and actions that help them reach their goal, including perseverance, grit, teamwork, resilience, and more.”

Galex said the story had been percolating inside her for decades, but she didn’t have the time until recently to actually sit down and write the book.

“It was something I figured I’d get around to someday, but someday just

wasn’t happening,” Galex told WABE. “When my parents … reached their 80s and fell ill, as family and friends started experiencing health setbacks, and as I edged toward my 65th birthday, I thought, there is no more waiting – the time to do this is now.”

In her interview, Galex offered a series of lessons embedded in the story, including:

* Don’t give up in pursuit of a dream just because there are obstacles.

* Curiosity and evaluating a situation from different perspectives can help you confront and overcome difficulties.

* Finding a team to support you can make a difference in achieving your goal.

* The stories of those who came before us can inspire us to greatness or challenge us to shift our circumstances.

* And don’t follow the crowd if your heart pulls you in a different direction.

Galex says, “There are many layers to ‘Turtle Rocks’ — from teamwork and motivation to being authentic and true to yourself — whatever you are looking for in this story is what it will mean to you.”

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“Turtle Rocks” is a story about perseverance, leadership, resilience, teamwork, motivation, and authenticity.

When asked by the AJT why she chose turtles, Galex said, “Who doesn’t like turtles? They’re fascinating animals! They’re both prehistoric looking and beautiful with their different shell patterns and colors.” She added that for cultures across the world, turtles symbolize healing, wisdom, good luck, longevity, stability, and other positive traits.

Illustrated by Colleen Finn, “Turtle Rocks” is a timeless tale that children of all ages can enjoy.

While speaking with WABE, Galex reported that she’s been delighted with the response to her book, especially from children.

“A six-year-old actually repeated a line to me about the turtle who finds courage,” she said.

And last year, on World Turtle Day, Galex spoke via Zoom with a third-grade class in her hometown of Rock Island, Ill.

“I was amazed at the insightful questions the kids asked, and how they told me they had a favorite turtle,” she said.

Maybe it’s time to find your favorite turtle, too.

“Turtle Rocks” is available on Amazon at https:// ì


Torah Class Brings Ancient Wisdom to Rural Georgia

In a small but significant milestone, Barrow County welcomed its first-ever Torah class, marking a new chapter in the region’s spiritual landscape. Led by Rabbi Chaim Markovits, the intimate gathering of five individuals, including host County Commissioner Alex Ward, convened at his residence to explore the timeless teachings of the Kabbalah.

Ward, who proudly shares his heritage and Judaism, warmly welcomed the group, and expressed his delight in hosting this inaugural event.

Rabbi Markovits, an experienced educator and director of Chabad Rural Georgia, skillfully guided the discussion, delving into the ancient texts and revealing practical guidance for modern life. The group explored the Kabbalistic concept of “The Journey of Two Souls,” discovering how these teachings can be applied to everyday challenges.

As the afternoon unfolded, participants shared personal insights and reflections, fostering a sense of community and connection. Another founding attendee, Shira, expressed a deep sense of belonging, saying, “I feel like I’ve finally returned to my tribe. These teachings are

exactly what I needed to hear.”

This inaugural Torah class in Barrow County represents a significant milestone for Chabad Rural Georgia, an organization dedicated to bringing Jewish belonging and peoplehood to rural areas. By offering a platform for spiritual growth and connection, Chabad Rural Georgia is helping to cultivate a more inclusive and vibrant regional landscape.

The next class in Barrow County will be in mid-April. The classes are free of charge and are sponsored by people who want to see the growth of Jewish

belonging amongst the rural residents of Georgia.

If you are interested in joining future Torah classes, please reach out to Chabad Rural Georgia through its website: or by phone at (404) 596-8145 or by email: By doing so, you’ll become part of a larger community seeking wisdom, guidance, and connection through the timeless teachings of the Torah. ì

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Rabbi Chaim Markovitz, of Chabad of Rural Georgia, has launched a Torah study class in Barrow County. The inaugural Torah study class in Barrow County featured five students, including County Commissioner Alex Ward, who hosted the class in his home.

Lecture Covers Latin American Jewish Influx

Laura Limonic was only seven when she immigrated to the United States in 1980 with her family from Argentina. Her father and mother, Alberto and Raquel, were active members of the Buenos Aires Jewish community -- the largest and most important center of Jewish life in Latin America.

But it was a time of political turmoil and Jews, particularly, were a target of the repressive military junta that ruled the country. Her father had been accepted for graduate study at Brandeis University and it was thought that perhaps after a few years in the United States, life in Argentina would return to normal and the family could return.

“The idea was really just to come for two or three years, learn English, have an adventure,” Limonic says. “But as happens with so many immigrants, eventually we just stayed. I originally lived in a small town outside of Boston where we were one of three Jewish families. But eventually, we moved to Newton, Mass., which has a large Jewish population.”

Almost 44 years later, Limonic is the chair of the sociology department at the State University of New York on Long Island, and the study of Jewish immigrants from Latin America has become the focus of her research. Her book, “Kugels and Frijoles,” published in 2019. At first glance it sounds like a cross cultural cookbook, but is actually a pioneering study of how Jews from Latin America have adjusted to the process of immigration and assimilation into the American melting pot.

It also was largely the inspiration for this year’s Tenenbaum Lecture earlier this month at Emory University’s Tam Institute of Jewish Studies. She estimates that there are anywhere from 150,000 to 225,000 Jews who have come to this country, primarily from Mexico, Venezuela, and Argentina.

“I am interested in the different avenues that people take towards integrating and assimilating in this country,” Limonic points out. “I’m really thinking about how the factors that come together to allow people to make a life for themselves in their new country, given the racial constraints, and the ethnic constraints. There are all of these different ways that immigrants are able and not able to access American society.”

North Miami Beach is among the centers for Latin Jewish life in the United States.

Limonic is particularly interested in those Latinx Jews who have come to America since the landmark Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965 became law. That legislation was co-authored by the long serving Jewish congressman from New York, Rep. Emanuel Cellar. The law made it easier for larger numbers of non-European immigrants, like the Limonic family, to come to the United States.

Many of the immigrants are descended from Ashkenazic Jews, who came to Latin America from Eastern Europe. There are Sephardic Jews here from the region, as well. Mexico has a population of Moroccan and Syrian Jews and there was a significant number of Jews from Turkey who moved to Cuba earlier in the 20th century.

According to the professor, there are sizable populations in the northeastern United States. That’s where her doctoral dissertation is centered; it was written 10 years ago about Latin Jewish immigration. There is also a concentration of Latin Jews in San Diego.

But the most significant numbers are in the neighborhoods of North Miami Beach and Aventura, Fla. According to a population study by the Greater Miami Jewish Federation, Hispanic Jews are the fastest growing ethnic group in Miami’s Jewish community. And unlike many of those immigrants who cross the Rio Grande as poor, illegal aliens, the new Latino Jews are different.

“Many or the majority of Latino Jews are immigrants with high skills. Nonetheless, one of the things that I’ve been noting is that many of the newer Latino immigrants, particularly in Miami, are supportive of some of the very restrictive immigration policies. In other words, they are happy to be here. They are happy to have their co-religionists from Latin America or Catholics from Latin America

come, but they don’t necessarily believe that there should be undocumented, immigrants crossing the border.”

At the Russell Jewish Community Center in North Miami Beach, Spanish is more likely to be heard than English. Soccer and salsa dancing are among the more popular offerings at the center, which tailors its programs to the Latin American community. While the Florida center is unusual in its ethnic diver-

sity, the make-up of the American Jewish community, according to Limonic, is beginning to look much different.

“We see a changing diversity across the American population, Jews don’t look the same anymore. And we know that there’s also, there’s conversion. There are marriages across ethnic and racial lines. There are adoptions. There’s all of these ways that the Jewish population changes.” ì

Dr. Laura Limonic delivered the Tenenbaum Lecture at Emory University.

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JULY 3 - JULY 26

Atlanta BBYO Class of ‘73 50th Reunion

On Friday evening, March 1, more than 75 members of Atlanta’s AZABBG Class of ‘73 gathered to celebrate their 50th reunion.

Organized by Barbara Saul Fleming, Lisa Galanti and Shelley Gerson, alumni of BBYO’s Class of ‘73 traveled from California, Massachusetts, and New Jersey to join their Atlanta friends for the occasion. Fleming, 1972-73 N’siah (president) of BBG chapter Haviv, opened her beautiful home to welcome friends from each of the seven chapters comprising the Atlanta BBYO Class of ‘73. Overlooking the skyline of Atlanta, friends reconnected, reminisced, and celebrated the

opportunity to be together.

Richard Siegel, an AZA alum a few years earlier, added his renowned piano skills, and Nancy Lindenbaum, also a Haviv alum, lent her guitar skills and beautiful voice to entertain the group.

Conversation stopped for a few minutes as the group welcomed Shabbat with the traditional blessings over the candles, wine, and challah. A guest suggested the evening called for the shehecheyanu prayer, which everyone recited joyfully.

As the evening concluded, guests proposed the group gather again soon; suggestions ranged from annually to every three years or five years or 10 years. What is certain is the group will not wait another 50 years!

ì OPEN TO THE COMMUNITY PRE-K - 12TH GRADE Register at (From left) Mark Shemaria, Elanora Lipton, Sandra Freedman, and Scott Spector Lisa Koonin and Robert Arogeti (From left) Event organizers Shelley Gerson, Barbara Saul Fleming, and Lisa Galanti (From left) Jeri Breiner, Carole Krauss, Wendy Lipshutz, Linda Lincoln Diamond, and Charna Perloe

As we see a dramatic rise in antisemitism around the world, we must step up now more than ever to help our own. We realize that times continue to be tight for many, but the families helped through the Maos Chitim Fund truly depend on us.

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Westcoast Connection Targets Teens for Tours

Whether hiking the Grand Canyon during a western adventure, volunteering with the Costa Rican Humanitarian Foundation, or spending three weeks at UCLA immersed in a favorite course or two, teens participating in a Westcoast Connection summer trip will likely have the experience of a lifetime.

For 42 years, the travel organization has created what the company terms “life-changing programs” for teens completing grades 7-12. There are middle school options for teens completing seventh and eighth grades, as well as programs designed exclusively for juniors and seniors. For 2024, Westcoast Connection is offering more than 75 programs in 24 different countries. The programs fall into one of three categories – Travel, Learn or Volunteer, and range in length from eight to 40 days.

Active Teen Tours and Global Adventures offers travel to destinations throughout Europe, Hawaii, the East and West coasts of the United States, New Zealand, Australia, Peru, Ecuador, and the Galapagos. For Active Teen Tours, the most popular tour type, groups typically number from 28 to 48 participants. The group size for Global Adventures is smaller, with 26 teens traveling together for each program.

Another travel experience popular

with older teens is the pre-college enrichment program, which provides students with an opportunity to gain independence, pursue interests, and prepare for college on campuses in the United States, Europe, and Canada. Designed specifically for high school students completing grades 9-12, participants live in university dormitories and eat many of their meals in the dining halls and student cafes. Students may explore unique career

paths, taking courses such as business entrepreneurship, digital photography, and crime scene investigation, as well as participating in workshops about the college application process, finding the college with the best fit, and how to write a top-notch college essay.

Zach Notte, a junior at The Weber School, spent several weeks on the UCLA campus in Los Angeles last summer as a Westcoast Connection attendee.

Students in the pre-college enrichment program at UCLA in Los Angeles. Rachel Sailor on the volunteer program in Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands.


“Zach is very interested in potentially attending UCLA, so this experience enabled him to learn more about the university and the city,” said his mother, Lesli Greenberg. “He loved the program so much that on the second night, he called me to see if he could extend his stay by another week,” she added.

According to Greenberg, “Attendees last summer came from all over the world, including Spain and Japan. It’s great because the students learn about other cultures. They also become much more self-reliant and independent while still having the support of a dedicated group of trip leaders.”

The pre-college enrichment programs provide free time each day and an opportunity for participants to select from a myriad of options for exploration. In Los Angeles, for example, participants can visit Universal Studios, learn to surf at a Santa Monica surfing school, and spend an evening at an improv comedy club. In Montreal, the participants enjoy the jazz and comedy festivals, which are held at the same time as the program. There is also jet boating, a visit to Mont Tremblant, and a thrilling zip line high above the urban cityscape.

The third type of program offered by Westcoast Connection takes students on volunteer missions to work alongside experienced local non-profit organizations. Participants are able to interact with local people, broadening their perspective and cultural awareness of the world. At the same time, they receive service hours and letters of completion for their respective schools.

Programs for this summer include marine and wildlife conservation in the Florida Keys, leadership and planning at a day camp for local children in Arenal, Costa Rica, and a variety of community service projects in the Galapagos Islands and Ecuador.

Last summer, Rachel Sailor went on the Ecuador & the Galapagos Service & Adventure program with 19 other teens. Among their many adventures, the group traveled by canoe to reach their lodge

deep in the Amazon rainforest. They partnered with a local organization to paint a school, build a house, plant greenery and work with local children. While there, they went whitewater rafting, snorkeling, hiking, and zip lining.

Rachel’s mother, Stephanie Sailor, said, “Although Rachel did not know anyone else going into the trip, she made great new friends throughout the United States, from California to New York, and including Canada.” Sailor emphasized that the trip was very well organized with a large staff-to-participant ratio.

What sets Westcoast Connection apart from many other teen tours is the variety and scope of its programs throughout the world, as well as the company’s attention to details. There is an extensive planning team that begins organizing the trips 10 months in advance of each summer.

According to Mitchell Lerner, one of the company’s directors, since there is a team devoted exclusively to planning and organizing the trips, the summer chaperones are free to focus solely on the wellbeing of participants, fostering camaraderie and social connections on each trip. He pointed out that the senior program director on every experience is a teacher, guidance counselor, coach, or other professional with many years of working with teens. Along with the director, there are several program leaders, aged 21-27, who are also on the trips to work with and support the teens each summer. And the company directors stop in on most trips throughout the summer to observe and lend support as needed.

“Westcoast Connection’s mission is to create life-changing experiences that teens remember as some of the best moments of their lives,” Lerner emphasized. “Last summer, more than 2,700 people participated in our programs and left with incredible memories and new friends from all over the world. Our Atlanta families, in particular, love that there is a geographic mix with participants from throughout the United States,” he added. ì

Summer Camp

Camps from June 3rd to July 26

Unlock a world of creativity and discovery at our language-immersive summer camp!

Dive into art, conduct captivating science experiments, and embark on nature trail adventures - all while immersing in a language-rich environment. Join us for a summer of fun and learning like never before!

Whitewater rafting on the Hawaii and Alaska Teen Tour.

FJC Unveils Camp Staff Retention Grants

As the world changes, so does the outlook for summer camps. Foundation for Jewish Camp (FJC) and Southeast Regional Director Bobby Harris have unveiled a groundbreaking Staff Retention Grant program. This initiative recognizes the unique challenges faced by Southeastern summer camps and adapts strategies to ensure the continuous success of these vital community


With the national staff retention rate dropping from 60 percent to a concerning 40 percent post-pandemic, FJC took proactive measures, and talent innovation grants were awarded to camps

nationwide in preparation for the summer of 2023.

Harris explains, “The Southeast Staff Retention Initiative came to life in large part because of the ecosystem that we have been able to create in the

CAMP TRADITIONAL TEEN DANCE PERFORMINGARTS SPORTS THEME for Rising Pre-K–9th Graders Register Now at Campers try new things, make friends, and create memories that last a lifetime. Marcus Jewish Community Center of Atlanta | 5342 Tilly Mill Road, Dunwoody, Georgia 30338 | 678.812.4000 | M /MJCCADayCamps | P @mjcca_camps |
The Foundation for Jewish Camp has unveiled Staff Retention Grants to assist Southeastern camps with maintaining their staff retention rates.

Southeast. By having an FJC regional director and Center in the Southeast, we are able to keep our finger on the pulse on what is happening at our camps.”

A recent in-person conference with both camp professionals and Hillels marked the initiation of this innovative, three-pronged program. Camp professionals were exposed to field-wide staff retention initiatives, gained insights from professionals experienced in building organizational cultures, and each camp was given the opportunity to submit a proposal for a $10,000 grant aimed at enhancing staff return rates.

Also in attendance at the conference were representatives from Hillels from University of Florida, Florida State University, International Hillel, Hillels of Georgia, and Hillels of Broward/ Palm Beach, who collaborated with each camp, focusing on mutual understanding and improvement for their camps, their Hillels, and the Jewish engagement of their staff and campers.

For the Southeastern camps, FJC’s talent innovation grant is right on the money of societal changes and opens up a collaborative dialogue. With a targeted staff retention grant program providing essential tools to attract and retain talented staff, these grants merge tradition and transformation. These grants help each camp continue their commitment to fostering a cohesive and thriving Jewish summer camp community.

Danny Herz, executive director of Camp Barney Medintz, expressed elation after receiving an FJC Talent Innovation grant, stating, “The FJC truly values our camps, and as importantly, the professional development of the professionals in the industry.” ì


With incredible exhibits, over 11 million gallons of aquatic wonders and amazing animals including beluga whales and whale sharks, everyone’s talking about the fun of America’s largest aquarium. What will you have to say? Get tickets at



2024 Camp Guide

6 Points Sports Academy

Asheville, NC


North America’s Premier Jewish Sports Camp in Asheville, North Carolina, offers intensive sports instruction in an inclusive camp environment. 6 Points runs on twelveday sessions with various sports majors to focus on, including basketball, baseball, tennis, soccer, swimming, volleyball, cheer/dance, softball, gymnastics, golf, and boys’ and girls’ lacrosse.

Alliance Theatre - Drama Camps

Muiltiple Locations


Take center stage! Your young actor can spend their summer at the Tony Award-wining Alliance Theatre.

Atlanta Ballet Centre for Dance Education Summer Day Programs

Buckhead and Virginia-Highland


Atlanta Ballet’s Summer Day Programs offer a variety of classes for dancers at beginner and intermediate levels: Summer Creative Movement, Dance for Joy, Young Dancer Summer Experience, and Summer Junior Intensive. Children enjoy ballet classes with opportunities to explore other dance styles and genres including jazz, tap, modern, and hip hop.

Atlanta’s Rock ‘N Blues Camp



Intense week-long sessions that culminate in thrilling performances on Friday evenings. Each of four bands play a set consisting of music they have chosen and rehearsed during the week.

Atlanta Workshop Players Movie/Performing Arts Camps



Imagine YOU on the Big Screen! Expand your skill-set, Train with Industry Pros, Audition for Casting Directors & Agents, Make Movies, Earn Pro-Level IMDB resume credits, Sing-Dance-Act-Circus Arts-Stunts-Voice Over-Network and make life-long friends! Programs for Kids/Teens AND Adults. It’s the Creative Adventure of A Lifetime.

BBYO Passport

Israel, Europe and Americas


Elevate your summer with new experiences, new friendships, and a new way of looking at the world. BBYO Passport summer programs combine elements of active touring, community service, and meaningful Jewish experiences. Spanning 17 countries, they offer over 20 different programs with a range of program themes for teens currently enrolled in grades 8–12.

Camp Barney Medintz



Camp Barney Medintz offers a magical Jewish overnight camping experience on 540 beautiful acres in the North GA mountains. Campers experience the joy of making lifelong friends while challenging themselves with new activities, and gaining selfconfidence and independence that will benefit them for a lifetime.

Camp Coleman



Overnight URJ Camp - Campers can experience Jewish culture and tradition while in a safe, challenging and fun environment. In a natural setting, campers are given the opportunity to explore their Judaism. Coleman provides a creative setting for Jewish living and learning, through camp programming. At Camp Coleman campers and staff can develop lifelong friendships.

Camp H2O - Georgia Aquarium


404-581- 4080

Campers will discover interesting facts about our aquatic friends and their habitats, as well as explore the wondrous ocean ecosystem. All Aquarium galleries and presentations are included.

Camp Invention



Spark your child’s creativity and confidence with our new Camp Invention® program, Illuminate! Children in grades K-6 will team up and take on fun, hands-on STEM challenges. They’ll design a light-up ball game, star in a prototyping game show and more! Visit to secure your spot! Use promo code LOCAL15 by 5/16 to save $15.

Camp Judaea

Hendersonville, NC


Camp Judaea is a small, Jewish, Israel-centered summer camp community located in Hendersonville, NC. We offer a wide variety of fun activities in a loving family atmosphere.

Camp Kingfisher



Camp Kingfisher’s 7 session themes determine the content of live animal encounters, science exploration activities, and educational hikes.

Camp Minimac



Play and Learn with Camp Minimac’s Terrific Travel Adventure Camp. Each week will focus on a different theme. We will enhance our knowledge and enjoy learning more about each topic through activities including special in-house field trips, art, music, science, songs, games, cooking, and more!


City Springs Theatre Conservatory

Sandy Springs


This summer, City Springs Theatre Conservatory offers a number of week-long performing arts education programs, including Musical Theatre Dance Intensives for middle and high school students, as well as their popular NextGen Broadway camps for grades 2-8. All classes are taught by local theatre professionals.

Club SciKidz

Multiple locations metro Atlanta


Club SciKidz is the best place under the sun for extraordinary summers! Programs include: Veterinary Medicine, Mini Medical School, Robotics, Coding, Minecraft, Drones, Pokemon, Astronomy, Geology, and More. In addition to summer camps, we offer after school and in-school field trip programs, science assemblies and scouting events.

Critter Camp by The Amphibian Foundation

Atlanta and Decatur


Our goal at Critter Camp is to introduce children to the exciting biodiversity of amphibians and reptiles, using live animals to illustrate aspects of biology and ecology. Campers will be encouraged to ask questions about the animals and discover their own answers through hands-on observation, through safe animal handling

Epstein Summer Adventure



With exciting new adventures each week, check out our camp options and register early to ensure you have a spot!

High Meadows Camp



Since 1973, children (rising kindergarten- ninth grade) have been experiencing our rich, traditional outdoor summer day camp program with unique facilities on more than 40 acres of meadow and woodland. HMC summer day camp fun goes hand-inhand with education, achievement, and enrichment. Above all, we hope every camper leaves us at the end of the summer richer with memories, new friends, outdoor experiences, and, of course, a few more mud stains!

Intown Jewish Preschool - IJP Summer Camp



Warm and nurturing atmosphere, filled with lots of exciting “hands-on” learning experiences. Summer activities will include enrichment activities in art, music, science, water play and special visitors.

Jewish Kids Groups

Morningside, Brookhaven, Decatur, Sandy Springs 404-913-9554

Art projects, yoga, outdoor exploration, science experiments, Hebrew vocabulary, field trips, Israeli cooking, and so much more! Give your kindergarten through 5thgrade child a full day of Jewish camp fun at JKG School’s Out Camp. 4 locations: Morningside, Decatur, Brookhaven & Sandy Springs. 9:00 am - 5:00 pm. All are welcome!

KSU College of the Arts Summer Arts Intensives

KSU Marietta & Kennesaw 470-578-2031 php

Join us this summer for Dance, Music, Theatre, or the Visual Arts! This unique summer program at ArtsKSU will give you the opportunity to experience technical and artistic growth in an environment that fosters creativity and learning.

Camp Carlos – Emory’s Michael C.Carolos Museum

Emory University


See it! Think it! Make it! Inspired by the Carlos Museum galleries and guided by practicing artists from around the city, children at Camp Carlos are encouraged to look closer, dig deeper, and push their creativity further. Camp Carlos offers a 10% discount to families registering siblings for the same camp. Camps are Monday – Friday, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m., with pick-up between 4 – 4:30 p.m. The teen camp is from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

MJCCA Day Camps



Kids have fun, make friends, gain new skills, build self-confidence, create memories that will last a lifetime, and have the ultimate summer experience in our 100+ camp options!


Museum of Design Atlanta (MODA)

Georgia Tech College of Design


MODA’s 2024 Design Camps focus on the problem-solving power of design and how it is used to create the world around us! From LEGO to urban design, architecture to robotics, and art to sustainability, campers take on real world challenges while honing design skills, STEAM, and creative problem-solving processes.

Pace Summer Programs



Pace Academy is excited to offer full, half-day and weekly summer day camps from June 3-July 19. Pace’s unique camps for K-12th grade students provide a personalized experience for Pace students and students from other schools—in a convenient and welcoming environment. From Babysitters Club, Drivers Ed, Pace Camp in The City and more- register now, because The Adventure Begins Here!

Ramah Darom

Clayton, GA


Adventure, connection, friendship, fun and joyful Judaism await in the North Georgia mountains. Offering 5-night Ta’am (2nd graders), 11-night Garinim (3rd graders), 18-night K’tzara (4th and 5th graders), 4-week sessions (4th-10th graders), 2-week Ramah Bamah musical theater intensive (rising 8th-9th graders), 8-week Gesher Leadership Program (rising 11th graders), Tikvah support for campers with disabilities and Tikvah Vocational Education Program (17-20-year-olds), Camp Yofi for families with a child with ASD and year-round retreats for families and adults.

RootOne Teen Israel Trips



RootOne helps thousands of Jewish North American teens travel to Israel on immersive summer trips, by both lowering the cost of participation and enhancing the quality of these experiences. RootOne does not run its own trips but supports dozens of programs in the teen Israel travel space.

Sababa Beach Camps

Virginia Beach, VA


Sababa Beachaway is a co-ed residential summer camp for rising fourth through twelfth graders, located in beautiful Virginia Beach, VA. Sababa immerses campers in the magic and majesty of the beach, adds the right amount of spiritual practice, and provides a fun, non-competitive yet challenging camp experience!


NC, WY, FL and CA


SOAR is the world’s premier ADHD and Learning Difference adventure program offering accredited ADHD Summer Camp Courses. SOAR is also home to The Academy at SOAR, our private boarding school and GAP Year at SOAR. Our outdoor adventure based programs provide academic instruction, experiential educa tion, and life skills development for youth and young adults ages 8-25.

Speech Family



Welcome to Summer Explorers Social Camp, where every mind shines bright! Join us for a summer of adventure and friendship. Designed for neurodiverse kids, our camp celebrates differences and fosters growth through fun, sensory-friendly activities tailored to each camper’s unique strengths

Temple Sinai Preschool

Sandy Springs


Temple Sinai Preschool is ready for a summer of fun! During camp we’ll explore through art, science, sports, and we’ll have plenty of time to experience the best part of summer: spending time outside splashing with friends.

The Goddard School – Hammond Drive

The Goddard School – Roswell Road

Sandy Springs, GA


Dive into summer fun at Goddard School Sandy Springs! Explore STEAM, music, art, and nature in our engaging camp for kids 3 to 9 years. Make memories, friends, and learn through play! The fun never stops with onsite field trips like a petting zoo and activities like bring your bike and splash days. $375 per week. Open from 7:00AM to 6:30PM daily.

The Paideia School



Join us for Paideia Summer Camp 2024! Creative and Individualized Camps for Ages 3-14. Sports Camps: Basketball • Ultimate Frisbee • Volleyball

The Peach Pit

5600 Roswell Road, Unit K140 404-242-6211

The Peach Pit creates imaginative & unique experiences with our fun-filled gymnastics summer camp for boys and girls ages 4-16. A camp schedule works in 15-20 minute rotations throughout our facility utilizing the spring floor, dance studios, bars, balance beam, vault stations, and our loose foam pit. We love to keep your child moving and active throughout the majority of the day breaking up our gymnastics or cheerleading intervals with dance, crafts, yoga, games, and special events.

The Walker School - Walker Summer Programs



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.

Valley View Ranch Equestrian Camp for Girls

Cloudland, GA


Horse lovers’ paradise since 1954! Overnight camp for girls ages 8 - 17. Located on 600 acres offering riding in English, Western, Barrels, Vaulting, and Trails. CHA instructors teach beginner to advanced riders. Spend up to six hours a day riding and caring for your own camp horse. The Jones family are third generation horse lovers, camp administrators and equine educations making girls’ dreams come true!

Wealthy Habits - Financial Literacy Camp



Whether your child wants to be a fire fighter or a doctor, understanding money is the first and most important step to future financial freedom. Our in-person money camps have always been a huge success with both kids and parents. Fun and engaging instructors teach kids to build good money habits NOW. Learning everything from budgeting to credit to investing in a way that makes kids want to learn mean the lessons last a lifetime. Make sure your child has the MONEY TOOLS that will create a more secure future.

Westminster Camps



Space available in our sports camp, adventure overnight camp, Dungeons and Dragons, chess and STEM specialty camps. Brochure available on our website.

Woodward Academy Camps

College Park and Johns Creek


Woodward Academy Summer Camps offer enrichment, athletic, academic, and activity camps that are open to the public and accessible through our exceptional bus system.

YMCA Camp Thunderbird

Lake Wylie, SC


YMCA Camp Thunderbird has been offering thrills and lasting memories for the past 88 years and campers have the opportunity to learn, thrive and lead in a safe, actionpacked environment. The co-ed camp is situated on two miles of Lake Wylie shoreline, just a half-hour outside of Charlotte. Known as the “ultimate water playground”, the camp balances fun with honing skills like independence, self-discipline, and empathy. Days at camp are divided between adventures on land and lake, with scores of options for campers to choose from that fit their age, interests and abilities.

Zoo Atlanta - Summer Safari Camp



Each week of Summer Safari Camp, campers embark on a different Zoo expedition, exploring wildlife and wild places. ì

Virginia-Highland Centre 404-883-2178 Buckhead Centre 404-303-1501
SUMMER DAY PROGRAMS June–July 2024 | Ages 2–17 Learn more at Register now for a summer filled with dance! Offering a variety of programs for all ages and levels. No audition required.
convenient locations:
Photo by Kim Kenney

Simcha Announcements

Have something to celebrate?

Births, B’nai Mitzvah, Engagements, Weddings, Anniversaries, Special Birthdays and more ... Share it with your community with free AJT simcha announcements. Send info to

Engagement Announcement Alterman – Munevar

Susan and Daniel Alterman are proud to announce the engagement of their daughter, Samantha Sarah, to Brian Munevar, son of Cathy and Carlos Munevar of New York.

Chai Style Home

Penthouse Art Knows No Bounds

There’s no attempting to categorize the vast confluence of genres and artists that Lorri Goodman Brown and Rick Horder merged into their 5,000-square-foot Buckhead penthouse which holds special sway as the place of their nuptials.

As to the décor, the Horders went on a month-long excursion to Europe, and gave the keys to interior designer Amy Spanier, who spent days with her installers placing every piece with precision. Spanier said, “The Horders have a stunning collection of just about every genre from Expressionism to Pop, Realism, outsider art, photography and everything in between.”

Rick has been an attorney for 50 years and was recently featured in Atlanta Magazine’s “Best Lawyers” for his expertise in environmental law.

Lorri stated, “I came into the marriage with a good bit of art. Our tastes are

not identical, but we do overlap. We negotiate what gets displayed. Moving into the condo, we picked a large number of pieces and many more than we thought would fit. Amy fit it all into perfection. We had so much overflow, she hung dozens of paintings in the long hallway on the penthouse floor."

Tour this “power art” couple’s collection as they so graciously enjoy entertaining and sharing the history behind it.

Marcia: How did you blend your two collections?

Rick: I have been a collector all my life - not quite a hoarder (despite my last name) but have collected lots of things. Coins, clocks, sheep figures, English teacups. I became interested in art in college at the University of Florida and traveled to Europe to visit art museums as a main attraction. I started collecting Inuit carvings and prints, art glass, turned wooden vessels, folk art; and then went “off script” building a confident, robust collection. We are not rule breakers, but we are far from static.

Marcia: How would you characterize your taste?

Rick: I buy what strikes me and

catches my eye. I don’t worry about matching styles or whether it will fit. I purchase it because I like it visually and find it otherwise interesting. I usually don’t agonize over a piece. I have taken time when a piece is expensive from my standpoint, but not usually. I collect turned/carved wooden vessels that are different, and some of my folk art is pretty unusual.

Lorri: We buy a number of pieces together, usually while on trips. We bought a metal sculpture together in Lake Como. In Santa Fe, we each purchased a piece from Taos artist Inger Jirby. Most furnishings in the condo are modern with clean lines although we do have some traditional antiques. I have pieces from my parents like the painting of Chinese children and a glass mid- century modern lamp.

Rick: Lorri has a great eye. She also very much knows what she likes and what she does not like. She does not agonize over a piece.

Marcia: Walk us through a tour of your “cultural capital.”

Rick: In the foyer, we start with paintings by California artist America Martin. We actually had the columns

removed here to open up the space. Oh, and I love otters, as you see throughout. We have five large Chihuly lithographs. Where most think of him in terms of glass blowing, after an injury prevented that, he began drawing and painting. We like his use of color, and his bigger pieces enliven our main living areas.

Some of the more unusual pieces are from Rwanda, “Land of a Thousand Hills,” Inuit carvings from Canada, and an original modern figurative by Itzchak Tarkay from Israel. I especially like our Salvador Dali which is serene, not at all like his surreal dripping clocks.

Then we collect outsider art -- Mattie Lou O’Kelley, Woodie Long, African American quilters from Gee’s Bend, Sybil Gibson, and Bernice Sims whose piece is on a U.S. postage stamp.

Lorri: Over the master bed, we have a painting by New Mexico artist David Escudero. In our hall is a dream painting by Australian Aborigine artist George Tjungurrayi. Another unusual medium done with colorful volcanic rock is by Bob Landstrom.

More locally we have Steve Penley’s “Rembrandt” alongside his “study,” interestingly facing the opposite way, Georgia’s Steffen Thom-

Rick and Lorri relax in front of two tangerine hued Chihuly lithographs. (Left) Indian Basket, Ikebana Series (Right). In the center is an Inuit carving “Dancing Bear”// Photos by Howard Mendel


as, whose sculpture stands in front of Colony Square, a Thorton Dial, and work by Atlantan Dr. Jim Sutherland. Rick: Then outside our unit in the hall, we have another 50 pieces. Many of the neighbors come up here to enjoy the art.

Marcia: Do you entertain up here among the clouds? How do you use the outdoors?

Rick: We were married outside under the cupola at the Borghese in 2021. It was a beautiful sunny day, overlooking a heavily treed area. My best man was the same best man at my wedding in 1973.

Lorri: We have four decks up here. When spring comes, I’m the resident gardener and plant herbs and flowers.

Marcia: Amy, so you had your “hands full” up here?

Amy: It was quite a challenge to mix over 100 works of art, with different themes, mediums, and styles. Art is essential to my life and my life’s passion. That’s why I was able to bring this all together harmoniously.

Above: The Horders removed the columns to make room for works by America Martin. To the right of the door is a sculpture of an otter by an English wood carver Right: One of the outsider art pieces the Horders share in the hallway is this multimedia creation, “True Friends,” by Sister Mary Proctor. Below: The painting over the master bedroom is by New Mexico artist David Escudero. The middle painting on the right is an unusual Dali landscape. Left: This “element” piece by Landstrom is done in volcanic rock.


Marcia: Last word:

Rick: Lorri is younger by 9 years, is very social and we have lots of friends between us. Fortunately, we like each other’s friends, so we host a lot of dinners up here. I would say we are thoughtfully layered with no crisp white walls, and nothing much in moderation.

Lorri: If I gave the green light, Rick would still continue to collect. We do collect wine.

Rick: In the last 20 years, I have become more selective - mostly because of space limitations and learning we cannot own everything we love, but you can still admire it. As for me, I cannot draw “a lick!” ì

Above: An original Thorton Dial resides in the main hall.

Below: A full-length stained-glass panel with palm fronds is part of the adjacent wine cellar. Lorri bought the pottery and painting, by Jean-Claude Gaugy, in Sante Fe.

Below: This Steve Penley and its primary study portrays Rembrandt.

Above: These heavily pigmented rows of houses in the hills of Kigali, Rwanda, are by Emannuel Nkuranga.

Yoel Levi’s Concerts Lift Israel’s Spirits

While the war in Gaza has brought significant changes to daily life in Israel, what has not changed, according to the famed conductor, Yoel Levi, is the national love of music. Levi, who maintains his home in Atlanta, has had two extended stays there in recent months. He has conducted both the Haifa Symphony and the Israel Philharmonic in performances that he says have been well-received and well attended.

“Music in Israel has been one of the most important tools to lift the spirit of the people in every war that Israel has fought,” Levi points out. “For Israelis to go to a concert means that life goes on, with an appreciation for the joy that life can bring. And music is one of the most important parts of life in Israel. And it’s just wonderful to see how many people are coming to the concerts.”

Immediately following the October attacks, the Israeli government, fearing rocket attacks, particularly from Hezbollah in Lebanon, restricted large gatherings. But by late December those restric-

tions were relaxed.

Levi, who is the principal conductor and artistic advisor of the Haifa Symphony, returned to the city in northern

Israel to open the orchestra’s season with a stirring Beethoven program. Levi was joined by soloist Oksana Shabchenko for Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 5, “The

Emperor,” which has strong heroic overtones and a militaristic flavor. The work was completed in 1809 in Vienna, while the city was under attack by Napoleon’s

ARTS & CULTURE SAVE DATE the April 13th 3-6pm from Oglethorpe University at Tickets to this year’s event are on sale for $35! Enjoy an evening of boutique wines, craft cocktails, local beers, and light bites. Find more great events at: FREE Tru Satur ho 5K benef arc Get upda Tw
Some members of the Haifa Symphony wear yellow bows as a way to remember the more than 100 hostages still believed to be held in Gaza. Levi found reminders of the hostages in places such as this display in Haifa’s Symphony Auditorium.


As part of the same performance, Levi conducted Beethoven’s well known “5th Symphony,” which is also known as a symphony of fate or destiny. It’s famous four note motif, introduced early in the work, is often interpreted to be fate knocking at the door. Like the piano concerto, it was written around the same time as the Napoleonic siege of Vienna.

But to launch his first concert after the tragedies of Oct. 7, he chose a slow and stately rendering of Israel's national anthem, “Hatikvah,” and Samuel Barber’s somber, “Adagio for Strings,” which is often described as music for mourning. In America, it was played at President Franklin Roosevelt’s funeral and after President John F. Kennedy’s assassination. It’s a piece of music that reflects what Levi sees as Israel's current mood.

“There’s no question people are down. The mood is very dark, very depressed. On the other hand, the concerts created a safe haven for people to come and recharge their spirits. And that was wonderful to see how appreciative, how warm they were for what we were doing. Still, the psychological cost of this war is very high. Very high.”

But there have been lighter moments in his busy conduction schedule in Israel. In late January, he returned to Haifa to conduct a well-received modern dress staging of Donizetti’s lighthearted comic opera, “L’Elisir d’Amore,” about the power of a mystical love potion to inspire romance.

To finish up over two months of making music in Israel, Levi conducted a series of concerts with the Israel Philhar-

monic. More than 14,000 attended more than a week of performances in Tel Aviv, Herzliya, and Jerusalem with the orchestra.

In one of the highlights of the series, Levi returned to the theme of love as a force in the universe, with the Israeli premiere of Avner Dorman’s, “Dialogues of Love,” a choral symphony. Dorman, who was born in the Jewish state, says the work “aims to answer many of the basic philosophical and scientific questions that we all have: What is love? What is happiness? Why do objects fall? When was the universe created?”

It’s based, in part, on the dialogues written by the medieval Jewish poet, Judah Leonie Abravanel, who went into exile in Italy after the Spanish Inquisition. It was one of the most popular books of the Italian Renaissance. Dorman expanded on Abravanel’s themes and settings by including excerpts from works from the 11th, 14th, and 18th centuries.

The extended tour and the warm response by so many Israeli concert goers proved to be deeply satisfying for Levi, who has two sisters who live in Israel and many cousins scattered around the country. But Levi said, the experience was not an easy one.

“One Friday, after I finished a concert in Tel Aviv, I went to the museum area there. A big, entire square was dedicated to the hostages. There is a long table with a chair for each hostage and their picture. I wanted to be there even for a few moments, to see and to understand the sadness of it all. How in a few hours the lives of so many people were altered in a most negative, brutal way.” ì

Take CENTER STAGE . Build cha racter. Grow confdence. Be c reative. 10 convenient metro Atlanta locations
Yoel Levi (foreground) conducted the Haifa Symphony Orchestra modern dress performance of Donizetti’s, “L’Elisir d’Amour.”



Ancient Wisdom for Your Life - 8 to 9 p.m. A weekly journey with Chabad of North Fulton into the Torah’s relevance. Get more information 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.


Jewish Women’s Torah and Tea - 7:45 to 8:45 p.m. Join the Jewish Women’s Circle of Decatur for a weekly discussion on the Parsha and contemporary Jewish issues. Find out more at


Knit and Crochet Group - 1 to 3 p.m. Join Dor Tamid and crochet and knit beanies for premature babies from home. Learn more at


Bim Bom Babies – A Baby and Me Music Series - 9 to 10 a.m. This is a five-week series with Congregation Etz Chaim on Friday mornings for babies and their caregivers. All are welcome to register. There is an option to come to one or more classes or the entire series. For additional information, visit

Spring Native Plant Sale - 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Create the garden of your dreams at Chattahoochee Nature Center’s Spring Native Plant Sale! Horticulturists and local experts will be onsite to help you find the right plants to attract butterflies, pollinators, birds, and more, as well as herbs and veggies for your edible garden. Learn more at

Randall Goosby, violin - 8 to 10 p.m. A protégé of legendary violinist Itzhak Perlman, 26-year-old violinist Randall Goosby has performed with orchestras such as the New York Philharmonic, Los Angeles Philharmonic, and London Philharmonic. This recital performance with pianist Zhu Wang will highlight the artist’s sensitivity of interpretations and intensity of tone; his determination to make music more inclusive and accessible; and his dedication to bringing the music of under-represented composers to light. Purchase tickets at the Schwartz center at


Spring Native Plant Sale - 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Create the garden of your dreams at Chattahoochee Nature Center’s Spring Native Plant Sale! Horticulturists and local experts will be onsite to help you find the right plants to attract butterflies, pollinators, birds, and more, as well as herbs and veggies for your edible garden. Learn more at

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://

APRIL 1-14


The Daffodil Dash - 9 a.m. The Daffodil Dash is a Run/Walk in memory of the 1.5 million children who perished in the Holocaust and in support for children suffering in the face of genocide and other humanitarian crises in the world today. The Daffodil Dash raises awareness and funds for Holocaust Education and Genocide Awareness. Proceeds benefit Am Yisrael Chai!, a non-profit Holocaust Education organization. Register at https://bit. ly/43uBcFB.

Kabbalah and Calisthenics - 9:45 to 10:45 a.m. Join Chabad Intown for a Kabbalah & Calisthenics women’s only class, designed to nurture both your body and soul. Led by experienced instructors, this class will be a unique blend of fitness and spiritual growth. Our Pound fit classes are musicdriven and drumming-inspired workouts, led by KaToya Sumners, while yoga will be taught by the skilled Reyzel Deitsch. Register at

An Afternoon of American Jazz Classics, Originals, and Lore - 3 to 5 p.m. The Marilyn Ginsberg Eckstein Cultural Arts Program Fund presents An Afternoon of American Jazz Classics, Originals, and Lore featuring Joe Alterman (piano), Lewis Franco (guitar), Justin Chesarek (drums), and Scott Glazer (bass). Join Ahavath Achim by learning more at https://bit. ly/3Tuw9Rf.


J-TECH Spring Event - 5:30 to 7 p.m. J-TECH is an affinity group for those working in the technology sector that aims to help professionals network, hear from leaders in the industry, and learn about the impact of the Federation in Atlanta and beyond. This group is also a fantastic resource for anyone who provides services for those in tech (such as attorneys, accountants, etc.), investors in tech companies, or those who work in tech departments in other industries. Register at

AJC’s 2024 Atlanta Unity Seder - 6 to 9 p.m. For over 75 years, AJC Atlanta has been connecting people and communities throughout our city. The Unity Seder is a one-of-a-kind dinner celebrating the Jewish holiday of Passover, which commemorates the biblical story of the Israelites’ exodus from Egypt, from slavery into freedom. The Unity Seder uses the lessons of Passover to tell stories of freedom and responsibility from all of our faith and ethnic traditions, applying lessons to envision a better future for our city and world. The Seder’s meaning is rooted in the voices and hearts of those around the table. Join at to add your voice to the conversation!

Antisemitism with Brendan Murphy6:30 to 9 p.m. Ahavath Achim Synagogue and Cathedral of Christ the King will hold a two-part program on antisemitism presented by longtime educator Brendan Murphy. The presentation is titled "Why the Jews? Understanding the Long and Tragic History of Antisemitism and the Future of Jewish-Christian Relations". RSVP 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.

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


Naama Shefi, The Jewish Holiday Table - 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. Naama Shefi, founder of Jewish Food Society (JFS), introduces The Jewish Holiday Table, a collection of 135 vibrant recipes, each with accompanying stories collected by the JFS, a nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving Jewish culinary heritage across the globe. Reflecting three thousand years of love and loss, culture and change, each dish captures the soul of what’s served in a Jewish home on a Jewish holiday. Join MJCCA and purchase tickets at


FIDF Women’s Luncheon with Montana Tucker - 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Please join FIDF for this memorable event featuring award-winning actress, singer, dancer, philanthropist, and social media and proIsrael activist, Montana Tucker. RSVP at


Torah Reading: Shemini

Friday, April 5 Adar II 26, 5784 Light Candles at: 7:44 PM

Saturday, April 6 Adar II 27, 5784 Shabbat Ends: 8:40 PM

Torah Reading: Tazria

Friday, April 12 Nissan 4, 5784 Light Candles at: 7:49 PM

Saturday, April 13 Nissan 5, 5784 Shabbat Ends: 8:46 PM

JWFA Impacts! Honoring Enid

Draluck - 6 to 10 p.m. Join us as we celebrate 12 years of Jewish Women’s Fund of Atlanta at JWFA Impacts! We are thrilled to honor Enid Draluck for her outstanding leadership. Learn more at https://bit. ly/4cnFKBQ.

Chopped: Pre-Passover Edition - 7:30 to 10 p.m. As Passover approaches, the pantry needs to be emptied of all Chametz items. Get ready for a fun-filled night of empty pantry inspiration as you whip up inventive dishes. It’s a Pre-Pesach experience you won’t want to miss. Let the chopping begin with Chabad Intown. Register at https://


Bim Bom Babies – A Baby and Me Music Series - 9 to 10 a.m. This is a five-week series with Congregation Etz Chaim on Friday mornings for babies and their caregivers. All are welcome to register. There is an option to come to one or more classes or the entire series. For additional information, visit

Women Who Dare: Celebrating Our Sheroes Fundraising Luncheon - 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Join us for NCJW Atlanta’s annual celebration honoring some of our community’s women making a difference in the lives of others. Register at https://bit. ly/493SFGe.

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


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


Kabbalah and Calisthenics - 9:45 to 10:45 a.m. Join Chabad Intown for a Kabbalah & Calisthenics women’s only class, designed to nurture both your body and soul. Led by experienced instructors, this class will be a unique blend of fitness and spiritual growth. Our Pound fit classes are musicdriven and drumming-inspired workouts, led by KaToya Sumners, while yoga will be taught by the skilled Reyzel Deitsch. Register at

Kids’ Pesach Workshop @ ACE Hardware - 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. A Pesach workshop at ACE Hardware with the Mitzvah House for all the little artists. Register at

Family Matzah Bake - 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. Join the Jewish Community of Forsyth County’s Family Matzah Bake! Fly back in time with an interactive Exodus experience. Make handmade Matzah from the grinding of the wheat to rolling the Matzah and baking it into crispy yumminess! Learn more at

Kibbitz & Konnect 50s+ Pre-Passover Happy Hour - 4 to 7 p.m. 50s+ Singles, you’re invited to take a break from Passover preparations and join us for a preholiday happy hour! Appearance by Rabbi Brian Glusman in partnership with the MJCCA. Appetizers included in the ticket price. RSVP in advance at https://bit. ly/3INz6Hx or at the door.

Model Seder - 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Congregation Shearith Israel will hold its annual Model Seder for Jewish adults with disabilities and their caretakers replete with a delicious Passover dinner. RSVP at https://

ATLANTA JEWISH TIMES MARCH 31, 2024 | 49 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



Hazelnut Mousse Pie

For Passover



1 (6-ounce) bag Gefen Ground Hazelnuts

3 tablespoons sugar

4 tablespoons margarine, melted


16 ounces non-dairy whipping cream

1/2 packet Gefen Instant Vanilla Pudding

3/4 cup Gefen Hazelnut Praline


4 ounces chocolate, melted Gefen Hazelnut Brittle


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

2. Pour the bag of Gefen Ground Hazelnuts into a bowl and mix with sugar to incorporate. Add melted margarine and stir until well coated.

3. Press crumbs into a greased pie dish and bake for 15 minutes until it begins to brown and crisp up. Allow the crust to cool.

4. Using a whisk attachment, whip the whipping cream with the pudding until stiff peaks form. Add in the Gefen Hazelnut Praline and slowly mix until just combined. Add mixture to your cooled pie crust.

5. Top with drizzled melted chocolate and Gefen Hazelnut Brittle. Refrigerate or freeze until ready to serve.



Louis was talking to his friend, Morris, about relationships. “There’s nothing I wouldn’t do for my Sadie,” Louis said. “And there’s nothing Sadie wouldn’t do for me. And that’s how we go through life – doing nothing for each other.”


Schmatta pants

n. A person who thinks they are smart but is not.

“Oy, there goes Mickey again, pontificating on Marxism. So, he got a PhD in economics, he’s still a phudnik (over-educated bore). Mickey has lox for brains. He’s a schmatta pants.”

This word makes little sense and came into use simply because it’s a pun, and a bad pun at that. Schmatta sounds a bit like “smart.”

Play Ball!

Difficulty Level: Easy



1. Stat. in 66-Across

4. Make like The Hulk

9. They were coming out of Moshe’s face

13. “Fi” front

14. Hor ___

15. Coup d’ ___

16. Birds that definitely aren’t Jewish?

18. Author of “People Love Dead Jews”, with 56-Across

19. Gossipy sort

20. Jackman’s co-star in “The Greatest Showman”

21. David, Michal, Solomon, Jonathan, etc...

24. Fish whose kashrus has been subject to some debate

26. Improve text

27. Fine hairs

28. First name behind “High Anxiety”

29. With mo, a speed

31. Messengers in visions

35. Like some wine or cheese

37. Former Laker Lamar

39. Conforming, with “in”

40. Rabinos counterparts

42. “Terrific!”

44. “Bali ___” (“South Pacific” hit)

45. Words after make or close

47. Remove from the tape

49. Goldstar makers

52. Og and Goliath, e.g.

53. Wallet attachment, perhaps

54. Garden hazard

56. See 18-Across

57. IDF soldiers, e.g.

61. Shabbat activity

62. AKA The Irgun

63. Mother’s “hermano”

64. Some holy heifers

65. Like tzeddakah recipients

66. Org. with 10 teams featured in this puzzle


1. You can press it instead of clicking


2. Elvis’ record label

3. Leader of France, Jordan, and Canada?

4. Starship protectors

5. Aimee and Horace

6. At the drop of ___

7. It makes eggs fleishig

8. Major stat. for 66-Across

9. Danger signals

10. Classic game company

11. Hadas who played Libbi on



12. Laurel and Lee

17. “Heaven Can Wait” actress Cannon

20. Dublin’s land, in literature

21. Alter the cartography

22. Rival of Rolex

23. One who will get a Bar Mitzvah

25. Site of a last stand

27. Fishstick fish

30. Balak in his attempts against Israel, e.g.

32. One of the Coen brothers

33. Minimum amount

34. Mossad employees

36. Chagall works

38. Nocturnal raptor

41. First family’s residence?

43. In an odd way

46. Sharp as a tack

48. Hindu princess

49. One who might fast in Nisan

50. Notable river of Switzerland

51. Word after long or dog

52. Made like a problematic ox in the Torah

55. Smog or fog

57. Grant’s mil. rank

58. Di$pen$er

59. Efes

60. Kind of story

Cooking Competitions Solution R 1 C 2 A 3 M 4 O 5 O 6 T 7 R 8 I 9 A 10 L 11 S 12 A 13 L P P 14 D F B 15 E N D E R T 16 O P C 17 H E F H 18 E L E N S T 19 R E A D 20 I M 21 S 22 A L L 23 I A R S 24 C 25 A K 26 E W A R 27 S 28 E 29 S R E H E 30 S L S 31 I A M L 32 E O 33 A 34 U S 35 D 36 I S H 37 E 38 L L S K 39 I T C H 40 E N T 41 E L F 42 A N Z 43 O E A 44 R O O 45 K 46 O S 47 T 48 A K 49 E 50 S 51 B 52 B Q B R 53 A W L S 54 T A S H U 55 S E N 56 I S 57 U 58 R S A C 59 L 60 E E S E 61 C 62 H O 63 P P E D H 64 A N S E N E 65 A R A 66 N O O 67 U T S E T S 68 S E S 69 E W 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 66


Lois Semel Blonder

90, Atlanta

Lois Semel Blonder of Atlanta passed away on Saturday, March 23, 2024. She was 90 years old.

Born in Washington Heights, New York, in 1933, Lois attended the University of Georgia and met her future husband, Jerry Blonder, on a blind date. They married in 1953, and briefly lived in Port Chester, New York, and outside of Miami before moving to Atlanta, where Lois graduated from Oglethorpe University. Lois and Jerry had been married for more than 52 years before Jerry passed away in 2006.

Lois was an incredibly active and dedicated member of the Atlanta Jewish community, having served on the boards of the Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta (where she also served as president and campaign chair of the women’s division), the William Breman Jewish Heritage Museum, Jewish Family & Career Services, the Southeast chapter of the AntiDefamation League, the Atlanta chapter of the American Jewish Committee, the Auxiliary of the William Breman Jewish Home, Weinstein Hospice, and the United Jewish Appeal National Women’s Division.

Among her many recognitions, Lois was honored in 2004 as a Community Superstar by Hillels of Georgia; was recognized as a legend in 2009 by the William Breman Jewish Home; was honored in 2014 at the International Lion of Judah Conference in New York as Atlanta’s recipient of the Kipnis-Wilson/Friedland Award, which honors extraordinary women who have set a high standard for philanthropy and volunteerism; and was honored in 2018 with a Lifetime of Achievement Award from the Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta.

Together with her husband, Jerry, Lois endowed the Blonder Family Department for Special Needs at the Marcus Jewish Community Center of Atlanta; established Jerry’s Habima Theatre, an inclusive theater company featuring actors with disabilities; and created the Blonder Family Gallery dedicated to Southern Jewish History at the William Breman Jewish Heritage Museum.  For many years, Lois and her family donated generously to many other important organizations via the Blonder Family Foundation.

Lois was also a lover, collector and supporter of the arts.  She served on the board of the High Museum of Art and created two groups with friends, CultureLink and Gals On The Go, that provided art and travel experiences for women.

Lois was pre-deceased by her parents, Mildred and Paul Semel; her husband of 52 years, Jerry Blonder; her sons Michael Blonder and Scott Blonder; and her brother, Morton Semel.

Lois is survived by her children, Dale (Jeff) Dyer and Leslie (Doug) Isenberg; daughter-in-law Suzanne Blonder; grandchildren Kelly Dyer, Robby (Hannah) Dyer, Matt (Hanna) Dyer and Samantha Dyer; Ari Isenberg, Jake Isenberg and Jared Isenberg; Rebecca (Bryan) Varley, Paige (Rob) Kimbrel and Zack (Hannah) Blonder; Eric Estroff and Ashley Sklar; and great-grandchildren Molly Dyer, Brooke Dyer, Drake Dyer and Harrison Kimbrel; her sister-in-law, Sandy Semel; and many nieces and nephews and other family.

A funeral service was held at Temple Sinai on Tuesday, March 26, at 3 p.m. Shiva was held on Tuesday, March 26, and Wednesday, March 27, from 6-9 p.m. (minyan service at 7 p.m.) at Park Avenue Condominiums.

Donations may be made to the Blonder Family Department for Special Needs or Jerry’s Habima Theatre, both at the Marcus Jewish Community Center of Atlanta; the William Breman Jewish Heritage Museum; Weinstein Hospice; or any of the many important organizations with which Lois was involved through her long and generous life. Arrangements by Dressler’s Jewish Funeral Care, 770-451-4999.

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Elaine Lesser Goldstein

83, Atlanta

It is with a heavy heart that we announce the passing of Elaine “Lainy” Lesser Goldstein of Atlanta, Ga., on March 10, 2024.

Lainy and her husband, Bobby Sr., shared 64 years of a magical marriage filled with love and fun. They travelled with friends around the world and enjoyed hosting their friends and family at their home. She was everyone’s loving mom, and everyone felt comfortable in her presence. Lainy, an Atlanta native, grew up in Buckhead and moved to Sandy Springs to start her family. Everyone she touched felt her compassion. At 72 years old, she discovered that she had three brothers, with whom she cherished her relationship.

Lainy is survived by her husband, Robert “Bobby” Goldstein Sr.; children, Robert “Bobby” Goldstein, Jr. (Amanda) and Nancy Goldstein Parker (Jimmy); grandchildren, Josh (Brittany), Madeline, Micah, Stephen, Matthew, Brett, and Aaron. She is also survived by her brothers Joe (Gail), Ira (Marie), and Larry (Peggy) Wellisch. She is predeceased by her parents, Frank and Lala Lesser, and her son, Marc Lesser Goldstein, of blessed memory. We want to give special appreciation to her loyal caregiver, Hannah Atakorah, who stood by her side for the last four years.

Funeral services were held at 2:00 PM on Tuesday, March 12th at Arlington Memorial Park in Sandy Springs, Ga. To watch the service online, please click https://vimeo. com/922161989.  Visitation immediately followed the service at the home of Bobby and Amanda Goldstein. On Wednesday, March 13, visitation was from 12:00 noon to 4 p.m. with Shiva at 7 p.m. at the home of Bobby and Amanda Goldstein

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that those who wish to make a donation kindly consider The Temple, Temple Emanuel, or The Atlanta Humane Society.

We extend our condolences to Lainy’s entire family. May her memory be an everlasting blessing.

Sherwin Jay Kayne

87, Candler, N.C

Sherwin Jay (Steve) Kayne, 87, of Candler, N.C., whose blacksmithing creations were used on movie sets and grace celebrities’ homes, passed away peacefully on March 14, 2024. Steve is survived by his wife, Shirley, of nearly 60 years; daughters, Roni (Ian) Robbins of Marietta, Ga., and Joy (Scott) Yoffe of San Diego, Calif.; and son, David (Cathy) Kayne of Candler, N.C., as well as five grandchildren: Seth, Jonathan, Lena, Eli, and Landon.

From an early age, Steve was a high achiever. He attained the rank of Life Scout and later, Master Mason. But he was best known for his blacksmithing, learning the art at the age of 8 in his grandfather’s shop in New York. In 1965, he started Steve Kayne Custom Hardware, which grew into Kayne & Son Custom Hardware, Inc. (1997), Kayne & Son Tools (1998), and Blacksmiths Depot (2012-present). Before starting the business that would become his life’s passion, Steve transitioned from Navy sailor to electrical engineer and instructor. He enlisted in the Navy after the Korean War and was trained as an aircraft electrician, receiving an associate degree in applied sciences for electrical engineering. Grumman Aerospace quickly hired Steve as an electrical instructor, and he was involved in the Apollo 13 mission with electrical work on the Lunar Excursion Module. Steve also developed and presented training courses for flight line electricians and crew chief personnel of several major aircraft of that time.

While working at Grumman, Steve opened his first blacksmith shop in the family’s single-car garage in Smithtown, N.Y. In 1983, he retired from Grumman and moved his family to Western North Carolina. His shop in Candler, NC, began as a four-car garage, where he maintained a six-week backlog of work and taught blacksmithing once a month. Steve’s son now operates the business from a 7,000-square-foot shop nearby.

Among his claims to fame, Steve’s forged pieces can be found in the homes of Olivia Newton-John, Fabio, Clint Eastwood, Jerry Bruckheimer, and Bernie Marcus, to name a few. Steve’s creations also were used in movies such as Nell, Pirates of the Caribbean, Mr. Destiny, and Last of the Mohicans.

A testament to his family’s strong Jewish faith, Steve also created the “shin” holding the Ner Tamid eternal flame at Congregation Beth Israel in Asheville, N.C. His memorial service was held at Beth Israel followed by graveside services at Lou Pollock Cemetery. Shiva was held at the Kayne home in Candler, N.C., and at Congregation Etz Chaim in Marietta, Ga.

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Charles Milton Rosenberg

85, Duluth

Charles Milton Rosenberg passed away peacefully on Sunday, March 17, surrounded by his family and loved ones. He was 85 and survived by his wife of 62 years, Ann Bernice (Bunny), children: I.J. (Beth Ann) Rosenberg and Sammy (Katie) Rosenberg; grandchildren: Lindsey and Steven Lubel, Ashley and Alex Carey, Chase Rosenberg and Max Rosenberg; great-grandchild: Charlotte Carey. Charles is also survived by his brothers, Jack (Diane) Rosenberg, Morris (Gail) Rosenberg and brother-in-law, Edwin (Louise) Rothberg. Charles was preceded in death by his parents, Ben and Florence Rosenberg, and his inlaws, Lillian and Irving Rosenberg.

Charles was born and raised in Atlanta and a graduate of Grady High School where he met his wife, Bunny. He then attended Penn University before coming back to Atlanta to finish his undergraduate degree at Emory University. Charles then went to the University of Maryland Dental School where he earned a Doctorate Degree in Dentistry before specializing in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery.

Charles spent two years in the U.S. Navy as an officer in Newport, R.I., before he completed an internship in Birmingham and a residency in Louisville. Along with Dr. Perry Brickman and Dr. Ed Green, Charles opened the first incorporated oral surgery practice in Atlanta. Eventually joined by Dr. Harvey Silverman, Georgia Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery remained in practice for 42 years.

Over the years, Charles took early leadership roles in Israel Bonds as well as the Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta. He was a staunch supporter of Israel and visited the country 21 times.

An avid golfer, Charles was also a big Atlanta sports fan and at one time had season tickets to the Atlanta Falcons, Hawks and Flames and attended the 1974 Atlanta Braves game with his mother and two sons when Henry Aaron broke Babe Ruth’s major league home run record.

Charles was a wonderful son, husband, father, Zayde, and great grandfather and always put family first. He was also able to spend quality time with all four of his grandchildren who in these last years visited him regularly at his home in Duluth. It was only beshert that great granddaughter, Charlotte, and Charles were both lovingly referred to as “Charlie” and the two were quick to form a strong bond.

Charles and Bunny would have celebrated their 63rd anniversary on Aug. 20 and he was very dedicated to the love of his life. Bunny accompanied him on many of his trips to Israel. His spirt and dedication to his family, community and Israel will be missed.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Israel Bonds or Ahavath Achim Synagogue. Arrangements by Dressler’s Funeral Care, 770-451-4999.

Lila Dutkiewitz Stein

94, Sandy Springs

Lila Dutkiewitz Stein, age 94, passed away on March 16, 2024, in Sandy Springs, Ga. She was born and raised in Paterson, N.J. Her parents, Jacob and Yetta Dutkiewitz, of blessed memory, were from Ludz, Poland. Lila grew up with her two sisters living on the top floor of their father’s bakery. She met the love of her life, Herb Stein, when she was 15 and they were married three years later. Her beloved husband preceded her in death. Together they ran a small business in Miami, Fla.

The most important thing to Lila was her family. She especially loved being a grandmother and great-grandmother. Lila is survived by her daughter, Wendy (Dale) Bearman, her son, Ron (Bonnie) Stein, her grandchildren, Lindsay (Michael) Medwed, Rachel Bearman, and Jacob (Erin) Bearman and three great-grandchildren, Alyssa and Carson Medwed and Devon Bearman. She is also survived by a loving niece, three nephews and their families.

In lieu of flowers, contributions in memory of Lila can be made to one of the many organizations that support Israel in this time of need or to Temple Beth Tikvah A graveside service was held Tuesday, March 19, 2024, at 3:30 pm at Arlington Memorial Park with Rabbi Alexandria Shuval-Weiner officiating. Arrangements by Dressler’s Jewish Funeral Care, Atlanta (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

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CLOSING THOUGHTS Antisemitism is Now Very Real

The Bottom Line

Antisemitism has been a continuing problem for Jews since the days of Jesus. People don’t like us and over the course of history we have been attacked in words and in deeds again and again. We were killed for being Jewish by the Romans, by the Spanish Inquisition, by the Egyptians, and by Hitler to name just a few, because we were different, we were too powerful, we were too successful and for other reasons. Some people are probably jealous of us.

Many of us Jews thought that it was different in the United States, that it couldn’t possibly happen here, but it is happening here right now. Antisemitism is moving out of the shadows into the mainstream, and we should be worried and acting to prevent the worst from happening.

Antisemitism became very public with the insurrection on Jan. 6, 2021. That

attack on the U.S. Capitol was an attack on the truth that Joe Biden won the election, and on the very values this country was founded on: the rule of law, all men are created equal, and freedom. These are the hallmarks of our country. Conservatives, including some judges on the Supreme Court, argue for interpreting the law based on what the original colonists valued in 1776. That belief often translates into a view that this country should be run by a different set of values: let white Christian men run the country. Women, Blacks, Jews, and others do not deserve the power to run the Federal or state governments.

The attack on the Capitol is viewed by MAGA Republicans that it was an attempt to take power back for white Christian men. It didn’t matter if Biden won, Trump needed to stay in power to support the Conservative point of view, even if it undermined the rule of law, democracy, and freedom. That view believes that the voting public does not decide who should be in power.

As a result, antisemitism became very public because it is allied with the conservative point of view of supporting white power. The attack on the Capitol makes

Jews more vulnerable to antisemitism because we are viewed by MAGA Conservatives as too powerful, too influential. The evidence from the press indicates that antisemitism is indeed on the rise. It is why we have begun to put serious security in place for our schools, our synagogues, and for Jewish events.

It is not far-fetched to see that Hamas saw the Jews in the U.S. as vulnerable, that Trump is working to overturn the rule of law, moving the U.S. toward a dictatorship. Hamas must have thought that Trumpism will undermine the power of Jews in the U.S., so why can’t Hamas do this against Israel? If the U.S. is vulnerable, then so is Israel, and we, Hamas argued, can make Israel vulnerable. It is not unreasonable to believe that the U.S. insurrection on Jan. 6, 2021, influenced the attack on Israel by Hamas a short while later on Oct. 7, 2023.

Antisemitism in the U.S. has become Anti-Zionism in the Middle East, and they are related by Conservatives in this country, though they shouldn’t be. They are related if you believe Jews have too much power in the U.S., and Israel has too much power in the Middle East.

Israel has the power to defend itself against Hamas and others that want to kill Israelis and destroy Israel. In the same way, we Jews in America need to implement whatever power we have to defend against antisemitism in this country. Just as Israel appears vulnerable, so too are we vulnerable to antisemitism here. It is not enough to build security for our Jewish institutions. We need to be on the offensive, making antisemitism a crime nationwide, as we have just done in the State of Georgia. We need to place antisemitism in the same category as defending the rule of law, democracy and freedom, the principles that this country has built its framework on.

It is not enough to be on the defensive alone. We need to be on the offensive, calling out antisemitism wherever it occurs. We are vulnerable and we need to take action not as militaristic as Israel, but with public outcries, demands for public support, and legal action. We have to do more than talk about it; we need to defend against it. We are once again vulnerable. If you value your way of life in this country, then do something to support your way of life. ì

Philanthropy changes lives. Change lives with the Atlanta Jewish Foundation Have Questions? Contact Ghila Sanders at
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