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STYLE Jewish Atlanta’ Atlanta ’ s Stylish Simchas and Celebrations


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Editor’s Letter

Celebrate Good Times, Come On!


ith increasing vaccinations, Jewish Atlanta is starting to get out and about as well as resume milestone celebrations as pandemic health cautions ease. The simcha parties we spotlight in this summer STYLE issue may still include masking, smaller numbers or outdoor events, but the pandemic rules have definitely loosened a notch. Caution remains in order when planning larger gatherings, according to a pair of infectious disease doctors the AJT consulted to learn whether it’s time to party at pre-COVID-19 levels. What that means for celebrating families we interviewed for this special section is persistent creativity. For instance, when prom was canceled for Pope High School as a result of health concerns, a group of innovative parents stepped in to make sure their upperclassmen didn’t have to miss the glamorous comingof-age tradition. For their daughter’s first birthday, the Arogeti family capitalized on the pandemic struggle with a “Survivor” theme, a takeoff on the popular TV reality show about an island competition. From a baby to centenarians, the simcha issue spans the generations. Take our story celebrating a group of Sandy Springs seniors who have crossed the century mark. Age also doesn’t define the adult b’nai mitzvah classes from Congregation Etz Chaim, Temple Beth David and The Temple, which didn’t let the pandemic stop them from achieving a goal typically fulfilled as a new teen. Even the 18-year-old high school graduate wasn’t deterred by her delay in having a bat mitzvah later than her peers. But she’s accustomed to stepping out from the pack, winning the coveted Girl Scout Gold Award after years of effort and determination. We also chat with the happy celeb couples in two second time-around weddings. Whether finding true love or staying the course to reach an objective, Jewish Atlantans are making their dreams come true in a festive way despite obstacles that threaten to block their path. They continue to prove that where there’s a will, there’s a way. Party on! ì Sincerely,

KayleneLadinsky Kaylene Ladinsky Editor & Managing Publisher





STYLE Jewish Atlanta’ Atlanta ’ s Stylish Simchas and Celebrations


MICHAEL A. MORRIS michael@atljewishtimes.com


6/7/2021 2:09:27 PM

Cover Photo: Natlie Allen, a long-time anchor on CNN and CNN International, wed popular Emory professor Jeff Rosensweig enjoyed a stroll through an arch of Jekyll Island moss on their wedding day.


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Jewish Atlanta’s Stylish Simchas and Celebrations


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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 www.atlantajewishtimes.com ATLANTA JEWISH TIMES (ISSN# 0892-33451) IS PUBLISHED BY SOUTHERN ISRAELITE, LLC © 2021 ATLANTA JEWISH TIMES Printed by Walton Press Inc. MEMBER Conexx: America Israel Business Connector American Jewish Press Association Sandy Springs/Perimeter Chamber of Commerce Please send all photos, stories and editorial content to: submissions@atljewishtimes.com






10 Is It Time to Party? 12 Grande Dame Plans Decades of Entertainment 14 When Pope Canceled Prom, Moms Stepped In 16 ‘Survivor’ Birthday Party 18 New Century Club Members in Sandy Springs 20 The Professor and TV Anchor’s

Earth Day Wedding

Day at Atlanta Wedding Extravaganza!

24 Two Realtors Find Their Bashert 28 Engaged Couples Eager to Plan Big

30 London Perseveres with Double Locales 34 Grad Adds Two Feathers to Cap 36 Snellville Adults Hit B’nai Mitzvah Goal 40 Etz Chaim Adult B’nai Mitzvah Fulfilled 42 COVID Bucket List: Adult Bat Mitzvah 44 Summer Simcha Announcements 50 Advertisers Directory 54 Marketplace 9•STYLE MAGAZINE



By Robyn Spizman Gerson

Is It Time to Party?

As summer arrives, simchas are starting to pop up all over the place. Even while writing this article, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention made an announcement regarding mask protocol, and an update to this story was necessary. The positive news is we are starting to see more synagogues, nonprofits, theaters, weddings, mitzvahs and other simchas happening. Regarding the partying landscape, Dr. Richard Prokesch, an infectious disease specialist, said, “There has been an encouraging trend locally and nationally for the COVID-19 pandemic. Whereas there was a slight bump in cases post



spring break, fortunately there was not yet another surge. The question is: is it time to party?” Prokesch continued, “The latest CDC recommendations for gatherings are that fully vaccinated persons at least two weeks after the second doses of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines or the single Johnson & Johnson vaccine no longer need to wear a mask or socially distance in any setting unless required by local government or business regulations. “The vaccines work! Thus, indoor and outdoor activities pose minimal risk to those who are fully vaccinated. Also, it is fine to visit with unvaccinated households, including children from a single household that is low risk for COVID-19 infection, again without masks or social distancing. The personal comfort level of the individual supersedes the CDC guidelines.” So, what does that really mean for simchas? “Whereas

Dr. Richard Prokesch updates us on how to stay cautious when partying.

Dr. Mitchell Blass discusses the landscape of partying and mask-wearing.

it is not yet time to party like it’s 2019, we can begin to enjoy celebrations with our friends and families” following the CDC guidelines, he wrote in an email to the AJT. “For instance, a moderately sized outdoor wedding is safe, especially if all attendees are fully vaccinated.

Indoor events such as bar or bat mitzvahs still require continued vigilance despite the latest CDC guidelines. If the numbers are relatively small and all are vaccinated, then again, no mask or social distancing will be required, but if there are a num-

ber of unvaccinated children and adults then the more prudent approach would be masking and distancing as much as possible. Whereas the CDC recommendations did not address it in detail, persons with any immunosuppression such as cancer patients on chemotherapy, even if vaccinated, should still practice masking and social distancing as many of those persons do not mount an immune response to the vaccine.” He added. “The CDC also states that it’s now safe to fly if you are fully vaccinated. It appears to me that the planes are relatively safe. I worry most about crowded airports, where I would recommend masking and distancing as much as feasible. ‘‘Also based on CDC recommendations, fully vaccinated grandparents can visit, yes and hug, their grandchildren without masks. At this point I do not believe that herd immunity should be a part of the discus-

sion as it does not appear that we will achieve it,” he wrote. “Typically herd immunity says that 70% or more of the population is immune either from having been infected with COVID-19 or being vaccinated. To date only about 28% of the total Georgia population are vaccinated although about 65% of those 65 or older have been,” he continued. “Our vaccine supply is such that we are close if not there to having enough vaccine for all those that are willing to be vaccinated. The problem is that there are a significant number that do not want to receive the vaccine for a number of reasons. Vaccination has made a difference with a downward trend in new cases, hospitalizations and deaths. It works!” According to another infectious disease specialist, Dr. Mitchell Blass, “I think that as more and more people are vaccinated, or have had COVID

and thus (to a reasonable degree of medical certainty) are immune, the more we can move back to our pre-pandemic state of normalcy, whatever that was.” As for the boundaries, Dr. Blass added, “I feel very comfortable going out and about, in the manner in which I did prior to COVID. I have been vaccinated. I believe the vaccination works,” he wrote in an email to the AJT. “I understand the concern about flying and a great deal depends on the vaccination and/or immune status of the traveler. There will always be a risk for infection with any number of diseases that can be acquired while traveling. “COVID is just the latest among many pathogens that have the potential of airborne transmission in an airplane. Get on a plane if you wish. Enjoy your life the way you did prior to December of 2019. Higher volume in airports and vacation crowds increase the risk of

Photos above, left to right, The CDC reports it’s safe to travel if fully vaccinated. Infectious disease experts still recommend masking up in crowded indoor spaces. Vaccinations are seen as the key to herd immunity.

many conditions, however, get vaccinated and enjoy life.” From Zooming to resuming in person, it is starting to look a lot more like simchas and partying will cautiously continue. Be sure to check CDC guidelines, www.cdc.gov, for up- to-the minute status of what is advisable. We blink and if we have learned anything for certain, the guidelines for gatherings can and will potentially change without notice. ì 11•STYLE MAGAZINE


Grande Dame Plans Decades of Entertainment



By Marcia Caller Jaffe

Designing doyenne Barbara Roos grew up in Cincinnati before moving south to attend the University of Alabama. She got “the bug” to get into the event business when the Atlanta chapter of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation had its first fundraiser over 40 years ago. “I felt like I have a knack for it,” Roos said. “I enjoy meeting and connecting with new people. I am grateful to have an ‘eye’ for figuring out how to use a space in a way that compliments the flow of the venue and needs of guests. It’s anticipating that anything could



3 happen and being prepared for the unknown. I think through all of the scenarios that I can fathom and come up with solutions before problems arise.” Now an independent event consultant with Topher Mack Floral & Events, Roos has strung football fields of ribbons, thousands of blooms, and filled spaces

with pizzazz and romantic glamour. The inside joke is: “If Barbara approves it, it must be top notch.” When asked what constitutes a perfect setting, Roos muses that it’s not about a particular china pattern or flatware, but more about considering the guests’

needs. “That is when the perfect place-setting is achieved. If the place-setting reflects the style of the evening and personality of the host or guest of honor, depending on the event, and the guests’ needs are met, ... then it’s PERFECT!” Among her high-level events was the 1995 World Series party

for Ted Turner, when the Braves captured the third world championship in the franchise’s history. Also for Turner, she “did” his 75th birthday party, focused on his environmental passion, where she laid out seven 24-foot-long tables representing each continent. She did a party for Roberto Goizueta, former CEO and chairman of The

logo seat cushions in all-star blue and red. Roos champions health care charities. “There’s nothing I am more passionate about than helping sick children and supporting children’s health foundations. I use my voice to spread awareness about causes and nonprofits that are near and dear to me. The more people know about a cause, the more support it gets. Professionally, I express that passion in advising nonprofits how to make their events more



4 Coca-Cola Co., where she stood elevated, levels above the event to peer down to assure that the glasses on the bar spelled out “Coke.” On a lighter note, she designed a sports-themed party with dugouts, stands and fencing along each side of the dance floor, with custom

profitable. I help organizations curate their live auction items and work closely with the team at Topher Mack Floral & Events to produce invigorating visual displays to raise as much money as possible during [charity] silent auctions.” Outside of work, Roos, a member of The Temple, dotes on family. “My grandchildren are my favorite people in the world. As youngsters, they only heard us call each other by our first names. That’s how we became ‘Barbara and Duke.’ We wouldn’t have it any other way.” In terms of retirement, she concluded, “As long as I am this happy, I’m never going to retire because I’ve still got a long way to go and a lot to give.” Roos offers tips to maximize entertaining: • Have faith in the people

Photos by Terri Nash Photography //

1. Barbara Roos designed this breathtaking ceiling with 10 miles of ribbon to produce a memorable event.

2. Revel in this white outdoor hotel wedding chuppah. 3 Barbara Roos’ event planning career spans decades of Atlanta’s most special affairs.

4. A rustic romantic wedding is one of Roos’ specialties. 5. Barbara Roos and Christopher Macksey, principal Topher Mack designer, pose with hydrangea wall they designed at St. Regis bar.

6. Photos by Eric Wittmayer // Barbara Roos decorated this sports bar mitzvah with a dugout and fencing to the delight of the guests. you work with. Be open-minded and listen to them because they are pros for a reason. • If you are having an outdoor event, make sure your team has a thorough weather Plan B. • Hire a planner. Planners aren’t just for weddings. They help you navigate all of the details for a cohesive event. • Don’t forget lighting. It’s

so important to create a visually beautiful event. No matter how stunning the event is or how exquisite the flowers are, if it isn’t properly lit, your guests won’t be able to see the details. • Have fun. If you have a great vendor team in place, then ideally you should be able to enjoy the party rather than manage the details. ì 13•STYLE MAGAZINE


When Pope Canceled Prom, Moms Stepped In 2


By Stephanie Nissani

Every year, thousands of upperclassmen across the country come together in one extravagantly memorable night to continue a centuries-old promenade dance tradition that encompasses months of preparation, thousands of dollars in glitzy dresses, tuxedos, limos, high-end dinners and the like. Unfortunately, due to COATLANTA JEWISH TIMES


VID-19 and its second year of derailing the long-standing rite, many schools aborted the mission of arranging an eventful night of glitz and glamour that high schoolers yearned for the entire year. Except for one group of ardent mothers who insisted on rectifying the situation by convening seniors before they part ways to embark on their futures. Stephanie Pearle said that when Cobb County schools canceled proms, she and seven other moms from Pope High School strategized a six-week plan to make sure the seniors could still experience an unoffi-

cial prom. “It was like planning a wedding … anything from lights, to food, decoration, security and volunteers.” The parents rented Ivy Hall in Roswell and sold tickets to cover costs for the May 7 event. The event was held mostly outdoors under the stars. The mom committee set up a Pope Class of 2021 page on Facebook to coordinate details. The event was made up of multiple components, including a DJ, a photographer, decorations purchased from Amazon and parents who volunteered to bring lights and the like. “I did a whole SignUpGenius and we got volunteers to help on the

3 night of the prom,” Pearle said. “It’s amazing how much cooperation we got from all the parents, whether they baked, volunteered [or otherwise] assured this night happened.” What about the coronation of prom king and queen you may wonder? Pearle was thrilled to share that, “We let the kids nominate. We cut up pieces of paper and decorated a shoe box. Upon arrival, students had to vote and check in. The queen received a crown, and the king received a hat that says, ‘king’ on it,” she said. “We had a beautiful, decorated display table filled with desserts from Nothing Bundt



7 6 Cakes and parents who baked individually wrapped desserts.” She added that Ivy Hall served mocktails such as margaritas, and Shirley Temples – no alcohol of course. As opposed to traditional school proms previously held at such locales as the Fox Theatre, students seemed to stay the entire time for this prom instead of leaving after a short time as they had in the past, Pearle noticed. Unlike typical senior proms, juniors and other outsiders were allowed to attend too. At Ivy

Hall, an area was set aside to take senior prom pictures. The moms also installed a photo booth for more candid shots. “We weren’t looking to make money on this. We were looking to cover the expenses,” she added. “The kids were so appreciative; the parents were appreciative. We had the whole night, tuxedos, limos pulling up left and right dropping kids off…” The prom attracted 278 students with masks optional following Gov. Brian Kemp re-

cently lifting the health restriction. Prom King nominee Noah Walter, who is Jewish, said the moms did a magnificent job. He and his friends were disappointed with the prospect of the year ending without a prom. “We were surprised. We had a great time and thankfully it was a good, normal ending to a [terrible] year.” Pearle’s daughter Rachel admitted that it was her first prom since last year’s junior prom was canceled too. “The highlight was being able to go. It was very different than what we expected and even better.” ì

1. Upperclassmen gathered at Ivy Hall under the stars. 2. Welcome sign greets prom attendees at Ivy Hall. 3. Evan Sommer and Rebecca Weiss, both Jewish, strike a pose at prom. 4 and 6. Tables were filled with desserts from Nothing Bundt Cakes and homemade baked goods. 5. Tables were set up outside Ivy Hall as the outdoors are believed safer for pandemic parties. 7. Invition to prom night in the Enchanted Forest at Ivy Hall May 7.



‘Survivor’ Birthday Party

2 1 By Marcia Caller Jaffe

Jordan and Scott Arogeti threw a tongue and cheek “Survivor” first birthday party for daughter Remi Rose in April with older brother Nace, 2 ½, sharing the joy. Mom Jordan explained, “The first birthday is normally significant, but this year especially so during the pandemic. Our theme was a play on words, the TV show ‘Survivor,’ and having two children under 2 this particular year.” Combining endurance during the pandemic with the television series’ castaway premise, ATLANTA JEWISH TIMES


the Arogetis went all out to develop their Survivor theme with fun décor: leaves, coconut head faces, Lysol, hand sanitizer, waving greenery, island decoration, balloon arches and even nasal swabs. Starting at 10:30 a.m., guests entered between rows of bamboo torches. Jordan continued, “We didn’t focus on food; we grabbed Chick-fil-A. Mom made a huge casserole; we had pineapple cupcakes and a multicolored Number 1 smash birthday cake, .... The emphasis was on being social for the first time in a long while. A lot of happiness!”

Although they didn’t play traditional kiddy games, they focused on just being together. Brother Nace was given the job of testing temperatures at the front door, which he conscientiously took on. Art consultant grandmother Sharon Rudy Moskowitz, srmARTconnect, said, “I helped with the décor/ theme and the ‘artistic’ coconut heads were created by Jeffrey (goes by Jeffro) Hollington, a fun whimsy artist who does commissions and live paintings at weddings, mitzvahs, openings. “Jordan is definitely the woman in charge. She and Scott really were so inspired by all the love they had from family and how they could not have ‘survived’ the quarantine and the isolation without the support of the Moskowitz/Arogeti and inner extended siblings, with who they could come in contact” dur-

ing the pandemic. “Jordan and Scott were a true team and used the theme throughout the party as a fun way to show how Remi Rose blossomed her first year, making a very fearful year with challenges turn into a year of growth, love and using humor whenever possible!” Jordan addressed the group with a heartfelt speech as a fulltime working mom, acknowledging how they had all experienced so much during the pandemic with isolation and “powering through.” She emphatically thanked husband Scott for stepping up. “He really made a contribution, willing to do household chores. I never had to ask. He put the kids and me before himself. We are survivors.” Dad Scott noted Remi’s two great-grandmothers were coincidentally both in the same

1. Remi Arogeti enjoys her birthday cake crumbs.

2. Birthday girl Remi Arogeti was cheered on by big brother Nace to smash the #1 cake. 3. Jordan Arogeti paid tribute to husband/dad Scott for helping the family through the tough past year. 4. The table décor was highlighted by grandmother Sharon Moskowitz’ coconut heads.

5. The family wore “Survivor” bandanas to celebrate being together. Bamboo torches greeted guests.

3 4 sorority class at the University of Georgia in the early ‘50s and only recently reconnected around their grandchildren marrying. “This made the day all the more meaningful. It was a wonderful feeling to finally gather as a full combined family and to celebrate not only Remi’s first year of life, but also the fact that we could all be together celebrating in person safe, healthy, and together under one roof.” Moskowitz summarized, “How ironic that their two babies are chai, 18 months apart. We know we are truly blessed.” ì



New Century Club Members in Sandy Springs





Hammond Glen senior living community in Sandy Springs inaugurated its new Century Club for residents over 100 years old by welcoming five new members, four of whom are Jewish. Like Olympians, the group that included Mildred Wachter, Millie Kinbar, Estelle Wexler and Shirley Finck, were pre-


sented bronze medals and bouquets at the welcoming party. Finck, made honorary chair of the group, called its first meeting to order with a rule that they wouldn’t talk about age. “Age, for me is a no-no,” she said. “when people ask me about my age, I generally avoid the subject.” But the other centenarians were happy to talk about what keeps them youthful and active. Millie Kinbar immigrated to America with her family from Poland over 98 years ago when America was struggling with the after-effects of the Spanish Flu pandemic that had swept across America. She said she tries to take each day as it comes, and when they all add up to 100 years, she likes to think of it as a pleasant surprise. “I just put one foot in front of the other and do what feels good,” she said. “And there are so many good things over the years that before you know it, here you are.” For another of the honorees, Mildred Wachter, who moved from Erie, Pa., to be closer to her family, the secret to making it past the 100-year mark is just to keep going and stay happy. “I like to exercise. That’s important,” she emphasized. “And I always try to have something on my mind that encourages me to keep going. I’m always trying to encourage myself to keep going. I try be positive and be happy with my life.” Also on hand for the first meeting of the Century Club was the Mayor of Sandy Springs Rusty Paul, who has a few years to go before he qualifies for full membership. But he brought greetings from the city. “It is an honor to celebrate five women who have lived such long, full and fulfilled lives,” he said. “They have not only witnessed so much of our history, they have individual stories that are inspired and inspiring. Each of them is a unique library of knowledge and wisdom.” According to statistics from the National Institute on Aging, America has one of the world’s largest populations of people


5 1. Shirley Finck is the unofficial chairperson of the Century Club. 2. Members of the Century Club celebrated their first meeting at Hammond Glen.

3. Mildred Wachter is part of the first group of Century Club members. 4. Millie Kinbar immigrated from Poland over 98 years ago. 5. Sandy Springs Mayor Rusty Paul celebrated with the Century Club at Hammond Glen.

6 over 100 and that segment is growing fast. By 2050, the population in that age group is projected to grow 20 times faster than the population at large, the NIA reported. That means that by mid-century there could be over 600,000 living to be 100, up from just 75,000 in 2010. That keeps senior citizens communities busy with programs for honorees like the one at Hammond Glen. The Jewish HomeLife com-

6. Members of the Century munities in Alpharetta, Atlanta and Dunwoody also celebrate their 100-year-old residents with a special party. “There’s cake, music and even dancing. We are excited to now be able to have families join us again,” said Shari Bayer, JHL chief marketing and communications officer. At Sunrise at Huntcliff Summit in Sandy Springs, which has a large population of Jewish seniors, residents who reach 100 get balloons and banners that decorate their doorway, and

Club and their guests were treated to birthday cake.

the path from their apartment to the elevator is sprinkled with confetti. “By the time people make it to their 100th birthday, they have collected so many important memories,” said activities director Franki Groh Mohamed. “We think it’s so important that we add something special to all those memories.” ì 19•STYLE MAGAZINE



The Professor and TV Anchor’s Earth Day Wedding


1 By Marcia Caller Jaffe

Natalie Allen, a long-time anchor on CNN and CNN International, wed popular Emory professor Jeff Rosensweig on ATLANTA JEWISH TIMES


Earth Day, April 22, at the historic Jekyll Island Club Resort. Allen chose this date because she presented the first show on The Weather Channel, “Forecast Earth” and sustainability

has been an enduring interest for her. At the wedding, 50 guests looked on in an idyllic setting in the garden of the Crane Cottage. With perfect weather, the reception on the lawn overlooked the river, followed by dinner in the mansion’s courtyard. The venue was chosen because the Federal Reserve System was formed there by J.P. Morgan, among others. Rosensweig began his career at the Federal Reserve, before teaching at Yale and then moving to Emory University’s Goizueta Business School, where he is director of the John

Robson Program for Business, Public Policy, and Government. Allen had vacationed at the club with her son Nicholas Wright since he was an infant. Being a “second time around,” the couple first met on the set of CNN 20 years ago, where Rosensweig was a frequent live commentator, discussing economic and financial topics. Rosensweig was widowed four years ago. “We were so lucky to reconnect and fall in love so many years later,” Allen said, to which Rosensweig added details, “After we started dating, we got en-

Debbie Peacock Photo & Video

1. The couple enjoyed a stroll through an arch of Jekyll Island moss. 2. Groom Jeff Rosensweig completed the traditional breaking of the glass to much applause. 3. The couple’s suite was inside this famed Jekyll Island Club turret tower.

4. The couple dances as Natalie Allen’s son sang “At Last” as 50 guests look on. 5. Granddaughter flower girls Eleanor and Annabelle Escher made a charming entrance. 6. Natalie Allen’s favorite poem


by W. H. Auden speaks of an “agreeable” carriage exit.

5 6





9 7. The 50 guests watched from Crane Cottage yard.



8. The couple’s cake was surrounded by a swirl of sugar doves.

9. Reception was in the mansion’s courtyard.

gaged 11 months later, in June 2019, just after we attended my Yale reunion.” Fast forward to April 2020, when the original wedding date was postponed due to COVID. Allen recalled, “After delaying our 2020 date, many encouraged us to just marry on Zoom. But I held out for my dream wedding at this historic and picturesque Jekyll Island Club. Our guests were enchanted with its beauty. Not coincidentally, my son Nicolas performed ‘At Last’ as our dance song.” Rosensweig chimed in, “Luckily the wedding was always planned to be outdoors in the garden. That combined with vaccines gave us confidence to finally go forward.” Rosensweig’s brother-inlaw Jonathan Fleming conduct-

ed the ceremony. Rosensweig’s son was his best man and Allen’s was her son. Rosensweig’s sister Amy Fleming did a reading, as did Allen’s sister Lauren Murrell. Granddaughter flower girls flounced in a fantasy of mint green dresses with silver shoes as children of Rosensweig’s daughter Maria (Lance) Escher, who were part of the unity tree readings. Adm. James Stavridis, former Supreme Allied Commander of NATO and currently chairman of The Rockefeller Foundation, shared wonderful reflections on “service and commitment” during the ceremony. Wedding details flowed as did Allen’s ethereal bouquet of pale roses and peonies. The alabaster white cake was adorned with doves (Allen’s favorite) and butterflies for Earth Day, all made of sugar. Rosensweig looked dapper in a white dinner jacket while Allen wore a slender white lace dress with rhinestone straps. The couple took a mini U.S. trip in anticipation of honeymooning in Africa as the pandemic subsides. Rosensweig said, “I hope our marriage gives everyone faith that love can be found anew. Natalie’s middle name is Joy, which she brings me every day. Many people say that our love is so tangible that it brings them joy. Natalie has such rare inner and outer beauty and brilliance that I know I am lucky. I plan to cherish her every day.” Allen relayed a poem by W.H. Auden, which ends: “The streets shall all flock to your marriage The houses turn round to look The tables and chairs say suitable prayers

And the horses drawing your carriage

Sing agreeably, agreeably, agreeably of love.”


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And yes, the couple exited in a horse drawn carriage. ì 23•STYLE MAGAZINE


Two Realtors Find Their Bashert

1 By Marcia Caller Jaffe

Jimmy Baron proposed to Kira Shalman Karlin in Chicago this past Thanksgiving on the pitcher’s mound at the park where he grew up playing Little League. Both residential realtors who met through work, they married in a backyard ceremony May 20, where their families formally blended with three sons in tow. Fifty close family guests attended the ceremony while others came later for dessert. In terms of remarriage, Baron said, “You don’t feel the same societal and family pressure to get married as you do ATLANTA JEWISH TIMES


when you’re in your late 20s or early 30s. You’re getting married more on your own terms.” Kira is enjoying Jimmy’s playfulness, and said, “Be it the occasional cracked egg on the forehead or his overexaggerated, stuntman-like falls, Jimmy keeps us laughing all day long. Congregation Beth Tefillah’s Rabbi Yossi New, who performed the nuptials, shared, “I am thrilled to have witnessed Kira and Jimmy’s genesis, in watching the relationship bloom. Their romance has flowered as they developed such a deep connection. It’s wonderful to be




5 Photos by Beth Intro Photography //

1. Jimmy and Kira met in their residential real estate jobs.

2. Rabbi Yossi New signs the ketubah with Jimmy looking on. 3.

Jimmy Baron wore a kittel, white robe, for the ceremony as the family expresses joy.

4. The blended family with boys Micah, Aaron and Max loving being together. 5. The backyard poolside made for a scenic venue.

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part of it.” Baron, now synagogue president, is known for his past acting and broadcast stardom with such illustrative credits as “Risky Business,” “M*A*S*H*,” “Quincy,” “The Facts of Life,” and locally, as a top radio show DJ, among the highest rated on American alternative radio. In 2011 he launched his residential real estate career and is now in the top three individual agents at Keller Williams First Atlanta. Kira was born in Russia, moving to Atlanta at age 4, then attending The Epstein School and Yeshiva Atlanta. She is also a top realtor at Keller Williams and one of the founders of Live Luxury, their local luxury division. With it’s New York background in an elaborate and strictly kosher roll out, Eli Brafman’s E.B Catering provided the wedding menu: lamb lollipops, mini salmon tacos, avocado mousse, roasted cauliflower with pesto aioli, tricolored smashed potatoes, grilled vegetables, sous vide London broil, roasted turkey, red wine onion jam and tostados. Brafman dazzled with a mélange of desserts: tiramisu, cookie dough, s’mores, chocolate rum, Boston cream pie shooters, fresh mint watermelon skewers, churros with hot Mexican dipping sauce, glazed donut holes, biscotti, and highly touted booze pops. E.B.’s gold leaf wedding cake was vanilla butter cream. Brafman stated, “It really was special to prepare this wonderful menu for Kira and our shul president. Also, the previous Saturday we catered their aufruf [the groom’s Torah 7. Kira was a radiant bride in her column gown.



8. The couple dug into the vanilla butter cream cake.

honor] at CBT’s Saturday kiddush. Quite a celebration!” At the wedding, Kira wore a sequined lace column gown alongside Jimmy’s gray rented tux with pink tie. Jim White Designs arranged the pastel, ethereal, romantic flowers and décor in columns high above the table settings. In terms of melding the families, Jimmy said, “My son Micah was my best man and he and Kira’s sons [Aaron and Max] emceed the ceremony by announcing those who were given honors.” When asked by the AJT what’s important at this age in starting anew? Jimmy replied, “One big thing is to consider if the person and their family situation will be good for your own children (if you have younger ones). I couldn’t marry someone who didn’t have a good relationship with my son or made him uncomfortable. Our kids love each other and have a great time together. That’s a huge part of why we are so comfortable together. And Micah LOVES Kira so much. She is wonderful to him.” How will household duties be shared? “Kira’s a great cook, but we don’t actually split up duties in any formal way. Or we haven’t figured that part out yet.” Jimmy shared that Kira is at her best when something needs to get done. As a force of nature, she always delivers when something big or challenging is looming.” Kira concluded, “Our boys have taken some ownership for certain chores, depending on who is best suited for the task. With a rising elementary, middle and high school child, many are dictated by their school and afterschool schedules. “One thing is for sure, with three boys in the house, Jimmy has almost given in to the need for Costco.” ì

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London Perseveres with Double Locales

1 By Marcia Caller Jaffe London Jones’ original bar mitzvah date, March 21, 2020, was at the cusp of pandemic shutdowns. Weeks before, the family saw the writing on the wall and decided to cancel the event. ATLANTA JEWISH TIMES


Mom Karen Isenberg Jones said, “I think the cancellation of London’s original bar mitzvah hit me harder than it hit him! I was a bit in shock. Here I was just a couple weeks before the celebration having to contact all guests and vendors to let them know we are postponing.”

The Temple clergy invited London to contribute during Shabbat services via Zoom the next Shabbat, when he was joined by two others who had postponed their ceremonies. The Isenberg-Jones family were sheltering in their Blue Ridge cabin, where London read his Torah portion via Zoom with a beautiful nature backdrop. The family postponed London’s bar mitzvah to September 2020, thinking the pandemic would conclude by fall. The virus had different plans and London’s maternal family couldn’t make it to Atlanta. London’s grandparents had the idea of having a ceremony at their synagogue, Temple Jeremiah in Northfield, Ill., near Chicago, to attend in person. The clergy from both synagogues worked together to make it happen. London rehearsed via

Zoom with Temple Jeremiah’s cantor. The family packed the car and drove to the Chicago area, where London became a bar mitzvah on Sept. 7 in front of his grandparents, aunt, uncles and cousins. Grandparents Susan and Sheldon Isenberg hosted a socially distanced backyard luncheon. “The true meaning of mitzvah: when my daughter, son-in-law, and grandsons drove to Glenview on Labor Day so my husband (83) and I (75) could attend in person,” Susan Isenberg said. “It was a day we will remember forever, and we thank G-d for that blessing.” Karen Jones said, “It was so incredibly special for us to have a ceremony with my parents and siblings. London graciously accepted the call to the bimah twice. It was a wonderful gift to my family.”

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2 3 Finally, London became a bar mitzvah at The Temple Sept. 12 with Rabbi Loren Lapidus and Cantor Deborah Hartman. Rabbi Steven Rau also had special words for London with 30 people in the sanctuary, followed by a home lunch. London’s grandmother Patricia Jones and great aunt drove from Florida. London’s uncle flew in from Boston. All three had readings during the ceremony. London plays lacrosse, basketball, tennis and rides his bike on the Atlanta BeltLine to school, David T. Howard Middle School in the Old Fourth Ward. His mitzvah project was prepar-

1. Photo by Marcia Caller

Jaffe // David Jones, London Jones and Karen Isenberg Jones at The Temple for London’s Sept. 12 ceremony.

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Jones, brother Brenin Jones and David Jones on the bimah at Temple Jeremiah in Northfield, Ill. his study of sacrifice.

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4. London’s Atlanta celebration included a yard sign in front of his home by Sign Greeters.

5. London reads his Torah portion via Zoom March 28, 2020, while quarantining in Blue Ridge. 6. Jason Jones, Karen Isenberg Jones, London Jones, Brenin Jones, David Jones, Patricia Jones and Carole Larson outside The Temple.

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the ceremony, the family hosted a luncheon afterwards at their home for some of London’s friends.




his parshah from Leviticus, in which he studied sacrifice and tied it into current events by noting, “People may not kill animals or burn food, but we do make sacrifices every day. My friends and I don’t have to sacrifice big things that people back then did, for which I am grateful. We may give time or money to help a cause or study for a test instead of hanging out with friends. These are some sacrifices that we all make, along with socially distancing during COVID.” Dad David Jones reflected, “London’s bar mitzvah journey was paralleled with the tragic worldwide pandemic. This provided a poignant lesson in what it meant to become an adult. He learned patience, flexibility and charity.” And wife Karen summarized, “The Temple made our postponed ceremony safe, special and stress free. Family participated in the ceremony live via Zoom from all over the country. Our 30 in-person guests truly felt the emotional connection to the day. There wasn’t a dry eye in the room when David and I gave our speeches to London.” Temple teacher Jacqueline Morris offered, “London started late to our program, and I was impressed that he worked so hard and dedicated many hours to Hebrew learning to catch right up. He was a phenomenal student, always on top of his game. He was disappointed at the original cancellation but faced it with maturity.” As a fun conclusion, London celebrated the recent Memorial Day weekend outside with a dance party, combined with eighth grade graduation at Knock Music House. ì

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Grad Adds Two Feathers to Cap


1 By Stephanie Nissani

In the months preceding her 12th birthday, Katie Kahn expressed to her mother her identity with Judaism and asked to proceed with the traditional bat mitzvah. But that’s not what happened. Katie explained to the AJT how her bat mitzvah was impeded and shared details of her back-to-back simchas and accomplishments for 2021. Since 12 isn’t the ideal age to make your own decisions in the secular world, Kahn’s mother Virginia Spach Kahn asked her daughter to rethink the decision Mom believed should be accompanied by a full commitment. Katie recalled, “She wanted me to fully grasp and understand the true meaning behind a bat mitzvah instead of being influenced by a huge party.” Spach Kahn, who is not Jewish, asked her daughter to gauge her inner spirituality rather than be blinded by a prestigious ATLANTA JEWISH TIMES


party. Katie considered her mother’s assertion and continued with her life until she was emotionally and mentally ready for her mitzvah. Throughout the years, Kahn’s trajectory has not deviated from learning Hebrew, familiarizing herself with mitzvot and hearing the Torah while attending Shabbat services at Temple Kehillat Chaim with her father Steven Kahn. Katie said she also gravitated toward Judaism and Hebrew by attending religious school. “I found Hebrew to be calming and beautiful. I also like the nature aspect of it, like the agrarian calendar; the way the entire year and holidays revolved around harvesting. It’s truly beautiful.” Flash-forward six years. Katie graduated Chattahoochee High School May 20 and nine days later, on her 18th birthday May 29, she became a bat mitzvah. “It is meant to be,” she said. Prior to the big day, Katie


felt a slight sense of apprehension. “It was nerve-racking right before.” Katie explained that she did three Torah honors, aliyot: the first with her father; the second with two of her Hebrew school friends; and the third by herself. “While reading the Torah, my dad was on the right of me and Rabbi [Jason] Holtz was to the left, just to make sure that things went well and verses were read correctly.” This is a moment everyone here at Kehillat Chaim and my father have been waiting for.” Katie studied about six months, read 10 verses and one Haftorah on the bimah in front of many friends and family who joined virtually or face-to-face. She was blessed with sentimen-

tal Jewish gifts that will forever mark the milestone, including a mezuzah, Kiddush cup and candleholders for Shabbat. Katie also participated in a baccalaureate ceremony at Kehillat Chaim May 8. It was a double blessing for Katie graduating the same month from high school and Hebrew school, where she also served as a teaching assistant. But finding her Jewish roots and celebrating her bat mitzvah was not the only challenging path Katie took to adulthood. After years of work, she also achieved the highest honor of Girl Scouts, receiving the Gold Award March 7. Along the way to the coveted award, Katie achieved other




7 awards, including an Anne J. DeFranks Scouting and Service Scholarship, a fund for Girl Scouts who are dedicated to community service in memory of the Johns Creek prominent community member. On May 1, Katie was part of a bridging ceremony at Sims

Lake Park in Suwanee where she was presented the community leadership award along with service to girl scouting awards. “Not everyone is entitled for this scholarship,” she said. “As a member, you have many responsibilities, like running the service unit, annual events, bridging cer-

emonies, and the like.” Katie is also interning at the Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta’s Four Winds Day Camp, where she strategizes marketing campaigns. “They are so nice. I’ve been going to this camp for years and it’s nice to be on the other side of that and work for them.” Katie never ceases to be inspired by nature, introducing a new topic for the Gold Award – composting. She explained the dedicated 80-hour service project that led to her receiving the award. “My team was composed of previous mentors, teachers and school friends that I thought would be the right fit.” Her project reflected one of the world’s problems: reducing greenhouse gas emissions through composting. The new graduate will attend the University of Georgia in the fall, where she will take her love for nature one step further, majoring in environmental engineering. ì

1. Katie Kahn on the bimah blessing the wine during Havdalah. 2. Katie uncovers the Torah scroll with her parents and Rabbi Jason Holtz. 3. Katie Kahn reads from the Torah with parents and Rabbi Jason Holtz nearby. 4. Katie Kahn at bridging ceremony. 5. Katie, in red, pictured here with her sister Sara, plans to attend UGA in the fall. 6. A display of Katie’s achievements. 7. Katie holds the Torah.



Snellville Adults Hit B’nai Mitzvah Goal


By Flora Rosefsky

The pandemic clouded what would normally have been a major adult b’nai mitzvah event to attract a large turnout in Temple Beth David’s Sunrise Sanctuary followed by a festive, highly decorated and sumptuous reception. It was back in December 2020 when five adults from the Snellville synagogue answered their rabbi’s invitation to immerse themselves in Jewish study for the next several months, culminating in a b’nai mitzvah held May 15. The event was attended by about 20 guests in person and livestreamed with a small catered ATLANTA JEWISH TIMES


spread afterwards. Rabbi Jesse Charyn said that without the attention to the party aspect of the accomplishment, the focus remained on the core of the experience – the study of Torah. The synagogue has been encouraging its members to grow Jewishly and gain the skills and confidence to lead Shabbat services, because “Judaism is an action,” he said. Hearing each b’nai mitzvah participant reading Hebrew from the Torah while standing under the synagogue’s new ner tamid (eternal light) created by glass artisan Claude Riedel, spiritually enhanced the event, Charyn added. Commenting on the event, synagogue president and participant Robert (Bobby) Horowitz wrote in an email to the AJT, “Although TBD is located a long way

from the mainstream of Jewish life in Atlanta, it is through Rabbi Jesse’s innovative programs like the B’nai Mitzvah that will help maintain a Jewish presence in growing Gwinnett County.” Becoming an adult bat mitzvah were: Judi Kern, Genie Nickelsberg, Shelly Pirkle and Denise Whitlock while Horowitz became bar mitzvah. In interviews with Charyn and the b’nai mitzvah class, the AJT learned how each person, with rabbinical guidance, carved out a personalized approach to their studies. Charyn said, “The pandemic resulted in a much more demanding schedule for my students, yet did not lower expectations; if anything, they were held to an even higher standard for personal and collective Jewish growth.” He said he believed it was most important that each par-





ticipant read directly from Torah. They began the program with various levels of Hebrew language study, some not even feeling fully comfortable with the alef-bet. All 20 sessions, about two hours each, were held on Zoom, but rehearsals took place in person in the synagogue sanctuary. Each b’nai mitzvah prepared a d’var Torah, making a reference to the week’s portion from the Book of Numbers, Bamidbar, which means in the wilderness. Their remarks also shared personal stories of what brought them back to Judaism in new ways. For Kern, growing up in an Orthodox congregation never afforded the opportunity for either a formal Jewish education or a bat mitzvah. She began studying Hebrew with Charyn as a “way to connect with our heritage and the prayers themselves,” she said. In his d’var Torah, Horowitz stated, “I should teach Torah not only through my words, but through my actions as well. My relation-

1. Judi Kern holds the Torah scroll open as Bobby Horowitz looks on. Shelly Pirkle, Genie Nickelsberg and Denise Whitlock read the Hebrew. 2. The family of Denise Whitlock gather around her after Shabbat services.

3. The b’nai mitzvah class open their tallitot, selected to be worn for the eventz

4. EmoryRose Photography//

Rabbi Jesse Charyn with the b’nai mitzvah class: Shelly Pirkle, Denise Whitlock, Judi Kern, Bobby Horowitz, and Genie Nickelsberg.

5. Rabbi Jesse Charyn leads his five b’nai mitzvah students in the Torah procession.




Have something to celebrate? Share your simchas with the

Births, B’nai Mitzvah, Engagements, Weddings, Anniversaries, Special Birthdays and more ... Share your news with the community with free AJT simcha announcements. Send info to submissions@atljewishtimes.com submissions@atljewishtimes.com.. ATLANTA JEWISH TIMES


ships with others, be they congregation members or total strangers should articulate the tenets of ethical monotheism which reflect our unbending faith in Hashem.” Becoming a Jew by choice as a young adult, Pirkle said that when all five adult b’nai mitzvah recited the “Shema” prayer together during the service, it brought her back to hearing the same prayer at 12 years old while attending a com-

parative religion program. Nickelsberg noted that the added benefit of the experience was having a “talented and passionate rabbi and a group of committed and caring students who more than once reached out to encourage and support my spiritual quest.” Whitlock stated in her d’var Torah, “I am thrilled that I have read from the holy sefer Torah.” She added, “Through my b’nai mitzvah class, I have learned about spirituality, ceremony, history and yes, I can even sound out Hebrew.” To recognize their achievements, participants received embroidered Shabbat challah cloths. “One reason for TBD choosing this gift was because of the phrase

Top, courtesy of Temple Beth David A screenshot shows Bobby Horowitz holding scroll open as Genie Nickelsberg reads and Rabbi Jesse Charyn looks on. Below, //courtesy of Temple Beth David B’nai mitzvah participants received a silk embroidered challah cloth as a gift.

‘ein Torah ein kemach, ein kemach ein Torah,’ translated to say: as Jews we need both physical sustenance and spiritual sustenance,” Charyn wrote in an email. Following pandemic protocol, a small reception after the ceremony included kosher cold cuts and the following day, Nickelsberg and her husband Barry, a volunteer cantor and former synagogue president, hosted a dairy meal at their home, including vegetable lasagna and cheesecake in honor of the holiday of Shavuot. “Now that we have completed this portion of our collective journey, there is a major sense of accomplishment, but even more importantly a deeper connection between the five of us in cohort,” Kern said in an interview with the AJT. Pirkle is already wondering what synagogue classes to take next or if she can resume the group’s weekly Talmud discussions. ì

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Etz Chaim Adult B’nai Mitzvah Fulfilled

1 By Marcia Caller Jaffe

After a year’s pause, 10 dedicated b’nai mitzvah adults realized their dreams of completing a live ceremony. On April 17, limited family members attended socially distanced and in person on the bimah, while others watched online. One of the early COVID stalls, the original ceremony was scheduled for April 2020. Throughout the past year, the group continued to meet with Rabbi Daniel Dorsch, each other and their tutors to keep their skills, learning and passion stoked. The celebrants at the recent service were Susan ShapiroATLANTA JEWISH TIMES


McCarthy, Steven Caras, Marisa Gewertz, Jay Schwartz, Allison Barchichat, Galina Barshay, Helen Ehrlich, Lynne Goldman Johannesen, Lance and Tamar England. Each brought a family member or friend to recite the familiar blessings before and after their part. “Waiting an extra year for the BIG day was, of course, at first, a bit of a disappointment, said tutor Beverly Barnhard. “However, as the additional stretch passed by, our class realized that they had received the gift of time to up their game! That guided us to an incredible performance by all! The congregants could feel how meaningful and purposeful that morning

was for the class! In the end, it was worth the wait; we were all so proud of them for achieving their lifelong goal so beautifully.” In a letter to the group, Dorsch stated, “Our celebration together marks the culmination of over two years of study. Like the great sage Rabbi Akiva who famously began to learn Torah in his 40s, many of you started by learning the Aleph Bet. Others began by learning Torah cantillation, or the meaning behind the prayers. Together, all of us immersed ourselves in two years of text study with Melton, where we learned about the purposes behind so many of the Jewish practices and beliefs that we hold.

“Then most significantly, when the virus hit, you persevered. You continued to check in with one another virtually throughout the year. Clearly evident is that your learning together brought you together as a micro-community within our synagogue. Your resiliency is a lesson about the power of Torah to connect people together in challenging times. ….This Shabbat, as we celebrate together, we recall the words of the sage Ben Bag Bag who famously encouraged his students to ‘turn it over and turn it over again, for everything is in it.’ ” During the ceremony, Dorsch spoke of Rabbi Chanina and Rabbi Chiya, who debated

Photo by Gary Feinberg //

1. Top row: Rabbi Dan Dorsch, Susan Shapiro-McCarthy, Steven Caras, Lance and Tamar England, and Rabbi Shalom Lewis

Bottom row: Marisa Gewertz, Allison Barchichat, Galina Barshay, Helen Ehrlich and Lynne Goldman Johannesen. Not pictured: Jay Schwartz

2. Susan Shapiro-McCarthy chants from the Torah during the b’nai mitzvah.

3. Beverly Barnhard said waiting




5 how to react in the event of the Torah disappearing. The former believed in the power of his mental faculties, while the latter understood that bringing Torah to the world began with planting seeds and letting them sprout. “This morning, I am feeling like Rabbi Chiya, who sowed seeds that blossomed. I am so proud of all of you and what it took to

get here today. Only now that you are ‘Jewish adults,’ here’s the deal: Somewhere out there, you and I know that there are Jews for whom Torah has also disappeared from their lives. Maybe it was never there to begin with.” He proffered that they could be family members whose children go to school with our

children or were members of a synagogue 20 years ago and left after their kids became a b’nai mitzvah. “Somewhere out there is a Jew who has given up. They may never have even dreamt of having an adult bar or bat mitzvah, let alone taking a class at their synagogue. They might be saying ‘it’s too late for me.’” His final charge was, “As a b’nai mitzvah, you must now take the Torah you’ve learned and share it. I remind every bar or bat mitzvah that this is not a graduation; it is a commencement. Each of you is now an ambassador for reconnecting to Judaism as an adult. … I take much joy in knowing that it’s because of people like you that Torah will never disappear from the world.” Johannesen spoke on behalf of the group about the past year’s struggles, with Torah portions remaining the same, but changes from the pandemic.

a year for the b’nai mitzvah was “a bit of a disappointment.”

4. Bat mitzvah student Lynn Goldman Johannesen said “we pieced together an alternative way” to learn, celebrate and worship. 5. A year ago the same class was scheduled to have their b’nai mitzvah.

She connected this to the Torah portion about a leper who might have looked inward for gratitude after recovering from the experience. “Like solving a puzzle, we pieced together an alternative way to work, to learn, to grieve, to celebrate, to shop, to socialize, and to worship. … The fortunate leper returned to his community selfhealed with a refreshed soul. Will we be like the leper and appreciate the emotional, the social, and the spiritual support we received during this pandemic? I will and always will be grateful.” ì

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COVID Bucket List: Adult Bat Mitzvah


By Caryn Hanrahan

Now that society is starting to open back up, I find myself reflecting on my COVID bucket list. Last summer, when it became apparent that the pandemic was going to be with us for a while, I started a mental list of random projects that could be accomplished during lockdown. There were a lot of “misses” in ATLANTA JEWISH TIMES


the beginning, like that MasterClass subscription that I signed up for and have yet to use. How about you? Did you write your first novel? Did you learn to play the guitar? Did you even attempt to clean out the garage? I would have to say no to all of the above. The guitar proved too difficult, so I enjoyed learning the basics of African drumming with a wonderful online community. One of the brighter sides of this pandemic was the number of online opportunities for learning. What’s on your spiritual bucket list? I joined the armies of challah baking devotees until

I realized that the “COVID-19” was not just a pandemic but a weight gaining plan when Shabbat dinners are just you and your spouse! As the pandemic slogged on it became apparent last fall that the winter was going to be bad. I decided I needed a project that would nurture my spiritual side while giving me a sense of accomplishment. I decided to look into the continuing education classes that were being offered by area synagogues. One of the items on my life bucket list has always been to celebrate an adult bat mitzvah. Having been raised in a traditional household I was not allowed to read Torah on Shabbat.

I didn’t complain at the time as my smart parents bribed me with promises of a new stereo and an extravagant Sweet 16 party. My 13-year-old brain thought I had gotten a pretty good deal. As an adult I have been blessed to witness my four children’s b’nai mitzvah. Two in Israel and two in Atlanta. I knew it was something that I would like to accomplish when I had some extra time on my hands. The pandemic provided the time to focus on this endeavor. It also provided the ease of in-home classes on Zoom (No Atlanta traffic to bother with). I joined the adult b’nai mitzvah class at The Temple and began my stud-


2 ies last fall in Zoomland. When my mother contracted COVID and died in December, the weekly study sessions became a soothing balm to my frazzled being. My Torah portion was Bamidbar, the first chapter in the book of Numbers. The Hebrew word midbar means desert or wilderness. I was in my own spiritual desert while the world around me continued a very real struggle against death and loss. Our Zoom room became a personal Tent of Meetings for me. I showed up weekly to learn and laugh with a community who, like me, was searching in their own way. We studied, supported and laughed,

4 and slowly a new rhythm was established in my life. My father became a bar mitzvah in Germany shortly before his synagogue was destroyed in Kristallnacht. As formal Jewish education was impossible in Germany during that time, my father was taught his Torah portion by my grandfather at home. Like my father, I was tutored at home using technology that was unimagined in 1938. Bamidbar starts off with G-d commanding Moses to take a census of all the Israelite males over the age of 20. Just like my portion, society is focused on counting. We just completed a national census. We also focus on counting the victims of the pandemic both here and abroad. In an earlier biblical count, there

were about 600,000 Israelites in the desert. At the time of this writing, we are close to the same number of Americans that have died from COVID. Just like the Israelites, we are wandering in an environment that most of us have never seen before. As society begins to reopen I may be able to revisit some other items on my bucket list. Maybe it’s time to start training to climb Mount Kilimanjaro like I always dreamed of. How about you? Is it time for you to start working on your post pandemic bucket list? ì Caryn Hanrahan is a retired certified nurse-midwife and past board chair of the Metro Atlanta Community Mikvah.

1 & 2. Photos by Lorrie King

// The class chose to donate to Free99Fridge, community mutual aid pantries. Isak White is restocking the Hosea Williams food pantry. Group photo by Andy Siegel //

3. Rabbis and participants: Rabbi Peter Berg, Bobbie Serra, Hether Warshauer, Lorrie King, Isak White, Zac Commanday, Caryn Hanrahan, Susan Taylor, Cantor Deborah Hartman and Rabbi Steven Rau.

4. The Temple class: Bobbie

Serra, Hether Warshauer, Lorrie King, Isak White, Zac Commanday, Caryn Hanrahan and Susan Taylor.



Summer 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 submissions@atljewishtimes.com.


Alexander Fedirko Adler Alexander Fedirko Adler was born May 21, 2021, to Veronika and Marc Adler. Grandparents are Gail and Louis Adler of Houston and Svitlana and Oleksandr Fedirko of the Ukraine.

Lucy Jordyn Kooden Whitney and Ross Kooden of Atlanta proudly announce the birth of their daughter Lucy Jordyn Kooden on Mother’s Day, May 9, 2021. Grandparents are Sharon and Marc Seltman of Atlanta and Joanne and Michael Kooden of Savannah. Great-grandparents are Herb and Eleanor Seltman and Ruth and Dave Rothfarb of Delray, Fla., and Barbara Kooden of Savannah. Lucy is named for her great-grandfather Lewis Kooden and great-grandmother Jacqueline Berman.



Elai Carmel Mann Elai Carmel Mann was born May 22, 2021, in Israel. He is the son of Rachel (LaVictoire) and Omer Mann. Rachel is a former Atlanta resident, but the family now lives in Jerusalem. Grandparents are Tim LaVictoire of South Carolina, Stacy LaVictoire of New York City (formerly of Atlanta), Yael and Assaf Morag and Rutie and Haim Mann of Israel.

Wedding Hotz-Shiovitz Joey and Carla Hotz of Atlanta are thrilled to announce the marriage of their eldest daughter Gina Hotz May 6, 2021 to David Shiovitz, son of Robyn and Jeffrey Shiovitz of Westchester, N.Y. Gina immigrated to Atlanta with her parents and younger sister from South Africa when she was 6 years old. She attended Greenfield Hebrew Academy (now Atlanta Jewish Academy) and then went onto Yeshiva Atlanta for high school. Gina is an intensive care unit nurse at Langone Hospital in New York City and David is an anesthesiology resident at Westchester Medical Center. The couple met online just before the pandemic and the family is delighted to witness their special romance blossom into a wonderful union. Gina and David were married by Rabbi Binyomin Friedman in a beautiful outdoor and intimate wedding.



B’nai Mitzvah

Maxwell Needle Maxwell Needle, son of Michelle and Ben Needle, became a bar mitzvah May 1 at Congregation Etz Chaim.

Evan Ilan Okrent Evan Ilan Okrent, son of Glynis and Elliot Okrent, became a bar mitzvah May 15 at Congregation Etz Chaim.



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Hannah Nothdurft Hannah Nothdurft, daughter of Angela and Jim Nothdurft, became a bat mitzvah May 8 at Congregation Etz Chaim.

B’nai Mitzvah Notices Temple Sinai

The Temple

Judson Siegel, son of Cara Workman and Mark Siegel, May 1 Isabella Stein, daughter of Dana and Joshua Stein, May 1

Brett Ari Schlossberg, son of Lauren and Andrew Schlossberg, May 8

Abby Blate, daughter of Shira and Richard Blate, May 8

Sophie Hannah Flynn, daughter of Julie and Ryan Flynn, May 8

Abram Blecker, son of Melissa and Ira Blecker, May 8

Hayes Cohen Hudson, son of Carlton and Ryan Hudson, May 8

Alanna Diamond, daughter of Margo and Doug Diamond, May 15

Eden Mara Schiff, daughter of Leigh and Michael Schiff, May 22

Gracie Sikora, daughter of Laura and Adam Sikora, May 15

Alexandra (Alex) Dylan Schiff, daughter of Leigh and Michael Schiff, May 22

Noah Eisenman, son of Jennifer and Brian Eisenman, May 1

Hunter Boze, son of Jamilyn and Scott Boze, May 22 Remy Rosenberg, daughter of Dana and Mike Rosenberg, May 22 Tyler Strauss, son of Honey and Steven Strauss, May 22 Noah Halpern, son of Robin and Andrew Halpern, May 29 Tyler and Gabrielle Swartz, children of Kimberly and Jonathan Swartz, May 29



Mason James Hade, son of Julianne Belaga and Eric Hade, May 1

Elijah Rosetti, son of Victoria and Michael Rosetti, May 22 Alexandra Sophie Gilboa, daughter of Suzanne and Yoram Gilboa, May 29 Sadie Rosen Witten, daughter of Julie and Jonathan Witten, May 29

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WE CAN HELP! For more than 50 years, AARP Foundation Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP) has provided people over age 55 with opportunities to fill entry-level and mid-level positions with employers in their communities.

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STYLE Magazine: Atlanta Jewish Times Present Summer 2021  

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