Atlanta Jewish Times, VOL. XCVII NO. 19, October 15, 2021

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OCTOBER 15, 2021 | 9 CHESHVAN 5782

Book Festival Preview & Education What Fuels Teen Addiction?

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THIS WEEK Booths, Books, and Beyond As we say goodbye to Sukkot, the Festival of Booths, we say hello to another Atlanta Jewish festival tradition: the Marcus JCC of Atlanta's Book Festival. Luckily, this cultural celebration runs through the following months and into 2022. To help you navigate this year’s offerings, we’ve put together a handy preview and festival guide highlighting some of the books that caught our eye, from Dave Rubenstein’s new book, “The American Experiment: Dialogues on a Dream,” to Dorie Greenspan’s latest cookbook, “Baking with Dorie: Sweet, Salty & Simple,” and much more. We spoke to festival organizer Pam Morton to get a glimpse behind the scenes and learn how this year’s book fest differs from all others. And, last but not least, intrepid reporter Bob Bahr takes us on a journey through some of the worthwhile titles that didn’t make the cut. Books are an essential ingredient of learning, but in these pages we also shine a light on other aspects of education: how Cobb County’s school leadership is dealing with recent incidents of anti-Semitism that have alarmed students and parents — and

now the ADL; how Atlantans like Julian Yudelson are using virtual tools to help Israeli students get up to speed on English and other subjects; how professors like GSU’s Jerry Levy are teaching the next generation about financial literacy and business values; and an in-depth look by Chana Shapiro at how local students are dealing with addiction in all of its bewildering new forms. Here you will get the experts’ tips on how to — and perhaps more importantly, how not to — get into medical school; the lowdown on a new initiative that strengthens the historical bonds between Jews, African Americans, and Israel; and be inspired by a tiny gymnast with huge potential. You’ll also find details on how to make our favorite 7-layer cheesecake — served with a side of Michele Hirsh’s unique collection of dinnerware and tabletop collectibles — along with the latest simcha announcements, community events, jokes, and all the info you need to catch up with your favorite authors and performers at this year’s arts and authors festival. ì

Cover image: A depiction of youth enduring the devastating epidemic communities face with teen addiction, discussed by Chana Shapiro on page 24.

CONTENTS NEWS���������������������������������������������� 6 BUSINESS������������������������������������18 ISRAEL�����������������������������������������20 OPINION��������������������������������������22 EDUCATION��������������������������������� 24 BOOK FESTIVAL PREVIEW������� 34 ARTS�������������������������������������������� 44 CALENDAR���������������������������������� 48 COMMUNITY������������������������������� 52 KEEPING IT KOSHER����������������� 58 BRAIN FOOD�������������������������������� 59 OBITUARIES�������������������������������� 60 CLOSING THOUGHTS���������������� 64 MARKETPLACE�������������������������� 65 Senior Account Manager & Team Supervisor


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NEWS Blank Launches New Voter Education Project By Bob Bahr Arthur Blank is getting more involved in the political process. The 79-year-old philanthropist has supported educational projects to promote civil rights and racial justice. Now, he’s backing a new initiative to use the star power of his professional sport teams to help register young voters. With the support of his AMB Sports and Entertainment organization, which owns the Atlanta Falcons and Atlanta United FC teams, Blank is helping to launch a voter education initiative called Democracy Class Atlanta. The new initiative has the support of Atlanta Public Schools and the New Georgia Project, which was founded nine years ago by voting rights activist Stacey Abrams. In announcing the program, Blank said that “every voice and every vote matters and the right to vote is simply sacred. By leveraging our voices and our collection of assets at the Blank Family of Businesses, we are committed to educating, inspiring and celebrating a culture of year-round civic education, especially among our young people, who are the promise of our future.” The initiative reunites Blank with another prominent Jewish philanthropist, 74-year-old Jeff Ayeroff, who is active in the progressive Jewish religious and political community in Los Angeles. The veteran recording executive was one of the founders of the popular nonprofit Rock the Vote campaign 31 years ago. During last year’s presidential election, Rock the Vote worked with the Atlanta Falcons and Atlanta United FC on voter registration campaigns. This year’s initiative builds on those longstanding

Philanthropist Arthur Blank has thrown his support behind a new voter education initiative aimed at young people.

efforts. The non-partisan, nonprofit campaign will provide lesson plans for all 11th and 12th grade teachers in the Atlanta Public Schools. Students will be encouraged to pre-register to vote, sign up as poll workers, and pledge to promote the importance of voting to others. Jason Esteves, chair of the Atlanta Public Schools Board of Education, points out that there is “no better way to carry on the legacy” of the civil rights movement in Atlanta than for students to participate in Democracy Class Atlanta. “Because of this program, Atlanta Public School student leaders,” he said, “will lead an effort to educate, empower and organize our students to engage in the democratic process.” The first stage of the program was capped by a rally on Sept. 28th, National Voter Registration Day, at the Home Depot Backyard in Blank’s Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Students from 11 participating Atlanta high schools attended. The event brought together professional athletes and recording artists to promote voter registration efforts in advance of Atlanta’s mayoral election

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Blank’s AMB Sports and Entertainment group is partnering with Rock the Vote, a voter outreach campaign founded 31 years ago by recording executive Jeff Ayeroff.

The new campaign builds on voting rights work done by Blank’s Atlanta United team in 2020.

on Nov. 2 and the mid-term congressional and state-wide elections next year. Among those appearing on video for the event were Selena Gomez, Lil Baby, J. Cole, Monica, and Storm Reid. Carolyn DeWitt, the president and executive director of Rock the Vote who helped coordinate the rally, underscored how important celebrities can be in an age dominated by social media and the internet. “Our work has always been to reach young people where they are through what young people regard as trusted messengers,” she said. “It’s evolved with the changing landscape of media and technology and social media influencers, musicians and professional sports athletes.” The partnership with Rock the Vote mirrors recent efforts at the National Center for Civil and Human Rights, which earlier this year received a $25 million gift from the Home Depot co-founder. Like Blank and Ayeroff, the center’s President and CEO, Jill Savitt, is Jewish. She is a human rights advocate who joined the center from the Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington two years ago. In addition to effectively doubling the size of the facility, Blank’s gift will help to enhance the center’s educational programs. Among these is what Savitt calls an advocacy academy to re-energize civic engagement by young people. “If you want long-term systemic

change, you actually have to influence the political process,” she said. “To do that there are all kinds of strategies like organizing media, direct lobbying of influential people and decision makers, and shaping the debate. This idea of an advocacy academy would teach those skills using the stories we tell in our center as case studies.” The youth vote (those 18 to 29 years old) was seen as one of the most important factors in last year’s presidential and senate races in Georgia. According to political researchers at Tufts University, Georgia led the nation in young voter registrations. There was a 33 percent increase in new voters in that age bracket. At election time in Georgia, as in most of America, the youth turned out in record numbers. Tufts estimates that 50 percent of them voted in this state, 11 percentage points higher than the turnout in 2016. Rock the Vote’s Carolyn DeWitt sees Blank’s new initiative as the forerunner of what could become a much larger and much more effective national program. “When the organization was founded 31 years ago, young people weren’t really considered an important voting block or an important constituency,” she said. “But one of the revolutionary components of this organization is, frankly, that it has trailblazed this idea of organizing youth and mobilizing them to increase their civic power.” ì


Rabbi Expresses Optimism for Cobb Schools By Jan Jaben-Eilon

stated.” Sernovitz Two weeks after the Cobb County Board contended that of Education heard criticism from several Cobb Board of Edhigh school students, parents and commuucation Chairman nity leaders for its lackluster response to sevRandy Scamihorn eral anti-Semitic graffiti incidents, one of the “is open to converCobb rabbis who has been meeting with the sation and willing board chairman, reports that “much has hapto learn.” He said pened and all [is] good.” working with the Pope High School reported two incidents of anti“Thanks to the media, anti-Semitism school board is Semitic graffiti, one of which included a in Cobb County will finally be addressed,” an “ongoing proswastika and read "Hail [sic] Hitler." Rabbi Larry Sernovitz of Temple Kol Emeth cess.” Scamihorn’s Flanked by Temple Emanu-El Rabbi Scott Colbert and Temple told the AJT. Circumspect about the details of Kol Emeth Rabbi Emeritus Steven Lebow, Aviva Wolmer asked openness became apparent when, at Rabbi the discussion at the meetings between the several questions of the Cobb County Board of Education. “We have asked Sernovitz’s invitation, he attended Temple Kol school board, himself, other rabbis in Cobb the board to review all Emeth’s Yom Kippur services. Moreover, at County and a couple of community leaders, leave ignorance, move to tolerance and even- the programs on diversity” that had been the opening of the Sept. 23 board of education tually understand one another well enough Sernovitz expressed “cautious optimism.” dismissed previously by the board, noted meeting, Scamihorn recognized Holocaust sur“We have had high-level meetings with that we express love and acceptance? As a Rabbi Sernovitz. “We would like an expla- vivor Hershel Greenblat, whom he said he had the school district, and we believe good school board you have the ability to demon- nation for how the ADL’s program was in- met three months earlier. Scamihorn urged things will come from this, and that both strate this through taking action.” cluded. We want more transparency. The students to seek out survivors and listen to Following her remarks, Wolmer submitJewish students and teachers will be seen,” board was not presented with accurate their stories. ted a petition — with signatures from nearly Sernovitz said. According to Rabbi Sernovitz, the eagerinformation about the ADL. No Place for One community leader complained 5,000 community members in five days — Hate has nothing to do with Critical Race ness of the public to attend and speak out at the during the public comments portion of the collected by the Atlanta Initiative Against Theory. We hope the school board will Cobb Board of Education meetings was benSept. 23 school board meeting, “Many in the Anti-Semitism. The grassroots organization have a call to action on ways the school eficial. “There is strength in numbers,” he said. launched the petition to proJewish community feel undistrict can be proactive and not reactive. “When we come together, it’s very powerful. It’s test the school board’s “inadheard and unseen.” Similar I fully believe [the program] will be rein- not just about anti-Semitism.” ì equate response to the recent comments were made by acts of anti-Semitism.” several students. One student AIAAS co-founder at Lassiter High School said, Lauren Menis told the AJT “None of us feel safe at Lassitlearn more than just that she knows the rabbis er anymore,” after swastikas are working with the school were scrawled in her school core academic subjects; they learn about Temple Kol Emeth Rabbi and in Pope High School dur- Larry Sernovitz said meetings board and that she expects themselves, who they are, and what to hear about a resolution as are an “ongoing process.” ing the High Holy Days. Sayrole they want to play in making promised. “We want not only ing that her parents hadn’t for the school board to name our world a better place. wanted her to speak up at the the acts as anti-Semitism, but meeting because they were we want anti-hate programafraid the family would be ming back in the schools,” targeted by hate, the student she said. asked, “What is the board goMenis was primarily reing to do about this?” ferring to the fact that Cobb Initially, the school County schools stopped “We want anti-hate board as well as several prinprogramming back in the implementing the Anti-Defcipals refrained from idenschools,” said AIAAS coamation League’s No Place tifying the anti-Semitic sigfounder Lauren Menis. for Hate program, a free ininificance of the graffiti, only tiative that “helps create a welcoming school calling it “hate speech”. community committed to stopping all forms Temple Kol Emeth congregant and parof hate, bias and bullying.” ADL Southern ent Aviva Wolmer, who spoke at the board meeting, said she and her husband “specifi- Division Vice President Allison Padilla-GoodPRE-K3 - GRADE 12 cally moved to our home in East Cobb to be man said that Cobb County schools had long near two things: our synagogue and to be in been an ADL partner until June, when the one of the best school districts.” Now they are board passed a resolution banning Critical questioning that decision. “I am asking that Race Theory and The New York Times’ 1619 We invite your family the school board provide us answers on what project from being taught in district schools. The resolution didn’t specify what CRT was, they are going to do to prevent incidents like to discover Galloway. these from continuing? What will you do so but the board dropped the No Place for Hate Visit to register that my son and many of his Jewish class- initiative. All other school districts in the metro mates here in Cobb feel comfortable coming for our open house on Sunday, December 5! to the local schools? What kinds of program- area continue to participate in ADL’s proming are you going to put in place so that we gram.

Galloway students



Big Boost for Culture at Ahavath Achim By Bob Bahr The Cultural Arts Fund at Ahavath Achim Synagogue has received a significant boost with a gift of $1 million from Marilyn Ginsberg Eckstein, a lifelong member of the Peachtree Battle Conservative congregation. The gift will help expand and enhance the long-established and thriving cultural and public affairs programming at the synagogue. Synagogue President Gerry Benjamin says he expects the community is likely to see more of the same in the next few years. “The quality of the presentation have been outstanding. But to endow this cultural arts program with a permanent endowment like this is really wonderful. It allows us to continue to attract the best of the best. And we’ve named that after Marilyn and it’ll really have legs and grow.” For the past 33 years the synagogue has hosted the nationally recognized Eizenstat Lecture Series. It’s supported by Stuart Eizenstat, the former diplomat and high-ranking official in the Carter and Clinton administrations, who grew up in

Marilyn Ginsberg Eckstein and her late husband, Sam, have donated $1 million for cultural programming at AA Synagogue.

David Coucheron, the concertmaster of the Atlanta Symphony, and his sister Julie will be among the performers at AA’s Beethoven concert on Oct. 17.

the congregation. The series has welcomed two United States presidents, two Supreme Court justices, two Israeli prime ministers and three Nobel Peace Prize winners. This year, the lecture is expected to be delivered by Secretary of State Anthony Blinken, although a firm date for his appearance has not been set. President Biden spoke at the synagogue in 2015 when he was Vice President.

Vice President Joe Biden spoke at the AA’s Eizenstat lecture series in 2015.

Benjamin, the congregation president, believes it will be hard to top that kind of prestigious event. “I think we can enhance perhaps the quantity of offerings and offer more than, say, three or four opportunities per year, which we’ve done historically. And maybe we can grow that to five or six opportunities per year. We could offer more performing artists and bring in some great guests for residencies on weekends. We’ll continue to innovate. And there’s been some discussion about incorporating perhaps some opportunities for young talent in our community to showcase their abilities.” This month, on Oct. 17, the synagogue is offering its second annual Dr. Jerome and Betty Berman Memorial Concert of chamber music, with a three-hour performance of Beethoven pieces beginning at 3 p.m. The concertmaster of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, violinist David Coucheron, will be joined by his sister, pianist Julie Coucheron, cellist Charae Krueger and pianist William Ransom, who is a distinguished faculty member at the Emory University School of Music. Beethoven’s well-known 5th Sym8 | OCTOBER 15, 2021ATLANTA JEWISH TIMES

phony, arranged for the rarely performed version for two pianos, is among the works to be featured in the free concert. Ahavath Achim has been presenting these community concerts for over 40 years — first under the direction of Harriet and Sam Draluck, and since 2005 by Ivan Millender, who sees in the new gift more substantial support for the musical series that attracts an enthusiastic crowd but not a lot of money. “The three daughters of Dr. Berman made a nice donation for this upcoming series. They’re my cousins and I have other contributions from members of my family, I get money that way for the concerts. And occasionally I get some nice checks from some of the people that come. But this million dollars, that’s a magnificent gift.” Finances at the synagogue have been strong, even during the last year-and-a-half of the pandemic. There was a generous response to this year’s Yom Kippur financial appeal and the congregation expects to be in the black again this year. Senior Rabbi Laurence Rosenthal finds the synagogue’s financial good fortune gratifying, but it has come, he says, after a lot of hard work. “We have right now the strongest leadership in my congregation I’ve ever seen. We’ve always had good leadership, but this is incredibly strong on the financial point. And so there’s been this great focus on that. And we’ve been very blessed. We’ve gotten ahead of it. But a lot of it takes relationship building.” Next year, when Benjamin’s term as AA president ends, he will be giving up the world of financial statements, profit and loss sheets and fundraising and going over, so to speak, to the other side: his first love, music. Before he became a successful financial services executive, Benjamin studied musical composition and arranging at the University of Kentucky. Next August, when he hits 65, he’ll be retiring from the business world and going back to music. He and his wife are moving to New York City, where he’s been accepted as a nontraditional student in the Juilliard School of Music’s graduate program. In two years, he plans to be back at AA to hear a performance of some of the music he’s written for his master’s degree. Perhaps he will be able to hear it performed, for the first time, as part of the Marilyn Ginsberg Eckstein Cultural Arts Fund.




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David Schoen Elected ZOA Chair By Dave Schechter Atlanta attorney David Schoen has been elected chairman of the Zionist Organization of America, a 124-year-old group known for its blunt — and unapologetic — support of Israel. Schoen, 62, will serve a three-year term guiding the organization on whose board he has served for 20 years. He helped found ZOA’s Center for Law and Justice and serves on its advisory board. “It’s a whole new chapter for me,” Schoen told the AJT. In a statement, ZOA national president, Morton Klein, said of Schoen: “His life revolves around family, Judaism, Israel, and the law. His dynamism, energy, knowledge, intellect, relationships in the legal, Jewish, political and Israel worlds, and his great work ethic will help propel ZOA to new heights.” Established in 1897, ZOA was one of the early Zionist organizations in the United States. The organization is listed as a tax-exempt nonprofit under the Internal Revenue Service code. ZOA has been praised by supporters

David Schoen has been elected to chair the board of the Zionist Organization of America.

The Zionist Organization of America is a 124-year-old group known for its blunt — and unapologetic — support of Israel.

and criticized by detractors for its sometimes pugnacious public stance. “ZOA has highlighted it when other Jewish groups haven’t been strong enough in their advocacy or pure enough in their advocacy for Israel,” Schoen said. “They’re always pigeon-holed as a right-wing organization. I don’t like those labels anyway. They call the facts as they see them, even if they’re controversial.” That is an approach that Schoen un-

derstands. “I’m disappointed in one factor for myself and my family,” Schoen said when asked about his role in the February 2021 second impeachment trial of then-President Donald J. Trump. Schoen voiced dismay that much of the reporting of his election as ZOA chairman reduced his 36year legal career to his representation of Trump and his conversations with Jeffrey Epstein before the latter’s death in federal

custody in New York while awaiting trial on sex-trafficking charges. Though he lives in Atlanta, Schoen’s law practice, centered on civil rights and federal criminal defense cases, is based in Montgomery, Ala., and New York City. He received his Juris Doctor from the Boston College School of Law and a Master of Laws from the Columbia University Law School. In 1995, Schoen was a recipient of the American Bar Association’s Pro Bono Publico (a Latin phrase meaning “for the good of the public”) Award, presented annually “to individual lawyers and institutions in the legal profession that have demonstrated outstanding commitment to volunteer legal services for the poor and disadvantaged.” Schoen was honored for his work in the South, in cases involving jails and prisons, indigent defense, and other issues. Schoen is an Orthodox Jew who worships at Congregation Beth Jacob and Congregation Ohr HaTorah. In 2018, he gave the AJT this self-description: “On many social and domestic issues, I am characterized as being on the left; on is-

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sues involving Israel, I am characterized as being on the right. My position on all issues is based on principles that I can defend using my understanding of the Constitution.” Reflecting on his defense of Trump before the U.S. Senate — which he described as “an interesting experience” — Schoen said, “I would do it again because I do believe that strongly in the constitutional principles underlying” the case. Schoen said that he was “really honored” by the response from other observant Jews to his appearing on the Senate floor wearing a kippah and his placing his hand over his head and saying a silent prayer before taking drinks of water. Those actions “at least made a difference to some people who felt limited at work in exploring their religious observance,” he said. Schoen also has represented the families of American terrorism victims seeking compensation in litigation against the Palestine Liberation Organization and the Palestinian Authority, on behalf of the Israeli non-governmental organization Shurat Ha’Din-Israel Law Center. Assessing U.S.-Israel relations, Schoen said: “I think that over the past four years we’ve seen some unprecedented steps that have been helpful to Israel and, frankly, to the world,” citing in particular the Abraham Accords that began with Israel normalizing diplomatic relations with the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain in September 2020. Israel later normalized its relations with Sudan in October 2020 and Morocco in December 2020. Though “the rhetoric thus far is that Israel is and will remain a staunch [U.S.] ally,” Schoen said that he remains “very concerned about what I see from what I call the hate squad in Congress. There seems to be an acceptance of repeated anti-Semitic comments that they would turn into policy.” The “they” to whom Schoen referred are a segment of Democratic members in the U.S. House. “They call themselves progressive. I call them regressive,” he said, contrasting the rejection of former Georgia Democratic congresswoman Cynthia McKinney’s anti-Jewish rhetoric with the perceived tolerance of the Democratic leadership to its progressive wing. ZOA also re-elected Klein as national president. “He’s absolutely filled with passion for the state of Israel and the Jewish people. That comes across when he speaks,” Schoen said of Klein. He acknowledged that Klein “speaks with a great deal of vitriol at times” and “some people may be offended,” but “In my view he speaks from the heart and doesn’t speak unless he has the facts in hand.” ì

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Students Work to Strengthen Ties For Blacks and Israel By Bob Bahr The Maccabee Task Force, a national nonprofit committed to strengthening contacts between American college students and Israel, brought together 100 student leaders from Historically Black Colleges and Universities in Atlanta during the first weekend in October. The meeting, which was held at the Hyatt Regency in downtown Atlanta, was aimed at reinvigorating the strong political connections that African Americans and Jewish communities once shared during the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s. The executive director of the organization, David Brog, who spoke at the Atlanta conference, said that education about the past is one of the important aims of the group. “The ultimate goal of the program is really to go about rebuilding this JewishBlack alliance that’s done so much for the history of both communities. It’s a tragic thing the way that it’s framed and the way the younger generations of Blacks and Jews are unaware of what we share.

They are unaware of all of our shared struggles and what we’ve been able to accomplish together.” The all-expenses-paid weekend included a visit to the National Civil and Human Rights Museum and a full program of guest speakers from the African American community. Among those who spoke was Darius Jones, the executive director of the National Black Empowerment Council based in Atlanta. Jones, who is a former staffer in the national office of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee believes that there is still much to be done to bring the two communities together. “The relationship between African Americans and Jews has played a powerful, positive role in the history of this nation. A resurgence of that bond will be a boon to us all. We are stronger together than we are apart.” The conference took the place of annual trips to Israel that the organization

The Maccabee Task Force weekend in Atlanta brought together a hundred Black student leaders from around the country.

has underwritten for student leaders, Black and white, Jews and non-Jews since it was founded in 2015. Marvel Joseph, who is HaitianAmerican and who helped organize the weekend, is the organization liaison to the Black student community. The conference, he believes, will hopefully be the beginning of something much bigger. “The Black and Jewish communities need one another. The fact that my community is still the object of intense racism and the Jewish community is still suffering from high levels of anti-Semi-

follow up on the contacts he made there. There are already over a hundred chapters of the Maccabee Task Force on college campuses and the goal is to continue that work even though the familiarization trips to Israel have been temporarily suspended. According to Joseph, there is an important opportunity to cultivate relationships between the two groups. “We want them to bring what they learned back to their campuses. We saw this happen after our Israel trips. What we successfully did then, and we want

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Until the pandemic intervened, the Maccabee Task Force underwrote annual trips to Israel for groups of Black student leaders.

tism make us natural allies who should be working more closely together. So I think this relationship is so important, especially if we want to really work toward a future where anti-Semitism and racism no longer exist.” Marvel Joseph is already on the road visiting those campuses that sent representatives to the Atlanta weekend, and to

to do the same thing now from this conference, is these people who were introduced to the issues and introduced to the relationship and I think persuaded that this was an important relationship to recruit fellow students on campus because essentially personal relationships count.” Jewish organizations have worked hard in recent years to counter the op-


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Campus organizing has been a major goal of the MTF since its founding six years ago.

position to Israel, and in some cases, the anti-Semitism that has existed in some parts of the African American community for decades. A national student summit between Black and Jewish students, co-sponsored by Hillel International and the American Jewish Committee that was scheduled to take place in Philadelphia in March 2020, was canceled at the last minute because of the pandemic. The positive and lasting contributions by the Black Jewish Coalition of the Atlanta regional office of the American Jewish Committee offer one example of the work that has succeeded. The executive director of the AJC in Atlanta, Dov Wilker, spoke at the weekend. Brog, the founding executive director of the Maccabee Task Force and a cousin of former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak, has a long and successful history of organizing support for Israel. He is a former chief of staff for the late Senator Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania.

Brog was the executive director of Christians United for Israel for a decade. The organization, which is arguably one of the most influential voices for Israel in Washington, has deep roots in the evangelical movement and the conservative political landscape. But Brog believes that the Maccabee Task Force he founded in 2015, which has had significant financial support from the family of Sheldon Adelson, who died in January, can bring together a broader spectrum of political opinion. “I think we’ve done pretty good on the right, at least for a generation. Where the emergency is, where the house is burning down or alternatively burnt down, is on the left. And I think if we take some of the same approaches we took in building support among conservatives and do it to build support among the more left-leaning constituencies in the Black community, I think we can make progress.” ì ATLANTA JEWISH TIMES OCTOBER 15, 2021 | 13


Jewish Groups Participate in Pro-Choice Rally By Jan Jaben-Eilon Two female rabbis and several local Jewish groups were among the thousands of marchers at the downtown Atlanta Rally & March for Reproductive Justice, Oct. 2. Starting at Liberty Plaza and ending at the National Center for Civil and Human Rights, the diverse crowd joined with marchers in Alpharetta, Duluth, Macon, Savannah and elsewhere in the country to protest increasing restrictions Joanie Shubin and Melanie Nelkin attended the rally downtown. to access to abortion in the country. able access to abortion isn’t taken away,” State legislations around the country said Stacey Hader Epstein, co-president of – most notably in Texas and Mississippi, NCJW-Atlanta section, who attended the but also in Georgia – are passing laws that recent rally. “Part of the initiative is to be in would ban most abortion procedures, de- touch with our legislators and tell them stospite the ruling of the U.S. Supreme Court ries of women who made these choices. The in its 1973 landmark Roe v. Wade decision, whole purpose is to sound the alarm, espewhich made most abortions legal. cially for people who have become complaIn fact, the National Council for Jewish cent. This was a wake-up call.” Women is launching its “73 Forward” initiaEpstein said it was “wonderful to see tive on Oct. 27 “to assure that safe, afford- the young women who realized that this


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Various signs held by marchers at the downtown Atlanta rally.

right could be taken away from us.” After Rabbi Ellen Nemhauser of Congregation B’nai Israel in Fayetteville and Rabbi Lauren S. Cohn, who teaches at Temple Sinai, spoke, a young woman asked the diverse crowd how many had had abortions. “A lot raised their hands,” recalled Epstein. Then the speaker asked how many people knew someone who had had an abortion, and nearly everyone raised their hands. “The most surprising thing about the rally, to me, was that there was only one counter-protester,” said Epstein. She was particularly impressed with the creativity displayed in the signs that attendants held. “Bans Off Our Bodies,” “My Uterus, My Rules,” “If you cut off my reproductive rights, can I cut off yours,” and “73 Forward” signs that read “Abortion is healthcare and healthcare is a human right.” Other local Jewish groups that joined the marchers included the Democratic Women’s Salon and the Jewish Community Relations Council of Atlanta. The rallies took place across the country a day after the Biden administration asked a federal judge to block Texas’ abortion law, which has prohibited most proce-

dures in that state since the beginning of September. Just days after the rallies, U.S. District Judge Robert Pitman in Austin temporarily blocked the near-total ban on abortion in his state. His action prevents the state from enforcing the new law while litigation continues over its legality. Epstein said she spoke for many women who “can’t believe we’re still having to deal with this” issue after nearly 50 years. ì

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Wexler Makes Fantasy Sports Real with PrizePicks By Marcia Caller Jaffe Adam Wexler, CEO of PrizePicks, has been named to the Atlanta Business Chronicle’s “40 Under 40” list. The prestigious list shines a light on the next generation of Atlanta’s business leaders “who are making significant career achievements and demonstrating social responsibility, scaling the ranks, while making a mark.” Wexler, 36, is a graduate of the Epstein School and Riverwood High School. He received a BBA degree in real estate from the University of Georgia, and now employs 90 people out of Buckhead’s Atlanta Tech Village, where he has been touted for his execution of a well-honed business model. He told the AJT, “We have the closest legal alternative to mobile sports betting throughout the majority of North America. Our category is growing quickly, but we were one of the first two operators to hit any meaningful level of scale. We offer the widest breadth of sports league coverage for any fantasy sports operator, and our game is a simple

Adam Wexler, CEO of PrizePicks, shares a laugh with Magic Johnson.

over/under real-money prediction format.” When he started college, Wexler imagined he’d become a commercial real estate broker, as that was where his first


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two internships had led him. “Then I noticed that Mark Zuckerberg was in AEPi at Harvard one year above me,” he recalled, “and Facebook was rapidly scaling up. I said, ‘What’s to stop me from leveraging the internet to build a big business as well?’” Before graduating, Wexler had already started new ventures. His original idea was to link emerging musical artists and emerging restaurant chains out of Athens, Ga. Then, he came up with a music discovery concept that was based on the web. That venture would fail financially over the next couple of years, but Wexler took the creative marketing tactics he had learned and created a social media marketing software company, InsightPool. That company was ultimately acquired by Trendkite, which became the catalyst for another sale, to the software firm Cision. And then, just as he was getting into the fantasy sports space, Wexler was recruited by Atlanta Hawks CEO Steve Koonin to consult on digital strategy with the team during their recordbreaking 2014-2015 season. Koonin told the AJT, “Adam defines the word ‘entrepreneur.’ He is intellectually inquisitive and is powered by pure optimism. Every conversation we have, I find myself learning more from him than I do teaching him. There is a business investing axiom that I believe: you bet on the jockey, not the horse. I will bet on Adam every opportunity that I can.” PrizePicks was born just when Wexler was phasing out his last venture and planting seeds for the next ones. He said, “With one of them, I scratched my own itch as a fantasy sports consumer.

Adam Wexler, CEO of PrizePicks.

I knew no one sought out the job of collecting money from their friends to raise the stakes, so I thought there must be a way for software to make that person’s life easier. That was in late 2014, and we quickly pivoted the digital treasurer concept to handling side bets amongst friends when I realized skill-based contests were legal across the country.” Wexler realized that fantasy sports contests were not required to be peer-topeer, and this revelation opened up possibilities for what would become PrizePicks. He said, “We now have around 90 people getting paychecks. About half are full-time and about a third are based in Atlanta at HQ. In order to serve our customers 24/7/365, PrizePicks starts with our linesmakers/risk managers, but other teams include product, customer support, marketing, retention and more.” A vision for mission-driven projects is one of Wexler’s particular talents. “I’m good at monitoring consumer perception and activities, which in turn lends good judgment to what type of products we may use in the future,” he said. “With every product I’ve conceptualized, I would have been one of the original users. I also enjoy building and leading teams that rally around a common mission.” When he’s not working, Adam plays basketball, exercises, and aims to create memorable experiences with friends. Traveling around the world, he says, lends itself to “creative thinking as an entrepreneur.” He also greatly admires his father Alan Wexler’s commitment to community activism and hopes to have more time to devote to that arena in the near future. ì


Stein Passes the CIE Torch to New President By Jan Jaben-Eilon When high school senior Adam Shapiro first met Ken Stein, then a professor at Emory University in the late 1990s, no one would have guessed that the young man from the Philadelphia area would one day succeed Stein as president of the Center for Israel Education. CIE wouldn’t be founded by Stein until 2008. But in September, Shapiro indeed became the president of the Atlanta-based independent center focused on Israel education. After his meeting with Stein, Shapiro applied early decision to Emory. It was the only school to which he applied. He recalls filling out the application on the plane ride back home. Shapiro, a “day school kid,” found his passion for educating students while at Emory. Eventually, both Stein and Emory Professor of Modern Jewish History and Holocaust Studies Deborah Lipstadt became his friends and mentors. Following his graduation from Emory, Shapiro earned his master’s in Jewish studies at the Jewish Theological Seminary of America. He wrote his thesis on Israel education in the Jewish day school setting. From there, he embarked on “what would be an 18-year career.” He joined the Golda Och Academy, a pre-K through 12th grade Jewish day school in West Orange, N.J., beginning as a teacher and eventually becoming head of school. “First and foremost, academics aside, Ken taught me what it was like to have a teacher who cared about your success,” Shapiro said. “He always made the material relevant and come to life in the classroom, and that made its way into CIE. He also taught me – as he knew I’d be an educator – ‘don’t ever stop teaching, never leave the classroom,’ even as a principal. That kept me grounded.” Shapiro, who joined the CIE board in 2008, adapted a course on the history of modern Israel for Golda Och Academy based on CIE material. “CIE has the absolute greatest treasure chest on Israel. I believe content should be the engine that makes all educational programs go. My hope [as president] is that if I’m doing my part, I will make sure people know what CIE does.” The father of three young children, Shapiro will continue living in New Jersey and commute when necessary to Atlanta. As for Stein, he will take on the title of chief content officer. “I get to do what I want to do, write and show people archival material. I do my best work when I’m writing analysis,” said Stein, noting that he typically adds four or five new items once a week to the CIE archive. Stein is enthusiastic about Shapiro following him as the second CIE president. “It’s always good to pass the baton to someone who is highly qualified and can run just as fast and is 35 years younger,” Stein said. “He understands social media better than I do and he’s closer to teaching children and young adults. It’s a rarity to find an individual who knows Israel education because he’s done it.” Despite the pair’s long history of working together on CIE, Stein said he insisted on conducting a professional search for his successor. “We put together a description of the job for president and sent it to 25 to 30 people. There are many professional educators but there are not many Israel teachers. My focus has always been on content and that’s what the board and general public want.” Shapiro said his goal as the new CIE leader is to “do

evant and answers their questions and gives context. There’s so much noise in the world today. CIE has established itself as a trusted source.” The next step, he said, is “how do we bring more people in through these channels? My goal is to maintain our high standards and make it as accessible as possible. There’s no one better for creating content than Ken. No one holds a candle to Ken in creating and curating Founding CIE President Ken “CIE has established itself as a trusted Stein is “delighted” to hand the source” for Israel information, said the information.” reins over to his successor. new President Adam Shapiro. Shapiro’s job, on the other hand, will be to “take everything I can to make everyone on the team better. Give the reins of the organization and focus on fundraising and them all the resources they need to amplify our message.” After working at a Jewish day school for 18 years, marketing, and to move CIE to the next level.” CIE mostly depended on one financial source, Avi Shapiro said he was “eager to try something new. This is different and it aligns with my passion. Plus, it’s an oppor- Chai, for years, but that organization stopped all of its tunity to work with a mentor of mine and work on Israel funding. “Avi Chai became critical to our growth and deeducation, which is so vitally important for people to un- velopment,” said Stein, pointing out that CIE is a 501(c)3 derstand. We’re all students in need of good trustworthy nonprofit organization. “No single foundation in the city of Atlanta ever put major funding behind CIE. I didn’t information.” According to Shapiro, “when people look for answers, spend much time raising money. We should be three times they turn to social media. They want content that is rel- our size.” ì

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BUSINESS Atlanta’s Hillman Chairs Lilith Magazine Board By Susanne Katz Karlick Lilith Magazine launched in the 1970s. At the time, Gloria Steinem was the nationally recognized spokeswoman for the feminist movement, and the issues it covered were considered radical. “Many of those issues are the same,” says Michal Hart Hillman, chair of the magazine’s board of directors. “But times are different and Lilith magazine is in touch with the times. Women come together to discuss issues, to connect and learn from each other. Women’s rights are human rights … but that was a radical notion in the '70s and '80s.” Hillman is no stranger to leadership positions. She was a founding trustee of the Atlanta Jewish Women’s Fund, a member of the United Way of Greater Atlanta policy committee, a founding board member of Main Idea at Camp Walden — a camping program in Maine for underrepresented girls — and an alumna of the Wexner Heritage Foundation program and the New Israel Fund Rabin Seminar. Hillman attended her first post-pan-

Michal Hart Hillman is the chair of the Lilith magazine’s board of directors.

“Michal brings to the Lilith table wide-ranging experiences,” said Susan Weidman Schneider, the magazine’s founder and editor-in-chief.

demic in-person staff meeting in June. “Michal brings to the Lilith table wide-ranging experiences with Atlanta, national and international organizations focused on Jewish life, women’s issues, the arts and social justice,” said Susan Weidman Schneider, the magazine’s founder and editor-in-chief. “We’re thrilled.”

The magazine’s summer 2021 issue.

Schneider is devoted to Judaism and feminism, envisioning a post-COVID world in which Jewish women meet to talk and act on progressive issues. “May we soon be able to return in person to Lilith salons, mahjong tables, coffee dates and more, all featuring conversations in which we refine our opinions without fury,” she said. The Quarterly Salons, virtual gath-

erings and launch parties, introduce and celebrate new issues of the magazine. Meeting in over 90 cities, the salons foster conversations, often partnering with Women of Reform Judaism. Lilith provides trigger questions, but each salon is independent and can include its own focus. In the past, these have included woman’s philanthropy, pay equity and workplace balance, cross-cultural cuisine and recipes. The magazine also invites students to join salons on college campuses and explore potential opportunities for future writers and journalists. Lilith is often described as the first Eve, living in the garden with Adam. Expelled for wanting equality, she flees to gain her independence. Appropriately, the summer issue features Jewish witches (Jewitches), the afterlife of Ethel Rosenberg, and a column exploring the history and significance of mahjong. An interview with author Annelise Heinz focuses on how this game has connected Chinese and Jewish cultures, how mahjong players share interests and activities, and why this game matters especially to women. ì

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Oct. 15, 1894 — Moshe Sharett, a signer of the Israeli Declaration of Independence who is the country’s first foreign minister and succeeds David Ben-Gurion to become Israel’s second prime minister in January 1954, is born in Kherson, Ukraine. Oct. 16, 1986 — Ron Arad, 28, an F-4 Phantom II navigator, is captured by Amal terrorists after bailing out over Lebanon. He is never seen in Israel again. He is believed to have been tortured to death in 1988 or executed in 1992. Oct. 17, 1880 — Ze’ev Vladimir Jabotinsky, the father of Revisionist Zionism, is born in Odessa, Russia. Pogroms in 1903 inspire his activism for Jewish self-defense and Zionism. He provides the intellectual foundation for what becomes Likud. Oct. 18, 1988 — Israel’s Supreme Court upholds the Central Election Committee’s ban on Kach from the election for the 12th Knesset for violating a prohibition on parties whose object is inciting or engaging in racism. Oct. 19, 1948 — The Haganah, the Wedgewood and the Noga attack an Egyptian troop carrier near Ashkelon in the first major battle for the Israeli navy. The Egyptian ship suffers enough damage to require towing to Port Said.

The Women of the Wall began monthly Rosh Chodesh Torah services in December 1988.

Oct. 20, 2013 — Haredi men hurl rocks at and slash the tires of buses bearing ads promoting female worship at the Western Wall. The ads, depicting women with prayer shawls and Torahs, are posted

by Women of the Wall. Oct. 21, 1949 — Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel’s ninth and longest-serving prime minister, is born in Tel Aviv. He is first elected to the Knesset for Likud in 1988. He serves as prime minister from 1996 to 1999 and from 2009 to 2021. Oct. 22, 1952 — Eliahu Elath, who was Israel’s first ambassador to the United States, presents his credentials to Queen Elizabeth II as he is elevated from minister to become Israel’s first ambassador to the United Kingdom. Oct. 23, 1998 — Benjamin Netanyahu, Yasser Arafat and Bill Clinton sign a memorandum recommitting to the Oslo II agreement of September 1995 after nine days of ne-

gotiations at the Wye River Plantation in Maryland. Oct. 24, 1915 — Sir Henry McMahon, the British high commissioner in Cairo, and Husayn Ibn Ali, Sir Henry the sherif of Mecca, begin McMahon was an exchange of letters in the British high commissioner. which the British promise to back Husayn’s dreams of a caliphate if he fights the Ottoman Empire. Oct. 25, 1976 — Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and the president of the International Chess Federation, Max Euwe, open the 22nd men’s and seventh women’s Chess Olympiad in Haifa despite a boycott led by the Soviet Union.

Oct. 29, 1956 — Israeli troops kill 48 Israeli Arabs returning from their fields at dusk in Kfar Kassem after Col. Yissachar Shadmi illegally sets the existing curfew earlier and orders troops to shoot to kill unwitting violators.

Oct. 26, 1994 — More than 4,500 people, including President Bill Clinton, witness Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and Jordanian King Hussein sign a peace treaty at the Wadi Araba Border Crossing between Eilat and Aqaba.

Oct. 30, 1991 — The Soviet Union and the United States convene a Middle East peace conference in Madrid with a two-track approach of bilateral and multilateral talks. It is the first time that Israelis and Palestinians negotiate directly.

Oct. 27, 1978 — Forty-one days after signing the Camp David Accords, Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin and Egyptian President Anwar Sadat are announced as the winners of the 1978 Nobel Peace Prize.


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Flag bearers lead a Yom HaAtzmaut (Independence Day) parade in Ramat Gan in May 1951, about 2½ years after the Israeli flag’s official adoption.

Oct. 28, 1948 —The iconic banner with two blue stripes and a blue Star of David at its center, adopted by the First Zionist Congress in 1897, becomes the official Israeli flag five months after the state’s establishment.

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


Israeli Government Reaches 100 Day Benchmark By Jan Jaben-Eilon Pundits and political analysts typically take stock of new governments as they approach 100 days in office. For Israel, that date was Oct. 11. For some observers, reaching that milestone was an accomplishment in and of itself. Israel’s current coalition government is the most diverse of any in the country’s 73-year history. It includes center-left parties, center-right parties and, for the first time ever, an Arab Islamic party. The coalition was cobbled together by current Foreign Minister Yair Lapid, head of the Yesh Atid Party, the largest in the coalition. But he agreed to delay his step up to the premiership until Aug. 23, 2023, allowing Naftali Bennett – the leader of a much smaller party – to become the first prime minister. The various parties disagree on many issues but came together on their shared desire to replace former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the country’s longest serving prime minister. The question has always been whether that goal alone could hold the coalition together. It’s still unclear. However, more important than reaching the 100 days is the upcoming Nov. 4 deadline to pass a biennial state budget – the country’s first since 2018 and the reason previous governments failed, leading to successive elections. If Israel’s legislature, or Knesset, fails to meet that deadline, this government will fail, too, and snap elections will be called. More than one observer gives credit to the government just for its continued existence. “Basically, it’s an accomplishment that the government has provided some stability at home,” said Michael Jacobs, communications consultant for the Center for Israel Education in Atlanta. “It was never likely to do much more than see Israel through a transition to whomever and whatever will come next. I think Bennett and Lapid together have done a solid job of keeping their government focused on issues they can tackle without splitting their fragile coalition, and that was always the most likely positive outcome for them. It’s unfair and unwise to expect anything transformative from them.” Jacobs also credits the government with doing “a decent job of re-establishing support for Israel as a bipartisan issue. This government has shown it cares about Israel’s two-way relationship with the Diaspora and has made a promising start in strengthening those ties. But until and unless the government passes a budget, none of that will have a lasting impact.” Recently, the president of Jerusalem-based Israel Democracy Institute, Yohanan Plesner, wrote in the Times of Israel that “one of the government’s main achievements has been to restore stability and to reduce the levels of incitement and hatred in public discourse.” The latest IDI sponsored survey indicates that might not be enough for the average Israeli voter. In early October, the IDI’s Viterbi Family Center for Public Opinion and Policy Research published its most recent Israeli Voice Index, indicating what the Israeli public most wants from the current government. That survey found that 33 percent of Israelis want the Bennett-Lapid government to make stabilizing the

“One of the government’s main achievements has been to restore stability,” said Israel Democracy Institute President Yohanan Plesner.

The new government took control on Oct. 11 2020.

economy its top priority. Another 24 percent want the government to reduce the threat of the COVID pandemic. Those stated priorities weren’t surprising, just as they were connected. Unlike in the U.S., the Israeli economy virtually shut down more than once during the waves of infections, hospitalizations and death, leading to skyrocketing unemployment that has not been significantly reduced, unlike the COVID numbers. According to Jacobs, the new government “de-

serves credit for quickly committing to booster shots in response to the delta variant and the weakening immune response among the COVID vaccinated after six months.” As far as the importance of measuring a government by its first 100 days, Jacobs contended that it “means nothing in historical terms, especially for the first prime minister after someone who held the office for 12 uninterrupted years.” ì


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OPINION Yahrzeit: More Than a Date on the Calendar W h e n my sister called to say that Dad had died, I was northbound on Interstate 75 in Florida, returning to Atlanta from Dave Schechter a road trip From Where I Sit to watch our older son play a collegiate soccer game. My father, whose physical and mental capabilities had declined the previous two or three years, had collapsed the day before and been taken to a hospital. With our younger son in the back seat, it took all the focus I could muster to turn off at the nearest highway rest stop. We sat there for close to an hour, until I regained sufficient composure to complete what became a quiet and reflective drive home. All of this came to mind when our congregation emailed me a reminder of my father’s approaching yahrzeit. On the Hebrew calendar, in the month of Cheshvan, the anniversary this year fell 10 days before the corresponding date in late October. Daniel Solomon Schechter was 86 when he died nine years ago. We still talk often. Admittedly, the conversation is a bit one-sided, but that’s okay. I hear his voice. Among the items that decorate the desk, walls, shelves, and window ledge in my home office are photographs of my father and mementos that remind me of his influence on my life. He is why I became a journalist and developed my personal set of professional ethics. He is why I played tennis and swam, though neither with competitive success. He is why I was a baseball fan and why baseball lost its appeal when he died. My father was of the generation that did what it needed to do — “You make do” may have been a mantra — and beyond what we children heard at the dinner table, there was a great deal about his life that we did not know. Conversely, I sometimes think that my generation shares too much. My children know far more of my life history than I knew of my father’s at their age. Dad was 11 years old when his fa-

ther died, leaving him to be raised by his mother and aunt. I was about 12 when he told me, in response to my asking, that his father had two sisters. The older one moved to South Africa and the younger was a Socialist who was arrested in a strike in North Carolina. That was all he said. I learned later that the older one transformed herself from the proper wife of a Jewish barrister into an antiapartheid activist. Dad was surprised when my research — sparked by a letter that he received from an Emory University professor — revealed that his father’s younger sister was a card-carrying member of the Communist Party throughout her adult life. She wasn’t just arrested, but stood trial for murder and other crimes after the Gastonia police chief was killed during the 1929 Loray Mill strike. As might be expected, the reminder of Dad’s yahrzeit prompted a variety of thoughts and memories. In the late 1980s, I wielded a video camera as he gave me a tour of “his” New York, including the address on West 115th near Broadway where he grew up in a 12th floor apartment. Attempting to reach the roof, to show me where he would sit as a boy and throw a rubber ball against a low wall, Dad inadvertently set off an alarm in the building, which now housed Columbia University students. Father and son rode the next elevator down to the lobby and walked out as if they were none the wiser. I cannot listen to the portion of the Kiddush that follows the blessing of the wine without closing my eyes and seeing my father at the kitchen table, holding his worn siddur, and hearing him chant that prayer. He was an observant Reform Jew and a dedicated student of Judaism. Dad delivered advice succinctly. Nearing graduation from college, I told him that I felt myself at a crossroad, uncertain whether to apply to graduate school or seek a newspaper job. “Get out of the road before you get run over,” was his response. Make a decision and get on with it. A yahrzeit is more than a date on the calendar. It is an opportunity to remember the life of an individual, to honor and appreciate their contributions to your life. By doing that, a part of them remains alive. In you. ì


Letters to the Editor The AJT welcomes your letters. If you would like your letter to be published, please write 200 words or less, include your name, phone number and email, and send it to Letter to the editor, Responding to “Georgia Congressman Explains Iron Dome ‘Present’ Vote.” Rep. Johnson may have been sincere in his apology about the “termite comment.” Yet, his accusing PM Netanyahu of being the “driving force” behind May’s conflict shows that he is still making ignorant remarks. Hamas claimed that it fired missiles at Jerusalem to save the Holy City, citing Israeli attempts to destroy the al-Aqsa mosque and settlers attempting to drive Arabs from their homes in eastern Jerusalem. Neither claim had any validity. Israel was not trying to destroy the mosque or to prevent Muslims from worshipping there. Israeli officers had, quite correctly, acted to stop Palestinians from hurling stones and fireworks from the mosque courtyard (as they often do, to harass Jews praying at the Western Wall and express dissatisfaction with Israeli officers’ presence on the Temple Mount). Settlers had nothing to do with the possibility that some Arab families might be evicted from their homes. During Jordan’s illegal occupation of eastern Jerusalem, Jews had been driven out and Arabs had taken up residence in the Jews’ former homes. Following Israel’s liberation of the land in the Six Day War, Israel allowed the Arabs to continue living in the homes, as owners if Jordan had transferred title to them, or as tenants if Jordan hadn’t transferred title. Tenants were required to pay nominal rents. When the Oslo Accords were signed, some tenants stopped paying rent (possibly at the order of the Palestinian Authority). Jewish owners who have been able to prove ownership of the homes (dating back to 1880s) have been engaged in a long, drawn-out case in the Israeli courts. The case is still pending, no one has been evicted, and the families who have not paid rent in decades are saying that Palestinian officials are urging them not to accept any Israeli offers to receive compensation for moving to other dwellings. Rep. Johnson, and other progressives in Congress, have blinded themselves to the fact that Palestinian leaders are not working to build a state in which the people living under their administration could become productive citizens. The leaders’ top priority is destroying the nation-state of the Jews. To this end, they have taught their people to hate Jews and rewarded them for killing Jews. The real driving force behind Hamas’ attack in May was Mahmoud Abbas’ cancellation of long overdue elections (Abbas is in the sixteenth year of his four-year term). Abbas dropped plans for holding elections because polling showed that Hamas would do better than the PA with the voters. Hamas took advantage of the people’s anger at Abbas to further enhance Hamas’ standing by showing that Hamas, not the PA, is acting to get rid of the hated Jews and their state. Toby F. Block, Atlanta

Letter to the editor, Don’t sweat the small stuff. Small stuff — Marissa Pyle staffer or larger stuff, Stacy Abrams! Anyone who reverts to name calling because some politician as Vernon Jones has a mind of his own, while caring much about the fair and equitable progress of the Black race, understood that Donald Trump was the best man for every sector of race, religion and creed. Trump proved it. He helped everyone be their better selves without admonishing anyone’s beliefs until guilty of a crime. The country was better off and proof is in the pudding. Overrun borders with illegal immigrants, who Biden Democrats are buying for future votes (Stacy Abrams knows a lot about this when her judge sister changed boundaries to win elections illegally in GA.) So yes, Vernon was correct saying elections were fraudulent. Lost jobs, dead military and innocent Afghan children, forgotten soldiers and Americans left for dead at misguided U.S. pullout from Afghanistan, high taxes, CRT divisiveness by not correctly managing and teaching racial equality, Biden’s claim that he did everything right but Trump caused his problems … I could go on. Understood politicians are a different breed and

winning is everything but the Democrats have been the worst liars, destroyers of America. We believe in America, the Constitution, law and order and refunding the police not defunding. We understand vaccines and people’s rights to have a voice. Mostly we believe, even if we don’t subscribe to everybody’s choice; we believe in respect for those who do while in their presence. That student who laughed at Professor Bernstein doing his part as a citizen making allowances for shortages in every occupation during a pandemic, lacked respect and her parents should be saddened. We love our flag for what she stands for and America may she always be right but my America. Thank you for your good work. I am glad you were joined with your family this year at Rosh Hashanah. Sloane Neiman Disclamer to our readers: This section of the newspaper is a forum for our community to share thoughts, concerns and opinions as open letters to the community or directly to the newspaper. As a letter to the editor, we proof for spelling and grammatical errors only. We do not edit nor vet the information the letter contains. The individual signing the letter is accountable for what they share.

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EDUCATION What Fuels Teen Addiction? Karen, a junior at a suburban public high school in north Atlanta, says that it’s very easy to get drugs; students in her school know people Chana Shapiro who can supply them. “In our school, kids are driven to achieve academically,” she explains. “The most common drug is Adderall, [a medication containing an amphetamine salt mixture used to treat ADHD]. It’s like ‘speed’ that helps you stay alert and keep going full force. Some students have a prescription for it, and then they sell it to other kids. “A lot of kids go to psychiatrists. I think the isolation during the pandemic made our anxiety and depression even worse than usual. I probably know 10 people who’ve been patients at Peachford Hospital or other rehab places like the Berman Center. At my school, vaping and drinking beer are more common than marijuana or other drugs, but there’s that, too. I don’t drink, but my

brother, who’s a senior, and his best friends are allowed to drink at each other’s homes when their parents are present. My parents believe that he has to learn to drink responsibly before he goes to college.” Substance use by teens can have a lasting impact. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), through a cooperative agreement with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), developed a guide for substance-use screening in pediatric practices to address substance use concerns. The AAP recommends starting screening at nine years of age. Among the AAP findings are that by 12th grade, about two thirds of students have tried alcohol, half of 9th through 12th graders have used marijuana, 2 out of 10 12th graders have used prescription meds without a prescription, and those from 12 to 20 years of age consume 10% of all alcohol consumed in the United States. The AAP guide claims that substance use can affect brain development and contribute to heart disease, high blood pressure, and sleep disorders. The earlier teens start trying substances or drinking, the greater their chances of developing addiction later in life.

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Teens drinking and smoking at a crazy party.

Jewish Family and Career Services (JF&CS) recently hired Joel Dworkin to lead their Helping Atlantans Manage Substance Abuse (HAMSA) program. His own journey through addiction to recovery enables him to use his experience to help people suffering from alcoholism and drug addiction and their families. In the last year, HAMSA has seen a spike in calls by people in active addiction, or their spouses and family members. HAMSA refers them to treatment facilities and counselors that can help them through recovery. “I guess you could say everything started in middle school,” Dworkin recalls. That was when he discovered a sample box of Vicodin that his father, a dentist, had in a closet. He thought it would be cool to try drugs. Others did it. He liked it and it was available. His early experimentation led to taking more substances. In 2008, he entered an inpatient treatment center and then a series of significant experiences led him to working with teens in recovery settings. “My addiction was excruciating, and probably more so for my parents,” Dworkin told the AJT. “They didn’t know initially if I would live or die. For a long time after that, they didn’t know if I would stay clean. And for several years following treatment, they didn’t know if I would be able to function as an independent adult. It took a lot of time, work, and trust-building for them to be OK. In comparison, I always knew how I was doing, so I didn’t have to worry about anyone else. I had it easy. “Social media and cable news claim that our teens are bombarded with opioids and they’re all at risk. If you look at the National Institute of Health’s (NIH) annual

Monitoring the Future study, teen substance use held pretty steady. This year, we had more time to focus on it and the higher baseline level of anxiety. Teen substance use and addiction were a problem when I was a teen and probably when many older than I were teens. What has increased is our awareness of and willingness to confront the problem. Addiction is seen less as a ‘shanda’ (shame) and more as a disease to be treated; we’ve begun normalizing the public discussion of mental health and recovery. More teens are seeking treatment and counseling, and more options are available to them. “What did increase this year was isolation and the desire to give privacy to kids who were stuck at home. Some used that time to take drugs, overdose, and die. That caused a lot of panic early on; kids were dying who shouldn’t have, who wouldn’t have, because they would have been using with friends, or their parents would have normally checked on them. “I try to create programs and spaces for teens to speak about drug use and how it has affected them. My personal story may resonate with then. Teens problematically using drugs aren’t bad kids trying to be good. They’re sick kids trying to get well. “I don’t consider marijuana a gateway drug. This is a misrepresentation of correlation and causation. Marijuana has much less stigma than harder drugs, so most people who use heroin or cocaine first try a less stigmatized drug. Saying marijuana leads to heroin addiction is like saying driving a Toyota Camry leads to crashing a Porsche Cayenne. Unless you’re very wealthy and have a lot of time on your hands, you probably started with the less exclusive drug


Jordan Crawford is the director of Student Support and Enrichment at Weber.

(and car). “Most people who use marijuana don’t end up using harder drugs or using drugs problematically. Drug use and addiction are very different things, just like drinking and alcoholism are very different. My role isn’t to tell people not to use drugs; it’s to help people who want to stop but can’t. Through a Jewish lens, HAMSA provides support, resources, and education for those seeking recovery from substance abuse. Anyone looking for help for themselves, a friend, or loved one can call 1-833-HAMSAHELPS or email”

Joel Dworkin heads HAMSA at JF&CS.

Pam Mason, a school counselor at Atlanta Jewish Academy, notes, “Teen anxiety and depression were on the rise from before the pandemic. In my opinion the social isolation associated with the pandemic has definitely contributed to this already significant issue. We at AJA feel fortunate that our high school students have been in school since last October. Our focus has been on making sure students feel ‘seen’ and have the opportunity to build relationships with their peers and teachers. Our Whole Teen Well-Being Survey identifies the strengths and needs of all our students, and it helps us understand students’ indicators of overall

Pam Mason is the school counselor at Atlanta Jewish Academy.

well-being and mental health, and sense of belonging at school. We have also adapted our advisory program to increase the opportunity for peer-to-peer and student/ teacher connection. I believe connection and supportive relationships are essential for teen mental health.” The Weber School held virtual classes throughout the pandemic, and almost 100 percent of the students returned to in-person classes by the second half of the year, so that this year’s start was smooth. Jordan Crawford is the director of Student Support and Enrichment, a new school depart-

ment. Crawford says, “We’re aware that the pandemic may have a negative impact on some students, but we don’t see the use or effects of drugs or alcohol in school. For students who are worried, exhibit anxiety, or struggle with mask-wearing, we can assure them that there’s an address here at school for mental support.” Crawford meets with students individually as needed, and Weber also has two academic counselors on staff. A peer leadership group is in formation, as well. The CDC website states that the majority of adults who have a substance use disorder started using substances during their teen and young adult years. Youth with substance use disorders also experience higher rates of physical and mental illnesses, diminished overall health and well-being, and potential progression to addiction. The CDC defines high-risk substance use as “any use by adolescents of substances with a high risk of adverse outcomes (i.e. injury, criminal justice involvement, school dropout, loss of life). This includes misuse of prescription drugs, use of illicit drugs (i.e. cocaine, heroin, methamphetamines, inhalants, hallucinogens, or ecstasy), and use of injection drugs which have a high risk of infection of bloodborne diseases such as HIV and hepatitis.” Brooke Hartman, a 15-year-old public

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EDUCATION high school student, spoke to the AJT about drinking and drugs in her school. “Isolation and quarantine are top factors in kids starting these things,” she said. “Mental illness, as well as curiosity, are the causes. I have been diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder and persistent depressive disorder. My abundant swings of stress and deep depression caused me to start self-destructive behaviors. “Kids in my school have used drugs or alcohol (outside of a religious context) at least once. I know at least a dozen that use them at school and another 10 or so that deal them. The most common drugs are marijuana and nicotine. They get them from a dealer at our school or another school. If any of them do hard drugs like cocaine, heroin, meth, or LSD, it’s a small percentage. Kids at my school will vape or do carts [a marijuana oil cartridge for vaping] at school in the bathroom or locker rooms, sometimes in the cafeteria. Personally, I have no issue with people doing weed, but nicotine and hard drugs are a problem, and doing it at school is a problem. Teens definitely drink at home, at friends’ houses, at parties. Teens know how to not get in trouble. If they want something they can figure out a way to get it. They know how to dilute a drink just enough so their parents don’t know.

“My school is one of the top schools in Georgia and it’s extremely competitive. Kids here use drugs to take the edge off and destress. There’s a distinct line between being irresponsible with drugs and being smart about it. Teachers and administrators know that students get high at school, but they can’t catch or keep track of everyone.” As a result of her daughter’s experience, Brooke’s mother, Ruth Hartman, runs Facebook message boards for parents to share addiction stories.

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In the late 1980s, Rabbi Ilan D. Feldman of Congregation Beth Jacob ran Jewish Alcoholics, Chemically-dependent persons and Significant Others (JACS), a program for Jews with drug and alcohol addictions. “I was meeting Jews with addictions at a time when the prevalent myth was that we Jews don’t suffer from addictions to the extent of other groups,” Feldman says. “The Torah warns us about the addictive lures of the world around us, and I know that we Jews are like everybody else. Addiction is not a new issue. The close family no longer exists. Kids today live in their own alternative reality, seldom interacting with, talking to, or enjoying time with their families. In their own room, their connections and reality depend on social media. They can order drugs online and have them delivered. They have credit cards, their parents’ ATM cards and their own money. Isolated young people easily lose the ability to choose not to be dominated by the material drives and lures everywhere.” One Atlanta mother recently discovered that her daughter, Amy, who was at a boarding school, had come under the online influence of another teen who claimed to live in Europe. The friend manipulated her, resulting in dangerous behaviors. Subsequently, Amy was brought home, and the mother shortened her working hours in order to spend time interacting and monitoring her daughter, who is now under psychiatric care. The mother said, “The friend had isolated Amy emotionally from other students and had complete control over Amy’s understanding of right and wrong.” At another recent adult party, the celebrant’s teen children and some of their friends were drinking beer, wine and liquor. One of the visiting teens needed a ride home, but the celebrant’s children were too drunk to drive. An adult guest, who took the teen home, was concerned about the drinking. The young passenger answered, “There’s a lot of liquor and weed at that house, and everybody knows it.” Rachel Welfeld works with troubled teens in the U.S. and Israel. She makes a distinction between marijuana and other drugs. “There are very few teens who haven’t tried marijuana. Typically, marijuana is smoked at parties, and maybe taken from a parents’ stash. That’s a social experience. I appreciate the beneficial uses of medicinal marijuana for anxiety, pain, and eating disorders, and I don’t believe that marijuana is a gateway drug. Hard drugs are a different story. Kids are self-medicating with ecstasy, MDMA (a synthetic drug that alters mood and perception, called ‘molly’) and psychedelics. If a kid doesn’t know a dealer, there are lots of apps that offer menus of what’s available, using constantly changing code words or pictures.”

In 1993, Ira Haber walked out of High Holy Days services at Ahavath Achim Synagogue and entered rehab. He had been using alcohol and drugs socially since high school, and at some point he consciously “crossed the line into using heavy drugs.” At the same time, he was active in the Jewish community and had a good job and loving family. “I knew what I was doing,” Ira states. “I maintained a double life for a long time.” Assistant Rabbi Steven Weiss’ Rosh Hashanah sermon about changing one’s life in the new year inspired Ira to confront and deal with his drug addiction. What he didn’t know was that his wife and parents had already set up an intervention at a residential facility. He ended up depleting his finances and possessions, spending nine months as an inpatient at the Talbot Recovery Campus in South Atlanta, and slowly rebuilding his life. He still attends regular support meetings. Ira describes drug and alcohol addiction as deadly allergies that lead to dire mental and physical consequences, yet addicts continue to feed their addiction. “I personally know 119 people who have died as a consequence of their addiction,” he says. In August, Scientific American described a study published in Nature Neuroscience about research headed by Dr. Marco Venniro. He found that social interactions can have a profound effect on drug self-administration and relapse, as well as on the brain’s response to drug-associated cues. Funded by the National Institute of Drug Addiction (NIDA), the research showed that rats will forgo heroin and methamphetamine in favor of spending time with other rats. The research highlights the importance of incorporating voluntary choice between drugs and social rewards into drug addiction research. The researchers gave rats the option of pressing one lever for a drug infusion or a different lever to open a door to interact with a social peer. The rats opted to open the door more than 90 percent of the time, even when they had previously self-administered methamphetamine for many days and exhibited behaviors that correspond to human addictive behaviors. “The ultimate objective will be to learn how social rewards might be used to prevent and treat human addiction,” Venniro says. “From a clinical perspective, our findings support wider implementation of social-based behavioral treatments, community reinforcement and also innovative social media approaches.” Venniro notes that the social lives and responses of people are vastly more complicated than those of rodents. Future animal studies of the role of social reward in drug addiction will have to be meticulously designed and cautiously interpreted to serve their purpose. ì

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Atlantans Tutor Israeli Teens with Israel Connect By Julian Yudelson Now that many Atlanta families have packed up their children for a break year in Israel, four Atlantans are getting ready to Zoom to Israel to mentor Israeli teens in English. Anne Grabois Davis, Kayla Engle Lewis, Raya Zalik, and I will start 5782 mentoring Israeli teens this fall through the Israel Connect program. The Israel Connect organization, in cooperation with the Ministry of Education, pairs volunteer mentors in North America with students across Israel to improve their English proficiency, increase their access to higher education and put them on the path to economic mobility. Israel Connect was started in 2013 and now has over 1,000 menAtlanta native and Israel Connect Anne Grabois Davis is an Israel Kayla Engle-Lewis is a tutor tors. The mentors are matched with Israeli tutor Julian Yudelson. Connect tutor. Please last Julian First for Israel Connects. teens, and use Zoom to offer 20 weekly Israeloriented worksheets to direct the discussion. Although English is part of the Israeli high school Israeli students are assigned English-speaking tutors in sion and vocabulary development. Through an immercurriculum, working one-on-one with an English speak- coordination with the Israeli Ministry of Education to sive online approach, mentors give students the skills er greatly expands the students’ vocabulary and confi- enhance their spoken and colloquial English skills. — and the confidence — to prepare for Israel’s univerdence. English fluency is also important for advanced Once a week, from the comfort of their homes, Is- sity entrance exams, which focus heavily on English college placement after their service in the IDF and may rael Connect mentors lead one-on-one video meetings proficiency, setting them up for future success. open up specialized programs even within the army. The focused on English conversation, reading comprehenI first found out about Israel Connect through a

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contact at Or Hadash as COVID was shutting down volunteer opportunities. I tutored Orel, a ninth grader in Rehovot. In addition to reading about the 20 locations in Israel together, we were able to discuss the Israeli and American political systems during several elections in the last year. I am a native of Atlanta and a graduate of Grady High School, class of 1956. I grew up at Ahavath Achim and was active in AZA Chapter 518 and the USY chapter of the AA. I met my wife, B.J. Heyman, at an event sponsored by the then-Bureau of Jewish Education to encourage mixing of the teens from the different congregations. We were married at The Temple in 1961. After leaving Atlanta in 1964, B.J. and I continued the strong Jewish community involvement we grew up with in every city we lived in. Raya Zalik stared tutoring last year and is eager to continue. She says that during the pandemic and the isolation it brought, it was a rewarding experience for her to help an Israeli student, a 14-year-old girl living in a Moshav in the Jordan Valley. “It was the first time I taught English via Zoom,” she said. “Over time, my student’s vocabulary grew, and she was more confident to converse. Her grades at school improved. The curriculum was interesting, as at each weekly meeting a different important site in Israel was presented with illustrations, facts and history.” The only requirement to be a tutor is an internet connection, a commitment of forty-five minutes a week at a set time, and an interest in Israel’s future generations. Israel Connect still has students anxious to connect with you for this school year. If you are interested in becoming a tutor, all you have to do is go to and start your registration process. ì

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Levy Teaches Business Values How many students head off to college adequately prepared to face the competitive financial and business world? Georgia State University professor Jerry Levy knows the answer better than most. That’s Marcia why he’s taken on the Caller Jaffe challenge of preparing his students with “Business Values & You,” a prerequisite course for busiGSU professor Jerry Levy advises parents to prepare ness majors that focuses on two areas. Levy starts teenagers by increasing their understanding of with basic principles to ensure that his students real-world situations and basic finances. understand the interdependency of all areas of bad, right and wrong; but there are many ‘gray areas’ in business and can explore the aspects that interest them most. Then he asks them to concentrate on profes- business. I stress that they use business terms and facts to draw conclusions and develop solutions, as business chalsional growth in preparation for their career search. “I have had students tell me that after taking the lenges are rarely black or white.” Levy’s experience has taken him from the University course, they will change their major,” Levy said. But the bigger lesson has been generational. “Students today are of Georgia, where he studied marketing, to a graduate deless able to think critically than our generation,” he ex- gree in business and a successful, 35-year career that spans plained. “They seem to want to memorize facts and are marketing, e-commerce, and international supply chain comfortable with the subjective tests such as true/false or management. Along the way, he’s worked for GE, DHL, BAX multiple choice versus discussion or case study tests. Some Global, and OIA Global Logistics. Before retiring, Levy taught ask less questions and want to judge an issue as good or supply chain management at Portland State University.

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When asked about his students’ business acumen, Levy said, “Some parents haven’t taken the initiative to teach some basic skills. Especially in the area of personal finance and current events. Students are just like adults; some are spoiled and entitled, and some are eager to learn, with attitudes all over the map. Some enjoy being challenged, or ask me to support my assertions and conclusions, and those have a successful future ahead. Others are not engaged, and I point out the urgency in today’s competitive business environment to stay informed and build their knowledge base. Today’s students are well equipped to use technology to make their day-to-day lives easier. Some are hooked on their devices. I find myself working to keep up with their abilities to use new apps.” In the courses he teaches, Levy focuses on everything from finance and accounting to marketing theory, digital marketing, international business, human resources, entrepreneurship, operations, personal finance, and business law. His professional growth instruction includes having students create a LinkedIn profile and traditional resume, refine their elevator speech, and work on personal branding and interviewing strategy. He doesn’t believe in pass/fail grading. “I point out that the business world is a meritocracy,” Levy says. “The best employees are usually the ones that are promoted, not the ones doing the minimum to get by. So I never give pass/ fail [grades], I give A-F grades on most assignments. 85-90% pass, but there are always one or two who fail every quarter, and it’s almost always due to lack of class attendance or failure to do the assignments. Rarely is it due to an inability to understand.” So what does Levy suggest parents do to prepare their kids for independence? Part-time jobs: “All kids should experience the basics of holding a job,” Levy says. “It teaches personal responsibility, compromise, people skills, and dealing with difficult situations. No one should head to college without work experience.” Checking/savings account: “A personal account teaches money management at a young age. It’s critical that, by their senior year in high school, students have an ATM card and bank account.” Real majors: “When a student says they can’t decide between majoring in gender studies or drama, they may want to consider taking a gap year to assess if their major will result in a career. I know kids who majored in something ending in the word ‘studies.’ Some are bartenders, baristas, or are working in warehouses with four years of college debt.” ì


So You Want to Be A Doctor? By Marcia Caller Jaffe Dr. Leslie Leighton is a medical historian and physician who practiced gastroenterology for nearly 20 years. He is also a visiting lecturer in the GSU Department of History, holds an M.D. degree from the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, an M.S. in history from Georgia Institute of Technology, and M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in liberal arts from Emory. Leighton has taught medical school students for years and is the president of the Atlanta Medical History Society. Leighton currently serves on the premedical advisory committee at GSU, which finds him poring over the details of medical school applications. He also teaches an honors seminar, “Careers in Health Care,” gives an annual lecture on how to approach this career category, and proffers advice at the Spring Health Care Career Fair. Here are some of Leighton’s top tips for aspiring healthcare professionals: Don’t overload your schedule. This is a journey, not a race. Consider taking more difficult biology or physics classes in the summer. Some students may do well taking a year off to study and take the MCATS. Seek out summer research jobs (see the CDC, Emory or GSU websites). Always leave the job with a letter of recommendation. Look at “crossing schools.” A GSU student can take classes at Georgia Tech or Agnes Scott, for example. One or two shadowing experiences are meaningful. Seek out a handful of significant activities in the third and fourth years, not 25 of them. Practice mock interviews (now on Zoom). Think of books or movies important to you. What contributions do you think you can make? Why do you want to be a doctor? “I said that I was an extrovert who engages well with people and was interested in science,” Leighton noted. “What I did not say was, ‘My mother wants me to!’” Leighton’s last word? “I see the most successful students and doctors as those who have great people skills by asking questions and engaging,” he said. “Plus, according to author Malcolm Gladwell, they get sued less.” So that’s the view from a veteran of the field. But what do recent medical and dental school grads think? Three recent grads — and Atlanta natives — weigh in on the application process and their experiences. David Kupshik, M.D., is currently doing a residency in diagnostic radiology. When it comes to interview preparation, he said, “Stay away from topics that you avoid at Thanksgiving dinner (like poli-

Dr. Leslie Leighton, a member of the pre-medical advisory committee at GSU, shares his experience advising prospective medical students.

Dr. David Kupshik applied early decision for a streamlined process.

transferred to New York for her clinical rotations. Now an oncology/hematology fellow in Washington, D.C., Haber said, “There are a few Caribbean programs, as well as Italy, Australia, and Israel. After the four years, I was accepted at the University of Connecticut for an internal medicine residency. My education was solid, but it might be more difficult for someone from a foreign medical school to get into more competitive specialties like dermatology, ophthalmology or orthopedic surgery.” ì

By the numbers

Dr. Avery Jaffe advises undergrads to get involved in school clubs and apply to multiple schools.

Dr. Jamie Haber took an alternate route by entering a medical program in the Caribbean for two years before completing her studies in the U.S.

Leighton, a Johns Hopkins alum, shared the 2025 class stats: ■ 7046 applicants ■ 603 interviews ■ 254 acceptances ■ 120 matriculated ■ Of these 120 graduates, 70 identified as female and 50 as male. (51% Asian, 26% Caucasian, 19% Underrepresented)

tics). And be prepared for certain talking points that inevitably come up: What are your own strengths and weaknesses? How do you define success? Relate a time when you overcame adversity. Give an example of your leadership skills.” Kupshik managed to streamline and de-stress the application process by applying “early decision” to his first-choice school. Avery Jaffe, D.D.S., completed her endodontic (root canal) residency at the University of Southern California, and completed her four-year dental school training there. Her advice is two-fold: First, join relevant clubs like the American Student Dental Association and the Pre-Dental Society to develop contacts and get involved in peer dialogue. This also may provide shadowing experiences. Second, apply to multiple schools to widen your options. Jaffe says, “I first got into Detroit, LSU, Pittsburgh, and Indiana, for example, which provided confidence that I would be ‘on my way.’” Note that dental schools often have rolling admission policies. Also, “the ‘waiting list’ is a nail biter. I was accepted at a top choice two weeks before the program started and declined because I had already signed a lease and focused on another top choice,” she said. Jamie Haber, M.D., took an alternate route. After Tulane, she did a one-year postbaccalaureate program in Pennsylvania before entering the medical program at St. George’s University in the Caribbean. She spent two years in the West Indies, then ATLANTA JEWISH TIMES OCTOBER 15, 2021| 31


Golsen Goes for Gold in Gymnastics By Marcia Caller Jaffe Mia Golsen started gymnastics when she was five years old, and within six months she was moved up to the preteam. Now at 13, she is home-schooled and trains 16 hours a week at Atlanta North Stars Gymnastics in Marietta. Her mom, Sarah, says, “The biggest benefit I see from gymnastics is the determination and drive it teaches Mia, as well as the ability to focus on a goal, manage her time to get her work done, and reach those goals. She is extremely driven and once she puts her mind to something, she will not give up until she has reached her goals!” When Mia was six, she started competing as a Level 2 artistic gymnast under the USA Gymnastics Junior Optional Gymnastics program. She is now a Level 7 gymnast. During the pandemic, Mia was training at level 7/8, but after injuring her knee during a vault she needed two knee surgeries and ended up repeating level 6 during the 2021 season. She now trains two mornings a week, one evening, and on Saturday mornings. She competes on bars, beam, floor, and vault. Her favorite event, though, is beam. “On ‘floor’ she is competing a back layout and a front handspring-front pike, and is training a half and a front layout-front tuck,” Sarah says. “On beam she competes a back walkover-back handspring, and back tuck dismount. She has mastered her back tuck and has


Mia Golsen has sustained two knee surgeries and bounced back after maintaining her conditioning.

Mia enjoys craft projects outside of gymnastics.

started training her layout dismount, and back handspring-back layout step out for beam. On vault she competes a ‘Yurchenko timer’ and is working on flipping it. On bars she is working to clear a hip rotation around the bar to the goal of handstand and ‘giants.’” To have more flexibility Mia Golsen is home-schooled in gymnastics and trains 16 hours a week. and the opportunity to train with the morning group, Mia started home schooling in 4th grade. She attends Pearson Online Academy, and is currently in 8th grade, but taking all 9th and 10th grade honors classes. Eventually, Mia hopes to get a college gymnastic scholarship. S a r a h , who works as a mental strength coach Mia during her first competition season. for athletes, has taught her daughter techniques to allay nervousness ahead of a meet. Mia says, “Mom coached me on this in practice, and I drink water before performing, and really have no nervous feelings because I feel prepared.” Sarah added, “Unfortunately, she has battled injuries throughout her gymnastics career so far; however, she has never given up, nor has she let it hold her back. Even after having two knee surgeries, she was at every practice (except for the one immediately after her surgery) doing whatever conditioning she could to stay in shape to get back as quickly as she could.” Mia attended a summer gymnastics camp, where she was paired with her “gymnastics idol” Lexi Graber, captain of the University of Alabama team. Mia said she loves gymnastics because “it’s fun and makes me feel








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another challenging project. The gymnastics world has been rocked by the recent high-profile abuse case surrounding U.S. gymnastics team doctor Larry Nassar. Mia wrote a paper about the case, in which Nassar was convicted of abusing the young gymnasts in his care. “My teacher said it was a very powerful essay,” she recalled. ì


like I am flying.” She also enjoys the high skill level the routines require. “I am able to do stuff that most people can’t,” she says. When she’s not training, Mia enjoys crafting projects like sewing, painting, and jewelry making. She recently made a macramé plant holder and the clay tiles surrounding it. A homemade piñata was


Mia demonstrates a Level 5 handstand on beam.

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BOOK FESTIVAL PREVIEW Highlighting Marcus JCC's Festival of Arts & Authors The MJCCA Book Festival is one of the cultural highlights of the year. Last spring, the festival went virtual with the Book Festival Daniel Elkind of the MJCCA in Your Living Room on Zoom to adapt to the pandemic. This year, the 28th “edition” of the festival brings audiences a mix of virtual and in-person events, from renowned Israeli author David Grossman to novelist Nicole Krauss and journalist Mark Oppenheimer — author of a new book about Squirrel Hill, Pittsburgh’s historic Jewish neighborhood and the site of the deadliest anti-Semitic attack in American history — to name just a few. They’ll be joined by an equally impressive lineup of moderators, from former U.S. ambassador Stuart Eizenstat to New York Times reporter Kevin Sack and Atlanta Braves legend (and Georgia

Director Pamela Morton said festival organizers “monitor and make decisions daily as to whether to continue inperson or to go fully virtual.”

Baseball Hall of Famer) Dale Murphy. With over 85 authors on deck, live performances, and more, the AJT wondered how the festival was adapting to the latest round of pandemic conditions.

Arts & Authors Co-Chairs Deena Profis and Artie Gumer and their significant others, Jon Goldmark and Sherie Gumer.

How did the MJCCA decide on the current mix of inperson and virtual events? To echo the famous question of Passover: How were this year’s preparations different from all other years? Festival Director Pamela Morton said, “Our event planning has been somewhat of a moving target — much different than last year, when in-person wasn’t an option. When we made the decision to start programming inperson again this fall, it was late spring and there was a feeling of optimism and hope that the worst of the pandemic was behind us. Then comes the Delta variant sending people back indoors and being extra cautious about their level of exposure to others. For the health and safety of our community, the decision was made to offer hybrid programming:



the option to watch on Zoom or attend in-person. This way, people may choose what they feel most comfortable with. In most cases, it was the author’s decision about whether to attend in-person or to do the program virtually. We are also requiring masks at all public events, offering hands-free e-tickets, and social distancing the audience.” It's still too early to celebrate, but so

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This year’s moderators include Atlanta Braves legend Dale Murphy.

far, the reaction has been positive. The festival organizers are keeping a close eye on the fluctuating attendance and planning accordingly. “The first three programs in October were scheduled to be in-person,” Morton said. “However, we pivoted back to virtual because the authors became reluctant to travel due

Journalist Mark Oppenheimer is the author of a new book about Squirrel Hill, Pittsburgh’s historic Jewish neighborhood and the site of the deadliest anti-Semitic attack in American history.

to rising COVID numbers in the South. As ticket sales recently opened for our November festival programs, we are just beginning to see which tickets guests are choosing: virtual or in-person. We monitor and make decisions daily as to whether to continue in-person or to go fully virtual. Our hope is that the com-

munity will be excited to return to the MJCCA to enjoy one of our most popular programs – author events! My tagline has been, ‘We’re in-person until we’re not!’” So how do they choose which books and authors to feature out of such an enormous pool of new material? That’s where Deena Profis and Artie Gumer

enter the story. The Arts & Authors CoChairs pick the events, Morton says, “with the assistance of an author selection committee from the National JCC Literary Consortium.” Often, publishers reach out directly to the festival organizers with authors who are promoting new books. “We are adding to our schedule weekly,” she said. Another exciting feature of this year’s festival will be the many live arts performances and concerts, from Nashville duo Swearingen & Kelli (October 17), who will be presenting the music of Simon & Garfunkel, to Nickelodeon and Family Choice award-winning band Hot Peas ‘n Butter, who will be entertaining families with a holiday show on December 5. “Moving into 2022,” Morton told the AJT, “we are thrilled to be welcoming back Atlanta fan-fave Joe Alterman in February and one of the most exciting announcements of all, the return of our beloved Jerry’s Habima Theatre in March, reprising ‘Mamma Mia!’” Here are a few of highlights of the books showcased in this year's festival.

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Rubenstein Explores America’s Complexity By Bob Bahr David Rubenstein, host of the Bloomberg Television interview program “The David Rubenstein Show: Peer-to-Peer Conversations,” has written “The American Experience: Dialogues on A Dream.” It’s the third in his series of books featuring interviews with prominent historians and cultural leaders, in which he explores what he calls the complex make-up of America’s DNA and how that has shaped the nation. The book draws on Rubenstein’s unique blend of wealth, cultural and philanthropic influence and media access. In addition to his TV hosting duties, he’s the billionaire co-founder of The Carlyle Group, a financial services corporation. Rubenstein also chairs the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, the Council on Foreign Relations and the Smithsonian Institution, and is featured on “History with David Rubenstein,” which can be seen on many public broadcasting stations. The book consists of a dozen conversations taken from his televised interviews with such diverse figures as Henry Louis Gates, the Harvard professor who discusses the impact that the post-Civil War Reconstruction period had on American democracy, and Billie Jean King, the

former tennis pro and outspoken advocate for women’s rights who talks about how sports contributes to contemporary American democracy. Among the Jewish Americans who are interviewed is the best-selling author Walter Isaacson, who outlines how technological innovation has shaped American life. Elaine Weiss describes the impact that the women’s suffrage movement has had, and former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, who immigrated to the United States in 1948 from Czechoslovakia, sketches the role that immigrants have played in America. Rubenstein appeared in a live-streamed event at the MJCCA Book Festival on Oct. 3. He returns on Oct. 20 in a virtual event sponsored by A Capella Books at the Carter Center in Atlanta. He’ll interview David Wessel, who has written a new book, “Only the Rich Can Play: How Washington Works in the New Gilded Age.” David Rubenstein will appear in a livestreamed conversation with Holly Firfer on Oct. 3, 8:00 p.m. EST.

The Diverse Experiences of Beauty Triumphs Over Women During COVID Despair in Artist’s Book By Jan Jaben-Eilon

By Bob Bahr

Last year, while the country and the Atlanta Jewish community struggled to stay grounded and survive the onslaught of the unfolding and perplexing COVID-19 pandemic, the Jewish Women’s Fund of Atlanta decided to memorialize the experiences of Atlanta’s Jewish women and girls with a collection of essays written by those in the community. The 49 anonymous essays chosen for the aptly named anthology, “2020 Hindsight: A Pivotal Moment in History, Through the Eyes of Atlanta’s Jewish Women and Girls,” vary in focus. Some of the writers were actually sick with the virus, some lost family members. Others focused on their marriages or jobs, and some were humorous. The anonymity accorded by the JWFA allowed for a frankness that might otherwise have not been possible. Women wrote about their employment issues, teenage girls wrote about the pressure to be perfect, both physically and academically. As one woman behind the JWFA effort — and a contributor, as well — explained, the book “acts as a time capsule and a literary way to document this singular part of history.” One of the advantages of the collection is that it’s concise, allowing the reader to pick and choose which essay to read when. Any reader who has experienced the trauma of the pandemic and its unique impact on women, will find an essay that speaks volumes to them. The opening words of the foreword, written by best-selling novelist — and Decatur resident — Zoe Fishman, immediately resonate with any reader: “It was a morning in June. Or was it July? Maybe May? I can’t be sure because time meant nothing in 2020.” She continues with words that speak particularly to women. “Days were tracked according to which meal I was preparing and then cleaning up after. There was a particular relief as I closed the dishwasher after dinner.” Fishman said she coined the term “co-polar depression,” or “depression in the time of Covid.” She explained that her “job was just to get through each day as it came. Obsessing about the future is a futile endeavor.” “2020 Hindsight” is obviously relevant now, even as the experiences are still raw in readers’ minds. In the future, the book will allow readers to further their understanding of the trauma we’ve all experienced.

The new book “After: The Obligation of Beauty,” which is a featured selection at the Book Festival of AFTER The Obligation of Beauty the MJCCA, explores the artistic legacy that Mindy Weisel has created as a child of Holocaust survivors. Weisel was born on January 7, 1947, in the Bergen-Belsen Displaced Persons camp in northern Germany. Her birth was one of the first to be recorded in the camp after the war years. Before Bergen-Belsen was liberated by the British Army in 1945, it was estimated that more than 50,000 people, most of them Jews, had died there. Among those who perished in the death camp during the closing months of the war was Anne Frank. But Weisel’s father survived, first Auschwitz and later a Nazi death march. He had arrived at the infamous concentration camp on the same transport from Romania as his cousin, Elie Wiesel, who would later win the Nobel Prize for Literature. Weisel’s mother also survived the horrors of that infamous camp, and on that winter day in 1947, with the memory of death ever-present, she brought a new life into the world. In “After: The Obligation of Beauty,” her impressive new work, Weisel reflects on how being the firstborn of Holocaust survivors has shaped her life. As she describes it, she was particularly moved, as she was growing up, to discover a drawing her father had made soon after his liberation in 1945. It was a pencil drawing of the sun rising, full and bright, on a new day. The simple drawing was the only work of art that he ever made. The discovery of that drawing during those formative years of her youth fired her determination to become an artist. At that moment, she writes, she decided to devote herself to putting into her art the complex emotions she felt as a sensitive child of Holocaust survivors. As she emphasized in an interview from her home in Jerusalem, at some point, you accept the past. “Every day to this day, you ask yourself, why was I born? Did I do enough with my life? It just plagues you. But then you do get to a point where you

A virtual panel discussion — in partnership with The Breman Museum — will be livestreamed on Oct. 10, 7:00 p.m. EST. Tickets are free to the community. 36 | OCTOBER 15, 2021ATLANTA JEWISH TIMES


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Mindy Weisel was one of the first children born in the BergenBelsen Displaced Persons Camp following World War II.

come to terms with this. And that’s why I started the book. I stopped wishing for a different past.” As the title of the book implies, it is what you make of your experiences that counts. For Weisel, what comes “after” is less about the re-creation of tragedy and more about the affirmation of life. “The book also that changed my life when I was 16 was Victor Frankl’s ‘Man’s Search for Meaning,’ where he said, ‘we have the choice of how we’re going to live.’ And I wanted to live fully alive. I did not want to live half-dead.” Weisel’s first major series of paintings was based on the number that was tattooed on her father’s arm when he first arrived in Auschwitz: A3146. For an entire year in 1980, she started each of her paintings with that number, and then covered the canvas with words. The words were part of the stories her father had told her of his survival, of those he had loved and lost, of what he had experienced during that darkest of times. Then she covered over the words with paint, seeking during the creative process a search for some light in the tragedies of the past. In the abstract expressionist works that she created, it was her goal, as she describes it, to discover what is in our experience that is beyond words. Those 36 paintings, created over four decades ago, led to an exhibition at the Jewish Museum in New York and the glowing reviews that helped launch Weisel’s career as a painter, a writer and a teacher at Washington’s prestigious Corcoran School of Art. Later, she used the lace she found in her mother’s possessions after her death to do another series of notable works. Again, trying to find in the brushstrokes that filled the canvas, the light that was struggling to emerge. Today her works hang in the Smithsonian, the Hirshhorn Museum, Yad Vashem, and the Israel Museum. An exhibition of some of her prints is now up at the Marcus Jewish Community Center in Dunwoody. In her large body of work, Weisel has never stopped looking for the light and the beauty, as she puts it, that emerges from her art. “I think that the moment you experience beauty, all else falls around you and you have that experience. I think we have a responsibility and an obligation to be aware of the gift of that moment of beauty that is the gift.” It is that search for the gift of beauty that so moved Stuart Eizenstat, the famed Atlanta-born Washington lawyer, diplomat and writer. On Oct. 13, Eizenstat, who also penned an afterword to her book, will interview Weisel at the MJCCA book festival. In his commentary, Eizenstat describes Weisel’s “ability to speak about ‘the survival of beauty,’ the ‘will to live with beauty’ by someone who fully absorbed the unbearable traumas her parents endured in the Shoah, who sought beauty and meaning ‘in the face of tragic history.’”


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Mindy Weisel will appear in a livestreamed conversation with Stuart Eizenstat at the MJCCA Book Festival on Oct. 13, 8:00 p.m. EST.



David Grossman’s Latest Is a Winner By Jan Jaben-Eilon Some people read books to escape reality. Some read for historical context and knowledge. Others are willing to delve deep into human relationships and an intense understanding of human nature and life. Those so inclined — and strong enough for a challenging read — should seek out Israeli author David Grossman’s latest book, “More Than I Love My Life,” published by Alfred A. Knopf and translated from the original Hebrew by Jessica Cohen, who is known for her translations of other well-known Israeli authors. This novel, based on the story of a much-admired Yugoslav woman — as well as the gulags established by former Premier Josip Tito — takes place mostly in Eastern Europe, and in the minds of its central characters. In that, the book differs from Grossman’s “To the End of the Land,”

published in 2011, which is Israeli to its core. Yet, there are many similarities. Both books deal with the complex love between mothers and their children. Both are written from the first-person narrative, in a freeflowing style; people’s thoughts often go on tangents and interrupt themselves. Readers may become confused when Grossman shifts from first person to third person or refers to “the girl,” but the narrator quickly apologizes and explains that “the first person is too painful.” The reader may start to think that the family in the story is the very definition of dysfunctional, but then Grossman himself points out that the term, healthy family, is an oxymoron. The author’s ability to look deep into the human experience is clear in his latest creation. He has a way of describing experiences familiar to his readers, but in a much clearer way than even they are able to express. Similar “To the End of the Land,” Grossman takes the readers on figurative and literal journeys. And once the reader is seized by the story, there’s no turning back. That’s probably why Grossman is one of Israel’s most praised authors, with books sold internationally in 36 languages. Born in Jerusalem and still living there, Grossman is the recipient of many significant international awards, including the Man Booker International Prize in 2017 for his “A Horse Walks Into a Bar.” David Grossman will appear in conversation with Jessica Handler in a livestreamed event on Oct. 22, 1:00 p.m. EST.

Cookbook Author Serves Up More Desserts By Bob Bahr Dorie Greenspan’s latest book on how to bake some of the simplest, sweetest, and most seductive desserts you’ll see this year arrives in bookstores on Oct. 19, just five days short of her 74th birthday. “Baking With Dorie: Sweet, Salty and Simple” is a 400-page volume of 150 recipes that has taken her three years to produce. Featuring an abundance of tempting, mouth-watering color photos by Mark Weinberg, the book is full of tips, basic techniques and clear, easy-to-follow instructions. The book is neatly organized into sections on cakes, cookies, pies, and — in a first for Greenspan — savory pastries. Sunday brunch fans might enjoy her take on Smoked Salmon Roll-ups, which would also be right at home at a fancy Yom Kippur break-fast or as a first course for a special dinner. It is essentially a simple lemon-andpoppyseed sponge roll filled with cream cheese, scallions, capers, chives and smoked salmon. Likewise, there’s another brunch or light lunch dish that starts with store-bought puff pastry, topped with hummus, za’atar — the ubiquitous Israeli spice blend — and vegetables cut into ribbons. Greenspan has created four variations of rugalach, the Eastern European favorite, which she says was one of the first things she baked. It’s based on a recipe she got from her mother-in-law, but for the book she has created a chocolate filling that also features in her brioche babka recipe. For those looking for something different on Friday night, there’s a Roman Lemon Cake, which is a simple, light, springy ring dessert served, perhaps, with berries or


Smoked Salmon Roll Ups might make a classy addition to a Sunday brunch or as a starter for a fancy dinner.

Greenspan’s brioche babka is said to have more flavor and texture than store-bought varieties.

a fruit compote on the side. In search of a different flourless dessert? Greenspan has recreated a dense cake with a rich chocolate flavor that she first enjoyed in Portugal. It’s layered with a whipped chocolate ganache and topped with a dusting of cocoa. And finally, if you’ve already started to look for inspiration for next month’s Thanksgiving dinner, you might find her recipe for a maple-walnut pie a good place to start. It’s essentially the familiar pecan pie recipe updated with maple syrup and brown sugar instead of the usual corn syrup sweetener. Walnuts stand in for the pecans. “Baking with Dorie” is Greenspan’s 14th book. The consummate cookbook pro has won five awards from the prestigious James Beard Foundation and another pair from the International Association of Cooking Professionals. Dorie Grenspan will appear in a livestreamed conversation with Melissa Clark, the cookbook author and food columnist for the New York Times, on Nov. 9, 8:00 p.m. EST.


4,978 Schools that Changed America Chana Shapiro I first learned about the Julius Rosenwald schools from a video sent to members of Hadassah, and immediately forwarded it to many Jewish and African American friends. The Rosenwald schools were previously unknown to all of us; now, the public can read the complete story about a seemingly impossible idea and its incredible fulfillment. Andrew Feiler’s “A Better Life for Their Children: Julius Rosenwald, Booker T. Washington, and the 4,978 Schools That Changed America” tells the story of the collaborative creation of nearly 5,000 schools in rural areas of the South, attended by African American students. These students walked to run-down, shack-like schools that lacked proper books, supplies and furniture. Rosenwald got to know the residents of the communities in which these children lived and devoted himself to creating “a better life for their children” with buildings and furnishings that would support a safer, healthier and more progressive academic environment. The great effort to establish respectable schools for underserved children dramatically influenced their education, hopes and self-respect — and therefore changed their life opportunities. Booker T. Washington, who was born into slavery, is well known as the founder of the Tuskegee Institute, which he built from the ground up, literally — a university in which students themselves constructed the buildings, from classrooms to dormitories. This endeavor provided quality higher education for poor African Americans. Beginning in 1912, Washington developed a deep and enduring relationship with Rosenwald, a Jewish philanthropist. Born to immigrant parents, he was a self-made man who rose to lead Sears, Roebuck & Company, expanding it into the world’s largest retailer. Rosenwald also made substantial donations to Tuskegee Institute and collaborated with Washington on a program that allowed Tuskegee architects to design six model schools for African American students. These school were severely underfunded by state and local governments at the time. With the success of these first six schools in 1913 and 1914, Rosenwald established the Rosenwald Foundation in 1917. The foundation provided matching funds to communities that would themselves run the schools, and also provided for the construction and maintenance of the facilities, which required the cooperation of white public-school boards. Following Washington’s death, most of these schools continued to be constructed. Between 1917 and 1937, nearly 5,000 Rosenwald schools were built in 15 states. A bounteous collection of archival photographs illustrates the lasting impact this unique partnership had on the nation. Andrew Feiler will appear in conversation with Valerie Jackson, in-person and livestreamed, on Nov. 14, 7:30 p.m. EST.

Andy N. Siegel CPCU, CIC, AAI Sheldon Berch

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‘Competing With Idiots’ Honors Hollywood Greats By Bob Bahr

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It’s not often that two Hollywood insiders, who are also cousins, get together publicly to talk about how their family became creative Hollywood royalty. But on Nov. 16, the MJCCA Book Festival will feature Ben Mankiewicz, the longtime host of Turner Classic Movies, in conversation with Nick Davis about their respective grandfathers, Joe and Herman Mankiewicz. The pair will discuss Davis’s recently published biography of the patriarchs of the family, “Competing with Idiots.” Herman Mankiewicz wrote or co-wrote over 85 screenplays for some of the greatest classics in Hollywood history, including the Marx Brothers’ comedy riot “Duck Soup,” Orson Welles’ monumental “Citizen Kane,” and “Pride of the Yankees,” a great sports drama about Lou Gehrig. Despite his talent and wit, he struggled with alcoholism, professional disappointments, and a variety of psychological ailments. His younger brother, Joe, the more disciplined of the two, was the producer of the outstanding 1940 Academy Award winner, “The Philadelphia Story,” the Oscar-winning producer and director of 1949’s “A Letter for Three Wives,” and “All About Eve,” which was nominated for 14 Academy statues the following year. It won six, including two for Mankiewicz, and is generally considered one of the greatest Hollywood films of all time. All three films have been honored by the National Film Registry of the Library of Congress. Thirteen years later, Joe Mankiewicz’s career crashed in flames with the disastrous failure of “Cleopatra,” which he helped to write and direct. The runaway budget and production problems that accompanied the film almost brought down 20th Century Fox. This compelling, ambitious portrait of two fascinating film talents is also a story of Hollywood during its so-called golden era, when outsized egos — and some of the idiots referred to in the title — filled the fantasy world of Hollywood. For anyone interested in American movies, this is a must. It’s also a fitting complement to last year’s Netflix production, “Mank,” about the life of Herman Mankiewicz. Nick Davis will appear in conversation with Ben Mankiewicz, in-person and livestreamed, on Nov. 16, 7:30 p.m. EST.

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Federman’s Stand-Up Comedy Book Stands Up By Marcia Caller Jaffe Comedian Wayne Federman’s “The History of Stand-Up: From Mark Twain to Dave Chappelle,” is not a book of jokes. More sentimental, it is a logically compiled walk down memory lane that goes behind the scenes of the development of our favorite comedians with one thing in common: Lone humans standing on stage, struggling to get laughs from and connect with the audience. While many may have ended up in the “Tonight Show” seat or with a top TV comedy series, most of them started out in much humbler venues, with an open microphone, beer, dip and a crowd spitting straws. One of those comedians, Jerry Seinfeld, summed it up: “We get paid to joke around.”

Consider the thrill and nervousness that comes with appearing on stage. Having been in the audience many times, the book brought back decades of memories: seeing Alan King at the Concord, Hal Holbrook portraying Mark Twain, Don Rickles in Las Vegas, or being in the front row with Robert Klein at the Great Southeast Music Hall in the '70s, then again a few years ago in Sandy Springs. Federman outlines our parents’ enchantment with the likes of Bob Hope, George Gessel, Phyllis Diller, Jimmy Durante, Jack Benny, Sammy Davis Jr., and Myron Cohen. Certainly not all Jewish, but “schmaltzing” things both heartfelt and relatable. Federman dates the “boom in comedy” to around 2018, when Kevin Hart sold out a football stadium and Sebastian Maniscalco sold out four shows in one weekend at Madison Square Garden, grossing $8.28 million (and can now be seen on Netflix). The younger generations’ idols are also in the book: Ellen DeGeneres, Tiffany Haddish, “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” are all here, with careers bolstered by modern technology. Federman writes in conclusion, “How the acceleration of online streaming will change stand-up comedy is anyone’s guess. … Maybe when fans get the chance to go out and experience the juice of a live ‘in person’ performance, they will view digital comedy as a pale doppelganger.” Wayne Federman and Annabelle Gurwitch will appear in conversation with Holly Firfer, both in-person and live-streamed, on Nov. 21, 7:30 p.m. EST.


Marcus JCC of Atlant`a's Festival of Arts & Authors 2021-2022 Season Friday, October 22, 2021 ■ 1:00 pm EST DAVID GROSSMAN More Than I Love My Life: A Novel Live-Streamed Event

Monday, October 25, 2021 ■ 8:00 pm EST MARIE BENEDICT AND VICTORIA CHRISTOPHER MURRAY The Personal Librarian: A Novel Live-Streamed Event

Wednesday, October 27, 2021 ■ 7:30 pm EST JASMINE ROTH House Story: Insider Secrets to the Perfect Home Renovation

Thursday, November 11, 2021 ■ 7:30 pm EST ANDREW LAWLER Under Jerusalem: The Buried History of the World’s Most Contested City

Sunday, November 7, 2021 ■ 3:00 pm EST LUCY ADLINGTON The Dressmakers of Auschwitz: The True Story of the Women Who Sewed to Survive Live-Streamed Event

In-Person & LiveStreamed Event

Sunday, November 7, 2021 ■ 7:30 pm EST MARK OPPENHEIMER Squirrel Hill: The Tree of Life Synagogue Shooting and the Soul of a Neighborhood

Sunday, November 14, 2021 ■ 7:30 pm EST ANDREW FEILER A Better Life for Their Children: Julius Rosenwald, Booker T. Washington, and the 4,978 Schools That Changed America

In-Person & LiveStreamed Event

Monday, November 8, 2021 ■ 8:00 pm EST NICOLE KRAUSS To Be a Man: Stories


In-Person & Live-Streamed

Live-Streamed Event

In-Person & LiveStreamed Event Tuesday, November 2, 2021 ■ 7:30 pm EST MICHAEL BAR-ZOHAR The Mossad Amazons: The Amazing Women in the Israeli Secret Service In-Person & LiveStreamed Event

Tuesday, November 9, 2021 ■ 8:00 pm EST DORIE GREENSPAN Baking with Dorie: Sweet, Salty & Simple Live-Streamed Event

Monday, November 15, 2021 ■ 8:00 pm EST ALICE HOFFMAN The Book of Magic: A Novel Book 4 in the Practical Magic Series Live-Streamed Event

Tuesday, November 16, 2021 ■ 7:30 pm EST NICK DAVIS Competing with Idiots: Herman and Joe Mankiewicz, a Dual Portrait

Monday, November 29, 2021 ■ 8:00 pm E JODI PICOULT Wish You Were Here: A Novel Live-Streamed Event

In-Person & Live-Streamed Event

Wednesday, November 17, 2021 ■ 7:30 pm EST IVAN MAISEL I Keep Trying to Catch His Eye: A Memoir of Loss, Grief, and Love Live-Streamed Event

Tuesday, January 11, 2022 ■ 7:30 pm EST ALISON ROSE GREENBERG Bad Luck Bridesmaid: A Novel In-Person & Live-Streamed Event

Thursday, December 9, 2021 ■ 8:00 pm EST DAVID JAVERBAUM The Book of Pslams: 97 Divine Diatribes on Humanity’s Total Failure Live-Streamed Event

In-Person &

Thursday, November 18, 2021 ■ 8:00 pm EST GARY SHTEYNGART Our Country Friends: A Novel Live-Streamed Event


Sunday, November 21, 2021 ■ 7:30 pm EST LAUGHTER IS THE BEST MEDICINE! with Comics Wayne Federman and Annabelle Gurwitch In-Person & Live-Streamed Event


ARTS A Year of Choices for Jewish Book Lovers Although the Book Festival of the Marcus Jewish Community Center of Atlanta — in partnership with the National JCC Literary Consortium Bob Bahr — has provided readers with a wide-ranging, carefully curated sampling from leading publishers, book lovers can still find much more to appreciate. Here are some additional titles for the Jewish reader to consider — books that didn’t make the festival’s cut this year. Three Sisters: This is the third installment of Heather Morris’s best-selling Holocaust saga. Readers who have been fascinated by Morris’s previous offerings — “The Tattooist of Auschwitz” and “Cilka’s Journey” — will find much to appreciate in this brand-new novel. The story, which is based on interviews the novelist conducted with survivors of the Nazi death camps, follows

After his liberation from Auschwitz, teenager Thomas Geve drew 79 works based on a secret diary he had kept, describing daily life in the concentration camp. He never drew another picture.

three Slovak sisters, Magda, Livi and Cibi, as they start new lives in Israel after the Second World War. Their story of resilience in the face of adversity — both personally and in the new Jewish state — is another winner in this popular series. The Boy Who Drew Auschwitz: The true story of Thomas Geve, who was only 13 when he was transported to Auschwitz, where his mother was murdered. Immediately after he was liberated in 1945, Geve drew 79 works

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based on a secret diary he had kept, describing daily life in the concentration camp as he experienced it. He never drew another picture. Now 91 and living in Israel, Geve has just published this beautifully written and illustrated testament to his tenacious will to survive — and the power of hope.

Andrew Porwancher’s book takes another look at the Jewish founding father, Alexander Hamilton.

Dara Horn’s new volume of essays is about how Jews approach their tragic history.

The Jewish World of Alexander Hamilton: Fans of the blockbuster Broadway musical might want to look for this eye-opening, deeply researched account of what is known about the life of Alexander Hamilton, the Jew. Andrew Porwancher, who teaches at the University of Oklahoma, spent years researching this fascinating account of one of America’s founding fathers and his connections to the Jewish community during the establishment of the American republic. Mahjong: A Chinese Game and the Making of American Culture: The first serious study by an American academic, Annalise Heinz, of one of the touchstones of modern Jewish America life. Heinz charts the rise of this popular game from its origins in Shanghai to the 1930s, when it crossed the Pacific to become the mass-produced game of choice for Hollywood starlets, Air Force officers’ wives and Hadassah members. In the process, it helped to remake women’s approach to leisure time, cemented social relationships, raised millions for worthwhile causes, and influenced American culture for much of the past 85 years. Phillip Roth: The Biography and Here We Are: My Friendship with Phillip Roth. Two books about one of the greatest Jewish American writers. The first was sunk by accusations of sexual misconduct by the book’s author, Blake Bailey. Picked up several months later by another publisher, it’s gener-

ally considered the most complete portrait of Roth, a brilliant and controversial literary star. “Here We Are” is an impressive memoir of Benjamin Taylor’s close friendship with the complex and sometimes difficult literary master. It was selected as a finalist for the National Jewish Book Award. An alternative for fans of Roth is a conversation with the writer that was first broadcast on PBS and is now available on Amazon Prime. The Netanyahus: An Account of a Minor and Ultimately Even Negligible Episode in the History of a Very Famous Family: A hilarious book by Joshua Cohen, this is the story of a fictionalized visit — based on real events — by Benzion Netanyahu, the father of the future prime minister, and his family in pursuit of a job at a small college in upstate New York in the late 1950s. Too bad Groucho and his loony Marx Brothers aren’t around to option this satirical look at Jewish life. It would have made a fine Duck Soup.

Why People Love Dead Jews: This collection of essays by Dara Horn, subtitled “Reports from A Haunted Present,” contain her reflections about how Jews approach their tragic history. There are discussions, among others, of Anne Frank’s diary, the Museum of Jewish Heritage in Manhattan and the author’s observation that some people prefer dead Jewish heroes to their flesh-and-blood Jewish neighbors. Horn is not afraid to take on many of the deeply held beliefs about Jews and modern life and lacerate them with her wit and intelligence. What’s Next?: Southern Dreams, Jewish Deeds and the Challenge of Looking Forward: The memoir of a life lived long and well by the 97-year-old Atlanta native, Janice Rothschild Blumberg. She has rightfully been called an Atlanta treasure. How many people do you know who have the power of recall and the deep sense of history to look back on a life of nearly a hundred years? This book is by one of the few living participants who were at the heart of the civil rights alliance between Jews and African Americans in the years following World War II. It arrives on November 7. All of these titles can be ordered through A Cappella Books, a locally owned Atlanta bookstore, which is the preferred source for the Book Festival of the MJCCA. Visit www. ì


Southern Jews on ‘FBI: Most Wanted’ The season finale of CBS’s “FBI: Most Wanted” offered a take on Southern Jewish history. The episode caught my attention with an opening scene that might be a television first: the recitation of the traditional blessing (boray peri ha-etz) over fruit. But very shortly afterRabbi Elliot B. ward, the young woman who Gertel has recited the blessing is shot to death. So much for the longevity in this series of Jews who eat in the traditional manner. The deceased woman, Elise (Lauriel Friedman), was the sister of Jason Shalet, a confidential informant who had worked at a local car dealership in Jasper, Tennessee. Jason is also shot to death. It turns out that Elise and Jason had been sitting shiva in Jasper for their 63-year-old father, Gerald, who had died of a heart attack. Gerald had owned a carpet mill in Dalton, Ga. An FBI agent can tell that they were sitting shiva because “the mirrors were covered” and there was “some memorial candle on a table next to a photo.” In initiating the investigation, an FBI official observes, “This used to be moonshine country, and these people have gone from stills to pills. They’re clannish and violent and they’ll lie to your face and smile while doing it. Also, the only thing they hate more than government is outsiders.” I braced myself for another major, gratuitous media attack on so-called “red neck” rural Southerners, but the scope of censure was far wider and more surprising than I had anticipated. Yes, a family with a small poultry farm figured in a lot of drug running, but so did old well-established Jewish families, including the Shalets and the Kleinmans, who own a major grocery chain. The bond between the Christian families and early Jewish immigrants is expressed here in the declaration, “Your daddy and my grandpa ran shine together.” Then they all moved on to (suspected) money laundering for the Mexican cartel and shipping addictive, toxic drugs. The murder of two truck drivers for the Kleinman chain alerts FBI agents to Susan Kleinman (effectively played by Tracy McMullan), this generation’s store CEO. The cold-blooded Susan boasts that her business boomed during the pandemic and that the company had to increase its “fleet size.” She boasts, “My great-grandfather founded this company over 100 years ago. Most of the banks in town got their start because of him. I can walk into any one of them and get a line of credit just by saying ‘hello.’” A mezuzah is featured on the door while she lectures her FBI visitors. An FBI agent asks her if she is Jewish in order to find out whether she knew the Shalets and about the shiva. She responds snarkily, “Is that a crime now, too?” Then she demands a warrant and makes threats about her high-powered lawyers. Susan is arrogant, cool, even cold-blooded, ruthlessly calm, with a swift impulse for self-preservation. At one point she tells her would-be executioner: “I think you can use a breath mint.” She even lectures him: “It’s called diversification. If you knew how to run a business, you’d under-

Jen Landon, Julian McMahon, and YaYa Gosselin in the “FBI: Most Wanted” episode “Chattaboogie,” which aired on May 25.

Julian McMahon and Kellan Lutzin in the “FBI: Most Wanted” episode “Chattaboogie.”

stand that.” Yes, this episode offers a strong portrait of a Jewish woman who is always in control and who coolly avoids being a murder victim. But a young Jewish woman with some knowledge and observance of Judaism is crushed like a bug at the hour’s beginning. And yes, this episode acknowledged a longstanding Jewish presence in the American South. After all, it is titled “Chattaboogie,” after a provincial Tennessee contra dance, thus testifying to that historic presence and breaking with most films and TV programs, whether drama or comedy, which suggest that Jews are totally out of place in the South.

The “Chattaboogie” episode was the season two finale of FBI: Most Wanted.

But was any correction of misconceptions about Southern Jewish history worth the impression of Jews (and of Jewish women) that lingers long after this episode — not to mention the suggestion that these Jews might have gotten away with facilitating mass addiction and death, were it not for their taking advantage of gentiles with whom they’ve had a long association? There is not even honor among thieves in the “American Jewish history” lesson here. ì Rabbi Elliot B. Gertel is Rabbi Emeritus of Congregation Rodfei Zedek in Chicago and the longtime film/TV critic for the “National Jewish Post and Opinion.”



Interview with ‘Three Sisters’ Author Heather Morris “Three Sisters,” a new book by Heather Morris, author of “The Tattooist of Auschwitz” and “Cilka’s Journey,” tells the true story Dr. Terry Segal of three Slovak sisters, Cibi, Magda, and Livi Meller. The trio remained together, surviving the brutalities of the Holocaust, because of a childhood promise they made to their father before he died to always look out for one another. While on a book tour in South Africa, Morris — who is from Australia — was led to Israel to meet Livi, then 93, when Livi’s son brought her a copy of “The Tattooist of Auschwitz.” Livi knew Lale Sokolov because he had tattooed her and Gita; after the war, Gita became Lale’s wife. Morris met the two surviving Meller sisters, Magda, 97, and Livi, 95. Cibi had died in 2015, at 93.

Livi, Cibi and Magda (L to R), Bratislava, ca. 1947.

The book chronicles the sisters’ experiences during the occupation, survival at Auschwitz, and their split-second opportunity to escape, when the Allies were closing in and the Nazis began death marches for the remaining prisoners. Once rescued, the sisters made the arduous journey to Slovakia, only to find hostile townspeople, their home inhabited by strangers, and ultimately gathered the courage to travel to Israel and build a new life.

Cibi, Livi and Magda at home in Vranov nad Topl’ou, ca. March 1942.

Segal: What made you include the story beyond their liberation?

Morris: “Yes, I have observed a difference in speaking about the Holocaust along gender lines. Morris: “As significant as Women are more open to their survival was, it did talking about their experinot define who these girls ences. The sisters, along became. It was their vicwith their husbands, had tory over one of history’s the shared experience they darkest hours, being part could talk amongst themof the creation of the State selves. And they did. …” of Israel, wives, and moth ers, now grandmothers Segal: It’s chilling when and great-grandmothers, Cibi states that they “needis who Livi, Magda and ed God in those camps,” Cibi are. Readers will be and asks, “Where was Cover of “Three Sisters.” inspired, as I was, by the he?” Cibi lost her faith resilience and strength in G-d. Did you notice a of the sisters in leading difference in the way Cibi’s children exthe lives their parents wanted for them.” press a belief/lack of belief in G-d vs. the Segal: What do they want your readers to children of Magda and Livi? know? Morris: “The children of the sisters want readers to know of the courage of their mothers in surviving and making decisions to ensure their families had the best lives possible. ‘Write about family, and how that is all that matters,’ they asked me. Livi and Magda want their story told so that it never happens again. Something many Holocaust survivors have said to me. Tell the world so that it never happens again.” Segal: Did the children regret not knowing of their mothers’ experiences until they were adults? Morris: “It was a different experience for the children of the sisters. Livi’s son and daughter were told, at age-appropriate times, quite a bit about their mother and their father’s experience during the Holocaust. Not so much the others. … One of them told me he simply could not equate what he heard with it happening to his mother. It was too much to bear.” Segal: Is there a difference between men and women in sharing their stories?


Author Heather Morris. (Credit: Tina Smigielski)

Morris: “No, Cibi’s husband, Mischka, was deeply religious, their children align with [him and] their cousins in their belief.” Segal: How do you decide whose stories to tell? Morris: “I am truly humbled by the stories which have come to me from many countries, not only about the Holocaust but others all worthy of telling. In the stories I have chosen to write to date I have felt a connection to them that is not easy to explain. With Lale it was having him in my life for three years [until his death] and being connected like family. I was honoring a request from Lale to tell Cilka’s story. The day I walked into Livi’s apartment and into her arms, I knew, if asked, I would love to tell her and her sisters' story. There are others out there waiting for me. …” Segal: It seems as if you’re divinely guided to write these books. Why do you think you’ve been chosen? Morris: “I was, to use a phrase Lale used all the time, lucky. Lucky to have met him, be trusted by him to tell his story. … ì


Estroff Launches ‘The Bridge to Sharktooth Island’ O

Estroff • Ross

ne minute Daniel and his cousin Joy are playing in the snow—and the next they are stranded on a mysterious island surrounded by sharks! Where are they and how did they get here? And how will they get back home? With new friend Kimani, the kids find clues to these and other mysteries. To escape the island, they have to work together and build a bridge to safety! This thrilling adventure is packed with fun STEAM activities you can do at home: build your own bridge, mix up a blue slime ocean, and design ferocious paper sharks. From the world’s #1 STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Math) education enrichment program, Challenge Island® presents an exciting new adventure book series for smart, curious kids.


Illustrated by Mónica de Rivas

The Bridge to Sharktooth Island

On National STEM Day, Nov. 8, the program will launch the first book in its STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art & Math)-themed chapter book series, “The Bridge to Sharktooth Island” by Atlanta’s award-winning educator Sharon Duke Estroff, M.A.T., founder and CEO of Challenge Island and author of “Can I Have a Cell Phone for Hanukkah?” with awardwinning author Joel Ross and illustrator Mónica de Rivas. This book intertwines action-packed fantasy with real-life engineering as Daniel, his cousin Joy, and their new friend Kimani find themselves suddenly stranded on a mysterious island surrounded by sharks. Together the kids find clues hidden around the island and realize that if they want to escape, they’ll have to work together to build the strongest bridge they can to get to safety. The characters return in the back of the book, where they speak directly and intimately to the reader, sharing engineering tidbits learned during their adventure, cool shark facts from Kimani’s notebook, and fun STEAM activities kids can do at home, including building a bridge, mixing up a blue slime ocean, and design-

The Bridge to

Sharktooth Island A Challenge Island STEAM Adventure



Sharon Duke Estroff and Joel Ross

‘The Bridge to Sharktooth Island’ by Sharon Duke Estroff, Joel Ross and Mónica de Rivas.

Atlanta’s award-winning educator Sharon Duke Estroff M.A.T., Founder and CEO of Challenge Island.

ing ferocious paper sharks. What makes the Challenge Island book series even more groundbreaking is that readers can experience the same STEAM adventures as the characters in the story in

real life, through one of Challenge Island’s 120 franchise locations. For example, on National STEM Day, Stephanie Edwards, owner of Challenge Island in Gilbert, Ariz., will be running a Bridge to Sharktooth Island book launch celebration and field trip for nearly 300 6th grade students at the American Leadership Academy. Edwards worked closely with the charter school’s leadership to create an unforgettable engineering adventure complete with balloon arches in the gymnasium, a professional photographer, and a copy of “The Bridge to Sharktooth Island” for every student. With over a hundred franchise loca-

tions and a cumulative audience of 5 million children, Challenge Island has been providing kids with awardwinning STEAM learning adventures through field trips, afterschool enrichment classes, summer camps, scout workshops, and family nights for almost two decades. “As an educator, an author, a mom, and the creator of the Challenge Island program and curriculum, the release of the first book in the Challenge Island book series is among the proudest moments of my entire career,” says Sharon Duke Estroff, founder and CEO of Challenge Island Global. “But more importantly, I truly believe that this is exactly what kids need in this moment in time. What better way to reignite a child’s love of learning than by turning a beloved STEAM enrichment program into a fantastical new book series? And – for the millions more children who will first come to know Challenge Island inside the pages of this book – to see that magical story come to life, not only in their imaginations, but in the real world!” ì

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CALENDAR FRIDAY, OCTOBER 15 Blood Drive – 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Come visit Life South at Chabad of North Fulton inside the BloodMobile to perform a mitzvah. Visit to get more information. Cub Club: Li’l Shabbat from the Garden (virtual) – 9:30 to 9:50 a.m. Celebrating Shabbat has never been so much fun! Join Rabbi Micah and The Davis Academy for a special sing-along as we get ready to welcome Shabbat. Young children and their families will be introduced to interactive songs and dances to bring in the ruach (spirit) of Shabbat. Visit to RSVP. SOJOURN’s Drawing from the Well – 12 to 1 p.m. Everyone is welcome to experience the magic of inclusive community during Drawing from the Well. Drawing from the Well is SOJOURN’s inclusive weekly meetup for LGBTQ+ Jews and allies. Participants gather in community to discuss and connect around resources from Torah Queeries, Mussar teachings, holidays and happenings in the world. Visit https:// to get the Zoom link.

OCTOBER 15 – OCTOBER 31 school aged kids and their parents are encouraged to join us. Visit https://bit. ly/3DiPJ9lto learn more. Tot Shabbat – 5:30 p.m. Come join Congregation Dor Tamid for Tot Shabbat. RSVP required to Stacey Jahanfar at

31st Annual Torch Gala – 7 to 8 p.m. The Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation is the largest nonprofit voluntary health agency dedicated to finding cures for Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, and to improving the quality of life of those affected. The Torch Gala is the largest fundraiser of the year. Visit for more information.

SUNDAY, OCTOBER 17 Kabbalah & Coffee - 9:30 to 11 a.m. Discuss, explore, and journey through the world of Jewish mystical teaching to learn how to apply these profound teachings in your daily life. The best part of waking up is coffee in your cup and Kabbalah in your “kop” (“head” in Yiddish)! Find more information at Atlanta Kosher BBQ Festival – 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The Atlanta Jewish community has embraced southern BBQ and put our own spin on it. The festival includes approximately 25 BBQ teams competing in the categories of Beef Brisket, Beef Ribs, Chicken and Chili. Our teams’ double-blind entries are judged by KCBS certified judges and must meet their criteria for each entry. To keep it strictly kosher, rabbis from the Atlanta Kashrut Commission ensure that all of our meat, spices and equipment are up to their standards of kashrut. Visit to learn more.


Shabbat Sing – 5 to 6 p.m. Join Congregation Beth Shalom on the playground for pre-Shabbat snacks, drinks and playing with friends, plus enjoy a totfriendly family Shabbat Service with Rabbi Mark and his guitar. All pre-

Find more events and submit items for our online and print calendars at:

Calendar sponsored by the Atlanta Jewish Connector, an initiative of the AJT. In order to be considered for the print edition, please submit events three to four weeks in advance. Contact community relations director Diana Cole for more information at

Atlanta Jewish Bowling League – 6:30 to 7:45 p.m. All adults are welcome! We meet every Sunday at 6:30 p.m. and bowl 3 games per night. Visit https:// to get more information.

MONDAY, OCTOBER 18 NCJW Atlanta Meeting featuring Congresswoman Nikema Williams – 12 p.m. NCJW Atlanta General Meeting with special guest Congresswoman Nikema Williams. Also, there will be a special presentation of the National Council of Jewish Women’s Hannah G. Solomon Award to Melita Easters. Visit to get the Zoom link. Jewish Commercial Real Estate Event – 5 to 7:30 p.m. Join the Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta for a Jewish Commercial Real Estate Networking Event. Visit to register.

Story Time with Rabbi Jordan – 9:15 to 9:45 a.m. Join Rabbi Jordan from Congregation Dor Tamid for Story Time with Rabbi Jordan on Facebook. Visit to get the link. Cub Club: Li’l Shabbat Around the World – 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. Celebrating Shabbat has never been so fun! Families are invited to join Davis Academy for a Li’l Shabbat, where we will sing, explore and enjoy a li’l nosh. Ages: 3 to 5 years old, free and open to the community. Visit to find out more.

tee LFT enables young Jewish leaders to develop skills to advocate on behalf of the Jewish people, Israel, and human rights around the world, and to serve as positive change agents for their peers and community. Receive more information by visiting https://bit. ly/3CTgb95.

Hot Topics – 8 to 9 p.m. Explore the most complex and controversial topics through the brilliant lens of Jewish law and ethics. Join Talmudic scholar and Jewish legal expert Rabbi Mendel Adelman to discover how ancient Jewish wisdom can powerfully inform our modern world. Register at https://bit. ly/3ihwF3b. Sounds of Simon and Garfunkel – 4 to 5 p.m. Second Showing at 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. Nashville-based duo Swearingen & Kelli recreate the music, memories and magic of the most famous folkrock duo of our time, Simon & Garfunkel. Their show at the MJCCA is a nostalgic journey back in time to the unique sound of Simon & Garfunkel’s late ‘60s Greenwich Village folk club performances. Purchase tickets at . AJC Leaders for Tomorrow (LFT) Session – 5 to 8 p.m. American Jewish Commit-

TUESDAY, OCTOBER 19 Virtual Interviewing Workshop – 10 to 11 a.m. Join Jewish Family and Career Services for a free one-hour virtual Interviewing Workshop. This workshop will address how to tackle difficult interviewing moments as well as help you gain strategies on the dos and don’ts of salary negotiation. Visit to register. Tot Time at TBT – 10 to 11 a.m. Temple Beth Tikvah provides a safe, warm

environment for you to interact with your young child. We will have outside play (weather permitting) and inside play. It is a great way for you to meet other moms, dads, grandparents and caregivers while your child interacts with others. Visit https://bit. ly/3Fd5Nem to let them know you are coming!

SUNDAY, OCTOBER 24 CANDLE-LIGHTING TIMES Torah Reading Lech Lecha FRIDAY, OCTOBER 15, 2021, light candles at 6:45 p.m. SATURDAY, OCTOBER 16, 2021, Shabbat ends at 7:39 p.m. Torah Reading Vayera FRIDAY, OCTOBER 22, 2021, light candles at 6:37 p.m.

Kabbalah & Coffee - 9:30 to 11 a.m. Discuss, explore, and journey through the world of Jewish mystical teaching to learn how to apply these profound lessons to your daily life. No prior Kabbalistic experience required. Remember: The best part of waking up is coffee in your cup and Kabbalah in your “kop” (“head” in Yiddish)! Find more information at

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 23, 2021, Shabbat ends at 7:31 p.m. Torah Reading Chayei Sarah FRIDAY, OCTOBER 29, 2021, light candles at 6:29 p.m. SATURDAY, OCTOBER 30, 2021, Shabbat ends at 7:25 p.m.

mAAc Meets – 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. Join Ahavath Achim Synagogue for the Mature Active Adult Community (mAAc). Every Tuesday, one of our rabbis will begin the class with a one-hour discussion. The second hour of the class will be led by another member of the group. Visit to learn more.

In this class, we will cover all aspects of grammar and a well-rounded basic vocabulary. The only prerequisite is the ability to sound out Hebrew words. Visit to get more information.

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 21 PrimeTimers Coffee with Rabbi Jordan – 10 to 11 a.m. Grab a beverage and head over to Zoom to spend time with Rabbi Jordan and your PrimeTimer Friends from Congregation Dor Tamid. Get the Zoom link at

How To Have “The Conversation” with Your Parents – 7 to 8 p.m. This time it’s not the birds and the bees, but it is just as important. As a responsible adult child, it is imperative that you know how your parents want to live at the end of their lives — before they might become unable to express their own desires. Join the Weinstein Hospice for an insightful look at how to spark this conversation so it’s comfortable, not cringeworthy. Visit https://bit. ly/3EZ9eFt to register. Atlanta Infertility Support Group – 7:30 to 8:15 p.m. Join the Jewish Fertility Foundation for a virtual infertility support group. Open to all women experiencing medical infertility. Visit https:// to learn more.

WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 20 Biblical Hebrew Class – 7:30 to 9 p.m. Join Ahavath Achim Synagogue every Wednesday for Biblical Hebrew Class, led by Hebrew instructor Jim Dricker.

#EndJewishHatred – 6 p.m. Join Cheryl Dorchinsky, Elliot Friedland, and Alicia Post on Clubhouse to discuss advocacy, anti-Semitism, anti-Zionism, and more. This is a place to learn strategies and more. Visit to get the link. Great Big Challah Bake Presents…Bring It Home, Shabbat Shalom – 7 to 8:30 p.m. Join JWC Atlanta to bring home the taste, smell and blessing of Shabbat. Register at

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 22 SOJOURN’s Drawing from the Well – 12 to 1 p.m. Everyone is welcome to experience the magic of inclusive community during Drawing from the Well. Participants gather in community to discuss and connect around resources from Torah Queeries, Mussar teachings, holidays and happenings in the world. Visit to get the Zoom link.

Play Tamid – 9:30 to 11 a.m. Play Tamid is led by Rabbi Jordan. Enjoy crafts, songs, fun activities, and more. Play Tamid is for kids under 4 years old with their parents/guardians at Congregation Dor Tamid. Visit https://bit. ly/3BfP8nH to learn more. 3 Score More or Less – 11 a.m. Bring your picnic lunch and join Etz Chaim Sisterhood for fun on the mountain. If you need a ride or wish to carpool, we will meet in the synagogue parking lot at 10:30 a.m. Visit to RSVP.

David Grossman, “More Than I Love My Life: A Novel” – 1 to 2 p.m. “More Than I Love My Life” was inspired by the true story of one of David Grossman’s longtime confidantes, a woman who, in the early 1950s, was held at the notorious Goli Otok (“the Adriatic Alcatraz”). Attend the MJCCA Book Fest in Your Living Room by registering at https://bit. ly/3CYS7lr.

Melton Ethics of Jewish Living Class – 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. How do Jewish teachings shed light on contemporary issues such as the environment, interpersonal relationships, end-of-life decisions, and stem-cell research? Join Etz Chaim Sisterhood by visiting https://

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 23 Story Time with Rabbi Jordan – 9:15 to 9:45 a.m. Join Rabbi Jordan from Congregation Dor Tamid for Story Time with Rabbi Jordan on Facebook. Visit to get the link. Tot Shabbat – 10:45 to 11:45 a.m. Celebrate Shabbat at Congregation Etz Chaim on Saturday mornings with other families with young children. There will be songs, Torah Stories, crafts, and challah. Learn more at https://bit. ly/3zP0UEk/. Havdalah and Trivia Under the Stars –7:20 to 9:30 p.m. Beth Shalom Presents Trivia Night. We begin with Havdalah under the Stars, followed by a fun night of trivia. Form your own team or join an existing team. We will be outdoors. Snacks will be provided. Bring your own drinks. Visit https:// for more information.

Fall 2021 Gardening Lecture Series – Winter Vegetable Planting Demonstration – 2 to 3:15 p.m. Learn the basics of growing great vegetables over the winter. Suitable for beginners and experienced gardeners! Register at https:// Atlanta Jewish Bowling League – 6:30 to 7:45 p.m. All adults are welcome! We meet every Sunday at 6:30 p.m. and bowl 3 games per night. Visit https:// to get more information. Beth Shalom Mini Movie Festival Begins – 7 to 9 p.m. Join Beth Shalom on an unforgettable adventure marked by conflict and discovery. Pete and Danny

will learn the true meaning of hope and friendship. Learn more at https://

MONDAY, OCTOBER 25 Hot Topics – 8 to 9 p.m. Explore the most complex and controversial topics through the brilliant lens of Jewish law and ethics. Join Talmudic scholar and Jewish legal expert Rabbi Mendel Adelman to discover how ancient Jewish wisdom can powerfully inform our modern world. Register at https://bit. ly/3ihwF3b.

Marie Benedict & Victoria C. Murray Author Event – 8 to 9 p.m. “The Personal Librarian: A Novel” is a remarkable novel about J. P. Morgan’s personal librarian, Belle da Costa Greene, the Black American woman who was forced to hide her true identity. Join MJCCA Book Fest in Your Living Room by registering at https://bit. ly/2Y9NiH9.

der identity continues to evolve and challenge old modes of thinking, we’ll delve into how this shift impacts the ways in which self-identifying women are upending long-held norms and expectations. Register at https://bit. ly/39HUGM0. Brain Health Bootcamp – 1 to 3 p.m. If you are recognizing symptoms of cognitive changes or have been diagnosed with mild cognitive impairment, our fun and social class can help you strengthen your mind and body to stay sharp, especially during these times. The class from Jewish Family and Career Services will combine gentle physical exercise, including yoga and exercises, to help reduce stress and anxiety, along with a full hour of brain exercises done in a non-stress and engaging way of learning. Visit to get information to register. Tattoos and Judaism – 7 to 8 p.m. Join Rabbi Micah Miller from Congregation Etz Chaim as he takes us through all the various sources in Judaism that discuss tattoos. Visit https://bit. ly/3AeowTlto get more information.

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 28 PrimeTimers Coffee with Rabbi Jordan – 10 a.m. Grab a beverage and head over to Zoom to spend time with Rabbi Jordan and your PrimeTimer Friends from Congregation Dor Tamid. Visit to get the Zoom link. Outsmarting Antisemitism – 12 to 1:15 p.m. Outsmarting Antisemitism is a new four-part series that takes this dark subject on squarely, with a sense of unabashed optimism, profound faith, and a distinctly Jewish approach. Through illuminating source texts and captivating case studies, this course considers the sources of this ancient scourge, along with the appropriate strategies for overcoming it. It’s time to find the confidence to fight hate with hope and to stand tall against antisemitism with positivity, purpose, and plenty of Jewish pride! Register with Intown Jewish Academy at https://bit. ly/39Lh8nw.

Virtual LinkedIn Workshop – 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. Join Jewish Family and Career Services for a 2-hour virtual LinkedIn Workshop designed to give job seekers and those in career transition a solid base of information to strengthen their brand on LinkedIn. This workshop will cover how to set up a profile and use the job search resources. Register at Women’s Empowerment, Feminism and Gender Fluidity – 12 to 1 p.m. In honor of Pride Month, Jewish Women’s Fund of Atlanta explores the complicated dilemma – What does it mean to be a woman when gender is fluid? As gen50 | OCTOBER 15, 2021ATLANTA JEWISH TIMES

Story Time with Rabbi Jordan – 9:15 to 9:45 a.m. Join Rabbi Jordan from Congregation Dor Tamid for Story Time on Facebook. Visit to get the link.

#EndJewishHatred – 6 p.m. Join Cheryl Dorchinsky, Elliot Friedland, and Alicia Post on Clubhouse to discuss advocacy, anti-Semitism, anti-Zionism, and more. This is a place to learn strategies and more. Visit to get the link.


TUESDAY, OCTOBER 26 mAAc Meets – 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. Join Ahavath Achim Synagogue for the Mature Active Adult Community (mAAc). Every Tuesday, one of our rabbis will begin the class with a one-hour discussion. The second hour of the class will be led by another member of the group. Visit to learn more.

approach to Shabbat morning services. Enjoy coffee and treats with the clergy. Explore a variety of learning sessions throughout the morning. Enjoy an amazing guest speaker from the pulpit during the sermon. Intimate discussion over dessert after the Kiddush lunch. Find more information at

Outsmarting Antisemitism – 8 to 9:30 p.m. Outsmarting Antisemitism is a new four-part series that takes this dark subject on squarely, with a sense of unabashed optimism, profound faith, and a distinctly Jewish approach. It’s time to find the confidence to fight hate with hope and to stand tall against antisemitism with positivity, purpose, and plenty of Jewish pride! Register with Intown Jewish Academy at

WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 27 Jasmine Roth, Star of HGTV and Author, “House Story” – 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. Imagine if you could pause those home renovation shows for just a second and ask the host to explain how they really made that kitchen transformation happen. Jasmine Roth, the host of HGTV’s hit shows “Hidden Potential” and “Help! I Wrecked My House” Join MJCCA Book Fest in Your Living Room by registering at https://bit. ly/3ATdt2M.

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 29 SOJOURN’s Drawing from the Well – 12 to 1 p.m. Everyone is welcome to experience the magic of inclusive community during Drawing from the Well. Drawing from the Well is SOJOURN’s inclusive weekly meetup for LGBTQ+ Jews and allies. Participants gather in community to discuss and connect around resources from Torah Queeries, Mussar teachings, holidays and happenings in the world. Visit https:// to get the Zoom link.

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 30 Shabbat L’Kulam – Shabbat for Everyone! – 9:10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Join Congregation Etz Chaim for this fun, new

Kabbalah & Coffee - 9:30 to 11 a.m. Discuss, explore, and journey through the world of Jewish mystical teaching and learn how to apply these profound teachings to your daily life. The best part of waking up is coffee in your cup and Kabbalah in your “kop” (“head” in Yiddish)! Find more information at Melton Ethics of Jewish Living Class – 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. How do Jewish teachings shed light on contemporary issues such as the environment, interpersonal relationships, end-of-life decisions, and stem-cell research? Join Etz Chaim Sisterhood by visiting https:// Atlanta Jewish Bowling League – 6:30 to 7:45 p.m. All adults are welcome! We meet every Sunday at 6:30 p.m. and bowl 3 games per night. Visit https:// to get more information.

CONNECTOR CHATTER Directory Spotlight

Neranenah Concert and Culture Series (formerly the Atlanta Jewish Music Festival)

Jewish Kids Groups

In conversation with Ana Robbins, executive director.

In conversation with Raychel Robbins, managing director.

How long has your organization been in Atlanta? Nine years. JKG was founded in 2012.

How long has your organization been in Atlanta? We were founded in 2009, and our first “festival” in 2010 was a one-day event with four bands. In September 2020, we rebranded as Neranenah and have expanded to year-round programming and two Showcase weekends each year. How do you cater to the younger members of the community? From our family-friendly concerts to teen showcases where Atlanta’s most talented teen musicians get to flex their performance muscles on stage, and our young professionals’ events like Friday night Shabbat concerts and our signature event — the Egg Drop, held on Christmas Eve — there’s something for everyone. How does your organization help the community? Neranenah, which comes from the Jewish song of celebration, “Hava Nagila,” means “let’s come together and sing” in Hebrew. Jewish music and cultural traditions are meant to be shared and celebrated. We take seriously the responsibility of passing along traditions and knowledge to the next generation and encourage creative evolution so those traditions may stay alive for years to come. There is freedom at Neranenah. Freedom to express, believe and explore what feels right to your personal creative and spiritual journey.

How do you cater to the younger members of the community? JKG understands the realities and challenges modern Jewish families face and delivers programs that meet family needs and inspire positive Jewish connection. For example, JKG Afterschool provides families with the afterschool care they need and the Jewish friendships and learning they want. JKG B Mitzvah provides 6th-8th graders with a whole new way to become a Jewish adult. Our two-year program combines Jewish learning, friendship, and community service and culminates in a group B Mitzvah ceremony and celebration. How does your organization help the community? JKG provides fun, accessible, and convenient ways for kids to connect with the Jewish community and form positive Jewish identities. Traditionally, day school, summer camp, and Israel trips provided the most effective paths for Jewish connection. JKG infuses the best parts of these experiences into options that account for the realities of the modern Jewish family.

Hillels of Georgia In conversation with CEO Elliot B. Karp.

How long has your organization been in Atlanta? Hillel has been present on college campuses across Georgia for decades. In 2003, Hillels of Georgia was established to ensure students could explore their Jewish identities and celebrate Jewish life as proud Jews. The hope was that through vibrant and dynamic Jewish community on every campus across the state, Hillel would become a welcoming, inclusive and safe “Jewish home away from home” for all Jewish students. Today, we serve thousands of Jewish students at Emory University, the University of Georgia and Georgia College. How do you cater to the younger members of the community? Hillels of Georgia is dedicated to the engagement and empowerment of Jewish students. Hillel student leaders work in collaboration with Hillel staff to create exciting and innovative Jewish programming that resonates with them and their peers. Our diverse range of programming centers around five pillars: Jewish life, learning and celebration; Israel awareness, education and advocacy; Tzedek social action, community service and philanthropy; community building and leadership development; socialization, friendships and networking.

Where do you see your organization in 10 years? We were pleased to establish a Hillel House at Georgia College this past year and are raising funds to build a new Hillel Center at the University of Georgia. Over the next several years, we hope to establish centers on other campuses. At smaller campuses, we intend to develop “pop-up” Hillels to provide programming and services to more Jewish students. Finally, we will continue to expand our community of donors and investors in Hillel who share our passion for Jewish life on campus. How does your organization help the community? Today’s Jewish college students are tomorrow’s leaders of the Jewish people. Hillel’s mission is not just to provide Jewish students with vibrant Jewish life on campus during their college years; we are devoted to ensuring that Jewish students leave campus with tremendous Jewish pride, a heightened passion and commitment to Jewish life, community and Israel, and a dedication to work to guarantee the future vitality of the Jewish people.


COMMUNITY Jewish Fertility Sukkot Event Attracts Large Crowd More than 500 people, representing 170 Atlanta families, participated in one of the first communitywide events in the past 19 months, hosted Jan Jaben-Eilon by the Jewish Fertility Foundation (JFF) during Sukkot. Six local organizations partnered to hold the outdoor program at the Marcus Jewish Community Center of Atlanta in late September. “Each organization had its own table and could offer an activity,” said organizer Kayla Heering, JFF’s Atlanta manager. The partnering agencies included: In the City Camps, Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta, Jewish Kids Groups, PJ Library and Repair the World. When asked how she chose the partnering organizations for the JFF event, Heering explained that JFF clients could “learn about more Jewish experiences after JFF,” once they have their families.

More than 500 people attended the Sukkot event.

The JFF was founded in 2015 for parents experiencing medical infertility. The nonprofit provides financial assistance, emotional support and educational programming to Jews affected by this issue. The agency was founded by Elana Frank, who experienced medical infertility for more than 10 years. However, since she resided in Israel, which offers national health insurance, her treatment was more affordable. She had her first two children there, before moving back to her hometown of Atlanta, where in vitro fertilization can cost anywhere from $14,000 to

JFF’s Kayla Heering spent months planning the collaborative event.

WINTER ART CLASSES Dance • Pottery • Painting & Drawing • Jewelry Making Tai Chi • Textiles • Poetry • Photography • and more!


Michael Levine, the music producer of the well-known Pete the Cat books, performed Sukkot music for the families.

Allison Budnick and daughter Mila shake the lulav and etrog in honor of the Sukkot holiday.

Photo by Julian Mejia



Repair the World Atlanta prepared “cheat sheets” for the event participants, said Clara Sophia Camber.

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Camps in 2012 thinking she’d hold “a little camp and move on. But the pandemic has shown the importance of day camp. Not everyone can go to overnight camps.” Repair the World in Atlanta is a much younger organization, so the Sukkot program expanded its exposure in the city. “Our outlook is to engage young Jewish people in service opportunities,” said Clara Sophia Camber, senior fellow in the group. “Our target age group is the 20s and early 30s.” She said her group participated in the JFF event because Kayla Heering, JFF-ATL Manager, Emily Zaghi, “we wanted to connect with young JFF National Program Director, and Elana Frank, CEO & Founder of JFF, at the amazing Jewish parents and with young Jewish JFF Atlanta Family Sukkot Program. children and help them learn about service opportunities.” Camber’s team “put together a cheat sheet for parents on how to adapt Jewish values into language for kids. The Sukkot event was a beautiful opportunity to connect the dots with an age group we might have excluded.” The “cheat sheet” was created for the JFF event, tweaking other programs and adapting them for different age groups. “People were surprised to see us there,” she said. “Parents were surprised that we wanted to talk to them, The JFF Family Sukkot Program included many showing them attention when events activities, including a mobile petting zoo. are targeting children.” Unlike Repair the World, Jewish Kids Groups has been around since 2012, of$25,000. fering after-school Jewish education initially Heering, who started working at the JFF to six students. It now serves more than 250 about six months ago, said she spent most of students at six locations. Ana Robbins, executhat time planning the event and “reaching tive director and founder, said that particiout to Jewish organizations that had propating in the JFF program was a no-brainer. grams for youth or parents.” “We love JFF. It was such an awesome event Eileen Snow Price, CEO of In the City and collaboration.” Camps, said initially her organization parAccording to the JFF’s Heering, the Sukticipated because she was “thrilled that there kot event grew out of a program for Jewish

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WINNERS for each grade level will be awarded

First place: $350; Second place: $250; Third place: $150

How would you ENLIGHTEN AMERICA? Students (grades 7th, 8th, & 9th) should reflect on the significance of the No Place For Hate pledge. Namely respect for our diversity in race, religion, national origin, gender, disability and sexual orientation writing about the issues of bigotry and prejudice, how such issues have (or have not) been addressed in recent years, and how such issues affect our quest for peaceful coexistence among our friends and neighbors, and throughout the world.

Contest rules, See Past Essays, and submit your entry here: The 2021-2022 Enlighten America Student Essay Contest is a volunteer led community service project brought to you by the Achim/Gate City Lodge (Atlanta) of B’nai Brith International



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JFF’s Kayla Heering spent months planning the collaborative event.

“I see them as future campers and staff,” said Eileen Snow Price, CEO of In the City Camps.

would be a community event. I wanted to support it.” But she also sees the JFF clients as “future campers and staff. We don’t have our own location, so our success depends on the success of our partners. Collaboration is the key word. No one can be successful on their own.” In fact, Price launched In the City

Repair the World Atlanta prepared “cheat sheets” for the event participants, said Clara Sophia Camber.

entrepreneurs and nonprofits held by the Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta. “There were weekly meetings and at the end, everyone pitched their ideas,” she said, with votewinning ideas given small grants. “It grew from there.” Price was enthusiastic about the turnout. “I hope it becomes an annual event.” ì

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Chabad Event Brings Mobile Sukkah to Georgia This past week, during the holiday of Sukkot, the state of Georgia welcomed fourteen yeshiva students from Brooklyn, New York. Eleven sukkah mobiles were built by the yeshiva students to service various neighborhoods and regions of the state. Participating Chabad centers included Friendship Circle of Atlanta, Chabad of Kennesaw, Chabad Smyrna & Vinings, Chabad of North Fulton, Chabad Israeli Center, Chabad Intown, Chabad of Rural Georgia, Chabad of Toco Hills, CYP Buckhead & Brookhaven, Chabad of Forsyth County, Chabad Decatur, Chabad of Augusta, Chabad AtlantaCBT. Chabad yeshiva students and rabbis welcomed over 1500 people onto the mobile sukkahs. Being that this mitzvah is primarily done outdoors, many were happy to have the opportunity to perform the mitzvah in a safe, outdoor setting. The Friendship Circle sukkah mobile was made wheelchair-accessible to accommodate individuals with special needs. ì The project was sponsored by Chabad of Georgia.













1-4: Chabad students and rabbis welcomed over 1500 people to their sukkah mobiles. 5-6: Children turned out to perform the Sukkot mitzvah. 7-10: Eleven sukkah mobiles


were built by yeshiva students

from Brooklyn, New York. 11-12: Atlantans were happy TH

to have the opportunity to perform the mitzvah in a


safe, outdoor setting.


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The Art of Setting the Table in Sandy Springs

Glazer inherited 103 pieces of these hand-painted English ironstone dishes from her mother.

This walk-in pantry holds dinnerware, serving and specialty tableware pieces.

By Chana Shapiro The home of Michele Glazer Hirsh is a refined mélange of heirlooms, carefully chosen antiques, family memorabilia, contemporary art and pottery, and tabletop collectibles. All this creates the ambiance of a welcoming salon, a warm gathering place

Michele Glazer Hirsh is a welcoming and gracious hostess.

with comfortable furniture and lots to see and enjoy. Hirsh, a well-known Atlanta realtor, modestly describes her residence as “a French traditional, with easy living on the primary floor” — but it’s much more than that. Many of Hirsh’s prize possessions were acquired in her world travels, including a trip to Vietnam with her daughter, Molly, who is currently a student in medical school. Among tableaux of interesting objects are intricately decorated magnifying glasses, a congregation of handmade and vintage tzedkah boxes, and rare books and other ephemera in English, Hebrew 56 | OCTOBER 15, 2021ATLANTA JEWISH TIMES

and Yiddish. Hanging above an armoire is a panetière, a provincial French bread safe that once held many loaves. Scrapbooks and albums artistically preserve delicate photos, letters and valuable documents that are enduring links to family history, which Hirsh highly values. The abundance of beauty creates an aura of hominess and amity. Hirsh takes visitors into the dining room, where lively gatherings of friends and family often dine on British handpainted ironstone dishes, along with Waterford water goblets, a large crystal epergne centerpiece, Wallace Grand Baroque sterling silver flatware and serving pieces specifically designed for every imaginable culinary use. The large table accommodates a silver sugar cellar with a cobalt blue glass insert, a double-lidded silver biscuit basket, an asparagus dish and an unusual silver asparagus server. The décor also includes a pair of large Chinese porcelain vases on a sideboard and a vintage tureen on a nearby glass table. Hirsh is an admired hostess, famous for setting a gorgeous table. Much of her tableware is inherited from her parents or was gifted to her by loving friends and family; however, she occasionally adds unique pieces that she finds at estate sales, favorite antique and silver shops, and occasionally the Scott Antique Markets. “I own several sets of dishes, but my largest set is handpainted English ironstone, which has 103 separate pieces. I also have a collection of silver Kiddush cups. There are at least 30 because that’s how many I need when I host a seder.” Downstairs, in a large pantry, Hirsh stores an extensive collection of dishes, serving plates and bowls, tableware, and

Glazer’s maternal grandfather, Rabbi Meir Tabaksman, brought this matzah plate from Latvia.

This hand-painted ceramic set is from Italy. A silver biscuit basket holds two kinds of dinner rolls.

This Vienna Royal porcelain set is at least 70 years old.

An 18”-high vessel is one of two hand-decorated Chinese vases.

A panetière, a French breadbasket, held many loaves at one time.

food-related decorative items. Many pieces have been in her family for generations, yet all are in excellent condition and ready to be used. Two decorated matzoh plates belonged to Hirsh’s maternal grandfather, Rabbi Meir Tabaksman, who immigrated to America nearly 100 years ago (his framed immigration certificate hangs on one wall). He eventually became a mohel and shochet (ritual kosher slaughterer) in Memphis, Tennessee. Rabbi Tabaksman once owned a small piece of property in early 20th century British-occupied Palestine, which the family eventually sold to be part of a large project in modern Israel. (The intriguing saga of Hirsh’s immigrant family — she and her siblings are first-generation Americans — deserves its own story!) The tour of Hirsh’s home and her many outstanding collections ended with lunch served on an octagonal breakfast room table, set with a charming Herend tea set. It’s not often that one has the opportu-

There’s a utensil for everything. This is an asparagus server.

A soup tureen fits perfectly with Glazer’s English stoneware.

nity to dine in a sunny spot with Hirsh and her visiting California-based twin sister, surrounded by intriguing objects. Hirsh hosts lots of gatherings, especially for those near and dear to her, and she seems to be related to half of the “old Atlanta” families. Still, she’s always happy to meet and befriend new people. Nodding to her sister, she reflects, “Best of all, we’re friends with people we’ve known all our lives!” ì


Birth Announcement Alex and Danny Bernstein

Alex and Danny Bernstein are overjoyed to announce the birth of their son, George Davis Bernstein, September 22, 2021. The proud grandparents are Robyn and Matt Bernstein of Dunwoody and Randee and Bill Lieppe of Sandy Springs. The great-grandma is Ada Shapiro of Charlotte, NC. The proud uncle is Josh Lieppe of Brookhaven. George is named in memory of his great-grandfather George (Alex’s paternal grandfather) and his late great-grandmother Dora (Danny’s paternal grandmother).

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Engagement Announcement

Thursday, November 4th • 11:30am

Shelley Hersch and Eric Elan Richard and Carol Elan are happy to announce the engagement of their son, Eric Elan, to Shelley Hersch. Shelley is the daughter of Nica Hersch Tallman and Lee Tallman, and the granddaughter of Helen Lefkowitz Hersch and the late Harold Hersch. She is a graduate of Georgia State University and has a degree in business. Eric is the grandson of the late Abraham and Ethel Appelbaum and the late Myer and Sonia Waranch. He is a graduate of Georgia Institute of Technology and has a degree in mechanical engineering. A May 2022 wedding is planned.

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Join us for an informative presentation on senior living and the exceptional services & safeguards offered. Afterwards, take a tour of our beautiful community and enjoy a lunch prepared by our culinary team. Seating is limited. To make a reservation, please call 404.496.5492.


650 Phipps Boulevard NE Atlanta, Georgia





KEEPING IT KOSHER Dasi's 7-Layer Cheesecake


Cooking and Prep: 1 h 45 m Serves: 12 Contains: Gluten, Dairy, Wheat, Nuts and Egg Preference: Dairy Difficulty: Medium Occasion: Shavuot, Shabbat Diet: Vegetarian, Pescatarian Category: Desserts, Baking Ingredients (13)

A Jewish Mother’s Love

Crust 11 honey graham crackers 6 tsp. melted butter

Three Jewish mothers are sitting on a bench, arguing over which one’s son loves her the most. The first one says, “You know, my son sends me flowers every Shabbos.”

Filling 2 (8-ounce) packages whipped cream cheese 2 (8-ounce) packages non-whipped cream cheese 1 3/4 cups sugar 1 tbsp. Gefen Vanilla Sugar 4 eggs

“You call that love?” says the second mother. “My son calls me every day!” “That’s nothing,” says the third woman. “My son is in therapy five days a week. And the whole time, he talks about me!”

Add-Ins 1/3 cup Biscoff spread 1 cup ground nuts, toasted 10 squares Swiss milk chocolate, melted Topping 1 (8-ounce) container whipping cream caramel sauce melted Elite Milk Chocolate


Start Cooking Prepare the Cheesecake Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Crush honey graham crackers very fine. Combine with melted butter. Press into a 10-inch round springform pan. Into a bowl, place the whipped and block cream cheese, sugar, vanilla sugar, and eggs. Beat together with an electric mixer. Prepare three medium-size bowls. Add one add-in to each of the bowls. Evenly divide the cheesecake among the three bowls and mix to combine. Pour the Biscoff cheesecake layer over the crust, then the nut mixture, and then the chocolate layer at the very top. To create a water bath, take a large pan (that your 10-inch springform can comfortably sit in) and fill it halfway with water. Put the springform pan inside (should cover half the pan) and place the large pan into the oven. Bake it for an hour and a half. Turn the oven off and leave the cake inside to cool. Prepare the Topping Place the whipping cream in a bowl and whip it up with an electric mixer. Garnish the cake with the whipped cream. Add a caramel layer on top, and then drizzle with melted milk chocolate. Cover with foil and freeze until ready to serve. ì Recipe By Dasi Glenn of Kitchen Kids 58 | OCTOBER 15, 2021ATLANTA JEWISH TIMES


Tchótchke A trinket or a chick? Tchótchke ‫טשאטשקע‬ ַ (alt. pron. tcháthchke or tsátske ‫צאצקע‬, pl. add -s) has become, since the mid-1950s, an informal term in American English for something small of little practical value, kept as a decorative accent or for a sentimental memento. By analogy, it is also used as a term of endearment (or ridicule) for a young girl or woman. While the term entered the English language from Yiddish, it originates in Slavic languages such as Russian, Polish and Ukrainian, in which it means “a trinket.” The different pronunciations reflect the countries from which the Yiddish speakers came. An example for the original usage, “trinket:” “My husband went to the furniture shop to get a chair and, guess what, he came back with a box full of tcháthchkes!” “I can’t believe my granddaughter – the little tsátske has become such an impressive young woman!” or, “Honey, I need you to come home straight from the office – no happy hour with all your tsátskes today!”


“Jewish Dad Jokes”


By: Yoni Glatt & Leron Thumim Difficulty Level: Manageable 1











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1. Hamilton killer 5. Explosion noise 11. Tree drip 14. Ends in ___ (draws) 15. Sarah, Rivka, Rachel, Leah 16. USD equivalent in Israel 17. Why did the shul keep their scrolls in vaults? They wanted ___ 19. Has much too much, briefly 20. The second aliyah 21. Most are flat, nowadays 22. Try to hit a fly 23. Scrooge McDuck and Mr. Peanut wear one 26. Have a bit of schnapps 27. What did the Iraqi Jew say when his father got him a new carrying case for his tefillin? Thanks ___ 31. Funny Daniel or Eugene 32. Spots for MDs and RNs 33. Words before Steinbeck's "Eden" 35. "Give ___ rest" (Shabbat suggestion?) 36. Colts home, in short 37. MLB div. 38. "Winnie-the-Pooh" marsupial 39. King Solomon lived in one 41. Common Market abbr., once 42. "City" that destroyed Jerusalem, long ago

43. How does a Jewish bakery protect their circular bread? They put ___ 46. Creator of (Kimmy) Schmidt 47. The best place to live? 48. Yutzes 50. Calendar abbr. 51. Shakespearean theater 55. "Aladdin" alter ego 56. How does Moshe make coffee and beer? ____ 59. Remote button abbr. 60. "One Last Time" singer Grande 61. "Let me sleep ___" 62. Herzliya to Modi'in dir. 63. Arrangement of flavor or music 64. Turns rancid


1. Slapped instrument 2. Land of Arches 3. Abundant (with) 4. Return from space 5. Harington of "The Eternals" 6. "I love," in Mexico 7. Tavern tallies 8. "V'___", Yeshiva Boys Choir hit 9. Cries of awe 10. Carmel and Moriah: Abbr. 11. "Chasing Cars" band 12. Opera reworked by Elton John 13. "Hey, over here!"

18. Be revolting? 22. Caesar and Vicious 24. Virtually every adult carries them 25. Flock relative 26. "Pygmalion" author 27. Pertaining to the unborn 28. Where two Bushes were planted? 29. Easy pill to swallow 30. Destines to fail 31. A pierced one might make whistling difficult 34. Sisera to Deborah 36. "Ewww!" 37. Where Moses left this world 40. Medvedev gets a lot of them 41. Captivate: Var. 42. Land dealer 44. Beat on eBay 45. Moshav shows 48. Gear for gondolas 49. Maccabee and Malka outputs 50. "A ___ formality" 52. "Good heavens!" 53. Shemesh preceder, in Israel 54. CPR experts 56. It's so not kosher 57. Haifa to Tsfat dir. 58. "Derech"

“TV Idols?” SOLUTION 1


























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OBITUARIES Sylvia Fried Arnold

Doug Freedman

Sylvia Fried Arnold (Sookie), age 90, of Atlanta, passed away on Oct. 1. She was an Atlanta native and graduated as salutatorian from Hoke Smith High School in 1949. Sylvia received her bachelor’s degree from Oglethorpe University in 1953 and then a master’s and PhD in education from the University of Georgia in 1968 and 1977, respectively. An educator and administrator, she was employed by Atlanta Public Schools for 40 years. In the final decade with APS she served as director of safety. In addition, Sylvia was an active 40-year member and officer of Civitan International. She was devoted to her Jewish faith and member of both Ahavath Achim Synagogue and Chabad Intown. A lifelong sports enthusiast, Sylvia played both golf and tennis and was a team bowler. She was a diehard Braves and Falcons fan. She was predeceased by her beloved husband of 44 years, Philip Arnold; her parents, Max Fried and Dora Isenberg, her siblings, Goldie Weiss, Frances Sanchez, Sam and Richard Fried. She is survived by her children, Bonnie Arnold of Los Angeles, Dr. Hal and Dorita Arnold and Amy Arnold, all of Atlanta; grandchildren, Alli and Alex Halpern, Erika Arnold and Lily Puglisi; great-grandchildren, Arden and Asa Halpern. Burial was at Greenwood Cemetery on Oct. 3. If desired, memorial contributions may be sent to the William Breman Jewish Home, 3150 Howell Mill Road, Atlanta 30327. Dressler’s Jewish Funeral Care handled arrangements.

“Doug” to his family and friends, he is survived by his wife and best friend, Genie, sister Robyn Freedman Gerson (Ed), sisters-in-law Sharyl Jennaro and Marianne Jennaro, his aunt Lois Blonder, nieces Jane Jennaro Tomaro (Pete) and Ali Garfinkel (Marc), nephew Justin Spiz-man (Jaime), great nephew Hudson Tomaro, great nieces Poppy Garfinkel, Dani Spizman and Bella Spizman, and many cousins and longtime friends. He is predeceased by his parents, Jack and Phyllis (Blonder) Freedman. Doug was born in Port Chester, New York but lived his entire life in Atlanta, raised in Buckhead. As an adult, Doug was a home builder and real estate developer of apartments, condos and single-family subdivisions in Atlanta and the Southeast, but at an early age, he discovered his true passions: music and classic cars. Both took him on many, many adventures and to this day as the drummer of The Fly-bi-Nites, he receives royalties for “Found Love,” a song he and his bandmates wrote in his parents’ rec room in 1967. Doug’s involvement with the classic car hobby as regional director and then president and chairman of the board of the Ferrari Club of America, led to him and Genie living for a year in Brussels, Belgium while he curated the personal Ferrari collection of Jacques Swaters, as well as invitations to judge at some of the most prestigious Concours d’elegance events in the U.S. and Europe. This ultimately inspired Doug and Genie to create their own Concours on the Monterey peninsula in California. Carmel-bythe-Sea Concours on the Avenue just completed its 14th year this past Au-gust and is considered one of the top events of its kind by the collector and classic car communities. Doug was a thoughtful and amazing husband, son, grandson, brother, brother inlaw, nephew, cousin, uncle and great uncle. He was loyal in his dedication to his family and to his longtime friends from all walks of life. He aspired to follow in the footsteps of his parents and grandparents and always treated others with respect. Doug was a true Southern gentleman! Graveside services will be held 3:30 p.m., Oct. 5, at Arlington Memorial Park and via Zoom link on Dressler’s website. Contributions may be made to a charity of your choice, the Atlanta Hu-mane Society, the William Breman Jewish Home, or the Carmel Foundation, which serves senior citizens on the Monterey peninsula and is the charitable recipient of Concours on the Ave-nue. Dressler’s Jewish Funeral Care, 770-451-4999.

90, Atlanta

72, Atlanta

Muriel Lane Becker 99, Atlanta

Muriel Lane Becker passed away peacefully on Oct. 5 at the age of 99, with her son by her side. Muriel (“Muzzy”) moved to Atlanta in 1954 with her husband Richard, of blessed memory, and with her two children, Robin, of blessed memory, and Andy. Muzzy is survived by her son Andy, daughter-inlaw Jayne and two grandchildren Richard, and Rachel (Jason). Muzzy was considered an inspiration for some. She continued to be the designated driver for her friends up to age 97, a devout card player, avid reader, a Braves fan through and through and a wonderful grandma. She loved her grandchildren and enjoyed being with family. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to a charity of your choice. Sign online guestbook at

770.757.0330 office 770.289.0982 cell Brook Bolton has been serving the Jewish community for over 20 years with the finest stone monuments and bronze markers available.

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Alan Parker

Lenore Pritzker

Alan Parker, 64, beloved husband, father, and friend to all who knew him, unexpectedly passed away on Sept. 26. Alan was born on Feb. 11, 1957, alongside his twin brother Michael, to William Elliot and Lois Bennett Parker in Plainfield, New Jersey. After a little over a year, the family moved south to Asheville, North Carolina. When Alan was 16, his family settled into the Atlanta suburb of Sandy Springs, Georgia. He graduated from North Springs High School in 1975, before attending the University of South Carolina. Alan was a proud member of the Zeta Beta Tau fraternity, where he served as chapter vice president. He eventually graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in business administration in 1979. Afterwards, Alan returned to the city of Atlanta, which he ultimately made his lifelong home. Alan met the love of his life, Helen, during the winter of 1982. It only took one date before they both knew that they would be spending the rest of their lives together. They celebrated their marriage on June 2, 1985. After three years, Alan and Helen added the first – Adam – of what would ultimately become a trio of boys. It was not long after that they added their second and third children, Zachary and Alexander. Dating back to even before his graduation from high school, Alan began to work at what would ultimately become Halco Lubricants as a summer job. After graduation from college, Alan returned to the same company as a salesman, before working his way up to be Sales Manager. Alan continued to rise in position to ultimately become President and Co-Owner of Halco Lubricants. Alan believed fully in the qualities of integrity, generosity, and hard work, and credits his elevation from salesman to president to having these core values. Despite his success in business, Alan’s family was his passion. Every second spent outside of his professional life was devoted to the endless sporting activities of his three children. During their sporting careers, he served in various leadership capacities with the East Side Baseball Association, East Marietta Basketball Association, and the Pope Jr. and Varsity Touchdown Booster Clubs. As evidence of his determination to support his children, Alan traveled to well over 20 different colleges and towns, even including an international trip to the Republic of Ireland. Alan would do anything to put a smile on the face of those around him and was surely one of the nicest and most generous people that anyone would meet during their lifetime. He will be sorely missed. Alan was preceded in death by his parents, William Elliot and Lois Bennett Parker; and his sister, Jacqueline Parker. He is survived by his wife of 36 years, Helen Szabo Parker, Brookhaven, Ga.; sons, Adam Joel Parker and Alexander Matthew Parker, Atlanta; son and daughter-in-law Zachary Aaron Parker and Loretta Modica Parker, Oklahoma City, OK; twin brother, Michael (Lauren) Parker, Atlanta; brothers-in-law, Stephen (Jennifer Aqua) Szabo, Sandy Springs, Ga. and Larry (Jill) Grossman, Trumbull, Conn.; nieces: Zoe, Ellie, Abigail, and Sarah; nephews: Jason, Jared, and Matthew. Graveside services were held on Sept. 29 at 2:30 p.m. at Arlington Memorial Park in Sandy Springs. Online guest book available at In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the charity of your choosing in Alan’s name. Suggested charities of the Parker family include the American Diabetes Association and the August Heart Foundation. Arrangements by Dressler’s, 770-451-4999.

Lenore Pritzker, 87, passed away peacefully on Sept. 19. Lenore was best known as Ema to her six children and Bubbe to her 16 grandchildren and 11 great grandchildren. Lenore was born in Baltimore, Md., and married Allan Pritzker in 1953. During the 1950s, Allan spent time in the army while Lenore was raising the family. In 1961, Lenore and Allan moved to Orlando with five children and a station wagon. They started the second-oldest locksmith business in Orlando (Al-Len Lock Company), which remains a thriving family business today. Over the next 30 years, Lenore raised the family and was especially proud of the success of her children. Family was everything to Lenore. She would cook for large family gatherings on a regu-lar basis. In addition, she had expensive taste and would shop on her many trips as her form of personal enjoyment. If someone in the family needed something, Lenore would be happy to take a shopping trip near and far (sometimes they would drive to Atlanta from Orlando) to find the requested item. When it comes to cooking, this was part of her DNA. Lenore would head the Oneg Shab-bat cooking brigade for Congregation Ohev Shalom in Orlando for many years. This led to her being recognized as sisterhood “Woman of the Year.” Lenore was also involved with Israel Bonds and Hadassah in Orlando. Lenore volunteered her home in the late 1960s/early 1970s to a number of Israeli soldiers stationed in Orlando. The hospitality provided led to a number of lifelong multi-generation friendships. Lenore and Allan would travel to Israel annually during the 1970s, which provided a firm Zionist blueprint for the family and future generations. Lenore is survived by her husband Allan (Orlando), and her children Richard (Tobi) Pritzker (Orlando), Sharon (Dr. Dennis) Gross (Orlando), Eric (Sharon) Pritzker (Orlando), Leslie Pritzker (Marsha Shapiro) (Orlando), Dr. Jordan (Dr. Carole Agin) Pritzker (Roslyn, NY), and Raanan (Yael) Pritzker (Atlanta). A private graveside burial was held on Sept. 24. Donations can be made to Congregation B’nai Torah or the Epstein School.

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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

Helen Scherrer-Diamond Outreach Coordinator

Edward Dressler, Owner

770.451.4999 ATLANTA JEWISH TIMES OCTOBER 15, 2021| 61

OBITUARIES Welcome to . . .

Audrey Marilyn Raisin 91, Marietta

Our Virtual Alzheimer’s and Dementia Support Group Meeting

This free group is open to memory care professionals and family members facing the challenges of Alzheimer's and other Dementias. We will be hosting a virtual Alzheimer's and Dementia support group on Thursday, October 21st from 6:30 to 7:30 pm. Felicia Ivy with FOX Rehab will be speaking on the benefits of exercising with Parkinson's Disease. Please RSVP to Robin Washington at (470) 201-5081 or

Zoom meeting ID: 437 988 1920 • Passcode: 2665




Audrey Marilyn Raisin, 91, passed away peacefully on Oct. 1 in Marietta, Ga. Audrey is survived by her children, Carrie (daughter) and Greg Bellware, Marietta, Ga.; Matthew Kaiser (son) and Laurie Zeller, Park City, Utah; and Steven Kaiser (son), Glendale, Calif.; Michael (brother) and Nancy Cohen, Chappaqua, New York; grandchildren Daniel Bellware, Atlanta, Ga.; Julie Bellware Crampton (granddaughter) and Zel Crampton, Brooklyn, New York; and Nicholas, Christopher and William Kaiser, Short Hills, New Jersey; and beloved great-grandchildren Aidan, Lida and Ash Crampton, Brooklyn, New York. Audrey was a lifelong New Yorker, raised in Brooklyn but a long-term resident of Port Washington, New York. She relocated to the Atlanta area in 2007 to be closer to her daughter and family. Audrey was a proud graduate of New York University and worked as an accountant and bookkeeper. She had two wonderful husbands, Nat Kaiser and Albert Raisin, and was a devoted wife, mother, grandmother and greatgrandmother. The family is especially grateful for all the wonderful, caring staff at the Solana East Cobb. They respected Audrey’s independence and intelligence and treated her with dignity, kindness and loving support, especially in her final months. A special thank you to Patricia, Sharon, and Jackee, her incredible caregivers. A family funeral was held at Cedar Park Cemetery in Paramus, New Jersey on Oct. 3. Donations in Audrey’s memory can be made to Jewish Family and Career Services in Atlanta. Arrangements by Dressler’s Jewish Funeral Care, 770-451-4999.

Peter Adam Salomon 53, Decatur

Peter Adam Salomon, 53, had a vast curiosity and zest for life. Passionate about the arts, especially theater, music, and literature, Peter graduated from Emory as the university’s first theater major. He was a prolific and award-winning author, being nominated for the prestigious Bram Stoker award twice, and publishing many young adult horror novels, anthologies, and poetry collections. He founded National Dark Poetry Day and had a piece of his poetry performed by the BBC Radiophonic workshop. Peter was a well-respected member of the Horror Writers of America Community, and helped others develop their own writing gifts and projects. Most of all, Peter was beloved. He brightened the lives of his family and friends and was a joy to be around. His last few years were his best, as he watched his sons become men, spent time with family and friends, and built a life with his much-loved partner Persephone. His legacy lives on with the many books he wrote and the love we have for him always in our hearts. He is survived by his partner, Persephone Justice, his sons, Andre, Joshua and Adin, his parents, Claudia and Robert Salomon, his sister, Shayna Steinfeld and her husband Bruce and their sons, Justin, his fiancé, Diana Yusupov, Zachary and Dylan along with aunts, uncles and cousins. To donate in Peter’s honor to Emory’s Friends of Theater organization, go to


CLOSING THOUGHTS My Good Old Show-and-Tell Days

Shaindle Schmuckler

Shaindle’s Shpiel

Ok, I must admit I loved visiting my friends in my classes at P.S. 44 on Prospect Avenue in the Bronx more than anything — even more than I loved an ice cream cone or Fudgsicle or even a Mello-

Roll. I loved walking to school with my friends from the block. Our school was on the very next street. So close, a parent could stop by and visit, if they were not busy playing mah-jongg, or visiting the beauty parlor. It was especially convenient for my mom, when a teacher would call her, inviting her to be an onsite visitor to witness “visiting.” My elementary school report cards were always filled with the very sought-after A’s, occasionally a B. All of us first-generation kids were expected, implored even, to get A’s

in all our classes. Including conduct. However, I always received a big fat U (unsatisfactory) in conduct. The teacher’s explanation: she likes to visit much too much. I was a friendly and inquisitive sort of child. I would collect little items of interest to give to the friends whom I was visiting. Those of you who know me are not surprised by this revelation. Those of you who do not know me, please do not judge me by my love of “the visit.” Drive-bys were not in our vocabulary. Mass shootings were not in our vocabulary. Oh sure, we knew if you were in the mafia or dared to bear witness against a “made man,” you could be beheaded or shot or worse, but that was not our world. My world as a New Yorker was innocent and privileged. (But not, to be clear, wealthy). For me, school was a colorful playground filled with a plethora of fun, friends, and so many levels of education. First and foremost, I was immersed in learning all the challenges and pitfalls of the English language, given that I spoke Yiddish before I spoke English. I particularly loved show-and-tell time.

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Readers, do you remember your show-andtell days? I would scour our apartment, and sometimes scour my aunt’s apartments, searching for something worthy of my show-and-tell. Knowing my younger self as I do, only once that I can recall — although I feel sure this must have occurred more than once — I may have inadvertently shown and told something that should have remained in a no-show or no-tell zone. I even loved the fire drills and air-raid drills. (My dear reader friends, remember the good ol’ days, when hiding under our desks was so popular?) These drills added a bit of spice to our young lives. To be sure, none of these seemed too threatening at the time. We were so young; everything was an adventure. Saying the Pledge of Allegiance to the flag of the United States of America seemed to us more serious than any drill. Our teachers somehow made sure we knew every word, and we never placed our little hands on the wrong side of our chest. We sang “God Bless America” every morning directly after pledging our allegiance to America. Truth be told, I only knew America from the gigantic globes in our classrooms. I can

assure you, dear readers, I knew every inch of our neighborhood, which at the time was the extent of my world. Oh, and lest I forget Europe, which I felt so sorry for, because if we did not eat the food our mothers set in front of us, we would be reminded that the people in Europe were starving. (Sure, now that I am a grown up, so to speak, I realize it was a ploy of guilt, which every mother I knew employed on all my friends, every day.) OK, now let’s get down to the real issues of education. Visiting does not deserve an automatic U in conduct, nor does that same U deserve to exact any degree of punishment on the young visitor. Believe me, the visitee never complained when a visitor visited. (I dare you to say that quickly three times). Every day, upon returning home from our school adventure, this was the question I’d be asked: How was school today? One time, when I was in middle school, I was asked an off-the-wall question. Were all the girls in school today? Who wasn’t there today? This, my friends, is a whole different set of shpiels. ì

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At Financial Innovations, LLC, you matter. Securities offered through Triad Advisors, LLC. Member FINRA/SIPC. Advisory services offered through Financial Innovations, LLC. Financial Innovations, LLC is not affiliated with Triad Advisors, LLC. 64 | OCTOBER 15, 2021ATLANTA JEWISH TIMES

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