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April 26 Federation Five

By April 26, 2024May 14th, 2024Federation News

The Breman, a core partner agency of the Federation, leads the way in Holocaust and antisemitism education by offering student groups and visitors storytelling through contemporary art that combats prejudice, hatred, and indifference. A new addition to their gallery Absence of Humanity: The Holocaust Years, includes an intimate immersive digital theater that will showcase the works of video and multimedia artists starting with a conceptual film work by Atlanta-based artist Jason Francisco called “18:18:18.” Each film, made at a site of Holocaust memory, is a single take lasting exactly 18 minutes, 18 seconds and 18 frames. The films question what it means to bear witness to memory, suggesting that remembering is not only the overcoming of tensions but also the courage to dwell within them.

Yom HaShoah, known as Holocaust Remembrance Day will take place on Sunday, May 5, commemorating the atrocities that were committed against the Jewish people during World War II and those who died in the Shoah (Holocaust).

Join the community-wide celebration at 11 am on May 5th. Details shared in the calendar listings below.

Post October 7, many of us have looked for ways to more closely connect with and support Israel. Among those searching for meaningful ways to feel a connection were our local Atlanta Schoenbaum Shinshinim and our RootOne Shliach (emissary), Lior Fridman. As an act of honor, they brought to Atlanta, A Recipe With a Memory, a unique initiative that was launched a few years before to commemorate fallen Israeli Defense Force soldiers and victims of terror by cooking their favorite recipes and telling their life stories.

The centerpiece of this project is two cooking sessions where participants will gather on zoom to cook these recipes while learning about the person and family behind the dish – through pictures, stories, videos, and anecdotes shared by their families to keep their memories alive. In addition to the classes, Lior and the shinshinim have also put together a downloadable cookbook as a way for you to continue to honor them throughout the year. The program’s organizers hope that these cooking sessions and cookbook become a way to celebrate the beautiful lives of those we have lost and not the story of their death. 

CLICK HERE to download the cookbook.

More than 3,600 families in Greater Atlanta share the love of Jewish life, learning and culture with their children thanks to the PJ Library program. Books, programs, activities, and gatherings make it possible for children ages 0-12 to learn and get excited about being Jewish thanks to the program. Each year, professionals that work on the PJ program gather from around the world for networking, education, and inspiration.

The theme of this year’s conference was “joy”. Participants experienced two days of ideas, activities, and inspiration for how to bring “joy” to life for Jewish families,  including presentations by three members of our team. Our community’s PJ professional, parent connectors, marketers, and other staff, returned home with fresh ideas, best practices, and excitement for all the ways they now can spread joy through Jewish values within the Atlanta community.

“As a parent and Jewish communal professional, finding Jewish joy and celebrating the gift that is PJ Library with my colleagues and new friends was incredible for my well-being in this moment. Sometimes we forget how important it is to find joy in times of crisis.” – Ali White, Federation professional

If you have a child ages 0-12 and would like to learn more or sign up for this FREE program, CLICK HERE. You can also make a gift to PJ Library HERE.

Federation’s new Interfaith Connector Initiative awarded its first round of grants in mid-April to support the programming of several organizations that are serving Atlanta’s multi-faith community.

“I am so excited that The Interfaith Connector has taken this first significant step towards fulfilling the needs of our interfaith community. Our research has shown that families of multiple faiths want programming and opportunities more frequently, with greater geographic reach and for people of all ages and stages. I think these programs do just that and provide a great roadmap towards bigger and better offerings to come.” -Doug Konkel, Federation’s Director of Interfaith Engagement

The Awardees include:

  • Honeymoon Israel – Purim in the Park
    A gathering of mostly interfaith in-town families to celebrate Purim together in an outdoor setting.
  • 18Doors – Couples and Conversation
    A cohort of interfaith couples is taken through a multiple session journey of the challenges and joys of their relationships.
  • Congregation Gesher L’Torah – Lag BaOmer Family Tree Painting Party
    Participants paint family trees and explore, celebrate and appreciate both the Jewish and non-Jewish portions of their families.
  • Ma’a lot – Immersive Shabbat Campout
    A weekend-long campout outside of Atlanta that will provide their diverse community, including an interfaith cohort, the opportunity to learn more deeply about Shabbat in an accepting and natural environment.
  • Jewish Grandparent Network – Opening the Heart: Being Grandparents – Different Traditions, One Family
    This pilot program will explore and discuss what it means to be a grandparent both for Jewish and non-Jewish participants
  • PJ Library – The Purim Grandparent Program, the Brookhaven Passover Party and the Passover Box Program
    PJ Library inclusive programming provides a low-barrier entry for those possessing any level of Jewish knowledge

CLICK HERE – For more information on programming for interfaith families.

Traveling is an action, that when taken with like-minded people on a journey that has such deep meaning to each of you, the experience can be something transformative. For the more than 40 women who traveled with Federation on the Women’s Philanthropy Journey to Mexico, that’s exactly what this trip was. A five-day exploration of the Jewish community in Mexico City, founded in the 1900s by Jews immigrating from Syria followed by a second migration of Eastern European Jews in the 1920s. Today they remain a tight-knit community of 46,000 Jews living in a city of more than 22 million people committed to making Jewish life vibrant and flourishing for all their citizens.

This trip was filled with so many highlights for the participants including the special time they spent with two lone soldiers from Mexico City who have been on the front lines in Gaza since Oct 7. These young men shared important perspective with the women including their commitment to the care, feeding and safety they are trying to bring to the citizens of Gaza. “What you see on CNN is just not true” they shared.

The picture below shows the women enjoying the beauty of the first and oldest synagogue in Mexico City founded in 1923. But one of the most long-lasting memories of the trip will be the deep conversations these women shared about the state of our world, what keeps them up at night, and how our communities must stay strong in order for Judaism to continue to prosper.

“Our journey was not merely a series of sightseeing excursions, but rather an exploration of meaning and impact. Every experience left an indelible mark on my heart, reminding me of the power we possess to make a difference in the lives of others.”

CLICK HERE to read the full reflection shared by participant Mitzi Solomon.

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