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They Clicked from the First Phone Call

By Aging, CARING, COMMUNITY, NextGen

Brian M., who lives near the JF&CS office in Dunwoody, stopped in at the beginning of the pandemic and asked how he might be of help. He filled out a volunteer application and was directed to Vivienne Kurland, Program Coordinator of One Good Deed, JF&CS’ friendly visitor program supporting older adults. 

His timing was terrific. One Good Deed was quickly pivoting to a Phone Friend Program connecting volunteers with older adults who were at heightened risk of loneliness and isolation due to COVID-19 guidelines. 

Sharon Spiegelman, One Good Deed’s Program Manager, and her partner Vivienne Kurland, had a match in mind. They had met with a man named Leonard shortly before the pandemic and had a good feeling about Brian and Leonard being a great match.  

To quote Brian, “This was a friendship that clicked from the first call!”   

The pair quickly established a close bond around a common interest — sports. “We’d recap what happened in sports, with no judgments, no matter what teams we root for.” After a FaceTime call, Leonard said, “I get a vicarious thrill out of hearing what you’re doing at your job.”  

As soon as both Brian and Leonard were both fully vaccinated, they arranged to meet. Brian had previously said on a FaceTime call, “I look forward to the day when it’s safe enough to meet in person.” 

Now it’s happening! So far, the pair have enjoyed lunch together and a tour of Tucker, where Leonard lives. Brian reciprocated with an incredible treat for Leonard who had not been to a baseball game in four years — he got tickets to a Braves game, and they sat right behind the dugout, where both enjoyed complimentary food and beverages! 

Learn more about supporting an older adult through One Good Deed. We also celebrate Sharon Spiegelman who is retiring from the program she managed and sustained for more than 15 years. Thank you, Sharon! 

Expanded Emergency Services for Georgia and Regional Holocaust Survivors

By Aging, CARING, COMMUNITY, People in Need

We are excited to share that Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta and JF&CS have become KAVOD SHEF initiative partners. The additional KAVOD SHEF funding will help meet the needs of survivors in Georgia and the Southeast region primarily for home care needs. It will be administered by JF&CS and will supplement Claims Conference funding and the impactful work of the Holocaust Survivor Support Fund (HSSF) improving the lives of survivors who need assistance.

Since 2016, Federation’s Holocaust Survivor Support Fund (HSSF), under the leadership of Cherie Aviv, has provided funding to address shortfalls from the Claims Conference to meet the needs of survivors in their final years. These funds provide survivors with grocery food gift cards, home-delivered meals, medical/dental-related needs, homecare, emergency assistance, and more in Georgia and remote locations in the Southeast.

There are 160 survivors in Georgia, and 58 in the regional program, who receive some type of financial assistance from the Claims Conference and/or HSSF funding. More than 25 percent of survivors receiving support have annual incomes that fall below the Federal Poverty Level.

Home care continues to be the most needed service and the costliest and additional help is now coming for survivors in Georgia and the Southeast region. The Seed the Dream Foundation has partnered with KAVOD, a long-time advocate for survivors, to establish the KAVOD Survivors of the Holocaust Emergency Fund (SHEF). KAVOD SHEF exponentially multiplies the dollars and vital services directly reaching survivors and ensuring their dignity and quality of living.

Structuring a Named Gift

By Aging, Atlanta Jewish Foundation, LIFE & LEGACY

Have you ever made a donation or tribute gift in honor of a friend or a loved one — perhaps to celebrate a milestone birthday, a professional accomplishment, or to commemorate someone who passed away? Philanthropic gifts like this are incredibly satisfying, both for the donor and for the honoree. 

Howard Newman recently called us to talk about creating a named gift in honor of his late wife Sylvia whose passion was Jewish education. Sylvia Newman taught in the religious school at Temple Kol Emeth for many years. Howard wanted to establish a memorial to her in the Atlanta Jewish community. We were eager to help. 

Right away we thought about the Jewish Education Collaborative (JEC), an initiative of Federation that’s working to transform the quality of instruction at all Atlanta’s supplemental religious schools. It seemed like a perfect fit. Rabbi Elana Perry, who directs JEC, met with Howard Newman and together they crafted the Sylvia Newman Memorial Teachers of the Year Award, to honor excellence in teaching at supplemental religious schools. The award will go to a veteran religious school teacher, and to a new religious school teacher every year.  

Both awards include a monetary component. Atlanta Jewish Foundation helped Howard create a restricted fund at the Foundation specifying exactly how the dollars would be granted out. The fund will grow annually and should provide this financial gift to recipients for many, many years. This year’s winners of the Sylvia Newman award were Josh Needle, a seventh-grade teacher at Congregation Gesher L’Torah, and Kimberly Reingold, a third and fifth-grade teacher at Congregation Or Hadash. See their video tributes here. 

Named gifts come in all sizes. As universities, museums, and symphony halls know, securing large named-philanthropic gifts can have a powerful impact for years to come. At Atlanta Jewish Foundation, we have the expertise to help donors develop a wide range of named gifts.  

We were involved in shaping a $5.6 million legacy gift from the Frances Bunzl Family Trust — the largest endowed gift in the history of Jewish Atlanta. This named gift is structured to support both Jewish Family & Career Services and Federation for years to come. It reflects the lifetime values of Frances Bunzl, a Holocaust survivor, whose family found safety, community, and success in Atlanta. Her gift creates a legacy of gratitude to the organizations that keep Jewish Atlanta strong and responsive to human needs.

We’re here to help you establish funds that can be earmarked to do good in the community. Call Jori Mendel at 404-951-6900 to start a conversation on how values can live on through named gifts and funds that honor your loved ones. 

AgeWell Atlanta’s Virtual Events Empower Older Adults

By Aging, CARING, COMMUNITY, INNOVATION

A hybrid approach to programming, combining in-person and virtual events is likely to remain a strong option after the pandemic. That’s especially true for older adults, and AgeWell Atlanta is leading the way. 

Ashley Maloy who manages the AgeWell Atlanta Neighborhoods program said, “Seniors are requesting virtual programs. During the pandemic older adults gained new technological skills that empowered them to use tablets and computersVirtual programming also helps increase contact between older adults who live in different parts of Atlanta. Toco Hills residents didn’t want to drive to the JCC but they loved the virtual fitness classes and seeing friends they wouldn’t have seen otherwise. 

AgeWell Atlanta offers a robust calendar packed with 18-20 programs a week! Click below to see what’s coming up in June. RSVP and get virtual links for upcoming events by contacting Ashley Maloy.

Monday, June 7 | 3:15 pm Entertainment with Daniel Weiser
Daniel Weiser, pianist and Artistic Director of Amici Music, will present a special Zoom program along with violinist Tim Schwarz entitled Broadway ViolinIt will feature some wonderful arrangements of your favorite Broadway hits from the 1920’s to the 1960’s by Gershwin, Arlen, Rodgers, Bernstein, and more. 

Monday, June 8 | 11:30 am Smart Moves Panel
We are fortunate to be living in a time when life expectancy is far beyond what our ancestors could have dreamed of! With a little careful planning these precious extra years can be filled with joy, happinessand comfort. Join our team of experts to learn about how to plan for the unexpected. We will cover the topics of Medicare, Legal Needs, Housing, and Living Situations. 

The Panel Will Include:
Kelley Napier with Brannon Napier Elder Law
Keith Nabb with Affordable Medicare Solutions 

Lucretia Farley and Donna Cardenas with Atlanta Communities Real Estate
Caroline Ventry with A Place for Mom
RSVP: https://agewellatl.org/smartmoves/ 

Wednesday, June 23 | 3:15 pm High Museum of Art — The Evolution of Visual Storytelling
Come along as we explore how storytelling through images has evolved over time with Amanda Williams of the High Museum. We’ll travel from the 17th century through today and consider how context shapes the types of stories told and the methods artists employ in sharing their narratives. 

Supporting Holocaust Survivors: “Barry’s” Story

By AgeWell Atlanta, Aging, CARING, COMMUNITY, GLOBAL JEWRY, People in Need, PHILANTHROPY

by Cherie Aviv, Chair, Holocaust Survivor Support Fund

“Barry,” (his name has been changed for privacy) grew up in a loving Jewish home attending synagogue, observing Shabbat, playing dreidel, and eating Jewish foods. But when the National Socialists came to power and enforced Nazi rule, Barry was forced to wear a yellow star, quit school, leave home, and was transported by train to Auschwitz. By jumping off the train, and not getting caught or killed, he hid in the forest and used his skills, determination, and drive to survive. His family was not as fortunate and the horrors of that period left a mark on him, as it did on all Holocaust survivors.

Survivors of the Holocaust like Barry deserve to live out their lives comfortably, with dignity and support. Barry made a life for himself in Atlanta. As his health deteriorated, without family to care for him, financial resources to meet Barry’s needs became paramount. Jewish Family & Career Services (JF&CS) provided case management and The Holocaust Survivor Support Fund (HSSF) provided funds so he could live his remaining days respectably and not alone, with a caregiver at his side. HSSF also provided Barry with grocery food gift cards, medical assistance, prescription assistance, and transportation help.

HSSF, convened by Federation, provides funds to meet the needs of Holocaust survivors, like Barry, as they get older and to supplement Claims Conference funds from Germany that are sent to social service agencies, in this case JF&CS. Claims Conference funds are insufficient to meet the needs of Barry and others like him, making HSSF support vital.

To support this important outreach: https://jewishatlanta.org/give/donate/

Our Responsibility
Holocaust survivors have a short window to receive this precious care. It is an act of community responsibility and an expression of the Jewish value of chesed (loving kindness) to care for the final generation of survivors who are still with us. As dollars deminish, our support for HSSF provides this very special population the opportunity to live their remaining years as fully as possible and with dignity.

Who does HSSF Support?
In Georgia, at least 218 of the 277 Holocaust survivors receive financial, social, reparations assistance, or support services. Of these 218, two thirds receive some type of financial assistance. Beginning in Fall 2020, HSSF funds also supported survivors in remote locations in the southeast that are served through JF&CS-Atlanta.

Needs are growing
The needs of survivors are growing as they age. The average survivor age is 86. More than 25 percent of survivors receiving financial support have annual incomes that fall below the Federal Poverty Level.
HSSF has allocated over $1.5 million for survivors through March 2021. This year alone, we project the financial need provided by HSSF to grow by 33 percent.
Supporting HSSF helps provide:

  •  Home-delivered meals — this has a significant impact by providing peace of mind and the comfort of a reliable food source.
  •  Grocery gift cards to improve survivors’ physical health by giving them access to more nutritious food options, and easing concerns about having enough food, which can be a source of anxiety.
  •  Prescription assistance, which takes a huge toll on survivors who may face large co-pays and often are on multiple expensive medications.
  •  Homecare, which provides the greatest need to help survivors with activities of daily living, from bathing, assistance with food intake and basic human needs.
  •  And much more…

HSSF, convened by Federation, is a partnership of Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta, Jewish Family & Career Services, Jewish HomeLife Communities, The Breman Museum, the Marcus Jewish Community Center of Atlanta, and Eternal Life-Hemshech to meet the increased needs of homecare, health care, social services, assisted living support, and financial assistance for Holocaust survivors in our community.

To support this important outreach https://jewishatlanta.org/give/donate/
To learn more about HSSF visit, https://jewishatlanta.org/give/philanthropic-opportunities/hssf/

Resources for Holocaust Survivors

By Aging, CARING, COMMUNITY

We are very proud to announce that Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta has been selected to be part of a national grant that expands national capacity to provide Person-Centered, Trauma Informed (PCTI) care to Holocaust survivors, other older adults with a history of trauma, and their family caregivers. Atlanta was one of just 10 Federations invited to apply for funding.

Rich Walter, Federation’s VP of Programs and Grantmaking said, “Supporting Holocaust survivors and other victims of trauma has never been more necessary than during the current pandemic. This grant will enable us to not only provide crucial support to these populations but to their caregivers as well. It builds on the great work being done in our community through Holocaust Survivor Support Fund, led by Cherie Aviv, and AgeWell Atlanta as we continue to put forward a coordinated model of care and support.”

The grant offers the opportunity for invited Jewish Federations to:

• Serve more Holocaust survivors
• Develop new partnerships with agencies that work with traumatized older populations and their family caregivers
• Facilitate and foster the innovation and expansion of PCTI services
• Share promising practices in community-building and PCTI care on a national level

Young Adults “Serve the Moment” for Older Adults

By Aging, CARING, COMMUNITY, People in Need

Following a highly successful summer of service, Atlanta’s Serve the Moment program has now mobilized a fall cohort of young adults to address the COVID-19 crisis, its economic fallout, and the movement for racial justice here in Atlanta.

Sarah Arogeti is one of the cohort members, and she has chosen to serve through virtual visits with older adults who have been living socially isolated lives at two Jewish HomeLife residences, Berman Commons, and the William Breman Jewish Home. Due to COVID-19, Jewish HomeLife residences have not allowed visitors for many months and are only beginning to facilitate limited socially distanced in-person family visits in outdoor spaces.

Cory Shaw, who manages volunteers for Jewish HomeLife Communities, was skeptical at first. “I had my reservations about how effective virtual visits would be, but Sarah has made it a ‘natural thing.’ She has jumped in and asked our residents lots of questions about their families, where they grew up, memories of great places they’ve traveled, and helped them feel ‘connected’ and appreciative of their lives. The impact has been HUGE!  in just her first six days Sarah visited with 18 residents — only two were repeat visits. Serve the Moment’s “get-to-know-you visits” have been a wonderful antidote to feelings of isolation and loneliness.”

Serve the Moment received $60,000 to run a Summer and Fall Service Corps with Repair the World, and is now working with more than 15 service partners.

 

Anyone Can Be A Philanthropic Champion

By AgeWell Atlanta, Aging, Atlanta Jewish Foundation, CARING, COMMUNITY, JEWISH JOURNEYS

Anyone Can Be A Philanthropic Champion 
By Etta Raye Hirsch

One of the best things that has happened in Jewish Atlanta is the consolidation of resources that make life better for older adults. Finally, with AgeWell Atlanta, we’ve pulled together all the supportive programs of Jewish Family & Career Services, the care of Jewish HomeLife, and the social opportunities of the MJCCA, into one entity. It took guidance from Federation to spearhead the effort, but the result is a much-needed coordination of services that makes me really proud! 

With the pandemic, our older population is struggling as never before. If you don’t make it easy for people to find the help they need, they give up. Now through AgeWell Atlanta, if you’re a caregiver or an older adult needing help, you just dial one number 1-866-AGEWELL and you can speak to a real live person who can guide you to the right resources. It’s just what our community needs now.  

For me, philanthropy is both a habit and a family imperative. Our family foundation is something my grown children are involved with as decision-makers, and something my grandkids are becoming well aware of. If you want to know how to leave your necklace to a family member, your attorney or financial advisor can set that up. But if you want to truly be a change agent, become an investor in the things you really care about. You can be a philanthropist at any level! 
I give to a wide range of nonprofits in our region, yet I rely on experts to advise me on my gifts. In truth, Atlanta Jewish Foundation (AJF) has educated me about opportunities I didn’t even know existed. I’m almost embarrassed to mention this, but I was “old” before I even knew what a donor-advised fund (DAF) was! Now I use my DAF as a tool for making grants and I want everyone to know about them. We have to say to folks, “Let’s make philanthropy easy for you.  

Atlanta Jewish Foundation makes it simple to support AgeWell Atlanta, and other older adult supportive programs, through your donor-advised fund. The Foundation can also guide you on how you can make long-term “legacy” commitments through the Jewish Future Pledge and the LIFE & LEGACY program. Both are vehicles to build up endowment reserves in our synagogues, schools, and organizations, to sustain their future. I’m on board!  

There are many ways you can donate, but why not do it through AJF? I can make grants online, or just call the Foundation and say, “Here’s where I want my gift to go, and they take care of it. They have the right people with the right skills and relationships to connect the dots and really amp up your impact.  

Etta Raye Hirsch was Atlanta Association of Fundraising Professionals’ 2019 Philanthropist of the Year. She currently serves as Honorary Chair of Federation’s AgeWell Atlanta Targeted Philanthropy giving opportunity.   

 

Be a Champion for Older Adults!

By AgeWell Atlanta, Aging, CARING, COMMUNITY, People in Need

Be a Champion for Older Adults!  
By Etta Raye Hirsch 

One of the best things that has happened in Jewish Atlanta is the consolidation of resources that make life better for older adults. Finally, with AgeWell Atlanta, we’ve pulled together all the supportive programs of Jewish Family & Career Services, the care of Jewish HomeLife, and the social opportunities of the MJCCA, into one entity. It took guidance from Federation to spearhead the effort, but the result is a much-needed coordination of services that makes me really proud! 

With the pandemic, our older population is struggling as never before. If you don’t make it easy for people to find the help they need, they give up. Now through AgeWell Atlanta, if you’re a caregiver or an older adult needing help, you just dial one number 1-866-AGEWELL and you can speak to a real live person who can guide you to the right resources. It’s just what our community needs now.  

For me, philanthropy is both a habit and a family imperative. Our family foundation is something my grown children are involved with as decision-makers, and something my grandkids are becoming well aware of. If you want to know how to leave your necklace to a family member, your attorney or financial advisor can set that up. But if you want to truly be a change agent, become an investor in the things you really care about. You can be a philanthropist at any level! 

 I give to a wide range of nonprofits in our region, yet I rely on experts to advise me on my gifts. In truth, Atlanta Jewish Foundation (AJF) has educated me about opportunities I didn’t even know existed. I’m almost embarrassed to mention this, but I was “old” before I even knew what a donor-advised fund (DAF) was! Now I use my DAF as a tool for making grants and I want everyone to know about them. We have to say to folks,“Let’s make philanthropy easy for you.”  

Atlanta Jewish Foundation makes it simple to support AgeWell Atlanta, and other older adult supportive programs, through your donor-advised fund. The Foundation can also guide you on how you can make long-term “legacy” commitments through the Jewish Future Pledge and the LIFE & LEGACY program. Both are vehicles to build up endowment reserves in our synagogues, schools, and organizations, to sustain their future. I’m on board!  

There are many ways you can donate, but why not do it through AJF? I can make grants online, or just call the Foundation and say, “Here’s where I want my gift to go,and they take care of it.”They have the right people with the right skills and relationships to connect the dots and really amp up your impact.  

 Etta Raye Hirsch was Atlanta Association of Fundraising Professionals’ 2019 Philanthropist of the Year. She currently serves as Honorary Chair of Federation’s AgeWell Atlanta Targeted Philanthropy giving opportunity.   

Virtual Programming Brings Laughs and Light

By Aging, CARING, COMMUNITY


Meryl (not her real name) lost her husband last December. Then came COVID-19. Amidst all the grief came loneliness and isolation. Now, virtual programming through AgeWell Atlanta and the MJCCA has become a lifeline, bringing connection and consistency to her routine. “I really, really enjoy the programs that you schedule and that I participate in,” Meryl said. “This time of the COVID-19 pandemic makes life so challenging. I live by myself since my husband passed away. I do go to the grocery store, but I try to only go there about every 2 weeks.”

Virtual programs bring laughs, too. “The Improv class has been freeing! It has provided a nonjudgmental, positive forum for me to be creative and have some laughs.  This class has been the perfect antidote for the dark times we are living in due to the pandemic. I leave energized after every class.”

No wonder what used to be Senior Day has now blossomed into Senior Week, made possible by AgeWell Atlanta and its partnerstheMarcus Jewish Community Center of Atlanta and Jewish HomeLife.Senior Week will offer five consecutive days of adult virtual programming, November 9-13, from 3-4 pm.  The theme is Jewish Culture Around the World and the whole week’s events are free! To get the Zoom links and RSVP, email Ashley Maloy at amaloy@jfcsatl.org, or Barbara Vahaba at barbara.vahaba@atlantajcc.org

Monday, November 9 – The Jews of Spain: Past, Present and Future: The history of the Jews of Spain is a remarkable story. Moises Hassan, a specialist in Jewish history of Spain, will trace the 2000 years of Spanish Jewry and discuss whether their future will be as turbulent as their past.

Tuesday, November 10 – Growing up in Israel: Local Atlanta Shinshinim, Israeli high school graduates taking a gap year before their military service, will discuss their thoughts on serving in the Army as well as their individual COVID-19 experiences in Israel. Plus hear about how Israel’s COVID measures have impacted the political environment.

Wednesday, November 11 – THE JEWISH GHETTO IN VENICE: For centuries, the Venetian economy was based primarily on trade and the city became a melting pot of different cultures. In 1516 the Jews were the only group to be granted their own quarter. Guide Laura Sabbadin will share the fascinating history of Venetian prejudice and hospitality.

Thursday, November 12 – Jewish Artists in the Atlanta High Museum Collection: Laurel Humble, Head of Creative Aging and Lifelong Learning at the High Museum, will talk about Jewish artists in the American and Modern/Contemporary collection areas highlighting works by Camille Pissarro, Amadeo Modigliani, and Ben Shahn, who were part of important art movements in the last two centuries.

Friday, November 13 – A Musical Finale: Well-known Yiddish singer Alejandra Czarny will treat the audience to a selection of Yiddish songs and original selections. Originally from Argentina, Alejandra has performed throughout Europe and the Americas and has recorded three CDs of Yiddish music.