Please place this tag on thank you pages for tracking conversions, please make sure this tag is fired after the primary tag: Skip to main content

Combatting Food Insecurity in Atlanta


Federation is proud to join with other faith-based organizations from across Greater Atlanta to reduce the impact of food insecurity across our communities. In proud partnership with the Atlanta Food Bank, Federation invites you to join us Sunday, March 12th, at noon at the Home Depot Backyard in downtown Atlanta for the Hunger Walk—an afternoon of walking (or running!) for a good cause, family-friendly activities, food trucks, and more.  When you register or donate, make sure to search for Team Feederation! 

Our participation in the Food Bank’s Hunger Walk enables us to work in partnership, across the community, to make a difference in the lives of many. Last year, the Jewish community raised $81,878 for the Hunger Walk. A portion of these funds were allocated through the Atlanta Food Bank, and more than half was distributed by Federation to programs funding hunger and food-related causes in the Jewish community. In 2022, the money raised through the Hunger Walk supported 14 organizations including Kosher food programs, shelters, and food distribution programs. 

In addition to the Hunger Walk, Federation also supports the Jewish Family & Career Services Kosher Food Pantry, which serves those experiencing food insecurity in our community.  So far in FY ‘23, through weekly, in-person distributions, the Kosher Food Pantry has served 801 Jewish Households and 1513 Jewish Individuals. Of these, 914 are seniors and 248 are children.   

Federation also works with Repair the World Atlanta, which partners with urban gardens across the city that address the need for healthy food in their neighborhoods. Their long-standing partner, Historic Westside Gardens, has empowered over 70 households to create and maintain their own gardens, providing direct access to fruits and vegetables. Atlanta Repair will be offering monthly opportunities, beginning Saturday, March 18, to volunteer in these community gardens. Atlanta Repair also partners with organizations such as Bagel Rescue and The Sandwich Project, which combat food waste by delivering bagels and sandwiches donated by local restaurants and cafes.  

Federation is proud to support initiatives that combat food insecurity across Atlanta and the world. We hope you can join us at 12 pm on Sunday, March 12th, at the Home Depot Backyard for the Hunger Walk!  

Applications Are Open for Women’s Leadership Grants


The Jewish Women’s Fund of Atlanta (JWFA) is accepting applications for their new Women’s Leadership Grants. JWFA seeks to promote social change and creates positive opportunities for Jewish women and girls.  

Grant proposals should come from programs and organizations that are promoting social change for Jewish women and girls. Applying organizations may request support for specific programs, or for general operating costs. JWFA seeks to fund projects that place an emphasis on sustainability, leveraged funding, and partnerships. Proposals should be for a one-year period beginning July 1, 2023 and finishing June 30, 2024. 

Issue areas JFWA is interested in funding, through a gender and social change lens, include but are not limited to:

  • Economic empowerment 
  • Leadership development 
  • Gender-based violence prevention 
  • Reproductive justice 
  • Social justice and legal advocacy
  • Mental health
  • Mentoring 

Applications are due by March 31, 2023. If you have any questions, please contact Rachel Wasserman, CEO of JWFA, at 

Celebrating Black History Month in Jewish Spaces


By Victoria Raggs, Co-founding Executive Director of the Atlanta Jews of Color Council

Happy Black History Month! The Atlanta Jews of Color Council is extremely thankful to be in our third year as a grantee of the Federation’s Innovation Initiative. AJOCC is a Jewish, Women of Color-owned and -led 501c3 nonprofit organization which promotes opportunities that broaden understanding and appreciation of diverse Jewish ethnicities and nurtures multicultural interactions through the arts. Driving cultural change through arts-based strategy, we design and sustain collaborative learning experiences and creative processes that lead to expansive thinking, dialogue, and communal belonging. We invite the Jewish community, and beyond, into authentic and meaningful conversation designed to move the needle on how we all engage in the world with antiracism and compassion for others.

An important component to being Black Jewish women is that we have a very strong conviction for justice due to our experiences of antisemitism, sexism, and racism. It is a fight for our right to be seen in our fullest humanity every single day. In Jewish tradition, we are guided to live by the value of ometz lev, which translates to “courage”, but literally means “strength” or “heart-strength.” It takes courage for us in today’s world to strive toward G-d. For me, that looks like striving toward justice. Condemnation of violence, valuing of life, and respect for human dignity are rooted in our faith and spiritual traditions.

Nevertheless, Jews of Color, especially Black Jews, are regularly harmed in some Jewish spaces, even in organizations with the best intentions around welcoming and belonging. As a community, we must intentionally come together and advocate for justice in our world to create a future that’s whole. No culture or religion is full of people who look exactly the same, and Jews are no different. Together, we are a multiethnic, multicultural people who continue to build an evolving Jewish culture that includes a religion and a nation. Yet the normative view of a Jew in the U.S., both inside and outside the Jewish community, is an Ashkenazi Jew from Eastern Europe. The ways in which we teach our history have often left some people out of the full story. It brings credibility to us as a community when we accurately display the depth and range of who we are as a people.

Black History Month can be a catalyst to come to terms with the Black Jews among us. To those who want to be a true ally, here are a few actions you can take:

  • When people in marginalized groups tell you about bias or hardships they’re facing, believe them.
  • Center and uplift Black perspectives and voices—suggest them for opportunities, mention them on your social media, and hire them into positions of authority.
  • Call people in if they display problematic, discriminatory behavior or statements.
  • Use your privilege to speak where other people would be silenced.
  • Offer resources to empower, not to make dependent.
  • Celebrate the accomplishments of Black women.

Transformative change is possible, if all marginalized groups have a seat at the table—but not only by being included in our organizations; they must also be part of the leadership in deciding and creating policy. Our institutions should be committed to cultivating actions, not just statements, of a truly inclusive culture which aligns with our Jewish values of Teshuva and Tikkun Olam. Establishing clear and firm procedures and practices that center the humanity of all community members is one of the most impactful strategies for advancing racial equity & justice. Our liberation as humans is bound up together.

Let us all come together to honor Black History Month, because the achievements of Black people, inside our community and out, have contributed to our nation’s greatness, and are part of the collective story of America. We have come a long way toward inclusion in this country but there is still much work to do.

Should you wish to support the work of AJOCC, or join us for upcoming events, please visit our website or find us on social media.

Don’t Miss The Atlanta Jewish Film Festival


The largest Jewish film festival in the world is back for another incredible year! The Atlanta Jewish Film Festival (AJFF) showcases vital and thought-provoking Jewish stories from across the globe, and Federation is thrilled to be sponsoring some of this year’s biggest events.

For the 2023 Festival, for the first time ever, AJFF will have a dedicated satellite venue in the northern suburbs of Atlanta! Federation’s Making Jewish Places (MJP) is sponsoring this new venue: The Georgia Theatre Company Merchants Walk in East Cobb.

MJP is a Federation initiative to empower local neighborhoods to create sustainable Jewish programming. Not only does MJP provide financial resources to organizations and individuals, but also mentorship, strategic insight, and assistance in developing programming.

Carla Birnbaum, Federation’s Relational Engagement Manager, says, “In the past, the AJFF has held pop-ups outside the perimeter for an individual showing or two each year. Making Jewish Places is thrilled to sponsor this new venue, which will make it easier for our neighbors in the northern suburbs to attend the festival.”

The Merchants Walk location will host 12 showings across four days of the festival: Thursday, February 9 to Sunday, Feb 12. These showings will feature talkbacks, Q&A sessions, and visits from some of the incredible creatives who made these movies happen. Some of the films that will be screened in East Cobb include Perfect Strangers, Remember This, and Exodus 91.

In fact, Jewish Federation is sponsoring all three of the festival’s showings of Exodus 91. This docunarrative blends documentary and narrative techniques to tell the harrowing, untold story of Operation Solomon, a mission to rescue 15,000 Ethiopian Jews during the country’s brutal civil war. Audiences see the story unfold through the eyes of the lead negotiator of the May, 1991 airlift that brought the refugees to Israel.

Federation will celebrate the beginning of the Festival on Wednesday, Feb 8, with the 7:20 showing of Exodus 91 at Landmark Midtown Art Cinema. Director Micah Smith and actor Shai Ferdo will be in attendance and will hold a Q&A session after the showing. Federation and NextGen will be gathering at 6:45 at the theatre; come early to grab your concessions and mix and mingle. A representative from Federation will introduce the film.

Heather Blake, Federation’s Domestic Allocations Manager, says, “Exodus 91 is a perfect way to recognize Israel’s 75th birthday, and the country’s importance to worldwide Jewry. The themes of the movie are near and dear to Federation’s mission to care for, connect, and strengthen our Jewish community throughout greater Atlanta, Israel and the world. Jewish people all over the world have different experiences, but we are all one people, and this movie celebrates the idea of kol yisrael areivim zeh bazeh (all Jews are responsible for one another).”

Federation encourages people to come see this important film at any of the Festival’s three showings:

  • Landmark Midtown, Wednesday, Feb. 8 at 7:20 pm
  • City Springs, Thursday, Feb. 9 at 3:10 pm
  • GTC Merchants Walk, Thursday, Feb. 9 at 7:00 pm

Ticket sales open to the public on Friday, January 27, but you can get your ticket for Exodus 91 on Wednesday, February 8 right now. Click this link and enter the code JFGA23 or call 678-701-6104. This special code not only gets you early access to ticket sales but will put you in Federation’s priority seating block for the showing.

Check out the trailer for Exodus 91 on the AJFF website.

Celebrate Tu B’Shvat with a Tree Planting and Seder


This year, Jewish Climate Action Network of Georgia (JCAN GA) and Georgia Interfaith Power & Light (GIPL) are celebrating Tu B’Shvat, the “New Year of Trees,” in Atlanta with two special events: their annual dedicated tree planting, and a virtual seder. These events are a wonderful opportunity to celebrate with our local Jewish community, connect with Georgians of other faiths, and care for our greatest treasure: the Earth.

JCAN GA is the local branch of the Jewish Climate Action Network. The Georgia branch was established in 2021, and “works through education, activism, and organizing to add an urgent and visionary Jewish voice to the climate crisis.” It is a program of GIPL, which is the local branch of Interfaith Power & Light (IPL), an environmental advocacy organization that unites people across religious lines to take bold and just action on climate change.

Atlanta’s Tu B’Shvat celebrations begin Sunday, February 5 at 1 pm at Wade Walker Park in Stone Mountain. JCAN GA plans to plant 73 trees to sustain Atlanta’s tree canopy. Often called the “City in a Forest,” Atlanta has one of the highest concentrations of greenery of any major city. One of JCAN GA’s partners in this event, Trees Atlanta, has sponsored annual Tu B’Shvat tree plantings for twenty years. Click here to register.

Joanna Kobylivker, Director of JCAN GA, says, “We are thrilled to celebrate our 10th year of tree plantings for Tu B’Shvat! And we, along with Trees Atlanta, are so excited to honor our phenomenal volunteer, Myrtle Lewin, who has coordinated this event for the last 10 years. It is thanks to her, and all our wonderful volunteers, that so many holiday trees have been planted in Atlanta over the last decade.”

Activities at the tree planting will be physical and involve digging holes, untangling roots, mulching, watering, and cleaning up litter. Activity such as bending, lifting, and kneeling is required. Be prepared to get your hands and clothes dirty and to break a sweat!

And on Monday, February 6, JCAN GA is hosting a Zoom seder to close out the holiday. This festive celebration will invite attendees to partake in native Israeli fruits and grains, known as the “Seven Species,” and enjoy a symbolic mixing of wines, in the spirit of blending our personal needs with those of communal sustainability. Click here to register.

All ages are invited to participate in these events, which JCAN GA says will be “a time of prayer, education and connection to shmirat ha’adamah (protecting our planet).”

Federation’s Employee New Year’s Party Hits the Mark!


On Friday, Federation rang in the New Year with a staff party that had everyone looking sharp! The Culture Club planned a fun afternoon at Throw, Inc. to celebrate the hard work and dedication of their fellow employees. Click through to see who was honored—and who hit a bullseye!

President and CEO Eric M. Robbins handed out Employee Recognition Awards. These honors are voted on by the entire organization, and unsurprisingly, the winners are some of the hardest-working, most joyful people one could hope to encounter. The awards are themed after Federation’s five Core Values. These Core Values represent the ideals that staff strives for in their work each day: Collaboration, Empathy, Fearlessness, Positive Can-Do-Attitude, and Excellence.

The winners are (from left to right):

(Tonya not pictured)

Spirit of Collaboration: Nathan Brodsky, Director of JumpSpark

Spirit of Empathy: Jeanette Park, Director of Human Resources

Spirit of Excellence: Arielle Orlansky, Director of Women’s’ Philanthropy

Spirit of Fearlessness: Kaylin Berinhout, Foundation Operations Manager

Spirit of Positive Can-Do-Attitude: Tonya Stevens, Staff Accountant

Congratulations to the winners and thank you for lending your incredible work ethic and fantastic personalities to Jewish Atlanta.

The staff also enjoyed board games, food from Kosher Gourmet, and making Sweethearts Day cards for the residents at Jewish HomeLife facilities. And yes, some took turns throwing axes!

The team at Federation works hard all year to make Jewish Atlanta a welcoming place for all; it is important to celebrate and appreciate the people who make Federation run and ensure our partners can deliver vital services across our city (and our world!).

This event, and others like it that celebrate our diligent and passionate team, was organized by Federation’s Culture Club. Thank you to the Culture Club for helping us start the new year on target!

Neranenah to Host a Musical Shabbat with Hannah Zale


On Friday, January 20, Neranenah is hosting Spirit & Soul, a Musical Shabbat with Hannah Zale, at the Distillery of Modern Art.

Neranenah describes the evening as “A combination of Southern hospitality, great music, and Judaism.” It will offer participants the chance to unwind and enjoy a distinctive shabbat lead by favorite local musician Hannah Zale. This event is funded through Federation’s Making Jewish Places initiative.

Neranenah, formerly the Atlanta Jewish Music Festival, is a nonprofit cultural events series with roots in Jewish culture and musical traditions. “Neranenah” is Hebrew for “come together and sing.”

Tickets for guests over 21 are $18 per person and include one cocktail; tickets for those under 21 (and for designated drivers) are $10 per person. Neranenah has provided NextGen with a discount: the code NEXTGEN will take $5 off per ticket.

Please note, there will not be food available for purchase at this event. Feel free to bring a picnic or grab takeout from one of the neighboring restaurants to enjoy during the event.

Click here to purchase tickets for this relaxing and fun night of celebration. “Come with spirit, leave with soul.”

Sign Up Now for a Shabbat Gather Grant

By COMMUNITY, Making Jewish Places, NextGen, PJ LIbrary

Applications are open now for the next round of Gather Grants! Are you looking to grow your community? Have you considered hosting a Shabbat dinner, but feel like it might be too expensive? Apply for a Gather Grant this month and let Federation support your celebration!

The program gives $180 microgrants to individuals in the Atlanta metro area who host a gathering in their community for a designated holiday or initiative. The theme for the winter 2023 cycle is “Embracing and Elevating Shabbat.”

Gather Grant applications are open now and will be accepted until Tuesday, January 31. The gatherings which receive grants must be completed between February 1 and February 26.

Shabbat is arguably the most important holiday in Judaism—and it happens every week! Every seven days, we have the opportunity to rest and reflect with our loved ones. If you already host a Shabbat gathering, or if you would like to host your first one, sign up for a Gather Grant and let Federation help you celebrate.

Past Gather Grant recipients say:

“My husband and I just bought our home this year, and I had not before been able to host people in the way I can now. I always celebrated shabbat growing up and being able to host others this year really felt like an amazing full circle moment. Also, a friend who recently converted helped me plan; it was the first time she helped organize a shabbat meal!”

The biggest impact for my family was the ability to make new friends in our community. It is so important for my children to have Jewish friends to grow up with and see at services. Thanks to this program we are getting invitations to come for meals at the homes of the other participants. I am excited to watch these relationships grow.”

If you’re new to Shabbat, don’t worry. One Table says, “There is not one single way to celebrate Shabbat, so don’t worry that you’re going to do something wrong! Shabbat is always there for the taking and does not require anything fancy.” Their website is an excellent resource for first-time Shabbat-celebrators and hosts.

Your Shabbat event could be a sundown dinner, a Havdalah celebration, or a daytime Saturday gathering. There is no one way to celebrate Shabbat—get creative! Apply today for your Gather Grant and plan a Shabbat celebration to bring some warmth to the winter months.

Commemorate MLK Day with a Weekend of Service


Repair the World and Federation are calling on the Jewish community to make Martin Luther King Jr. Day “a day on, not a day off.” Beginning this Friday, Federation, Repair the World, and our coalition partners will observe MLK Day with a weekend of service opportunities across Atlanta inspired by Dr. King—and you’re invited to join.

The 2023 MLK Weekend of Service is a way for Jews in Atlanta to connect with each other, care for our neighbors, and build resilience for the times we need support. Choose from service projects like tree planting, park clean up, daffodil planting, meal delivery, cooking meals for shelters at home, packing hygiene supplies, and more.

The Weekend of Service will begin with a Racial Justice Shabbat this Friday, January 13. This evening, presented in partnership with Atlanta Jews of Color Council (AJOCC) and OneTable, is an opportunity to begin this impactful weekend with learning, reflection, and mindfulness with and from our Jews of Color (JOC) community.

Service projects will take place January 14 – 16. There are a variety of meaningful service options for all ages, but spots are limited, so be sure to sign up in advance.

This weekend is an opportunity for all to engage in tikkun olam (repairing the world) and in meaningful learning around the legacy of Dr. King.

Click here to register for projects around the Atlanta area. Please join us this weekend and have a Day On!


Antisemitism’s rise endangers all of us

By COMMUNITY, Eric's Blog

By Eric M. Robbins as originally featured in the Atlanta Journal Constitution

One of the most dangerous undercurrents in the midterm elections was the rise in antisemitic rhetoric by some political candidates. In a country where we have witnessed celebrities like Ye (Kanye West) and athletes like Kyrie Irving publicly attacking Jewish people, it is sad to see some of our political figures and public officials continue to fail to condemn those actions and call out racists and those who propagate hate.

In the past few years, we have experienced the mainstreaming of antisemitism — from the Charlottesville rally to, horrifically, shootings in Pittsburgh and Dallas. The Anti-Defamation League (ADL), which has played a leading role in the fight against antisemitism, recently reported that antisemitic incidents in the metro Atlanta area have doubled in 2022 from 2021.

According to the ADL, which fights all forms of antisemitism and bias, there is particular concern on college campuses, where there were 359 antisemitism incidents during the 2021-2022 school year. Indeed, during this year’s annual University of Georgia versus University of Florida football game, the words “Kanye is right about the Jews” were projected on the side of the stadium and on other buildings in downtown Jacksonville, Fla.

Antisemitism is being keenly felt on college and university campuses. College students report that anti-Zionism on campuses is rampant and that non-Jewish students conflate their feelings about the Israeli government with their feelings about their Jewish classmates.

Indeed, Jewish students are not only facing more prejudice from fellow students, but in some cases from faculty.

In September, it was reported that the University of Vermont is under investigation by the U.S. Department of Education after a teaching assistant threatened to give Zionist students lower grades.

In an effort to help combat the increase of antisemitism on college campuses, particularly in Georgia, the Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta has partnered with the Hillels of Georgia, part of Hillel International, the largest Jewish campus organization in the world. Hillel gives Jewish students a community on campus and tools to help them better address antisemitism from their peers. The Hillels of Georgia immediately reached out to officials at both the University of Georgia and the University of Florida following the incident at the football game to help mitigate the situation’s impact at both schools.

Combating antisemitism is a community effort and something that the Federation cannot do alone. We rely on our partners like the American Jewish Committee to engage with ethnic, religious and political leadership. We need the Anti-Defamation League to work with law enforcement as well as provide a host of education services and research resources that track extremist groups, ideologues and hate on digital platforms.

The Jewish Community Relations Council of Atlanta meets regularly with leaders of Atlanta’s faith communities, and the Atlanta Rabbinical Association helps to inform our broader Jewish community.

Our ability to work together to advance this mission of ridding the world of antisemitism is important for our broader community.

The Federation also helps to fund the Jewish Agency for Israel’s Israel Campus Fellows program, which brings Israeli young adults to work on university and college campuses in the United States. Through this initiative, more Americans, both Jewish and non-Jewish, are exposed to Israeli people to help diminish stereotypes and foster increased personal relationships with the people of Israel.

In partnership with the Nonprofit Security Grant Program, the Federation’s Community-Wide Security Program helps protect the entire Atlanta Jewish community, including schools, camps, synagogues and other local Jewish organizations.

This year, the, Federation helped local organizations secure $2.3 million in security enhancements.

The Nonprofit Security Grant Program (NSGP) is an initiative through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). It provides support for physical security enhancements and activities, including planning and training, to nonprofit organizations that are at high risk of terrorist attack due to their ideology, beliefs or mission.

Jewish people are vibrant, diverse and strong, having overcome obstacles and survived tumultuous times. We are a part of the fabric of life in Atlanta and across the country and we are passionate Americans and believers in our democracy.

History continues to teach us, as Abraham Lincoln said long ago, that our country will not stand if it is divided. Hate for one group doesn’t just impact its members, it can and will tear us all down.

Stand with us to fight antisemitism and prejudice and hatred. Now is the time to rally together to protect the freedoms we all love as Americans, for each and every one of us.