By Dawid Revell Israel
When I was first asked to join Federation’s Domestic Allocations committee, I felt honored. I was humbled to assist with deciding how much to allocate to local organizations to help our Jewish community. After coming to the first meeting, I felt like a novice in the room. Yet I didn’t stop going; I kept listening and learning. With each meeting I learned more and more, and I was blown away with the impact Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta has in upholding and protecting Jewish families and lives.
Let me explain: there is not one type of Jew in Atlanta. We are all different people with different economic statuses, ethnic backgrounds, and cultures. We are a diverse community that contains observant Jews, unaffiliated Jews, and everything in-between—and we all make up Jewish Atlanta. And because we are a part of this city, we have access to some tremendous resources that smaller communities might not have: supplementary Jewish educational support through Jewish Education Collaborative; financial, educational, and mental support for families going through fertility treatments with Jewish Fertility Foundation; access to a community mikvah (and the only accessible mikvah in the Southeast) with Metro Atlanta Community Mikvah (MACoM); traveling to Israel for a honeymoon with Honeymoon Israel; young adults coming to someone’s house to have a Shabbat dinner with OneTable. Our Domestic Allocations Committee focuses on our local area in addressing these needs, and they do a phenomenal job in providing money to organizations that transform and improve Jewish lives.
One of the things that most impressed me is the overwhelming support we provide to Jews that may feel marginalized and not accepted in society. Some of these groups are Jews of Color, Jews of ethnic diversity, interfaith couples or families, and the LGBTQ+ community. Our committee provides funds to organizations that establish safe places for these Jewish youth and adults where they can celebrate Shabbat, go to a mikvah, or interact with other Jewish people, and also participate in everyday Jewish life as they see fit. By providing these meaningful Jewish experiences, we are helping Jewish people connect with their Jewish identity and keeping them engaged in our community. If someone is in need of financial support, they can take out an interest-free loan through Jewish Interest Free Loan of Atlanta (JIFLA). Jewish undergraduate and graduate college students have the opportunity to receive an interest-free loan through Jewish Educational Loan Fund (JELF). And people struggling with food insecurity can visit the Kosher Food Pantry at Jewish Family & Career Services.
I look forward to another term helping to uplift and support Jewish Atlanta and upholding tikkun olam (repairing the world).
Dawid Revell Israel is a family man, teacher, and leader in Atlanta’s Jewish community. He is a member of Congregation Shaarei Shamayim and serves on the board as the Vice President of Membership. He is a businessman who owns two restaurants, Go Vegan Grill and Mama’s Yawd, with a third restaurant and bakery in the works. Dawid is also board representative of the Atlanta Jews of Color Council and volunteers on the Domestic Allocations Committee at the Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta.