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2020 Propel Grants

By Federation Innovation, INNOVATION

Federation Innovation has awarded $182,000 in Propel Innovation Renewal Grants in 2020, supporting organizations, ideas, and people reimagining Jewish life in Atlanta. Grant renewals went to seven organizations that were originally awarded innovation funds in June 2019. Many grants meet needs emerging out or the COVID-19, such mobilizing volunteers to serve in and outside of our community (Repair the World), broader access to mental health services (The Blue Dove Foundation), and a different delivery system for aging services (AgeWell Atlanta).

Here’s where innovation is happening across metro Atlanta.

18Doors – 18Doors empowers people in interfaith relationships to engage in Jewish life and make Jewish choices, and encourages Jewish communities to welcome them. Through this pilot initiative, 18Doors will develop a web-based tool for engaged interfaith couples that have chosen not to use Jewish clergy, but are still interested in creating a wedding ceremony infused with Jewish traditions.

Career Up Now – Career Up Now’s Women of Wisdom is a local community where young women explore Jewish values and career advancement with community and industry leaders. The community focuses on women’s empowerment, with Jewish women community and industry leaders serving as role models.

Tikkun Olam Makers –  TOM (Tikkun Olam Maker) at Georgia Tech (GT) is part of TOM Global: a movement of communities that creates and disseminates affordable solutions to neglected challenges of people living with disabilities, the elderly, and the poor. In partnership with JF&CS, TOM at GT will identify need-knowers in the Atlanta community to participate in a Spring 2021 Makeathon event.

AgeWell Atlanta – Information and Referral Concierge
Most older adults prefer to stay in their own homes as they age, which increases the need for a coordinated system of care. This grant will enable AgeWell Atlanta to implement a data management system, to help track delivery of services, collect outcomes data, determine the impact of its work, and identify service gaps.

Be’chol Lashon – Passport to Peoplehood
Atlanta’s Jewish community is diverse and increasingly so, but our legacy institutions struggle to address and serve Jews of color. Be’chol Lashon, which means “in every language,” received support to offer diversity training workshops and educational resources to create greater awareness of racial and ethnic diversity in Atlanta’s Jewish Community.

The Blue Dove Foundation – Mental Health Wellbeing Toolkit
A comprehensive project addressing mental health and substance abuse issues through a toolkit and training sessions for organizational leaders, community members, and Jewish camps. to serve as “mental health first responders.” Addresses increased mental health needs that have arisen during COVID-19.

Jewish Atlanta During COVID-19 Film – Entrepreneur
Grant support for a film will highlight and document the unique history of the Jewish community in Atlanta during COVID times. This film will be created in collaboration with The Breman Museum and has gained the invaluable support of the Atlanta Jewish Film Festival’s leadership team.

Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta – Jewish Education Collaborative
Part of a larger project to reimagine a model for Jewish education in Atlanta, this grant supports moving three supplemental education programs into an innovation process with the national Jewish Education Project.

Jewish Fertility Foundation – Modern Jewish Family
The Jewish Fertility Foundation (JFF) provides financial assistance, educational awareness, and emotional support to Jews who have medical infertility. One in six Jewish couples experience infertility, and JFF helps them feel supported through this journey. The organization is seeing two new client trends, including 1) an increase in the number of single moms by choice and 2) an increase in multi-faith couples utilizing JFF’s emotional support services and receiving JFF Fertility Grants.

Moishe House – Russian-Speaking House
This grant will enable the expansion of Moishe House’s successful programs by continuing to support the recent addition of a fourth house in Brookhaven to serve the growing Russian-speaking Jewish population.

OneTable Atlanta
Atlanta-based OneTable engages Jewishly underserved niche populations, such as Jews of Color, LGBTQ, as well as underserved geographic areas in Atlanta. This grant will enable OneTable to recruit more hosts in these populations.

Repair The World — Solidarity Through Service
This grant is an investment in racial justice, educational learning, and a technology solution to serve and scale virtual volunteer experiences over MLK weekend.

Trybal Gatherings – Entrepreneur
Trybal’s core program is a four-day, three-night “camp” experience that provides a socially Jewish environment for millennials to have fun, connect with new people, and plug into a dynamic Jewish community during a purposeful Shabbat retreat. The retreat serves as a grassroots entry point to Jewish communal life. Trybal’s partnership model is designed to create mutual value and lead to sustainability for local supporters/partners. With tens of thousands of Birthright and camp alumni in our region, Trybal represents a major opportunity for Jewish millennial engagement.

Your Jewish Bridge – Communal Rabbi
Challenging the concept of membership as the sole “access card” to communal engagement and rabbinic support, YJB’s community rabbi provides life cycle and other rabbinic services to the larger community on a fee-for-service model. This grant supports Your Jewish Bridge in expanding its business model, strengthening its communal presence, and responding to pastoral needs in the community.

 

New Ideas for the Jewish New Year: Innovation in Worship for 5781

By COMMUNITY, INNOVATION

Your support for the community campaign has been a catalyst for new ideas through Federation’s Innovation Fund. This year, as we approach the Jewish high holidays, there’s been so much creativity right here in Atlanta.  Because we can’t sit close together, sing together, blow the shofar in small spaces, or give each other happy hugs, our community leaders have amped up their creativity. Inspired by local leaders and by Federation Innovation initiatives, you’ll be amazed by the unique ways this community is leapfrogging virtual limitations to personalize high holiday worship.

Your Jewish Bridge, funded by a Federation Innovation Propel grant, provides access to Jewish educational, life cycle, pastoral and rabbinic services to the unaffiliated Jewish community on a fee-for-service basis. Right before the high holidays, Pamela Gottfried, a rabbi at Congregation Bet Haverim and Your Jewish Bridge, is hosting a (virtual)  9/11 observance where she will livestream the ritual of “taking challah” on Congregation Bet Haverim’s YouTube channel. It involves separating a small piece of raw dough and burning it as a remembrance of the sacrificial offering in the Temple in Jerusalem. The ceremony will be in honor of those lost during the 9/11 attack, as well as those lost to the coronavirus pandemic. Over the high holidays, Rabbi Gottfried will lead several discussions and sessions to enrich the meaning of the season. See the full schedule here.

Federation Innovation has made exciting things like this happen all over Atlanta. For the 2021 Campaign you can amplify your support and seed new ideas by designating a gift for Federation Innovation. Here’s how.

Congregation Gesher L’Torah is innovating with Kol Nidre Under the Stars, a drive-in worship experience. Cantor Zeldin and Rabbi Bernstein will Livestream the service from the sanctuary to your home, or the big screen. Experience the haunting melodies and the powerful message of Kol Nidre in a whole new way.

Temple Sinai is doing “Experience Tashlich” with socially distant tailgating at The Springs Cinema & Taphouse Drive-In Theatre. Bring your own tailgate setup, sit on the roof of your car, or simply tune in to the service from the comfort of your car via the FM station. Join us at 5:30 pm for music with Beth Schafer followed by the service beginning at 6:00 pm. Each car will receive a dissolvable paper to write your sins. Sinai staff, wearing necessary PPE, will anonymously collect these and bring them to flowing water to complete the mitzvah of Tashlich.”

Congregation Shearith Israel is offering socially distant gatherings in various neighborhoods on the afternoon of the 2nd day of Rosh Hashanah (Sunday, September 20) so that people can see each other. They are also asking members to create VIDEO HUGs — 15-second video messages to be shared with the CSI community. Congregants are also turning photos of themselves into 3-D cutouts that “sit” in the pews to give the clergy a sense of support and community as they lead services.

Limmud Atlanta + Southeast has created High Holiday Journey in the Park: An Outdoor, Multisensory Experience, September 13, at Mason Mill Park. Timed entry, between 9:45 am and 4:00 pm allows individuals or groups of seven or fewer to take part safely. Using a mini-golf model, participants will move through five stations that safely combine Jewish wisdom with sensory experiences. Sign up here. For all ages!

The Moment for Innovation is Now

By Federation Innovation, INNOVATION

Jewish Diversity: The Time is Now!

In Biblical times, Abraham and Sarah were models of welcoming strangers and ensuring they felt comfortable. That’s the Jewish value that drives the Passport to Peoplehood program from Be’chol Lashon.  

It started at Camp Be’chol Lashon where campers use their ‘passports’ to ‘travel’ to a different country to encounter Judaism through the culture of the Jewish community in that region. The new-to-them culture welcomed the campers with food, dance, and experiences, all woven together by Judaism.  

Now, ignited by a Propel grant through Federation Innovation, Passport to Peoplehood is bringing these welcoming encounters outside of the camp walls and into the lives of Atlantans. They’re creating new ways to learn about and embrace ethnically, racially, and culturally diverse Jews. 

Federation Innovation ignites and funds community innovation, empowers changemakers, and encourages Jewish Atlanta to try new things that bring Jewish possibilities to life. 

Learn More about Federation Innovation

What Gabby Knew

While many people looked the other way, Gabby Spatt could see that mental health needs and substance abuse, were spiking in Atlanta over the last decade. So, as Executive Director of The Blue Dove Foundation, she started working on a Mental Health Toolkit to start addressing these issues. 

Just as CPR helps assist an individual having a heart attack, the Mental Health Toolkit and training helps assist someone experiencing a mental illness or substance abuse-related crisis. The Toolkit is meant to be a first line of defense – to help identify an issue and help the person find the best next steps.

Gabby and The Blue Dove Foundation leveraged a Propel grant from Federation Innovation to create the Toolkit and a second Propel grant this year to finalize and distribute it. 

Federation Innovation ignites and funds community innovation, empowers changemakers, and encourages Jewish Atlanta to try new things that bring Jewish possibilities to life. 

Learn More about Federation Innovation

Say "Shalom” to Sasha, Michelle & Gabi

Привет and Шалом!

That’s “Hello” and “Shalom” in Russian. That’s what Sasha, Michelle, and Gabi say in Atlanta’s new Russian-Speaking Moishe House.

Not only does this fourth and newest Moishe House now reach young adults in the Brookhaven area, with Sasha, Michelle, and Gabi at the helm, it’s a place for them to explore their shared Russian culture. In this house, Russian is spoken, and Russian-Jewish identity and outreach are the focus. Powered by a grant from Federation Innovation, they’re sharing their culture, amplifying Jewish diversity, and exploring their Jewish roots. 

Federation Innovation ignites and funds community innovation, empowers changemakers, and encourages Jewish Atlanta to try new things that bring Jewish possibilities to life. 

Learn More about Federation Innovation

Renewing Our Investment In Innovation & Resilience

By Federation Innovation, INNOVATION

Federation Innovation has awarded $182,000 in Propel Innovation Renewal Grants, supporting organizations, ideas, and people reimagining Jewish life in Atlanta. These grant renewals went to seven organizations that were originally awarded innovation funds in June 2019.

“These organizations were selected for grant renewals because they have demonstrated their impact through initiatives that are sparking long-term, systemic change and social good in Jewish Atlanta,” said Jori Mendel, Vice President, Federation Innovation. “Due to the COVID-19 crisis, there are emerging needs such as mobilizing volunteers to serve in and outside of our community (Repair the World), broader access to mental health services (The Blue Dove Foundation), and a different delivery system for aging services (AgeWell Atlanta) to name just a few.”

“Our goal is to support the bold work of these grant recipients in an exponential manner because we must invest in these visionary changemakers like never before.”

Additional Propel grants for new projects will be announced in just a few weeks to align with the evolving needs of the community.

Repair The World — Solidarity Through Service
To build consistent and meaningful volunteer and service experiences. This grant will support an investment in racial justice, educational learning and a technology solution to serve and scale virtual volunteer experiences over MLK weekend.

The Blue Dove Foundation – Mental Health Wellbeing Toolkit
This is a comprehensive project addressing mental health and substance abuse issues through a toolkit and training sessions for organizational leaders, community members and Jewish camps to serve as “mental health first responders.” The Jewish Mental Health Wellbeing Toolkit will address increased mental health needs that have arisen during COVID-19 and will be launched virtually.

Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta – Jewish Education Collaborative
As part of a larger project to reimagine a model for Jewish education in Atlanta, this program leverages teachers as catalysts for change. This grant supports moving three supplemental education programs ready to experiment through a process with the national Jewish Education Project to rapidly innovate their models and provide learnings to greater Atlanta.

AgeWell Atlanta – Information and Referral Concierge
Atlanta is home to one of the fastest growing senior communities in the country. Most older adults prefer to stay in their own homes as they age, which increases the need for a coordinated system of care. This grant will enable AgeWell Atlanta to implement a data management system, which will enable it to track delivery of services, collect outcomes data, determine the impact of its work, and identify service gaps to further enable older adults and caregivers to access a coordinated continuum of services supporting maximum wellness, wherever they reside.

OneTable Atlanta
Atlanta-based OneTable will extend its focus on engaging Jewishly underserved demographic areas and niche populations, such as Jews of Color, LGBTQ, as well as underserved geographic areas in Greater Atlanta. This grant will enable OneTable to recruit more hosts in these populations and focus on converting attendees into repeat hosts.

Your Jewish Bridge – Communal Rabbi
Moving beyond the concept of membership as the sole “access card” to communal engagement and rabbinic support, the community rabbi provides life cycle and other rabbinic services to the larger community. This grant will support Your Jewish Bridge in expanding its business model, strengthening its communal presence and responding to emergent pastoral needs in the community.

Moishe House – Russian-Speaking House
This grant will further enable the expansion of Moishe House’s successful programs by continuing to support the recent addition of a 4th house in Brookhaven to serve the growing Russian-speaking Jewish population in Atlanta.

Propel Innovation Grantees: Impacting Jewish Life in Atlanta

By Federation Innovation, INNOVATION

Federation Innovation has just announced that four organizations will receive Propel Innovation Grants. The latest grants bring Federation’s total community investment in innovation to nearly $500k, over the past two years — all in support of creative, scalable projects that can impact Jewish life.

Jori Mendel, V.P. for Innovation said, “We are proud that for nearly a decade our community and Federation together have encouraged innovation. We have funded 50+ organizations and initiatives, and built infrastructure to enable creative minds to learn from and with each other. The opportunity in this moment, is how can we continue build on this work in an exponential manner? In the year ahead, we will keep investing in and incubating new ideas and bold initiatives across our ecosystem. We are committed to guiding our community through this together, so we can prepare for a resilient future

Be’chol Lashon (Passport to Peoplehood)
Atlanta’s Jewish community is diverse and increasingly so, but our legacy institutions struggle to address and serve Jews of color. As a Southern city, Atlanta has a complex history with regards to race. Be’chol Lashon, which means “in every language,” will offer diversity training workshops and educational resources to create greater awareness of racial and ethnic diversity in Atlanta’s Jewish Community. The goal is to provide the tools for organizations to fulfill their mission of being more inclusive. Diverse trainers will facilitate community conversations about race and identity in a Jewish context, followed up by personal consultations.

Jewish Atlanta During COVID-19 Film (Entrepreneur)
The film will highlight and document the unique history of the Jewish community in Atlanta during COVID times. This film will explore Atlanta’s Jewish community during this unprecedented time, while also promoting Atlanta to communities around the world. This film will be created in collaboration with The Breman Museum and has gained the invaluable support of the Atlanta Jewish Film Festival’s leadership team.

Trybal Gatherings (Entrepreneur)
Trybal’s core program is a four-day, three-night camp experience that provides a socially Jewish environment for millennials to have fun, connect with new people, and plug into a dynamic Jewish community during a purposeful Shabbat retreat. The retreat serves as a grassroots entry point to Jewish communal life. Trybal’s partnership model is designed to create mutual value and lead to sustainability for local supporters/partners. With tens of thousands of Birthright and camp alumni in our region, Trybal represents a major opportunity for Jewish millennial engagement.

Jewish Fertility Foundation (Modern Jewish Family)
The Jewish Fertility Foundation (JFF) provides financial assistance, educational awareness, and emotional support to Jews who have medical infertility. One in six Jewish couples experience infertility, and JFF helps them feel supported through this journey. The organization is seeing two new client trends, including 1) an increase in the number of single moms by choice and 2) an increase in multi-faith couples utilizing JFF’s emotional support services and receiving JFF Fertility Grants. By supporting their clients, emotionally and financially, throughout their fertility journey, JFF is able to continue the important work of building a vibrant Jewish community.

What Brad Does

By COMMUNITY, Federation Innovation, INNOVATION, PHILANTHROPY

You don’t need to save the future of Jewish Atlanta by yourself, Brad Cook already has an idea for that – it’s called Career Up Now and it creates professional connections for young people through a Jewish lens.

Setting Young Jews on Amazing Career Paths

Dr. Bradley Caro Cook

As a Jewish entrepreneur and innovator (and an Atlanta native), I create simple solutions to engage Jewish young adults with low to no current Jewish connection or engagement. I believe that unless there’s a drastic shift in how we grab the attention of 18-26 year-olds, keep them engaged with Judaism, and inspire them to become the next generation of leadership, our Jewish communal infrastructure is at risk. When I learned about Federation Innovation’s Propel Grant program, I got excited.

I know that college students and recent graduates are hungry to advance their careers, grow their networks, and build community. So, in 2015, Rabbi Adam Grossman and I launched Career Up Now, combining mentorship and engagement, through a Jewish lens, to help emerging professionals form personal, professional, and soulful connections with industry leaders in the Jewish community. Since launching we have piloted in 9 U.S. cities and are scaling in four of those cities. Now, thanks to a Bloom seed grant from Federation Innovation, and support from the Joyce and Ramie Tritt Family Foundation and Mark Silberman, Career Up Now is in Atlanta.

In Atlanta, our first cohort consisted of 12 student leaders from Emory University. I soon thereafter realized there is little support or mentoring for young Jewish women entering business and STEM fields.  As time went on I found this to be true on a national level and kept hearing Rabbi Tarfon, our ancient Jewish cheerleader and rebbe say, “while you don’t have to complete the task, you are not free to desist from this critical endeavor.”

While examining our mentor demographic, I discovered that we had only one woman industry leader contact or mentor for every 20 men. To address that imbalance, we doubled down to solve the problem we’ve launched Women of Wisdom https://www.careerupnow.org/atlanta-spring-2019.

While we achieved gender balance for our initial Atlanta Career Up Now due to the high demand for more women’s programs in Atlanta we needed to rapidly grow the number of women industry leaders in our network. To do this, we leveraged growth hacking for engagement,  a process of rapid engagement growth enabling non-profits to accomplish in three months that which would take years to do. Using these strategies, we recruited 200 women industry leaders into our network in just three months. Now these Women of Wisdom are helping expand our network by engaging their colleagues and friends with Career Up Now programming.

Atlanta has been a pivotal experience and we are excited to continue to grow Career Up Now in Atlanta.

Meet the Bloom Grant Winners

By Federation Innovation, INNOVATION, PHILANTHROPY

Big Ideas Are Taking Root
Federation’s second round of Bloom Innovation seed grants have now been awarded to an exciting and diverse group of Jewish social change makers and organizations. We’re investing in innovation for our community because it brings new energy and new people to our collective enterprise of creating a thriving, relevant and dynamic Jewish Atlanta. “These Bloom grants will help seed and support nonprofits in our innovation ecosystem who are taking risks and trying new things in a collaborative manner, so they can get off the ground and move more quickly to serving the growing needs of our community,” says Jori Mendel, V.P. of Innovation. “We’re excited to provide strategic support, mentorship and community to support these great new ideas that are springing up from existing agencies and organizations, community leaders, start-ups, synagogues and nonprofits, and we’re hopeful that many will succeed and move to scale.” See who the winners are and how they’re committed to making Jewish Atlanta bloom!

  • AgeWell | Providing operational support for evaluation software that promotes early detection of risk factors in aging adults. This is a collaboration between the JF&CS, Jewish Home Life Communities & MJCCA.
  • Birthday Celebrations | Supporting in-person birthday visits and conversations for Holocaust survivors to reduce social isolation and increase connection. This is a collaboration between the Holocaust Survivor Support Fund (HSSF) and JF&CS.
  • MLK Shabbat Civic Dinners | In collaboration with Repair the World, OneTable, MLK Center & AJC Access, and many other young adult organizations in our community, 10 MLK Shabbat dinners will bring Jewish values to the table for a civil rights discussion among young adults who are passionate about civic engagement through a Jewish lens. Shabbat dinners will engage 100 young professionals in diverse geographic areas.
  • Consortium of ATL Jewish Day Schools | A joint marketing project raising awareness of day school offerings and their diversity among Greater ATL. This is a collaboration between seven Jewish day schools: Atlanta Jewish Academy, Chaya Mushka Children’s House, The Davis Academy, The Epstein School, Temima, Torah Day School of Atlanta and The Weber School.
  • Door L’ Door | Creating a network of door openers who offer a radically warm welcome to ATL newcomers, through intimate one-on-one coffee dates to learn about their interests and connect them to the Jewish community. The goal is to launch in 2 test neighborhoods.
  • Emory Hillel Innovation Fund | To support Emory students to create innovative programs & spaces on the Emory campus to grow Jewish student engagement.
  • Grandparents Learning Together (GLT) In collaboration with local rabbis and Jewish educators and learning organizations, GLT will create a4-part learning curriculum to celebrate and explore grandparents’ essential family roles through biblical, rabbinic and other Jewish resources.
  • Interfaith Family Meetups | Convenes two-hour meetups with Jewish interfaith couples in their 20s and 30’s, to provide a safe space to connect and discuss joys and challenges. Three meetups are planned, taking place in geographically diverse radically welcoming locations.

A New Way to Invest in Yokneam

By COMMUNITY, Federation Innovation, GLOBAL JEWRY, INNOVATION

Growing Opportunity for Israeli Teens at Risk
For teenagers at-risk who live in our Partnership cities of Yokneam and Megiddo, the world of high tech is literally at their doorstep, and yet without the right job skills, it can feel inaccessible. Yokneam’s High Tech Park is Israel’s fastest growing startup ecosystem, home to more than 140 tech firms. Now, through a series of innovative partnerships, Federation is providing tech training opportunities for at-risk students, many of whom are Ethiopian. We are determined to make investments in skill-building, mentorship and entrepreneurial skills that can lift them out of poverty and into tech jobs that will change the course of their lives.

Ofir Dubovi, founder and CEO of Open Valley, and a dynamic driver of high tech in the region, is one of our partners in this work. “The world knows Israel as startup nation, but 93% of all startups are based in a 20 kilometer area centered in Tel Aviv,” Ofir says. “I want to extend those borders by focusing on the north of Israel. We’re creating Academies of Innovation that make technology accessible to youth. We work with NGO’s, the IDF, High Schools and the Ministry of Education to train and to teach entrepreneurship and intrapreneurship outside of Tel Aviv.”

Yokneam was founded in 1950, but in 1989 a new mayor, Simon Alfassi, was elected, and the economic structure of Yokneam changed from a centralized dependence on two large factories to a dispersed base of small high-tech companies. As the number and size of the companies grew, Yokneam and the small communities around it began to attract young entrepreneurs and developers who were looking for a less urban alternative to the Tel Aviv area. It now has over 160 high-tech companies and exports of approximately 6 billion US dollars annually.

Craig Kornblum, who chairs Federation’s Global Jewish Peoplehood Committee, has visited the region many times over many years and understands these changes. He sees the possibilities of a tech education partnership and has become a champion for the initiative.  “Over the last 25 years Federation supported this community in a traditional way, using a welfare model. Back then we could barely have imagined the growth of high tech in Israel, let alone in Yokneam. What an incredible opportunity it is to leverage existing tech assets and prepare disadvantaged teens to build a better future,” he said.

Eliad Ben Shushan, Yokneam and Megiddo Partnership Manger at the Jewish Agency, emphasizes the potential of the new initiative to connect teens from Atlanta to teens in Israel. “High tech and innovation is a common language shared by teens all around the world. We hope to bring teens to work together on mutual innovative projects, that will shorten the distance between the communities and mainly tell the modern story of Israel, the strong and innovative Israel!”

Mental Health Responder Toolkit

By CARING, COMMUNITY, Federation Innovation, INNOVATION, People in Need, PHILANTHROPY

Imagine if more people re-thought mental illness as a quest for mental and spiritual wellness. Imagine if more people had the tools to understand, support, and overcome the shame, stigma, and challenges of substance abuse. Now, with support from a Federation Innovation Propel grant, Atlanta-based Blue Dove Foundation is moving in exactly that direction, addressing issues of mental illness and substance abuse through a compassionate Jewish lens. Blue Dove works locally and beyond to educate, equip, and ignite our Jewish community with tools to understand mental illness and substance abuse and connect them with the right local resources, such as professionals from JFC&S. They are in the midst of creating a Mental Health Toolkit packed with resources and written by local rabbis and health professionals, to increase understanding and extend hands of healing.

Blue Dove’s Toolkit begins by articulating Jewish mental health values and defines the key issues that individuals and families struggle with. For example, the concept of b’tzelem elohim — to be created in the divine image — suggests that any conversation about mental wellness must begin with a foundation of dignity and respect. This can counter the shame of illness and the tendency to hide from conversations around mental health.

Or, refuah shleimah — healing and wholeness. Judaism recognizes that healing is not just physical; it is holistic. When we pray the misheberach for healing, we pray for refuat hanefesh v’refuat haguf, a healing of spirit and of body. The Jewish emphasis is also on healing, not on curing. Even when mental illness is under control, healing and a return to wholeness are in order. We see healing as a process, one that has many components and may be a lifelong journey.

The Toolkit will also provide a comprehensive list of local resources to recognize, respond, and set people on the road to healing.  The hope is that people will become more comfortable talking openly about mental health, mental wellness, and illness. Learn more at Blue Dove Foundation.

Tradition Kitchens

By COMMUNITY, Federation Innovation, INNOVATION, PHILANTHROPY

Julia Levy’s Tradition Kitchens’ Hands-on Learning Programs

At Hanukkah, when the latkes sizzle, Tradition Kitchens celebrates both the classics and the modern — the gluten free, Southern sweet potato with leek latkes and organic pepper jelly garnish from Ivy Rose Farm, a family venture with Jewish roots.

This is our first Hanukkah with Tradition Kitchens, our mother-daughter start-up transforming kitchens into classrooms to connect cultures, generations and neighborhoods. By empowering home chefs and restaurateurs to teach family recipes with history, we host pop-up affordable cooking classes around Atlanta, from intown to the suburbs.

When we think of food, we think of family. This year, we’ve been learning our Jewish Atlanta family’s favorite foods and the stories behind them — Noodle Kugel with Leslie Kalick Wolfe’s mother’s recipe, Challah with Sara Franco, Molly’s Mandel Bread with Michele Glazer Hirsh and Jennifer Glazer Malkin —to name just a few. And we’ve been welcomed into the Federation family as PROPEL Innovation grantees with a cohort, coach, ecosystem of Jewish organizations across the city, mentors, workshops with Zingerman’s Deli and so much more.

Along the way, we’ve discovered a treasure trove of Atlanta Jewish recipes — some scribbled down between friends and others recorded in beautiful cookbooks by The Breman Museum and Congregation Or Ve Shalom. We strive to elevate the foods that have thrived for generations and put Atlanta on the Jewish food map while also discovering the home chefs whose delicious dishes should be shared. Our goal is to create community through our gatherings and build upon it organically.

As you sit down for a Hanukkah holiday meal — whether it’s with family or friends — our winter wish is simply to ask about the story behind the food. And if you’re inspired by what you discover, as we have been, send the story our way and nominate the home cook to teach. We hope to sample old and new culinary traditions with you in 2020.