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June is Pride Month! Here’s How to Celebrate:

By COMMUNITY, Making Jewish Places

National Pride month is a special time: as President Biden said in a proclamation, “Pride is both a jubilant communal celebration of visibility and a personal celebration of self-worth and dignity.”  In June, SOJOURN, Atlanta’s advocacy organization for LGBTQ+ issues, will honor the beautiful partnerships and communities that are happening in Atlanta and continue to educate the Jewish community so that all children, teens, and adults feel worthy, affirmed, and valued.  

To celebrate Pride month, SOJOURN will be hosting a series of conversations via Instagram Live to educate, inspire, and connect with our community. Follow us @sojourngsd to tune in! 

 

Looking ahead to the Shmita Year

By CARING, COMMUNITY, JEWISH JOURNEYS, Making Jewish Places

By: Joanna Kobylivker  

Community OrganizerGeorgia Interfaith Power and Light 

The Jewish Climate Action Network of Georgia (JCAN GA) is a newly formed chapter of the Massachusetts based Jewish Climate Action Network. We began as a small but concerned group of Jewish community members who came together to raise awareness and create solutions around climate change.  Our diverse group represents several congregations, from spiritual leaders to climate scientists to moms and dads who simply want an earth for future generations to enjoy. We strongly believe the Atlanta Jewish community has a unique opportunity to be part of the solution. 

Our specific mission is to promote environmental stewardship though Jewish community building. By coming together, we can: 

  • Inspire and mobilize Jewish communities to take leadership and participate in bold climate campaigns and reduce carbon footprints. 
  • Develop and provide infrastructural, informational, and educational resources to any and all Jewish groups: synagogues, community centers, day schools, camps, youth groups, parent groups, all of us.  

How will we do this? By working with strong community partnerships both in Atlanta and around the country who are already doing this important work. We are very excited to announce a partnership with Georgia Interfaith Power and Light (GIPLwith where I will be serving as a dedicated staff member, to Joanna Kobylivker, who will engage with our Jewish community.  

When will this work begin? It’s already started! JCAN GA members have already held several virtual events through partnerships with Repair the WorldLimmud Atlanta and Southeast, and various congregations.  

Much more is to come with the upcoming Shimta year.  The Shmita Year is part of a cycle analogous to the weekly Sabbath but taking place once every seven years as opposed to every seven days. Also known as the Year of Release, Shmita invites each of us to re-examine our relationship with the earth, with the Divine, and with one another. In the Shmita year, we rest alongside the land; we share the abundance of our landscapes as equals with one another and with the wild creatures; money is deemphasized; and debts are released.  

As a community, we are setting intentions and goals for how we will bring Shmita values to life in the form of environmental sustainability. Caring for our earth is part of being Jewish.  From the great philosopher Maimonides to the late Lord Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, we are taught and reminded in countless texts of our duty to honor this beautiful earth that G-d created. We say prayers, celebrate holidays, and are always encouraged to be humble and grateful for what we have been given. We can demonstrate that gratitude by protecting the earth, and there is no greater time than now.  

New Microgrant Cycle for North Fulton & East Cobb: $25,000 is Available!

By CARING, COMMUNITY, Making Jewish Places

Federation’s Making Jewish Places initiative is entering its third year with a new round of microgrants for North Fulton and East Cobb. Our goal has always been to strengthen connections to the larger Jewish community, stimulate innovation and collaboration, distribute Jewish services across many neighborhoods, and meet people where they are.

Application due April 29, 2021; awards announced May 28, 2021 

https://jewishatlanta.org/what-we-do/our-initiatives/making-jewish-places/ 

Federation grantmaking investments in North Fulton and East Cobb have forged creative partnerships between nearly 30 organizations, all dedicated to enhancing Jewish life outside the PerimeterIt’s exciting to see organizations pool their talents and resources to make impactful Jewish things happen. To date, Federation has awarded 40 microgrants to
organizations and invested: 

  • $98,900 in microgrants 
  • $82,000 for largerscale projects  

For the next round of funding, we encourage anyone who has an idea to apply, whether you come from a large organization, small organization, or no organization at all. Applications are accepted and awarded on a rolling basis, up to $5,000. Questions: Reach out to Carla BirnbaumFederation’s Community Impact Associate. 

Mircrogrants Generate Amazing Collaborations!

By CARING, COMMUNITY, Making Jewish Places

Federation’s Making Jewish Places (MJP) continues to foster community partnerships like never before! In our latest round of microgrants, we’ve invested $25,500 into the North Fulton/East Cobb community, by green-lighting an array of collaborative proposals that meet Jewish needs around mental health support, communitywide holiday celebrations, young family programming, and adult education. It’s exciting to see organizations pool their talents and resources to make impactful Jewish things happen.

“With this latest round we have also grown our partnership network to nearly 30 unique organizations creating meaningful Jewish opportunities in North Metro Atlanta,” said Danniell Nadiv, Senior Director of Jewish Journeys, Places and Welcoming. For information on the next round of MJP microgrants, contact Carla Birnbaum. Anyone can apply, whether you come from a large organization, small organization, or no organization at all. Applications are accepted and awarded on a rolling basis, with awards of up to $5,000.

OUR NEWEST GRANTEES

  • Amy’s Holiday Party$5,000 to engage teens in the planning of the annual party that serves underprivileged children. With COVID-19, individual experiences are planned and implemented for all the agencies who normally attend Amy’s Party. Both North Fulton cohorts of Creating Connected Communities will develop and implement these experiences.
  • Blue Dove Foundation — $1,500 for community discussions on the emotional impact of COVID-19, including a multi-synagogue discussion surrounding Blue Dove’s Quieting the Silence book on mental health and addiction in the Jewish community.
  • Hanukkah House Challenge $5,000 for a Hanukkah program for the entire North Fulton community. This HGTV inspired competition involves 80 families who received an edible Hanukkah house kit to create and submit for judging. The winners will be announced at a virtual Hanukkah party hosted by the Bible Players. This celebration is a joint program of Congregation Gesher L’Torah, Congregation Dor Tamid & JumpSpark.
  • Keshet Ofek of North Fulton$3,500 Supporting a program and platform that empowers young Israelis and Jewish American families to connect and learn Israeli culture and Hebrew language. Interactive sessions will follow CDC safety protocols.
  • Mezuzah Project$5,000 for Gary Rosenthal hiddur mitzvah (beautifying the mitzvah) mezuzah art kits. This program encourages families to create artistic mezuzot for their homes. Participants have the unique opportunity to attend a workshop with Mr. Rosenthal. Joint project of Temple Beth Tikvah & Congregation Dor Tamid.
  • Support Group for Parents who Have Lost a Child to Suicide — $1,500 to an individual applicant for this important community support group. JF&CS will be partnering with an individual in the community for this support group.
  • PJ Library Family Microgrants — Microgrants of $100 each awarded to 35 families and neighbors for small holiday programs occurring round Hanukkah, Tu B’Shevat, Havdalah or Shabbat.

Mitzvah Expo — $1,500 to help Atlanta Mitzvah Connection build a website that will help b’nai mitzvah age teens explore projects that benefit our community, presented in a virtual Expo. Jumpspark helped facilitate this discussion, which included several non-profit leaders and participants.

 

MLK Shabbat Suppers Celebrate Diversity & Dialogue

By CARING, COMMUNITY, Federation Innovation, INNOVATION, Making Jewish Places, NextGen, People in Need, PHILANTHROPY

For Jews and their loved ones, Shabbat dinner is far more than a meal. It’s a weekly platform for holiness, hospitality, peace, plenty and conversation. With that in mind, Federation awarded a Bloom Innovation seed grant to several organizations who collaborated on ways to use MLK weekend as a moment to turn Shabbat dinners into opportunities for dialogue and understanding.

On the Friday preceding Martin Luther King Jr. Day, 144 individuals across Atlanta showed up for a “MLK Shabbat Supper,” a guided dinner and discussion to honor Dr. King made possible by the collaborative efforts of Repair the World AtlantaOneTable, the American Jewish CommitteeHands On Atlanta, and Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta. There were ten simultaneous MLK Shabbat Suppers throughout the city, in neighborhoods ranging from Sandy Springs to the Westside. The religiously, racially and gender diverse group of hosts came from among the lay leadership of Jewish community partners including the above organizations, as well as Jewish Family and Career Services, Moishe House and The Schusterman Family Foundation.

Participants at the dinners enjoyed a meal while diving into a discussion guide filled with thought-provoking quotes and questions from a Jewish perspective about civil rights, racial justice and other issues of importance to Atlanta. Feel free to download the guide.

As OneTable Atlanta Hub Manager, Shira Hahn, put it, “By joining together at the table, we work towards creating new traditions that foster authentic and thoughtful engagement across difference to recognize our past and ideate a better future. Moving forward we will continue to build solidarity and greater understanding within the Jewish community and with all Atlantans.”

For those interested in further opportunities for service and dialogue, join Repair the World and partners for an anti-human trafficking event on January 27 and cooking for the Nicholas House family shelter on February 22; details and registration here.