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Few things get me more excited than passionate discussions with friends and colleagues about Jewish ideas and the Jewish future. Whether in leadership trainings, at professional retreats, or around my dinner table, I love how deep conversations on difficult topics light up my brain with fresh insights and get my synapses firing. Occasionally, I’ve shared my personal thoughts in Op-Eds and in online publications like e-Jewish Philanthropy, and I’m absolutely delighted that our Federation professionals are doing the same.

Four members of our Federation professional team have recently published articles in Forward, e-Jewish Philanthropy, the Atlanta Jewish Times, and on our website. As colleagues and thought leaders, they make me incredibly proud and exemplify our core values of excellence, fearlessness, and empathy, along with our culture of being a learning organization.

Jodi Mansbach, our Chief Impact Officer, draws on her urban planning background to wonder how, after the pandemic, communities will shift the way they think about public, private, and Jewish places. She reminds us that after the destruction of The Temple, Judaism pivoted to a synagogue model, and that in the American experience, we created JCCs, camps and day schools to express our Judaism. Now Zoom has turned our living rooms into sacred spaces. Read Jodi’s predictions about hyperlocalism and collectivism.

Jori Mendel, our V.P.of Innovation makes the case for the power of creativity as a driver of organizational value and community vibrancy. She argues that organizations should cultivate an innovation mindset that prioritizes collaboration and R&D, and take the time to understand what “customers” want and value. Read it here.

Rabbi Melissa Scholten-Guttierez, Federation’s Jewish Camp Initiative Manager, reflects on the genius of Jewish mourning rituals, and how even during a pandemic, when social distancing deprives us of the usual ways to grieve, a community can find solace. Read it here.

Rabbi Elana Perry, who leads Federation’s Jewish Education Collaborative initiative, lays out an inspiring blueprint for how we intend to transform part-time Jewish education in Atlanta, invest in great teaching, and make it something families and kids are truly excited about. See the flipbook about it here.

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