Earlier this month, 20 Atlanta Jewish professionals gathered in Cleveland for the JPro Conference, along with their counterparts from around the country. The theme was collaboration – a chance to unpack where Jewish professionals have been over the last two years of the COVID challenge and where we might go now, together. It was the first cross-sector gathering of Jewish community professionals since the pandemic began.
Our Atlanta professionals led two presentations that demonstrated the collaborative power of grass roots community building through our Making Jewish Places (MJP) Initiative. Atlanta is nationally known and admired for Making Jewish Places by many Federation communities. So, we were excited to share MJP’s strategic vision that empowers people to grow their own community in authentic and relevant Jewish ways.
An important MJP vehicle are our $180 Gather Grants which allow people to create their own Jewish events. Gather grants cross generational lines and are offered to young adults, PJ Library families, and families in targeted areas of Atlanta. Past grantees have built community sukkahs, created Hanukkah block parties, even established a Jewish culture group in a 50+ community. Another example of MJP’s grass roots power is how it transformed an annual East Cobb/Roswell Hanukkah party from a top-down Federation organized event, to a collaborative, locally driven celebration that brought together several synagogues in the area.
Listen to Danniell Nadiv, Federation’s Senior Director of Jewish Journeys, Places and Welcoming, talk about the power and potential of Making Jewish Places.