by Shira Colsky
My name is Shira Colsky. I live in Smyrna, and while I don’t belong to a synagogue, being Jewish and expanding my circle of Jewish friends is important to me. I love cooking and hosting events so when I learned that Federation was offering Gather Grants of $180 to make Jewish celebrations more fun and welcoming, I was excited to apply.
Actually, I applied and received the Gather Grant three separate times!
With my first Gather Grant, I hosted a Sukkot event. The grant funds paid for materials to build my very first sukkah. I invited 12 people over for a homemade dinner to share in the sukkah. It brought back incredible memories of celebrating Sukkot at Hillel at the University of Florida. I would never have been able to build my own sukkah and have this incredible event without the grant. I ended up using my sukkah throughout the holiday—spending time with friends and family in the Sukkah we built together. I’ve always wanted to have my own sukkah, and the Gather Grant helped me make it happen.
I used my second grant to host a mahjongg Shabbat. A small group of my friends and I had learned mahjongg from our Jewish moms (where else?!). We played several games following dinner. It was a really lovely Shabbat.
The third grant I received was intended to support hosting an event in honor of Israel’s 75th Birthday. Three close friends from college and I shared a family-style dinner at Aziza, an Israeli restaurant on Atlanta’s west side. We loved the atmosphere, the food, and the chance to be together. It was a fantastic night enjoying incredible food and celebrating Israeli culture.
Gather Grants have helped enhance my Jewish celebrations and connect with my Jewish ATL community.