By Galina & Lawrence Tobin
It’s hard to find great Jewish friends. LEADS made it easy.
I probably wouldn’t have met my wife Galina if it wasn’t for our Jewish community. I emigrated to Atlanta from South Africa, went to Yeshiva Atlanta and Georgia Tech. Galina grew up in Maryland and went to UGA. It was my brothers, Darren and Ilan, who met Galina at UGA Chabad and set us up on a blind date. This month we’re celebrating our third anniversary! So, of course, I paid attention when Ilan recommended that we try LEADS — Federation’s leadership program connecting Jewish young adults under 40. LEADS gave Galina and me common ground with other Jewish young couples. Now they’re a huge part of our social life.
We did the six week LEADS program last year and liked it so much we became leaders of a couples group in the Spring 2017 cohort. In LEADS you talk about important and nuanced things, like Jewish values, and your hopes and dreams for raising a family. We are fairly observant, but our group had differing Jewish backgrounds, which made for insightful conversation. Some couples did not keep kosher, did not go to Jewish day school, or had siblings in interfaith marriages. Even though LEADS is over, our group continues to meet for Shabbat dinners and get-togethers and we’re talking about doing a tzedakah project together. LEADS has been the perfect place to connect with our peers in a way that’s both serious and social.
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