Samantha Kurgan is the VP of Innovation and Jewish Engagement for the Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta. Samantha works with a committee of volunteers to drive change and impact through funding initiatives and creative approaches to addressing the gaps in the Atlanta community. The Jewish Innovation Initiative offers local changemakers the opportunity to expand the dynamic ecosystem by providing guidance, resources, mentorship, and funding to shepherd new ventures and cement Atlanta’s status as a best-in-class Jewish community. In her role, Samantha also manages the Making Jewish Places, and Interfaith Initiatives, the Federation’s programs created to be a more diverse and inclusive Jewish Community throughout our sprawling and growing city. Additionally, Samantha oversees the Atlanta PJ Library and Camp Scholarship programs and serves as the co-chair for the Atlanta cohort for the JEDI initiative of JFNA.
Samantha spent five years serving as a lay leader for the Federation’s Jewish Abilities Alliance, as well as the Rising Up Allocation Committee. Samantha’s passion for the disability community led her to co-chair the Inclusion Program for the Maccabi Games and was selected as a parent advocate for the Georgia Center for Leadership in Disability. Samantha’s professional experience started in the field of Human Resources and Organizational Development working for companies like Target, Turner, and PwC. After having children, Samantha created a children’s summer art program. Her passion for social service and philanthropy inspired her to become the ED for The Packaged Good (TPG), allowing her to combine her passion for working with children and creating philanthropic opportunities for families. During her tenure there, Samantha helped merge TPG and the Solidarity Food Pantry and developed their educational programming around food insecurity, poverty, and hunger to further drive their volunteer experience. Samantha lives with her husband Paul and their three kids, Rachel, Adam, and Romi. She has loved being a part of Atlanta’s thriving Jewish community for the past 20 years.