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Summer Gather Grants Bring People Together

By Atlanta Jewish Community

Federation’s Gather Grants program has been celebrating all things summer! We love hearing the stories that our hosts and participants share with us every day. Gather Grants are gifts of $180 that participants can use to create a meaningful Jewish event. Hosts have complete control over the event, from the date and location to the attendees and activities. The photos and stories we receive from these events are simply amazing, and we can’t wait to share some of our favorites with you in the upcoming weeks. Today, we’re featuring a few stories from Honeymoon Israel participants who used our Gather Grants to connect with Jewish life in Atlanta!

One of our hosts, Ben, held a Guys’ Night Havdalah and Poker Tournament with 12 friends at his home. It was a special event, as Ben was able to share the personal meaning behind several pieces of Judaica. He even highlighted the Tallit he acquired on his Honeymoon Israel trip, which he plans to give to his child as a legacy gift upon their B’nai Mitzvah one day.  

Stacey held a pool gathering for friends, including two new babies! It was a fun way for Stacey to introduce new friends to older ones and build a micro community of Jewish connections. Even Stacey’s parents were able to join in on the fun and meet some of the friends they made on their Israel trip last year. And their daughter joined in and splashed with their friends! 

According to Corey, a Honeymoon Israel alumnus who hosted a Gather Grant in mid-June, our program is easy to navigate and does a great job of encouraging Jewish families to get together. If you’re interested in hosting your own Jewish event, you can apply for our Fall Gather Grants, which will open in September for gatherings to be held in October and November. Check out our website to learn more about our program and how we can help you create a meaningful event. 

shira-colsky-gather-grants-selfie-of-group

Gather Grants Empower Us

By Gather Grants

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.

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