The only president in the six-year history of Jewish Interest Free Loan of Atlanta is stepping aside as he and his wife prepare to move to Israel.
Morton Barr, who founded JIFLA (jifla.org) in 2009 and has served as president and board chairman since, has shifted to chairman emeritus of the board, the nonprofit organization’s board of directors announced March 16.
Replacing Barr as president is Laura Kahn Travis, who has been a JIFLA volunteer since its start. She has served on the board and loan committee.
Kahn, who is immediately moving into her new volunteer role, is a senior vice president in the Commercial Banking Group of Bank of America and a former board member at Yeshiva Atlanta High School. She has degrees from the University of Georgia and Columbia University and experience with SunTrust and Prudential.
Kahn aims to ensure that all Jews in the area are aware of the resources offered by JIFLA.
“We’re very excited about the transition,” said Karolyn Benger, JIFLA’s director. She praised Barr’s leadership and said the organization is looking forward to increasing its loan making.
Since opening its loan office in March 2010, JIFLA has given out $201,635 in interest-free loans to Atlanta-area Jews in financial need. The organization also has received community funding grants and last year launched its Women’s Crisis Loan Fund.
“I am most privileged and honored to have spent the past six years developing and growing this enormously worthwhile organization,” Barr said. “I am very proud of what JIFLA has accomplished.”
He has spent increasing periods away from Atlanta as he and wife Edith, JIFLA’s community relations chairman, have worked on the aliyah process.
“I believe that this is the right time for the organization to transition its leadership,” he said. “Our director, Mrs. Benger, and the board are positioned for continued success in accomplishing its mission.”