Benefit Celebrates Friendship Circle

More than 250 attended the annual Friendship Circle benefit brunch, which honored the organization’s 150 volunteers, Sunday, March 13.

Brad Cohen tells his story at the Friendship Circle brunch.

Brad Cohen tells his story at the Friendship Circle brunch.

“I left feeling inspired and proud that my daughter volunteers for such an incredible organization,” Jodie Schiff said. Every volunteer of Friendship Circle is dedicated to creating an inclusive community and works toward that goal with people with special needs.

Brad Cohen, who overcame ridicule aimed at his Tourette syndrome to become an acclaimed educator, was the featured speaker. “It’s nice to take time out of our busy days to recognize those who make a difference in our community,” he said. “This was a great event to celebrate our differences and embrace our challenges.”

The event featured the performance of an original song created for Friendship Circle and a testimonial by participant Mindy Friedman, who said, “What I enjoy most is being able to talk to the volunteers because they allow me to express myself.”

“Our volunteers are the backbone of Friendship Circle, and their ever-growing numbers indicate a bright future,” said Rickelle New, the director of the program.

AJC Condemns Anti-Muslim Rally

An anti-Muslim demonstration outside the Georgia Capitol on Monday, April 1

Mindy Friedman touches the crowd by explaining how important Friendship Circle is to her.

Mindy Friedman touches the crowd by explaining how important Friendship Circle is to her.

8, drew swift condemnation from American Jewish Committee’s Atlanta Chapter and the Muslim-Jewish Dialogue and Social Committee.

The demonstration was organized by James Stachowiak and Pastor Terry Jones, who tore apart a Quran.

AJC Atlanta, whose mission is to safeguard the welfare and security of the Jewish people and promote democratic values worldwide, said it “stands with the Muslim leaders of metro Atlanta against all forms of bigotry, ignorance and discrimination, including this perverse display of hatred and intolerance.”

The Muslim-Jewish Dialogue, part of AJC Atlanta, is led by Azizah Kahera and Murray Goldman.

$68K to Fight Breast Cancer

Atlanta’s A Cure in Our Lifetime spring breakfast raised more than $68,000 for breast cancer research Wednesday, March 30.

Geralyn Lucas, a breast cancer survivor and the author of “Why I Wore Lipstick (To My Mastectomy),” delivered the keynote address at the event, which Jennifer Fink, the daughter of a breast cancer survivor, and Jody Goldstein, a breast cancer survivor, organized at the Cherokee Town and Country Club in Buckhead.

The two women met while participating in the Atlanta 2-Day Walk for Breast Cancer, an annual event produced by local breast cancer nonprofit It’s the Journey. They decided to create the Atlanta chapter of New York-based A Cure in Our Lifetime.

The money raise March 30 will go to It’s the Journey and the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.

“One in eight women in the United States will develop invasive breast cancer in their lifetime,” Fink said. “Groundbreaking research is critical in helping to find ways to prevent and cure breast cancer.”

AJC to Honor Ashers

American Jewish Committee’s Atlanta Regional Office will honor Spring and Tom Asher with the Selig Distinguished Service Award on Wednesday, May 18, at the Atlanta History Center in Buckhead.

National AJC Chief Executive Officer David Harris will be the featured speaker at the event, which includes dinner after cocktails at 6 p.m.

“We are thrilled to honor the Ashers, whose lives, leadership and work in the Atlanta Jewish and civic communities reflect AJC’s global mission,” said Dov Wilker, the AJC Atlanta regional director.

A former chapter president and national board member of AJC, Tom Asher spent his career in the investment business, primarily with Robinson-Humphrey and Smith Barney. He is the president of the Rich Foundation and a trustee of the Atlanta History Center and the Woodruff Arts Center.

Spring Asher is a past co-chair of the Breman Jewish Heritage Museum and is the vice chair of the AJC-founded Atlanta Jewish Film Festival. She is a board member of The Temple and the High Museum. She co-founded Speechworks, now owned by son Joey Asher.

Eliot Arnovitz received the Selig Award in 2015, and Robert Arogeti was the honoree in 2014.