A raffle held over the summer by the Hebrew Order of David’s Lodge Carmel raised more than $25,000 from sales of $100 tickets to benefit three organizations that work with people with
disabilities: Friendship Circle of Atlanta and Camp Living Wonders locally and Lotem in Israel.
The drawing for two round-trip tickets to Israel and $1,000 in spending money (with a maximum value of $4,500) was held Sunday night, Aug. 28, after evening services at Congregation Beth Tefillah.
Rabbi Michael Druin, the head of Chaya Mushka Children’s House Elementary-Middle School, shared some wisdom from Pirke Avot (Ethics of Our Fathers) regarding charity and connected those insights to the special needs population.
Anthony Naturman, who conceived and oversaw the raffle as Lodge Carmel’s president, said that including Lotem had been an objective of his since learning about the organization, which provides outdoor experiences in Israel for people with disabilities, from lodge member Mitchell Tepper, whose son, Jeremy, supported Lotem for his bar mitzvah project seven years ago.
Tepper, who uses a wheelchair because of a spinal cord injury, and Jeremy enjoyed the great outdoors in northern Israel on a 6-mile nature trail Lotem developed.
“We could not leave our brothers and sisters in Israel out,” said Naturman, who was succeeded as lodge president by Stan Lefco in September. “Just as we feel it here in Atlanta when a Jew is harmed, hurt or, G-d forbid, worse, so too can we not leave out our family in the Holy Land. We are one people, one nation, with one beating heart.”
Simon Barzilay, a supporter and beneficiary of the services in Atlanta of Friendship Circle and Camp Living Wonders, drew the winning ticket: Eran Israel, a Beth Tefillah member, was the lucky winner.
Israel wasn’t at the drawing, so Naturman and Tepper delivered the good news to his house. “An Israeli with the name Israel gets to travel to Israel,” Naturman said. “Isn’t that sweet?”
Bridge Named for Adelman
The Briarcliff Road bridge across the South Fork of Peachtree Creek just south of the Sage Hill shopping center in DeKalb County now has a name: the Ambassador David Adelman Bridge, named for the former Democratic state senator and U.S. ambassador to Singapore.
The signs identifying the bridge were erected in mid-September, and a ceremony organized by state Sen. Elena Parent, D-Atlanta, was held Friday afternoon, Sept. 30, to dedicate the bridge.
“Ambassador Adelman has made a great impact on our state and our nation through his years of public service,” Parent said in a statement. “I am thrilled to have the opportunity to honor my dear friend, mentor and colleague in such a remarkable way.”
The bridge naming was part of a resolution enacted by the Georgia General Assembly during this year’s session.
Adelman, a graduate of the Lovett School, the University of Georgia and Emory Law School, served in the Senate from Atlanta from 2003 to 2010, when he resigned to become ambassador to Singapore. Since returning from that post in 2013, he has worked as a trade lawyer in New York.
“It was a privilege to serve the people of Georgia as a lawmaker as well as the United States as a diplomat. Our security and prosperity are strongest when we build bridges between countries and communities,” Adelman said. “I am truly humbled by my former colleagues in the General Assembly honoring me in this way.”
By coincidence, the bridge dedication came at the same time that Adelman donated his official papers from his time as a legislator and diplomat, including speeches, notes, meeting materials, travel itineraries, strategic planning documents, official correspondence, legislation and committee work, to the University of Georgia Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies.
11 Atlanta Women Learn Leadership
Eleven Jewish mothers from Atlanta participated in the Jewish Women’s Renaissance Project Leadership Conference from Sept. 18 to 20 in College Park, Md.
The conference, a JWRP collaboration with the Israeli Ministry of Diaspora Affairs, gathered Jewish women from around the world to hone their leadership skills and create a global Jewish women’s movement. The annual conference was launched in 2013 with 65 participants and has grown to include some 300 people.
Representing Atlanta were Lynn Oves, Helen Zalik, JWRP city leader Julie Silverman, Lori Kagen-Schwartz, Erin Mermelstein, JWRP Momentum trip guide Faye Lefkoff, Carrla Goldstein, Karen Kaplan, Gayle Siegel, Beverly Lewyn and city leader Batsheva Gelbtuch.
JWRP works with the Jewish Women’s Connection of Atlanta.
During the conference, JWRP honored Lihi Lapid, an acclaimed Israeli feminist author, and Rachel Fraenkel, the mother of a slain Israeli teenager who became a national symbol of hope, with the Pamela Claman Leadership Award.
“Rachelle and Lihi both speak on our Momentum trips and are true examples of Jewish women from diverse worlds who know what it means to love one another based on the values they share,” said Lori Palatnik, the founding director of the JWRP.
JWRP brings Jewish mothers on life-changing Momentum trips to Israel, with support from the Ministry of Diaspora Affairs, to inspire them to change the world. Since 2009, more than 8,000 Jewish mothers from 150 partner organizations in 26 countries have taken the trips.
Spanx Founder Commits to Microloan Fund
Jewish entrepreneur Sara Blakely, the founder of Spanx, announced Thursday, Sept. 22, a partnership among Spanx, the Sara Blakely Foundation and nonprofit microfinance organization Grameen America to raise up to $25 million for Grameen America to lend as microloans to low-income female entrepreneurs across the United States.
The Sara Blakely Foundation is an anchor sponsor of the Grameen America Social Business Fund with the goal of enabling Grameen America to support more than 100,000 female entrepreneurs through microloans, credit and asset-building services.
“In 2013, I joined the Giving Pledge, pledging to invest in women because I believe it offers one of the greatest returns on investment,” Blakely said in a statement. “While many of the world’s natural resources are being depleted, one is waiting to be unleashed: women.”
“We are thrilled to partner with Sara to equip women with the tools and confidence they need to become successful business owners,” said Muhammad Yunus, Grameen America’s founder and board chair. “Sara is the ultimate champion and role model for this cause. Through her own personal journey and extraordinary accomplishments, she understands firsthand the importance and impact of empowering women entrepreneurs.”
Through Spanx’s Leg Up Program on Spanx.com, consumers can help decide how to allocate additional microloans to women trying to escape poverty.