By April Basler | firstname.lastname@example.org
Ezra Flom, a native of California, is Temple Kol Emeth’s new youth and family programming director.
Now a resident of East Cobb, Flom replaced Justin Blake, who moved to Memphis at the beginning of July. Flom grew up in Orange County and has lived in Texas, Florida, Mississippi and Maryland.
Although Flom has lived in the Atlanta area only a short time, he has already had a positive experience working at a Reform congregation here.
“It’s been amazing. Atlanta’s a great city,” Flom said. “The people are wonderful and friendly.”
Having grown up in a Conservative congregation, Flom was involved with USY as a teen. He also was in a Jewish Boy Scout troop.
Flom earned a bachelor’s degree in Spanish culture and literature with a philosophy minor at California State University, Long Beach. He earned a master’s degree in education and a bachelor’s in rabbinic literature from American Jewish University in Los Angeles. He also attended Hebrew Union College and earned a preliminary California teaching credential.
Before arriving at TKE, Flom created experiences for Jewish learners for over 10 years. His previous positions include teaching at a Jewish day school, being an assistant teacher for a sophomore service learning program at American Jewish University, and leading Jewish outdoor nature programs.
Flom’s first experience with the Kol Emeth community was assisting with a fifth- and sixth-grade retreat. He was asked to help by a graduate school colleague, Rebecca Tullman, who is Kol Emeth’s religious school principal.
“I participated in the program and was really blown away by the students and the parents and the community,” Flom said. “I met people and was really impressed by the incredible feeling of family that comes from being here.”
The youth and family programming director at Kol Emeth is responsible for all youth and family programs for children from kindergarten through high school. Flom is also the adviser for KEFTY, Kol Emeth’s NFTY chapter.
Several upcoming youth and family programs have Flom excited. The first activity is a family program for Sukkot.
“We’re doing Stone Soup in the Sukkah,” he said. “We are bringing the folk tale of stone soup to life here at TKE.”
Flom also is looking forward to a High Holiday treasure trail for kindergartners through fifth-graders. “We are creating a life-size game board of the Jewish year and the Jewish holidays.”
So what’s the biggest challenge Flom faces in his new position?
“The most challenging thing about this position is seeing so many opportunities and knowing that I’m just one person and I can only do so much,” he said. “That’s the real challenge, holding back and making sure that we’re focusing on doing the best job that we can. That means limiting the amount of programs that we come up with.”
Flom said he has received a lot of support from other youth professionals and educators in Atlanta.
“On top of being incredible people, they’re so incredibly sharing and really care about the work that we’re all doing,” he said. “I’m really incredibly blessed to be working with so many people who care about Judaism and the Jewish people — not as a group, but as individuals.”