“Federation is thrilled to have so many local partners here. … It is a testament to how dedicated this community is to becoming more inclusive and welcoming to everyone,” Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta President and CEO Eric Robbins said at the third annual Power of One reception Sunday, Feb. 26.
The ceremony at the Selig Center honored 25 people who were recognized by their Jewish Atlanta organizations for demonstrating exceptional kindness in making people with special needs feel welcome.
Federation and the Jewish Abilities Alliance, formed in 2013, presented the ceremony as the closing event of Jewish Disability Awareness & Inclusion Month. Robbins said people with disabilities “are serving us a lot more than we are them.”
JAA committee chairs Ina Enoch and Sheryl Arno, joined by vice chair Adam Pomeranz, have spearheaded opportunities for inclusion throughout the community.
Enoch has dedicated her time and energy to helping children with disabilities.
“Ina’s ability to look at the big picture encourages those on the committees that she serves to continually achieve success,” said Federation Chairman Joel Marks, who presented a vase to Enoch in appreciation for her work with JAA. The JAA Training Fund, which provides funding to community leaders and professionals to participate in educational opportunities geared toward inclusion, is being renamed the Ina Enoch Community Disabilities Training Fund.
Marks also announced that Enoch will step down the from JAA committee in June to become a member of Federation’s executive board.
The ceremony featured the first the announcement of the first Robyn Berger Emerging Leader Award, presented by Arno and Eric Berger to Emily Shapiro from Camp Barney Medintz. The award recognizes someone who is passionate about promoting inclusion among younger members of Atlanta’s Jewish community.
Shapiro began as a staffer in training at Camp Barney at age 14 and always knew she wanted to work with campers with special needs. She is a regular at the Marcus Jewish Community Center’s SOAR Program and soon will receive her master’s in social work and organizational behavior with an emphasis in disability studies.
“Camp directors strive to make connections and an impact on every child they spend time with. … In turn, campers profoundly impact us and help us become better at what we do. What a joy to have been able to watch Emily create inclusive communities both inside and outside of camp,” said Michael Drucker, the operations director for Camp Barney.
“We are looking forward to our continued collaborative efforts to ensure our Jewish community is one that embraces all people,” Robbins said. “There is no power of change greater than a community discovering what it cares about.”
The Complete List of Power of One Honorees
- Jennifer Zindler, Atlanta Jewish Academy
- Loretta Shapiro, Breman Religious School of The Temple
- Emily Shapiro, Camp Barney Medintz
- Marnie Nadolne, Camp Judaea
- Benjamin Meisler, Camp Ramah Darom
- Heidi Whatley, Congregation Bet Haverim
- Aaron Hartman, Congregation Beth Jacob
- Michelle Izenson, Congregation Beth Shalom
- Anthony Naturman, Congregation Beth Tefillah
- Helene Prokesch, Congregation B’nai Torah
- Jared Skyer, Congregation Dor Tamid
- Debbie Deutsch, Congregation Etz Chaim
- Jeremy Lefkovits, Congregation Or Hadash
- Sharron Sims, the Davis Academy
- Sharon Sapp, the Epstein School
- Thelet Bunder, Friendship Circle
- Sammy Rosenberg, Jewish Interest Free Loan of Atlanta
- Adriane Hill, Jewish Family & Career Services
- Almaz Gebreigziabher, Jewish Home Life Communities
- Susie Davidow, Marcus JCC
- Sheila Purdin, Temple Emanu-El
- Kelly Figiel, Temple Kehillat Chaim
- Stephanie Scalise, Temple Sinai
- Danielle Steinhart, URJ Camp Coleman
- Rose Karlin, the Weber School