Russell Gottschalkfounder and director, Atlanta Jewish Music Festival

After years of working with the Atlanta Jewish Film Festival, Gottschalk wanted to create a similar outlet for Jewish music and artists, so he started the AJMF in 2009.

Gottschalk values productivity, and the AJMF creates or co-creates 40 to 50 events a year, providing ongoing opportunities for aspiring local and international Jewish artists.

The AJMF is unusual in serving businesses and consumers, often organizing live performances for schools such as Davis Academy.

The AJMF also produces dynamic learning programs. The spring festival in March, for example, included an interfaith dialogue featuring multicultural Israeli band Diwan Saz at Emory University’s Center for Ethics.

Gottschalk has introduced a vibrant source of Jewish culture to the Jewish community in Atlanta and beyond.

“I think the Jewish nonprofit sector is very strong in Atlanta,” Gottschalk said. “If there is an area for improvement, it’s one where more individual nonprofits and groups can get together, collaborate and grow in one place.”

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