At almost the same time Sunday, Jan. 10, two important organizations in Jewish Atlanta celebrated their new homes by installing mezuzot.
At Ponce City Market in Midtown, InterfaithFamily/Atlanta had a party to introduce its first office space to scores of supporters. Along with food, drink and swag, IFF/Atlanta director Rabbi Malka Packer and project manager Laurel Snyder welcomed the crowd with music from the Pussywillows, thanks to the Atlanta Jewish Music Festival.
Before leading the crowd in the Shehecheyanu and the blessing for the mezuzah, placed at the entrance to IFF’s small office, Rabbi Packer cited the support of the Marcus and Leven foundations and the Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta and thanked her parents for surprising her by traveling to Atlanta for the event.
“We chose PCM because it is well within our price range, it’s an amazingly cool and hip space, we are above great stores and a fabulous food court, and we have access to all kinds of cool rooms like the meditation room, the green room with picnic tables, conference rooms and the secret room that looks like the inside of Jeanie’s bottle,” Rabbi Packer said later. The one catch is that because she’s on the road a lot, people should make an appointment (MalkaP@interfaithfamily.com) before popping up to the eighth floor to visit.
Shared space isn’t an issue for the Chabad Israeli Center Atlanta, which celebrated its new building in Brookhaven under the leadership of Rabbi Mendy Gurary by installing mezuzot throughout the synagogue, offices and classrooms.
The ceremony included the official naming of the synagogue as Beit Reuven Chabad, in memory of Reuven Manoah of the Crown Holding Group, whose family made the key donation for the facility. Ron Manoah installed the mezuzah at the synagogue entrance.
The event began with remarks by Rabbi Yochanan Gurary, the chief rabbi of Holon, Israel; Rabbi Yossi New, the director of Chabad of Georgia and spiritual leader of Congregation Beth Tefillah; and Ambassador Judith Varnai Shorer, Israel’s consul general to the Southeast.
The Chabad Israeli Center holds daily morning prayer services and Shabbat services and will add Mincha and Maariv services in the near future.