When the Atlanta Scholars Kollel launched 30 years ago, Abe Levine was the first point of local contact.
He located three homes for the organization and has continued to support it philanthropically and through Jewish education. Levine is regularly invited as a guest lecturer at college campuses and believes that supporting Israel is rooted in a person’s connection to Judaism.
“Support for Israel comes from various approaches. It may derive from monetary contributions, such as gifts toward FIDF or AIPAC, but it may also be spiritual. ASK helps keep the flow of people coming and going in different stages of Judaism and stands as a mecca for Jews,” said Levine, a Congregation Beth Jacob member and the chief financial officer of Adams Outdoor, which creates billboards.
The kollel will present its Tribute to Jewish Learning Award to Levine at an event Sunday, March 5. The award goes to leaders who have dedicated themselves to Jewish education and inclusion within the community and have stood out in community philanthropy.
“The award highlights people who can contribute to the organization, but it’s also our way of expressing our appreciation for their continued support,” said Rabbi David Silverman, the kollel’s dean.
Rabbi Silverman views the kollel as a Jewish think tank. “We study Talmud in the morning and then diffuse ourselves into the community. Everyone plays a significant role. Whether it’s providing lectures or lunch-and-learns on high school and college campuses, we have a mission to serve the community.”
The March 5 event is one of the major fundraising initiatives the Atlanta Scholars Kollel uses every year to support a budget of $1.6 million to promote Jewish learning.
Levine is an avid supporter of the kollel and has studied with Rabbi Michoel Lipschutz the past 25 years. He also participated in ASK’s learning safari to Israel five years ago.
“Levine’s involvement in learning, being engaged and commitment to Torah study personify what the award symbolizes,” Rabbi Silverman said. His personal Jewish growth reflects ASK’s encouragement of Jewish learning and highlights his inspiration in the community.
Levine said he is honored to receive the Tribute to Jewish Learning Award. “Perhaps I am receiving the award because they deem me as a leader in the community, both philanthropic and spiritual, but I am also a big supporter of ASK and have gotten to know a lot of very good people,” he said. “The individuals who teach at ASK could be doing anything and are all successful, but they have never lost track of what is meaningful to them.”
Levine graduated from Fairleigh Dickinson University and went into accounting. He came to Atlanta to work as the assistant CFO for Simmons Mattress Co. He has worked for Adams since 1988 and has been the CFO and vice president since 1991.
Levine enjoys associating with people who share his enthusiasm about Jewish learning. “ASK’s mission heavily resonates with me because it is close to my own core values and allows me to express my genuine appreciation for Israel and Judaism,” he said. “It is important to support ASK because that’s what binds the Jewish community, encourages support for Israel and provides a foundation for future generations.”
Who: Abe Levine
What: Atlanta Scholars Kollel Tribute to Jewish Learning Award
Where: Westin Buckhead, 3391 Peachtree Road
When: 6 (sponsor reception) and 7:15 p.m. (main event) Sunday, March 5