Ray’s Rio Bravo Opens

Jewish restaurateur Ray Schoenbaum opened his “new old” Tex-Mex concept, Ray’s Rio Bravo, for dinner at 4 p.m. Monday, Aug. 3.

Dorothy Fierman Carrillo and Tom Dell get into the Ray’s Rio Bravo spirit during a preview meal at the restaurant Ray Schoenbaum has opened in Sandy Springs.

Dorothy Fierman Carrillo and Tom Dell get into the Ray’s Rio Bravo spirit during a preview meal at the restaurant Ray Schoenbaum has opened in Sandy Springs. (Photos by Marcia Caller Jaffe)

The opening followed a week of private events for friends and family at the former site of Peter Chang’s Chinese restaurant along the Chattahoochee River at 6450 Powers Ferry Road in Sandy Springs. The restaurant is just east of Schoenbaum’s Ray’s on the River.

The new restaurant is meant to re-create the Rio Bravo that was a huge success for Schoenbaum more than 30 years ago until he sold it. It features the same dishes and fresh tortillas made on “The Machino.”

Schoenbaum performed a colorful overhaul and reconstruction on the building, including a spewing fountain.

Gesher Renews Rabbi

Congregation Gesher L’Torah Rabbi Michael Bernstein recently signed a 10-year contract renewal with the Conservative synagogue in Alpharetta.

In an announcement, Gesher L’Torah said the renewal “ensures long-term stability for the congregation as well as continuation of our unprecedented growth trend.”

The congregation’s membership has grown 40 percent since Rabbi Bernstein arrived in July 2009.

Hershberg Joins AJC

The ties between the American Jewish Committee’s Southeast regional office in Buckhead and the Israeli Consulate to the Southeast in Midtown have gotten a bit closer with the hiring of Harold Hershberg as AJC Atlanta’s assistant regional director.

Hershberg, who is replacing Jeff Schoenberg and is focusing on interethnic and interreligious affairs and domestic diplomacy, moves to AJC Atlanta from a post with the consulate as the director of economic and trade affairs. In that position, he developed and executed a strategic vision for economic and commercial diplomacy.

Hershberg hold bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Kennesaw State University and worked for the law firm of Heskia-Hacmun in Tel Aviv. He was a 2013 Zionist Thought and Statesmanship Jerusalem Fellow, a 2013 graduate of the Anti-Defamation League’s Glass Leadership Institute, and a recipient of the American Zionist Movement’s Helyn B. Reich Memorial Scholarship.

His new boss, AJC Atlanta Director Dov Wilker, also has experience at the Israeli Consulate, where he was academic and community affairs director from 2005 to 2007.

Film Entry Deadline Nears

The regular deadline for entries for the 2016 Atlanta Jewish Film Festival is Aug. 21.

The 16th edition of the festival, the largest Jewish film festival in the world, will run from Jan. 26 to Feb. 17.

“The 16th annual festival promises to be our best year,” Executive Director Kenny Blank said.

The entry fee is $15. The fee rises to $20 for late entries, due Sept. 18, and $30 for filmmakers taking advantage of the extended Oct. 9 deadline for submissions through Withoutabox.

Entry requirements and forms are available at ajff.org/callforentries.

Hadassah Visits Rights Center

During the three weeks leading to the 9th of Av, which fell on July 25 this year, the Jewish people remember the destruction of both Temples in Jerusalem and the resulting struggles for Jewish civil rights. That period was an auspicious time for Greater Atlanta Hadassah (www.hadassah.org/atlanta) to organize a group trip to the Center for Civil and Human Rights at Centennial Olympic Park in Atlanta.

The visit Sunday, July 19, started at the Martin Luther King National Historic Site and continued with a ride on the new streetcar to park. The tour of the rights center began after lunch at the CNN Center food court.

The Center for Civil and Human Rights includes not only the story of Atlanta’s role in the civil rights movement, but also the fight for human rights all over the world.

The year-old center is looking for a new leader after the resignation of CEO Doug Shipman in early June.