AWARD “PAYS TRIBUTE TO THE PHILANTHROPIC SPIRIT OF JEWISH ATLANTA”

SPECIAL FOR THE AJT

 

On June 12, ORT’s Next Gen group will honor Jewish community volunteer, leader, activist and professional, Leah Fuhr, with its Second Annual Outstanding Community Leadership Award. The event will take place from 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. at AA Synagogue in Buckhead, and will feature ORT Argentinean graduate, Rodrigo Romarowski.

The Outstanding Community Leadership Award recognizes an individual between the ages of 25-45 for his or her role as a leader and active volunteer in charitable organizations. “ORT’s Next Gen group has been steadily growing over the past several years. Hosting this community event, which pays tribute to the philanthropic spirit of Jewish Atlanta, is a wonderful way to positively contribute to the community, as well as give back to our organization,” says Jenna Shulman, ORT Atlanta Region Director.

Originally from Brooklyn, New York, it was while attending Elon University in Burlington, NC, however, that Judaism became a prominent fixture in Leah’s life. By the time she graduated, she had learned many of the skills that have directed her to where she is today.

Armed with a degree in Education and experience with volunteering as President of Elon’s Hillel Chapter, Leah accepted a teaching position in Atlanta, which is where she moved in 2004.  Since then, she has held a variety of teaching and leadership positions. In 2008, Leah first had the opportunity to do service trips to Tampa and New Orleans through Jewish Funds for Justice. These trips, coupled with her first trip to Israel through Birthright in 2007 grew her passion to immerse in the Jewish community.

Today, Leah is wearing not one, but two professional hats in Atlanta’s Jewish community, serving as the Non-profit Manager of Limmud Atlanta and Southeast and the Youth Program Coordinator for Ahavath Achim (AA) Synagogue, where she is building a youth community through educational, social and religious events.

Leah is now a valued member of a variety of organizations. Through J Street, she is a dedicated member of the Atlanta Steering Committee, promoting peace in Israel; American Jewish World Service (AJWS) allows her to help advocate for equal rights worldwide; at Jewish Family & Career Services (JFCS), she has served as a Project Leader through Volunteers in Action. She has also captained teams for Relay for Life, raising $14,000 for the American Cancer Society.

Event Co-Chair, Dotan Harpak, said , “The thing that I like most about Leah is her strong commitment to the local Atlanta community, as well as to social justice and change. I am always amazed at her willingness to help with every stage of the process.” Harpack continues, “The Atlanta Jewish community is lucky to have such a wonderful and committed leader and friend, and I can’t think of anyone more deserving of this award.”

“I’m honored and humbled to be recognized by ORT in this way and hope it will inspire others to become leaders in the community,” quotes Leah upon being asked to accept this honor.

Nikelle Klareich, ORT Next Gen President said, “…my primary focus is to make the people in my generation more aware of ORT… I would like to see our Next Gen group grow and thrive, helping to spread not only the mission of ORT, but also become active volunteers and donors.”

“I hope that in the process of celebrating such an incredible Jewish community leader, individuals who are less familiar with the organization will take the time to learn more about it.” Adds Marla Shainberg, Event Co-Chair, “I accepted the offer to co-chair this event because I am a big fan of Leah’s. At the time, I was not at all familiar with ORT’s mission. However, as I became entrenched in planning the event, I learned that ORT is committed to ‘educating people against all odds and obstacles.’ How apropos that ORT’s mission turned out to be completely aligned with my own longtime passion for education. Needless to say, I am now a big fan of ORT as well.”

ORT is the largest Jewish educational organization in the world, outside the government. With a presence in 56 countries around the world, ORT focuses on training students with the very best education in order to ensure their long-term success.

Editor’s note: Tickets for the event are currently on sale for $36 ($45 at the door). To purchase, please visit www.ortatlanta.org/Leadership_Event.php or contact the ORT Atlanta Office at (404) 327-5266.