Rabbis Michael Bernstein of Congregation Gesher L’Torah and Pamela Gottfried of the Weber School will be the honorees at the 11th annual Purim off Ponce, the fundraising party for the Southern Jewish Resource Network for Gender and Sexual Diversity.

The announcement comes as SOJOURN is organizing Jewish participation in Atlanta Pride, including the parade Oct. 9 (gather at 11:30 a.m. near the Arts Center MARTA station in Midtown to march with SOJOURN and its approximately 40 co-sponsors) and a tent in Piedmont Park on Oct. 8 and 9.

Photo by Sue Chase Rabbis Michael Bernstein and Pamela Gottfried, shown at a self-exploration event Sept. 25, will receive SOJOURN’s Michael Jay Kinsler Rainmaker Award on Feb. 25.

Photo by Sue Chase
Rabbis Michael Bernstein and Pamela Gottfried, shown at a self-exploration event Sept. 25, will receive SOJOURN’s Michael Jay Kinsler Rainmaker Award on Feb. 25.

“Rabbi Bernstein and Rabbi Gottfried have been incredible role models for the Jewish community,” SOJOURN President Leanne Rubenstein said. “They have inspired others to become allies to the LGBTQ community through their courageous leadership in the fight for LGBTQ equality in Georgia and beyond.”

Both rabbis have been active the past two years in fighting Georgia legislation that supporters say would protect religious liberty but that opponents say would provide legal protection for discrimination.

SOJOURN has been on the front lines of that ongoing legislative battle, and Purim off Ponce celebrates such advocacy work, as well as the organization’s education, outreach and suicide prevention efforts. The money raised that night will pay for much of SOJOURN’s annual budget to conduct that work.

“Purim off Ponce is always in the middle of the Georgia legislative session, which sometimes makes us

feel like we’re deep in the trenches with no end in sight,” SOJOURN Executive Director Rebecca Stapel-Wax said. “Purim off Ponce is our opportunity to recharge and celebrate our resilience in our commitment to advancing LGBTQ affirmation and empowerment across the South.”

Purim off Ponce is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Feb. 25 at Le Fais do-do, 1161 Ellsworth Industrial Ave. Costumes are encouraged to “get ready for your close-up” with a celebrate of the golden age of Hollywood.

Tickets are $75 in advance and $100 at the door for the party, which includes food and an open bar. Get more information or tickets at sojourngsd.org/purim.