The big election news this week is on the front page with the results of the 6th Congressional District voting, but only slightly less important is the outcome of the AJT’s 2017 Atlanta Jewish Favorites survey. (Full results are below).

Our survey, revamped with a more appropriate name and some different categories from what we called the Best of Jewish Atlanta last year, drew 922 online votes.

It’s an unscientific survey, of course, but it gives us a chance to draw some equally unscientific conclusions about the AJT readership:

  • You love bagels. The second-most-popular of the 25 categories was the favorite bagel, which drew 668 responses, including dozens of write-in options. If nothing else, it’s a reminder that Associate Editor David R. Cohen needs to restart his column searching for Atlanta’s best bagel.
  • A fun dining rivalry could be brewing intown. No category was closer than favorite chef, in which Jenny Levison finished two votes ahead of Todd Ginsberg. But Ginsberg’s The General Muir topped Levison’s Souper Jenny in the voting for favorite Jewish-owned, nonkosher restaurant.

The restaurant category got almost 150 more responses than the chef category, which probably means we’re not giving enough attention to the people working their magic in our favorite kitchens.

  • Dunwoody and Sandy Springs residents turned out in big numbers. We know those two cities north of Atlanta are core parts of the local Jewish community, based on the number of Jewish institutions they host and the number of subscribers we have there. Now we know they like to vote in more than congressional elections.

Sandy Springs was first and Dunwoody second in voting for the favorite neighborhood, which was the No. 1 vote-getting category. A Sandy Springs City Council member, Andy Bauman, was the favorite elected official (eight people jumped the gun and voted for congressional candidate Jon Ossoff).

The Dunwoody Kroger unseated its Toco Hills counterpart as our favorite place for kosher grocery shopping. Dunwoody High School topped Sandy Springs’ Riverwood International Charter School for the favorite public high school. Crema, a popular gathering spot for Jewish Dunwoody, easily retained its place as the favorite place for coffee despite the omnipresence of Starbucks.

  • Hannah Zale is more than just a rock star. We didn’t include Zale among the nominees for favorite musician or band this year (a tough decision) but weren’t surprised that she received write-in votes for that honor. What was a surprise is that she also was a write-in for public high school and neighborhood.

The whole survey remains a work in progress. Seven categories received more than 600 responses, but seven got fewer than 500. That variation indicates that we haven’t found the right mix yet.

Some categories received dozens of write-in votes, indicating that we didn’t always get the nominees right. Next year, we’ll either institute a rule that a certain number of write-in votes earns an official place on the ballot, or we’ll follow the example of the 6th District and institute a two-phase voting process — the first as a primary to create a list of five or six nominees for each category and the second to select the winners.

Thank you to all who voted and to all the nominees who promoted the survey and encouraged their friends and fans to participate. We’ll do it all again next year.

Click on the categories below to see the 2017 winners. (See our 2016 winners here).

Media Personality Elected Official
Musician or Band Bagel
Day School Mascot Non-Jewish Private School
Public High School Jewish Festival
University Kosher Restaurant
Jewish-Owned Nonkosher Restaurant Chef
Kosher Caterer Kosher Grocery Shopping
Sweet Treats Coffee Shop
Sports Team Regional Affiliate of National Nonprofit
Innovative Nonprofit Sleepaway Camp
Local Nonprofit History Museum
Cultural Institution Simcha Venue
Neighborhood 2016 Best of Jewish ATL