(Above: SOJOURN’s executive director, Rebecca Stapel-Wax, and assistant director, Robbie Medwed, flank the 2016 Michael Jay Kinsler Rainmaker Award honoree, Jeff Graham, during the Purim off Ponce kickoff party Sunday, Nov. 8. – Photos by Eli Gray.) 

SOJOURN, the Southern Jewish Resource Network for Gender and Sexual Diversity, kicked off the countdown to its 10th annual Purim off Ponce celebration with a party at the home of past

Only the baby doesn’t seem to get the joke during the Purim off Ponce kickoff party.

Only the baby doesn’t seem to get the joke during the Purim off Ponce kickoff party.

Michael Jay Kinsler Rainmaker Award winners Dan Bloom and Barry Golivesky in honor of the 2016 honoree, Jeff Graham.

Graham, the executive director of Georgia Equality, will receive the Rainmaker Award at Purim off Ponce on March 5. He is the first non-Jewish winner of the award, although he has been involved with the Jewish community. Congregation Bet Haverim Rabbi Joshua Lesser officiated at his wedding.

“Jeff has been a strong supporter of SOJOURN for many years,” SOJOURN Executive Director Rebecca Stapel-Wax said. “He was instrumental in our transition into a fully independent 501(c)(3) organization, and he has been strong partner in our advocacy and education work across the South. We couldn’t think of a better honoree as we celebrate 10 years of Purim off Ponce and 15 years of hard work across the region.”

Purim off Ponce celebrates SOJOURN’s work in advocacy, education, outreach and suicide prevention throughout the Southeast and is the nonprofit organization’s biggest fundraiser.

The theme of the 2016 party is “Wild.” For the second year in a row, Purim off Ponce will be held at Le Fais do-do, 1161 Ellsworth Industrial Ave.

Tickets, available at sojourngsd.org/purim, are $75 in advance or $100 at the door. Sponsorships start at $300.

Photos by Eli Gray – Gray Imaging