I have the fate and privilege of being Jewish. With great pride I reflect on the strength and perseverance the Jewish people have displayed throughout history and once again today. As Jews, we are a tightly bound group and we cling to those aspects of life that enrich us the most, including our diverse community, history and culture. In light of recent tragic events in Pittsburgh, these aspects of life and the events that celebrate them take on even deeper importance. The Book Festival of the MJCCA is one such event.
The Book Festival is a showcase of the Jewish community’s impact and its commitment to sharing culturally significant events with the entire Atlanta population and beyond. It is 27 years old and stronger than ever. It draws tens of thousands of readers and provides them with an incredible opportunity to witness the thinking of diverse individuals who have used their pens to share innovative and challenging ideas that move us to think.
For years, my law firm, Greenberg Traurig, has been a lead supporter of the Book Festival. As a firm founded on the principle of cross-community collaboration, we have a passion for supporting events and organizations that enhance the quality of our community, champion education, and provide access to cutting-edge thoughts and knowledge. As a leader, I believe that art and literature kindle imagination and the yearning for exploration, as information is expressed through creative mediums. The stories told during the Book Festival invoke both unique perspectives and universal themes that generate thought-provoking dialogue and foster new levels of social and cultural understanding.
I credit our longtime involvement with the Book Festival to Allen Altman, my mentor, partner and dear friend, whom I’ve worked alongside for more than 20 years. He recognized the broader significance of this event: the importance of communication, the expression of alternate viewpoints and the celebration of a community rich in heritage. I am fortunate to have been influenced by Allen and another close colleague, Gary Snyder, both of whom taught me about the power of ideas. They have been instrumental throughout my career development, and their dedication to the importance of giving back to our community has helped shape Greenberg Traurig’s commitment to supporting events like the Book Festival.
Together with them and others, including my partners David Kurzweil and David Schulman, I am honored to be a part of this event, to have attended the opening night festivities with Tom Hanks, and to continue to participate in this important dialogue.
Through our sponsorship of the Book Festival of the MJCCA, we are personally reaping the benefits associated with something that makes our community a better and more thoughtful place.