The American Jewish Committee ACCESS Atlanta steering committee is taking a new approach to this year’s signature event. The young professionals’ division of the AJC is hosting ACCESS the World, a Shabbat experience taking guests around the world through international cuisines and signature cocktails. The April 5 event is open to the Atlanta community as way to introduce ACCESS Atlanta and the global Jewish advocacy work done by the group. It’s also a new way of thinking about Shabbat, an evening on which Jewish organizations traditionally shied away from holding events, said Adam Hirsch, ACCESS Atlanta co-chair.
“Shabbat is in,” Hirsch said. “The truth is a lot of people come to Atlanta that are new and they don’t have any family and they’re trying to meet new people. The point of Shabbat is to be with friends and family, so hopefully this is a good way to find both.”
The dinner is traditional with Shabbat candle lighting, Kiddush and prayers.
Hirsch said ACCESS wanted the event to have a fun atmosphere, so it has also partnered with various community organizations and invited several consulates from the metro Atlanta area. Hirsch is excited that people will see a different side of AJC.
“People tend to think of big events, and they think of a Saturday night, and we felt like Shabbat was a great way to engage. We felt like this event is a great opportunity to bring people together on Shabbat in way that you learn, mix, mingle and have music,” Hirsch said. “It’s early enough to come, have a few drinks and continue on with their other plans.”
ACCESS is expecting 150 people to attend ACCESS the World. The cuisine includes dishes from India, Mexico, Japan and several other countries. As part of the event theme, “passports” will be given for specialty drinks from each country, and guests can speak with consulates to find out more about their work. Hirsch described the event as being “social with substance” and hopes people will leave interested in ACCESS.
“ACCESS the World hopes to bring all those elements into an unforgettable evening highlighting American Jewish Committee’s relationship with 100-plus countries. Those who join us will not only enjoy themselves but will walk out knowing that AJC focuses on local and global issues,” Hirsch said.
ACCESS leaders advocate about domestic and international issues and establish inter-ethnic and interfaith relationships. They travel internationally to meet with high-level decision makers about global policy as it relates to the Jewish community. ACCESS trains young professionals to speak on behalf of Jews around the world. ACCESS co-chair Brandon Goldberg said the event aims to be a direct reflection of the relationships and work of ACCESS Atlanta.
“The scope of it is intended to be large, and looking at the scope of the Jewish community in various countries around the world and the presence of our organization around the world has an extensive nature to it, and the event should match what we do,” Goldberg said.
ACCESS the World is 7:30 to 10 p.m. April 5. RSVP at www.AJC.org/atlanta/Accesstheworld.