Innovators Wanted

Innovators Wanted

Last year, with the aid of your nominations, we named 40 Jewish leaders under age 40 who had made important contributions to the community in the Atlanta area.nominate1

It’s nomination time again at the Atlanta Jewish Times, and we need your help again. But, despite the occasional phone call or email asking about 40 Under 40, we’re not repeating that list this year.

Instead, our July 3 issue will be dedicated to the world of nonprofit organizations and 25 people who are bringing innovation to that world.

We are looking to honor not the nonprofit groups themselves, but the people within them. We want to celebrate those people in Jewish Atlanta who operate so far outside the box that they would need to buy tickets on Delta Air Lines to get within sight of the box.

We’re hoping to highlight some of our community’s unsung and unknown heroes, so don’t nominate Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta CEO Michael Horowitz or Marcus Jewish Community Center CEO Gail Luxenberg. They get enough attention. But perhaps someone working with Federation or the JCC whose name never appears in our pages has found a better way to deliver services or raise money or allocate resources; that’s someone we want to celebrate.

We also want to recognize the person who has created her own nonprofit organization to fill an unmet need in the community or to do a better job of providing an existing service. Maybe you know someone who has joined an existing nonprofit group in decline and has reinvigorated it with fresh ideas and new approaches; tell us about that person.

If this all sounds a bit vague, that’s intentional. We don’t want you to think, “Sally does amazing work at XYZ Services Inc., but she doesn’t fit the AJT’s idea of a Jewish nonprofit innovator.” If you think Sally is bringing positive change to a nonprofit group, nominate her.

The worst thing that can happen is we don’t add your nominee to the final list of 25, but maybe we’ll write about your nominee some other time because you’ve brought that person to our attention.

The ideal candidate for our list will be a Jewish person working for a Jewish nonprofit group. But a non-Jew working for an agency such as Jewish Family & Career Services or a Jew working with a secular or interfaith organization doing work of interest to the Jewish community, such as a school or a hospital, could make our list. Nominate them.

If you see yourself as a Jewish nonprofit innovator, nominate yourself. No one knows your vision or your work better than you do.

All nominations will remain private. We won’t publish anything about who nominated our honorees, and we’ll even accept anonymous nominations. Our interest is in finding the right people; we’re not concerned with how we find them.

Send your nominees — yes, you may nominate as many people as you like — to Editor Michael Jacobs at or Atlanta Jewish Times, 270 Carpenter Drive, Suite 320, Atlanta, GA 30328. Provide as much information as you can about what your nominees do and why they’re innovators. If you can provide specific achievements, so much the better.

The deadline for nominees is June 5, so please don’t wait. We’re hoping to be overwhelmed with all the great ways people are doing good.

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