Kollel 2019 Tribute to Jewish Learning and ‘The Boxer’
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Kollel 2019 Tribute to Jewish Learning and ‘The Boxer’

While the Irish were wearing green on March 17, Atlanta Scholars Kollel celebrated its fellowship and soul at the home of Carrla and Jeff Goldstein.

After 35 years with the Atlanta newspapers, Marcia currently serves as Retail VP for the Buckhead Business Association, where she delivers news and trends (laced with a little gossip).

  • Kollel Rabbi Netanel Friedman thanked hosts Jeff and Carrla Goldstein (center) along with Joel Marks, Kollel supporter.
    Kollel Rabbi Netanel Friedman thanked hosts Jeff and Carrla Goldstein (center) along with Joel Marks, Kollel supporter.
  • Kollel Rabbi Binyomin Friedman shares joy with Kollel learner attorney David Weisman and Kollel Rabbi Shlomo Gelbtuch, who motivates and molds the UGA and Georgia Tech student program.
    Kollel Rabbi Binyomin Friedman shares joy with Kollel learner attorney David Weisman and Kollel Rabbi Shlomo Gelbtuch, who motivates and molds the UGA and Georgia Tech student program.
  • The rabbis’ voices held strong in their Simon and Garfunkel skit in the Goldsteins’ vast atrium.
    The rabbis’ voices held strong in their Simon and Garfunkel skit in the Goldsteins’ vast atrium.
  • Co-Rosh Kollel Daniel Pransky, left, chats with Eric and Malka Adelman on the Goldstein patio.
    Co-Rosh Kollel Daniel Pransky, left, chats with Eric and Malka Adelman on the Goldstein patio.
  • The event was catered by A Kosher Touch.
    The event was catered by A Kosher Touch.

While the Irish were wearing green on March 17, Atlanta Scholars Kollel celebrated its fellowship and soul at the home of Carrla and Jeff Goldstein.

Co-Rosh Kollel Rabbi David Silverman began by thanking the Goldsteins for so graciously sharing their home. He joked, “and not just for movies and TV shows. [The house is used for film shots and rap videos]. … May it continue to be open wide for spiritual things as well.”

Silverman shared the new programs that Kollel has added, especially the outreach to Israelis who “began as tattooed and secular and blossomed into 130 for a recent Friday night meal, and further, one beautiful marriage.”

Parents Edye and Lee Cohen right flank daughter Megan Cohen, who recently went on a Kollel sponsored trip to Poland and poignantly addressed the group.

University of Georgia student Megan Cohen, daughter of Edye and Lee Cohen, shared with the group the meaningfulness of her recent Kollel trip to Poland with Rabbi Shlomo Gelbtuch (sponsored by a Bernie Marcus scholarship fund). She recounted how they visited the five square miles of Auschwitz in six hours and will forever be altered by the trip. “My thoughts were searching for answers of how, and what. What would I have done had I been an American Jew during World War II? … I don’t know what was more compelling there, the graves of the children or the scratches on the walls from clawing.”

The group developed a bond with the big question to take home “What next? I had to go back home and see fraternity houses painted with swastikas and people saying that Israel was a Nazi state.” She concluded referring to Jews as a resilient people and her commitment to moving figuratively towards the land of Israel.

Special guest speaker Gavriel “Rav Gav” Friedman came from Israel to share his views on the value of the tree of life.

Guest speaker Gavriel “Rav Gav” Friedman, who teaches at Aish HaTorah in Israel, carried out the theme of the tree of life and clinging to and knowing the essence of its value. He told the story of sitting next to an atheist couple on a plane flight who peppered him with questions about Judaism. Then he asked them to estimate what the worldwide Jewish population was. Their guess was from 500 million to 1 billion because “every newspaper they read has a story about Jews.” He said, “I know from the Pew [Research Center] study (2013) that the number is 14 million. Their figure would erroneously mean more than the entire population of the USA.” Their ignorance aside, the Torah’s essence is “we must know our value and in what we are invested. … The tree of life is at our core to those who hold dear to it.”

The charismatic Kollel rabbis lined up for their traditional modernized annual skit. This year’s theme was Simon and Garfunkel’s “The Boxer,” replete with Silverman sporting a yellow frizz wig (à la Garfunkel). The emes (truth) was that they sounded quite strong and melodic, especially on the chorus.

A most beautiful sight was the davening afterwards at the Goldsteins’ poolside.

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