Spring arrived with extra excitement at Temple Sinai, which paid off its mortgage and hired a new rabbi within days of each other.
The goal of the Sandy Springs congregation’s annual Casino Royale fundraiser, sponsored by Fifth Third Bank, was to make enough money to pay the balance on the mortgage. Chaired by Lainie Bardack and Adam Sikora, with a silent auction chaired by Tamara Schwartz, the event drew more than 350 guests Saturday night, March 19, and met the milestone.
The night ended with past presidents and members of the congregation board burning the mortgage on the stage.
On Tuesday, March 22, Senior Rabbi Ron Segal and congregation President Scott Zucker announced the hiring of Sam Shabman as a Sinai rabbi, effective July 1. She is due to be ordained at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion’s New York campus Sunday, May 8.
Rabbi Shabman will replace Rabbi Elana Perry, who has been part of the Sinai clergy team for nine years. Rabbi Perry announced to the congregation Feb. 5 that she will be leaving because her husband, Craig, will become assistant professor of Judaic studies at the University of Cincinnati in the fall.
“Mixed with the anticipation and pride, there is tremendous sadness, for we will have to say goodbye to Temple Sinai,” Rabbi Perry wrote. “Atlanta is where I started my rabbinic career, where my two children were born, where I established my first home. In many ways, it is here, with you, that my adult life began. You have taught me what a true honor it is to be a rabbi, and you have touched and shaped my life in immeasurable ways.”
Zucker and Rabbi Segal expressed sadness about losing Rabbi Perry but also excitement about Rabbi Shabman, who grew up and did rabbinic internships in the New York area. She’s the president of her HUC class, served as an AIPAC Leffell rabbinic fellow the past two years, recently ran the Jerusalem Marathon, and is married to another rabbinic student being ordained May 8, Natan (Andrew) Trief.
Rabbi Shabman earned a bachelor’s in international affairs from George Washington University and worked with the Reform movement’s Religious Action Center in Washington. During her rabbinic studies, she created an award-winning multifaith prayer anthology for Israeli chaplains to use in their hospital work. She has a great deal of experience in youth work and teaching, social justice work, and strong Israel advocacy.
The AJT will publish an interview with Rabbi Shabman in the next few weeks.
More Briefs – Other’s Day Returns in May
Mother’s Day is May 8 this year, but children ages 6 to 15 who are missing a mother or father or both get to celebrate a special day a week earlier.
For the seventh year, Leslie Greenberg is playing host to Other’s Day the afternoon of Sunday, May 1, at the Concourse Athletic Club, 8 Concourse Parkway, Sandy Springs.
Magician Howie “the Great” Marmer and face painter Bridget May are highlighting the entertainment at the party, which each year has delivered food, fun and friendship.
It doesn’t matter whether a parent has died, is away serving in the military, or is out of the picture because of divorce or disability; the child is invited to Other’s Day, along with the adult or adults taking care of the child.
Greenberg, a schoolteacher-turned-event planner, said she knows how children missing a parent feel because her father died of cancer when she was 9. “There are so many children in foster care or single-parent families.”
As the AJT reported last year, Greenberg organized the first Other’s Day to cope the loneliness of Mother’s Day falling on her birthday, May 9, after her only child, Steven, died. The event has continued to grow in attendance and sponsorship.
“My goal is to provide a comfortable, fun place for the kids and help them cope with the absence of their parent,” Greenberg said.
To do her best to fill all the limited spaces for the party, Greenberg requires attendees to RSVP to OthersDayRSVP@gmail.com. For more information, contact Greenberg at 404-520-0190 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Free Screening at Breman
The Breman Museum, working with the National Center for Civil and Human Rights and the Atlanta Jewish Film Festival, is holding a free screening of “50 Children: The Rescue Mission of Mr. and Mrs. Kraus” at 2 p.m. Sunday, April 3.
The one-hour film documents the story of Gilbert and Eleanor Kraus, a Philadelphia couple who in 1939 embarked on a risky mission to rescue 50 Jewish children from Germany. The film was shown during the 2014 Atlanta Jewish Film Festival.
“Many people know the names of heroes from the American civil rights movement, but it’s rare that anyone knows of those Jews who worked to save Jewish lives during the Holocaust. The Krauses are examples of Jewish heroes,” Breman Executive Director Aaron Berger said.
The film will be followed by a panel discussion consisting of civil rights center CEO and former refugee Derreck Kayongo, Gabe Wardell of the Fugees Family, an organization that assists child survivors of war, and Lili Kshensky Baxter, a child of survivors and director of the Weinberg Center for Holocaust Education at the Breman.
Admission is free through a grant from Bernstein Private Wealth Management, whose chairman and CEO is Peter Kraus, the son of Gilbert and Eleanor Kraus.