The Chesed (lovingkindness) Awards recognize outstanding students in Jewish day schools and synagogues for their love for Israel, concern for fellow Jews and involvement in the greater Atlanta community while maintaining good academic standing.
Each year the community can draw inspiration from the accomplishments, ideals and aspirations of the award recipients.
Keynote speaker Eric Robbins, the president and CEO of the Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta, shared a personal connection with Hadassah. Not only does he have relatives who are life members of Hadassah, but also the importance of the Women’s Zionist Organization of America hit home when he was 18 and needed surgery. The surgeon who treated him at the Montefiore Hospital in Pittsburgh came from Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem.
Robbins lauded the Chesed recipients for their accomplishments. “The youth that we’re bringing into this community have a lot more to teach us than we could ever teach them,” he said. “If this doesn’t give us optimism, I don’t know what does. Not only do they understand what needs to be done, they act on it.”
Addressing the students, Robbins said: “Help us to inspire others and spread the word. Leadership is more than doing; it’s understanding, taking risks and challenging yourself and others. Advocate how incredible it is to be part of this people, to support and connect with the land of Israel, and continue giving back to the Atlanta community. We need you here in Atlanta.”
Students Jonathan “Nate” Linsider of Atlanta Jewish Academy and Emily Glatter of Temple Kehillat Chaim spoke of how their involvement with Jewish organizations has helped in other areas of their lives. They both plan to continue the same level of commitment.
For All Occasions and More provided the kosher refreshments.