Atlanta Jewish Life Festival Double-Take
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Atlanta Jewish Life Festival Double-Take

The Atlanta Jewish Life Festival will be held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 26, 2020, in the Oceans Ballroom of the Georgia Aquarium.

The band Friction rocked the house at the first Atlanta Jewish Life Festival.
The band Friction rocked the house at the first Atlanta Jewish Life Festival.

Hummus, Henna and Hammerheads! Bagels, Bands and Belugas! Matzah, Music and Mantas! No matter how you alliterate it, the Atlanta Jewish Life Festival is returning to the Georgia Aquarium Jan. 26 for the second year.

After a successful kickoff last year, one of the largest gatherings of Jewish Atlanta across the denominational spectrum, sponsored by the Atlanta Jewish Times, is back, with even more interactive community partners, a slate of kosher vendors, and a totally new entertainment lineup to satisfy every musical taste and age group.

“The fact that 4,000 Jewish folks came out to participate last year demonstrates it is a really important program for the community,” said Michael Morris, AJLF founder and AJT publisher. “It’s important for families to learn about our community partners. It’s a fun day at the aquarium for everyone.”

Plus, a ticket to the festival includes discounted entry to the Georgia Aquarium for the entire day.

“While there are other events that bring together Atlanta Jews over a few days or weeks, AJLF is probably the largest single-day event uniting a cross-section of the Jewish community. In that way, the festival helps the AJT fulfill its mission of keeping the community connected,” Morris said.

“One of the things I appreciate most about this festival is it brings together the secular, Israeli and Orthodox Jewish communities. That doesn’t happen often enough.”

It had been several years since an Atlanta Jewish festival had been held and Morris, who became owner and publisher of the AJT in 2014, decided to try to revive that concept. He thought it was an important way to teach the community about its partners. “It was important to help our community partners continue to thrive.”

Celebrating a successful first year are Kaylene Ladinsky, festival director and managing publisher and editor of AJT, Michael Morris, festival founder and publisher of AJT, and Jen Evans, director of festival entertainment and logistics, and community relations at the AJT.

The inaugural festival was met with great success, he said. Morris expects at least 2,000 more participants now that “people know what it is and want to come.” The number of community partners also is expected to more than double, with over 100 this year, including Jewish organizations, artists, food vendors and musicians.

What else is different this year about this showcase of a flourishing Jewish Atlanta?

The flow of people through the event should be smoother, Morris said. “We learned from a layout standpoint where people congregate” to make it easier to eat lunch, view the displays and walk through the Aquarium “so people don’t feel crowded.”

Last year’s AJLF attracted more than 4,000 people, 83 participating organizations and over 30 sponsors.

“This year, festivalgoers can expect a variety of kosher food, foot-stomping music, tons of entertainment for kids, beautiful Judaica and the opportunity to meet the organizations and institutions that make our Jewish community great,” Morris said.

Such a festival is an ideal unifier for a community that has been booming in recent decades, according to festival organizers. The Atlanta Jewish population was about 128,000 in 2011, according to the Encyclopedia of Southern Jewish Communities. These numbers make Atlanta one of the top 10 largest Jewish communities in the U.S.

The henna hut was a popular stop for festivalgoers.

The AJLF is presented by the AJT, metro Atlanta’s largest Jewish weekly newspaper, celebrating 94 years. The AJLF is a nonprofit with the mission of promoting the bonds of community among metro Atlanta’s diverse Jewish population.

The Atlanta Jewish Life Festival will be held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 26, 2020, in the Oceans Ballroom of the Georgia Aquarium, 357 Luckie Street in Atlanta. The ticket price includes entry to the aquarium for the entire day. Tickets are: $8 for children 3 to 12 years old; $22 for those 13 and older; and $65 for a family pass (two adults and four kids). Children under 3 are free.

To buy tickets and for more information, visit

Here is the lineup of entertainment, emceed by Steve Grossman, including rock, acoustic, theater, kids’ bands and activities. We also invite you check out the artisans in “The Shuk,” sample the kosher vittles in “The Nosh Pit,” and unite with the Community Partners. More are being added every day!

The band Friction rocked the house at the first Atlanta Jewish Life Festival.

Live Entertainment & Activities
Steve Grossman of Steve’s Live music
Amp’d Entertainment
Atlanta Jewish Theatre Company
Hannah Zale
Spring Street Band
Rabbi Jake
Atlanta Jewish Boys Choir
Ruby the Clown
MAGIC and MIRTH with Paul
Caricatures by Lindsay
Henna Art by Enrapturing
Kool Kids Face Painting

Artisans in “The Shuk”
Moshe Monzon Studio Gallery
Mixed Media Momma Judaica
Fisher Originals
Artworks by Karen Fincannon
Judaica Corner

Vendors in “The Nosh Pit”
EB Catering Company
Toco Grill
Keith’s Corner BBQ
The River Wine
Revolution Gelato
Formaggio Mio
Lakehouse Coffee
For All Occasions and More
Kosher Gourmet
A Kosher Touch
Cotton Cravings

Community Partners in “The Kibbutz”
AgeWell Atlanta
Ahavath Achim Synagogue
Alpha Epsilon Pi
Atlanta Israel Coalition
Atlanta Jewish Film Festival
Atlanta Scholars Kollel
Georgia Commission on the Holocaust
B’nai B’rith International –
Achim/Gate City Lodge (Atlanta)
Camp Barney Medintz
Camp Ramah Darom
Center for Israel Education
Chabad Intown
Congregation B’nai Torah
Congregation Beth Shalom
Creating Connected Communities
Eternal Life-Hemshech
Friends of the Israel Defense Forces
Hadassah Chaya Evolve
Hadassah Greater Atlanta
Hebrew Order of David/
Atlanta Kosher BBQ Festival
In the City Camps
Israel Bonds
JELF – Jewish Educational Loan Fund
Jewish Fertility Foundation
Jewish Interest Free Loan of Atlanta Inc.
Jewish Kids Groups
Jewish Student Union
Jewish Family & Career Services
Jewish National Fund /
Alexander Muss High School in Israel
JScreen at Emory University
Limmud Atlanta & Southeast
MJCCA Day Camps
ORT America Atlanta Region
Peach State Stitchers
Second Helpings Atlanta
Simon Wiesenthal Center
Temple Beth Tikvah
Temple Sinai
The Berman Center
The Blue Dove Foundation
The Epstein School
Volunteers for Israel
William Breman Jewish Heritage
Woodward Academy
Your Jewish Bridge
And a big thanks to this year’s sponsors:
Georgia Aquarium
Marcus Foundation
Morris Family Foundation
The Billi Marcus Foundation

Balloons Over Atlanta
Button It Up
Amp’d Entertainment
Atlanta Jewish Film Festival
Changers & Makers
Dresslers Jewish Funeral Care
Woodward Academy
Atlanta Scholars Kollel
Dunwoody Place

Hammond Glen
Dunwoody Pines

Friends of the Festival
AAA Auto Club Group
Camp Ramah Darom
Inspired Living Alpharetta
Medical Consulting Services
Warner Bates
Cottages on Mountain Creek
Holtz Farmers Insurance Agency
Organic CBD Solutions

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