AJC Honors Lipstadt
The American Jewish Committee Women’s Leadership Board has honored Emory University professor Deborah Lipstadt and two others for their courage and vision in the service of humanity.
The recognition came in front of nearly 400 people at the organization’s spring luncheon May 5 in New York. The other honorees were Samia Sleman, a teenage Yazidi refugee, and Lauren Bush Lauren, the founder and CEO of FEED.
The ceremony took place just before Yom HaShoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day, a point AJC CEO David Harris emphasized in his keynote remarks. “We are living in a defining time when our cherished values are threatened,” Harris said. “Here in the U.S. we have the gifts of freedom, pluralism, security and opportunity, together giving us the power to speak out and act. Yet these fundamental values, these gifts, are fragile. If we don’t work to defend them, there are others who seek to destroy them and our way of life.”
Harris also was the keynote speaker at AJC Atlanta’s Selig Distinguished Service Award dinner on May 18.
Sleman, 15, received AJC’s Voice of Conscience Award for her outspoken advocacy for international recognition of the genocide Islamic State is perpetrating against the Yazidi minority in Iraq. After surviving more than six months of brutal captivity and being sold and resold as a sex slave, Sleman escaped Iraq. She now lives in Germany.
Lauren received the AJC Women’s Leadership Award for creating FEED, a business whose mission is making products to help feed the world. FEED bags and other products sold since 2007 have provided more than 87 million meals around the globe.
Abrams Makes Move
Amanda Abrams is leaving the Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta to join the Marcus Jewish Community Center.
Abrams, who as Federation’s senior vice president of strategy, planning and impact has shared management responsibilities with Chief Financial Officer Sheila Katz Cohen in the absence of a CEO, is taking the position of chief program officer at the Marcus JCC.
She’ll thus be working under one new CEO, Jared Powers, instead of another, Eric Robbins, who starts at Federation in August. Her last day at the Selig Center is June 15.
“If you had asked me ten years ago, I never could have imagined that I would have spent a decade of my career in the Federation world, but it has been such a wonderful journey,” Abrams wrote on Facebook. “I’ve had so many rewarding professional experiences and have had the opportunity to work with some very special colleagues and volunteers along the way.”
Her departure leaves Robbins with multiple senior leadership positions to fill, including a replacement for Chief Development Officer Michael Balaban, who left in December to become the CEO of the Jewish Federation of Broward County, Fla.
DeKalb Thanks Chaplains
Former Congregation Shearith Israel Rabbi Hillel Norry was among some 80 volunteer DeKalb County Jail chaplains honored at a ceremony hosted by DeKalb Sheriff Jeff Mann on Thursday, May 12.
“Our volunteers are chaplains from all faiths, counselors and educators who give unselfishly of their time and talents to help inmates cope with being incarcerated while they await their court dates,” Mann said. “We are truly fortunate to have them as members of our team because of the special services they provide and the cost savings their participation represents for the Sheriff’s Office.”
Rabbi Norry left Shearith Israel at the end of June 2015.