Havinagala, the largest Jewish young adult fundraiser in Atlanta, will take over Punch Bowl Social at The Battery on Jan. 28, 2023, from 7:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. The event raises funds for JF&CS’s PAL Program, Atlanta’s only Jewish Big Brother/Big Sister program. Now in its 33rd year, Havinagala is a fixture in Jewish Atlanta with many stories of attendees meeting their future spouses and best friends at past events.
The PAL Program, led by Program Manager Sarah Bernstein, matches Jewish children ages 5-17 with Jewish young professionals. The Big PALs serve as role models and friends to their Little PAL, children who could benefit from the attention of another adult. Children in the program may be raised by single parents, grandparents, or they may have a sibling with a developmental disability that requires a lot of attention and support.
The caring and unconditional friendship that Big PALs bring helps their Little PALs grow their confidence, build self-esteem, and further embrace their Jewish identity. Since 1986, the program has touched the lives of hundreds of children, families and volunteers and formed close relationships that, in some cases, have lasted decades.
This year’s event chairs are Ethan Fialkow and Sydney Lippman. Fialkow, recently recognized as 40 Under 40 by the Atlanta Jewish Times, has a deep understanding of the importance of fundraising.
“JF&CS has always been a huge part of my life and I wanted to find a way to get involved that will not only help the organization but also help the community members that JF&CS serves. helps the amazing PAL program,” Fialkow said.
Co-chair Sydney Lippman has been a Big PAL to Riley for a year and has loved the experience.
“The program is great because you get to make a difference in a person’s life and have fun while doing it! You also get matched with someone who shares similar interests, so it makes it more meaningful for the both of you,” said Sydney.
Auction Chair Samantha Paulen first became involved with JF&CS by participating as a Host for Havinagala in 2020.
“Now that people are back together, I’m excited to see Havinagala back in full swing. I hope that people get a sense of connection with the community, JF&CS, and the PAL Program. It is events like this that bring us together for a great cause and a good time!”
Joel Libowsky Big PAL of The Year Award
This year will mark the fourth year a Big PAL will be awarded the Joel Libowsky Big PAL of the Year Award, recognizing a Big PAL who has made a “superlative influence” on their Little PAL’s life. The 2023 Joel Libowsky Big PAL of the Year is Sam Perlman (son of Maxine & John Perlman, two-time JF&CS Board Chair) who became a Big PAL six years ago. Sam, nominated by his Little PAL’s family, has had an incredible influence on his Little PAL. Sam was matched with Asher, who was 11 years old at the time. The two quickly became friends, and over the years became more like family.
“Sam has given Asher a great deal. His friendship has helped Asher immensely. Asher looks forward to updating Sam on his life, inviting him for holiday meals, and hanging out together,” said his mother, Hannah.
Punch Bowl Social is 25,000-square-feet of pure fun, featuring multiple bars, billiards, karaoke, classic arcade games and bowling. This fun, festive Gala will include food, complimentary bar with drinks and mocktails, as well as a silent auction with unique items and experiences. Tickets are $80 in advance, $100 at the door and can be purchased at havinagala.org. Early ticket buyers can reserve bowling lanes with friends.
Are you the parent or grandparent of a young professional? Go ahead and give them a nudge to buy tickets. They could meet that special someone!
Visit Havinagala.org to learn more and purchase tickets.
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