HOD/Maccabi Fun Run Makes Dash to Starting Line at Atlanta Kosher BBQ Festival

HOD/Maccabi Fun Run Makes Dash to Starting Line at Atlanta Kosher BBQ Festival

Run for the fun. Stay for the brisket. Do a good deed.

That’s the mission of a new partnership formed by Maccabi USA Future Leadership Forum, the Atlanta Kosher Barbecue Festival and the Atlanta Lodges of the Hebrew Order of David. This year’s festival, set for Sunday, Oct. 17, at Brook Run Park, Dunwoody, will get an appetite booster with a 5K and 1K Fun Run. Runners can gather for opening ceremonies at 9:30 a.m. with runs starting at 10 and 10:30 a.m., respectively. Runners (or walkers) can expect to finish just in time for the festival’s opening ceremonies at 11 a.m. Shortly thereafter, the festival’s 20 competing BBQ teams will begin turning in their night’s labors to make the best brisket, chicken, chili and ribs, and the tastings will begin.

The charitable fun run is designed to help Maccabi USA promote its Future Leadership Forum to prepare young adults for leadership roles in the community, and the Atlanta HOD lodges joined in to help that effort and raise funds for the Greater Atlanta Abilities Alliance – which provided a grant for shuttle buses for the festival. Runners can sign up at the Maccabi Fun Run website, https://www.maccabiusa.com/funruns2021/. Rates range from $18 for children under 13 years old to $36 for adults, but a variety of family packages are available from $80 to $95. In addition, Hillel Foundation students at Georgia colleges and universities can sign up for $25. Tasting tickets and commemorative t-shirts and medals are included for all registrants.

“Combining the fun run with the Atlanta Kosher Barbecue Festival was a no-brainer when HOD International brought the idea all the lodges in North America,” said Stan Schnitzer, immediate past president of Lodge Bezalel in Atlanta, who is coordinating the efforts of the lodges, the festival and Maccabi. “We had a ready-made event in the festival, the largest kosher BBQ event in the Southeast, which attracts 3,500 to 4,000 visitors. That gave us a great opportunity to do two things are part of HOD’s mission: help another member of our Jewish community with its mission and raise funds for a charity in the Atlanta community.”

HOD’s share of the fun run proceeds will be donated the Greater Atlanta Jewish Abilities Alliance, https://atlanta.jewishabilities.org/. The JAA is the Jewish community’s network that links individuals with disabilities, and their families, to resources, services, support groups, workshops and clinics and recreational programs within their community.

For Maccabi and the AKBF, adding the fun run to festival is a win-win for everyone.

“Being able to start off the festival with a charitable fun run will raise the visibility for our FLF mission in Atlanta, and we hope we can do the same as we roll out our fun-run campaign in other cities with HOD lodges,” said Shahar Frank, Maccabi’s shaliach (ambassador) to the United States. “Atlanta is our first fun run with HOD, and we’re looking forward to showing the community that Maccabi is more than just the Maccabi Games sports competitions.”

For the AKBF, it’s a way to help bring together more elements of Atlanta’s Jewish community.

“We worked hard to achieve our status as a highly-anticipated annual event,” said Jody Pollack, a founder and executive director of the AKBF and a member of HOD’s Governing Lodge North America. “This is our eighth festival, and we’re the subject of a short documentary, No Pork on the Fork, which has been seen worldwide. Now, it’s our turn to give back and use our fame to help other organizations in Atlanta.”

Opening ceremonies begin at 11 a.m., and our 20 participating competition teams will begin turning in their chili, chicken, brisket and ribs starting at 11:30 – when you can start tasting their offerings. Tasting tickets are $1 apiece. The festival will feature food vendors, arts vendors, community organization booths, kids’ activities, music and an online silent auction, https://www.charityauctionstoday.com/auctions/AKBF-2021-Online-Auction-23063,  which is already underway.

Team competition winners will be announced starting at 3 p.m. For more information about the Atlanta Kosher Barbecue Festival, visit www.theatlantakosherbbq.com. For more information about Maccabi FLF, visit http://maccabiflf.com/.

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