Eleven budding Atlanta Jewish leaders are participating in the six-month Young Adult Development program of Limmud Atlanta + Southeast.
The selective leadership training program for 22- to 30-year-olds supports the exploration of Atlanta’s Jewish community and involvement in LimmudFest at Ramah Darom on Labor Day weekend.
YADs connect with and learn from local, national and international Jewish professionals.
“We are looking to empower young adults to become the next generation of Jewish leaders,” said Gabrielle Adler, the YAD program coordinator.
The YAD program is supported by the Something for Everyone grant from Limmud International. Participants were selected based on recommendations by lay leaders and Jewish communal professionals in Atlanta.
LimmudFest co-chairs Yoni Kaplan and Matthew Strauss noted that past YADs have become Limmud board members, leadership team members and festival chairs. “This talented cohort brings diverse skills to the Limmud community,” Kaplan and Strauss said in a statement, “and Gabrielle is the perfect person to lead them through their experience.”
The YADs will join hundreds of Jews from Aug. 31 to Sept. 3 for LimmudFest, a festival of Jewish thought, culture, life, learning and teaching. Registration is open at www.limmudse.org.
This year’s 11 YADs:
- Aviva Abelson, a Buckhead Moishe House resident and Atlanta actress (Aviva Leigh). She enjoys dance, writing and playing with her new dog. She has fallen in love with the Jewish community and appreciates the warm welcome she has received in the South.
- Deborah Abrams is a doctoral student at Georgia Tech studying consumer behavior. She grew up in Tallahassee, Fla., and moved to Atlanta in 2016 with a bachelor’s in economics and a master’s in marketing, both from the University of Florida. She lives in the Virginia-Highland Moishe House, plays tennis or has a dog, Blue.
- Daniel Arnon is an Israeli getting his doctorate in political science and conflict studies at Emory. His work focuses on statistical modeling and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. He has grown to love the American Jewish community. He gives talks and teaches Sunday school. Before Atlanta, he lived in Asheville, N.C., and London.
- Jillian Berfield is a clinical research coordinator at the Atlanta Veterans Affairs Medical Center and aspires to be a clinical psychologist. Besides being active in the Jewish community, she likes to attend dance class, hang out by the pool and walk around the BeltLine.
- Samantha Berinsky is a Boston-born girl raised in the South. She has worked in synagogue programming in Cincinnati and Atlanta since earning a bachelor’s in Jewish studies at the College of Charleston in 2012. New to the Atlanta area with husband Tyler and two goldendoodles, Izzy and Max, she spends much of her time at Temple Sinai, where she is the program and engagement manager.
- Elie Cohen grew up in East Cobb at Congregation Etz Chaim and is completing his bachelor’s in civil engineering at Georgia Tech. He plays mandolin around Atlanta as part of the Cohen Brothers Band, a Jewish bluegrass duo with his older brother, David, a 2016 YAD. He is in ninja training and can be seen Wednesday, June 13, on NBC’s “American Ninja Warrior” as “the world’s strongest mandolinist.”
- Jeremy Katz is the director of the Cuba Family Archives for Southern Jewish History at the Breman Museum. He has a bachelor’s in history from Ohio State and a master’s in archival science from Wright State. He worked in the Jewish community in Ohio with the Columbus Jewish Historical Society, the Jewish Federation of Greater Dayton and the American Jewish Archives in Cincinnati before joining the archives team at the Breman in March 2013.
- Neshama Littman grew up between rural North Carolina and Washington, D.C., and moved to Atlanta in the spring of 2017 from the mountains around Asheville. Littman fell in love with traditional Jewish ritual in 2011 after participating in the Adamah Fellowship at the Isabella Freedman Jewish Retreat Center. A transgender parent, Littman is passionate about engaging in private and public conversations around queer identity, Jewish tradition, play-based education and Jewish relationships to whiteness. Littman is the families director for Jewish Kids Groups and the program manager for Limmud.
- Gabe Monett grew up near Emory and graduated from Georgia State with a degree in film. He served on the student executive board all four years at Georgia State and now works at the university as the programming associate for Hillel. As a Moishe House resident and a leader in several Jewish teen groups, he has a passion for serving the community’s Jewish youth.
- Sarah Queen was dragged by her parents to Limmud a decade ago when it was held at Oglethorpe and she was in middle school. Her family remains involved in LimmudFest. She studied business and sustainability at Emory and works at a startup focusing on landfill diversion and technology. She knows more about trash and geology than the average Atlantan and is happy to provide tidbits on either subject.
- Hanna Rosenfeld is a native Georgian and Ramah Darom alumna who works at the Georgia Council on Developmental Disabilities. She likes to bake and to explore new restaurants with friends. During LimmudFest, you’ll likely find her sitting by the lake.