What an outstanding Atlanta Jewish Life Festival this weekend. Awesome. Amazing. Remarkable. Wonderful. The superlatives go on. The yasher koach goes out to 4,000 community members who chose to come to the Georgia Aquarium on Sunday with their families, to eat Jewish, play Jewish and have fun – Jewish. If you are reading this, then please know that my thanks go out to you, personally, for participating.
I have already heard from nearly two dozen community partners. They thanked me for re-creating this festival and impressed upon me how important this event is for our community. An opportunity for community members to learn about all of the fantastic Jewish social, religious, educational, social action, and Israeli organizations our community has for engagement. This event has been missing from the Atlanta Jewish landscape for almost nine years, and we came back with a bang heard around all of greater Atlanta.
It was truly exhilarating to see the excitement on the faces of all of the children. It’s always heartwarming for Reform, Conservative, Chabad, Orthodox and Reconstructionist communities to come together. It’s amazing to see just how vibrant and diverse our Jewish community lives, works and plays. And of course, who doesn’t love the penguins?
I must offer praise where praise is due. First, the band Friction. You guys were the most talked about aspect of the Festival. As you go on to become famous, please remember the first time you played in front of 4,000 people and the incredible reception you received. For that matter, all the entertainment was engaging and talented.
I need to thank the Georgia Aquarium for welcoming our festival and doing whatever it took, in planning and day-of, to ensure it was successful and safe. I want to thank the Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta for being our partner-in-arms and helping us reach out to Greater Atlanta’s Jewish community. Last, but certainly not least, the AJLF would not have occurred without the leadership of Kaylene Ladinsky and Jen Evans, nor the insane amount of work by Deborah Herr Ritcher, Karen Isenberg Jones, Gayle Rubenstein, Sarah Parrish and Aparna Sharma. These seven people are responsible for bringing 4,000 of our mishpachah together for a day of fun, food, music, fish and Jewish engagement. See you next year!