Nelson Mandela – an Atlanta Memorial (Photos)

Jon Barash

“It always seems impossible until it’s done.” – Nelson Mandela

“Resentment is like drinking poison and then hoping it will kill your enemies.” – Nelson Mandela

Last night I attended the Atlanta memorial for Nelson Mandela, who died last Thursday at the age of 95.  Mr. Mandela was an anti-apartheid revolutionary who served 27 years in prison for his campaign against the apartheid government of South Africa.  He was released from prison in 1990 at a time when the apartheid system was crumbling.  Mr. Mandela went on to become President of South Africa from 1994 to 1999; the country’s first black chief executive.  He is possibly best known for his strength of character and forgiveness through his embrace of racial reconciliation, rather than revenge, after the harsh apartheid system was brought to an end.

The memorial was put on by the World Affairs Council of Atlanta, with numerous co-sponsors, including the Jewish Community Relations Council of Atlanta (JCRC) of which I am a board member.  I attended as a representative of JCRC, along with Howard Friedman and Steven Chervin.  It was held at the Martin Luther King Jr. International Chapel at Morehouse College.  The memorial included reflections and tributes from civil and human rights luminaries, clergy members, government officials and business, educational and organizational representatives from the Atlanta community, including, Cedric L. Suzman (World Affairs Council), Martin Luther King III, Douglas Shipman (Nat’l Center for Civil & Human Rights), Reverend Bernice A. King, JD (The King Center), Dov Wilker (American Jewish Committee), Rabbis Mario Karpuj and Analia Bortz (Congregation Or Hadash).   Although placed in the middle of the various speakers, the headliner of the memorial (other than Mr. Mandela himself of course), had to be Ambassador Andrew J. Young, former Mayor of Atlanta, Congressman from Georgia’s 5th congressional district, and United States Ambassador to the United Nations (as well as a civil rights icon and a principal lieutenant and friend of Martin Luther King Jr.).  Ambassador Young called on the audience members, and Morehouse students in particular, to take up Nelson Mandela’s fight for equality and “complete the things that he dreamed about,” referring to inequality that still exists in both the United States and South Africa.  Here are some photos.

Find Your Voice as a Leader in the Jewish Community

star-of-david images

Find Your Voice as a Leader in the Jewish Community Lean In to your volunteer life.
Women on Board” will teach you how.

Are you a volunteer at your synagogue or day school? Do you serve on a board of a Jewish agency? Are you looking for volunteer or leadership opportunities? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, “Women on Board” is for you! “Women on Board,” a program of the Atlanta Women’s Foundation, has trained more than 1800 Atlanta women in leadership skills and nonprofit governance. Whether you are an experienced board member or someone looking for an increased leadership role within the Jewish community, the Jewish Women’s Fund of Atlanta invites you to join us as we explore nonprofit boards, roles and responsibilities of board members, and how to find a board that is the perfect fit for you.

Thursday, November 7
The Selig Center, 1440 Spring Street NW, Atlanta 30309
8:30 a.m. —12:30 p.m.

Register by October 30 at The cost is $36/person For more information, contact Rachel Wasserman at or 678.222.3716

Thank you to the Doris R. Zaban Philanthropic Fund for its generous support of this program.

Jewish Women’s Fund of Atlanta Trustees: Ellen Arnovitz, Teri Astren, Vicki Benjamin, Martha Berlin, Candy Berman, Kathe Brown, Marsha Cintorino, Kitty Cohen, Amanda Cohn, Carol Cooper, Laura Dinerman, Jane Durham, Janice Ellin, Ilene Engel (Chair), Renee Evans, Karen Fine Saltiel, Sara Franco (Vice Chair), Lois Frank, Pepi Friedman, Stacey Geer, Corky Gelder, Lisa Greenberg, Mitzi Greenblatt, Lynne Halpern, Lisa Haynor, Michal Hart Hillman, Etta Raye Hirsch, Michele Hirsch, Jackie Howard, Jeanie Katz, Eydie Koonin, Janet Lavine, Jan Lupuloff, Caren Merlin, Mimi Monett, Jacquie Sacks, Emily Sanders, Susan Schoenbaum, Tonia Sellers, Phyllis Silverstein, Laura Soshnik, Debbie Sonenshine, Deborah Spector, Luci Sunshine, Dede Thompson, Ronit Walker, Melinda Wertheim

The Jewish Women’s Fund of Atlanta expands opportunities in the lives of Jewish women and girls via effective grant-making, advocacy, and education through a gender lens. Our grants provide sustainable benefits to those we serve. We empower women to be leaders, philanthropists, and decision makers. This program is sponsored by Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta.

JCRC Event is a SUCCESS.

BOD at Ruth Messinger event

JCRCA honors Ruth Messinger. (Left to right) Lois Frank, honoree Ruth Messinger, Elizabeth Appley, Larry Gold and Melanie Nelkin.

Ruth Messinger, President of American Jewish World Services, was honored by the Jewish Community Relations Council of Atlanta with the presentation of a Lifetime Achievement Award for her decades of working with marginalized people across the globe, and empowering them to live productive, self-sufficient lives.

Through American Jewish World Services, Ruth Messinger has built a dynamic organization whose mission is rooted in Jewish values, dedicated to helping individuals realize basic human rights.  In addition, AJWS assists individuals and entire communities in their path to realize their full potential for being self-sufficient and working to end poverty in the developing world.

Mrs. Messinger has been named to the Forward 50, a list of the 50 most influential
members of the American Jewish community, for over 8 years.

The Atlanta Jewish Community Relations Council seeks to convene a common table around which the entire Jewish community can gather to discuss issues of concern…
For additional information, please contact Ritchie Crownfield, JCRC administrator at or 678-222-3740.


Please check out our photos from last night’s successful Annual Meeting and Evening with Ruth Messinger.

Holocaust Community Planning Council Meeting on AUG 11, 2013

DSCN2061The Holocaust Community Council met on Tuesday August 12, 2013 at 1:00 p.m.  at the Selig Center 1440 Spring Street, NW Atlanta, Georgia 30309. The event was a joint project by JCRCA, Hemshech and Wienberg Center for Holocaust Education at the Bremen Museum. Elizabeth Appley and Sara Ghitis conducted the meeting.

The Council brings together all of the organizations that hold Holocaust commemorations and events in metro Atlanta during the year.  In addition to creating a community calendar of Holocaust Commemorative events, each organization attending were allowed to elaborate on future events.  A suggestion of a Holocaust survivor social event was one example of the power of having organizations gathering and brainstorming for the common good.