Ahavath Achim has been nominated for Best Simcha/Celebration Venue as part of Best of Jewish Atlanta: 2019 Readers’ Choice Awards (brought to you by the Atlanta Jewish Times)! Vote for your Jewish Atlanta favorites for the next 3 weeks, and you’ll be entered to win one of several prizes through a random drawing on March 30! We hope you’ll keep AA in mind when casting your vote, but hurry! Voting closes on March 15.
Nearly 200 people helped AAACTS at SOAP UP Super Bowl Atlanta at Ahavath Achim Synagogue on Sunday, January 27. Volunteers participated in DMST (Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking) awareness training by survivor, author and advocate Theresa Flores, founder of SOAP. After labeling soap and makeup remover wipes teams of four delivered them to local hotels and motels. Over 91% of the hotels took the soap and agreed to post materials including a missing children’s poster and materials on how to recognize and report child sex trafficking victims. Almost immediately we saw favorable results, three children were recognized by hotel staff and law enforcement is following up. In addition a missing 16 year old local girl was identified and rescued.
AAACTS has additional exciting plans for the future. Again this year we will provide backpacks and school supplies for Georgia DMST survivors. In the fall we will host a program, Keeping Kids Safe in the Digital Age. This event is for middle school and high school students and their parents.
AA Synagogue is happy to announce the establishment of the Linda Bressler AAACTS Fund through a generous donation from her family. This fund is now available for donations which will enable us to continue and grow our awareness, advocacy and action to abolish child sex trafficking in our community.
Jackie grew up in Atlanta, GA at The Temple attending religious school from 1st grade through 10th and then helping as a Madricha from 11th and 12th grade. She was an active member of the NFTY chapter (MAFTY).
She fostered her love of all things Jewish during college through her study for a Jewish Studies and Education degree from the University of Maryland. She participated in Hillel and other Jewish groups on campus, including being on the board of the Jewish Greeks organization.
After graduating, Jackie returned to Atlanta and began working at Congregation Or Hadash as the Assistant to the Executive Director. Here she interacted with members, assisted with everything from set up for Kiddush to planning the Purim Carnival, and so much more. While at Or Hadash, she got to learn more about Conservative Judaism, laws of kashrut and continue to grow her love of all things Jewish. Next, Jackie worked at Jewish Family & Career Services as the Young Adult Program Coordinator. Here she worked to get young adults (20s and 30s) involved in giving back to the Jewish and greater Atlanta communities. She loved being able to volunteer throughout the city and help with Tikkun Olam (Repair the World). Most recently, Jackie spent 10 months as the Volunteer Coordinator at the Atlanta Humane Society where she helped volunteers get involved and find the area of the shelter they wanted to help in. While doing this, she realized how much she missed working in the Jewish community. She missed the common threads that bind all Jews together, the sense of community and camaraderie and, most importantly, she missed being able to share her love of all things Jewish with those around her.
Jackie has also worked as a 4th grade Judaics teacher at The Temple’s religious school and a BBYO advisor for Shorashim BBG in Atlanta.
Being a Jewish Educator offers Jackie the opportunity to help inspire the next generation of Jews. She gets to help children and adults find their way of connecting with Judaism all while continuing to learn and grow herself. Throughout her life, Jackie has grown up in a home where her love of Judaism was fostered and supported at all times. She has a love of all things Jewish and grew up attending services, holiday festivities, school and always wanting to learn more. As a teenager, when asked what she wanted to be when she grew up, Jackie’s answer was “a Jewish Education Director”.