By Nina Rubin
First published at Federation Voices › 

The Atlanta Jewish Teen Initiative, known as JumpSpark, just concluded its first four-day “intensive” with a focus on sports. For sports-loving teens, it was heaven — a behind the scenes look at the sports industry, with tours of Mercedes-Benz Stadium, SunTrust Park, and TopGolf, plus speakers on sports technology and the business side of the industry. Each day, a uniquely Jewish message came shining through as teens discussed Jewish texts and met with rabbis and community leaders to talk about values like sportsmanship, social and environmental responsibility, and the role of the hero. Though the content of each “intensive” will change, JumpSpark’s goal is to help Jewish teens find their Jewish niche in the community through engaging activities and social opportunities. 

Tatum Gordon, who attends Mill Springs Academy, said, “Touring MBS was my favorite part, and learning the mechanics of how the roof works. We had a scavenger hunt at the College Football Hall of Fame, searching for characteristics of a hero. You don’t need to have superpowers to show compassion or be a hero.” Josh Silverman, who attends St. Francis High School said, “It was good to learn about entrepreneurs that were very successful and that dealt with hardships and still became successful. The entrepreneurs gave back to their community by setting up businesses in Israel.”