Our Mission

To connect teens through immersive, interest-based experiences inspired by a Jewish lens.

Educational Vision

JumpSpark strives to engage Atlanta’s Jewish teens through high-level experiences that provide skill and interest-based learning and social opportunities using innovative resources in the Atlanta community and beyond while guiding them to uncover meaning in Jewish wisdom, texts, and values in accessible and relevant ways.

Every JumpSpark program will bring teens to learn, work, and give back together. JumpSpark participants will increase knowledge, develop skills, clarify values, build their Jewish identity, and develop their capacity to contribute to both the Jewish community and the world at large.

The second focus our mission is JumpSpark Professional, an initiative to convene Jewish Education professionals in Atlanta and offer networking and professional development opportunities.

Origin

In 2016 Atlanta joined the Jewish Teen Education & Engagement Funder Collaborative, an unprecedented collaboration of the Jim Joseph Foundation and local funders working together to develop, nurture, and scale new approaches to teen education and engagement. Ten communities across the country are embarking on innovative, multi-faceted teen initiatives to empower teens to design their own experiences and enhance the skills of youth professionals to reverse the increasing trend of teens opting out of Jewish life in their high school years.

The Atlanta organizations collaborating with Jim Joseph Foundation in this initiative are the Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta, the Marcus Jewish Community Center of Atlanta, and the Atlanta Rabbinical Association.

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Staff

Kelly Cohen
Kelly Cohen
Director
Kelly Cohen has spent her career building meaningful, dynamic Jewish experiences for children, teens and adults. For the past six years, Kelly has served as the Lower School Judaic Studies Coordinator at The Alfred and Adele Davis Academy here in Atlanta. Prior to that Kelly lived in Jerusalem for four years, as a member of the 10th cohort of Pardes Educators Program. She holds a BA in Near Eastern and Judaic Studies from Brandeis University, and a Masters degree in Jewish Education from Hebrew College.

Kelly is a mikvah guide and on the board of MACoM (Metro Atlanta Community Mikvah) and is as certified teacher of Yoga & Jewish Spirituality. She is married to Drew Cohen, director of the music program at The Weber School, and has two children; Joss and Emmet.

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Laura Gronek
Laura Gronek
Marketing & Communications Manager
Laura Gronek is a communications professional excited to be working with JumpSpark’s mission to reach teens looking for community. For the last four years Laura has worked in nonprofit performing arts administration and education, and previously she worked in corporate marketing and magazine editorial.

Laura is a graduate of the University of Georgia’s Grady College with an extensive background in performing arts, and she when not working she performs with Atlanta area community theaters.

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Board of Directors

  • Brad Rosen (chair) Signature Consultants
  • Rabbi Peter Berg The Temple, Atlanta Rabbinical Association
  • Lisa Galanti Community Volunteer
  • Lori Kagan Schwarz Community Volunteer
  • Rabbi Ari Kaiman Shearith Israel
  • Marisa Kaiser Jewish Education Directors’ Council
  • Jared Powers Marcus Jewish Community Center of Atlanta
  • Eric Robbins Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta
  • A.J. Robinson Central Atlanta Progress & Atlanta Downtown Improvement District

Advisors

  • Jori Mendel Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta
  • Lakshmi Nebel Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta
  • Daniel Sperling The Marcus Foundation

Rabbinic Advisors

  • Rabbi Hillel Konigsburg Congregation B’nai Torah
  • Rabbi Ellen Nemhauser Community Rabbi

Program index