Hub of Jewish Teen Innovation

JumpSpark connects Atlanta's Jewish teens and those who impact them through collaboration with community partners and creation of original, top-quality programming.

How we do it:

Grants

We aim to be a leader in innovative teen programming in Atlanta, serving as a connector, partner, and funder for new program development. Learn more about Spark Grants ››

Community Building

Our relationships and online community calendar allow us to connect teens to opportunities and introduce them to Jewish Atlanta’s movers and shakers. See what’s happening in Community Events ››

Teen Empowerment

We believe empowering teens to authentically shape their own Jewish experience increases relevance and meaning for teens accustomed to creating change in the world. Learn more about Teen Experiences ››

Navigating Parenthood Workshops

We equip parents for the milestones and challenges teens face today, connecting them with resources and agencies in Atlanta. Learn more about our Navigating Parenthood series ››

Professional Development

We support knowledgeable and capable educators and youth professionals as integral components to positively impacting the lives of Jewish teens. Learn more about JumpSpark Professional ››

Wellness

We promote open conversations about teen wellness through programming initiatives for teens, parents and educators. Learn about the 5 trends, including wellness, driving our work with teens ››

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.

SUPPORTED BY

Staff

Kelly Cohen
Kelly Cohen
Director
Kelly Cohen has spent her career building meaningful, dynamic Jewish experiences for children, teens and adults. She has built a wealth of experience working in a myriad of different settings including camps, day schools, synagogues, and Israel travel. She holds a BA in Near Eastern and Judaic Studies from Brandeis University, a Masters in Jewish Education from Hebrew College and is a graduate of the Pardes Educators Program. Kelly is a graduate of the M² Senior Educators Cohort and a participant in The Jewish Education Project's Generation Now Fellowship.

As the Director of JumpSpark, Kelly leads the visioning and realization of JumpSpark as the hub of Jewish teen innovation in Atlanta- reimagining the possibilities for teens, parents of teens, Jewish professionals and overseeing the allocation of large-scale grants to support this work.
Kelly is passionate about creating opportunities for "embodied literacy" and finding new ways for people to live and experience their Judaism. In addition to her work with the teen community, Kelly is also the creator of Parsha Storybook Project, an online resource for early childhood Torah literacy. She is married to Drew Cohen, Director of Music at The Weber School and URJ Camp Coleman and has two children.

Email Kelly
Read More Info Read Less Info
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.

Email Laura
Read More Info Read Less Info
Annie Fortnow
Annie Fortnow
Engagement Manager
Annie Fortnow is excited to be taking on the role of Engagement Manager at JumpSpark. Before JumpSpark, Annie served as a Springboard Fellow for Hillel at UMass Amherst, working on Jewish college student engagement around social justice topics. Annie holds a BA from Brandeis University, where she studied Environmental Health. While at Brandeis, Annie worked as a camp counselor for teens at her childhood summer camp URJ OSRUI. Annie is passionate about Jewish engagement in the teen space to ensure all Jewish teens have access to and feel included in the amazing Jewish opportunities that exist in our community.

In her role with JumpSpark, Annie will be working on program implementation for our Strong Women Fellowship, Navigating Parenthood, and professional development, as well as relationship building and supporting community partners and other stakeholders who care about Jewish teens in Atlanta. In her free time, Annie enjoys improv comedy, finding eclectic coffee shops, and reading thought-provoking nonfiction books.

Email Annie
Read More Info Read Less Info
Jessie Schwartzman
Jessie Schwartzman
Engagement Coordinator
Jessie Schwartzman is an engagement professional excited to take on a brand-new combined position with JumpSpark and the URJ. She is a recent graduate of Florida State University’s school of communications and is excited to dive into the thriving Atlanta Jewish Community. Jessie worked at FSU Hillel as an Engagement Associate for the last 2 years and has spent 3 summers working at URJ Camp Coleman.

From camp to different youth organizations, Jessie’s true passion lies in learning the fascinating stories of today’s Jewish teens, and she’s very excited about the opportunity to be a part of the change that is youth engagement. In her Engagement Coordinator role, Jessie will be meeting with community members to learn new ways to engage Jewish teens. She is also launching a new URJ teen fellowship program funded by a Spark Grant that allows teens to learn important peer to peer engagement skills.

Email Jessie
Read More Info Read Less Info

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