On the first Sunday this May at the Hadassah Greater Atlanta Chesed Awards, we were honored to name Steven Resnick, Youth Director at Congregation Etz Chaim, as the inaugural JumpSpark Change Maker Award recipient given to a Jewish professional who has made an impact in the lives of Atlanta’s Jewish teens and community.
Steven was inspired by his own experiences in USY, BBYO, and Hebrew High School to pursue youth education as his career and has built an impressive resume with years of growing the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism youth programs in Florida, Massachusetts, and now Atlanta. Working with the other Atlanta Youth Directors, the Jewish Youth Directors Association, and JumpSpark Professional has helped him grow as an educator and engagement professional, become more confident in his own abilities, and learn new ways to approach educational opportunities.
In his 2 years at the Etz Chaim Youth Department, he’s created a safe space for grades K-12 to call home, ask questions, and explore their spirituality and growth.
“I hope the youth I work with learn from me that there isn’t one way to be Jewish… we all have different backgrounds and different knowledge bases, but that doesn’t mean that we’re any more or less Jewish than anyone else. I hope they leave our Youth Department feeling confident in their Jewish identity and remembering, in my opinion, one of the most important tenants in Judaism: hachnasat orchim, or ‘hospitality’.”
Mazel Tov and Thank You for your dedication to our community’s teens, Steven!