Rabbi Michael Bernstein and Rabbi Pamela Gottfried Selected as 2017 Purim off Ponce Honorees



Rabbi Bernstein and Rabbi Gottfried will be presented with the Michael Jay Kinsler Rainmaker Award at SOJOURN’s 11th annual “Purim off Ponce” fundraiser on February 25, 2017


Atlanta, GA — The Southern Jewish Resource Network for Gender and Sexual Diversity (SOJOURN) is thrilled to announce Rabbi Michael Bernstein and Rabbi Pamela Gottfried will receive the Michael Jay Kinsler Rainmaker Award at their annual fundraiser, Purim off Ponce, on February 25, 2017. Now in its 11th year, Purim off Ponce celebrates the important advocacy, education, outreach, and suicide prevention work SOJOURN does throughout the Southern United States and funds a significant portion of SOJOURN’s annual operating budget.

Leanne Rubenstein, President of SOJOURN says, “Rabbi Bernstein and Rabbi Gottfried have been incredible role models for the Jewish community. They have inspired others to become allies to the LGBTQ community through their courageous leadership in the fight for LGBTQ equality in Georgia and beyond."

Purim off Ponce 2017 encourages patrons to "get ready for their closeup" as they celebrate the golden age of Hollywood. Costumes are encouraged. Purim off Ponce includes an open bar, food, incredible performances, and dancing. Sponsorships are available and begin at $300.

"Purim off Ponce is always in the middle of the Georgia legislative session, which sometimes makes us feel like we’re deep in the trenches with no end in sight," adds SOJOURN Executive Director Rebecca Stapel-Wax. "Purim off Ponce is our opportunity to recharge and celebrate our resilience in our commitment to advancing LGBTQ affirmation and empowerment across the South."


When: February 25, 2017; 7:30 pm - 11:00 pm

Where: Le Fais do-do, 1161 Ellsworth Industrial Ave NW, Atlanta, 30318

Tickets: $75 in advance; $100 at the door

More information/purchase tickets: sojourngsd.org/purim



The Jewish holiday of Purim honors the biblical story of Esther, a Jewish woman who had to hide her true self - and later “come out” - in order to save the Jewish people from destruction in ancient Babylon. Purim is the most festive holiday on the Jewish calendar and customs include donning elaborate costumes, grand celebrations, and embracing the triumph of good over evil. Many describe Purim as a cross between Mardi Gras, Halloween, and April Fool’s Day. Like Esther’s life-saving coming out, Purim off Ponce encourages all to celebrate who they are.


The Southern Jewish Resource Network for Gender and Sexual Diversity (SOJOURN) advances LGBTQ affirmation and empowerment across the South. Guided by our core values of education, advocacy, sacredness of life, justice, partnership, and many others, SOJOURN works with faith leaders, local communities, schools, social service, and health agencies to increase education and understanding of gender and sexual diversity. SOJOURN serves children, families, and professionals of all ages and backgrounds to increase LGBTQ acceptance in every community.



Robbie Medwed

Robbie Medwed began working with SOJOURN when it was known as The Rainbow Center as a volunteer in 2008. He served as chair of the TRC Advisory Board and as co-chair of Purim off Ponce (2010, 2011) before moving into his current role as Assistant Director, where he oversees SOJOURN's educational programming and outreach, including our award-winning workshops and training seminars. Robbie holds a master's degree in Jewish education from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and has written curricula and nationally-recognized inclusive programs for the Marcus JCC of Atlanta, BBYO, USY, Camp Ramah, the Jewish Teen Funders Network, Babaganewz, and JewishGPS. Robbie is also a certified personal trainer, group fitness instructor, and cyclist. Robbie can be reached at robbie@sojourngsd.org.