Celebrating 12 Years as Atlanta's Best Costume Party & Fundraiser!

 SOJOURN exists to ensure fairytale stories for each of us -- because somewhere between “once upon a time” and “happily ever after,” everything is possible, and dreams do come true.

 On Saturday evening, March 3, 2018, we will come together cloaked in fairytale-inspired costumes to support SOJOURN’s work advancing LGBTQ affirmation and empowerment across the South.

On this magical evening, we will recognize honorees Judy Marx and Billy Planer, who each will receive the Michael Jay Kinsler Rainmaker Award for their professional and personal efforts toward building loving communities where LGBTQ people feel welcomed, listened to and safe. All proceeds from Purim Off Ponce support the important education and training at the heart of SOJOURN.

 Over 450 attendees enjoy Purim Off Ponce every year and come from all walks of life: both straight and gay, in-town and suburban, Jewish and not.

In 2016, 2,000+ individuals, including 700+ young people, participated in SOJOURN workshops and/or programs.


2007 - Leslie Levy, Rhoda Margolis, and Barbara Katz
2008 - Leanne Rubenstein
2009 - Gus Kaufman
2010 - Rabbi Joshua Lesser
2011 - Charlie Chasen and Beverly Korfin
2012 - Owen Halpern z’’l
2013 - Sylvia Gross
2014 - Rabbi Loren Lapidus and Rabbi Bradley Levenberg
2015 - Dan Bloom & Barry Golivesky
2016 - Jeff Graham
2017 - Rabbi Pamela Gottfried and Rabbi Michael Bernstein


Our Honorees

Judy Marx

In March 2015, Judy Marx was named the first Executive Director of Interfaith Community Initatives, Inc. (ICI).  In this position, she oversees ICI’s many programs, including World Pilgrims™, Atlanta Interfaith Leaders Forum, and Immersion Experiences, as well as represents interfaith efforts at community events and works with faith leadership across the city.

Prior to joining ICI, for three years Judy consulted with nonprofit organizations to improve their fundraising, community relations and leadership development.  Judy spent 12-½ years with American Jewish Committee where she served as the Atlanta Director, and where she was the Founding Director of the award-winning Atlanta Jewish Film Festival. She has remained involved in the Atlanta Jewish Film Festival, co-chairing the Film Evaluation Committee for two years and currently co-chairing the festival’s Community Engagement Committee.  Also, in 2011 and 2013, Judy produced ReelAbilities ATL, Atlanta’s only disabilities film festival, working under the auspices of Georgia Community Support & Solutions.

In 2017, Judy was elected Sisterhood co-president and board member of Ahavath Achim Synagogue, where she previously co-chaired the Leadership Institute. Additionally in 2017 she was elected to the MACoM board of directors.  In 1999, Judy was appointed by then Governor Barnes to the Georgia Commission on the Holocaust.  She is a member of the 2001 Class of Leadership Atlanta, a 2002 American Marshall Memorial Fellow, and a founding board member of Limmud Southeast.  In 2011, Judy was recognized by the Trumpet Awards, receiving the “High Heels Award” and in 2012 was inducted into the Martin Luther King, Jr. International Chapel Board of Ministers and Laity at Morehouse College.

Billy Planer

Billy Planer has worked with Jewish youth for 30 years. In 1995, he created a weekend trip for his youth group in which they explored a city’s history and culture. The first trip was to Washington DC and subsequent years including Memphis, Boston, Chicago and New York. Every trip included a mix of Judaism, American history, politics, music and culture.

Challenged by a friend, Billy interviewed people while on a road trip around America.  Half way through, he realized he should be bringing teens to these historical spots and meet with people who are involved in changing the world.

Etgar 36 is a summer journey that takes Jewish teens on a bus across America in which they find their voice and power by meeting with all sides of political issues, learn about the history that shapes us where events happened, understand the unique culture of each city, become empowered and inspired to get involved and develop their American and Jewish identities.  12 teens participated in the inaugural summer journey in 2003. Immediately upon getting off the bus that summer day schools and synagogues called to have Etgar 36 run shorter trips for their students. These academic year trips focus on the Civil Rights movement in the South.

Since that first trip in 2003, over 18,000 people have been on an Etgar 36 journey. This includes day schools, youth, adult and family groups from synagogues as well as interreligious and inter racial groups.

Billy received his Bachelors degree from Syracuse University and a Masters in Education and Counseling from Georgia State University.

About the Michael Jay Kinsler Rainmaker Award

The 2016 video tribute to Rainmaker Award namesake Michael Jay Kinsler, narrated by his late mother, Margaret Kinsler Shainker.

In 2014, the Rainmaker Award was renamed in honor of Michael Jay Kinsler. Michael was an active member of Congregation Bet Haverim and the Atlanta LGBT community and dedicated much of his life to ensuring that gay and lesbian Jews had a place to worship where they could find solace and pride. We hope to honor Michael's legacy of inclusion and action for many years to come.



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