Open Arms for New Jewish Memphians

Last weekend, forty-two new Jewish Memphians, ranging in age from toddler to senior and hailing from such far-flung spots as Seattle, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Chattanooga, and Albany, were welcomed at a brunch last week sponsored by Jewish Community Partners and held at the home of Jill and Ken Steinberg.

Helping newly relocated Jewish families make their first connections in Memphis is an important part of our efforts to engage these new Memphians in communal and cultural activities that keep them connected to other Jews, and to our city’s vibrant Jewish community. We provide a Welcome Bag to every new arrival we hear about (more on that later!), thanks to a generous subsidy from a donor, through his Donor Advised Fund at the Jewish Foundation, but social gatherings, like last weekend’s brunch are dependent upon money gifted by you, members of the community, during our Annual Community Campaign.


Not so much new, a group of “returning” Memphians was also included in the brunch— young men and women who grew up in Memphis, attended college out of town, and recently returned to Memphis as adults.

“It was wonderful to see this part of our community represented,” said Laura Linder, President and CEO of Jewish Community Partners. “Our welcome program is called Choose Jewish Memphis, and we wanted to acknowledge the fact that these recent college graduates have chosen to return to Memphis. We’re delighted and honored to welcome them back into our community.”

Last year, JCP had to make a tough decision about the yearly welcome brunch, ultimately canceling it for lack of funding. With this year’s Annual Community Campaign set to launch in about a month, it’s still up in the air as to whether the event will remain bi-annual, or return to a yearly gathering.


Jewish Community Partners’ volunteer committee, dedicated Lions of Judah, assisted in planning the brunch and assembling the welcome bags. A big shout-out to Bobbie Shainberg, Rayna Greenberg, Rhonda Saslawsky, Billie Pierce, Cindy Finestone, Evelyn Makowsky, Stacy Vogel, and Jill Steinberg.

WE can only reach out to new arrivals that we hear about from our friends and supporters. If you know a family or individual that has just begun living in Memphis, please let Gila Golder, JCP’s Community Impact Associate, know about them. Give her a call at 901-654-2151 or send her an email:


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