The Southern Jewish Resource Network for Gender & Sexual Diversity (SOJOURN) is hosting its 15th annual fundraiser, Purim Off Ponce, on Saturday, March 13 from 7-10 pm at the Ahavath Achim (AA) Synagogue. This year’s event will feature a one-of-a-kind showing of “At The Drive-In: The Rocky Hora Picture Show” and will recognize a group of inspiring Jewish LGBTQ+ Southern youth and allies as part of the Michael Jay Kinsler Rainmaker Award presentation.

The award was named in honor of Michael Jay Kinsler, an active member of the gay- and lesbian-founded Congregation Bet Haverim. Kinsler dedicated his life to ensuring gay and lesbian Jews had a place to worship and find solace and pride. This year’s award will recognize a group of LBGTQ+ youth and allies under the age of 21 who inspire and show up as emerging leaders of our collective future.

“This event is a gift to our community,” said Rabbi Laurence Rosenthal of AA. “With limited opportunities to celebrate together, this year will be an extra meaningful and valuable experience.”

“When it became clear a traditional Purim Off Ponce event wouldn’t be possible for 2021, we harnessed the opportunity and got creative with our event format,” said Rebecca Stapel-Wax, Executive Director at SOJOURN. “This year’s drive-in enables us to be more age-inclusive, so we decided to highlight youth who inspire. The honorees are between mitzvah ages 12/13 and 20, an incredibly formative age for LGBTQ+ youth. We expanded our honorees from 20 to 22 because we couldn’t resist including good people. Their resiliency will inspire our community with regenerated hope and energy.”

The honorees are as follows:

Layla Aberman

Aliza Abusch-Magder

Ethan Asher

Ian Bouer-Schlitt

Alexandria Brooks-Alt

Shoshana Caldas

Josh Cohen

Addison Coty

Eowyn (“Wyn”) Garfinkle

Jazz Jennings

Hannah Laing

Ariella Lewi

Tickets for Purim Off Ponce’s “At The Drive-In: The Rocky Hora Picture Show,” as well as sponsorship opportunities, are available at sojourngsd.org. Event proceeds will support SOJOURN’S work to affirm and empower LGBTQ people across the South by building inclusive communities inspired by Jewish and universal values.

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