Bram Bessoff (Board co-chair) has the quintessential mash-up career with one half of his brain steeped heavily in the music industry and the other half working the daily grind in technology. Both careers collided with the inception of Indiehitmaker (IHM) which is backed by PolyPlat Records and powered by Blue Mountain Technologies. Following thirteen plus years as drummer for Soup, Bram started Shabbat Rocks to keep his involvement with Judaism and find a way to engage young families in celebrating their Judaism in a more contemporary way. His involvement with Shabbat Rocks led him to the AJMF where he now focuses his efforts to stay connected to Judaism through music while trying to make a cultural and spiritual connection within the greater Atlanta Jewish Community.
Rebecca (Becky) Herring (Board co-chair) graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Music with a concentration in Vocal Performance in 2008 from Emory University. She began her professional career at Emory as the Rosemary Magee Intern to the Arts for the Emory College Center for Creativity & Arts (CCA) in the summer of 2008. During that time she discovered her affinity for event planning and general organization and soon became the Events Manager for the Schwartz Center for Performing Arts before becoming the Regional Events Manager with the Emory Alumni Association, her current role. In her spare time she is a member of the semi-professional a cappella group The Graduates and a regular volunteer at the no-kill animal shelter Atlanta Pet Rescue and Adoption.
An Emory alum (’07 BA Film and Music) and native of Atlanta, Russell Gottschalk is the full time director and founder of AJMF (Atlanta Jewish Music Festival). In 2009, Russell became inspired to start the South’s first Jewish Music Festival after spending three years with Atlanta’s successful Jewish Film Festival (AJFF). As a young Jewish professional in Atlanta, he hopes AJMF will engage and unify our Jewish community, creating a unique forum for interaction our region has yet to experience. Russell manages AJMF’s day to day operations including: building community partnerships, meeting community leaders, soliciting artists and venues, managing AJMF’s human resources, seeking out development opportunities and engaging AJMF’s fan base through myriad social media networks.
AJMF’s 2014-15 Board also includes:
Lauren Adesnik, Rabbi Jonathan Crane, Rabbi Brian Glusman, Alan Kitey, Scott Levy, Julie Naturman
Bonnie Puckett, Webb Roberts, Sammy Rosenbaum, Eli Sperling and Valerie Wolpe.
Special thanks to our part-time staff (Taylor Cyr), our 2014-15 interns (Shayna Baruck, Ilse Becerra Martinez and Ashley Thakur) and countless other volunteer leaders.
Your invaluable contributions to our community have enabled AJMF to grow and thrive!