The Nomination Process for the

 20 Under 21 for 2021 Initiative

Michael Jay Kinsler Rainmaker Award

Presented at the 15th Annual Purim Off Ponce Fundraiser
(March 13, 2021)

SOJOURN, the Southern Jewish Resource Network for Gender & Sexual Diversity, affirms and empowers LGBTQ+ people across the South by building inclusive communities inspired by Jewish and universal values.

While 2020 has been a challenging year for each of us, today’s youth have pivoted like never before. This year’s Purim Off Ponce will recognize LBGTQ+ youth and allies, 20 under 21, many of whom—as we will learn—have dug deep and emerged as remarkable creators and doers. While 2020 will be behind us, let us not forget the young people who will emerge as the leaders of our collective future.


  • Will be Mitzvah age (12/13) and under 21 on March 13, 2021
  • Identify as Jewish
  • Actively helps and inspires *
  • Have roots** in the South***

If person identifies as queer, “help and inspire” can target any group/cause. If person identifies as straight, “help and inspire” means that they directly or indirectly ally with the queer community.

** “Roots in the South” means that a person has a connection to the South which can include: place of birth, place where one was raised, place someone spent a significant amount of time, and/or where one currently lives.

*** To SOJOURN, the South includes Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and West Virginia.

Nomination Process: 

  • Nominations are welcome from community leaders, mentors, clergy, teachers, counselors, administrators, family (parents, siblings, aunts/uncles, cousins, grandparents, etc.), peers or nominate yourself.
  • A brief Application and one Letter of Recommendation will be requested after youth eligibility is confirmed.
  • There is no limit to the number of youth you can nominate. Please prioritize your list if you are a school or organization submitting multiple nominations. We will have a runner-up list beyond the 20 chosen.
  • The 20 Under 21 will be chosen by a committee of youth professionals, board members, volunteers and SOJOURN staff. The deadline is December 4th


Michael Jay Kinsler Rainmaker Award Nominations:

  • Nominator

  • Nominee

  • Date Format: MM slash DD slash YYYY
  • Please provide a paragraph describing why this nominee deserves recognition. Include service projects, talent and information about goals, interests, and areas of interest to help illustrate your point.

Send all other inquiries to


In 2014, the Rainmaker Award was renamed in honor of Michael Jay Kinsler. Michael was an active member of gay and lesbian founded Congregation Bet Haverim. He dedicated 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 years to come.