The SOJOURN team extends our heartfelt thanks for everyone's presence at our signature fundraiser, Purim Off Ponce 2024: Lions, Unicorns, Bears OH MY, on March 30, 2024.

All of the attendees' enthusiasm, generosity, and commitment to our mission inspire us to continue pushing boundaries and creating positive change. We look forward to building upon the success of this event together and achieving even greater milestones in the future.


Want to relive the magic of POP? Check out our official photo album by clicking the button below! 

Want to rewind the remarks from the POP program? You can view a recording here. 

We are so excited to introduce you to our 2024 Purim Off Ponce honorees!

Embrace the spirit of this year's POP theme, "Lions, Unicorns, Bears, OH MY!" as we celebrate three extraordinary individuals embodying the strength of a Lion, the magic of a Unicorn, and the nurturing essence of a (Mama) Bear. Their awe-inspiring, selfless contributions to both their professions and communities make them the perfect recipients of the prestigious Michael Jay Kinsler Rainmaker Award.

Our Lion: Morissa Ladinsky graphic
Our Unicorn: Shane Garner graphic
Our Bear: Sylvia Miller graphic
Photo of Morissa smiling at the camera

Dr. Morissa Ladinsky, raised by social justice warrior parents in Madison, WI, is a Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. She is a clinician and medical educator wearing many hats including creating and co-leading the Deep South’s only multidisciplinary gender clinic for youth. She has lobbied, testified and advocated in opposition to Alabama’s anti-transgender legislation. Dr. Ladinsky serves on and oversees several coalition teams facilitating nationwide access to care for gender diverse youth from ban states to safe states.

She has uncovered a passion for policy engagement and health equity, also leading her Pediatric Department’s DEI Council and serving on the DEI subcommittee of the UAB Faculty Senate. She is a lead faculty attending in the UAB Pediatric Primary Care Clinic, and co-leads the region's NICU Follow-up Team to optimize health for medically complex graduates of Alabama’s Neonatal Intensive Care Units.

Since 2014, Morissa has participated in activities SOJOURN has hosted with Birmingham, AL's Welcoming Communities Project. When not training tomorrow’s pediatricians, advocating for health equity for special populations, or serving on state level advisory boards and committees, she and her pediatrician husband love hiking, hanging with their mostly grown kids and their progeny and exploring this truly beautiful part of the U.S.

Photo of Shane giving two thumbs up

Art and caregiving were major influences in Shane Garner’s early life. As a teenager, he volunteered as an art therapist at a local mental health rehabilitation facility. At age 17, he was a founding member of American Express's diversity development team. He worked with the Elton John Red Ribbon Foundation and participated in the first ever AIDS walk in Atlanta. Since then, Shane has built a fantastical career in travel, television, film, and special events.

Shane has been involved in Angel Action Atlanta, where he is known as “Papa Angel”, as well as The Million Man March, The March on Washington, The Atlanta Women's March, Black Lives Matter, Trans Lives Matter as well as numerous charities for the homeless. In 2007, Shane was introduced to Rebecca Stapel-Wax and volunteered to do decor for The Rainbow Center’s first ever Purim On Ponce event. Shane has consistently volunteered and provided decor for Purim Off Ponce every year since.

With his exquisitely built sets and a heart like "The Tin Man", Shane embodies a majestic magical unicorn.

Photo of Sylvia doing jazz hands

Thousands of Jewish students in Atlanta have grown up with Sylvia Miller at their side. She has been there to listen and guide, and to be a trusted adult with whom to share their authentic selves.

Sylvia was born in Atlanta and attended the Hebrew Academy of Atlanta and then graduated from Lakeside H.S. She attended Boston University and graduated from Stern College for Women with a Bachelor’s in Judaic Studies and Political Science. She earned her Master’s in Social Work from Wurzweiler School of Social Work, Yeshiva University.

She has dedicated the past 30+ years to nurturing Jewish youth as they learn, grow and navigate the evolving world. Sylvia’s loves include her family, 3 children and their partners, 2 grandsons, her partner Leanne Rubenstein, her students and a passion for Tikkun Olam and lifelong learning. She is a social worker, teacher, mentor, guide, and parent supporter. Sylvia has dedicated her career and life to empowering children and teens by centering their intrinsic value and uniqueness. Her approach supports families and communities through the ups and downs of life while gently embracing them with love and compassion.

Sylvia has sought SOJOURN's guidance over the years to enhance her support of her students. She is a cornerstone of the community and embodies the true meaning of being a mensch.

Photo of all 3 POP 2024 honorees

About the Michael Jay Kinsler Rainmaker Award

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. In 2024, Purim Off Ponce will be held on what would've been Michael's 63rd birthday! We hope to honor his legacy of inclusion and action for many years to come.

Past SOJOURN Rainmaker Award Recipients

  • 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 z"l
  • 2014 - Rabbi Loren Filson Lapidus and Rabbi Bradley Levenberg
  • 2015 - Dan Bloom & Barry Golivesky
  • 2016 - Jeff Graham
  • 2017 - Rabbi Pamela Gottfried & Rabbi Michael Bernstein
  • 2018 - Judy Marx & Billy Planer
  • 2019 - Bex Taylor-Klaus
  • 2020 - Kenny Blank & Atlanta Jewish Film Festival
  • 2021 - 20 Under 21
  • 2023 - Rebecca Stapel-Wax

DISCLAIMER: By purchasing or accepting the ticket(s), the ticket holder irrevocably and perpetually grants SOJOURN the right, but not obligation to make, reproduce, print, broadcast, rebroadcast, publish and otherwise use photographs, videos, digital images, drawings, visual representations, motion pictures or any other uses of the ticket holder’s likeness. To OPT-OUT of having your image retained and used by SOJOURN, contact us at [email protected]; we will do our best to avoid using photographs that include those that have opted-out.