Since 1980 the Pinch Hitter program, organized locally by the Achim/Gate City (Atlanta) Lodge of B’nai B’rith International and currently chaired by Harry Lutz, has traditionally provided volunteers to work in non-medical positions in area hospitals and senior care facilities on Christmas Day to give employees the day off to spend with their families.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, B’nai B’rith Atlanta will be celebrating the 39th year of the Pinch Hitter program in a slightly different format in 2020. We are taking a different approach to bring a smile and enjoyment to the patients and residents that enjoyed our Pinch Hitter visits over the years.
We are debuting the B’nai B’rith Pinch Hitters Gift of Talent Extravaganza. We will be creating a series of 60-minute pre-recorded videos that will be made available to hospitals and senior living facilities to entertain residents and patients on Christmas Day. The videos will also acknowledge, celebrate and thank the essential workers at these locations who have been on the job throughout this pandemic and been a lifeline to seniors, patients, and families who have been impacted by COVID-19.
We invite the community to share their abilities and submit 3 to 8-minute-long video clips of their talents. We are seeking singers, musicians, comedians, dancers, jugglers, magicians, or any other imaginable amazing talent which our viewers may find entertaining. With the winning combination of talented people and B’nai B’rith’s production staff, we know we can help make the B’nai B’rith Pinch Hitters Gift of Talent Extravaganza an entertaining and rewarding part of Christmas Day for residents, patients, and staff.
To submit a video clip for consideration to be included in the Gift of Talent Extravaganza video, please email the file in .mp4 or .mov format to Rhonda Love at email@example.com by November 15th.
About B’nai B’rith
B’nai B’rith International has advocated for global Jewry and championed the cause of human rights since 1843. B’nai B’rith is recognized as a vital voice in promoting Jewish unity and continuity, a staunch defender of the State of Israel, a tireless advocate on behalf of senior citizens, and a leader in disaster relief. With a presence around the world, we are the Global Voice of the Jewish Community.
B’nai B’rith International is widely respected as one of the world’s largest Jewish membership organizations promoting human rights, community action, and humanitarian efforts. Tikkun Olam is a concept that is an integral part of being Jewish. Loosely translated, it refers to our obligation to repair the world, to make the world a better place in which to live, work, and play. What we in BBI do is in keeping with Tikkun Olam.
The B’nai B’rith Achim/Gate City Lodge, established in 1870, is one of the oldest B’nai B’rith lodges. At the local level, we organize and promote volunteer community service programs, including Pinch Hitters.
Our Pinch Hitter program provides hundreds of volunteers in Atlanta area hospitals and assisted living facilities to relieve Christian employees from non-technical, non-medical duties on Christmas Day so they can celebrate their holiday with their families. The Pinch Hitter program started in 1980 with 18 volunteers at one facility-Scottish Rite Children’s Hospital. We didn’t operate the program in 1983 when Christmas came on Shabbat and one more year as well, but in the 90s we began to conduct the program on either Friday or Sunday in those years when Christmas fell on Saturday to ensure continuity so that in 2019 we celebrated the 38th year of the program. In 1990, President George H.W. Bush recognized this program as his 335th Point of Light Award.
Additional local B’nai B’rith programs include:
- Enlighten America, our annual Essay Contest for students (7th – 9th grades) encourages respect and tolerance of our friends’ and neighbors’ diverse religious beliefs and their racial and cultural backgrounds.
- Unto Every Person There Is a Name— At the Georgia State Capitol, we read aloud names of actual victims of the Holocaust to help people realize the enormity of the 6 million individual lives lost. This nationally observed B’nai B’rith program generally occurs in May around Yom HaShoah.
- B’nai B’rith Cares for Kids — We deliver new and gently used stuffed animals to children in hospitals and homeless shelters as well as police departments. Since 1997 we have distributed more than 20,000 furry friends to these children and brought countless smiles to their faces.
Contact us to become a sponsor for the 2020 B’nai B’rith Pinch Hitters Gift of Talent Extravaganza. To donate to the programs and activities of our lodge, you can click on our GIVING FUND PAGE at http://bit.ly/BnaiBrithAtlantaPayPalGivingFund. Log in or sign up for PayPal so 100% of your donation reaches us and contributes to our mission.
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