We're incredibly proud that AJFF attracts some of the most talented, passionate people. From our staff, to our volunteers, or even to members of our audience, there's a huge group of people that make AJFF a world-class cultural event. This month we're putting the spotlight on AJFF Board Member and managing shareholder of the Atlanta office of Greenberg Traurig, LLP, Ted Blum. Greenberg Traurig also recently hosted AJFF for several events including our recent 2019 Sponsor Thank You Party.
A Little Bit about Ted
Ted Blum serves as Managing Shareholder of the Atlanta office and Chair of the Atlanta Corporate Practice. He leads and advises a team with the strategic business, legal and market experience needed to manage and close complex transactions, as well as to provide counsel on day-to-day operations. Ted concentrates his practice in the areas of corporate and business law, mergers and acquisitions, venture capital, and corporate finance. He has experience representing buyers and sellers in the structuring and negotiation of complex, multimillion-dollar mergers, acquisitions and divestitures of public and privately held companies. These transactions include leveraged buyouts, tax-free reorganizations, stock redemptions, and acquisitions of financially troubled or insolvent companies.
How did you come to be involved with AJFF?
I am drawn to organizations that promote dialogue and diversity through the arts and education. When I was first introduced to AJFF I was immediately taken in by its mission of creating open dialogue and celebrating Jewish heritage and culture. Years ago, I was lucky enough to be offered the opportunity to get involved with the festival as a sponsor, and have been actively involved in one way or another ever since. I’m so proud to serve on the current Board of Directors and play a part in this wonderful event.
What is the most interesting challenge, in improving AJFF, that you get to help with?
The beauty of AJFF is that our community comes together to view films that draw us in with their stories and ignite our imaginations. These films spur conversations, which are sometimes difficult, but always important. Selecting the best films to show during the Festival is a difficult process, and there have been great films that aren’t selected, because we must continue to show those which celebrate diversity and different perspectives, whether or not they are the popular choice. With the conflicting voices we have in the world right now, this becomes even more important, because without an open dialogue we cannot really experience how our differences enrich our community.
What is your fondest memory from being involved with AJFF?
My fondest memory of my involvement in AJFF was when we brought in the legendary Israeli singer David Broza for a concert and the showing of his film East Jerusalem/West Jerusalem. Not only were the film and performance incredible, but a large group of us carried on the evening with David at Chops until around 3:30 am, where we ate, drank and listened to more of his music until we were all completely worn out.
How has your experience outside of AJFF played into your work with the festival?
I have had some wonderful mentors in my life, who taught me the importance of dialogue and openness to all viewpoints. Through these mentors I also learned the importance of giving back to our community, and that has helped shape my commitment to organizations such as the AJFF.
What is the most rewarding aspect of being involved with AJFF?
I love walking out of the theater and hearing the conversations about the films and the ideas they have presented. The AJFF helps make our community a better and more thoughtful place and I am so honored to have played a small role in that.
How do you describe AJFF to those who've never experienced it?
AJFF brings people together to experience the highest quality films that respectfully challenge us with the most relevant issues facing our community today and enrich us with the beauty of cinema.
Thank you to Ted for his time and leadership. Stay tuned to see whom we profile next month.