Meet AJFF: 2020 Development Co-Chair, Dr. Kenneth Taylor

09/9/2019

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 our 2020 AJFF Development Co-Chair, Dr. Kenneth Taylor.

A Little Bit about Kenneth

Kenneth is a native of Atlanta and a cardiologist at Piedmont Hospital. He and his wife, Michèle, have been involved with the AJFF as sponsors, filmgoers and now committee chairs. They have two adult children, Zachary and Zoë.  When not working or going to the festival, Kenneth spends his time playing competitive Ultimate Frisbee and is involved in many outdoor activities including cycling and skiing with Michèle.

How did you come to be involved with AJFF?

I started by going to films. I quickly realized that not only were the films fantastic but what was as exciting were the conversations and discussions with friends and within my community about the films and the topics the films addressed. This aspect is what prompted my increased involvement and excitement about the festival.

What is the most interesting challenge, in improving AJFF, that you get to help with?

Taking on the role as co-chair for the development committee has been my biggest challenge. Development has typically been the role of my wife who is a very talented fundraiser.  My commitment in taking on this challenge has been to broaden the community of supporters for AJFF.

What is your fondest memory from being involved with AJFF?

I met the restaurateur Michael Solomonov at the 2016 Closing Night film In Search of Israeli Cuisine, which is about him, a few years ago. We have subsequently hosted celebrations for two family simchas at his restaurant in Philadelphia (Zahav), which was just named the #1 restaurant in the country. 

How has your experience outside of AJFF played into your work with the festival?

I feel strongly that the AJFF is a great venue to improve communication and conversation in our community, often around subjects of great importance to the Jewish community and beyond. We don’t always have a vehicle to broach important subjects on a larger scale. My conversations and discussions, very often with non-Jewish community members, have driven my enthusiasm with working with the AJFF.

How do you describe AJFF to those who've never experienced it?

AJFF is a great opportunity to get together as a community to enjoy diverse and interesting films one cannot typically see and that address important issues and become a starting point for important conversations and discussions.  

What's your favorite AJFF film, and why? 

Too many great films to pick one.

Who would you cast to play you in a film?

Bruce Willis


Thank you to Kenneth for his contributions and continued outreach on behalf of AJFF. Stay tuned to see whom we profile next month.