ATLANTA (CNN/WGCL) – Rick Rosenthal, better known as Santa Rick, is an orthodox jew who practices Judaism’s most traditional beliefs.
“We’re here to make the world a better place. And we’re here to help each other. And in the Torah, it actually says the Jews are to be a light unto the nations,” explained Rosenthal, “So I found it actually really very Jewish to be Santa.”
Every Saturday, he walks to the synagogue on the Sabbath, spreading joy along the way.
“People talk to me when I’m walking down the street. That’s not because I’m a guy in a red shirt and green pants. It’s because I look like Santa and I evoke some internal, deep, beautiful memory or feeling inside of them.”
Adam Star is the rabbi of a historic synagogue in Atlanta’s largest orthodox neighborhood, ironically located at Merion Christmas.
He says Santa Rick is like family in this Jewish community.
“Rick is unique. That’s who he is,” said Star.
“I think people want you to do it. People understand he’s doing this in a way to bring joy to others. When you’re Santa. The whole world cares,” said Rosenthal.
Simply put, Santa Rick cares about the spirit of Christmas and in a really big way
“We want this to be your school. We tailor it to your needs,” said Rosenthal.
He runs the largest Santa school in the southeast, attracting hundreds from all over the country.
His mission is to teach these Santas in training how to create magical moments for children.
“I celebrate Christmas all year round. And it’s not because of the religious aspect. It’s because of the spirit of Christmas, which I define as just loving people and having them loving you in Atlanta.”