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Home » About the Federation » Our Community »  January 5, 2018
E-News - January 5, 2018

January 5, 2018  |  18 Tevet 5778

Ruth Erman - Of Blessed Memory
The Jewish Federation of Omaha and the entire Omaha Jewish community mourns the loss of Ruth Erman.  Our thoughts and prayers are with her beloved husband, Joe Erman, her children Dana and Michael Kaufman, Mark and Monique Erman, many grandchildren and her entire extended family.  Ruth, Joe, Dana and Michael have passionately served as our 2018 Annual Campaign Chairs. Ruth was diligent in making campaign calls, planning events and communicating with Federation staff.  She also continued to make the Omaha Jewish community a priority while residing in Phoenix for the winter.  Ruth was a quiet, generous leader and gave of her time whenever asked.  We are so thankful for all that she and Joe have done to support our mission for many, many years.
The family has requested that memorials be made to the American Heart Association or the Jewish Federation of Omaha.
From our CEO
It has already been five months since we released the findings from our community study: Portrait of Jewish Omaha, and the Planning and Community Engagement committee of the Jewish Federation of Omaha has been leading the charge to achieve our outlined next steps.

Through community conversations and meetings with key stakeholders to un-pack the data, we've identified several crucial areas we need to strategize and put action plans together on. These include raising Jewish children, aging population, teen programming, interfaith families, connecting with "under-our-radar" Jews, vocational services, job counseling, and estate planning. There are many more data points that we are examining but I wanted to share with you what the committee has been focusing on.

This round of discussions included Federation agency leaders and the synagogue rabbis, while future focus groups are planned to reach out to members of some of our above-mentioned target groups. It is important to gather insights from our entire community in order to create the priorities, measurements and accountability needed to keep this study off the "dusty bookshelf" and informing our decisions moving forward. If you have not yet read the study, you can access it here. We are interested in your thoughts and concerns. Please feel free to contact us at

Shabbat Shalom,
Jerusalem vs. Tel Aviv:  
In what way is each of them a capital?
Jan  8  |  12pm  |  Kripke Jewish Federation Library  
Join Community Shaliach Yoni Doron as he discusses the rivalry that existed between the two cities even before President Donald Trump made his recent statement. 
Eye on Israel is presented the first Monday of every month, open to the community free of charge. No reservations are required.
Jewish Identity and Conversion
Jan 12  |  11:15 am 
Kripke Jewish Federation Library
Rabbi Shlomo Abramovich, Visiting Scholar at Beth Israel Synagogue, is presenting a three part series on Jewish identity and conversion. Through his discussions, Rabbi Shlomo will present some very fundamental questions about being a Jew including "What is the meaning of a Jewish identity?" "Is Judaism a religion, a nationality, or a culture?" The sessions will draw from the teaching, wisdom, and sanctity of the Torah, the Bible, and the Talmud. Rabbi Shlomo will take an historical approach leading to the present day. Session 1 was presented on January 5.  Sessions 2 and 3 will be held on the subsequent Fridays, January 12th and 19th also in the Kripke Jewish Federation Library at 11:15 a.m.

The Friday Learning Series is presented to the community free of charge through a cooperative arrangement with Beth Israel Synagogue and the Jewish Federation of Omaha. Prior registration is not required. For more information, email Mark Kirchhoff at  

JBL Members please join us!
January 17th, 7:30-8:30 am
Featured speaker
Senior Vice President, Omaha Steaks
Champion Run - 13800 Eagle Run Drive

To learn more about Jewish Business Leaders of Omaha
click here to visit our website.
Interested in becoming a member? Click here  to join.
Save the Date: Tuesday, January 23rd
In Moderation: "American Jewry in the Time of Trump" 
 7:00-9:00 pm  |  Kripke Jewish Federation Library
- Professor Ari Kohen will provide "a liberal perspective"
- Robert Evnen, Esq. will provide "a conservative perspective"
This is the first in a series of three moderated events, each presenting an evening of civilized discussion on a heated topic of interest to the Jewish community.  Future dates are Feb. 13 and March 13, topics to be announced.

Sponsored by the Philip & Ethel Klutznik Chair at Creighton University in partnership with the Jewish Federation of Omaha.
Informational Meeting
Wednesday, January 24th at 6:30 pm
Location: Temple Israel
Israel Mission Trip Dates:  August 1-10th, 2018  (leave on 7/31)
For more information contact Louri Sullivan at 402- 334-6485 or

This "Generation Now" event, along with more to come,  
is designed for community members ages 21 to 45.
Community Events at Beth Israel
Rosh Chodesh Group Welcomes Shevat 
Tuesday, January 16, 7:30-9pm 
Contact synagogue office for location (402) 556-6288
Join the women of Beth Israel in welcoming the month of Shevat. Shevet is well known as the month of Tu B'Shevat, the sign for the month is Aquarius, the water bearer. The fun evening will include a bit of learning, conversation, and refreshments. Watch the weekly emails or call the synagogue office for the location. Open to all women in the community.
Cholent Madness at Beth Israel 
January 20 - March 3 
Beth Israel once again sponsors its"Cholent Madness"  in which eight contestants compete for the coveted "Cholent Champion" prize. The delicious fun begins Shabbat, January 20 and continues through February with the winner announced in early March. Beth Israel will provide meat, potatoes, barley, onions, beans and spices. Contestants may acquire additional ingredients on their own. Up to $25 will be reimbursed when receipts are provided. Find out more details and register TODAY by calling the synagogue office at (402) 556-6288.

It's a Shabbat Experience with Students from Shaarei Pruzdor
Thursday, January 18 - Sunday, January 21
Based in Long Island, NY and run by Rabbi Elly Merenstein, Shaarei Pruzdor (gates of the palace) is a newly opened yeshiva with 26 boys, in the 9th grade. They will visit Omaha and Beth Israel for amazing mutual learning experiences. Binyamin & Mimi Lerner will travel with the group to Omaha. There will be a congregational Shabbat dinner on Friday, January 19. Reservations are $10 for adults and $5 for ages 3-12 and are needed by Monday, January 15. For more information, call the synagogue office (402) 556-6288. You may register online.

Schedule a Tour!  Contact Tracy at 402-334-6427 or

Join us on February 18 for a town hall meeting. We will answer questions and share information regarding the phases of the current building project. We remain on-schedule and will open the Outdoor Aquatic Complex this coming Summer!

Visit our website to stay up-to-date on all of the construction progress. If you have any questions, please feel free to email us at We are excited to move forward with this project in an effort to build and maintain a vibrant community, not only for today, but for generations to come.

You can now support the Annual Campaign from your cell phone  
or other device!
Upcoming Events
PJ Library Little Hands, Big Hearts - A Family Day of Caring
January 7 |  10:30 -11:30 am
Friedel Jewish Academy

Beth El Synagogue Kibbutz Chaverim, Grades 5-6 go Ice Skating
January 7 | 1:00-2:00 pm
Learn more.

Beth El Synagogue USY/Kadima Purim Prep
January 7, 21
February 7, 11,14, 18, 21, 25, 27
See website for times.
Eye on Israel
Jerusalem vs Tel Aviv
January 8 | Noon
Kripke Library  

B'nai B'rith Breadbreakers
January  10  |  Noon
RBJH Auditorium

Beth El Synagogue Minor Prophets, with Professor Leonard Greenspoon
Wednesdays, 6-7pm
January 10, 17, 24
February 7, 14, 21
March 7, 14, 21
Learn more.

Beth El Synagogue Shanghai
January 11 | 9:30 am
Learn more.

Friday Learning Series
January  12 , 19  |  11:15am
Kripke Library

Beth El Synagogue Civil Rights Shabbat, with Mr. Thomas Warren
January 13 | 11am
Learn more.

Beth Israel Synagogue From Mechitza to the Wedding Canopy - Gender Roles in Judaism with Rabbi Dembitzer
January 14 & 21  | 10-11:15am
This class will examine how Torah defines the roles of men and women in real life scenarios such as the Jewish wedding, in services, and everyday life. The class is open to the community, free of charge. Register here.

Rosh Chodesh Group
Welcomes Shevat
Tuesday, January 16, 7:30-9pm
Contact synagogue office for location (402) 556-6288

Beth El Synagogue The Ethical Life, with Rabbi Abraham
Tuesdays, 12pm
Jan. 16-April 3 | Whole Foods
Wednesdays, 7pm
Jan. 17-March 28 | Beth El
Learn more.

Jewish Business Leaders  
Bagels & Business
featuring Todd Simon  

January 17 | 7:30 -8:30am
Champions Run

Beth El Synagogue Chesed Committee visits Sterling Ridge
January 17 | 2pm
Lean more.

B'nai B'rith Breadbreakers
January 17 |  Noon
RBJH Auditorium

Beth El Synagogue Hebrew Reading in Your Pajamas, with Hazzan Krausman
Meeting online, beginning
January 18 | 8pm
Learn more.

Beth Israel Synagogue Shabbat Experience with Students from Shaarei Pruzdor
January 18 - 21
For more information, call the synagogue office (402) 556-6288. You may register online.
Beth El Synagogue Shabbat with Abigail Pogrebin
January 19, 6pm Dinner to follow. RSVP required.
January 20, following 9:30 am services, Kiddush to follow
Learn more.

Cholent Madness at Beth Israel
January 20 - March 3
Find out more details and register TODAY by calling the synagogue office at (402) 556-6288.

Ladies Empowerment
Self Defense
January 21 | 12:30 - 4:30pm
Social Hall  
B'nai B'rith Breadbreakers
January 24 |  Noon
RBJH Auditorium

Israel at 70 - Omaha Community Mission Information Meeting
January 24  | 6:30pm
Temple Israel
Generation Now!
FED Event featuring Molly Yeh  
January 27  |  7-10pm 
The Pella in Blackstone    
Film Streams and the Tri-Faith Initiative will present a one-time screening of SACRED 
January 30  | 7pm
Ruth Sokolof Theater  
B'nai B'rith Breadbreakers 
January 31 |  Noon
RBJH Auditorium  
Save the Date
Tu B'Shevat Event
Volunteer and Beer
February 4  | 12:30-3:00 pm
Volunteer at the Benson Plant Rescue, then tour the Benson Infusion Brewery + beer tastings. (Ages 21+)
Cost $5
Email Yoni for more information.

Town Hall Meeting about
JCC Building Project
February 18  | 2pm
JCC Social Hall

History of Refugees and the Jewish Community
March 11 | 1-3pm
Community Calendar
Check out what's happening
in Jewish Omaha on the Community Calendar. View
all kinds of upcoming events happening around town.

Have an event and want
to get the word out?

Join the Discovery!
We are excited to share the complete report, methodology and findings of the 2017 Jewish Federation of Omaha Population Study:
A Portrait of the Omaha Jewish Community. Learn More.
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Remember, this is just a sampling from Jewish Omaha! To stay informed,
join our Twitter feed, check out our website, and the community calendar and watch for Federation's bi-monthly e- newsletter in your inbox. Then, most importantly, let us hear from you. We appreciate your feedback and we'll add your Jewish news to the mix.


Jewish Federation of Omaha   |   333 South 132nd Street   |  Omaha, NE 68154   | 402-334-8200