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E-News - June 5, 2015
June 5, 2015  |  18 Sivan 5775


Sara and Ted Seldin
On Monday, June 1 the community came together to install the Federation's 2015-16 Board of Directors, hear from our President and myself on the State of the Federation and honor our community volunteers.

President Jay Noddle recognized the work of the Federation campaign staff after it was reported that 2015 Campaign results reached its highest levels since 2008. The Annual campaign closed at $3.157 million. I was pleased to report that the Board passed a 2015-16 budget providing for growth and support across all campus agencies and the community.

Top: Dana Kaufman and Jason Epstein   Bottom: Phil and Nancy Wolf with Hannah and Michael Schmidt
Agency highlights for the year included: the growth of JCC membership and CDC enrollment, a redesign of the popular Gateway program for young adults and newcomers, the launch of an online Jewish Press and the addition of another year in residence for our Community Shaliach, Eliad Eliyahu ben Shushan and the expansion of his outreach to the community.

The new Board was installed and acknowledgement was made to new Board members, Eric Dunning, Jason Epstein, Bruce Goldberg, Dana Kaufman and Scott Meyerson. May we go from strength to strength. Mazel Tov!

While the number of Jews in Omaha is frequently debated and may not really be known, what I do know is that every Jewish person in our community matters and our work is to do the best we can to make a difference.

Shabbat Shalom,
Alan Potash
JFO 2015-16 Board of Directors
Jay Noddle | President
Brett Atlas
Bob Belgrade
Toba Cohen-Dunning
Eric Dunning
Jason Epstein
Bruce Friedlander
Bruce Goldberg
Richard Jacobson
Rich Juro
Dana Kaufman
Jon Meyers
Scott Meyerson
Carl Riekes
Mike Siegel        
Jody Malashock | Past President

Incoming Board members
Be our Guest
The JCC Musical Theater Community Acting Group continues to amaze as evidenced by last week's performance of Beauty and the Beast, Jr. JCC Dance and Cultural Arts Director, Esther Katz was thrilled to hire a set designer and to work with a costume designer to bring professional elements to the production. Katz said, "We have very talented actors, devoted staff and wonderful support from the community, what more can you ask for?" 

This program was made possible by the Karen Sokolof Javitch Music Fund, the Morton A. Richards Youth Program Fund and the JCC Theatre Program Fund of the Jewish Federation of Omaha Foundation.
A Fun-filled Farewell to Josh Gurock
The Rose Blumkin Jewish Home's Silverman Auditorium was the site of an extra-special send-off to its Director of Operations, Josh Gurock. Many were on hand to wish him well as he moves on to Albany, New York for a new career opportunity. In addition to his passion for the Blumkin Home, Josh served as President of Beth Israel Synagogue. The entire Gurock family made a tremendous impact on Jewish Omaha and they will be missed. Omaha is very proud of you and we wish you the very best!!
Supporting Houston
Late last week, the JFNA Emergency Committee allocated $25,000 to provide urgent assistance to the 50,000-strong Houston Jewish community, following devastating flooding. It is estimated the region sustained at least $45 million in damage.

Many parts of the Jewish community were impacted as well as several Jewish communal institutions.  Houston Federation Executive Director Lee Wunsch confirmed that the short-term impact on a number of Jewish families in the Houston community is significant.

Jewish neighborhoods were particularly hard hit, as related by Houston resident and Jewish News Service editor Jacob Kamaras, who offered a distinctly Jewish perspective on the flooding.

Members of the Omaha Jewish community can make a contribution directly to Jewish Federation of Greater Houston's Flood Relief Fund.
Rooting for the Jewish NBA Coach
Last night basketball fans everywhere watched the start of the NBA finals between the Golden State Warriors and the Cleveland Cavaliers. This year, there may be special interest for Jews and Israelis alike as we cheer and root for the Cavaliers' Israeli-American head coach David Blatt.

Blatt, who holds duel American/Israeli citizenship, was a controversial hire for the Cavaliers last year, as he became the first NBA head coach hired directly from overseas, without first being an NBA player, NBA assistant coach, or American college coach.

Blatt, pictured here, played on a number of professional teams in Israel in the 1980's and 90's, and was most recently the head coach of Maccabi Tel Aviv, Israel's most elite basketball team from 2010-2014.

Prime Minister Netanyahu tells NBA's Jewish coach, "The whole of Israel is behind the Cavaliers". Read news report
What we're reading and watching
One month after the devastating earthquake in Nepal, the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee has outlined how it is helping tens of thousands of victims of the disaster. JUF's Nepal Earthquake Relief Fund continues to raise money to support JDC and other efforts there. (JDC)
Read news report

Zimbabwe's Lemba, Africans who adhere to Jewish belief, are building their first synagogue.
Read news report

Israelis suffered through a major heatwave last week that sent temperatures soaring above 110 degrees. How have they coped? Times of Israel has a photo report.
  Read news report

 A new two-state strategy for peace (Wash. Post)
Read news report

In first, Indian PM Modi to visit Israel (Jerusalem Post)
  Read news report

China's infatuation with Israeli technology deepens (Globes) 
  Read news report

Israeli companies bring jobs to American cities
(Times of Israel) 
  Read news report
Welcome to Jewish Omaha, an on-line community resource from the Jewish Federation of Omaha covering local events and programs, global Jewish perspectives and news links of interest to our community members, donors, supporters and friends. Sign up for bi-monthly delivery!
 
Did YOU Know?
ALIYAH NUMBERS from the first quarter of 2015 increased by 41% over the same period last year. According to the Israeli Central Bureau of Statistics, 72 olim from Ethiopia, 2,506 from Ukraine and 1,985 from Russia have arrived in Israel so far this year with the help of the Federation-funded Jewish Agency for Israel.

In celebration of Father's Day, June 21, the JCC wants all dads of active Taekwondo students to attend class FREE with their child for the entire month! Don't miss out on special time with your budding martial arts expert. Call Laura Wine at (402) 334-6419 for more information.
Upcoming Events
Life & Legacy Community Celebration 
June 11  |  6:30pm

Beth El Synagogue
2015 Annual Meeting
June 12  |  5:45pm
Shabbat on the Green, installation of new board members, presentation of annual awards and delicious BBQ dinner. Cost: adults - $12 for members, $15 for non-members, kids ages 7-12 - $5 for members, $7.50 for non-members; no charge for kids ages 6 and under.
 
Click here to register
New members since last June attend at no charge. New members should contact
Margie Gutnik to register.

Official Welcome to
Rabbi Ari Dembitzer
June 14  |  6pm
Beth Israel
Dinner Adults $18 / Kids $12
RSVP today at 402-554-6288

Dorothy Kaplan Book
Discussion Group
June 18  |  1-2pm
Kripke Jewish Federation Library
Meets monthly, Everyone is Welcome!

Omaha Teen Trip to Israel
Applications due July 1
Contact your Synagogue clergy

Temple Israel
Shabbat Speaker Series
July 10  |  6-7 pm
Rabbi Ari Dembitzer

Backyard Concert Series
August 16, 23 , 30
Sundays, 5-7 pm

Jewish Federation of North America General Assembly 2015
November 8-10
Washington, D.C.
New to Jewish Omaha?
We'd love to meet you! 
Contact Louri Sullivan to find out about all the programs and services we offer. Become a part of one of the most vibrant and active Jewish communities in the country. 
 
Louri Sullivan
Director of Community
Impact & Special Projects
402-334-6485 
What's Happening
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in Jewish Omaha on the Community Calendar. View
all kinds of upcoming events happening around town.

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