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E-News - September 25, 2015

September 25, 2015  |  12 Tishrei 5776


Following Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur is my favorite festival holiday-Sukkot. The extra effort involved makes the harvest festival special to me.  Building a sukkah takes planning, time and strength. There is a sense of urgency to use the time efficiently after Yom Kippur to assemble the sukkah.

Besides its physical structure, I appreciate the greater symbolism of the shelter and the holiday. The meaning of the commandment, "to dwell in the sukkah for seven days", for me, personally, is the idea that during the time we dwell in the sukkah, we have placed ourselves in an unstable environment. It is a reminder of our vulnerability and that life's circumstances can change at a moment's notice.

A second symbol for me comes from the prayer Haskievanu and the phrase ufros aleinu sukkat shlomecha "spread over us your shelter of peace." Imagine, as you live your days as part of the kehilla, the Jewish community, that you have the ability to provide peace and shelter as you receive peace and shelter.

I envision all of our community sharing the holy space of the sukkah and living under the full canopy of peace. This coming year will be full of opportunities for everyone in our community and I believe we will see the fruits of our efforts. 

Chag Sameach,

Alan
Potash
L'Shanah Tovah! 
Enjoy this special holiday video greeting from community members created by Community Shaliach Eliad Eliyahu.

Family and Cabaret, one and
the same 
Jewish Press Editor Annette Van De Kamp-Wright explained in her op-ed last week that if ever we needed a reminder that the Annual Campaign is about more than raising money, then Campaign Cabaret is it.

Over 100 cast and crew, young and old, singers and dancers have joined together to recreate the magic that is Campaign Cabaret.

Even better, no less than 3 generations of two active and involved community families will be on stage, celebrating community. Don't miss Patty Nogg, twin brothers Brian and Jeff Nogg, Jeff's daughter eight year-old Riley Nogg, Pam Friedlander, daughter Andee Scioli, Andee's sons, J ack and Joe and brother, Jimmy.




NCJW Chocolate Festival
The popular Chocolate Festival returns on October 4 to the La Vista Conference Center and according to Chair Roxanne Kahn, it is better than ever. More vendors means more chocolate! New features include a kid's zone, the Baker Candies' Amazing Race and raffles and prizes for best chocolate.

Bakery students from Iowa Western Community College will be on hand with demonstrations and samples. Visit omahachocolatefestival.com for more information.
Kehilla Cup
83 Kehilla Cup Ambassadors are making contacts with over 300 donors from Jewish Omaha.  These volunteers are having Jewish conversations with our community members... sharing their personal stories of how Federation has impacted them or people they are close to.  At the end of the meeting, the Ambassadors will ask for a generous gift to this year's Annual Campaign.  If you receive a call, please engage with these wonderful volunteers.  Your generosity helps build and maintain community in Omaha, Israel and throughout the world. Now more than ever, your support makes the difference.  By the way, in the spirit of competition, you may be asked to pose for a selfie (see Carrie Fingold and myself at a recent Starbucks meeting).  Kehilla Cuppers will earn extra points for their team if they share a photo!! (Tag @Jewish_Omaha, #kehillacup)

Regards,
Steve Levinger
End of Summer at Beth El
Last Sunday nearly 100 people enjoyed an end-of-summer/begin the New Year bar-b-que bash outside Beth El Synagogue organized by the synagogue's Men's Club and Sisterhood. Abby Kutler attended with her family and said, "Sam had fun running around the new playground with his friends.  Even Henry had fun meeting new friends!"  Laurie Epstein was glad she went since,"kickball is a favorite of mine."


To view the full slate of activities at Beth El, visit  www.bethel-omaha.org
The JFNA GA is November 8-10
Join Federation professional staff and community members Alan Potash, Marty and Iris Ricks, Howard Epstein, Steve Levinger, Louri Sullivan and Zoe Riekes at this year's JFNA General Assembly, the Jewish community's annual gathering in Washington D.C.   

At this critical time in the relationship between the U.S. and Israel, attendees will welcome Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. He is expected to reinforce the unbreakable bonds that connect us and  galvanize and inspire North American Jewish communities for the year to come and beyond.

There has never been a more important time-or a better place-to have these conversations that matter most.  
See the full program and register now.


Join the Jewish response to the world refugee crisis
The JEWISH COALITION FOR DISASTER RELIEF, a humanitarian network of nearly 50 Jewish organizations convened by JFO overseas partner JDC, has been aiding Syrian refugees in Jordan since 2013.

As the crisis continues unabated, JCDR is raising funds to help millions of displaced Syrians throughout the Middle East and Europe. Learn more.

The following is by Alan H. Gill and Will Recant of the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, JFO's overseas partner assisting refugees. The full length version appeared in JUF News, a magazine of Chicago's Jewish United Fund.

When millions of Jews gather to observe Yom Kippur next week, we'll recite the solemn Unetaneh Tokef prayer, with its harrowing list of death by various means.

For many of us, the phrase "Who by water ..." will have tragic resonance, recalling the lifeless body of 3-year-old Syrian refugee Aylan Kurdi, who washed ashore after drowning during his family's grueling but hopeful journey to a new life.

Kurdi - whose death garnered media attention and set off a new round of international responses to the worst refugee crisis since World War II - was but one of millions displaced in recent years by war, famine and upheaval in many forms.

For the Jewish community, this crisis has special resonance and has catalyzed aid responses for two major populations fleeing civil conflict in their homelands: Ukrainian Jews and Syrian refugees.

The humanitarian response to the needs of these people facing homelessness, fear, and utter despair has once again demonstrated our collective Jewish capacity to save lives and uphold our tradition's sacred value for each individual life.

JUF, our longtime partner, has been among the leading supporters and advocates for these efforts. This work has been ongoing for several years and is worth revisiting - and supporting anew with critical speed - in the face of swelling numbers of refugees and migrants pushing across Europe and ongoing violence and widespread economic devastation in Ukraine. Read more.

Israeli volunteers on the ground (JTA.org)
What We're Reading and Watching...
You and Federation
Together with the  Jewish Federation of Omaha, you make our Jewish community more caring and connected. We've made a difference in the lives of so many - by providing for those in need, building Jewish identity, and celebrating Jewish life.
Jewish Family Service assembled and delivered 53 Rosh Hashana holiday baskets to Jewish community families this season.
Let's give a BIG welcome to BBYO Omaha Council's newest Alephs & BBGs:
Nick Davis
Kathleen Kirshenbaum
Amanda Simon
Ellie Simon
Brooke Wilczewski
ALIYAH IS UP 13% since September 2014 to 29,500 olim from 97 countries, reports Federation partner The Jewish Agency. France and Ukraine sent the most immigrants to Israel during this period, and aliyah from Russia increased significantly by 23%.

Campaign Cabaret
Thank you to all our fabulous singers, dancers and entertainers hard at work rehearsing for the 3rd Campaign Cabaret, Sunday October 11 at 5:30pm at the Joslyn Art Museum.  Join us for the community musical revue.

Cast & Crew
Eliad Eliyahu Ben Shushan
Nehoray Ben Shushan
Shilat Ben Shushan
Judah Beneda
Shalom Beneda
Miles Blair
Noah Blair
Howard Borden
Benjamin Brodkey
Elizabeth Brodkey
Julia Brodkey
Brittney Clignett
Jason Clignett
Jack Cohen
Eva Cohen
Jack Cohen
Karen Cohen
Lillian Cohen
Marissa Cooper
Rabbi Ari Dembitzer
Danny Denenberg
Debbie Denenberg
Michael Denenberg
Sasha Denenberg
Sima Denenberg
Steve Denenberg
Cheryl Diamond
Beth Dworkin
Jeff Dworkin
Laurie Epstein
Jason Epstein
Job Feierstein
Yishai Feldstern
Tami Field
Rosie Friedland
Jimmy Friedlander
Pam Friedlander
Alan Friedman
Maya Gavron
Gali Gavron
Donald Gerber
Larry Gilinsky
Jordana Glazer
Gayle Goldstein
Jan Goldstein
Delaney Graham
Leo Grau
Abby Hack
Katie Howell
Jill Idelman
Joanie Jacobson
Richard Jacobson
Karen Javitch
Esther Katz
Abby Kaufman
Joe Kirshenbaum
Laura Kirshenbaum
Hazzan Michael Krausman
Laurel Krausman
Emily Kutler
Steve Levinger
Eli Lopez
Deb Marburg
Howard K. Marcus
Lisa Marcus
Phoenix Mavropoulos
Sophia Mavropoulos
Margo Mayhugh
Tina Meyers
Scott Meyerson
Abbey Milder
Amy Nachman
Gary Nachman
Murray Newman
Brian Nogg
Jeff Nogg
Jordan Nogg
Patty Nogg
Riley Nogg
Maxine Noodell
Michael Parsow
Ruben Pittman-Kogan
Alan Potash
Iris Ricks
Margo Riekes
Elena Rosenblatt
Cadee Scheer
Caryn Scheer
Soloman Schneider
Chaya Schondelmeyer
Andee Scioli
Jack Scioli
Joe Scioli
Anne Shackman
Liora Shapiro
Josh Shapiro
Wendy Shermet
Noah Shrago
Aliza Shyken
Aviva Chana Shyken
Batsheva Shyken
Eliezer Shyken
Shmuel Aaron Shyken
Max Silverman
Charlotte Simon
Ellie Simon
Ava Simons
Simon Slovut
Darby Smith
Evelyn Smith
Darby Smith
Evelyn Smith
Chaeli Spivack
Josh Sullivan
Louri Sullivan
Samantha Sullivan
Ilana Tam
Lily Tam
Jeff Taxman
Sherry Taxman
Eadie Tsabari
Naama Weiss
Rebecca Wolfson
Robert Yaffe
Sidney Zacharia
Jeff Zacharia
Terri Zacharia
Rosie Zweiback 
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