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Annual Campaign Leadership

Fresh off his term as President of the Jewish Federation of Omaha Board of Directors, Bruce Friedlander is ready for his next adventure. This time, he has company: together with his wife Pam, their children, their spouses and the grandchildren, he will head the 2019 JFO Annual Campaign.

“Those who came before me were very strong,” Bruce said. “I have spent my life trying to give back what I received and I question myself every day
about my report card. This assignment is not measured in money; it is measured in kindness. And I’m about to ask for help from the entire community
with that report card.”

“The decision to become the Campaign chair was not difficult for me,” Pam added. “My children wanted to do it - I was on board 100% knowing
we would do this as a family. I am very proud that our daughter Andee, her husband Anthony, our son Jimmy and his wife Sophie would take this on with their very busy schedules. I hope the youngest among us will see us as role models, helping raise money for the community.

My four personal reasons to support JFO are Jack Scioli, Joe Scioli, Will Friedlander and Jonah Friedlander.” Andee agreed: “Our family is a very close one and we love spending time with each other, so it was easy to agree to volunteer as a family. We look forward to working together and
doing our best to assist!”

The Friedlander/Scioli family epitomizes what Jewish Federation of Omaha stands for. Any time we talk about why the Annual Campaign is so important, we remember how no matter what age you are, JFO is there for you:
“As a family, we use the many departments of the Jewish Federation on a weekly basis.” Pam said. From the gym, to the CDC and the library and everything in between, the Jewish Federation fulfills many needs. We need to support the JFO, so others will have the chance to use it, too.”

“From Generation to Generation means that we need to lead by example for our children,” Anthony Scioli added, “and we hope they learn the importance of giving back to the community. Without the commitment and generosity of those before us, we would not have the wonderful community we now have. We cannot take for granted the strength of our community,
and we want to do our part to assist in its positive development and growth. We hope our children will continue to love the community as much as we love it and want to give back and participate.”

Daughter-in-law Sophie has her own reasons for why she was eager to chair the coming Campaign: “I give to the JFO because the JFO gave to me in a way that changed the trajectory of my personal life,” she said. “Although my mother is Jewish and was raised in a Jewish household, I had almost no exposure to Judaism until I was in grad school. It was then that I learned that my mother’s parents’ being Jewish meant I was Jewish, too, and so I embarked on a journey to learn what that meant. To make a long story short, I ended up on a Birthright trip, which was afunded in part by the JFO, as all birthright trips are. It’s impossible to describe how much that gift from the JFO changed my life, but suffice it to say that it has drastically influenced how I identify today and how I live my daily life. So I give back, because the JFO gave to me.”

The previous Annual Campaign was a great success, Bruce mentioned.

“Just like the great financial accomplishment in 5778, so will it be in 5779,” he believes. “I know that to safeguard our community takes a very large sum of money. This community has met their financial responsibility my entire life. I believe the reason for that success is that we truly care about each other.”

“I want my sons to grow up knowing Judaism in a way that I didn’t,” Sophie said, “and so much of what the JFO does makes that possible. Their Jewish identity will be shaped by the books from the PJ library, summers at the JCC pool, attending Challah Tots, visiting relatives at the Rose Blumkin Jewish Home, going to JFO celebrations for Hanukkah and other holidays, attending the CDC and possibly Friedel, eating at Star Deli, and, hopefully, one day going on a Birthright Israel trip.”

“It is our job, as Jews, to repair the world,” Sophie said. “I know that the Jewish Federation of Omaha uses my dollars to perform Tikkun Olam on a scale that none of us could do alone.”

And so, the entire family is on board (although the youngest ones may not realize it yet) and will continue on a path that was started a long time ago. In a way, they embody the Omaha Jewish community perfectly: at the Jewish Federation, there is a place for everyone, regardless of age. To sustain what we have built as a community, we all have to join in.

Pam & Bruce Friedlander
Sophie Ambrose & Jimmy Friedlander
Andee, Anthony, Jack & Joe Scioli

Jon Meyers, President
Alan Potash, Chief Executive Officer  |  402-334-6574
Steve Levinger, Chief Development Officer  |  402-334-6433
Louri Sullivan, Senior Director of Community Impact & Special Projects  |  402-334-6485
Nate Shapiro, Development Officer  |  402-334-6440
Julee Katzman, Special Projects Coordinator  |  402-334-6428