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The mission of the Center for Jewish Life is to maximize involvement of Omaha's Jewish community in imaginative, compelling and meaningful Jewish experiences


Eye on Israel returns

july 22, 12-1 pm

Kripke jewish federation library

Dealing with terrorist kidnappers and murderers

Click here for details

CJL Now Planning Programs for 2014 - 2015

Enjoy some of this past year's highlights ....

Shaliach Eliad Eliyahu Ben Shushan and family arrive.  
Professionally trained in Israel and matched with numerous communities throughout the country, shlachim bring the culture of Israel to Jewish communities.  On August 7 Eliad and his family arrived in Omaha to begin a 2-year assignment. Learn More

Partnership2Gether Joint Steering Committee Meeting

In July the Center for Jewish Life hosted the Joint Steering Committee Meeting of Partnership2Gether.  Omaha welcomed participants from the Central Area Consortium and from Akko and Matte Asher Region in Western Galilee.  Learn More.

Shir Ivrit:  Sing Hebrew

One of Eliad's first activities was to lead a group of fun-loving participants in singing Hebrew songs, learning about their origin, and sharing some of the emotions of Israeli's through a 3-part Friday Learning Series.  Learn More

Kripke Library Continues to Expand Its Collection
The Kripke Jewish Federation Library is acclaimed as one of the finest of its kind in the United States.  It holds over 40,000 volumes and is the site of the largest Russian book collection west of the Mississippi River.  CJL welcomes suggestions for new acquisitions and continues to add to the collection.
Jewish Book Month

Author Lynne Golodner was the guest author at the Jewish Book Month luncheon. Lynne discussed her recent book, The Flavors of Faith: Holy Breads," highlighting the significant role that bread plays across cultures.  Following her visit she made mention in her personal blog entries of her love of Omaha and the Jewish Federation of Omaha.  Learn More

Eye On Israel Series Continues
The "Eye on Israel" series is a monthly presentation of topics of current interest in the state of Israel and for Jewish people throughout the world.  Each session is characterized by lively and divergent opinions being expressed.  Learn More.  
PJ Library "Pump It Up" Family Fun Night

To help fight the winter "blah's," the Center for Jewish Life held a program at the kid-oriented "Pump It Up" facility in Omaha.  Especially geared for kids 8 and younger, the evening was filled with bouncing, climbing, and wholesome family fun.  In addition, families brought donations of PJ's for kids in need in homeless shelters and for distribution through Jewish Family Services.  Learn More

Friday Learning Series: Arabs and Israelis Living In Mixed Cities
For some participants it was quite a surprise to learn that contrary to how the mainstream media presents Arabs and Israelis living together, there is considerable cooperation and mutual respect between people in daily life. Learn More.  
Dorothy Kaplan Book Discussion Group Continued Its Long-Standing "3rd Thursday of the Month" Meetings

The Dorothy Kaplan Book Discussion Group, which is one of the longest standing continuous book discussion groups of its kind, continued its monthly meetings on the 3rd Thursday of every month.  This year they incorporated a film and guest discussion leaders to their format.  Participation in the group is free and open to all.  Learn More

New Format for Klutznick Learning Series Proven Popular with Participants
In conjunction with Dr. Leonard Greenspoon, Klutznick Chair at Creighton University, the Center for Jewish Life presented a new format for the series.  Various clergy and lay people teamed together on six separate nights and presented material and led discussions about how the 10 Commandments are relevant in modern society.  Learn More.  
Guests from the IDF Discuss the Truth About Soldiers' Activities and Behavior
Soldiers Iris & Anat

The StandWithUs project sponsors a program called "Israeli Soldiers' Stories" that creates an opportunity for face-to-face meetings between Israeli soldiers and various audiences in the United States.  In a special presentation in the Kripke Jewish Federation Library, Iris and Anat told their personal stories and related the dilemmas present in the Israeli-Arab conflict. Learn More

David "Du Du" Cohen Entertains Audiences at Several Venues
The Center for Jewish Life was delighted to welcome David “Dudu” Cohen to Omaha through Partnership2GETHER. David, a producer and performer of the musical theater performance also teaches rhythmic lessons, world music, drama and music therapy in medical, rehabilitative and educational organizations.  But more than that, he was a lot of fun as he entertained at the "J," Friedel Jewish Academy, Crestridge Elementary Magnet School, the Pennie Z. Davis Child Development Center, the Rose Blumkin Home, and Temple Israel  Learn More.  
Friday Learning Series:  Lessons from Displaced Persons  

Institute for Holocaust Education (IHE) Director Liz Feldstern conducted a 3-part series explaining to participants the challenges faced by 6 million displaced persons - 100,000 of whom were Jewish - immediately following the end of WWII.  The Americans, British, French, and Russians assisted in finding ways to help these people ease back into society, but no one had the experience or knowledge required to deal with the problems the DPs faced. The lives of millions depended on finding a way to do so. Futures hung in the balance. Learn More

Everyone's Talking About the Introduction of Conversational Hebrew
The Center for Jewish Life has traditionally offered Hebrew 101 for beginners and Hebrew 102 "next step" beginners in learning the language.  This year a Hebrew 103-Conversational was introduced and met with enthusiasm.  This class offered an increase in words, phrases, and manners of speech that would be used on a daily basis.  Students related that they were excited to take their next trip to Israel where they could really try out what they learned - or just spring some Hebrew on an unsuspecting person passing through the "J."  Learn More.  
Dinner and a Movie - But Not in That Order  
A group of 38 traveled to Lincoln for a special evening, seeing the documentary film "Dancing in Jaffa" at the Mary Riepman Ross Media Arts Center on the University of Nebraska campus.  Thanks to the generosity of Steve and Toni Goodman and Marty and Iris Ricks, in addition to funding from the Center for Jewish Life, a coach bus was provided free of charge.  Following the film the group enjoyed dinner at Lazlos.
Passport To Israel