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Community Engagement and Education

The Jewish Federation of Omaha is firmly committed to engaging community members in meaningful and educational experiences on an individual and family basis alike. As Director of Community Engagement and Education, I devote my time and energy to making that commitment a reality for us all.

There are a variety of ways in which you can become involved. I'm introducing a few of them below. We are community of people talking, laughing, worshiping - and did I say eating? - together. Your involvement makes this community better. Please contact me at (402) 334-6445 or to share your ideas or learn more about current and future opportunities to connect. I'll even help you add your name to our email lists so that you will be among the first to know when events are happening.

Jennie Gates Beckman




Marjorie Ingall,Tablet Magazine columnist and author of Mamaleh Knows Best: What Jewish Mothers Do to Raise Successful, Creative, Empathetic, Independent Children, will speak at Beth El Synagogue on February 2 at 6pm. Marjorie blends historical texts, scientific research, humor and personal anecdotes to create a nuanced portrait of the Jewish Mother that smashes tired old sexist stereotypes.

In conjunction with Beth El for the evening, PJ Library® will furnish appetizers for the adults and babysitting and dinner for the children. There is no charge to attend, but RSVPs are requested.

To tell us you are coming, email or call (402) 492-8550

Ingall's visit is co-sponsored by Beth El Synagogue and the Jewish Federation of Omaha -PJ Library® and made possible through the Jewish Book Council.

March 29, 2017, 7 pm - Author Event with Jason Gewirtz presenting
Israel’s Edge: The Story of the IDF’s Most Elite Unit - Talpiot

Jason Gewirtz is the author of Israel's Edge: The Story of the IDF's Most Elite Unit — Talpiot. Instead of being trained to fight, the few soldiers each year selected for Talpiot are taught advanced level physics, math and computer science. In order to join this unit they have to commit to being in the army for ten years. Talpiot men and women become research and development experts. Talpiots have developed battle ready weapons that only Israel's top military officers and political leaders know about. Following his service, Gewirtz has become an experienced field producer of news in the Middle East and Israel. He is currently an Executive Producer with CNBC. Without divulging secret information, Jason Gewirtz will provide amazing insights into this elite unit.

April 20, 2017 7pm – Author Event with Rabbi Joseph Telushkin
Rabbi Telushkin was named by Talk magazine as one of the 50 best speakers in the United States. He was ordained at Yeshiva University in New York, and pursued graduate studies in Jewish history at Columbia University. He lectures throughout the United States, serves as a Senior Associate of CLAL (The National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership), on the Board of Directors of the Jewish Book Council, and as spiritual leader of the Synagogue for the Performing Arts in Los Angeles. His two books (with Dennis Prager), The Nine Questions People Ask About Judaism and Why the Jews? The Reason for Antisemitism have been widely acclaimed as two of the most influential Jewish books of the past decade. His book, Jewish Literacy: The Most Important Things to Know About the Jewish Religion, Its People and Its History is the most widely selling book on Judaism of the past two decades. It has been hailed by leading figures in all the major movements of Judaism. A new edition was brought out in 2001. Jewish Literacy… has been the primary resource book for the Jewish Federation of Omaha’s “Exploring Judaism” class for many years. The Jewish Federation of Omaha is proud to welcome this highly acclaimed author for this event.

The Jewish Federation of Omaha offers programming to enhance community engagement, promote lifelong innovative Jewish learning, and provide a connection to Israel.

-Adult Education

  • Friday Learning Series
  • Exploring Judaism
  • Klutznick Learning Series
  • Monthly Eye on Israel

-Community Shaliach

-Dorothy Kaplan Book Discussion Group

-Jewish Book Month events

-Kripke Jewish Federation Library

-Omaha Jewish Film Festival


-PJ Library

-Shalom, Baby

-Special Needs Tutoring

past events

2015 was the 42nd year of the national celebration of Jewish Book Month. It is an annual event of the Kripke Jewish Federation Library and the Jewish Federation of Omaha. This celebration of Jewish books is promoted by the Jewish Book Council. Jewish Book Month has its origins in 1925 when Fanny Goldstein, a librarian at the West End Branch of the Boston Public Library, set up an exhibit of Judaic books and used it as a focus of what she called Jewish Book Week. The event was later adopted and expanded to a month by communities around the country.

Diana Bletter was featured author on November 4, 2015 as she discussed her novel, A Remarkable Kindness, which traces the lives of four American women who become part of the Chevrah Kadisha, the Jewish burial society. Through the experience they learn to appreciate much about life.

Pam Jenoff was the featured luncheon speaker on November 12, 2015 as she presented her recent novel, The Last Summer at Chelsea Beach. She weaves the tale of mixed religion marriages, well-meaning people whose efforts go astray, war, and tragedy. Following the luncheon she spent time with the Dorothy Kaplan Book Discussion Group enjoying the discussion of authors, books, and sharing experiences.

Jewish Book Month activities are open to the community.