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You and the CJL

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

Visit this page often and watch for emails and Jewish Press articles providing you with details for upcoming events.


Omaha's 42nd Annual celebration of jewish book month

Events taking place on Wednesday, November 4; Thursday, November 12; Sunday, November 15; Monday, November 30, and Saturday, December 26.  To read the article from The Jewish Press regarding Jewish Book Month, click here.

Jewish Book Month is an annual event of the Kripke Jewish Federation Library, the Center for Jewish Life and the Jewish Federation of Omaha. Promoted by the Jewish Book Council, Jewish Book Month is dedicated to the celebration of Jewish books. The roots of Jewish Book Month started 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 by communities around the country.

Killing a King: The Assassination of Yitzhak Rabin and the Remaking of Israel

Beth El Synagogue will host the fourth Jewish Book Month event featuring author Dan Ephron on Monday, November 30 beginning at 7pm. Ephron will talk about his book, “Killing a King: The Assassination of Yitzhak Rabin and the Remaking of Israel” which relates the parallel stories of Rabin and his stalker, Yigal Amir, over the two years prior to the Rabin assassination. The presentation will be followed by a dessert reception.

A Celebration of PJ
Library Fun!

The final event of the Jewish Book Month will focus on where reading begins – with the kids. It will be “A Celebration of PJ Library Fun!” at the Omaha Children’s Museum on Saturday, December 26 from 6-9 pm. The event is geared toward children of PJ Library age – six months to eight years – with their parents. PJ Library provides books and music for children 6 months to 8 years, mailed to the child’s home each home. Omaha’s program is sponsored by the Dorothy and Myer S. Kripke Institute for Family Literacy. The December 26 event, which is open to Omaha’s young Jewish families, is possible through the generous support of the Mort Richards Youth Program Fund and the Murray and Sharee C. Newman Supporting Foundation, both funds of the Jewish Federation of Omaha. A light dinner will be provided. Reservations are needed by December 22nd by phoning (402) 334-6463 or emailing


Friday Learning Series

December 11, 18, 11am - 12pm  |  Kripke Jewish Federation Library Rabbi Ari Dembitzer |  "A Light unto the World"

Rabbi Ari Dembitzer will present a two session course titled “A Light unto the World” as part of the Center for Jewish Life’s Friday Learning Series. Classes will be held December 11 and 18 from 11 am – 12 pm in the Kripke Jewish Federation Library. The course is open to the community for a fee of $18 which is reduced to $15 for those who are in good standing with their contribution to the Annual Campaign of the Jewish Federation of Omaha.

In framing the content of the course, Rabbi Ari said, “For generations the menorah has stood for light, wisdom, and divine inspiration.  We will discuss what that means in today’s world.” He provided a wide range of related questions/topics that will be asked and discussed.  Discover what these are by attending the classes. If you can't wait, click here for an additional preview. To register, contact Mark at (402) 334-6463 or

Dorothy Kaplan Book Discussion Group

December 17  |  1-2pm  |  Kripke Jewish Federation Library
"All Fall Down" by Jennifer Weiner
From a #1 New York Times bestselling author comes her “best book yet” (Philadelphia Inquirer), a “compulsively readable” novel that shows “there’s no doubt Weiner knows how to deliver a certain kind of story, and well” (The New York Times Book Review).

Allison Weiss got her happy ending—a handsome husband, an adorable daughter, a job she loves, and the big house in the suburbs. But while waiting in the pediatrician’s office, she opens a magazine to a quiz about addiction and starts to wonder…Is a Percocet at the end of the day really different from a glass of wine? Is it such a bad thing to pop a Vicodin after a brutal Jump & Pump class…or if your husband ignores you? She tells herself that the pills help her make it through her days…but what if her increasing drug use, a habit that’s becoming expensive and hard to hide, is turning into her biggest problem of all? 

To read more about the December meeting, click here.

The Dorothy Kaplan Book Discussion Group welcomes new participants.  Contact Shirly Banner at (402) 334-6462 or with questions.

Exploring Judaism

Presently in session:  October 12, weekly through March 7

Scott Littky, Program Director at Temple Israel, teaches this 20 session course which is divided into four major sections:
      • Judaism as a Religion
      • Judaism as History
      • Judaism as a Way of Life
      • Judaism as it is Practiced
To place your name on the "interested list" for next year, contact Mark Kirchhoff at (402) 334-6463 or

Keep Visiting our Website

The Center for Jewish Life develops programs throughout the year.  Our mission is to maximize involvement of Omaha's Jewish community in imaginative, compelling and meaningful Jewish experiences. If you have any questions about our programs or would like to be added to our email list, contact Mark Kirchhoff at (402) 334-6463 or