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Scholarships and Grants

 » Ahava Dan Scholarships

Don’t miss this great opportunity

to engage in the Jewish community!

By Diane Walker, Scholarship Administrator

I am continually amazed by the generosity and thoughtfulness of Jewish Omaha. Without question, this community is special! I see community members happily providing assistance for everything from struggling families to swimming pools. Case in point, the recently created Ahava Dan Omaha Jewish Community Engagement Fund.

This fund, provided by a family who chooses to remain anonymous, was designed to immediately impact the engagement of the Omaha Jewish community by expanding access to meaningful Jewish experiences. These experiences include Jewish summer overnight camps, the Pennie Z. Davis Child Development Center at the JCC, and the Friedel Jewish Academy. The donors hope in this way to inspire unengaged families to become active participants in and advocates of the Omaha Jewish community.

Think about that for a moment. Maybe you are new to Omaha, maybe you have been focused on your career or young family,
maybe you are not completely sure what being Jewish means to you – and someone provides you a means of easing
into the fold, to dip your toes in the water. What an amazing gift – thoughtful, generous and possibly just the right fit!

The fund will award scholarships to nine Jewish families in each of two years (June 1, 2019 – May 31, 2020 and June 1, 2020 – May 31, 2021) for a total of 18, or ‘chai’, scholarship awards. Each scholarship will be for $5,400 (‘triple chai’). Scholarships will be awarded for overnight Jewish summer camp, CDC tuition, and Friedel Jewish Academy tuition. Families of scholarship recipients must participate in the Gateway Program at a cost of $600, which includes JCC membership and membership in the family’s Omaha synagogue of choice. Families will pay for the Gateway Program themselves.

 To be eligible, these Omaha Jewish families:
  • will have children who have never attended the program to be subsidized
    (overnight Jewish summer camp, the CDC, or Friedel)
  • are not currently actively involved in Jewish Omaha
  • will be willing to have financial ‘skin in the game’ via self-funding the Gateway Program
  • have at least one Jewish parent
  • must be living in the Omaha metropolitan area
  • must have demonstrated financial need. The Financial Aid Committee of the Jewish Federation of Omaha will also consider the primary purpose of the scholarships, which is to engage Jewish children and their families who have not previously been engaged.

Dorothy Spizman, chair of the Financial Aid Committee, is eager to welcome non-affiliated families into the many exciting programs and opportunities in Jewish Omaha.

Click here to apply. The application deadline is March 1. Please feel free to reach out to me, Diane Walker, with any questions at either 402.334.6407 or

Please share this information with your Omaha friends and family! They may know a Jewish family with children who will be inspired to become active and engaged in Omaha’s Jewish community. Finally, further evidence that this community is terrific: as I was writing this article, I received a phone call from a previous member of Jewish Omaha. This very kind man had been reading the 2019 Scholarship Booklet and decided to use his Special Donor Advised Fund to establish a scholarship fund to help with summer camp expenses!