by Beth Cohen, Executive Director, the Center for Jewish Life
Omaha Jewish Connections (OJC) is a collaboration involving all Jewish Omaha youth groups. This year, the synagogue youth groups and BBYO will jointly offer programs under the name of the OJC, providing the venue for all Jewish Omaha teens to come together as a community to learn, create and explore. The first event for the school year will be on Saturday, Aug. 31, and will be a concert featuring dynamic Israeli musician Eliad Eliyahu. The concert will run from 9:30 to 11:30 p.m., and will be held at Beth Israel Synagogue, 12604 Pacific Street.
The concert is being held the Saturday night before Rosh Hashanah, when Jews around the world recognize the start of the “High Holiday Season” with Selichot, the late night service that serves as the kick-off. Selichot are prayers of forgiveness, and a Selichot concert sets the perfect tone in preparation for the upcoming holidays.
Omaha is lucky that Eliad Eliyahu Ben-Shushan, the featured performer, now calls Omaha his home. He just started work as the new Community Shaliach, or Israeli Emissary, at the Center for Jewish Life. As a Shaliach, he will work to strengthen the unique and multi-faceted significance of Israel in our community. Eliad Eliyahu, as he is musically known, saw his first CD, Shirat Hael, reach the top of the charts in Israel. As an energetic educator, Eliad Ben-Shushan has worked as a trustee in Youth Futures, a program mentoring at-risk kids, and as the Education Coordinator of Partnership2 Gether in the Western Galilee. Omaha is one of twelve stateside cities partnering with the Western Galilee communities of Akko and Matte Asher.
Eliad was born and raised in Akko. He has a BA in Political Science and a MA in Public and Political Communication from Bar Ilan University. In the army he served as singer of the Northern entertainment group. He moved to Omaha with his wife Sara and their three children.
The OJC is open to all Jewish teenagers in Omaha. For more information, contact your synagogue or Beth Cohen at the Center for Jewish Life, 402.334.6446.