by Sherrie Saag, Communications, Jewish Federation of Omaha
Omaha is abuzz with excitement about the upcoming Omaha Jewish Reunion, to be held during the weekend of Sept. 12-14, 2014. Over 100 volunteers have stepped forward to plan and host what promises to be one of the most memorable events in the history of Omaha’s Jewish community.
Howard Epstein, Executive Director of the Jewish Federation of Omaha Foundation (JFOF), said recently in a Foundation newsletter, “I have experienced firsthand the pride, dedication, generosity and commitment of the multitudes who support Omaha’s Jewish community.” Whether Omaha is your birthplace, childhood home, the place you started a career and raised a family, or your current mailing address, Jewish Omahans almost always express a deep-seated fondness for their home. “Most consider Omaha their home, no matter where they now live,” he added.
Under the direction of Mary Bernstein of Events, Inc., the Reunion Committee has planned a full slate of social events, meals, lectures, programs and tours. Each Omaha synagogue will host a special Friday night Shabbat service and dinner with the evening topped off with a wine tasting at Brix in West Omaha. HavDAlahGALa is a celebration planned for Saturday night at the Jewish Community Center orchestrated by volunteer committee chair Joanie Jacobson.
For those who wish to see the Omaha of 2014, tours are planned for Omaha’s Mansions and Millionaires, revitalized Dundee, UNO and Aksarben areas, and the massive development of our city far west of Boys Town in what used to be cornfields just a few years ago. There will be a nostalgic tour through “Bagel,” and guided tours of all Omaha synagogues, including the recently completed Temple Israel in the middle of the old Highland Country Club property.
Many former and current Omaha residents are scheduled to present lectures and spearhead programs during the Reunion weekend. Jim Crounse, Dan Kully, Paul Landow and Howard Weinberg will be panelists on Politics and the Media, moderated by well-known Omaha newspaper man David Kotok. Dan Mirvish, Andrew Bernstein, Rachel Jacobson, and Lynn Stalmaster will be panelists for screen time with film makers, moderated by Omaha World Herald columnist, Mike Kelly.
For those interested in Omaha’s vibrant business and professional communities, there will be a University of Nebraska Medical Center tour and a program titled, “Our Town’s Humming” with David Brown, President and CEO of the Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce. Omaha’s three young rabbis and their wives will discuss their experiences and the satisfaction of raising young, Jewish families in Omaha, and Omaha realtors and radio talk show hosts Jeff Beals and Trenton Magid will bring their Grow Omaha Economic Development discussion to the Jewish Community Center.
The Reunion Committee has made arrangements with several Omaha hotels and with Enterprise Car Rental for special reunion weekend rates.
Help all the committees and volunteers by passing along word of the Omaha Jewish Reunion to family and friends near and far! Forward the contact information of your connections to either Patty Nogg, Chair of the Outreach Committee at firstname.lastname@example.org or Mary Bernstein at email@example.com.
Registration is happening now! Check out all the happenings at www.omahajewishreunion.com.