3.11.16 Issue

by Annette van de Kamp-Wright, Jewish Press Editor

It’s time to bring your costume out of storage: Purim is almost here! And this year, we are celebrating in style. Sunday March 20, from noon to 2 p.m., the Jewish Federation of Omaha is celebrating the giving of our youngest members with a community wide Purim Carnival!

Since November of 2015, the members of the Kids Campaign Committee have worked tirelessly towards this moment. Chairing the committee are Benjamin, Julia, Elizabeth and Stacie Brodkey; William Friedlander and Sophie Ambrose; Max, Chloe and Teresa Ruback; Jack, Joe and Andee Scioli; Shmuel, Aviva, Batsheva, Eliezer, Aliza, Yehuda and Gary Shyken and Sidney, Evie and Jeff Zacharia.

In December 2015, Tzedakah boxes were distributed through the Jewish Community Center, Friedel Jewish Academy, Pennie Z. Davis Child Development Center, Beth El, Beth Israel, Temple Israel and the Chabad House.

Louri Sullivan, Director of Community Impact and Special projects, said:

“We are so excited about the Kids Campaign! It provides us with an opportunity to get our younger community members involved as donors and to celebrate Purim and Tzedakah in a fun way with a community event.”

The Kids Campaign Purim Carnival combines the lessons of Tzedakah with community engagement. Coins the kids have collected over the past months will be poured into a coin counter provided by Enterprise Bank.

Everyone who brings a Tzedakah can with coins in it will be entered into a raffle with fun family prizes.  Storm Chaser tickets, Nebraska Furniture Mart gift cards, a family membership to the Omaha Children’s Museum and a family night at Flagship Commons.  Lunch will be available for sale by Star Catering.  The carnival promises to be amazing with games for all ages, an inflatable, face painting, balloons and of course, cotton candy, snow cones and a frost-your-own cookie station.  As a throwback to Purim Carnivals of the past, each kid will leave with a goldfish of their own.

“It’s about more than giving; it’s about being part of a great community and celebrating that community together,” Louri said. “That is why we asked kids to be on the committee with their parents, so younger members can be involved from start to finish.”

Why is it so important to involve the younger members of our community in our fundraising? Sophie Ambrose, one of the Committee Chairs, said this:

“My husband Jimmy and I want to involve our son at an early age, because it will help us confer our family and community values of caring for others to our son. It will also help him develop empathy and deepen his social consciousness. We find giving to be personally fulfilling, and we want him to experience that as well.

During Purim, we celebrate the strength and the survival of the Jewish people, and we do so by coming together as a community. We dress up, sing, dance and eat; we read the Megillah and we remember that to remain strong as a people we have to work at it. The Tzedakah we give as a community helps keep our seniors happy and healthy, provides food to families in need, helps our children attend preschool, Jewish Day School or summer camps, and gives assistance to Jews around the world.

Please join us on March 20 as we celebrate giving Tzedakah. The event is free and open to the entire community. For more information, please contact Louri Sullivan at lsullivan@jewishomaha.org or call 402.334.6485.