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Annette van de Kamp
Editor, Jewish Press
It’s neither Sharon Kirshenbaum’s, nor Bruce Friedlander’s first rodeo. They’ve been here before, ready to share their enthusiasm for the Jewish Federation of Omaha with the community. We are happy to announce they will be the 2020 Jewish Federation of Omaha’s Annual Campaign co-Chairs. The theme this year is ‘We grow stronger together,’ a concept both Sharon and Bruce are eager to share with the community.
“I immediately said yes when I was asked to co-Chair the Campaign,” Sharon said, “because I feel it is my responsibility to leave our Jewish community in a better place than I found it. One way I can do that is to help ensure we have the funds necessary to
provide the vital services to our constituents. Plus, who wouldn’t want to work with Bruce Friedlander?”
Bruce began community work in 1983: “And I have no intention to stop. I said yes,” Bruce added, “because when I worked in retail, I was trained to say ‘yes’ as often as possible. Saying ‘no’ is too easy.”
The Jewish Federation of Omaha is where we develop innovative responses to critical issues. Where anyone who needs help can get it and where an energized Jewish community grows and celebrates. And where everyone can make a world of difference right now.
“All you have to do,” Bruce said, “is drive onto our Staenberg Kooper Fellman campus and see all the wonderful improvements that have already been finished, are being worked on, or are about to get started. This only works when everybody is involved.”
It’s why this year’s theme is “We Grow Stronger Together.”
Both Sharon and Bruce know what involvement means. Bruce served as JFO President and previously chaired the campaign with his wife Pam and children and grandchildren.
Sharon worked for the Federation for 20 years: “During almost all of that time I was involved in the Campaign in some way or another,” she said. “I was the Campaign Director for many years and I developed strong relationships with many members of our wonderful community.”
They are excited about the upcoming Campaign, because as always, it will provide opportunities for the community to come together.
“People in our community love to connect and we plan to give them many opportunities to do so,” Sharon said.
“We are, among other things, assembling a very exciting cabinet, devoted to the Federation and to the Annual Campaign. We hope to energize the entire community through various fun events that will reinforce our mission to build and sustain a strong and vibrant Omaha Jewish community and to support Jews in Israel and around the world.”
“I’m again excited about the opportunity to personally meet with members of the community and hear their stories,” Bruce said. “When you listen to a donor, you can feel their loyalty for the Federation.”
Chief Development Officer Steve Levinger couldn’t be happier with the 2020 Annual Campaign Chairs.
“The amount of experience these two bring to the table, plus the genuine care they have for our community make them perfectly suited for the job. And make no mistake, it is a big job they are taking on and we are immensely grateful for their time, effort and enthusiasm.”