Update from Bob Goldberg

Hello friends,

I hope you have had a wonderful week and that you are finding opportunities to get outside as the weather starts to warm up. Here are some of the ways in which we are engaging with the community this spring.

It’s the “Yoms” time of year, when we commemorate Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Remembrance Day), observe Yom HaZikaron (Israel Memorial Day), and celebrate Yom HaAtzmaut (Israel Independence Day). This year’s community Yom HaShoah commemoration was an impactful experience organized by the Institute for Holocaust Education (IHE). The Alan J. Levine Theater filled up with more than 250 guests to experience the traditional candle lighting service and the powerful play “When We Go Away.” Thank you to Scott Littky and Jane Nesbit of the IHE, and our volunteers, for their efforts to bring this program to the community.

Yom HaZikaron and Yom HaAtzmaut are on back-to-back days, which is an emotional swing going from the sadness of remembering those who have given their lives defending Israel, to the joy and celebration of independence. This year’s Yom HaAtzmaut Family Celebration packed the Staenberg Omaha JCC gym in honor of Israel’s 75th anniversary. Thank you to our volunteers, event sponsors, and staff for making all the fun possible.

Mark your calendars for Wednesday, May 10 as we host Eric Fingerhut, President and CEO of the Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA). Eric will have recently returned from the JFNA General Assembly that took place in Tel Aviv. The community is invited to meet Eric and hear from him May 10 at 6pm at the Happy Hollow Country Club. Amy & Sandy Friedman and Candice & Dusty Friedman chair this special event. For information and to register click here.

The Nebraska Jewish Historical Society (NJHS) was founded in 1982 by Mary Arbitman Fellman and Oliver Pollak to collect, publish and display materials which pertain to the family, business and social histories of the Jewish Community of Nebraska and Council Bluffs. After more than 40 years of operating as an independent organization, the NJHS and the JFO have agreed to merge NJHS into the JFO as a new agency. I want to thank the leadership of the NJHS and our JFO team who have worked diligently to make this merger a reality. Both boards have approved the merger agreement and it will now be presented to the membership for ratification at the JFO Annual Meeting on June 5. We are excited to welcome the NJHS into the JFO family and are eager to promote and strengthen the mission to preserve the histories of the Jewish families who settled in Nebraska and Council Bluffs, and to build on its success by promoting acquisitions, fostering research, and promoting projects and educational and cultural activities.

Finally, remember to join us on June 5 at the 120th Awards Night and Annual Meeting of the Jewish Federation of Omaha as we celebrate YOU, our amazing community. We will be highlighting the 40th anniversary of the JFO Foundation and the incredible impact its work has had in propelling our community forward. We hope to see you there.

Have a great day and Shabbat Shalom.

Bob Goldberg