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COMMUNITY PROGRAMS & EVENTS



Omaha jewish community Beit Midrash



October - May
Wednesdays, 7:00-8:00 pm


Omaha is blessed with a Jewish community whose members have deep affection for each other and for their spiritual leaders, regardless of which congregation they happen to belong to. Embracing our desire to be together and learn together, this exciting Beit Midrash (house of study) gives all of Jewish Omaha the opportunity to engage in spirited and challenging cross-denominational study with local rabbis and cantors. 

For more information on how this series was formed, read the Jewish Press article.

 

Classes are held in-person at the JCC AND virtually, via Zoom.

 

Drop in for one session, or become a regular attendee – everyone is welcome.



Miss any of the previous sessions?
Find them on YouTube here.
Make sure to like, comment and subscribe!


Contact Mark Kirchhoff for more details - (402) 334-6463 or mkirchhoff@jewishomaha.org.



 



OCTOBER 6 & 13 - PANEL DISCUSSION

Jewish Americans in 2020 - unpacking the Pew Study data
Discover more about what it means to be Jewish in America in 2020 and the results of the Pew Study HERE and learn about the 10 Key findings from the report HERE.

Want to know how you compare to other Jewish Americans on specific topics? Take the quiz. OCTOBER 6 | Rabbi Deana Berezin, Rabbi Ari Dembitzer, Hazzan Michael Krausman, Rabbi Brian Stoller, moderated by Jennie Gates Beckman
Watch the Zoom recording HERE.

OCTOBER 13 | Rabbi Steven Abraham, Cantor Joanna Alexander, Rabbi Aryeh Azriel, Rabbi Eli Tenenbaum

Due to technical difficulties, there is not a recording of this session.





OCTOBER 27  |   "Antisemitism: Historically & Today" (1 of 3)
The clergy will facilitate the first of several classes exploring antisemitism experienced throughout Jewish History and consider our current situation in the context of that narrative. Watch the Zoom recording HERE.





NOVEMBER 3  |  Holiday Observances Across Denominations (1 of 3)
All Jews celebrate the same holidays, but do we all celebrate holidays the same?!? For this series the clergy will explore various expressions of holidays through liturgy, customs, and practice. Watch the Zoom recording HERE.




NOVEMBER 10  | Revelation (1 of 2)

Rabbi Steven Abraham of Beth El Synagogue and Rabbi Emeritus Aryeh Azriel of Temple Israel discuss the topic of revelation. They will take a look at a few rabbinic texts in addition to discussing their own personal views on revelation in their daily lives. Watch the Zoom recording of this session HERE.





Nov. 17 - PANEL DISCUSSION


NOVEMBER 17  | PANEL DISCUSSION: American Loyalty to Israel vs Progressive Values (1 of 2)
Facilitated by: Rabbi Deana Berezin, Rabbi Yoni Dreyer & Rabbi Mendel Katzman
Moderated by: Jennie Gates Beckman

Community clergy members will explore the tension between American loyalty to Israel and the progressive values held strongly by many American Jews. Jennie Gates Beckman will moderate the discussion. Watch the Zoom recording of this session HERE.





DECEMBER 1  | Be Fruitful & Multiply (Pru u'rvu); But What if We Can't? (1 of 2)
Facilitated by: Hazzan Michael Krausman

The commandment of Pru u'rvu, or to be fruitful and multiply, has challenged families over the centuries. Hazzan Michael Krausman will share stories both from the text and from modern life in this first of two sessions on the topic. Watch the Zoom recording of this session HERE.




DECEMBER 8  |  Anti-Semitism: Historically & Today (2 of 3)
Facilitated by: Rabbi Brian Stoller & Rabbi Eli Tenenbaum

Rabbi Brian Stoller and Rabbi Eli Tenenbaum will continue the exploration of antisemitism experienced throughout Jewish History and consider our current situation in the context of that narrative. Watch the Zoom recording of this session HERE. Watch Session 1 of this series with Rabbi Deana Berezin and Rabbi Ari Dembitzer HERE.




DECEMBER 15  |  Greatest Hits of Pirkei Avot (1 of 2)
Facilitated by: Rabbi Yoni Dreyer & Rabbi Mendel Katzman
Watch the Zoom recording of this session HERE.





JANUARY 5, 2022  |  Anti-Semitism: Historically & Today (3 of 3)
Facilitated by: Rabbi Yoni Dreyer & Rabbi Mendel Katzman

The clergy will explore antisemitism experienced throughout Jewish History and consider our current situation in the context of that narrative. Watch the Zoom recording of this session HERE.





JANUARY 12, 2022  |  Halakhah: Religious Observances & Daily Life (1 of 2)
Facilitated by: Rabbi Steven Abraham & Rabbi Deana Berezin

A deep dive into how the Conservative and Reform movements understand Jewish law through the lens of different response literature (papers related to certain topics). This session was held via Zoom only.
Watch the Zoom recording of this session HERE.





JANUARY 19  | Be Fruitful & Multiply (Pru u'rvu); But What if We Can't? (2 of 2)
Facilitated by: Rabbi Steven Abraham & Cantor Joanna Alexander

The commandment of Pru u'rvu, or to be fruitful and multiply, has challenged families over the centuries. Rabbi Steven Abraham & Cantor Joanna Alexander will share stories both from the text and from modern life in this second of two sessions on the topic. This session was held via Zoom only. Watch the Zoom recording of this session HERE.




JANUARY 26  | Halakhah: Religious Observances & Daily Life (2 of 2)
Facilitated by: Rabbi Ari Dembitzer & Rabbi Brian Stoller

A deep dive into understanding Jewish law through the lens of different response literature (papers related to certain topics). This session was held via Zoom only. Watch the Zoom recording of this session HERE.




FEBRUARY 2  | Revelation: (2 of 2)
Facilitated by: Hazzan Michael Krausman & Cantor Joanna Alexander

Presenters will take a look at a few rabbinic texts in addition to discussing their own personal views on revelation in their daily lives. Watch the Zoom recording of this session HERE.




FEBRUARY 9  | American Loyalty to Israel vs Progressive Values (2 of 2)
Facilitated by: Cantor Joanna Alexander & Rabbi Yoni Dreyer

Community clergy members will explore the tension between American loyalty to Israel and the progressive values held strongly by many American Jews. Jennie Gates Beckman will moderate the discussion. Watch the Zoom recording of this session HERE.



FEBRUARY 16   | Same Prayer - Different Tune
Facilitated by: Cantor Joanna Alexander & Hazzan Michael Krausman

Prayer is an important component in Jewish life. Prayer through sacred song lifts up this form of worship. Are the various denominations singing the same prayer to a different tune? Who better to explain than a cantor and a hazzan? In this session, Cantor Joanna Alexander from Temple Israel and Hazzan Michael Krausman from Beth El Synagogue discuss the topic. Watch the Zoom recording of this session HERE.



FEBRUARY 23  | Holiday Observances Across Denominations (2 of 3)
Facilitated by: Rabbi Steven Abraham & Rabbi Aryeh Azriel
All Jews celebrate the same holidays, but do we all celebrate holidays the same?!? For this series the clergy will explore various expressions of holidays through liturgy, customs, and practice. Watch the Zoom recording of this session HERE.

Watch Session 1 of this series with Rabbi Brian Stoller and Rabbi Yoni Dreyer HERE. 



MARCH 2   |  American Jewish History
Facilitated by: Rabbi Brian Stoller & Rabbi Eli Tenenbaum

Omaha Rabbis Brian Stoller, Temple Israel, and Eli Tennenbaum, Chabad of Nebraska, provide an overview of the History of Jews in America, focusing specifically with the role Jews played during the Civil War. The session also includes a discussion of the presence of anti-Semitism as part of that history.
Watch the Zoom recording of this session HERE.



MARCH 9  | Jews in Ukraine with Rabbi and Rebbetzen Felch

Rabbi Alex Felch and Rebbetzin Iryna Felch serving both the Conservative and Reform Synagogues in Lincoln, NE are joined by Rabbi Mendel Katzman, Rebbetzin Shani Katzman from Chabad of Nebraska in Omaha, and Cantor Joanna Alexander from Temple Israel in Omaha to discuss the history of Jews in Ukraine in the context of the present Russian attacks on the country.

Watch the Zoom recording of this session HERE.




March 23  |  SPECIAL SESSION: Institute for Holocaust Education's locally written and produced play, "When We Go Away" tells the stories of three Holocaust survivors now living in Omaha, NE. They emphasize the importance of remembering and telling the stories after they have moved on.



March 30  |  Holiday Observances Across Denominations, Part 3 of 3. A panel discussion with Cantor Joanna Alexander of Temple Israel and Hazzan Michael Krausman of Beth El, moderated by Director of Community Engagement and Education for the JFO Jennie Gates Beckman. The clergy share how they have observed Shabbat and the Jewish holidays at various times in their lives.
Watch the Zoom recording of this session HERE.

Watch the Session 1 Zoom recording with Rabbi Brian Stoller & Rabbi Yoni Dreyer HERE.
Watch the Session 2 Zoom recording with Rabbi Steven Abraham & Rabbi Aryeh Azriel HERE.



April 6  |  Queer Jewish Texts: An Exploration 
Cantor Joanna Alexander shares her observations and thoughts regarding Jewish texts in relation to the LGBTQ Jewish population. Cantor Alexander explains that this was a recent "deep dive" into the topic and she shared the books she used in her exploration. Watch the Zoom recording of this session HERE.



April 13 | Greatest Hits of Pirkei Avot, Part 2 of 2
Rabbi Brian Stoller of Temple Israel picks up where the December 15 session left off in exploring Pirkei Avot. Watch the Zoom recording of this session HERE.

Watch the Session 1 Zoom recording with Rabbi Ari Dembitzer & Rabbi Mendel Katzman HERE.



May 11 | Special Evening with Rabbi Abraham and Jeff Kirshenbaum
Special Evening with Rabbi Abraham and Jeff Kirshenbaum recounting their recent journey to the Polish-Ukrainian border. Watch recording HERE.




May 25 | UAPs: A Jewish Take on Unidentified Aerial Phenomena
Rabbi Eli Tenenbaum and Hazzan Michael Krausman concur that Judaism allows for a belief that UAPs might be explained by any number of theories in popular discussions. In this video they examine passages from the Hebrew Bible that might be referencing some other intelligent life forms.
Watch recording HERE.