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Omaha jewish community Beit Midrash

Wednesdays, 7:00-8:00 p.m.

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. The year of study will culminate with a Tikkun Leil Shavuot (evening-long study session). Learn more...

Classes will be held virtually, via Zoom, until further notice. Drop in for one session, or become a regular attendee – everyone is welcome. Registering allows you to participate in any or all sessions.

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

Contact Mark Kirchhoff for more details - (402) 334-6463 or

class sessions:

The Future is Now: Re-Imagining Judaism for a Post-Pandemic World - Part II
April 21 & 28, 2021  |  Rabbi Mendel Katzman & Hazzan Michael Krausman

“You Shall Surely Heal": Medicine & Health Care in the Jewish Tradition
May 5, 2021  |  Rabbi Brian Stoller
May 12, 2021  |  Hazzan Michael Krausman & Rabbi Brian Stoller

Community tikkun leil shavout:

Sunday, May 16, 2021
7:00 - 9:00 pm  | ZOOM

Join the JFO and members of our community’s clergy for the 2020-2021 Beit Midrash CULMINATING SESSION, a Tikkun Leil Shavuot (evening of study).

Featuring clergy from Beth El, Chabad and Temple Israel on two exciting panels moderated by JFO’s Jennie Gates Beckman:

7:00 - 8:00 pm  |  Na’aseh v’Nishma in 2021: Do First, Understand Later?
Rabbi Steven Abraham, Cantor Joanna Alexander & Rabbi Mendel Katzman

8:00 - 9:00 pm  |  Ruth: Are We All Jews by Choice in 2021?
Rabbi Deana Berezin, Hazzan Michael Krausman & Rabbi Brian Stoller

The Jewish Vote: Torah, Civic Duty & the 2020 Election
October 21 & 28, 2020

October 21: facilitated by Rabbi Steven Abraham & Rabbi Deana Berezin
October 28: facilitated by Rabbi Deana Berezin & Rabbi Yoni Dreyer

Community Panel discussion:

Election Debrief: Where do We Go from Here?
November 4, 2020  |  7:00 - 8:00 pm

Featuring: Rabbi Steven Abraham, Cantor Joanna Alexander & Rabbi Duni Blotner
Moderator: Jennie Gates Beckman

In God's Image: Jewish Views on Race, Diversity & Justice
November 11  |  Facilitated by: Cantor Joanna Alexander and Rabbi Mendel Katzman
November 18  |  Facilitated by: Cantor Joanna Alexander and Rabbi Brian Stoller

The Future is Now: Re-Imagining Judaism for a Post-Pandemic World – Part I
December 2 & 9, 2020
Facilitated by: Rabbi Brian Stoller and Rabbi Steven Abraham

Community Panel discussion:

Digital Judaism?: Tradition, Change & the Next Rabbinic Revolution
December 16, 2020  |  7:00 - 8:00 pm

Featuring: Rabbi Ari Dembitzer, Rabbi Mendel Katzman, Hazzan Michael Krausman, Rabbi Brian Stoller
Moderator: Jennie Gates Beckman

Judaism & Glass Ceiling: Challenges Facing Modern Women & Families
January 6: Rabbi Deana Berezin, Rabbi Ari Dembitzer
January 13: Rabbi Deana Berezin, Rebbetzin Shani Katzman
January 20: Cantor Joanna Alexander, Rabbi Ari Dembitzer

One People, Many Voices: How Are the Various Denominations of Judaism Different?
Facilitated by: Hazzan Michael Krausman & Rabbi Brian Stoller

January 27 | The Story of the Different Streams of Judaism: where they came from, what they believe, how they’ve changed

February 3 | Prayer: liturgy, ideology, and practice

February 10 | Revelation and Halakhah: different beliefs about where the Torah came from and how to apply it today

Community Panel discussion:

Why We Love Judaism...and Why You Should, Too
February 17, 2021  |  7:00 - 8:00 pm

People find their connection to Judaism on many different paths. This topic will allow the panelists to focus on the idea that you don’t have to be a rabbi to love Judaism. Those presenting all came from different places and are now trying to guide others on their Jewish journey – join us!

Rabbi Steven Abraham
Rabbi Yoni Dreyer
Rabbi Mendel Katzman
Rabbi Brian Stoller
Moderator: Jennie Gates Beckman

The Promised Land?: Jewish Pluralism & Power in the State of Israel
February 24  |  INTRODUCTION, Facilitated by: Rabbi Steven Abraham & Cantor Joanna Alexander

The following three sessions will be structured so that each of the clergy has the opportunity to discuss how their movement/denomination understands religious pluralism through the lens of a number of topics. What topics, you might ask? Well we certainly do not anticipate that all of these will be covered, but just to give you an idea of what might be explored:

Marriage/Divorce – Who is a Jew? – Aliyah – Burial – Kotel (mixed space & women’s participation) – Army Service  _ Public health vs ritual (pandemic policies and practice) – Mikveh – LGBTQ+ – Jewish Education - Public funding of Religious Institutions – Sephardi vs Ashkenazi – Who can officiate? – Democracy(Civil) vs Religious

March 3   |  Facilitated by: Rabbi Ari Dembitzer, an Orthodox Perspective
March 10   |  Facilitated by: Rabbi Deana Berezin, a Reform Perspective
March 17  |  Facilitated by: Rabbi Steven Abraham,  a Conservative Perspective

Community Panel discussion:

The Never-Ending Story: Slavery, Freedom & the Meaning of Pesach in the Modern World
March 24, 2021  |  7:00 - 8:00 pm

In the Exodus story, which Jews are commanded to tell their children every year on Passover, the Jews were redeemed physically from slavery. While Pesach is “z’man heyruteinu,” the season of our freedom, it is also a festival that speaks of spiritual redemption. Jews were freed from mental as well as physical slavery. It was as a physically and spiritually free people that the Jewish nation prepared to receive the Torah on Mount Sinai.

Join a selection of our community’s clergy this evening for an interactive discussion with Jennie Gates Beckman on how these themes of physical & spiritual freedom relate to the state of our community today!

Cantor Joanna Alexander
Rabbi Mendel Katzman
Hazzan Michael Krausman

Moderator: Jennie Gates Beckman