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Home » About the Federation » Our Community »  April 15, 2016
E-News - April 15, 2016

April 15, 2016  |  7  Nisan 5776

Passover Message of Freedom
Growing up in Omaha there were people I was in awe of.  Awe, because I knew the silence of the history they lived through.  My earliest awareness of the Shoah did not come from books, movies or lectures.  It came from hearing the whispers in synagogue of "You know he/she survived the camps," or 'She was saved by a Catholic family."  Learning firsthand about their lives came later for me when, in my early 20's I began working with survivors on Yom HaShoah commemoration observances.  I was fortunate to develop a relationship with Magda Fried prior to her death in 1985.  When I returned to Omaha in 2006, Sam welcomed me home.  As you know, Sam passed away earlier this week.  Our thoughts are with Frances and the Fried and Robinson families.  Sam and Magda are no longer with us but their stories are.  As we move into celebrating Passover, the holiday of freedom, let's take time to remember those like Sam and Magda whose stories are truly about freedom.  May their memories always be for a blessing.
My Passover story this year begins with a recent Shabbat spent at the Conegliano Veneto Synagogue in Jerusalem.  This synagogue, once abandoned in Italy, was restored in Jerusalem by Italian immigrants making Israel their home after the Shoah.  The D'var Torah (reflections on the Torah) that morning was delivered first in Hebrew and then Italian.  I would have liked to have been fluent in Italian to absorb the message twice!  The guest scholar focused on the tradition of drinking four cups of wine during the Seder.  He explained each of the cups with historic and rabbinic detail and emphasized the importance of connecting to our own need for freedom.  As I understood it, his unique message that morning was not only the meaning of the cups but also the physical connection of holding the cup of wine.  He then demonstrated four different ways of holding the cup, making both physical and spiritual connections.
It is our family's custom to hold the cup in the palm of the hand.  Holding the holiness and sweetness in the palm reminds us that all work done with our hands should be holy; the sweetness of the wine as it passes our lips should keep only sweet words flowing from our tongues.  As you partake in your Seders this Passover, think about how you hold the cup of wine and what freedom means to you.    
Shabbat Shalom and Happy Passover,
Alan Potash
Chris Ulven Selected as Executive Director of Jewish Social Services
The Jewish Federation of Omaha is pleased to announce after an extensive search and comprehensive selection process, Chris Ulven has been offered and has accepted the position of Executive Director of Jewish Social Services.

Chris has been serving as the Interim Director. Prior to this he was the RBJH Controller for four years. His selection as Executive Director received the full support of  the JSS Board Presidents, the JFO Executive Committee, and the RBJH Search Committee.

Please join us in congratulating Chris.
Home Delivered Passover Meals
Jewish Senior Outreach is offering, Kosher for
Passover, hot meals delivered to your home daily. For more information, please call 402-334-6532.
Looking for a great communal
Passover Seder experience?
Beth El
Saturday, April 23, 6:30 pm
Second Seder - RSVP
Beth Israel
Saturday, April 23, 7:45 pm
Second Seder - RSVP by April 18

Friday, April 22, 7:30 - 9:30pm
Family Seder - RSVP

Temple Israel
Saturday, April 23, 5:30 pm
Second Seder - RSVP

Rose Blumkin Jewish Home
Friday, April 22, 6pm

Seder led by David & Janet Kohll Family - RSVP
Saturday, April 23, 6pm
Seder led by Jim & Susan Polack Family - RSVP
IHE  presents "Swimming in Auschwitz" on April 27
Screening of the documentary film, "Swimming in Auschwitz" is a community event on Wednesday, April 27 at 7:00 p.m. in the JCC Theater.  The film features Renee Firestone (Keynote Speaker for this year's Community Holocaust Commemoration) and is appropriate for high school students and adults. Running time: 63 minutes. Free, no registration required.

Survivor Renee Firestone taken during her first return to Auschwitz-Birkenau in 1996.
JFS presents Amir Levine
Monday, May 9, the community is invited to a presentation by Dr. Amir Levine. His topic, Attached: The New Science of Adult Attachment and How It Can Help You Find - and Keep - Love, is the title of the book Dr. Levine co-authored with Rachel Heller, M.A. The program runs from 7 p.m.-8:30 p.m. in the JCC Theater and is open to the public at no charge. The event is brought by Jewish Family Service with sponsorship provided by Special Donor-Advised Fund of the Jewish Federation of Omaha, the Sokolof Foundation, the Pennie Z. Davis Family Life Education Fund and the Paul and Joy Grossman Family Endowment.
Patty Nogg, recipient of the
Kipnis-Wilson/Friedland Award
We are proud to announce that Patty Nogg has been named Omaha's recipient of the prestigious Kipnis-Wilson/Friedland Award, named in honor of the founders of the Lion of Judah pin.

Patty is one of an exclusive group of women worldwide to receive this distinguished honor, first presented in 2004. Honorees are recognized for making a significant impact in their communities, leaving an enormous imprint for generations to come and motivating other women to take an active role in philanthropy and Jewish community involvement.

We will be honoring Patty on May 17 at 7:00 p.m. during the Women's Philanthropy Event. For more information contact Louri Sullivan at or 402-334-6485.
This, That, and the Other Thing
In the last edition of E-NEWS, CEO Alan Potash reported from Israel, including observations of the humanitarian response of Israeli hospitals in caring for Syrians affected by the war.  THIS is one recent story of a response that goes beyond the cries of war and transcends the medical profession.

What does a comedian, a motorcycle, an ambulance, and United Hatzalah all have in common?  Find out the answer to THAT question by clicking here.

THE OTHER THING is that residents of the Rose Blumkin Jewish Home will meet their senior counterparts, "The Veterans of Rosh Hanikrah Kibbutz" in Israel, for the first time via Skype.  They are prepared with introductions and song. Observe.


You and Federation
Together with the  Jewish Federation of Omaha, you make our Jewish community more caring and connected. We've made a difference in the lives of so many by providing for those in need, building Jewish identity, and celebrating Jewish life.
2016 Annual Campaign
The Annual Campaign is 99% completed totaling $3,211,134. Thank you to all of our 1,452 donors who continue to make Jewish Omaha a spectacular community.

Look for our thank you insert ad in the April 29 issue of the Jewish Press.
Upcoming Events
Scholar-in-Residence -
Danny Maseng
Friday, April 15, 6pm
Shabbat Services
Saturday, April 16, 7pm
Sunday, April 17, 10am
Adult Education Class
All Events are open to the public
Temple Israel

Paysie's Perfectly Prepared Pre-Pesach Pasta Dinner
April 17 |  6pm
Beth Israel 

B'nai B'rith Breadbreakers
April 20  |  Noon
RBJH Auditorium

April  22-30

B'nai B'rith Breadbreakers
April 27  |  Noon
RBJH Auditorium
Tribute to the Rescuers' Essay Contest Awards Ceremony
April 25  |  7pm
RBJH Auditorium

Nebraska State Holocaust Commemoration
May 1  |  3 pm
Capitol Rotunda, Lincoln, NE

Renee Firestone -
Live at the Durham
May 3 | 6:30 pm
Durham Museum

Omaha Community Holocaust Commemoration with featured speaker Renee Firestone
May 4  |  7 pm
Temple Israel

Friedel Plant Sale
May 5 - 6  |  9am-5pm
JCC Front Lobby

Informative Presentation
with Dr. Amir Levine

May 9 |  7pm
JCC Theater
Save the Date
Yom Hazikaron Commemoration
May 10  | 6:30pm
JCC Social Hall

Yom Ha'Atzmaut  Festival
May 11  |  5:30 - 8pm
JCC Pavilion
Carnival, B'nai B'rith Trivia Quiz & Avi Dayan Performance

Jewish comedian
Joel Chasnoff 

May 11  |  8:15 pm
Location TBA

Sokolof Awards Night
May 12 | 7-9pm
RBJH Auditorium

Women's Philanthropy Event
Featuring Author Dafna Michaelson Jenet
Honoring Patty Nogg, Kipnis-Wilson/Friedland Award Recipient
May 17 |  7pm | $36
Swanson Towers
RSVP required
Community Calendar
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in Jewish Omaha on the Community Calendar. View
all kinds of upcoming events happening around town.

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Jewish Federation of Omaha   |   333 South 132nd Street   |  Omaha, NE 68154   | 402-334-8200