Normal Medium Large


Home » About the Federation » Our Community »  February 19, 2016
E-News - February 19, 2016
February 19, 2016  |  10  Adar  5776

I met with a community member the other day who asked me if I was proud to be Jewish.  I thought this a very strange question; one I'm not sure I had ever been asked.   
When I am at national meetings and I say I am from Omaha, in most cases, the reply from colleagues is "Omaha has a great Jewish community and a great reputation."  I certainly feel proud to be a Jewish leader from Omaha and to be doing work on behalf of our community.   
Today, reading the Times of Israel, I discovered there is a generation of young adults that express their pride in being Jewish very differently.  I read two articles demonstrating this - one about a former American Idol contestant who decided to move to Israel following a Birthright trip  and the other, a review of the Comedy Central show Broad City.  In each story, the individuals expressed pride in being Jewish.  I highlight these stories because each individual is part of the millennial generation.  The Pew Center for Research did a study in 2013 about attitudes and beliefs of Jewish Americans with multiple questions focused on the millennials.  Here is what they found - "Despite the changes in Jewish identity in America, 94% of U.S. Jews (including 97% of Jews by religion and 83% of Jews of no religion) say they are proud to be Jewish.  Three-quarters of U.S. Jews (including 85% of Jews by religion and 42% of Jews of no religion) also say they have "a strong sense of belonging to the Jewish people."  Click here for additional Pew Study information.
Another great example of Jewish pride is Jerry Seinfeld.  He is unquestionably one of the most recognizable Jews in America today.  He recently returned to this country celebrating how much he enjoyed being in Israel after performing four shows in December.  He frequently jokes about being Jewish in his webcast Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee.  If you haven't watched these short videos, you should give them a try. One of my favorites is with Carl Reiner and Mel Brooks.
Why am I bringing up being proud of my Judaism?  I am frequently asked how many Jews there are in Omaha.  I respond I think there are 'X' but that's not the complete answer.  I know there are more Jews in Omaha, some who are not connected to the Federation or to a synagogue, some who don't realize how great our community is.    One of my goals is to try to learn more about the demographics of Jewish Omaha.  In the coming weeks and months, I will share more about the work we are doing to learn who is in our community.  So pay attention to the Jewish Press and this e-newsletter.
Having said all that, ask yourself "Are you proud to be Jewish?"  I know I am. 
Alan Potash

Sunday, March 20th
12:00-2:00 p.m.  |  JCC Gymnasium 
The younger members of our community will be able to donate their Tzedakah as they enter into the community-wide Purim Carnival at the JCC on March 20.

For more information or to volunteer please contact Louri Sullivan at  or 402-334-6485.

Kids Campaign Tzedakah cans are available at the Jewish Community Center, Friedel Jewish Academy, the Jewish Federation of Omaha office, Beth El Synagogue. Beth Israel Synagogue, Temple Israel, and the Chabad House.
Tuesday, February 23  |  5:30-7:30 p.m.
Community volunteers will help the Federation
make phone calls, send text messages, and emails to
donors we have not yet been able to reach.
Contact Steve Levinger at 402-334-6433 or if you'd like to help.
Dinner & drinks provided!
Showing this weekend!
Tickets available at the door.

Saturday, February 20 at 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, February 21 at 2 p.m.

Love! At the Café! is a romantic comedy with big 1950's song and dance numbers. Love! is about two love triangles and conflicts that emerge in the "simple" times of the 50s at Bonnie's Café. Music and lyrics by our very own, Karen Sokolof Javitch. Script and lyrics by James Spicer Conant.

This performance has been made possible by the following Jewish Federation of Omaha Foundation Funds: Karen Sokolof Javitch Music Fund, Samuel Bess Rothenberg Memorial Endowment Fund and Morton A. Richard Youth Program Fund.
Register now for JCC Summer Camp! Early bird discount runs through March.

Click here to view the 2016 Summer Camp Brochure.

Applications for Camp Financial Assistance
are due Tuesday, March 1 , 2016.
Financial assistance for JCC Summer Camp Programming is offered through the Center for Jewish Life. Eligible individuals must be Jewish, but do not have to be members of the JCC. Applications are required. To obtain an application, or for more information, please call the Center for Jewish Life at  (402) 334-6463.
Beth El Synagogue's YAC Schedules Annual Comedy Night
Beth El's Young Adult Committee has scheduled its popular comedy night for Saturday, February 27, beginning at 7:30 pm. The evening begins with wine and spirits at Brix Village Pointe followed by the 9:30 show at the Funny Bone Comedy Club at Village Pointe.  Headlining the evening is Alingon Mitra. The event is open to the entire Jewish community.

Through the efforts of Linda Fischer, a limited number of free tickets to the Funny Bone are available. To inquire about them, contact Abby at
It is recommended that tickets for the Funny Bone be purchased in advance, either at their location or through their website,

Watch a 5 minute clip of Alingon's appearance
on the Craig Ferguson show.
A Weekend Celebration of External Disability vs Internal Strength
Join Beth Israel March 4-5 for a weekend of celebrating with an amazing group of visitors.  Nine young men who exemplify the adage that the true importance of a person is found on the inside, not the outside will touch truly touch your heart and make a difference in the way you look at your life.  These extraordinary young men are challenged physically but these challenges do not stop their drive, determination and zest for life.   Rabbi Ari Dembitzer has described them as "super stars."  The weekend begins March 4 with Shabbat dinner at 7pm, chaired by Sharon and Jeff Kirshenbaum.  Cost is $18 for adults with special family pricing.  Saturday morning, March 5, group members will help lead services and give the sermon.  A musical Havdalah closes out Shabbat beginning at 7pm and includes a special seudah shlishit.   Dinner reservations needed by February 29 at or by calling (402) 556-6288. 

For a background on just one of these young men,
watch this video of Oshry Moyal's story.
Alan Dershowitz response supplements Eye on Israel discussion
On Tuesday, February 9, Omaha Community Shaliach Eliad Eliyahu led a discussion of the BDS movement in his monthly Eye on Israel session.  Joining him with her experiences at the University of Nebraska Omaha was ADL Administrative Assistant Emily Newman. Eyal Ben Zeev, one of the many people who have dedicated themselves to the Hillel campus schlichut, reported on the situation from Chicago and the surrounding area.

To watch Alan Dershowitz's advice for confronting BDS,  Click here.
Israeli mikvahs must allow non-Orthodox conversions, Supreme Court Rules
The JTA reports that "In a landmark decision, Israel's Supreme Court ruled that mikvahs in the country must open up to non-Orthodox conversion rites.  Until now, Israeli mikvahs have denied access for conversion immersions to Reform and Conservative converts. Israel's mikvahs are run by Israel's Religious Services Ministry, which operates in lock-step with the Orthodox-dominated Israeli Rabbinate."
To read JTA's full story, click here.
This, That, and the Other Thing
The six important slang words in Hebrew
Sababa! Yalla! Combina! Balagan!Tachles! Gadol! No explanation.
Beth El Synagogue students say it all.  Watch them in this video directed by Community Shaliach Eliad Elyahu.

Omaha Community Playhouse - Caroline or Change
Sunday, March 13 at 2:00 p.m
Ticket cost: $20

Photo of Danny Denenberg as Noah Gellman acting with Echelle Childers as Caroline.
Jewish Social Services and the Center for Jewish Life will be sponsoring a trip to the Playhouse Howard Drew Theater to view "Caroline, or Change".   Caroline, or Change is a powerful, sung-through musical set in Lake Charles, Louisiana, during the American civil rights movement. Soaring ballads along with unforgettable characters make this a can't-miss musical.
To read the Omaha World Herald review click here.
RSVPs due Feb. 26 to Mark Kirchhoff at 402-334-6463 or

Hummus in Hanoi: Israeli chef brings Middle Eastern cuisine to Vietnam
"HANOI, Vietnam (JTA) - Shahar Lubin earned his culinary chops in Israel and, later the United States, cooking his way through more than 20 restaurants, starting at the age of 16. Still, it was a leap when he moved to Vietnam and opened a restaurant of his own."  To read the full JTA story click here.
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
As of February 15, we have reached 91% of our goal totaling $3,005,591.

Thank you for supporting our mission. 

Upcoming Events
B'nai B'rith Breadbreakers
February 24  |  Noon
RBJH Auditorium

Life & Legacy™ Training
February 25  |  11:15AM
RBJH Board Room

Temple Israel offers tickets
to see Frost/Nixon

February 28  5pm
Blue Barn Theater
Tickets: $28
RSVP by Feb. 26

JCC March Art Exhibit featuring
local photographers Jim Williams and Julian Adair

March 1-31
JCC Gallery

B'nai B'rith Breadbreakers
March 2 |  Noon
RBJH Auditorium

An Evening with Art Historian, Dr. Pamela Berger
March 2 |  7:30pm
Beth El Synagogue

The Schwalb Center presents
The Crescent on the Temple

March 3 |  6-9pm
Magnolia Hotel

Project Dreamland: External Disability vs Internal Strength
March 4-6
Beth Israel Synagogue

Eye on Israel with Eliad Eliyahu
March 8 |  Noon
Kripke JFO Library

An Evening with Author,
Martin Fletcher

March 8 7pm
Beth El Synagogue

The Goldstein Lecture on
Human Rights featuring
Temple Grandin

March 10 7pm
UNO CEC Center Room

"Footprints" - JCC Dance Training Company Performance
March 20 |  4pm
JCC Theater

JFO Kids Campaign Community-Wide Purim Carnival
March 20 |  12-2pm

JCC 3 on 3 Basketball Challenge

March 21

IHE Week of Understanding
"The Mitzvah"

March 28 |  7pm
Omaha Community Playhouse

IHE Week of Understanding
Hungarian Holocaust Survivor Testimonies

March 29 |  7pm
Countryside Church

Parenting the Love & Logic Way
March 31, April 7, 14, 21 |  6pm
Save the Date
Rocky Mountain Jewgrass
FREE for one & "y'all!
April 3  |  1:30 pm
JCC Auditorium

JCC Eddie Belgrade Memorial
3 on 3 Basketball Challenge
April 3

The Jewish Federation &
The Schwalb Center brings Dennis Ross to Omaha 
April 5  |  7:30PM
UNO Thompson Alumni Center

Yom Hashoah Community Holocaust Commemoration
May 4 |  7PM
Temple Israel

Informative Presentation with Dr. Amir Levine
May 9 |  7PM
JCC Theater

Yom Hazikaron Commemoration
May 10  |  7PM
JCC Social Hall
Carnival, B'nai B'rith Trivia Quiz & Avi Dayan Performance

Yom Ha'Atzmaut  Festival
May 11  |  5:30 - 8PM
JCC Pavilion
Carnival, B'nai B'rith Trivia Quiz & Avi Dayan Performance
Community Calendar
Check out what's happening
in Jewish Omaha on the Community Calendar. View
all kinds of upcoming events happening around town.

Have an event and want
to get the word out?

Remember, this is just a sampling from Jewish Omaha! To stay informed,
join our Twitter feed, check out our website, and the community calendar and watch for Federation's bi-monthly e- newsletter in your inbox. Then, most importantly, let us hear from you. We appreciate your feedback and we'll add your Jewish news to the mix.


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