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Home » About the Federation » Our Community »  January 8, 2016
E-News - January 8, 2016

January 8, 2016  |  27  Tevet  5776

Our Omaha Jewish community has a proven ability to unite.  Earlier in the fall, we came together for Campaign Cabaret to kick off the 2016 Annual Campaign.  This winter, we came together to support the Teen Trip - 35 teens from across our community -   from Beth El, Beth Israel, and Temple Israel traveled together to Israel for a 12 day trip.  This trip would not have been possible without the unified commitment of the synagogues, the Jewish Federation of Omaha, the Shirley and Leonard Goldstein Supporting Foundation, the Herbert Goldsten Foundation, the Lois Jeanne Schrager Memorial Fund, the Phillip & Terri Schrager Supporting Foundation, and the Carl Frohm Memorial Foundation.  On behalf of our teens, a big thank you to our community.

Shabbat Shalom!
Alan Potash
Teen Mission to Israel

On December 20, thirty-five teens from Omaha joined thirty-five teens from the Partnership's consortium for a trip to Israel.  Rabbi Ari Dembitzer of Beth Israel Synagogue, Rabbi Steven Abraham of Beth El Synagogue, and Cantor Wendy Shermet of Temple Israel were trip leaders/chaperones.  After arriving in Tel Aviv at Ben Gurion airport, the group began its travels throughout the country.  Parents, relatives and friends were able to vicariously participate in the journey by following posts on a Facebook page that had been established for the trip.  The excitement of being there was evident throughout and carried over to their return to Omaha. To read some comments from the trip leaders, click here.
Rabbi Zohn and the Chevra Kadisha
Known by several names, the Chevra Kadisha is an important group serving Jewish communities around the world.  Chevra Kadisha members perform the high level mitzvot of preparing the body for burial.  During the weekend of Jan. 8-10, the role of the Chevra Kadisha will be the focus of Beth Israel Synagogue's next Scholar-in-Residence, Rabbi Elchonon Zohn. The theme of the weekend will be "Get an Afterlife" and is sponsored by Shirley and David Goodman.  Weekend events are open to the community.  Complete details are available through this Jewish Press article.  Click here.
Guests from Budapest
On Tuesday, January 26, the Jewish Federation of Omaha will be welcoming Anna Berkman and Tomi Buchler from Budapest.  Both are involved with our Partnership2GETHER program. They arrive in Omaha mid-day on January 26 and depart Thursday morning, January 28.  While here, they will be meeting with a number of community members to exchange ideas and to learn from one another.  Their itinerary is being finalized.  Anna is the Jewish Agency emissary to Central-Eastern Europe. Her bio is available here.  Tomi manages a Jewish Agency's leadership program for Central-Eastern Europe. His bio is available here.  If you are interested in being a part of their visit, contact Louri Sullivan at 402-334-6485 or Mary Sue Grossman at 402-334-6445.
Beth El Scholar in Residence
Rabbi Dr. Bradley Shavit Artson will be the Scholar in Residence at Beth El Synagogue on Friday, January 29 - Sunday January 31.  Rabbi Artson holds the Abner and Roslyn Goldstine Dean's Chair of the Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies and is Vice President of American Jewish University in Los Angeles.  Rabbi Artson will speak following Kabbalat Shabbat services at a Shabbat dinner on the topic, "My house is a house of prayer for ALL people".  He will also deliver the D'var Torah during Shabbat morning services, January 30 at 9:30 am.  He will be teaching at the Adult Education Sunday Speaker's Series on January 31 at 11:00 am. All weekend events are open to the entire community. For complete information and to make required dinner reservations, click here.

Rabbi Artson's visit is sponsored by the Ann Goldstein Endowment Fund of Beth El Synagogue
PJ Library Fun at Children's Museum

On Saturday, December 26, the Center for Jewish Life held the final event of the 2015 Jewish Book Month by hosting "A Celebration of PJ Library Fun!" at Omaha Children's Museum.  PJ Library provides books for children mailed to the child's home each month.  Omaha's program is sponsored by the Dorothy and Myer S. Kripke Institute for Family Literacy. This year's PJ Library programs are made possible through the generous support of the Mort Richards Youth Program Fund, the Murray and Sharee C. Newman Supporting Foundation, the Special Donor Advised Fund and the Esther K. Newman/Carolyn Kully Newman Memorial Fund, all funds of the Jewish Federation of Omaha Foundation.  The evening's activities included "giveaways," the museum's special "Whiz Bang Science Show," the always fun and entertaining museum activities, and a meal provided by Star Catering.  In the spirit of giving, families brought "kid friendly" toothbrushes, toothpaste, and shampoo to be distributed by Jewish Family Service.  One hundred and thirty-seven children, parents, and grandparents attended the event.  Learn more about the event and the PJ Library program by clicking here.
Kids Campaign
An exciting new initiative is taking shape at the Jewish Federation of Omaha. Louri Sullivan, JFO Director of Community Impact and Special Projects, together with a committee of dedicated lay leaders, is introducing the brand new Kids Campaign. Chairing the committee are Benjamin, Julia, Elizabeth and Stacie Brodkey; William Friedlander and Sophie Ambrose; Max, Chloe and Teresa Ruback; Jack, Joe and Andee Scioli; Shmuel, Aviva, Batsheva, Eliezer, Aliza, Yehuda and Gary Shyken and Sidney, Evie and Jeff Zacharia.

Kids Campaign Tzedakah boxes are available at the Jewish Community Center, Friedel Jewish Academy, the Jewish Federation of Omaha office and your local synagogue.

Join us on March 20 to celebrate the success of the Kids Campaign with a community Purim Carnival. Details about this event will be announced in a future article in the Jewish Press. To volunteer please contact Louri Sullivan at or 402-334-6485.
Kehilla Cup
The hotly contested Kehilla Cup Competition is entering its final turn and heading for home.  The Kehilla Cup was initiated into the 2016 Annual Campaign as a fun and exciting way to involve Jewish Omaha community volunteers to engage with about 500 community campaign donors.  The intent was to have casual conversations about Jewish Omaha (and any other topic they chose) and to gain a pledge to this year's Campaign.  Over 80 "Ambassadors" have been working diligently on behalf of Jews in need...both in Omaha and throughout the world.  To date, over $100,000 has been raised and Adam Kutler's team "OmaChallah" is currently maintaining a commanding lead over the 8 other teams.  Teams could earn bonus points by taking selfies at their donor face-to-face donor meetings.
A selfie of Jay Gordman and team "OyMaha" captain Dan Marburg.
Hebrew Language Week
This week marks Hebrew Language week.  Sunday was the birthday of Eliezer Ben-Yehuda who revived the Hebrew language.  Eliezer Ben-Yehuda was born Eliezer Yitzhak Perlman on January 7, 1858 in what is now known as Vitebsk Oblast, Belarus.  In 1881 he immigrated to Israel - what was then known as Palestine. Ben-Yehuda was driven by his belief that Hebrew and Zionism were symbiotic: "The Hebrew language can live only if we revive the nation and return it to the fatherland." he wrote.  To that end he dedicated his life's work. In December 1922, Ben Yehuda, 64, died of tuberculosis.  He was buried on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem. His funeral was attended by 30,000 people. To watch a documentary of Ben-Yehuda's life, click here.
Learn Hebrew
Intro to Hebrew with Eliad Eliyahu
Sundays, January 10, 24 and 31, February 7 and 21,
March 6 and 20, 11:00 a.m.
Classes are held at Temple Israel.

If you're interested in learning a little Hebrew or brushing up on your basic Hebrew, then this class is for you! This class will be led by Eliad Eliyahu, Omaha's Community Shaliach. For more information contact Scott Littky, at
Jerry Seinfeld Performs
in Tel Aviv
Superstar Jewish-American comedian Jerry Seinfeld performed in Tel Aviv this past December as part of his world-wide tour.  His TV series, "Seinfeld," which ran for nine years, is considered one of the most successful sitcoms on American television. Since the series went off the air, in 1998, Seinfeld has been involved in numerous projects, including the documentary "Comedian" (2002) and the online series "Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee," while continuing to perform live.  To enjoy brief segments of his performance, 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 January 8, we have reached 67.8% of our goal totaling $2,246,244

Thank you for supporting our mission. 

Upcoming Events
Eye on Israel
with Eliad Eliyahu
January 12  |  12-1pm
Kripke Jewish Federation Library

Friedel Jewish Academy
Community Open House

January  13
Tours at 10am &  7pm

B'nai B'rith Breadbreakers
January 13  |  Noon
RBJH Auditorium

Mainstreeters Afternoon
at the Movies: Beaches
January 15  |  1 pm
JCC Theater

Kids Night Out
January 16  |  5:30- 8:30pm
JCC Youth Lounge

Family Game Night,
Havdalah & Potluck Dinner
January 16  |  5- 8pm
Temple Israel
Click here to RSVP or call 402-556-6536

Mainstreeters Luncheon with
Joe Taylor - Mr. Memories
January 18  |  12:30 pm
RBJH Auditorium

International Intergenerational
Tu B'Shevat Seder

January 20  |  9-11:30am
JCC Auditorium

Mitzvah Fair for Omaha
3rd & 4th Graders
January 24  |  9:30am - 12pm
Beth El Synagogue

Temple Israel Baby Brunch for Children Under 1 yr
January 24  |  10:30 - 11:30 am
Temple Israel

Sunday Night Dinner:
Tu B'Shevat
January 24  |  6- 8pm
Beth Israel Synagogue

Temple Israel Poker Tournament
January 26  |  6- 10pm
Temple Israel

Beth El Scholar-in-residence, Rabbi Bradley Artson
January 29  |  6-9pm
January 30  |  9:30am
January 31  |  11am
Beth El Synagogue

JCC Matzah Ball
Father-Daughter Dance

January 30  |  6:30-8:30pm
Registration due Jan. 15
JCC Auditorium

Friedel Jewish Academy
Science Fair

February 4  |  6:30pm
JCC Auditorium

Israeli Wine Tasting
with Steve Kerbel
February 6  |  7:30pm
Beth El Synagogue
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