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Home » About the Federation » Our Community »  July 31, 2015
E-News - July 31, 2015

July 31, 2015  |  15 Av 5775

Shabbat Shalom Jewish Omaha -

On Wednesday AIPAC organized a Fly-In to Washington DC to meet with members of congress on the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (known as the Iran deal). A group of eight from Nebraska: Tom Fellman, Jerry Slusky, Bob Batt, John Lehr, Gary Epstein, Joel Alperson, Gary Javitch and Bob Evnen, decided to take advantage of this opportunity to meet with and learn from our elected officials. I decided to join the group as a fact-finding opportunity and to gain greater understanding of where our elected officials stand on this "historic" agreement. (In fact, it was repeated by many members of Congress that this is an historic agreement.)

Community leader and longtime AIPAC supporter Tom Fellman was eager to hear what Capitol hill had to say. "I have a hard time understanding how anyone could possibly trust Iran today. Maybe in the future. Hopefully in the future. But let's not be naive today," he added, "Sometime we wish something so much. We want peace so badly that we begin to believe our wishes are coming true."

Over the past two and a half weeks there has been much written and spoken about this agreement. My perspective has been, from the beginning, to gather as much information as possible, update our community, and answer as many questions as possible.

Early in the morning, Senator Deb Fischer recommended to our delegation that we attend the Senate Armed Services Committee hearing as it would include testimonies from Secretary of State John Kerry, Secretary of Energy Ernest Muniz, Secretary of Treasury Jacob (Jack) Lew, Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter and Joint Chief of Staff General Martin E. Dempsey.  Here is a link to the hearing and testimonies.
Listening to senators ask key questions of the individuals most knowledgeable about the agreement was and is vital to gaining the best picture possible of the deal.  

Repeatedly, our group heard our country's leadership say that this is the best possible deal to prevent Iran from becoming a nuclear power for the next 15 years or longer. We also heard this message: if Congress doesn't pass the agreement, it is likely the other P5+1 countries would move forward with the deal without us.

Recent reports indicate that several of the P5 countries have already started to create business infrastructures in Teheran.  

L-R: John Lehr, Gary D. Epstein, Bob Evnen, and NE Senator Ben Sasse 
We also had private meetings with our Nebraska Congressional representation: Senators Deb Fischer and Ben Sasse, Representative Jeff Fortenberry, and Representative Brad Ashford; all of whom appeared engaged with the subject matter and open to our discussions with them.

It is important for our congressional representation to hear from their constituents. Please click on the links below to email or call their offices and let them know how you feel.

I will expand my thoughts on our experiences in Washington in an upcoming op-ed in the Jewish Press.

Have a peaceful Shabbat,


Alan Potash

We encourage community members to make your opinions known to our elected officials. 

Live Webcast with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu 

Tuesday, August 4th  |   12:00 p.m.

Register to view the live webcast with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. He will address the Iran nuclear agreement.
Watch from your laptop, tablet or phone.

We welcome everyone to watch the webcast live in the Kripke Jewish Federation Library. Please feel free to join us.

Co-sponsored by Jewish Federations across North America and member organizations of the Conference of Presidents
of Major American Jewish Organizations.

Omaha Jewish Film Festival Begins August 2

Presenting five nights of entertaining and thought-provoking film, the Omaha Jewish Film Festival is now a collaboration of the Center for Jewish Life and the Institute for Holocaust Education. Two of the five films have some connection, either through the time period or story and character development, with the Holocaust. This year's films are presented at a reduced cost of $5 thanks to Todd and Betiana Simon, the Henry Monsky Lodge B'nai B'rith and numerous funds of the Jewish Federation of Omaha Foundation.
It's a PJ Library Birthday Party!
August 5  |  5:30-7:00 pm

It's everyone's birthday at the PJ Library Birthday Party! This free event includes inflatables, face painting, and balloon artistry by Jered the Incredible. The party is open to all Jewish families with children 6 months through 8 years. Older siblings and grandparents are also welcome. Refreshments will include pizza, breadsticks, veggies, fruit, and birthday cupcakes provided by Star Catering. Everyone is asked to bring a new or gently used children's book for the elementary schools in Omaha's Partnership2GETHER area in Israel. Please RSVP to Mark Kirchhoff at 402-334-6443.

This event, plus future PJ Library events, will be provided free of charge thanks to the generosity the Special Donor-Advised Fund, the Murray H. and Sharee C. Newman Supporting Foundation and the Mort Richards Youth Program Fund, all funds of the Jewish Federation of Omaha Foundation.
5th Annual Backyard Concert Series
FREE | Sundays | 5-7 p.m.

Mark your calendars for the 5th Annual Backyard Concert Series. Shows will be held on August 16th, 23rd and 30th. All concerts are from 5:00 - 7:00 p.m.and held outdoors at the JCC Pavilion located behind the JCC. The concerts are FREE and open to the community. Grab your lawn chair, a picnic, and come enjoy some great music in our backyard.

BBYO will be selling desserts, with proceeds going to BBYO Jewish Programming. Jewish Family Service will also be collecting donations for their food pantry. Pasta sauce, spaghetti, 15 oz. canned fruits in fruit juice, 15 oz. canned vegetables, toilet paper, deodorant, and disposable razors are appreciated. Look for the blue bins! Please do not donate expired items.

Splashin' Good Time 

Forty-one people and one friendly shark attended a pool party held on July 26th for members of Jewish Family Service's Yachad and the Ollie Webb program! The group enjoyed a D.J., dancing, singing, eating pizza, swimming, and socializing with their new and current friends. A high point of the evening was when the song Let it Go was played and everyone in attendance sang, danced, hugged and simply "let it go" for this one special night! In partnering with the Ollie Webb Center, Yachad appreciates the opportunity to have a larger group of friends to socialize with. The JCC Pool Party was made possible with the generous grant by the Million Dollar Round Table (MDRT) earlier this year. The $5,000 Quality of Life grant was established to provide a collaborative fitness program for the Omaha and Jewish community's group of adults with developmental disabilities.
Jewish News....Off the Radar
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 Community Kick-off
Campaign Cabaret 
Sunday, October 11 
Look for more information in this week's Jewish Press.

JOIN the CAST!  
* Singers & Dancers
* Costume Chair
* Research & Acquisition Chair
Plus many other volunteer opportunities!

Old family photographs / documents  depicting the "immigrant experience" to America. Submissions due August 14 to Louri Sullivan.

Do you want to get involved?  
Contact Louri Sullivan

Director of Community
Impact & Special Projects
Upcoming Events

Temple Israel

Summer Shabbat Speaker Series: Heroes & Mentors in My Jewish Life
July 31 - Shari Hess
August 7 - Courtney Bierman

Annual Indoor Pool Repair August 7 - 17
While the JCC Indoor Pool is closed, the Outdoor Pool is open extended hours. Call the Aquatics Department at (402) 334-6473 or Member Services at (402) 334-6426 with any questions.

JCC Musical Theater Community Acting Group:

Gershwin's "Crazy For You" Young Performers Edition Auditions  

Sunday, August 30

Advanced registration required. Call (402) 334-6419 or click here to register.  

Rehearsals begin Sept. 13 Performances: Dec. 19 & 20
in the JCC Theater.  

Exploring Judaism 

The Center for Jewish Life presents a course for those exploring their spiritual options and those who wish to renew or enhance their Jewish living experience.

Instructor: Scott Littky
Mondays, Oct. 12 - Mar. 7  7:00 - 8:30 pm

Kripke Jewish Federation Library   

Jewish Federation of North America General Assembly 2015
November 8-10
Washington, D.C.
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