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Home » About the Federation » Our Community »  November 23, 2016
E-News - Nov. 23, 2016

November 23, 2016  |  22 Cheshvan 5777

From our CEO...
Prior to taking over the role as CEO for the Jewish Federation of Omaha, I worked for the Anti-Defamation League with the mission of combating anti-Semitism and bigotry, safeguarding the First Amendment, monitoring hate groups, and teaching about the Holocaust.  It should be no surprise that I am paying very close attention to the post-election rhetoric and activity.

This November 8th, overall voter turnout in our country was 58%; the turnout locally in Douglas County was 68%.  Over a third of our country did not participate in one of our most basic democratic rights.  And yes, voting in our country is a right, not a privilege; a right that should be taken seriously and exercised at every available opportunity.

Maybe you heard Warren Buffet's comments to CNN's Poppy Harlow.  He said "I support any president of the United States.  It's very important that the American people coalesce behind the president."  People run for an office and people vote and the one with the most votes wins - except for the presidency.  Occasionally, the one with the most popular votes doesn't become president.  In our lifetimes, we saw this in the 2000 election - Al Gore won the popular vote by 453,000 and we experienced it again this year with Hillary Clinton winning the popular vote by 1,598,268.  And yes, there are people upset with this outcome.  To Mr. Buffet's point, we have to respect the process and the office. This is absolutely what democracy is about.  In the coming days and months, President-elect Trump will show us the kind of presidency he will create.

There has been an increase in the level of hate and anti-Semitic rhetoric targeting the Jewish community and other minority groups since before the election.  Mr. Trump has made cabinet appointments of individuals whose pasts have not been friendly to minority groups. The atmosphere is not always one of respect.

I have been asked whether or not this parallel's 1933.  The world is different today and we live in a democracy which allows us to participate in our government.  We elect new representatives every two years, a president every four years, and senators every six years.  We also hold dearly to one of my favorite Amendments - the First!  Should we see any of our amendments or laws begin to change, we must stand up and protect them. 

Living in this country, at this time, we are not powerless. We have tools.  We have the tools and resources to have constructive civil conversations around difficult issues, to speak with facts rather than generalizations, to know the sources of our facts and to fact check information we receive.  We need to learn to be good consumers of information - know what you are reading and it shouldn't be shared without doing some fact checking.  Fake news is gaining a foothold.  Make a conscious choice to not participate.

Perhaps our most powerful tool is to try harder at being more respectful when we find ourselves in challenging conversations.  Our mission at the Federation isn't going to change, we will focus on building and sustaining a strong and vibrant Jewish community and to support Jews in Israel and around the world.
Shabbat Shalom,
Alan Potash
Where your Campaign dollars go: Community Engagement and Jewish Education

Jennie Gates Beckman, who recently joined the Jewish Federation of Omaha as Director of Community Engagement and Education, is tasked with enhancing community engagement, promoting lifelong Jewish learning, providing a connection to Israel and supporting the synagogues in their mission.

"Together with the congregations and our Federation agencies, we'll work to improve and maintain current adult educational programs and design additional learning opportunities for all ages. This is an exciting time for JFO and Jewish education in Omaha" said Jennie.  Read more.

Join us in the movement and celebrate giving on November 29th from 10am - 2pm in the JCC Social Hall. The Federation is putting the FUN into fundraising. Bring a personal hygiene product (toothpaste, deodorant, shampoo etc.)  to benefit the Jewish Family Service food pantry.  Make your Annual campaign pledge, have a bite to eat and enjoy a chance to dunk a Federation staff member in our dunk tank!
Young Jewish Giving offers an Interactive Learning Session for Teens - November 29
On Tuesday, November 29 from 6:00-7:30 p.m. Young Jewish Giving Program Director Danielle Gordman will lead a fun and interactive learning session about how
to become a young Jewish PHILANTHROPIST for Jewish 8th - 12th grade students. This learning session will be in the JCC Social Hall and dinner will be provided.

For more information about Young Jewish Giving contact Danielle Gordman at

Download the Young Jewish Giving
brochure and application.
Beth El Synagogue welcomes Gourmet Kosher Chef Laura Frankel
December 2-4
Beth El invites the community to welcome Executive Kosher Gourmet Chef and author Laura Frankel. Laura will prepare a gourmet Shabbat dinner on Friday, December 2. She will speak following Kiddush lunch (prepared by Beth El) on Saturday, December 3. And she will lead a class in Beth El's kitchen on Sunday, December 4. Click here for more information and to register. Eat, enjoy and learn!  
BBYO's International Global Shabbat - December 2
The entire community is invited to join BBYO and USY/Kadima teens from Beth El Synagogue in a partnered event to celebrate Shabbat.  Everyone is invited to our teen-led Shabbat service at Beth El Synagogue in the Chapel.  Join teens from around the globe as they come together on Friday, December 2 a 7:00 p.m.  For more information and to RSVP contact Rachel Martin, BBYO Director,
JCC Hanukkah Walk / Run
December 4 | 8:30 am
The JCC Hanukkah Walk / Run will take place on Sunday, December 4th and is open to JCC Members. Participants can choose a 2 mile, 4 mile, or 6 mile outdoor route. All routes will start and end at the JCC. Both walkers and runners are welcome. 

NEW THIS YEAR!  1-mile Family Fun Walk
The Family Fun Walk will be held indoors on the new Fitness Center track. Strollers will be allowed.

Check-in for both the Walk/Run and the Family Fun Walk will begin 8:00 a.m. Registrations will be taken until the start of the event. Advanced registration is encouraged.
Register by November 25th will receive a FREE t-shirt!

Cost: $10 individual  |  $30 family
Click HERE to download your registration form.

For full information contact Breann Lundblad at
(402) 334-6580 or
This is How We Roll Sushi & Sake
December 8  |  7-9pm
nullThe J is proud to partner with Kona Grill to bring you a special, one night only, sushi class and nosh. Join sushi chef, Chu Kim, from Kona Grill for an exciting hands on event where you will enjoy an evening of fun, fantastic food, and friends! (Must be 21. Limited to 30 people.)
Member: $35  |  Non: $40 
Registrations due Dec. 2   |  Location: JCC Social Hall
Contact Member Services at 402-334-6426 to register.
Kids' Campaign - Hanukkah Extravaganza!
Celebrate the Festival of Lights with us from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. on Monday, December 19th. The Hanukkah Extravaganza is a FREE event that is open to the entire community. Those attending should enter the JCC through the Front Entrance. Kids participating in the Jewish Federation of Omaha's Kids Campaign can bring in their tzedakah cans for collection.
Friedel Jewish Academy will sell latkes during the evening. Kids' meals are only $5 and include two latkes with applesauce and sour cream, two donut holes and a juice box.  Adult meals will have three latkes with applesauce and sour cream, two donut holes and and a bottle of water. To-go orders are $15 for ten latkes, applesauce and sour cream included. Donuts are for sale as well. Pre-orders are appreciated, and can be placed by contacting by Dec. 14 at the latest.

Kids Campaign Tzedakah Cans are still available through the Jewish Federation.

For more information about the Kids Campaign or Hanukkah Extravaganza contact Louri Sullivan at 402-334-6485.
Make an impact on the
Jewish community

Click here to learn more.
Get involved with the ADL
Over the past several weeks, the Anti-Defamation League has received many offers of support, ranging from volunteer assistance to monetary donations. We are so grateful for this outpouring in our ADL-CRC Plains States Region - from Nebraska, Iowa and Kansas. ADL is deeply committed to the mission of combating anti-Semitism and seeking justice and fair treatment for all people. We welcome your involvement in our mission, work and programs, as we push back against hate and bigotry - in whatever form it manifests. Here are the most urgent ways to get involved and support our work:
1.  Get involved in a local committee. Our civil rights, outreach, law enforcement, education, and development committees are great ways to get involved. If you are not in the Omaha area where our committees meet, we can arrange for you to join via conference call or video.
2.  Follow-us on facebook and twitter-like our page at
3.  Monitor your local media and report any issues related to civil rights, bigotry, anti-Semitism, Israel and the Middle East, and more to
Jewish Book Month Author Luncheon

Stanley Ginsberg, whose book The Rye Baker contains over 70 recipes for rye bread from around the world, addressed a group of nearly 60 people at the Jewish Federation of Omaha's luncheon. The event is in conjunction with the 43rd Annual Jewish Book Month. Following the luncheon Mr. Ginsberg held a book signing and an informal discussion with the Dorothy Kaplan Book Discussion Group and others in the Kripke Jewish Federation Library. Click here to view  photos on Facebook.
This, That, and the Other Thing
This Thanksgiving  we stand  proud  as Americans.
We are thankful THAT we share a special relationship with Israel.

THE OTHER THING that we are thankful that the mystery of pyramid building has been solved. Find out for yourself.


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.
Upcoming Events
Young Jewish Omaha
Nebraska vs Iowa Tailgate
November 25 | 2pm
Learn More

StoryWalk!™ - Free
Nov. 28 - Jan. 1
Hanukkah Cookies
With Sprinkles
Learn More.

Young Jewish Giving
Interactive Learning Session
November 29 |  6-7:30pm
JCC Social Hall

B'nai B'rith Breadbreakers
November 30 |  12pm
RBJH Auditorium

The Lost Art of Jewish Cooking!
November  30 |  6:30pm
We all love traditional Jewish cooking. Each week we will learn and cook a Jewish recipe with different members of Temple Israel. This week will feature Andrew Miller making kreplach.

A Taste of Talmud: The Most Important Rarely Studied Text in Reform Synagogues
Wednesdays, 6:30pm
Nov. 30 & Dec. 7
Temple Israel
Beth El Synagogue welcomes Gourmet Kosher Chef Laura Frankel
December 2 | 6pm services
7 pm - Gourmet Shabbat dinner prepared by Frankel
December 3 |  9:30am services 
12 pm - Kiddush lunch
December 4 | 11 am
Gourmet Kosher Cooking class taught by Frankel

The Magic of Rituals
with Rabbi Berezin
Thursdays, 10am
December 1-15 & January 5-12
Temple Israel
Learn More

BBYO's International
Global Shabbat
December 2 | 7pm
Beth El Chapel

Adult Game Night
December 3 | 7-10 pm
Spielbound, 3229 Harney Street
Come enjoy a night of board games and good company at Spielbound. Cost is $5.
Please RSVP to Temple Israel Program Director Scott Littky, 402-556-6536.

Temple Israel Blood Drive
 December 4 | 8:3 am - 2pm
Make an appointment online by visiting and search sponsor code "TempleIsrael" or contact Executive Director Dennis DePorte, 402-556-6536.

Modifying Genetic Disease: Lifestyle and Nutrition with Dr. Bruce Buehler
December 7 | 6:30 pm
Temple Israel
Temple Israel Book Club
December 11, 10am
Media Center
"The Madonnas of Leningrad" by Debra Dean
Temple Tots Sunday Morning
December 11 | 10:30 am

Challah TOTS
December 15 | 10am
Members: Free | Non: $5
Learn More
Save the Date
The JCC Musical Theater Community Acting Group presents A Kidsummer Night's Dream
December 17 | 7pm 
December 18 | 2pm
JCC Theater
$10/ adults & $5 children / students. Call Laura Wine, JCC Registrar, at (402) 334-6419 to purchase.

Hanukkah Extravaganza December 19 | 5- 7pm
JCC Auditorium
Families and kids of all ages are invited to join us for the annual Hanukkah Extravaganza! This event is FREE and open to the entire community. There will be games, prizes, an inflatable, face painting, balloon art, dreidels and stories, latkes for sale and much more!

Friedel Jewish Academy
Annual Hanukkah Play
December 20 | 6:30pm
JCC Theater
The public is invited to the annual Hanukkah play presented by the students of the Friedel Jewish Academy. A sufganiyot (jelly donut) reception will follow the performance. For more information contact Beth Cohen at (402) 334-6001.

Carolyn Dorfman Dance
Legacy Project
January 19 | 7:30pm
Orpheum Theater
The Institute for Holocaust Education and Omaha Performing Arts present Carolyn Dorfman Dance The Legacy Project: A Dance of Hope at the Orpheum Theater.
Tickets can be purchased at  For more information contact Liz Feldstern at 402-334-6575.

JCC Musical Theater Auditions
January 22 | 1:00 - 4:30pm
Registration is required to audition. Contact Esther Katz at for details and required materials.

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