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Home » About the Federation » Our Community »  September 15, 2017
E-News - September 15, 2017

September 15 2017  |  24 Elul 5777

From our CEO...
These past few weeks we have seen the destruction of hurricanes in Texas and Florida.  Our community has provided financial support, medical supplies, food, water and volunteer support.  These efforts will continue to be needed over the coming months.  We will continue to keep the community updated as we learn more.  You can offer your financial support on our website by clicking the Hurricane Relief buttons.
This week we kicked off our 2018 Annual Campaign with two events.  Over 100 women turned out Tuesday for the Women's Major Donor and Jewel luncheon with keynote speaker Dr. Sima Goel sharing her story of fleeing Iran in the '80s.  If you want to learn more about her story, check out her book Fleeing the Hijab: A Jewish Woman's Escape From Iran.  And Wednesday saw the Men's Major Donor kick off featuring Israel Defense Force Reservist Sgt. Benjamin Anthony.  Sgt. Anthony is founder and lead lecturer for Our Soldiers Speak.  He spoke to current issues of defending Israel, combating Anti-Semitism on college campuses, and the continued support of Israel.  Many of the 65 in attendance commented they were inspired to re-engage with the Federation and the annual campaign following this dynamic speaker.   
I would not be doing my job if I didn't add a few lines about Rosh Hashanah which begins Wednesday evening.  Our community study shows us that we are proud of our connection to being Jewish but not always connected to the religious offerings of Judaism.  In this new year, I hope we all can connect more to the traditions of our faith.  Connect in whatever way you find most comforting but try to also learn something new.  We have great opportunities for education across our community, here on campus and in our synagogues - take advantage of them.  And in today's online world, great teachings are available in almost every format you can possibly use - go and learn!
Do you know why we have a round challah during the high holy days?
Shabbat Shalom and Shana Tova,
Alan Potash
Local Rabbis share thoughts on Rosh Hashanah
Rosh Hashanah is the "head of the year" and the time of inner renewal and divine atonement. Read the complete messages from the rabbis in the September 15, 2017 edition of the Jewish Press, E2,3, (pages 58and 59 on the digital slider) excerpted here.

Rabbi Steven Abraham, Beth El  "The month of Elul leading into Rosh Hashanah has become a time for me to refocus on the things that matter most in my own life... Not simply how can I be a better father, husband, son and rabbi... but what does that tangibly mean in the year to come? ...Now is the time I get to ask myself, what did I learn in 5777 so that I make 5778 even better. ...Now is the time to be honest with ourselves."
Click here to see Beth El's High Holy Days service schedule.
Rabbi Ari Dembitzer, Beth Israel Synagogue  " 'Rosh Hashanah' means the new year. In addition to meaning 'year', Shana also means repetition for the sake of deepening and sharpening. This year as we approach the High Holidays, let us not observe; let us deepen our understanding. Let's not do Jewish, let us live the Jewish... May we live a passionate Judaism and be able to pass that to the next generations with joy."  
Click here to see Beth Israel's High Holy Days service schedule. 
Rabbi Mendel Katzman, Chabad of Nebraska  "...on Rosh Hashanah we pause to ponder ALL of Creation, which culminates on the six day with the final creation: humankind. In our davening on Rosh Hashanah we repeat again and again that 'today marks the beginning of Your work.' ...The Torah's message about Rosh Hashanah is that Jews, through the medium of Torah and Mitzvot, must transform the global, cross-denominational, even secular world."
Click here to see Chadad's High Holy Days service schedule.
Rabbi Brian Stoller, Temple Israel  "Rabbi Yonatan said 'Great is t'shuvah, for it brings redemption into the world.' ...R. Yonatan's proverb reminds us that we are much more powerful than we might want to admit... The good news is that just as we have the power to cause others pain and angst by our actions... so too do we have the power to bring about healing, peace, and redemption by doing t'shuvah..."
Click here to see Temple's High Holy Days service schedule. 
Sept. 17 is the last Backyard concert of the season featuring CJ Mills with special guest Jocelyn
CJ Mills is a singer-songwriter and guitarist out of Omaha, Nebraska. She has a unique style that mixes neo-soul, reggae, indie, and pop.

--  BBYO will have treats for purchase as a fundraiser.

-- Kona Ice will have 50+ flavors of shaved ice, plus 6 types of novelty ice creams available for purchase.

-- Dante's Pizzeria Food Truck will be serving 3 pizza options, Margherita, Cheese and Veggie. Drinks will also be available for purchase ** CASH ONLY **

In case of inclement weather, the concert will be moved to the JCC Theater.

The JFO Backyard Concert Series is made possible by:
Omaha Steaks, All Makes Office Equipment Co, Fred & Eve Simon Charitable Foundation, and the following Jewish Federation of Omaha Foundation funds: Karen Sokolof Javitch Music Fund, Special Donor-Advised Fund
Jewish Business Leaders inaugural meeting will be held on Oct. 11th
After only a few weeks, over 40 Jewish Omaha business people have joined this new group.  Your involvement in JBL will give you networking opportunities, insight into business trends, and participation in quarterly breakfasts featuring presentations from an interesting array of insightful business leaders.  The inaugural meeting will be held on October 11th from 7:30-9:00am at Happy Hollow Country Club and will be highlighted by the induction of Borsheims and Nebraska Furniture Mart in to the Jewish Business Leaders of Omaha Hall of Fame.  Please click on this link to join JBL or contact Steve Levinger at or 402-334-6433 with any questions. Click here to view the JBL schedule of events.
2018 Annual Campaign Kehilla Cup
Kehilla Cup is a division of the Annual Campaign which features over 60 volunteer ambassadors connecting with Jewish Omahans to thank them for their past support, update them on happenings at the JFO, and secure their pledge for the 2018 Campaign.  In this friendly competition between 7 teams, Commissioners Jess and Shane Cohn report that "Team Friedel" led by captain Jeff Zacharia and "Kehilla Monsters" captained by Donald Gerber are battling for 1st place after the initial week.
A Special Women's Philanthropy Event  Sunday, October 1st
We invite Pearl Society donors or those considering joining the Pearl Society for an afternoon of  yoga and team building exercises with Katherine Finnegan. Experience this fun interactive yoga class with your friends.  This event is chaired by Lisa Lucoff, Jamie Meyerson and Melissa Shapiro.

Yoga Event with Katherine Finnegan
Sunday, October 1  |  3:00 pm
Lotus House of Yoga Aksarben Village | 6706 Frances St.
Click here to RSVP.  (Space is limited. Maximum 60.)

Join the Pearl Society
You're a women who loves and appreciates your Jewish community. You're starting to realize that you can help it thrive, and you want to be part of something bigger than yourself.

With a gift of $365-or a dollar a day-to Federation's Annual Campaign, you'll automatically become a member of this group of inspiring women who, just like you, want to make a difference. You'll have the option of buying the Pearl Society necklace.

Contact Louri Sullivan at 402-334-6485 or
Free showing of the movie "Denial"  Sunday, October 15th
Join us on October 15 at 7:00 p.m., in the JCC Theater, for a free showing of the movie "Denial"  This film is based on Dr. Deborah E. Lipstadt's book "History on Trial: My Day in Court with a Holocaust Denier" which tells the story of her libel trial in London against David Irving, who sued her for calling him a Holocaust denier. This event is chaired by Marla and Bob Cohen.

We are excited to announce that this film will be shown with state-of-the art audio visual technology! This has been made possible through a special gift from a donor.
Dr. Deborah E. Lipstadt will speak at the 2018 Annual Campaign Community Event on Wednesday, October 18th
Dr. Deborah E. Lipstadt is the Dorot Professor of Modern Jewish and Holocaust Studies at Emory University in Atlanta.Dr. Lipstadt is the author of  books "The Eichmann Trial" and "History on Trial: My Day in Court with a Holocaust Denier" which tells the story of her libel trial in London against David Irving, who sued her for calling him a Holocaust denier. The judge found David Irving to be a Holocaust denier, a falsifier of history, a racist, an anti-Semite and a liar. This event is chaired by Jill & Joe Goldstein and Andee & Anthony Scioli.

2018 Annual Campaign Community Event
Wednesday, October 18, 2017
Patron Reception: 5:30 pm
Cash Bar Opens: 6:00 pm
Dinner & Lecture: 6:30 pm
Regency Marroitt
General Admission: $36 per person
Patron Level: $100 per person
Register online at

Kippahs-Luxury Judaica-Israel

Click here to find out why we should just let it go at that.

You can now support the Annual Campaign from your cell phone  
or other device!
Join the Discovery!
We are excited to share the complete report, methodology and findings of the 2017 Jewish Federation of Omaha Population Study:
A Portrait of the Omaha Jewish Community. Learn More.
Upcoming Events
Beth El Shabbat Speaker  
Riva Silverman from HIAS  
September 15                 
5:30 pm - "Pre-Neg" 
6:00 pm - Kabbalat Shabbat Services    
Beth El Shabbat Speaker Riva Silverman from HIAS  
September 16  | 9:30am services                
followed by Kiddush lunch 

Beth El BESTT Shabbat's Cool, K-7th Grade   
September 16 | 10am    
Beth El Selichot Services    
September 16      
Temple's College-Age Tailgate Shabbat 
September 16 | 10 - 11 am
Join Rabbi Stoller to tailgate before the Huskers play the Northern Illinois Huskies in Lincoln. There will be bagels, coffee, juice, friends, and fun! If you are in Omaha, contact Aliyah if you are interested in carpooling to the tailgate. RSVP required.

Temple's S'lichot
Service and Study 
September 16 |  7pm 
We will study text together, change our Torah covers to the High Holiday white, and pray in a service led by our clergy and choir. The evening will conclude with our annual chocolate oneg.  
Kever Avot Services
Sunday, September 17 
12:00 pm - Golden Hill 
1:00 pm - Beth Israel/Mt. Sinai
Backyard Concert Series
Septem ber  17
Free  | 5-7pm
Located behind the JCC

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

Beth El's Chesed Committee Visits Sterling Ridge  
September 20 | 2pm
Learn More

Temple's Erev Rosh
Hashanah Service
September 20 | 7:30 pm
Remember to pick-up a grocery bag for the High Holiday Food Drive: Fill a Bag, Feed a Family.

Beth El Rosh Hashanah Services
September 20, 21 & 22
For complete schedule of service times, click here.

Beth El Observes Taslich
at Boys Town Lake   
September 21    
Learn More

Temple's Rosh Hashanah Children's Service (Tots - 4th)
September 21 | 9 am
Sanctuary Children's service will be creative, musical, and fun, as Rabbi Stoller, Cantor Shermet, and Rabbi Berezin lead the kids in singing and conversation about the meaning of the High Holidays.

Temple's Rosh Hashanah Morning Service
September 21 |  10:15 am

Temple's Rosh Hashanah Children's Programming (1st - 4th)
September 21 | 10:15 am
Children in 1st-4th Grade should meet Director of Youth and Young Adult Engagement Aliyah Lasky in the Simon Community Court at 10:15 a.m. They will then head downstairs for Rosh Hashanah Programming led by our Religious School Madrichim.

Temple's Tashlich
September 21 | 12:30 pm
Following our Rosh Hashanah service we will gather at the Amphitheatre for Tashlich, which means "cast away."  We will throw our transgressions into the creek behind our building and begin the new year cleansed of our sins and misdeeds.

Temple's Shabbat Shuvah
September 22 | 6pm
September 23 | 10:30 am

Beth El Torah Tots  
September 24 | 10:30 am
Learn More

Beth El Kever Avot
Memorial Service  
September 24  | 11am
Beth El Cemetery,
4700 S. 84th St.
Learn More
Beth El's BESTT
Kibbutz Chaverim  
September 24  | 12pm           
Learn More

Temple's Memorial Service
September 24 | 1 pm
Schrager Memorial Chapel Temple Israel Cemetery,
6412 North 42 St.
We will visit the graves of our loved ones so that we may remember and honor those in our past who inspired us to live our lives more fully in the future. Names of loved ones who have died since last Yom Kippur will be read aloud during the service. A memorial book will contain a printed list of names of loved ones remembered.

Guiding Principles for our Temple Israel with Rabbi Stoller, Rabbi Berezin & Cantor Shermet
Sept. 27 | 6:30 pm
Using material prepared by Rabbi Stoller on the Daily Amidah our clergy will help guide us to a better understanding of Temple Israel today and as we move forward.

Women's Philanthropy Event
Yoga with  Katherine Finnegan
October 1 |  3pm
Lotus House of Yoga
Aksarben Village
6706 Frances St.
Learn More
Save the Date
Mainstreeter's Brownville Concert Series presents KT Sullivan and Mark Nadler- Almost Like Being in Love
Oct. 8  | 2 pm matinee
We will depart at noon at the JCC and return by 5:30 pm

The Meyers Family Legacy of  Laughter Endowment fund
presents Tom Anzalone
October 15  |  1:30 pm
JCC Auditorium

Free showing of the
movie "Denial"
October 15  | 7pm
JCC Theater

2018 Annual Campaign Community Event featuring Deborah Lipstadt
October 18 | 6-8pm
Regency Marriott
Learn More

Nebraska Jewish Historical Society presents
An Evening with the Heirloomist
October 21, 2017
Learn More

Omaha Jewish Film Festival
October 22- November 19
Five films will be selected. Watch for information coming soon!
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?

Use the TAGG App to give back to the Federation!
With just 7 community members, so far, we earned $27 from the last reporting period.  If we had 70 people using the app, that would equate to $270 or about $3,000 for the year...enough to fund 3 Jewish Experience Grants to help families send their kids to Jewish summer camps.  Thanks to our "early TAGG adopters". 

Download  the TAGG app and the next time you shop at any of the 200+ TAGG businesses they will  donate 5% of your purchase price to the JFO!

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