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Home » About the Federation » Our Community »  September 29, 2017
E-News - September 29, 2017

September 29 2017  |  9 Tishrei 5778

JCC Renovations
At the June 5th JFO Annual Meeting, Tom Fellman announced upcoming renovation plans for our campus.  I am excited to announce construction of a new outdoor aquatic structure!  Over the next several months, you will see construction vehicles working on redesigning the space.  The photo above shows the outdoor aquatic complex slated to open in 2018.

This is the first part of an ongoing campus renovation plan.  Additional details will soon be coming soon.  We are grateful for the leadership, commitment and passion of Michael Staenberg, Howard Kooper and Tom Fellman.  We are on our way to enhancing the campus for our community.
From our CEO...
I have shared in the past that my favorite Jewish holiday is Sukkot, which begins Wednesday evening.  That being said, the most powerful, reflective and meaningful service of the year for me occurs with the closing service of Yom Kippur - the Neilah.  With my body hungry, my mind and heart in deep reflection, and the imagery of the gates of heaven closing, the emotional question comes to me - am I worthy of another day, week, year on this planet?  Have I looked inward enough to commit to being a better human being in the coming year?  There are times I wish the gates wouldn't close so I wouldn't need to change.  As the Neilah ends and the shofar sounds, I am brought back to the reality of who I am and what I need to do to grow this coming year.  

The shofar is a fitting part of the Yom Kippur services.  When blown and when heard, it can open up a part of us that we rarely tap.  This past week, I read a meaningful piece written by former Nebraskan and colleague Rabbi Danny Allen.  He wrote about the power of the shofar as a call to leadership.  He writes in part "This year my hope is that each of us who work within the Jewish community (professional and volunteer) will not just hear the sounds of a shofar but in fact be the shofar:  a unique voice sounding calls of leadership, guidance, and creativity in our communities and work places.  Our people need us to be shofarot now more than ever sounding the calls our people need to hear."  To read the full article, click here.  

I hope that as you hear the final blast of the shofar this Yom Kippur you think about Pirkei Avot 2:21.  Rabbi Trafon teaches "You are not obligated to complete the work, but neither are you free to desist from it." 

Join us as we make this the best and most meaningful year for our Jewish community.

G'mar hatimah tova - "May you be inscribed for good in the book of life"  and Tzum kal - "Have an easy fast."

Shana tova and Shabbat Shalom,
Alan Potash
RSVP Today! 2018 Annual Campaign Community Event featuring Dr. Deborah E. Lipstadt
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 Marriott

7th-12th Grade Students: Free (Must RSVP by Oct. 2)
General Admission: $36 per person
Patron Level: $100 per person
Register online at
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.
JFO invites the community to the Jewish Business Leader Hall of Fame Breakfast

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.
The 16th Annual Omaha Jewish Film Festival begins Sunday, October 22 with the showing of the comedy "The Pickle Recipe" at 7 pm in the JCC Theater. There are five films in this year's festival, each screened at 7 pm.  For this first film, plan on arriving early to participate in a pickle-related food event prior to the movie. Watch for details in the Jewish Press and follow-up emails.

The Jewish Federation of Omaha and the Institute for Holocaust Education (IHE) are working together to produce the festival. An exciting addition this year is the collaboration with Film Streams, Omaha's own nonprofit cinema. The second film in the series, "The Women's Balcony," will be shown on Thursday, October 26 in the Ruth Sokolof Theater located at 1340 Mike Fahey Street.

Click here for more information about this year's festival.
Filmstreams Movie "Menashe"
Making its premiere performance at the January 2017 Sundance Film Festival, MENASHE has been highly acclaimed by audiences and film critics ever since. It tells the story of how deep in the heart of New York's notoriously secretive Hasidic Jewish community, Menashe, a good-hearted but somewhat hapless grocery store clerk, struggles against tradition to keep custody of his only son after his wife passes away.

Get a head start on the film festival season by viewing MENASHE at Omaha's Filmstreams, Ruth Sokolof Theater. Showings begin on Friday, October 6.

Mainstreeters October Lineup:
October 11, 1:45 pm  |  RBJH Auditorium
Alyssa Griggs and Aaron Breid
October 15, 1:30 pm  |  JCC Auditorium
Tom Anzalone
October 18, 2pm  |  RBJH Auditorium
Jazzy Tim Javorsky
October 27, 1pm  |   JCC Theater
Free Movie: Going in Style
Click here to read more about these events.
When disaster strikes, our Federation family stands together. Many PJ Library families in Houston were directly affected by the recent hurricane - losing everything, including beloved PJ Library books. Our PJ Library in Omaha is proud to be participating in a national drive to replenish the libraries of each family.

If your family has duplicates of PJ Library books you've received, or even gently used PJ Library books that your children have outgrown, please consider donating them to this effort.

Collection bins have been set up in the main lobby of the JCC as well as the lobby of the CDC and in each of the synagogues from now until October 15.
Updates on Hurricane and
Earthquake Relief 
Overview of Various Disaster Episodes
Hurricane Harvey - The devastation across the Houston region generally and in the Jewish community is on the scale of Katrina in New Orleans. With an estimated 2,000 homes flooded and seven major community facilities severely damaged the short, near and long term needs for the Jewish community are now estimated in excess of $30M. In addition, the small neighboring communities of Galveston and Beaumont/Port Arthur have a number of Jewish families with severely flooded homes.
The Federation system has raised about $15.5M. The Houston Federation has raised more than half of this figure. It is likely that this number is based on under-reported fundraising results at the community level and we anticipate several additional significant foundation grants will be approved in the next week. However, these other resources are not likely to amount to more than $2-3M, leaving Houston short of the resources they need, at least at this point.

Hurricane Irma - In most of Florida and the neighboring states to the north, Hurricane Irma had varying degrees of impact. For the most part, the areas with the largest Jewish populations on the east coast were spared significant damage. The most severe damage to homes and communal institutions are in Naples, Jacksonville and St. Augustine. In addition, there are smaller communities up through Georgia that are reporting the need for some assistance for families and infrastructure.
The long power outages in the week following the storm created a significant short-term health issue, especially for seniors, and several Federations and Chabad engaged in extensive outreach, visiting, and food and water delivery efforts. The JFNA Emergency Committee provided emergency grants to a several local Federations last week. Other Federations took emergency response actions and the JFNA Emergency Committee will consider further grants to support these efforts as needed. JFNA is still assessing longer-range needs across the broad number of communities hit by Irma.
The truly severe impact from Irma has been in the Florida Keys and US Virgin Islands (St. Thomas) where enormous damage to power grids, airports, shipping ports, water supplies, medical systems and more have brought daily life to a standstill. In addition, many homes were damaged; some completely ruined. Many people have been evacuated from both locales but there are small numbers of Jews who will not leave because they are involved professionally in government, medicine or other critical fields. The lack of communal infrastructure beyond the individual synagogue level provides additional challenges for JFNA and our Federations. JFNA is in active contact with and supporting the synagogue communities in both areas.

Hurricane Maria - Maria had a crushing impact on several island nations and in Puerto Rico. The Puerto Rican community is about 1,500 people. It has two synagogues and a Chabad presence. The entire power grid for the island may be out for 4-6 months and the challenges ahead for the Jewish community there and for the general population are enormous. JFNA is working actively with local leadership in Puerto Rico to bring assistance to the island as quickly as possible. IsraAid also now has a team operating in Puerto Rico working directly with the Jewish community.

Only about $330,000 has been raised and committed to JFNA to respond specifically to Hurricane Irma and/or to additional hurricanes in 2017. This figure is probably significantly understated, as there has simply been no time to check individually with Federations on what they have raised or granted. Nonetheless, it is likely that our system has raised no more than $1-2M total for hurricane related needs beyond Harvey.

JDC has been coordinating emergency responses in several island nations outside the US that have been affected (Cuba, British Virgin Islands, etc...), and IsraAid has deployed in a few islands to provide emergency response services.

Mexico Earthquakes - Following the first earthquake a few weeks ago JDC made the decision to hold off engaging and opening an emergency fund as the impact was not in a region where they had contacts and relationships, and there did not appear to be an impact on the local Jewish community. Once the second earthquake hit Mexico City last week the JDC moved quickly to establish a partnership on the ground with Cadena Mexico, a major Mexican-based relief organization. In addition, the Israeli government and IsraAid both deployed search and rescue teams to Mexico City. A third major earthquake has since hit but it does not appear to have produced wide-scale additional needs.
JFNA General Assembly - Nov. 12-14
The GA brings together Federation volunteer leaders and professionals from across the continent, and those engaged in the business of Jewish philanthropy from around the globe.
At GA 2017, we'll venture further into the future of Jewish education, philanthropy, and our community - taking The Federation Movement farther than ever before. Join us for this seminal event. Register Now!

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 Synagogue  
Kol Nidre Services   
September 29 | 6:15 pm
Learn more.

Beth Israel Kol Nidre   
Sept. 29 | 6:30 pm
Chabad Kol Nidre
September 29 | 6:30 pm

Temple Kol Nidre 
September 29 | 7:30 pm
Watch services online!

Beth Israel - Yom Kippur 
September 30 
8am - Services Begin
9:30am - Torah Reading
10am - Sermon, followed by Yizkor
4:35pm - Book of Yonah Class
5:15pm - Mincha
6:15pm - Neilah
7:48pm - Fast Ends

Temple High Holy Day Food Drive: Fill a Bag, Feed a Family! 
September 30

Temple Yom Kippur Children's Service (Tots - 4th Grade) 
September 30 | 9 am Sanctuary

Beth El Synagogue  
Yom Kippur Services 
September 30 | 9am
Learn more.

Temple Yom Kippur  
Morning Service 
September 30 | 10:15 am
Watch services online!

Temple Yom Kippur Children's Programming (1st - 4th Grade) 
September 30 | 10:15 am

Temple Yom Kippur Afternoon Study and Discussion 
September 30 | 1-3 pm

Beth El Synagogue Yom Kippur Study Sessions 
September 30 | 2:30 pm
Learn more.

Temple Afternoon Service, Yizkor, and N'ilah 
September 30 | 4-6 pm
Chabad Yom Kippur
September 30
Beth El Synagogue Yom Kippur Mincha/Ne'ila Services 
September 30 | 5:30 pm
Learn more.

Beth El Synagogue Yom Kippur Teen Study Session
September 30 
Learn more.

Temple Break-The-Fast with Temple Israel for a Sweet New Year 
September 30 | 6:30 pm 
Adults and 13 and older are $16,Children 6-12 years old are $9,Children 5 and younger are no charge.

Temple Break the Fast with TiYPE and YJO 
September 30 | 6:30 pm

Beth El Synagogue Sukkah Build 
October 1  |  8am
Learn more.

Beth El Synagogue Torah Tots 
October 1 | 10:30 am - 12pm
Learn more.

B'nai B'rith & BBYO  
Sukkah Building 
October 1  | 11:30am
JCC Youth Lounge
Beth El Synagogue USY/Kadima Sukkah Build   
October 1 | 12pm
Learn more.

This Is Hunger, a project of MAZON: A Jewish Response to Hunger 
October 1-4
Interactive exhibit will bring you face to face with hunger in America. Visit to find out more about this incredible project and to get your free tickets!

Attention 7th graders - Prospective Members 
Young Jewish Giving Information Night 
Oct. 3 | 6-7:30 pm | JCC
Kosher dinner (for students)
6pm Parent Meeting
RSVP to 
B'nai B'rith Breadbreakers
October 4 | Noon
RBJH Auditorium

JCC Building Hours for Sukkot
Oct. 4 - Erev of Sukot close at 6pm
Oct. 5 - JCC Closed

Beth El Synagogue
Sukkot Services
October 5 & 6 |  9:30 am

Beth Israel Lunch in the Sukkah
October 5
Enjoy Beth Israel's traditional Sukkot lunch with roasted turkey, challah dressing, roasted vegetables, salad, and dessert made extra delicious when dining in Beth Israel's beautiful sukkah.  Cost $12 for adults, $6 for ages 4-12, free for 3 and under.  Reservations needed by October 2.

Beth El Synagogue
Soup in the Sukkah

October 6 | 12pm
following morning services  
Learn more.

Beth El Young Adult
Farm-to-Table Shabbat
October 6
Beth El Synagogue Shabbat Speaker, Jeremy Bouman, Executive Director, Nebraska Defy Ventures
Yizkor Services following the Torah Service
October 7 | 9:30 am
Learn more.

Beth El Synagogue BESTT Shabbat's Cool, Grades K-7
October 7 | 10am - 12:15 pm
Learn more.

Beth El Synagogue BESTT
Shul-in, Grades 3-7
October 7 | 12:15pm -
October 8 | 9am
Learn more.

Party in the Sukkah
for Adults Only
October 7 | 6-10 pm
Home of Rabbi Stoller

Temple Sukkah Open House Hop
October 8

Beth El Synagogue Torah Study
October 8 | 10am

Beth El Synagogue Sunday Speaker Series, "Wagner: Evil Genius", taught by Bob Yaffe
Sundays, Oct. 8, 15 & 22
11:00 am - 12:30 pm
Learn more.

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

Beth El Synagogue Chesed Committee visits Remington Heights
October 10 | 2pm
Learn more.

Temple Holy Smokes! Stogies, Scotch, Snacks, Sukkah, and Stoller
October 10
Temple Israel Sukkah

Jewish Business Leaders of Omaha Hall of Fame
October 11 | 7:30-9am
Honoring Borsheims and Nebraska Furniture Mart
Happy Hollow Country Club - 1701 S 105th Street

B'nai B'rith Breadbreakers
October 11 | Noon
RBJH Auditorium

Erev Simchat Torah & Consecration
October 11 | 6pm

Beth Israel Simchat Torah Dinner
October 12
It's a dairy dinner including macaroni and cheese, tossed salad, tuna salad, fruit salad, and great dairy desserts.  Cost $12 for adults, $6 for ages 4-12, free for 3 and under.  Reservations needed by October 9.

Beth El Synagogue Simchat Torah Services
October 12 | 5:30 pm
SimTOT Torah for our youngest congregants
6:00 pm, Singing and dancing with the Torah for all congregants
October 13 | 9:30 am- Services On Friday morning during services we will be honoring Steve Riekes as our Hattan Torah and Sibby and Bob Wolfson as our Hattan/Kallah Berisheit.
Learn More.

Wine & Conversation Event to Focus on DACA
October 12 | 7pm
Spirit World - 6680 Center St.

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

Unfinished Stories: Hindu Scripture & Jewish Midrash
October 16 | 7-8:30 pm
Hindu Temple -13010 Arbor St.
Free and Open to the Public
Featuring Dr. Tulika Chandra, professor of English studies at Shiv Nadar University in India and Rabbi Aryeh Azriel, lecturer at UNO and Rabbi Emeritus of Temple Israel Omaha.
Sponsored by The Vedantic Center of Nebraska, The University of Nebraska Omaha, The Schwalb Center for Israel and Jewish Studies

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 Heirloomis t
October 21
Learn more.

16th Annual Omaha Jewish Film Festival
Oct. 22  | 7pm | JCC
The Pickle Recipe
Oct. 26  | 7pm | Film Stream
The Women's Balcony
Nov. 5  | 7pm | JCC
There are Jews Here
Nov. 12  | 7pm | JCC
Dirty Wolves
Nov. 19  | 7pm | JCC
Rock in the Red Zone
Learn more.

Save the Date
General Assembly
November 12-14
Los Angeles, CA
Learn more.
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?

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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