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Community Engagement and Education

Eye on Israel is an on-going program that has been embraced by the Omaha Jewish community. The program is a presentation/discussion format traditionally led by the Community Shaliach or Shlicah. Each month the program focuses on the most current news topics in Israel and a selective educational and/or entertaining topic. These hour-long sessions are held on the first Monday of every month beginning at 12:00 p.m.

Most recently Rabbi Yoni Dryer, Assistant Rabbi at Beth Israel Synagogue, has been leading  Eye on Israel. Because of the COVID restrictions, these sessions have been conducted virtually. As our new shlicah, Sivan Cohen, begins her shlichut in mid-August, she will begin leading Eye on Israel in September. Rabbi Yoni's final session will be on August 2.
Sivan will hold her first session on the second Monday of September, September 13, due to the Labor Day holiday on September 6. Starting time will be the standard 12 pm and will be held in the Wiesman Family Reception Room.
Eye on Israel sessions are open to the public free of charge.



The zoom link obtained with your registration will be the only link required for any session.

This class is designed for anyone exploring Judaism for the first time, for Jews interested in refreshing their knowledge of Judaism, those in the process of conversion to Judaism, or people of any background with a general interest in Judaism and a desire to learn more. Now that the class is available online, it’s a great way for parents (of any faith) raising children in the Jewish community to expand their own knowledge without having to leave the house around bedtime. A shorter way of saying all this is that if you landed on this page – this class is for YOU! As part of your learning process, the class includes a panel with several of our community’s rabbis in order to give you a sense of the different approaches among the local congregations.

The instructor for the course is Scott Littky, an experienced Jewish education instructor. He began his career in Jewish education in 1985 as a religious school teacher. From 1988 through 1997 he served the then Bureau of Jewish Education of Omaha as a Community Teacher. He taught at the Friedel Jewish Academy as well as afternoon religious school programs. Scott served 17 years as a Director of Education, first at Beth El Synagogue in Omaha, Nebraska followed by positions in Ann Arbor, Michigan and Alexandria, Virginia. In 2014 he returned to Omaha and was the Program Director at Temple Israel. Scott is currently the Executive Director for the Institute for Holocaust Education. He has been teaching Exploring Judaism since 2015.

For information about the classes and to preregister, email Mark Kirchhoff,, or phone (402) 334-6463.

Fall classes meet September 2 through December 2.

Winter classes meet december 13 through march 7.

The Jewish Federation of Omaha is firmly committed to engaging community members in meaningful and educational experiences on an individual and family basis alike. As Director of Community Engagement and Education, I devote my time and energy to making that commitment a reality for us all.

There are a variety of ways in which you can become involved. I'm introducing a few of them below. We are community of people talking, laughing, worshiping - and did I say eating? - together. Your involvement makes this community better. Please contact me at (402) 334-6445 or to share your ideas or learn more about current and future opportunities to connect. I'll even help you add your name to our email lists so that you will be among the first to know when events are happening.

Jennie Gates Beckman

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