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8.28.15 Issue

by Mark Kirchhoff, Center for Jewish Life

In its mission to maximize involvement of the Omaha Jewish community in imaginative, compelling, and meaningful Jewish experiences, the Center for Jewish Life calendar is packed with a variety of offerings designed to pique the interests of a wide range of ages.

Omaha’s charismatic Community Shaliach Eliad Eliyahu continues his monthly Eye on Israel series on the second Tuesday of the month. Mark Sept. 8, Oct. 13, Nov. 10, and Dec. 8 from noon-1 p.m. as dates and times you won’t want to miss hearing current news and feature topics about Israel. In September he will focus on Jewish extremists in Israel. These sessions are open to the community free of charge.

The on-going Friday Learning Series which meets from 11 a.m.-noon in the Kripke Jewish Federation Library will feature the ever-popular Dr. Leonard Greenspoon of Creighton University on Sept. 18, 25 and Oct. 2. Focusing on Pirkei Avot, the title of Dr. Greenspoon’s class is Father Knows Best? How We Can Apply the Ancient Wisdom of Pirkei Avot to the Modern World. In October, Assaf Gavron returns for a three-session class, the dates and topic yet to be finalized. Dr. Moshe Gersovich focuses on Jewish history in France during his three-week class, From Rashi to Dreyfus and Beyond: A Brief History of France and Its Jews. Classes are $26, reduced to $21 for donors to the Jewish Federation of Omaha Annual Campaign.

The Dorothy Kaplan Book Discussion Group meets on the third Thursday of each month from 1-2 p.m. in the Kripke Jewish Federation Library. The group welcomes new participants. Information about book selections is available by contacting Shirly Banner at 402.334.6462 or

Scott Littky, Program Director at Temple Israel, returns again this year to teach Exploring Judaism. This 20-session course meets Monday evenings, Oct. 12 through March 7.  The class is designed to provide basic information about Judaism to those considering conversion and to provide a great opportunity for anyone in the Jewish community to revisit the principles of their faith and the richness of the practices of Jewish living.  For more details and to download a brochure with syllabus and registration form, visit the CJL section at

The annual Jewish Book Month Luncheon will be held on Nov. 12 beginning at 11:45 a.m. Guest author will be Pam Jenoff, who will discuss her book The Last Summer at Chelsea Beach, the November selection for the Dorothy Kaplan Book Discussion Group. Pam is the internationally bestselling author of several novels, including The Kommandant’s Girl and The Winter Guest. Pam served as  the politically-appointed Special Assistant to the Secretary of the Army at the Pentagon and as a diplomat for the State Department in Poland, specializing in Holocaust issues and Polish-Jewish relations. Reservations will be required for the luncheon. Complete details will be furnished through the Jewish Press and email notifications.

Sunday, Nov. 16 is the date for the Global Day of Jewish Learning. This year’s theme is Love: Devotion, Desire and Deception. The keynote speaker will be Ron Wolf, noted author and Professor of Education in the Graduate Center for Education at the American Jewish University. The breakout sessions with local presenters will explore parental love, sibling rivalries, true love and more.

On Saturday evening, Dec. 26, it will be A Celebration of PJ Library Fun at the Omaha Children’s Museum. This event has become a popular tradition with PJ Library families and those Jewish families interested in the PJ Library program. PJ Library offers free, high quality books and music each month to more than 100,000 children in over 175 communities in the United States, Canada and Israel. Jewish children in Omaha who are ages six months through eight years old can take advantage of this amazing opportunity. You need not wait until December to find out more or to sign up. Visit the CJL section at

The Center for Jewish Life also wants to give the community an early reminder about the Klutznick Harris Schwalb Symposium that will be held Oct. 25 and 26. This year’s theme is This World and the World to Come in Jewish Belief and Practice. The symposium is a collaborative effort of the Klutznick Chair in Jewish Civilization at Creighton University, the Harris Center for Judaic Studies at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and the Schwalb Center for Israel and Jewish Studies at the University of Nebraska-Omaha. Watch the Press for full details in coming weeks.

So, get your calendars out and start reserving the dates for any or all of the amazing programs available in the weeks ahead. Detailed information for all programs, classes and events will be published in the Jewish Press, through emails, on the Jewish Federation of Omaha’s website, and, hopefully, through your word-of-mouth. For questions or to register, please contact Mark at 402.334.6463 or Looking forward to seeing you!