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Gabby Blair
Staff Writer, Jewish Press

The Jewish Federation of Omaha will be hosting the 2019 Hanukkah Extravaganza on Sunday, Dec. 8 from 5-7 p.m. at the Omaha Children’s Museum (500 S 20th St, Omaha, NE 68102). While recommended for families and grandparents with children 12 & younger, older siblings are always welcome! Upon arriving to the event, families will first get to create a three-part ‘Moonjar’ provided by this year’s event sponsor, Lutz Financial.

“The Moonjar concept is a new twist on a Tzedakah box of sorts,” explains Louri Sullivan, JFO Senior Director of Community and Special Projects. “Families will construct three separate banks, one for saving, one for spending and one for Tzedakah. These three banks lock together with a decorative band to create one Moonjar. Giving is such an important value in Judaism, but the importance of saving and spending cannot
be overlooked. We hope that by creating these unique banks, we can help our youngest community members create positive financial habits and get families thinking about where their money is going and how it is being spent.”

After this activity, families are free to enjoy the exhibits at the Omaha Children’s Museum which closes to the public at 6 p.m. at which point dinner will be served on the 2nd floor.
This community-wide celebration also includes components planned by Omaha’s PJ Library. “I’m so thrilled we’re back at the Children’s Museum to offer up an evening of entertainment right before Hanukkah,” exclaims Jennie Gates Beckman, JFO Director of Community Engagement & Education. “We have two very special PJ Library book selections that have to do with Tzedakah and Hanukkah, which we’ll be featuring throughout the museum so families can browse while they play. We are also sending out a special invitation to those families who have just welcomed their little ones in the past year to join us for a baby meet-up in the Museum’s “wiggle room.” Finally, we’ll be setting up a little “book nook” where folks can explore more titles related to both themes of Hanukkah and giving back. I’m really looking forward to seeing everyone there!”

Special thanks to this year’s event sponsor, Lutz, and the evening’s Host Families: Marissa and Bradley Abramson and sons Dayton and Austin; Libbie and Zachary Appleby-Leo and daughters Ilana, Ziva and Netanya; Jennie and David Beckman and children, Sadie and Walter; Danny Cohn, Andrew Miller and daughter Nora; Anna and Joshua Priluck and daughter Ariella; Michelle and Chad Whyte and daughters Hannah and Charlotte.
The cost for this family friendly event is $5 per person, with a $20 maximum per household. This event is free for children under age 2. Includes admission to museum, Moonjar, and a kosher meal by Star Catering. Please RSVP and submit payment online at

Deadline to RSVP is Monday, Dec. 2. Please contact Jennie Gates Beckman, JFO Director of Community Engagement and Education at 402.334.6445 or via email at: with questions or for more information.