This year the Annual Campaign Theme of the Jewish Federation of Omaha is “The Strength of a People. The Power of Community”. When we think about those two distinct but interconnected ideas, we think of how perfectly these two sentences exemplify what it means to be part of our Omaha Jewish community at this particular moment in time.
The past two years have shown us how strong we are. How we’ve come together to support one another – from embracing the children on our campus at our preschool, the Pennie Z. Davis Early Learning Center, and the Friedel Jewish Academy to protecting the residents in our Rose Blumkin Jewish Home – and everyone in-between. This doesn’t happen by accident. Rather it happens through the professionalism of our staff and the support of our community. It happens because of you.
Campaign Kickoff Event Chairs
Women’s Major Donor Chair
Men’s Major Donor Chair
Chaverim and Chazak Chairs
Ben Gurion Chairs
Pearl Society Chair
Future Leaders Chair
Teen Giving and Kids Campaign Chair
Super Monday Campaign
Winter Festival Chair
Mike Siegel, President
Jennifer Tompkins, Executive Director of Community Philanthropy &
Engagement | (402 )334-6433
Rachel Ring, Director of Development | (402) 334-6435
The Jewish Federation of Omaha Women’s Philanthropy engages Jewish women in the fulfilling work of making the world a better place. We have the power to be change-makers and community-shapers and play an integral role in building and supporting Jewish life today and for generations to come.
The Jewish Federations of Omaha offers many opportunities for donors who dedicate substantial philanthropic resources to the Federation campaign to take part in distinctive events along with peers from across the continent who share their passion for doing good.
Learn more about how your support to the Jewish Federation of Omaha is making a difference in Omaha and around the world.
According to Jewish tradition, the highest form of tzedakah or charity is giving to a central campaign or community fund or kupah.
Girl Holding Metal Tzedakah Box Throughout Jewish history, in small towns and large cities, within both Israel and the Diaspora, it was the custom of Jewish communities to create an address for centralized giving. This guaranteed the privacy and dignity of the poor as well as the successful maintenance of communal “agencies.” Today, the kupah (literally translated as community fund) is the annual campaign of the Jewish federation.
The gift to the communal kupah, or centralized campaign, is a noble expression of devotion to the entire Jewish people. It demonstrates a love of community which is without limitation – a proud statement of commitment to our individual communities and to every individual Jew.
There are those who maintain that the most “Jewish” way to give is to bypass the centralized campaign and give directly to those in need. In fact, the Talmud insists that the contribution to the centralized fund is the highest form of tzedakah, for it is the best way of ensuring the anonymity of both donor and recipient. Moreover, the general community fund is best prepared to meet the challenges of emergency issues which require a united front, such as responding to anti-Semitism or organizing rescue missions for Jews in danger.
Tzedakah derives from the Hebrew tzedek, denoting justice or righteousness. Tzedakah is based on the sense that justice requires sharing.
While a designated gift may satisfy the desires of a particular donor and the recipient agency or cause, it is the gift to the centralized campaign which works towards satisfying the needs of all—transcending specific institutions or projects. The centralized campaign is concerned with the entire community – its continued viability and vibrancy – and the dignity of all of its members, including our brothers and sisters who may live thousands of miles away, but are no less precious to us than those who live next door.
Participation in the centralized campaign is a statement about Jewish values. As Jews, we count on the ability of individuals to uplift the entire collectively, and we treasure our historic desire to be full participants in a community’s welfare. A donation to the federation annual campaign is an investment by the donor in his or her community; it is a statement by the donor that he or she belongs to the Jewish people.
The Annual Campaign embodies the values and traditions of the North American Jewish community more than anything else we do. It says that we care about people, not about their politics or religious practices. It says that we will as a community address critical, often life-threatening issues.
Everything from domestic abuse to public health problems to hunger and disaster relief and more.
The impact of the continuing and unparalleled philanthropic success of the annual campaign is priceless. Millions of lives saved, cared for, reached out to and rebuilt; centuries-old Jewish traditions and values preserved for future generations.
Based on the thoughts and writings of Arna Poupko Fischer, Judaic Consultant
Each year, the Jewish Federation of Omaha as a registered 501(c)(3) social service organization, runs a Campaign to raise funds to support the many agencies, programs and services provided under their organizational umbrella. Help us continue to serve our community and become a Friend of the Federation!
Thank you so much for taking time to reach out to our community members on behalf of the Annual Campaign. It is this personal touch that makes our Annual Campaign so successful and the “philanthropic backbone” of Jewish Life in Omaha.