Sunday, February 16, 2020
The Search Committee of the BJF engaged in a search over a nine-month period under the leadership of Co-Chairs Steve Greene and Jesse Unkenholz. Greene said, “The Search Committee chose Danny Cohn because we felt he was the most inspirational candidate with the most progressive ideas to move our Federation and community forward.”
BJF Announces New CEO
The Birmingham Jewish Federation is honored to announce the selection of a new Chief Professional Executive Officer, Danny Cohn, effective March 8, 2020. Danny has more than 18 years of experience as a strategic leader in marketing, operations, fundraising, branding, public relations and social media for integrated marketing agencies and national foundations.

Danny comes to the Birmingham community most recently from Omaha, Nebraska where he has been Director of Marketing and Communications for the Arbor Day Foundation. While there, he developed two national annual programs that netted revenue of over $1 million. Prior to his move into the non-profit arena, Danny led integrated marketing teams at Zeno Group in Chicago, IL and Strata-G in Cincinnati, OH. Most notably, Danny led the development and execution of Allstate Foundation’s Purple Purse Initiative to raise funds and awareness surrounding domestic violence and financial abuse.

Danny also brings a deep list of lay leadership non-profit experience to the BJF position. He relaunched The Ben Gurion Society at the Jewish Federation of Omaha where he successfully engaged a large group of new young adult donors.

Sheri Krell with her parents, Suzanne and Howard Bearman
CJFS Names Sheri Krell Volunteer of the Year
When Sheri Krell retired as a teacher at the N.E. Miles Jewish Day School, she really didn’t – at least as far as the CJFS CARES program is concerned. Every school year, Sheri continues to bring a group of Day School middle-schoolers for monthly visits to CARES, a respite program for those affected by memory and movement disorders such as dementia and stroke. The visits help the youngsters develop empathy and new communication skills, and are just one of many reasons that CJFS recently named Krell its Volunteer of the Year. Krell’s other CJFS volunteer activities include regular trips to the grocery with an octogenarian originally from the former Soviet Union, teaching Mah Jongg at a retirement home, and helping seniors stuff, seal and stamp hundreds of envelopes for CJFS mailings.

Collat Jewish Family Services, which receives funding from The Birmingham Jewish Federation and Foundation, is a 30-year-old United Way agency that provides comprehensive programs and services for older adults in greater Birmingham, regardless of their faith or financial ability.

Nominations for the Susan J. Goldberg Distinguished Volunteer Award are due by Monday, March 2.
BJF Accepting Nominations for the Susan J. Goldberg Distinguished Volunteer Award
The Birmingham Jewish Federation is currently accepting nominations for the Susan J. Goldberg Distinguished Volunteer Award. Susan, an outstanding Jewish community volunteer leader, passed away in 2005, at the age of 52 while serving as Birmingham Jewish Federation president.

The award was established in 2006, in Susan's memory to recognize community volunteers who represent the qualities, commitment and traits Susan exemplified during her years of community work. Nominees should reflect significant leadership ability and a high level of volunteer involvement. They also should be people who have made a broad and lasting impact on the Jewish community through their volunteer service. For reference, you can view past winners on

If you are interested in nominating someone, contact BJF staff member Florina Newcomb . Nominations are due by Monday, March 2. The Susan J. Goldberg Distinguished Volunteer Award will be presented at The BJF's Annual Community Meeting in June. Date and location will be announced in a future BJFive piece.   
Aviva Goldberg and Ellen Landy, current and former NEMJDS Spelling Bee winners
NEMJDS Spelling Bee
The N. E. Miles Jewish Day School recently held its annual Spelling Bee. Fourth grader Sadie Levans won the Junior Spelling Bee and Aviva Goldberg won the Upper School Spelling Bee for the third time in a row. Aviva went on to compete in the Birmingham Private/Parochial School Spelling Bee where she placed fourth. Mazel Tov!

The Spelling Bee is a long-standing tradition at the NEMJDS. Students look forward to it each year to testing their spelling skills and trying to win their name on the coveted Spelling Bee winner plaque. Ellen Landy, who attended the Day School, and her family, are proud supporters and sponsors of the Spelling Bee through The Birmingham Jewish Foundation. Ellen is a past winner and went all the way to compete at the Alabama State Spelling Bee. Ellen now acts as a mentor to NEMJDS Spelling Bee winners and helps coach them for their next step in the Spelling Bee. Her enthusiasm and passion for the Spelling Bee is to be admired and she has come to speak to the students on many occasions about her experience throughout the years. Everyone at the Day School would like to thank Ellen and the Landy family for sponsoring the Spelling Bee and for continuing to be part of the NEMJDS family. 

Set your DVR to record Dreams of Hope on Sunday, February 23 at midnight on PBS!
Dreams of Hope Airing on PBS
Dreams of Hope tells the story of a historic concert at the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama, more than 50 years after a hate crime killed four African American girls. Conducted by Dr. Henry Panion III, the concert performance features musical instruments that serve as symbols of hope – violins restored from Holocaust concentration camps. The documentary incorporates behind-the-scenes interviews reflecting on the purpose of the event: to celebrate the resilience of those who have faced hate, discrimination and racism.
The documentary will be screened one more time on Alabama Public Television Broadcast on Sunday, February 23 at midnight, so please make sure to record this momentous concert.
Upcoming Community Events

Family Fun Day to kick off our annual campaign with all free BBQ
Monday, February 17 at 4:30 pm at Chabad of Alabama. Dinner, Face Painter, Balloon Artist, Moon Bounce, Baby Soft Play, Tree Planting and more! Register here

"Saved by Guardian Angels"
Thursday, February 20 from 5:30-7:30 pm, at BHEC Community Room, 3 rd floor Temple Emanu-El. Join the Birmingham Holocaust Education Center for a special Siegler Fellow Presentation by Julianne Jorgensen on the life of Aisic Hirsch, entitled “Saved by Guardian Angels.”

Shabbat Ruach & Dinner
Friday, February 21 at 5:45 pm at Temple Beth-El. You Belong in Birmingham and Temple Beth-El invite you to join us for Shabbat Ruach & Dinner! This is a family-friendly musical community event that’s fun for all ages, with a barbecue chicken dinner to follow. This event is free to all You Belong in Birmingham participants, who should contact Kendal Jaffe to register for their complimentary dinner. All others should register online . Please RSVP by Feb. 17.

Persian Shabbat
Friday, February 21 at Chabad of Alabama. Join us for festive Shabbat dinner with Persian cuisine by Chef Josh Haynes. Register here

Saturday, February 22 from 7:00-9:00 pm at the N. E. Miles Jewish Day School. NEMJDS enthusiastically invites the community to join us for a Pop-Up Art Gallery, featuring art created by our students and inspired by our Fine Arts Teacher, Claire Rottembourg. Treat yourself to a self guided tour, delicious wine and desserts, and catch up with community friends.

NEMJDS "Chai Rollers" Gala
Sunday, March 1 at 5:30 pm at Temple Emanu-El. Join us for our annual Gala! Play casino games or bid on many of the fabulous items in our silent auction. Open bar and dinner will be provided. Learn more

The Birmingham Jewish Federation & Foundation Present Dr. Deborah Lipstadt
Wednesday, March 4 at 7:00 pm at Birmingham Southern College: Munger Hall. Deborah Lipstadt is a leading Holocaust and antisemitism expert. She is the professor of Holocaust Studies at Emory University and has published and taught about the Holocaust for close to 40 years. The author of six books and numerous articles, she is probably most widely known because of the libel lawsuit brought against her (1996) by David Irving for having called him a Holocaust denier. This event is free and open to the public. Seating is limited and tickets are required. For more information please call 205-803-1521. Reserve seats

PJ Library Character Breakfast to celebrate Purim!
Sunday, March 15th from 10:00-11:30 am in the LJCC Auditorium. Get the entire family dressed up as your favorite character and enjoy a fun-filled breakfast! You'll be joined with some of your favorite princesses, superheroes, and historical characters from the Purim story. Enjoy a meal, face painting, crafts, and story time. $18 for each child (includes 1 adult), $25 for each child at the door (includes 1 adult), children under 1 are free. Register now