Sunday, December 8, 2019
Our current BJF CEO, Richard Friedman, will be concluding his tenure on December 31
BJF CEO Search Nearing Completion
The search for a new Birmingham Jewish Federation CEO is entering the home stretch. The Search Committee, made up of Federation as well as diverse Jewish community representatives, has conducted a national search with assistance from DRG, a well-respected Search Firm based in New York. Over the last six weeks, the committee has brought three strong candidates and their spouses to visit our community. The candidates have had several packed days, meeting with a variety of stakeholders including board members, donors, Rabbis, agency directors and the full search committee. In addition, they have had extensive tours of our community, exposing them to the beauty and vibrancy of our area. 

All who met the candidates were invited to participate in a survey to share their thoughts about the best person to lead our Federation forward and to assume a strong leadership position in the Jewish and general communities. 

The Search Committee will be making a recommendation to the Federation Board on December 10. Following the Board decision, several Board members will negotiate a contract with the candidate. The BJF expects to announce its new CEO before the end of the year.
Center News (JCC's former newsletter) article from June 1970 about Martin Sher's father, Morris Sher
The LJCC is "In Motion"
If you have ever met Birmingham Jewish community member Martin Sher, then he's probably had a conversation with you about the Levite Jewish Community Center. It doesn't take long to realize that Martin's love for the J runs deep - so deep, in fact, that his family is at the center of the LJCC's creation.

If you have ever been to the LJCC around 2 or 3 in the afternoon, you have probably seen Martin. He's either working out or playing pickleball. And he's always willing to stop and have a conversation with you. 

Lately, I've gotten to know Martin on a personal level. As a past president of the LJCC, I have been meeting with him once a week to talk about ways that he can help out at the Center. Martin has also given me some guidance as I navigate my role as Interim Executive Director. I've asked Martin why he spends so much time at the J and he credits the J with changing his life. He loves the J and wants others to as well. 

Martin is constantly "in motion," just like our LJCC. Without Martin, the LJCC would certainly be missing a friendly, outgoing and helpful presence. Without the LJCC, Martin says, his life wouldn't be the same. 

To help keep the LJCC "in motion," please consider contributing to our Community Circle Campaign

- Samantha Dubrinsky
LJCC Interim Executive Director
“I am absolutely thrilled that Birmingham has been given this designation. - Rev. Conrady
B'ham Recognized as Top City for Inclusivity
The city of Birmingham’s effort to be an inclusive city is now being recognized nationwide.The new report released by the Human Rights Campaign gave Birmingham a perfect 100 score, which designates the Magic City as an “All-Star City.”

The report looked at how inclusive municipal laws, policies, and services are in the city. The designation comes even though the state doesn’t have comprehensive nondiscrimination LGBTQ laws. The Human Rights Campaign is the largest civil rights organization advocating for the LGBTQ community in the country.

A Birmingham Jewish Foundation Donor Advised Fund can help support the organizations that are important to you
Donor Advised Funds
Is this the year to open a Birmingham Jewish Foundation Donor Advised Fund (DAF)? The standard yearly deduction now is $12,200 for single filers or married filers filing separately and $24,400 for married filers filing jointly (slightly more for those over 65). Consider this:

  • Would it be worthwhile for you to “bunch up” several years of donations into 2019 and open a Foundation DAF in order to take advantage of itemizing your deductions on your tax return vs. taking the standard deduction. You can make grant recommendations over the next few years.

  • Donating appreciated stock you’ve held for more than a year to open a DAF. Most itemizing taxpayers are able to receive a charitable contribution deduction for the full fair market value of the securities they are transferring to a charity, while avoiding paying any long-term capital gains tax on what they have gifted.

Always consult your own legal and tax planning professionals to find out if this works for you. For more information, contact the Birmingham Jewish Foundation’s Sally Friedman, , 205.803.1519.
When making year-end gifts, timing can be very important
Dates to Remember for Year-End Giving
If you plan on making a year-end gift to the Birmingham Jewish Federation or Foundation, please remember:

  • Stock gifts must be completed and received in the Federation or Foundation account by December 31st. To be on the safe side, stock gifts should be initiated no later than December 20th. Gifts of mutual funds may need to be initiated even earlier. For information on this, contact Sally Friedman 205.803.1519, or Tiffany Hyche 205.803.1513. Please let Sally or Tiffany know how many shares of what stock you are donating, so they can be sure to track your gift.

  • Checks must be postmarked or hand delivered no later than December 31st. The IRS does not consider simply dating your check 12/31/19 to be considered a 2019 gift.
Upcoming Community Events

Halpern-Levitt KidZone & Family Center Grand Opening
Sunday, December 15 from 11am - Noon at Temple Beth-El. Join us for the grand opening and dedication of the Halpern-Levitt KidZone & Family Center in the Filler Social Hall. Learn more

Science and Torah Club
Sunday, December 15th at 3:00 pm at Knesseth Israel Congregation. Using Rabbi Natan Slifkin's book, "The Challenge of Creation" as the base text, we will explore and discuss the fascinating topic of connecting Torah and Science. Topics to be covered include Evolution, Dinosaurs and the Age of the Universe.

Grand Menorah Lighting at The Summit
Sunday, December 22 at 4:30 pm Chanukah Festivities 5:15 Grand Menorah Lighting; Latkes, Donut Wall, Music, Stilt Walker, Balloon Artists, Bubble Show, Graffiti Mural, Lego Dreidels. Senator Doug Jones will light the Shamash (the helper candle) on the Menorah! Program of LJCC, Chabad of Alabama, the Birmingham Jewish Foundation's Karl and Gladys Friedman LJCC Fund, and the Birmingham Jewish Federation.

Kosher Chinese Dinner
Wednesday, December 25 from 5-8 pm at Chabad of Alabama. All you can eat Kosher Chinese Dinner. RSVP before December 20: $20 per adult, $10 per child. RSVP December 21 and after: $30 per adult, $20 per child. Learn more

Little Scientist STEAM Series "Sensory Silliness"
Sunday, January 26th from 10:00-11:00 am at the N.E. Miles Jewish Day School. We’ll be focusing on our sense of touch as we conduct science experiments and become little engineers. Learn more

Jewish History: From the Ancient Near East to the Present
Tuesdays: January 7 & 21, February 4 & 25, March 3 from 7:00 - 8:15 pm at Temple Emanu-El. This class introduces learners to the major events, personalities, and trends in Jewish history, from the ancient Near East to the present. Spanning three millennia and five continents, the class explores and investigates the origins of the Jewish people, its experience as an autonomous community and as a displaced minority in the Diaspora religious system and its foundational texts, as well as its encounters with different cultures and ideas. RSVP here