Sunday, September 1
Welcome to our new publication from the Birmingham Jewish Federation! BJFive will come to you every other week -- featuring five highlight stories, and announcements of major community events. We hope you like it.
“It would be a fatal error to think that security-related concerns in the Middle East are the only challenge to the future of the State of Israel and the Jewish people.” (Photo was taken in the wake of the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting.)
Crucial moment for the future of the Jewish people
In a recent piece on the Israeli news site , Isaac Herzog, Chairman of the Jewish Agency for Israel, warned, “The greatest challenge facing the Jewish people is to heal the deepening rift between Diaspora Jewry and the State of Israel — a rift that is liable, over time, to result in the formation of two separate peoples.” And this rift, he suggests, couldn’t come at a worst time.

“Jews are walking the streets of Europe in fear for their safety, and anti-Semitism is rising throughout the world. It would therefore be a fatal error to think that security-related concerns in the Middle East are the only challenge to the future of the State of Israel and the Jewish people,” he adds. The Jewish Agency, which receives funding from the Birmingham Jewish Federation Campaign, is responding to these challenges as Herzog illustrates.
“To encourage younger Jewish women to come together and connect with new and old friends, we hosted a challah-making event at our house. Everyone seemed to have a really great time and each made several delicious challahs to bring home!”
— Tyler and Kendal Jaffe
Challah, Belonging In B’ham and more to come!
Tyler and Kendal Jaffe, sisters who grew up in Birmingham and who’ve returned as young adults, have been volunteering their time coordinating activities for other young Jewish adults with support from the Birmingham Jewish Federation’s “You Belong In Birmingham” program.

“Since moving back home to Birmingham after college, we have both been surprised and impressed with the number of young Jewish professionals that are either new to the area or have returned home after school,” said Tyler and Kendal. They recently coordinated a successful challah-baking event — and more Jewish-themed activities are in the works!
Each summer the bus’s educational theme is "Giving Love." Partnering with Birmingham’s President Austin was in keeping with his slogan, 
"Don't forget to show love."
National teen group serves homeless in B'ham
Josh Ull, a group leader for USY on Wheels, a national program (see below link), brought a group of Jewish teens from throughout the country to Birmingham this summer as part of their national tour. “Aside from site seeing, the program really prioritizes leadership development, community engagement, turning Jewish education into application, and chesed (loving kindness),” explains Josh.

“While in Birmingham, we're always hosted by Temple Beth-El for dinner. However, for years, I've noticed the growing homeless population in the city and decided to do something about it,” said Josh. The group teamed up with Birmingham’s young, nationally-known “President Austin” (see below link) to make sandwiches and donate toiletries to Firehouse Ministries.

“The museum is the only one in the world wholly dedicated to telling the history of Jews in the American South. And when it reopens next year in New Orleans, it will be easily accessible to the general public for the first time.”
Museum of the Southern Jewish Experience moving to New Orleans
Jewish Telegraphic Agency, a worldwide Jewish news service, had a great story on the Museum of the Southern Jewish Experience as it moves from Jackson to New Orleans.

“A prosthetic leg that belonged to a Russian Jewish immigrant to Lake Providence, Louisiana. An 8-foot neon sign from a hotel that advertised itself as the only establishment with an ‘up to date kosher' kitchen in Hot Springs, Arkansas,” the story begins, as it highlights just two of the items that make up the Museum’s unique inventory.

“These items made the trip from Mississippi to Louisiana last month — along with the rest of the more than 4,000 artifacts that make up the collection of the  Museum of the Southern Jewish Experience ,” explains JTA, in a story that highlights the significance of the Museum to Jews in the South as well as to Southerners in general.

Conexx VP Barry Swartz said trade events have taken place over the years to connect Israeli businesses with companies in the South. Such events are important, he said, because they remind companies that not all business activity in the U.S. is based in the Northeast or the Pacific coast.
Plans underway to strengthen Alabama-Israel business connections
From : The Alabama Department of Commerce is planning a trade mission to Israel next year, and the City of Birmingham is considering a similar initiative to strengthen business ties.

Officials made the statements at an event hosted by the Birmingham Business Alliance, Conexx: America Israel Business Connector and the Israel-U.S. Binational Industrial Research and Development (BIRD) Foundation. Connex receives funding from the Birmingham Jewish Federation’s Israel-World Jewry Bureau.

Upcoming Community Events

Falafel Sunday
Sunday, September 1, 12-3 pm, at Chabad of Alabama. Join Chabad for an all you can eat Falafel, Israeli salad, and pizza buffet. Moon bounce and game room for the kids! Register here

Jewish Food and Culture Fest
Sunday, September 8, 11 am-3 pm, on the Levite Jewish Community Center Soccer Field. Share in traditional Jewish food, culture and tradition. The event, which is free and open to the public, will feature authentic Jewish foods, live local entertainment, a kid’s zone, and a Jewish cultural experience. Learn more

Kosher Natural and Holistic Health Expo, Alabama
Sunday, September 15, 10 am - 8pm, at Knesseth Israel. Hosted by Kosher Natural and Holistic, and Healthy Events by Kineret. Over 50 vendors and more than 20 lecturers. Come experience All Natural and Alternative Health and Wellness! Fun, Informative and Free! Learn more

Pre-Rosh Hashanah Bake
Sunday, September 22, 6:30 pm, at Chabad of Alabama. Let's start off the Jewish new year with something sweet. Take home two challahs, rugelach, and an apple kugel made by you! For women and girls over age 9. Register here

The Birmingham Jewish Federation is a United Way agency.