December 22, 2017  |  4  Tevet 5778

From our CEO
The 2017 Teen Trip to Israel: Huskers in the Homeland begins this weekend. We will be sending off 35 Omaha teens, accompanied by Rabbi Abraham, Rabbi Dembitzer, Cantor Shermet and Nate Shapiro, on the second community teen mission. The group will return January 5. This event is a true collaborative effort - the Federation and synagogues working together to send our youth on a once in a lifetime experience exploring Israel. This concerted effort is one we can all be proud of. A few days will be spent in our Partnership2GETHER region - the Western Galilee, where they will experience Shabbat like Israelis through home hospitality. Updates will be posted to the Jewish Federation of Omaha's social media.

This mission was made possible by the Herbert Goldsten Trust, the Phil and Terri Schrager Memorial Fund, the Lois Jeanne Schrager Memorial Fund, the Milton S. and Corinne N. Livingston Foundation Fund, the Shirley and Leonard Goldstein Supporting Foundation, the Jewish Federation of Omaha Special Donor Advised Fund, the Carl L Frohm Educational Custodial Fund, Temple Israel, Beth El Synagogue, Beth Israel Synagogue and the Jewish Federation of Omaha.

Shabbat Shalom,
JFO receives a 4-star rating
from Charity Navigator
The Jewish Federation of Omaha has received a 4-star rating  from Charity Navigator, America's largest and most-utilized independent evaluator of charities. Click here to view the Federation's exceptional rating.
End of the Year Giving
W ith Congress recently passing one of the most sweeping pieces of tax reform legislation in our nation's history coupled with the stock market at all-time record highs, time is running out to take advantage of some potential financial benefits.  Depending on your personal situation, many tax and financial advisers are encouraging their clients to*:
  • Accelerate charitable gifts to the Jewish Federation of Omaha Annual Campaign into this 2017 calendar year.
  •  Transfer appreciated publicly traded securities directly from your investment account to the Jewish Federation of Omaha.  This strategy allows you to avoid capital gains tax and yet still claim the full value of your gift as a charitable contribution for tax purposes.
  • You may also want to confer with the Jewish Federation of Omaha Foundation to discuss Donor Advised Funds, endowments, and/or charitable trusts.
In order to maximize your tax savings, please make sure that your gift arrives in our offices no later than December 29, 2017.
*Of course, everyone's tax and financial situation is unique, and we urge you to consult your own advisors for the advice that is right for you.

Hanukkah Extravaganza Mitzvah Projects
Houston Youth thanks Omaha!
Houston Youth thanks Omaha!
Thank you to the volunteers and participants who helped make the Hanukkah Extravaganza a huge success!  The 2018 Kids Campaign and matching donors raised $3,000  for the children in hurricane-affected Houston to enjoy a happy Hanukkah. Along with the donations we mailed photos and cards from our community. To make this mitzvah even bigger, Aspen and Atlanta communities raised an additional $2,000 to add to the cause. Houston was excited to be able to use these funds for a party for their preschool students, as well as a big party for the community at their CultureFest.

The giving gets greater! Yachad members and community volunteers built and delivered 30 new bikes and helmets to Omaha's Mercy Housing children. These Omaha families were truly grateful as evidenced by this example of the many thank you notes they sent: "Thank you so much for granting my son's wish! I love the fact that this gets them outside to enjoy the beautiful space at Timbercreek Apartments. It make me so excited to get them involved in a healthy sport! Financially it's not possible - so Thank You! Melissa and Boys." Thank you to Michael Staenberg for generously underwriting this project.

Ruben Pitman wins the tzedakah money jar guessing game!
Nearly everyone is intrigued with a glass jar filled with coins and wants to know how much it contains. While all who made a guess at the Hanukkah Extravaganza fidgeted in anticipation of the answer, Ruben won a fidget spinner by coming closest to the actual amount of $286.36 with his guess of $300. Congratulations Ruben! A huge thanks to Marty Ricks who donated the jar of coins.
Renovation Update
Construction on the Outdoor Aquatic Complex is going strong. We remain on-track to open Summer of 2018!

Visit our website to stay up-to-date on all of the construction progress. If you have any questions, please feel free to email us at We are excited to move forward with this project in an effort to build and maintain a vibrant community, not only for today, but for generations to come.
Join PJ Library & Friedel Jewish Academy for a morning of service activities on the Omaha JCC campus for children ages 0-5 and their parents (and/or grandparents!). 
 Timed so you can drop older siblings at religious school and come have special time focused on your littles. Learn how even tiny hands can start giving back! The program will be formatted open-house style with activity stations set up highlighting a different craft or service project teaching a related Jewish value. Snacks and coffee will be available throughout the program.

(Beth El and Beth Israel tot programming will be meeting at this program instead of their regularly scheduled programming.)

RSVP by Thursday, Jan. 4
 to Jennie Gates Beckman at (402) 334-6445 or
Optional one-day winter clothing drive: Bring donations of new hats, gloves, scarfs or pjs for children in the Lutheran Family Services Refugee Resettlement Program.

JBL Members please join us!
January 17th, 7:30-8:30 am
Featured speaker
Todd Simon
Senior Vice President, Omaha Steaks
Champion Run - 13800 Eagle Run Drive

Todd Simon is a fifth generation owner of the Omaha SteaksĀ® group of companies, serving as Senior Vice President of Omaha Steaks International, Inc., President of OS Sales Co, Inc., and Vice-Chairman of, Inc. In his various roles, Mr. Simon is responsible for consumer sales and marketing of Omaha Steaks branded products and services. Mr. Simon joined the family business over 25 years ago after graduating from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. He carries on the strong commitment Omaha Steaks and the Simon Family have always had toward community philanthropy. Mr. Simon is extremely involved in shaping his family's leadership in supporting the arts as well as social and human services agencies and programs. He has been active on the boards of a number of philanthropic organizations including Jewish Family Service, the Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts, the Omaha Community Foundation and the Young Presidents' Organization.

To learn more about Jewish Business Leaders of Omaha click here to visit our website.
Interested in becoming a member? Click here  to join.
Yeh for FED - Saturday, January 27
FED is a Jewish Federation of Omaha food-focused event designed to engage the next generation of Jewish community members, leaders and philanthropists. The event intertwines food, community building and philanthropy in an innovative way to highlight the work of the Jewish Federation of Omaha. Picture a pop-up restaurant in an unexpected space showcasing a fun whimsical summer camp experience curated by chef Molly Yeh, with limited seats available, for one night only. That's FED.
The 2018 FED event will take place at Pella in the Blackstone Building 303 S. 41st Street on Jan. 27,  from 7-10 p.m.  Ben-Gurion level donors to this year's Annual Campaign are invited to a pre-reception and book signing with Molly Yeh at 6:30 p.m.  "Color war" attire requested: Red, white or blue. Free parking available at the Med Center Garage on the SW corner of 41st and Farnam Street.
Cost to attend is $50 per person; adults only please. RSVP deadline is Jan. 12  and the event is limited to the first 100 RSVPs. 
Click here to reserve your seat today!

This "Generation Now" event, along with more to come, is designed for community members ages 21 to 45.

Special thanks to the Staenberg Family Foundation Anything Grant and Special Donor-Advised Fund of the Jewish Federation of Omaha Foundation for helping fund FED 2018! 
Israel turns 70 - Community Mission for all ages
Informational Meeting
Wednesday, January 24th at 6:30 pm
Location: Temple Israel

Israel Mission Trip Dates:  August 1-10th, 2018  (leave on 7/31)

For more information contact Louri Sullivan at 402- 334-6485 or
Scholarships: It's not too early to start planning
As another year comes to an end, the time for new beginnings is upon us. Prepare for the new year with some forward planning for your family's needs. The Jewish Federation of Omaha strives to help make Jewish education and camp experiences more affordable and would like to encourage those considering applying for financial assistance in 2018-2019 to be mindful of the upcoming deadlines.

The newly revised 'Guide to Scholarships and Grants' booklet in now available online and will also be distributed in the Dec. 29  issue of The Jewish Press. The hard deadline for all financial assistance applications is March 1, 2018.  Learn more.

You can now support the Annual Campaign from your cell phone  
or other device!
Upcoming Events
Beth El Synagogue Chinese Dinner and a Movie
December 24 | 6-8 pm
Learn more.
Beth El Synagogue Switch Day at the Blumkin Home
December 25
Learn more.
Beth El Synagogue Serves Dinner at the Stephen Center
December 31 | 5:30-7:30 pm
Learn more.
Beth El Synagogue Chesed Committee visits Blumkin Home
January 4 | 2pm
Learn more.

JCC Fitness Center
Holiday Hours
Dec. 24 closing at 6pm
Dec. 25 | 9am - 2pm
Dec. 31 closing at 6pm
Jan. 1  | 9am - 2pm
No Fit & Sit available these days.

B'nai B'rith Breadbreakers
December 27  |  Noon
January 3 | Noon
RBJH Auditorium

Friday Learning Series 
January 5, 12 , 19  |  11:15
Kripke Library

PJ Library Little Hands, Big Hearts - A Family Day of Caring
January 7 |  10:30 -11:30 am
Friedel Jewish Academy
Eye on Israel
Jerusalem vs Tel Aviv 
January 8 | Noon
Kripke Library 

Jewish Business Leaders  
Bagels & Business featuring Todd Simon  
January 17 | 7:30 -8:30 am
Champions Run
Ladies Empowerment
Self Defense
January 21 | 12:30 - 4:30pm
Social Hall  
B'nai B'rith Breadbreakers
January 24 |  Noon
RBJH Auditorium 
Generation Now!
FED Event featuring Molly Yeh  
January 27  |  7-10pm 
The Pella in Blackstone    
Film Streams and the Tri-Faith Initiative will present a one-time screening of SACRED 
January 30  | 7pm
Ruth Sokolof Theater  
Save the Date
Tu B'Shevat Event
Volunteer and Beer
February 4  | 12:30-3:00 pm
Volunteer at the Benson Plant Rescue, then tour the Benson Infusion Brewery + beer tastings. (Ages 21+)
Cost 5$
Email Yoni for more information.

History of Refugees and the Jewish Community
March 11 | 1-3pm
Community Calendar
Check out what's happening
in Jewish Omaha on the Community Calendar. View
all kinds of upcoming events happening around town.

Have an event and want
to get the word out?

Join the Discovery!
We are excited to share the complete report, methodology and findings of the 2017 Jewish Federation of Omaha Population Study:
A Portrait of the Omaha Jewish Community. Learn More.
Use the TAGG App to give back to the Federation!
Download  the TAGG app and the next time you shop at any of the 200+ TAGG businesses they will  donate 5% of your purchase price to the JFO!

Remember, this is just a sampling from Jewish Omaha! To stay informed,
join our Twitter feed, check out our website, and the community calendar and watch for Federation's bi-monthly e- newsletter in your inbox. Then, most importantly, let us hear from you. We appreciate your feedback and we'll add your Jewish news to the mix.


Jewish Federation of Omaha   |   333 South 132nd Street   |  Omaha, NE 68154   | 402-334-8200