January 4, 2019  |  27  Tevet 5779    

A message from our CEO
A new sense of pride came over me as I left our campus last night.  The sun was setting and the building, with the illuminated artwork and donor names, was bathed in a calm, serene light.  I marveled at this unique setting and I was struck by what we are building here on this campus as we revitalize our Jewish community center.  I am proud of the efforts of our lay leaders, community members and professional staff.  I am proud that others also believe in what we are doing here - so much so they want their names on the buildings.  These names represent dedication to our Jewish community and to the mission of the Jewish Federation of Omaha and it's agencies.  I am reminded of my younger days, driving my grandmother to visit residents of the Dr. Sher Home.  Dr. Sher had a vision for our community that has lasted over 75 years and continues to spawn inspiration.  Today, we add Michael Staenberg, Howard Kooper, Tom Fellman and Donald Goldstein to Rose Blumkin, Pennie Z. Davis, Dan & Esther Gordman and Phil Sokolof as those who inspire and motivate us to continue to build and sustain our vibrant Jewish Omaha.  

When I travel and tell people where I am from and what I do, I usually get one of two responses.  Either they have been to Omaha and know how special our community is or they don't think it's possible in Nebraska.  My response to the naysayers is always 'Come and see for yourself!" 

Shabbat Shalom,
2019 Annual Campaign Update 
Thank you to almost 1,100 donors who have generously pledged $2,500,000 to our Annual Campaign. 
There's still time to help make a difference in our community!   Click here to make a donation. 
Little Hands, Big Hearts
January 6 | 10-11:30 am
Friedel Jewish Academy
Join PJ Library & Friedel Jewish Academy for a morning of service activities for preschool-aged children and their parents (and/or grandparents!). Timed so you can drop older siblings at religious school and have special time focused on your littles. (All ongoing tot programming will be meeting at this program instead of any regularly-scheduled program at the individual synagogues.) Learn how even tiny hands can start giving back! The program will be formatted open-house style with different activity stations, each with a different craft or service project teaching a related Jewish value. Snacks and coffee will be available in the Commons for families to take a break and chat throughout the program. Please register at Survey Monkey   and contact Sara Kohen at skohen@fjaomaha.com with any questions.
Monday, January 7 | 12 pm | Kripke Jewish Federation Library 
Closing Hearts in Israel: Bringing Diverse People Together 
Presented by Community Shlicha Ron Lugasy 
In a world of conflict and animosity, it is easy to forget that with effort and commitment, it is possible for people to make a positive difference in their lives and in the lives of those who differ from them. After first taking a look at current events in Israel during the January session of Eye on Israel, Community Shlicha Ron Lugasy will begin the New Year with a presentation that shows how hearts are coming together on a daily basis in Israel. The stories might not make the news, but they are uplifting and making a positive difference in people's lives. 
Eye on Israel is presented free of charge to the community. Attend and bring a friend.

Progressive millennial Zionist Zachary Schaffer
presents and leads discussions at the JCC - Jan 8 and 9
Zachary Schaffer wrote " Zionism is rooted in the very values that so many of its critics profess to espouse. What is Zionism? It was the holy and the broken Hallelujah of a people who had no justifiable excuse for hope.  It's the story of a people who were dealt the lousiest deck of cards in history and still refused to leave the table. It's the tale of a nation, long excluded from the table of nation-states, who demanded a seat of their own..."
Zachary is a Senior Manager of Community Strategy at the Israel Action Network. On January 8 and 9 he will present and lead a number of discussions at the Jewish Community Center. His presentations are timely, engaging, and thought provoking. 
January 8 | 6:30 pm | JCC Auditorium 
January 9 | 12:00 pm | RBJH Auditorium | Breadbreakers
Teen - Only Session: Jan 9 | 6:00 dinner, 6:30 - 8:00 pm program | JCC Auditorium
For Jewish Educators: Jan 9 | 6:00 pm, dinner and program | Social Hall
"Israel Engagement: Distinctions Between Education and Advocacy"
For more information contact Amanda Ryan at   alryan@ihene.org or (402) 334-6576
A program of the Jewish Federation of Omaha with support from the Ann Goldstein Education Programming Endowment Fund and the Jewish Federation of Omaha Foundation's Klutznick/Creighton Custodial Fund.
Celebrating Shabbat
January 11, 25  |  11:15 am  
Kripke Jewish Federation Library
Rabbi Shlomo Abramovich, Visiting Scholar at Beth Israel Synagogue, will present Shabbat, one of the main symbols of Jewish life. "The Shabbat is a covenant between God and his people, and one of the Ten Commandments. Over the years, different traditions were developed of how to celebrate the Shabbat," explained Rabbi Shlomo. 
The first session this month will focus on the positive commandments of the Shabbat: why are we doing Havdalah and what is the meaning of the Kiddush?  The second session will focus on the halachic restrictions of the Shabbat: why are we not permitted to drive a car on Shabbat?  Why are Jews eating cholent at Shabbat lunch? "No matter what your own Shabbat looks like and how you celebrate this holy day, you will definitely find something new to learn in these classes," Rabbi Shlomo guaranteed.

If you have questions about this series, call Mark Kirchhoff at (402) 334-6463 or email him
The Friday Learning Series is a joint program of Beth Israel Synagogue and the Community Engagement and Education arm of the Jewish Federation of Omaha. The series is open to the community free of charge thanks to the support of the Ann Goldstein Program ing Endowment Fund. Reservations are not required. 
JFS is proud to present a free screening of "The S Word" January 13, 3:00-5:00pm 
THE S WORD Official Teaser Trailer
THE S WORD Official Teaser Trailer
Jewish Family Service is proud to present a free screening of "The S Word" - a movie that takes an intimate look at suicide attempt survivors who have turned their pain into action to change the way we talk about suicide and ultimately save lives. The documentary is 62 minutes long and will be followed by a discussion with mental health experts and the film's director, Lisa Klein. The screening will take place at Temple Israel Synagogue, 13111 Sterling Ridge Drive. This event is open to the public. For more information contact Karen Gustafson at kgustafson@jfsomaha.com or (402) 330-2024. This project is funded through a Grant from the Dennis Shuman Charitable Foundation, through Wells Fargo Philanthropic Services. (This film may contain strong language) 
Come to ease your winter blues with Mainstreeters 
A Free Afternoon at the Movies, "ITZHAK"
January 11  |  1pm  |  JCC Theater

Free Community Concert with Sophia Potter
January 16 |  1:45pm  |  RBJH Silverman Auditorium

A Free Afternoon at the Movies,  "Crazy Rich Asians"
January 25  |  1pm  |  JCC Theater

Free Community Concert with Dustin West, Folk Music Review
January 30  |  1:45pm  |  RBJH Silverman Auditorium

Free Community Concert with Camille Metoyer Moten
February 22  |  1:30pm  |  JCC Auditorium
For more information about these events contact Maggie Conti at 402-334-6521 or mconti@rbjh.com
JFO Scholarship Opportunities 
Thanks to the generosity of the community, a variety of funding sources are available to Omaha's Jewish families to assist in meeting the financial challenges of programs for their children. Scholarships and grants exist for residential camp, JCC summer camp, Israel programs, the Pennie Z. Davis Child Development Center, Friedel Jewish Academy, and youth group activities. Assistance is also available for undergraduate, graduate, vocational, technical, professional or yeshiva studies.

Visit the JFO web page for specific information and application forms. Now it the time to plan and apply.
Jewish Business Leaders event featuring Jeff Gordman 
Jewish Business Leaders will host its next community event Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2019, from 7:30 a.m.-8:30 a.m. at the Happy Hollow Club. Click here to register.
Breakfast will be served and the featured speaker will be Jeff Gordman, former President and CEO of Gordmans Stores, Inc. Jeff will share the Gordmans story as well as a few of the key lessons learned over his 18 year tenure as CEO. 
Koley Jessen Attorneys is sponsoring the Jan. 23  meeting. In addition, JBL is in part made possible through our generous Platinum sponsor, First National Bank and the Jewish Federation of Omaha. Learn more. 

Fund your Jewish organization's operations, project or program with an ANYTHING GRANT 
These one-time matching grants will range from $1,000 to $5,000, equal to 50 percent of the project budget. Organizations are responsible for raising the remaining 50 percent from other sources. Project budget not to exceed $10,000.   Learn more. 
Applications are Due: January 21, 2019
Questions? Contact Louri Sullivan at lsullivan@jewishomaha.org.
FUNDED BY THE STAENBERG FAMILY FOUNDATION & Friends of the Jewish Federation of Omaha    

Schedule your tour today! Contact Tracy at (402) 334-6426
Tu B'Shevat Seder
Please join us for a Tu B'Shevat Seder for all ages. We will learn about the holiday and will have a family friendly activity of planting seeds.

January 20 | 2PM
Benson Plant Rescue - 7224 Maple Street

Please rsvp to Ron Lugasy at 402-490-1468,or

The 2019 JCC Maccabi Games will be here before you know it! Team Omaha is looking to recruit some fantastic athletes for this summer's Games.  The JCC Maccabi Games are an Olympic-style sporting competition held each summer and the second largest organized sports program for Jewish teenagers in the world. The JCC Maccabi games offers a wide variety of sports competitions, Judaic learning, and relationship building for boys and girls ages 12-16.

This year the Omaha delegation will travel to and compete in Atlanta, GA, July 28 - August 2.
Sports include: Basketball, Baseball, Flag Football, Ice Hockey, Lacrosse, Soccer, Softball, Volleyball, Dance, Swimming, Table Tennis, Tennis, Track and Field, Ultimate Frisbee, Golf and Bowling.

To compete in the 2019 JCC Maccabi Games, participants must be Jewish and between ages 12-16 before July 31, 2019.

For more information about the JCC Maccabi Games, please attend one of the parent information meetings held January 17 or January 31.  Meetings will be held in the Kripke Jewish Federation Library at 6:30 p.m.  Please RSVP at www.tinyurl.com/maccabimeeting2019
For more information about JCC Teen Programming, contact Jacob Geltzer, Teen Program Director, at jgeltzer@jccomaha.org or 402.334.6404. 
Inscribe Your Personal History
The Jewish Federation of Omaha Foundation in collaboration with the Nebraska Jewish Historical Society invites all LIFE & LEGACY donors to take advantage of the opportunity to inscribe your personal history through a video. Learn more.

To schedule a time please contact Renee Corcoran, Executive Director of the Nebraska Jewish Historical Society at 402-334-6442.
Sunday, February 10, 2019  |  4:30-6:30pm  |  Beth Israel
Cost: $5 per person  /  $8 per couple 

Please join Ron Lugasy, Community Shaliacha, to learn how to make Shakshuka, Israeli Salad, Jerusalem Bagels and other Israeli cooking traditions.

Space is limited. Must be 21+ to participate.  All attendee must register.

Questions? Contact Ron Lugasy at 402-334-6420 or rlugasy@jewishomaha.org.
Online Giving Options:

Upcoming Events
Temple Israel Shabbat  
Evening Service  
January 4 | 6pm 
Oneg sponsored by Miriam Brooks in memory of Rabbi Sidney H. Brooks' yahrzeit.

Temple Israel Shabbat  
Morning Torah Study  
January 5 | 9:15am

Temple Israel Shabbat  
Morning Service 
January 5 | 10:30am 
The Torah and Haftarah will be read by Miles Remer.

Temple Israel Beginning Prayer-Book Hebrew for Adults  
January 6 | 9am

Temple Israel Religious School for Grades K-6  
January 6 | 10am

Beth El Synagogue Torah Tots, Ages 4-5 
January 6 | 10am 
Friedel Jewish Academy
Little Hands, Big Hearts
January 6 | 10-11:30am
Friedel Je wish Academy
Nebraska Appleseed at  
Temple Israel  
January 6 | 10:30 am - Noon
Staff from Nebraska Appleseed will give an engaging presentation on writing effective advocacy letters, how Nebraska's Unicameral system operates, and what to expect in the upcoming legislative session. Nebraska Appleseed's legislative update last year was informative and well-received, and we are excited to add the letter-writing workshop this year. Start 2019 with new information and skills to engage with your representatives on local and national issues!

Beth El Synagogue Yiddish Class with Hazzan Krausman 
Sundays | 11am
January 6, 13, 27
February 10, 24
March 10, 24  
Learn more.

Beth El Synagogue Kibbutz Chaverim - Grades 3-6 
January 6 | 12pm
Learn more.

OTYG Meeting  
January 6 | Noon

YJG serving dinner at Sienna Francis House  
January 6 | 4:30-7pm

Eye on Israel  
January 7 | 12pm
Kripke Jewish Library

Exploring Judaism - Winter 2019 session begins 
January 7 | 7pm  
Ann Osborne Art Exhibit Opening Reception
January 8 | 6:30-8pm
JCC Gallery  
B'nai B'rith Breadbreakers
January 9 | Noon
Progressive millennial Zionist Zachary Schaffer
January 8 | 6:30pm
JCC Auditorium
Teen Session: 
January 9 | 6-8pm
JCC Auditorium
Beth El Synagogue  
Every Tuesdays | 1pm
Learn more.

Temple Israel Religious School  
January 9
4-6 pm - Grades 3-6
6-6:30 pm - School Dinner,  Family School and Grades 7-12

Beth El Synagogue The History of American Anti-Semitism 
Wednesdays | 6pm
January 9, 16, 23, 30
February 6
Learn more.

Temple Israel What (We Say) We Believe: Understanding the Prayer Book with Rabbi Stoller  
January 9  | 6:30pm

Beth El Synagogue  
Brachot & Breakfast 
Every Thursday
7am - Minyan
7:30am - Breakfast
Learn more.

Temple Israel The History of the Jewish People: The Crusades with Rabbi Berezin  
January 10 | 10am

Beth El Synagogue Shanghai 
January 10 | 1pm
Learn more.

Beth El Synagogue Tot Shabbat with Special Guest Caryn Scheer 
January 11 
5:30pm - Pre-Neg
6pm - Service
Learn more.

Temple Israel Shabbat  
Evening Service  
January 11 | 6pm
Temple Israel Shabbat  
Morning Torah Study  
January 12 | 9:15am

Beth El Synagogue Shabbat's Cool - Grades 3-7 
January 12 | 10am
Learn more.

Kindergarten Games:  
All Grown Up  
January 12 | 10am-1pm
Come enjoy a day in kindergarten again! We will attend morning services followed by playing games and doing arts and crafts throughout the decades while exploring how the games challenge or enforce different social norms and political beliefs. Put on your favorite pair of pajamas and prepare to relive your childhood! Open to 9th-12th graders. RSVP to Jacob Kahn.

Temple Israel Shabbat  
Morning Service  
January 12 | 10:30am
The Torah will be read by Andy Isaacson and the Haftarah will be read by Jeff Schweid.

Jewish Family Service  
S-Word Screening
January 13 | 3-5pm
Temple Israel
Temple Israel Beginning  
Prayer Book Hebrew for Adults  
January 13 | 9am

Temple Israel Religious School for Grades PreK-6  
January 13 | 10am

Temple Tots Sundays  
January 13 | 10:30am

Temple Israel Book Club  
January 13 | 10:30am 
Challah Tots  
January 16 | 10am
JCC Youth Lounge
Learn more. 

Temple Israel Caring  
Committee Meeting  
January 13 | 10:30am   
B'nai B'rith Breadbreakers
January 16 |  Noon

Beth El Synagogue  
A Day or Nite To Knit 
January 16
12pm at Hope Lodge Omaha
6pm at Beth El Synagogue
Learn more.

Beth El Synagogue Chased Committee visits Sterling Ridge 
January 16 | 2pm
Learn more.

Temple Israel Religious School  
January 16
4-6pm - Grades 3-6
6-6:30pm - School Dinner, Family School and Grades 7-12

Temple Israel Tu B'Shevat Seder  
January 16 | 6-8 pm

Temple Israel What (We Say) We Believe: Understanding the Prayer Book with Cantor Wendy Shermet  
January 16 | 6:30pm

Temple Israel The History of the Jewish People: Reconquista & Inquisition with Rabbi Brian Stoller  
January 17 | 10am

Beth El Synagogue  
Our Shabbat Tables  
January 18 | 5pm   
Tu BShevat Seder 
January 20 | 2pm
Benson Plant Rescue

IHE presents "Raise the Roof" 
January 22 | 8pm
JCC Theater

Jewish Business Leaders  
Bagels & Business 
January 23 | 7:30-8:30am
Happy Hallow Club 
Save the Date
Israeli Cooking Workshop
February 10 | 4:30-6:30pm
Beth Israel

Omaha Jewish Alumni Association ( OJAA) Event
February 21
Scottsdale, Arizona
This event will bring together former Jewish Omahans who have moved to Arizona permanently along with Omahans who winter in Arizona. There is no charge to attend.

Financial Planning Workshop presented by Susan D. Wier
February 25 | 7-9pm
Swanson Towers

FED Event
March 2
More information to come.  
Omaha Jewish Alumni Association (OJAA) Event
March 3 | 11:30-1pm 
Bagel Bin
Free & open to the community 
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?

Adult Education Opportunities
The synagogues, Chabad, the JFO, Tri-Faith Initiative and the Schwalb Center all offer a variety of adult education opportunities. Click here to view the list for January. 

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