Sunday, November 17, 2019
"We are excited that Sidewalk will now be offering a separate Jewish film festival and we are pleased that the Birmingham Jewish Foundation is providing major support. We know that several communities in our region have successful festivals and we were thrilled when Sidewalk approached us.  These films will show the exciting diversity in Jewish filmmaking."
-Janet Aarons, BJFoundation Assistant Director
The Schedule is Live! The Inagural Sidewalk Jewish Film Festival
The film schedule for the Inaugural Sidewalk Jewish Film Festival, November 21 - November 24, is now live on the Sidewalk website. The outstanding film line-up is listed in the below link. The festival is made possible by a grant from the Birmingham Jewish Foundation. In addition to 4 days of film, the Festival includes an Opening Night reception, talk backs, networking events, and a closing night party. All events will take place in the brand new Sidewalk Film Center + Cinema located in the lower level of The Pizitz Building. Use Discount Code: 20JFF19

“Jewish organizations strongly defended Israel’s targeted killing of senior Islamic Jihad commander Bahaa Abu al-Ata, and denounced the subsequent rocket fire by the terror group, insisting that there was no moral equivalence.”
Federations, Other Jewish Organizations Stand With Israel
As deadly rockets rained down on Israel this past week, the Jerusalem Post reported: “The mainstream representative organizations for Jewish communities around the world, along with Jewish international umbrella organizations, have all given  strong backing to Israel  in the wake of the heavy rocket bombardment from Gaza.”

The Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA), the umbrella group for US and Canadian Jewry, said that it “stand[s] with Israel’s resilient citizens and send prayers for peace,” the story further noted. JFNA is the Birmingham Jewish Federation’s national organization.

“My late mother was a CARES participant for more than a year, and I now volunteer at CARES weekly, primarily because of the profound impact Pam and the CARES program have had on my family. Before CARES, it seemed that Alzheimer’s disease had destroyed Mom’s ability to enjoy life. At CARES, she laughed, sang, played games and even had the opportunity to help others.” -Suzanne Gibson Moseley, CARES volunteer
CJFS Program Director Wins National Award
Five years ago, Birmingham had no half-day respite offerings for families affected by dementia. Today, the city boasts several volunteer-powered respite programs, and the Collat Jewish Family Services social worker who helped launch the first one has been honored by the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America. Pam Leonard, LBSW, CDP, has been named the AFA’s Dementia Care Professional of the Year. Pam is founding director of CJFS CARES, which launched in January 2015, to serve families affected by Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, stroke and related disorders.

At a reception on Thursday, December 5, CJFS will celebrate the award, as well as CARES’ 5 th Anniversary. The celebration will be 4:30-6:00 pm at CARES , 3794 Crosshaven Dr., Vestavia Hills, AL 35223. Light refreshments will be served, and all are welcome.

This past summer, the Birmingham Jewish Foundation and Federation employed one of the Hillel Connections interns, University of Alabama junior Emilia Cytron. “She was an enormous help to us and did a fantastic job. I know she had a wonderful experience here and is considering post-college opportunities in Birmingham,” said Birmingham Jewish Foundation director Sally Friedman.
Hillel Connections Makes Home in B'ham
The past two summers there has been a program to provide paid internships for college students to work in Birmingham to introduce them to what life is like as a young working adult in our Jewish community. The students also live together – last year at UAB, this year at Birmingham-Southern. They have activities together, Shabbats, and get to know one another and the Birmingham community. This new initiative, called Hillel Connections, was highlighted recently in a great article by the Birmingham Business Alliance.

This growing program has underwritten by the Birmingham Jewish Foundation and the Grafman Endowment Fund of Temple Emanu-El. Most participants were students at the University of Alabama, but the hope is to expand the program to include students from other schools.

Let’s all work together to make sure Alabama counts in the 2020 Census!
You Count in the Census 2020
As we approach 2020, the Birmingham Jewish Federation believes we all need to pitch in to help Alabama be counted in the 2020 Census. We are asking you to join us to get out the count in Alabama during Census 2020.
From data collected in the 2010 Census, in 2016, Alabama received $13 billion in federal funds to provide support for our citizens. In addition, Census data also helps determine Alabama’s representation in the United States Congress and within the local government. During the 2010 Census, Alabama was subject to an undercount of its citizens, so many vital programs and resources were underfunded. Assistance programs tied to the census data, like Head Start, Federal Pell Grants, and Medicaid, are critical to all Alabamians. They support children, education, hospitals, health care, rural development and community programs that are important to our communities. Ensuring a complete and accurate count of Alabama’s households is crucial to the long-term well-being of our communities.

Upcoming Community Events

Thanksgiving Kabbalat Shabbat
Friday, November 22 at 1:45pm. Join the N.E. Miles Jewish Day School for a special Thanksgiving Kabbalat Shabbat and Concert as the Kindergarten through second graders put on a performance you won't want to miss.

Science and Torah Club
Beginning November 23rd at 7pm at Knesseth Israel. Using Rabbi Natan Slifkin's book, "The Challenge of Creation" as base text, come explore and discuss the fascinating topic of connecting Torah and Science. Topics to be covered include Evolution, Dinosaurs and the Age of the Universe.

Auburn University Holiday Lighting Ceremony
Sunday, December 1, 4-7pm. Auburn Hillel is participating in the Auburn University Holiday Lighting Ceremony. Students will be leading crafts and activities for families, and there will be latkes, gelt and hot cocoa served. Hillel will also be performing in the Holiday Ceremony schedule. Aubie will be lighting the menorah! This is an interfaith event combined with other holiday festivities and is a community event. Blue and white sweatshirts that say “Happy Hanukkah” are being sold as a fundraiser, $25 each. Contact Nora Patterson for more info.

Institute of Southern Jewish Life Visit at Temple Emanu-El
December 6-8 at Temple Emanu-El. Ava Pomerantz from the Institute of Southern Jewish Life will lead a weekend learning series: Friday, Dec 6 – “Jewish Mindfulness” at Shabbat Oneg following services (services begin at 5:45 pm); Saturday, Dec 7 – “Praying with your Feet Torah Study” 9:00 am; Sunday, December 8 – “Turning Mental Health Inside Out” Parent Brunch 10:00 am.

Kosher Natural and Holistic Health Expo
Sunday, December 8 from 10am-8pm at Knesseth Israel Congregation. Tickets are $18. 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! Learn more

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.