January 07, 2022
5 Shevat, 5782
Dear Friends–
Shabbat Shalom and Happy New Year!

I think we can all agree that 2022 came in like a lion. With the rise in COVID cases and the surprise snowstorm, in our house, we have decided to stop saying “It can’t get any worse than last year.” What’s the old adage? “We make plans and G-d laughs.”?

Being eternal optimists, we are planning a very full year at The Birmingham Jewish Federation. To that end, please mark your calendars and attend our Annual Meeting, Sunday, January 23rd, virtually via our Facebook and YouTube channels. This will be a great opportunity for you to hear about our community’s accomplishments over the last twelve months, as well as, understand what is in store for our future. 

At the Annual Meeting, we will also honor David Sher with the Susan J. Goldberg Distinguished Volunteer Award. Carlie Stein Somerville will receive the Joanie Plous Bayer Young Leadership Award and Rhonda Z”l and Eric Siegel will be presented with The Birmingham Jewish Foundation’s N.E. Miles Lifetime Achievement Award. We will also be thanking our outgoing President, Lisa Engel, and installing our new President, Amy Saag, and our new officers including Jack Aland, President-Elect, Gary Cutter, VP Personnel, Barbara Aland, VP Finance, David Romanoff, VP Community Outreach, Steve Greene, VP Fundraising.  Also being installed are Board members; Alyssa Blair, Steven Corenblum, Lisa Engel, Rachel Friedman, Scott Gewant, Nancy Goedecke, Ginger Held, Jerry Held, Jon Kimerling, Sheryl Kimerling, Savannah Koplon, Randi Landy, Ronald Levitt, Daniel Odrezin, Joel Piassick, Richard Pizitz, Jr., Ben Rosenbaum, Michael Routman, Andy Saag, Sarah Schaeffer, David Sher, Carlie Stein Somerville and Jesse Unkenholz. I am thrilled with the diverse leadership we have going into 2022 and look forward to working with each of them to ensure the vibrancy and sustainability of Jewish Birmingham.

I am also delighted to announce the participants of the inaugural cohort of The Birmingham Jewish Federation’s Young Jewish Leadership Program, underwritten by The Birmingham Jewish Foundation. The cohort includes: Todd Doobrow, Isa Dorsky, Alex Grodner, Kent Haines, Hirshel Hall, Sarah Kunin, Josh Lourie, Andrew Miller, Aaron Nelson, Andrew Newcomb, Andrew Petrofsky, Rachel Petrofsky, Nadav Raviv, Evan Rhodes, Danielle Rosenbaum, Mark Schaeffer, Sarah Schaeffer, Carlie Stein Somerville, and Hillary Weiss. These 19 young adults will participate in a 14-month program which will culminate in a trip to Israel. Upon their return, they will serve on a board or committee of a Jewish organization in our community. A hearty congratulations to this group of committed young adults who have stepped forward to enrich our Jewish community.

I close this week by wishing you all good health, a reminder to get vaccinated, wash your hands and mask up, with the hope we will be able to see each other in-person soon.


Agency Spotlight
Spotlight On Our Future:
Hillel Connections
Hillel Connections is a program designed to attract Jewish college students to Birmingham, allowing them opportunities to develop personal, mentoring, and professional relationships with our community at large. An eight-week immersive summer internship program enables them to envision living in Birmingham as a young professional, and to consider looking for employment opportunities here after graduation; BJF feels this is a cornerstone of ensuring our Jewish future.

We are grateful to the Birmingham Jewish Federation, Birmingham Jewish Foundation, The Grafman Endowment Fund of Temple-Emanu-El, the Levite Jewish Community Center, and several visionary individual donors who have invested in our future by previous and current support of this program. Of the 20 students that have completed the program, 4 continued to work during the following school year, seven currently live in Birmingham, and seven are still in school or in post-grad programs and have expressed interest in returning (with the potential to bring at least 3 Jewish significant others with them).

Each week, we will “showcase” student(s) interested in joining our HC 2022 summer program; EMPLOYERS are needed to offer summer internships. Please review and reach out if you can help NETWORK on behalf of these talented students. They are bright, efficient, and willing to work!

If you know of a potential employer for these students, please have them reach out to us at hillel.connections@gmail.com or text Roxanne at (205) 907-2531. A detailed resume and further information can be provided if that would be helpful before you make the contact.

Prospective Intern Information

Elizabeth H. is a UA Sophomore from Louisville, Kentucky with a GPA of 3.58 majoring in Business Management with a concentration in Human Resources. Previous jobs have proven her strengths in communication and providing excellent customer service. She is active with Gamma Phi Beta raising money and awareness for philanthropic events. Opportunities in business/HR are desired.

Jack L. is a UA Junior in Mechanical Engineering with a 3.65 GPA from Germantown, TN. During COVID, he started his own Landscape and automobile repair business. He is a quick learner and a problem solver and is interested in any engineering-related opportunity. Jack is a member of ZBT and he has performed many hours of community service for all age groups.
Upcoming Programming
Order Mah Jongg cards today and support CJFS programming!
Order by January 14, 2022
Annual Meeting and Board Installation
January 23, 2022, 1- 3 PM
Jacobs Camp
First Time @ First Session
Summer 2022
International Holocaust
Remembrance Day Commemoration
January 27, 2022, 5:00 - 6:30 PM
As The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum states, “The United Nations General Assembly designated January 27—the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau—as International Holocaust Remembrance Day. On this annual day of commemoration, the UN urges every member state to honor the six million Jewish victims of the Holocaust and millions of other victims of Nazism and to develop educational programs to help prevent future genocides.”

The Birmingham Holocaust Education Center will honor International Holocaust Remembrance Day by holding an educational event at the Vestavia Hills City Hall.

Esther Levy will be sharing her family’s experience during the Holocaust followed by a Q & A.

We hope all will attend to remember and honor the victims of the Holocaust.
CJFS Annual Hands Up Together Event
Honoring the Bearman, Krell, and Wolnek Families
Save the Date – April 26, 2022
Community Programs
The Federation and Foundation have been having issues with our post office box. Please send all correspondence to our physical address at 
The Birmingham Jewish Federation