December 17, 2021
13 Tevet, 5782
Dear Friends–
Shabbat Shalom!

It is hard to believe there are just three Shabbats left in 2021, where did these last 49 weeks go? We are now approaching 2022 and like a curious child, I sit and wonder what the next year will bring for my family and for this community. Coincidently, or perhaps its basherit, (meant to be) that this week’s Torah portion is Vayechi. In this portion Jacob, on his deathbed, gathers his sons around him and tells them what is in store for them after he passes away. And while I am as healthy as a horse and I do not have Jacob’s sixth sense, I do believe and hope and pray that each of us will stay healthy and our community will continue to flourish in the coming year.

There are many programs that I’m excited about that will continue to impact our community in 2022. In February, twenty young adults will embark on a leadership training program that will enrich our community organizations. We have a strong You Belong in Birmingham group that attracts 70 plus attendees at our events, proving that the Birmingham Jewish Community is attractive to those leaving college and looking for a great place to call home. Hillel Connections continues to place Jewish interns from surrounding universities in Birmingham each summer to experience all we have to offer, and our high school-age children are receiving an excellent Jewish education through the new initiative Kesher. All this, in addition to the 173 young families we have participating in PJ Library, are exciting opportunities for the next generation of Jews living in the Magic City. If I was able to see the future like Jacob, I would say 2022 is filled with boundless opportunities. Yet with all these wonderful programs available, I am cognizant that there may be some areas which need more attention or maybe just a little elbow grease.

2021 brought us many challenges both physically and mentally. We are lucky to have the LJCC where we can go “work out” our angst on the fitness floor and equally fortunate to have CJFS where our mental health can be cared for as well. In this vein, we are looking for ways to provide services that may be needed in our community.

CJFS, along with The Birmingham Jewish Federation, has developed a survey on youth mental health. The goal of the survey is to see how our teens have faired during COVID and if there are additional programs and or services our community wants. If you have children at home, please consider taking the survey here. We are only as good as the data we receive, and your participation will be crucial to evaluating what may be needed here in Birmingham to better support our youth.

I wish each of you a restful Shabbat and a week of peace.


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 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

Alexander K. is a UA Sophomore from Los Angeles with a GPA of 3.74 majoring in Business Administration. He has studied abroad in Japan and China. Last summer he was a sales associate for Mindgames and won the #1 US Salesperson Award. He currently serves as Business Director of the Black Warrior Film Festival in Tuscaloosa and is searching for a summer internship involving the business aspect of the Arts (especially Film Production).

Alexandra B. is a sophomore from the Atlanta area double majoring in marketing and economics with a 4.0 GPA. She is looking for internship opportunities in the marketing field. She has exhibited a strong work ethic and teamwork skills through her project work developing innovative business plans, which have won awards in multiple competitions. She works on campus at UA assisting with marketing research, serves as an honors action student leader, and is a National Merit scholar.
Upcoming Programming
Maccabi Media Program
A New Program for Aspiring Sports Media Professionals
Israel, Summer 2022
Applications due January 1, 2022
Maccabi USA is proud to present a new program offering a unique international experience for aspiring sports media professionals who are Jewish. Following a comprehensive application process, a team of 14 students will be selected to cover the 2022 Maccabi Games in Israel and participate in Maccabi USA’s Israel Connect program from July 5-26, 2022. The application process is now open and will close on January 1, 2022.

Eligibility Open To:
  • Current college undergraduates (including those who will be a freshman in Fall 2022)
  • College graduates no older than 25 years old by July 5, 2022
  • High school students who will become seniors in Fall 2022 (Class of 2023)
  • Applicants must be enrolled in, intend to enroll in, or have graduated with a university-level communications-related program/major such as sports media, mass/electronic communications, TV/radio/film production, journalism, digital media, etc.

Duties/Experience required:
Participants will perform the following sports media roles while covering the Maccabi Games in Israel and MUST show previous experience in as many of these areas as possible:
  • Play-by-Play & Color Analysis                            
  • Hosting, Anchoring, Sideline Reporting   
  • Shooting & Editing video for packages         
  • Sports reporting (interviewing & writing articles) 
  • Social Media                                                     
  • Live Event Production (TV, streaming, podcasting)

Submission Materials:
All applicants must submit a resume and a link to a demo reel and/or examples of his or her own work, provide media/school references, and write an essay. Demo reel and work example requirements will be forthcoming. 
Training, Costs & Other Important Considerations:
  • Those selected for Maccabi Media will be notified no later than Jan. 31, 2022, and must commit to attend all trainings and the entirety of the July 5-26 Games. A series of Zoom training sessions will begin in early 2022 as well as a mandatory, in-person 2-day workshop just prior to departure for Israel.
  • Maccabi Media team members will have financial responsibility of $1,500 plus a $50 application fee and are responsible for their own domestic travel to the in-person training. This heavily subsidized fee will cover expenses related to international airfare, accommodations, meals, transportation, equipment, and Maccabi apparel while in Israel, plus the 2-day training session. You will be provided with most of the technical equipment necessary, but you must bring your own laptop computer, and phone. All provided equipment must be returned to Maccabi USA following the Games.
  • Maccabi Media team members must have valid passports and proof of all required Covid vaccinations.
  • Maccabi USA will provide any documentation needed to assist students in receiving college or university credit for making this an internship or independent study if the school so allows.
You can apply here or contact us with any questions at
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.
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