November 19, 2021
15 Kislev, 5782
Dear Friends–
Shabbat Shalom!

Many thanks to all of you who tuned in this week for our program “A Courageous Conversation of Healing” for Birmingham’s Black and Jewish Communities. It was my honor to sit beside Birmingham Civil Rights Institute’s President and CEO, DeJuana Thompson and have a meaningful and intentional dialogue. For those who may have missed it, you can access the recording here. We look forward to bringing you future programming between our two communities. As you will hear in the recording, my door is always is open and I’d love to speak to anyone who has programming ideas.

With the Thanksgiving holiday and Hanukkah approaching, I was curious if I could find any Jewish connection to Thanksgiving, which, as we know is an American holiday. On my quest for information, I found an article by Rabbi Elias Lieberman which surmised that Thanksgiving may have actually had roots in Sukkot.

“While we cannot be certain about what motivated those Pilgrim settlers to initiate a feast of thanksgiving, it is likely that they consciously drew on a model well-known to them from the Bible they cherished. Seeing themselves as new Israelites in a new 'promised land', the Pilgrims surely found inspiration in the Bible, in the book of Leviticus and Deuteronomy, in which G-d commands the ancient Israelites to observe the Feast of Booths – in Hebrew, Sukkot, 'To rejoice before Adonai your G-d' at the time of the fall harvest.”

Regardless of the origin of Thanksgiving, I want to express my gratitude to each of you who continue to help make Jewish Birmingham thrive. It’s because of your time and generosity that we have been able to continue our dynamic programming through COVID. We look forward to celebrating the Federation’s 86th with you in 2022!

My family will be traveling to Omaha for Thanksgiving this year having missed the opportunity to be together last year due to COVID. I am lucky enough to still have a grandmother to visit, and a new cousin to meet as well. As you can well imagine, Nora is excited to spend time with both of them. In order to make up for lost time, and have an extended visit with my family, I will be taking a week off and will not be sending my weekly message. 

While I’m gone I want to be sure you have all the important community Hanukkah programming information. A special thanks to Chabad of Alabama for taking the lead and ensuring that all this family fun happens in our community.

  • Sunday, Nov 28 at 4:30 p.m. - Grand Menorah Lighting at The Summit in Saks Plaza. Festivities include a stilt walker, silent disco, drum circle, balloon artist, and so much more fun for the entire family. This program is in partnership with Chabad of Alabama, the Levite Jewish Community Center, The Karl and Gladys Friedman Fund at The Birmingham Jewish Foundation, and the Birmingham Jewish Federation.
  • Monday, Nov 29 at 5:00 p.m. - First-ever Homewood Menorah Lighting at the intersection of 18th St and 29th Ave South. The Mayor of Homewood and City Council members will join in the celebration and there will be Hanukkah treats and entertainment.
  • Wednesday, Dec 1 at 5:00 p.m.- First-ever Vestavia Hills Menorah Lighting at Vestavia Hills City Hall. The Mayor of Vestavia Hills and City Council members will join in the celebration and there will be Hanukkah treats and entertainment.

  • Sunday, Dec 5 at 4:45 p.m. -Car Menorah Parade. We will drive through Birmingham with menorahs on top of our cars with a police escort! More info and register here. 

I close wishing you a restful Shabbat, a Happy Thanksgiving, and a Memorable First Night of Hanukkah. Look for the Weekly Round Up to resume Friday, December 3rd.
Foundation Spotlight
Conversation Starters for
Your Hanukkah Gathering
During Hanukkah, we gather to celebrate the miracle that is the Jewish people. It is the perfect time to share with your family and friends why the Jewish tradition matters to you. To spark these conversations, we have created a fun and easy-to-use deck of Hanukkah conversation cards.
Click here for access to a printable, 15 card deck of Hanukkah conversation starters.
Upcoming Programming
The Sam Lapidus Montclair Run
November 25, 2021, at 8 PM
The Levite Jewish Community Center is thrilled to welcome the community back, in person, for the 45th annual Sam Lapidus Montclair Run. The SLMR started in 1976 as the Montclair Run and quickly grew in popularity throughout the state. Now hosting approximately 1500 runners of all ages, the SLMR serves as a Thanksgiving tradition for many families and out-of-town visitors. The SLMR is the largest annual fundraising event supporting the LJCC.

In 2009 the run was renamed to honor Sam Lapidus. Sam lost his battle with Ewing’s Sarcoma, a form of childhood cancer, in November 2008 - just nine days before his 15th birthday. Five dollars of every runner's registration is donated to the Alabama Center for Childhood Cancer and Blood Disorders at Children’s of Alabama in Sam’s memory.
Grand Menorah Lighting at The Summit
November 28, 2021, from 5 - 6 PM
The Matzah Ball
December 2, 2021, at 8 PM
Early bird tickets sale ends TODAY!
Our Magnificent Maestro: A Musical Evening to Honor Paul Mosteller
Saturday, December 11 at 7 PM
Israel Unplugged
Info session Sunday, December 12th, 2021, from 10 - 11 AM
Annual Meeting and Board Installation
January 23, 2022, 1- 3 PM
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