December 24, 2021
20 Tevet, 5782
Dear Friends–
Shabbat Shalom:

Every morning Nora and I have a ritual. We get in the car and say to each other “It’s a Great Day to Have a Great Day” and with that, I hit “shuffle” on my iPhone and we listen to whatever comes up on my playlist on the way to school. Sometimes it's Pink! and sometimes it's Sondheim; we are both expanding our genres!

This week has been different. Nora is on winter break and there is no one to remark that “It’s a Great Day to Have a Great Day.” However, today, Apple Music brightened my morning with the 2018 Revival of Fidler Afn Dakh (Fiddler on the Roof in Yiddish). Driving to the Federation offices, I was greeted with a rousing rendition of Traditsye (Tradition). As I listened (and I hope you will too) I was instantly transported back to the village of Anatevka – but this time I was listing to the story in the language it was written in and the impact was profound.

How far we’ve come since the days of pogroms and yet how little has changed. As Jews of the Diaspora, we resemble our ancestors of prior generations making our own new traditsye along the way. Yet the notion of family, tzedakah and ahava (love) and education are still the foundations of our people. All of this is to say that I was so inspired that I am going to add a little more traditsye to my life in 2022.

The Levite Jewish Community Center is offering a Yiddish class beginning in January and I have signed up to reclaim a part of my past. Yiddish, the traditional language of Diasporic Eastern European Jews, is dying. I am going to do my part to ensure that it lasts – not out of necessity, but out of respect and reverence to those who spoke it.

As we approach 2022 – what traditsyes have you or your family enjoyed that have fallen by the wayside? Would you like to bring Shabbat into your home, do more community service with your family, attend shul? Or do you want to make old family recipes for bagel, kugel or mock derma so that your children and grandchildren enjoy the same memories you made in your youth? How do we continue to move forward as a people while still embracing and celebrating the traditsyes of the past?

Tonight, Christmas Eve, many of us will enjoy another traditsye – Chinese Food!  Although a newer custom, one still born out of necessity of being a religious minority. It is my hope that we continue to embrace our past, not only because it is rich in values, but also as a way to educate those around us about Judaism and the rich and complex heritage that we all cherish.

In closing, I wish a Merry Christmas to those in our community that celebrate as well as a restful Shabbat and a productive week ahead for us all.


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

Clay S. is a UA Junior from Princeton, NJ with a GPA of 3.99. He is a Finance and Marketing Major with a minor in Global and Cultural Perspectives, and he is finishing his first semester in the Accelerated Master’s Program in Marketing. He has managed payroll for >2000 graders of AP exams plus met time and budget expectations. He is an Ambassador for UA Honors College, the treasurer of Delta Chi, and a Hillel Intern. Marketing and/or Finance opportunities are desired.

Ben C. is a UA Senior in Mechanical Engineering from St. Louis with a GPA of 3.4 looking for a summer internship and/or permanent employment. He will graduate 8/2022. He has exhibited leadership by supervising other interns at an Engineering firm for the past two summers. He excels in problem-solving and interpersonal skills. He is a ZBT and is interested in Engineering or Technical Sales positions.
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