May 14, 2021
3 Sivan 5781
Dear Friends:
Dear Friends:

Shabbat Shalom!

Needless to say, it has been a horrific week for our brothers and sisters in Israel.  Fighting has escalated between Israel and Hamas. More than 2,000 rockets have been fired by Hamas militants and Israel has carried out hundreds of air strikes on Gaza.
We all have been inundated with news, social media posts, blogs and emails regarding the escalation in Israel. Today I want to share a few more pieces with you that I have found of note. Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA) have been providing daily updates and briefings. You may click here to read today’s update as well as here for other resources including a webinar featuring IDF International Media Spokesperson Lt-Colonel Jonathan Conricus. As a proud Alabamian, I also would like to share Alabama native and current Representative of the State of Virginia, Elaine Luria’s floor speech in support of Israel which can be viewed by clicking here.
We have come to the point where words and tears are not enough. Our brothers and sisters in Israel need our financial support as well. To that end JFNA has embarked on “Operation Guardian of the Walls” committing an additional $1.3 million to provide immediate aid to those in Israel impacted by this escalating crisis. The initial funds will be allocated to the Jewish Agency For Israel (JAFI) to provide psychological services for new immigrants and employees, to The Fund for Victims of Terror which provides support to victims and their families, to MASA which supports young Jewish adults residing in Israel from around the world, to the Israel Trauma Coalition which provides support and care for Israeli Citizens and First Responders that will suffer long term PTSD as a result of this crisis and the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) to ensure the needs of the most vulnerable Israelis are met.
If you would like to contribute to “Operation Guardian of the Walls” you may do so in three ways. You may visit our website and select “2021 Israel Aid” from the pull-down menu on the donation page, you may mail a check to The Birmingham Jewish Federation, 3966 Montclair Road, Birmingham, AL 35213. Please note Israel on your check. Or you may make a donation through your donor advised funds held at The Birmingham Jewish Foundation.
Know that because of the Jewish Community in Birmingham, many of our brothers and sisters in Israel had the necessary protection during these recent air strikes to remain protected and safe. Operation Lifeshield, a project we fund through the Israel World Jewry Bureau (IWJB) provides protected air raid shelters to threatened communities throughout Israel and has saved many innocent lives.  Operation Lifeshield is just one of the many necessary projects we continue to support for the health and wellbeing of Israel and her citizens.
Below is an email received from another partner, Yechiel Marcus, at the Jaffa Institute about his experiences during the past few days.

Thank you so much for reaching out. It's very good to know that you and the Birmingham community are with us. Things have been tense here that's for sure.
My wife and I were at a store the other night when the owner said we all have to go into the bomb shelter - there is an in-coming missile alarm. It really took us by surprise. We heard some booms- probably the Iron Dome system thank G-d shooting down a missile or more.
In our area there was "only" that one alarm thankfully, but one of my colleagues at work
is from Ashkelon and they haven't slept the last two nights. They are moving away from the
area to some family for a few days.
Let's hope things calm down soon,
I close by resharing our statement shared earlier this week.

We, the undersigned, stand in solidarity with the State of Israel. We strongly condemn the terrorist organization Hamas and Islamic Jihad, whose rocket fire incessantly and indiscriminately targets Israelis. Since last week, Hamas has fired more than 1000 rockets striking civilian targets in Israel, including over 100 rockets from Gaza into Tel Aviv.
Israel – the democratic Jewish state and homeland of the Jewish people, like all nations, has the right and responsibility to defend its people against terrorism and any other security threats. The violence perpetuated by Hamas terrorists has no justification. It is not about evictions, annexation, or two states; nor is it about building a better future for Palestinians; the sole purpose of these attacks on civilians is to perpetuate terror and to take advantage of an already tense situation solely for Hamas’s own political benefit.
We call on the international community to unequivocally condemn Hamas’ rocket fire and terrorist activities against Israeli civilians, to recognize Israel’s right to protect its citizens, and to work to immediately stop the incitement of violence.
The Jewish Community of Birmingham prays for peace and for the security of the people of Israel, the brave men and women of the IDF, the police, and the first responders.
The Birmingham Jewish Federation
The Birmingham Jewish Foundation
The Birmingham Holocaust Education Center
Chabad of Alabama
Jewish Community Relations Council
Knesseth Israel Congregation
Levite Jewish Community Center
N.E. Miles Jewish Day School
Temple Beth-El
Temple Emanu-El
The Jewish Community of Birmingham prays for peace and for the security of the people of Israel, the brave men and women of the IDF, the police, and the first responders. May the souls of those killed be bound in the bonds of eternal life. 

Just a few housekeeping issues before I close; The Federation offices will be closed Monday May 17th and Tuesday May 18th in observance of Shavuot. Nominations for the 2022 Birmingham Jewish Federation Board are now open. If you would like to nominate someone or are interested in serving yourself, please send us an email by clicking here. The two-year term will begin January 1, 2022.

Wishing you a week of peace and a Shabbat Shalom.


2021 Annual Campaign
See your Federation dollars at work!
BJF Launches New Website!
You can find it by visiting or by clicking here. 

As you can see there are many new enhancements including being able to make your campaign pledge online. Many thanks to the marketing committee, Randi Landy (chair), Alyssa Blair, Lisa Engel, Cathy Fingerman, Savannah Koplon, Elisa Nelson, Steve Royal and Linda Verin for their hard work on bringing this to life. We hope you find the site to be vibrant and engaging, just like our community.
Upcoming Programming
JCRS Needs-Based College
 Scholarships Are Now Available
Deadline to apply is May 31st
Jewish Children’s Regional Service (JCRS) is now accepting college aid applications for new and matriculating undergraduate Jewish students. The deadline to apply is May 31, 2021. Applications received after the deadline will be considered, but will not be given the priority of those received by the deadline.

Apply on the website:

Through generous grants and no-interest loans, JCRS College Aid helps Jewish students facing financial challenges get one step closer to a cap and gown—and therefore one step closer to financial stability and self-sufficiency. JCRS provides scholarships for college or vocational training in the form of grants and/or no-interest loans based on financial need. Many of the college students who receive aid from JCRS are from very low-income families. Each year our program funds approximately 125-150 students with an average award of about $2,500. Typically, freshman and sophomores are eligible for grants for the academic year. Juniors and seniors generally are eligible for a combination of grants and no-interest loans. About 85% of all aid distributed are grants and the remainder are no interest loans.  

Since the 1860’s, JCRS has been helping Jewish youth from across the Mid-South. In calendar year 2020, JCRS programs and services impacted over 1800 Jewish youth through needs-based scholarships for college aid, Jewish overnight camp, and special needs, as well as for PJ Library subscriptions and Hanukkah Gift Program. 

For more information on JCRS and how you can support its unique and important work with vulnerable of Jewish youth, call (800)729-5277, or visit the website at
Spring Pop-Up Sale
Full Circle is doing a pop-up sale at the LJCC on May 16!

Join us anytime from 10 AM-3 PM at The Levite Jewish Community Center for a spring pop-up shop!
Celebrate Jewish Life in Argentina
Thursday, May 20th @ 7PM CT
Discover Mendoza, Argentina’s largest wine region, nestled in the foothills of the Andes and famous for its Malbec red wine. 

Tour the wineries and vineyards, meet a local wine expert, and hear Julio Camsen & Ana Manulis de Camsen’s personal family story – active members of the Jewish community and founders of the Huentala Winery in Mendoza.

Meet the President of the Jewish community and learn about Jewish life and JDC’s COVID-19 response, direct assistance, and capacity building programs.
In Honor of Jewish-American and
AAPI Heritage Month:
A Story of Shared History & Solidarity
Join us on May 20 at 1:00 PM CT for a special virtual program honoring the historical ties between Asian-American & Pacific Islander and Jewish-American communities in the US. We will hear from historians, Members of Congress, and Jewish leaders of Asian descent as we discuss the challenges AAPI and Jewish communities face from antisemitism and anti-Asian discrimination and violence, what our leaders are doing to address hate crimes, and actions we can all take to respond and come together.
Summer Kick-Off
Registration Closes May 17th!
Sunday, May 23rd at 6:30-9 PM
The Birmingham Jewish Federation, Temple Emanu-El, Temple Beth-El, and Keneseth Israel invite you to a Summer Kick-Off Party! This event is open to all incoming 8th-12th graders in the Birmingham Jewish Community. Join us at the LJCC outdoor pool for kosher BBQ, DJ Platinum, and fun!
JewishGen Talks:
Researching Jews of the Southern U.S.
Tuesday, May 25th, 2021 at 1PM CT
JCRC Lunch and Learn:
Demonstrating Support for our
LGBTQ Community
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