September 18, 2020
29 Elul 5780
Dear Friends:
Shabbat Shalom and Shana Tova!
It is hard to believe that at sundown 5781 will begin. The last six months of 5780 have been a challenge, and I know we are all looking towards this new year with hope and optimism. While I don’t have a direct line to Hashem, ani ma ’amin be’emuna shelema (I believe with complete faith) that there are great miracles on the horizon for us all in the coming year.

On this Shabbat and erev Rosh Hashana I would like to share with you a few more of my ani ma’amin: 

Ani ma’amin in us.

Ani ma’amin tomorrow is a new day.

Ani ma’amin that someday soon we will be reunited with loved ones that we
long to hug.

Ani ma’amin that our love for each other this year will outweigh any differences that may divide us.

Ani ma’amin that this past year our community has shown strength and resiliency in the face of darkness. 

Ani ma’amin that we as Jews are blessed to be alive in 5781 and carry a great opportunity to shape the future for generations to come.

Ani ma’amin that Israel will remain strong and her enemies will become allies.

And most of all ani ma’amin be’emuna shelema that we are blessed to be together, in this community, taking care of each other and those around us during these unprecedented times. 

A very happy and healthy new year to each and every one of you.

With deep fondness and great affection for you all,


Yasher Koach to Brad Sklar and Rod Kanter for being included in the Birmingham Business Journal’s
Best of the Bar 2020.
In The News
Tuesday, The Jewish Federations of North America’s chair of the Board of Trustees Mark Wilf, and President and CEO, Eric Fingerhut joined nearly 1,000 guests on the White House Lawn to witness the historic signing of the peace accords between Israel and the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain. Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu‏‏ met with U.S. President Donald Trump prior to the ceremony, followed by a four-way meeting between Trump, Netanyahu and the foreign ministers of the UAE and Bahrain, Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan and Abdullatif bin Rashid Al Zayani, who signed the accords for their countries.
“We welcome the signing of the Abraham Accords. We hope and expect that this agreement will expand Israel’s ability to live in peace with its neighbors, a development Israel has long sought,” said Mark Wilf, chair of the Board of Trustees of The Jewish Federations of North America.
“President Trump and his team have made regional peace a priority and deserve much credit for this historic accomplishment. We are pleased to be at the White House today to witness the signing of the Abraham Accords,” said Eric Fingerhut, President and CEO of The Jewish Federations of North America. 
Bahrain’s Jewish community welcomed what is said was the kingdom’s historic and unexpected normalization agreement with Israel on Friday.

“This is a historic moment that we have never expected to see in our lifetime,” the head of Bahrain’s Jewish community, Ebrahim Dahood Nonoo, said in a statement.

The statement thanked Bahrain’s King Hamad bin Salman al-Khalifa, “for having the foresight to go ahead with this decision and his belief in co-existence and his faith and ability to break down the barriers that restrict cohabitation,” the statement said. “We look forward to a prosperous relationship benefiting both countries.”

A joint statement released by the White House said Bahrain’s king spoke earlier in the day with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu “and agreed to the establishment of full diplomatic relations between Israel and the Kingdom of Bahrain.”

Israel and the United Arab Emirates announced they were normalizing relations on August 13, and a signing ceremony for their accord is being held at the White House on September 15. Bahrain will now join that ceremony, with its foreign minister Abdullatif Al Zayani and Netanyahu signing “a historic Declaration of Peace,” the joint statement said.

Bahrain has long been tolerant of all religions, but for a long time, there was no public Jewish life in the kingdom, until recently. Jews, mostly of Iraqi origin, have been living in Bahrain since the 1880s, which is why the country claims to be home to the Gulf’s only indigenous Jewish community. For the last decade there has been an active congregation in Dubai, but it consists exclusively of expatriates.

In the early 1900s, the Bahrain Jewish community established a relatively large cemetery, which is still in use today.

In its heyday, the community numbered some 1,500 members. But in 1947, in the wake of the United Nations resolution proposing the creation of a Jewish state in Mandate Palestine, its synagogue was ransacked — though nobody was killed — and the community started to dwindle.

The synagogue was renovated in the late 1990s, but today there are only some 34 Jews left in Bahrain.

Despite its small number, the community punches above its weight in terms of societal standing, with one member serving in Bahrain’s parliament, and another who served as the kingdom’s ambassador in Washington from 2008 to 2013.

The UAE’s small Jewish community welcomed its country’s agreement with Israel last month, praising the Arab Gulf state for its pluralism and religious tolerance, and calling for Israelis to visit and invest in the country.
The Rosh Hashanah Community Picnic!
The Rosh Hashanah picnic was a blast! It was wonderful to see everyone’s smiling faces and welcome in the new year together, even if it was from 6 ft away!

Thank you to everyone who came to the picnic, we hope you had as much fun as we did!
High Holidays at Home:
A PJ Library Family Guide
For the High Holidays of Rosh Hashanah (Jewish New Year) and Yom Kippur (Day of Making Things Right), many families normally go to synagogue. This year, to stay safe, many are staying home. For this unusual new year, PJ Library is offering you and your family an opportunity to explore ways to connect with the High Holidays at home.

We hope this guide can support your Jewish New Year journey during this year and in the future, as your family continues to grow and celebrate. Let’s begin our new year together!
PJ Library has this Sept. and Oct. "In the Bag"
Community Programs
Visit the community calendar for more details!
The Federation and Foundation have been having issues with our post office box. Please send all correspondence to our physical address at 3966 Montclair Road, Birmingham, AL 35213
The Birmingham Jewish Federation