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SPonSorED By THE BEnjAMin AnD AnnA E. WiESMAn FAMiLy EnDoWMEnT FunD
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Mega Teen Trip: Aaron Norton
Omaha Jewish Alumni Association Page 5
he Omaha Teen Trip to Israel is a collaborative project led by the Jewish Federation of Omaha, Beth El Synagogue, Temple Israel, and Beth Israel Synagogue. The purpose of the mission is to bring Jewish Omaha Teens to Israel to experience the Jewish Homeland, connect with Israelis, and connect with each other. As a way of saying “Thank
A summer in Caen Page 9
You” to the community, the teens are writing about their experiences and sharing them with the community via The Jewish Press throughout the year. In addition to being led and financially supported by each Omaha Synagogue and the Jewish Federation of Omaha, The 2017-2018 Teen Trip was supported in part by The Herbert Goldsten Trust, the Phillip & Terri Schrager Supporting
Beth El Purim
Guava and cheese hamantaschen Page 16
inside Viewpoint Synagogues Life cycles
Teens floating in the Dead Sea
12 14 15
AriELLA roHr Engagement Coordinator, Beth El On Saturday night before Purim, Beth El is taking to the streets! In conjunction with Big City Hunt, a company devoted to putting on app-led scavenger hunts in cities all over the country, Beth El is creating a short walking tour of downtown Omaha to
Foundation, the Lois Jeanne Schrager Memorial Fund, the Carl L. Frohm Educational Custodial Fund, the Milton S. & Corrine N. Livingston Foundation Fund, the Shirley & Leonard Goldstein Supporting Foundation, and the JFO Foundation Special Donor Advised Funds. Thank you to all who supported this effort. See Mega Teen Trip page 2
Doron Sheffer: Basketball, inspiration, and life lessons
celebrate Purim. This event will bring participants together in teams to explore and learn a bit about Omaha and Purim as they complete different challenges. The walking route will be under two miles long, with less than half a mile between stops. All adults (age 21 and over) are welcome to be a part of the fun. Rabbi Steven Abraham says “Last year was our first year doing ‘Adults-Only Purim’ and it was very well received. This year we’re trying something a little different, taking Purim outside the walls of the synagogue.” The fun begins at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 24. For information about where to start and to register, visit www.bethelomaha.org or call the Beth El office at 402.492.8550. All are welcome to join. See Beth El Purim page 3
Doron Sheffer celebrating the European League Championship with teammates. His shirt shows a verse from Deuteronomy - “There is none beside Him.” Credit: Uri Lantz MAry SuE GroSSMAn Executive Director, Beth Israel Synagogue The name of basketball great Doron Sheffer is as recognizable in Israel as the names Shaq, Michael Jordan, and Lebron James are in the U.S. One may then ask why Sheffer
is the guest chosen by Beth Israel for its Scholar-in-Residence the weekend of Feb. 23. It likely appears by many to be an odd choice. Rabbi Shlomo Abramovich, Beth Israel’s Visiting Scholar, smiles when See Doran Sheffer page 3
2 | The Jewish Press | February 16, 2018
Mega Teen Trip
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Continued from page 1 AArON NOrtON Traveling to Israel for the first time was one of the coolest and best trips that I have ever been on and one that I have been waiting for since my Bar Mitzvah. Being able to visit and experience places like the Western Wall and the Dead Sea that I’ve heard about my entire life was incredible. But simply being at these places wasn’t what made experiencing them for the first time so memorable and impactful. It was the fact that I got to go with 34 other teens from Omaha, most of whom were also experiencing Israel for the first time. I went on the trip with some of my closest Temple friends as well as other teens that I had barely even heard of, much less met in person before. Traveling and experiencing Israel with so many other Jewish teens made me realize not only the importance, but also the value of having a strong Jewish community of friends around me, and I am thankful for the Federation for giving me not only this realization, but for also giving me the opportunity to enlarge my community of Jewish friends that I talk to every day. One of the highlights of the trip for me, and the other participants, was the experience of staying with Jewish host families in and around Nahariya and Akko. This was my favorite part of the trip because I got to live with a family not so different from my own, and just experience what it’s like to be around Israeli teens. Staying there really emphasized not only how similar their lives are, but also how extraordinarily different they are. One of the differences that struck me time and time again is how close the communities in Israel are. For example, every time that I went out with my host brother, Raz, and his parents, they knew everyone in their Moshav, Shavve Tziyon. Even when we went to dinner in a different
city, someone knew someone who knew them. This was pretty mind blowing for me, because here I am, not even knowing every one of the 34 other kids on our trip, and they knew every teen, parent, and even grandparents of people that they knew. Despite how different their community was compared to ours in Omaha, I noticed how similar their teen lives were to me and my friends, which is something that I didn’t realize. When I went out with my host brother and his friends, they listened to the same music that we do, ate the same junk food that we do when we’re out with friends, and talked about a lot of typical things that high schoolers do. I loved this part of the trip most because it strengthened my connection with Israel and its people, because growing up in Omaha, I always thought that my life as a kid here was so different than that of kids in Israel, and I think that the opportunity to live a couple of days in Israeli society was extremely unique to our trip. This experience impacted not only my current life, but also my future in so many ways. I have more amazing friends that I made on this trip that I can hang out with and have fun with and also I can talk to them about anything. It made me think about how when I go to college, I want to go somewhere that has a lot of Jewish people so that when I move away from home and move away from my amazing group of Jewish friends here, I can expand my community of Jewish friends so that I don’t have to lose that amazing part of my life. The ability for 35 of our teens to be treated to home hospitality is due in large part because of Omaha’s participation in the Partnership2Gether program which gives Omaha, and 14 other communities in the US and Hungary, a home in Israel. This program is supported by dollars raised during the Jewish Federation of Omaha’s annual campaign.
Bach meets Ginger and the Batmans
Ozzie NOgg gram — Tico Tico no Fuba by Zequinha De Abreu — is a The Omaha Area Youth Orchestras (OAYO) Chamber Brazilian lament that The Grateful Dead frequently use as a Music Celebration Concert scheduled for Monday evening, tuning jam between their own songs at live concerts. The Feb. 19, at 7 p.m. in the OAYO performance also JCC Auditorium features includes work by Telenine conductor-less enmann, Brahms, Mozart, sembles — trio, quartet, Borodin, Bach and quintet and sextet — Danzi. performing works writMaestro Aviva Segall is ten for various combinaMusic Director of tions of strings and Omaha Area Youth Orwoodwinds. This merger chestras, and Sophia of contemporary kids Potter serves as the with chamber music regroup’s Director of sults in an audienceChamber Music Ensempleaser that bridges all ble Program. “I am exgeneration gaps. cited to share our OAYO musicians are Chamber Music progiven free rein when it gram with the Jewish comes to naming their Community,” Maestro ensembles. Examples? A group of OAYO Prelude Strings members have fun between rehearsals. Segall said. “This is your Chamber of Secrets, Iratus Apes (angry bees, in Latin) and a opportunity to listen to the future of Omaha’s musical combaroque quartet dubbed Ginger and the Batmans, proof that munity.” young artists who play serious music have a sense of humor. The Chamber Music Celebration Concert, sponsored by And also that rock bands don’t have a lock on cool names. the Karen Sokolof Javitch Fund, is offered at no charge. Doors Speaking of which. One selection on the Feb. 19 concert pro- open at 6:30 p.m.
Meet Carmela Kramer Karni
Carmela Kramer Karni was born and raised in Israel. Her parents immigrated to Israel in 1949 in the special airlift from Yemen called “The Magic Carpet Airlift”. She grew up in the northern part of Israel near the city of Meron and Zefet in a Moshav. Carmela is the middle daughter of 10 children, who loved the peaceful mountain village life. At age 18 she joined the Israeli army. After her service, she attended Haifa University, then traveled to the USA. In 1985, Carmela moved to California and spent the next 34 years building her business career, getting her SRS and BRS certifications and raising a beautiful daughter. While in the San Diego area, she was active in the Jewish community; teaching Hebrew, promoting Israeli awareness and volunteering where and when needed. Her daughter, Gabriela, at the age of 18, decided to go to school in Israel and make Israel her home. She received a BA in IDC school of Diplomacy and International Communication, served in the Israeli army as a liaison for USA Israel relationship and now works for an entertainment company in Israel.
After visiting Omaha five years ago, Carmela knew immediately that Omaha would soon be her home. She moved to the Field Club area in 2017. When asked: “Why Omaha?” She often says “I have been by the sea, by the mountains and by desert, now it is time to be by wind and snow...” She is an active licensed real estate broker in Omaha and the head broker for Real Property Management Legacy. She provides topnotch service while managing over 130 properties. Carmela is also an active licensed broker in California and is still practicing real estate there. Carmela is inspirational, organized and professional. She is one of those people who can just make things happen. Every day is a new and a joyful experience for her and those around her. Carmela loves to read, practice yoga and meditation and hosts music and meditation events. See her Meetup events calendar.
Java Music Club at RBJH
The Jewish Press | February 16, 2018 | 3
Above: RBJH guest Paulette Flatowicz holding the traditional Aboriginal Talking Stick; right, Volunteer Joanie Bernstein and resident Mitzie Monovitz.
Jill OHlMAnn Activities Coordinator, RBJH nce a month, residents of the Rose Blumkin Jewish Home have the opportunity to participate in the Java Music Club. It is defined as “a unique mutual support group program for long term care homes... designed to address the critical issue of depression and loneliness.” Each meeting has a specific topic, ranging from
Beth El Purim
Continued from page 1 The annual Purim Carnival and Megillah reading will be held on Erev Purim, Wednesday, Feb. 28. The carnival will begin at 4:15 p.m., and the Megillah will be read at the conclusion of 5:30 p.m. minyan.
Animals and Childhood Memories, to Aging and Discouragement. Each person is given the chance to share their thoughts, and the facilitator shares quotes and songs to go along with the theme. The meetings have provided the chance for residents to share long-ago memories. Discussions have ranged from the humorous to the very profound and have provided the chance for everyone to have their voice heard.
Continued from page 1 asked about the Sheffer’s selection. “His story is much deeper than that normally heard from the basketball world. The narrative that he will share stems from his experience in dealing with major physical challenges while battling cancer, then finding his way back on the court, all while finding a spiritual center.” Rabbi Shlomo commented that Sheffer traveled to India, Central America, and South America for treatments and during his treks, connected with his Jewish roots. “Everyone should find Doron’s presentations of great interest as he talks about finding value in sports and in making a spiritual connection.” A unique part of the weekend will be a youth basketball clinic on Sunday morning. The session will include skills work and Sheffer talking to the teens about finding value in sports. Sheffer has described basketball as “a teacher of life” that imparts the values of work, play and consistency. He describes his approach in promoting basketball to kids a “basketball therapy.” He ties the lessons found in basketball to the Torah, comments — “the Torah is the teacher of life,” and says the Torah gives him endless advice, tools and inspiration on how to live a healthy, happy and balanced life. Sheffer spends much of his time at the Hyuli Natural Health Center in Amirim, Israel, that he founded with his wife in 2013. The center helps those who, like himself, have struggled with physical ailments and searched for spiritual healing. He is an associate founder of Value Sports and Basketball
with Courtesy programs, designed to impart good values and considerate behavior to players and coaches alike. Sheffer also travels throughout Israel and abroad speaking to various audiences about his personal life story, emphasizing his message of courtesy and strong moral values. The Scholar-in-Residence weekend begins Friday evening, Feb. 23, with Mincha at 5:50 p.m. followed by Shabbat dinner at 6:45 p.m. Sheffer will speak after dinner. Reservations for the Feb. 23 Shabbat dinner are needed by Monday, Feb. 19. Dinner will include barbecue smoked boneless short ribs, corn, cranberry rice pilaf, vegetables and dessert. The cost is $15 for adults, $7 for ages 3-12, and free for those under 3. Reservations needed by Monday, Feb. 19 and can be made online or by calling the office on 402.556.6288. Shabbat Services begin Saturday, Feb. 24 with Shacharit at 9 a.m. followed by a kiddush lunch at approximately 11:30 a.m., and Sheffer will speak immediately afterwards. Lunch, which will include deli meats, assorted breads, salads, and dessert, is free of charge but reservations are needed for planning purposes. Make reservations online or call 402.556.6288. The weekend concludes with the youth clinic for teens on Sunday, Feb. 25, 10:30 a.m.-noon at Burke High School. SPACE IS LIMITED for the clinic and registration is required. Register on-line at orthodoxom aha.org. For more information on the clinic, contact Rabbi Shlomo at sabramovich@ortho doxomaha.org or 402.556.6288.
The Right Care, Right at Home®
4 | The Jewish Press | February 16, 2018
community Broadway at Beth Israel: A Purim celebration
Prepare for your newborn at the free Boys Town Pediatrics Newborn Expo
New and expecting parents are invited to the Boys Town Pediatrics Newborn Expo. This free event provides attendees with the opportunity to attend expert-led newborn seminars, learn about local businesses and enjoy complimentary refreshments and pampering. There will be two events held in March. • Saturday, March 10 • 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. • Salvation Army Kroc Center • Saturday, March 24 • 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. • Boys Town National Research Hospital (139th & Pacific) Expert Education Boys Town pediatricians, Hy-Vee dietitians and a clinical therapist will lead short educational sessions for parents. Topics covered range from early newborn care, to what breastfeeding mothers should be eating, to self-care following pregnancy. At the conclusion of each class, there will be a drawing for a free car seat! Meet Local Businesses Whether you’re in need of some new baby clothes, a lactation consultation, mommy boot camps or anything in between –our vendors will have you covered! Stop by each table and learn about how each business can be a resource to you and your growing family. You might just walk away with some free swag. Enjoy the Event The Newborn Expo isn’t all work and no play. Mothers can enjoy prenatal massages and there will be free spa treatments on site. Parents can enjoy a buffet of treats and fruit and then head over to the photo station to get a keepsake baby bump photo (or a family photo if your newborn will be joining you)! Plus, local radio personalities will join us and help announce our hourly prize winners. PAID ADVERTISEMENT
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MARy SUE GROSSMAN place at 5:15 p.m. with concurrent entertainment by juggler, Beth Israel Synagogue magician, and comedian Joey Fratelli from the Balloon elebrate Purim at Beth Israel with megillah read- Brigade. At 5:45 p.m. the Purim Seudah begins followed by ings, food, entertainment, and fun plus a costume the first ever “Pop Up Purim Spiel” and the annual Purim parade with a Broadway theme. The action be- costume parade. gins Wednesday evening, Feb. 28 and continues This year’s costume theme is “Broadway at Beth Israel.” through Thursday, March 1. Everyone is encouraged to draw inspiration from a favorite Celebrated on the 14th of Broadway musical, put toAdar, Purim is a commemogether a group of family or ration of the saving of the Place your orders NOW for delicious, delectable, not to be missed friends, and let your characters Jewish people from Haman Beth Israel Hamantashen! $8 per dozen - apricot, poppy seed, straw- shine. Prizes will be given in who plots to kill all Jews. The berry, or assorted. Order online or call the synagogue office at various categories. story, which took place in an- 402.556.6288. Order deadline is Tuesday, Feb. 20 with pickup The Purim Seudah menu cient Persia, is recorded in the week of Feb. 26 will include sloppy joes, the Book of Esther. The during office hours. mashed potato bar, salad, fruit, modern day commemoradessert, and beverages. The tion includes the exchanging cost is $12 for adults, $6 for of gifts of food, known as ages 3-12, and free of charge mishloach manot, donations of for those 3 and under. Reservations are needed charity to the poor, called Matanot by Friday, Feb 23 and can be made at ortho L’Evyonim, enjoying a festive meal or seudoxomaha.org or by calling 402.556.6288. dah Purim, and hearing the megillah reading. Beth Israel is also ready to help you fulfill Beth Israel’s schedule on Wednesday the 28th, bethe mitzvot of Matanot l’Evyonim, giving gifts to gins with the Fast of Esther at 5:48 a.m., Shacharit at the poor. Again this year, Beth Israel is partnering with 7 a.m., 6 p.m. for Mincha, with the fast ending at 6:45 Garin Ometz in Akko, Israel, located in Omaha’s Partnerp.m. The first megillah reading begins at 6:55 p.m. and will ship2GETHER region to support the Orot Chesed center. be followed by an ice cream social. The volunteers of Orot Chesed provide over 700 sandwiches On Thursday, March 1, Shacharit begins at 6:45 a.m. fol- every day for needy children in 14 schools throughout the lowed by a 7:30 a.m. megillah reading. Rabbi Ari’s daily class city. You may make a contribution for Matanot L’Evyonim will follow at 8 a.m. At 9:30 a.m., join Rabbi Ari for the by giving a check to the Rabbis’ Discretionary Fund (with weekly women’s class, “Deepening our Spiritual Connections “Purim” in the memo), and Beth Israel will make the contri- Special Edition.” Rabbi Shlomo will lead a 10 a.m. megillah bution to Orot Chesed. reading at the Blumkin Home and a 2 p.m. megillah reading Make it a Purim to remember and celebrate at Beth Israel. will take place at Sterling Ridge. The evening festivities begin For additional information or for questions, call the synawith Mincha at 5 p.m. A final megillah reading will take gogue office at 402.556.6288.
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The Jewish Press | February 16, 2018 | 5
Omaha Jewish Alumni Association GAbby bLAir Staff Writer, Jewish Press The Omaha Jewish Alumni Association provides a fun and modern way to connect, reconnect and network with other Jewish Omahans around town, the country and the world! Using a model similar to academic alumni groups, OJAA is open to anyone who has lived, worked or gone to school in the Omaha area. “Anyone with nostalgic feelings and memories of life in our wonderful Jewish community is welcome to join us through our OJAA Facebook page at: www.facebook.com/ OmahaJewishAlumni, explain Gary and Lisa Epstein, OJAA founders.
“We are thrilled to chair this new association and hope it brings back many joyful memories to a lot of people,” explains Lisa. The Epsteins hope that by facilitating a network of advocates and ambassadors for Jewish Omaha, they not only increase the visibility of the Omaha community, but promote Omaha as a great place to live. Eventually, OJAA would like to host gatherings, reunions and other community events designed to bring people together. Gary explains that he and Lisa were out to dinner one evening when they came up with the idea. “Our children, their old friends and even some of our friends, have moved away from Omaha. It is easy to get busy with life and lose touch over time. We thought it would be great to create an alumni style group that would appeal to Omahans, past and present, of all ages; help us reconnect with our common roots, and keep Omaha ‘Homaha’. Everyone these days has social media, and Facebook makes networking easier than ever.” Margo Parsow shares that, “The Jewish Federation of Omaha and The Jew-
Gary and Lisa Epstein
ALUMNI A S S O C I AT I O N
I’m excited to receive more information about the Omaha Jewish Alunmi Association (OJAA)! Name:______________________________ Email:______________________________ Phone:_____________________________ ❒ I would like to volunteer for OJAA.
ish Federation of Omaha Foundation are excited to help make Gary and Lisa’s vision a reality. The Omaha Jewish Alumni Association is a legacy that will be a gift to us for generations to come!” The Epsteins want to encourage everyone to join the Omaha Jewish Alumni Association through their newly-designed Facebook page
Please also include the following Jewish former Omahans on the OJAA communication list: Name______________________________ Address:____________________________ ___________________________________ Email:______________________________ Phone:_____________________________ Name______________________________ Address:____________________________ ___________________________________ Email:______________________________ Phone:_____________________________ Name______________________________ Address:____________________________ ___________________________________ Email:______________________________ Phone:_____________________________
www.facebook.com/OmahaJewish Alumni, by filling out the membership registration form and submitting it to Margo Parsow at the Jewish Federation of Omaha Foundation (333 S. 132nd Street Omaha, NE 68154) or, by contacting Margo directly at: mparsow@ jewishomaha.org or 402.334.6432.
6 | The Jewish Press | February 16, 2018
Celebrating Our History PASSOVER 2018
publishing date | 03.23.18
Ron Blumkin Born in Russia, she escaped in her late Editor’s note: At Bellevue University’s re- teens during the Russian Revolution and cent graduation, Ron Blumkin gave the immigrated to the U.S. She ended up in Commencement Speech. In it, he shares life Omaha and made her life’s dream of building lessons that are useful to all of us, graduates a successful business in America come true. or not. He has graciously allowed The Jew- Mrs. B worked seven days a week and ish Press to reprint it here. dreaded days off. She was a Good morning gradurare individual who literally ates, faculty, friends and lived to work, whereas family members. I’m honmost of us in this auditoored to be at your comrium work to live. mencement from this great She was so grateful to the university. United States that she reWhat Bellevue University fused to open our store on does best is recognizing Memorial Day, July Fourth that education is not ‘one and Labor Day, three size fits all.’ Life happens American holidays during and sometimes it is all too which all our competitors easy to come up with a milare open. lion excuses of why we canOn these days, she would not pursue a degree. hold court with her four “I’m too busy.” kids, their spouses and 13 Ron Blumkin “It’s too hard.” grandkids. She was 4’10” “I don’t have time.” and would point her finger at us and remind “My family needs me at home.” us how lucky we were and how smart she The team at Bellevue University under- was, because she chose to come and we were stands these real-world challenges. They have all born here. done everything they can to remove these obThen she made us sing God Bless America, stacles by offering multiple educational op- sometimes more than once. tions, making it possible for students to make She was right; luck does play a huge part in their dream of earning a degree a reality. life. The key is to take advantage of your luck Your graduating class includes full — and and be grateful for it. part-time students, working moms, current integrity is the most important trait in those or former members of the military, single with whom you wish to associate. dads and maybe even some retirees. This came from my friend, mentor and No matter what your motivation to earn a business partner, Warren Buffett. degree may be, you did not let excuses hold Warren told me when you look for someyou back. Instead, you took the much more one to hire, you look for integrity, intelligence difficult road and fought hard to discover and energy. why you could. But, the most important trait of those is inOn a personal note, my successor, Tony tegrity, because if someone does not have it, Boldt, graduated from Bellevue University the other two qualities are going to kill you. four years ago at age 40. Today, he is the PresI believe the same principle is true in your ident of Nebraska Furniture Mart. private life when choosing who you want to Each of you has a story of why and how you associate with. If people have an issue being got here today. It may not have been easy and honest, don’t associate with them. Life is too it may not be the perfect story, but it’s your short to spend time with people who have a story, and that’s pretty cool. broken moral compass. I would like to share the nine life lessons I Set an example. have learned from my mentors, all of whom This lesson came from my dad, Louie are way smarter than I. It has taken me a life- Blumkin. He would say: “Son, as a business time to learn them and I hope I can do them manager and as a father and husband, it is injustice. So here we go, not in any order of pri- cumbent on you to set an example.” ority: You will lack moral authority if you behave luck plays a big role. in ways other than those you preach. My grandmother, Rose Blumkin, who To quote my papa: “Son, walk the talk.” founded Nebraska Furniture Mart and who Be humble, kind and respectful. many of you may know as Mrs. B, taught me Don’t be a big shot. I learned this from Chris from a very early age that luck plays a huge Blumkin, who is my wife and life partner. role in life. See life lessons page 8
With you for life
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elected official and a concerned community fundraiser and volunteer, P.J. has been a leader in the City of Omaha for more than 30 years. His legacy of community service continues today; we are very active in the community we love – serving not just in our industry but also as supporters of civic and charitable organizations. At P.J. Morgan Real Estate, we’re with you – right there at your side as your real estate advocate and friend – through every stage of life and every turn you take along the way. We’re with you to rent your first apartment, to search out your perfect home and when it’s time to move. We’re with you when you open up shop and when you want an office of your own. We’re with you to manage your investment property and to sell your business when it’s time to slow down. No matter what stage of life you’re in, P.J. Morgan Real Estate is here for you.
Adar and secrets of the Hebrew Lunar Calendar he occasion of the celebration of the new month of Adar, whose first day this year is Friday Feb. 16, is as good a time as any to speak about “secrets” of the Hebrew lunar calendar. After all, Jewish tradition says: “When Adar begins, we make merry.” To begin with the basics: If you know TEDDy something about a lunar calendar, you WEiNbErGEr know that it has about 354 days as compared to the 365 days of a solar calendar. Because Judaism’s two key festivals are tied to the seasons, with Passover in the Spring and Succot in the Fall, every two or three years a whole additional month is inserted into the calendar. In a leap year, there are thus not one but two “merry” months: Adar I and Adar II. Interestingly, Muslims, who also follow a lunar calendar, are not concerned when their holiest period falls out, and so Ramadan cycles backwards over the decades through the course of the seasons of the entire solar year. There are plenty of (almost exclusively religious) Israelis who celebrate their Hebrew/lunar birthday rather than their secular/solar one (I am father to two of them). This is not such a big deal for those born during the leap month of Adar I. While leap years might seem special to that person, allowing them to celebrate their birthday during Adar I, it will seem perfectly normal to them to celebrate during a “regular” non-leap year month of Adar. It turns out, however (and this is kept pretty secret), that the Hebrew calendar has not just one but two months similar to February in the sense that these months are “unstable” and do not have the same number of days each year. The months occur toward the end of the solar year and are called Heshvan and Kislev. In a normal year, Heshvan has 29 days and Kislev has 30; in a “longer” year, Heshvan has
30 days, and in a “shorter” year (much more unusual), Kislev has 29 (the difference has to do with rules for when Rosh Hashanah falls out). What this means is that for those born on the 30th of Heshvan or Kislev they, like people born on February 29, do not get to celebrate their birthday every year. However, unlike solar “leapies,” these people only have to wait at most three years for a birthday, usually only two, and sometimes they can go crazy and celebrate in consecutive years. Other than Heshvan and Kislev, the other ten months rigidly adhere to a boring sameness year in and year out, alternating between a 30-day month followed by a 29-day month. The former are known as “full” months and the latter as “missing” months. Here is another secret: A “full” month is marked with an extra day of Rosh Hodesh festivities: the New Moon is celebrated not only on the first day of the new month (as it is following a “missing” month), but also the day before, on the 30th day of the preceding month. And now to put it all together for a final secret: Jewish tradition mandates that the shofar be sounded at the conclusion of morning services during the month of Elul, which precedes the first of Tishrei (aka Rosh Hashanah). Since the Hebrew month of Av is always “full,” the succeeding new month of Elul is always a two-day affair. And yet the shofar is only sounded on the second day of the two-day Rosh Hodesh observance. Why? If you have followed my explanations above, you realize that the first day of Elul’s New Month celebration is actually the 30th day of the month of Av, and so the shofar is not sounded for the first time until the next day, the first day of Elul. Whew—it’s time to celebrate: Happy Adar! Teddy Weinberger, Ph.D., made aliyah in 1997 with his wife, former Omahan Sarah Jane Ross, and their five children, Nathan, Rebecca, Ruthie, Ezra, and Elie, all of whom are veterans of the Israel Defense Forces; Weinberger can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
2018-19 Scholarship applications now available Gabby blair Staff Writer, Jewish Press Financial assistance may be available for qualified applicants planning to attend the Pennie Z. Davis Child Development Center, Friedel Jewish Academy, JCC summer camp, Jewish residential summer camp, Israel programs, college, vocational and technical schools, and adult Jewish education classes.
Scholarship and grant applications can be found on the Jewish Federation of Omaha webpage at: http://www.jewishomah a.org/education/scholar ships-and-grants/. Applications and all required documentation are due March 1, 2018. Questions? Please contact Diane Stamp at 402.334.6407 or dstamp @jewishomaha.org.
The Jewish Press | February 16, 2018 | 7
community regency Parkway art Gallery
During the month of February, Regency Parkway Art is pleased to show the work of a selection of fine artists at the Jewish Community Center Art Gallery. The gallery and its manager, Lynn Batten, are true gems in the Omaha art scene. The Gallery itself is centrally located in the main building and beautifully lit to highlight the showcase. Lynn was a great help to us as we put together the display and gave us everything we needed to make the opening reception a success. We are very proud of the artists we represent and the variety of media we have on display, from the wildlife photography of Kent Williams to the abstract acrylics of Jamie Lewis. Items representing our ‘Western Art Collection’ by Artists Frank McCarthy and Howard Terpning are included, as well as bronze sculptures of the works of James Earle Fraser and Frederic Remington. You will be amazed at the photorealism of Artists Cheryl Kelley and Thomas Arvid. Both are world renowned for their ability to capture the finest detail in a painting from the brilliant chrome of a car’s bumper to the reflection of the room in a wine glass. Marc Singer’s beautiful oil paintings, also on display throughout the month of February, are truly beautiful and representative of his travels abroad as well as his local roots here in Nebraska. Do come by the JCC Gallery in February. You can also see us at Regency Court inside the north entrance where you will find our Portraits Show. Our permanent gallery is in the US Bank Building at 440 Regency Parkway Drive. If you have any questions about the art, please contact me, Kathy David, at 402.319.4074. The exhibit features Nebraska Artists: Tom Kerr, Jamie Lewis, Mike Hagel, Kent Williams, Brittany Deupree, and Scott Papek; National Artists: Thomas Arvid, Cheryl Kelley, Linda Hartough, Howard Terpning, and Frank McCarthy; and sculptors: Frederic Remington, James Earle Fraser, and Steve Davies. PAID ADVERTISEMENT
b’Nai b’riTh brEaDbrEakErS
B’nai B’rith Breadbreakers meets weekly on Wednesdays at the Rose Blumkin Jewish Home auditorium from noon to 1 p.m. For specific speaker information, please email Gary.Javitch@Gmail.com, Breadbreakers chairman. For more information or to be placed on the email list call 402.334.6443 or email@example.com.
8 | The Jewish Press | February 16, 2018
community JFO Scholarship Program
e Jewish Federation of Omaha Scholarship program is the envy of Federations across the country. With our allocation contribution from the annual campaign and the generous endowments from donors in our community, we are able to distribute a significant amount of money to students in need. In addition, the JFO’s Israel Experience and Jewish Experi- alan PoTash ence grants are great resources to Chief Executive Officer, families in our community. ese are JFO not need based awards but are gis from our community to eligible individuals. During organizational changes in 2016, I asked, Diane Stamp, Executive Assistant to the CEO, to work with the Financial Aid committee on an interim basis while we evaluated the scholarship process. With the guidance and confidence of the Financial Aid committee, she was able to accomplish this goal. I have now appointed her as Scholarship Administrator. In addition to her responsibilities as the Executive Assistant to the CEO, she will now oﬃcially lead the scholarship and grant process. e Committee is thrilled to have Diane in this important position. She has already demonstrated what a dedicated and eﬃcient professional she is.
To submiT announcemenTs
Announcements may be e-mailed to the Press at jpress@jewish omaha.org; mailed to 333 So. 132 St., Omaha, NE 68154. Readers may also submit announcements -- births, b’nai mitzvahs, engagements, marriages, commitment ceremonies or obituaries -- online at the Jewish Federation of Omaha website: www.jewishomaha.org. Click on “Jewish Press” and go to Submit Announcements.
continued from page 6 Chris tells me often, I’m no big deal, and she is right. There are 7.6 billion people on this planet and no matter what you think of yourself, the world does not revolve around you. Be humble and kind to others, especially to those you perceive as having less power than yourself. A few years ago, I took a job candidate out to dinner after the interview. He had everything, the experience, the skills and the intelligence and he said all the right things. But there was something he didn’t have. After I observed him disrespect our waitress, I decided I did not want him in our organization, where he could treat his subordinates the same way, and he did not get the job. I tell my HR department: don’t hire jerks. Do what you love with people you like. Another lesson from Warren Buffett, consistent with the 80/20 rule. A small percentage of people will be responsible for a large majority of your frustration and headaches in business and life. On one hand, don’t be afraid to walk-away from toxic relationships. On the other, friends, customers, business partners and teammates who share your vision and values deserve your loyalty. Doing what you love with people you like, trust and admire will have a tremendous positive impact on your quality of life. if you don’t take care of yourself, you can’t take care of others. This lesson came from my mom, Fran Blumkin. My mom preached to her kids that our bodies are like a machine; you only have one and you have to treat it as such. If you want to live a long and healthy life, you have to exercise and watch
your diet. This makes sense, but it amazes me how many people don’t do it! For sure, it takes discipline, but it’s so important! on being happy. Charlie Munger, the Vice Chairman of Berkshire Hathaway, with whom I had the opportunity to spend four days during a trip overseas, told me: “A happy person is one who has what he wants and wants what he has.” Avoid envy! Someone else’s gain is not your loss. Envy is the dumbest of the seven deadly sins because it’s a sin you can’t have any fun at. Lust, gluttony and sloth are the makings of a good weekend. Envy only makes you miserable. Find reasons to celebrate. I learned this from my mom. She always encouraged us to look for reasons, any reasons, to celebrate. When I was growing up, we did not have birthdays; we had ‘birth weeks,’ at least five days of celebration. This graduation is a great reason to celebrate. You will never have the opportunity to celebrate this day again, so make the most of it. What matters most in life is how you are perceived by the people you care most about. The final lesson is the ultimate lesson. You can have all the perceived success in the world, but if those you think the most of, like your spouse, your children, your parents, the people you work closely with, don’t respect you, then you have failed. In summary, live a life filled with compassion, appreciation, effort, humility and integrity, and you will get by just fine.
mark your calendar for super sunday! march 4, from 1 to 3 p.m., marks the long awaited return of the Jewish Federation of Omaha Annual Campaign’s Super Sunday. Lay leaders Lisa and Chuck Lucoff, Mindi Armstrong and Dan Marburg will chair the event. Volunteers will help them make the final push for the 2018 Campaign by making phone calls.
If you have not yet pledged your support to our Annual Campaign and you wish to do so now, please contact Steve Levinger, Chief Development Officer, at 402.334.6433 or firstname.lastname@example.org or Senior Director of Community Impact and Director of Development Nate Shapiro at 402.334.6440 or email@example.com.
The Jewish Federation of Omaha is excited to be a part of this amazing grant opportunity! A FUNDING OPPORTUNITY TO
FUNDED BY THE
STAENBERG FAMILY FOUNDATION & Friends of the Jewish Federation of Omaha
Fund your Jewish organization’s* operations, project or program with an Anything Grant. Eligible grant applications could be for anything, including: • Hiring a nonprofit consultant
Apply online at jewishomaha.spectrumportal.net Applications are open from January 29 - February 26, 2018
These one-time matching grants will range from $1,000 to $5,000, equal to 50 percent of the project budget. Organizations are responsible
• Purchasing technology
for raising the remaining 50 percent from other sources. Project budget not to exceed $10,000.
• Staff/Board professional development
Your project must be completed, matching funds raised and paperwork submitted by Jan. 31, 2019
• Building beautification/improvement
in order to receive your funds.
*Available to Jewish organizations in Omaha, Lincoln and Council Bluffs, IA
For more information visit www.jewishomaha.org/education/scholarships-and-grants/view/anything-grants/ Questions? Contact Louri Sullivan at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Jewish Press | February 16, 2018 | 9
BRING A FRIEND TO LUNCH ON US!
a summer in caen
Come check out our newly remodeled location and NEW extended menu which includes new made-to-order sandwiches, fresh made salads & grain bowls.
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ne summer Bev and I spent six weeks living in Normandy in the beautiful but small city of Caen in northern France, just south of the English Channel richard fellman and just a few kilometers from the landing beaches of the Allies on D-Day in World War II, when the invasion of Europe and the Battle in the West against the Axis nations began, resulting in the defeat of Nazi Germany. In 1996, Bev received a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities to study France Under the German Occupation, 1940-1944, and to travel to Paris and Caen, the capitol of Lower Normandy, and not only attend sessions in the magnificent War Memorial but to understand what living in Caen feels like both in the days of the Bayeux Tapestry, which is nearby, but also during the war years. We lived near the town center in a small but charming five-story hotel with no elevator, and our room was on the fifth floor. We needed no gym for exercise. We had the normal French breakfast every day in the hotel: warm loaves of baguettes with fresh farm butter and wonderfully-made jams and jellies, coffee and espresso, and cheeses of all varieties from local farms. And there were fresh fruits, especially apples from the orchards of Normandy. After a few days in Caen, which is not the city in France with a name that sounds the
same to foreign ears but is located in the south of France, and our first Sabbath in Normandy, we decided to attend the Kabbalat service at the local synagogue, the always warm and charming and short service that starts the celebration of the Day of Rest for all Jewish worshippers. In Caen, the original synagogue had been destroyed by the heavy shelling the city received during WWII from both the invading Allied armies and the defending German army. That synagogue was never rebuilt. Instead, the small Jewish community of Caen purchased space in the middle of the main commercial district and built their synagogue in what looked like just another storefront, so hidden that no one would ever think to again destroy it. There were no signs in front of the building. The façade looked exactly like those of every other plain store or office building in the commercial area. Only inside did it look like a House of Jewish Worship. On our way to dinner on Friday evening, we walked by, peeked in and found nothing there. Everything was locked and shuttered. We had forgotten that in Normandy in early June, the days were not over until after ten in the evening, for France in the Normandy region is so far north that in the middle of summer when days are the longest, each day is even longer. It doesn’t get dark until nearly 11 in the evening. So we had dinner and came back to the synagogue. It was still closed, but a few men were standing on the sidewalk in front of the building holding what were obviously small bags with their tallit, ready for services the See a summer in caen page 10
check out the new Great harvest Bread co. If you haven’t had a chance to come in to see our newly remodeled and expanded Great Harvest Bread Co., Rockbrook Village location, we invite you to come take a look! Bring a friend along with the certificate for a Buy One-Get One Free offer and stay for lunch. You may want to try a Carrot-Tahini Grain Bowl, or even a Roasted Pepper Chipotle Cheesesteak Sandwich. A nice, hot cup of our homemade soup would taste delicious as well. In addition, we now offer fountain drinks, along with our coffee and juices. For dessert, try one of our delicious giant cookies. Great Harvest Bread Company was originally born out of a single (and amazingly delicious) whole grain bread recipe. Over time, we have branched out to develop a dazzling array of products while staying true to our roots. At Great Harvest Bread Co., we approach the
creation of all our products with the same basic principles baked into that first loaf of bread. We make our food the right way, with wholesome ingredients and from scratch, so you can feel good about eating it. At Great Harvest Bread Co., you get real food that tastes great. As owners of Great Harvest Bread Co here in Omaha for over 23 years, we have truly enjoyed offering our community fresh, handcrafted, wholesome baked breads, sweets, sandwiches and more. We are very excited to have a brand new remodeled location and we are offering a NEW extended menu, which will include new and exciting sandwiches, fresh made salads, grain bowls and fountain drinks. We are pleased to offer you a Buy One-Get One Free certificate to invite you and a friend to come on in, try something from our new menu, relax and enjoy a delicious lunch!
Bring a Friend to Lunch on Us! Buy one sandwich, salad or grain bowl, get one FREE! Valid until March 17th, 2018.Valid at the Rockbrook Village location only. Must present coupon. Free item of equal or lesser value. 10916 Elm St. Omaha, NE
Class of 2018 HIGH SCHOOL SENIORS
High School Seniors and Parents
We will be publishing our annual High School Graduation Class pages on May 18, 2018. To be included, fill out the form below with a photo and send it to us or you can email the information and photo to: jpress@ jewishomaha.org by May 1, 2018. High School Senior Information ______________________________________________ Name ______________________________________________ Parent(s)’ Name(s) ______________________________________________ Current High School ______________________________________________ College you plan to attend Send by May 1, 2018 to:
thejewishpress 333 So. 132 St. | Omaha, NE 68154
10 | The Jewish Press | February 16, 2018
Raisman says coach ignored complaints about abuse
JTA ture of the complaints or how many have been Aly Raisman, an American Olympic medal- filed, citing an ongoing investigation. ist, said that her former coach likely knew but A Michigan judge handed Nassar several said nothing of molestation allegations consecutive sentences with a total of 140 against serial pedophile and former gymnas- years in prison at least. tics national team doctor Larry Nassar. Raisman was among dozens of young feRaisman, who is male gymnasts Jewish, spoke last Nassar has pleaded week in an interguilty to molesting. view with CNN. The House Over“One of my teamsight Committee on mates described in Feb. 8 launched an graphic detail what investigation into Nassar had done to the gymnastics her the night beteam in an attempt fore. And John to ascertain who Geddert was in the there knew about car with us and he the abuse. Aly Raisman shows off her silver medal on the just didn’t say any“This reprehensipodium at the Rio Olympic Arena, Aug. 16, 2016. thing,” she said of ble conduct went Credit: Alex Livesey/Getty Images the ex-Olympics undetected or igtop coach. The conversation occurred in nored for years,” the committee, led by Reps. 2011 — five years before Nassar got busted, Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) and Elijah Cummings Raisman added. (D-Md.), said in a statement, calling this “one Geddert abruptly resigned last month after of the most disturbing aspects” of accounts USA Gymnastics suspended him as part of about Nassar’s crimes. an internal investigation, the New York Daily “I know he didn’t ask us any questions, but News reported. The daily’s attempts to reach that is just why we need the full, independent the 60-year-old gymnast were not immedi- investigation,” Raisman said of Geddert. ately successful, the report said. “It’s just unacceptable to me,” she said. Geddert came under criminal investigation “This should have never ever happened. You himself earlier this month, according to the know, if one adult listened or had the characDaily News, following complaints about him ter to act … we would have never met him,” filed following Nassar’s sentencing last month. she said of Nassar, who Raisman said moAuthorities have declined to specify the na- lested her, too.
Coming in March
A summer in Caen
publishing date | 03.2.18 space reservation | 02.21.18 camera ready deadline | 02.23.18 Promote your business in this special issue with an ad and a short article. Contact our advertising executive to advertise in this very special edition.
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Continued from page 9 next morning. We spoke to them. More accurately, Bev spoke to them in her perfectFrench, and she was told that Kabbalat Shabbat services, that is the “Welcoming of the Sabbath” service, would not start for another hour. With that, Bev said she was going back to the hotel. I remained. Pretty soon, others began to arrive, including the rabbi who was originally from North Africa, as are many Jews in France these days. He spoke English as well as French, Hebrew, Yiddish, German and Arabic. He welcomed me and invited me to stay for the services that began a little before 11. About 15 to 20 men arrived, spread themselves around the small worship area that had no permanent seating, and the service began. It was traditional, all in Hebrew, without a word of French and certainly no English. The Kabbalat Service began in Israel in the sixteenth century in the mystical city of Safed. It included a series of Psalms which were sung by the congregation as a prelude to the regular service. In many synagogues, including the one I was then attending in Caen, the Song of Songs was sung, sometimes in its entirety; and many participants take a turn leading portions of the love poem. That is exactly what they did that evening in Caen, and they asked me if I wanted to participate. Not knowing for sure that I was up to that task, I thanked them and said I would prefer to just listen. The Song of Songs is a love poem, traditionally thought to have been written by King Solomon. It depicts two lovers, a woman and a man, singing love lines to each other. Rashi, the great medieval French rabbi whose commentaries on Bible and Talmud have been studied and are still studied by scholars since he wrote them in the 12th century, wrote his
only specific book on the Bible on the Song of Songs and compared the love it portrays to the love of God for Israel. It is Hebrew poetry which often sets forth couplets with similar meaning, one after another, and is sometimes read by two exchanging each set of couplets. The men of the congregation began, and the first reader who actually sang the poetry in a soft voice was the gentleman Bev had spoken with earlier in the evening. “You are beautiful, my beloved, you are beautiful, with eyes like doves, “You are handsome, my beloved, oh so graceful!” And he smiled at me and winked. His Hebrew had a sort of French accent to it. The gentleman sitting near him then carried on. “Our couch is a flourishing garden, the beams of our house, the cedars, the rafters, the cypresses. “I am a rose of Sharon, a lily of the valley.” This man’s Hebrew had an Eastern European sound to it, one of Poland or Ukraine, and his voice and song was a bit more forceful. “Like a lily among the thorns, so is my beloved among the young women. Like an apple tree in a vast forest, so is my beloved among the young men.” Then it was the rabbi’s turn, and he looked at me with a wistful smile. His Hebrew was Sephardic, Israeli. “In its shadow, a desire grew in me and I lingered, its fruit sweet on my tongue.” (Song of Songs, 1:15-2.3) The reading and soft singing continued until the end of the poem, and a short evening Service followed. It was over. Everyone had a small drink of whiskey. They all left. I went to our hotel room to meet Bev and tell her what she missed. I always wished I could have recited the Song of Songs to her that night as beautifully as the men in the Congregation of Caen did that Erev Shabbat.
The Jewish Press | February 16, 2018 | 11
community Israel is ready for war with Hezbollah in Lebanon. Here are five reasons why. WASHINGTON | JTA sraeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had a simple, straightforward message this week when he toured Israel’s border with Syria and Lebanon with top security oﬃcials. “Our face is turned toward peace, we are ready for any eventuality, and I don’t suggest anyone test us,” he said Tuesday in a video message he posted on Twitter, the sound of helicopter blades whirring in the background. e mixed message signaled Israel’s ambivalence about taking on the terrorist group Hezbollah 12 years aer Lebanon
factory in Lebanon. Israeli oﬃcials reject a permanent Iranian presence on its border — a message that Netanyahu delivered to Russian President Vladimir Putin when they met last month in Moscow. “I told him that Israel views two developments with utmost gravity: First is Iran’s eﬀorts to establish a military presence in Syria, and second is Iran’s attempt to manufacture – in Lebanon – precision weapons against the State of Israel,” he said aer the meeting. “I made it clear to him that we will not agree to either one of these developments and will act according to need.”
edly, is noticing what its absence has wrought: Last month, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said 2,000 U.S. troops currently in Syria to assist pro-Western rebels would remain stationed there to mitigate against a permanent Iranian presence in Syria. New fences make restive neighbors. Israel is building a wall on its northern border along a line demarcated by the United Nations in 2000, when Israel ended its 18-year occupation of southern Lebanon. Israel is building the wall in order to prevent the deadly Hezbollah incursions that spurred the 2006 war, which claimed 1,200 Lebanese lives
A view of the border between Lebanon, left, and Israel near the village of Kfar Kila, Feb. 7, 2018. Credit: Ali Dia/AFP/ Getty Images
Members of the Hezbollah movement in the southern Lebanese city of Nabatieh, Nov. 8, 2017. Credit: Mahmoud Zayyat/AFP/Getty Images
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his Security Cabinet view the border with Syria from the Golan Heights, Feb. 6, 2018. Credit: Kobi Gideon/Israeli Government Press Office
and Israel were le gutted by a summer war. e 2006 war was costly for both sides: Hezbollah, the preeminent militia in Lebanon, lost political capital for inviting a devastating response to its provocations along Israel’s border. Israel’s military and political class at the time paid a price for not decisively winning a war that precipitated a mass internal movement of civilians southward. Reuters on ursday quoted a senior Lebanese oﬃcial as saying that an American intermediary conveyed a message from Israel to Lebanon: Israel does not want an escalation. Yet the sides are making increasingly belligerent noises. Here are five factors contributing to increasing tensions along the border. Syria may be winding down, and Iran is winding up. e Assad regime, along with its allies Russia, Iran and Hezbollah — Iran’s proxy in the region — have the opposition in Syria’s civil war on the run. Iran and Hezbollah are striking while the iron is hot, establishing preeminence in the region. Iranian brass recently toured southern Lebanon and Tehran, according to Israeli reports, and Iran is financing a military
A U.S. leadership vacuum is creating anxiety. President Donald Trump ordered a missile strike on a Syrian missile base last year aer it was revealed that Syria used chemical weapons against civilians, but otherwise the U.S. engagement with shaping the outcome of Syria’s civil war has been desultory. Russia is filling the vacuum, which is stoking Israeli anxieties. Despite generally good relations between the Netanyahu and Putin governments, Israel cannot rely on Russia to advance Israeli interests in the same way it has with the United States. “As the shape of the Syrian war changes, Israel may find its working relations with Russia undermined by Moscow’s desire to exercise influence in Syria generally from afar, and by its shiing relations with Iran,” Shoshana Bryen, the senior director at the Jewish Policy Center, wrote this week in e Algemeiner. Absent focused U.S. leadership, Israel may strike out on its own to prevent Hezbollah from becoming the preeminent force in the nations to its north. ere are signs that the Trump administration, albeit belat-
and more than 60 Israeli lives. But neither Lebanon nor Hezbollah accepted the demarcation as a permanent outcome, citing disputes over small patches of land that extended back to the 1949 armistice, and the Lebanese government and Hezbollah have threatened action. Oil and gas. Lebanon last month approved a joint bid by Italian, French and Russian oil companies to explore seas oﬀ its coast. Israel claims a portion of the waters. Israeli leaders have called for a diplomatic solution to the dispute, but the competing claims are aggravating tensions between the countries. Hezbollah, intermittently, has also threatened to attack Israeli platforms in the Mediterranean extracting natural gas. Gaza. e Gaza Strip also is restive, with an increase in rocket attacks from Hamas and Israeli retaliatory strikes aer Trump in December recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. An Israel distracted by an engagement with Hamas and other terrorist groups in the south could be seen by Hezbollah as an opening to strike in the north.
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12 | The Jewish Press | February 16, 2018
(Founded in 1920) Eric Dunning President Annette van de Kamp-Wright Editor Richard Busse Creative Director Susan Bernard Advertising Executive Lori Kooper-Schwarz Assistant Editor Gabby Blair Staff Writer Thierry Ndjike Accounting Jewish Press Board Eric Dunning, President; Andy Ruback, Past-President; Sandy Friedman, Treasurer; Alex Grossman; Jill Idelman; Andy Isaacson, Mike Kaufman; David Kotok; Debbie Kricsfeld; Abby Kutler; Pam Monsky; Eric Shapiro and Barry Zoob. The mission of the Jewish Federation of Omaha is to build and sustain a strong and vibrant Omaha Jewish Community and to support Jews in Israel and around the world. Agencies of the Federation are: Community Relations Committee, Jewish Community Center, Center for Jewish LIfe, Jewish Social Services, and the Jewish Press. Guidelines and highlights of the Jewish Press, including front page stories and announcements, can be found online at: wwwjewishomaha.org; click on ‘Jewish Press.’ Editorials express the view of the writer and are not necessarily representative of the views of the Jewish Press Board of Directors, the Jewish Federation of Omaha Board of Directors, or the Omaha Jewish community as a whole. The Jewish Press reserves the right to edit signed letters and articles for space and content. The Jewish Press is not responsible for the Kashrut of any product or establishment. Editorial The Jewish Press is an agency of the Jewish Federation of Omaha. Deadline for copy, ads and photos is: Thursday, 9 a.m., eight days prior to publication. E-mail editorial material and photos to: avandekamp@jew ishomaha.org; send ads (in TIF or PDF format) to: rbusse@jewishom aha.org. Letters to the Editor Guidelines The Jewish Press welcomes Letters to the Editor. They may be sent via regular mail to: The Jewish Press, 333 So. 132 St., Omaha, NE 68154; via fax: 1.402.334.5422 or via e-mail to the Editor at: avandekamp@jew ishomaha.org. Letters should be no longer than 250 words and must be single-spaced typed, not hand-written. Published letters should be confined to opinions and comments on articles or events. News items should not be submitted and printed as a “Letter to the Editor.” The Editor may edit letters for content and space restrictions. Letters may be published without giving an opposing view. Information shall be verified before printing. All letters must be signed by the writer, but the name can be withheld at the writer’s request. The Jewish Press will not publish letters that appear to be part of an organized campaign, nor letters copied from the Internet. No letters should be published from candidates running for office, but others may write on their behalf. Letters of thanks should be confined to commending an institution for a program, project or event, rather than personally thanking paid staff, unless the writer chooses to turn the “Letter to the Editor” into a paid personal ad or a news article about the event, project or program which the professional staff supervised. For information, contact Annette van de Kamp-Wright, Jewish Press Editor, 402.334.6450. Postal The Jewish Press (USPS 275620) is published weekly (except for the first week of January and July) on Friday for $40 per calendar year U.S.; $80 foreign, by the Jewish Federation of Omaha. Phone: 402.334.6448; FAX: 402.334.5422. Periodical postage paid at Omaha, NE. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to: The Jewish Press, 333 So. 132 St., Omaha, NE 68154-2198 or email to: jpress@jewishomaha. org.
American Jewish Press Association Award Winner
Nebraska Press As- National Newspaper sociation Association Award winner 2008
ANNETTE vAN DE KAmP Editor, Jewish Press he Jewish Federation of Omaha recently announced the second launch of the Staenberg Family Foundation Anything Grants™. The Anything Grants represent a generous commitment from Michael Staenberg and the Staenberg Family Foundation meant to support Jewish organizations, agencies and synagogues in the Omaha, Lincoln and Council Bluffs area. These $1,000 to $5,000 grants are matching grants, meaning they will fund half of any project; the idea is to inspire others in our community to join in supporting programs and initiatives. Inspiring others is important; it allows us to fight tunnel vision and push the limits. The best programs are when we all come together for a common goal, within our Jewish community, but also within the wider community. This year the Anything Grant committee will be allocating $50,000 which is double the amount awarded last year, even Michael Staenberg found a match this year! It’s a cool word: “Anything.” It pushes us to dream big and dream often, which is an important element in any community that wants to continually grow and thrive. Crazy ideas? Wild plans that you didn’t imagine possible? Something you didn’t have in your budget? Why not? The worst word we can use (and hear!) when we are striving to get better is a plain, flat “no.” No matter who you are, follow your family tree and you will eventually find someone who arrived in this country
because they believed that anything was possible. And so they found themselves on a boat, a plane, they started a new life and here you are. Some of you don’t even have to look that far back to discover their story. To illustrate my point, I’ll share a preview of one of the stories in this year’s Passover edition of the Jewish Press, for which we perused the files of the Nebraska Jewish Historical Society: She was born on the eve of Hanukkah, 1893. At age 6, she told her mother: “When I grow up, I’ll get a job, earn money, go to America and send for you and the family.” But after she and Isadore married in 1914, America had to wait for Rose. With World War I looming and only enough money for one passage, Isadore went first and settled in Fort Dodge, Iowa. Rose had never heard of Fort Dodge and had no idea where it was. Three years into the War, it’s her turn; somewhere in the NJHS files, there is a map of the route she took, going east from Shchedrin to America. It’s a sobering sight, the little picture of the train on the map. “Mrs. B’s journey to America began January 2, 1917. She rode in a horse and carriage to Krasnaberrie, a railroad station connection to the Trans-Siberian railroad station at Gomel. Newspaper vendors in Gomel were shouting: “Extra, extra, Rasputin killed! Mrs. B. with no ticket, no passport and very little money, boarded the train and hid under a wooden bench. “For seven days she rode the train with a stop at
Irkutsk and Chita in Siberia. At the border town of Zabaykai’sk, Russia, to cross over into China, Mrs. B. told the Russian border guard: “I am going to buy leather for the army. When I come back, I will bring you a bottle of vodka.” He is still waiting for the vodka. “The train stopped next in Harbin, Manchuria in China and three days later, Jan. 13, she arrived in Tientsin. Mrs. B. embarked from boat from Tsientsin to Japan, with stops at Hiroshima, Kobe and to Yokohama on Jan. 23, 1917. For two weeks, she waited for the ship to America.” Feb. 7, she finally boarded the peanut ship, where she traveled in steerage. She spent the majority of the time too sick to eat and arrived in Seattle, Washington on March 10. By March 15, a tag with her name and destination around her neck, she arrived in Fort Dodge, Iowa where she was met by her husband and her brothers, Sam and Mayer Gorelick. The Red Cross had alerted them she would be on the train. The rest, as they say, is history. Anything: it’s a word we should all embrace. The fact that the Staenberg Family chose this name for their grant program is not so surprising. Anything is possible. Take a minute to think about a Jewish organization that is doing great work in our community. Do they have something on their wish list, something not in their budget? Encourage them to apply for an Anything Grant and help them find the matching dollars. We are blessed with generous donors, foundations and funds in our community. The deadline is Feb. 26, 2018; projects must be completed by Jan. 31, 2019. For more information or if you have any questions, please visit http://www.jewish omaha.org/education/scholarships-and-grants/view/ anything-grants/ or contact Louri Sullivan at lsullivan@ jewishomaha.org or 402.334.6485.
religious or moral grounds to Holocaust victims were unexpected, these latest actions should not be. In just its first year, the Trump administration has established a track record of subordinating civil rights laws in the name of excessively broad and unsound notions of “religious liberty.” In October, the Justice Department issued guidance to all departments and agencies on “Federal Law Protections for Religious Liberty” that weakens antidiscrimination laws and infringes on the rights of
The Office of Civil Rights at Health and Human Services has a mission to enforce laws prohibiting discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, disability, age, sex and religion against health care and human services providers. States and the federal government already have many conscience laws on the books that permit doctors and other health care providers to be exempt from performing abortions or sterilization procedures. Provided that the health and safety of patients are safeguarded, such accommodations are appropriate for doctors, nurses and others who actually may be called on to perform these medical procedures. But the new rule – and the creation of an enforcing Office of Civil Rights division – unbalance and distort these laws and will thwart patients from receiving quality care. The division conveys the unmistakable message that enforcement of civil rights protections for women and others by the civil rights office will be secondary to protection of a wide range of “religious liberty” assertions. And the rule defines terms such as “health care entity,” “health service program,” “assist in the performance” and “referral” so broadly that virtually any federally funded health care provider or employee cannot be penalized for refusing to provide care or services. The new rule undoubtedly will interfere with the provision of reproductive services at facilities receiving federal funding. While some would argue otherwise, the new Health and Human Services rule and division are contrary to our nation’s foundational constitutional principles. By elevating very broad “religious liberty” interests over equality and anti-discrimination principles, the proposed rule disrespects minority religious beliefs (and those who do not practice any religion) and will inflict harm on everyday citizens. The Trump administration should withdraw this misguided rule and find a more appropriate balance. If not, it will be challenged in court and, if long-standing constitutional precedents are applied, struck down as unconstitutional. David L. Barkey is national religious freedom counsel for the Anti-Defamation League.
How the Trump administration condones discrimination in the name of religion DAviD L. BARKEy JTA Free exercise of religion in America is a foundational civil right and one of our nation’s greatest strengths. But as the U.S. Supreme Court ruled decades ago, the free exercise of religion cannot infringe on the rights of others: It must be balanced with other civil rights. Simply put, the Constitution’s religious liberty protections are a shield that safeguards free exercise of religion, not a sword to impose religious beliefs or harm others. On Jan. 18, Roger Severino, director of the Office of Civil Rights at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, announced an extreme new regulation on “activities that violate conscience” and the creation of a new Division of Conscience and Religious Freedom to enforce it. These actions run contrary to his office’s historic mission. In fact, these actions seem designed to make it easier for health care providers to discriminate against women, LGBTQ people and others in the name of religion. Under the new rule, a health care provider – even the only one in a remote area – could refuse to provide abortion or sterilization services or referrals, or possibly even decline to accept health insurance that covers these procedures. Similarly, a hospital administrator could refuse to process any paperwork for tubal ligations or refuse to answer an inquiry on whether her employer provides abortions. And an orderly could refuse to take a patient by wheelchair to a medically necessary hysterectomy. In the international arena, the detrimental impact of this rule is likely even broader. Federally funded health care providers can refuse to “participate in any program or activity” on moral or religious grounds. So as written, a doctor or nurse working for an HIV/AIDS program could refuse to treat a gay person or sex worker. A clinic that treats tuberculosis or malaria could refuse to treat transgender or Muslim patients. Although Severino’s awkward and offensive remarks at the announcement analogizing health care providers who object to medical services on
Roger Severino, director of the Office of Civil Rights at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Service. Credit: Aaron P. Bernste religious minorities, women and LGBTQ people. Based on that guidance, Health and Human Services issued an expansive new rule on the Affordable Care Act’s contraceptive mandate. Previously, this provision required covered employers other than houses of worship and religiously affiliated organizations to provide health insurance coverage for prescription contraception at no cost to employees. The new rule effectively eviscerates the mandate by grossly expanding the existing religious exemption well beyond reason or need. The rule is now a paradigmatic example of an exception swallowing a rule. Under it, a publicly held Fortune 500 corporation could opt out of the mandate on religious grounds. Health and Human Services also has repeatedly attempted to bar young immigrant women in government detention from obtaining privately funded abortions. Judicial intervention allowed several of these women to obtain the procedure. But it is unknown how many others have been denied their constitutional rights through this obstruction.
What really happened at the original Trefa Banquet
The Jewish Press | February 16, 2018 | 13
What’s in a name? reconstructionist Judaism is finding out.
AndreW SiLoW-CArroLL NEW YORK | JTA Reconstructionist Judaism has always been something of a stepchild of the major Jewish denominations. It’s the smallest and newest of the the big four, and while it has a track record for innovations that are often absorbed into the “mainstream” (the first bat mitzvah ceremony was said to be held for Judith Kaplan, the daughter of Reconstructionism’s founder, Rabbi Mordecai Kaplan), the movement is often overlooked when people talk about American Jewry. And that name! As someone who has to write headlines for a living, I sometimes blanch when one of its rabbis or institutions makes news. Seventeen letters is a bit much, and “Recon” hasn’t quite caught on as an abbreviation. So I understood the impulse when the movement’s college and synagogue body announced a name change last month. Henceforth, the formerly named Reconstructionist Rabbinical College and Jewish Reconstructionist Communities (seven words! 71 letters!) will be called Reconstructing Judaism. The new name, explained its president, Rabbi Deborah Waxman, “reflects a subtle but profound evolution in Reconstructionist thinking about how and why to be Jewish in the 21st century.” The key seems to be the switch from a word that works as a noun and an adjective -- Reconstructionist -- to a gerund, or a verb in its “ing” form. As Waxman explained, Reconstructionist suggests “a way of being”; Reconstructing connotes doing. The move is, depending how you look at it, brave, reckless or mundane. I don’t know many other organizations that use the gerund form in their names. Among Jewish groups, there is Advancing Women Professionals & the Jewish Community, which for 17 years has been trying to close the gender gap at Jewish organizations. Moving Traditions is a group that creates identity programs for Jewish teens (although I am not sure whether “moving” is supposed to work as a verb or an adjective. Maybe both.). Facing History and Ourselves is a nonprofit that develops Holocaust curricula for schools. The construction is more common -and probably more successful -- as the name of Feeding America, a name that tells you exactly what the anti-hunger group tries to do. And that is one test of
Letter to the editor
Dear Editor, We were interested to read your editorial of 12-22-17 about a man from Niger stabbing two Danish (or Dutch?) journalists in Gabon, West Africa, in violent reaction to the USA’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. As background information, you should know that Gabon is also the home of the surfing hippos. This is not “fake news”! The hippos swim in the Atlantic Ocean. The good news is that Gabon President Omar Bongo was so inspired by the photos that he set up national parks all over the
a good brand name: Does it tell you what the organization does? But that’s not the only test. A successful name can be merely descriptive (my favorite mouthful is the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations -- eight words! 56 let-
The Jewish federation movement, the network of Jewish community chest philanthropies, went through a bit of an identity crisis over the past few decades, simultaneous with a rash of structural threats to its fundraising model. In 1999, three legacy organizations --
Credit: Pexels ters!) or evocative, like Hadassah or Hillel. Both are named for Jewish role models to whose ideals they aspire, and they are strong brands even if you aren’t familiar with their namesakes. A few years ago, two Jewish social justice organizations merged and rebranded themselves Bend the Arc: A Jewish Partnership for Justice. It was a risky choice in that “Bend the Arc” doesn’t exactly explain itself. It refers to a quote most often attributed to the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.: “Let us realize the arc of the moral universe is long but it bends toward justice.” As the new organization’s CEO explained at the time: “Bend the Arc is a call to action, to fight the injustices and inequalities of our time.” As far as I can tell, there is only one other American Jewish organization whose name is in the imperative tense: Repair the World. And again, antihunger groups enjoy the form: Feed the Hungry, Save the Children. (Pop culture, of course, abounds with versions of Verb the Noun: seize the day, taste the difference, pity the fool. I dream of opening a Jewish foodie society called Save the Liver.) The challenge for the Reconstructionist movement was to embrace the future while holding on to the historic and recognizable. I can sympathize: I work at a place called the Jewish Telegraphic Agency. There are only so many times I can get away with the joke that the telegraph was the internet of the 19th century. In recent years we played down the Telegraphic part, going with the initials JTA. But we’ve started to think that Telegraphic has become retro-chic, like vinyl records and Chuck Taylor All Star sneakers.
United Jewish Appeal, Council of Jewish Federations and United Israel Appeal -- merged to form the United Jewish Communities. (Mega-donor Charles Bronfman was said to have complained that young people associate “federation” with Star Trek.) The name stuck around for a while, even though local federations complained it didn’t do much for their brand. In 2009, they changed it to The Jewish Federations of North America, reclaiming a name most of their constituents were never really able to part with. If any group understands Reconstructionism’s pain, however, it is the Conservative movement. In many ways its name has come to mean exactly the opposite of what many of Conservative Judaism’s followers want it to stand for. A movement that started out as a traditionalist counter to the liberal Reform has since become a largely liberal movement that seeks to preserve the traditions. Every few years there are reports that the movement is contemplating a name change. One option is to adopt the name it goes by outside of North America: Masorti, which is Hebrew for “traditional.” Others have proposed Dynamic Judaism, Historic Renewal and Reform Judaism without Guitars. (OK, I am the only one who suggested the last one, but I belong to a Conservative synagogue, so I can kid. Right, Rabbi?) Whatever they call themselves, all of these groups tend to agree that the most important thing is that they understand what they stand for. A name can be clarifying or confusing, but the organization succeeds or fails on its ability to live up to its mission. Andrew Silow-Carroll is the editor in chief of JTA.
and gas companies, like Shell, that have concessions in Gabon have good security, so the animals on their lands are better protected. Whilst on a visit to Gabon several years ago, we did see the surfing hippos. Fran and I didn't join them in surfing, as hippos, though vegetarians, kill more humans in Africa than any other animal, even though they don’t seem to care where our embassy is located. Credit: Art G. via Wikimedia Commons Thought you should know all of country. The bad news is that many wild anithe above, in the interests of full reporting. mals in the national parks are being killed by rich Juro poachers. Surprisingly, the international oil
JonAthAn d. SArnA BOSTON | JTA In an article written for J: The Jewish News of Northern California and republished by JTA, David A.M. Wilensky describes with gusto the supposedly mouthwatering delicacies, including Peanut Butter Pie with Bacon and Pulled Pork Potato Kugel, consumed this month by “rabbis and foodies” at the Trefa Banquet 2.0 in San Francisco – complete with a communal blessing and a historical lecture justifying these juicy transgressions on the basis of American Jewish history and Reform Jewish tradition. According to the article, “The original Trefa Banquet was an 1883 event at which leaders of the early American Reform movement made a bold, antagonistic statement by serving nonkosher dishes to commemorate the ordination of the first graduating class of Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati.” Actually, the the menu for the original trefa Banquet, held historical record to honor delegates of the Union of American tells a different hebrew Congregations, July 11, 1883, shows story. The origi- that no pork was served -- although diners nal Trefa Ban- could enjoy crab, shrimp and frog, among other non-kosher delicacies. quet, on July Credit: The Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the 11, 1883, in American Jewish Archives, Cincinnati Cincinnati, capped ceremonies aimed, ironically, at unifying American Jews. Earlier in the day, 100 rabbinic and lay leaders, representing 76 congregations from across America, celebrated the 10th anniversary of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations (today known as the Union for Reform Judaism, but then a much broader union of congregations) as well as the ordination of Hebrew Union College’s initial class of four rabbis – the first such ordination ever held on American soil. The broadly-inclusive gathering in Cincinnati marked the high point of Jewish religious unity in America. It symbolized the longstanding goal of HUC’s president, Rabbi Isaac Mayer Wise, to lead a broad, ideologically diverse coalition committed to strengthening American Judaism. Unlike this month’s re-enactment, the infamous Cincinnati banquet prepared for the 100 Jewish leaders served no pork at all. Many Reform Jews of that time believed that abstaining from pork sufficiently distinguished them from their non-Jewish neighbors, especially in a pork-producing city like Cincinnati, popularly known as “porkopolis.” So Jews avoided pork products, even if they consumed seafood with impunity. The many non-kosher foods that did appear on the menu of the lavish nine-course banquet -- clams, crabs, shrimp, frogs’ legs and so forth -were not, like Trefa Banquet 2.0, the product of careful planning and prearranged advertising. They resulted instead from carelessness and lack of proper oversight. The well-known Jewish caterer who planned the dinner took no account of the fact that traditionalists had been invited to the celebration and created a banquet like so many other lavish Jewish banquets held in his club – akin to non-Jewish banquets, minus the pork. One of those who attended the banquet, the eminent Reform Rabbi Kaufmann Kohler, later Wise’s successor as president of Hebrew Union College, admitted in a private letter that the banquet was a “big blunder.” It shows, he wrote, “how little judgement laymen have in religious matters.” Rabbi Wise also knew the banquet was a blunder. After all, he himself kept a kosher home – his second wife, the daughter of an Orthodox rabbi, insisted upon it. But he was not the kind of leader who believed in making apologies. Instead he lashed out against his critics, insisting that the dietary laws had lost all validity, and ridiculed them for advocating “kitchen Judaism.” The Trefa Banquet helped pave the way for the creation of a more traditional Jewish rabbinical seminary, New York’s Jewish Theological Seminary. Once Wise abandoned the goal of “union” and cast his lot with more radical Reform Jews who repudiated Jewish dietary laws, those favoring a conservative approach to Jewish life moved to establish a more religiously traditional seminary to compete with Hebrew Union College. The Reform movement’s Pittsburgh Platform of 1885, which among other things dismissed the Jewish dietary laws as “entirely foreign to our present mental and spiritual state,” strengthened conservative-minded Jews in their resolve, and the Jewish Theological Seminary opened on Jan. 2, 1887. Why does any of this remain important today? Symbolically, the Trefa Banquet – “transgression as religion” in Wilensky’s terms -- separated American Jews into two opposing camps that could no longer even break bread together. The incident anticipated and stimulated further divisions. Let’s hope that Trefa Banquet 2.0 will not produce similar results. Jonathan D. Sarna is University Professor and Joseph H. & Belle R. Braun Professor of American Jewish History at Brandeis University and chief historian of the National Museum of American Jewish History.
14 | The Jewish Press | February 16, 2018
synagogues B’naI Israel synagogue
618 Mynster Street Council Bluffs, IA 51503-0766 712.322.4705 email: CBsynagogue@hotmail.com
BeTh el synagogue
Member of United Synagogues of Conservative Judaism 14506 California Street Omaha, NE 68154-1980 402.492.8550 bethel-omaha.org
BeTh Israel synagogue
Member of Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America 12604 Pacific Street Omaha, NE. 68154 402.556.6288 BethIsrael@OrthodoxOmaha.org
An Affiliate of Chabad-Lubavitch 1866 South 120 Street Omaha, NE 68144-1646 402.330.1800 OChabad.com email: email@example.com
CongregaTIon B’naI Jeshurun
South Street Temple Union for Reform Judaism 2061 South 20th Street Lincoln, NE 68502-2797 402.435.8004 www.southstreettemple.org
offuTT aIr forCe Base
Capehart Chapel 2500 Capehart Road Offutt AFB, NE 68123 402.294.6244 email: firstname.lastname@example.org
rose BlumkIn JewIsh home
323 South 132 Street Omaha, NE 68154
Union for Reform Judaism (URJ) 13111 Sterling Ridge Drive Omaha, NE 68144-1206 402.556.6536 templeisraelomaha.com
Member of United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism 3219 Sheridan Boulevard Lincoln, NE 68502-5236 402.423.8569 tiferethisraellincoln.org
B’naI Israel synagogue
Please join us for our upcoming event: Join us for our monthly Shabbat Speakers Series on march 9, at 7:30 p.m. with guest speaker Ruth Meints, Executive Director of the The Omaha Conservatory of Music. Our service leader is Larry Blass, and as always, an oneg to follow service. Everyone is always welcome at B’nai Israel! For information on our historic synagogue, please contact any of our board members: Scott Friedman, Rick Katelman, Carole Lainof, Marty Ricks, Sissy Silber, Nancy Wolf and Phil Wolf.
BeTh el synagogue
Services conducted by Rabbi Steven Abraham and Hazzan Michael Krausman. frIday: Kabbalat Shabbat, 6 p.m. saTurday: Shabbat Services, 9:30 a.m.; MinchaMa’ariv, 5:45 p.m. weekday serVICes: Sundays, 9:30 a.m. & 5:30 p.m.; weekdays, 7 a.m. & 5:30 p.m. sunday: No BESTT Classes; Torah Study, 10 a.m.; Minor Prophets, Rabbi’s Take, 11 a.m.; USY/Kadima Purim Prep, 5 p.m. monday: Enchanted Circles with Dr. Liora (Lou) Lukas, 6:30 p.m.; Women’s Book Group Meeting and Annual Potluck, 6:30 p.m. at the Rose Blumkin Jewish Home. Tuesday: The Ethical Life with Rabbi Abraham, noon at Whole Foods. wednesday: Chesed Committee visits Sterling Ridge, 2 p.m.; BESTT Classes, 4:15 p.m.; USY/Kadima Purim Prep, 5:15 p.m.; Minor Prophets with Leonard Greenspoon, 6 p.m.; Hebrew High, 6:30 p.m.; The Ethical Life with Rabbi Abraham, 7 p.m. Thursday: Hebrew Reading in your Pajamas, 8-9:30 p.m. For access to this online class, email Hazzan Krausman at email@example.com. Nebraska AIDS Luncheon, friday, feb. 23, 11:30 a.m. Joan Marcus serves lunch once a month at the Nebraska AIDS Project, and she needs baked goods for dessert. Contact Joan if you can help by donating baked goods. Minyan in the Round, saturday, feb. 24, 9:30 a.m. Adult-Only Purim with Big City Hunt, saturday, feb. 24, 7 p.m. All classes and programs are open to everyone in the Jewish community.
BeTh Israel synagogue
Services conducted by Rabbi Ari Dembitzer. frIday: Shacharit, 6:45 a.m.; Candle Lighting and Mincha, 5:42 p.m. saTurday: Shacharit, 9 a.m.; February Simcha Kiddush, 11:30 a.m.; Insights into the Weekly Torah, 4:40 p.m.; Mincha/Seudah Shlishit, 5:25 p.m.; Havdalah, 6:43 p.m. sunday: Shacharit, 9 a.m.; Bagels and Beit Midrash, 10 a.m. monday: Shacharit, 7 a.m.; Talmudic Tales, noon. Tuesday: Shacharit, 7 a.m. wednesday: Shacharit, 7 a.m. Thursday: Shacharit, 7 a.m.; Deeping Our Spiritual Understanding with Rabbi Ari, 9:30 a.m.
Office hours: Monday-Thursday, 8 a.m.-4 p.m. and Friday, 8 a.m.-2 p.m. Services conducted by Rabbi Mendel Katzman. frIday: Shacharit, 7 a.m. followed by coffee, treats, study and shmoozing. saTurday: Shabbat Morning Service, 9:30 a.m. weekdays: Shacharit, 7 a.m. followed by coffee, treats, study and shmoozing. monday: Personal Parsha class, 9:30 a.m. with Shani. wednesday: Mystical Thinking, 9:30 a.m. with Rabbi Katzman. Thursday: Talmud Class, noon with Rabbi Katzman. All programs are open to the entire community.
CongregaTIon B’naI Jeshurun
Services conducted by Rabbi Teri Appleby. frIday: Candlelighting, 5:45 p.m.; Shabbat Evening Service, 6:30 p.m. with Star City Kochavim; Oneg, 7:30 p.m. saTurday: Shabbat Morning Service, 9:30 a.m.; Torah Study on Parashat Terumah, 10:30 a.m.; Game Night & Potluck Dinner, 6 p.m.; Havdalah (72 minutes), 7:16 p.m.
sunday: No LJCS Classes; LJCS Professional Development Day, 9 a.m.-noon; Beginning Adult Hebrew, 11:30 a.m.; Purim Spiel Rehearsal, 1 p.m.; SST is partnering with "We Can Do This" to provide weekend meals to the children of the F Street Community Center. Join us as we provide lunch on the third Sunday of every month. Food/ monetary donations, meal preparation and assistance with setting up, serving, and clean-up are needed! We will serve our next meal at 2:30 p.m. For more information, email For more information, contact Aimee Hyten at firstname.lastname@example.org or Lupe Malcom at lupemal email@example.com.; PJs and Pancakes, 5:30 p.m. at Tifereth Israel; 1st Plymouth Youth Group visits the Temple, 6 p.m.; Come learn and play Pickleball, 7-9 p.m. All equipment furnished. Wear comfortable clothing. For questions, call or text Miriam Wallick at firstname.lastname@example.org. Tuesday: Ladies Lunch, noon at Grata Bar and Lounge, 6891 A. Street. Please contact Deborah Swearingen at 402.475.7528 with any questions; Intro to Judaism: Synagogue and Jewish Prayer, 7 p.m. wednesday: LJCS Hebrew School, 4 p.m. It's not too soon to be thinking about summer camp! All Federation families are eligible for Camp Incentive Grants of $300 per camper to pay the initial camp registration deposit.
offuTT aIr forCe Base
frIday: Services, 7:30 p.m. every first and third of the month.
rose BlumkIn JewIsh home
saTurday: Services, 9:15 a.m. led by Stan Edelstein. Services will be held in the Chapel. Members of the community are invited to attend.
frIday: Shabbat Service, 6 p.m.; OTYG Shabbat, 6-9 p.m.; LGBT+ Shabbat Dinner, 7 p.m. Reservations required. saTurday: Torah Study, 9:15 a.m.; Shabbat Service, 10:30 a.m. sunday: No Religious School. Tuesday: Youth Committee Meeting, 6 p.m. wednesday: Grades 3-6, 4 p.m.; T’filah for School, 4:30 p.m.; School Dinner, 6 p.m.; Grades 7-12, 6 p.m.; Family School, 6 p.m.; Guiding Principles for the Synagogue Community: Y’rushalayim: Help to Create a Friendly and Supportive Environment, 6:30 p.m. with Rabbi Stoller. Thursday: Jewish Heroes, Heroines, and Personalities: Joseph, Moses, and David, 10 a.m. taught by Dr. Ari Kohen, Professor of Social Justice, University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Adult Purim Bash: Not Your Kids’ Carnival!, wednesday, feb. 24, 7 p.m. Temple Israel is hosting our inaugural Adult Purim Bash: Not Your Kids’ Carnival. Please join us as we celebrate Purim with Esther, Mordechai, Vashti, Haman, and King Ahasuerus. Each character will have a signature drink and a station for games and activities. There will be a costume contest with prizes, an open bar, heavy hors d’oeuvres, and professional DJ. This bash is the place to be! This event is for adults only (21+). Cost is $18. RSVP required. Temple Israel’s Purim Carnival and Spiel, wednesday, feb. 28, 4 p.m. Everyone is invited to Temple Israel’s Purim Carnival and Spiel! Bring boxes of macaroni and cheese to
use as groggers and after services we will collect them to donate to a community food bank. The carnival fun starts at 4 p.m. and dinner is at 5:30 p.m. We will enjoy kosher hot dogs and chips for dinner. At 6 p.m. we will gather for our Purim Spiel and Service, and afterwards we will have delicious Hamantaschen. As always, costumes are encouraged! Jewish Heroes, Heroines, and Personalities: Joseph, Moses, and David, Thursday, march 1, 10 a.m. taught by Dr. Ari Kohen, Professor of Social Justice, University of Nebraska-Lincoln. All classes will meet at Temple Israel.
Services conducted by lay leader Nancy Coren. Office hours: monday-friday, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. frIday: Services, 6:30 p.m. saTurday: Shabbat Morning service, 10 a.m.; Junior Congregation, 11 a.m.; Lunch and Learn Series on shabbat morning after services with Gary Hill speaking about “Normality in Prisons.” He will discuss different approaches to prison and programming for inmates. sunday: No LJCS Classes; LJCS Professional Development Day, 9 a.m.-noon; Dr. Michael Eppel has recently returned from Bangladesh where he did humanitarian work in a large camp housing Rohingya refugees from Myanmar and he will be speaking at 3 p.m. at Tifereth Israel about the current conditions he witnessed in the refugee camp and his understanding of the plight facing the Rohingya people; PJ's and Pancakes, 5:30 p.m. Children ages 1-12 are invited to our community PJ Library event. We will have story time and breakfast for dinner! Please RSVP to Nava or Peter in your respective offices; Come learn and play Pickleball, 7-9 p.m. All equipment furnished. Wear comfortable clothing. For questions, call or text Miriam Wallick at email@example.com. monday: Second Half of the DVD Course Beginnings of Judaism, 7:30-9 p.m. Tuesday: Ladies Lunch, noon at Grata Bar and Lounge, 6891 A. Street. Please contact Deborah Swearingen at 402.475.7528 with any questions. wednesday: LJCS Hebrew School, 4 p.m. Thursday: Hebrew classes for adults, 6:30-7:30 p.m., with Esti Sheinberg. Each meeting will include listening, speaking and a little reading. Purim Extravaganza, wednesday evening, feb. 28 at the Coren Home. Join us for a light dinner beginning at 6 p.m. followed by a reading of the Megillah for adults and teens and entertainment for the younger children and pre-teens (starting at approx. 6:45 p.m.) The evening will end with comedian T. Marni Voss (7:45-8:15 p.m.) joining us all. Let us know you'll join us by calling the office 402.423.8569 or e-mailing Nancy at firstname.lastname@example.org by friday feb. 23 so we can plan on the amount of food needed. Wear a costume...bring a noisemaker (if you want) ... Be ready for a fun evening! It's not too soon to be thinking about summer camp! All Federation families are eligible for Camp Incentive Grants of $300 per camper to pay the initial camp registration deposit. Application packets are availible in the Tifereth Israel foyer. As you start to make summer plans, consider sending your child to LJCS CAMP ISRAEL, July 9–July 20, 9 a.m.–2 p.m. at Tifereth Israel. Light Kosher dairy snack and lunch included. Tuition for each week is $75. This program is open to children entering kindergarten through sixth grade. We require ALL campers to be registered through the LJCS, therefore we cannot accept drop-in guests.
BDS movement nominated for Nobel Peace Prize JTA NewS STAff The Norwegian lawmaker that nominated the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israel for a Nobel Peace Prize said his nomination is against Israel and not the Jewish people. “The BDS movement is a legitimate, peaceful, nonviolent movement trying to push the Israeli government to abide by international law, and trying to struggle for a peaceful solution in Palestine and in the Middle East,” Parliament member Bjornar Moxnes said Friday in an interview with the Middle East Eye. Moxnes, who heads Norway’s far-left Red Party, which he says works to achieve social justice in Norway and internationally, told the news outlet that said the nomination has received overwhelming support from inside Norway and “people all over the world who struggle for peaceful and just solution between Israelis and Palestinians,” and acknowledged negative reactions from advocates for “the
right-wing extremist government of Israel.” He said his position on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict “is completely free of anti-Semitism.” “It’s not against the people of Israel. It’s not against the Jewish people; it’s against the policies of a state, which (are) without doubt against international law,” Moxnes said. In the announcement earlier this month of his nomination of the BDS movement, Moxnes wrote: “Awarding a Nobel Peace Prize to the BDS movement would be a powerful sign demonstrating that the international community is committed to supporting a just peace in the Middle East and using peaceful means to end military rule and broader violations of international law. “My hope is that this nomination can be one humble but necessary step towards bringing forth a more dignified and beautiful future for all peoples of the region.”
The Jewish Press | February 16, 2018 | 15
lifecycles in memoRiAm
shiRLey (LinCoLn) fALk
Shirley (Lincoln) Falk passed away on Feb. 4 at age 88. Services were held Feb 13 at BHH/Fisher Farm Cemetery, 8900 S 42nd St. She is survived by children Fylis Falk, Sheldon and Kim Lincoln; grandson, Dylan. She will be remembered fondly by her family and many friends. Memorials may be made to the organization of your choice.
iRA p. sChReibeR
Ira P. Schreiber passed away on Jan. 9 at age 80. Memorial service will be held in Denver on Feb. 17. Internment and memorial service in Lincoln to be announced at a later date. He was preceded in death by his parents, uncles and aunts, a cousin, step-daughter and step-grandson. He is survived by his wife, Corrine Schreiber of Aurora, CO; children: Allen Schreiber of Lincoln; and Debra Schreiber Marburg of Omaha; stepson and step-daughter-in-law, Tim and Karie Stevens of Parker, CO; grandchildren: Louis, Benjamin and Shoshanah Schreiber of Lincoln and Solomon and Elijah Marburg of Omaha; step-grandchildren: Kaleb Stevens of Parker, CO, Breanna Hufman of Aurora, CO and Dillon Stevens of Omaha; cousins, Becky Schreiber of Culver City, CA, and Cecile Schreiber of Yucca Valley, CA; mother-in-law, Charlotte Leader of Denver; and former wife, Sue Schreiber of Lincoln. He was born Sept. 21, 1937, in Carbondale, PA, to Arthur and Matilda (Meyer) Schreiber and was raised in Haddon Heights, NJ. After serving in the USAF in Denver and Kansas City, he graduated from the UNL Business College in 1965, owned and operated Ira's Tavern in Malcolm in the mid 1960's, and was co-owner of the BC Racing Team sprint car #67. Using his love of trains and electronics training, his business interests included owning Aksarben Hobby, vice president of the Great Plains Railway Co., owner of Signs Inc./ Action Ad and co-founder of the Fremont Dinner Train (now Kansas Belle). He was active in his community and oversaw rebuilding the train and laying new tracks for the expanded railroad at Lincoln Children's Zoo during the original ReZoovenation project. He served as president of the board of Congregation B'nai Jeshurun (South Street Temple). Relocating to Aurora, CO, he worked for the Regional Transportation District and was very active in various local railroading and mass transit groups. His efforts were key in Amtrak reinstating the very popular Ski Train between Denver and Winter Park Ski Resort. During the summers in semi-retirement, he spent weeks at a time in the Portland, ME, area to volunteer for the Wiscasset, Waterville and Farmington Railway Museum. Ira was known for his razor sharp wit, quick one-liners and puns, and was an avid Huskers fan. Memorials may be made to the organization of your choice.
ALAn G. stoLeR
Alan G. Stoler passed away on Feb. 5 at age 64. Services were held on Feb. 8 at Forest Lawn Cemetery. He was preceded in death by parents Jay and Esther “Tibe” Stoler and brother, Stuart. He is survived by wife, Kim; children: Madisen, Evan, and Jordan; sister and brother-in-law, Sue and Jerry Wacks; and by a legion of friends whom he also considered family. Alan was born Sept 10, 1953 and his presence on earth will be greatly missed. He served as a voice of reason, source of strength, and life-loving man to family, friends, and colleagues. An attorney for 40 years, his love of the law and winning argument before the U.S. Supreme Court leaves a lasting impact. His family and friends will keep his memory alive through good food, quality time, and supporting the Cornhuskers. Memorials may be made to the organization of your choice.
State of New York sues Harvey Weinstein
JTA news sTAff e state of New York has filed a lawsuit against Harvey Weinstein, his brother and their production company for violating laws against sexual harassment and sexual abuse. e lawsuit filed in New York State Supreme Court on Feb. 11 includes “new and extensive allegations about longtime company CEO Harvey Weinstein’s vicious and exploitative mistreatment of company employees,” the oﬃce of state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said in a statement. It follows a four-month investigation that included interviews with multiple company employees, executives and survivors of Harvey Weinstein’s sexual misconduct. Executives of e Weinstein Company “repeatedly failed to take meaningful steps to protect company employees or curb Harvey Weinstein’s misconduct,” the lawsuit alleges. e civil rights lawsuit calls for the defendants to pay restitution and damages to the victims, something that was not provided within the framework of the sale of the company.
Iceland is getting its first resident rabbi in decades
CnAAn Liphshiz JTA e Chabad movement is sending a rabbi and his wife to Iceland, an island nation with 250 Jews where ritual slaughter of animals is illegal and circumcision is likely to be outlawed as well. Rabbi Avi Feldman, 27, of Brooklyn, New York, and his Sweden-born wife Mushky, are slated to settle with their two daughters in Reykjavík, the world’s northernmost capital city, later this year, the couple told JTA last week. e country is not known to have had a resident rabbi servicing an active Jewish community there since 1918, the year it gained independence from what was then A view of Reykjavik in 2014. the Kingdom of Credit: Matt Cardy/Getty Images Denmark. e announcement closely followed news last month that lawmakers from four political parties in Iceland submitted a bill proposing to outlaw nonmedical circumcision of boys younger than 18 and equates that practice, common among Jews and Muslims, with female genital mutilation – the custom of removing parts of a girl’s clitoris, which is common in some African Muslim communities. “We hope to bring awareness of the relevance and importance of brit milah,” the rabbi told JTA, using the Hebrewlanguage word for Jewish ritual circumcision, which is typically performed on boys when they are eight days old. “We hope to bring this awareness to local Icelandic people and especially to lawmakers in their decision on rules, which we hope will have a religious exemption clause.” Feldman and his wife visited Iceland in December and organized a Hanukkah celebration for the community, which is made up of some locals and Jewish expatriates from the United States and Israel. e couple hopes to set up an educational framework for Jewish children, a synagogue and a mikvah, or Jewish ritual bath, none of which exist in Iceland, a nation of some 300,000 people. A Chabad spokesman said Reykjavík is one of only a handful of European capital cities without a synagogue. e absence of infrastructure for Jewish communities can be seen as “a challenge,” the rabbi said, “but it’s also a tremendous opportunity, to set up a living breathing community.” Notwithstanding, local Jews have celebrated holidays in Iceland also without a resident rabbi, oen with help from yeshiva students and Chabad rabbis who came there especially to celebrate the dates, Feldman said, calling this “inspiring and very special.” Despite the decades-long ban on ritual slaughter in Iceland, “the country actually has a lot more kosher products than many people realize,” Feldman said. is is because the island depends on imports from Europe and the United States, “so this means you can find products with a kosher label in your average minimarket.” Mushky Feldman, who grew up in Gothenburg, Sweden, said she looked forward to “bringing the light of Judaism to one of the world’s darkest places,” a reference to how Reykjavík in January enjoys only 4 1/25 hours of daylight. “But sunrise comes aer 11 a.m., so that means we’ll get to see the sunrise every day.” she noted. In the summer, Reykjavík has days with 18 hours of daylight. e Feldmans said they will travel to Reykjavík next month to organize a Passover seder.
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16 | The Jewish Press | February 16, 2018
Guava and cheese hamantaschen sandy Leibowitz The Nosher via JTA uava, or guayaba in Spanish, is native to tropical areas such as Mexico, Central America, South America and the Caribbean. Because of its proximity and availability, the fruit is a part of many Latino cuisines. Guavas have a strong tropical fragrance and floral taste notes similar to papaya and grape. ey can be prepared a variety of ways (think smoothies, cocktails, glazed over grilled meats, and even fish), but is especially wonderful mixed with cheese, such as queso fresco, because it provides the sweet and salty element that is so irresistible. If you cannot find queso fresco in your area, you can also use a mild feta (try soaking it in water to remove some of the saltiness). Another option is ricotta cheese supplemented with a nice pinch of salt. Guavas can be found fresh from early spring through the winter, but in this recipe, I used a guava paste, which can be found year-round and is much easier to work with, as the many seeds have been removed. You can find guava paste in the international section of most large supermarkets (I found mine at ShopRite), and there is even kosher-certified guava paste. Please note: In this particular recipe, you want to make sure to use paste and not jelly, as jelly can ooze out too much. Sandy Leibowitz is a trained chef, recipe developer and food blogger. Find more of her recipes at www.thekoshertomato.com and follow her on instagram @thekoshertomato. e Nosher food blog oﬀers a dazzling array of new and classic Jewish recipes and food news, from Europe to Yemen, from challah to shakshuka and beyond. Check it out at www.eNosher.com.
Ingredients: 14 ounces guava paste 1 cup of water 1 roll store-bought phyllo dough, thawed 1/2 cup (1 stick), melted butter 1 cup (approximately) queso fresco (or feta cheese or ricotta)
Directions: Preheat your oven to 350 F. In a saucepan over low heat, mix the guava paste and 1/2 cup water with a whisk until the mixture comes together and there are no lumps. Add the rest of the water if needed. Continue to add water and whisk thoroughly until you achieve the desired consistency. When it is the right consistency it should coat the back of a spoon, like a thick sauce. Set aside and allow to cool. When working with the phyllo dough, it’s very important to gently roll it out flat and immediately cover it with a damp towel. This ensures that it doesn’t dry out while you are working with it. Take approximately 3-4 sheets at a time and use a cookie cutter or a cup with a diameter of approximately 2 1/2 inches, and make circles as close together as you can (to maximize the amount you can make on one stack of sheets). I recommend scoring the dough around the cutter or cup with the tip of a sharp paring knife.
Guava and Cheese hamantasChen
Work quickly to fold up the edges of the circles and pinch on 3 corners to create a triangle. Brush them with a generous amount of melted butter to hold the edges together. After you have made all your triangles, fill each one with a little bit of crumbled queso fresco and top with approximately 1-2 tsp. of the guava “sauce.” Take care not to fill too much or the guava will melt a bit and ooze out of the triangle. Bake on a sheet pan
Credit: Sandy Leibowitz
lined with parchment paper about 15-20 minutes, until golden brown. When the hamantaschen are done, allow them to cool on a rack a few minutes before eating them. Note: They are best enjoyed soon after they come out of the oven, but you can also reheat them in a 350 F. oven for a few minutes until warm and enjoy them the next day. Makes 2 dozen hamantaschen.