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this week



JCC Maccabi team Omaha

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Lincoln PJ Library family outing page 5


rachel Kricsfeld, left, Laura Kirshenbaum, rachel Martin, david Kay, david Seelig of Oklahoma City and Lev denenberg

2018 Annual Campaign Major Donor events pages 8 & 9

raCHEL MartiN eam Omaha had an awesome week at the 2017 JCC Maccabi Games in Birmingham, AL, July 30Aug. 4. Five Jewish teen athletes from Omaha and Oklahoma City trained, prepared for and represented the Omaha delegation. More than 1000 athletes from seven countries came together to compete in athletics, connect with Jewish teens, and give back to both

Mega turn out for the Mega Challah Bake page 11

inside Viewpoint Synagogues Life cycles

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The Volunteer Coordinator and Activities Team at RBJH

Emily Clement, left, Sarah Navratil, Jill Ohlmann, Sabine Strong, Maggie Conti and Mary Heiman

OzziE NOgg Maggie Conti, Director of Activities and Outreach Programs at the Rose Blumkin Home, bubbles with enthusiasm when she talks about Sabine Strong, the Rose Blumkin Home Volunteer Coordinator, and

the RBJH Activities Coordinators — Mary Heiman, Jill Ohlmann, Sarah Navratil, and Emily Clement. “Sabine has been in charge of coordinating our volunteers since February,” Maggie explained, “acting as a liaison between the Home and LOVE. Our Activities Directors are called Coordinators now, and Mary Heiman has been part of the team since 2008. Jill Ohlmann started last September. Sarah Navratil was a Geriatric Intern who worked here during her last semester at UNO. When Karen Menagh, one of our veteran Activities Directors, left for Texas because her husband got a new job there, Sarah switched gears and took Karen’s place. It was perfect timing. And Emily Clement replaced Karen Hook when See Meet the team page 4

the Jewish and greater communities of Birmingham. Team Omaha may be the only delegation that came home with more medals than members of the entire delegation! Southern hospitality is no joke in Birmingham. All of the volunteers, security officers, and staff were incredibly friendly and accommodating to the JCC Maccabi Games athletes and participants. There was a police escort for each See JCC Maccabi team page 2

Judaism explored

Sam Looking for Jews near Ødda, Norway.

SaM LiEb aNd EtHaN pOtaSH This summer, at 20 years of age each, we had the opportunity to travel to Israel together. We have been close friends since our third grade Hebrew School class. We went through bar mitzvahs, middle school and BBYO together, and this summer we wanted to experience the country we had heard so much about, while at the same time testing the limits of how many days in a row we could eat exclusively falafel. We decided to go on Birthright, and found out that we had some funds available through the Passport to Israel program to do some additional travelling after the tour. So we set off on

a five-week journey to Israel, Holland and Norway in search of chickpeas and a better understanding of our culture. Most of our time in Israel was spent with a large tour group, seeing the sights rapid-fire in an attempt to experience as much of the country as possible. Starting in the North we hiked in the rugged Golan Heights, saw the towns of Tiberius and Tzfat and got to know the 38 other Americans we were travelling with. We went on to haggle in the markets of Jerusalem and party in Tel Aviv, bringing in the Sabbath on the shores of the Dead Sea. We went See Judaism explored page 3

2 | The Jewish Press | September 22, 2016

JCC Maccabi Team


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Continued fron page 1 bus that transported the athletes, and some of the officers even participated in activities during the evening or at Hang Time. The back of the host family shirts in Birmingham read: Top 10 Things You’ll Hear in a Birmingham Host Home: 1. Shalom Y’all! 2. Need a nosh? 3. Bless your heart, you look whipped. 4. Have you eaten? 5. Yes, Ma’am, there are Jews in Birmingham! 6. We were just fixin’ to eat, y’all hungry? 7. What?! You’ve never eaten grits? 8. Hold your horses; we will be there in a minute. 9. You don’t eat enough to keep a bird alive. Have more! 10. Y’all come back soon! The Team Omaha athletes included Lev Denenberg (Flag Football), David Kay (Flag Football), Laura Kirshenbaum (Dance), Rachel Kricsfeld (Dance), and David Seelig of Oklahoma City (Flag Football). Leo Kohll, another Jewish Omaha teen, competed in a separate week of JCC Maccabi Games in Miami, FL, as part of the St. Louis delegation. The dancers learned and perfected their performances over the summer. Kirshenbaum and Kricsfeld performed two duets together and one solo each in the Lyrical and Modern Dance genres. Some of their pieces were choreographed by past JCC Maccabi dancers from Team Omaha, Zoe Berman and Leora McNamara.

Read about three athlete experiences below: Maccabi was a bunch of different fun experiences. Starting off with meeting new people. I met so many new people and am still in contact with them. Hopefully, I will see them next year. One of the other experiences was the freedom we had to go anywhere we wanted whenever we weren’t doing our sports. There was other stuff to do like hang out at hang time or go watch other sports. There even was a game truck. The last and best experience was playing football; it was so much fun! We played hard and had fun the entire time. Another thing that was awesome: we played with kids who were from Louisville and Houston. We played against teams that were from Dallas, Nashville, Denver, and South Jersey. It was so much fun and I can’t wait to go again next year! -David Kay, Flag Football

Maccabi is truly one of the best experiences I’ve ever had. This year I made three close friends from Nashville and Memphis, as well as many friends from all over the world. One of my favorite memories from this year’s games is when six other dancers and I were able to perform at the halftime of a basketball game. I had so much fun learning the dance in a day-and-a-half with dancers from Israel and Memphis. Performing in front of so many athletes and host families was amazing. Another one of my favorite aspects of Maccabi is trading pins with everyone. Personally, I came home with 46 different pins this year. Some of my favorites are the Las Vegas pin that has the Hebrew letter sin then the word city in English and a Birmingham pin that has Yoda holding a light saber that lights up with the words “May the Force be with Jew.” The last night of Maccabi was an amazing end to the whole week. All the athletes met in the JCC gym to trade pins one last time as well as shirts, hats, and bags. After that, we went outside to enjoy a variety of carnival rides along with a DJ, henna artists and more. It was the perfect time to talk to and laugh with all of the friends I’d met one last time. I cannot wait to compete at Maccabi again next year! -Laura Kirshenbaum, Dance My experience in this year’s JCC Maccabi Games in Birmingham,

Kirshenbaum and Kricsfeld each came home with four gold medals and one Midot medal! Unique to the 2017 Games, all dancers who wanted to were able to take a class from one of the dance judges and perform the learned dance at the well-attended championship game of 16 and under boys’ basketball. The dancers rehearsed for two days before the performance. The performers included Kirshenbaum and Kricsfeld from Omaha, five Israeli dancers, and one dancer from Memphis. Both Kirshenbaum and Kricsfeld were awarded Midot medals for their positive attitudes and upbeat personalities throughout the class, rehearsal, and performance. Midot medals are awarded to anyone (delegation heads, athletes, coaches, volunteers, chaperones) for exemplifying any of the six Midot values: Jewish Peoplehood, Joy, Pride, Respect, Tikkun Olam, and Big Heartedness. Team Omaha also awarded a Midot medal to one of our own athletes, David Seelig. Seelig played on a flag football

team with athletes from Omaha, Houston, and Louisville. The team’s coach was from Houston. Seelig demonstrated true sportsmanlike qualities such as congratulating team-

Alabama, was phenomenal! I competed in dance with Laura Kirshenbaum where we both performed two duets and each had a solo of our own. Every year, athletes trade their city’s pins and clothing for other cities as a way to know which delegations are at the Games and what spectacular people you’ll meet. Coming from a small delegation like Omaha means everyone will want your city’s pins and merchandise. Right off the bat, everyone loved Team Omaha’s Kool Aid theme this year. The opening ceremonies were very interesting as we learned about the city of Birmingham and had a private performance from Jewish reggae musician, Matisyahu. After Matisyahu’s performance (which went viral within hours), we were pushed into the competition the next morning. The dancers’ competition schedule was very different from most other sports at this year’s Games. We competed on Monday and Tuesday and learned a piece for the final basketball game’s halftime show on Wednesday and performed it on Thursday. The dancers Laura and I went up against were extremely talented, but we still won the gold in everything we competed in. We even won an additional and unexpected medal for having the best modern style piece which was choreographed by Zoe Berman. I had a blast learning the halftime show dance with the few dancers who decided to stick with it who were from Israel, Memphis, and Omaha. The seven of us performed wonderfully and were awarded with Midot Medals for not dropping out of the piece like most of the other dancers had. That makes five medals each for Laura and me. As always, the evening activities were entertaining. Monday was host family night, Tuesday night offered coffee houses where athletes could go swimming, Wednesday, all athletes had a block party with access to a science museum, an outstanding DJ, and a surprise arrival by the Mayor of Birmingham. The closing ceremonies were held on Thursday night at the Levite JCC where there were inflatables, carnival rides, henna stations, silent discos, live music, delicious food and loads of fun. We closed off the games with a colorful firework show and a bittersweet goodbye to all the wonderful friends we made who we won’t see until next year’s games. I cannot wait to attend the 2018 Orange County JCC Maccabi Games. -Rachel Kricsfeld, Dance mates on good passes or catches, and not responding to the negative comments from the opposing team. Despite losing some games, Seelig always remained positive and focused on how to improve the next play. Mark your calendars, because we are recruiting for and building up Team Omaha for the 2018 JCC Maccabi Games and ArtsFest, to be held in Orange County, CA, Aug. 5-10. There, two JCCs will be co-hosting 2,000+ Jewish teen athletes from around the world. The JCC Maccabi Games is an Olympic-style athletic competition for Jewish teens age 1316. JCC membership or synagogue affiliation are not required. For more information about Team Omaha, contact JCC Member Services at 402.334.6426.

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Save room for BBQ in the Sukkah!


He knows what he’s doing: Mike Aparo during the KC Kosher BBQ Competition in 2015.

GABBy BLAir Staff Writer, Jewish Press t’s almost that time of the year again... the kids are busy making new decorations in Hebrew School, lulavs and etrogs are being ordered, and you are trying to figure out just how many people can fit in your sukkah. Why not take a night off from cooking and plan to join your friends and family at the 7th Annual Sukkot BBQ night presented by Star Deli!? This year, Omaha’s premier all-kosher BBQ extravaganza is set to take place Tuesday, Oct. 10 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at RBJH where seating will be available in the dining hall or in a courtyard Sukkah. While reservations are not required, they are recommended as the Sukkot BBQ is known to fill up and sell out fast! Long time Blumkin Home Chef and Director of Food Services, Mike Aparo, is not spilling the baked beans about this year’s menu just quite yet. “We will, of course, have an assortment of freshly smoked meats, all prepared to perfection, sauces, and sides. Drinks and desserts will also be available ala carte.” Jen Addison, Supervisor of Food Services, dished, “This year, our new catering chef Taylor Fox will assist Mike Aparo in getting the smoke rolling early Monday; so be prepared for mouthwatering aromas to be wafting around The JCC campus! Planning for this highly-anticipated event begins up to a year in advance and is a huge hit with the community and residents alike. “People love coming to Deli night, and we have many families who enjoy eating a delicious BBQ dinner with their loved ones who live at the Home,” explains Addison. “With so few options for eating out Kosher in Omaha, especially for meat, The Sukkot BBQ Deli Night is always well attended and has become a tradition.” Addison also points out that “the way Sukkot falls this year, our BBQ Deli night will be the ONLY Deli put on during the Chag.” She encourages people to mark their calendars now and plan on breaking bread with family and friends over a “fresh and delicious BBQ feast this Sukkot!” For reservations, questions or more information, contact Mike Aparo at or 402.334.6522. Please note that due to the upcoming Chagim, there will be NO Deli on the Fridays of Sept. 22, Oct. 6 or Oct. 13. The Deli WiLL be OPEN for lunch on Friday, Sept. 29 (Erev Yom Kippur).

The Jewish Press | September 22, 2016 | 3


Judaism explored

Continued from page 1 on incredible hikes through desert canyons and tasted crops on a kibbutz; we visited the Western Wall, learned at Yad Vashem and mourned at Mount Herzl National Cemetery. Though we were together only 10 days, the group bonded quickly and easily through our shared adventures. Everything that happened during Birthright happened quickly, which was exciting but exhausting. We weren’t left much time to process things; so it was a relief when after our tour ended, we were able to go back to Tel Aviv for a few days to just be in Israel without a schedule or timeline. It was then that we really began to feel the weight of the country and what it meant to be there. We were able to explore old Jaffa, go surfing, see friends we had made during the tour and bask in Tel Aviv’s vibrations. After two days of sunshine and hummus, we said goodbye and made our way to Amsterdam. Travelling to Europe directly after Israel cast the countries in an entirely different light than they would have seemed on its own – everything around us was framed in the context of what we had just experienced. We spent a week in Amsterdam where we were able to see some of the sites of the Jewish diaspora. We visited the Anne Frank house, an intensely individual Holocaust story that magnified our visit to Yad Vashem in Jerusalem. We marveled at the beauty of the Portuguese synagogue, lit with hundreds of candles and styled in the Sephardic tradition, reminding us of the colorful shul we saw in Tzfat - although this felt more serious and very fitting to its place. We looked for falafel but found only disappointment in this city of stroopwafel, so with full hearts but

Sam Lieb and Ethan Potash having falafel in Jerusalem with a fellow participant in the Birthright program. empty stomachs we flew on to Norway. Norway, a country of around 2,000 Jews, surprisingly did not offer much to see in terms of Jewish life. In between hiking trips through the fjords, we sought out one of the two synagogues in the country, only to find a guard unwilling to let us inside due to tight security. He was Israeli, and we talked to him about anti-Semitism in Norway, growing concerns over terrorism throughout Europe and what it was like moving from Israel to a place where he is now a minority. It was strange not being allowed to step foot into a regular synagogue, a thing we take for granted in the U.S. The experience helped us appreciate even more the belonging we had felt in Israel. We are very grateful to Birthright, the Jewish Federation and Beth El for making this trip possible! Thanks to these organizations, we can now say

with confidence that our breaking point is at one full week of falafel. We know that this will not be our last time in Israel. Sam Lieb and Ethan Potash were able to use their Passport to Israel accounts for domestic airfare and to extend their “Birthright – Israel Outdoors” trip. The Passport to Israel Program is a savings program in which the family sets aside money into a designated account every year in anticipation of the child taking a trip to Israel. At the time of the trip, the Jewish Federation of Omaha and the family’s synagogue each match dollar for dollar the participant’s amount to assist with the cost of the trip. There are program requirements and limitations. For questions and to begin enrollment, contact Mark Kirchhoff at or 402.334.6463

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RBJH Grandparents’ Day

Alla Pashchenko playing the slot machines with volunteer Joanie Bernstein Jill OhlmAnn Activities Coordinator, RBJH Grandparents’ Day is always a special occasion at the Rose Blumkin Jewish Home, and this year was no exception. Residents, as well as seniors from the Omaha community, were treated to a Las Vegas-themed celebration on Sept. 10. Blackjack, Craps, Roulette, and Slot Machines were spread out across Mainstreet, and prizes were awarded to everyone. Michael Gurciullo and his 5-piece band provided a concert featuring the music of the Rat Pack. The event was hosted by League Offering Volunteers for the Elderly, and sponsored by the Sheldon A. and Lorrie Bernstein, Betty A. Studna and Seymour T. Lee, and Chester and Phyllis Lustgarten Endowment Funds.

Sports brief

John Spears, from Integrity ATA Martial Arts, recently competed in Lincoln, Nebraska. He placed 1st place in forms, traditional sparring and combat sparring. John recently tested to become a Blue Belt. He is well on his way to becoming a Black Belt. Sandy Gordon, 3rd Degree Black Belt and owner of Integrity ATA also competed at this tournament. She placed 2nd in traditional forms and 1st place in traditional sparring, combat sparring, weapons and creative weapons.

Meet the team

Continued from page 1 Karen decided she wanted to be a bus driver for Meals on Wheels and for RBJH and community outreach outings. I’m so grateful for this activity crew and volunteer coordinator,” Maggie continued, “because they are all caring, kind and trustworthy, things you cannot teach. With these qualities, the rest of the workload falls into place These women are a dream team.” Each member of the dream team has impressive credentials. • SABine StrOnG, Volunteer Coordinator, was born in Germany and came to the United States in 1993. She earned a BS in Chemistry and Mechanical Technology from the College of Industry and Commerce in her native country, and has advanced training in logistics, nutrition, cooking, baking, household economics and management. Before coming to the Blumkin Home, Sabine served as Laboratory Manager at a local hearing aid laboratory. She also taught German cooking and German language to adults and children at Metropolitan Community College and the German-American Society, and was a substitute interpreter for Millard Public Schools. At the RBJH, Sabine recruits, trains and supervises volunteers, fills requests from the Activities Department by planning, developing, implementing, evaluating and directing the volunteer program, provides the Activities Coordinators with volunteers and works with the activities team on events and occasional activities. “The chance to help others, to see their smiling, happy faces and to brighten a Resident’s day gives me the most satisfaction in my work with the elderly,” Sabine said. “I’m still amused by the exchange I had with one Resident when I introduced my husband to her when he was visiting the Home. She told me I had a handsome son and asked if I had any other children. Even though my husband is actually three years older that I am, I wasn’t able to convince the Resident that this man was my husband, not my son. On another occasion, a Resident showed me his photo album from when he was stationed in the service in Germany, including his family pictures. It was so nice to have the Resident share such personal treasures with me. It touched me, especially because he had many photos from German towns that I recognized.” • mAry heimAn is a familiar face in the RBJH neighborhoods, and January 2, 2018, will mark her ten-year anniversary at the Blumkin Home. For Mary, the most satisfying part of her work “is when I’m able to motivate, engage and encourage the Residents to stay involved in their daily life here at the Home, and when I meet the Residents’ basic need to feel loved, admired and appreciated.” Mary Heiman earned an Associate Degree in Human Services from Metropolitan Community College and received her Activity Coordinator Certificate from Iowa Western community college. She has 22 years’ experience in the field. “Each of the Activity Coordinators on the Blumkin Home staff brings her own personality, talents and gifts,” Mary said. “We understand that we each hold a unique position on the team, and this understanding lets us work really well together to serve the best interests of the Residents.” • Jill OhlmAnn holds an English Degree from the University of Nebraska, Omaha, and came to the Blumkin Home from the Millard Good Samaritan Society where she began volunteering in 2011. “Then I got a part-time job there as a weekend Activity Assistant,” Jill said. “I really enjoyed it, so I was thrilled to have the opportunity to work full-time at the RBJH. I’ve been here now for a year, and I truly enjoy

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getting to know our Residents and hearing their stories. Many of them have lived through the historical events I learned about in school, and it’s fascinating to hear them share their memories.” Like her colleagues, Jill considers herself part of “an amazing team, each with different strengths and talents that we bring to the group.” To ensure the Activities Department’s success, the four Coordinators meet almost every morning to plan the day and discuss any concerns they may have. “I find working with the elderly in a long-term care facility a truly rewarding experience,” Jill said. “I know the work I do matters. I have the opportunity to make someone’s life a little happier, sometimes even on the last day of their lives.” • SArAh nAvrAtil began her association with the Blumkin Home in January, 2017, as an intern, prior to being hired as a full-time staff member this past April. In May, Sarah graduated from UNO where she majored in Gerontology. “There are so many things that give me satisfaction working with the elderly,” Sarah said. “I love being able to truly connect with the Blumkin Home Residents and bond over the interests they have. We Activities Coordinators constantly aim to spice up programs and events for the Residents.” • emily Clement earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work from Nebraska Wesleyan. While in college, she worked at a YMCA day care and in the activities department at an assisted living home. After graduation and before coming to RBJH, Emily acted as a case worker with families involved in the child welfare system. As a Blumkin Home Activities Coordinator, Emily supervises morning activities for the Residents in her neighborhood and makes sure they also join in large group activities with other Blumkin neighborhoods. Activities Coordinators also take the residents on drives and outings off-campus as often as possible and involve them in wider community activities. “I love working with the elderly,” Emily said, “because our society values youth, and the elderly are often discarded and forgotten. They are full of wisdom and amazing stories and it’s very rewarding to be a friend to them, especially if they don’t have a lot of friends or family visitors. I was able to connect with a resident who does not get out of his room much and began taking him to the Kripke Library at the JCC,” Emily added. “I got to know his interests, and now we’re planning a trip to the Joslyn for a lecture on archaeology, something he used to do before he became a Resident here. I’m so glad I have the opportunity to help Residents participate in the activities they once enjoyed.” Few, if any, non-staff members appreciate the day-to-day workings of the Rose Blumkin Jewish Home Activities Department as well as Joanie Bernstein — the woman Maggie Conti calls “the best volunteer ever.” Commenting on the Activities Team and Volunteer Coordinator, Bernstein said, “The greatest strength they have as a group is their total awareness of the individual abilities of every Resident. They build on that awareness to provide activities they know residents will love — programs that make them smile. Group activities like the annual County Fair, the recent Eclipse Party, plus small dinners and music while dining make the RBJH a wonderful place to call home. No other facility has as many personnel using their individual talents and creativity for such wonderful results. When you hear about the Blumkin Home, you know that these women — Sabine, Mary, Jill, Sarah and Emily — play a huge role in creating the caring, warm and loving environment. I’m truly impressed with all of them.”

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4 | The Jewish Press | September 22, 2016

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The Jewish Press | September 22, 2016 | 5

Lincoln PJ Library family outing


Members of Lincoln’s PJ Library families, from tots to tweens, enjoyed a morning of sharing Rosh Hashanah stories and picking apples at Martin’s Hillside orchard in ceresco in anticipation of Rosh Hashanah.

SaRaH KeLen n anticipation of Rosh Hashanah, Lincoln’s PJ Library families spent a Sunday morning picking apples and sharing stories at Martin’s Hillside Orchard in Ceresco. Ten families gathered in the orchard to read Rosh Hashanah themed books in small groups, with middle schoolers reading to preschoolers and elementary school children sharing books with parents. Then the families set off to pick fruit, play in the orchard’s play areas, and enjoy a late sum-

mer day outdoors as 5777 heads to its close. Lincoln has two PJ Library groups, one for the families of the South Street Temple and another for the families of Tifereth Israel Synagogue. This was the first time the two groups have partnered for an activity, and the families all enjoyed the opportunity to meet one another if they had not yet, or to reconnect with friends after the summer break from religious school. Everyone left with plenty of apples to ensure that both parents and children enjoy a sweet new year.

B’nai Israel welcomes Professor Greenspoon

nancy woLf Civilization at Creighton University, For more than 15 years, Dr. where he is also Professor of ClasLeonard Greenspoon has been visitsical & Near Eastern Studies and of ing B’nai Israel Synagogue in Council Theology, positions he has held for Bluffs to share thoughts and wis22 years. The author or editor of aldom for Kol Nidre services. We are most 30 books, Greenspoon is a spepleased to announce that Leonard cialist in the Hebrew Bible, Second will be with us again and give the Temple Judaism, Bible Translation D’var Torah on Sept. 29 at 7:30 and Religion in Popular Culture. p.m., entitled To Gefi and Shosh: A We hope you will join us Friday Leonard Greenspoon Grandfather’s Reflections on Jews evening Sept. 29 at 7:30 p.m. for and Judaism. this very special service. Our spiritual leader and CanDr. Greenspoon holds the Klutznick Chair in Jewish torial Soloist will be Jeffrey Taxman.

snowbirds Please let the Jewish Press know in advance when you are leaving and when you are returning. Sometimes several papers are sent to your “old” address before we are notified by the Post Office. Every time they return a paper to us, you miss the Jewish Press and we are charged! Please call us at 402.334.6448 or email us at

6 | The Jewish Press | September 22, 2016

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Tickets are now available for An Evening with The Heirloomist. The Oct. 21 fundraiser will showcase a modern photography exhibit by native Omahan Shana Novak highlighting Jewish Omaha heirlooms. The images will be up for silent auction that evening with proceeds going to benefit the Nebraska Jewish Historical Society. The event has been generously underwritten by the Staenberg Family Foundation. The Heirloomist is a project of world-renowned photographer and Omaha native, Shana Novak. Novak is an established still-life photographer based in New York City. Her clients include well-known brands in media, fashion, and design. She brings a background in publishing and advertising to her photography ensuring that every client is expertly treated to the art of visual storytelling. Via the Heirloomist, Novak creates one-of-a-kind modern art photographs from prize possessions and family heirlooms. Novak’s work can be seen at and has recently been featured in O Magazine. “We had some amazing submissions from the community. Attendees can expect to see something special from each of Omaha’s synagogues, as well as pieces highlighting Omaha institutions like the old Highland Country Club, Brodkey’s, the original JCC and Julio’s,” said event chair, Danny Cohn. “Additionally, we had some great family pieces including Torahs, cookbooks, Mah Jongg sets and a special tallit from the collection of Cantor Leo and Annette Fettman.” Shana will kick-off the evening with a short talk on the importance of family heirlooms and how best to incorporate the heirlooms you love into everyday life through photography. She will discuss how she became interested in the subject, where she finds the

inspiration for each piece she captures on film. “I was raised to be proud of where I came from. I’m so lucky to have been brought up in this community. One of the things The Heirloomist aims to do is

shine a light on all that is great and special about where we come from. Turning my focus to the Omaha community is deep for me because they are my people. When I share their stories, I share mine, too.” The Oct. 21 event will be from 7:30–9:30 p.m. at the event space at the Hot Shops, 1301 Nicholas St. A dessert and cocktail reception will accompany the silent auction and Novak’s talk. Proceeds from the evening will help endow the future of the Nebraska Jewish Historical Society. Ticket levels are $18 for entry or $54 which includes entry and a one year membership to the Nebraska Jewish Historical Society. A limited number of patron tickets are available at $1,800 which includes entry, a one-year membership to the Nebraska Jewish Historical Society and a session with The Heirloomist capturing a family heirloom of your choice on film. All ticket levels are 100 percent tax deductible. Tickets can be purchased by calling the NJHS office at 402.334.6441 or visit https://heirloomist.event

This is Hunger comes to Temple Israel

Connect with fellow Jewish business people



Jewish Business Leaders of Omaha Hall of Fame 7:30-9 a.m. Honoring Borsheims and Nebraska Furniture Mart


17 APR.



Bagels & Business 7:30-8:30 a.m. Featured speaker Todd Simon, Senior Vice President, Omaha Steaks

Bagels & Business 7:30-8:30 a.m. Featured speaker Harley D. Schrager, retired President, Chief Operating Officer/co-owner of The Pacesetter Corporation

Bagels & Business 7:30-8:30 a.m. Featured speaker Rachel Jacobson, Executive Director at Film Streams

These events are free with membership. For more information contact Steve Levinger

402.334.6433 | Register online at

Wendy GOldberG The faces of hunger in America are both familiar and hidden from view, yet they are all too real and far too many. Temple Israel is proud to host This Is Hunger, an interactive experience on wheels (literally, it’s a big rig!) brought to us by MAZON: A Jewish Response to Hunger.

to sit at a communal table and virtually “meet” real people struggling with hunger. Portraits are projected at each end of the table, one by one, as individuals share their stories in their own voices and in their own words. At the end of part one, participants are invited to engage in activities that deepen their awareness about the complexities of being hungry and join MAZON in educating the rest of our nation and advocating for change. All Are WelCOMe We want everyone in the community to know that This Is Hunger is coming and YOU ARE invited. To accomplish this, we could really use your help. Please help us spread the word. A POWerFUl ACTIVITy This Is Hunger is a first-of-its-kind experience that will change FOr GrOUPS the way you see your neighborhood, Omaha, and the United This Is Hunger is a great States. This interactive touring exhibit housed in a big-rig will il- learning opportunity for luminate the troubling prevalence of hunger in America and ignite youth, sixth grade and older, our commitment to end hunger once and for all. #thisishunger as well as adults - especially When the 53-foot-long double expandwhen complimented by the This Is Hunger able trailer is parked and open on both educational supplements. sides, it provides almost 1,000 square feet of This Is Hunger is open to the community interior space to take participants on a voyand will be at 13111 Sterling Ridge Drive age of awareness and activism: to help them from Oct. 1-4. To see when the truck is understand the stark reality of hunger in open and reserve your free tickets, visit this America and to spark their commitment to and click on Find Tickets. For taking action that will help end hunger once questions, please contact: Wendy Goldberg and for all. at We look forInside the truck, the experience is divided ward to seeing you in the truck! into two parts. First, participants are invited


Cupdate #2 Sarah Linn and Haozerim

gabby bLair counting on you to help Staff Writer, Jewish Press them in their efforts to arah Linn is strengthen the commuin it to win it! nity and bring home the Linn, an Kehilla Cup. Omaha naApparently, Team tive, UNL Haozerim means busigraduate and art teacher ness, as they have a comfor Omaha Public fortable lead among the Schools, is pretty confiteams with 1320 points! dent that her team is Currently, in second going to bring the Keplace is Team Sarah Linn Mashugana led by Emily hilla Cup home. “I have Epstein-Ray with 280 points, Eric and the an awesome team who is dedicated, ready Shap-Heroes with 220 points, Don Gerto work and determined to win! We are ber’s Kehilla Monsters with 180 points and going to apply the best of ourselves to the Geoffrey Silverstein’s Team Shofar at 160 task at hand and I can’t wait to get started!” Sarah has recruited a strong team points. Dusty Friedman’s KeHIPAA Cupliance and Jeff Zacharia’s Team Friedel are of hard workers including Naomi Fox, off to a slower start with zero points, but Brian Fahey, Annie Rips, Susan Long and Anna Kohll. Together, they make up Team it’s only the first week and we are expecting great things. Haozerim, ‘The Helpers,’ and they are

Memo from LOVE

SabinE StrOng Volunteer Coordinator, RBJH Sending a card to a friend or LOVEd one is a nice way to express one’s thoughtfulness. Please consider sending one of LOVE’s (League Offering Volunteers For The Elderly) tribute cards. It is an easy way of doing a Mitzvah! Tribute cards are available In SYMPATHY of or In HONOR of. The cards come in three denominations: $5, $10, and $18, and Sabine Strong showing off the LOVE tribute may be purchased individually or in packets. cards. Purchase five cards for the price of four, or 12 cards for the price of ten. Please contact Sabine Strong, Rose Blumkin Jewish Home Volunteer Coordinator at 402.334.6519, or Phyllis Wasserman at 402.498.2922. They will be happy to send the card for you. Simply send a check payable to LOVE c/o Sabine at 323 S 132 St, Omaha, NE 68154. What a nice way of remembering a friend or LOVEd one and at the same time helping LOVE. All funds raised will benefit the Residents of the Rose Blumkin Jewish Home.

The Jewish Press | September 22, 2016 | 7

community NCJW plans for the future bEcki brEnnEr President, NCJW Omaha Section As summer is drawing to a close and holiday preparations begin, the National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW) Omaha Section is beginning the process of organizational improvement, which is focused on our core mission of improving the quality of life for women, children, and families and by safeguarding individual rights and freedoms. The Omaha Section was recently awarded a grant to begin the process of strategic planning and understanding the needs of our membership and community. In the next year we hope to survey our members, to ask difficult questions about our future and, as we progress, to realign our efforts to reflect the needs of our membership. Look for our survey coming soon, requesting valuable feedback. As we start our new year, the Omaha Section will be focused on: community Service year of action – We are planning on increased community service projects targeting issues and vulnerable populations. While some of our yearly projects will continue, we are looking to expand our outreach in collaboration with other agencies through different and innovative programs. Public affairs and Education – Planning continues for our Wine and Conversation events that will provide an opportunity to engage with our members and community on key issues focused on our mission of individual rights and freedoms. The Unicameral begins a new session in January and the Omaha Section will continue to monitor legislation that impacts

women and families. The Omaha Section believes that a democratic society and its people must value diversity and promote mutual understanding and respect for all. Fundraising – We recognize that in order to promote the NCJW agenda and our mission, fundraising will remain a critical component. Being respectful of our members’ resources and their support of other organizations, NCJW will utilize our strategic planning process to improve our fundraising efforts and clearly delineate membership and donor giving. We respect our members’ willingness to support our organization when clearly stated programs and activities are shared. NCJW Omaha Section is excited for our new year and our new initiatives. Please check out our web page at for more information. You may also contact Omaha Section President Becki Brenner at with questions or comments. June 2017 saw the installation of our 2017-2018 Board of Directors: President – Becki Brenner; coVice Presidents of community Services – Pam DePorte, Janie Kulakofsky; Vice President of Membership – Jen Koom; Vice President; treasurer – Alice Klein; Financial Secretary – Patty Nogg; recording Secretary – Darlene Golbitz; Parliamentarian – Deb Marburg; Directors: Marlen Frost, Tippi Denenberg, Debbie Salomon, Pam Friedlander, Melissa Shrago; nominating committee – Shelly Stern, Linda Patton, Diane Malashock, Melinda Graham and Sarah Spooner.

thearts coming in october

publishing date | 10.21.16 space reservation | 10.10.16 camera ready deadline | 10.12.16 Contact our advertising executive to advertise in this very special edition.

Susan Bernard | 402.334.6559 |

8 | The Jewish Press | September 22, 2016

The Jewish Press | September 22, 2016 | 9

community 2018 ANNUAL CAMPAIGN

ANNETTE vAN DE KAMP Editor, Jewish Press

uesday Sept. 12, an enthusiastic crowd gathered at Happy Hollow to hear speaker Dr. Sima Goel. Betsy Baker, who co-Chaired the luncheon with her mother Judy, said: “Dr. Goel’s book Fleeing the Hijab tells the story of her very personal struggle for freedom as a young Jewish girl growing up in Iran during the 1980s. She decided she would rather flee from her homeland than stay and face oppression and persecution. Hers is an unbelievable story about crossing the most dangerous desert in the world with her sister, and their journey for almost a year to find the freedom they longed for.” She added: “Having the opportunity to hear her speak and share her journey in the company of other women in our Jewish community made for a very memorable aernoon. It is the people with whom my mother and I have the opportunity to collaborate that make events like these successful. Louri Sullivan is so dedicated and enthusiastic that we became excited as soon as she mentioned the speaker for the Women’s Luncheon! is event was a meaningful way to bring in the High Holy Days and feel gratitude for the many freedoms that we all enjoy today.” All attendees took home a complimentary copy of Dr. Goel’s book.

Top, from left to right: Judy Baker, speaker Sima Goel and Betsy Baker; Cindy Goldberg and Jan Goldstein; Debbie, Eunie and Tippi Denenberg; Nancy Noddle and Sandy Epstein. Second row: Elyce Azriel, Karen Flayhart and Shira Abraham. Third row: Dana Kaufman, Teresa Ruback and Ruth Erman; Denise Meyers, Sharon Kirshenbaum and Diane Malashock. Fourth row: Darlynn Fellman and Louri Sulivan; Pam Friedlander and Andee Scioli; Sandy Epstein and Janey Dann;

Jody Malashock and Debbi Zweiback; Jack and Judy Baker with Betsy Baker and Richard Heyman. Bottom row: Terri Schrager with Jeanie Neff; the center pieces were created by Judy Baker; Hillary Nather-Detisch, Toba Cohen-Dunning and Mary Sue Grossman.

Top, far right: David Gilinsky, speaker Sgt. Benjamin Anthony and David Kohll; Second row: Mike Platt, Joe Kirshenbaum; Steve Nogg, Jon Meyers and Don Goldstein; Jonathan Rockman and Bruce Friedlander; Joe Erman, Howard Epstein, Ted Friedland, Michael Siegel. Third row: Paul Epstein, Joe Erman, Bruce Shackman, Speedy Zweiback, Howard Kooper; Jeff Gordman; Eric Phillips and Joel Schlesinger. Fourth row: Don Goldstein, Alan

Murow, Sandy Friedman and Steve Nogg; David Gilinsky, Andy Ruback and Jeff Schrager; Micahel Goldstein, Scott Meyerson and Murray Newman. Fifth row: Richard Heyman and Todd Simon; Howard Kooper, Tom Fellman and Larry Kelberg; Joe Erman and Mike Kaufman. Bottom row, middle: Scott Meyerson with Michael Miller; Howard Kaslow, Nate Shapiro, Marty Ricks and Steve Levinger.

10 | The Jewish Press | September 22, 2016

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camping coming in october

Exciting programs and changes at schwalb Center


KasEy DE GoEy Schwalb Center Staff Assistant he Fall 2017 semester has arrived and the UNO Schwalb Center for Israel and Jewish Studies has several events scheduled. Our first event of the semester is the Middle East Forum on Thursday, Sept. 28, from noon–1 p.m. at the UNO Community Engagement Center (CEC) rooms 201 and 205. The next Middle East Forums will be held on Oct. 19 and Nov. 16 from noon–1 p.m. at the CEC rooms 230 & 231. On Monday, Oct. 16 at 7 p.m. we are hosting Dr. Tulika Chandra (Shiv Nadar University, India) and Rabbi Aryeh Azriel as they discuss Unfinished Stories: Hindu Scriptures and Jewish Midrash. The event will be held at the Hindu Temple located at 13110 Arbor Street. We are also a proud co-sponsor of the 30th Annual Symposium on Jewish Civilization held Oct. 29-30. The theme for this year is Next Year in Jerusalem: Exile and Return in Jewish History. The first session will be held at the UNO College of Public Affairs and Community Service room 132 on Sunday, Oct. 29 starting at 9 a.m. Further information is posted on the Schwalb Center website. In partnership with the Anti-Defamation League, the Schwalb Center is hosting daylong events on Nov. 7 on Rising Anti-Semitism. There will be several events throughout the day. More details will be on our website. Frontiers in Israeli Science is an innovative new collaboration with University of Nebraska Medical Center planned for November. Stay tuned for more information on the leading Israeli scientist who we will bring in. As many know, we lost a beloved member of the UNO and Omaha community earlier this year, Dr. Moshe Gershovich, Director of the Schwalb Center. He is deeply missed and we continue to honor his memory by seeking new opportunities to expand knowledge about Judaism and Israel at UNO and in Nebraska. Dr. Patrick McNamara has been named the new Schwalb Center Director. Patrick serves as the Director of International Studies and teaches Conflict Resolution, Sustainable Development, and Social Entrepreneurship in the Political Science department at UNO. He has been a panelist at several of our Middle East Forums. With Schwalb Center Special Programs

Coordinator Dr. Curtis Hutt, Associate Professor of Religious Studies, there will be continued momentum on the academic programs and products. Curtis co-edited a new book coming out soon entitled Jewish Religious and Philosophical Ethics. We will host a book release event in the coming months for that. Mary Macchietto Bernier, Owner of Inspired Giving: Changing the World Through Philanthropy, now serves as the new Schwalb Center Advisory Board Chair. “Moshe was an incredible man,” Mary said. “Creative and hard-working, he led the Schwalb Center with passion and conviction. I am honored to work with Patrick, Curtis, and the Schwalb Center Advisory Board to carry forward his great work.” The Dean of UNO’s College of Arts and Sciences, David Boocker, said, “We are excited about Patrick, Curtis, and Mary leading this next stage of the Schwalb Center’s development. After the passing of Moshe Gershovich who led the Center since 2012, we have a strong foundation to build upon.” Natan Schwalb echoed the Dean’s excitement when he said, “Hannah and I feel that Mary and Patrick will make a good team to lead the Center at this crucial time.” Patrick McNamara came to Omaha 18 years ago when his wife, Aviva Segall, was appointed Music Director of the Omaha Area Youth Orchestras. Their daughters, Ilana and Leora, attended Friedel Jewish Academy and are now students at Central High School. Their family is a member of Beth Israel Synagogue. He said, “For three reasons I am excited about this new opportunity to direct the Schwalb Center. I am a strong supporter of the mission. Being married to a Jew and raising Jewish children makes me very committed to Jewish studies, not just academically, but from a personal perspective. Finally, I want to build on the great legacy left by my friend and colleague Moshe Gershovich, of blessed memory, to take the Schwalb Center to the next level.” Finally, we would like to thank you all for your continuing support. In addition to attending events that are sponsored by the Schwalb Center, please bring your ideas to us. We appreciate your partnership. As we embrace this new season for the Schwalb Center, please see our website for more information: cas.unoma

Bearing Witness 2017

publishing date | 10.13.17 space reservation | 10.02.17 camera ready deadline | 10.04.17 Promote your business in this special issue. Contact our advertising executive to advertise in this very special edition.

Susan Bernard | 402.334.6559 |

Ruth KRoss Ruth Kross attended ADL’s Advanced Bearing Witness program this summer. Ruth is a teacher at Skutt High School. We are fortunate to have her in our community sharing what she has learned. I feel extremely fortunate to have been selected to be part of the 2017 Bearing Witness Advanced Program that traveled to Israel this summer. The ADL has made unique efforts to bridge the divide between members of the Jewish and Catholic faiths. Selected for the program were 18 Catholic school educators from across the United States. The program is named “Bearing Witness” because it asks its more than 2,000 participants to have the courage to bear witness to the truth of wrongs of the past and to bear witness to the truth of the Church’s teaching about how our relationship with Jews and all other religions should be ordered. During the 10 days in Israel, participants had time to engage in learning, active dialogue and collaboration in the Holy Land where so many faiths come to-

gether and where that close proximity is often strained. People of good will who serve in the Catholic and Jewish traditions went to experience Israel together. Friar Dennis Tamburello served as a chaplain on the trip. He described the trip as “a blessing on many levels. Not only did we learn about Israel’s geopolitical and social situation in great detail and from many perspectives, it was a profound spiritual experience for all of us.” We Catholics prayed among the Jewish men and women at the Western Wall as the Sabbath came in, and we shared the Shabbat meal and prayers with a Jewish family in Jerusalem. As a teacher at Skutt Catholic High School, I will pass on my experiences from this program to my students. I want them to understand how complex the situation in Israel is between the Israelis and the Palestinian people. I want them to know about the great works of the people of the ADL in Israel and the hope for a better future for the children.

The Jewish Press | September 22, 2016 | 11

community Mega turnout for the Mega Challah Bake Gabby blair Staff Writer, Jewish Press The second annual Mega-Challah Bake is in the books and was a tremendous success! This sold-out collaborative event between Chabad and Beth Israel Synagogue took place on the evening of Sept. 5, and brought together women from all reaches of the community. Fittingly, as Shani Katzman, Chabad hostess extraordinaire announced to the group, by proclamation of the Governor of Nebraska and Mayor of Omaha, Sept. 5 was officially declared Nebraska Jewish Women’s Day! Maggie Utesch, who was attending the event for the first time, marveled at the ability to draw such a large and varied group of women. “I love that this event is multigenerational! How many events do you see that pulls this diverse of a crowd, age-wise?” Indeed, of the 150 women, there were many young girls, even preschoolers and babies, along with teenagers, mothers and grandmothers. Sonia Tipp and her daughter Adria not only attended the event, but volunteered to check in guests as they arrived. “This is a wonderful experience for us to share,” explains Tipp. “Adria loves to help cook and enjoys baking from mixes alone, so baking from scratch is a next step for her. We are excited to be here together and I hope she enjoys practicing the art of challah making.” The Shrago family made an effort to attend as a group. “My mother-in-law, Helene Shrago, invited me and my mother, Shelley Stern, to join her in this event,” explains Melissa Shrago, a first time Mega Challah attendee. “This is a really wonderful way to spend time with the women of our family, and for me to learn about challah making.” The Shrago table was full of family including Helene and Dani Shrago; Dani’s daughter Shoshy Susman, who is expecting her second child, a girl, later this year; and cousins Renee and Michelle Kazor. “This year’s event is even better than last year’s!” exclaimed Marlene Cohen, who was enjoying making new friends and chatting with old friends at the reception. “Shani always pulls off really fun and inspirational events, and I am so pleased to see such a wonderful turnout!” Cohen, who enjoys studying with Shani during a weekly Monday morning Parsha class, was touched to find that at her place setting, there was gluten-free flour awaiting her. “I love making challah for my family, yet I cannot eat it; I was so touched to find special flour, even though I did not request it. That is just the kind of person Shani is, thoughtful and considerate!” This was a sentiment that was echoed around the JCC auditorium that evening; the special care and ambiance that went into making each table beautiful and intimate, alluding to the beauty and inspiration of making challah and of Shabbat. Linda Fischer, who had only recently learned of the Mega Challah Bake found the atmosphere relaxing after a long day teaching. “I have really been looking forward to tonight! My family loves challah, but I have never tried to make it. It’s really nice to be out with so many other women, and honestly, I am glad for the distraction from the news this evening,” explains Fischer, who was concerned about her family in Florida as they prepared for Hurricane

Irma. Fischer was not the only Floridian at her table worried about the storm. Shana Miles, who moved to Bellevue with her family, also expressed concern for her parents in the South Miami area, and the two women found comfort in talking with each other. Miles, who had attended Mega Challah Bake events in Rockville, Maryland, was pleasantly surprised with the large turnout. “There are quite a few Mega Challah Bakes in my old community, since there was such a large Jewish population. These provide a really cool way to meet other Jewish women that you may not meet otherwise.”

This was Patti Adler and Hanna DeBruin’s first time attending the Mega Challah Bake. “I missed it last time and want to brush up on my challah-making skills,” explains DeBruin, who self admittedly hadn’t baked any in a long time. Adler lamented missing the kickoff event last year, “I had other obligations that kept me from attending. I have many friends all around the country who have attended Mega Challah Bake events, and I really wanted to be a part of it this year!” Jennie Gates Beckman considered this year’s Challah Bake to be an anniversary of sorts. “Last year’s Mega Challah Bake was among my first communitywide events after coming to Omaha; and my first ever Chabad experience,” she explained. “I love that this is such a hands-on event. Seeing so many different women all together making bread, telling stories, laughing, and sharing an experience makes it really special.” Beckman, who suffers from intolerances to many of the ingredients that go into Challah, laughed as she admitted that Challah is quite possibly her young daughter Sadie’s favorite food. “I always

take a tiny bite after the blessing on Shabbat, and it is just so delicious... I wish I could eat more; at least my daughter can enjoy what I am making tonight!” Special guests of honor at this year’s event were none other than Omaha’s best known bread makers, the Rotella family. As Shani so eloquently put it, “the Rotella family knows that bread is not just physical sustenance, but that bread nurtures and nourishes the soul, as well.” Rabbi Katzman also gave a few words of hizzuk and unity to the crowd of women as the dough was rising, stating that “just like the individual ingredients that go into challah, each of us different and unique. Some are perhaps more sweet, others maybe a little salty, floury, or ...even oily,” to the amusement of those in attendance. As the chuckles died down, he continued. “When each of those ingredients is combined together into the dough, they become something greater than they ever could have been on their own. Just as when we are combined together, the iniquities of each individual are easily forgiven because together, we are so much more than when we are divided. Thousands of women all around the world gather at events to make challah: what a spiritual venture!” Rachel Schoenholtz-Shatil, Chabad office manager, was truly amazed at the turnout and the beauty of the room. “Coming from Philadelphia and Israel, I was honestly nervous about the turnout. To have 150 women, from all different background, ages, synagogues and observance levels: I just couldn’t have wished for it to turn out better!” Schoenholtz-Shatil admires Shani’s grace and strength as a Jewish woman leader in the community. “I am so glad to see such a response to this event and the number of young ladies here tonight. There are not many opportunities geared toward empowering women Judaically, and it was wonderful to see such unity and happiness at all the tables.” The evening couldn’t have happened without the help of many volunteers, including Lynne Saltzman and Joan Marcus who helped with shopping, measuring and packaging of ingredients and setting up for the event. Lisa Epstein, although busy with travel, took the time to lovingly bake many of the delicious treats for the reception including her delectable strudel, mandelbrot, cakes and challahs, as she did last year. Music was provided throughout the festive evening by Anna Mosenkis on piano, Devra Bram on violin, Jesse Brown on saxophone and the vocals of Bette Kozlen, Eadie Tsabari and Jill Idelman. Prayers were led by Iris Varkony, Andi Goldstein, Laura Dembitzer and Lisa Epstein. Countless others helped with making sure this event was a success and their help was much appreciated.

Volunteers needed

On Sunday Oct. 1, at 11:30 a.m., volunteers from B’nai B’rith and BBYO will be building Sukkahs at Friedel Jewish Academy, the Rose Blumkin Jewish Home and the Pennie Z. Davis CDC. Help is appreciated! Please contact Steve Riekes at 402.492.9800 for more information.

Passover We’re Happy In The Neighborhood! There’s something for everyone KHULWDJHFRPPXQLWLHVFRP 402-504-3111 |WK 3DFL¿FLQ2PDKD



12 | The Jewish Press | September 22, 2017

viewpoint thejewishpress

(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; Andrew Boehm; Paul Gerber; Alex Grossman; Jill Idelman; Mike Kaufman; David Kotok; Debbie Kricsfeld; Abby Kutler; Pam Monsky; Paul Rabinovitz 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:; 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; send ads (in TIF or PDF format) to: rbusse@jewishom 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 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


Blank pages

ANNETTE vAN DE KAmP Editor, Jewish Press he September issue of Pubaux, a newspaper dedicated to the industry, offered the following headline on its front page: Readers in MN face blank front pages. According to Editor Stanley Schwartz, “more than 220 Minnesota newspapers printed nearly or completely blank front pages in August as part of the Minnesota Newspaper Association’s 150th anniversary celebration.” That’s a bizarre way to celebrate. It was done not to make readers mad, one publisher said, but to remind them of the importance of local newspapers. Question number one: if you are trying to convince your readers your paper is important, aren’t you barking up the wrong tree? The people you are trying to reach, those who think print is archaic and on its way out, would most likely not even see that blank page. Question number two: if your paper is so important, shouldn’t you show that by offering great content, rather than choosing to shock the loyal readers you do have? I’m glad the Nebraska Newspaper Association did not put this choice in front of me, because I have a feeling I’d be unwilling to play ball. We can barely squeeze our stories in as it is; I can’t imagine giving up an entire front page to what comes awfully close to a self-centered, childish tantrum. Or maybe I’m just annoyed because all this is another reminder of the narrative about whether print has a future. We’ve heard enough negativity for a lifetime. Let’s shift the question. What makes local newspapers in general and The Jewish Press in particular important? Why do we work so hard creating it, why do you pick it out of your mailbox every week and why is it something we as a community care about? Not because of what it is, but because of what it represents. It’s the stories told, the people and the community reflected on its pages that make the paper necessary. It’s not the paper itself, but what it channels; a community paper is the vehicle, rather than the end. Without stories about our synagogues, our Jewish Federation agencies, community members and organizations, there would be no use for a local newspaper. It’s very simple: as long as we have a thriving community we have a thriving paper.

At The Jewish Press, we’re approaching our centennial. In 2020, we will celebrate our birthday with the community. We’ve started a centennial Endowment, which you’ll hear more about soon, and we will no doubt create a special centennial keepsake edition. One hundred years of publishing: that adds up to roughly 5,000 issues. From time to time, I like to go down the rabbit hole and peruse old editions. It never ceases to amaze me how, no

page, is equally so. When I think of all those stories throughout the years, leaving a front page blank seems more than ineffective: it’s insulting. It says “We are more important than you” and it disregards that but for all those thousands of people working incredibly hard, we would not be here. We wouldn’t have any reason to. A local paper has a responsibility to remember its place

matter what decade I find myself reading about, there is one main focus in Jewish Press coverage: the people in this community. Think of the thousands upon thousands of lay leaders who, throughout the past century, have dedicated time, money and energy to making this community great. Endless hours spent making phone calls, raising money, organizing dinners, events, picnics and galas and speakers, only to pass the torch to future generations who do it all over again. It’s a never-ceasing stream of passion and dedication. Reading about it is humbling; creating weekly editions of this paper and continuing to tell that story, page by

as well as its main purpose. In this community, we are bigger than the sum of our parts; without each other we cannot exist, let alone thrive. When you make your Jewish Federation of Omaha pledge this year, please remember we are in this together, we are stronger together, we are at our very best when all the individual elements of this community move towards the same outcome. Any of us drops the ball (there are many different ways to ‘print a blank page’) and all of us struggle; we all do what we are good at and we will find ourselves leaving a legacy for our children and grandchildren that is worthy of those who came before us.

cuse, at any rate he should repent with happiness from all that he is able.” I’m afraid that the words of the rabbis whom I quoted above do not ring true to me concerning “the enemy of repentance.” Rather than feel that there is too much for which to repent, I feel that there is not enough of which to repent. Judaism teaches us that there are two kinds of commandments: those regulating behavior between human beings, and those pertaining to our relationship with God. It has grown difficult for me to think as sinful violations of the Sabbath and of the dietary laws (examples of commandments between human beings and God). In a world where the most appropriate answer to the deaths of millions of Jews is silence, how can we yet say that we know that God commands us to abstain from automotive transportation on the Sabbath and from shellfish? The Reform Movement was way ahead of the curve on this one. Already in the mid-19th century, Reform Judaism had divorced itself from Jewish law (halakha) and said that it was up to the individual person, based on their education and commitment, to decide what particular religious ritual to adopt in their lives. In a certain sense, therefore, a century and a half ago Reform declared what many in our post-Holocaust world feel: There are no sins concerning the traditional commandments between human beings and God, there are only sins concerning the commandments between human beings and human beings. One further problem with thinking as sinful a violation of the “human beings and God” commandments is that we raise our children in a free and open society, exposing them to Western thought and allowing them to decide for them-

selves what religious traditions they will practice. If I am not willing to speak of my son or daughter as sinning if they violate the Sabbath or kosher laws, then how can I think of myself in that way? The scandal (in its biblical meaning of “stumbling block”) of the High Holidays is that the sins for which Yom Kippur atones are precisely and exclusively the sins concerning the “human beings and God” commandments. You are supposed to come into Kol Nidre with a clean slate concerning your human relationships and if need be humble yourself by asking forgiveness from your intolerable neighbor. One answer, for those who are faith challenged, is to remember that in sinning in your human relationships you also sinned against God, and while you might have addressed the human aspect of the problem, the Day of Atonement allows you to repair the damage you caused in your relationship with God. Shana Tova!! Teddy Weinberger made aliyah in 1997 with his wife, former Omahan Sarah Ross, and their five children. Their oldest four, Nathan, Rebecca, Ruthie and Ezra are veterans of the Israel Defense Forces; Weinberger can be reached at weinross

The scandal of repentance The period beginning on Rosh Hashanah and ending on Yom Kippur is known as “The Ten Days of Repentance.” Rabbis will often approach the topic by asking the following question: Why is it so hard to repent? For the great Rabbi Nachman of TEDDY Bratslov (1772–1810), WEINBERGER founder of the Breslov hassidic movement and a key spiritual influence upon contemporary Israeli society, repentance is difficult because we believe that we have been crushed by iniquity, that we have sunk so low that there is no point in trying to repent, because no redemptive light can be seen from our long dark tunnel of sin. To this, Rabbi Nachman says in an oft quoted phrase (which has been put to music in a popular song) ein shum ye’ush ba’olam clal, there is no despair in this world. According to Rabbi Nachman, however low one has sunk, one must not despair of pulling oneself out through repentance. Somewhat similar to Rabbi Nachman’s position on the problem of repentance, is the teaching of my friend Rabbi Lior Engelman, for whom “the quest for perfection is the enemy of repentance.” According to Rabbi Engelman, a feeling of “all or nothing” when it comes to religious observance prevents people from gradually repenting of their sins. Rabbi Engelman relies here on the words of Israel’s first Chief Rabbi, Abraham Isaac Kook (1865-1935), who wrote: “One should not delay repentance because of any spiritual or (a fortiori) physical reason, and even if he is unrepentant of a few areas for which there is no ex-


Announcements may be e-mailed to the Press at; faxed to 402.334.5422, or mailed to 333 So. 132 St., Omaha, NE 68154. Readers can also submit announcements -- births, b’nai mitzvahs, engagements, marriages, commitment ceremonies or obituaries -- online at the Jewish Federation of Omaha website: Click on “Jewish Press” and go to Submit Announcements.

The Jewish Press | September 22, 2016 | 13

Conservative Judaism needs a new brand. Here’s why. steveN c. werNick NEW YORK | JTA We are living at a moment of great disruption. We all sense it. We all experience it. It impacts every aspect of our lives — education, economics, politics, social society. Judaism is not immune to these forces. Changes in demography; declines in synagogue membership, educational fluency and connection; the rise of the “nones” (Jews who identify as Jewish with no religion); a weakening of the bonds to Israel; intermarriage and more are all signs of this moment of disruption. The institutions we built to sustain and nurture Jewish life for the last 200 years are crumbling while a new Jewish future, one that is not yet fully defined, is emerging. Much has been written and discussed about the state of 21st century Jewry and what to do about it. Ultimately we are all asking a variation of the same question: How do we navigate a rapidly changing world in an authentic way? In his book Leading from the Emerging Future, Otto Scharmer argues that our response “requires us to shift the inner place from which we operate. It requires us to suspend our judgments, redirect our attention, let go of the past, lean into the future that wants to emerge through us and let it come.” During the beginning of my tenure at the USCJ, I would often be invited to speak to congregational boards about membership recruitment and retention. Leaders always wanted to know how to attract and retain new members. I observed a 90-minute board meeting that had just four agenda items: a financial matter in the religious school, a casino night, a parent’s night out and the annual dinnerdance fundraiser. At 9 p.m., following 90 minutes of frontal committee reports, it was my turn to teach this board about membership. I decided to throw aside my fancy PowerPoint and instead I asked for three people to share an experience that inspired them to sit at the board table. One person shared how his

daughter stood under the huppah the week before and what it meant to be surrounded by a community that had shared in his family’s life journey. Another spoke about how her son died in a car accident 20 years earlier and teared up as she described the way the community literally helped her to get out of bed in the morning and continue living. And a third mentioned how his first trip to Israel was with the congregation and how he had become a lifelong learner as a result of it.

the Uscj’s old logo, left, next to its new logo.

Credit: Uscj

I challenged them, explaining that “If you want to attract and retain members, then you need to talk more about these stories and figure out how the congregation enhances and expands the key moments of people’s lives and functions as a catalyst for their passions through Judaism.” In other words, it’s about purpose, not program. It’s about meaning, not membership. In our work at USCJ, we know that what all thriving kehillot (sacred communities inside and outside the walls of a synagogue) share is intentionality around Jewish relevancy and relationship. When planning their year they don’t ask what programs they need to drive people into the synagogue. They ask what questions and challenges their people are struggling with and how they can be a source of connec-

self-hatred: It’s not just for self-haters! ANDrew silow-cArroll JTA I used to joke that I am not a self-hating Jew: It’s all those other Jews I can’t stand. Like I said, I used to tell that joke. In the current political climate, self-hatred is no laughing matter. Calling another Jew “self-hating” is pervasive and toxic — so toxic, in fact, that some observers can’t distinguish it from actual anti-Semitism. A lot of liberal Jews label Breitbart News anti-Semitic in part because of an article by right-wing activist David Horowitz that essentially called William Kristol a self-hating Jew. (Horowitz’s actual term was “renegade Jew.”) Similarly, the Washington Post explained last week that William Bradford resigned from the Energy Department over reports of his “racist and anti-Semitic tweets.” In the aftermath of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg urging followers not to vote for Trump, Bradford posted this tweet that the Post called anti-Semitic: “Who is this little arrogant self-hating Jew to tell anyone for whom to vote.” Pretty nasty, but it turns out Bradford himself is Jewish. So is Horowitz, who explained that he called Kristol a renegade Jew because he felt the conservative pundit, in opposing Trump, had “betrayed the Jews.” Like Horowitz, Bradford apparently saw himself not as an anti-Semite but as a Defender of the Faith. Just like the Hungarian Jewish journalist who called financier and philanthropist George Soros a self-hating Jew. Or the Republican Jewish leader in Israel who called comedian Sarah Silverman a self-hating Jew. Or the JTA reader who called the late pundit Christopher Hitchens a self-hating Jew. Or the famous Jewish comedian (OK, Jackie Mason) who called Bernie Sanders a self-hating Jew. All of those who fling the charge would deny they are themselves being anti-Semitic. Here’s Mason justifying his use of the term to describe Sanders’ views on Israel: “If a non-Jew was saying it, people would call him an antiSemite because he is an anti-Semite. Just because he’s a Jew doesn’t mean he can’t hate being Jewish because he obviously is a viciously self-hating Jew.” Got that? No doubt, there are Jews who are “viciously self-hating” -or at least they base their worldview on what Leon

Wieseltier has called “the internalization of the standpoint of the enemy.” We’ve had our traitors and kapos and turncoats. Post-emancipation, the Jews who believed that the “mirage” of anti-Semitic stereotypes was the real thing, as the historian Sander Gilman once put, were the subject of communal fascination and disgust and the topic of serious scholarship. We know this because there are some really good jokes about self-hatred (look up the one with the punchline, “Is that all you people ever think about?”).

sen. Bernie sanders at a news conference in washington, D.c., july 6, 2016. the comedian jackie Mason once called sanders a self-hating jew. Credit: Mark Wilson/Getty Images But nowadays the charge is invariably political, pure and simple. Last month Naftali Bennett, Israel’s minister of education, used the term “auto-anti-Semitism” -- from a Hebrew term for Jewish self-hatred -- to describe critics of a government-approved science textbook that included the prayer for rain. “Auto-antisemitism is a social-psychological phenomenon in which a Jew develops obsessive contempt and hostility toward Jewish tradition, Jewish customs and traditional Jews,” Bennett explained on Facebook, according to The Jerusalem Post. Secular parents in Israel insist, meanwhile, that they don’t hate themselves or Judaism; it’s religious coercion that they can do without. Anshel Pfeffer, writing in the left-wing newspaper

tion and meaning that leads to the Kabbalistic notion of “shleymut” (wholeness). In this time of great disruption, our focus must shift from structures to values. An authentic and dynamic Judaism is rooted in the wisdom gained at the intersection of heritage and progress. It is a Judaism that thrives in the tension of old and new, that finds unity in diversity, that is committed to lifelong Jewish growth, that is dedicated to excellence, and that understands that we are part of a great people, with a great tradition, that continues to this very day to inspire us to life fulfillment and a better world. USCJ’s new branding and messaging, launched this week, is designed to more clearly communicate this vision, mission and values to our network of almost 600 kehillot and to those in the Jewish world who are seeking meaning, connection and shleymut in this way. Our new brand is focused on this collective striving for meaning, which is why we decided on the tagline, “Seek meaning together,” we understand that no one person or institution has all the answers or all the resources necessary to succeed alone. Our new logo also highlights this idea. It features interlocking U’s that reflect the strength of unity, partnership, collaboration and the notion that we are each links in the chain of the Jewish experience through time and place. Multiple shades of color reflect the diversity of our community — people of all backgrounds, ethnicities, gender, orientations and perspectives. An orange hue represents the light of Torah and the passions of our souls. Our mission is to partner with congregations and other organizations to understand the profound nature of the disruption of our time and to develop strategies to meet the needs of the current and emerging Jewish future. This Rosh Hashanah we begin not only a new year, but also a new age. Shanah tovah. Rabbi Steven C. Wernick is the chief executive officer of the USCJ, the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism.

Haaretz, noted that the Jews who voted for Trump “aren’t self-hating Jews,” which of course suggests that some people think they are. On the flip side, The Jerusalem Post gave space to a 2,300-word essay arguing that “liberal Jews” who oppose Trump or criticize Israel are self-hating. In June, a writer for the The Daily Wire, the right-leaning news site, called Sanders (him again) a “self-hating Jew” because he gave a speech opposing the Israeli occupation. If you’re interested, this is what Sanders said to earn the honorific: “I know so many of you agree with me when I say this occupation must end. Peace, real peace, means security not only for every Israeli but for every Palestinian. It means supporting self-determination, civil rights and economic well-being for both peoples.” Describing Jewish liberals and Jewish critics of Israel as “self-hating” has become a reflex on the right, although occasionally the charge goes the other way, casting no more light on the issue at hand. Accusations of self-hatred are serious business not just because they shut down debate. They seek to excommunicate people based on political differences, and put the accuser in the position of Jewish Grand Inquisitor (and even Pope Francis has been known to say, “Who am I to judge?”). And they ascribe deep psychological motives to people based on flimsy evidence. If you plan on calling someone a self-hater, you have to be pretty sure of two things: One, that the opinions they hold are those of genuine anti-Semites and not just people with whom you disagree; and two, they came to their opinions via some sort of self-lacerating neurosis. Or just ask yourself this the next time you find yourself disagreeing with Bernie Sanders or Jared Kushner: What does “self-hater” add to your argument except a signal that you may not trust yourself to win the debate on its merits?

jewish press Notices

The Jewish Press will be closed on thursday and Friday, sept. 21 and 22 for Rosh Hashanah, thursday oct. 5 for Sukkot. The deadline for the Oct. 13 issue it is tuesday, oct. 3, 9 a.m. Questions? Call 402.334.6448.

14 | The Jewish Press | September 22, 2017

synagogues B’nai israel synaGoGue

618 Mynster Street Council Bluffs, IA 51503-0766 712.322.4705 email:

BeTh el synaGoGue

Member of United Synagogues of Conservative Judaism 14506 California Street Omaha, NE 68154-1980 402.492.8550

BeTh israel synaGoGue

Member of Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America 12604 Pacific Street Omaha, NE. 68154 402.556.6288

chaBad house

An Affiliate of Chabad-Lubavitch 1866 South 120 Street Omaha, NE 68144-1646 402.330.1800 email:

conGreGaTion B’nai Jeshurun

South Street Temple Union for Reform Judaism 2061 South 20th Street Lincoln, NE 68502-2797 402.435.8004

offuTT air force Base

Capehart Chapel 2500 Capehart Road Offutt AFB, NE 68123 402.294.6244

rose BluMKin Jewish hoMe

323 South 132 Street Omaha, NE 68154

TeMple israel

Union for Reform Judaism (URJ) 13111 Sterling Ridge Drive Omaha, NE 68144-1206 402.556.6536

TifereTh israel

Member of United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism 3219 Sheridan Boulevard Lincoln, NE 68502-5236 402.423.8569

B’nai israel synaGoGue

Please join us for our upcoming events: Kol Nidre services, friday, sept. 29, 7:30 p.m. with guest, Dr. Leonard Greenspoon, Professor and Klutznick Chair in Jewish Civilization Historical at Creighton University, To Gefi & Shosh: A Grandfather’s Reflections on Jews and Judaism. Services, saturday, sept. 30, 10:30 a.m. with guest speaker Karen Gustafson, Executive Director, Jewish Family Services, Jewish Federation of Omaha, Over 100 Years Later...Is Jewish Family Service Still Relevant?; Concluding Service followed by Break-the-fast potluck, 5:30 p.m. Please call Carole Lainof, 402.293.0321, for more information. If you would like any names read for remembrance, please send a note by email or otherwise to Nancy Wolf at nancy wolf16620@gmail. com. All services led by Jeffrey Taxman. Shabbat Speakers Series resumes friday, oct. 13, 7:30 p.m. Annual Membership Meeting, sunday, oct. 15, 11 a.m. 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: Synagogue office closed; Morning Service, 9 a.m.; Babysitting, 9 a.m.; Youth Programming Grades K-2, 9 a.m.; Torah Service, 9:45 a.m.; Story Time, 10 a.m.; Youth Programming Grades 3-7, 10 a.m.; Shofar Service, 10:30 a.m.; Sermon, 10:45 a.m.; Junior Congregation, 11 a.m.; Musaf, 11 a.m.; Final Shofar Blasts, 12:45 p.m.; Lunch (by RSVP only), 12:45 p.m.; Kabbalat Shabbat/Ma’ariv, 6 p.m.; Candle Lighting, 7:03 p.m. saTurday: Morning Service, 9:30 a.m.; Junior Congregation, 10 a.m.; Mini-Minyannaires, 10:45 a.m.; Mincha/ Ma’ariv, 6:30 p.m.; Havdalah, 8 p.m. weeKday services: Sundays, 9:30 a.m. & 5:30 p.m.; weekdays, 7 a.m. & 5:30 p.m. sunday: Sukkot Building, 8 a.m.; BESTT Classes, 9:30 a.m.-noon; Torah Study, 10 a.m.; BESTT Torah Tots, 10:30 a.m.-noon; BESTTT Kibbutz Chaverim (Grades 3 & 4), noon2 p.m. wednesday: BESTT Hebrew School (Grades 3-7), 4:15 p.m.; USY General Membership Meeting and Lounge Night, 5:15 p.m.; BESTT Hebrew High (Grades 8-12), 6:30 p.m. Kol Nidre, friday, sept. 29, 6:15 p.m. Babysitting begins at 6 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, 8 a.m.; Mincha/Ma’ariv & Kabbalat Shabbat, 7:04 p.m.; Candle Lighting, 7:04 p.m. saTurday: Shacharit, 9 a.m.; Insights in the Weekly Torah Reading, 5:50 p.m.; Mincha/Seudah Shlishit, 6:45 p.m.; Havdalah, 8:02 p.m. sunday: Fast Begins, 5:51 a.m.; Shacharit, 9 a.m.; Bagels and Beit Medrash, 9:45 a.m.; Mincha/Ma’ariv, 7 p.m.; Fast Ends, 7:51 p.m. Monday: Shacharit, 6:40 a.m.; Talmudic Tales with Rabbi Shlomo, noon at JCC Kripke Library. Tuesday-wednesday: Shacharit, 6:40 a.m. Thursday: Shacharit, 6:40 a.m.; Ethics with Rabbi Ari, 7:45 a.m.; Woman’s Class with Rabbi Ari, 9:30 a.m.; Lunch & Learn with Rabbi Shlomo, noon.

chaBad house

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, 9 a.m.; Shofar Service, 11 a.m.; Light Candles before 7:03 p.m. saTurday: Shacharit, 9:30 a.m.; Shabbat Ends at 8 p.m. sunday: Fast Begins, 5:47 a.m.; Fast Ends, 7:45 p.m. Learn more at 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 with the Rabbi, 9:30 a.m. with Rabbi Mendel Katzman. Thursday: Talmud Class, noon with Rabbi Mendel Katzman.

Kol Nidrei, friday, sept. 29, 6:30 p.m. For help with your Sukkah or to buy a Lulav & Etrog set, please call 402.330.1800 or email All programs are open to the entire community.

conGreGaTion B’nai Jeshurun

friday: Shabbat Evening Service, 6:30 p.m. led by The Committee; Candlelighting, 7:04 p.m.; Oneg Shabbat, 7:30 p.m. saTurday: Shabbat Morning Service, 9:30 a.m. led by TBA; Torah Study, 10:30 a.m. on Parashat Ha’azinu led by TBA; Havdalah (72 Minutes), 8:32 p.m. sunday: LJCS Gan through Grade 7, 9:30 a.m. at Tifereth Israel; LJCS Gesher, 10 a.m. at Tifereth Israel; Jewish Book Club will meet 2-4 p.m. at Scooter's on 84th in Lincoln to discuss God Was in This Place and I, i Did Not Know, by Rabbi Lawrence Kushner. Tuesday: Star City Kochavim Rehearsal, 6:45 p.m. wednesday: LJCS Hebrew School, 4 p.m. at TI. Thursday: High Holidays Choir Rehearsal, 7:30 p.m. If you want to be involved and aren't on the current choir member list, contact Elaine Monnier (402.327.9212 or emonnier@allop, Holly Heffelbower (, or ‘like’ South Street Temple High Holy Days Choir on Facebook. Yom Kippur Evening Service, friday, sept. 29, 8 p.m. led by Rabbi Allen Bennett. Break-the-fast Potluck, saturday, sept. 30, 6:30 p.m. Please join the congregation after Yom Kippur concluding services for a Break-the-Fast Potluck. The Temple will be collecting non-perishable food, personal care items, and monetary donations for the Food Bank of Lincoln to help with this year’s Lincoln CAN project. Donations can be placed in the blue barrels in the Temple vestibule. We’ll need a volunteer or two to bring the collected items to the East Campus Mall on Oct. 1, between 2 and 4 pm.

offuTT air force Base

friday: Services, 7:30 p.m. every first and third of the month.

rose BluMKin Jewish hoMe

friday: Morning service, 9:15 a.m., led by Marti Nerenstone. saTurday: Services, 9:15 a.m. led by Martin Nerenstone. Yom Kippur service, friday, sept. 29, 6:45 p.m. led by Marti Nerenstone. Services will be held in the Chapel. Members of the community are invited to attend.

TeMple israel

friday: Shabbat Shuvah, 6 p.m. saTurday: Torah Study, 9:15 a.m.; Shabbat Shuvah, 10:30 a.m. Torah Reader Jay Spiegelman and Haftarah Reader MIles Remer. sunday: Grades PreK-6, 10 a.m.; Help Reignite Social Jus-

tice at Temple Israel, 10:30 a.m. We are reviving the Temple Israel Social Justice Committee to pursue the work of Tikkun Olam and we need your help. If you have an interest in Social Action and volunteering, organizing and affecting social change, or are looking to engage more in our community join us; Temple Tots Sunday, 10:30 a.m.; Temple TED Talks, 10:30 a.m. with Margaret Mayhugh; Kol Rina Rehearsal, 1 p.m. Tuesday: Kol Rina Rehearsal, 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: The Amidah & Jewish Values, 6:30 p.m. with Rabbi Stoller. Kol Nidre, friday, sept. 29, 7:30 p.m. Break The Fast, saturday, sept. 30, 6:30 p.m. EARLY BIRD Reservations by friday, sept. 22. Adults and 13 and older are $12, Children 6-12 years old are $5, Children 5 and younger are no charge. Your payment is your reservation. Reservations made AFTER Friday, Sept. 22: Adults and 13 and older are $16, Children 6-12 years old are $9, Children 5 and younger are no charge. Menu: matzah ball soup, egg salad, tuna salad, fruit, vegetable salad, sweet kugel, plain kugel, bagels and cream cheese, desserts, root beer floats, Kid friendly food. Break the Fast with TiYPE and YJO, saturday, sept. 30, 6:30 p.m. Join us for Break the Fast at Temple Israel! We will have a table and break the fast together! RSVP to alasky@ by Friday, Sept. 22.

TifereTh israel

Services conducted by lay leader Nancy Coren. Office hours: Monday-friday, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. friday: Synagogue office closed; Services, 9 a.m.; Youth Service, 11 a.m.; Mincha/Ma’ariv, 6:30 p.m. saTurday: Shabbat Morning service, 10 a.m. followed by a light Kiddish luncheon; Junior Congregation, 11 a.m. sunday: LJCS Gan through Grade 7, 9:30 a.m. at Tifereth Israel; LJCS Gesher, 10 a.m. at Tifereth Israel; Jewish Book Club will meet 2-4 p.m. at Scooter's on 84th in Lincoln to discuss God Was in This Place and I, i Did Not Know, by Rabbi Lawrence Kushner. Please contact Laura French with any questions. wednesday: LJCS Hebrew School, 4 p.m. at TI. Tifereth Israel will be participating in the Lincoln Food Bank's drive, LINCOLN CAN. We will be collecting canned food items to help support those in our community who face food insecurity through Erev Yom Kippur. Please make sure cans are dent-free and not bulged. You may also donate money by writing a check written the LINCOLN FOOD BANK and sending it to the synagogue office. We will deliver it with the canned items on Oct. 1. Kol Nidre, friday, sept. 29, 6:30 p.m. Congregational Yom Kippur Break Fast will follow Neilah service on saturday, sept. 30 at 7:51 p.m. There is no charge for this meal.

MeMorial services

sunday, september 24 Oak Hill/Bikhor Cholim, Council Bluffs, 11 a.m. Beth El Cemetery, 84th and ‘L’ Sts., 11 a.m. Temple Israel Cemetery, 6412 No. 42 St., 1 p.m. Wyuka Cemetery in Lincoln, 3 p.m.

B’nai israel welcomes Karen Gustafson

nancy wolf Boys Town, and also on the national level. Please visit B’nai Israel for Yom Kippur servThrough her efforts in 2002, the “Parenting ices Sept. 30 at 10:30 a.m. when Karen With Love and Logic” program by Jim Fay and Gustafson will be welcomed as the morning Dr. Foster Cline was introduced to JFS and now speaker. Ms. Gustafson will share is considered the best place to go reflections in her presentation, for that training in the Omaha “Over 100 Years later, is Jewish Metro area. Family Service Still Relevant?” Her work includes training others Karen has lived in Omaha for 31 on how to respond to community years, having been born in Pittsemergencies, having been personburgh, PA, and raised in St. Louis. ally involved in providing services She is married to an educator and following the traumatic events of has two sons who currently attend the Von Maur shootings, and after a the University of Kansas. She Metro Community College student joined Jewish Family Service in fell to his death while training on December 2000, after gaining sigan electrical pole. Other involvenificant experience at Boys Town, ments included serving on the Karen Gustafson the Child Saving Institute and Metro Area Suicide Prevention then Methodist Hospital’s Community CounselCoalition and working as a mentor in the Teaming Program. She became Executive Director of mates Program. JFS in 2009. As a Behavioral Health Professional, We hope you will join us. Our spiritual leader Karen has presented to many groups, including will be Jeffrey Taxman.

The Jewish Press | September 22, 2017 | 15

lifecycles in MeMoriAM

thoMAs jAeger

Thomas Jaeger passed away Sept. 9 at age 77. Services were held on Sept 12 at Beth El Cemetery Chapel, 84th & L Streets. He is survived by his wife of 52 years, Ellen, and daughter Michelle, along with extended family and a loving circle of friends. Tom was born in Antwerp, Belgium, and at the age of two was put into hiding and cared for by the Sisters of Charity. After the war, he was reunited with family and emigrated to the United States. He was an accomplished musician, having attended the High School of Music and Art in Manhattan. He became a physician, specializing in child and adolescent psychiatry. Memorials may be made to the US Holocaust Museum.

PAuline jeAnette wine

Pauline Jeanette Wine passed away on Sept. 10 in Scottsdale, AZ, at age 90. Services were held on Sept. 13 at the National Memorial Cemetery in Phoenix. She was preceded in death by her husband of 59 years Harvey Wine formerly of Omaha. She is survived by daughter and son-in-law, Karen and William Johnson of Scottsdale, AZ, and son and daughter-in-law, Loren and Patricia Wine of Phoenix, AZ; grandchildren: Daniel and Kimberly Johnson, and Chelsea Wine; sister and brother-in-law, Helen and Al Painter of Los Angeles, CA; and sister-in-law, Bert Lewis of Omaha. Pauline was born on Sept. 10, 1927 in Los Angeles, CA. Memorials may be made to Hospice of the Valley, Scottsdale, AZ, or the Alzheimer’s Research Foundation.

Exploring Judaism class

MArk kirchhoff Community Engagement and Education The 2017-2018 Exploring Judaism class begins on Monday, Oct. 16 and will continue on subsequent Monday evenings through March 26, 2018. The class meets from 7–8:30 p.m. in the Kripke Jewish Federation Library. The class is designed for those in the process of conversion, those interested in refreshing their knowledge of Judaism, and those with a general interest in Judaism. Exploring Judaism is being taught by Scott Littky, a seasoned Jewish professional. He began his career in Jewish education in 1985 as a religious school teacher. From 1988 until 1996 he served the Bureau of Jewish Education of Omaha as a Community scott littky Teacher. He taught at Friedel Jewish Academy in addition to afternoon religious school programs. Scott served 17 years as a Director of Education beginning at Beth El Synagogue in Omaha, followed by Beth Israel Synagogue in Ann Arbor, MI, and Agudas Achim Congregation in Alexandria, VA. During the summer of 2014, Scott returned to live in Omaha where he served as the Program Director at Temple Israel through August of 2017. Scott has arranged the class into four categories: Judaism as a Religion, Judaism as History, Judaism as a Way of Life, and Judaism as it is Practiced. In addition to the standard materials included with the class, Scott adds a variety of supplemental material each year. “I’m always on the alert to include current, topical articles that fit with the Exploring Judaism classes,” Scott commented. Tuition for “Exploring Judaism” is $180 per person. The Jewish Federation of Omaha (JFO) presents the class as a gift, free of charge, to current contributors to the Annual Campaign of the JFO and active congregants of an Omaha synagogue. Materials for the class are provided. Pre-registration is required. You may do so by calling 402.334.6463 or emailing Payment is due at the first class. Arrangements can be made for making installment payments. Checks are to be made payable to “The Jewish Federation of Omaha.” Payments prior to the first class may be sent to The Jewish Community Center, ATTN: Mark Kirchhoff, 333 S. 132nd Street, Omaha, NE 68154. The deadline for registration is Oct. 7.


In the Sept. 15 Rosh Hashanh issue, Lisa Lucoff’s name was inadverterly left off the Jewish Federation of Omaha board list and the birth of Theodore Basil Abramowitz, son of Rachel Shukert and Ben Abramowitz was also inadverterly left off the list of births with the Rosh Hashanah life cycles. The Jewish Press regrets these errors.

A tribute to eunie

The last time I saw Eunie was at the Women’s Philanthropy event on Tuesday of the week she died. We had just spoken the day before so our exchange was a short hug and then she walked on. Amy saw how short our exchange was and scolded me for not spending more time with her. Emma Lazarus's poem on the Statue of Liberty came to me the moment I learned Friday of Eunie’s death: AlAn PotAsh Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame, Chief Executive Officer, With conquering limbs astride from land to JFO land; Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame

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Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name MOTHER OF EXILES. From her beacon-hand Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame. "Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!" cries she With silent lips. "Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.

Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!" To me this describes the welcoming and loving nature of Eunie. Her home was a resting place for many people (although anyone who spent time in her home knows there wasn’t much resting – it was always filled with activity!) People were invited and people just showed up. A person’s status in life was never on her mind. She, like Lady Liberty welcomed all. It was not out of character for her to stop me or call me and ask me a question or to seek confirmation on a news item, fact or issue. And so it was on the Monday just days before her death, we were walking down the hall of the JCC and she said, “Hey doll, what are we going to do about DACA and the work we need to do to make sure it doesn’t get overturned. We need to fight this." I know many people had a unique connection with Eunie. How could you not? She was one of the most vibrant and animated individuals I have ever met, always ready with an observation or question. After returning to Omaha to run the ADL/CRC office, she called to ask me a few questions. I am not sure if she was testing me or she was genuinely asking for my opinion or for confirmation on what she had read or heard. I remember thinking to myself “You are part of one of the smartest families I have ever known and you are checking the facts with me — this is an honor!” Whenever she would call, it was a privilege to respond. After I took over the CEO position of the Jewish Federation she called to ask me if she could still call me with questions. I have to say that her questions were never simple ones; they had multiple facets covering the scope politics, current events and the most vital - social justice. The last line of the poem, “I lift my lamp beside the golden door,” for me speaks of the flame of Eunie; her light may be out but her flame will be eternal.

Omaha Public Library will host a Holocaust survivor speaker series

The Institute for Holocaust Education (IHE) and Omaha Public Library (OPL) will co-host a Holocaust speaker series. free, open to the public. thursday, sept. 28, 6:30 p.m. Bess Johnson Elkhorn Branch, 2100 Reading Plz. Milton M. Kleinberg and family were exiled to Soviet labor camps during WW II and displaced person camps after the war.In 2010, Kleinberg self-published a a book entitled Bread or Death detailing his experience. thursday, oct. 2, 6:30 p.m. Benson Branch, 6015 Binney St. Lila Lutz was born in 1931, Poland. Forced to do labor in ghettos during WW II, she and her father were liberated by Russians in 1944. They spent years in displaced persons camps before securing visas to the U.S. thursday, oct. 12, 6:30 p.m. W. Dale Clark Main Library, 215 S. 15th St. Bea Karp and her family were imprisoned in work camps during WW II. She and her sister were rescued by a children’s refugee organization; their parents and many relatives were killed. The sisters came to America in their teens and have led full lives. thursday, oct. 19, 6:30 p.m. at W. Clarke Swanson Branch, 9101 W. Dodge Rd. Kitty Williams shares her story of hiding to escape capture; falling for a wounded German airman; finding and nursing her sister at Auschwitz; and being chosen for a life-saving detail of women laborers. After liberation, Williams married and settled in Council Bluffs.

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VintAge VillAge Antique Mall, 2425 O Street, Lincoln, 402-742-0063. Storewide Sale! September 15-October 1, 10-7 Daily. 50 Dealers. New selections arrive daily! Antiques, collectibles, jewelry, vintage.

hoPPer trAilers - Rent or Sale - New & Used, 2 or 3 axle - Hoppers, pots, steps, flats, RGNs, side dumps, live bottoms, tankers & more. 402-223-5500,

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full or Part-time Keith County Planning/Zoning Administrator. Salary based upon experience. Call 308-284-4726. Applications must be received by 4 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 13.

contrAct sAlesPerson selling aerial photography of farms on commission basis. $4,225.00 first month guarantee. $1,500-$3,500 weekly proven earnings. Travel required. More info, or 877-882-3566.

u.s. MeAt Animal Research Center, Clay Center, NE, has several livestock positions available. Competitive salary. Excellent benefits: health/life/dental/vision insurance, retirement, 12 holidays, tuition remission, more. To apply visit https://employment. (search keywords ‘Clay Center’) or call John Rieckman at 402-762-4117.

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16 | The Jewish Press | September 22, 2016



Beth el and the shifting paradigm of synagogue life Ozzie nOGG n June of 2017, Rabbi Steven Abraham of Beth El Synagogue began participating in the Clergy Leadership Incubator program (CLI) that supports and encourages congregational rabbis in the areas of innovative thinking, organizational leadership, change management and institutional transformation. CLI is directed by Rabbi Sid Schwarz, Ph.D. in Jewish History and the author of more than 100 articles and three groundbreaking books, including Finding a Spiritual Home: How a New Generation of Jews Can Transform the American Synagogue. The Clergy Leadership Incubator is financially supported by Hazon, an initiative based in New York City that works to create a healthier and more sustainable Jewish community, and a healthier and more sustainable world for all peoples. “The Clergy Leadership Incubator is a two-year program open to rabbis serving congregations or rabbis who have created or are in the process of creating new models of spiritual community,” Rabbi Abraham explained. “My group, Cohort 3, runs from 2017 to 2019, and is designed for rabbis who have been serving in the field between five and 15 years. My colleagues — eight women and ten men — were ordained from all streams of Judaism and hold pulpits around the US and in Canada. We teleconference once a month, and some of the ideas we share are already being implemented in our respective communities, serving to engage Jews in new and different ways. The program focus of CLI is on visionary leadership and innovative practice,” Rabbi Abraham continued. “The acronym CLI reminds us that clergy are intended to be human vessels that create sacred communities in which Jews can find meaning and purpose. The goal is for each participant to find his or her authentic voice that will make a difference in the nature of the Jewish community.’ In a Sept. 5, 2017 article titled, Preparing Rabbis to be Change Agents, Rabbi Schwartz described a first-of-its-kind gathering held last winter in Austin, TX, where leaders of more than ten national religious denominations came together to explore why their congregations were losing membership so rapidly over the last decade. The

gathering included leadership from the Methodists, Episcopalians, United Church of Christ, Lutherans, Unitarian Universalists as well as top leadership from the Union for Reform Judaism, United Synagogue for Conservative Judaism and the Reconstructionist Movement. “Synagogues and of course, churches as well, represent an historic tradition,” Rabbi Schwartz wrote. “Those most committed and loyal to congregations are usually attracted to the way their faith community represents a link to a cherished past. Members spend their time and money to support religious congregations in order to pass on practices and traditions to the next generation. So here is the crux of the dilemma that rabbis are facing. They are trained to be teachers rabbi steven abraham of Beth el and stewards of the Jewish synagogue. rooted in tradition. emtradition. They are hired by bracing change. congregations to oversee an institution that has an investment in perpetuating that tradition. But if the very organizational model of the American synagogue is out of step with the changing realities of American society and the social and cultural habits of American Jews, synagogues in their current model will fail to attract a sufficient number of next generation Jews to survive. This is not a hypothetical assertion. The declining membership rolls of American synagogues over the past 20 years is ample evidence of this state of affairs.” According to Rabbi Schwartz, there are few things more challenging than effecting real organizational transformation. Whether the organization is a Fortune 500 company, a nonprofit or a religious congregation, the default posture of every organization is stasis. “Managers

are trained to guard against factors that can destabilize the current system that they oversee,” Rabbi Schwartz explained. “Nothing threatens this state of affairs more than change. It was to address this dilemma that we created the Clergy Leadership Incubator, with an emphasis on fostering spiritual communities that can be compelling to 21st century Jews. In short, CLI’s premise is that rabbis have the positional authority to be the key change agents in their congregations.” Despite declining membership numbers nationally, the good news is that more and more rabbis are willing to experiment and innovate within their congregations. “Given the rapid changes taking place in society which threaten the long-term health of synagogues, it’s encouraging to see the growing number of rabbis across the denominational spectrum who are taking part in CLI training,” Rabbi Abraham said. “Each cohort is developing new models of Jewish spiritual community, to help transform their synagogues in ways that engage ever more Jews. Even rabbis serving synagogues with long and storied histories are beginning to think about ways to become effective change agents, to re-imagine and re-energize their institutions. Our motto at Beth El is, ‘Rooted in tradition. Embracing change.’ Through my association with CLI, and with the help of Beth El professional staff and lay leadership, we hope to create a visionary toolkit to promote and educate our congregation for ‘maximalist Judaism’ experiences in the coming New Year.”


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, Breadbreakers chairman. For more information or to be placed on the email list call 402.334.6443 or

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September 22, 2017  

Jewish Press

September 22, 2017  

Jewish Press