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Here’s what it’s like to grow up as a Jew in Iraq Page 12

inside Spotlight Viewpoint Synagogues Life cycles

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leaving a legacy

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Craig Saylan Memorial Endowment Fund

Beth El Simchat Torah honors are a family affair Page 2

Omaha Jewish Alumni Association Rosh Hashanah Tailgate Page 6

SPonSored by the benjamin and anna e. WieSman Family endoWment Fund


andie gordman Temple Israel President Gary Kaplan had a lifelong commitment to economic justice, public school education, services for at-risk children and youth and the Reform Jewish movement. He was also a lifelong contributor to Opera Omaha, the Omaha Symphony, Joslyn Art Museum and Filmstreams. Gary’s volunteer career included: National board member of the National Benevolent Association and the Union of Reform Judaism, president of the Missouri Valley Federation of Temple Youth, Omaha Theater for Young People, Independent Insurance Agents of Omaha and Uta Halee Girls Village.

Craig and ellen Saylan

linda Pollard Jewish Federation of Omaha Foundation hile establishing their first endowment fund at the Jewish Federation of Omaha Foundation in 1998, Milt Saylan told Marty Ricks: “Marty, I made it here. I am going to leave it here.” Rosalie and Milt Saylan did just that by generously creating a total of four

endowment funds to support the Omaha Jewish community. They established the Rosalie and Milton Saylan Endowment Fund for the Rose Blumkin Jewish Home in 1998, the Rosalie and Milton Saylan Endowment Fund for Jewish Family Service in 2004, and after Milt’s death, Rosalie signed LIFE & LEGACY Letters of Intent in 2015 to establish See Craig Saylan endowment Fund page 3

On the Basis of Sex

KriPKe jeWiSh Federation library StaFF On Oct. 17, the Dorothy Kaplan Book Discussion Group will be mixing it up a bit by showing the movie On the Basis of Sex. This inspirational movie is based on the groundbreaking earlier legal years of Ruth Bader Ginsburg and her tax attorney husband Martin Ginsburg as they take on the Appeals Court in seeking to repeal previous gender discrimination rulings; equal rights for all. The movie opens with Ruth Bader Ginsburg in 1956; she is just one of six women in her Harvard Law School classes and the gender bias

she faces is not only from her law professors but also the Dean of Harvard’s Law School. When Martin is faced with a serious medical situation, Ruth steps up to the challenge and attends both her and her husband’s law classes. Weathering the storm of the medical crisis, Martin earns his law degree and accepts a

position in New York. Ruth once again faces gender bias when she is forced to transfer to Columbia University rather than being able to complete her law degree long distance from Harvard University as has been the accepted norm for male students. Despite graduating at the top of her class, Ruth is unable to secure a job with any law firms and becomes a successful and well-respected Law Professor. Fast forward to the early 1970’s and the women’s liberation movement. Martin persuades Ruth to help him take on Charles Moritz’s case. Moritz is being prosecuted for filing for a caregiver tax deduction based on his being the caregiver for his sickly mother; the problem is that this deduction has only been allowed to women caregivers. Eventually Ruth and Martin argue their case before the Appeals Court facing their former Harvard Law School dean setting a landmark precedent for equal rights involving gender discrimination. You’ll have to see the movie to See On the Basis of Sex page 4

gary Kaplan

Although Gary cared about and was dedicated to many organizations, Temple Israel had a special place in his heart. Gary’s dedication to Temple Israel leadership continued until his death in July 2019. Gary was President, Treasurer twice, Social Justice Committee Chair, and a member of the Sacred Space Task Force for the new Temple Israel building. Gary was passionate about Temple Israel’s finances and wanted to ensure that the endowment would provide support for many years to come. Sally Kaplan, Gary’s wife of 45 years said, “Gary had a passion for Reform Judaism and Temple Israel. He knew the most important thing he could do to ensure Temple Israel’s future was to make sure that we had enough money in our endowment so we would always be financially secure.” Gary was an original member of Temple Israel’s LIFE & LEGACY Committee. Gary loved the idea that any congregant could plan for and contribute to the endowment to ensure Temple Israel and Reform Judaism will continue to grow and thrive in Omaha. The LIFE & LEGACY Program is a partnership of the Harold Grinspoon Foundation and the Omaha Jewish Federation Foundation. This program promotes after-lifetime giving to benefit donor-selected Jewish institutions in Omaha. All of us regardless of age and wealth have the ability to leave a legacy, and this program makes it easy. Temple Israel has 66 congregants who have pledged to support Temple Israel and other local Jewish See leaving a legacy page 3

2 | The Jewish Press | October 11, 2019



Beth El Simchat Torah honors are a family affair OzziE NOGG

n Tuesday morning, Oct. 22, beginning at 9:30 a.m., Beth El will celebrate the festival of Simchat Torah with flags, dancing in hakafot circles, and aliyot for everyone in attendance. Two special aliyot will honor two members of the Beth El family. Joan Marcus will recite the blessing over the last section of the yearly cycle as Kallat Torah. Joan’s daughter-in-law, Lisa Lieb Marcus, will recite the blessing over the beginning section of the new cycle as Kallat Bereshit. Joan Marcus is well-known in the larger Omaha community as the chief cook-and-bottle washer for the Nebraska AIDS Coalition Lunches, a monthly program with which she has been associated for decades, as part of Beth El’s Social Action Committee. Joan’s kitchen crew, which currently cooks and serves these Friday lunches to NAP clients at Metropolitan Community Church on South 22nd Street, typically includes Judy Katskee and Lisa Marcus. “An anonymous Beth El angel underwrites the cost,” Joan explained. “I decide the menu, shop for groceries, and Beth El pays me for the food. They never question how I spend the money.” Equally at home in the Beth El kitchen, Joan recently filled in for the regular chef and cooked up a chili lunch for the

beth El Simchat Torah honorees Joan Marcus, left, and lisa Marcus. Credit: Marcus of Omaha Fine Photography congregation following Shabbat morning services. “I’m touched and surprised to receive this honor,” Joan said. “I appreciate people at Beth El thinking of me, but it’s difficult for me to accept an honor for something that I love to do, like the AIDS meals project. The best part is that Lisa and I can do this together, along with Judy. The three of us work together each month to provide lunch for people who appreciate us, unconditionally.”

In addition to her volunteer efforts with NAP through Beth El’s Social Action Committee, Joan Marcus is part of the Synagogue’s Inclusion Committee and a weekly Minyannaire. She is also a member of Beth Israel Synagogue and Temple Israel, where she served on the Board of Directors from 2010 to 2012, and is active at Chabad-Lubavitch. Her volunteer work in the Chabad House Pantry earned Joan the Chabad-Lubavitch Caring See beth El Simchat Torah honors page 4

Jewish Business Leaders Hall of Fame Breakfast

Gabby blair Staff Writer, Jewish Press The Jewish Business Leaders (JBL) is pleased to announce the induction of Ted Seldin, Stanley Silverman, of blessed memory, and the Seldin Company at the third annual Hall of Fame Breakfast on Wednesday Oct. 23, 2019 from 7:309 a.m. at the Happy Hollow Club (1701 S. 105th Street).

An initiative of the Jewish Federation of Omaha, JBL strives to bring Omaha’s Jewish businesses together to highlight the entrepreneurs, founders and changemakers in our community while creating opportunities to connect, teach and leverage relationships to build a stronger Jewish Omaha. The thoughtful investments of Seldin Company into not only the Jewish Community, but into the neighborhoods of greater Omaha, are just a few examples of what makes the Jewish Federation of Omaha and the JBL proud to name Ted Seldin, Stanley Silverman (Z’L) and the Seldin Company as the 2019 Jewish Business Leaders Hall of Fame inductees. Please join us as we celebrate this iconic homegrown Omaha business. This event is free for JBL members; $30 for non-members. Please contact Michelle Johnson to RSVP or if you would like more information on JBL membership at 402.334.6430

e Jewish Press Centennial Endowment e Jewish Press Board of Directors and Staff want to thank these generous donors for contributing to our Centennial Endowment Fund. Together, we ensure the Omaha Jewish Press continues to serve our community. ank you for helping us get ready for the next 100 years! Lorrie Bernstein Lynn and Mark Bernstien Claire and Lawrence Blass Brent Bloom Sherman Brodkey Miriam Brooks Molline Cassman Beth Cohen and Harry Berman Marlene and David Cohen Cheryl and Ron Cooper Janey Dann Susan and David Duitch Audrey Jean Epstein Lisa and Gary Epstein Kris and Matthew Faier Judith Feigin Albert Feldman Richard Fellman

Joanne and Jerry Freeman Amy and Sandy Friedman Candice Friedman Bracha Goldschweig Diane Hahn Jill Idelman Randi Jablin Benjamin Johnson Laurie Kabb Roxanne Kahn Gloria and Howard Kaslow Maxine and Joe Kirschenbaum Alice and Harold Kosowsky Shane and David Kotok Natasha Kraft Beverlee Krasne Abigail and Adam Kutler Nancy and Howard Kutler

David Lercher Bonnie and Steve Levinger Rocky Lewis H. Scott Lustgarten Jill Lustgarten Diane and Larry Malashock Denise and Jon Meyers Lynda Mirvish Phyllis and Robert Newman Patty and Steve Nogg Vicky Perlmeter Amy and Alan Potash Jan and Hertzel Rahmani Gail Raznick Miles Remer Margo and Steve Riekes Helen Rifkin Robert Rifkin


Nancy Rips Lenore Ross Susan Rothholz Lynne and Errol Saltzman Jan Schneiderman Linda Schrier Sherry and Larry Shapiro Claudia Sherman Sissy Silber Susie and Jim Silverman Laurie and Marc Sorkin Dorothy Spizman Shoshy and Scott Sussman Amy Tipp Mary Lou Walker Jeremy Wright Harold Zabin Terrie and Dick Zacharia

The Jewish Press | October 11, 2019 | 3

Craig Saylan Endowment Fund

Continued from page 1 visitors there, and was named Employee of the Month for pertwo additional funds from her estate: the Rosalie and Milton formance beyond the call of duty. He made many friends and Saylan NJHS Endowment Fund and the Craig Saylan Memo- was said to know at least half of the staff, always greeting peorial Endowment Fund. ple by their names, a friendly word, and with a smile. Craig In March of this year, Dottie Shapiro, Rosalie and Milt’s was also a busy volunteer. He was a greeter and usher at Temdaughter, funded the Craig Saylan Memorial Endowment ple Israel, donated eight gallons of blood at the Red Cross, Fund from the Saylan Family Trust. Following her parents’ and volunteered at the Nebraska Humane Society. At the Huwishes, and knowing that they mane Society, Craig was the wanted to honor the memory perfect volunteer, never refusof their son Craig, Dottie esing to do any task. He espetablished the fund. This new cially enjoyed working the endowment will assist needy Doggie Day Care, walking, Jews in the greater Omaha playing with, feeding and talkmetropolitan area to cover ing to the dogs. After a 15-year their basic necessities of life, courtship, Craig married Ellen such as food, medicine, clothGottlieb, and they were haping, rent, mortgage assistance, pily married for 15 years. transportation and vital home While visiting with friends at repairs; the first priority for the Blumkin Home, Craig and such assistance goes to Jews Ellen made new friends, and who are developmentally debecame unofficial volunteers, layed or developmentally disvisiting residents regularly. abled, including members of Dottie said: “Craig was an exOmaha’s Yachad organization traordinary person, and that’s and such other organizations not an exaggeration.” After his which serve the Omaha Jewish death, one Med Center emcommunity’s developmentally ployee wrote: “Craig was such delayed/disabled population. a happy person and greeted Rosalie and Milt Saylan Karen Gustafson, Director everyone with such a positive of Jewish Family Service, said: attitude. He would smile and say ‘hello’ every day to all. I “As I expressed to Dottie in a personal thank you note, ex- looked forward to meeting him while he would go about his pressing my gratitude on behalf of JFS does not feel adequate. duties.” This sentiment was shared by all who worked with The Life & Legacy gift from the Saylan Family, which com- Craig, and his passing left a void in many lives – a wonderful prises both the Craig Saylan Memorial Fund and the Rosalie testament to a truly exceptional person. & Milton Saylan Endowment Fund for JFS, will help families After the Saylans were married in 1940, they moved to in the community for many years. I am beyond amazed at the Iowa, where Milt operated grocery stores. In 1958 they rekindness and generosity of community members like Rosalie, turned to Omaha, and Milt established a wholesale company Milton, Craig and Dottie, who remember those in the com- that sold drapery hardware. Milt retired in 1975, and he and munity who may have struggles, whether through disabilities, Rosalie moved to Palm Springs. It was there that Milt finally financial, etc.” had the time to volunteer. He was a Red Cross blood donor, A beloved son, brother, husband and friend, Craig Saylan with a grand total of over 20 gallons donated in 31 years. In had a life full and happy-it just didn’t last long enough. Craig Palm Springs, Rosalie and Milt volunteered at the Desert Rehad a developmental disability, but according to his sister gional Medical Center. While in Palm Springs, both Rosalie Dottie he never felt that he did. He certainly was not held back and Milt volunteered at the Red Cross; both were blood by it, but rather put the ‘ability’ before any other description. donors, and Rosalie worked at the front desk. The Saylans Dottie said: were on association boards in all the communities they lived “Craig lived a life of overcoming obstacles and using his in. Rosalie was an avid knitter and reader. They both played strengths to be a caring person who had a lasting impact on golf, tennis and cards. While in their early 80s, they moved those who knew him.” Craig died from complications after back to Omaha to be closer to family and long-time friends. heart surgery nine years ago at 58. Milt died in 2012 at 94 years of age, and Rosalie died in 2018 Rosalie and Milt prepared Craig for an independent life. at 97. They were married for 72 years. His father taught him to drive, and Craig became an excepThe Jewish community will be blessed for an infinite numtional driver. Craig was the driver for many of his friends, tak- ber of years by the generosity of the Saylans. The tribute to ing them everywhere they wanted or needed to go. Rosalie their son, Craig, will help Jewish Family Service serve Jews taught Craig to cook and clean – coaching him for an inde- who are in need of financial help and who face challenges pendent future and a life of self-sufficiency. He also learned with disabilities. about money management, and with the love and support of “Rosalie and Milt were ordinary people who dealt with adhis parents, he was ready to go out on his own. versities in life,” Dottie said. “They took risks, made realistic Craig was a custodian at the Nebraska Med Center for 35 decisions along their several moves, and always showed conyears. He was loved and respected by the staff, patients and cern for others and the future of their community.”

Leaving a legacy

Continued from page 1 organizations through the LIFE & LEGACY Program. Gary was true to his word and as part of his estate he donated $100,000 to Temple Israel. Gary’s last term as Temple Israel Treasurer was from 2016 to 2018. During that time, he was focused on ensuring we were following best practices in accounting and even took a class at UNO on nonprofit accounting to assist him with this task. He was also focused on continuing to grow our endowment. He called his lifelong friend Richard Slosburg to ask for a donation. Richard and Gary both grew up at Temple Israel. They attended religious school and Cub Scouts together and remained friends until Gary’s death. Not only were they friends but their fathers had been friends and their children are also friends. The Kaplan and Slosburg family bonds have now spanned three generations. Richard challenged Gary to raise $1 million for Temple Israel’s endowment. Richard told him that if he met the goal, he would make a gift of $100,000. Gary willingly accepted the challenge. Shortly after

the two lifelong friends made the agreement, Gary was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Although Gary continued to work on Temple Israel’s finances during his illness, he was not up to task of raising $1 million. Richard stayed true to his word and upon Gary’s death donated $100,000 to Temple Israel’s endowment in memory of Gary. Richard said, “There is no better way to honor Gary and Gary’s commitment to Temple Israel’s future than to donate to Temple Israel’s endowment.” The gift from Richard, Ellen, Jacob and Rachel Slosburg not only honors Gary but honors the lifelong friendship between the two families. LIFE & LEGACY motivates Jewish organizations to integrate legacy giving into their philanthropic culture assuring Jewish tomorrows. All of us, regardless of age, wealth or affiliation, have the ability to leave a legacy. If you are interested in learning more about this program, please contact Executive Director Dennis DePorte, President Andie Gordman, Jewish Federation of Omaha Foundation Executive Director Howard N. Epstein or LIFE & LEGACY Coordinator Margo Parsow.

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JCC School Break Specials School Break Specials at our Jewish Community Center for members and non-members are full-day programs for kids who are out of school for scheduled breaks or weather-related closings. We’ve recently updated some of the terms of our registration policies for Youth programming. The following adjustments went into effect on Oct. 1. School Break Specials, Winter Break Specials, Spring Break Specials and Kids Night Out programs are subject to the following terms. If a registration is received less than one week prior to the program, a $20 late registration fee will be assessed to each participant. If you cancel less than one week prior to the program, you will receive a credit to be used for future programs at the JCC. If you do not show up for a program and have not notified staff, no refund or credit will be given. If you cancel prior to one week before the program, a full

refund will be issued or credit for future program. Upcoming School Break Specials are: Wednesday, Oct. 16 (Millard) Theme: Mythical Creatures Thursday, Oct. 17 (Millard) Theme: Pumpkin Patch Friday, Oct. 18 (Millard) Theme: Wonder Park Thursday, Oct. 24 (OPS) Theme: Grand Slam Friday, October 25 (OPS) Theme: GO BIG RED! Wednesday, Nov. 27 (OPS, D66, Millard, SvdP) Theme: Turkey Day Monday, Jan. 6 (OPS, SVdP) Theme: CSI Monday, Jan. 20 (All Schools) Theme: Wizarding World Thursday, Feb. 13 (Millard) Theme: Going Green Friday, Feb. 14 (Millard) Theme: Superheroes Monday, Feb. 17 (All Schools) Theme: The Great J Bake Off If you have questions, please contact Allison Burger at 402.334.6409 or Amanda Welsh at 402.590.2152.

Beth El Simchat Torah honors are a family affair



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Continued from page 2 Caring Hands Award in 2017. She has served as board director of the Autism Center of Nebraska for twelve years, and is currently the group’s president; is vice chair of the Governor’s Developmental Disabilities Planning Council (25 years); ENCOR Region VI Advisory Committee president and representative (25 years); past president of The ARC of Nebraska: and past president of GOARC, now the Ollie Webb Center. Joan Marcus was awarded the UNO Women of Wisdom Award in 2007 and is an annual guest speaker to occupational therapy doctoral candidates at Creighton University. For Rabbi Steven Abraham, “Joan and the AIDS lunches? She just does it, with no fanfare. She’s a constant at Beth El’s Friday night services and always willing to help out or lend a hand. Joan is a very special person, and we’re lucky to have her at Beth El. And to honor both Joan and her daughter-inlaw, Lisa, it’s a cool combination.” In Lisa Marcus, Rabbi Abraham recognizes a woman “always willing to volunteer on any Synagogue project. Lisa served on the BESTT Committee from 2004 to 2018 and was BESTT Committee Chair for the past four years. She has held positions on the synagogue Board of Trustees, the Executive Committee, Marketing Committee and was a Beth El representative on the Community High School Committee during its short existence. In addition,” Rabbi Abraham continued, “Lisa sings in Beth El’s small High Holy Days ensemble, chants haftarah and steps up to lead Friday Night Services when Hazzan Krausman is out of town. She, along with several other Beth El lay leaders, helped design the Shabbat B’Yachad Alternative Service. And, when she puts on her non-volunteer hat, we’re more than happy to pay Lisa for the hours she spends as our diligent KOL editor/publisher and manager of the Beth El website, getting our message out to the congregation. Lisa’s commitment to Beth El is solid.” “I was also proud to serve on the search sommittees that hired Rabbi Abraham, Hazzan Krausman, and our Director of Congregational Learning, Eadie Tsabari,” Lisa said. “They, along with our Executive Director Allison Newfeld, form a strong leadership team that has helped make Beth El a warm and welcoming place for everyone. Beth El has always been my home, and it’s just natural for me to want to be involved in any way I can. I really enjoy everything I do and feel very lucky to be part of this congregation. This completely unexpected honor is even more special to me because I’m sharing

it with Joan. She is absolutely amazing and I am truly blessed to stand beside her. If I can follow the example set by her and by my family even a little bit, I’ll be in good company.” Lisa’s non-Beth El volunteer work includes a stint as Marketing Chair for National Council of Jewish Women-Nebraska as well as serving on the NCJW Chocolate Festival Committee. She is currently on the Executive Committee of Friedel Jewish Academy and on the Gala Committee for the Autism Center of Nebraska. Lisa and Nancy Rips also bring a little musical Shabbat to the Blumkin Home periodically on Friday evenings. Beth El’s Simchat Torah observance begins on Monday evening, Oct. 21, with Mincha/Ma’ariv at 5:30 p.m. along with SimTot Torah for small fry, ages 0 to 6, during which kindergarten students will receive their individual miniature Torah scrolls from ‘Morah Eadit’ — aka Eadie Tsabari. Hakafot and a dessert reception round out the evening. “We invite congregants of all ages to join us, both on Monday evening and Tuesday morning, Oct. 22, when we honor Joan Marcus and Lisa Marcus,” Rabbi Abraham said. “Simchat Torah is exactly what the name implies. A time for all of us to rejoice in the Torah as we mark the conclusion of the annual cycle of public Torah readings and begin a new cycle.”

On the Basis of Sex

Continued from page 1 fill in the rest of the gaps. Whether you’ve joined us in the past or not – you are invited to attend the Oct. 17 screening at 1 p.m. in the JCC theater. The Dorothy Kaplan Book Discussion group meets on the third Thursday of every month at 1 p.m. in the Kripke Jewish Federation Library. New members are always welcome. The group receives administrative support from the Community Engagement & Education arm of the Jewish Federation of Omaha. For information about the group, contact Shirly Banner at 402.334.6462 or To view books discussed by the group over the past several years, go to, click on the “Community & Education” pulldown tab and navigate to “Kripke Jewish Federation Library,” then to “Dorothy Kaplan Book Discussion Group.”

Fall Home & Garden Expo at Baxter Arena Meet experts and find solutions at the 31st Annual FALL HOME & GARDEN EXPO to be held Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 19-20, now at the Baxter Arena. The Home and Garden Event of the Season for over 30 years with Star Attractions including a chance to get a taste, a few baking tips and meet co-founder, Tracey Noonan, from one of Shark Tank's most successful businesses, Wicked Good Cupcakes! on Saturday and Sunday. The Show features fun for the kids with the Wildlife Encounters Exotic Animals Shows each day to see and touch animals from around the world. Another popular attraction is the Gourmet Foods & Marketplace from coffee to honey, one-of-a-kind home accents, decorations and unique gifts as well as a Fall Container Garden Sale. This year the expo will again have the Ultimate Garage, Ask the Master Gardeners, and Italian Food Court by Santa Lucia, serving your fa-

vorite Italian specialties with desserts to top it off. The expo is the largest and most complete Fall Showcase of the latest products and services for the Home Inside and Out! Fall is the time to plan your home improvement projects and get your home ready for winter. This year’s show offers visitors a tremendous opportunity to compare the many home items available, plus new innovations for building, remodeling, decorating and landscaping — some that are not to be found anywhere else but at the Expo. THE FALL HOME & GARDEN EXPO is open to the public on Saturday, Oct. 19, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Sunday, Oct. 20, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Baxter Arena, 67th and Center St., with plenty of Free Parking. All this for just $6 adults with children 12 and under Free. One dollar discounts at area Fareway and Village Inn. For more details go to


Dallas Omaha Jewish Alumni Association (OJAA) Round-up Reunion


MArgO PArsOW LIFE&LEGACY Coordinator n sunday, nov. 3, from 1-4 p.m. the Omaha Jewish Alumni Association (OJAA) along with the Jewish Federation of Omaha Foundation and the Jewish Federation of Omaha, will sponsor a round-up reunion party in Dallas for those former Nebraskans and Iowans now living in Texas. Sherry Josin Goldberg will be hosting the event at her home along with her co-host, Bob Rifkin. The round-up reunion party will provide a wonderful opportunity for former Omahans and Iowans who now live in Texas to mingle and chat about their fond memories of Omaha and the Omaha Jewish community. Light bites will be served. There are now 740 members of the Omaha Jewish Alumni Association (OJAA). Our mission is to es-

tablish and secure the future of Omaha’s Jewish community by connecting Jewish individuals who are currently living in Omaha with all Jewish individuals who formerly lived in Omaha and now live elsewhere. The vision for the OJAA has been the inspiration of our generous donors, Gary and Lisa Epstein. If you have not become a member yet, you can do so by visiting the OJAA Facebook page at Our Facebook tag is @OmahaJewishAlumni, where we encourage you to share your Facebook pictures and posts. Please RSVP to Bob Rifkin at by Oct. 28. There will be no solicitations. #stiLLhOMAhA

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The Jewish Press | October 11, 2019 | 5

community CDC Enrichment Academy

The Pennie Z. Davis Childhood Development Center offers a wide array of enrichment classes for kids ages two-five. Classes range from art and language to cooking, and much more. Registration is required. Typically, the instructor for the enrichment class will come to your child’s class, pick them up, and bring them to enrichment classes and then bring them back to their classroom. If you prefer to bring your child yourself, you must notify the office of your choice as well as the enrichment instructor. spanish Classes Learn Spanish! We offer beginning and intermediate-level classes. Students will learn words and phrases through games, books, and songs. Must be two-years-old by 11/1/19. Art Classes Create a mini masterpiece! Art classes for two-five year olds offer opportunities to explore and learn through paint and mixedmedia. steamtastic Using the principles of STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math)

children will explore new topics in new ways. This is Science in a whole new and FUN way! Creative Cooking We’ll cook up some fun in the CDC kitchen as children learn basic cooking skills and create a kitchen keepsake. Preschool sports Kids will develop fine motor skills, learn about fitness, and see how fun an active lifestyle can be. For more information, please contact Shannon Liedel, Arts Educator/Assistant Teacher at 402.334-6413 or sliedel@jccom; Lisa Cooper, Assistant Director at 402.334.6414 or or call the CDC Main Desk at 402.334.6413 or The Jewish Community Center has been a big part of Omaha for more than eight decades! We opened our doors in 1925 and still today continue to serve everyone in the community with our state-of-the-art facilities, outstanding programs, and dedicated staff. We’ve been here in the past we’re here today and we’ll be here tomorrow.


B’nAi B’rith BrEADBrEAkErs

The “swan song” for Visiting Scholar rabbi shlomo Abramovich before his return to Israel is Wednesday, Oct. 16, noon. For more information or to be placed on the email list call 402.334.6443 or

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6 | The Jewish Press | October 11, 2019


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The Jewish Press | October 11, 2019 | 7


Did You Know?

Karen Gustafson JFS Executive Director id you know that most children, teens and adults who abuse drugs or take an overdose, get the drugs (in the form of prescription medications) through either their friend or their family’s medicine cabinet? Here are a few things you can do to prevent others from taking medication prescribed for you: 1. EVERY DAY is “takeback day” in Nebraska. Just google “Drug Disposal near Me” to find the location nearest you. Please dispose of all outdated medications in this manner. Do not flush down the toilet, in the sink or just toss in the trash.

2. Region 6, Omaha’s State Behavioral Health Region, has FREE lock boxes in order to safely secure any medications that you do wish to keep in your home. You can call Jewish Family Service with your request for one of these lock boxes, and we will be happy to obtain it for you. Jewish Family Service is an agency of the Jewish Federation of Omaha. Our goal is to bring relevant information to you as it relates

to mental health and wellness for your family. If you would like additional information about JFS, please call 402.330.2024 or e-mail me at kgustafson@jfsomaha. com.

fall arts & Crafts show at Mid-america Center in Council Bluffs Make plans now to attend the annual Fall Arts and Crafts Show that will be held saturday and sunday, oct. 12-13 at the Mid-America Center in Council Bluffs, Iowa. The show is billed as one of Iowa’s largest shows, with over 150 exhibitors presenting and selling thousands of unique, handmade products. Among the various products being sold at the show are oak and pine furniture, paintings and prints, ceramics, wall hangings, blankets, jewelry, pet products, etched and stained glass, yard and garden art, pottery, candles, clothing, quilts, aprons, pillows, doll clothes, rugs, placemats, table runners, purses, floral arrangements and wreaths, wood and metal signs, soap and lotions,

and many more original products. Exhibitors will also be selling coffee cakes, dips, salsa, soups, jams, jellies, cheese and sausage, wines, honey, food mixes and roasted nuts. All items offered for sale to the public are handmade by the exhibitor. Hours of the show are from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on saturday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on sunday. Admission is $5 and children 10 and younger are free. Parking is free throughout the show. All patrons who attend the show on Saturday will receive a two-day re-entry stamp. For more information on the show, please contact Callahan Promotions, Inc at 563.652.4529.







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8 | The Jewish Press | October 11, 2019

Above: Temple Israel’s Cantor Joanna Alexander and Beth El’s Hazzan Michael Krausman, together with our Shlicha Ron Lugasy helped out at the Jewish Federation of Omaha’s Rosh Hashana ‘Lunch and Learn.’



Above: Friedel students experienced a visit from the Papio-Missouri River Natural Resources District's snakes and lizards program.

PHOTOS FROM RECENT JEWISH COMMUNITY EVENTS SUBMIT A PHOTO: Have a photo of a recent Jewish Community event you would like to submit? Email the image and a suggested caption to:

Above and below: Omaha students participating in JYE BI, Beth Israel’s youth group.

Below: Dr. Joel Rohr, his wife Ariella (not pictured) and daughter Amelia visited an alpaca farm. The alpacas are okay.

Above and left: Friedel Jewish Academy students enjoyed their annual Rosh Hashanah Challah Bake.

Above: The Opening Mind through Art (OMA) program at the Rose Blumkin Jewish Home. OMA is an intergenerational eightweek art program that works with seniors and UNO students to make beautiful abstract art. Details to follow. Leaders of the program are Activities Coordinators Cheryl Poulin, left, and Emily Clement.

The Jewish Press | October 11, 2019 | 9

viewpoint thejewishpress

(Founded in 1920) Abby kutler President Annette van de kamp-Wright Editor Richard Busse Creative Director susan Bernard Advertising Executive lori kooper-schwarz Assistant Editor Gabby Blair Staff Writer

Jewish press Board Abigail Kutler, President; Eric Dunning, Ex-Officio; Danni Christensen, Candice Friedman, Bracha Goldsweig, Jill Idelman, Andy Isaacson, Natasha Kraft, Andrew Miller, Eric Shapiro, Shoshy Susman and Amy Tipp. 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. 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:

American Jewish press Association Award Winner

Nebraska press As- National Newspaper sociation Association Award winner 2008


What is happening in Brooklyn?

ANNETTE vAN DE kAMp-WRIGHT Ben Sales wrote for the Jewish Telegraphic Agency. African-Americans.” Editor, Jewish Press “They said daily rhythms haven’t changed and, by and True, some of the attackers are black, but not all. Tobin he news stories keep trickling in: physical at- large, the residents feel just as safe as they have in recent goes on to make a razor-thin connection to the Nation of tacks on random Jews in Brooklyn, NY, with years. Sadly and paradoxically, they said, identifiably OrIslam. His writing gets even more slippery after that, and no rhyme or reason, are happening almost thodox Jews have always experienced hateful attacks.” he never answers the question of what actually is happenweekly. It’s not gathering big headlines, noOne reason the Jews in the rest of the country don’t ing in Brooklyn. body has died and anyway, we’re all too busy worry about this too much, according to Jonathan Tobin Still, he touches on an interesting dilemma: do some of looking the other way. Impeachment, Brexit, North Korean ( us not pay enough attention because our brothers and sisrockets and whatever China is doing this week is eating “Those who are being insulted, threatened and asters in Brooklyn look and live differently than we do? Are up the space we have in our heads for Big News. saulted don’t look like most American Jews. Even worse, some of us too assimilated to fully empathize? It’s a really However, these random attacks difficult question to type and seem to be increasing and are beeven harder to ask out loud. It coming almost commonplace. It is reminds me of the stories I way past time to pay attention. heard growing up, of how asOn October 3, the headline read: similated Western European “A teen allegedly attacked a Jews were slow to worry about Jewish woman in Brooklyn, pulling Hitler because they didn’t idenoff her scarf and wig.” The attack tify with Eastern European happened on Erev Rosh Hashana. Jews. I don’t know if there is The Rivnitz synagogue in Williamsany truth to that either; I do burg, a neighborhood in Brooklyn, know the theory makes me as had its windows broken during uncomfortable today as it did Rosh Hashana prayers. People when I was a child. It smells. threw milk crates at the windows; There is always the convensomeone filmed it and posted the ient rationale that anti-Semivideo to social media. On August tism isn’t actually up; hate 31, a Jewish man was hit with a crimes are just reported more belt outside his synagogue. People often. Maybe that’s the case, have been throwing rocks and maybe it isn’t. But wouldn’t it A Hasidic man walks by a police car in a Orthodox Jewish neighborhood in Brooklyn. paving stones; anti-Semitic graffiti be great to find out for sure? Credit: Spencer Platt/Getty Images is common. Editorials and guest-editorials “The incidents now pass without much notice,” wrote those responsible for these crimes don’t fit into the narra- express the view of the writer and are not necessarily repArmin Rosen for Tablet Magazine, “a steady, familiar tive about anti-Semitism that has been established by resentative of the views of the Jewish Press Board of Didrumbeat of violence and hate targeting visibly Jewish groups like the Anti-Defamation League and the media. In- rectors, the Jewish Federation of Omaha Board of people in New York City.” stead of white supremacists who can loosely, if inaccuDirectors, or the Omaha Jewish community as a whole. “But for some in Borough Park, life feels the same,” rately, linked to President Trump, the perpetrators are

Meeting a candidate

I recently attended my first political meet-and-greet event. Many in the room asked questions of presidential candidate Tom Steyer, including myself. One question was: “If chosen as the Democratic nominee, who do you like as a MARcIE spIvAck running mate?” “A woman!” he answered. Guest Editorial This candidate’s personal creed is to tell the truth and put the American people first. Continue reading to see the difference from Trump’s “America First” mantra. Steyer is the grandson of a plumber. His parents were educators. His father interrogated Nazi criminals for the Nuremberg trials while in the military. He comes from humble beginnings and chooses, in the same manner, to give back to the community. Tom developed a hedge fund company that flourished into a multi-billion-dollar business. While working with everyday Americans for the past ten years, he has created associations to fight against powerful corporations and has been winning. In 2013, NextGen America formed to mobilize young people to vote. This project is now located on 41 Iowa college campuses which proved significant in the mid-term elections. Tom is aggressive on climate change issues. He is determined to correct and protect our environment, including water sources, drought crises, etc. for generations to come. He informed his audience that 77% of Americans do not have higher education, typically for financial reasons. As well, 22 million young people have chosen to delay marriage or having children due to student debt. Tom’s viewpoint requires changes so any American can acquire a higher education. I came away with the opinion that Steyer is a long-term visionary who has the courage and resilience to triumph over our current White House occupant. His expertise in business and philanthropy will earn him the presidency.

Birthright should pay its non-Israeli trip leaders

ElI REITER more and more leaders worry about the declining NEW YORK | JTA amount of knowledge for young Jews, not compenTaglit-Birthright is one of the most successful sating educators sends a message that the crucial inphilanthropic projects in modern Jewish history. formation they provide is actually not that vital. The result of decades of collaboration between But facilitating a Birthright trip involves a lot of donors and Israel’s Department of Diaspora Af- hard work. Both trips involved approximately 300 fairs, the organization has spent hundreds of mil- hours of my time, from the airport check-in to lions of dollars sending 700,000 people to Israel hug-filled goodbyes. If you count the free flight as since its creation in 1999. compensation, I earned A typical Birthright trip approximately $2 an hour. has a simple formula: ExThis is, as they say in Yidpose young Jews to seven dish, bupkes. to 10 days and nights filled As trip leaders, we with intense movement were on call at all hours and exposure to superlative and responsible for the parts of Israel. Trip particsafety of our participants. ipants traverse the country I fell asleep in shabby from north to south and hotel lobbies in Jerusalem are exposed along the way waiting for participants to to deeply emotional places Taglit-Birthright participants ride camels during return after curfew. My like the Western Wall and their stay at the Mamshit Bedoin tents in the Negev facilitation partner took Yad Vashem. Each trip Desert of Israel. Credit: Melanie Fidler /Flash90 sick participants to Bnei usually has 40 participants and is staffed by a robust Brak clinics. Emergencies occurred on top of team: a bus driver, medic/guard, tour guide and a mountains, and while we did have a medic, we had male and female leader. to improvise and act as triage nurses. We had to The Israeli staff — the bus driver, the medic/ constantly think on our feet. guard and the tour guide — are rightfully paid for But more important, we helped make the trip their contributions to creating this once-in-a-life- an educational experience by acting as people time Jewish experience. with knowledge of the country, Judaism and JewThe trip facilitators, on the other hand, are not. ish history. A trip leader has to improvise and anBirthright’s vice president of marketing, Noa swer questions about the people and sights, be Bauer, said: “Thousands of volunteers, many of able to frame momentous events at historic and whom are college students, have dedicated their spiritual sites in a meaningful way and serve as a time to help make Birthright Israel possible. Some peer mentor. This educational component is the of these educators staff Birthright trips as part of key to turning a seven- or 10-day experience into their current job responsibilities through organi- a longer relationship with Judaism and Israel. zations such as Hillel. As recognition for their efIf Birthright continues to send the message that forts, Birthright Israel provides staff with stipends the American staff members are unimportant, it for expenses such as their flight to Israel, as well sends a message to the broader Jewish world. as professional development opportunities.” Eli Reiter is a New York based educator, storyThis attitude is a symptom of a wider problem in teller and writer. the Jewish nonprofit world. Large organizations that The views and opinions expressed in this article are raise millions of dollars from philanthropists often those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the rely on unpaid staff to educate their participants. As views of JTA or its parent company, 70 Faces Media.

10 | The Jewish Press | October 11, 2019

synagogues B’nai israel synagogue

618 Mynster Street Council Bluffs, IA 51503-0766 712.322.4705

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 email:

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

Join us for our monthly Shabbat Speakers Series on friday, nov. 8, 7:30 p.m. with guest speaker Steven Wees. Our service leader is Larry Blass, and as always, an Oneg wil follow service. Everyone is always welcome at B’nai Israel! For information on our historic synagogue, contact any of our board members: Scott Friedman, Rick Katelman, Howard Kutler, Carole Lainof, Wayne Lainof, Sissy Silber, Nancy Wolf, or email Handicap Accessible.

Beth el synagogue

Services conducted by Rabbi Steven Abraham and Hazzan Michael Krausman. friday: Pre-Neg and Tot Shabbat, 5:30 p.m. Tot Shabbat Pre-Negs are generously sponsored by Linda and Harold Mann; Kabbalat Shabbat, 6 p.m. saturday: Shabbat Morning Service with Project Harmony speaker, 9:30 a.m. Kiddush lunch to follow, prepared by Joan Marcus and generously sponsored by Howard Kaiman in memory of Milton Marcus; Junior Congregation (Grades 37), 10 a.m. weekday serViCes: Sundays, 9:30 a.m. & 5:30 p.m.; weekdays, 7 a.m. & 5:30 p.m. sunday: Sukkah Building, 8 a.m.; BESTT School (Grades K-7), 9:30 a.m.; Torah Study, 10 a.m.; From my Mother’s Kitchen, 10:30 a.m. with Pam Friedlander; USY Program, noon. monday: Office Closed — Sukkot Day 1; Morning Service, 9:30 a.m.; Soup in the Sukkah, 11:45 a.m.; Mincha/ Ma’ariv, 5:30 a.m. tuesday: Office Closed — Sukkot Day 2; Morning Service, 9:30 a.m. wednesday: Sukkot Day 3; Morning Service, 7 a.m.; BESTT Classes (Grades 3-7), 4:15 p.m.; Mincha/Ma’ariv, 5:30 p.m.; High School Sukkah Hop, 6-8 p.m. thursday: Sukkot Day 4; Brachot and Breakfast, 7 a.m.; Mincha/Ma’ariv, 5:30 p.m. Shabbat’s Cool (Grades K-7), saturday, oct. 19, 10 a.m. BESTT Shul-IN (Grades 3-7), saturday, oct. 19, 10 a.m.- sunday, oct. 20, 10:30 a.m. Register online. Sukkah Schmooze, saturday, oct. 19, 8:30 p.m. at the Krausmans.

Beth israel synagogue

Services conducted by Rabbi Ari Dembitzer friday: Shacharit, 7 a.m.; Mincha/Candle Lighting, 6:32 p.m. saturday: Shacharit, 9 a.m.; Auf Ruf of Daniel Grossman, 10 a.m. Kiddush sponsored by Mary Sue and Alex Grossman; Insights into the Weekly Torah Portion, 5:30 p.m.; Mincha/Seudah Shlishit, 6:15 p.m.; Havdalah, 7:30 p.m. sunday: Erev Sukkot; Shacharit, 9 am.; Mincha/Candlelighting, 6:30 p.m. monday: Office Closed — Sukkot; Shacharit, 9 a.m.; Lunch in the Sukkah, 11:30 a.m.; Mincha/Candlelighting, 7:27 p.m. tuesday: Office Closed — Sukkot; Shacharit, 9 a.m.; Kiddush, 11 a.m.; Mincha/Ma’ariv, 6:30 p.m.; Havdalah, 7:26 p.m. wednesday: Intermediate Day; Shacharit, 6:45 a.m.; Jewish Teen-Wide Sukkah Hop, 6-8 p.m.; Mincha/ Ma’ariv, 6:30 p.m. at RBJH. thursday: Intermediate Day; Shacharit, 6:45 a.m.; Connecting with Our Faith, 9:30 a.m. with Rabbi Ari; Mincha/Ma’ariv, 6:30 p.m. at RBJH.

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, 8 a.m. followed by coffee, treats, study and shmoozing; Candle Lighting, 6:31 p.m. saturday: Shabbat Morning Service, 9:30 a.m.; Shabbat Ends at 7:29 p.m. weekdays: Shacharit, 7 a.m. followed by coffee, treats, study and shmoozing. sunday: Service, 8:30 a.m.; Sunday Secrets, 9:15 p.m. following Minyan; Candle Lighting, 6:28 p.m. monday: Shacharit, 9:30 a.m.; Candle Lighting, 7:26 p.m. tuesday: Shacharit, 9:30 a.m.; Holiday Ends, 7:24 p.m.

wednesday: Shacharit, 9 a.m.; Yizkor, 11 a.m.; Mincha and Neilah, 5:30 p.m.; Fast Ends at 7:34 p.m. followed by Havdallah and refreshments. thursday: Shacharit, 8 a.m.; Soup in the Sukkah: Ladies Sukkot Celebration, 6:30 p.m. For help with your Sukkah or to purchase a Lulav & Etrog set, please call 402.330.1800. All programs are open to the entire community. For more information call 402.330.1800 or visit

Congregation B’nai Jeshurun

Services conducted by Rabbi Teri Appleby. friday: Pop-Up Shabbat Dinners — No Services at Temple; Candlelighting, 6:34 p.m. saturday: Shabbat Morning Service, 9:30 a.m. led by Ailyne Swartz Taylor; Torah Study on Parashat Ha’azinu, 10:45 a.m.; Potluck Dinner and Game Night, 6 p.m.; Havdalah (72 minutes), 8:02 p.m. sunday: Erev Sukkot; LJCS Gan through Grade 7, 9:30 a.m.; LJCS Gesher, 10 a.m.; LJCS Soup in the Sukkah, 11:30 a.m.; Sukkot, 6 p.m. at Rabbi Appleby’s. monday: Sukkot; Candlelighting, 7:50 p.m. tuesday: Sukkot; Ladies Lunch, noon at Daffodil Mediterranean Cuisine & Catering, 5500 Old Cheney Road #21. Let Deborah Swearingen (402.476.7528) know if you plan to attend and if you need a ride; Havdalah (72 minutes), 7:57 p.m. wednesday: LJCS Hebrew School, 4 p.m. at TI. SST is partnering with "We Can Do This" to provide weekend meals to the children of the F St. Community Center. Join us as we provide lunch on the third Sunday of every month. Food/monetary donations, meal preparation and assistance with setting up, serving, and clean-up are needed! If you would like to donate funds to this program and help continue this mitzvah, please contact Leslie Delserone at treasurer@southstreet or call Peter Mullin at 402.435.8004. We will serve our next meal on oct. 20 at 2:30 p.m. For more information, contact Aimee Hyten at

offutt air forCe Base

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

rose Blumkin Jewish home

saturday: Services, 9:15 a.m. led by Stan Edelstein. Services will be held in the Chapel. Members of the community are invited to attend.

temple israel

friday: Shabbat Comes to You at The Heritage Sterling Ridge, 4 p.m.; Shabbat Evening Service, 6 p.m. saturday: Torah Study, 9:15 a.m.; Shabbat Morning Service, 10:30 a.m. sunday: Beginning Adult Hebrew, Level 1, 9 a.m.; Adult Hebrew, Level 2, 10 a.m.; Youth Learning Programs for Grades K-6, 10 a.m.; Sukkah Building and Decorating, 10:30 a.m.; Book Club: “We Were Strangers Once” by Betsy Carter, 10:30 a.m.; Temple Tots, 10:30 a.m.; Community Open Sukkah at the Alexanders’, 6-8 p.m. We invite family, friends, neighbors, and community to rejoice, eat, and share what we have with each other. We invite the Temple Israel community to a family-friendly Open Sukkah at the home of Cantor Alexander. Enjoy hors d’oeuvres, desserts, and wine together on a beautiful October evening under the sukkah. Everyone will have the chance to shake the lulav and etrog, and kids will be able to make decorations to place on Cantor

Alexander’s sukkah. RSVP to Temple Israel, or 402-556-6536. monday: Morning Service Breakfast, 9:30 a.m.; Sukkot Morning Service, 10:30 a.m. tuesday: Board of Trustees Meeting, 7 p.m. wednesday: More Than a Joke - A Tri-Faith Symposium God for Grownups: Modern Theologies for Modern Believers (and Skeptics Too), Lunch-and-Learn, noon at Countryside Community Church; Grades 3-6, 4-6 p.m.; Community Dinner, 6 p.m. Menu: beef and noodles, steamed vegetables, enhanced salad bar, dessert. Wednesday night dinners are open to the entire community! If you have a child in our Wednesday learning programs, there will be no cost for your family’s dinner. Cost is $4 per adult and $3 per child (12 and under), which will be billed to your account. Please RSVP to Temple Israel the Monday before; Grades 7-12, 6-8 p.m.; Jewish Teen-Wide Sukkah Hop, 6-8 p.m. thursday: The Israel Forum, 10-11:30 a.m. Israel native Ron Lugasy, a former IDF soldier now in her second year as the sh’lichah to the Omaha Jewish community, will guide us in conversation about current events, art, music, culture, politics, social dynamics, and other issues pertaining to modern Israel and Jewish life inside and beyond the Jewish state. Tot Shabbat, friday, oct. 18, 5:45 p.m. An evening for our youngest congregants! We’ll begin at 5:45 p.m. with challah braiding and baking, at 6 p.m. there will be crafts, music, and prayers in the Chapel, followed by dinner at 6:30 p.m. Erev Simchat Torah Service and Consecration, sunday, oct. 20, 6 p.m. Join us in celebrating our kindergarteners as they begin their Youth Learning Programs education. The children will receive a blessing from clergy and join in parading the Torah scrolls around the Community Court. Music provided by Tuffy Epstein and dancing with our Torah scrolls. Heavy hor d’oeuvres and ice cream will be served. Please note: Grades PreK-6 will be meeting at 4:30 p.m. in lieu of morning classes. Simchat Torah Yizkor Service, monday, oct. 21, 10:30 a.m. If you would like to have the names of your loved ones read at the Yizkor service, please contact the Temple Israel office, 402.556.6536, by Thursday, Oct. 17. Pop-Up with Tish this Fall!, friday, oct. 25, 7 p.m. Join other Temple Israel young adults for a Shabbat dinner at Mayne Street Market. Cost is $18 per person or $30 per pair (couple or friends) and includes a festive Shabbat meal, dessert, unlimited wine, and specialty cocktail! Save the date to enjoy this kids-free evening! Tish is a group for Temple-ish people who are 30-ish and 40-ish, single-ish or married-ish, Jewish and Jew-ish. RSVP online: osrui weekend, oct. 25-26

tifereth israel

Services conducted by lay leader Nancy Coren. Office hours: monday-friday, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. friday: No Services; Candlelighting, 6:33 p.m. saturday: Shabbat Morning service, 10 a.m followed by a Kiddush luncheon; Junior Congregation, 11 a.m. followed by a snack; Havdalah (72 minutes), 7:32 p.m. sunday: LJCS Gan through Grade 7, 9:30 a.m.; LJCS Gesher, 10 a.m. monday: Office Closed; Morning Service, 10 a.m. tuesday: Office Closed; Ladies Lunch, noon at Daffodil Mediterranean Cuisine & Catering, 5500 Old Cheney Road #21. Let Deborah Swearingen (402.476.7528) know if you plan to attend and if you need a ride; Mincha/Ma’ariv, 7 p.m. wednesday: LJCS Hebrew School, 4 p.m. at TI; Sukkot Celebration: Pizza in the Hut, 6 p.m. after LJCS at Tifereth Israel Sukkah. Cost: $5 for adults 13 and up and $4 for children 2-12. The meal includes pizza, a drink, salad, and cookie. Tifereth Israel invites you to join us at our Simchat Torah Celebration, monday, oct. 21, 6:30 p.m. at Tifereth Israel.

Swedish party fights to ban circumcision

JTA A Swedish political party has voted to change its official stance in favor of banning circumcision. e Swedish Center Party voted 314-166 at its annual meeting to work to fight the nonmedical circumcision of boys. e vote Saturday drew fierce debate in the country between advocates, who say circumcision infringes on children’s rights, and critics, who say a ban would threaten the country’s Jewish and Muslim populations. “A ban on circumcision would make Jewish life

in Sweden impossible,” Aron Verständig, chairman of e Official Council of Swedish Jewish Communities, said Sunday in a statement. Sweden’s Jewish community numbers about 20,000 and has faced a range of challenges in recent years — from the rise of anti-Semitism that at times has turned violent to policy proposals that community members say make their lives difficult or impossible. In the past, there have been other attempts to ban circumcision and the import of kosher meat, citing children’s and animal’s rights.

The Jewish Press | October 11, 2019 | 11

lifecycles iN MeMoriaM

raquel h. NewMaN

Raquel H. Newman passed away on Oct. 6 in Palm Springs, California at age 91. She was surrounded by her four children and their spouses, and her eldest granddaughter. Graveside services will be just for family, but a Celebration of Life gathering in San Francisco for all to remember this remarkable woman will be scheduled. Details to follow. She was preceded in death by her husband C. M. “Nick” Newman. She is survived by children Peter Bruce Newman, Thomas R. Newman (Ron Parks), Edward “Ted” Newman, Sara J. Newman; grandchildren: Vianna Newman Dennis and Alec Dennis and Cassandra Vera Newman; brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law, E. R. “Bob” and Phyllis Newman, L. James “Jim” Newman and Jane Ivory, Murray H. and Sharee Newman; and many nieces and nephews. Raquel was cared for with an abundance of love and compassion for the past year by two incredible caregivers. These two women made so much possible for her, both in San Francisco and in Palm Springs while she advanced on her final journey with the help of hospice. “Racky” was a mentor to many, a passionate, involved giver to her communities for over seventy years, both in her organizational involvements and in philanthropy. She will be greatly missed. Memorials may be made to the organization of your choice or to URJ Camp Newman in Sonoma County (, which Racky launched with her seed money — Jewish summer camp was so close to her heart, and Camp Newman needs nurturing after the wildfires of 2017. Notes to the family may be sent to: Newman, 1775 E Palm Canyon Dr., Ste. 110-402, Palm Springs, CA 92264.

New in the JCC Gallery

During the month of October, the JCC Gallery displays works by Mike Scheef and Tom Swanson. e ability to repeat images makes printmaking one of the most accessible art forms. Mike Scheef ’s screen prints pull from his inventory of drawings, creating compositions, combinations, and visual lists. Tom Swanson’s model airplanes are formed from hand-pulled prints constructed to mimic the flocks and formations of brightly colored androgynous birds. e public is invited to attend the opening reception on Sunday, Oct. 13 from 2–4 p.m. in the JCC Gallery. is event is free and open to the public. From historical and educational exhibits to beautiful displays of local, national, and international art, the Jewish Community Center Gallery hosts a wide array of content. Located just next to the JCC eater, the Gallery provides individuals an excellent opportunity to immerse themselves on culturally enriching exhibitions. Exhibits cycle through on a monthly basis, providing a constant stream of new material. Coming in November: Members of Fiberworks share their love and pride for the state in Celebrate Nebraska. Quilts showcase a different geographical feature or structure found across the state.


On the spotlight page in our Oct. 4 edition, we inadvertently left Shane Cohn’s name off the caption for the moMENtum trip participants. The Jewish Press regrets the error.

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UNMC offers free educational sessions on continence issues at JCC

ViCky CeriNo UNMC Public Relations When Jennifer Cera, D.N.P., sees patients, one thought enters her mind: education could have prevented or reduced the severity of what she calls the eighth most chronic condition in women -- urinary incontinence. Although seldom talked about, urinary incontinence is a common health problem, particularly for women. Urinary incontinence and pelvic floor disorders cause minor or complete loss of control of the bladder, dramatically affecting quality of life. Common reasons for incontinence in women include childbirth, diabetes, obesity, smoking, stroke and menopause. With a oneyear, $26,000 grant from the Olson Center for Women's Health, Dr. Cera is taking an educational series into the community. The series is open to the public. In August, she began a weekly, revolving four-part educational series on health promotion and prevention of pelvic floor disorders in community fitness facilities. Dr. Cera is teaching women how to take control of bladder health with simple lifestyle and behavior changes and one-on-one consultation. Women also can be referred for continence screening and evaluation. Between 20% to 32% of women age 20 to 40 experience urinary incontinence and in middle age and in elderly women, 20% to 50% experience it. Incontinence may limit activities, traveling, visiting relatives, exercising and engaging in other activities, because sufferers are afraid of accidental leakage and the embarrassment that comes with it. "You don't have to have bladder leakage. Women just need a little education," said Dr. Cera, an assistant professor in the UNMC College of Nursing and a nurse practitioner for the Olson Center for Women's Health. "Self-help and behavior modification can reduce or eliminate urinary leakage. There are so many non-surgical treatments out there that women just don't know about. "As a medical community, we don't do enough education and prevention. It's our job as providers to give the best care possible to our patients, and that includes simply educating them to make decisions that are right for them," said Dr. Cera, who has 25 years of experience. Her initial pilot study at a fitness facility in 2017 was successful and found a decrease of incontinence and an increase in quality of life. Dr. Cera will give a series of talks at the Jewish Community Center in the Jewish Federation class room. • October talks will discuss pelvic organ prolapse. The next talks will be offered on oct. 18 at 10 a.m. and oct. 22 at 9 a.m. Those interested can attend the talk that best fits their schedule. • The series of talks in November will focus on recurrent urinary tract infections. There is no requirement to sign up ahead of time. For more information on these talks and future talks, contact Dr. Cera at 402.559.2717.

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12 | The Jewish Press | October 11, 2019


Here’s what it’s like to grow up as a Jew in Iraq

ben SaleS NEW YORK | JTA When Ceen Gabbai argued with her first-grade teacher about the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, she didn’t realize how big of a risk she was taking. The year was 2000 and students across the world held strong opinions about the Second Intifada. But Gabbai’s situation was different: She was one of the few Jewish students in Saddam Hussein’s Iraq. Standing up for Israel in a Baghdad elementary school was not an advisable move. “Saddam was all crazy about Palestine,” she told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency. “I go to school and they’re talking about what a horrible thing that is and how Israel was horrible. And I go and I’m like, ‘I think that’s a lie.’” Gabbai was called to the school office, took a letter home to her mother and her parents had a meeting with the principal. Soon after they moved homes and she switched schools. Following the episode, her parents did not talk with her about Israel or Judaism. Gabbai has had a dangerous life. Born a Jew under an Iraqi dictatorship, she endured constant anti-Semitism from a young age, then survived the American invasion of Iraq in 2003 and the years of war that followed. In 2015, Gabbai received asylum in the United States. She is now living in an Orthodox neighborhood in Brooklyn, raising a child, teaching elementary school and writing children’s literature. She does not look back fondly on the hardships she endured, but feels they taught her to persevere no matter the situation. “I was born as an Arab Jew for a reason: to take this thing — the fact that I’m an Arab Jew — and make the best out of it and be good at it,” she said. The Jewish community in Iraq dates to the time of the Talmud, whose principal edition originated in study halls in what then was known as Babylon. Jews held prominent positions in government and business until the 1930s, and there were some 150,000 Jews in Iraq before the State of Israel was established in 1948. But conditions deteriorated in 1941, when Iraqis attacked their Jewish neighbors in what is called the Farhud, a two-day pogrom in which some 180 Jews were killed. By the early 1950s, most Iraqi Jews had left in an Israeli mass-emigration operation. “There’s a huge amount of nostalgia from Muslims and Christians in those

countries for the joint life that Jews and non-Jews shared in Arab countries,” said Elhanan Miller, a rabbinical student who interviewed Gabbai for a series he’s conducting with Jews from the Arab world. “[For Jews], it’s a mix of nostalgia and a lot of hurt.” Gabbai said that though Iraqis purport to be opposed to Zionism but tolerant of Jews, she never felt accepted for who she was. Teachers would give

Ceen Gabbai with friends in one of Saddam Hussein’s former castles, approximately seven years ago. The friends’ faces have been obscured for their safety at Gabbai’s request. Credit: Gabbai

her a hard time in class despite her good grades. One even gave her a copy of “Mein Kampf,” Adolf Hitler’s manifesto. “It was hard being Jewish because I felt like, if you’re Jewish, you don’t really have anywhere to belong to,” she said. “Wherever you go, people ask you to leave. If you’re in the Middle East, people ask you to leave. In America, you have anti-Semitism. Wherever you go, people ask you to leave.” Gabbai’s family hid their Judaism from friends and neighbors, letting others believe they were Christian or agnostic. When her peers did find out, they would mock her. While Gabbai was growing up, the family had to move five times because of anti-Semitic harassment. “I was always saying, give me a chance to do something bad and then hate me,” she said. “I would be OK about that, but don’t just hate me for no reason. … It was about me personally, about something I don’t have a say in.”

There were bright spots. Gabbai was scared of telling one of her close friends, a devout Muslim, that she was Jewish. But when she did, the friend accepted her, and the two remain close (though Gabbai never revealed her religion to her friend’s parents). And soon before Gabbai left, her friends recorded themselves in private singing “Hatikvah,” Israel’s national anthem, as a way of telling her they loved her. “I felt comfort in that because I knew they’re not using me as propaganda,” she said. “They’re not being like, ‘Hey, we’re friends with a Jew, we’re OK with a Jew.’ No, they were OK with me being Jewish, with me belonging to Israel in one way or another. So they did something for me. The fact that it was dangerous made it even more beautiful.” Along with anti-Semitism, Gabbai had to deal with another danger while growing up: the Iraq War. She has a string of terrified memories from that time: huddling with her grandmother and family in a basement during the American invasion, coming to school one day to find the building bombed out, and riding a taxi with her father as a bomb blew up right in front of them. “I don’t really remember much about that day,” she said. “I remember the glass from the window in the car all breaking, and I remember there was blood coming out of my dad’s head, and I think he fainted.” As the war raged, Gabbai managed to get a bachelor’s degree in law at age 19, the youngest in her class. Soon after, she was given asylum in the United States with the help of HIAS, an American Jewish refugee aid group. She now lives amid Brooklyn’s Syrian Jewish community and loves seeing the things she missed out on — big, happy Jewish families hanging out freely with their neighbors and cousins. After coping with so much in Iraq, she said the move has not been so hard on her. She said a number of Americans have apologized to her for the Iraq War. Gabbai now teaches fourth grade and is a published children’s book author. Her work focuses on upending stereotypes. In one of her stories, a girl becomes a knight, but instead of slaying a dragon, she realizes the dragon is nice and befriends it. “If the world tells you you’re bad and you’re wrong, maybe the world is wrong,” she said. “Maybe you’re not the wrong one, maybe they’re the wrong ones. Maybe you should be proud of who you are.”


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