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this week



D ECEMBER 7 , 2 0 1 8 | 2 9 K ISL EV 5 7 7 9 | V O L . 9 9 | NO . 9 | C A nD LELI g h tI ng | FRID AY , D ECEMBER 7 , 4 : 3 7 P. M.

J Camp: Registration for 2019

Serendipities and a coat: Why museums matter Page 3


RAChEL MARtIn illy songs, sunscreen, and splashing in the pool: ah, the simple joys of summer camp. Last summer, J Camp was filled with longstanding traditions, unique premiere camps, and water-sliding at the Goldstein Family Aquatics Center. Though 2018 will be tough to top, the JCC Youth Department is already planning imaginative and exciting J Camp programming for next summer. “J Camp is a Jewish day camp that takes place on the Omaha Jewish Community Center’s 37-acre campus,”

From Shirley’s kitchen Page 6

Our visits to Djibouti and Eritrea

Celebrate Hanukkah with latkes, dreidels, and song at Temple Israel Page 7

Where are they? What’s to do? Dinner with the “Ambassador”; and one Jew = one synagogue?

inside Viewpoint Synagogues Life cycles

9 10 11

Rich at Lake Assal, Djibouti to the Red Sea from Yemen. Its neighbors RICh JuRO Part I: Djibouti – Fun to pronounce, but are Ethiopia to the west, Eritrea to the what else? north, and (scary) Somalia to the south. Djibouti is a tiny country (smaller than Why go there? Fran and I have about 15 Massachusetts!) located in the Horn of countries in the world (out of 195 or so) to East Africa across the southern entrance visit, and Djibouti is accessible and safe. Because of its strategic location near the Suez Canal and Somalia, there are four, count ‘em, four, foreign military bases in Djibouti: France, Japan, the first foreign military base for China, and the only permanent military base in Africa for the USA. America pays $60 million yearly to Djibouti as rent, and the other countries pay significant sums too. Not bad for a country of less than one million people with little else to produce income. Tourism See Djibouti and Eritrea page 5

said Allison Burger, Director of Camp and Youth Programming. “We serve campers entering Kindergarten through 7th grade, offer a Leaders-in-Training (LIT) program for teens entering grades 8-9, and a Counselors-in-Training (CIT) program for teens entering grades 10-11.” Campers are split by age group: Kindergarten, 1st Grade, 2-3rd Grade, 4-7th Grade. Counselors are assigned to each group and lead games, programs, and lessons about all things camp. J Campers are often seen See J Camp page 3

ISIS survivor to speak at Beth El Shireen Ibrahim, a Yezidi woman, who was captured by ISIS, shown in late October at St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church. She spent more than eight months being trafficked across Iraq and Syria in ISIS captivity from 2014-15. Credit: Lincoln Journal Star, Kayla Wolf OzzIE nOgg Shireen Ibrahim, a 31-year old Yazidi woman from northern Iraq who was captured by ISIS in 2014 and spent eight months being trafficked as a sex slave to fighters in Iraq and Syria, will speak of her horrific experiences and eventual rescue on Saturday morning, Dec. 15, at a kiddish lunch following Shabbat services at Beth El Synagogue. Ibrahim’s appearance is made possible through Beth El’s relationship with Lutheran Family Services. The presentation and lunch is open to the entire commu-

nity at no charge. Now living in Lincoln as a refugee, along with approximately 3,000 other Yazidis who escaped a series of conflicts and genocides in the Middle East to settle in Nebraska, Shireen Ibrahim has shared her story with the United Nations and received national and international media attention, serving as a voice for young girls and raising awareness about the ongoing plight of her people in Iraq. “Shireen has three siblings who are also survivors,” said Rabbi Steven See ISIS survivor page 2

iSiS survivor

2 | The Jewish Press | December 7, 2018


J-Connect Internship is looking for Nebraska’s best and brightest college students Gabby blair Staff Writer, Jewish Press he Jewish Federation of Omaha is excited to announce the launch of Nebraska’s J-Connect Internship. We are looking for outgoing Jewish students currently attending any college in Nebraska. Learn how to create interesting and meaningful Jewish experiences for your peer community on campus. This internship opportunity will provide training in engagement methodology, community organizing, event planning, network mapping and Jewish life and learning. Through this paid internship, students will gain valuable leadership skills, meet Jewish students from other campuses, and get $250 to plan an event or meal for your campus community. Participants will earn up to $200 in stipend funds based on completion and involvement in the program. This exciting new program will kick off during the 2019 spring semester. Each intern will attend six training sessions and receive one-on-one support with J-Connect program coordinator, Jamie Skog-Burke. Don’t miss out on this unique learning and networking op-

portunity. Space is limited, so apply today at: http://www.jew Deadline for applications is Dec. 21, 2018. Questions? Contact J-Connect Program Coordinator, Jamie Skog-Burke at or Louri Sullivan, JFO Senior Director of Community Impact and Special Projects at or 402.334.6485.

See full digital issues of the Jewish Press

Continued from page 1 Abraham, “but her family wasn’t able to make it to the United States due to current immigration policy, so they’re living in Canada. Beth El, through its Welcoming the Stranger Fund, is contributing to help bring her relatives to Omaha for a visit over the upcoming holidays.” The reunion includes Shireen’s brother, his wife and three children; her two sisters, a sister-inlaw and nephew. Shireen ibrahim spent more than eight Tw e n t y - s e v e n months enslaved by iSiS forces. Earlier other members of this year, she moved to the U.S. and now Ibrahim’s family lives among lincoln’s yazidi population. who were also Credit: Lincoln Journal Star, Kayla Wolf captured by Islamic militants remain in captivity or are still missing. Largely based on oral tradition, the Yazidis’ monotheistic religion predates Judaism and Christianity, and has been practiced on the Nineveh plains of Iraq for thousands of years. Yazidis had lived peacefully among Muslims and minority Christians for centuries; and the Kurdish military forces, the Peshmerga, had established a network of checkpoints to help maintain stability throughout the region. But ISIS set the Yazidis in its sight, reviving an old, incorrect translation that the faith was a religion of ‘devil worshippers’ who ought to convert to their brand of Islam or be killed. Shireen hopes that in telling her story, the truth of what happened to the Yazidis won’t disappear. “Even if ISIS is finished off, it doesn’t matter as long as those who committed the crimes are not held accountable,” Ibrahim told Chris Dunker of the Lincoln Journal Star during a 2017 interview. “I want justice for my brothers, my uncles, everyone who is in captivity. That’s what keeps me going.” Babysitting will be available during Shabbat services and lunch.

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The Jewish Press | December 7, 2018 | 3

Serendipities and a coat: Why museums matter Gabby blair Staff Writer, Jewish Press History Nebraska is pleased to announce a special presentation at this month’s Brown Bag Lecture series; a film that tells the story of a coat belonging to a Holocaust victim that made its way to Lincoln after WWII and later to History Nebraska’s collections. Please join us for this poignant showing on Thursday, Dec. 20, noon, at the Nebraska History Museum (131 Centennial Mall North, Lincoln, NE) to hear the story from the victim’s own granddaughter. The Brown Bag Lecture Series is open and free to the public. Lectures are held monthly on the third Thursday of the month in the Oldfather Family Auditorium at the Nebraska History Museum in Downtown Lincoln. Learn more about History Nebraska and our programs and services at

J Camp

Continued from page 1 camp, which, for many of them was in Kindergarten,” Burger playing an extreme game of Gaga (Israeli dodgeball), intently said. “This also helps to build a tradition for younger campers working on arts and crafts projects in the Pavilion, or cooling to strive to achieve.” off in the pool. J Camp will also be offering the all-camp Undernights on “You’ll immediately feel a sense of community,” Burger said, a new day of the week, to avoid interfering with other JCC referring to the J Camp atmosphere. “We have campers who programs. An Undernight is a program in which campers stay have attended camp since they were kindergarteners and some at the JCC after camp until 8 p.m. and enjoy an exclusive acwho are at their first day. Howtivity or performer, bonus ever, everyone who attends swim time, dinner, and special camp will feel welcome.” treats. Back by popular deSome of the annual tradimand, J Camp will also offer tions campers look forward to overnight experiences in 2019. at the JCC include Colors These experiences are similar Wars, J Camp Talent Show, and to Undernights, with the addiHarry Potter Premiere Camp. tion of campers sleeping over Each year these weeks are the at the JCC and attending J most popular of the summer. Camp the following day. “Camp traditions lay the New in 2019, J Camp will be foundation for a great camp,” adding a CIT program for Burger said. “Each year you teens in grades 10-11. Teens can continue to build on those entering grades 8-9 can enroll traditions. It also gives parents in the LIT program as a stepthe opportunity to reminisce ping stone to becoming a CIT, with their children about their and eventually, a J Camp experiences at camp when counselor. LITs and CITs can they were a child. I’ve experiexpect to learn the skills reenced camp as a camp counquired of a camp counselor, selor, Assistant Youth Director, such as leadership, responsiand now Youth Director. bility, maturity, empathy, Hopefully, I’ll be able to give teamwork, and how to be a my child(ren) those camp exgreat listener. LITs will experiperiences in the future.” ence more learning and applyJCC Martial arts In addition to community ing skills in the camp setting, and traditions, J Camp has a focus on Jewish values and tra- while CITs will be responsible for ensuring safety and leading ditions. Campers and staff raise and lower the American and camp groups in activities and programs. the Israeli flags each day in addition to singing the Israeli na“Throughout the past summer, I think children, staff and tional anthem Hatikvah each Friday at morning flag. Campers parents gained a sense of independence,” Burger said. “Chillearn about Jewish culture through weekly sessions with the dren, especially those entering kindergarten, were prepared resident Israeli culture specialist known as a “Shlicha” in ad- at the end of the summer to make that transition. Staff gained dition to celebrating Shabbat on Fridays. Different camp an understanding of what it means to lead a group of campers. groups take turns planning and leading Shabbat activities. Parents placed their trust in us to provide a safe and nurturing In 2018, J Camp Color Wars week changed the standard red environment for their children to grow this summer.” vs. blue competition to a four-way rival, adding in the orange Burger shared some helpful hints to consider when regisand green teams. Each team has staff captains and camper tering for J Camp 2019. She explained that it is key to find out captains, who are responsible for leading the team in games, your child’s needs and interests. Identifying these will help despirit, competition, and sportsmanship. Doubling the number termine what type of J Camp will best fit these needs. The JCC of teams allowed more campers and staff members to demon- is very fortunate to offer a large variety of camps at JCC instrate leadership, practice teamwork, and increase involve- cluding premiere, athletics, musical theater, dance and more. ment in the week’s challenges. “I know that registration and planning can be very over“The response to this addition was great,” Burger said. whelming, especially for parents and guardians of kinder“Campers really got into the spirit and showed a lot of matu- garteners and campers new to J Camp,” Burger said. “If you’re rity and sportsmanship. Staff were also very involved and set still stuck on where to start, don’t hesitate to contact me via a great example for their campers to follow. Overall, I was re- e-mail or phone; and I’m happy to answer any questions to ally proud of our campers and staff. It will be hard to top Color help you get started. We have many helpful resources available Wars 2018, but I think we still have a few tricks up our sleeves.” to help you right here at the JCC. My door is always open. I Some of the changes for 2019 include offering a greater se- look forward to having your children attend one (or more!) lection of age-appropriate programming for the 4-7th grade of our many camps this summer.” campers to meet their needs and wants in a camp experience. 2019 Early Bird Registration One of the new options for our older campers is going to be JCC Members: opens Feb. 4 archery. Offering age-exclusive programs gives these campers Non-Members: opens March 4 something to look forward to participating in once they beFor more information about JCC Youth Department procome age-eligible. gramming and J Camp 2019, please contact Allison Burger, “We want to continue to grow our camps offered for older JCC Youth Director at: or campers to make it just as exciting as when they started at 402.334.6409.


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4 | The Jewish Press | December 7, 2018


Is this your year for a Donor-Advised Fund?



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his may be your year to establish a donor-advised fund at the Jewish Federation of Omaha Foundation. A donor-advised fund is like your own personal charitable fund. You make a gift to the Jewish Federation of Omaha Foundation, you get immediate tax-saving benefits, you reserve the right to recommend the char- HowArD epstein ities you wish to support, how much to Executive Director, give each charity, and when you want JFO Foundation to give the support. You may give a gift of $2,500 or more – cash, appreciated securities, real estate, or other assets – to the Foundation. The Foundation invests these funds, and they grow tax-free until you decide to support your favorite charitable causes. From your donor-advised fund, you may pay your synagogue dues, make your annual gift to the Federation campaign, and support any other Jewish or secular causes – religious, cultural, educational, scientific – locally or nationally, as long as the recipient charity is recognized by the IRS as a 501 (c)(3) non-profit entity. If you expect this to be a high income tax year, if you are expecting or have received a bonus or financial windfall such as an inheritance, if you have sold or expect to sell a business, real estate, or other significant assets, if you expect to incur significant capital gains taxes, this could be a terrific time to establish your donor-advised fund. This year, you may consider bundling your charitable gifts and supersizing your tax deduction. You can accomplish this through a gift to your donor-advised fund at the Jewish Federation of Omaha Foundation. The 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act affords you a tax-wise giving opportunity. It is a handsome new twist on a proven tactic: Bundle several years of intended contributions to your donor-advised fund at the Jewish Federation of Omaha Foundation into one, and you’ll supersize your income tax charitable deduction.

Athletics Dept: Fall 2018

rAcHel MArtin The JCC Athletics Department has hit the court running – the basketball court. The basketball season if off to an exciting start with tournaments, leagues and increased registration. “Our Little Lions K-2nd grade league has been a huge success,” said Lynette Brannen, Director of Athletic Programming. “We have had an overwhelming response with registrations. Beginning in the winter session, we will expand games to both Saturdays and Sundays. We are very excited to offer the program to more players and teams in the community.” Brannen explained that in order to accommodate the extreme program growth, there is a need to expand scheduling to Saturday games. “There are just not enough hours in the day to offer games just on Sunday afternoon,” Brannen said. The JCC has hosted tournaments for the past three years. Each year, they recruit more teams from the Omaha and Council Bluffs areas. There are six tournaments offered throughout the season: two boys only, one girls only, and two tournaments for boys and girls in kindergarten through sec-

BBYO Connect Hanukkah Party

JAcob Geltzer BBYO/Teen Program Director Looking for something to do with your middle school friends on the 7th night of Hanukkah? Look no further than BBYO Connect’s Hanukkah Party on Dec. 9 from 5-8 p.m. at Dave and Buster’s. This event is FREE and open to all Jewish teens in 6th-8th grade in Omaha! Participants will receive a $20 game card, unlimited video game access, and dinner. Come spend the evening with us and enjoy a night of celebration and memories to last a lifetime! Registration is still open, so go to www.tiny, or email BBYO/Teen Program Director Jacob Geltzer at to register today!

The new standard deduction is $12,000 for single taxpayers and $24,000 for married persons filing jointly. The new law also sets a $10,000 maximum for state and local real estate and income taxes. These limit many people to only the standard deduction unless they bundle their charitable donations to the Jewish Federation of Omaha, their synagogue, and other charities and other qualified nonprofits. Consider the situation for Sue and David, who know that 2018 will be an especially high-income year. They have no mortgage (no interest to deduct), property tax on their home is above that maximum, and their medical expenses won’t be deductible as they will be under 7.5 percent of their adjusted gross income. They normally donate $30,000 each year to the Jewish Federation of Omaha, their synagogue, and other charities so this year they could claim deductions totaling $40,000. Because they know their income will exceed $400,000 this year, and because they are highly committed to our quest, they decided to bundle three years of gifts and make them all in 2018. Their $90,000 gift will go into their donor-advised fund at the Foundation, and they will be able to recommend distributions from their fund to the Federation, their synagogue and other charities they support at any time. There is no required annual distribution, so they may hold the funds in their donor-advised fund for several years and let them grow income tax free, or they may recommend distributions to their favorite charities now or next year. By bundling these contributions – plus the $10,000 state and local real estate and income maximum – their deduction will be $100,000 in 2018, and they plan to claim only the standard deductions in 2019 and 2020. Their total deductions over three tax years will be $148,000 instead of $120,000, a bonus of more than 20 percent that sharply cuts their income tax bill. For more information contact Howard Epstein, the Jewish Federation of Omaha Foundation Executive Director, at 402.334.6466 or When considering gift planning strategies, you should always consult with your own legal, tax and financial planning advisors, as each person’s legal and tax situation is unique.

ond grade. These are in addition to 3-on-3 competitions and 3rd grade through adult basketball programming. Overall, the JCC offers basketball programs for age 4 – high school. By hosting tournaments, the JCC benefits in multiple capacities. “Our teams needed the ability to play on their court and have a home court advantage,” Brannen said. “Visitors will gain exposure and see what the JCC has to offer including great competition, a great venue and fantastic staff.” There are many changes, improvements and exciting programs to look forward to in the next year. “In 2019, we are going to have a tremendous year in sports,” Brannen said. “Not only do we offer basketball in the fall and winter, but we have great athletic summer camps. We love to collaborate with local college athletes for basketball, soccer, cheer and sports camps!” For more information about JCC Athletics Department Programming, please contact Lynette Brannen at or 402.590.2144.

Adam trubnikov: Solution engineer

Adam Trubnikov identifies himself as a solution engineer. In his high school years, he made Rube-Goldberg devices. In college, he traversed the audio console connections to remix well-known video game music. In the real world, Adam applies his well-rounded technical and social knowledge to help people and small businesses around him. The habit of this evolving entrepreneur is to learn. It is this ambition that makes him the reputable computer expert he is today. Born in New York City, NY and growing up in Brooklyn, Adam attended a Yeshiva in Manhattan. At the age of eight, his parents Alexander Trubnikov and Maya Wertheimer moved to Omaha - a quieter and calmer environment to raise their children. Upon receiving a high school diploma and after attending four post-secondary institutions and completing six years of various subjects, Adam decided to spend his time focusing on resolving computer technology issues. From misbehaving printers and undesirable viruses to learning how to work with your PC or Mac and editing images, Adam will help you. There is also the occasional magic; for example, restoring a “permanently deleted” file like a financial spreadsheet or vacation photo. Adam is here to serve the community by helping resolve your technical issues! PAID ADVERTISEMENT

The Jewish Press | December 7, 2018 | 5



B’naI B’rItH BrEaDBrEakErS

Creighton Prof. terry Clark will discuss his multi-million-dollar grant on sexual trafficking in Nebraska and his team’s highly successful record in getting some of the bad guys off the street on Wednesday, Dec. 12, noon. For more information or to be placed on the email list call 402.334.6443 or

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Djibouti and Eritrea

Continued from page 1 is another source of revenue, but these “tourists” are family or government officials of the military stationed there. Djibouti is my favorite place to slowly pronounce: “Did ‘ja booty?” Try it yourself. The capital city is also named Djibouti, so try saying the name twice. It’s also very expensive, not because of the name but probably because of all the foreign bases and the big port. The locals who work there are paid well, but most of the rest of the urban dwellers are unemployed. So the per capita income is about $3,000 per year, which is not bad for Africa but certainly pretty basic. We stayed at the Kempinski Palace, the only luxury hotel in Djibouti, and they knew it. The room was very nice and very expensive. When we asked on the website about an airport Eritrea synagogue pickup, first they said $125 for the shuttle bus, then “by mistake” quoted us $50 for a vehicle pickup; and that was for an easy 15-minute ride! The city of Djibouti has almost 500,000 people, about half of the total country’s population. There are still many nomadic tribes in the countryside, living on the grasslands and shrubland and raising livestock. Almost all of the people are Islamic, and that’s the official religion; but there is supposedly freedom to practice any religion. Years ago there were some Jews living there, but they all left for Israel or Europe. There are three official languages: Somali, Arabic, and French. In the 19th century, France made a deal with the local sultans and declared the area to be French Somaliland. 100 or so years later, in 1977, the people voted for independence from France; and it was granted. Unfortunately, there is a one-party system that has ruled since independence, so personal freedom and civil liberties are very limited. It is very stable politically, which is another reason the foreign bases are encamped there. We tried to hire a guide on the Internet before we went, but there were none listed. Instead, we hired a driver and guide from the hotel’s concierge, Saleh Muhammed. They were expensive but fine. There is not much to see in the city, so we drove out in the countryside on a good paved road. First, we stopped at Djibouti’s Grand Canyon, a natural phenomenom that is impressive if not equal to Arizona’s. Then we drove to Lake Assal, a good-sized body of water that is saltier than the Dead Sea in Israel. Unlike the Dead Sea, we didn’t try to float in it. Like the Dead Sea, it is located in a depression. Part of the Great

African Rift, it is 500 feet below sea level, the lowest point in Africa, and the third lowest point in the world after the Dead Sea and Lake Galilee in Israel. Lake Assal and its surroundings are the world’s largest salt reserve. Although the government is monitoring this national treasure, they are starting to mine the salt and export it. It’s hot work: the lake goes from a low of 93 degrees in winter to a high of 126 degrees (!) in the summer. Actually, all of the nation is hot year around with very little rain. Later we asked our guide to drive us to the border with Somalia. Yes, they took us there; but no, we didn’t try to enter that dangerous country. Djibouti is a totalitarian state, but its sun, safety and stability suddenly appealed to us as a satisfactory site for these sightseers to sojourn. Part II-Eritrea: Hard to visit, harder to live We flew from Djibouti to Asmara, the capital of Eritrea, on Ethiopian Airlines via Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. There’s no direct air service, and the 380 miles on unpaved roads would take over 16 hours. The good news is that Eritrea and Ethiopia signed a peace treaty recently after many years of conflict, so that we could fly Ethiopian Air for five hours rather than flying overnight through Istanbul or Dubai. Eritrea is strategically located on the east side of the Red Sea, opposite Yemen and Saudi Arabia, just north of Djibouti. In fact, the name “Eritrea” is derived from the ancient Greek for the Red Sea. Asmara is the capital, and it’s a welcome change climatically. The city is almost 8,000 feet above sea level, so it’s about 70 degrees as a high all year round. Talk about great weather! This area of Africa was probably home to the first humans. They recently found a million-year-old hominid who seems to be the link between homo erectus and us “modern” humans. Unfortunately, now it’s not a great country in which to live. Italy colonized the area in 1892 and ran Eritrea along with neighboring Ethiopia. In 1942, during WW II, the Brits defeated the Italians, and took over the administration of Eritrea while giving Ethiopia its independence again under Emperor Haile Selassie. Later the United Nations said Eritrea should be self-governing; but big neighbor Ethiopia decided to annex Eritrea, mostly because it needed access to the ports on the Red Sea. Naturally, the Eritreans took that badly and began a war that lasted for 30 years. It finally got its independence recognized in 1993. Of course, the war continued on or off until a peace treaty was recently signed in July 2018. Eritrea has been ruled by the same president since its independence 25 years ago. It’s a one-party state, and there have never been legislative elections. It’s among the worst nations for human rights and trails only North Korea in freedom of the press. For example, there are no privately-owned news media. See Djibouti and Eritrea page 6

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6 | The Jewish Press | December 7, 2018


from Shirley’s kitchen From: Gail Goldstein Raznick Originating from: Rose Raznick Prepared by: Gail Raznick Aileen Eisenstatt always used to bring chocolate cake over when Donald came home from school. This is MY Aileen Eisenstatt cake! Cooking time: check at 45 min., 10 more minutes if needed. Temperature: 350 degrees

Coffee Cake

Ingredients: 1 cup margarine 2 cups sugar 4 eggs, added one at a time 3 cups flour 3 tsp. baking powder 1/2 tsp. salt 1 cup milk 3 tbsp. sugar 1 tsp. cinnamon 1 3/4 cup walnuts Directions: Cream margarine and sugar. Add eggs. Combine flour, baking powder and salt. Add flour mixture to creamed mixture, alternating with milk. Grease and flour Bundt pan. Add 3/4 batter, 1/2 nut mixture, rest of batter and top with rest of nut mixture. Let cake cool and dust with powdered sugar.

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Djibouti and Eritrea

Continued from page 5 The long-running war was an excuse for a very nasty military conscription that has continued to this day. “Soldiers” are forced to join for below-subsistence pay for unlimited terms and are often used to work in government mines and farms under terrible conditions. Most of the rest of the people live in poverty as well as lack of freedom. Hence, 500,000 of the Eritrean population of 5 million have become refugees, seeking asylum in Europe, Israel, North America, and neighboring countries. Even most members of the national football (soccer) team defect annually. Here are some of the good things about Eritrea: • Elementary school is required for all, even nomads (but I’m not sure all attend); eritrean Coffee Ceremony • School is taught in nine different languages in different regions (there is no official language); • Some Eritreans speak Italian, from the old colonial days, but all kids now learn English, and high school is taught in English; • Women make up 30% of the country’s combat forces, although they may be subject to some sexual harassment; • The government banned female genital mutilation, although that’s been hard to enforce; • There are women judges; • Asmara is one of the safest cities in the world; • The life expectancy has gone from age 40 to age 65; • A dozen years ago, the government announced it would protect the environment for 2,000 miles of coastline and islands; There are four recognized religions in Eritrea: Orthodox (Coptic) Christian, Roman Catholic, Sunni Islam and Lutheran. Most others, especially Jehovah’s Witnesses, are persecuted. There were several hundred Jews years ago, but most left for Israel or Europe. There is one very nice synagogue left, maintained by Sami Cohen, the one resident Jew. We had a long chat with him, which you will read about later in this memoir. Asmara, the capital, was declared a UNESCO World Heritage City last year. In the 1930s, when under Italian rule, most of the build-

ings were designed in an art deco manner. They haven’t changed, so when you drive around Asmara, there’s not much traffic; and you can look at the colorful and unique style of architecture. I had made arrangements for a private guide on the Internet. Sure enough, Philemon Kesete showed up at the airport and only charged us $15 for the ride to the hotel (in contrast to the $50 “mistaken low price” that we paid in Djibouti). The Asmara Palace Hotel is not a palace, but it was fine. The next day we stopped for coffee with Philemon in an old artdeco movie theater where the lobby has been transformed into a coffee/tea house. In the shop, there were dozens of men, and a few women, sipping their coffee and socializing. Philemon seemed to know them all and introduced us to many. We had a good time chatting with the locals, but not about local politics. The theater will also show classic movies and European soccer games at night. Later, we walked into a small park where a lady maintains a stand under a tree and prepares coffee in a traditional ritual. Ethiopia and Eritrea claim to be the origin of coffee, and that ritual is honored by locals and visitors alike. She takes about 20 minutes to roast the coffee beans in a small kettle, then prepares it according to a special rite. The coffee is slowly poured into small handleless cups, accompanied by nuts or another snack. It was delicious, but we chose to leave before the traditional three cups were served. Starbucks, eat your heart out. Recycling is also practiced. There is a big area where small shops transform scrap metal into pots, pans, and other useful implements. Philemon asked us if we wished to go to a “tank graveyard.” Sure enough, he took us to a big “outside museum” where hundreds of tanks, trucks, vehicles, and other disabled rusting hulks left from the years of war are piled on each other. I was surprised they didn’t recycle them into eating utensils. No, wait: the Eritreans eat most meals with their fingers. Part III: Dinner with the Chief of Mission Natalie Brown is a tall, friendly, well-spoken lady, born and raised in Omaha. She graduated from Georgetown University and has spent her career as a foreign service officer in the US State Department. She is currently the US Charge d’ Affaires (Chief of Mission) in Eritrea. Several years ago, the US protested the lack of human rights in Eritrea. In return, Eritrea made the US close its military base in Eritrea. Because of these past disputes, the Eritrean president doesn’t “receive” (grant credentials) to the US envoy. If he did, Ms. Brown probably would be the US Ambassador. I don’t know if it helps diplomatic relations with See Djibouti and eritrea page 8


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The Jewish Press | December 7, 2018 | 7

Celebrate Hanukkah with latkes, dreidels, and song at Temple Israel CaSSaNdra hiCkS WeiSeNburger Director of Communications, Temple Israel oin us on Friday, Dec. 7 for a special, family-friendly, interactive Hanukkah service followed by dinner and dessert! We will begin at 5:45 p.m. with the lighting of the Hanukkah candles, so remember to bring your favorite hanukkiah as we fill the Simon Community Court with holiday light. Shabbat candles and Kiddush will follow, along with the dedication of our new Children’s Nook! This space was made possible by the 2018 Staenberg Family Foundation Anything Grant awarded to Temple Israel by the Jewish Federation. The required matching funds will come from donations that were lovingly made in memory of Courtney Nogg, who tragically passed away in 1998. We thank Sandy and Alan Nogg for designating these funds to make

the Children’s Nook possible. We also thank our Community Court Task Force who designed the space: Lester Katz, Ducky Milder, Silvia Roffman, Dana Wear, and Andy Shefsky. At 6 p.m. we will enter the Schrager Sanctuary together for our Hanukkah service complete with the First Friday band, Kol Rina, and our kids’ choir, Kol Chokolad! This service will be fun for the whole family and our special kids’ area will be open for our littlest members. The clergy will also be giving a special blessing to all congregants who are celebrating a birthday or anniversary in December so come celebrate with us! After services we will relocate to the social hall for a delicious Hanukkah dinner featuring brisket, vegetables, latkes with applesauce and sour cream, and sufganiyot (jelly-filled donuts) for dessert. RSVPs are required for dinner, but everyone is invited to join us for services.

Nate Shapiro Director of Development, Jewish Federation of Omaha On Nov. 26, community shlicha Ron Lugasy and Director of Development Nate Shapiro were invited to Wayne State College in Wayne, Nebraska, to do a Q&A about Israel for Dr. Joe Blankenau’s Intro to World Politics class. Dr. Blankenau’s students submitted questions to Ron and Nate in early November, and Ron and Nate tailored the presentation around these questions. The questions were about a variety of topics ranging from “How did the occupation begin?” to “Why do evangelical Christians support Israel, but don’t seem concerned about anti-Semitism?” to “What are the rules of engagement in a combat situation?”

While 50 minutes was not enough time to do all of their questions justice, many students approached Ron and Nate after class and commented about how they didn’t realize how complex the situation in Israel was and several students continued asking even more questions. The students were extremely respectful, polite and attentive. The Jewish Federation of Omaha would like to thank Dr. Joe Blankenau of Wayne State College for hosting Ron and Nate. If you are aware of any groups, clubs, or classes that would be interested in hosting a visit from our shlicha, please feel free to contact Ron Lugasy. She can be reached at or 402.334.6420.

ron visits Wayne

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8 | The Jewish Press | December 7, 2018

Djibouti and Eritrea



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Continued from page 6 it, unlike many places in the world (remember, AsEritrea that our chief of mission is African-American. mara is a very safe city and there’s never been any About a year ago, Natalie came to speak to a anti-Semitism.) A caretaker let us in to see the wellBreadbreakers lunch group I often attend. I couldn’t maintained Sephardic-style house of prayer. Some go; but Fran went, got Naof the windows are colored, talie’s contact info, and let almost like stained glass, her know we would be visitwith Stars of David built into ing Asmara. Eritrea has so the wooden frame. few visitors that Natalie Later, we went to Sami probably thought Fran was Cohen’s residence, a lovely confused (we were her first white stone house with a gartourists in two years!). Howden surrounded by a solid ever, we did exchange e-mails white wall and tall thick vegand set up to meet her and an etation. An old servant let us associate from the US conin through the locked metal sulate for dinner at an Asgate, followed by a barking mara restaurant. dog. Sami is in his 60s, still Eritrean cuisine is a mixtakes care of the synagogue, ture of local tradition and Italhis house, and his business of ian food. The natives eat exports and imports. He visits with their fingers, putting the his kids and sisters in Israel meat or veggies into injera, a and Europe. And he’s full of spongy flatbread. It’s kind of stories about the Jews that like eating burritos with a were here in his country. much thicker wrap. The Ital- Rich, Fran, and Sami Cohen outside his “Queen Elizabeth II, when house in Asmara ian influence was added she was young and visiting when Eritrea was an Italian colony. So the combo is here,” said Sami in perfect English, “personally generally pretty tasty. We enjoyed excellent grilled awarded the B.O.E. to a Jewish man in Asmara.” fish, pasta and pizza too. That’s probably the O.B.E. (Order of the British EmNo, Natalie didn’t reveal any diplomatic secrets to pire), and could have been given when Eritrea was a us. But she talked about her life as a peripatetic US British protectorate after WW II. foreign service officer, and we compared notes Then Sami told a story more amazing than the faabout some of the stranger places we all had been. mous movie, The Great Escape. The Irgun and other The recent treaty between Eritrea and Ethiopia was Jewish insurgents trying to get Israeli independence a wonderful pact, and there were good results alfrom Britain in the 1940s were basically considered ready. For example, Ethiopian traders were now set- terrorists. So the Brits rounded up several hundred ting up in an Asmara outdoor market, and food and and shipped them without trial (shades of a modern other products were both more available and much Guantanamo), mostly to Eritrea and some to other cheaper with the borders open. parts of British Africa. One of those imprisoned was Part IV: One synagogue with One Jew the future Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir. “When the Spanish Jews were expelled in 1492, The Jewish prisoners attempted at least eight esthey went all over: Palestine, Istanbul, Iraq, India, capes. Sami told us that they dug two big tunnels, even Yemen,” so told Sami Cohen, the only Jew left and all 400 prisoners escaped and successfully in Eritrea. “Most of the Eritrean Jews came from made it back to Palestine to fight. However, reAden in Yemen and were businessmen and traders. search indicates that, while in 1946 there was a They are not related to the thousands of Beta Israel, mass escape (54 out of 150 prisoners), almost all the Jews who lived in northern Ethiopia for many were recaptured. It wasn’t till 1948 that six Irgun centuries. The Eritrean Jews numbered about 500 at prisoners tunneled out, got to the Belgian Congo, their peak in the 1950s. But most of them emigrated thence to Belgium, and back to Palestine. Even after to Israel or Europe because of the Eritrean war and Israel’s independence in May 1948, the British tough political climate. Although I have kids or sisdidn’t want to release the prisoners to go back to ters in Israel or Italy, I am the only Jew left here,” Israel, but eventually they did. Whatever happened said Mr. Cohen. (At least he doesn’t have to argue exactly, it’s still an unknown and amazing story. with the rabbi or the synagogue board.) Finally, we asked Sami what happens to the AsEarlier we had visited the lovely synagogue. It mara synagogue after him. He looked at us, raised was built about 1900. On the outside it’s a beautihis hands palms up, and said, “It’s up to God.” And ful white structure. There were no police guarding that’s probably the future of Eritrea, too.

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The Jewish Press | December 7, 2018 | 9

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(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 thierry ndjike Accounting Jewish press Board Abby Kutler, President; Eric Dunning, Ex Officio; Laura Dembitzer; Candice Friedman; Jill Idelman; Andy Isaacson; Michael Kaufman; David Kotok; Natasha Kraft; Debbie Kricsfeld; Eric Shapiro 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:

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same old

annette van de Kamp-WriGht Editor, Jewish Press t was both a stark reminder and a tired old story: “One in 20 Europeans surveyed has never heard of the Holocaust,” read the CNN headline. It popped up on my phone during my morning coffee, as headlines do. I clicked on it, because how could I not; I don’t believe in sticking my head in the sand. “Anti-Semitic stereotypes are alive and well in Europe,” the story begins, “while the memory of the Holocaust is starting to fade.” CNN offers the results of a poll conducted among 7,092 adults in Austria, France, Germany, Great Britain, Hungary, Poland and Sweden. There are statistics like this one: “A third of Europeans in the poll says they knew just a little or nothing at all about the Holocaust, the mass murder of some six million Jews in lands controlled by Adolf Hitler’s Nazi regime in the 1930s and 1940s.” Also: “More than a quarter of Europeans polled believe Jews have too much influence in business and finance,” and (my least favorite): “At the same time, a third of Europeans said that Jews use the Holocaust to advance their own position or goals.” But, as CNN is quick to point out, things are no better in America. They are correct. In the Schoen Consulting Claims Conference Holocaust Poll from March 2018, conducted among U.S. adults, the following question was asked: “Who or what do you think caused the Holocaust?” Ten percent of all adults and 15% of Millennials answered: “Jews.” The question “From what you know or have heard, what was Auschwitz?” was answered with ‘other’ or ‘not sure’ by 41 % of all adults and 66% of Millennials. Three percent of all adults and 6% of Millennials do not know who Adolf Hitler was. For Joseph Goebbels, those numbers jump to 49% and 48%, respectively. Forty-five percent of all adults and 49% of Millennials could not

name a single concentration camp. There are many ways in which one can respond to stories such as these. They can make us angry, sad, or depressed. They can make us feistier, eager to do more good, embrace our Jewish selves with ever-growing dedication. But sometimes, when I read these types of bul-

agreed when Schoen Consulting posed the statement “People still talk too much about what happened during the Holocaust.” That is perhaps the most chilling answer of all. Because “talking too much” implies people are tired of hearing about it. But if there is such dwindling knowledge, are they hearing anything at all? Have they ever? And why is that? I’d Google the question “Why are people tired of hearing about the Holocaust” but I’m too afraid of what might pop up. At the end of the day, I’m not sure what to do with stories like the one posted by CNN. Stay sad, frustrated; allow it to ruin my day? Check. Speak out, stand up when I encounter anti-Semitism; encourage my kids to do the same? Check. Ignore it Credit: Carsten Koall/Getty Images when people tell me I talk, letins, I just get tired. write and worry too much about anti-Semitism? Check, This is news to you, CNN? I want to ask. This is surcheck and check. As long as it exists, until it is stamped prising? What did you think was going to happen when out completely, we need to remain vigilant. So I don’t lisyou asked these questions? Have you been paying attenten when people say: “It’s not really that bad.” Tell that to tion at all recently? Anti-Semitism is everywhere, it’s on my daughter who recently had a ‘friend’ explain to her she the rise and nobody should need a poll to prove that point. was going to hell for not accepting Jesus. It’s bizarre, this feeling, like I’m more upset over the fact We need more education, and we need it sooner rather that this is presented as if it were news, than I am about than later. the actual content of the story. Because it’s like that tree Editorials express the view of the writer and are not that has been falling and falling in the forest. When is that necessarily representative of the views of the Jewish slow-moving tree finally going to land? Maybe I’m shootPress Board of Directors, the Jewish Federation of Omaha ing the messenger. Board of Directors, or the Omaha Jewish community as a Eighteen percent of all adults and 41% of Millennials whole.

Never forget how it feels to be a stranger

I am saddened by violence against our leaders and citizens. What distinguishes this country is our Constitution. It is made to unify, not divide. It is a living document that celebrates humanity’s better angels, not our worst fears. We are a country that cel- Charley Friedman ebrates our differences. Lin- Guest Editorial coln is a resettlement city, embracing people from around the world who want to work hard for a better life. Our eclectic population makes Lincoln vibrant and strong. My family came to the Midwest 150 years ago looking for a better life. They spoke Polish, Russian and Yiddish. We struggled to speak the common tongue and fit into American culture. I love burgers, but I still dig a good borscht. My faith takes seriously the biblical verse, “You were once strangers in the land of Egypt.” Never forget

letters to the editor

Dear Editor, In 1913, my 14-year-old father and his 16-year-old sister made their way from their tiny village in the Ukraine to the United States. As Jews, they left a place of persecution, and, as they passed through Ellis Island, they were not locked up as “unaccompanied minors.” They worked hard. They became citizens, married and had families. The Depression hit my parents hard as my father could not find work in New York City. They came West with a promise of a job, which didn’t pan out. He peddled produce door to door until he and my mother could open a little mom and pop grocery store. As America geared up for World War II, Dad went to work as a carpenter building the defense plants in Wahoo and Mead, while Mom ran the store. The money he made gave them the capital they needed to move up in their

Credit: Pascual De Ruvo via Wikimedia Commons business. When they made enough money to pay income tax, they celebrated. To the end of their lives, they always voted. As Jews they felt safe, even though there was always anti-Semitism, but certainly nothing like the racism African-Americans endured. Their three children went to college. Their eight grandchildren are engaged citizens, one of whom won election to the Connecticut State Senate. My family story is the common story of America. I will be 90 in a few months, and, sadly, the plight of the immigrant has changed. Truly desperate people can no longer look to America as the land of hope, as some have faced separation from their children when they tried to enter. Our country continues to need immigrants as our population ages. Though there was overt anti-Semitism in my day, no synagogue was ever shot up. This is a dangerous time for

how it feels to be a stranger: hungry, oppressed with nowhere to go, solely because of your “otherness.” What saddens me most about the murders of my Jewish brothers and sisters is they were targeted not only for their religious identity but because they gave shelter and food to people in need. In America, our leaders, despite political differences, set a moral compass. The current one, instead of uniting us through our shared values, pits us against each other to the point of desecrating life. When I was living in New York City after 9/11, people asked me if I was scared of “terrorists” — anybody of Middle Eastern descent. My response was, “Are you kidding me? That’s my neighbor. We buy the same beer. We share jokes. Our children are friends.” New Yorkers understand diversity does not lead to fragmentation but is the glue that creates a strong community. I pray in these difficult times that God saves America. But I mostly pray for Americans to save America. If we can’t, nobody else will.

our democracy. I am sad. I fear for our country. marCia Kushner Lincoln Footnote: Julie Kushner who ran for the Connecticut State Senate was indeed elected.

Dear Editor, Congratulations on your excellent Nov. 9 edition featuring articles about the murders of Jews in Pittsburg and about anti-Semitism in general. No discussion of antiSemitism would be complete without mentioning Louis Farrakhan, the radical left-wing professors and students on many American college campuses and the fact that there are still Muslim clergy in America who preach antiSemitism. Sincerely, maynard telpner

10 | The Jewish Press | December 7, 2018

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 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 dec. 14, at 7:30 p.m. with guest speaker Jeremy Wright. Our service leader is Larry Blass, and as always, an Oneg to follow service. Everyone is always welcome at B’nai Israel! For information on our historic synagogue, contact any of our board members: Scott Friedman, Rick Katelman, Howard Kutler, Carole Lainof, Wayne Lainof, Sissy Silber, Nancy Wolf, or email

BeTh el Synagogue

Services conducted by Rabbi Steven Abraham and Hazzan Michael Krausman. fRiday: Shabbat Tales, in homes, various times; Kabbalat Shabbat, 6 p.m. SaTuRday: Cup of Coffee with God, Shabbat Morning Service, 9:30 a.m.; Junior Congregation (Grades 3-7), 10 a.m.; Mincha following Shabbat Morning Services. weekday SeRViCeS: Sundays, 9:30 a.m. & 5:30 p.m.; weekdays, 7 a.m. & 5:30 p.m. Sunday: BESTT Classes, 9:30 a.m.; Morning Minyan, 9:30 a.m.; Torah Study, 10 a.m.; USY Board Meeting, 10 a.m.; Yiddish Class, 11 a.m. with Hazzan Krausman; Kevah — Grade 3, 11 a.m. monday: Operation Grateful Goodies Baking Day, 9 a.m. TueSday: Talmudic Arguments Class, 11:30 a.m. with Rabbi Abraham; Chesed Committee visits Remington Heights, 2 p.m. wedneSday: Beth El Cine-gogue Movie Day at Sterling Ridge: Walk on Water, noon; Operation Grateful Goodies Baking Day, 3 p.m.; BESTT Classes, 4:15 p.m.; USY Program, 5:15 p.m.; Hebrew High, 6:30 p.m.; Talmudic Arguments Class, 7:15 p.m. with Rabbi Steve Abraham. ThuRSday: Shanghai, 1 p.m. Tot Shabbat, friday, dec. 14: Pre-Neg, 5:30 p.m. and Service, 6 p.m. Shabbat’s Cool (Grades 3-7), Saturday, dec. 15, 10 a.m. Kibbutz Chaverim – Grades 5-6, Sunday, dec. 16, noon2 p.m. at Kids Warrior Gym. Chesed Committee visits Sterling Ridge, wednesday, dec. 19, 2 p.m. USY Midterm Elections, wednesday, dec. 19, 5:15 p.m. Become a Soulful Parent, Sundays, Jan. 27, feb. 24 and march 31 at 10 a.m. Join us for an exploration of parenting challenges against the backdrop of Jewish ideas and texts.

BeTh iSRael Synagogue

Services conducted by Rabbi Ari Dembitzer. fRiday: 6th night of Hanukkah; Shacharit, 7 a.m.; Mincha, 4:37 p.m.; Candle Lighting, 4:37 p.m. SaTuRday: 7th night of Hanukkah; Shacharit, 9 a.m.; Hanukkah Lunch, 11:30 a.m.; Insights into the Weekly Torah Portion, 3:35 p.m.; Mincha/Seudah Shlishit, 4:20 p.m.; Havdalah, 5:41 p.m. Sunday: 8th night of Hanukkah; Shacharit, 9 a.m.; Mincha/Ma’ariv, 4:40 p.m. at Rose Blumkin Jewish Home. monday: Shacharit, 7 a.m.; Jewish History — Your History, noon with Rabbi Shlomo; Mincha/Ma’ariv, 4:40 p.m. at Rose Blumkin Jewish Home. TueSday: Shacharit, 7 a.m.; Mincha/Ma’ariv, 4:40 p.m. at Rose Blumkin Jewish Home. wedneSday: Shacharit, 7 a.m.; Mincha/Ma’ariv, 4:40 p.m. at the Rose Blumkin Jewish Home; A Taste of Conversational Hebrew, 7 p.m. ThuRSday: Shacharit, 7 a.m.; Connecting with Our Faith, 9:30 a.m. with Rabbi Ari; Jewish Ethics wtih Rabbi Shlomo, noon at UNMC; Mincha/Ma’ariv, 4:40 p.m. at Rose Blumkin Jewish Home.

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, 7 a.m. followed by coffee, treats, study and shmoozing. SaTuRday: Shabbat Morning Service, 9:30 a.m. weekdayS: Shacharit, 7 a.m. followed by coffee, treats, study and shmoozing. wedneSday: Mystical Thinking, 9:30 a.m. with Rabbi Katzman; Power Lunch, noon with Shani. Reserve at or 402.330.1800. ThuRSday: Talmud Class, noon with Rabbi Katzman. 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: Candlelighting for Hanukkah, 4:40 p.m.; Candlelighting for Shabbat, 4:41 p.m.; Hanukkah Celebration: Service, Menorah Lighting and Dinner, 6 p.m. featuring music by Temple Choir and the Star City Kochavim. There will be a congregation menorah lighting with Hanukkah dinner following the service. SaTuRday: Shabbat Morning Service, 9:30 a.m.; Torah Study, 10:30 a.m. on Parashat Miketz; Havdalah (72 minutes), 6:10 p.m.; Candlelighting for Hanukkah, 6:11 p.m. Sunday: LJCS Gan through Grade 7, 9:30 a.m.; LJCS Gesher, 10 a.m.; Adult Hebrew Class 2, 11:30 a.m.; Candlelighting for Hanukkah, 6:11 p.m.; No Pickleball this week. TueSday: Star City Kochavim Rehearsal, 6:45 p.m. wedneSday: LJCS Hebrew School, 4 p.m. at Tifereth Israel with a Hanukkah celebration at 5:30 p.m. Parents are invited to join for singing and latkes. ThuRSday: Choir Rehearsal, 7 p.m. Scholar-in-Residence: Prof. Margaret Gurewitz-Smith and Dr. Zachary B. Smith, Saturday, dec. 15, 10:45 a.m. on From Westminster to Westboro: American Religious Fundamentalisms. South Street Temple is partnering with "We Can Do This" to provide weekend meals to the children of the F Street Community Center. Join us as we provide lunch on the third Sunday of every month. Food/monetary donations, meal preparation and assistance with setting up, serving, and clean-up are needed! We will serve our next meal on dec. 16 at 2:30 p.m. For more information, contact Aimee Hyten at aimee.hyten@gmail. com or Lupe Malcom at It's not too soon to be thinking about summer camp! All Federation families are eligible for Camp Incentive Grants of $300 per camper to pay the initial camp registration deposit. Application packets are available in the Temple office and on the Temple website.

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: Celebrate Chanukah with Latkes, Dreidels, & Song! Candle lighting and Kiddush in the Simon Community Court, 5:45 p.m. Services, 6 p.m., dinner immediately following. RSVPs are required for dinner, but everyone is invited to join us for services. (See details on page 7.) SaTuRday: Torah Study, 9:15 a.m.; Shabbat Service, 10:30 a.m. Sunday: 2nd Sunday Breakfast at the Stephen Center, 8:30 a.m.-noon; Kol Chokolad Kids Choir, 9:30 a.m.; Religious School Grades PreK-6, 10 a.m.; Temple Tots Sunday, 10:30 a.m.; Caring Justice Committee Meeting, 10:30 a.m.; School Hanukkah Party, 11:30 a.m. TueSday: Tri-Faith Faith Matters Talk with Rabbi Kro-

nish, noon at Temple Israel. During this Faith Matters Talk, Rabbi Kronish will discuss the theory and practice of inter-religious dialogue, education, and action in Israel and Palestine; Board of Trustees Meeting, 7 p.m. wedneSday: Religious School Grades 3-6, 4 p.m.; School Dinner, 6 p.m.; Grades 7-12, 6:30 p.m.; Family School, 6:30 p.m.; One People, Many Voices: Exploring the different streams of Judaism — Conservative Judaism, 6:30 p.m. with Rabbi Steven Abraham. ThuRSday: The History of the Jewish People: Jews in the Muslim World, 10 a.m. wtih Rabbi Brian Stoller; Rosh Chodesh Women of Tri-Faith Spa and Relaxation Event, 6:30 p.m. hosted by Berta Ackerson, Shari Hess, and the Tri-Faith Committee. Could you use a little self care? A break from the hustle and bustle? Come relax and unwind at Temple Israel with the women of Tri-Faith! Our friends from Salt and Spa will be giving 15 minute massages, mini-facials, and foot salt scrubs. There is no cost for this event! The Temple Israel Gift Shop is sponsoring this wonderful evening. Please RSVP to Temple Israel, 402.556.6536, by Tuesday, dec. 11. Questions? Please contact Berta Ackerson, rackerson@oppd. com or 402.707.2154. Temple Israel Blood Drive, Sunday, dec. 16, 8:30 a.m.–2:30 p.m. Please call 1-800-733-2767 or visit and enter: Temple Israel to schedule an appointment. Questions? Contact Executive Director Dennis DePorte, 402.556.6536. Temple Israel Book Club: The Alchemist, Sunday, dec. 16, 10:30 a.m. Ice-Capades with JYG, Sunday, dec. 16, 2-4:30 p.m. Join JYG as we skate and have hot chocolate! Pick up and drop off will be at Temple Israel. This event is open to all 6th8th graders. Cost to participate is $20. RSVP to Jacob Kahn,

TifeReTh iSRael

Services conducted by lay leader Nancy Coren. Office hours: monday-friday, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. fRiday: No Services; Candlelighting, 4:40 p.m. SaTuRday: Shabbat Morning service, 10 a.m. followed by a light Kiddush luncheon; Got Shabbat, 11 a.m.; Ugly Sweater Havdalah gathering, 5:30 p.m. at the home of Lucy and Kirk Bowers. Wear an Ugly Sweater (if you have one). Bring your own menorah (if you have one) and Hanukkah candles to light for the 6th night of Hanukkah. Bring a dairy or pareve appetizer to share and sweet treats will be provided. Let us know if you can join us by emailing ncoren@tifereth; Havdalah (72 minutes), 5:40 p.m. Sunday: LJCS Gan through Grade 7, 9:30 a.m.; LJCS Gesher, 10 a.m.; Tifereth Israel's Annual Hanukkah/Latke party, 12:15 p.m. TI has Talent will return this year! Acts should be 3-5 minutes in length (maximum). Performers can be ages 3-100! Solo or group acts, you choose! Just e-mail Nancy Coren to let her know you're going to participate and what you plan to do!; No Pickleball this week. wedneSday: LJCS Hebrew School, 4 p.m. at Tifereth Israel with a hanukkah celebration at 5:30 p.m. Parents are invited to join for singing and latkes. It's not too soon to be thinking about summer camp! All Federation families are eligible for Camp Incentive Grants of $300 per camper to pay the initial camp registration deposit. Application packets are availible in the Tifereth Israel foyer.

South Street Temple Scholars-in-Residence The South Street Temple presents our 20182019 Scholars-in-Residence, Professor Margaret Gurewitz-Smith and Dr. Zachary B. Smith. Professor Margaret Gurewitz Smith is a faculty member at Bellevue University in Bellevue, near Omaha, and is a historian of the Middle Ages. She works on inter-religious relations in the medieval period, and on anti-Semitism and the Holocaust. Dr. Zachary B. Smith is a faculty member at Creighton University in Omaha and is a historian of religion in late antiquity. He also works in the history of religion in America and has published on both ancient Mediterranean and modern American religion. Margaret and Zach are members of Temple Israel in Omaha, where Margaret also teaches reli-

gious school. They have two children and one dog. Margaret grew up as a member of South Street Temple, teaching in the religious school and serving on the board, and they are happy to return to South Street as joint Scholars in Residence. Upcoming sessions: Dec. 15, 2018: From Westminster to Westboro; American Religious Fundamentalisms Jan. 12, 2019: Christianity and Anti-Semitism: Theological Roots Feb. 9, 2019: Christianity and Anti-Semitism: Cultural Roots All sessions take place at the South Street Temple, starting at 10:30 a.m. Light lunch follows.

The Jewish Press | December 7, 2018 | 11

lifecycles Birth

isaac parker finBerg

Laurie and Adam Finberg of Sherman Oaks, CA, announce the Nov. 28 birth of their son, Isaac Parker. He has a brother, Jonas. Grandparents are Steve and Judy Epstein of Las Vegas, NV and Dr. Stephen and Barbara Finberg of Paradise Valley, AZ. Great grandmother is Anna Lukoff of Philadelphia, PA.

in memoriam

helen manheimer

Helen Manheimer passed away on Nov. 22 in Omaha. Services were held Nov. 23 at Beth Israel Cemetery. She was preceded in death by her parents, Miriam and Leib Fish and her husband, Herman Manheimer. She is survived by her children Eddie Manheimer, Linda Gouin, Harriet and John Messing, Jerry and Debbie Manheimer, and Lory Manheimer and six grandchildren. Helen was born on May 5, 1923 in Kounas, Lithuania. Memorials may be made to Beth Israel Synagogue.

Hanukkah candle-lighting at Tree of Life synagogue

JTA A Hanukkah candle-lighting ceremony to strengthen and heal the Pittsburgh Jewish community was held outside of the Tree of Life synagogue building. Hundreds gathered Sunday evening, Dec. 2 around a towering electric menorah in front of the building where 11 worshippers were killed by a gunman during Shabbat morning services. e eight-branched menorah stood in the spot where a temporary memorial had been erected for the victims of the shooting attack, which had been visited by thousands, including President Donald Trump, in the days following the Oct. 27 attack. e candle for the first night of Hanukkah was lit by a group including police officers, paramedics, the head of the local FBI office and survivors of the massacre, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported. “As in ancient times, [when] Jewish people strove for independence, strove for religious freedom, so, too, today we strive to be able to freely worship in our sacred places,” Rabbi Jonathan Perlman of the New Light congregation, which met in the building and lost congregants, told the crowd on Sunday night. Perlman said that Hanukkah will never be the same for him. “I never made the connection before between hope and Hanukkah. But from now on, I will always celebrate this holiday with the idea that hope is always a possibility,” he said, according to the newspaper. Perlman and Rabbi Jeffrey Myers of Tree of Life/Or L’Simcha led the crowd in singing Hanukkah songs.

Jeremy Wright to speak at B’nai Israel

Please join us friday, Dec. 14 at 7:30 p.m. as we welcome Jeremy Wright as our featured speaker. Jeremy will be speaking about his courageous choice to return to school as a first year medical student, where he is 20 years older than the typical young adult entering medical school. Mid-life crisis?!? More like mid-life recentering! Jeremy, a native of Sidney, Nebraska, lived in Kearney, Nebraska, and attended the University of Nebraska, Kearney. While participating in a foreign exchange program at Utrecht University in the Netherlands, he met Annette van de Kamp. They married and began life together in Nebraska, spending seven years as family teachers at Boys Town. Jeremy’s professional work has been as a mental health therapist, and he has spent many years counseling patients in private practice. His goal is to become a neurologist and is on track to graduate medical school just prior to celebrating his 50th birthday! We will also be bidding farewell to our friends Iris and Marty Ricks, who are preparing to relocate to Oregon to be nearer to family. Marty has been a long-time board member of B’nai Israel, and both Marty and Iris have always shown unwavering support of our general Jewish community. Larry Blass will serve as the service leader and a delicious oneg will be presented. Mark your calendars for our Jan. 11, 2019 service, when Ron Lugasy, Community Shlicha, will be our featured speaker.

snow Days at the J!

When school is closed due to inclement weather, bring the kids (grades K-6th) to the J! Kids will enjoy gym time, swim time, a movie, art projects, and snacks! To register your child for a Snow Day at the J, stop by the Member Services Desk or call 402.334.6426. For more information, please contact Allison Burger at 402.334.6409 or aburger@jccom, or Amanda Welsh at 402.590.2152 or awelsh@jcc

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Happy Hanukkah! “Giving has the effect of a stone being cast into a pond, creating ripples that reach outward. “We need hundreds of handfuls of stones being constantly thrown into that pond and constantly creating lots of ripples bouncing off each other. Interacting with each other. Creating energy. Creating turbulence. Creating Converging Ripples. “And that energy – this ripple effect – has to come from each and every one of us and from each and every member of our community.”

–Michael Staenberg

December 7, 2018  

Jewish Press

December 7, 2018  

Jewish Press