Community Needs

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Multi color flame imageMany Jewish organizations in the Omaha metropolitan area, including the agencies of the Jewish Federation of Omaha, are seeking funding to deliver programs and services. The current funding needs for programs and services are described below.

Please contact Howard Epstein at 402-334-6466 or if you are interested in helping to fulfill a need in our Omaha Jewish community. If you have a donor-advised fund with us, please note the community need on your recommendation form and we will make sure it gets to the appropriate organization.

ADL CRC logoAnti-Defamation League/CRC –  No Place for Hate®
No Place for Hate® is an initiative providing schools and communities with a climate improvement framework for combating bias, bullying and hatred – leading to long-term solutions for creating and maintaining a positive learning environment.  No Place for Hate® is a proven strategy to help students confront and call-out bias and bigotry in their own schools.

Anti-Defamation League/CRC - Walk Against Hate
ADL-CRC’s  Walk Against Hate™ was conceived as a COVID-safe, city-wide, interactive guided tour of multiple locations (accessible online or on the ground) across the Omaha Metropolitan Area that hold significance to the evolution or future of civil rights and civil liberties in our community. In these times, more than ever, ADL-CRC believes our community needs opportunities to reflect on the path behind us and dream of the community we hope to forge together.  Sponsorships are vital to the success of this project and benefit both the sponsor and community.  This journey is, not only, our way of saying that no matter how we got here, our community is No Place for Hate, but also a means of bringing folks together in an incredibly isolated and divisive time.

Beth El Synagogue - Cantors Concert to Benefit the Seth Rich Memorial Summer Camp Scholarship Fund 
Beth EL Synagogue LogoIn 2019, more than 17 of our youth attended Jewish summer camps or took a trip to Israel. We sponsor an annual Cantors Concert to benefit the Seth Rich Memorial Summer Camp Scholarship Fund to help families defray the expense of these Jewish summer experiences.  As the number of children interested in Jewish summer experiences increases, so does our need for additional funding.  In order to continue to provide for our children, we need to attract an audience to our Scholarship Concert by both providing quality entertainment and at the same time reducing our expenses so more money is available for scholarships.    

Beth Israel Synagogue
Beth Israel LogoBeth Israel Synagogue is seeking funding to enhance the dwindling resources of the endowment funds for Golden Hills Cemetery, Fisher Farm Cemetery, and Beth Israel Cemetery. The expenses for the on-going maintenance of the cemeteries continue to increase yearly and unfortunately the income of the endowment funds is unable to keep pace with the accelerating expenses. As the cemeteries continue to age, maintenance needs are increasing. In years gone by, maintenance was handled by volunteers but work today is done by vendors adding additional financial challenges. In addition to the on-going maintenance, Golden Hill Cemetery requires the replacement of a retaining wall and many of its sidewalks. Beth Israel Cemetery requires the removal of numerous large trees. Unfortunately, funding is currently unavailable to cover the costs of these projects.

Chabad LogoChabad Lubavitch of Nebraska - Tefillin, Jewish Books, Mezuzot Bank ($15,950)
During this difficult and challenging time while many members of the community- especially those at risk- are isolated and stuck at home, we would like to make tefillin, prayer books and educational books available for people to have at home and use. We are looking for funds to sponsor 10 pairs of Tefillin at $750 per each, 50 prayer books at $20 each, 30 chumashim (five books of Moses) at $65 per each, an assortment of books totaling $1,000. Also, we would like to encourage more individuals to have mezuzot affixed in households, particularly on bedroom doorposts help individuals feel more secure, less anxious, and sleep better. Our goal would be to distribute and affix at least an additional 100 mezuzot at $45 per each for members of the community. We are confident that this will contribute to the emotional and spiritual wellbeing of community members.Total request (is not an all or nothing request):$15,950

We welcome leaders from the community to let us know of their constituents who could benefit from this service.

Chabad Lubavitch of Nebraska - Women’s Spa For the Soul ($4,800)
We would like to offer a program of respite and enrichment for the women of our community this spring as we move away from the threat and danger of COVID-19. Everyone has been through a challenging year, and still facing the difficult days and new, uncharted ways of interacting with the world. Women, always at the forefront of family and community, have been tried and exhausted by the extra responsibilities of managing their homes and families. We are planning a safe, in person, spa-like program in May that will nourish women’s mind, body and soul with education, personal pampering, and fun.  The venue, supplies, food, gifts, presenters will cost $4,800.

Friedel Jewish Academy LogoFriedel Jewish Academy -Composting Service $600 ($50/month for 12 months)
Approximately one-third of all waste in landfills is compostable food waste, where it gives off methane, a potent greenhouse gas, due to the anaerobic conditions. Composting helps the environment by reducing the speed at which landfills fill up and by preventing food waste from producing methane.

Hillside Solutions provides composting services for a number of Omaha-area schools. Using their composting service would provide ongoing learning opportunities for our students while reducing Friedel’s environmental impact. Students would learn about the anaerobic environment of landfills, the composting process, and how to identify and sort various types of materials. Hillside Solutions will give an all-school presentation about the process on the first day and will help students sort waste during the first week.

Friedel Jewish Academy - Supplies for Our School Garden: $1,015 Total (see breakdown below for different components)
Friedel has large wooden planters on our deck. We would like to start an all-school garden in these, which would provide hands-on opportunities for students to learn about plant biology and nutrition. Friedel is requesting funding for related supplies, including soil, plants, and gardening equipment. (Soil: $210, Plants: $280, Garden bed drip irrigation system: $175, Miscellaneous gardening supplies (trowels, gloves, etc.): $350)

IHE logoInstitute for Holocaust Education - Holocaust Collections Intern ($500)
The IHE has a collection of nearly 1,000 books and DVD's.  We would like to hire a summer intern to organize and catalog these important Holocaust-related works, so that they can be made accessible to the Jewish community and the public as a satellite collection of the Kripke Library.

Institute for Holocaust Education - Wartime Escape Exhibit Repairs ($1,000)
The IHE maintains the sought-after traveling exhibit, The True Wartime Escape, a collection of 27 watercolor reproductions that reveals the story of Curious George authors’ (Margaret and H.A. Rey) escape from Nazi-occupied France. The exhibit has toured to dozens of communities and institutions across the U.S. for the past 11 years. It is currently in South Carolina. When the exhibit returns to Omaha (Summer 2021), it will likely need repairs and upkeep for the framed works, as well as reprinting of select pieces.   

Pennie Z. Davis Child Development Center - Sprinkler System Installation ($350,000)
JCC LogoThe Pennie Z. Davis Child Development Center is the only building on campus without an automatic sprinkler system in case of fire.  In the year 2000 this was not a City of Omaha required building code.  However, the lack of one impedes the ability to make substantive updates to our physical structure.  These include; renovated kitchens, an expanded Judaic learning center, and children’s library. The addition of a fire suppression system is an absolute must to be safe and competitive with other early learning centers. (The CDC building was not included in the current JCC renovation project.  The CDC sprinklers are a new initiative.) 

Jewish Family ServiceJewish Family Service - Therapist/Educator ($26,000)
Jewish Family Service is seeking to secure funding to support an additional part-time therapist /educator to help elevate and expand the agency’s outreach and to provide enhanced resources to the community. 

Jewish Federation of Omaha – JCC Campus Building Project
The Jewish Federation of Omaha LogoOur community has come such a long way towards completing the comprehensive upgrading of our campus.  We have a bold vision and from a practicality, relevancy, and financial perspective, the transformation of our 47 year old facility was long overdue.  We have touched almost every corner of the building, both inside and out.  We have also addressed almost $11 million in deferred maintenance needs that had to be addressed!

Our next project is to add an additional full court basketball/volleyball court on to the existing gym.  This is necessary to accommodate the multiple youth tournaments we host while still meeting the needs of the entire JCC Membership.  Included in this project will be the addition of much needed office space, restrooms, and a variety of other sports features.  We estimate the cost of construction to be approximately $2 million. 

In addition, we will be naming the court after “Uncle” Chuck Arnold, a fixture of our JCC for 28 years who was able to make such a positive impact on so many people in our community…both youth and seniors!  Your support will help us realize this opportunity to truly honor a JCC Legend!

The Jewish Press LogoJewish Press – (check back for updates)

Jewish Senior Outreach - Meals, Transportation and Other Assistance
Jewish Social Services LogoJewish Senior Outreach is regularly called upon to provide meals, transportation, needed home repairs, medical equipment and case management services to our community elders. Ongoing financial support is always needed and appreciated to cover the professionals involved and to keep our elders safe and cared for.  The cost of these services varies widely depending on the individual situation and need.

Feel free to contact Shelly Fox @ or 402-334-6532 for more information.

Rose Blumkin Home LogoRose Blumkin Jewish Home - Dementia Clocks - $2,500
These clocks show time, date, day of week and morning, afternoon or night for those who have memory issues.  We would like to purchase 50 @ $50 each = $2,500

NJHS logoNebraska Jewish Historical Society - Community Programs
The Nebraska Jewish Historical Society is constantly seeking ways to better promote and preserve the histories of Jewish families who settled in Nebraska and Council Bluffs, Iowa. NJHS is seeking funds to provide community programs. These programs can be exhibits, issuing publications or related educational and cultural activities. The cost of NJHS programing depends on the story told and the media chosen. The cost of an edition of the popular NJHS Memories of the Jewish Midwest changes periodically. If interested, please contact NJHS for current pricing.

Temple Israel LogoTemple Israel - Auto Walk-Behind Floor Scrubber, 20" Cleaning Path ($3,339)
Temple Israel is preparing for a post-Covid world. Instead of paying an outside company to clean our floors and carpets, we would like to take care of this in house. This cordless auto scrubber would allow us to provide professional grade superior cleaning without hiring a third party.  This Auto Scrubber would pay for itself in less than a year, and save the synagogue thousands of dollars in the future.