On February 18 the Federation assisted in hosting a Zoom discussion which gave religious leaders of three mainstream religions (Christianity, Judaism and Islam) the opportunity to share how they celebrate their respective holidays. Leaders then led the conversation into some of their personal memories of celebrating their holidays both as a child and adult.
Below is a recording of the event, which you can view at any time to enjoy this enlightening conversation.
This morning, we put the Food back in our virtual Food for Thought series with popular cooking star Jamie Geller. Jamie is a Today Show regular, 7-time bestselling cookbook author and mother of 6—known as the “Jewish Rachael Ray” (New York Times) and “Queen of Kosher” (CBS).
Jamie brought us a delightful private demo, live from her home studio in Ramat Bet Shemesh, Israel. Perfect latkes and so much more!
Which one was your favorite? Make them all and let us know!
Thanks, Jamie, for getting us in the Chanukah mood! Follow Jamie on Instagram and YouTube or subscribe via her website JamieGeller.com for more kosher inspiration, with over 10,000 recipes and how-to videos..
Show your support for Federation this week by posting an #Unselfie! You can post anytime from now until next Friday, Dec. 4 (not on Shabbat please). Here's how to do it:
Come together and laugh with us! The Jewish Federation of Northwest Indiana cordially invites you to a 2020 Annual Campaign Event featuring comedian Benji Lovitt, live from Israel via Zoom. Join us virtually on Sunday, November 15, 2020 at 4:00pm CT. Visit federationonline.org/campaign2020 to RSVP.
Since making aliyah in 2006, comedian Benji Lovitt has performed for audiences around the world including Birthright Israel, Jewish Federations, synagogues, Hillels, and more. His perspectives have been featured on Israeli television and radio and in outlets such as USA Today, Time Magazine, BBC Radio, The Atlantic, and the Times of Israel. Benji has worked as a cross-cultural trainer with groups including the Ministry of Foreign Affairs; during 2014’s Operation Protective Edge, his humorous observations on the war led to his being called in Israel “the only reason to go on Facebook.”
The Illiana News recently caught up with Benji over WhatsApp to ask a few questions.
IN: I understand you are a native Texan. What was your Jewish upbringing like?
BL: As far as I could tell, I was an average Jewish kid. New Yorker parents, public school and Hebrew school in the evenings, summer camp beginning in 5th grade....that’s really what led me here. Camp turned into to my summer Israel trip, then to my gap year in Israel, and the rest is history. We went to a Conservative synagogue, celebrated the holidays, and of course, had a family with “eccentric” characters.
IN: What was the moment you knew you were going to make aliyah?
BL: There wasn’t a single moment that I recall. It was a process of realizing I wasn’t happy living where I was, wanted to move, was interested in spending at least a year in Israel, and then understanding that going through the official aliyah process made the most logical sense. Like all major life changes—marriage, parenthood, etc.—it’s hard to really know what you’re getting into beforehand!
IN: Some of our readers may remember you performing for us here in Munster once before, several years back. What's changed for you since then?
BL: Wow—so much. It’s been almost 10 years, I think. I got my own place, a car, and a puppy (the latter two in recent months). I was just starting to do standup full-time back then, so I’ve come a long way. Not only figuring out the business side of things, but becoming so much more comfortable in my own creative skin. My material back then was probably in the voice of a new, kvetching immigrant, whereas now I really get this place a lot more and can make native Israelis laugh with my insights. I enjoy making fun of myself and Americans as much as, if not more than, Israelis.
IN: Tell us more about the new puppy!
BL: He’s giving me lots of material! Every new experience is ripe for jokes, and as an immigrant, even more so. I’m definitely learning lots of new Hebrew words (how surprising I never learned “neutered” in my previous 14 years.)
IN: What's your must-see recommendation in Tel Aviv? (ignoring Covid for the moment)
BL: So much. The beach is obvious. The food scene is blowing up. As far as tourist attractions, I’d say the Nahalat Binyamin artist market. I still go there to get great stuff.
IN: What do you love about performing for Federation audiences?
BL: They’re usually people who are affiliated Jewishly, have been to Israel, and get the jokes!
We cannot do all that we do for the community without you. Your gift to the Jewish Federation of Northwest Indiana's 2020 Annual Campaign will help make the coming year the one we all want—filled with renewed health and healing.
or call (219) 301-0960 to pledge your gift. Thank you for your support!
Our program began with an introduction by our own Rosalie Levinson, drawing on her decades of personal acquaintance with the late Justice Ginsburg. Next, we watched a video presentation in which exhibit curator Arielle Weininger discussed RBG's life and toured the exhibition, complete with embedded audio, video, and photographs of artifacts. After the video, we enjoyed a live Q&A session with a Museum docent.
Since the exhibition tour is proprietary, we can't offer you a recording of the program. However, we recorded a version of Rosalie's introduction to share with the community.
For those who would like to see the full program, the IHMEC also offers "drop-in" virtual public tours of Notorious RBG. Tickets are $10.
The in-person exhibition has been extended through January 3, 2021, and the IHMEC has reopened their building with new safety protocols. Use code RBG BOGO for a special buy-one-get-one admission discount.
The talkback is available now to view on our VIrtual Programming page or on our YouTube channel.
Tamar exhibits a rare combination of the deeply spiritual and deeply practical, and it was a treat to get to know her. We look forward to collaborating with her in the future - and to witnessing her rabbinic ordination on December 12!
You can find out more about Tamar's work with MASK (Mothers/Men Against Senseless Killings) at MASK's official website, www.ontheblock.org. To donate to their Thanksgiving meal program, visit their GoFundMe page.
Our 2020–2021 Virtual Film Series is generously sponsored by Carol Culberg. The series will include 4 more virtual film selections starting in January 2021. Watch for upcoming schedule information at federationonline.org/film.
In the course of her talk, Ms. Rada highlighted a few specific influential Israeli women as role models.
The complete program is now available for viewing on Federation's Virtual Programming page or on our YouTube channel.
Many thanks to Ms. Rada and to the Consulate General of Israel to the Midwest for bringing this program to our community. Check out the Consulate's Facebook page, Israel in Chicago, for more upcoming events.
Mr. Eric D. Fingerhut, President and CEO of the Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA), addressed our major donors yesterday in a private Zoom conversation by invitation only.
Prior to his appointment at JFNA, Mr. Fingerhut served as the President and CEO of Hillel International from 2013-19. At Hillel, he led the organization’s Drive to Excellence, which doubled the number of students engaged by Hillel each year to over 130,000.
Mr. Fingerhut has also had a varied and distinguished career in public service and higher education. He served as Chancellor of the Ohio Board of Regents from early 2007 to 2011, leading Ohio’s system of public universities and colleges; as Ohio state senator from 1997 to 2006; and represented Ohio’s 19th congressional district in the U.S. Congress from 1993 to 1994.
“I didn’t realize it at the time, but my early life was shaped by Federation. I went to preschool at the JCC. I vividly remember carrying signs in the walkathons standing up for Israel during the 1967 and 1973 wars,” Fingerhut recounts. “Never did I imagine that nearly a half century later, I would have the opportunity to lead a Movement that has impacted my life and so many others. It has a rich history, and I believe it can have an even more impactful future.”
JFNA represents 147 Jewish Federations and over 300 Network communities, raising and distributing more than $2 billion annually and through planned giving and endowment programs. In support of social welfare, social services and educational needs, JFNA protects and enhances the well-being of Jews worldwide, and leads in the fields of caregiving, aging, philanthropy, disability, foreign policy, homeland security and health care.
Federation is kicking off a 12-week email-based walking program called Get WalkIN’, offered through Purdue Extension Lake County. Get WalkIN’ aims to promote increased physical activity through walking while also providing reliable information about the health benefits of walking.
This program is unique in that it is entirely email-based. Our program will begin Monday, August 3, 2020, and enrolled participants will receive 16 email messages over a 12-week time period (twice weekly for the first 4 weeks, then weekly for the next 8 weeks). These messages focus on self-efficacy, social support, and goal setting, as well as resource guides and strategies to help you start or maintain a walking routine of your choice.
For more information on the program, please contact Linda Curley, HHS Extension Educator, at firstname.lastname@example.org or call the Federation office at (219) 301-0960.