Weekly Update from the Office

What's Happened:  4 Highlights   

  • At its September meeting, the JFAR Board voted in two additional members of the Endowment and Investment CommitteeEllen Gray and Bob Williams.  They join Jack Grundfest and Anne Miller on the committee, which is chaired by Andrea Levy.  Thanks to all for serving!
  • Thank you to the former Temple Anshe Emeth of Pine Bluff for a generous donation to JFAR.  (Anshe Emeth is in the process of liquidating its remaining funds.)   The JFAR Board will vote at its next meeting on where to allocate the donation.
  • Thank you to Rabbi Barry Block and those participating in the Congregation B'nai Israel Mission to Israel for placing the notes and prayers from the Western Wall at last spring's Jewish Food and Cultural Festival at the actual Western Wall in Jerusalem.  Click here for photos.
  • Speaking of the Congregation B'nai Israel Mission to Israel, participants got a chance to visit Sapir and the future site of JFAR's joint project with JNF .  Photos to follow.

 

What's Happening:  4 Highlights

  • Thank you to JFAR Past-President Sue Weinstein for stepping up again to chair JFAR's 2017 Annual Campaign.  We are so fortunate to have Sue advocating again on JFAR's behalf.
  • Thank you to JFAR Board Member Doris Krain for agreeing to be the volunteer chair of JFAR's LIFE & LEGACY team this year.  We are also fortunate to have Doris helping with the Legacy effort.

 

  • I'm excited to be traveling to Bentonville this weekend with JFAR President Shelly Baron and JFAR Vice-President Silvana Berlinski to attend Congregation Etz Chaim's Project 613 Conclusion.
  • We're in the final stretch of preparations for Celebrating Community with grand honoree Dick Williams.  Thanks to event chairs Carol Mendel and Dale Ronnel for all their hard work.  We can't wait to honor Dick and all of our Jane B. Mendel Tikkun Olam Award winners next weekend.

 

What's Going to Happen:  4 Highlights  

 

 

Weekly Update

Shabbat Shalom!

September 2016 is full of events in the Arkansas Jewish community, including JFAR's own Celebrating Community.

Check out below all that's happening this month, and check our online calendar for a complete list of events.

Sincerely, 

 

Marianne Tettlebaum, Director
director@jewisharkansas.org
(501) 663-3571

 

September Events


this Sunday, September 11th  

 

--JFAR is pleased to help support the following fantastic family opportunity:
 

Monday, September 12th

--JFAR Caregiver Support Group:  12:00-1:00 pm at the home of Doris and Mark Krain.  Contact JFAR social worker Cindy Brown for more information.


Sunday, September 18th  

--Help Congregation Etz Chaim complete its Torah restoration at the Project 613 Conclusion Ceremony (supported by an Arkansas Grant Allocation from JFAR)

 

Thursday, September 22nd

--Join the Chabad Women's League

 

Sunday, September 25th

--2016 Marie Awards, Congregation B'nai Israel, 2:00-3:00 pm

 

--Don't Miss Our Community Celebration!    
 

  • Even though the RSVP deadline has passed, tickets will be available until this coming Tuesday for JFAR's Celebrating Community:  The 13th Annual Jane B. Mendel Tikkun Olam Awards honoring Richard A. (Dick) WilliamsClick here to purchase.
  • Can't make the celebration but want to honor Dick Williams or one or more of the Jane B. Mendel Tikkun Olam Award Winners?  To be listed in the event program, all donations must be received by Tuesday, September 13th.  Click here to make a donation. 

 

Friday, September 30th

--Installation of Eileen Hamilton as Director of Education and Youth Engagement at Congregation B'nai Israel (JFAR is pleased to provide support through its Arkansas Grant Allocations to the Director of Education and Youth Engagement position) 

Weekly Update from the Office

What's Happened:  4 Highlights   

  • We had a thought-provoking and productive JFAR Board Retreat on Sunday.  Thanks to all who attended, to the Board Development Committee for its preparatory work, and to Debbie Stein of JFNA for facilitating.  For those who attended, please do not forget to take the electronic survey I sent around in order to help us continue to build upon everything we discussed.
  • Thank you to JFAR Board Member and volunteer photographer Doris Krain for taking time out this week to photograph JFAR's three Jane B. Mendel Tikkun Olam Award winners together--Mark Krain, Rickie Lockwood, and Susan Strauss--for the evening program.
  • We learned this week that our Tikkun Olam celebration's Grand Honoree Dick Williams will be featured in the High Profile section of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.  Look for the article on Sunday, September 25th, the day same day as the event.
  • At its August meeting, the JFAR board voted in Anne Miller as a new member of the Endowment and Investment Committee.  We're excited to have Anne serve. 

What's Happening:  4 Highlights

  • Don't forget to join us this coming Tuesday, September 6th, at 11:30 am, in the library of Congregation B'nai Israel for Coffee, Cake, and Conversation with JFAR social worker Cindy Brown.  She will present on "Music and Memory Comes to the Arkansas Jewish Community: Find out how you can become involved or benefit from the new program."
    • Coffee, Cake, and Conversation is sponsored by CBI and JFAR; all are welcome.  Bring your own lunch; we provide dessert and coffee. 
  • The RSVP deadline for Celebrating Community:  The 13th Annual Jane B. Mendel Tikkun Olam Awards is today.  A reminder, if you haven't done so already, that you can purchase

tickets and sponsorships and make donations in honor of the winners here

  • I'm excited that those traveling on the Congregation B'nai Israel mission to Israel will have a chance to visit Sapir, the site of JFAR's joint project with JNF:  the Magen David Adom Emergency Station at JNF's new Rescue Center in the Central Arava.  A special thanks to JFAR Board Member Irene Spalter for working with our JNF representative to make sure those on the mission get the best and most informative reception possible from community members and leaders in Sapir.
  • JCRS (Jewish Children's Regional Service), which JFAR supports through an annual grant allocation, has been busy on the ground in Baton Rouge helping with recovery efforts.  Click here to read an e-mail sent by JCRS Executive Director Ned Goldberg about everything JCRS has done and will continue to do to assist.

 

What's Going to Happen:  4 Highlights

  • September 5th:  Labor Day (JFAR Office Closed)
  • September 11th-23rd:  Congregation B'nai Israel Mission to Israel

 

Weekly Update from the Office

What's Happened:  4 Highlights   

  • We had a great new board member orientation last Sunday for incoming JFAR board members Lynn Greenberg, Ellyn Polsky, and Annabelle Imber Tuck.  We're so excited to have them join us.
  • Plans are set for JFAR's board retreat this weekend and materials for the board meeting at the retreat have gone out.  Thanks again to the Board Development Committee for all its work planning the retreat.
  • Thanks to our Endowment and Investment Committee Chair Andrea Levy for driving down to Little Rock for a routine review of all of JFAR's funds with Allan Mendel, our financial manager.  Andrea is also working with Allan to institute regular quarterly meetings.
  • We received a lovely thank you letter from one of our Jewish camp scholarship recipients.  I've shared some lines below so you know how important our camp scholarships are to Jewish families and children in Arkansas (please note that JFAR partners for camp scholarships with JCRS and, for Temple members, with Congregation B'nai Israel):
    • Thank you so much for all that you have done in support of my attending Henry S. Jacobs Camp this summer . . . I believe that this unique experience is a foundation builder for me to grow and help shape me for many years to come.  This was definitely an opportunity of a lifetime . . .

What's Happening:  4 Highlights

  • Did you know that Cindy has three social work interns from UALR working with her this year?  Please join me in welcoming back Kelsey Dugger, who interned with us last year, and welcoming J Bean and Curtis Watson.  All are already out in the community and doing visits.  We hope soon to arrange a meet and greet so you have the chance to get to know them.
  • There is still an urgent need for flood relief funds in the Baton Rouge Jewish community and in the general community.  Click here to donate.    And click here to read a blog post on "How You Can Help Those Affected by the Louisiana Floods" by Jacobs Camp Director Anna Herman, who is on the ground assisting with relief efforts.
  • Thanks to those who have RSVP'd already for Celebrating Community, our Tikkun Olam dinner on September 25th.  If you've not done so already, you can purchase tickets and sponsorships and make donations in honor of the winners here.  A reminder that the RSVP deadline is September 2nd.
  • The 2016 Jewish Federations of North America General Assembly, which brings together Federations from throughout North America and Jewish leaders from throughout the world, will take place November 13th-15th in Washington DC.   If you are interested in or planning to go, please let me know.

 

What's Going to Happen:  4 Highlights

  • August 28th:  JFAR Board Retreat at Subiaco
  • September 5th:  Labor Day (JFAR Office Closed)

Baton Rouge Needs Our Help

Dear Community Members,

The situation in Baton Rouge, LA, as a result of flooding, is dire.   Thirty people from the Jewish community have lost their homes, including the director of Baton Rouge's Jewish Federation.  Many had no flood insurance.

Below is an excerpt from an e-mail that Jessica Yellen, director of the religious school at Congregation B'nai Israel in Baton Rouge, originally sent to Rabbi Gene Levy.  She has given me permission to share it widely so people know how bad the situation is: 

 

Things are devastating in Baton Rouge.  Not sure why national news isn't all over it, but the pictures and videos coming from friends are heartbreaking.  I've been on the phone trying to get in touch with congregants and families there.  Many have lost everything and didn't have flood insurance.  Even those with insurance are displaced and without transportation.  I will be driving in next weekend - hopefully the roads will clear.  I think my hotel is flooded, so I will be checking on that tomorrow to make sure there is a place to stay. It is a mess.  


You can help as follows: 

Please do not send any physical items.  The people who have lost their homes have no place to put anything, which is why they are requesting gift cards, which can be used at a later date once people have new housing. 


I cannot imagine how our community would cope if thirty members lost their homes.  As we prepare for Shabbat in our warm and dry homes, the Jewish community of Baton Rouge, only six hours drive from us, and especially those who no longer have homes in which to make Shabbat, will be in our thoughts in prayers.

Sincerely, 

 Marianne Tettlebaum, Director
director@jewisharkansas.org  
(501) 663-3571  

Flooding in Baton Rouge.

Flooding in Baton Rouge.

 

Weekly Update from the Office

What's Happened:  4 Highlights   

  • I spoke yesterday evening with Deborah Sternberg, President of Congregation B'nai Israel in Baton Rouge (thanks to Rabbi Gene Levy for helping me make the connection).  The situation in Baton Rouge, as result of the flooding, is dire.  Thirty people in the Jewish community, including the executive director of the Jewish Federation of Baton Rouge, have lost their homes and many had no insurance.  You can donate to the relief effort through Congregation B'nai Israel of Baton Rouge by clicking here (all aid is being passed to the Federation to distribute); through the link the Jewish Federations of North America has sent up by clicking here; or by sending gift cards directly to Deborah Sternberg at Starmount Building/8485 Goodwood Blvd/Baton Rouge, LA 70806 (all gift cards will also be passed on to the Federation).  Jessica Yellen, who runs the religious school at the congregation, has given me permission to pass on the e-mail she sent to Rabbi Levy describing the situation.  Here is an excerpt:

Things are devastating in Baton Rouge.  Not sure why national news isn't all over it, but the pictures and videos coming from friends are heartbreaking.  I've been on the phone trying to get in touch with congregants and families there.  Many have lost everything and didn't have flood insurance.  Even those with insurance are displaced and without transportation.  I will be driving in next weekend - hopefully the roads will clear.  I think my hotel is flooded, so I will be checking on that tomorrow to make sure there is a place to stay.  It is a mess.  

  • Thanks to our Central Arkansas PJ Library Administrator Ellyn Polsky and to Estie Ciment for a great PJ Library fall event planning session this week.  PJ families and kids can look forward to a high holiday challah bake in partnership with Lubavitch of Arkansas.  More information to follow.
  • New JFAR board manuals are ready!  Thanks to the Board Development Committee and Polly Greenbaum for their help preparing the manuals.
    • Voting members of JFAR's board will get their manuals at the board retreat on August 28th, but if you just can't wait to get yours, you can stop by our office to pick one up.  If you are an ex-officio member and would like a manual, please let me know.
  • Thanks to JFAR's Personnel and Executive Committees, and especially to the assistance of Sarah Johnson, a job description for Polly's replacement is now available.  I will send it to the community soon.  You can download a copy here.  Please forward to anyone you think might be interested and/or qualified.

 

What's Happening:  4 Highlights

  • On Sunday, there will be a new board orientation just for our three incoming members Lynn Greenberg, Ellyn Polsky, and Annabelle Imber Tuck.  Thanks to Silvana Berlinksi for hosting and to President Shelly Baron and JFAR's Executive Board for participating and planning.
  • The Southern Food and Beverage Museum in New Orleans is organizing on exhibit on southern Jewish foodways and asked for any materials and documents relating to our Jewish Food and Cultural Festival.  Shelly has already sent a request for materials to the food festival leadership team, and I will be sending the museum a link to all of Doris's fabulous photos on Facebook.  If any of you have any food festival memorabilia you want to share--in particular recipes or documents on the history of the festival and its food--please let me know.
  • Rachel Ungar, student President of the Hillel at the University of Arkansas, wants to make sure all incoming Jewish students know about the Hillel and get involved.  If you're a parent of a student headed to the U of A or you know any Jewish parents or students, please have them contact Rachel at hillel@uark.edu to find out how they can get involved.
  • Thank you to Terri Moore and Jeff Neuhauser for agreeing again to host our Tikkun Olam brunch for award winners, their guests, and out-of-town guests.  Brunch will be Sunday morning, September 25th, from 10:30 am-1:00 pm.   We are now looking for volunteers to help Terri, primarily with the Sunday morning set-up but also with some work in advance.  If you are interested, please let me know.

 

What's Going to Happen:  4 Highlights  

 

  • August 28th:  JFAR Board Retreat at Subiaco

Weekly Update from the Office

What's Happened:  4 Highlights   

  • As the JFAR Board Members now know, Polly Greenbaum is leaving her position at JFAR to be able to spend more time being (vs working) in the Jewish community that is so important to her. She has generously agreed to stay until the end of September if necessary, but our search for her replacement is beginning immediately.  Look for the release of a position description soon and please forward it to anyone you think might be qualified and interested.  In the meantime, please join me in thanking Polly for her incredible work for JFAR and the Jewish community.
  • Mazel Tov to Dr. Mark Krain, JFAR Caregiving and Aging Committee Member (and one of JFAR's Jane B. Mendel Tikkun Olam Award winners this year):  an anonymous donor has funded an endowed scholarship in Dr. Krain's name for social work students at UALR.  Click here to read more.
  • Invitations for JFAR's upcoming Tikkun Olam Awards celebration on Sunday, September 25th will be in the mail soon.  But if you want to get a jump on purchasing tickets and sponsorships, you can now do so on our website.  Click here to get started.
  • I sometimes get asked, as I did yesterday, "Just what does JFAR do, anyway?"  A reminder, especially to JFAR Board Members, if someone poses the same question to you, that you can find a list of what JFAR does, divided into categories based on our mission statement, here on our website.  A reminder, too, that our monthly budget reports will also now reflect these mission categories.

 

What's Happening:  4 Highlights

  • JFAR's Endowment and Investment and Governance Committees have been busy over the summer.  I had a great meeting this week with Governance Chair Arleen Marshall to review Endowment and Investment-related by-law changes that will come before the board soon.  The most version of the by-laws, updated to reflect all of last year's amendments, will be part of the new manuals board members get at the August 28th retreat.
  • Speaking of the board retreat, in addition to all the work JFAR's Board Development Committee is doing to plan content with facilitator Debbie Stein, Senior Director of Consulting and Community Development at the Jewish Federations of North America, committee Chair Silvana Berlinski has prepared an additional item for us to have at the retreat:  her homemade babka!   Thanks to Silvana, the Board Development Committee, and Debbie for all their efforts.
  • I've sent requests to all the Arkansas congregations and organizations to send me High Holiday service schedules and announcements by Monday, August 29th, for inclusion in the High Holiday edition of Action.  Thanks in advance to everyone for helping me get the word out about everything that will be happening in Arkansas for the High Holidays and beyond.   
  • I had an informative and productive conversation today with Larry Brook, editor of Southern Jewish Life Magazine about working more together and continuing to increase coverage of Arkansas.  In case you missed the announcement on JFAR's Facebook page, there's a lot of great Arkansas articles in SJL's most recent issue, which you can find here.

 

What's Going to Happen:  4 Highlights  

 

  • August 28th:  JFAR Board Retreat at Subiaco

Weekly Update from the Office

What's Happened:  4 Highlights   

  • JFAR President Shelly Baron and I had a great series of meetings this week with Jewish community members in Northwest Arkansas.  Thank you to everyone who took time out to meet with us and to make us feel so welcome. 
  • Thanks to our social work intern Kelsey Lillard for doing such good work this past week helping to cover our social work needs while Cindy was on vacation.  Thank you, too, to social workers Rickie Lockwood and Susan Strauss for their volunteer assistance and for serving as resources for Kelsey and for me.
  • We had a special visit this week by John Pregulman of

Kavod: Ensuring Dignity for Holocaust Survivors.  He was in town to photograph Holocaust survivors Nina Krupitsky and Zwia Weiss.  Thanks to Polly Greenbaum for accompanyomg John during his visit and introducing him to Zwia and Nina.  More to follow at a later date on the photos and the work of Kavod.

  • Mazel Tov to JFAR ex-officio board member and Lubavitch of Arkansas Rabbi Ciment and his wife Estie on the birth last week and bris this week of a new grandson.  Parents are Mushka and Yosef Kramer.

 

What's Happening:  4 Highlights

  • Mazel Tov to JFAR's 2016-17 Arkansas Grant Recipients.  An e-newsletter about them will go out soon to our entire list, but you can now read in advance about all the recipients on our website--just click here.
  • Please help get the word out to any Jewish young adults you know about a special opportunity to gather in Memphis with other Jewish young adults from the region:  Bluff City Bash, August 26th-28th.
  • Mark your calendars! for the first Coffee, Cake, and Conversation of the fall:  Tuesday, September 13th, 11:30 am, at Congregation B'nai Israel.  Cindy will present on the Music and Memory Program (for which she recently received a start-up grant) and what it will mean for our community.  Coffee, Cake is sponsored by Congregation B'nai Israel and JFAR and is open to the entire Jewish community.
  • Thank you to JFAR's Board Development Committee for its careful work reviewing JFAR's board manual in order to assist in preparing new up-to-date manuals in advance of our August 28th Board Retreat.  Speaking of the retreat, voting board members please remember to let Silvana know if you're interested in carpooling.

 

What's Going to Happen:  4 Highlights  

 

 

 

 

Weekly Update from the Office

What's Happened:  4 Highlights   

  • Please join in welcoming our new JFAR Board Members Lynn Greenberg, Ellyn Polsky, and Annabelle Imber Tuck as well as our new honorary board member Jerry Tanenbaum.
  • Mazal Tov to our social worker Cindy Brown for receiving a start-up grant to participate in the Music & Memory program and receive certification for JFAR to become a Music & Memory program provider.  Click here for more information on the program and its transformative work with seniors and others with memory issues.
  • Please join me in thanking the Rosen Foundation of Pine Bluff and its board members for the recent donation to JFAR.  The Fund was established by Pearl G. Rosen, who was a lifelong philanthropist.
  • For the fourth year in a row the Jewish Food and Cultural Festival was selected as a Runner-Up for Best Food Festival in the Arkansas Times annual Best of Arkansas poll.  Congratulations to the Festival Chairs Shelly Baron and Silvana Berlinski and to all the volunteers who put in countless hours to make the Festival possible.

 

What's Happening:  4 Highlights

  • Watch your mailboxes!  The latest issue of JFAR's Action newsletter will be out soon.  Thanks to all who contributed and proofread.
  • Keep watching your mailboxes!  Invitations will be out soon for this year's Jane B. Mendel Tikkun Olam Event with Grand Honoree Richard A. (Dick) Williams on September 25th at the Little Rock Marriott Downtown.
  • I'm excited to be heading to Northwest Arkansas next week for LIFE & LEGACY team meetings and other visits.  Thanks to all who are making time to meet.
  • JFAR's Board Development Committee is hard at work on plans for our August 28th Board Retreat for our voting members.  Board Development Committee Chair Silvana Berlinski and I are going over those plans today with Debra Stein, Senior Director of Community Consulting and Development at the Jewish Federations of North America, who will facilitate the retreat.

 

What's Going to Happen:  4 Highlights  

 

 

 

 

Weekly Update from the Office

What's Happened:  4 Highlights   

  • Jewish Federation of Arkansas joins with Federations and communities and organizations throughout the country in mourning the victims of the Orlando attack and deploring the senseless of the violence.  The Jewish Federation of Orlando is directing those who wish to donate money to help victims, to give to Equality Florida.
  • I was moved and saddened to attend the closing ceremony last week for Temple Anshe Emeth in Pine Bluff.  Thank you to Rabbi Gene Levy, Bill Rubenstein, and all the members of the congregation for organizing such a meaningful and memorable farewell.
  • Thank you to JFAR's Treasurer Sarah Johnson and the members of JFAR's Budget Committee for a great 2016-17 budget planning meeting this week.  Your thoughtfulness and hard work is much appreciated.  Voting members of JFAR's board will receive a copy of the 2016-17 Proposed Budget soon and will be asked to review carefully in advance of our June 27th meeting.
  • Carol Vella has now taken over as our Northwest Arkansas PJ Library Administrator, and she already has a summer ice cream social on the calendar for PJ parents and kids. 

Click here for more information.

 

 

What's Happening:  4 Highlights

  • Later today JFAR Board President Shelly Baron, JFAR Board Member Phil Axelroth, and I, along with other Little Rock Jewish community members, will be headed to McGehee for the closing ceremony of Temple Meir Chayim.  The ceremony will be led by Rabbi Gene Levy.
  • If you haven't already, please mark your calendars for Sunday, September 25th, when we will honor Dick Williams and celebrate the accomplishments of our individual award winners at our annual Jane B. Mendel Tikkun Olam Awards Celebration.  Thanks to event chairs Carol Mendel and Dale Ronnel, who are already hard at work on the event.  Look for a feature on grand honoree Dick Williams in our upcoming spring issue of Action.
  • JFAR Board Members please don't forget to RSVP for our upcoming meeting on Monday, June 27th, at 7:00 pm at Congregation Agudath Achim.  Materials will be sent soon.  In addition to the 2016-17 budget, we'll be voting on new board members as well as JFAR's own Jane B. Mendel Tikkun Olam Award winner.
  • A couple of weeks ago in my weekly update, I welcomed summer social work intern Kelsey Lillard, but I provided an incorrect e-mail address. Kelsey will use her personal e-mail address for the summer, so you can reach her at knlillard@ualr.edu.  For those of you who also enjoyed working with this past year's social work intern Kelsey Dugger, I'm pleased to announce that she will be interning for us again this fall.
     

 

What's Going to Happen:  4 Highlights  

 

 

 

 

Weekly Update from the Office

What's Happened:  4 Highlights   

  • Mazal Tov to our social worker Cindy Brown for receiving a grant for $10,000 in free ads from Google to promote JFAR's website online.  We will let you know when the ads are set to start appearing.
  • Jane B. Mendel Tikkun Olam Award nomination requests have just gone out to all the Jewish congregations and organizations in Arkansas.  A reminder please to let us know by June 30th who your award winner is and to fill out the form I sent, so we can get started on your winner's biography for our program. Thanks to Polly's work, you can also now fill out the Tikkun Olam nomination form online on our website.   If you are the President/Director of Jewish congregation/organization and you didn't see a nomination request from me, please let me know.
  • Thank you to JFAR's Grant Committee for spending so much time carefully reading, reviewing, and discussing all of our 2016-17 Arkansas Grant Allocations.  The Grant Committee had a very productive meeting last week.  Their recommendations have now gone to the Budget and Finance Committee, which will incorporatethose recommendations as part of next year's budget.
  • A belated thank you to Mushka and Yosef Kramer for hosting a great young professionals Lag B'omer barbeque last Wednesday (complete with personalized beer koozies).  JFAR was pleased to be able to partner with Chabad Young Professionals for the event.

 

What's Happening:  4 Highlights

  • Please join me in welcoming Temple Shalom's new Co-Presidents Stanley Rest and Sivan Tuchman to the JFAR Board as ex-officio members.  Please join me as well in thanking outgoing Presidents Jeremy Hess and Darla Newman for their service. 
  • It's budget time at JFAR!  Our new fiscal year begins on July 1st and for our new year, we need a new budget.  Thanks to our Treasurer Sarah Mendel Johnson, who is working hard to get ready.  The entire Budget and Finance Committee will meet soon to work on the draft of the budget that will be presented to the JFAR Board at its June 27 meeting for approval.
  • Cindy Brown will be presenting today at UALR's Midsouth Summer Conference for Integrated Behavioral Health Studies.  Her talk on "Moving from Stigma to Self Advocacy" takes place from 12:15-1:15 pm in Meetings Rooms A-C at the Donaghey Student Center on the UALR campus.
  • I will be attending the closing ceremony tomorrow, led by Rabbi Gene Levy, for Temple Anshe Emeth in Pine Bluff.  In case you missed it, here is a link to the article that appeared in the paper on the closings of Temple Anshe Emeth and of Temple Meir Chayim in McGehee.

 

What's Going to Happen:  4 Highlights  

 June 11th:  Temple Anshe Emeth Closing Ceremony (Pine Bluff)

 June 11th:  JLI Course "Strength and Struggle" continues

Weekly update from the office

19th of Iyyar, 5776

Shabbat Shalom!

Even though summer is around the corner, there's still lots happening at the Jewish Federation of Arkansas and in our statewide Jewish community.  Please take a moment to check out all the activities below. 

All best wishes for a safe and meaningful

Memorial Day Weekend, as we remember with gratitude those who gave their lives in service of our country. 

Sincerely,

Marianne Tettlebaum
Director

director@jewisharkansas.org

PSIf you have news or information you'd like to submit, please e-mail us at federation@jewisharkansas.org.

 

At the JFAR Office

What's Happening: 
4 Highlights    

--Did you know? . . . This summer JFAR is helping to send 31 Jewish kids from Arkansas to Jewish camps throughout the US and Canada!  

JFAR is grateful to partner with Jewish Children's Regional Service and Congregation B'nai Israel (for Temple members), as well as with the camps themselves, to provide scholarships for kids from anywhere in Arkansas to attend Jewish camp. 

  

--JFAR also provides grant funding for Jewish-related projects and services that support our Mission.  For our 2016-17 Grant Application cycle we received 14 applications with a record $53,710.51 in requests.

Thanks to all who applied.  JFAR's Grant Committee carefully reviews all applications and evaluations. Recipients will be notified of award decisions at the beginning of July.  Click here for a list of our 2015-16 Arkansas Grant recipients

.

--Thank you to our 2015-16 UALR social work intern Kelsey Dugger, who recently completed her internship with us. 

Kelsey worked closely with our social worker Cindy Brown to do multiple weekly visits to Jewish community members and to assist with various community needs.  Thanks, too, to Jewish community member Mark Krain for helping advise Kelsey.  This summer we welcome a new social work intern:  Kelsey Lillard.  She can be reached at intern@jewisharkansas.org.  

--Does your congregation, Sisterhood, Men's Club, or other Jewish organization or group need a thoughtful and informative workshop for an upcoming meeting? 

Our social worker Cindy Brown can offer a workshop, free of charge, on everything from "Planning for Retirement: Finding Purpose Beyond Work," to "How to Deal with Difficult/Challenging People" to "Parenting Children with Developmental Delays" to "Being your Parent's Care Partner."  Check out the full list of workshops here.  Cindy has already offered many of these workshops around the state and is willing to travel to you. 

  

Around Arkansas

What's Happening: 
4 Highlights

--Mazel Tov to Congregation B'nai Israel (Little Rock) on celebrating its 150th Anniversary this year!  

The Congregation has hosted a variety of anniversary activities and programs, most recently a visit by Rabbi Rick Jacobs, President of the Union for Reform Judaism, as well as a gala celebration.   Click here to read an article in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette on the anniversary.

 

--After almost 150 years in existence, Temple Anshe Emeth in Pine Bluff is closing.

The final service and closing ceremony are Saturday, June 11, 2016 at 10:00am at the Chapel of First Presbyterian Church (717 W. 32nd Ave. in Pine Bluff).  If you're interested in attending, please contact the federation office.  Temple Meir Chayim in McGehee will close the following week. Contact our office for more information.    

 

--Want to learn more about Yiddish Literature and Culture?  Check out Rabbi/Dr. Jacob Adler's summer course at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville:


--Our Arkansas Jewish community averages 3-4 Bar/Bat Mitzvah celebrations per month.  Check out our online community calendar for more information.

Next up:  the Bar Mitzvah of Jacob Ellgass at Congregation Etz Chaim on June 4th.

 

Around the World

What's Happening: 
4 Highlights

--Firefighters Contain Blaze in Jerusalem

--ISIS in Syria and the Implications for Israel's Security Click here for a summary of the study by Hillel Frisch.  Click here for the complete study.

--The Transformation of Lag B'omer

--The Lost--And Found--Jews of Crete
 

 

Weekly Update from the Office

What's Happened:  4 Highlights   

  • Thank you to all those who participated in JFAR's community Yom Hashoah commemoration last night:  Rabbis Block, Ciment, and Winnick, who led the service, David Bauman, who provided music, and Matthew Lopas, who presented on his family's experience in the Holocaust.  Thanks as well to all who attended to help us honor the memory of those who perished in the Holocaust. 
  • JFAR's 2016-17 Arkansas Grant Application cycle is now closed, and our Grant Committee is beginning to review applications and evaluations.  We received a total of 14 applications with requests totaling $53,710.51.  Thanks to all who applied.  You will be notified of award decisions at the beginning of July.
  • Thanks to the Jewish Food and Cultural Festival leadership team and all the booth chairs for attending Monday's Festival review and providing extensive and helpful comments and written summaries.  Click here to see the summary of the online Festival survey that was shared with everyone on Monday.  Since the report on Monday, a few additional invoices have come in, which means the Food Festival netted a little over $16,000, $1000 of which was collected in tickets from the Tzedakah boxes and will be divided among our community partner organizations Arkansas Foodbank, Harmony Clinic, Just Communities of Arkansas, LifeQuest, and Our House.  I will be sharing all of this information soon via a community-wide e-mail.  In the meantime, one more great number to share:  thanks to your donations, the Arkansas Foodbank collected over 600 pounds of food at the Festival--enough food to provide over 500 meals! 
  • Speaking of Grant Requests, per a vote by the board, JFAR is pleased to be able to offer a special additional grant this year to help support the new Director of Education and Youth Engagement position at Congregation B'nai Israel, which will be filled by Eileen Hamilton.

 

What's Happening:  4 Highlights

  • Thank you to those JFAR Board Members who are making calls/vists for our 2016 Annual Campaign.  A reminder please to complete those calls by May 15th.
  • Please join us next week to celebrate Yom HaAtzmaut/Israel Independence Day, in partnership with Congregation Agudath Achim, Congregation B'nai Israel and Lubavitch of Arkansas and chaired by volunteers Emma Figarsky and Valerie Steinberg:  Thursday, May 12th, 6:00 pm, at Congregation Agudath Achim.  Click here to RSVP.
  • The date for JFAR's Board Retreat for voting members of the board has been set for Sunday, August 28th, location TBD.  Silvana Berlinski and the Board Development Committee will now start planning in earnest.  If you are a voting board member who received a call from a Board Development Committee member about the retreat and have not yet responded, please let Silvana know asap whether you can attend on the 28th.

 

What's Going to Happen:  4 Highlights  

  • May 7th:  Evan Levine Bar Mitzvah, Etz Chaim
  • May 11th:  Yom Hazikaron (Israeli Memorial Day)

Weekly Update from the Office

What's Happened:  4 Highlights 

  • I had another great LIFE & LEGACY training this week in Hot Springs at Congregation House of Israel.  We have one more make-up training to schedule for some of our Little Rock volunteers, and then all our teams will be ready to get started, if they haven't already.
  • Thanks to all the hard work on the part of our event chairs Shelly Baron and Silvana Berlinski and all of our volunteers, we're ready for this weekend's Jewish Food and Cultural Festival.  If you haven't done so already, please invite your friends to the event via Facebook.
  • You may have noticed Jewish Food and Cultural Festival yard signs around town. Thanks to Russ Parish and his team of volunteers for putting up all the signs!

 

What's Happening:  4 Highlights

  • As I write this numerous volunteers are helping pack Jewish Food and Cultural Festival baked goods at Congregation B'nai Israel.  Thanks to everyone across the state who baked and to everyone who is packing this morning.
  • Preparations are already in the works for our Tikkun Olam Event on Sunday, September 25th, with grand honoree Richard (Dick) Williams, to be held at the Downtown Little Rock Marriott.  Event chairs Carol Mendel and Dale Ronnel have already met to start planning, and Rabbi Ciment and I visited the Marriott yesterday to start working to ensure we will have a kosher event.
  • Mark your calendars for our annual community Yom Hashoah commemoration on May 4th at 7:00 pm at Congregation B'nai Israel and our annual community Yom Ha'atmzaut celebration on May 12th, at 6:00 pm, at Congregation Agudath Achim.  More details to follow on both.  Thanks so much to Rabbis Block, Ciment, and Winnick for working with us to plan the events.
  • Don't forget to gather up your bags of non-perishable food items to donate at the Jewish Food and Cultural Festival to the Arkansas Foodbank Also, please don't throw away any extra tickets you purchase!  Please put them in the Tzedakah boxes that will be located throughout the venue and proceeds will go to the local Little Rock partner organizations we support through our annual allocations:  Arkansas Foodbank, Harmony Clinic, Just Communities of Arkansas, LifeQuest, and Our House Shelter.  Please also join me in thanking our partner organizations for sending volunteers to help with the event.

 

What's Going to Happen:  4 Highlights  

 

 

 

2016 Jewish Food and Cultural Festival this Sunday, April 10

Media Advisory

April 8, 2016

2016 Jewish Food and Cultural Festival this Sunday, April 10

(LITTLE ROCK) – The Jewish Federation of Arkansas will present the 2016 Jewish Food and Cultural Festival on Sunday, April 10th, 2016 at War Memorial Stadium in Little Rock, Arkansas.  The Federation expects to host a crowd of more than 10,000 people from across Arkansas and surrounding states.  The Festival will include traditional Jewish foods as well as cultural and religious booths and entertainment.  The festival begins at 9:00 a.m. and ends at 4:00 p.m.  Admission to the festival is free. 


Members of the press are encouraged to attend, and photo and on-camera coverage opportunities will be plentiful.

Jewish Food and Cultural Festival

War Memorial Stadium

1 Stadium Drive, Little Rock

9 a.m. - 4 p.m.

 

9:00 am-4:00 pm        Jewish Food and Cultural Festival

The festival will include traditional Jewish foods, Israeli dishes, booths on Jewish and Israeli culture, local Jewish artists, inflatables and other activities for kids, and entertainment throughout the day.  

Entertainment highlights include the Meshugga Klezmer band at 1:15 p.m., and the B Flat Minor Band at 3:00 p.m.

New this year will be an opportunity to write in an actual Torah scroll with a sofer, or scribe, for a donation to Project 613, an educational and outreach effort of Congregation Etz Chaim of Bentonville. 

War Memorial Stadium features ample free parking, indoor concourse locations for food booths and shopping, and the opportunity for kids to play on the football field.

Contacts:
Shelly Baron, Festival Co-Chair and Publicity Chair

(501) 655-2243; shelly.baron@hotmail.com

Marianne Tettlebaum, Jewish Federation of Arkansas Executive Director

(501) 772-7164; director@jewisharkansas.org

 

The Jewish Federation of Arkansas exists to strengthen, support, and sustain the Jewish Community in Arkansas and to support Jews in need worldwide.  www.jewisharkansas.org

Happy Purim!

13th of Adar II, 5776

Happy Purim!

Looking for our annual "What's Happening for Purim" e-newsletter? 

Just this once, as an encouragement to check out our new Jewish Federation of Arkansas website (see more information below), I've forgone the e-newsletter in favor of having you go to our new online calendar, where all the Purim events around Arkansas are listed.  (The "What's Happening for . . . " e-newsletter will return for Passover.)

Have a Jewish community event you want to submit to our new online calendar?  Please let us know.

So many of our Jewish community members are hard at work preparing for our annual Jewish Food and Cultural Festival.  We are grateful for your efforts.  Thank you, too, to the congregations throughout Arkansas who have generously opened up their kitchens for Food Festival Baking and Cooking.

The Jewish Food and Cultural Festival isn't the only event coming up in our Jewish community, though.  As you'll read below, a lot is happening at our office and throughout the state.

Of course, there's also Purim. I hope everyone is able to take time out for a joyous celebration.

Sincerely,

Marianne Tettlebaum
Director

director@jewisharkansas.org

PSIf you have news or information you'd like to submit, please e-mail us at federation@jewisharkansas.org.

 

At the JFAR Office

What's Happening: 
4 Highlights    

--Check out JFAR's new website It's been completely redesigned and updated to reflect our current programs and resources, so that we can better serve our Jewish community as a statewide information and resource center.

 
 --We still need volunteers for the Jewish Food and Cultural Festival on Sunday, April 10th, 9:00 am-4:00 pm, at War Memorial Stadium in Little Rock.  Click here to sign up online and be part of the fun.

--The 2016-17 cycle of JFAR's Arkansas Grant Allocations is now open; the deadline to submit an application is May 2nd.  We are pleased to offer support for Arkansas projects and services that accord with our Mission Statement .   Click here to view a list of our current grant recipients.  Click here for more information and an online version of the application.

  --Save the Date!  On Friday, May 20th, there will be a Ceremony Naming the Helena, Arkansas Federal Building after Judge Jacob Trieber, the first Jewish person ever to serve as a federal judge in the United States.  Jewish Federation of Arkansas will sponsor a bus to the ceremony and the luncheon, which will follow at Beth El Heritage Hall, formerly the home of Congregation Beth El, Helena's Jewish Temple.  Details to follow soon! 

  

Around Arkansas

What's Happening: 
4 Highlights

 

--Rabbi Eugene Levy will talk about and sign copies of his new book, A Privileged Encounter: My Unique Experience with President Bill Clinton, 1987-2000, on Wednesday, March 30th, 12:00-1:00 pm in Room 124 of the Arkansas Studies Institute Building. (401 President Clinton Avenue in Little Rock).  Copies of the book will also be available for purchase. 

--Arkansas's own Meshugga Klezmer Band will play at South on Main (1304 Main Street) onWednesday, March 30th, at 8:30 pm, as part of the Sessions Concert Series.  Click here for more information

--Ati'Day Yisroel Early Childcare Center is holding its annual Trivia Night fundraiser on Saturday, April 2nd.   

 
--Want to know more about "Jews in the Ozarks"?  Come hear the talk by Mara Cohen Iannodies, President of the Midwest Jewish Studies Association, on Wednesday, April 6th, at 4:00 pm, in JBHT 149 on the campus of the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville.  The talk is sponsored by the University of Arkansas Jewish Studies Program

 

 

Around the World

What's Happening: 
4 Highlights

 

-- We join with the Jewish Federations of North America in mourning the loss earlier this week of three Israelis, two of whom also hold American citizenship, who perished in terrorist attacks in Istanbul, Turkey.  Our hearts go out to all who were injured.  May the memory of those who perished be a blessing.

--The Jewish Federations of North America also released a statement yesterday condemning the terror attacks in Brussels.  The Brussels Jewish community cancelled its Purim celebrations.


-- "How Malaysia Became One of the most Anti-Semitic Countries on Earth"


--Yemeni Jews Brought to Israel in Secret

Purim Sameach!

On behalf of the Jewish Federation of Arkansas Board and Staff, wishing you a joyous Purim!
 

Weekly Update from the Office

What's Happened:  4 Highlights

  • Thank you to our JFAR Board Members!  At our Monday meeting, every single member who submitted a pledge in advance of our 2016 annual campaign launch, increased their pledge from 2015!  Thank you, too, to Campaign Chair Sue Weinstein, for her heartful and thoughtful ask to our board.  I'm so thrilled to have such amazing board support heading into our official campaign launch.
  • Thank you, too, to our spectacular congregational Sisterhoods.  The Congregation B'nai Israel Sisterhood (Little Rock) has just committed $1000/year every year (pending the availability of funds) to our Shirley and Sam Strauss Memorial Social Work Fund to support our social work position.  They would like to challenge the other statewide sisterhoods to contribute as well.  The Congregation House of Israel Sisterhood (Hot Springs) just donated pounds of pennies to the Vilonia High School Holocaust Memorial Project.  And, the Sisterhoods of Congregations Agudath Achim and B'nai Israel remain valuable supporters of our PJ Library program.  Thank you again to all of you!
  •  I had another great LIFE & LEGACY training Wednesday night with the teams from Congregation Etz Chaim and Temple Shalom.  Thanks to Corinna Dranow of the Temple Shalom team for hosting!
  • I'm incredibly excited to report that Breana (Josephson) Clark, our social work intern last year who completed the needs assessment that has led to our current caregiving and aging program, is continuing her career in Jewish communal work.  After earning a masters in social work at the University of Michigan, she has just been hired by B'nai B'rith International as a Program Associate in their Washington DC office.  She will work with the Directors of their Center for Senior Services as well as of their Health and Aging Policy division.  Mazel Tov to Breana!

 

What's Happening:  4 Highlights

  • The Jewish Food and Cultural Festival leadership committee meets this Sunday to finalize plans for this year's Festival, among other things.  Stay tuned for more information on how you can help--a volunteer sign-up is coming soon.
  • Judge Audrey Evans will be the speaker at the next Coffee, Cake, and Conversation on March 8th, at 11:30 am, in the Temple B'nai Israel Library.  She will discuss "The Legacy of Judge Jacob Trieber, the first Jewish Federal Judge in the US."  Coffee, Cake is sponsored by CBI and JFAR.  All are welcome.
  • A reminder to send me the contact info of any young adults (ages 21-40ish) you know in the Jewish community so that I can make sure they receive an invitation to our upcoming Jews and Brews event, organized by Mike Kaiser on the evening of March 26th.
  • Thanks to our Northwest Arkansas PJ Library Administrator Jenny Max for hosting a great PJ event last weekend.  Thanks to our Central Arkansas PJ Library Administrator Ellyn Polsky and volunteer Esther Biton for organizing a PJ Library event for next weekend in Little Rock, a Hamentaschen Bake on February 28th, from 3:00-4:30 pm, at Congregation Agudath Achim.  PJ parents and grandparents welcome to accompany children.  RSVP to our office.

 

What's Going to Happen:  4 Highlights

  • February 22nd: Art & Soul:  Dance, Movement and Relationship (Rosh Chodesh Women's Group), 7:30 pm, Chabad-Lubavitch Center for Jewish Life
  • February 24th, March 2nd:  The Jewish Course of Why continues, 6:45 pm Chabad-Lubavitch Center for Jewish Life
  • February 28th:  PJ Library Hamentaschen Bake, 3:00 pm, Congregation Agudath Achim
  • March 8th:  Coffee, Cake, and Conversation, 11:30 am, Congregation B'nai Israel Library

Weekly Update from the Office


What's Happened:  4 Highlights 

  • I held the first official Arkansas LIFE & LEGACY™ program training this morning for the team from Congregation House of Israel in Hot Springs.  Further trainings to follow in Northwest Arkansas and Little Rock.  I am so excited and honored to have so many of our Arkansas congregations partnering with us to create a culture of legacy giving in our Jewish community and ensure our Jewish community's vibrancy long into the future.  Interested in leaving a legacy gift?  More information will follow soon from us on how to leave a gift to us and/or one or more of our partner congregations; you may also contact your congregation directly. 
  • All materials have gone out for JFAR's Board Meeting this Monday, February 15th, at 7:00 pm, at Congregation Agudath Achim.  A reminder to all board members to RSVP.
  • Thanks to Mike Kaiser and the members of our Young Adult Committee, we have our first event on the calendar for 2016:  a "Brews and Jews" mixer on Saturday evening, March 26th.   Stay tuned for more information.  If you know Jewish young people in their 20s-40s and you're not sure they are on our list, please send their contact information so we can be sure to invite them to this event.
  • Thanks to a lot of teamwork and especially to our social worker Cindy Brown's assistance with applications, we got a lot of Arkansas families signed up for camp and camp scholarships this week before the February 15th deadline.  It's been a pleasure in addition to work with Rabbi Block from Congregation B'nai Israel and with Anna Herman at Henry S. Jacobs Camp.  Please note our JCRS camp scholarship matches apply to all Arkansas youth in our community going to any non-profit Jewish overnight camp.   If you know of congregation members or families who still need assistance with forms and registration, please let me know.  The plan for next year is for Cindy to hold a few camp scholarship application workshops throughout the state to encourage further applications.

What's Happening:  4 Highlights

  • Have you visited www.jewisharkansas.org lately?  We've done a soft launch for now.  A more public launch to follow.  Thanks to our Operational Support Manager Polly Greenbaum for all her extensive work getting our new website up.
  • Thanks to Campaign Committee member Michelle Malashock who is working on a plan to increase monthly giving.  In the meantime, if you want to turn your annual pledge into a monthly gift, we now have an automatic system in place to bill your credit card; click here to make your gift , and under "Frequency" mark recurring and choose how often you would like your credit to be billed. 
  • Our auditing firm is finishing up its review of our 2014-15 fiscal year.  All board members will receive copies. If you are not on the board but would like a copy, please let me know.  A reminder that we are reviewed every year and audited every 5 years. 
  • Our regional office of the Anti-Defamation League is offering to bring a new anti-bias program called "Words to Action" into our schools and/or onto our college campus.  If you are interested in bringing the program to your school or campus (or know someone who might be), please let me know.

What's Going to Happen:  4 Highlights

February 15thJFAR Board Meeting, 7:00 pm, Congregation Agudath Achim

February 17thStand with Us Israeli Defense Forces Tour:  Two IDF Soldiers Share their Stories, 6:30 pm, Congregation B'nai Israel, co-sponsored by Jewish Federation of Arkansas

February 17th and 24th:  The Jewish Course of Why continues, 6:45 pm Chabad-Lubavitch Center for Jewish Life

February 22nd: Art & Soul:  Dance, Movement and Relationship (Rosh Chodesh Women's Group), 7:30 pm, Chabad-Lubavitch Center for Jewish Life

Jewish Federation of North America's General Assembly

JFAR helped to send Jewish community member Michelle Malashock as well as Polly Greenbaum from our office to theJewish Federation of North America's General Assembly in November.  Michelle and Polly have both provided thoughtful and informative reports on their experiences and what they learned.  Here is Michelle's report of the assembly:

I had the opportunity and honor of attending the Jewish Federation of North America's General Assembly in November in Washington, D.C. The theme of the three-day event was "Think Forward."

This was my second General Assembly, and I again was struck by the power of convening thousands of Jews with diverse backgrounds and perspectives, but who also share a single-minded, philanthropic vision of sustaining Jewry around the world. My favorite speaker was David Gregory, former Meet the Press moderator. Gregory shared the heartbreaking story of his troubled relationship with his father, who had just passed away the week before. The timing of his passing you could tell was emotionally draining on Gregory, as it was also the week of his eldest son's bar mitzvah. This moment of the program really underscored the importance of my involvement in federation -- making "L'dor va'dor" possible in our state.

Even though all of the plenary sessions and breakouts were powerful, one of my favorite parts of participating in Federation events at the national level are the relationships I get to continue to build with friends from around the world. I am in the six-year National Young Leadership Cabinet program, and the short time I got to spend with my chevre was alone worth the price of the trip. Not only was it fun to see friends I only get to see in person a few times a year, but it was nourishing for my soul and reset my passion.

Overall, it was an energizing, impactful three days, and I encourage more Arkansas Jews to make the trip next year. You'll bring back a more holistic sense of our mission and the part we can play in our state.                                                        -Michelle Malashock