May 7, 2021
25 Iyar 5781
Dear Friends:
Shabbat Shalom
I woke up this morning in a panic. I realized that my Kindergartener will be a rising first grader in two weeks and because I cry at the drop of a hat, I lost it. At first, I thought it was a natural reaction to my only child getting older, more independent, and the realization that life was going by way too fast! 

However, after I composed myself, I understood that her growing up was only a fraction of the reason I was so upset. The other cause for my sadness was recognizing the lost time that COVID has taken from us. I didn’t have the joy of walking Nora into her classroom the first day of school and I won’t be there to celebrate her last. There were no ballet recitals, school assemblies, and parent-teacher nights. In all honestly, I realized that just like all of us, my precious 6-year-old was forced to deal with things this year that were beyond her comprehension. And then I decided I could sit and continue to mourn for what never was, or get excited about what’s on the horizon!

Quoting the great songwriter Debbie Friedman – “And the old shall dream dreams, and the youth shall see visions. We must live for today; we must build for tomorrow. Give us time, give us strength, give us life”.  

So, I am chasing the blues away and living for today and building for tomorrow. The word COVID will no longer be a barrier to achieving greatness in our homes or community.

This summer we will live and build. We have begun to return to our houses of worship and attend in-person community events. My family attended a live Lag Ba Omer celebration, and while still masked, it felt great to be with you all face to face rather than on Zoom. And while we continue to live, we continue to build a solid, thriving Jewish community.

Through The Birmingham Jewish Federation’s Strategic Planning Committee, we will continue to support the community today while building on dreams and a vision for tomorrow. We have interviewed all the Jewish agency professionals, Rabbis, and lay presidents of all of our local organizations and in the coming months, each of you will have the opportunity to contribute your thoughts into this process as well.

As sad as I was about Kindergarten ending, I am even more excited to renew our Jewish life in Birmingham, and I am eager to have each of you join me on this journey towards our future. And while you wait for more information on strategic planning there are still many ways to get involved here at the Federation. Of course, there is still time to contribute to the annual campaign, get involved in PJ Library or our Women’s Philanthropy programming as well as participate in some soon-to-be-announced service projects through the Jewish Community Relations Council. The Federation is also working on programming that will bring all of our Jewish children together socially beginning with a summer pool party at the LJCC on May 23rd for 8th through 12th graders. More information in the programming section below.

Thank you for helping us create a “Federation Today for a Brighter Tomorrow.”

Wishing you a wonderful Shabbat.

2021 Annual Campaign
See your Federation dollars at work!
Agency Spotlight
Upcoming Programming
Jewish Americans in 2020:
 Cultural engagement, diversity, politics, and anti-Semitism
Tuesday, May 11th @ 2 PM CT
Spring Pop-Up Sale
Full Circle is doing a pop-up sale at the LJCC on May 16!

Join us anytime from 10 AM-3 PM at The Levite Jewish Community Center for a spring pop-up shop!
Celebrate Jewish Life in Argentina
Thursday, May 20th @ 7PM CT
Discover Mendoza, Argentina’s largest wine region, nestled in the foothills of the Andes and famous for its Malbec red wine. 

Tour the wineries and vineyards, meet a local wine expert, and hear Julio Camsen & Ana Manulis de Camsen’s personal family story – active members of the Jewish community and founders of the Huentala Winery in Mendoza.

Meet the President of the Jewish community and learn about Jewish life and JDC’s COVID-19 response, direct assistance, and capacity building programs.
In Honor of Jewish-American and
AAPI Heritage Month:
A Story of Shared History & Solidarity
Join us on May 20 at 1:00 PM CT for a special virtual program honoring the historical ties between Asian-American & Pacific Islander and Jewish-American communities in the US. We will hear from historians, Members of Congress, and Jewish leaders of Asian descent as we discuss the challenges AAPI and Jewish communities face from antisemitism and anti-Asian discrimination and violence, what our leaders are doing to address hate crimes, and actions we can all take to respond and come together.
Summer Kick-Off
Sunday, May 23rd at 6:30-9 PM
The Birmingham Jewish Federation, Temple Emanu-El, Temple Beth-El, and Keneseth Israel invite you to a Summer Kick-Off Party! This event is open to all incoming 8th-12th graders in the Birmingham Jewish Community. Join us at the LJCC outdoor pool for kosher BBQ, DJ Platinum, and fun!
JewishGen Talks:
Researching Jews of the Southern U.S.
Tuesday, May 25th, 2021 at 1PM CT
Community Programs
The Federation and Foundation have been having issues with our post office box. Please send all correspondence to our physical address at 3966 Montclair Road, Birmingham, AL 35213
The Birmingham Jewish Federation