Thursday, April 10, 2014

Lenny Palooza!!!

My ticket is booked!!!!

I will be touring with Lenny Solomon and Shlock rock as he plays gigs in Jewish communities in the only 7 states that he has not already played!

I will be joining him for the shows in Wyoming and Montana.

Here is the full tour schedule!

May 5 - Yom Haatzmaut Eve 7 PM
Bnai Jacob Synagogue - Charleston West Virginia -
1599 Virginia St. East Charleston, West Virginia 25311
May 6th - Concert 2 in Hattiesburg, Mississippi – State 45
Yom Haatzmaut Day Show - 6:30 PM
Temple Bnai Israel 901 Mamie Street Hattiesburg, Mississippi
May 7th - Concert in Fargo ND – State 46 - 7:30 PM State 46
Temple Beth El 809 11th Avenue S Fargo, ND 58103 – 701-232-0441
 May 12th - Concert in Laramie Wyoming7 PM Show State 47
Laramie Jewish Community Center presents
Shlock Rock - Mon, May 12, 2014 - Doors: 6:00 pm / Show: 7:00 pm
Gryphon Theatre 710 E. Garfield Laramie Wyoming 1-307-745-8000
May 13thConcert in Bozeman, Montana - State 48 6 PM Show
Congregation Beth Shalom 2010 W Koch St Bozeman Montana 59718

May 14th
- Concert in Boise Idaho State 49 7 PM
Congregation Ahavath Beth Israel 11 North Latah Street, Boise, Idaho 83706

May 18th
Lag B’Omer Show – 4:30 PM Albuquerque, NM - State 50
Chabad of Albuquerque 4000 San Pedro Dr NE, Albuquerque, NM 87110 

Guest Post on Life Yomi

My Good friend and Chevrusa, Rabbi Daniel Friedman, has a blog called Life Yomi.  Every day he posts relevant life lessons that he learns from the daily daf.  Yesterday I was a guest poster on Life Yomi.  Check it out at

Beitzah 10 
Guest Post by Rabbi Jonathan Gross

Thank you to Rabbi Jonathan Gross for this beautiful guest Life Yomi post.  If you are ever learning the Daf and wish to share an insight for daily living on, please email  

One of the great privileges of living in Omaha is the opportunity to have a relationship with Rabbi Myer Kripke who lives here, and with his son, the great philosopher Saul Kripke, who comes to visit occasionally.

I once asked Saul Kripke if he had ever read any works of Rabbi Soloveitchik, and, if so, what were some of his impressions.  Saul had in fact read some of Rabbi Soloveitchik’s writings.  He mentioned a few observations, but also noted that there was something that he read in Rabbi Soloveitchik’s Halakhic Man that was very disturbing to him. 

Rabbi Soloveitchik describes some of the heroic qualities of the ideal Halakhic Man with a dramatic story about Rabbi Elijah Pruzna Feinstein (1843-1929).  Rabbi Elijah was summoned from his daily prayers to be with his ill daughter who was about to die:  

Rabbi Elijah went into his daughter’s room and asked the doctor how much longer it would be until the end.  When he received the doctor’s reply Rabbi Elijah returned to his room and…quickly put on his tefilin…for immediately upon his daughter’s death he would be an onen, a mourner whose dead relative has not yet been buried, and as such would be subject to the law that an onen is exempt from all commandments [and would then lose the opportunity to perform the mitzvah of tefilin on that day].  After he removed his…tefilin he wrapped them up and put them away and entered his dying daughter’s room in order to be present at the moment when his most beloved daughter of all would return her soul back to her maker (Halakhik Man, 77-8).

Saul Kripke was surprised that Rabbi Soloveitchik would consider this behavior virtuous.  How could this rabbi be so preoccupied with a seemingly unrelated and relatively trivial ritual observance in the face of his own daughter’s passing?

He writes that “there is something abnormal – one might even say inhuman – about Rabbi Elijah’s behavior.”  One would expect a father to want to be with his daughter at the last moments rather than think about what mitzvoth he will or not be able to perform when his halachik status changes. 

The Talmud today quotes a Mishnah about the laws of ritual purity and defilement. 

If a person dies in a room, all of the objects under the same roof as the body become defiled and are rendered unfit for use until they undergo ritual purification.  This includes any objects situated in a window.  Even though the window creates an alcove that technically should count as a different roof, thus sparing the object from defilement from the body, the Rabbis decreed that all objects that are “in the way that the defilement would exit the room” are also subject to defilement. 

The Mishnah elaborates on this rabbinic decree with a few special cases:
If there is only one window in the room, any objects in that window are defiled because the defilement is forced to leave the room through that window.
If there are many windows in the room and they are all opened, then objects under any of the windows are defiled because we have no way of knowing out of which window the defilement exited. 
If there are many windows in the room and one of the windows is designated to be the exit window for defilement, then only objects under the designated window are defiled, objects under all other windows – opened or closed -  are saved from defilement and require no purification.  Beit Shamai say that the designation rule applies only if the window was designated while the person was still alive.

The words of Beit Shammai reminded me of the story of Rabbi Elijah.  While someone is lying on their death bed who would be sitting in the room thinking to themselves, “I had better designate a window to be the defilement exit window before he dies.  If I don’t I might have to take an empty mayonnaise jar to the mikvah.  That would be a tragedy!”? 

When I meet with families before a funeral I tell them about the oldest and most meaningful of all Jewish mourning practices, kriah – the rending of the garment.  This was the practice that Jacob did when he was informed that his beloved son Joseph had been killed by an animal.  Among other things, it is a dramatic demonstration that all material things are meaningless to the mourner and he would gladly give away all of his material processions if he could be with his loved one for even another minute.  

Of all modern practices, I believe the substitution of kriah with a cheap black ribbon is the most offensive.  The black ribbon says, “My mother just died, but I can’t rip this shirt!  It cost me ten bucks!”

David Hartman was a student of Rabbi Soloveitchik and held him in very high regard.   In his book he writes a great deal trying to understand and explain the point that Rabbi Soloveithcik was trying to make with the anecdote about Rabbi Elijah.  

When I read stories like this I only marvel at how lucky we are to live in the time and place that we do.  In our time, the death of a child is a rare occurrence.  In the times of the Gemara, and even in the 19th century when Rabbi Elijah lived, it was quite common for families to experience the death of a child.  Saul Kripke’s father, Rabbi Myer Kripke, may he live and be well, is 100 years old.  Rabbi Kripke was one of 9 children, only 7 of which made it to adulthood.  In earlier times that family would be considered lucky.  Most families did not fare so well.     In the not so distant past a man of seventy was considered ancient.  Today, when someone dies in their seventies it is considered before their time.

A world in which death is so common place is incomprehensible to us.  How different must the worldview of someone living at that time have been from our worldview today?  This is not an answer to Rabbi Hartman’s and professor Kripke’s question, but merely an observation that Rabbi Soloveitchik’s worldview was different than ours. 

Since in our time, we are less familiar with death, the way that a person experiences the death of a relative today is vastly different than it was in the past.  When we read a Mishnah or a story like this we must pause and remember how fortunate we are and give thanks to Hashem.  Every day, we must thank Hashem for our incredible advances in medicine - today, when we get ill, we believe that we will live.  In the past, that wasn't their assumption.  How fortunate we are to be living in the twenty-first century!

May Hashem remove all illness from our midst very soon and may we become even less familiar with death than we are today, as the prophet says of the messianic era, "Death will be swallowed up forever."

Monday, March 24, 2014


As of this summer I will no longer be the Chief Rabbi of the State of Nebraska.

I accepted a job as an assistant Rabbi of Beth Tfiloh in Baltimore, Maryland.  At our last board meeting I officially gave notice to Beth Israel Synagogue, and my family will be moving to Baltimore in June.

The Omaha Jewish community is amazing.  We are blessed with great synagogues, great Rabbis, resources, and of course, warm and friendly people.  There is even a wonderful Jewish day school where Miriam and I would have been proud to send our children.  

But Baltimore offers something to our children that Omaha can never offer - grandparents. 

Miriam's parents live almost within walking distance of Beth Tfiloh, and my parents are a short four hour drive away (as opposed to a four hour flight!)

Leaving Beth Israel is a painful decision.  In many ways we have an ideal life in Omaha, and there is something special to being the Rabbi of the only Orthodox Synagogue in the state.  My job and my life have a unique sense of purpose and meaning that Rabbis in larger communities do not experience in the same way.
There is also something special to raising children in smaller Jewish communities that gives them a sense of pride and joy in being Jewish that is harder to come by in larger Jewish communities.

Nevertheless, I feel so fortunate to have grown up close to my grandparents.  When I was growing up hardly a week went by that I did not see them, and all four of them had a profound impact on who I am today. Those lucky enough to have had that type of experience can easily understand why I would do what ever I could to provide that same blessing to my own children.

The last ten years have been among the most formative years of my life.  When I came here I was only 25 years old.  So much has happened to me since.

I am grateful for all of the experiences that I had here, and all of the friends who made those experiences possible.

I am proud of the many accomplishments that I have been privileged to achieve, especially building an eruv and developing, writing, and hosting the first ever Shabbos Morning Talk Show.  I don't know if I could have done those and other things anywhere else.

I want to thank all the people who gave us so much love and support over the years.  We will never forget you.  We hope to remain in touch and have opportunities to share happy occasions together in the future.

I hope everyone knows how much I truly love this community, and how proud and honored I was to serve as Rabbi here.

Soon Nebraska will have a new Chief Rabbi.

This past week over 200 new Rabbis received their semichah form Yeshiva University.  Perhaps one of those fine young men will be the next chief Rabbi of the state of Nebraska.  Beth Israel is a great shul and Omaha is a great community. I have no doubt that the best Rabbis will compete for this position, and whoever my successor will be, he will build on everything that we accomplished over the last ten years and take this shul and this community to new and higher levels than I could even imagine.  I ask that everyone do all that they can to support the next Rabbi so that he can be successful.

While I am sad to leave, I am excited to start my new position at Beth Tfiloh. We are grateful to Hashem for being good to our family and for giving me the privilege to teach Torah and serve the Jewish people for a living.

I can never thank Omaha enough for the wonderful experience of the last ten years.  I hope to visit many times in the future for happy occasions and to witness the Beth Israel's continued growth and success.

Thanks for everything.  May Hashem bless us all.

Monday, February 17, 2014

GSN S1 E18 -Sephardic Shabbat!

This week is Sephardic Shabbat on Good shabbos Nebraska -America's favorite shabbos morning Talk show - featuring the world famous Sephardi Chazzan Rabbi Moshe Tessone.  

Rabbi Moshe Tessone is Director of The Sephardic Community Program at Yeshiva University and a distinguished faculty member at Yeshiva University where he teaches Jewish Studies. He is also a faculty member at the YU affiliated Belz School of Jewish Music where he is an instructor of Sephardic cantillation and liturgy.  

He also has released two CDs featuring Sephardic music.

Rabbi Tessone has toured extensively throughout North America, South America, Europe and Israel both as a rabbinic speaker on Torah related topics of Sephardic interest, Sephardic history, and Jewish education and as a cantorial concert soloist featuring Judeo Arabic and Judeo Spanish religious music and liturgy.

In addition to appearing on Good Shabbos Nebraska, throughout Shabbat Rabbi Tessone will introduce the Omaha Jewish community to the ancient and modern musical traditions of the Sephardic world through inspiring prayer and Shabbat songs. 

Rabbi Tessone will be joined by his wife Regine Monavar Tessone.  She was born in Tehran and at the age of nine she was forced to flee because of the revolution in 1978.  Her family escaped on the very same day that Khomeini arrived as the mobs were flooding the streets.  She is currently finishing a book about her experience.  Over Shabbat she will share her story and offer a unique perspective on the current situation in Iran.

In Omaha we have a dearth of Sephardic Jews, but according to studies there are anywhere between 500,000 and 800,000 Sephardic Jews in different communities throughout the United States.  They have held fast to the various traditions that they brought with them from North Africa and the Middle East.  Rabbi Tessone has been invited to speak in just about every Sephardic community in the country.  He also is involved in the education of the current and future Rabbinic and lay leadership of these communities as director of the Sephardic communities program at YU. Consequently he is arguably the foremost expert on the landscape and demographics of these unique communities.  

The recent Pew study did not ask participants if they were Ashkenazi or Sephardi.  Taken in isolation, the Sephardic community presents a very different picture of American Judaism - a perspective that could be valuable for a community like Omaha to learn from.  

Like every Shabbos, this will be a great opportunity to learn about something Jewish that is not readily accessible in our Omaha Jewish community - in a format that makes it exciting and engaging. 

So catch Good Shabbos Nebraska, this and every week ONLY at Beth Israel Synagogue -  where every Shabbos is a shabbaton!

GSN S1 E17 - NCSY Shabbat with Israel Lashak

This week was one of the most important and serious episodes of Good Shabbos Nebraska - America's favorite Shabbos morning talk show!

Our guest was Rabbi Israel Lashak from the NCSY youth organization of the Orthodox Union.

Rabbi Lashak has been in the informal Jewish education business for almost three decades.  He is based in Dallas but he lives in a plane.  He has racked up almost 7 million miles on American Airlines traveling to Jewish communities all over the world, inspiring kids and consulting communities on how they can grow their youth programs.

Rabbi Lashak is originally from Mexico city.  He speaks 7 languages fluently and has traveled to all but 26 of the world's 230 countries for Jewish programming.

Rabbi Lashak is a true professional.  Speaking to him for 10 minutes, anyone could tell that he knows the business of educating Jewish youth.

On the show he told us about the two Torahs.  The Torah of Moshe is the Torah that most of us are familiar with - Jewish texts like the Torah, Talmud, midrash, etc.  Many kids connect with the Torah of Moshe, but many do not.  The kids who do not immediately connect with Jewish texts tend to get left behind Jewishly.

That is where Rabbi Lashak comes in.  He introduces the kids to the Torah of Abraham.  Abraham did not come to the Torah by reading a book.  Abraham discovered God through nature, experience, and acts of kindness.  That is the Torah that Rabbi Lashak specializes in.

Rabbi Lashak organizes trips all over the world so that Jewish kids can see the beauty of Hashem's creations and engage in acts of kindness.  He does service learning projects in south America, historical journey's through Europe, and of course trips to Israel.  Rabbi Lashak has lead almost 70 birthright trips to Israel.

Rabbi Lashak is a serious scholar in the Torah of Moshe.  he spent over 15 years learning Torah in Yeshiva and to this day he continues to learn seriously every day.  It is because of his foundation in the Torah of Moshe that he is able to make the Torah of Abraham come alive.  The kids experience the wonders of the world and connect with Hashem on a deep level - and then Rabbi Lashak introduces them to serious Jewish content that enhances the experience and inspires the kids to follow up after the trip and engage in their unique Jewish heritage.

We got to experience Rabbi Lashak first hand over Shabbat.  Friday Night we had a dinner for NCSY families and Rabbi Lashak showed us how to make a Friday night dinner into an inspiring experience with singing and words of Torah.

Over Shabbos we had serious conversations about the sate of Jewish youth in Omaha.  We discussed it openly on Good Shabbos Nebraska and Rabbi Lashak gave us some candid and honest feedback on what he had observed.  Some of what he had to say was painful to hear, but he also gave us some constructive advice.

He made some really great connections with myself and other Jewish professionals over Shabbos and we plan to follow up with him and see if we can use his advice to turn around our community.

Many thanks to NCSY for making this Shabbos possible and of course to Yaakov Rosenblatt of Dallas who sponsored Rabbi Lashak.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Rabbi Pesach Lerner to Speak about Women of the Wall

Tonight was incredible!  Rabbi Pesach Lerner is in Omaha on business and he ravened maariv at Beth Israel tonight.

I had asked him in advance if he would speak about the Jonathan Pollard case.

It was incredible.  He spoke about the facts of the Jonathan Pollard case.

Rabbi Lerner is very clear, Jonathan Pollard committed a crime.  The point that Rabbi Lerner makes, and is finally joined by many prominent Jewish leaders and American politicians, is that Pollard paid his debt to society and it is now time to let him go.

Rabbi Lerner has been advocating for Pollard for 20 years and he has spoken hundreds, if not thousands of times on this topic.  His presentation is fascinating and Rabbi Lerner's passion for the cause is infectious.  He recommended that for more information we go to

Rabbi Lerner is going to be back at Beth Israel tomorrow night at 6:15 pm.  I asked him if he would talk tomorrow about the women of the wall situation in Israel.  He is somewhat involved with a group called Women for the wall that was established to get out an opposing view point to women of the wall.

Rabbi Lerner has a very interesting perspective to contribute to the issue.

The Reform Synagogue recently had Anat Hoffman of Women of the Wall scheduled to be here.  She was snowed out, but I was hoping to have an opportunity to hear her in person as I always go to hear challenging speakers, especially speakers who are public personalities.

Tomorrow is an opportunity for Omaha Jews to have their ideas challenged.  I really hope that the word gets out in Omaha about this rare opportunity for us to hear words that we may not agree with from a public personality.  That is what Torah is all about.

So be there tomorrow Tuesday, February 11 at 6:15pm!
You will not want to miss it!!!

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Monday night at beth Israel - The Facts about Jonathan Pollard!

This Monday we have a special guest at Beth Israel.  Rabbi Pesach Lerner is passing through Omaha and will be davening with us on Monday night at 6:15 PM.

Rabbi Lerner is known for many things, among them he has never stopped advocating on behalf of Jonathan Pollard.

Jonathan Pollard is an historic figure who personifies a host of issues that confront American Jews.

Is there institutionalized antisemitism in America?  Are Jews more loyal to Israel than Amerca?  If the interests of Israel and America ever came into conflict, which side would we choose?

It also brings up the question of how Israel views the American Jewish community.  Does Israel have a responsibility towards all Jews or just towards Israelis?  If Pollard had been Israeli would Israel have done more to try to free him?

In the past Jewish organizations were reluctant to advocate on behalf of Pollard as many Jews saw it as a sign of disloyalty to America.

Rabbi Lerner never stopped advocating for Pollard for a minute.

Over the last couple of years, as Pollard's health has been in decline and as the Israeli government has taken a more active role in advocating for his release, it has become in vogue for mainstream Jewish organizations to speak out on his behalf.

This is a great opportunity for Omaha Jews to learn about this historic case and to ask questions from the man who has been directly involved all along.

So be here at Beth Israel on
February 10th Monday night at 6:15 PM For Rabbi Pesach Lerner.  Everyone is invited!

Friday, February 7, 2014

Episode 16 of GSN - Nebraska meets Iowa!

This week is a special episode of Good Shabbos Nebraska.  We are hosting a shabbaton with the members of Beth El Jacob - the Orthodox Synagogue in Des Moines.

Des Moines is the closest Orthodox shul to Beth Israel, and it is over 2 hours away.

We have always talked about getting together for Shabbos and we are finally making it happen.  This Shabbos we are going to talk about our communities, learn from each other, and give each other encouragement.  It is not easy being isolated communities in the middle of America and it is nice to get together to celebrate our achievements and talk about the challenges together.

The guest on Good Shabbos Nebraska this week will be the Rabbi of Beth El Jacob, Rabbi Elib Bolel.

Born in the UK received his ordination from the Ohr Lagolah Graduate Semicha Program at Ohr Someyach in Jerusalem – Israel. He received a second Semicha from Rosh Av Bet Din of the Chicago Rabbinical Council - R' Gedalia Dov Schwartz. In addition to being an ordained Rabbi, he holds a Bachelor of Arts in Judaic Studies, Master of Business Administration and is a certified teacher by the Israel Ministry of Education and member of the Rabbinical Council of America (RCA) and Chicago Rabbinical Council (CRC).
Rabbi Bolel with his warmth, enthusiasm, leadership and knowledge has attracted new families, young and senior to Beth El Jacob. In addition to his dedication and responsibilities at the synagogue, Rabbi Bolel has established outreach programs on three different universities in Iowa catering for the Jewish student, sits on various organization Boards, and is supervising Rabbi for the Mikvah and Chevra Kadisha.Rabbi Bolel is married to Devorah, who hails from Jerusalem – Israel and is a qualified cosmetician. Devorah oversees the running of the Shul Mikvah and arranges cooked meals for new moms, the sick etc in the community. Rabbi and Devorah are the proud parents of their two sons, Eitan and Yair.
Rabbi Bolel and I have known each other for some time and we are excited to spend Shabbos together finally.

So catch us this and every Shabbos at 10am ONLY at Beth Israel Synagogue where EVERY SHABBOS is a Shabbaton!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

This week Good Shabbos Nebraska is for the birds!

This week on Good Shabbos Nebraska - America's favorite Shabbos morning Talk show -  we will feature very special guest, Rabbi Chaim Loike!

Rabbi Loike is the world's leading expert on the study of kosher birds!!!

He speaks to audiences all over the world about birds and other exotic animals mentioned in the Torah and other ancient Jewish texts.  His presentations demonstrate the intersection between Torah, history, biology, zoology, archaeology, and sociology.  

Rabbi Loike has authored dozens of articles on the traditions relating to kosher birds.  He also was instrumental in saving the Philby Partridge from extinction.  I blogged about it here and here, and the Philby logo, designed by my request by a graphic artist at the Omaha JCC, is the banner photo on my facebook page.

On Friday at 2:30 pm he is going to do a special presentation at the Friedel Jewish Academy.  He will be joined by Roberta Barr of the Nebraska Parrot Rescue.  Roberta will bring some of her feathered friends and Rabbi Loike will give an interactive class to the kids.

On Shabbos Rabbi Loike will be our featured guest and he will be joined by a surprise return guest!  

It is going to be an unforgettable Shabbos.  

And it all takes place at 10 am, this and EVERY Shabbos, ONLY at Beth Israel Synagogue - Where every Shabbos is a shabbaton!

Monday, January 27, 2014

The First Ever Good Shabbos Nebraska Bat Mitzvah!

Yesterday was an historic Shabbos!  It was the first ever Good Shabbos Nebraska Bat Mitzvah!

Yesterday Eleanor Dunning became a Bat Mitzvah.  The two of us have been studying parshat Mishpatim together for almost a year.  We met once a week in the Kripke Library at the JCC and studied the parshah with commentary.  

The culmination was a special episode of Good Shabbos Nebraska with Eleanor as the SPECIAL GUEST HOST!

She was truly amazing.  

She began the show with her opening monologue that we wrote together.  She gave a short summary of parshat Mishpatim, which is basically a list of 53 seemingly unrelated mitzvot.  She asked the global question, "is there a method to this mitzvah madness?"  Eleanor and I found an answer we like in the commentary of the Abravanel.  She gave a brief bio of the Abravanel and then explained his answer.  Last week was the ten commandments.  The Abravanel explains that the mitzvot of mishpatim are Moshe's commentary to how to observe the ten commandments in detail.  

After the monologue she did a segment about the ten commandments.  When we studied together we developed a mnemonic to remember the ten commandments.  With the help of her little brother, her cousin, and her father they taught the mnemonic so that every one of the hundreds of people there yesterday will easily be able to recite the Big Ten in order forever.

Eleanor has a very close special family friend Wendy, who came in from New York.  Wendy has Usher Syndrome - a genetic illness that causes loss of sight and hearing.  Eleanor interviewed her for the show.  Wendy is an impressive lady.  She is a divorce attorney in New York city, and one of the most inspiring people I have ever met.  She spoke about some of the challenges that she faces being blind and deaf. Eleanor taught us a Rashi form this week's parshah that relates to the extra sensitivity that we are supposed to have towards deaf people.  

Wendy explained that she has a cochlear implant that allows her to hear.  It changed her life.  She was scared to get it at first, but Dr. Edward Cohn, a leading scientist at BoysTown Research hospital in Omaha, convinced her to go through with it.  Eleanor surprised Wendy by inviting Dr. Cohn to join them on the show.

Wendy got to thank Dr. Cohn for changing her life and he told us a bit about the remarkable advances that they are making at BoysTown and at UNMC to reverse sight and hearing loss caused by Usher's syndrome.

As we always do on Good Shabbos Nebraska, Eleanor invited the guests to learn some Torah with her. She chose to focus on a mitzvah from this week's parshah that was particularly meaningful to her.  One of the mitzvot in Mishpatim is the commandment to prevent animals from suffering.  Eleanor loves animals, but she also saw on a tour of a research lab that animals are experimented on.  She and Dr. Cohn had a fascinating discussion on the show about the tension between kindness to animals and the use of animals for research.  

For a few months leading up to her bat mitzvah Eleanor and I had learned some Torah perspectives on the ethics of animal research and we compared them with the works of Peter Singer who is opposed to many types of animal experimentation that are used in research of diseases like Usher Syndrome.  

Eleanor briefly explained the Torah positions on our relationship to animals and how it differs from Dr. Singer's.

Dr. Cohn said that he subscribes to the Torah's view, and we owe many of the most important developments in science to animal research.

In addition to the Torah segments, Eleanor also introduced musical guests AKA Pella - the greatest Jewish a cappella group in the world.  They performed two songs, including a special song that they wrote just for Eleanor.

It may have been the best bat mitzvah in the history of the world!  The show was all about Torah.  Not only did Eleanor learn, everyone who came walked away from that bat mitzvah knowing more Torah then they did before.

At lunch after davening Eleanor's father came over to me and gave me the biggest compliment a Rabbi can receive.  He said, "Thank you Rabbi.  Our whole family learned from this bat mitzvah.  But most of all, Eleanor sees that Judaism is not something outside of her life.  She knows that the Torah can be applied to everything that she does.  That is exactly what we wanted her to take with her.  Thank you."

Good Shabbos Nebraska has created a cultural change in Omaha.  TO many Omaha Jews, it has brought Shabbos into their lives.  GSN makes Torah relevant and exciting and makes people love learning.

But if it did nothing else, the format that it gives kids for their bar and bat mitzvahs would have made the whole program worth it.

So be a part of the Shabbos morning program that is taking Omaha by storm!  Catch Good Shabbos Nebraska every Shabbos at 10 am ONLY at Beth Israel Synagogue - Where Every Shabbos is a Shabbaton!