The Jewish Federation of Omaha is pleased to announce that Jamie and Ted Friedland have agreed to be the 2021 Annual Campaign Chairs. The Annual Campaign officially kicks off Sept. 13. Unlike other years, it will not be accompanied by a big event.
“This year will definitely be a unique year,” Jamie said. “Everyone has been affected in one way or another by the COVID-19 virus. Some people are in greater need than they have ever been before. I expect that Jewish Family Service will be a priority need this year for help to provide food, mental health support and every day needs. We also want to make sure we are doing all we can to protect each other from this crazy virus that we are continuously learning more about. We anticipate that the in-person Federation events that we are all used to will be done online and over the phone this year.”
Both Jamie and Ted grew up in Omaha.
“Our families have always been involved in the Jewish community in various ways,” Ted said. “I attended the Jewish community center preschool when I was young,” Jamie added, “and as I grew up I continued going to the J for dance class and gymnastics. As I got older I was active in BBYO, was a camp counselor at the JCC day camp, and also was an overnight camp counselor. I was lucky to be on the first Federation-sponsored Artza trip to Israel - it was all Omaha teens. What an experience that was!”
While the Friedland’s enthusiasm for our Federation was cultivated early, nowadays they know first-hand how important a robust Federation is for the next generation.
“As we grew up and became adults,” Jamie said, “Ted and I have continued to be active members of the Jewish community. We have both served on various boards over the years. JFO’s presence has been felt by our family in various ways such as mission trips to Israel, and Jewish community center programming such as sports, swimming, preschool and let’s not forget about PJ Library. Our 4-year-old looks forward to getting his books in the mail and attending PJ Library’s community wide programming.”
Ted is currently on the board of directors of the Jewish Federation of Omaha Foundation and serves as its immediate past-president. In addition, he is a member of the ADL Board of Directors.
“Together we were co-chairs of a mission trip to Israel with Dana and Mike Kaufman,” Jamie said. “A few years ago, we were co-chairs with Stacey and Brett Atlas for the JFO Community Event.”
Both Jamie and Ted feel a responsibility to support this amazing Jewish community and feel lucky to be a part of it.
“Donating to the Annual Campaign helps all of us do our part individually,” Ted said, “When you put all of our individual support together it becomes a really big thing. We all become part of something, as a whole community gives together to one very important organization which raises over 3 million dollars every year. Now that is something!!! The JFO campaign is vital to the success of its agencies. We all benefit from the Jewish Federation of Omaha in so many different ways.
Jamie and Ted feel passionate about JFO and about the Campaign, and hope that passion is infectious: “Without Federation support, many programs and possibly entire departments wouldn’t be around. Donating to the Federation campaign helps all of us do our part in creating and sustaining something beautiful.”
“If you are someone who would like to get more involved,” Ted said, “please, don’t wait for someone to ask you. The Jewish Federation and its agencies are always looking for excited volunteers to step up to the plate. There are many ways to get involved from sitting on boards to volunteering or chairing events. There are agencies and departments to meet various interests, from the Jewish Community Center to the Rose Blumkin Jewish Home, from Jewish Family Service to the ADL/CRC, from the Institute of Holocaust Education to the JFO Foundation. It’s a great way to meet new people and also feel good about helping your Jewish community thrive.