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Old 11-16-2010, 02:40 AM
4 posts, read 13,652 times
Reputation: 11


I have a possibility of moving to Omaha for a really good job but first I want to know what the Jewish scene is like. I grew up in another small midwestern city and there was a ton of ignorance about Judaism/Jewish culture plus some anti-Semitism. But now I live in an east coast city where even the Puerto Ricans and Irish Catholics frequently say things like "bupkis" or "meshugenah" and no one bats an eye when I take off work for Yom Kippur. So honestly I have some concerns about returning to a city with a small Jewish population. If anyone who is Jewish, in love with a Jew, has Jewish family etc. could answer the below questions I would be very grateful.

...I read that Omaha has a large Catholic population--do you feel respected as a non-Christian, let alone a non-Catholic*?

...are non-Jewish folks generally interested in learning about Jewish life/culture?

...if I am open about being Jewish, am I likely to get a lot of attempts to save my poor heathen soul?

...are most of the Jewish folks out in the suburbs with families? Am I likely to be one of the very few single, 20-something practicing Jewish folks who'd prefer to live in the city rather than the 'burbs?

thanks for your help. I'm going to visit Omaha in a few weeks for a final interview and I guess I'll be able to scope out the scene myself.

*no disrespect meant to Catholics, my paternal grandparents and my best friend are Catholics and are very respectful of my religious practice/beliefs.
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Old 11-16-2010, 08:21 AM
Location: Omaha
1,137 posts, read 2,049,865 times
Reputation: 321
As long as you don't mind being wished a "Merry Christmas" you should be fine.
I think the Jewish population in Omaha is pretty small, but people are pretty non-judgmental in terms of religious freedom from what I have seen.
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Old 11-16-2010, 10:55 AM
Location: Northeast NE
696 posts, read 1,498,698 times
Reputation: 283
A simple google will show you the temples available in Omaha.
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Old 11-16-2010, 06:46 PM
Location: Omaha, NE
306 posts, read 600,983 times
Reputation: 69
1. I'm a devout Lutheran and don't get much flak from my Roman Catholics friends. But there are a lot of Lutherans in general around here since its the Midwest so Catholics are used to the Lutherans and vise verse.

2. I think at least in Omaha you would find a lot of people at least curious to learn about Jewish culture if they aren't already open to it.

At my previous job, we hired someone from the east coast who was Jewish and it was never an issue for her to take the Jewish holidays off.

Just stay away from Richard Lee Francis (Check out this crazy bastard from Omaha - Hawkeye Lounge)

3. You might on a rare occasion get someone who will try and witness to you but I don't think it would be any more often than when a Roman Catholic will try to convert me, which has been none so far.

4. I don't know where the Jewish population is mostly centered. You might want to look up the locations of Synagogues as a guide but I can't even begin to speculate.

I hope that helps a little.
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Old 11-17-2010, 01:43 AM
1,221 posts, read 2,133,416 times
Reputation: 1057
Omaha has just about every type of Temple available (Orthodox, Conservative, Reform, Lubavich, and Reconstructionist) and a very active JCC. Check out jewishomaha.org.
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Old 11-17-2010, 09:29 AM
Location: Omaha Nebraska and dreamland when I am sleeping
3,096 posts, read 6,472,512 times
Reputation: 524
Orthodox Omaha

Beth El Synagogue Home Page - Omaha, Nebraska

Temple Israel, Omaha, NE - Congregation of Temple Israel Omaha, NE

are the 3 synagogues in omaha's websites

there is also a Chabad House and a Messianic Jewish congregation in Omaha area also.

Jewish Press (local newspaper) is at Jewish Press Home (http://www.jewishomaha.org/section.aspx?id=334 - broken link)

btw: Rabbi Levin of Beth El (the conservative synagogue) is frequently got articles he writes in the weekly From the Pulpit section of the omaha world herald.

loved his one on Thanksgiving a few years back.
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Old 11-17-2010, 09:42 AM
Location: Nebraska
4,234 posts, read 7,262,076 times
Reputation: 6700
I don't know what the Jewish community in Omaha is like now but when I was driving a meat delivery truck in the early 1970's there were at least three Kosher meat distributors I delivered Kosher beef to. Sam Diamond's Kosher Meats, Shukerts Kosher Meats and Nebraska Kosher Meats. There may have been others I don't know about. All three of these places were doing a thriving business back then but they were family businesses and like all family businesses unless the next generation carries on they die out. All three of these places had some fantastic products. Just thinking about the corned beef, tongue and other products they made gets my mouth watering.

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Old 11-17-2010, 09:48 AM
280 posts, read 711,017 times
Reputation: 180
I'm not Jewish, so take it for what its worth, but I've been living here and have never heard a single word of anti-semitism.
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Old 11-17-2010, 10:22 AM
Location: Omaha Nebraska and dreamland when I am sleeping
3,096 posts, read 6,472,512 times
Reputation: 524
I am not Jewish either, but if you dont count some of the public access hosts on cox channel 22/109's hateful remarks about Israel,

I have never heard a single word of anti-semitism.

on a unrelated thing:

when is the Bagel bin on 12oth and pacific reopening.

I heard sometime this month, or at least by the first of the year
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Old 11-17-2010, 11:28 PM
4 posts, read 13,652 times
Reputation: 11
thanks folks for the info. I still hesitate to move somewhere so far from the ocean or even a great lake! billiefan2000, not to pick a fight, but Messianic synagogues are considered Christian churches, not Jewish congregations by just about every organized Jewish body I can think of plus most Jewish folks I know. I don't want to and will not debate about this here, just a FYI if you didn't already know, if you are ever in a conversation with any Jewish people that is a very sensitive topic.

I really hope that some of the kosher meat distributors are still around because I love me some good brisket!
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