Partner Profiles
3 Min. Read

Omaha is thriving

Spotlight on Jewish Federation of Omaha

There are about 6,000 Jews in Omaha, Nebraska, many of whom are multi-generational Omahans. The city is known for its small-town feel, even with almost one million residents. Most of the major Jewish organizations are located on the same campus, further strengthening the community’s close-knit identity.

“What makes Omaha so special is it’s a really connected community, and people are so committed to the future of the Jewish community,” said Stacy Feldman, the Jewish Federation of Omaha Impact Leader, and a Momentum Community Leader. “People want to see Jewish Omaha not just survive, but flourish, evolve, and thrive.”

Even though the community is small, the MOMentum Yearlong Journey continues to introduce her to totally new people and parts of Jewish Omaha. “I really thought that everyone in the Jewish community must know everyone else, but opportunities like Momentum draw people from all these different pockets of the city,” said Stacy.

People want to see Jewish Omaha not just survive, but flourish, evolve, and thrive

Being the change

The Jewish Federation of Omaha first became a Momentum Partner Organization in 2016, and more than 50 women have participated in trips since then. Community member Louri Sullivan started the partnership as a way to encourage more Jewish women to connect and take on leadership roles in the local community.

In terms of inspiring leadership, the trip has been incredibly successful. More than 65% of Momentum sisters continue to volunteer in the community. Some serve on boards or committees, some help plan events, and others pinpoint changes they’d like to see in the Jewish community and work to make it happen, like opening the Staenberg Omaha JCC youth lounge on Saturday nights so that kids have a safe place to hang out.

Others have applied Momentum experiences to their lives in different ways, including starting a tradition of lighting Shabbat candles with their families. One participant on one of the early trips vowed to bake challah on Fridays, and years later, she’s still going strong.

From Omaha to Akko

Eleven women from Omaha traveled to Israel last year, spending eight days touring the country and an extra day in the Galilee and Akko, Omaha’s sister region, through the Jewish Agency for Israel’s Partnership2Gether. While in the north, women visited the Galilee Medical Center, whose underground emergency facilities were built with donations from the Omaha Jewish community. They also helped pack food at a food bank and heard the story of an Ethiopian woman’s difficult journey to Israel by foot through Sudan.

Being in Akko at the end of the trip really brought home the meaning of the entire journey because the women could feel the impact of their contributions and build those connections on a person-to-person level, Stacy said. “Momentum’s whole purpose is to bring people together as a community and help them feel connected to Israel, and then being in Akko and seeing how our donations are directly connected to all of these initiatives was like the cherry on the top,” she said.

Another meaningful experience was a newer initiative. Since the pandemic, Momentum has launched a “reflection time” each day during the trip. Stacy said these “moments of togetherness” were often her favorite parts of the day, as participants got vulnerable about their most challenging moments as mothers, and the community came together to support them.

Building a community

Stacy moved to Omaha from the New Jersey area last year, after her husband got a job offer. But when she was offered the opportunity to work at the Jewish Federation of Omaha and lead a MOMentum Trip, she felt like the move was “basheret,” or meant to be.

Stacy participated in a MOMentum Trip herself in 2016 while living in New Jersey, and that trip inspired her to launch a second career as a Jewish professional. But she wasn’t sure that the experience would have the same impact on her as a trip leader. “I was in a totally different mindset as a Community Leader, in a completely new city, with women I didn’t know at all,” she said. “And still, it was a life-changing experience.”

Part of that is the magic of Momentum, Stacy said, and part of that is due to the people in Omaha, both the local women on her trip and the larger Jewish community that is so active and dedicated everywhere she turns.

“There’s such an intense desire to make sure this community is thriving for people’s children and grandchildren. There’s this resounding cry, asking, ‘What else can we do?’” she said.

As a Community Leader, one of Stacy’s responsibilities was to help participants build strong ties with each other and with Israel. At the end of the day, one of the strongest relationships that came out of the experience was her feeling of belonging in her new community. “Although the spark was my husband’s job, the Jewish community of Omaha is really what brought us here, and this is definitely where we’re meant to be,” she said.


Choose your Journey

Mother to Mother Israel Unity Mission
May 13-19, 2024 | July 2-7, 2024

Join our leadership, alumnae, and our partner organizations in supporting our sisters and their families with love, strength, and taking action.


Unity Mission for Men
May 13-19, 2024

Momentum leadership, alumni and fathers of lone soldiers are embarking on this critical mission to support our fellow Israeli fathers, brothers, and their families, as we take action and bring them spiritual strength.


Apply to 2024 Fall Trips
For Jewish mothers with children age 18 and under

Participants only pay their acceptance fee and airfare

To participate in the Momentum Yearlong Journey, women must live in close proximity to a Partner Organization. See our partners list here. Please notify your Community Leader with any updates to your application


Apply to 2024 Fall Trips
Mainly for the husbands of Momentum sisters

$900 for Momentum husbands

Each man get a scholarship of $2,100-$2,400

Partner Organization contributes $700 per man

The Israeli Government does not contribute to the Men’s Trips

To participate, men must live in close proximity to a Partner Organization. See our partners list here. Please notify your Community Leader with any updates to your application


November 4-11, 2024

An exclusive, transformational, spiritual, and uplifting journey for women looking to invest in themselves and help us continue to build the Momentum movement.

Please note: This trip is not subsidized.