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A 15-year legacy: Jay Lewis leaves his mark of excellence at KU Hillel; now shares his wisdom with other campus Hillels

A 15-year legacy: Jay Lewis leaves his mark of excellence at KU Hillel; now shares his wisdom with other campus Hillels

Jay Lewis, former executive director of KU Hillel, will be honored at Rock Chalk Shabbat on Nov. 3 at the Kansas Memorial Union in Lawrence. Read more...

‘BIG SONIA’ to make KC-area theatrical debut Dec. 1 at Glenwood Arts Theater

‘BIG SONIA’ to make KC-area theatrical debut  Dec. 1 at Glenwood Arts Theater

Sonia Warshawski The documentary film “BIG SONIA” is scheduled for its first Kansas City-area theatrical release Dec. 1 at the Glenwood Arts Theater in Overland Park. Read more...

Renaissance man: Gordon dives deeply into music, blogging, painting and physics

Ric Gordon’s Zuni measures 24 inches by 30 inches. Ric Gordon doesn’t stand still for long. Read more...

Berg returns to twinkle the ivories at Grand Givers

Neil Berg You might know Neil Berg from his show recounting a century of Broadway. This time, he’s sticking with 100 years but taking his audience to Tinseltown when he performs Nov. 4 at Kehilath Israel... Read more...

Listening Post

Our friend Rod Minkin, who has helped us out over the years with a variety of photos, celebrated his birthday recently. During a Sukkot gathering at the home of Ace Allen and Donna Oberstein, Allen, chair... Read more...

Sukkah vandalized at K-State: Police investigating as possible anti-Semitic act

This photo of the mangled sukkah at Kansas State University was taken after it was moved from the parking lot where it was found back to campus grounds. Read more...

B’nai Jehudah’s Rabbi Kirzane leaving congregation in June

Rabbi Daniel Kirzane Read more...

Sherry, Levitt to receive awards from MainStream Education Foundation

Judy Sherry Read more...

Kol Ami’s Rabbi Alpert to receive civil rights award from NAACP’s KC branch

Rabbi Doug Alpert Read more...

Listening Post

Mitzvah Garden KC probably set the official record for the most sweet potatoes harvested by hand, 447.6 pounds, within one hour on Oct. 8, 2017. The record will need to be verified by Guinness World Records... Read more...

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Letters to the Editor

Let’s fight anti-Semitism together I am responding to the letter published last week (“One-sided blind opposition,” Oct. 12, 2017), by Sam Devinki. As I know Sam to be a strong supporter of the... Read more...

Empathy in vulnerability: resisting racism and anti-Semitism

Empathy in vulnerability: resisting racism and anti-Semitism

Anti-Semitism in America is on the rise. In the past year, Jewish cemeteries were desecrated in Philadelphia, Rochester and St. Louis; my rabbinical school was vandalized with a swastika, targeted for... Read more...

Embracing Houston’s Jewish community

“We would have drowned.” My previous experience with the Houston Jewish community was in September 2005 as they heroically responded to Hurricane Katrina. Read more...

Letter to the Editor

One-sided blind opposition I have struggled for two weeks as to whether or not to write this letter. I really don’t like writing letters to The Chronicle. Read more...

Letter to the Editor

Letter writer misunderstands intent of article I believe that Sandy Meyer’s comments (Letters to the Editor, Sept. 28) about Rabbi Londy’s article in the Rabbinic Wisdom section of The Chronicle’s... Read more...

Letter to the Editor - Holiday spirit still exists in Orthodoxy

Cheer up Rabbi Londy! It’s a new year! And your article in the Rabbinic Wisdom section of The Chronicle’s annual Rosh Hashanah magazine was a real downer. It read like a bad report card. Read more...

Kata Kata Mutiara

Kata Kata Motivasi Hal yang sangat menyedihkan adalah saat kau jujur pada temanmu, dia berdusta padamu Saat dia telah berjanji padamu, dia mengingkarinya Saat kau memberikan perhatian, dia tidak menghargainya... Read more...

Kata Mutiara

Kata Kata Motivasi Kata-kata yang Inspiratif buat Memotivasi hidup- dipostingan kali ini saya sudah mengumpulkan Kata kata motivasi hidup terbaru, kata kata bijak hidup terbaru, kata kata bijak motivasi... Read more...

Letters to the Editor

American fascism Trump’s flirtation with fascism dismays many people, but we should not be surprised. The United States has a tradition of fascism, with and without populism. Read more...

Sometimes we must interfere

“Today, the entire world is looking to America for enlightened leadership to peace and progress. Such a leadership requires vision, courage and tolerance. It can be provided only by a united nation... Read more...

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Celebrations

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Wagner Bar Mitzvah

Wagner Bar Mitzvah

Jack Wagner Susan and Adam Wagner announce the Bar Mitzvah of their son, Jack Robert Wagner, at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 21, at The Temple, Congregation B’nai Jehudah. Read more...

Fine Bar Mitzvah

Fine Bar Mitzvah

Benjamin Fine Steve and Beatrice Fine announce the Bar Mitzvah of their son, Benjamin Matthew Fine, at 9:30 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 28, at Congregation Beth Shalom. Read more...

Helzberg Bar Mitzvah

Eli Helzberg Jennifer and Barnett C. Helzberg III announce the Bar Mitzvah of their son, Elias Shakley Helzberg, at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 28, at Temple Beth Elohim, Wellesley, Massachusetts. Read more...

Brofsky Corson Engagement

Jenna Brofsky and Ethan Corson Judy and Niles Corson of Overland Park announce the engagement of their son, Ethan Jared Corson, to Jenna Paige Brofsky, daughter of Laurie and Joseph Brofsky of Lynbrook,... Read more...

Clauer Bat Mitzvah

Aviva Clauer Read more...

Fulford Bat Mitzvah

Gabrielle Rebecca Fulford Read more...

Bell 80th Birthday

Judy Bell Read more...

Luetje Bar Mitzvah

Chad Luetje Read more...

Garcia-Lipoff Birth

Tess Eleanor Garcia-Lipoff Read more...

Katz Bar Mitzvah

Roman Katz Paul and Lisa Katz announce the Bar Mitzvah of their son, Roman Katz, on Saturday, Sept. 16, at Congregation Beth Torah. Read more...

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Obituaries

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Becker, Rolfe

Becker, Rolfe

Rolfe Becker, age 87, passed away peacefully from complications related to colon cancer on Oct. 12, 2017. Rolfe is survived by his daughter Erica Morin, son-in-law Thom Morin, son Bryan Becker, daughter-in-law... Read more...

Brill, Marian Melcher

Brill, Marian Melcher

Marian Brill, 86, of Fox Point, Wisconsin, formerly of Kansas City, Missouri, passed away surrounded by her loving family on Saturday, Sept. 16, 2017. Funeral services were held Monday, Sept. 18, at... Read more...

Horowitz, Esther Polsky

Esther Polsky Horowitz, 91, of Overland Park, Kansas, passed from this life on Oct. 17, 2017, in her home at Village Shalom of natural causes. Funeral services were planned for 2 p.m. Wednesday, Oct.... Read more...

Rydell, Maury J.

Maury J. Rydell of Overland Park, Kansas, passed away on Oct. 15, 2017, at Menorah Medical Center surrounded by his loving family. Graveside services were held Oct. 17 at Mount Carmel Cemetery. Read more...

Winer, Richard

Richard Winer, 89, of Kansas City, Missouri, passed away Oct. 16, 2017, at The Community of the Good Shepherd where he was a resident for the last 45 years of his life. Read more...

Bernstein, Ida R.

Ida Rubinstein Bernstein, 95, of Kansas City, Missouri, passed away Oct. 4, 2017. Graveside services were held Oct. 8 at Kehilath Israel Blue Ridge Cemetery. Read more...

Ginden, Jerry

Jerry Ginden, age 75, passed away on Friday, Oct. 6, 2017, at Menorah Medical Center in Overland Park, Kansas. He was born on April 30, 1942, in Kansas City to Sam and Ellen Ginden. Read more...

Greenberg, Lionel H.

Lionel H. Greenberg, 92, of Overland Park, Kansas, died Oct. 2, 2017, at Menorah Medical Center. Funeral services were held Oct. 4 at The Louis Memorial Chapel, with burial following at Mount Carmel... Read more...

Becker, Sylvia

Sylvia Becker, age 89, passed away peacefully from complications related to a stroke on Sept. 22, 2017. Read more...

Cohen, Lawrence S. M.D.

Lawrence S. Cohen M.D. passed away peacefully on Sept. 27, 2017, at the age of 81 in Leawood, Kansas. Born and raised in Irvington, New Jersey, along with his twin sister Marilyn, by Ellis and Louise... Read more...

Kansas City leader discovers why Brussels matters

BRUSSELS — A recent festive gathering in the capital of Belgium, saluting the vital importance of the relationship between Europe and the United States, highlighted the unique role of one Jewish organization, AJC, in deepening those ties. The occasion was the 10th anniversary celebration of the AJC Transatlantic Institute (TAI).

“We are here tonight to celebrate our shared values,” TAI Director Daniel Schwammenthal told the audience of more than 250. Dozens of European Parliament members, ambassadors to the EU and Belgium, Jewish leaders from across Europe, and civil society partners, as well as AJC leaders from across the United States, participated in the gala, which took place in the same hotel ballroom where AJC, the global Jewish advocacy organization headquartered in New York, launched its Brussels operation in 2004.

“Brussels is the political nerve center of Europe,” said Harvey Kaplan, a long-time leader in the Kansas City Jewish community, who traveled to Brussels for the celebration and related meetings with European policymakers. “Understanding what takes place here, what the European Union does, is enormously important for us because it touches directly on the challenges that confront Jews, indeed democratic countries, worldwide.” Kaplan is a member of the board of directors and former chair of the JCRB/AJC.

Before the gala, the large AJC delegation spent two and a half days in intensive meetings with European parliamentarians, Jewish leaders and policy analysts, discussing the Iranian nuclear threat, the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, the impact of Muslim immigrants on Europe, and anti-Semitism.

Ambassador Pierre Vimont, executive secretary general of the European External Action Service (EEAS), briefed the AJC group on current EU foreign policy priorities. The EEAS supports EU Foreign Affairs Chief Catherine Ashton in conducting the common foreign and security policy of the 28-member state regional bloc. In that capacity Ashton has been the lead interlocutor on behalf of the P5+1 in talks with Iran on its nuclear program.

The AJC group also visited the European Parliament to discuss EU-Israel Relations. “It was gratifying to hear directly from a Dutch member of the European Parliament, Bastiaan Belder, who chairs the European Parliament’s Delegation for Relations with Israel,” said Kaplan. 

But rising anti-Semitism across Europe, revealed in a penetrating EU survey last year, was a disturbing theme percolating throughout the mission. “Our conversations with the leadership of the Brussels-based European Union of Jewish Students, who shared the challenges confronting Jewish students on campuses across Europe, were eye-opening and worrisome,” said Kaplan.  

So is the potential outcome of the European Parliament elections, slated for May. A significant percentage of the parliament’s 766 members could be representatives of fascist, neo-Nazi parties. That would pose a challenge to the values of European democratic societies for the next five years.

Launching TAI in 2004 fulfilled a vision of AJC Executive Director David Harris, who has led the expansion of the organization’s global reach over the past 24 years. TAI was made possible by the visionary support of Rhoda Baruch and her late husband, Jordan. Establishing a permanent presence in Brussels was a prescient move, indicative of AJC’s global mission. EU membership has grown from 15 states to 28 over the past decade, an expansion that AJC has supported.

During its first 10 years, TAI has informed a broad range of European leaders in Brussels on a number of pressing issues of concern to the transatlantic community, including Iran’s nuclear program, the Israeli-Arab peace process, terrorism, human rights, energy security, integration of immigrants, and, not least, anti-Semitism in Europe. 

“Hate crimes are a growing problem in Europe,” Cecilia Malmström, European commissioner for Home Affairs, said in her keynote address to the TAI gala. “It is time for the EU and its Member States to act firmly against it.”

The EU has reported a rise in hate crimes against gays, Muslims, and Jews. “Anti-Semitic hate crime was experienced by one in every four Jews in Europe,” according to a recent EU survey, Malmström said. “Young Jews are afraid to go to school, even in my own country of Sweden.”

All EU Member States are “obliged to ensure that hate crimes are investigated and the perpetrators prosecuted,” she added.

Other speakers at the gala included Belgian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Didier Reynders; Francois-Xavier de Donnea, chair of the Belgian Parliament Foreign Affairs Committee; Israeli Ambassador to the EU David Walzer; and U.S. Acting Chief of Mission to the EU Robert Wood.

“Transatlantic cooperation today is vibrant, and the AJC Transatlantic Institute is making an important contribution to the strengthening of this relationship,” said Donnea.