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Making Judaism relevant to others is retiring exec’s lifetime achievement

 Making Judaism relevant to others is retiring exec’s lifetime achievement

During one of his many visits to Israel, Alan Edelman (second from left) took this photo with Chuck Udell (from left); Yoel Lavi, former mayor of Ramle; and Samir Dabit, of blessed memory, of Samir’s... Read more...

OP native and social media producer of CBS’ ‘The Talk’ impresses celebrities

OP native and social media producer of CBS’ ‘The Talk’ impresses celebrities

Jordy Altman, Photo by John Allen Phillips Five days a week, Jordy Altman is running around at a mile a minute. Read more...

Listening Post

The Village Shalom Father’s Day Run celebrated its 30th year of kicking off Father’s Day with fun for a good cause. Read more...

Diabetes researcher Kahn elected to National Academy of Sciences

Dr. Barbara Kahn (center), surrounded by a group of her research trainees in her laboratory at BIDMC and Harvard Medical School. Read more...

Rabbi to bring his message of justice to B’nai Jehudah next weekend

Rabbi David Saperstein

Strike out mitochondrial disease with ‘Bowling with Barb’ grand finale fundraiser

The 10th and final “Bowling with Barb” event will be held from 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday, July 16, at Ward Parkway Lanes. The event raises funds to support research to find a cure for mitochondrial disease,... Read more...

Teacher produces e-book from her Hebrew course

Orit Kamara

Listening Post

JFS has begun Wipeout 2017, a communitywide toilet paper drive. Area camps and businesses are getting involved on both sides of the state line to help stock the shelves of the JFS Food Pantry at both the... Read more...

Local veteran recounts highlights of Honor Flight trip

Rudy Green in his Army uniform circa 1951.

KC native’s Bert’s Bites Crunchy Snack Granola fills a niche market

Roberta Intrater (left) and her sister Barb Mendelsohn at a Filoli estate and gardens holiday event in Woodside, California, in November 2016. Read more...

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Rebuilding and celebrating life in a Polish cemetery, despite all we’ve lost

Rebuilding and celebrating life in a Polish cemetery, despite all we’ve lost

In May, a group of 10 HBHA alumni worked to restore honor to a Jewish cemetery in Wodzislaw, Poland. Shown here in front of salvaged matzevot (memorial stones) are Jordan Pollack (back row from left),... Read more...

July 4th patriotism: When post war newcomers embraced American ideals

July 4th patriotism: When post war newcomers embraced American ideals

Olga and Miriam Levy in 1952. Miriam now goes by the name Mary. Read more...

Letter to the editor

Gross misrepresentation of facts As a former resident of Dearborn, Michigan, I find Lee Levin’s letter published in the June 15, 2017, issue of The Chronicle inconsistent with reality, and a gross... Read more...

Letter to the Editor

Condoning the hate it condemns The letter from officers of the Greater Kansas City Interfaith Council (GKCIC), charitably speaking, can only be interpreted as the result of ideological blindness. Read more...

Mistakes: A wonderful opportunity to learn

Most parents’ reactions to their teenagers when they’ve “messed up big-time” is that of anger. Read more...

Letters to the Editor

GKCIC takes a stand against rally We call upon the Kansas City community to join with us, the Greater Kansas City Interfaith Council, in rejecting any agenda that furthers hate, violence and discrimination.... Read more...

New award winning Jewish fiction will provoke discussion

  “And After the Fire” by Laura Belfer. (Harper Collins, 2016) 451 pages Read more...

Margolies study abroad scholarship enriches student’s experience in Israel

Ever since I was a young child and took my first trip to Israel, I knew that it held a special place in my heart. I did not know quite what it was at the time, but I knew that I had to return at some... Read more...

Thinking outside the box

When I first came to town in 1997, Jewish Kansas City was thriving. All the major shuls were filled with families and children who were dedicated and committed to their respective synagogues. There... Read more...

Women see Israel ‘from the inside out’ on unique Federation mission

The itenerary of Jewish Federation Women’s Mission 2017 included a graffiti art tour in Tel Aviv. Shown here are Phyllis Carozza (front row, from left), Lori Ravis, Diane Ravis, Marge Schlosberg, Diane... Read more...

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Schiff Fish Engagement

Schiff Fish Engagement

Michael Schiff and Cara Fish

Lewinsohn 60th Wedding Anniversary

Tom and Alice Lewinsohn

Rosenthal Graduation

Harrison Michael Rosenthal

Bass Honor

Twelve-year-old Tori Bass recently was honored by reStart. She is shown here with Executive Director Evie Craig. Read more...

Gilman Honor

JFS Care Management Team Manager Laura Gilman was recently presented with the Field Instructor of the Year award for Avila University’s Social Work program. Read more...

Navran Bat Mitzvah

Tricia and Andy Navran announce the Bat Mitzvah of their daughter, Avery Navran, at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, June 3, at The Temple, Congregation B’nai Jehudah. Read more...

Abrams Bar Mitzvah

Geoffrey Abrams Stephen and Mara Abrams announce the Bar Mitzvah of their son, Geoffrey Abrams, at 9 a.m. Saturday, May 27, at Congregation Beth Shalom. Read more...

Kohnle Birth

Harper Madison Kohnle Mindy and Steven Kohnle of Olathe announce the birth Jan. 25, 2017, of Harper Madison Kohnle. Read more...

Stolte Bar Mitzvah

Elijah Stolte Jennifer and John Stolte announce the Bar Mitzvah of their son, Elijah Solomon, at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, May 13, at The Temple, Congregation B’nai Jehudah. Read more...

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Debolt, Ellice

Ellice DeBolt nee Geiderman, 59, beloved wife of Vernon for 37 years; loving mother of Lauren (David) Lenn, Sarah and Catherine. Devoted daughter of Jeanette (Mallin) Geiderman Lewis and the late Sylvan... Read more...

Haith, Alec Garin

Haith, Alec Garin

Alec Garin Haith, 21 of Leawood, Kansas, passed away June 18, 2017, in Leawood. Read more...

Levitan, Howard

Howard Levitan, son, husband, father, grandfather, uncle, cousin, 74, passed away peacefully in his sleep on Thursday, June 22, with his family at his side. He was born March 11, 1943, in New Jersey.... Read more...

Bormaster, Howard

Howard Bormaster 91, of Overland Park, Kansas, passed away June 17, 2017. Graveside service and interment took place June 20, 2017, at Mount Carmel Cemetery. In lieu of flowers the family requests donations... Read more...

Friedman, Rebbetzin Miriam Tzimel

On Sunday morning, 17 Sivan, 5777 (June 11, 2017), Rebbetzin Miriam Tzimel Friedman passed away. She was 101 years old and the mother of Rabbi Benzion Friedman of Torah Learning Center in Overland Park,... Read more...

Hoffman, Harry

Daniel Harry Hoffman, 90, a lifelong area resident, passed away June 17, 2017. Funeral services were held Tuesday, June 20, 2017, at Louis Memorial Chapel; interment followed at Mount Carmel Cemetery.... Read more...

Sachar, Nancy Adler

Nancy Adler Sachar, a descendant of the first Jewish family to settle permanently in Kansas City, died early June 14, 2017, of kidney illness. She was 83. Read more...

Vile, Joel D.

Joel D. Vile, 84, of Overland Park, Kansas, passed away at his home on June 15, 2017. Funeral services were held Monday, June 19, 2017, at Louis Memorial Chapel; interment followed at Mount Carmel Cemetery.... Read more...

Kahn, Susan K.

Susan K. Kahn, 56, of Prairie Village, Kansas, passed away June 6, 2017. Graveside services were held Thursday, June 8, at Kehilath Israel Blue Ridge Cemetery. The family suggests memorial contributions... Read more...

Koenig, Jerry

Jerry Koenig of St. Louis, Missouri, died Sunday, June 11, 2017. He was the beloved husband of Linda Koenig; dear father and father-in-law of Laurie (Jeff) Horn and Lynn (Ted) Dyer; dear grandfather of... Read more...

Lituanian-Israeli violinist thrilled to be part of tribute concert at Helzberg Hall

By Barbara Bayer


Ben Sayevich has played in a lot of concert venues over the years. Next week Sayevich will get his first chance to play at Helzberg Hall at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts when his Park Piano Trio performs. The concert, to be held at 7:30 p.m. April 4, celebrates the 10th anniversary of Park University’s International Center for Music. Stanislav Ioudenitch, gold medalist of the 2001 Van Cliburn International Piano Competition and founder of the ICM and his protégé and rising star — and 2009 winner of the London International Piano Competition — Behzod Abduraimov, will also perform in the special Van Cliburn Tribute Concert.

“It is very exciting. It’s definitely one of the best halls in the country, if not in the world. So we are very much looking forward to it,” said Sayevich, a professor of music at Park, in a phone interview last week.

The concert itself, Sayevich said, is an important event.

“It’s commemorating the life of Van Cliburn, a very important, great musician,” he continued. “It is very important for any musician to play a part in a concert for somebody who is so admired by so many people.”

Ioudenitch will perform in the first half of the concert. Ioudenitch is currently associate professor of music and the artistic director of the Youth Conservatory of Music at the ICM. Abduraimov will also perform in the first half of the concert. 

Sayevich is very complimentary of the young pianist.

“At 22 he’s now one of the leading pianists of his generation and he’s a student of ours at Park. He’s trained already with major orchestras such as the Boston Symphony and will play in Carnegie Hall. He’s a very distinguished young pianist,” Sayevich said.

The Park Piano Trio, consisting of Sayevich, Ioudenitch and cellist Daniel Veis, will play Peter Tchaikovsky’s “Piano Trio in A Minor.”

“This piece is very appropriate because it’s very dramatic and very long and it’s celebrating life. It’s very appropriate in memory of Van Cliburn because he won the Tchaikovsky competition in 1958. That was the first Tchaikovsky competition ever and in those days it was the height of the Cold War and he was a young American from Texas winning the gold medal in Moscow. For Russians, he was an incredible symbol of how music transcends politics and he was very much loved by everybody in Russia,” Sayevich said.

“It’s very fitting to play the Tchaikovsky piano tribute because not only is that piece in memory of a great artist, but also it is Tchaikovsky, which Van Cliburn had a very big affinity for all his life.

“Our pianist also won the Van Cliburn competition, so it’s all those connections.”

Sayevich the violinist

Sayevich moved to Israel in 1971 from Lithuania when he was 12. Nine years later, just one day after he completed his Israeli army service, he came to the United States. He’s been in this country ever since.

“I was discharged and then the next day I was in New York and started to audition for schools.”

In September of 1980 he enrolled in the New England Conservatory.

“I came here to study with this very well-known teacher Dorothy Delay,” he said. He earned the prestigious artist diploma from the conservatory and was a teaching assistant to Eric Rosenblith.

When he came to the United States to study, he really didn’t know where he would live after that. But he was offered a job at the University of Kansas a short time before he graduated. So a month after graduation he was living in Lawrence, Kan. 

“I stayed, but my two brothers are in Israel so I go there at least once a year,” said the Jewish violinist who now lives in North Kansas City with his wife and 4-year-old daughter. He was at KU from 1987 until 2006, when he joined the staff at Park.

“My background is very Jewish, not religiously Jewish, but traditionally Jewish. For example my first language at home was Yiddish. My parents talked Yiddish with each other. That was the first language I heard,” said Sayevich, who speaks four languages fluently — English, Yiddish, Hebrew and Russian. He also speaks Lithuanian and German.

Not only has he taught music for many years, he has concertized extensively throughout North America, Europe and the Far East, and has appeared on radio and television as a soloist and chamber musician. He is featured as the soloist in a recording of Vivaldi’s “The Four Seasons,” with the Kansas City Chamber Orchestra. One of the most important works in his repertoire is the Violin Concerto by Alban Berg, for which he was chosen to play at the New England Conservatory’s celebration of the composer’s centenary. Sayevich’s interpretation carries the tradition that comes down directly from the composer, through his work on the piece with the late Louis Krasner, the commissioner, dedicatee and the violinist at the work’s premiere.

He said he plays strictly classical music, but “sometimes I play Klezmer music just for fun.”

Sayevich is currently in London playing with the London Chamber Music Society, something he has been doing since 2002 “two, maybe three times a year.”

Tickets for the Van Cliburn Tribute Concert are available through the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts at www.kauffmancenter.org, 816-994-7222 or at the Kauffman Center’s Box Office, 1601 Broadway.