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KC SuperStar finalists include Jewish contestant

KC SuperStar finalists include Jewish contestant

Paris Naster is one of 10 finalists vying to become the next KC SuperStar. This year marked the first time 17-year-old Paris Naster auditioned for KC SuperStar, the Jewish Community Center’s “American... Read more...

Bestselling author, Israeli columnist Ari Shavit to speak at Federation Annual Meeting

Bestselling author, Israeli columnist Ari Shavit to speak at Federation Annual Meeting

Ari Shavit Provocative Israeli columnist and New York Times bestselling author Ari Shavit will bring his views on Israel and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to the Jewish Community Campus on Wednesday,... Read more...

Listening Post

THE SINGING RABBI — Rabbi Larry Karol recently mounted a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds to record a third album. The Kansas City native surpassed his initial fundraising goal last week and hopes... Read more...

HBHA expands Jewish studies program, names Rabbi Rockoff Matmidim director

Last year’s first grade Matmidim participants at HBHA — Mendel Tiechtel (from left), Chaya Morgenstern, Zachary Granoff, Rayli Kopelman, Baruch Chaim Mazel, Livia Noorollah and Ari Green — posed... Read more...

Israeli terror survivor to tell courageous story here next week

Kay Wilson Some people may find the difference between a terror victim and a terror survivor to be very subtle. In the case of Kay Wilson, the difference is not subtle. Wilson, who will speak here on... Read more...

Emissaries serve Israel here in K.C. while friends serve on the front lines

Barney Goodman Campers gathered around Israeli shlichim (emissaries) Sapir Davidov (top row, second from left) and Noy Tiram (top row, second from right). Now that camp is over, they will travel a little... Read more...

Balloon Festival features new venue, entertainment and cooking competitions

The Great Midwest Balloon Festival, founded by Robbie and Steve Small, has changed venues for this year’s event. It happens this weekend, Aug. 8-10 at the Kansas Speedway in Kansas City, Kan. Festival... Read more...

Two Israeli books: one serious, one for fun

“Living Beyond Terrorism,” Zieva Dauber Konvisser, Gefen Publishing, May 2014 It was Aug. 9, 2001. I was in Jerusalem after a 19-year absence to attend a Hadassah national convention and do research... Read more...

Listening Post

L’SHALOM, L’SALAAM, TO PEACE — Sheila Sonnenschein is now involved in Mothers on the Side of Peace, a new grassroots movement for people — you don’t have to be a mother — who side with peace.... Read more...

Soldier tells rally crowd there is no Plan B, Israel must win the fight

Photo by Alyssa Dinberg/Jewish Federation Supporters of Israel filled the Kehilath Israel Synagogue to capacity Monday night for the Community Solidarity Gathering. “The only option is to fight back... Read more...

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Letters to the Editor

Israel is the victim I can’t help but find a correlation between Muslim migration into Europe and other non-Muslim countries and the rising clamor of anti-Semitism in those countries. Hamas instigated... Read more...

The spiritual journey of a lifetime

The spiritual journey of a lifetime

Ten local women participated in the 2014 Jewish Women’s Renaissance Project trip to Israel last month. Posing for this photo at the Decks in Tiberious are Stacy Wright (back row, from left), Patricia... Read more...

Letters to the Editor

We need to combat hate Anti-Semitism is a worldwide problem that is getting worse, especially overseas. Our best protection is education, making living conditions better for others and swift eradication... Read more...

The underlying war: Islamism versus democracy

Are Jews the canary in Western Civilization’s cultural mine? Read more...

Turning 80

During my journey through life, as the years have rolled on, I have discovered that time flies even when you’re not having fun — and suddenly even a watershed event can sneak up on one, as it did me.... Read more...

Letters to the Editor

Why can’t Jews speak Hebrew? How come so few Jews in North America know how to speak Hebrew? Sure a lot of them know how to read Hebrew from Bar and Bat Mitzvahs and there is a flowery English translation... Read more...

Why we’re letting our daughter stay in Israel in wartime

Let’s just say that missiles and bomb shelters were not on the itinerary of our 16-year-old daughter’s pilgrimage trip to Israel this summer. I spoke to her this morning. Yeah, the alarms are unnerving,... Read more...

Letter to the Editor

Half-truths and anti-Semitism I was irate after watching the late CNN news on July 10. Anderson Cooper pretended to deliver a factual report about Israel’s bombing of Arab residences, with a slight... Read more...

Amidst turmoil, life in Israel continues to be meaningful

My mother wants me to come home. I’ve been calling her every day, and she wants me on a plane immediately. She has been watching the news and following events as they unfold here in Israel and she is... Read more...

Letter to the Editor

Conference gives families hope My husband Harold and I were fortunate to attend the Mucolipidosis Type 4 (ML4) Foundation Family & Research Conference last month in Atlanta. ML4, a relatively unknown... Read more...

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Celebrations

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Buchbinder Birth

Buchbinder Birth

Baree Nottberg and Scott Buchbinder of Overland Park announce the birth June 27 of a son, Theo Everett Read more...

Zwick-Pohlman Engagement

Zwick-Pohlman Engagement

Arvin and Tammy Zwick of Overland Park announce the engagement of their daughter, Heather Ashley Zwick, to Andrew David Pohlman, son of Jeff and Robin Pohlman of Memphis, Tenn. Read more...

Nerman Wedding Anniversary

Margaret and Jerome Nerman will celebrate their 73rd wedding anniversary on Friday, Aug. 8. They are lifelong residents of Kansas City and have lived in Leawood since 1990. Read more...

Krashin Birth

Daniel and Jacki Krashin of Wilmete, Ill., announce the birth May 20 of a son, Drake Evan. They are also the parents of Madilyn Paige. Read more...

Unowsky Bat Mitzvah

Keri and Daniel Unowsky announce the Bat Mitzvah of their daughter, Sarah Beatrice, on Saturday, Aug. 9, at Beth Sholom Synagogue in Memphis, Tenn. Read more...

Weiner-Conley Engagement

Barbara and Jeff Weiner of Prairie Village announce the engagement of their daughter, Rebecca Brooke Weiner, to Jason Robert Conley, son of Randi and Larry Haith and Kim and Bob Conley. Read more...

Bock-Lewis Engagement

Lynne and David Bock announce the engagement of their daughter, Hannah Rose Bock, to Joshua Aaron Lewis, son of Sheryl and Jim Lewis of Deerfield, Ill. Read more...

Chase Bat Mitzvah

Debbie and Jeff Chase announce the Bat Mitzvah of their daughter, Talia Faye, at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 2, at Congregation Beth Torah. Read more...

Passer-Wolkofsky Engagement

Sandy and Steve Passer announce the engagement of their daughter, Emily Passer, to Peter Wolkofsky, son of Michael and Vicky Wolkofsky of Queens, N.Y. Read more...

Zwillenberg 50th Anniversary

Morris and Linda (Fein) Zwillenberg will celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary on Saturday, July 26. They were married at Beth Shalom Synagogue in Hartford, Conn., on July 26, 1964. Read more...

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Obituaries

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Rosenberg, Abraham B.

Abraham B. Rosenberg, 93, of Overland Park, passed away Saturday, Aug. 9, 2014, at Village Shalom. Read more...

Spiegel, Robert Alan

Spiegel, Robert Alan

Robert Allan Spiegel, 76, of Ra’anana, Israel, passed away on Monday, July 28, 2014. Read more...

Wurzburger, Irene

Irene Wurzburger, 94, of Overland Park, passed away on Sunday, Aug 10, 2014. Read more...

Beiman, Melvyn

Melvyn Beiman, 82, of Lee’s Summit, died on Wednesday, July 24, 2014, at the Village House on the campus of John Knox Village. Read more...

Jacobson, Herbert Roy

Herbert Roy Jacobson passed away Friday, Aug. 1, 2014, in Rancho Mirage, Calif. Read more...

Kaplan, Seymour

Seymour Kaplan, 88, of Overland Park passed away on Monday, Aug. 4, 2014, after a long battle with cancer. Read more...

Pfau, Gladys Levine

Gladys Levine Pfau, age 86, of Overland Park, passed away on Saturday, Aug. 2, 2014. Read more...

Sandhaus, Frances Zurovsky

Frances Zurovsky Sandhaus, 98, passed away on Tuesday, July 22, 2014, at Kansas City Hospice House. Read more...

Beiman, Melvyn

Melvyn Beiman, 82, of Lee’s Summit, Mo., died on Wednesday, July 24, 2014, at the Village House on the campus of John Knox Village. Read more...

Elyachar, Daniel

Daniel Elyachar, 87, loving father, grandfather, great-grandfather, brother, uncle and friend, passed away peacefully on Monday, July 21, 2014, at his home in New York City. Read more...

A trail of coincidences sends BIAV Torah south of the border

By Carol Katzman

Special to The Chronicle

 

Little did Miamian Tomi Revai know that when he sat next to Rabbi Ari Rockoff at a Jewish Learning Institute in Virginia, it would lead to the transfer of a Torah from Kansas City to Cancun, Mexico.

Revai told the Long Island Rabbi Rockoff — brother of Rabbi Dani Rockoff, spiritual leader of K.C.’s Congregation Beth Israel Abraham & Voliner — that his son Danny had been travelling and surfing in Central America and met some Chabad friends in Nicaragua. When a newly formed Chabad House outside the capital of Managua needed a Torah, Danny persuaded friends and family in Miami and Venezuela to donate money to have a Torah repaired and sent there. Now one of Danny’s new friends was starting another Chabad House, this time on Isla Mujeres, a small island off the coast of Cancun, frequented by Israeli backpackers and surfers, as well as Jews from America, South America and Europe.

 

The story was soon relayed to BIAV’s Rabbi Rockoff, who suggested a solution.

“We’re an old congregation and have more Torahs than we need,” Rabbi Rockoff explained. “So, with the full support of our congregation, I arranged for an old Torah to be repaired by our community’s own sofer, Rabbi Beryl Sosover, and then loaned to this new Chabad House.”

At a ceremony last week, Rabbi Rockoff presented the repaired Torah to Tomi and Danny Revai, who told the story of how he brought the first repaired Torah to Chabad House in “the middle of nowhere” in Nicaragua. The elder Revai, who was born in Budapest and grew up in Chile and Venezuela, told the crowd gathered at BIAV, “Things are not planned by us; G-d plans and we’re just little messengers in His master plan. We’re now in Nissan, the month of miracles. All these coincidences seem like miracles, but it is really just a plan from G-d.”

Rabbi Rockoff added, “This is not a time of crisis, where a synagogue lost a Torah due to a hurricane or fire. It’s just a wonderful opportunity to help a small congregation. This Torah gives Chabad of Isla de Mujeres a more permanent ability to bring Jews together for Shabbat and Jewish holidays.”

Following the speeches and presentation, the crowd danced around the bimah and then outside with the Torah, symbolizing the long trip ahead. The Torah will be delivered to Cancun just in time for Passover, the Sederim and the expected crowd of Jewish travelers — a miracle in itself.