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Josh Nelson and Neshama Carlebach

They are being promoted as two superstars in Jewish music. But when Neshama Carlebach and Josh Nelson perform in concert and participate in the service at the communitywide Selichot program, neither will be thinking about superstardom. 

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Michelle Goldsmith

Michelle Goldsmith has been selected as this year’s Dan Fingersh Young Leadership Award winner. The award will be presented during the Jewish Federation’s 82nd Annual Meeting at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 3, at the White Theatre.

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Depression is a tough mental illness. Through treatment, some are successful in winning the battle against depression. Others lose the fight and their lives. Jason Arkin, a member of Congregation Beth Torah who grew up in Overland Park, lost his battle with the disease when he took his own life on May 19 at the age of 20. Now his parents Steve and Karen Arkin are working to help others who face depression and other mental illnesses to talk about the issues and get help.

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We no longer live in world where people get old and then think of themselves as old, so explains Rabbi Rachel Cowan, co-author of “Wise Aging: Living with Joy, Resilience, and Spirit.” Rabbi Cowan, who is senior fellow and co-founder of the Institute for Jewish Spirituality, wrote the book after her own retirement. Through the IJS, she expanded those thoughts and developed, along with Dr. Linda Thal, a Wise Aging program aimed at helping seniors both explore this stage of life as well as cultivate qualities of the soul.

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Rick Recht

Rick Recht, one of the top-touring Jewish musicians today, will join Rabbi Alan Londy at the New Reform Temple’s evening services on Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. In addition to his role as an artist, Recht is regarded as a top Jewish educator and leader. He lives in St. Louis, Missouri, where he serves as artist in residence at United Hebrew Congregation.

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Students from the NRT’s Religious School display mezuzahs they made using candy dispensers.

Beginning this fall, The New Reform Temple (NRT) will begin offering grades K through third at its Henry & Marion Bloch Religious School to members of the Jewish community tuition-free, and “without families having to be members of the NRT,” said Dan Fromm, NRT president. “This option will be available to any Jewish family in the community that is currently unaffiliated with a congregation.”

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One in eight couples, that’s 12 percent of married women, have trouble getting pregnant or sustaining a pregnancy according to a 2006-2010 National Survey of Family Growth reported on by the Centers for Disease Control. That can be devastating news for a couple, both financially and psychologically, as they look for ways to start a family. In the past it’s been difficult to find support for those seeking it within in the Jewish community. Annie Glickman hopes it becomes easier very soon.

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Hyman Brand Hebrew Academy students had an extra special first day of school as they kicked off HBHA’s 50th Anniversary. Pictured here are HBHA parents Daniel and Sara Wajcman, escorting their kindergartener Kira (far right) into her very first day at school, along with sisters Maya and baby Shayna. Dad Daniel Wajcman also happens to be one of 47 HBHA alumni who currently have students attending the school.

ACCUSED KANSAS CITY SHOOTER OPENS TRIAL WITH ANTI-SEMITIC ALLEGATIONS (JTA) — The white supremacist on trial for murdering three people at two Jewish communal institutions here said in his opening statement that he plans to prove that white people are the victims of genocide at the hands of the Jews.

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Among those planning the educational event on the BRCA gene mutation are Merry Prostic (from left), Trudy Jacobson, Federation Women’s Philanthropy chair, Bunni Copaken and Lisa Schifman, Women’s Philanthropy director. Prostic and her husband, Dr. Edward Prostic, have endowed the Penn outreach program series in memory of their daughter, Elizabeth, who had the BRCA gene and died from breast cancer. Copaken is the sister of Prostic and aunt of Elizabeth, and has been involved in the planning of the event.

Elizabeth Prostic was young, married for only a few years and the mother of a new baby. A native of Kansas City, Elizabeth had all the things many of us hope for when she was suddenly struck down by breast cancer. Elizabeth died from BRCA gene breast cancer, a mutation that if detected early can minimize your risk.

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Jerry Sisk, volunteer for Simcha Gifts, helped pack and deliver beautiful flowering plants in honor of Shavuot to area Jewish seniors this past spring.

SIMCHA GIFTS NEEDS VOLUNTEERS! — As the holidays approach, Simcha Gifts is preparing to make a holiday delivery to Jewish seniors who live in nursing homes, retirement centers and in their own homes. The Simcha Gifts program is run by Chabad House, under the tutelage of Blumah Wineberg. She said the program needs “more wonderful volunteers to help pack and deliver Simcha Gifts before the High Holidays. It is such a beautiful mitzvah!

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Jessica Rudnick Kaseff (left) and Miriam Kaseff first worked on a Habitat for Humanity house 11 years ago in celebration of Barry Kaseff’s 40th birthday. They installed insulation to help weatherproof the house.

Most of us in the Jewish community take it for granted that we have a warm — or this time of year cool — home in which we can sleep easy every night. That’s not true everywhere and a group from the Jewish community, led by Barry Kaseff, is making sure a family in Kansas City, Kansas, will have a home of their own where they, too, can feel safe and secure.

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