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Rabbi Rebecca Reice, associate rabbi at Congregation Beth Torah, has informed the congregation that she is opting out of the last year of her contract so that she may join her husband, Asher Lazarus, as he accepts new employment in Austin, Texas. She will continue in her role at the Reform congregation until June 30.

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Joan Jacobson is an active member of the National Council of Jewish Women. She and the organization both champion the rights of children, women and families. It’s her work advocating for the rights of children that will be recognized when CASA of Johnson & Wyandotte Counties honors Jacobson as its CASA Volunteer Honoree at its Promise of Hope luncheon on April 2. The Promise of Hope Luncheon, celebrating the Kansas organization’s 30th anniversary, will be held from noon to 1 p.m., with networking beginning at 11:30 a.m., at the Ritz Charles in Overland Park. To reserve a free space, visit www.casajwc.org or call 913-715-4034. 

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Jackson County CASA Executive Director Martha Gershun and Matthew Gould show off some of the LEGO gift boxes that CASA kids have been receiving from Gould’s nonprofit, The Giving Brick.

Ever wonder what to do with the LEGO bricks that you or your children played with and no longer need? So did Matthew Gould, whose inspired answer is The Giving Brick, a nonprofit that compiles used LEGO pieces into complete sets and provides them to the abused/neglected kids served by Jackson County CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates). 

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Cindy Singer and Randy Block posed in front of the Kansas Capitol building last week when their business, Enhanced HomeCare, was recognized by the Kansas Small Business Development Center.

The Kansas Small Business Development Center (Kansas SBDC) statewide network has announced the 2015 Existing and Emerging Businesses of the Year. Each of the eight Kansas SBDC regional centers selected one emerging and one existing business for the award. Enhanced HomeCare, LLC, owned by Randy Block and Cindy Singer, was chosen Existing Business of the Year for the Johnson County Region.

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Slater Sousley completed this mural at Congregation Ohev Sholom in January. It honors the congregation’s history in Kansas and will be dedicated later this year. Photo by Ben McCall

When you ask 19-year-old Slater Sousley to describe himself, he answers assuredly: “I am Jewish, an artisit and I’m from Overland Park, Kansas.” 

A 2013 graduate of the Hyman Brand Hebrew Academy and a second-year merit scholarship student at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC), purpose and identity serve as cornerstones not only for his self-discovery, but for his approach to each work of art. 

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Adam Schlozman

GUITARIST ON A MISSION — Take Five Coffee + Bar presents the Adam Schlozman Trio at 8 p.m. Friday, March 13. The website says the coffee bar’s ongoing quest is “to find and showcase the best music in Kansas City southern suburbs.” In promoting Schlozman’s appearance this week, the website says “It’s been our pleasure to watch him develop from our earliest days doing jazz at Take Five when he was a high-school phenom tearing up Pat Metheny tunes with the Know Idea Trio, to become, in just five years, a sought-after pro in a town rich with phenomenal guitarists. From one local jazz writer, he’s already drawing comparisons with the great Steve Cardenas. Come see him lead his own trio with bassist Joel Stratton and drummer Matt Leifer.”

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Rabbi Mendy Wineberg believes that the ideal situation is for every member of the Jewish community to have a place of worship within close proximity to their home. While he knows Chabad House Center of Kansas City can’t open a location on every corner where a Jewish family lives, he knows they can do the next best thing; open up a Chabad House where the most number of Jewish people live.

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Sophia Porter, a senior at Hyman Brand Hebrew Academy, was met with a standing ovation by 2,000 space industry experts when she delivered the keynote address at the National Space Club’s Annual Awards Dinner in Washington, D.C., earlier this month. Porter, who competed with other high school seniors, as well as graduate and undergraduate students across the U.S. for the scholarship, was awarded the opportunity to speak at the dinner, along with a $10,000 scholarship by the National Space Club. Photo courtesy of Bill Berner

‘HELLRAISER’ FILM SCREENING — “I’m honored,” is all Sid Willens would say when his granddaughter, Sara Glass, said she aimed to write a documentary on her grandfather’s legacy to Kansas City.

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Make your reservation by Friday, March 27 to obtain the early registration price and come share the second night of Passover with family and friends at a community Seder on Saturday, April 4 at Congregation Beth Shalom. Space is limited and advance reservations are required. After the deadline, reservations will be accepted on a space available basis. Registration forms are available online at www.kcrabbis.org [1] or forms can be picked up at area congregations.

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Israel does it best to make sure everyone gets a chance to vote. This photo, shared by Israeli soldier Gavi Arnovitz, who is stationed near the Syrian border and the grandson of Sylvia and Marshall LaVine, shows how the voting booth was brought to the soldiers. Photo by Ron Tzur

JOKE OF THE WEEK — Here’s one, source unknown, I recently found in my inbox. “Don’t give up. Moses was once a basket case.” 

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The Marion and Henry Bloch Family Foundation will be honored with the Civic Service Award at HBHA’s upcoming dinner March 29. Pictured here are Tom (from left), Mary Jo, Henry, Marion, of blessed memory, Liz and Bob Bloch. Photo by Mark McDonald

According to Henry Bloch, his father used to frequently say, “When you have three meals a day, it’s time to help the next person.” 

It is this mindset that made the Marion and Henry Bloch Family Foundation an obvious choice to receive Hyman Brand Hebrew Academy’s Civic Service Award at the school’s upcoming dinner on Sunday, March 29. 

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John Hancock, the new Republican Party chairman for Missouri, should resign.

He has proved the point. He is an anti-Semite. 

His own words leave no doubt. 

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