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The Jewish Federation of Greater Kansas City partnered with JNF to donate a fire truck like this one to the community of Ramla in Israel during one of the intifadas. Retiring President and CEO Todd Stettner is sitting in the fire truck.

For some people, it’s all about creating relationships. Cultivating relationships is something Todd Stettner excelled at during his tenure at the Jewish Federation of Greater Kansas City.

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Benny Harding, chairperson of the 2016 Yom HaShoah commemoration, spoke passionately about his late parents, Dorothy and Harry Harding.

I would guess I have attended about a dozen Yom HaShoah commemoration services since I first began working for The Chronicle in 1988. While I don’t attend every event I am invited to in the community for a variety of reasons, since 2011 I have attended every single one of these services. I am drawn to that event because I think it is important to support our survivors, their families and reinforce the fact that the Holocaust happened.

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Mitzvah Garden volunteers are already out there tilling the soil for the 2016 edition of the garden. Two years ago, a 5,000 square foot orchard was added to the garden. At the time 18 apple, pear and peach trees were planted. Then one additional tree was planted on April 13, 2014. Later that day three people were killed at two Jewish sites. The tree now stands in honor of the three people killed that day and it was unveiled on April 12. Those attending the ceremony included Larry Lehman (from left), Rev. Monica Lewis, Mindy Corporon, Rev. Chuck Pickrel, Gail Weinberg, Bill Bergerson, Sheila Sonnenschein and Steve Mencher.

SPINNING TREE THEATRE PRESENTS ‘AMADEUS’  — The power struggle between two musical geniuses in 18th century Vienna is at the center of Peter Shaffer’s play “Amadeus” that will be presented by Spinning Tree Theatre, April 28 through May 15 at the Arts Asylum, 1000 E. 9th St., Kansas City, Missouri.

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Members of the Jewish community who are not observant may be unaware that the community has an eiruv, a ritual enclosure, that transforms a particular area from a public to a private domain and thus allows people in the community to carry objects and push wheelchairs or strollers in the public areas on Shabbat or holy days. Without the eiruv, these activities would otherwise be forbidden.

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Former Kansas Citian Abe Meth, who at 103 is the oldest congregant at Temple Beth Shalom in Sun City, Arizona, read from the Megillah, the biblical story of Esther at the congregation’s Purim Celebration on March 25. Larry Gorelick, ritual coordinator is to his left. Meth also read the Megillah at Beth El Congregation’s Purim celebration on March 23. (The photo was originally published in Jewish News in Phoenix.) Photo courtesy of Marsha Gratz 

REMARKABLE AT 103 —Jackie Strauss recently visited with Abe Meth in Arizona and said, “It’s quite remarkable that Abe Meth is still the vivacious dynamo that he has been for many years.”

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“Kindness and good will overcome anything,” said 41 Action News Anchor and event emcee Christa Dubill. “We’re here to make a ripple in our city.”

Make a ripple they did.

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Jonathan Leshnoff Photo By Erica Abbey Photography

The Kansas City Symphony will perform the world premiere of composer Jonathan Leshnoff’s Symphony No. 3 from May 20 through May 22 in Helzberg Hall at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts. (For ticket information, visit kcsymphony.org or call 816-471-0400.)

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Paige Kuluva

Paige Kuluva, the 2016 Crohn’s & Colitis Take Steps Walk honored hero, was only 9 years old when she was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease. The 13-year-old daughter of Kerry and David Kuluva said she didn’t even realize something was wrong when she was diagnosed. It’s been a rather tough road for her, but now she’s got it under control and is helping the Mid America Chapter-Kansas City Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America promote its annual fundraiser, Kansas City Take Steps for Crohn’s & Colitis annual walk, set for Sunday, June 12.

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Jonathan Edelman

When Jonathan Edelman arrived at Clark University four years ago, he intended to major in studio art and follow his passion for photography. What he couldn’t know then was that Clark would help him excel in the medium, and at the same time deepen his passion for learning about history and the Holocaust. Edelman will marry his two interests after graduation in May when he begins a job as curatorial assistant at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C.

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Although only receiving funding in the summer of 2015, and not officially open to the community until October 2015, “Priya: A New Fund for Jewish Reproduction” has already helped one family in the Kansas City area to adopt a child. Other families are also in the system waiting to be helped.

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