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Listening Post

SHORASHIM BIRTHRIGHT — Jewish Federation, under the leadership of Israeli Emissary Yahav Barnea, is recruiting young adults from the Kansas City area to participate in a free Taglit-Birthright 10-day trip to

{mprestriction ids="1"}Israel during the upcoming 2014-15 winter break. Individuals need to be between the ages of 22 and 26 and must identify as Jewish and have at least one Jewish birth parent; or have completed conversion through a recognized Jewish denomination. Those who have been to Israel but only with family or on other personal business are still eligible. To learn more about the trip and/or other eligibility requirements, email Barnea at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 913-327-8124.

Matt Rissien

ONE MAN JEWISH A CAPELLA — Matt Rissien is at it again. The Jewish youth director in Chicago has released his latest Jewish holiday music video, and you can see his Kansas roots through the entire thing — the screen is filled with one main shot of Rissien singing, wearing his Kansas City Chiefs jersey. He’s wearing four other jerseys in the other frames — University of Kansas, Kansas City Royals, Chicago Bulls and Chicago Blackhawks (it’s the green one!). You can see the entire video on YouTube by searching Matt Rissien or https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RdT03NL72Ag&noredirect=1

MATISYAHU AT GRINDERS — Matisyahu’s “Built to Survive Fall Tour,” with special guest Radical Something, stops in Kansas City on Tuesday, Sept. 30. The popular Jewish singer songwriter who at one point was described as a Chasidic reggae artist will be at CrossroadsKC at Grinders; doors open at 7 p.m., with the concert set for 8. His newest album “Akeda,” was released in June and he said, “This record and period of my life deal with madness, listening for and following the voice of God, the inner intuitive voice, a small, still sound. This record deals with love, with feelings of brokenness and humility, with humanity, struggle and sacrifice.” Tickets for the concert are available online at http://crossroads.frontgatesolutions.com/

ISRAEL’S POPULATION REACHES 8.9 MILLION AHEAD OF ROSH HASHANAH (JNS.org) — The Israeli population has reached 8.9 million, the country’s Central Bureau of Statistics revealed in its annual report ahead of Rosh Hashanah. As of Sunday, the population of Israel was exactly 8,904,373 people, which is 173,811 more than the population at the same time last year.

The number of new immigrants to Israel over the course of this past Jewish year was 24,801, while 176,230 babies were born. Of those babies, 90,646 were boys and 85,584 were girls. The most popular name given to Israeli newborn boys this year was Yosef, and Tamar was the most popular girls’ name. Other popular names included Daniel, Uri, Itai, and Omer for boys, and Noa, Shira, Adelle, and Talia for girls.

In honor of the upcoming High Holidays, Randi Friedlander (left) and Tina Shea carry simcha gifts boxes to distribute to Jewish seniors in area nursing homes, retirement centers and their own homes. More than 300 gifts were prepared for distribution. This is a program of Yachad — The Kosher Food Pantry at the Chabad House