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Listening Post

REMEMBERING THE HOLOCAUST —  Survivor Sonia Golad spoke about the Holocaust a lot and her daughter, Midwest Center for Holocaust Education President Joyce Hess, said she always ended her talks with “You do not have to love everyone, but you must not hate.” I’d say that’s very good advice today.


THE HEALING CONTINUES — We are now in the midst of SevenDays 2017, which continues through Monday, April 24. The events include speakers, programs and activities, all in an effort to spread kindness and enhance interfaith understanding and dialogue following the hate murders outside the Jewish Community Campus and Village Shalom in April 2014 that claimed the lives of 14-year-old Reat Underwood, his grandfather Dr. William Corporon and Terri LaManno. The convicted murderer thought these people were Jewish; they were not. Two were Protestants and one a Catholic. 

SevenDays continues its focus on spreading kindness and encouraging interfaith dialogue so that more understanding takes place in our diverse community. It is led by Reat’s mother and Dr. Corporon’s daughter, Mindy Corporon, and Terri LaManno’s widower, Dr. Jim LaManno. It’s through these kinds of activities we can continue to counter the hate that remains in our world, most recently demonstrated by the shooting at Austen’s in Olathe. SevenDays works to show that we are more alike than different. Find the complete list of the remaining events at givesevendays.org. And don’t forget the walk this year has moved to Union Station.

On the anniversary of their deaths, Village Shalom, where Terri LaManno was murdered, posted this on its Facebook page:

“To heal is not to forget. To heal is to remember. To remember that the good in this world will always outshine the bad. To remember that we’re more alike than we are different. To remember that love, not time, heals all wounds.

This week we will again honor Terri’s legacy by covering our campus in purple — her favorite color. As always, it is our hope that these ribbons will not serve as a reminder of the act of hate displayed on April 13, 2014, but rather the countless acts of love displayed since.”

KANSAS HOUSE PASSES ANTI-BDS BILL — On April 5 the Kansas House passed HB 2409, prohibiting state contracts with companies that are engaged in an anti-Israeli boycott. The bill was passed 116-9 and now goes to the Kansas Senate, which it is expected to vote on it sometime after the legislature returns to work on May 1. BDS stands for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions, a campaign attempting to increase economic and political pressure on Israel.

The bill that was passed in the House would prohibit state agencies and departments from entering into contracts with anyone who is boycotting Israel. The state would require written certificates from service, supply, IT and construction contractors that they weren’t boycotting the Jewish state. Last month Arkansas and Texas passed similar bills, bringing the number of U.S. states that have similar legislation to 18.

Several people in the local Jewish community who care about Israel have been working to get this legislation passed in Kansas the past several years including Margie Robinow, with support from The Israel Project and Israel American Council. We’ll keep you posted on its progress.

ONE COMMUNITY: TOGETHER IN SOLIDARITY — Another community program to combat hate takes place Tuesday, April 25, at Rolling Hills Presbyterian Church, 9300 Nall Ave. in Overland Park.

According to the press release, “In a time when there is too much hate, too much division, and too much violence, we must rise together as a unified community in order to provide safety and security for all of us. Stand in solidarity with communities from across the metro, along with faith leaders, governmental leaders and law enforcement officials as we come together in support of each other. Together we are stronger and together we can overcome the hate, violence, and division that has taken over our neighborhoods. Join the movement to stand together.”

The evening’s featured speaker is Valarie Kaur, a civil rights activist, lawyer, award-winning filmmaker, media commentator, educator, entrepreneur, author, and Sikh American justice leader. Her new venture, the Revolutionary Love Project at the University of Southern California champions the ethic of love in an era of rage. Other speakers are on the agenda including JCRB|AJC Executive Director Marvin Szneler. Doors open at 6 p.m., program starts at 6:30 sharp. For more information call Szneler at 913-327-8126.

‘INDEPENDENT LENS: THE LAST LAUGH’ — As Holocaust Remembrance Day approaches, KCPT is presenting programs and events that explore Holocaust history, culture and education. These include the airing of “Independent Lens: The Last Laugh” at 9 p.m. Monday, April 24, and Echoes and Reflections Workshop at 4 p.m. Tuesday, April 25.

In “The Last Laugh,” Mel Brooks, Sarah Silverman, Carl Reiner and other Jewish comics and thinkers discuss whether any topic — including the Holocaust — should be off-limits in comedy.

The workshop is intended to prepare educators to teach about the Holocaust in a way that stimulates engagement and critical thinking for middle and high school students. For more information call 816-756-3508.