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President Obama addressing the Hanukkah Reception gathering at the White House.

HAPPY HANUKKAH AT THE WHITE HOUSE — Village Shalom President and CEO Matt Lewis and Jewish Community Center of Greater Kansas City President and CEO Jacob Schreiber were among some 500 guests attending the 2014 White House Hanukkah Reception, one of two such events that ushered in the second night of the holiday.

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Congregation Beth Shalom’s Lechem Committee served the holiday meal at St. Mary’s Food Kitchen on Dec. 25, 2013, and, as is its tradition, planned to serve on Dec. 25 again this year.

On Christmas Day in 1982, Marcia Eveloff, a member of Congregation Beth Shalom, volunteered at a church to serve hot meals to those in need. This act of kindness and giving inspired Eveloff to encourage her synagogue to participate in this mitzvah. After sharing the thought with Rabbi Morris Margolies, the Conservative synagogue’s senior rabbi at the time, Eveloff gained congregational support and in March 1983, Beth Shalom’s Lechem Committee was established.

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David Radzynski Photo courtesy Park University / Cristian Fatu

The Israel Philharmonic Orchestra has appointed David Radzynski, a graduate student pursing an artist diploma in violin performance at Park University’s International Center for Music, as its concertmaster. Radzynski, from Columbus, Ohio, was selected following an audition that ended on Dec. 19 in Tel Aviv. Radzynski will assume his position in March 2015.

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Mirra Goldenberg’s Hanukkah wallhanging is the grand-prize winner of the 2014 Hanukkah Art Contest.

Mirra Goldenberg’s Hanukkah wall hanging is the winner of the 18th annual Hanukkah Art Contest, sponsored by the Chabad House Center and The Chronicle. Mirra is the daughter of Missy and Jeff Goldenberg, a seventh-grade student at the Hyman Brand Hebrew Academy and a member of Congregation Beth Shalom. She will be presented with the grand prize, an iPad mini.

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Tamir Movshovitz (right) is an Israeli soldier who was injured earlier this year while stationed at the Israeli-Syrian border. Family friend Dr. William Rosenberg treated him at Research Medical Center in November.

Tamir Movshovitz is brave. The Israeli soldier who was wounded in March unquestionably exhibits both courage and courageous endurance, traits he has shown on more than one occasion. Most recently he returned to the front lines to serve with his fellow soldiers and buddies during Operation Protective Edge this summer before the wounds he suffered months earlier had healed. He came to Kansas City last month to continue the healing process and receive treatment from a world-renown local Jewish doctor who happens to be a family friend.

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Approximately 850 people attended Spin 1000 at The J on Dec. 14 in an attempt to break the record for spinning the most dreidels simultaneously.

STOP. DROP. SPIN. — On Sunday, in celebration of the Jewish Community Center’s 100th birthday and in anticipation of Hanukkah, The J set out to break the world record for spinning the most dreidels simultaneously. The old record was 749 dreidels set by Binghamton University’s Chabad. In what The J officials chose to call Guinness “Berg” style, they estimate approximately 850 people in various rooms at the Jewish Community Campus as well as nearby Village Shalom decided to stop, drop and spin at 6 p.m. Regardless of whether or not a new world’s record was set, people of all ages took part in carnival games, fitness and sports activities and art projects before the big event. People also enjoy schmoozing with old and new friends. It was easy to see a fun time was had by all!

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It’s been a dark year for Kansas Jews in more ways than one, and Chabad wants to bring a little light into it. As has been its custom over the past several years, Chabad of Kansas will bring the Festival of Lights to the people of the state of Kansas and this year, for the second year in a row, the event will take place in the Rotunda at the Kansas State Capitol. It happens on the first night of Hanukkah, Tuesday, Dec. 16. 

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Honor Flight participants were met by veteran and former Kansas Sen. Bob Dole at the World War II Memorial. Shown with Dole is World War II vet Jack Forman.

Korean War vet Erwin Stern had never been to Washington, D.C., until he was chosen to participate in the Heartland Honor Flight. He said it was a great honor, as did two other Jewish men and World War II veterans — Jack Forman and Erwin LaPine.

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KU students celebrated Hanukkah recently at KU Chabad’s annual Hanukkah Bowl/Festibowl at the Kansas Union. The rabbi’s children often attend these events with the college kids. Here Yosef Meir and Mendel Tiechtel got to have their pictures taken with Big Jay.

FIRST JEWISH BABY CONTEST — Once again we are looking for that one lucky little baby, the first one born in the Jewish community in 2015, who will win some great prizes. Will the baby be born on Jan. 1 or will we have to wait until later in the month until we hear the good news?

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The contract of Rabbi Rebecca Reice, who has served Congregation Beth Torah since 2012, will not be renewed when it expires in 2016 due to budget reductions.

Congregation Beth Torah President Linda Zappulla announced to members late last week that due to budgetary considerations the Reform congregation will eliminate the position of rabbi educator when Rabbi Rebecca Reice’s four-year contract expires on June 30, 2016.

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The Kinnor Orchestra, one of only four Jewish orchestras in the country, has been performing since 2011. Its next concert is Jan. 1 at Congregation Beth Torah.

The Kinnor Philharmonic Orchestra will be partnering with Jewish Family Services to warm both body and the soul this New Year’s Day. The annual Kinnor New Year’s concert will be held at 3 p.m. on Jan. 1 at Congregation Beth Torah. All participants are encouraged to bring cans of soup to be donated to the JFS Food Pantry, so those in need in our community can have a warm meal this winter.

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