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Students and leaders at KU Hillel took time Monday to be a part of the KU Unity Torah, a project coordinated by the Chabad Center for Jewish Life. The Torah will be completed and dedicated on Sunday, Feb. 22, in Lawrence.

In mid-September, the Chabad Center for Jewish Life embarked on a project to write a special Torah scroll for the University of Kansas community. On Feb. 22, the final touches will be put on the hand-written Torah. {mprestriction ids="1,3"}A joyous celebration in which Jews from all ways of life will dance in celebration through the streets of the KU campus is planned to commemorate what Rabbi Zalman Tiechtel, co-director of KU Chabad, calls an historic event.

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JBS, the Jewish Broadcasting Service, offers exclusive news coverage of events that affect the Jewish people across the world, including in-depth reports on the turmoil in Israel from last summer.

“I want my MTV.”

That was the rallying cry for America’s youth in the 1980s who wanted their local cable providers to add the then-fledgling music video station to their service. {mprestriction ids="1,3"}Through this strategic marketing campaign, MTV was able to band its potential viewers together for the common cause, and now MTV is a staple of every cable company in America. 

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Samuel Bak

“ILLUMINATIONS: The Art of Samuel Bak,” a collection of 20 paintings on loan from Facing History and Ourselves, will open during First Friday on March 6 at the Leedy-Voulkos Art Center and run through April 25. In addition, eight large paintings by Bak, selected for this exhibition by Bernie and Sue Pucker of the Pucker Gallery in Boston, will anchor the ILLUMINATIONS exhibit. {mprestriction ids="1,3"}Both the artist and Pucker will be present at the opening. The exhibition is made possible with generous financial support from Bryan Cave LLP and the Sosland Foundation and is presented in cooperation with the Midwest Center for Holocaust Education.

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David Radzynski

In December David Radzynski, a student at Park University’s International Center for Music, was named concertmaster of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra. {mprestriction ids="1,3"}Music lovers around town and his professors at Park all unanimously agree on two things — his selection is a big deal for the Jewish violinist.

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Sophia Porter

Sophia Porter, a senior at Hyman Brand Hebrew Academy, and the 2015 winner of the National Space Club Keynote Scholar award, is one motivated and inspiring teenager. {mprestriction ids="1,3"}The Keynote Scholar award is a competition among high school seniors, college students and graduate students.

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Jacob Schreiber

Jacob Schreiber, president and CEO of the Jewish Community Center, has chosen to resign from his post to pursue his professional goal of working with a larger, more challenging organization. In an email sent to The Chronicle, Ken Sigman, the JCC’s chairman of the board, wrote that Schreiber “made the decision to leave the JCC on a high note while the Center is flourishing. {mprestriction ids="1,3"}We are truly grateful for him vastly improving our financial situation to profitability, the key hires he has made and enhancing our programming to service a growing organization.”

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Ann and Kenneth Baum, Civic Service Award dinner honorary co-chairs.

The 2015 Hyman Brand Hebrew Academy Civic Service Award dinner Chairmen Renana and Michael Abrams and honorary Co-Chairs Ann and Kenneth Baum are looking forward to a wonderful evening in celebration of the school’s 49th year and its Civic Service Award honoree, the Marion and Henry Bloch Family Foundation.

The dinner, which takes place March 29 at the Overland Park Convention Center, is HBHA’s only major fundraising event each year. {mprestriction ids="1,3"}All funds raised go toward scholarship assistance and educational operations costs at HBHA.

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Hyman Brand Hebrew Academy Kindergarten students Penina DeLuca and Brody Feldman show off the ‘grass heads’ that they and their classmates made as part of a special Tu b’Shevat celebration. HBHA students in grades K-12 celebrated the holiday in a variety of ways, including Tu b’Shevat seders, making crafts out of recycled items, and a Holchim Yarok (Go Green, the student-run environmental group) program.

CHECK OUT THE NEW HEBREW CORNER — Several members of the Jewish community have started a grassroots Hebrew initiative and intend to provide Hebrew learning opportunities. Recently, the Jewish Community Campus gave them permission to place a Hebrew Corner in the front lobby. {mprestriction ids="1,3"}I’ve been told there has been great discussions over the Hebrew translation of “Hebrew Corner.”  The three contenders are: HaPinah HaIvrit, Pinat Ivrit, or simply Pinah Ivrit. I also understand a person has to be a Hebrew grammarian, which I am not, to appreciate the nuanced differences. To find out which name finally won, stop by the corner and check out the sign! (And let me know, I haven’t seen it yet, either!) More information about the group’s programming should be available in the coming weeks. Stay tuned!

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Chagit and Gad Stuart are teaching at the Hyman Brand Hebrew Academy as part of a two-year emissary program coordinated through the World Zionist Organization. Photo by Elisa Pener

It’s not unusual to find Israelis teaching at the Hyman Brand Hebrew Academy. Two of the newest are Gad and Chagit Stuart. The couple moved here at the beginning of this school year. {mprestriction ids="1,3"}They are here for two years on a program through the World Zionist Organization (WZO), and they plan on returning to Israel after their time here.

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Canadian Holocaust survivor Mordechai Ronen hugs Ronald Lauder, president of the World Jewish Congress, who along with the USC Shoah Foundation organized a delegation of 15 Auschwitz survivors, aged 80-94, to visit the infamous camp Monday, the day before the 70th anniversary celebration of its liberation.

HELP SOUGHT TO INTEGRATE LOCAL JEWS-BY-CHOICE — A Jewish integration coordinator position is being created by the Rabbinical Association of Greater Kansas City to ensure the successful integration of new Jews-by-choice into their synagogues and into the Jewish community after they complete the Rabbinical Association’s yearlong community course: “Judaism for Conversion Candidates” and their actual conversion to Judaism. {mprestriction ids="1,3"}The coordinator will meet with new Jews-by-choice to explore any barriers to full integration in the Jewish community that they might be experiencing, and facilitate personal connections for new Jews-by-choice within their synagogue home and connect individuals to the general Jewish community. Hours are flexible and candidates must be available during the months of April-May and Aug. 15–Dec. 31.

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