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Making Judaism relevant to others is retiring exec’s lifetime achievement

 Making Judaism relevant to others is retiring exec’s lifetime achievement

During one of his many visits to Israel, Alan Edelman (second from left) took this photo with Chuck Udell (from left); Yoel Lavi, former mayor of Ramle; and Samir Dabit, of blessed memory, of Samir’s... Read more...

OP native and social media producer of CBS’ ‘The Talk’ impresses celebrities

OP native and social media producer of CBS’ ‘The Talk’ impresses celebrities

Jordy Altman, Photo by John Allen Phillips Five days a week, Jordy Altman is running around at a mile a minute. Read more...

Listening Post

The Village Shalom Father’s Day Run celebrated its 30th year of kicking off Father’s Day with fun for a good cause. Read more...

Diabetes researcher Kahn elected to National Academy of Sciences

Dr. Barbara Kahn (center), surrounded by a group of her research trainees in her laboratory at BIDMC and Harvard Medical School. Read more...

Rabbi to bring his message of justice to B’nai Jehudah next weekend

Rabbi David Saperstein

Strike out mitochondrial disease with ‘Bowling with Barb’ grand finale fundraiser

The 10th and final “Bowling with Barb” event will be held from 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday, July 16, at Ward Parkway Lanes. The event raises funds to support research to find a cure for mitochondrial disease,... Read more...

Teacher produces e-book from her Hebrew course

Orit Kamara

Listening Post

JFS has begun Wipeout 2017, a communitywide toilet paper drive. Area camps and businesses are getting involved on both sides of the state line to help stock the shelves of the JFS Food Pantry at both the... Read more...

Local veteran recounts highlights of Honor Flight trip

Rudy Green in his Army uniform circa 1951.

KC native’s Bert’s Bites Crunchy Snack Granola fills a niche market

Roberta Intrater (left) and her sister Barb Mendelsohn at a Filoli estate and gardens holiday event in Woodside, California, in November 2016. Read more...

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Rebuilding and celebrating life in a Polish cemetery, despite all we’ve lost

Rebuilding and celebrating life in a Polish cemetery, despite all we’ve lost

In May, a group of 10 HBHA alumni worked to restore honor to a Jewish cemetery in Wodzislaw, Poland. Shown here in front of salvaged matzevot (memorial stones) are Jordan Pollack (back row from left),... Read more...

July 4th patriotism: When post war newcomers embraced American ideals

July 4th patriotism: When post war newcomers embraced American ideals

Olga and Miriam Levy in 1952. Miriam now goes by the name Mary. Read more...

Letter to the editor

Gross misrepresentation of facts As a former resident of Dearborn, Michigan, I find Lee Levin’s letter published in the June 15, 2017, issue of The Chronicle inconsistent with reality, and a gross... Read more...

Letter to the Editor

Condoning the hate it condemns The letter from officers of the Greater Kansas City Interfaith Council (GKCIC), charitably speaking, can only be interpreted as the result of ideological blindness. Read more...

Mistakes: A wonderful opportunity to learn

Most parents’ reactions to their teenagers when they’ve “messed up big-time” is that of anger. Read more...

Letters to the Editor

GKCIC takes a stand against rally We call upon the Kansas City community to join with us, the Greater Kansas City Interfaith Council, in rejecting any agenda that furthers hate, violence and discrimination.... Read more...

New award winning Jewish fiction will provoke discussion

  “And After the Fire” by Laura Belfer. (Harper Collins, 2016) 451 pages Read more...

Margolies study abroad scholarship enriches student’s experience in Israel

Ever since I was a young child and took my first trip to Israel, I knew that it held a special place in my heart. I did not know quite what it was at the time, but I knew that I had to return at some... Read more...

Thinking outside the box

When I first came to town in 1997, Jewish Kansas City was thriving. All the major shuls were filled with families and children who were dedicated and committed to their respective synagogues. There... Read more...

Women see Israel ‘from the inside out’ on unique Federation mission

The itenerary of Jewish Federation Women’s Mission 2017 included a graffiti art tour in Tel Aviv. Shown here are Phyllis Carozza (front row, from left), Lori Ravis, Diane Ravis, Marge Schlosberg, Diane... Read more...

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Schiff Fish Engagement

Schiff Fish Engagement

Michael Schiff and Cara Fish

Lewinsohn 60th Wedding Anniversary

Tom and Alice Lewinsohn

Rosenthal Graduation

Harrison Michael Rosenthal

Bass Honor

Twelve-year-old Tori Bass recently was honored by reStart. She is shown here with Executive Director Evie Craig. Read more...

Gilman Honor

JFS Care Management Team Manager Laura Gilman was recently presented with the Field Instructor of the Year award for Avila University’s Social Work program. Read more...

Navran Bat Mitzvah

Tricia and Andy Navran announce the Bat Mitzvah of their daughter, Avery Navran, at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, June 3, at The Temple, Congregation B’nai Jehudah. Read more...

Abrams Bar Mitzvah

Geoffrey Abrams Stephen and Mara Abrams announce the Bar Mitzvah of their son, Geoffrey Abrams, at 9 a.m. Saturday, May 27, at Congregation Beth Shalom. Read more...

Kohnle Birth

Harper Madison Kohnle Mindy and Steven Kohnle of Olathe announce the birth Jan. 25, 2017, of Harper Madison Kohnle. Read more...

Stolte Bar Mitzvah

Elijah Stolte Jennifer and John Stolte announce the Bar Mitzvah of their son, Elijah Solomon, at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, May 13, at The Temple, Congregation B’nai Jehudah. Read more...

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Debolt, Ellice

Ellice DeBolt nee Geiderman, 59, beloved wife of Vernon for 37 years; loving mother of Lauren (David) Lenn, Sarah and Catherine. Devoted daughter of Jeanette (Mallin) Geiderman Lewis and the late Sylvan... Read more...

Haith, Alec Garin

Haith, Alec Garin

Alec Garin Haith, 21 of Leawood, Kansas, passed away June 18, 2017, in Leawood. Read more...

Levitan, Howard

Howard Levitan, son, husband, father, grandfather, uncle, cousin, 74, passed away peacefully in his sleep on Thursday, June 22, with his family at his side. He was born March 11, 1943, in New Jersey.... Read more...

Bormaster, Howard

Howard Bormaster 91, of Overland Park, Kansas, passed away June 17, 2017. Graveside service and interment took place June 20, 2017, at Mount Carmel Cemetery. In lieu of flowers the family requests donations... Read more...

Friedman, Rebbetzin Miriam Tzimel

On Sunday morning, 17 Sivan, 5777 (June 11, 2017), Rebbetzin Miriam Tzimel Friedman passed away. She was 101 years old and the mother of Rabbi Benzion Friedman of Torah Learning Center in Overland Park,... Read more...

Hoffman, Harry

Daniel Harry Hoffman, 90, a lifelong area resident, passed away June 17, 2017. Funeral services were held Tuesday, June 20, 2017, at Louis Memorial Chapel; interment followed at Mount Carmel Cemetery.... Read more...

Sachar, Nancy Adler

Nancy Adler Sachar, a descendant of the first Jewish family to settle permanently in Kansas City, died early June 14, 2017, of kidney illness. She was 83. Read more...

Vile, Joel D.

Joel D. Vile, 84, of Overland Park, Kansas, passed away at his home on June 15, 2017. Funeral services were held Monday, June 19, 2017, at Louis Memorial Chapel; interment followed at Mount Carmel Cemetery.... Read more...

Kahn, Susan K.

Susan K. Kahn, 56, of Prairie Village, Kansas, passed away June 6, 2017. Graveside services were held Thursday, June 8, at Kehilath Israel Blue Ridge Cemetery. The family suggests memorial contributions... Read more...

Koenig, Jerry

Jerry Koenig of St. Louis, Missouri, died Sunday, June 11, 2017. He was the beloved husband of Linda Koenig; dear father and father-in-law of Laurie (Jeff) Horn and Lynn (Ted) Dyer; dear grandfather of... Read more...

Rockhurst University to host Israeli ambassador to the Holy See

Israel’s Ambassador to the Holy See, Zion Evrony, is coming to Rockhurst University on Tuesday, Oct. 8. It is the first time someone in that position has ever traveled to Kansas City or the Catholic university. All this can be credited to the behind-the-scenes work that the Consul General’s Office to the Midwest, based in Chicago, does to promote the State of Israel. The local Jewish Community Relations Bureau|American Jewish Committee can also take some credit for this historic visit.

Evrony’s speech is titled “Conversations between Jerusalem and Rome.” Sponsored by Rockhurst in cooperation with the JCRB|AJC, it is part of the university’s visiting scholar lecture series and will take place at 7:30 p.m. at Mason-Halpin Convocation Center. The ambassador will discuss the history of Israeli relations with the Vatican, when and how the embassy was established, and the current issues being addressed between Israel and the Holy See. A question-and-answer session will follow his prepared remarks.

“I will attempt to explain and highlight the issues of greatest concern to the relationship between Israel and the Holy See, including both progress and challenges ahead. I will attempt to explain the Holy See’s evolving stance towards Israel from rejection and denial to acceptance and recognition,” wrote Evrony in an email to The Chronicle.

(Editor’s note: The term Holy See is often used as a synonym for the Vatican or the Roman Catholic Church. The Holy See, though not an actual city, is the entity that maintains official diplomatic relations with governments. The Vatican is actually the palace in Vatican City that is used as the official residence of the pope and the administrative center of the papacy.)

Marvin Szneler, executive director of the JCRB|AJC, noted, “This program is emblematic of the meaningful relationship between Rockhurst University and JCRB|AJC, and indeed the work that has been done locally between the Catholic and Jewish communities.”

“Ambassador Evrony is a very respected diplomat, and his two experiences alone as ambassador to the Holy See and ambassador to Ireland provide fascinating information that most of us will not hear elsewhere,” Szneler continued.

The idea that an Israeli ambassador to the Holy See would visit Kansas City and Rockhurst came about during a mission trip to Israel in 2011, which was led by the office of the Consul General of the Midwest.

“They invited a group of leaders from higher ed in the Midwest to come and experience Israel and have a series of meetings with folks in higher ed and government and industry and the press, really exposing us to the story of Israel from Israel’s perspective,” said Rockhurst President The Rev. Thomas B. Curran. Two other leaders from area universities took park in that mission — Avila University’s President Ron Slepitza and University of Missouri-Kansas City Chancellor Leo Morton. Szneler accompanied the group.

While at a session at the Foreign Ministry, Father Curran struck up a conversation with Evrony, who had recently completed his service as Israel’s Ambassador to Ireland and was awaiting confirmation of his next assignment. At the time Evrony thought he would be sent to represent Israel at the Holy See.

“So I asked him if he would consider coming to the United States, more specifically Rockhurst.”

Father Curran kept in touch with Evrony in the hopes that the appointment would be made public, which it was in the spring of 2012. The ambassador agreed to come visit Rockhurst, but first he wanted to get some experience in his new position before traveling to the United States, finally settling on a date this fall.

The Catholic priest praised the JCRB|AJC for its help in arranging this event.

“We’ve had a lot of assistance from our friends at the JCRB|AJC promoting it and helping with the logistics and engaging the office of the ambassador and we are very grateful to them for helping with the whole process,” Father Curran said.

Szneler said it is a great honor to work with Father Curran.

“He cares deeply about the entire community. We at JCRB|AJC are fortunate to work with him as he is a leader in making this a more just community. Building understanding and mutual respect is key to those efforts,” Szneler said.

Father Curran said Rockhurst is interested in having the Israeli visit the university because, “As a Jesuit institution we believe you must be open to all experiences to fully engage the world and one of the ways to fully engage the world is through conversation.”

“I would love to hear his perspective and that perspective is enhanced now … that we have a Jesuit as a pope (Pope Francis) and he’s coming to a Jesuit university,” Father Curran said.

Jesuits today are known for embracing a wide variety of ministries and civil occupations. They are probably most well known for their educational work and since the inception of the order Jesuits have been teachers. Today, there are Jesuit-run universities such as Rockhurst, colleges, high schools and middle or elementary schools in dozens of countries. Jesuits also serve on the faculties of both Catholic and secular schools.

“As the students would say, we’re pretty jazzed about the ambassador’s visit,” the university’s president said.

Evrony wrote from Rome that relations today between Israel and the Holy See are good and based on mutual trust.

“They are unique because they include theological and political issues. Next year we will mark 20 years since the signing of the fundamental agreement, which established official diplomatic relations between Israel and the Holy See. The upcoming year will be an opportunity to celebrate but also to think about ways to strengthen and expand the relations,” he wrote.

“Also, recently, there has been a significant progress in the negotiations on the economic/financial agreement between Israel and the Holy See regarding the church property in Israel and taxation. We hope that this agreement will be signed in the near future and will pave the way to further improve the relations,” he continued.

The Tuesday evening event is the only one open to the public, however the ambassador will participate in a variety of activities while spending the day at Rockhurst. Evrony will speak to a group of students, a group of clergy of various faiths and he will place a wreath at the Monument to the Jesuits who perished in the Shoah. A plaque commemorating the 152 Jesuit priests who gave of their lives during the Holocaust was installed at Rockhurst in April 2007.

“It’s the only plaque of its kind in the world,” Father Curran said.

Father Curran is hoping Evrony’s visit will result in a lively conversation.

“Ultimately I hope it will be a springboard for more conversations and what we can do to better our community and better relations and dialogue between our Jewish brothers and sisters and the Catholic community.”

Mason-Halpin Convocation Center is located at 52nd Street and Tracy Avenue in Kansas City, Mo. Enter the campus at 54th Street and Troost Avenue. Public parking is available starting at 6:30 p.m. at the North Parking Garage, corner of Troost Avenue and 52nd Street, and in the main Rockhurst parking area, accessed at 54th Street and Troost Avenue. Reservations are not necessary, but appreciated. Call 913-327-8129 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for information or reservations.


More about Ambassador Zion Evrony

Israel’s Ambassador to the Holy See, Zion Evrony, was born in 1949 and grew up in Israel. He arrived at his new post in Rome on Aug. 1, 2012, and presented his credentials to Pope Benedict XVI on Sept. 5, 2012.

A veteran diplomat, Ambassador Evrony joined the foreign service in 1973 after three years of military service and briefly working as a journalist. He has held several positions overseas, including Ambassador to Ireland (2006-2010); Consul General in Houston (1995-2002) and Consul in New York (1987-1991).

Evrony said being the ambassador of Israel to the Holy See is a “job unlike any other diplomatic mission I have ever had.”

“Relations between Israel and the Holy See are unique in the sense that theological and political issues are sometime linked and influence each other. I see myself as Israel’s ambassador to the Catholic world because the Holy See has great influence and moral authority over 1.2 billion Catholics around the world,” he explained.

The ambassador has also held several positions in the foreign ministry headquarters in Jerusalem including special adviser for academic affairs to the director general (2011-2012); head of the policy planning bureau (2003-2006); director of the international department and the Iranian desk at the Policy Research Center (1991-1994); and director of the diplomatic cadet course (1976-1977).

In 2000, he received the Israel’s Foreign Service Award and the Civil Service Award for Excellence in recognition of his work as Consul General in Houston.

Ambassador Evrony received a doctorate in international relations, a master’s degree in business administration and a bachelor’s degree in sociology and political science, all from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. He has published many articles in the international press on Israel and the peace process and his career has also included several university teaching positions as a guest lecturer on human rights in international relations at the Hebrew University, Tel Aviv University and the Open University in Israel.


He is married to Rita, a social worker, and they have three children.