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The J receives grant for field renovation: Expansion allows for new partnership with Kansas City Christian School and softball for girls

The J receives grant  for field renovation: Expansion allows for new partnership with  Kansas City Christian School and softball for girls

A rendering of the renovated baseball field at The J, which is expected to be complete by summer 2018. Read more...

PrayerWorks provides path for healing

PrayerWorks provides path for healing

The group of people who comprise PrayerWorks meets regularly at Congregation Beth Shalom and is celebrating the group’s 20th anniversary later this month. Shown here are Carol Goldstein (front row, from... Read more...

Jewish Culture Fest celebrates its 10th event, features 45 artists

Handmade felt flowers in multiple colors embellish headbands made by Amy Ravis Furey. Headbands fit all sizes and vary in complexity. Read more...

Listening Post

Screenshot of Sonia Warshawski being interviewed on Fox 4 KC. FLOOD IMPACTS YACHAD JEWISH COMMUNITY FOOD PANTRY — A few weeks ago we reported in this column that the Chabad House — its preschool in... Read more...

New KU Hillel director plans to keep program growing and evolving

In late July, Leadership Tomorrow awarded KU Hillel a $1,200 grant for its Challah for Hunger project. Money from the grant will go to purchase equipment to make challah and education regarding food insecurity.... Read more...

Eucalyptus West: A partnership 15 years in the making

Chef Moshe Basson in front of his restaurant, Eucalyptus, in Jerusalem, Israel. The internationally renowned chef will host a pop-up restaurant during Jewish Culture Fest on Sunday, Sept. 10, at the Jewish... Read more...

Jewish professor leads effort to fight Epstein-Barr virus

Brandon DeKosky Read more...

Day of Discovery to offer two new innovative programs

Rabbi Daniel Kirzane of The Temple, Congregation B’nai Jehudah, presented a class last year and will do so again this year. On Aug. 27 he will present ‘Jerusalem in Jewish Tradition — Nine Portions... Read more...

Scholar to explain Jewish calendar before total eclipse of the sun

Rabbi Dovid Heber Read more...

First person report - KU student experiences horror in West Bank

Paige Krug Read more...

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Be a Point of Light

Be a Point of Light

The news coming out of Israel, and here in the U.S., this summer leaves all peace-loving people in shock. A 19-year-old, a person in the prime of life, walks into a Jewish home on Friday night with... Read more...

Funding allows SAFEHOME’s Jewish Outreach program to continue

Funding allows SAFEHOME’s Jewish Outreach program to continue

  Thank you to the Flo Harris Foundation for continued funding of SAFEHOME’s Jewish Outreach Program for 2017-2018. Read more...

Letter to the Editor

‘Safety Net’ for all Governor Brownback proclaimed Aug. 13-19 as Primary Care Safety Net Clinic Week, a time to recognize primary care clinics providing a “safety net” for all, including the... Read more...

For those facing grief and loss, new book provides help

“Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience, and  Finding Joy”  by Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant (Knopf, 2017) Many of us like to take some extra time during the summer with a good... Read more...

New historic novel weaves a literary mystery

“The Weight of Ink,”  by Rachel Kadish,  Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $28 hardcover, June 6, 2017 Riveting narrative, well-honed characters, emotionally rewarding novel, rich detail, suspenseful.... Read more...

JWRP impacts mom from Kansas City in unexpected way

Those taking part in this year’s trip to Israeli included Kim Matsil (from left), Renee Polsky Silver, Adina Glass, Addie Harte, Rhea Nadler, Jennifer Schlozman, Vanessa Lehman and Andrea Levitan. Read more...

Reflections from my Berlin journey; am Yisrael chai

Not too long ago, I stood at the Tiergarten public park in the center of Berlin, Germany. That’s just a short distance away from the former location of a villa where more than 60 Nazi bureaucrats worked... Read more...

Israel, haredim, liberal Jews, and the Kotel Hama’aravi

Theodore Herzl founded modern Zionism for a single purpose: to normalize Jewish existence among the nations and thereby end anti-Semitism. Read more...

KU student brings Passover to Lawrence this summer

Danny Caine Read more...

Repeal of ACA will cause too much suffering

More than any other vote since President Trump’s inauguration, the vote on repeal of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) will determine the character and future of our nation. Read more...

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Celebrations

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Unowsky Bar Mitzvah

Unowsky Bar Mitzvah

Micah Unowsky Read more...

Okun Klein Engagement

Heather Okun and Daniel Klein Read more...

Schifman Nathanson Engagement

Lori Anne Schifman and Craig Mitchell Nathanson Read more...

Schifman Birth

Hannah Elizabeth Schifman Read more...

Simchowitz elected to Park University board of trustees

The governing body of Park University — its board of trustees — has elected four individuals to serve as members of the Board. Vince Clark, Anthony Melchiorri, Cyprienne Simchowitz, J.D., and Troy... Read more...

60th Wedding Anniversary

Nancy and Philip Reicher Read more...

Bass Bat Mitzvah

Tori Bass Read more...

Fehr Mankiewicz Engagement

Christopher Mankiewicz and Rachel Lynn Fehr Read more...

Truman Medical Centers’ Katz wins Trust Builder Award

Seth Katz Read more...

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Obituaries

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Fisher, Dr. Harvey F.

Fisher, Dr. Harvey F.

Dr. Harvey F. Fisher, Ph.D., 94, of Overland Park, Kansas, passed away Sunday, Aug. 13, 2017, at his home. Graveside services were set to take place Wednesday, Aug. 16, at Rose Hill Cemetery. In lieu... Read more...

Silver-Dunbar, Sonja

Silver-Dunbar, Sonja

Sonja Silver-Dunbar, 56, of Kansas City, Missouri, passed away Thursday, Aug. 10, 2017, at Lee’s Summit Medical Center. Graveside services were held Aug. 14 at Mount Carmel Cemetery. In lieu of flowers,... Read more...

Yeddis Alexander (Al)

Alexander (Al) Yeddis, 97, passed away on June 8, 2017, in Overland Park, Kansas. He was born in Kansas City, Missouri, to Jacob and Sonya Yeddis. Read more...

Zarr, Mortimer Benjamin

Ben Zarr, 93, of Overland Park, Kansas, died Tuesday, Aug. 8, 2017. Funeral services were held Aug. 11 at Louis Memorial Chapel; burial followed at Rose Hill Cemetery. Read more...

Levitch, Joel

Joel Levitch, 74, a Kansas City native and long-time New Yorker, passed away peacefully on Wednesday, Aug. 2, in Fort Lauderdale. The family had a private ceremony. Read more...

Castrianni, Dolores S.

Dolores S. Castrianni, 88, of Overland Park, Kansas, passed away Saturday, July 22, 2017, at Menorah Medical Center. Graveside services and burial were held Tuesday, July 25, at Sheffield Cemetery.... Read more...

Kopin, Donald Jay

Donald Kopin, 88, previously of Overland Park, Kansas, died peacefully in Dallas, Texas, on Thursday, July 20, 2017, where he had resided over the last year. Donald was born on Aug. 30, 1928, in Kansas... Read more...

Bohm, Elizabeth "Liz"

Elizabeth “Liz” Bohm, 90, of Overland Park, Kansas, passed away peacefully surrounded by family on July 15, 2017. Funeral services were held Monday, July 17, at Louis Memorial Chapel; interment... Read more...

Hurst, Morton Leon

Morton L. Hurst, 89, of Overland Park, Kansas, passed away peacefully Saturday, July 15, 2017, at the Kansas City Hospice House. Funeral services were held Tuesday, July 18, at The Louis Memorial Chapel,... Read more...

Krug, Stuart Elliot

Stuart Elliott Krug, 69, of Las Vegas, Nevada, passed away on Saturday, July 15, 2017, from Crohn’s disease. Funeral services will be at 11 a.m. Thursday, July 20, 2017, at The Louis Memorial Chapel,... Read more...

KC Jewish community helping with fire disaster in Israel

Kansas City’s Jewish community is responding with help following the devastating forest fire that broke out Thursday, Dec. 2, in the Carmel Mountains near Haifa, Israel. At least 42 people have died, homes were lost and more than 12,500 acres of forests destroyed. Jewish National Fund foresters estimate more than 5 million trees were burned.

Todd Stettner, executive vice-president & CEO of the Jewish Federation of Greater Kansas City reports that the Federation mobilized very quickly to join the national Jewish Federations of North America effort by establishing a special mailbox for donations to help the victims of this fire.

"Our focus has been on helping the people of the region. Both our major overseas partners , the Jewish Agency for Israel (JAFI) and the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) were on the scene quickly to help evacuate the most vulnerable — children, the elderly and disabled," Stettner said.

He said that 1,000 children were sent to special camps where activities could be provided for them in safe places and volunteer teams went house to house in some areas to check on the elderly.

"In addition, through the Israel Trauma Coalition we are providing counseling to families of the fire victims, those who lost their homes and valuables and to the emergency personnel who were witness to this tragedy," Stettner said.

Stettner has visited the area and said he can "attest to the fact that a beautiful part of Israel has been destroyed in addition to the lives and property that were lost. We now must concentrate on rebuilding and repairing shattered lives."

He said the local Federation will continue to work with our on-the-ground partners in Israel to determine both the short and long-term needs of those affected, noting that contributions will be directly distributed to the most effective service providers.

JNF’s emergency campaign

Local JNF supporter Larry Haith sent an e-mail blast to his friends on Monday telling them that it was time to "give ’til it hurts."

"Then it feels soooo good … So dig deep, do not go out to dinner this weekend ... pass on the new car ... take care of our people," Haith pleaded.

Haith said he gives to many Jewish causes, but JNF is one of his favorites because it is a non-political entity that owns and administers the land in Israel.

"As a young boy we always had the blue box. In synagogue we had the blue box. When I was fresh out of college I was fortunate to meet Alon Ben Meir, who is now a professor and writer at NYU. He asked me to be the local JNF president and I accepted the position for 10 years," he said.

As the local JNF president, Haith learned a lot about JNF, raised large sums of money and spoke to many groups about the organization.

"It was one of the great experiences of my life. I would love to do it full time," he said. "Go to the JNF website. The JNF has planted so many trees that the desert now rains. A gift of a tree gives an individual an affinity with the land, so I give the gift of a tree on many occasions."

Another reason Haith supports JNF is because their administrative costs are below 10 percent. He also loves it because all Jews own JNF.

"It’s like a big partnership owns Israel, therefore it can never be sold.The land purchases began in 1902 through Theodore Herzel and Baron Rothschild and from 1903 until 1948 enough absentee land was purchased that the British, through the United Nations, agreed to mandate the statehood of Israel. and the JNF is the administer of the land holdings," Haith explained.

Haith also pointed to the JNF website, www.jnf.org, which notes that the road to recovery in Israel has just begun. JNF, staying true to its mandate of caring for the needs of the land and people of Israel,has established Operation Carmel Renewal: From Black to Green to help rebuild and renew the Carmel Forest. Forest restoration efforts will include erosion prevention, clearing of debris, creation of firebreaksand care of the naturally regenerating woodlands.

Donate now

Almost every national Jewish organization is raising funds to help the relief effort for the worst fire in Israel’s history. Here’s two ways you can help:

The Jewish Federation of Greater Kansas City is accepting donations. They may be mailed to:

The Jewish Federation of Greater Kansas City, Attn: Israel Fire Relief Fund, 5801 W. 115th St., Suite 201, Overland Park, KS 66211. Credit card payments will be accepted by phone by contacting Gail Weinberg at (913) 327-8123 or going online to the Israel Fire Relief Fund www.jewishkansascity.org.

Jewish National Fund is accepting donations, via credit card, at www.jnf.org.