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KC Leadership Tomorrow gives summer interns valuable experience while helping nonprofits

KC Leadership Tomorrow gives summer interns valuable experience while helping nonprofits

Rae Pfau is the first paid employee the Mitzvah Garden has ever had. She serves this summer as the garden’s volunteer coordinator and is being paid through KC Leadership Tomorrow, a summer internship... Read more...

The Blue Card available to assist older Holocaust survivors; JFS makes local connection

The Blue Card available to assist older Holocaust survivors; JFS makes local connection

Every year, the number of Holocaust survivors continues to dwindle. Statistics indicate that of the 75,000 Holocaust survivors living in the United States, about one-third live below poverty level. While... Read more...

B’nai Jehudah announces ‘interim’ year of music

Coleen Dieker The Temple, Congregation B’nai Jehudah has announced to its congregation that it is embarking on a journey of musical exploration that they are calling “an interim year of music.”... Read more...

Listening Post

CDC teachers Barbara Abramowitz and Liz Bigus. STUDENT BECOMES CO-TEACHER — About 20 years ago Elizabeth Bigus was a 3-year-old preschool student in Barbara Abramowitz’s class at the Jewish Community... Read more...

Visitors, residents send K.C. folks messages they are safe

Members of the Jewish Federation’s Shorashim 2 mission visited an Iron Dome command center outside of Ashkelon in May 2014. Shorashim 2 was a mission for men only to learn about contemporary issues facing... Read more...

Special fundraising campaigns initiated: Israel needs you now

Late last week the Jewish Federation of Greater Kansas City, through the Jewish Federations of North American, launched Operation Relief and Respite in response to the current tensions in Israel. Read more...

Survivorship courses to help cancer survivors incorporate ‘Back in the Swing’ lifestyle

Among other things, Barbara Unell spoke about the ‘Back in the Swing Cookbook’ at The Duke Cancer Center Survivorship Center in Durham, N.C., last fall. “This is a plan for wellness versus illness.”... Read more...

NCJW Back to School Store offers new clothing, school supplies to underprivileged kids

National Council of Jewish Women’s Back to School Store will impact 200 children living in poverty in the Kansas City metro area, primarily from Jackson County, Mo., and Johnson County, Kan. Read more...

Israeli Scouts to bring high-energy performance to Campus, B’nai Jehudah

Friendship Caravan Assif While things in their home country are a little tense, a group of young Israelis will be here to share their talents and their love of their country. On Friday, July 25, the Friendship... Read more...

Listening Post

Howard Haas (left) and Rabbi Morey Schwartz in Jerusalem. MELTON@HBHA — While traveling in Israel, Howard Haas, head of school at the Hyman Brand Hebrew Academy, met with Rabbi Morey Schwartz in Jerusalem... Read more...

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Opinion

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Letters to the Editor

Why can’t Jews speak Hebrew? How come so few Jews in North America know how to speak Hebrew? Sure a lot of them know how to read Hebrew from Bar and Bat Mitzvahs and there is a flowery English translation... Read more...

Why we’re letting our daughter stay in Israel in wartime

Let’s just say that missiles and bomb shelters were not on the itinerary of our 16-year-old daughter’s pilgrimage trip to Israel this summer. I spoke to her this morning. Yeah, the alarms are unnerving,... Read more...

Letter to the Editor

Half-truths and anti-Semitism I was irate after watching the late CNN news on July 10. Anderson Cooper pretended to deliver a factual report about Israel’s bombing of Arab residences, with a slight... Read more...

Amidst turmoil, life in Israel continues to be meaningful

My mother wants me to come home. I’ve been calling her every day, and she wants me on a plane immediately. She has been watching the news and following events as they unfold here in Israel and she is... Read more...

Letter to the Editor

Conference gives families hope My husband Harold and I were fortunate to attend the Mucolipidosis Type 4 (ML4) Foundation Family & Research Conference last month in Atlanta. ML4, a relatively unknown... Read more...

We mourn three senseless deaths caused by hate, again

Our Jewish community has held two memorial services in the last three months — 77 days apart to be exact. Thousands of people attended the first one, as the Jewish community grieved for the senseless... Read more...

‘Soul Encounters’ reminds us of Rebbe’s message

Rabbi Sholom Wineberg The name “Soul Encounters” appropriately identified the program at Chabad House Center, which took place Tuesday, July 1, 3rd of Tammuz. Nearly 100 people attended. Read more...

Letter to the Editor

No champion of Jewish values I cannot share Washington Jewish Week/JNS.orgreporter Dmitriy Shapiro’s lament for the demise of Eric Cantor’s political career (The Chronicle, June 19, or www.jns.org),... Read more...

Federation mission gives participants unique look at Eastern European Jews

Alan Widman (left) and Stacey Belzer (right) visit with Sybil Sylvian in June. Sylvian’s picture was featured on Page 1 of The Chronicle in January as part of a story about the KU Hillel European Leadership... Read more...

'State of Deception' exhibition should not be missed

“Propaganda is a truly terrible weapon in the hands of an expert.” — Adolf Hitler, “Mein Kampf,” 1924   I attended a press preview this week for the United States Holocaust Memorial Museums... Read more...

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Celebrations

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Chase Bat Mitzvah

Chase Bat Mitzvah

Debbie and Jeff Chase announce the Bat Mitzvah of their daughter, Talia Faye, at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 2, at Congregation Beth Torah. Read more...

Passer-Wolkofsky Engagement

Passer-Wolkofsky Engagement

Sandy and Steve Passer announce the engagement of their daughter, Emily Passer, to Peter Wolkofsky, son of Michael and Vicky Wolkofsky of Queens, N.Y. Read more...

Zwillenberg 50th Anniversary

Morris and Linda (Fein) Zwillenberg will celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary on Saturday, July 26. They were married at Beth Shalom Synagogue in Hartford, Conn., on July 26, 1964. Read more...

Halasz Birth

Rabbi Karen Bodney-Halasz and Scott Halasz of Dayton, Ohio, announce the birth May 6 of a son, Ethan Falk Halasz. They are also the parents of another son, Jonah. Read more...

Unell Bat Mitzvah

Joe and Marcia Unell announce the Bat Mitzvah of their daughter, Alyssa Unell, on June 26 at Haas Promenade in Jerusalem. Read more...

Zeldin B'nai Mitzvah

Ashlyn and Alexis Zeldin celebrated their Bat Mitzvah commitment ceremony on June 6 in Santa Barbara, Calif. They are the daughters of Janine and Kevin Zeldin of St Louis, Mo. Read more...

Badzin-Fineman Engagement

Jim and Fern Badzin, Leawood, announce the engagement of their daughter, Brooke Michelle Badzin, to Nathan Gabriel Fineman, both of Chicago, son of Glen and Holly Fineman, Omaha, Neb. Read more...

Bergman-Kaplan Engagement

Victor and Susan Bergman announce the engagement of their daughter, Ruthie Bergman, to Asher Kaplan, son of Shlomo Kaplan, Loch Sheldrake, N.Y., and Judith Kaplan, Boca Raton, Fla. Read more...

Reidy Wedding

Jennifer Mayer and James Reidy were married Saturday, March 1, at the Overland Park Marriott. The ceremony was officiated by Rabbi Arthur Nemitoff of The Temple, Congregation B’nai Jehudah. Read more...

Alpert Birth

Jeremy and Ashley Alpert of Overland Park announce the birth May 28 of a son, Levi Caleb. Levi joins big brother Jonah Doni. Read more...

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Obituaries

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Silverman, Inge B.

Inge B. Silverman, 83, of Leawood, passed away Thursday, July 17, 2014, at Menorah Medical Center. Read more...

Warshawsky, Arnold

Warshawsky, Arnold

Arnold Warshawsky passed away on Friday, July 18, 2014, after a lengthy battle with health issues for almost a decade, including COPD. Read more...

Waxman, Michael Bernard

Michael Bernard Waxman, 63, passed away unexpectedly at his home in Baldwin City, Kan., on July 16, 2014. Read more...

Chick, Stephen

Stephen Bruce Chick of Prairie Village passed away peacefully on Monday, July 7, 2014. Read more...

Freed, Ronald

Ronald Lee Freed passed away on Monday, July 14, 2014. Read more...

Gladstone, Donald

Donald H. Gladstone, 93, of Overland Park, passed away Thursday, July 10, 2014. Read more...

Hammer, Robert L.

Robert L. Hammer, 73, passed away Tuesday, July 8, 2014. Read more...

Hoffman, Dorothy

Dorothy Lillian Hoffman, 91, of Leawood, passed away on Sunday, July 6, 2014, at Village Shalom. Read more...

Megerman, Charles

Charles Megerman, 67, of Overland Park, passed away Monday, July 14, 2014, at his home. Read more...

Plotsky, Edward

Edward Plotsky, 68, of Reno, Nev., passed away Tuesday, July 8, 2014, at his home. A private service and interment will be in Reno. 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.