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Men with K.C. ties provide support to Israel’s Lone Soldiers

Men with K.C. ties provide  support to Israel’s Lone Soldiers

Earlier this month Jason Barnett helped issue Israeli IDs to new immigrants who will be joining the IDF in three months. Throughout Israel’s history, volunteers and supporters from all over the world... Read more...

Event to teach women about mitzvah of baking challah

Event to teach women about mitzvah of baking challah

Women will learn how to make and braid challah at the Mega Challah Bake Sept. 2. “The warm, delicious smell of Challah brings something peaceful into the atmosphere of the home.” Read more...

Listening Post

Celebrating a couple of auspicious birthdays are (from left) Eliyahu Eisenbach, 1, Tehila and Shalom Eisenbach and Sarah Zeldin, 102. HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU AND YOU — This birthday was truly a family... Read more...

KC SuperStar finalists include Jewish contestant

Paris Naster is one of 10 finalists vying to become the next KC SuperStar. This year marked the first time 17-year-old Paris Naster auditioned for KC SuperStar, the Jewish Community Center’s “American... Read more...

Bestselling author, Israeli columnist Ari Shavit to speak at Federation Annual Meeting

Ari Shavit Provocative Israeli columnist and New York Times bestselling author Ari Shavit will bring his views on Israel and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to the Jewish Community Campus on Wednesday,... Read more...

Listening Post

THE SINGING RABBI — Rabbi Larry Karol recently mounted a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds to record a third album. The Kansas City native surpassed his initial fundraising goal last week and hopes... Read more...

HBHA expands Jewish studies program, names Rabbi Rockoff Matmidim director

Last year’s first grade Matmidim participants at HBHA — Mendel Tiechtel (from left), Chaya Morgenstern, Zachary Granoff, Rayli Kopelman, Baruch Chaim Mazel, Livia Noorollah and Ari Green — posed... Read more...

Israeli terror survivor to tell courageous story here next week

Kay Wilson Some people may find the difference between a terror victim and a terror survivor to be very subtle. In the case of Kay Wilson, the difference is not subtle. Wilson, who will speak here on... Read more...

Emissaries serve Israel here in K.C. while friends serve on the front lines

Barney Goodman Campers gathered around Israeli shlichim (emissaries) Sapir Davidov (top row, second from left) and Noy Tiram (top row, second from right). Now that camp is over, they will travel a little... Read more...

Balloon Festival features new venue, entertainment and cooking competitions

The Great Midwest Balloon Festival, founded by Robbie and Steve Small, has changed venues for this year’s event. It happens this weekend, Aug. 8-10 at the Kansas Speedway in Kansas City, Kan. Festival... Read more...

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Letter to the Editor

Interfaith Council needs to despise anti-Semitism In response to the letter written by Sheila Sonnenschein and Rev. Mary McCoy of the Greater Kansas City Interfaith Council (Aug. 14), I wonder if it... Read more...

The structure of racism: Change begins with all of us

The structure of racism: Change begins with all of us

For decades, structures have existed that created and sustained Ferguson, Missouri’s, damaged relationship with its police. They have quietly worked their magic, and brought about the shooting of Michael... Read more...

Letters to the Editor

Israel is the victim I can’t help but find a correlation between Muslim migration into Europe and other non-Muslim countries and the rising clamor of anti-Semitism in those countries. Hamas instigated... Read more...

The spiritual journey of a lifetime

Ten local women participated in the 2014 Jewish Women’s Renaissance Project trip to Israel last month. Posing for this photo at the Decks in Tiberious are Stacy Wright (back row, from left), Patricia... Read more...

Letters to the Editor

We need to combat hate Anti-Semitism is a worldwide problem that is getting worse, especially overseas. Our best protection is education, making living conditions better for others and swift eradication... Read more...

The underlying war: Islamism versus democracy

Are Jews the canary in Western Civilization’s cultural mine? Read more...

Turning 80

During my journey through life, as the years have rolled on, I have discovered that time flies even when you’re not having fun — and suddenly even a watershed event can sneak up on one, as it did me.... Read more...

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...

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Celebrations

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Buchbinder Birth

Buchbinder Birth

Baree Nottberg and Scott Buchbinder of Overland Park announce the birth June 27 of a son, Theo Everett Read more...

Zwick-Pohlman Engagement

Zwick-Pohlman Engagement

Arvin and Tammy Zwick of Overland Park announce the engagement of their daughter, Heather Ashley Zwick, to Andrew David Pohlman, son of Jeff and Robin Pohlman of Memphis, Tenn. Read more...

Nerman Wedding Anniversary

Margaret and Jerome Nerman will celebrate their 73rd wedding anniversary on Friday, Aug. 8. They are lifelong residents of Kansas City and have lived in Leawood since 1990. Read more...

Krashin Birth

Daniel and Jacki Krashin of Wilmete, Ill., announce the birth May 20 of a son, Drake Evan. They are also the parents of Madilyn Paige. Read more...

Unowsky Bat Mitzvah

Keri and Daniel Unowsky announce the Bat Mitzvah of their daughter, Sarah Beatrice, on Saturday, Aug. 9, at Beth Sholom Synagogue in Memphis, Tenn. Read more...

Weiner-Conley Engagement

Barbara and Jeff Weiner of Prairie Village announce the engagement of their daughter, Rebecca Brooke Weiner, to Jason Robert Conley, son of Randi and Larry Haith and Kim and Bob Conley. Read more...

Bock-Lewis Engagement

Lynne and David Bock announce the engagement of their daughter, Hannah Rose Bock, to Joshua Aaron Lewis, son of Sheryl and Jim Lewis of Deerfield, Ill. Read more...

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

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...

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Obituaries

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Braeman, Aaron

Braeman, Aaron

Aaron Braeman, 100, of Overland Park, died on Sunday, Aug. 17, 2014, at Village Shalom. Read more...

Brown, Peedee

Brown, Peedee

Peedee Brown (nee Roseroot), 74, of Overland Park, formerly of Fairway, died peacefully at her home on Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014, surrounded by her loved ones. Read more...

Hipsh, Sam Harry

Sam Harry Hipsh, 95, of Leawood, passed away on Thursday, Aug. 14, 2014. Read more...

Mittelman, Sara

Sara Mittelman, 97, was born May 10, 1917, and died Friday, Aug. 15, 2014, at Menorah Medical Center. Read more...

Sher, Peyton

Peyton Sher, 90, international boxing matchmaker and promoter, of Leawood, passed away peacefully on Sunday, Aug. 17, 2014, at the Kansas City Hospice House. Read more...

Zingher, Fran Meadow

Fran Meadow Zingher, 92, passed away peacefully on Thursday, Aug. 14, 2014. Read more...

Rosenberg, Abraham B.

Abraham B. Rosenberg, 93, of Overland Park, passed away Saturday, Aug. 9, 2014, at Village Shalom. Read more...

Spiegel, Robert Alan

Robert Allan Spiegel, 76, of Ra’anana, Israel, passed away on Monday, July 28, 2014. Read more...

Wurzburger, Irene

Irene Wurzburger, 94, of Overland Park, passed away on Sunday, Aug 10, 2014. Read more...

Beiman, Melvyn

Melvyn Beiman, 82, of Lee’s Summit, died on Wednesday, July 24, 2014, at the Village House on the campus of John Knox Village. 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.