Featured Ads

Inclusive approach makes Jewish Federation’s FED wildly successful

Yosef and Daniella Silver

Kansas City has an awesome entertainment scene. Between Starlight Theatre, The Kauffman Center for Performing Arts and the appeal of the Crossroads District, there’s always something to do in town. As transplants who have been happy to call Overland Park home for four years, we try to see, and taste, all the flavors Kansas City has to offer.

Except for the food.  

For years I’ve heard the accolades of Lydia’s Loft, Celina Tio’s “Julian” and Oklahoma Joe’s, but never have I been able to sample these delights myself, because my wife and I observe the laws of kosher. {mprestriction ids="1,3"}It’s not that we don’t get to have fun. 

We’re members of Union Station, we love the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, and we’ve even been known to take the occasional stay-cation for a weekend downtown, but it’s rare that we get a chance to dress up in our best and have a night out like “normal people” do.  

Then, along came FED.  

From the moment I learned that the Jewish Federation was teaming up with Dinner Lab and they had their goal set on a kosher menu, I was counting down the days till that October evening came around. 

And it wasn’t just me.  

Our friends throughout the community were looking forward to getting out, and dining out. Dinner Lab, the organization that the Federation partnered with to host FED, is rapidly gaining national recognition for pushing the envelope both in terms of culinary excellence, and memorable dining experiences in unexpected spaces.  

For food lovers who observe the laws of kosher, FED was nothing short of a gift, but there’s one more accolade for which I think the Federation deserves our collective praise. Pluralism. 

While pluralism and inclusion is a noteworthy goal, the approach all too often strives to include many, but almost always, leaves someone, perhaps on the fringes of the belief spectrum, feeling uncomfortable. 

I think FED accomplished an authentic moment of inclusion. Jewish community leaders around the world should turn their eyes to Kansas City and see how everyone was included. More than that: everyone was welcome. Your belief structure, affiliation or membership mattered not. All that mattered is that you enjoyed being with great people and wanted to enjoy great food.  

In many senses, that unity is all that matters, and I look forward to the next event that brings us together as a community. As one.{/mprestriction}