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Singers to be honored at Purim Gala

Mort and Helene Singer

Congregation Beth Israel Abraham & Voliner is looking forward to “unmasking” and honoring two BIAV heroes — Mort and Helene Singer — at its annual Purim Gala on Sunday, March 12.

This year, the gala truly becomes a Purim day celebration with a masquerade ball at the elegant Museum at Prairie Fire, located at 5801 West 135th Street in Overland Park. Purim Gala guests will have the opportunity to dress up in masquerade ball attire, enjoy the beautiful venue, see a tyrannosaurus rex in the museum’s Great Hall, bid on exciting silent auction items, all while enjoying gourmet cuisine and watching the entertaining program.

The Mordechai Award has been given at Congregation BIAV’s annual Purim Gala for the last 18 years to someone whose accomplishments have inspired and benefited the Kansas City Jewish community. One of the “mitzvot” of Purim is to celebrate, and this year BIAV celebrates the effort of its honorees, their dedication to the synagogue and their strong commitment to Judaism and community. 

“We are inspired by them and we are now taking the opportunity to tell their part in the BIAV story,” said Eva Lipner Sokol, chair of this year’s gala. “In the Book of Esther, Mordechai and Esther were the duo that made the miracle of saving the Jewish people possible. While we read the miracle every year and publicize it, at that time in history almost no one knew about their accomplishment.”

In a parallel manner, Mort and Helene Singer have been working behind the scenes as the heart and soul of Congregation BIAV, constantly stepping forward to volunteer in the most humble, quiet fashion. In many ways they are the engine that makes the synagogue run. For more than 20 years, they have gone shopping for all the supplies that BIAV needs, stocked the shelves, prepared festive meals and opened the doors daily before 6 a.m. to prepare the building for services. Forever young at heart and friends to all, they live and breathe BIAV, which they call their second home. BIAV and the community would not be the same without their devotion.

For 18 years, the gala has been the primary fundraising event for Congregation BIAV, Kansas City’s only modern Orthodox synagogue, which has realized a 25 percent growth in membership in recent years.

“We’re thrilled to serve our role in the diverse Greater Kansas City Jewish community by honoring a couple who continue to have an enormous impact through their support and commitment to BIAV and the Kansas City Jewish community,” Sokol added. 

Past recipients include: Rabbi Morey Schwartz, 1998; A. Robert Gast, 1999; Neil and Blanche Sosland, 2000; Merilyn Berenbom, 2001; Jerry and Lisa Bernard, 2002; Bernard H. Brown, 2003; Florence Melton, z’l, 2004; Cy and Esther Rudnick, 2006; G. Richard Hastings, 2007; Jim Badzin, 2008; The Helzberg Leadership Program, 2009; the Honorable Sam Brownback, 2010; Esther and Vrem Levens, 2011; Todd Stettner, 2012; BIAV’s Youth, 2013; Bonnie and Matt Siegel, 2014; the Mitzvah Garden KC and the Friends of Sheffield Cemetery, 2015; and Bob Kendrick, president of the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, 2016.

Table sponsorships are available from $1,000-$5,000; individual tickets are $180. RSVPs are needed no later than March 2. For more information, to place an ad in the journal or to make reservations, contact BIAV at: 913-341-2444 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.