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Listening Post

Ken Sigman, president-elect of The Temple, Congregation B’nai Jehudah, recently attended the Scheidt Seminar in San Diego. The Scheidt Seminar is put on by the Union for Reform Judaism and convenes congregational presidents to learn, network, build relationships and enhance leadership skills. Pictured with Sigman (center) are Rabbi Rick Jacobs (right), president of the Union for Reform Judaism and Rabbi Aaron Panken (left), president of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religions.

STANDING WITH REFUGEES —  Early this week the Rabbinical Association of Greater Kansas City sent the following statement in regards to refugees.

It follows:

The Rabbinical Association of Greater Kansas City affirms its solidarity with all refugees that have been resettled in the Greater Kansas City area and extends a welcoming hand to all refugees seeking resettlement in America through our country’s comprehensive resettlement program.

We read in the Torah that God loves the stranger (Deuteronomy 10:18), and we likewise are commanded to love the stranger as well (Deuteronomy 10:19, Leviticus 19:34). We uphold this sacred obligation even and especially when risk or unease threatens to dissuade us. So it is written in the Babylonian Talmud (Bava Metzia 59b):

It has been taught: Rabbi Eleazar the Great said: Why does Torah warn 36 times — and some say 46 times — about [wronging] the stranger? Because wickedness is [part of] human nature [and may tempt us to turn away].

And so it has been codified in the Shulchan Aruch (Choshen Mishpat 228:2):

One must take special care against treating the stranger unfairly, whether physically or financially, because one is warned about this in several places.

Far too often in our own history have Jews been turned away in our times of greatest need. Therefore, in line with our Jewish responsibilities and convictions, we join hands with others in our local and national communities in support of efforts to receive and support refugees.

Charles A. “Chuck” Green

NEW COMMUNITY SECURITY DIRECTOR HIRED — Charles A. “Chuck” Green has joined the Jewish Federation staff as the new Jewish community security director. Green, who began serving the community on Feb. 20, is a security professional with more than 32 years of law enforcement experience, most recently as a special agent in charge of the Kansas City Field Office of the U.S. Secret Service Department. As a native of Kansas, Green began his career in law enforcement with the Overland Park Police Department. He continued his career as a member of the U.S. Secret Service, where he served in a wide variety of roles — nationally and internationally — before returning to Kansas City to lead the local field office. He is committed to Kansas City, and looks forward to working with Kansas City’s Jewish community. 

“After an extensive interview process, which included input from a number of our partner agencies, it is very apparent that Chuck possesses the credentials, experience and interpersonal skills needed for the security director position. We hope you will join us in welcoming him with open arms to our community,” said Dr. Helene Lotman, president and CEO of Jewish Federation.