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Hyman Brand Hebrew Academy to receive Village Shalom’s Schoenfeld Volunteer Award

Julia Paul (left) and Bree Katz will accept the 2017 Stephen J. Schoenfeld Volunteer Recognition Award on behalf of past and present students of Hyman Brand Hebrew Academy who have volunteered their time to lead Friday night Shabbat services for Village Shalom residents since 2000. The award will be presented at Village Shalom’s Ages of Excellence Celebration on Nov. 2.

Generational diversity enshrouds Friday night Shabbat services at Village Shalom. Residents gather in the Appleman Synagogue for not only fellowship among themselves, but with students from a generation up-and-coming.    

Students from Hyman Brand Hebrew Academy have come to Village Shalom to lead Shabbat service prayers in Hebrew every Friday for the past 17 years. Hyman Brand Hebrew Academy will be presented with the 2017 Stephen J. Schoenfeld Volunteer Recognition Award at Village Shalom’s Ages of Excellence Celebration on Nov. 2. The award is in recognition of the generous time students of the academy of given to Village Shalom throughout the years.  

The volunteer service of Hyman Brand Hebrew Academy bonds two generations born years apart through the commonality of their Jewish faith. Together, they help one another grow in their Jewish identity and heritage by reaching across generational lines. Senior Julia Paul and freshman Bree Katz will accept the award on behalf of Hyman Brand Hebrew Academy. 

“Hyman Brand Hebrew Academy is honored to be receiving this prestigious award!  Our relationship with Village Shalom has been for decades and is an extremely rich and treasured partnership,” said Howard M. Haas, head of school at Hyman Brand Hebrew Academy. “Our younger students visit the residents many times during the year and our upper school students lead prayers on Fridays. We instill upon our children the importance of the mitzvah of caring for our senior population. The residents and the children have much to learn from one another.”

Founded in 1966, the academy works to develop a strong sense of community and Jewish identity among its students. By volunteering at Village Shalom, students not only have the opportunity to touch the lives of the residents, but to enhance their own understanding of their Jewish culture. 

The Stephen J. Schoenfeld Volunteer Recognition Award was established in 2002. Schoenfeld generously donated his time to help improve the lives of those at Village Shalom’s predecessor — Shalom Geriatric Center. He would go on to serve as one of the organization’s youngest members of the board of directors before his life ended tragically at age 39. Each year the award is presented to someone who exhibits Schoenfeld’s legacy of volunteerism and commitment to the organization. 

“We are delighted to recognize the dedicated and community-minded students of the Hyman Brand Hebrew Academy with this year’s Schoenfeld Award. Since 2000, these devoted volunteers have visited Village Shalom residents and led Friday night services,” said Alana Muller, Village Shalom board member and Ages of Excellence chair. “The intergenerational interaction is both heartwarming and healthy for all those who participate.”

Alana Muller and Allison Berey will co-chair this year’s Ages of Excellence Celebration. The event will take place on Thursday, Nov. 2 at the InterContinental Kansas City at the Plaza. Former White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest will be the night’s featured speaker. The Kansas City native worked alongside President Obama for three years and is now a political analyst for NBC News and MSNBC. KCUR’s Steve Kraske will emcee the presentation portion of the evening.  

Proceeds from the Ages of Excellence Celebration will provide much-needed financial assistance to Village Shalom residents who rely on the community for vital programs and services. For tickets, sponsorship opportunities and general information, contact Michelle LaPointe at 913-266-8412 or visit www.VillageShalom.org/Ages.