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Kansas City native Rabbi Stephen Karol was among the 40,000 who attended the Celebrate Israel Parade in New York on Sunday, June 4.

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More than 7,000 people attended the 2013 Jewish Arts Festival. Organizers hope for an even larger crowd for the reinvigorated Jewish Culture Festival, set for Sept. 10.

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Members of JWV MO-KAN Post 605 placed a wreath during the Veterans Day ceremony on Nov. 11, 2016, at the Korean War Memorial at 119th and Lowell in Overland Park. Post members attending the ceremony included Steven Schorr (from left), Abe Kopec, Lloyd Hellman, Larry Gordon, Mark Slatkin, Marv Korn and Larry Jabenis. The post, along with the Jewish Community Foundation, is planning a book to honor area Jewish veterans.

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As graduation ceremonies take place all over the country, two Kansas Citians were recognized by the Hebrew Union College Jewish Institute of Religion in Los Angeles on Monday, May 15. Elana Rose Nemitoff (left) earned a Masters of Jewish Education degree and is continuing her studies to become a rabbi. Tamara Lawson Schuster, MAJE/MAJCS, was awarded the Doctor of Jewish Religious Education, honoris causa, celebrating 25 years in Jewish education post master’s degree. She is the director of admissions at the Hyman Brand Hebrew Academy.

HELP ‘BIG SONIA’ GET TO THE BIG SCREEN — ‘BIG SONIA,’ the documentary about irrepressible 91-year-old diva, Kansas City business owner and Holocaust survivor Sonia Warshawski, has launched a campaign to bring the award-winning film to theaters this fall.

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For teens today, life is like a pressure cooker — demands at home, school, from peers and constant bombardment of messages from social media. Kansas City and the country as a whole is facing a mental health crisis with our teens. For some, those pressures tackle teens self-worth, lead to depression and in a growing number of situations, lead to suicide.

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Eitan Silver is 7 years old and thoroughly enjoyed eating his falafel with parents Yosef and Daniella Silver at the May 2 Yom HaAtzmaut/Israel Independence Day celebration, which took place at the Jewish Community Campus. The event, brought to Kansas City by the Israel Emissary/Jewish Federation, Jewish Community Center, Teva Pharmaceuticals and a host of other Jewish organizations, included food and a variety of family activities including an Israel photo booth, face painting, music, dancing and Israel-themed crafts.

GO FUND ME CHILDREN’S ALBUM — Our friend Matt Rissien, who now lives and works in the Chicago area, is hoping to write and record a Jewish children’s album this summer!

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Abe Meth (right) reads the Megillah on Purim at his congregation in Sun City, Arizona.

MAY HIS MEMORY BE A BLESSING — Abraham Meth passed away on May 27 in Sun City, Arizona, just a few days before his 105th  birthday. A Holocaust survivor, Meth moved to Kansas City from Hungary in 1948 and lived here until the mid-70s, when he moved to Arizona. While he lived here, Meth served in many capacities at Congregation Beth Shalom. According to the funeral home in Arizona, the family did not prepare an obituary.

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KU Mr. Hillel participants include Gabe Herstig (from left), Max Gendler, Mike Johnson, Joel Gutovitz, Will Cohen and Jacob Milgrim.

On April 26, KU Hillel hosted its first ever Mr. Hillel competition where six Jewish men participated in various activities that were ranked and voted on by student audience members. From stand-up comedy to trumpet and guitar performances to an original rap song written about Hillel and Judaism, the talent portion of the evening proved to be quite entertaining.

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