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Sam Tucker and his parents Rachel Ommerman and Joshua Tucker were excited to participate in the Congregation Beth Torah Consecration service.

Every February the American Jewish community marks Jewish Disability Awareness and Inclusion Month and is an opportunity to celebrate the community’s commitment to removing barriers, celebrating diversity and connecting with Jewish values.

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Eitan Levon

Jewish Community Relations Bureau|American Jewish Committee will present the Consul General of Israel to the Southwest, The Honorable Ambassador Eitan Levon, for a community briefing at 7:30 p.m. Monday, March 13, at the Jewish Community Campus.

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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.

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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.

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Eileen Bluestone Sherman

Those who think they know Norman Rockwell from his years of illustrating Saturday Evening Post covers don’t know the whole story. At a very early age, Rockwell learned, “Don’t show life as it really is, but how folks want it to be.” And that sums up his life as an artist.

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Shown at the interfaith vigil for refugees and immigrants on Feb. 5 are Rabbi Mark Levin (front row, from left), rabbi emeritus of Congregation Beth Torah; Hilary Cohen Singer, executive director of JVS, and Shabina Kavimandan. Back row: Fariz Turkmani, Syrian immigrant; Ahsan Latif, Crescent Peace Society president; and Bill Rose-Heim, Disciples of Christ and Greater KC Interfaith Council director.

‘SUPPORTING REFUGEES — More than 1,300 people attended a vigil for refugees and immigrants on Sunday, Feb. 5, at Overland Park Christian Church. An additional 1,900 people viewed the vigil on live-stream. The organization that planned the event, KC for Refugees, is a grassroots organization that helps refugees being settled by Catholic Charities, Della Lamb Community Services and Jewish Vocational Service (JVS).

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Porsche Elkins

In the continued effort to help individuals and families face life’s daily challenges, Jewish Family Services now offers a program to meet the needs of people with intellectual/developmental disabilities (I/DD). The goal of the new JFS Disability Services program is to support the quality of life and independence of people with I/DD.

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Jay Lewis, executive director of KU Hillel, was the master of ceremonies at the 2012 TEDxOverlandPark event titled “Game-Changers.”

Ever feel like you have this great idea but don’t know what to do with it? Well, TEDxOverlandPark, a local offshoot of the nationally known TED, might be the answer.

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Jay Michael Gilman

‘FIRST THEY CAME FOR’ — Earlier this month a play based on the poem “First They Came For” by Martin Niemoller and inspired by Elie Wiesel’s “Night” debuted in Philadelphia. Why do we write about it?

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Rabbi Rockoff runs twice a week in preparation for Rabbis Can Run, a 10K event held in conjunction with the Jerusalem Marathon to raise money for Kav L’Noar of Israel.

If you’ve seen a man running in the area of 99th and Antioch wearing a BIAV Minayn Man sweatshirt, it’s likely you’ve caught a glimpse of Rabbi Dani Rockoff training for his first ever 10K run. Rabbi Rockoff and two other North American rabbis will be participating in the inaugural Rabbis Can Run event to raise money for Kav L’Noar of Israel. The rabbis will be running the 10K portion of the Jerusalem Marathan, set for March 17 in Jerusalem.

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