Jewish Vocational Service (JVS) and Jewish Family Services (JFS) are joining forces to help the Kansas City refugee community with much-needed food and transportation beginning next month. JVS is the largest refugee resettlement agency in the metropolitan area, resettling over 5,000 refugees in the Kansas City community since 2004. Last year alone, JVS resettled almost 600 refugees from 14 different countries.
Most newborns spend a day, maybe two, in the hospital before going home with mom and dad. But Brody Robert Presson Shalley, The Chronicle’s First Jewish Baby of 2017, isn’t that lucky. Born five weeks early (his due date was Feb. 14) at Children’s Mercy Hospital at 12:12 a.m. Sunday, Jan. 15, he is expected to continue making the hospital’s neonatal unit his home for the next four to six months.
Since its founding in 1949 to support Holocaust survivors, JVS has worked to resettle refugees from around the world. It is now the metro’s largest refugee resettlement agency, and this week, with the help of members of the Jewish and general communities, it is fighting for the rights of refugees to settle here in the United States.
Kansas City joined hundreds of other cities across the country and around the world on Jan. 21 with a rally connected to the Women’s March on Washington, and some members of the local Jewish community helped organize the event and attended it.
Last week between 85 and 100 members of the Jewish community took part in hesed shel emet — an act of true loving kindness. What did they do? They attended a funeral for a woman they most likely had never met.
Late at night following the shootings at the Jewish Community Campus and Village Shalom in April 2014, I wrote a column that I was not afraid of being at those places. In the last two weeks, Jewish Community Centers across the country, including our own J at the Jewish Community Campus, have received bomb threats — thankfully none of which were found to be credible. So, I sit here once again writing … and I am still not afraid.