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Hyman Brand Hebrew Academy Kindergarten students Penina DeLuca and Brody Feldman show off the ‘grass heads’ that they and their classmates made as part of a special Tu b’Shevat celebration. HBHA students in grades K-12 celebrated the holiday in a variety of ways, including Tu b’Shevat seders, making crafts out of recycled items, and a Holchim Yarok (Go Green, the student-run environmental group) program.

CHECK OUT THE NEW HEBREW CORNER — Several members of the Jewish community have started a grassroots Hebrew initiative and intend to provide Hebrew learning opportunities. Recently, the Jewish Community Campus gave them permission to place a Hebrew Corner in the front lobby. {mprestriction ids="1,3"}I’ve been told there has been great discussions over the Hebrew translation of “Hebrew Corner.”  The three contenders are: HaPinah HaIvrit, Pinat Ivrit, or simply Pinah Ivrit. I also understand a person has to be a Hebrew grammarian, which I am not, to appreciate the nuanced differences. To find out which name finally won, stop by the corner and check out the sign! (And let me know, I haven’t seen it yet, either!) More information about the group’s programming should be available in the coming weeks. Stay tuned!

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Rabbi Alexandria Shuval-Weiner

Rabbi Alexandria Shuval-Weiner, assistant rabbi at The Temple, Congregation B’nai Jehudah, has been elected the next senior rabbi at Temple Beth Tikvah in Roswell, Ga.

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David Radzynski

In December David Radzynski, a student at Park University’s International Center for Music, was named concertmaster of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra. {mprestriction ids="1,3"}Music lovers around town and his professors at Park all unanimously agree on two things — his selection is a big deal for the Jewish violinist.

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Sophia Porter

Sophia Porter, a senior at Hyman Brand Hebrew Academy, and the 2015 winner of the National Space Club Keynote Scholar award, is one motivated and inspiring teenager. {mprestriction ids="1,3"}The Keynote Scholar award is a competition among high school seniors, college students and graduate students.

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Jacob Schreiber

Jacob Schreiber, president and CEO of the Jewish Community Center, has chosen to resign from his post to pursue his professional goal of working with a larger, more challenging organization. In an email sent to The Chronicle, Ken Sigman, the JCC’s chairman of the board, wrote that Schreiber “made the decision to leave the JCC on a high note while the Center is flourishing. {mprestriction ids="1,3"}We are truly grateful for him vastly improving our financial situation to profitability, the key hires he has made and enhancing our programming to service a growing organization.”

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This is the Law,’ by Paula Neufeld circa 1935.

Former Kansas Citian Carol Terte Gill is writing a book about her great aunt, artist Paula Neufeld, whose many works still hang in the homes of prominent Kansas City residents. In the process, she’d would like to locate one of her aunt’s missing paintings. {mprestriction ids="1,3"}She contacted The Chronicle hoping an article would assist in the search.

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The community is invited to the 17th annual Purim Gala on Sunday, March 8, at Oakwood Country Club, as BIAV recognizes two local organizations devoted to “growing the good in Kansas City” — Mitzvah Garden KC and Friends of Sheffield Cemetery.

This year’s event marks the first time Congregation Beth Israel Abraham & Voliner will highlight the mitzvahs of Jewish organizations — feeding the hungry and honoring the dead. {mprestriction ids="1,3"}“We look forward to a joyous celebration as we celebrate deserving ‘home grown’ organizations for their good work,” said co-chair Lisa Bernard.

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Chagit and Gad Stuart are teaching at the Hyman Brand Hebrew Academy as part of a two-year emissary program coordinated through the World Zionist Organization. Photo by Elisa Pener

It’s not unusual to find Israelis teaching at the Hyman Brand Hebrew Academy. Two of the newest are Gad and Chagit Stuart. The couple moved here at the beginning of this school year. {mprestriction ids="1,3"}They are here for two years on a program through the World Zionist Organization (WZO), and they plan on returning to Israel after their time here.

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Canadian Holocaust survivor Mordechai Ronen hugs Ronald Lauder, president of the World Jewish Congress, who along with the USC Shoah Foundation organized a delegation of 15 Auschwitz survivors, aged 80-94, to visit the infamous camp Monday, the day before the 70th anniversary celebration of its liberation.

HELP SOUGHT TO INTEGRATE LOCAL JEWS-BY-CHOICE — A Jewish integration coordinator position is being created by the Rabbinical Association of Greater Kansas City to ensure the successful integration of new Jews-by-choice into their synagogues and into the Jewish community after they complete the Rabbinical Association’s yearlong community course: “Judaism for Conversion Candidates” and their actual conversion to Judaism. {mprestriction ids="1,3"}The coordinator will meet with new Jews-by-choice to explore any barriers to full integration in the Jewish community that they might be experiencing, and facilitate personal connections for new Jews-by-choice within their synagogue home and connect individuals to the general Jewish community. Hours are flexible and candidates must be available during the months of April-May and Aug. 15–Dec. 31.

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Grant Samuel James Cowan, The Chronicle’s First Jewish Baby for 2015, was born on Jan. 11. He was four days old when this photo was taken.

It appears Grant Samuel James Cowan may have inherited his father’s lucky gene. Grant was born Jan. 11, 2015, at Shawnee Mission Medical Center. That may seem to be a little late in the month to be a first baby of the year, but that’s exactly what he was. {mprestriction ids="1,3"}Mother Cara Cowan explains that Grant’s father and her husband, Douglas Cowan, has a knack of always winning things.

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Gerean Rudnick (center) recently had a chance to visit with three of her four grandchildren, who are all part of Team Gerean. They are Madeline Ward (from left), Jessica Sight and Jillian Ward. Missing was Spender Sight, who is out of the country.

Lifelong active member of the Kansas City Jewish community, Gerean Rudnick (80), has always been known as a great communicator and an avid giver. In November 2013 Rudnick was diagnosed with a brain tumor that has prohibited her ability to communicate, but she and her family are still giving. {mprestriction ids="1,3"}Despite the physical challenge and emotional hardship, Rudnick’s daughters, Melynn Sight and Lenise Ward, are helping their mother donate to her long-time benefactor, Children’s Mercy Hospital.

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