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One in eight couples, that’s 12 percent of married women, have trouble getting pregnant or sustaining a pregnancy according to a 2006-2010 National Survey of Family Growth reported on by the Centers for Disease Control. That can be devastating news for a couple, both financially and psychologically, as they look for ways to start a family. In the past it’s been difficult to find support for those seeking it within in the Jewish community. Annie Glickman hopes it becomes easier very soon.

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Sandi Lerner with her friend Ruth Margolin — one of the many Village Shalom residents benefiting from Lerner’s numerous volunteer hours.

Sandi Lerner is a talker. She’ll be the first to admit it, and anyone who knows her will attest. But on the afternoon of July 30, before a room full of witnesses, Sandi Lerner was rendered speechless for the first time she could remember. It was because on this day, at an impromptu presentation during Village Shalom’s weekly happy hour, Village Shalom President and CEO Matt Lewis informed the crowd that Lerner had been selected as the LeadingAge Kansas “Volunteer of the Year.”

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Weiner Religious School Pre-K families gathered for the first day of class last year.

Congregation Beth Torah announced this week an innovative shift to its members’ financial commitment to the congregation. The board of trustees announced its members will no longer have to pay religious school tuition. Beth Torah is also making another large policy shift by opening up its religious school to everyone in the Jewish community. In doing so, it is increasing its dedication to educating the next generation of Jews in the Kansas City Jewish community. 

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After working at Horizon Academy since it opened in 1999, Julie Altman (left) has been promoted to principal and Vicki Asher has been chosen as its head of school.

At one time in Jewish history, teaching was an indisputably male domain. Today, not only do females flourish in the field of teaching, they are sought-after administrators. Horizon Academy has chosen two highly respected Jewish women in the field of special education — Vicki Asher and Julie Altman — to lead its school. Horizon Academy just might be the only school — public or private — in the Kansas City area to have Jewish women serving in its top two leadership positions.

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Day of Discover presenter and KU archaeologist Eric Welch measures elevations at Tell es-Safi, the biblical city of ‘Gath of the Philistines.’

“Discovery” — the art of finding something new. Those who participate in the annual Day of Discovery on Sunday, Aug. 23, will definitely find something new this year with the addition of several new instructors and classes. The annual day of learning, sponsored by the Rabbinical Association and a variety of other Jewish organizations at the Jewish Community Campus begins with registration at 8:45 a.m. and concludes at 3 p.m.

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Israelis Adi Shetu and Dorin Eliyahu served as camp counselors this summer teaching Barney Goodman campers about the Land of Milk and Honey.

Every year the camps at the Jewish Community Center welcome shlichim (Israeli emissaries) to be a part of the staff. This year two female emissaries (shlichot) — Dorin Eliyahu and Adi Shetu — are part of the camp staff and their duties include teaching the campers at Barney Goodman Camp more about Israel during their Kol Israel programs. 

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Dr. Alan Poisner

STILL COMPETITNG AND MEDALING — Dr. Alan Poisner has had a big year. He turned 80, he married Sharon Lowenstein Shoham, and moved into a new age division in racing competitions. So far this year he has earned gold medals at the USATF National Masters Indoor Championships in North Carolina in March, the National Senior Games Association biannual meet in St. Paul, Minnesota, in July, and the USATF National Master Outdoor Championships in Jacksonville, Florida, just last week. Dr. Poisner broke the 25-year-old record in the 1,500-meter walk in St. Paul and was the second fastest of all time in the 5K for the 80-84 division at the same meet. In Jacksonville, he was the oldest competitor in the 10,000-meter race and “came in ahead of three younger walkers who finished and six elite walkers who were disqualified by rigorous judging. This was a true endurance race that took over 1 hour for most walkers.” This is the 30th year of Dr. Poisner’s race-walking career and his 20th as president of the Heartland Racewalkers.

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Mendel Segal, aka “RaBBi-Q, cleaned up at the Chicago Kosher BBQ Competition with first places in chicken, brisket and beans on his way to being the grand champion, June 2015. Photo courtesy of Rabbi Mendel Segal

(Editor’s note: The Chronicle has published several stories about the Vaad’s Rabbi Mendel Segal as well as the 4th annual Kansas City Vaad Kosher BBQ Festival and Competition to be held Sunday, Aug. 16, at the Ritz Charles in Overland Park. Since readers of the Times of Israel have enjoyed this story this week, we thought our readers would like it as well.)

LEAWOOD, Kansas — Mendel Segal wears two particular titles that each reflect a devotion to tradition, imply an unending pursuit of precision and command immediate respect.

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Last year’s hot dog eating contest was popular with kids. This year, instead of eating contests, a children’s division of the barbecue contest has been added where kids can show off their barbecuing skills.

In Kansas City, some people view cooking barbecue as a sacred art. The devout pitmasters know the preparation that goes into crafting the sauces, the rubs and the smoke. Many weekends have been spent working over the grill, honing the right flavors by local barbecue aficionados. This is serious work that, while not a religion, is certainly a strong cultural tradition.

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Bridey Stangler

There will be a familiar face around the halls of Beth Torah this coming year as congregants and children come into the synagogue for lifelong learning opportunities. Bridey Stangler has been hired by Beth Torah as congregational director of education for the upcoming year. 

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Ariel Palan (age 7) hosted her annual 4th of July lemonade stand this year to benefit NCJW’s ‘Back to School Store,’ which was held on July 26. This year, more than 250 deserving children participated. They were able to select clothes, shoes, a winter coat and school supplies to help them get their school year off to a great start! Pictured are Lynn Schweig (from left), Greater Kansas City NCJW board member; Carol Ann Hecht, Ariel’s grandmother and NCJW’s Annapolis, Maryland section president; Ariel’s mother Amanda Palan; Ariel’s grandmother Barbara Palan; and Ariel.

RED THURSDAY TO FEATURE THE SYMPHONY — First it was the World Series and now, the NFL! In case you hadn’t heard already, the Kansas City Chiefs have invited the Kansas City Symphony to perform “The Star-Spangled Banner” on Sept. 17 in conjunction with the 2015 “Red Thursday” home opener versus the Denver Broncos on CBS’ Thursday Night Football. Music Director Michael Stern will not only conduct the Symphony but also lead the Arrowhead Stadium crowd in singing the national anthem.

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Jonathan Pryce (right) stars as an old Jewish baker whose faltering business is inadvertently saved by his young Muslim apprentice Ayyahs (Jerome Holder) in the British dramedy “Dough.”

The Kansas City Jewish Film Festival kicks off this year on Saturday, Oct. 10, and runs through Sunday, Oct. 18. The festival, now in its 17th year, features perhaps its strongest line-up of films in its history.

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