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The Philanthropist of the Year Award was presented to Dr. Mary Davidson by Dr. Joe Sopcich, President of Johnson County Community College. Photo by Charles St. Clair

At its annual National Philanthropy Day celebration, held Wednesday, Nov. 19, at the National World War I Museum at Liberty Memorial, the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) Mid-America Chapter honored Dr. Mary Davidson with its Philanthropist of the Year Award.

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In the wake of the terrorist attack in the Har Nof synagogue in Jerusalem, Hyman Brand Hebrew Academy wants to honor the memory of alumnus Rabbi Kalman Levine, a member of the first graduating class of HBHA, and Rabbi Mosheh Twersky the uncle of HBHA teacher Meshulam Twersky. 

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Avi Dichter

For the first time ever, a former Member of Knesset and chief of Israel’s security agency will be the keynote speaker at the Israel Action Forum. Sponsored by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, the event features The Honorable Avi Dichter Tuesday night, Dec. 9, at the White Theatre on the Jewish Community Campus.

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Israeli Justice Minister Tzipi Livni, right, and lawmaker Eliezer Stern at a news conference Nov. 2 about the government’s conversion reform.

Earlier this month the Israeli government adopted a major reform expected to ease the path to conversion for hundreds of thousands of Israelis now prohibited from marrying in the Jewish state.

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US Marine in Vietnam featuring a Magen David on his helmet, circa 1968.

WASHINGTON — Mementos of Jacob Goldstein slide across the 3-foot-by-4-foot horizontal screen like cards being dealt at a casino: his photograph, his name, an Operation Urgent Fury headline denoting the 1983 military campaign in Grenada, Goldstein’s explanatory text summarizing his role during the invasion.

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DRIVERS TAKE NOTE, NO PARKING POLICY TO BE ENFORCED IN CAMPUS CIRCLE DRIVES — In mid-September, the Jewish Federation hired Blair Hawkins as the first director of community security in response to the April 13 tragedy. Almost exactly two months later, the public is seeing the first security change at the Jewish Community Campus that has been implemented under his watch.

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We reported last spring that Chiefs super fan Gary Friedman, through an auction, won the opportunity to attend the 2014 NFL Draft as a guest of the Chiefs and the NFL. Just last week he got an unexpected package from this trip, a set of football cards describing each of the fans who were able to represent their teams at the May draft. In case you can’t read the photo, it says, “When Gary was 15 years old in 1963, he decided to purchase a Chiefs season ticket. He never could’ve imagined that he’d be hooked for life. ‘Became a family tradition; wife, kids go to every game,’ Gary said. ‘We visit my Chiefs brick before entering the stadium.’”

HANUKKAH RADIO — Thanks to reader Maury Kohn, we know that SiriusXm will once again have Radio Hanukkah on channel 68, beginning Dec. 16. It runs through Dec. 24 and will feature a wide variety of Hanukkah music including contemporary, traditional and children’s Hanukkah classics.

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Mindy Corporon discusses events planned to commemorate the first anniversary of the April 13 tragedy, where her son, Reat Griffin Underwood, and her father, Dr. William Corporon, were killed in the parking lot of the Jewish Community Campus. Terri LaManno was also killed that afternoon in the parking lot of Village Shalom.

It’s been seven months since the community was sent into shock by the shootings at the Jewish Community Campus and Village Shalom, which killed Dr. William Corporon, Reat Griffin Underwood and Terri LaManno. Last week plans were announced to commemorate the anniversary, and to show the world, that faith wins.

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HBHA Head of Jewish Studies Rabbi Avi Weinstein (from left), HBHA Head of School Howard M. Haas and Rabbi Barak Cohen met to discuss the opportunities of replicating the HBHA model in St. Ives, Australia. Not pictured is Rabbi Daniel Rockoff, HBHA Matmidim program director.

Raised in Davenport, Iowa, Rabbi Barak Cohen never expected his career would take him all the way to Australia, only to bring him back to the Midwest in order to research Hyman Brand Hebrew Academy’s renowned dual-track Jewish studies program. Rabbi Cohen is bringing the knowledge he picked up in Kansas City and at other North American Jewish day schools to Masada College, a K-12 Jewish day school located in St. Ives, Australia. Masada’s goal: To implement a dual-track Jewish studies program similar to that of HBHA.

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Rabbi Neal Schuster of KU Hillel gives a loaf of challah to KU student Michael Portman Nov. 14 at Allen Fieldhouse. Photo by Rachel Bayer

ROCH CHALK CHALLAH — If there’s a KU basketball game on a Friday night and you are a Jewish student waiting to enter Allen Fieldhouse, you just may encounter KU Hillel’s Rabbi Neal Schuster passing out challah. Rabbi Schuster said KU Hillel does not do a program on a night featuring a KU home game. Instead, he tries to reach the Jewish students where they are.

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Just over 10 years ago, no state allowed same-sex couples to marry, support for marriage equality nationwide hovered below 40 percent, and politicians everywhere thought if they touched on the controversial topic, their political career would be dead. Today, with Supreme Court action recently expanding the freedom to marry to 35 states, nearly 60 percent of Americans are in support. Democrats use the issue to their advantage, and a bipartisan array of judges — 42 out of 44 at latest count — have ruled that marriage discrimination violates the U.S. Constitution.

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