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A group of young women, mostly transplants to Kansas City, recently had dinner together looking to gain a stronger connection to the Jewish community. They are Laura Slosky (from left), Danielle Peereboom, Annie Rifkin, Jewish Community Connector Molly Hess, Laura Gilman, Melissa Stern, Jesse Maniff and Kim Kushner.

We live in an age where people often sit in coffee shops checking their phones instead of talking with an actual person. Even as the Kansas City Jewish community continues to beef up its presence on social media to stay relevant and current, it has also hired an individual to have face-to-face conversations with people — young Jews to be exact — and help them connect with one another.

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It is estimated that 7,000 people attended the Jewish Arts Festival in 2013.

JEWISH ARTS FESTIVAL MORPHS INTO THE JEWISH CULTURE FEST — Remember where you were on a particular October Sunday in 1994? That was the year for the inaugural Jewish Arts Festival. Nine festivals later, on Sept. 10, 2017, the name will be changed to the Jewish Culture Fest.

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Several members of the Kansas City Jewish community are members of the re-established SDT sorority at KU. Shown with their mothers at the recent installation are Emily and Cathy Newman (from left), Emily and Gerri Ruben, and Logan and Michelle Cole.

After a three-year absence, Sigma Delta Tau (SDT) is back on the University of Kansas campus. The sorority shut down in 2013 due to low membership numbers. Now, just three years later, Michelle Carlson, national board member for KU, says it’s time to come back.

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Blue Valley North’s Jason Sickel (center) was named Kansas Teacher of the Year on Nov. 19. He is shown with Dr. Randy Watson (left), Kansas commissioner of education, and Chad Liby, director of marketing and 2nd vice president for Security Benefit of Topeka, Kansas.

For a small town guy who teaches in the performing arts sector, being chosen as the 2017 Kansas Teacher of the Year is quite a feat.

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David Broza

You may or may not have heard of singer-songwriter David Broza, but in Israel he’s a superstar. The public will have two opportunities to see him while he is here as Congregation Beth Shalom’s Kaplan Scholar Artist-in-Residence.

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KC Chiefs player Mitchell Schwartz, one of a handful of Jewish NFL players, visited HBHA last week for an HBHA Chiefs Pep Rally. He is pictured here with HBHA first-graders, who acted as cheerleaders to welcome Schwartz. Approximately 400 people attended the pep rally, which took place at the Jewish Community Campus, including students, HBHA parents and other Jewish community members. Schwartz spoke to students about the importance of education, working hard to achieve your goals and life as a Jewish professional football player.

THERE IS HOPE — A new musical anthology, “There is Hope,” has been put together by David Paskin and Menachem Creditor to help people heal from the recent divisive election. KC native Rabbi Larry Karol is one of the artists featured on “There is Hope.”

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Missouri Supreme Court Justice Richard Teitelman (left) addresses participants at Chabad's Conference on Talmud & Contemporary Law last June. Looking on is Rabbi Yosef Landa, Chabad of Greater St. Louis' regional director. Photo by Andrew Kerman

ST. LOUIS ─ Richard Teitelman, who was the first blind and the first Jewish Missouri Supreme Court justice, died Nov. 29 at his home in the Central West End. He was 69. He had struggled with diabetes and pulmonary issues.

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Lesley Covitz shows her excitement as she is named winner of the ‘Viewer’s Vengeance’ challenge on the Food Network program ‘Chopped.’

“You have been chopped.”

These are the words that contestants on the popular Food Network show “Chopped” dread hearing. Being chopped on “Chopped” means being eliminated from the cooking competition program.

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On Sunday, Nov. 20, almost 25 people gathered to write cards to individuals, mosques, LGBTQ and Latino communities to say ‘we stand by you and we send support to you, especially to those who have been harassed, targeted or feel fearful.’ People came from the Jewish, Christian, Baha’I Faith, Hindu, Muslim and Secular Humanist communities, including members from the Greater Kansas City Interfaith Council, National Council of Jewish Women, Sisterhood of Salaam Shalom and other organizations. The event was organized by Sheila Sonnenschein.

VOTE FOR ERIK  — Kansas City native Erik Claster hopes to be the first Israeli dog sled participant. He is vying to compete in Fjällräven Polar, an Iditarod-type competition in the Scandinavian Artic.

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Rabbi Simon Jacobson

The Devinki, Pack and Kolkin families have invited one of the most sought after Chabad rabbi speakers in the Jewish world to speak at Kehilath Israel Synagogue in honor of Maria Devinki, of blessed memory. This year marks the fifth anniversary of their mother, grandmother and great-grandmother’s death.

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