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The children in Haiti Todd Stettner and Tricia Uhlmann visited recently love to be in photos. Here Uhlmann shows the children who attend the mountain school photos on her mobile phone. The school receives help from JDC and Heart to Heart International. Both organizations are partners with the Jewish Federation of Greater Kansas City.

Repairing the world is something we think a lot about at the Jewish Federation of Greater Kansas City. So when Patricia Uhlmann, immediate past board chair of the Jewish Federation, and I were asked to visit medical clinics in Haiti with Heart to Heart International (HHI), it was an opportunity we couldn’t refuse.

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Wendy Anderson

Hanukkah is a special time to come together with family and loved ones to celebrate culture and tradition. The miracle itself. The candles … The presents!

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Not all Syrian refugees are the same

I believe there is a big difference between European Jews before and during World War II — who were not just caught in a war zone, but were being actively persecuted — and Syrian-Muslims. These young Syrian Muslim men, who make up the vast majority of the would-be refugees, should be fighting for their country. These young men from Syria — and in many cases young women — should be trained to be the boots on the ground against, first, ISIS, and then Assad. They are caught in a war zone. They are not being persecuted for who they are.

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Jessica Kirzane

In the 1890s, as Jewish immigration to America was at a historical high point, opponents to admitting Jews to the United States were vocal and their message was clear: Jews posed a threat to the wellbeing of Americans. In newspapers, journals and on pulpits throughout the country, religious, political and intellectual leaders aired their concerns that Jews would come to dominate and destroy the American economy and even the American government itself, cheat Americans of their livelihood and shirk their duty as citizens. It was these fears, together with anti-immigrant sentiment about many other groups who were considered racially and/or morally inferior, that ultimately led the U.S. to pass immigration restriction laws that radically curtailed the number of Jews who could enter into this country seeking refuge and opportunity.

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Twenty-five months ago, I stood here, excited to start the journey of becoming president of Jewish Family Services. I have loved every minute of guiding this fabulous organization. The best part is knowing that JFS is providing direct service to people in our community, which means sometimes you see the effect.

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Todd Stettner

Last year the Kansas City Royals suffered a heartbreaking loss to the San Francisco Giants in game seven of the 2014 World Series, but not before proving they had the right stuff and deserved to be on a world class playing field. We all shared in their pain and disappointment. This year, as we now know, the World Series  turned out differently as did a bet we placed with Jewish Federation of Northern New Jersey. Kosher barbeque and New York bagels, lox, and cream cheese were at stake. Why them and not the New York Federation? Basically, because New Jersey got to us first and we have a special relationship with them as we share in funding and utilizing our Israel representative Ofer Lichtig. 

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Demand fair and honest reporting

My husband and I live in Jerusalem. The last few weeks have been very upsetting as the incidents of terrorism continue to rise. Many of the people reporting about things here are calling the murdering terrorists victims and ignoring the innocent civilians who are killed and injured.

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Celeste Aronoff enjoys a field trip in Israel. In the background is south Jerusalem.

I want to tell you about the land I call home now. I made aliyah in August of this year, becoming an official Israeli, an actual citizen (though I won’t have an Israeli passport for some time still).

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This group of students gathered at KU Chabad recently for Shabbat dinner.

A group of K-State, Mizzou and KU students all walk into a room together ... sounds like a joke right? Wrong! On a recent Friday evening in November, Chabad at the University of Kansas hosted tens of young college students for a delightful Shabbat dinner. On the surface it seemed like just another week at Chabad, but truthfully this was a unique blend of many different college kids from schools that are usually so far apart.

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Jewish Family Services is one of the many Jewish organizations participating in #GivingTuesday. JFS is collecting rolls of toilet paper for its food pantry clients, and used these clever centerpieces at its annual meeting Sunday.

First we had Black Friday. Then we had Cyber Monday. Now we have #GivingTuesday.

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Yosef and Daniella Silver

Kansas City has an awesome entertainment scene. Between Starlight Theatre, The Kauffman Center for Performing Arts and the appeal of the Crossroads District, there’s always something to do in town. As transplants who have been happy to call Overland Park home for four years, we try to see, and taste, all the flavors Kansas City has to offer.

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Sandi Fried

Many of us are lucky enough to have our parents at an older age and it’s a wonderful blessing. There are so many life events we are able to share with them. But as our elders live to more advanced age, there are inevitable challenges we must navigate. Helping them remain active and independent is no easy task for us, the sandwich generation. Parental aging brings uncertainty, concern and even fear for caregivers and family members.

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