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Tragedy Kansas City

Two weeks ago, I spent a few days in Kansas City visiting and working with Jewish Family Services and the Jewish Federation of Greater Kansas City. It is a warm, welcoming, and highly engaged community. The JFS and federation share a facility with the JCC and the local Jewish day school. There is a constant bustle of activity, a hub for both the Jewish and larger communities.

Yesterday afternoon, a blow was struck against the Kansas City Jewish community and all of us. An admitted white supremacist and hater of Jews shot and killed a grandfather and his grandson in the building's parking lot, and at the nearby Village Shalom, a Jewish senior care facility, he killed an elderly resident. Ironically, the grandfather and grandson were not Jewish, but just two of many persons of all faiths who come to that campus every day for programs, fitness, meetings, services, and the food pantry. 

A number of our member agencies reached out to the JFS in Kansas City and their CEO, Don Goldman, and offered assistance. I know that the staff at JFS is most grateful and will be taking advantage of some of those offers. In the face of such a horrific event, it is comforting to know that the AJFCA network is truly a family, there in tragedy, just as we are in joy. As we sit at our seder tables this evening, perhaps we can take a moment and remember our friends and colleagues in Kansas City and hug one another just a little tighter.

From all of us at AJFCA, our best wishes for a Chag Sameach.


Lee Sherman