In anticipation of our second Congregation Kol Ami Jazz Night on Saturday night, October 20, I reflect on my own involvement with and love for jazz, how I came to be such a devoted fan of this extraordinary art form, and how, as a rabbi and a Jew I connect to this music. I will have more to say during my short talk on October 20. Suffice it to say for now that jazz, music in general, and even more generally the arts serve to open windows as to not only our cultural sensibilities, but our social connectors; both within our Jewish community, and howRead More →

From the KC Jewish Chronicle Rabbi Alpert to lead Rabbinical Association of Greater KC Rabbi Doug Alpert, spiritual leader of Congregation Kol Ami, was recently elected as president of the Rabbinical Association of Greater Kansas City. Rabbi Alpert succeeds Rabbi David Glickman of Congregation Beth Shalom. Elected to serve with Rabbi Alpert is Rabbi Javier Cattapan of Congregation Beth Torah who accepted the position of vice president and Rabbi Scott White, Congregation Ohev Sholom, is secretary-treasurer. The Rabbinical Association of Greater Kansas City includes Orthodox, Reconstructionist, Conservative and Reform rabbis and serves as the rabbinic voice in and for the Jewish community and the larger GreaterRead More →

Jill Maidhof is Director, Jewish Experiences at the Jewish Community Center and was the project director for the “Wall of Respect,” a portable art piece inspired by the 1967 mural by the same name created by Chicago artists representing the Organization of Black American Culture. It fostered Black pride, revitalized the neighborhood and gave birth to a national community mural movement. Ms. Maidhof said, “We want people to have an experience that will challenge the way they look at art and grow their ability to see beyond the obvious in order to decode symbols and create meaning. We want it to inspire exploration of culturalRead More →

How to Respectfully React to Suicide By Sarah Link Ferguson Kol Ami Congregant and Mental Health Coalition Coordinator at Jewish Family Services It is difficult to know how to react when we learn that someone has died, whether it’s someone we know or a celebrity, but how we react can have an impact on those around us. This is especially true when we are talking about traumatic death such as suicide. I lost my brother to suicide in 2012 and was overwhelmed by the number of inappropriate questions and responses I received regarding his death. I tried then and I try now to give peopleRead More →