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Jewish Kansas

Sunday, October 10, 2010

One of the first things people asked me when I told them I was moving to Kansas was "Are there any Jews in Kansas?" Well, the answer is YES! (We surely wouldn't have moved here if there wasn't!)

Today, in fact, was the Jewish Arts Festival at the JCC. It was packed and lots of fun. There was so much great kosher food too. We started with the dairy and later moved on to the meat, eating nachos, gelato, corn dogs, chicken wings, burgers, and turkey legs.

There was a full tent of children's activities where we spent most of our time. The kids made Hebrew name bracelets, Havdallah candles, Challah covers, paper frames, etc. There was an arts tent with much lovely art for sale, a "bubbe" Iron Chef competition which our next door neighbor won, and I got a t-shirt that says Kansas in Hebrew from the KU Hillel!

Nachos! With cheese!
Standing on the map of Israel
Playing with Moon Sand
Making Sidewalk Chalk
Turkey Leg - a dream come true!
According to this website, there are over 18,000 Jews in Kansas. Not too many compared to the 480,000 in NJ! However, since basically all of the affiliated Jews live in the Kansas City area, it makes for a nice, tight-knit community. (Although, I see that there are synagogues in Lawrence and Topeka among the 16 total congregations in Kansas / Western Missouri).

Our shul, BIAV, is considered the "only Orthodox synagogue in the Kansas City metropolitan area and in the State of Kansas." (This does not include Chabad and the Torah Learning Center!) We have found it to be an amazing community where everyone is friendly and helpful. When I broke my ankle while pregnant, so many people were willing to make us meals, watch the kids, go grocery shopping for us, etc.

Any other questions about Jewish life in Kansas? Ask away!