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The MKJF Annual Campaign benefits several overseas partners. The two main partners are the Jewish Agency for Israel (JAFI) and the American-Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC).
The JAFI works in communities around the world to bring to Israel Jews who want to come home and also works to put Israel into the lives of the Jewish world's next generation. The JAFI creates opportunities for at-risk immigrants and young people and offers programs that benefit many sectors of Israeli society.
The JDC sponsors programs of relief, rescuse and renewal in Israel and 60 other countries around the world. Since the fall of Communist regimes, the JDC has helped to rebuild Jewish life in Eastern Europe. In Israel, the JDC addresses social service needs for children, immigrants, the elderly and the disabled. And in times of crisis - national disasters, wars, famine - the JDC offers aid to non-Jews to fulfill the Jewish tenet of gemiullut hasadim - acts of lovingkindness.
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Summer camp fosters Jewish identity and creates a life-long bond with the Jewish community. While whispering after lights out, creating bunk traditions, or gathering to welcome Shabbat, Jewish children experienced Jewish community that was vibrant, celebratory, and fun!
To make these summers a reality, the Mid-Kansas Jewish Federation provides non-need-based scholarships for first time campers (up to $1,250). Need-based assistance is also available to attend after the first year.
For Jewish teens that have aged out of being a camper but still want a Jewish summer experience, the MKJF offers scholarships for Jewish "Teen Experiences"(examples include BBYO Summer Experiences, Adamah Adventures Teen Treks or Camp Tawonga Adventure Quests). The MKJF also offers an "Israel Experience" scholarship to encourage Jewish high school students to visit Israel. These non-need-based scholarships are available to teens in grades 10 - 12.
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The Community Relations Committee fosters and manages the relationship between the Jewish community and the greater Wichita community by monitoring and reacting to the incidents which affect the security of the Jewish community; by reaching out to the wider community to provide information and education regarding the Jewish community; and by joining with other community groups to promote common goals.
Ongoing activities of the CRC include:
- Initiating and maintaining regular contact with the staff of the Wichita Eagle and other local media;
- Encouraging members of the Jewish community to contact their representatives regarding public policies of importance to the Jewish community;
- Updating board members and the community on current issues;
- Maintaining contact with other community organizations in order to keep abreast of current local issues and to build relationships;
- Promoting the Jewish Heritage Video Collection to schools in the Wichita area to encourage teachers to make use of this resource;
- Contacting school officials to make sure they know when major Jewish holidays fall, to avoid scheduling conflicts;
- Maintaining contact with organizations including the Jewish Council for Public Affairs (JCPA), the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), the Jewish Community Relations Bureau/American Jewish Committee of Kansas City (JCRB/AJC), the American-Israeli Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), the Consulate of Israel, and other Federations, in order to learn of national and international areas of concern.
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The MKJF Community Outreach Coordinator visits elderly (or homebound) and members in our community by phone and personal visit; recruits people to attend Federation and Jewish community events; helps to plan the monthly Café Chevre "not-for-seniors-only" lunch and education program; and provides referrals to social service and governmental organizations that work with seniors and others in the community.
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The Mid-Kansas Jewish Federation provides information and referrals, emergency social services, and emergency financial aid for Jewish residents of Wichita and the surrounding area. The social service policy includes the following criteria:
- Federation social services will be considered for persons personally contacting the MKJF office and requesting assistance from the director, president or social worker. Other persons may be referred to the office from other agencies or by the rabbis in the community.
- If a member of the Jewish community contacts the MKJF with a concern regarding the welfare of another in the area, the director or social worker will contact that person to determine what service is indicated. Results of that investigation remain confidential, as does all other social service casework.
Financial assistance is provided for immediate needs, including food, clothing, shelter, utilities and medical.
The MKJF is committed to respecting the privacy and dignity of each individual and their right to ask for and receive assistance in a professional setting.
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THE PJ LIBRARY AND PJ OUR WAY FOR OUR COMMUNITY
The PJ Library, an international, award-winning Jewish family engagement program, was created by the Harold Grinspoon Foundation. PJ Library sends FREE Jewish children's books to families in our Jewish community every month. We know that something magical happens when parents sit down together to read with their children. PJ Library shares Jewish stories that can help your family talk together about values, traditions, and culture that are important to you.
Families with kids ages 6 months through 8 years old with Judaism as part of their lives, are welcome to sign up, regardless of their Jewish background, knowledge, or observance.
Kids in our Jewish community can continue their PJ experience by signing up for PJ Our Way, the next chapter of PJ Library for kids ages 9-11.
"PJ" stands for pajamas, a fitting name for a program whose organizers believe a bond is formed between children and their parents during story time before bed. The PJ Library is designed to strengthen the identities of Jewish children and families and their relationship to the Jewish community.
The PJ Library in Wichita is generously funded by the Adam E. Beren Foundation in partnership with the Mid-Kansas Jewish Federation and the Joan Beren Jewish Community School.
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Yachad, a group of Jewish singles, couples, and the "young-at-heart," meets monthly (or so) in a casual social setting so members can form their own social networks and feel more comfortable attending community events. Now in its ninth year, this dinner/social group continues going strong. Yachad is an "outreach" group with members of all ages and is open to anyone who would like to attend! Newcomers are especially welcome.
Food, fun and friends keep Yachad going strong!
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Café Chevre (Friendship Café) is our monthly lunch and education program, open to all who enjoy good company, lunch and an interesting program.
Remember! Café Chevre is "not for seniors only" ... everyone is always welcome! We're always looking for fun and educational programs for Café Chevre...all suggestions are appreciated.
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The MKJF sponsors educational, cultural, and social programming to deepen and broaden the Jewish opportunities available in south central Kansas. We sponsor concerts, films, speakers, and special events throughout the year.
There's always something going on at the MKJF!