This past weekend here in Kansas City we immersed ourselves into the kind and welcoming Orthodox community of Overland Park, with many thanks to Yosef and Daniella Silver for helping plan the weekend, who were counselors a few years ago for AJSS in Kansas City. Friday night the group was spilt up into various homes to stay at within the community. We then attended Friday night services at Beth Israel Abraham and Voliner and ate delicious meals at the Silvers and the Gonchers and then all came together to play some games.
On Shabbat, several attended morning services and then everyone ate lunch before we enjoyed an afternoon program about the class system within education. Despite the heat, we managed to rest in order to spend a final communal meal at the Robinows. There at 9:33 PM the holiday Tisha B’Av, or the ninth day of Av began, and we attended unique services where we sat on the ground both Saturday night and Sunday morning. A few of us fasted for this holiday of mourning and everyone went to a informative lecture where we read passages about the origins of the holiday and answered questions that we related to our own life situations.
Sunday afternoon we rested before some of us attended a production of the King And I at the JCC, where more rest took place. That night we watched a beautiful documentary about the tornado in Joplin, Missouri where we were working the previous week. The fast was then broken and bellies were stuffed to a point where small movements were challenging. Today, Monday morning, we thanked the Orthodox community by helping with the renovation at the synagogue. It was a gratifying way to give back to a specific community that had been so warm towards AJSS. We look forward to last week here in Kansas!