Chabad House Center of Kansas City recently celebrated its 40th anniversary with a Gala Dinner that honored its longstanding chairman, Mr. Neil Sosland and president, Dr. Stanley Brand.
The theme of the dinner was “Let There Be Light” and it served both as a celebration of Chabad’s achievements in Kansas City during the past 40 years and a vision of future growth and expansion.
When Rabbi Sholom Wineberg and his wife Blumah were sent by the Rebbe to establish Chabad in the states of Kansas and Missouri, it was just the 8th Chabad House in the region, with Los Angeles being the only permanent outpost further west.
They began their Shlichus in a small apartment in Kansas City, and aside from their work in town, Rabbi Wineberg used to drive to S. Louis each week to give classes at Washington University as well.
Today, based in an 11 acre campus in the Kansas City suburb of Overland Park, Chabad KC has expanded during the past few years with additional centers at the University of Kansas in Lawrence, Kansas, directed by Rabbi Zalman and Nechama Tiechtel, and Chabad on the Plaza, serving Midtown and Downtown, Kansas City, MO directed by Rabbi Itche and Chana’le Itkin.
The dinner was attended by hundreds of locals who wished to join in this momentous occasion, celebrating four decades of light and growth. The event began with a section of the “Lamplighter” video and featured a performance by child prodigy pianist Ethan Bortnick who delighted the crowd with his dazzling performance.
In a perfect conclusion of the evening, Rabbi Moshe Kotlarsky, Vice Chairman of Merkos L’inyonei Chinuch, encapsulate the various themes of the evening when he addressed the audience via video with an inspiring message of encouragement and appreciation and a call for future growth and achievements.
The guests of the event were deeply moved by the Rebbe’s vision and the courage of Rabbi and Mrs. Wineberg as they embarked on their journey forty years before. With determination and devotion, they have succeeded in creating a vibrant Jewish life in the Heart of America.