"...we LIVE and we CANNOT FAIL to KEEP ALIVE our institutions and peoples."
- Fred Goldman, 1933
Our story begins June 2,1933, when a group of dedicated individuals came together to help European Jews suffering persecution. In our first year, the Jewish community of Greater Kansas City came together to collectively raise more than $100,000 to help. A revolution in fundraising, Jewish Federation succeeded in meeting the needs of Kansas City's Jewish community on a local, national and international level through a single campaign. As things got worse for European Jews, Jewish Federation of Greater Kansas City became the collective entity to raise funds. Funds that helped rescue Jews before and during the Holocaust, and later, resettle survivors.
During this time, Jewish Federation was also supporting local Jewish organizations. As Jewish Federation continued to grow, it expanded its local focus, while still keeping an eye to helping Jewish people around the world and supporting the nation of Israel. Leading up to Israel's independence in 1948, Jewish Federations across North America - including Kansas City - played a vital role in supporting the creation of the nation of Israel.
Overseas, Jewish Federation worked to support the fledgling nation of Israel, while also supporting Jewish people living under the Soviet regime. By 1980, Kansas City welcomed our 500th Soviet immigrant to begin their new life in our community.
All the while, local Jewish organizations continued to thrive and expand their services, and Jewish Federation grew to meet their needs. Today we are a community agency housed in the Jewish Community Campus—a thriving center of Jewish life in Kansas City. Our story continues to resonate in our work today as we bring people together to get involved and invest in our community, we develop future leaders, and we connect organizations and people to make our community the vibrant one it is today. Through our financial support and our network of partners, we help feed, clothe, comfort, and inspire people here at home and in more than 60 countries worldwide.
The heart of what we do remains the same as when we first started in 1933—to sustain and enhance Jewish life in Kansas City and around the world.