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As Kansas City's Jewish community celebrates Hanukkah, this year feels different

Members of the Congregation B'nai Jehudah celebrate Hanukkah in 2022.
Congregation B'Nai Jehudah Facebook Page
Members of the Congregation B'nai Jehudah celebrate Hanukkah in 2022.

Kansas City's Jewish community will observe the first night of Hanukkah on Thursday. But that community is feeling the dark cloud of the ongoing war between Israel and Hamas, along with an increase in incidents of antisemitic acts and rhetoric.

Jews throughout the Kansas City area are celebrating the first night of Hanukkah, with traditions like lighting the menorah, playing dreidel and eating latkes.

But Rabbi Mark Levin, the Founding Rabbi of Congregation Beth Torah, told KCUR's Up To Date the ongoing stress and carnage of the war in the Middle East has caused the festivities to take on a much different mood.

"The other part is, of course, the rise of antisemitism in the United States, which is worse than anytime since before the second World War," Levin said.

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