Skip To Content
JEWISH. INDEPENDENT. NONPROFIT.
Culture

8 Things About Jews In Kansas

1) Approximately 17,775 Jews live in Kansas.

2) The nation’s only Kansas City Barbeque Society-sanctioned kosher barbecue festival takes place in Kansas City.

3) The Midwest Center for Holocaust Education was founded by Holocaust survivors, Isak Federman and Jack Mandelbaum, and is located in Overland Park, Kansas.

4) 2,000 Jews attend the University of Kansas.

5) From 1882 to 1886, there were seven attempts to start Jewish agricultural communities by Russian Jewish refugees who fled persecution under the czar. They did not last long, and disappeared by 1900.

6) The first Jewish congregation in Kansas, founded in 1862, was located in Leavenworth (famed site of penitentiaries).

7) In 2000, Kansas high school students wrote and put on a play about Irena Sendler, a Polish social worker who smuggled hundreds of Jewish children out of the Warsaw ghetto during World War II. The play, “Life in a Jar,” has been performed 315 times in America and abroad.

8) Arlen Specter, Jewish senator from Pennsylvania, was born in Wichita. His family later moved to Russell, hometown of future Kansas senator Bob Dole.

I hope you appreciated this article. Before you go, I’d like to ask you to please support the Forward’s award-winning, nonprofit journalism during this critical time.

Now more than ever, American Jews need independent news they can trust, with reporting driven by truth, not ideology. We serve you, not any ideological agenda.

At a time when other newsrooms are closing or cutting back, the Forward has removed its paywall and invested additional resources to report on the ground from Israel and around the U.S. on the impact of the war, rising antisemitism and the protests on college campuses.

Readers like you make it all possible. Support our work by becoming a Forward Member and connect with our journalism and your community.

Make a gift of any size and become a Forward member today. You’ll support our mission to tell the American Jewish story fully and fairly. 

— Rachel Fishman Feddersen, Publisher and CEO

Join our mission to tell the Jewish story fully and fairly.

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.