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'This is what sister cities are about': Israeli mayor visits Leawood, thanks area leaders for support amid war

Gezer Mayor
Posted at 6:50 PM, Jan 11, 2024
and last updated 2024-01-12 09:48:08-05

LEAWOOD, Kan. — As war wages on in Israel, one regional leader visited Kansas to share her experience leading a community during conflict.

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“Times are not safe in Israel right now, but we are working on making it better,” Rotem Yadlin said. “October 7 was the worst day in the history of the state of Israel.”

Yadlin is the Mayor of Gezer Regional Council, which is the sister city of Leawood, Kansas.

“During our time of need in the last three months, both the city of Leawood and the Jewish Federation of Greater Kansas [City] really came in our support,” Yadlin said. “I think this is what sister cities are about.”

People living in the Gezer region of Israel said sirens and missiles are still common, now happening weekly instead of daily.

In November we told you the city council approved a $25,000 donation to fund a school bomb shelter.

Kids in the region are now consistently back at school.

“I want the people of Leawood to know that they have friends in Israel, and we will always be there for them and to thank them for being here for us,” Yadlin said.

Yadlin shared her advice to council members on leading a community during war.

She said her priority was physical safety, but quickly turned to another secondary goal.

Yadlin said getting people back to their routines create a feeling of mental safety.

“As war goes by, people tend to forget and to talk about it less,” she said. “We can bring the message here today and say we are still undergoing a horrific war.”

Yadlin plans to speak to people in the Jewish community on the East Coast before heading back to Israel.