For this issue, we're trying something new: most events are organized chronologically by date. We hope you'll refer back to JLink again throughout the month to make the most of our amazingly vibrant community! And as always, we welcome your submissions and feedback. To contribute your news or share your thoughts, please contact our editor, Susannah MacNeil, at for guidelines.

President and CEO
Jewish Federation of Greater Hartford
April 3: Sigel Academy Gala - Walk-Ins Welcome 

Bess and Paul Sigel Hebrew Academy's Annual Gala Dinner, "Children Are Our Masterpieces," will take place Monday, April 3 at 5:30 p.m. at The Emanuel Synagogue, 160 Mohegan Drive, West Hartford. Walk-ins are welcome! You can learn more here
In other news, the Academy has implemented a new, comprehensive Israel History Curriculum in grades 1 through 8: "Eretz Yisrael throughout the Year," compiled by Bar Ilan's Lookstein Center for Jewish Education. As part of this curriculum, students have personally met people who have made tremendous sacrifices to live in Israel - including former prisoner of Zion Yosef Mendelevich and Ethiopian-Israeli Rabbi Sharon Shalom, who spent months walking through the Sudan desert on his way to a new life in Israel. Seventh and eighth graders recently viewed the documentary The Prime Ministers, which provided a fresh perspective on the Israeli leaders who made our Jewish homeland what it is today.
April 4: An Evening of Friends, Fun and Fashion with Kara Sundlun 

It's all about friends and fun on the fashion runway as the Mandell JCC hosts its Annual Evening of Friends, Fun and Fashion to benefit Adult Special Needs Programming! The excitement starts Tuesday, April 4 at 7:00 p.m., in the Chase Family Gallery at the Mandell JCC on the Zachs Campus, 335 Bloomfield Avenue, West Hartford. WFSB's Better CT co-host and anchor Kara Sundlun will emcee the runway show; guests will enjoy a dessert reception and live music by pianist Daniel Fine. Our runway models will include participants from the JCC Adults with Special Needs Program and more. There will also be a drawing for prizes from favorite local stores, restaurants and businesses. Tickets are $36 per person. To register, contact the Member Services Center at 860.236.4571.
April 5: How to Protect Reparation Assets and Income for a Holocaust Survivor

Are you a Holocaust survivor, or the family member or attorney of a survivor? If so, this free program is for you. Attorneys Robert Epstein and Michael Lissner of Lissner & Lissner LLP will discuss what you, your family, or your client needs to know about assets, Medicaid and your rights on April 5 from 5:00 to 6:30 p.m. at the Community Services Building on the Zachs Campus, 333 Bloomfield Avenue, West Hartford. Lissner & Lissner LLP has served Holocaust survivors for 65 years. Joan Margolis of Jewish Family Services, the State Coordinator of Programs for Holocaust Survivors, will also answer your questions about Holocaust restitution programs. Kindly RSVP to Joan Margolis at 860.761.7094, or or register online at This program is sponsored by Jewish Family Services, Jewish Federation of Greater Hartford, Mandell JCC and Voices of Hope.
Jewish Family Services mental health program ad
April 5: Jewish Book Festival Presents Brenda Janowitz's The Dinner Party

Mandell JCC Jewish Book Festival is pleased to present The Dinner Party with author Brenda Janowitz on Wednesday, April 5 at 7:00 p.m. The program takes place at the Mandell JCC, Zachs Campus, 335 Bloomfield Avenue, West Hartford. In her ambitious fifth novel, Janowitz delivers an emotionally honest, thought-provoking story about family dynamics, acceptance and forgiveness as the Golds of Greenwich meet the Rothschilds of New York City for a life-changing Passover Seder. Tickets are $20. In partnership with Jewish Family Services, attendees are asked to bring a kosher for Passover jar of gefilte fish and/or borscht for the Anja Rosenberg Kosher Food Pantry. To learn more about the book festival, contact Jill Ziplow at 860.231.6339 or Dates and programs are subject to change; for updates, follow the Mandell JCC on Facebook or Twitter.
Exploring through a Child's Eyes at Solomon Schechter Day School

Schechter's Reggio Emilia inspired Early Childhood program encourages deep investigation into students' interests. The 4-year-old students demonstrated such a love of animals that they pretended to be pets and created pet homes out of blocks, inspiring teachers to make pets a primary focus. Before opening a classroom pet shop, students researched what a real pet shop looks like and generated a list of items needed. Students worked together, bringing stuffed pets from home, making signs, and reorganizing part of the classroom for pets. To incorporate the Jewish value of showing kindness to animals, the class also visited the Humane Society to learn about pet adoption. "Emergent projects like this not only incorporate so many wonderful Kindergarten readiness skills such as sorting, writing, and counting, but also foster collaboration and community," said teacher Michelle Fontaine.
April 6: Maurice Greenberg Center for Judaic Studies Honors University of Hartford President Walter Harrison

The University of Hartford's Maurice Greenberg Center for Judaic Studies will honor retiring University President Walter Harrison at a free, public program entitled "A Conversation on Academics and Athletics" on Thursday, April 6, at 7:00 p.m. in the Harry Jack Gray Center's Wilde Auditorium. Harrison, America East Conference Commissioner Amy Huchthausen, and ESPN reporter and host Andy Katz will serve as panelists, and Greenberg Center Professor Avinoam Patt will moderate the discussion. Please register online by April 3. To learn more, contact Susan Gottlieb at 860.768.4964 or The public is also invited to attend the presentation of the 2016 Edward Lewis Wallant Award for American Jewish Fiction on Wednesday, April 19 at 7:00 p.m. in the Innovation Center, Mandell Jewish Community center, 335 Bloomfield Avenue, West Hartford. The 2016 Wallant Award recipient is Ayelet Tsabar for The Best Place on Earth; the runner-up is Amy Gottlieb for The Beautiful Possible. Free and open to the public. Seating is limited and reservations are required; call 860-768-5018 or email
Federation 2017 Annual Campaign Update 

Each year, your Federation's Annual Campaign raises millions of dollars to benefit our Jewish community in Greater Hartford, in Israel and around the world. Our 2017 campaign goal is $4,360,000, and so far we have raised $2,790,926! If you have not yet made your campaign pledge, please consider doing so today. As an added incentive, one of our generous donors has offered a $100,000 match on any increased or new gifts! We offer online giving options or you may contact Elizabeth Appelman, Vice President of Development, at 860.727.6123 or
April 9: B'Nai Tikvoh-Sholom Invites You to "Friends of Yiddish"

B'nai Tikvoh-Sholom invites you to drop in for the Friends of Yiddish conversational group on Sunday, April 9 at 10:30 a.m. at the Mandell JCC, 335 Bloomfield Avenue, West Hartford. Friends of Yiddish is an informal, bilingual (mostly English!) social group that gathers for discussion, a little Yiddish, and an occasional guest speaker. Kumen baheftn aundz - come join us! To learn more, contact Alexander Cohen at
April 9: University of Hartford Hillel Holds The Great Hummus Challenge!

Come sample University of Hartford students' best hummus recipes and support the rebuilding of Jonathan's Dream! The Great Hummus Challenge, brought to you by University of Hartford Hillel and Alpha Epsilon Pi fraternity, will be held on Sunday, April 9 from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. in the Konover Great Room of the Simon Konover Campus Center at the University of Hartford, 200 Bloomfield Avenue, West Hartford. There will be a Judges vote and a peoples' vote! Raffle and prizes will be announced at the end of the event! Everyone is welcome. Admission is $5 for University of Hartford students and $10 for community members. Proceeds go to Jonathan's Dream Reimagined - a playground that is being built right
 down the street for children of all abilities. RSVP here .
Sweet Passover Celebrations in Greater Hartford

There are so many ways to enrich your Passover celebrations this year. Here are a few offerings from across our community.

PJ Library's Tips for a Kid-Friendly Passover

If you are celebrating Passover with children, you won't want to miss PJ Library's amazing collection of
Passover resources . It includes an overview of the holiday, videos, kid-friendly Haggadot, recipes, a Spotify playlist and much more. To learn more about PJ Library in Greater Hartford, click here . Or, to sign up to receive free PJ Library books, click here .

Free Passover Sourcebook from Chai Mitzvah

Much of our preparation for Passover focuses on preparing our homes and cooking food. But we can also prepare our hearts and minds. This year, Chai Mitzvah is offering a free Passover sourcebook entitled Adding New Insights and Meaning to the Passover Seder. It examines the meanings behind our traditions and how new symbols and rituals can deepen our understanding of the traditional Seder symbols. To receive the sourcebook PDF, click here. To learn more about Chai Mitzvah, please contact Ilana Bernstein at

April 4: Passover Stories and Crafts in the Valley

Join the Mandell JCC Valley Sports & Community Center for Passover PJ Library Story Time on Tuesday, April 4 at 11:00 a.m. at Barnes & Noble in Canton. We'll read PJ Library stories about Passover and make a simple Passover craft! To learn more, contact Elana MacGilpin at 860.693.2378 or

April 4: 
"Passover and Politics: A Meaningful Seder in Challenging Times"

Rabbi Donna Berman, Ph.D., will lead "Passover and Politics: How to Lead a Meaningful Seder in These Challenging Times" on April 4 at 6:30 p.m. at Charter Oak Cultural Center, 21 Charter Oak Avenue, Hartford... and there is still time to RSVP! The Exodus story is about oppression, revolt and liberation. Rabbi Berman, the Center's executive director, will discuss the meaning of the holiday, what we can learn from the Haggadah today, and practical ways to enhance your Seder experience and create a safe space for deep conversation. $18 suggested donation. Click here for information and reservations.

April 10 & 11: 
First and Second Night Seders for Adults & Kids at Chabad

Chabad House of Greater Hartford will host both First Night and Second Night Seders for adults and children. On Monday, April 10 at 7:45 p.m., Chabad will hold a special children's Seder, "Escape Room: The Freedoman Files," in which children have 45 minutes to find the hidden clues and break out of the escape room. On Monday at 7:45 p.m. and Tuesday at 8:00 p.m., Chabad will also present an elegant interactive Seder for adults and children, complete with handmade Shmura Matza. All programs will be held at Chabad House, 2352 Albany Avenue, West Hartford. The cost to participate is $30 per adult, $10 per child. Kindly RSVP to 860.232.1116.

April 11:
Temple Beth Hillel Holds Second Night Community Seder

Temple Beth Hillel
invites the community to attend a Second Night Community Seder on Tuesday, April 11 at 5:30 pm. The Seder includes a kosher meal, matzah, wine, song, spirit, and a search for Afikoman. All are welcome! Contact Temple Beth Hillel at 860-282-8466 or for pricing and reservations. Temple Beth Hillel is a Reform synagogue located at 20 Baker Lane in South Windsor.

April 11: 
Second Night Seder at Farmington Valley Jewish Congregation - Emek Shalom

Join Farmington Valley Jewish Congregation - Emek Shalom for a Second Night Passover Seder on April 11 at 6:00 p.m. in the FVJC Social Hall. We'll enjoy a catered dinner and a Seder led by Rabbi Bekah. Prices are $24 per adult, $12 per child for synagogue members, or $36 per adult, $18 per child for non-members. Kindly RSVP by April 3 to Mike and Moira Wertheimer at wertheimermichael7@gmail.comThe synagogue is located at 55 Bushy Hill Road in Simsbury. 

Annual Interfaith Seder Draws 100 Participants

One hundred people from 25 different faith communities participated in the Cathrine Fischer Schwartz Annual Interfaith Seder on March 19 at Congregation Beth Israel in West Hartford. This unique, free program brings together the Jewish community and those of other faiths to explore and enjoy the tastes and traditions of Passover. Click here to view a photo album. The Seder was presented by the Social Justice Committee of the Federation's Jewish Community Relations Council, with program partner Congregation Beth Israel; support was provided by the Cathrine Fischer Schwartz Federation Fund at the Jewish Community Foundation. To learn more about the Federation's interfaith initiatives, please contact Laura Zimmerman at 860.727.6167 or .

UConn Hillel Learns about LGBT Life in Israel

UConn Hillel members and other UConn students gathered last week to learn about LGBT life in Israel. Co-sponsored by Huskies for Israel, UConn's only pro-Israel advocacy group, and the Rainbow Center, guest speaker Hen Mazzig first spoke about his experience as an openly gay Israeli former-commander in the IDF. Students then watched part of the documentary Oriented, which follows three Palestinians living in Tel Aviv - the LGBT capital of the Middle East - and struggling to find their sexual and national identities. Other happenings up at UConn: Good Deeds Day on April 2, Israel Fest on April 19, and the return of our AIPAC delegation!.
Wednesday Evenings: Hebrew HealthCare Hosts Join the Discussion on West Hartford Cable Access TV

Madelene Francese, host of Join the Discussion, interviews Kathy Walsh, a nurse for The Hospital for Senior Care at Hebrew HealthCare.
Did you know that Hebrew HealthCare hosts a monthly cable access show about healthy aging and wellness? It's called Join the Discussion and it airs on West Hartford Cable Access Television, on Wednesdays at 7:30 p.m. throughout the month. The show features interviews with knowledgeable guests to help you become a better advocate for your own or a loved one's healthcare. Your suggestions are welcome; please email them to Click here to view the monthly schedule.
April 15 Deadline: Apply Now for College Scholarships at Jewish Community Foundation

Is college in your future for this fall? The deadline to apply for scholarships from Jewish Community Foundation of Greater Hartford is April 15... apply today!
April 19 and 20: Tara's Closet Spring & Summer Clothing Collection

Tara's Closet at Jewish Family Services seeks your new and "like new" spring and summer clothing for our clients in need! Clothing collections will be held on Wednesday, April 19, from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at Congregation B'nai Tikvoh-Sholom, 180 Still Road, Bloomfield, and on Thursday, April 20, from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. in the main lobby of the Community Services Building at 333 Bloomfield Avenue, West Hartford. All sizes are welcome; hangers preferred. We do not accept: men's suits, undergarments, pajamas or shoes. Please save your winter weather items for our next collection day in fall 2017. For more information about Tara's Closet, please call Jewish Family Services of Greater Hartford at 860.236.1927. Jewish Family Services also invites you to its May 11 community conversation on mental illness, with a panel of national experts and local community members. Click here for tickets or more information.
Hartford Seminary's International Peacemaking Program Offers Two Full Scholarships for Jewish Students 

With the help of generous donors, the International Peacemaking Program at Hartford Seminary will include two full scholarships designated for Jewish students in 2017-2018. International and American Jews with demonstrated experience in and potential for interfaith dialogue and leadership are invited to apply.  Fellows in the International Peacemaking Program spend an academic year studying interfaith dialogue, conflict transformation and leadership skills.  They live in intentionally interfaith housing on campus and receive practical skill-building training to enhance their capacity as peacemakers. April 30 is the deadline to express interest. For more information,
click here or contact IPP Coordinator Phoebe Milliken at .
April 21 and 22: Torah Study Shabbat with Rabbi Charles Simon at Beth Sholom B'nai Israel

Daven, learn and dine with guest scholar Rabbi Charles Simon, Executive Director of the Federation of Jewish Men's Clubs and a noted author and lecturer, at BSBI's Torah Study Shabbat on April 21 and 22. Friday night's festivities begin with a 6:00 p.m. service, followed by a 7:00 p.m. dinner (by reservation only, costs apply) and a free lecture on communities and keruv - drawing others closer - by Rabbi Simon at 8:15 p.m. Saturday's celebrations begin at 10:00 a.m. with the Shabbat morning service; Rabbi Simon will give a D'var Torah on the dance of King David. A free Kiddush luncheon follows (reservations requested). At 1:15 p.m., Rabbi Simon will give a free lecture entitled "Of Giants and Other Giant Challenges." Babysitting is available upon request. Kindly RSVP by April 7. To learn more or to register, contact Jeanne Lowrey in the BSBI office at or 860-643-9563 x103. Beth Sholom B'nai Israel is located at 400 Middle Turnpike East in Manchester.
April 22: Kol Haverim Presents Dueling Pianos!

Join Congregation Kol Haverim for an adults' night out with high energy, all request, sing-and-clap-along rock 'n' roll and comedy featuring Dueling Pianos International. Dueling Pianos will take place Saturday, April 22 at Congregation Kol Haverim, 1079 Hebron Avenue, Glastonbury. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and the show begins at 7:15. This program for ages 21+ includes appetizers, beer and wine, and desserts. Tickets are $60 per person beforehand or $75 per person at the door; proceeds benefit the synagogue. Tickets can be purchased with cash or check at the synagogue office; call 860.633.3966 for reservations. For more information, contact Jennifer at
Camp Laurelwood Welcomes Louis Lasko as Assistant Director

Camp Laurelwood is delighted to announce that Louis Lasko has joined our team as Assistant Director! Louis brings ten years of summer camp experience to this position. Prior to Laurelwood, Louis served three years as the Director of Day Camp at the Jewish Community Center in Springfield, Mass. He also served as the Assistant Director of Camp O-la-mi and the Director of the Kids Place after school program at the Stamford JCC. Louis holds a Bachelor's degree in Elementary Education from Elmira College. He can't wait for summer to begin at Camp Laurelwood!
April 23: Responding to Anti-Semitism with JTConnect and ADL

What would you do if you were confronted by anti-Semitism when you least expected it?  On April 23, JTConnect will host ADL to explore this question in a safe, supportive setting. In facilitated discussions and activities with ADL professionals, teens will discuss their reactions to an ABC-TV video segment, learn effective strategies for responding to offensive statements, and get together in small groups to brainstorm strategies for a variety of anti-Semitic situations.  This workshop will take place during JTConnect's Sunday morning program, from 10:30 a.m. to noon, at The Emanuel Synagogue, 160 Mohegan Drive, West Hartford. Teens do not need to be enrolled in JTConnect's weekly programs to participate in this program. Contact JTConnect for more information at or 860.727.6110.
Yom HaShoah: Remembering the Holocaust

Yom HaShoah, or Holocaust Remembrance Day, begins at sundown on April 23. 

Greater Hartford has some very personal connections to the Holocaust. Both Voices of Hope and Maurice Greenberg Center for Judaic Studies at the University of Hartford share personal stories of local Holocaust survivors on their websites. And on April 3, you'll have the chance to meet local Holocaust survivor Ruth "Tutti" Fishman and her daughter, author K.Heidi Fishman, at a signing for Heidi's new book, Tutti's Promise. The book signing takes place at 7:00 p.m. at the Mandell JCC, 335 Bloomfield Avenue, West Hartford. 

Below are some additional opportunities to remember the Holocaust.

April 24:  "Time Capsules in the Rubble: The Secret Archive of the Warsaw Ghetto"

This year's Annual Academic Convocation on the Holocaust at the University of Connecticut will feature a presentation by Trinity College history professor Samuel D. Kassow, PhD, on "Time Capsules in the Rubble: The Secret Archive of the Warsaw Ghetto." It takes place Monday, April 24 at 7:00 p.m. in the Doris and Simon Konover Auditorium of the Dodd Research Center on UConn's Storrs campus. Professor Kassow will discuss his study documenting the courageous efforts of Warsaw Ghetto prisoners to secretly preserve Jewish history and resist Nazi oppression. Of the 60 people who worked on this mission, only three survived. The Convocation is sponsored by UConn's Center for Judaic Studies, Human Rights Institute, and Thomas J. Dodd Research Center. Click here to learn more.

April 28: 
Holocaust Commemoration at the Connecticut State Capitol

Jewish Federation Association of Connecticut (JFACT), Voices of Hope, and the Jewish Federation of Western Connecticut invite you to attend the 39th Annual State of Connecticut Holocaust Commemoration on Friday, April 28 at 11:30 a.m. in the Senate Chambers at the Connecticut State Capitol, 210 Capitol Avenue, Hartford. A kosher lunch will follow at 12:30 p.m. for program attendees, Holocaust survivors and elected officials in the Old Judiciary Room. An RSVP is required for the luncheon; kindly respond to Ayelet Weber at or 860.727.5771. This program is co-sponsored by Voices of Hope and the Jewish Federations of Eastern Connecticut, New Haven, Upper Fairfield County, Greenwich, Greater Hartford, Greater Stamford, New Canaan and Darien, and Western Connecticut. It is presented in coordination with the Anti-Defamation League, the State of Connecticut and the United States Holocaust Memorial Council.

April 26: Lunch and Learn on Battling Terrorism in the Courtroom at UConn School of Law

The Jewish Professionals Network and the Jewish Community Relations Council invite you to a Lunch and Learn, "Battling Terrorism in the Courtroom," with Nitsana Darshan-Leitner, President of Shurat HaDin (Israel Law Center), on Wednesday, April 26. Over the past 12 years, Attorney Darshan-Leitner has become the undisputed leader of the fight against Palestinian and Islamic terrorist organizations in the courtroom, as well as a beacon of hope for terror victims throughout the world. The program will take place from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. in the William R. Davis '55 Courtroom of William F. Starr Hall at the UConn School of Law, 45 Elizabeth Street, Hartford. Admission is $10 per person, or free with a law school ID. A kosher lunch is provided. Space is limited and registration is required; RSVP to Jill Nulsen at 860.727.6119 or by April 14. This program is generously sponsored by Hinckley Allen.
April 26: Mitzvah Mamas Welcome Rosh Chodesh Iyar

Women ages 13 and up are invited to welcome Rosh Chodesh Iyar on Wednesday, April 26 from 6:00 to 7:00 p.m. Women throughout Jewish history have celebrated Rosh Chodesh - the new moon and the beginning of a new month - by taking a break from their everyday lives and gathering together. This month our shomeret and hostess is Phyllis (Phannie) Liebman. Please plan to arrive early as the gathering starts promptly as scheduled. Following the gathering, we will attend the Nitsana Darshan-Leitner lecture, "Hitting Terrorists Where It Hurts: A Legal and Financial Approach." The gathering and lecture will both take place at B'nai Tikvoh Shalom, 180 Still Road, Bloomfield. To learn more about Mitzvah Mamas, Rosh Chodesh gatherings, or a free trip to Israel for moms, please contact Mindy Glickman at or 917.698.7952 or join the Mitzvah Mamas Facebook group.
April 26: "Nurture the Wow: Parenting as a Spiritual Practice" with Rabbi Danya Ruttenberg

The work of parenting - and living in connection with others in general - can be glorious and amazing. And it can be, at least as often, frustrating and mind-numbingly boring. How can we illuminate the work of childrearing in powerful new ways? Grandparents and parents are invited to an evening of wine and discussion with Rabbi Danya Ruttenberg, named by Newsweek and The Daily Beast as one of ten "Rabbis to Watch." The program will be held on April 26 at 7:00 p.m. at Beth El Temple, 2626 Albany Avenue, West Hartford. Tickets are $18 per person in advance, $20 at the door. Click here to register online. Presented by Beth El Women's Network and sponsored by several community organizations.
April 28 to May 7: The Third Annual Israel Festival!

The Mandell JCC and many other participating organizations invite you to engage, experience, embrace and celebrate Israel with Greater Hartford's third annual community-wide Israel Festival, April 28 through May 7, 2017! Signature events will include the Yom Hazikaron Ceremony, a memorial to honor the fallen victims of wars in Israel and acts of terror on Sunday, April 30 at 7:00 p.m., and the Yom Ha'atzmaut Community Celebration, a community-wide party celebrating Israel's Independence Day on Sunday, May 7 from 3:00 to 6:00 p.m. Partygoers will enjoy games, crafts, music and more. Food will also be available for purchase. Prices, dates and locations for Israel Festival events vary, and dates are subject to change. Please visit for the complete Israel Festival brochure. For more information, contact Michal Abramoff at 860.231.6333 or
April 28: Congregation Beth Israel Presents Boomer Shabbat

At CBI's third annual Boomer Shabbat, on Friday, April 28 at 6:30 p.m., we'll set our Shabbat liturgy to pop and folk music of the '60s and '70s. Children of Baby Boomers also enjoy this Shabbat experience! The service features a full band of certified Boomers including Laura and Bob Deutsch, Chet Zaslow, and Bruce Badner. CBI is located at 701 Farmington Avenue in West Hartford.
April 29: Young Israel of West Hartford Honors Local IDF Heroes & Celebrates Israel's 69th Birthday

Please join Young Israel of West Hartford as we celebrate Israel's 69th birthday and honor our community members who helped make our Jewish homeland a reality. Join us Shabbat morning, April 29, for a gala Kiddush and a panel discussion with three generations of Israeli soldiers as they reflect on their experiences in the army. All are welcome! Regular Shabbat morning services begin at 9:00 a.m.; the program and Kiddush begin at approximately 11:00 a.m. To learn more, visit or email
A Roundup of Children's Literacy Tips from Children's Reading Partners

Children's Reading Partners engages more than 300 volunteers who read to more than 500 at-risk students in 14 public schools across Greater Hartford. At the beginning of each school year, the program surveys teachers to find out the areas where students need the most help. Over the past few weeks we've been sharing tips with our volunteers who read with elementary school students - and you can use these tips with the children in your life too. Click here to view a roundup of simple literacy tips. Children's Reading Partners is a program of the Jewish Community Relations Council of the Jewish Federation of Greater Hartford. To learn more, please contact Alana Butler at 860.236.7323 (READ) or
April 30: Tour of Touro Synagogue and Jewish Newport

Jewish Historical Society and The Emanuel Synagogue are co-sponsoring a professionally guided tour of Touro Synagogue - America's oldest synagogue - in Newport, Rhode Island, on Sunday, April 30. The synagogue tour will be followed by an optional walking tour of Jewish Newport. Our bus will leave from the Community Services Building parking lot (333 Bloomfield Avenue, West Hartford) promptly at 9:00 a.m., so please arrive by 8:45 a.m. The synagogue tour runs from noon to 1:00 p.m., lunch is on your own, and the walking tour takes place from 2:45 to 3:45 p.m. Our bus returns to West Hartford around 6:00 p.m. The cost, which includes transportation and museum and tour fees but not lunch, is $40 per person for members of either organization and $45 per person for non-members. To learn more, please call 860.727.6170 or visit
May 2: Golda's Balcony Comes to The Emanuel Synagogue

Enjoy a very special celebration of Yom Ha'atzma'ut - Israel's Independence Day - as award-winning actress Sandra Laub performs Golda's Balcony. The performance takes place on Tuesday, May 2 at 7:30 p.m. at The Emanuel Synagogue, 160 Mohegan Drive, West Hartford. Laub portrays Meir's struggles to gain peace while agonizing over difficult moral choices. Following the 90-minute performance, everyone is invited to a dessert reception. Tickets are $18 if purchased by April 23 and $20 afterward. The play is appropriate for students 13 and older; student tickets cost $10. Tickets may be purchased at or by mail. For questions, please contact the synagogue office at 860.236.1275. The play is presented as part of the Israel Festival.
May 3: An Evening of Hope with Holocaust Historian Deborah Dwork, Ph.D.

Voices of Hope will hold its annual gala, An Evening of Hope, on May 3 at The Emanuel Synagogue, 160 Mohegan Drive, West Hartford. Holocaust historian Deborah Dwork, Ph.D., will speak on "For You, Too, Were Strangers in a Strange Land: Refugees Then and Now." The program begins at 6:00 p.m. with cocktails and music; dinner is at 7:00 p.m.; and the program follows at 8:00 p.m. For more information, call 860.470.5591 or email
May 4: Beneath the Helmet Documentary on Life in the IDF

The entire community is invited to a free screening and discussion of the documentary Beneath the Helmet: From High School to the Home Front on Thursday, May 4 at 7:00 p.m. at Congregation Kol Haverim, 1079 Hebron Avenue, Glastonbury. Beneath the Helmet is a surprising and inspiring coming-of-age story about five Israeli soldiers who enter the army at age 18 and learn much about themselves and their shared values. Breakout discussion groups for teens and adults will follow the screening. RSVP to Stacy Jennings at or 860.727.6130. Presented by the Mandell JCC Israel Festival, the Jewish Community Relations Council, JTConnect, Congregation Kol Haverim and the Mitzvah Mamas.
May 15: Awards Gala Honors Charter Oak Cultural Center and Kehilat Chaverim Founders

Did you know that Charter Oak Cultural Center and Kehilat Chaverim have common origins? On Monday, May 15, 2017 founders of the Charter Oak Cultural Center (formerly the Charter Oak Temple Restoration Association, or COTRA) will be honored with the 2017 Charter Oak Cultural Center Vision Award in Jewish Heritage at its 16th Annual Vision Awards Gala. The restoration of the Charter Oak Temple and the 1978 formation of Kehilat Chaverim (formerly the Hartford Havurah) are closely aligned. Original COTRA honorees include Kehilat Chaverim founders Deanne Shapiro, Joan Walden, Sue DeJuan, Elliott Ginsberg, Barry Lubin, Louise Spira, Art Vatsky and the the late Neal Ossen. Others being honored include Elaine Lowengard, Sandy Parisky and Keats Jarmon.
May 24: Living with Intention: "Dancing between the Raindrops" with Lisa Friedman Clark

All women in the community are invited to join Federation Women's Philanthropy for Living with Intention 2017 on Thursday, May 18 at 7:00 p.m. at Beth El Temple, 2626 Albany Avenue, West Hartford. This year's featured speaker is Lisa Friedman Clark, who likes to call herself the "luckiest unlucky" person she knows. Come hear her courageous story of "dancing between the raindrops" - embracing optimism in difficult times! Couvert is $15, and refreshments are kosher under the supervision of Hartford Kashrut Commission (HKC). RSVP to Jill Nulsen at or 860.727.6119.
June 7: Save the Date for Hebrew High School of New England's Unity Color Run

Calling All Runners and Walkers! Mark your calendars for HHNE's 3rd Annual 5K Unity Color Run on Wednesday, June 7, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. More information is coming soon!