I hope you are having a wonderful Passover! We are finally seeing the early signs of spring in New England, and our Jewish community calendar is beginning to blossom as well. 

Later this month we will observe Yom HaShoah, or Holocaust Memorial Day (April 11-12); Yom HaZikaron, Israel's Memorial Day (April 17-18); and Yom HaAtzmaut, Israel Independence Day (April 18-19). Just as April showers bring May flowers, we will move from remembering lost loved ones to celebrating the founding of the State of Israel. Solemnity and joy both have their place in the Jewish calendar, and I hope you will join us in some of the many meaningful observances that are happening this month.


President and CEO
Jewish Federation of Greater Hartford
April 10:  Livestream from Jewish Theological Seminary: "Supreme Court Cases and Jewish Values"

Seth P. Waxman, J.D.
The Emanuel Synagogue will present a free livestreaming event with Seth P. Waxman, J.D., former Solicitor General of the United States and leading Supreme Court advocate, on Tuesday, April 10 at 7:30 p.m. Waxman will discuss the constitutional and legal issues around and Jewish values underlying three high-profile cases currently before the Supreme Court. The talk will be livestreamed directly from the Jewish Theological Seminary! All are welcome; kindly RSVP to Gail Adler at gailadler@aol.com. The talk will take place at The Emanuel Synagogue, 160 Mohegan Drive, West Hartford. Click here to learn more.
April 12 Trinity College Hillel Presents Strawberry Girl

Trinity College Hillel is partnering with Israeli Stage to bring a production of Strawberry Girl to Trinity on Yom HaShoah, Thursday April 12. A German woman and her son Ludwig live in Poland, where her husband works at a "factory." Their lives change after she meets a Jewish girl who grows strawberries as big as a man's fist. The play deals with the confrontation of blissful ignorance and a tragic personal intimacy. Community members are invited to this one-woman performance in the Terrace Rooms in Mather Hall at 12:15 p.m. Lunch will be provided. To learn more, please contact Amy Zylberman at Amy.Zylberman@trincoll.edu or 860.297.2280.

April 13 Yom HaShoah Observance at Temple Beth Hillel

On Yom HaShoah we commemorate the approximately six million Jews and five million others who perished in the Holocaust, as well as the Jewish resistance.   Temple Beth Hillel will observe Yom HaShoah at Friday night services on Friday, April 13, at 7:00 p.m.. We will honor the memories of the departed with prayer, music and silence. You'll have an opportunity to honor a Holocaust victim and place the name of a victim into a wall of our sanctuary. Temple Beth Hillel also invites you to part two of "Davening Do's and Dont's" with Cantor Scott Harris on Sunday, April 22 at 11:00 a.m., where you'll learn why we stand, sit and bow during prayer. Light refreshments will be served. To learn more about either event, contact the office at 860.282.8466 or Admin@tbhsw.org. Temple Beth Hillel is located at 20 Baker Lane in South Windsor.
Our community-wide Israel@70 celebrations are coming fast and furious in April! In addition to the events below, be sure to check out the Mandell JCC's Israel Festival, happening April 15 - 22, and many other events listed on the Israel@70 calendar here. To learn more about Greater Hartford's Israel@70 celebrations, visit   www.jewishhartford.org/israelat70.

Mimouna is a North African celebration marking the end of Passover.
April 7:
The Beit Mordechai Sephardic Orthodox congregation invites you to an authentic Mimouna celebration on Saturday, April 7 beginning at 8:30 p.m. at its synagogue building at 1137 Trout Brook Drive, West Hartford. Mimouna is the traditional North African way to mark the end of Passover and the return to eating leavened bread and flour products. Get ready for a lot of Moroccan desserts and traditional music! The cost is $5 per person or $10 per family. Questions? Contact Mira Godel at mira.godel@att.net.

April 7:  Come celebrate Israel@70 at a community-wide Shabbat service on Friday, April 13  at   The Emanuel Synagogue , 160 Mohegan Drive, West Hartford. Mincha (the afternoon service) begins at 6:00 p.m., and candle lighting follows at 6:10 p.m. There will be two services offered: a traditional service with a mechitza (separating men and women) and an egalitarian service. At 7:15 p.m. there will be a kosher dinner with singing in celebration of Israel's birthday and Shabbat. Dinner reservations are now closed, but all are welcome to attend the services. Click here for details; email Jeff Rudolph at clctstamps@comcast.net with questions. This event is presented by The Emanuel Synagogue, Young Israel of West Hartford, Beth El Temple, Beth David Synagogue, Congregation Beth Israel, Hebrew High School of New England, Solomon Schechter Day School and Bess & Paul Sigel Hebrew Academy of Greater Hartford. You're also invited to join The Emanuel Synagogue on Saturday, April 14 for 9:00 a.m. Shabbat services, which will honor families with adult children who are actively serving or are veterans of the IDF.

April 18: Howard Sovronsky, President and CEO of the Jewish Federation of Greater Hartford, will share exciting developments from Israel and here in Greater Hartford at Beth El Temple's Chai Society luncheon on Wednesday, April 18 at noon. Beth El Temple is located at 2626 Albany Avenue, West Hartford. The program is $15 and includes an Israeli-themed lunch and sing-along with Cantor Joseph Ness. All ages are welcome and encouraged to attend. RSVP by April 16 to Roberta Smith at 860.232.0621 or mlsmith@juno.com, or to Dr. Morton Goldberg at 860.523.0608.

Tally Kritzman-Amir, Ph.D.
April 18:   UConn Center for Judaic Studies invites the public to a free lecture on "The Israeli Asylum System: Refugee Exclusion in the Land of Refugees" by Tally Kritzman-Amir, Ph.D., on Wednesday, April 18 at 3:30 p.m. in Hosmer Hall on the UConn School of Law campus, 55 Elizabeth Street, Hartford. Dr. Kritzman-Amir is a Senior Lecturer on immigration and international law at the College of Law and Business, Israel; a Visiting Fellow at Harvard Law School's Human Rights Program; and a scholar-in-residence at the Hadassah Brandeis Institute. Her lecture is made possible by the UConn Center for Judaic Studies, the Human Rights Law Association and the Jewish Law Students Association. Click here to learn more.

April 18: Join Beth Sholom B'nai Israel on Wednesday, April 18 for "A Taste of Israel" as we celebrate Yom Ha'Atzmaut and 70 years of the State of Israel! Sample an assortment of Israeli cuisine prepared by local chefs who will demonstrate their talents and techniques. The program will begin with an evening minyan at 7:00 p.m. to acknowledge our gratitude with special prayers for this joyous holiday. There is no charge for attending, but kindly RSVP to programming@myshul.org by April 13. BSBI is located at 400 Middle Turnpike East, Manchester.

April 19: Jewish Federation Association of Conneticut (JFACT) invites you to Israel's Yom Ha'atzmaut Celebration on Thursday, April 19 from 10:00 to 11:30 a.m. at the State Capitol, 210 Capitol Avenue, Hartford. You'll learn about current collaborations  between Connecticut and Israel. Speakers will include Yehuda Yaakov, Consul General of Israel to New England, and Daniel Weiner, UCONN Vice President for Global Affairs. We'll also have a live video chat from Israel with Haim Oren, Commercial Representative for the State of Connecticut in Israel. The program will take place in the Old Appropriation Room on the third floor. RSVP to Ayelet Weber at aweber@jfact.org .
April 20: Every Friday morning the Solomon Schechter Day School community - joined by parents, community members and leaders - comes together for RELISH: Ruach l'chavod Shabbat, or "Spirit in honor of Shabbat." On Friday, April 20 at 8:30 a.m., you're invited to join us for an Israeli-style RELISH! We'll sing Israeli Shabbat songs, see Israeli dancing by Schechter's Early Childhood students, and read an Israel-themed PJ Library book. Co-sponsored by PJ Library and the Mandell JCC's Israel@70 Celebration. Schechter is located at 26 Buena Vista Road, West Hartford.

April 21: Poetry does not talk about Israel; it listens. We hear the authentic voices ofIsraeli writers who share stories of revival, the struggle for security and peace, and the effort to balance contradictory aspirations. Come explore this topic with B'nai Tikvoh-Sholom at a Shabbat lunch and learn, "Zot HaShira: Israel@70 through the Lens of Poetry," on Saturday, April 21. Services begin at 9:30 a.m. and the lunch and learn follows at 11:30. The program is free, but reservations are requested by April 17; call 860.243.3576 or email office@btsonline.org. BTS is located at 180 Still Road, Bloomfield.

April 22: Israel@70 Dinner and a Movie at Beth David Synagogue
Beth David Synagogue invites you to join us for dinner and a movie on Sunday, April 22 at 5:00 p.m. in celebration of Israel@70. We'll enjoy a falafel dinner followed by Rock i n the Red Zone , a film about Israeli musician Micha Biton and his struggle to make music in the war-torn city of Sderot. Admission is $10 per person; RSVP to Beth David Synagogue at 860.236.1241. Beth David Synagogue is located at 20 Dover Road, West Hartford.

Register now for these trips to Israel: 
  • August 5 - 16: Travel "off the beaten path" with Rabbi Richard and Lisa Plavin on a 12-day trip to Israel departing August 5, 2018. The registration deadline for this trip is May 1. For more information including the full itinerary and costs, click here or contact Rabbi Plavin at 860.573.4503 or riplavin@gmail.com.
  • October 17 - 24: It's the biggest anniversary party ever! Join Federation for a joint mission to Israel and General Assembly in Tel Aviv this fall. You'll see how you're making a tangible difference through Federation and you'll make friends from Israel, North America and around the world at one of the world's largest Jewish gatherings. Click here to learn more, or contact Linda Toce at 860.727.6112 or ltoce@jewishhartford.org.
  • October 23 - 30: Love to bicycle? The Israel Ride will take you from Jerusalem to Eilat and broaden your understanding of the region as you meet Israelis, Palestinians, and Jordanians working toward peace, environmental sustainability, and regional cooperation. Visit israelride.org for more information and to register.
  • October 30 - November 13: Inspired by poet Yehuda Amichai, Rabbi Jeff and Mindy Glickman from South Windsor's Temple Beth Hillel are going to Israel again. The itinerary will include many must-do Israel sites, though we are going to meet the "people who buy fruit and vegetables for their families." We will stay in lovely places, eat well, join WOW on Rosh Chodesh, celebrate Sigd with the Ethiopian community, play music with the Youth Band of Akko and much more. And we haven't even mentioned Shabbat... we get to be there for two of them! Click here for all the details and an application form, or contact Mindy Glickman at 917.698.7952 to learn more.
April 16 and 25: Educational Events at Maurice Greenberg Center

Samantha Baskind, Ph.D.
The Maurice Greenberg Center at the University of Hartford invites you to a symposium on the 75th anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising on Monday, April 16 at 7:00 p.m. at The Millie and Irving Bercowetz Research Library in the University's Harry Jack Gray Center. Our featured speakers are Samantha Baskind, Ph.D. professor of art history at Cleveland State University, and Avinoam Patt, Ph.D., director of the Museum of Jewish Civilization and Philip D. Feltman Professor at the Greenberg Center. You're also invited to attend "On and Off the Derech: A Family Story" with Donald Weber, literary critic, professor of English and chair of the English Department at Mount Holyoke College on Wednesday, April 25 at 11:30 a.m., also at the Bercowetz Research Library. This lecture will explore an emerging literary genre: stories of Jewish people turning away from strict religious subcultures, as well as stories of return to the ultra-orthodox fold. Seating for both events is limited; reservations are required. RSVP to 860.768.5018 or mgcjs@hartford.edu. The University of Hartford is located at 200 Bloomfield Avenue, West Hartford.
Chai Mitzvah Study Groups Are Forming Now!

Looking to add some inspiration to your life? Why not start a Chai Mitzvah group? It's fun, easy, and it's a great way to socialize with good friends and talk about meaningful things. To learn more, contact Susan Fried at susan@chaimitzvah.org.
April 17 Tara's Closet Spring and Summer Clothing Collection Day

Jewish Family Services' Tara's Closet is seeking your new and like-new spring and summer clothing for men, women and children in need. Tara's Closet will hold its spring/summer collection day on Tuesday, April 17, from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at B'nai Tikvoh-Sholom (180 Still Road, Bloomfield) and from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. in the lobby of the Community Services Building (333 Bloomfield Avenue, West Hartford). We are especially in need of lightly worn party dresses suitable for proms. All sizes of clothing are welcome and hangers are preferred. We are unable to accept men's suits, undergarments, pajamas, and shoes. Please also be sure to join us for our community-wide mental health awareness event on May 17, with The Honorable Patrick J. Kennedy! Click here for information and tickets.
April 17 "The Impact of Schooling on the Development of the Lifelong Learner" with Doug Lyons, Ed.D.

Doug Lyons, Ed.D.
Solomon Schechter Day School will present a free public lecture by Dr. Doug Lyons, Head of the CT Association of Independent Schools, on Tuesday, April 17 at 7:00 p.m. In the past two decades, dramatic advancements in neuroscience have helped researchers better understand how children, adolescents and adults learn. Two components of this research are particularly important for parents and teachers: the role of emotion in learning and the impact of the school environment in developing the ideal graduate, a life-long learner. Independent schools have distinct advantages for students over the increasingly compliance-driven model that characterizes public education in the No Child Left Behind era. Dr. Lyons will share research and personal anecdotes that illustrate the influences that shape a child's journey from innocence to maturity. Schechter is located at 26 Buena Vista Rd, West Hartford.  Kindly respond to rsvp@ssds-hartford.org .

Full Scholarships to Hartford Seminary's International Peacemaking Program Available for Jewish Students

Are you passionate about peace? Interested in exploring peacebuilding with Christian and Muslim peers? Full scholarships to Hartford Seminary are available for Jews interested in interfaith peacebuilding through the International Peacemaking Program (IPP), a one-year, fully funded learning opportunity that includes a six-course graduate certificate and a skill-building co-curriculum. You'll learn about the Abrahamic traditions and receive training in dialogue methods, mediation, public speaking, working with the media and project planning. You can apply your graduate credits toward a master's degree at Hartford Seminary; credits are typically also transferable to other institutions. Admission to this program is rolling. Click here to learn more about IPP, or contact Phoebe Milliken pmilliken@hartsem.edu. To learn more about Jewish Studies at Hartford Seminary, click here.
April 20:  Holocaust Commemoration at the State Capitol

The 40th Annual State of Connecticut Holocaust Commemoration will take place Friday, April 20 at the State Capitol, 210 Capitol Avenue, Hartford. The event begins at 11:30 a.m. with a ceremony in the Senate chambers. A kosher luncheon for Holocaust survivors, program participants and elected officials will follow at 12:30 p.m. An RSVP for the luncheon is required to Ayelet Weber at aweber@jfact.org or 860.727.5771. Please also inform Ayelet if you are a Holocaust survivor and you need a bus ride. This event is co-sponsored by Voices of Hope, the Jewish Federation Association of Connecticut (JFACT) and the Jewish Federations of: Eastern Connecticut, New Haven, Greenwich, Greater Hartford, Greater Stamford, New Canaan and Darien, and Western Connecticut, and in coordination with the Anti-Defamation League, the State of Connecticut and the United States Holocaust Memorial Council.
April 20 - 21 Sisterhood Torah Study Shabbat on America's Jewish Women at BSBI

Pamela Nadell, Ph.D.
Each spring, Beth Sholom B'nai Israel hosts a special Torah Study Shabbat weekend with a guest scholar presenting several exciting lectures. This year our Sisterhood is delighted to welcome Pamela Nadell, Ph.D., from the American University in Washington, D.C., who will present two lectures and a Dvar Torah on different aspects of America's Jewish women. There will also be a Friday night dinner (by reservation only) and a kiddush luncheon on Saturday. All are welcome to attend, but please RSVP so that we know how many to plan for! View the flyer here. BSBI is located at 400 Middle Turnpike East, Manchester.
April 24Bess and Paul Sigel Hebrew Academy's Annual Fundraising Dinner Focuses on Kindness

As part of their focus on chesed, or loving kindness, Sigel Hebrew Academy students donated books to Children's Reading Partners.
On Tuesday, April 24, The Bess and Paul Sigel Hebrew Academy of Greater Hartford will be hosting a community-wide Kindness Gala Fundraising Dinner and silent auction at Congregation Beth Israel in West Hartford. The school has a tradition of holding tribute dinner fundraisers to honor volunteers from the school community who go above and beyond in support of the school. This year the dinner will recognize two couples and focus on chesed, acts of loving kindness. Throughout the year, students at the Academy have been actively engaged in chesed - from raising funds for hurricane victims to visiting the elderly - as part of their curriculum. Come celebrate kindness with us on April 24! Cocktails, dinner, and a silent auction begin at 5:30 p.m.; the awards program follows at 7:00 p.m. To learn more, click here.
April 26: Charter Oak Cultural Center and UConn Center for Judaic Studies Present an Evening with Susannah Heschel, Ph.D.

Susannah Heschel, Ph.D.
On April 26 at 7:00 pm, Dr. Susannah Heschel will speak on " Human Dignity in Judaism" at Charter Oak Cultural Center, 21 Charter Oak Avenue, Hartford, as part of the Center's 13th Annual Celebration of Jewish Arts and Culture. She will explore the themes of human rights and dignity within Jewish religious texts and how they relate to the modern human experience. Dr. Heschel is the chair of the Jewish Studies Program and Eli Black Professor of Jewish Studies at Dartmouth College. She has authored more than 100 articles and edited several books, including Moral Grandeur and Spiritual Audacity: Essays of Abraham Joshua Heschel. This program is presented in partnership with the   UConn Center for Judaic Studies and Contemporary Jewish Life. Click here for more information, or call 860.310.2580.
BBYO Teens Advocate for Holocaust Education Bill

BBYO teens advocate for House Bill 452 at the State Capitol.
On March 14, 20 BBYO teens from across Connecticut came together in Hartford at the State Capitol to deliver written and verbal testimonies in support of House Bill 452. Bill 452 would mandate Holocaust and Genocide education as part of the social studies curriculum in Connecticut public schools. Five of these teens gave verbal testimonies to the Education Committee, sharing their thoughts on the importance of the bill. Some teens shared their experience with anti-Semitism and the lack of empathy they have experienced from classmates when speaking about the Holocaust. Others spoke about survivors in their families and the importance of learning about the Holocaust and genocides so that they are never repeated. Nadav BBYO chapter members Dara Sadinsky, Shaina Lebowitz and Josh Pinsky from the Greater Hartford area were all in attendance and gave their support for the bill. For more information about BBYO, contact Regional Director Tyler Pepe at Tpepe@bbyo.org.
April 27:  Jillian Gilchrest to Speak at FVJC Sisterhood Shabbat

Jillian Gilchrest, Chair of Connecticut's Trafficking in Persons Council and a candidate for State Representative in the 18th district, will speak at Farmington Valley Jewish Congregation - Emek Shalom's Sisterhood Shabbat, "Women Making Change," on Friday, April 27 at 7:00 p.m. All are welcome to attend. FVJC is located at 55 Bushy Hill Road in Simsbury.

April 27 - 29 Shabbat in the Heights with Chabad

Chabad House of Greater Hartford invites you to be part of " Shabbat in the Heights," a spirited Shabbat experience in the nerve center of the Chabad-Lubavitch movement: Crown Heights, Brooklyn! Shabbat in the Heights will take place April 27 to 29. To learn more, please contact Rabbi Shaya Gopin at RabbiShaya@ChabadHartford.com. Closer to home, Chabad will also offer "What Is?" - a fascinating six-week series on the big questions - on six Tuesdays at 7:30 p.m., starting May 1. We'll explore questions such as Is the world real? Is time travel possible? Why does evil exist? and Are we bound by fate?  Click here to learn more. Chabad House of Greater Hartford is located at 2352 Albany Avenue in West Hartford.
April 29"Partners in Creation: The Jewish Art of Papercutting" at B'nai Tikvoh-Sholom

Did you know that Jews in Eastern Europe used to make cut-paper roses and Torah designs to decorate for Shavuot when the weather was too harsh for wildflowers to bloom? Come learn more and try it yourself with BTS on Sunday, April 29 at 10:30 a.m., when we'll have a hands-on workshop in the Jewish art of papercutting. The workshop will be led by Rabbi Debra Cantor and Melinda Wright. No experience is required; there is a $5 materials fee for BTS or Mandell JCC members and a $7 fee for non-members. BTS is located at 180 Still Road in Bloomfield.
April 29 and June 10: S'mores and Tours at Camp Laurelwood!

Camp Laurelwood isn't just a "summer thing." Come join us for S'mores and Tours from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. on the Sunday of your choice - April 29 or June 10 - to see for yourself! You'll meet friendly staff and see our newly renovated campus... with fireside s'mores-making to follow! We can't wait to meet you!  Can't make it on any of the days listed? Email Evelyn Cohen at evelyn@camplaurelwood.org to schedule a private tour.
May 8 Mikveh Bess Israel Presents "Jew in the City"

Allison Josephs
Mikveh Bess Israel invites you to "Jew in the City," an evening with Allison Josephs, who founded  the nonprofit of the same name that break downs stereotypes about religious Jews and offers a humorous, meaningful look at Orthodox Judaism. The event takes place Tuesday, May 8 at 7:30 p.m. at the Mandell JCC, 335 Bloomfield Avenue, West Hartford. Tickets are $18; visit www.mikvehbessisrael.org to learn more or to register.

May 9:  "Monuments Men: A Daughter's Discovery of Her Father's Role in the Search for Nazi Plunder"

Lt. Commander Joel Fisher
On Wednesday, May 9 at 7:00 p.m., Baltimore journalist Susan Fisher Sullam will tell the fascinating story of her discovery of her father's role in "Task Force Fisher" in a program at the Mandell JCC, 335 Bloomfield Avenue, West Hartford. As a member of General Dwight D. Eisenhower's staff during WWII, Lt. Commander Joel Fisher documented one of the greatest treasure hunts in history. His records chronicled how the task force located and recovered billions of dollars' worth of Nazi loot during the final month of the war. Tickets are $10 if you pre-register or $12 at the door. Click here to pre-register. This program is co-sponsored by the Jewish Historical Society, Voices of Hope, The Emanuel Synagogue, Beth El Temple, FVJC-Emek Shalom and Congregation Beth Israel. To learn more, call Lynn Newman at 860.727.6170 or email lnewman@jwishhartford.org.
May 16: Hebrew Senior Care Auxiliary Bus Trip to NYC

The Auxiliary of Hebrew Senior Care welcomes you to join its springtime bus trip to New York City on Wednesday, May 16. The bus departs from The Emanuel Synagogue, 160 Mohegan Drive, West Hartford at 7:30 a.m. sharp. It leaves New York City at 6:00 p.m. sharp. Tickets are $49 per person. Click here for all the details.
May 23: Living with Intention with Kara Sundlun

Kara Sundlun
Federation Women's Philanthropy encourages all women to save the date for Living with Intention, a dinner and program to be held on Wednesday, May 23 from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Mark Twain House in Hartford. Each year, Living with Intention presents a speaker who inspires us all to live more meaningful lives. This year's guest speaker is Emmy Award winning news anchor and talk show host Kara Sundlun of WFSB-TV. She'll discuss her journey to reconnect with her father, former Rhode Island Governor Bruce Sundlun - and the power of forgiveness, reconciliation and owning your story. Registration information is  coming soon!
May 24: Children's Reading Partners' 20th Anniversary Celebration

Judy Schachner
Children's Reading Partners will hold its 20th anniversary celebration on Thursday, May 24 at 7:00 p.m. at Real Art Ways in Hartford. The entire community is welcome to attend the dessert reception and program. Since its founding in 1998, Children's Reading Partners has conducted over 95,000 volunteer reading sessions with more than 6,000 at-risk preschool and elementary school students in Greater Hartford, and it has distributed more than 6,000 books to students and their classrooms. The celebration's guest speaker is Judy Schachner, the New York Times bestselling author and illustrator of more than 26 children's books including the beloved Skippyjon Jones series. Born into a working class New England family, Ms. Schachner will discuss how her imagination and love of books helped her survive a challenging childhood. Stay tuned for registration information!
June 14 - 17: Hazon's Jewish Intentional Communities Conference in Maryland

Are you part of a Jewish intentional community, or are you interested in creating one? Be part of a new experiment in Jewish community - or just learn more - at Hazon's Fifth International Jewish Intentional Communities Conference from June 14 through 17 at Pearlstone Center in Reisterstown, Md. You'll meet current members of intentional communities and others who are curious and excited by the idea. We'll learn from and share with each other, vision together, and plant seeds for communities to come. Click here for more information. Hazon operates the Isabella Freedman Jewish Retreat Center in Falls Village, CT.