Welcome to a new year! 

Our Jewish community calendar is already overflowing with commemorations, celebrations and opportunities to repair the world.  Toward the middle of the month, we remember the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., who was not only a pre-eminent civil rights leader but also a great friend to the Jewish people and the State of Israel. At the end of the month, we enjoy a taste of spring with a variety of Tu B'Shevat celebrations. And just a few days from now, on January 8, Federation and many partners will kick off a food drive to help our newly arrived Puerto Rican and other Caribbean neighbors stock their pantries. Thirteen hundred people have already arrived in our region fleeing hurricane damage at home, and thousands more are expected. I hope you will contribute!

Wishing you a happy and healthy, peaceful and prosperous 2018,

President and CEO
Jewish Federation of Greater Hartford
Start the New Year Off Right with Chai Mitzvah

Interested in doing something a little different this year? How about starting 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.
Call for Speakers: 4th Second Generation Speak Up

Children and grandchildren of Holocaust survivors are invited to share their stories at the fourth Second Generation Speak Up Showcase on Sunday, March 25. The showcase is presented by Voices of Hope and Speak Up Storytelling. Participants must commit to six preparatory workshops during the month of March, beginning on March 7. For more information, email info@ctvoicesof hope.org.
Support the Anja Rosenberg Kosher Food Pantry and Enjoy Big Savings with a JFS Discount Card

Jewish Family Services is offering discount cards good at 12 local restaurants including  A.C. Petersen Farms, Blue Plate Kitchen, Concetta's, Crown Market Cafe, Effie's Place, Hartford Baking Co., Harry's Bishop's Corner, Lox Stock & Bagels, Moe's Southwest Grill, Noodles & Company, Sally and Bob's Eatery, and Subway Bishops Corner. They are $20 apiece and all proceeds go to the Anja Rosenberg Kosher Food Pantry. Click here for more information and an order form.
Children's Reading Partners Doubles Its Book Drive Donations!

A student and her Children's Reading Partners mentor.
The Fourth Annual Greater Hartford Holiday Book Drive collected over 3,000 new and used books and $1,100 to benefit at-risk students across our region... more than double the books collected last year! The drive was a joint effort of Children's Reading Partners, Jewish Federation of Greater Hartford and the West Hartford Rotary Club. Five drop-off locations participated: Keller Williams Realty, Beth El Temple, Beth Sholom B'nai Israel, Congregation Beth Israel and The Emanuel Synagogue. The Bess and Paul Sigel Hebrew Academy, the Mandell JCC Early Childhood Center, Hoffman SummerWood and many community members donated books. Special thanks to Bennett Forrest of The Miale Team at Keller Williams Realty for leading the drive. Children's Reading Partners is a program of the Federation's Jewish Community Relations Council. To learn more, click here or contact Alana Butler at READ@jewishhartford.org or 860.236.READ (7323).
January 6 and 20: Tot Shabbat at Congregation Beth Israel

Bring the little ones in your life to a fun and inspiring Tot Shabbat, held on the first and third Saturdays of the month at 10:30 a.m. at Congregation Beth Israel, 701 Farmington Avenue, West Hartford. Tot Shabbat services precede our regular Shabbat morning services (which begin at 11:00 a.m.). Young children sing along with our clergy, hear stories, and receive special blessings. The services are held in our Library Children's Room. All are welcome!
January 6: Welcome 2018 with PJ Library

Join PJ Library in the Mandell JCC Family Room on Saturday, January 6 from 5:30 to 6:45 p.m. to celebrate Havdalah (saying goodbye to Shabbat) and welcome the New Year! The party begins with family yoga, followed by a dance party and ending with a yummy treat. Free and open to the community. RSVP by January 4 to Jane Pasternak at 860.231.6342 or jpasternak@mandelljcc.org. The Mandell JCC is located on the Zachs Campus at 335 Bloomfield Avenue in West Hartford.
January 7: Meet David Silverstone, MDC's New Independent Consumer Advocate, at Beth David Synagogue

Beth David Synagogue invites you to a breakfast with civic leader and consumer advocate David Silverstone on Sunday, January 7 at 9:15 a.m. Mr. Silverstone was just appointed as the first Independent Consumer Advocate for the Metropolitan District Commission, which provides water and sewer service in Greater Hartford. He was Connecticut's first consumer counsel in the early 1970s and went on to a career in public utility law in the 1980s and 1990s, including a stint as the consumer advocate and then CEO for the Regional Water Authority in New Haven. His civic engagement has included numerous leadership positions, including serving as President of the Bess and Paul Sigel Hebrew Academy. The breakfast is open to the community; there is a charge of $5. Kindly RSVP by Thursday, January 4 to jobilmes@sbcglobal.net or to jerry.benjamin@comcast.net or 860.805.5261.
January 7 and January 13: Join JCL for Jewish Discussion, Special Needs Shabbat

The Jewish Association for Community Living welcomes you to two upcoming events. On Sunday, January 7, JCL's Chai Mitzvah group will meet for a lively discussion on Jewish topics at 1:00 p.m. at the West Normandy Group Home, 17 West Normandy Drive, West Hartford. On Saturday, January 13 at 10:30 a.m., JCL will hold a Special Needs Shabbat service at Beth El Temple, 2626 Albany Avenue, West Hartford.  Service led by Nancy Rosen with Storytelling by Sara deBeer. JCL is also excited to announce that it dedicated a new group home at 195 Brewster Road in West Hartford last month. This is the fourth group home JCL manages in West Hartford. To learn more, contact JCL at 860.522.5225 ext. 2234.
January 7 and 21: Volunteer for Hurricane Relief Close to Home

Join Federation's Young Adult Division on Sunday, January 7 or Federation's Women's Philanthropy Division on Sunday, January 21 as we sort clothing, toiletries, and other donated items to be given to Puerto Rican and other Caribbean refugees who are settling in Greater Hartford. Both volunteer events take place from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. at the Relief Center for Our Caribbean Friends, 15 Van Dyke Avenue, Hartford. The Young Adult Division event will be followed by a happy hour at Wood 'N' Tap, 99 Sisson Avenue, Hartford. Please note... you do not need to be a young adult or a woman to participate! RSVP for one or both events to Jill Nulsen at 860.727.6119 or jnulsen@jewishhartford.org.
Local BBYO Teens Complete Six Weeks of Service, Celebrate Shabbat and "Stomp It Out"

West Hartford based Nadav BBYO arrives at "Stomp It Out."
In the spirit of Hanukkah, BBYO Connecticut Valley Region came together in December to spread the light through shared Shabbat experiences and community service opportunities. West Hartford's Nadav BBYO chapter completed 100 hours of community service during the Six Weeks of Service, for a total of 600+ hours in 2017! Hartford area teens celebrated BBYO's Shabbat Across Connecticut on December 15. The next night, more than 300 teens gathered at The SportsCenter of Connecticut in Shelton for BBYO's Stomp It Out event, where they "stomped out" stigma with a frank discussion of mental health. They also donated warm winter clothing to the Bridgeport Rescue Mission; BBYO Connecticut Valley Region collected 138 pounds of clothing! Next up is Winter Kallah, January 26 through 28 in Hartford, where teens will explore what it means to be Jewish in America. Guest speakers and musical guest Six13 will provide a platform for teens to explore their identity. To learn more, contact Tyler Pepe at TPepe@bbyo.org or Jennifer Kruzansky at JKruzansky@bbyo.org.
Apply Now for the Free* Israel Trip for Moms

The JWRP MoMentum trip - run in partnership with the South Windsor-based Mitzvah Mamas group - makes it possible for mothers who are raising Jewish children under age 18, who aren't traditionally Sabbath observant, to take an inspiring free* trip to Israel with other moms like them. The application process is now open and interviews are being scheduled for the fall 2018 Israel experience. To learn more, contact Mindy Glickman at 917.698.7952 or MitzvahMamas@gmail.com, or join the Mitzvah Mamas Facebook group. To apply for the trip, click here. *Airfare not included.
January 12 and Beginning January 22: Shabbat with an IDF Veteran, Communication Course at Chabad House

Please join Chabad of Greater Hartford on Friday, January 12 for Shabbat services at 5:00 p.m. (children's program provided) and dinner with IDF Combat Veteran Laibel Mangel at 5:45 p.m. Mr. Mangel served as a machine gunner in the Kfir Brigade, where he took part in high-profile anti-terror operations including the tragic discovery of the bodies of three teenage boys kidnapped from Gush Etzion in 2014. The cost is $20 per adult and $12 per child, up to a maximum of $65 per family. Beginning on Monday, January 22, you're also invited to join a conversation on how we can reclaim the lost art of human connection to better ourselves, our relationships and society in this digital world. Taught by Rabbi Shaya Gopin, "Communication: Its Art & Soul" will run on six consecutive Monday evenings from 7:30 to 9:00 p.m. The course fee is $99 (textbook included) with a 10% discount for double bookings. No one will be turned away due to lack of funds. All programs are offered at Chabad House, 2352 Albany Avenue, West Hartford. To learn more or to register, click here or contact 860.232.1116 or JewishLearning@ChabadHartford.com.
January 14: Free Jewish A Cappella Concert at Congregation Adath Israel

You're invited to "Elephants and Towels: A Jewish A Cappella Concert" featuring Magevet of Yale University and Shir Appeal of Tufts University on Sunday, January 14 at 1:00 p.m. at Congregation Adath Israel, located at 8 Broad Street in Middletown. This free, public concert is sponsored by the Arthur and Edythe Director Family Fund. Kindly RSVP to office@adathisraelct.org or 860.346.4709.
January 15: Martin Luther King Jr. Day

Learn about Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel's influence on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in this short video.
Learn about Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel's influence on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in this short video.
On January 15 we honor the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  In addition to his vital work for civil rights and against racism, Dr. King was a strong ally in the fight against anti-Semitism and a good friend to Israel . He often quoted Jewish scripture in his masterful speeches and sermons, and his understanding of prophetic justice was influenced by his close friend, Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel . In 1965, the American Jewish Committee awarded Dr. King the American Liberties Medallion for his "exceptional advancement of the principles of human liberty."

Our Jewish community will commemorate the life and values of Dr. King in several ways. We hope you'll participate.

January 15: The Mandell JCC will hold several volunteer events to celebrate the Martin Luther King Jr. national day of service. From 8:00 to 11:00 a.m., volunteers will serve breakfast at the Fern Street Community Kitchen in West Hartford. From 1:00 to 2:30 p.m., we'll make sandwiches and baking cookies for Hands on Hartford at the Mandell JCC. From 3:00 to 4:00 p.m., we'll have a scavenger hunt with Hoffman SummerWood residents. Join us! Click here to learn more, or RSVP to Elana MacGilpin at emacgilpin@mandelljcc.org or 860.231.6366 by January 11.

Max Klau, Ed.D.
January 15:
 Join the Mandell JCC, JFACT, the Federation's Jewish Community Relations Council, Neshama, and The Emanuel Synagogue for a book talk on Race and Social Change: A Quest, a Study, a Call to Action with author Max Klau, Ed.D., at 7:00 p.m. on Monday, January 15 at the Mandell JCC, Zachs Campus, 335 Bloomfield Avenue, West Hartford. Dr. Klau, who grew up in Simsbury, will discuss recent events with regard to race and social change, how we can understand them, and what we can do about them. Click here for more information. To reserve your free ticket, contact the box office at 860.231.6316 or tickets@mandelljcc.org.

January 15:  Solomon Schechter Day School and West Hartford Public Schools will present "Thinking Beyond Disabilities: A Community Conversation about Intersectionality" on Monday, January 15 from 7:00 to 8:30 p.m. at Solomon Schechter Day School, 26 Buena Vista Road, West Hartford. Our panel conversation will discuss disabilities, access, and the intersectionality of race. We'll gain a better understanding of how race and culture intersect. A Q&A will follow. Click here to learn more.

Rev. Stephen Camp
January 19:
 Join Congregation Beth Israel for Shabbat with our distinguished guest, Reverend Stephen Camp, on Friday, January 19 beginning at 7:30 p.m. Reverend Camp has served Faith Congregational Church, Hartford's oldest Black church, since 2009, continuing a legacy of social justice. A wine-and-cheese "pre-neg" will precede the service at 7:00 p.m.  Congregation Beth Israel is located at 701 Farmington Avenue, West Hartford.

January 20: In Our Hands: The Battle for Jerusalem Film Screening at Young Israel of West Hartford

In Our Hands tells the story of the Battle of Jerusalem in the Six-Day War through the eyes of the IDF's 55th Paratrooper Brigade. IMDB called it a "stirring documentary... tightly directed and edited.... Very well done." It will be shown on Saturday, January 20 at 8:00 p.m. at Young Israel of West Hartford, 2240 Albany Avenue, West Hartford. Admission and refreshments are free!  To learn more, contact the synagogue at info@youngisraelwh.org or 860.233.3084.
Beginning January 22: "Wisdom in the Winter" Lecture Series with Professor Andrew Pessin

Andrew Pessin, Ph.D.
Join Beth Sholom B'nai Israel for a three-part lecture series with Andrew Pessin, Ph.D., Professor of Philosophy at Connecticut College. Dr. Pessin will address philosophical issues from a Jewish and historical lens, ranging from Maimonides to Zionism. The series will be held on Mondays - January 22 and 29, and February 5 - at 7:30 pm. General admission is $30 per person for the series or $12 for a single lecture. Student admission is $15 per person for the series or $5 for a single lecture. Click here to learn more or to register. BSBI is located at 400 Middle Turnpike East, Manchester.
January 23: All in the Family: A History of Local Jewish Generational Businesses

Shoor Brothers, Hartford, 1908.
Learn the rich history of family-owned Jewish businesses from the people who are keeping them thriving today, after more than 65 years! On Tuesday, January 23 at 7:00 p.m., we'll have a lively panel discussion at Beth El Temple with Howard Weiner of Woodland Auto Body, Michael Wolf of Bloomfield Bicycle Shop, and Harry Davidson of Pyne-Davidson Printers. Each panelist is a wealth of knowledge, but more importantly, you'll leave prouder than ever to be a member of Greater Hartford's Jewish community. This program is co-sponsored by the Jewish Historical Society of Greater Hartford and the Beth El Men's Club. The cost is $7 for Jewish Historical Society and Beth El Men's Club members and $10 for non-members. Refreshments will be served. To learn more, contact Lynn Newman at lnewman@jewishhartford.org or 860.727.6170. Beth El Temple is located at 2626 Albany Ave, West Hartford.
January 27: Havdalah and Hockey with The Emanuel Synagogue

Join The Emanuel Synagogue for Havdalah and Hockey on Saturday, January 27 at 5:30 p.m. at the Hilton Hotel, 315 Trumbull Street, Hartford. The a cappella group Six13 will join us for Havdalah; afterward we'll attend the Wolf Pack hockey game at the XL Center, 1 Civic Center Plaza, Hartford. A portion of ticket sales will benefit The Emanuel Synagogue Religious School. This event is also sponsored by BBYO and Camp Laurelwood. Click here to learn more or to register.
January 28: "Dispelling the Myths of Anti-Israel Propaganda" at Temple Beth Hillel

Sherry Shamash
Sherry Shamash, Hebrew Lecturer at the University of Connecticut, will speak on "Dispelling the Myths of Anti-Israel Propaganda" at Temple Beth Hillel on Sunday, January 28 at 11:00 a.m. All are welcome; light refreshments will be served. Temple Beth Hillel is located at 20 Baker Lane in South Windsor. For more information, contact the TBH office at 860.282.8466 or Admin@tbhsw.org.
January 28: International Holocaust Remembrance Day Commemoration

Voices of Hope, JFACT, and Jewish Family Services invite you to an International Holocaust Remembrance Day commemoration on Sunday, January 28 from noon to 2:00 p.m. at The Emanuel Synagogue, 160 Mohegan Drive, West Hartford. Local Holocaust survivors will be honored, and Ben Cooper will receive the 2018 Chesed Award. A dairy brunch will be served. Free for Holocaust survivors and their families and for students; $18 registration required for the general public. Click here to RSVP, or call 860.470.5591 or email info@ctvoicesofhope.org.
January 29 - February 1: "A Taste of the Greenberg Center" at University of Hartford

The Maurice Greenberg Center for Judaic Studies has a new home in the University of Hartford's Harry Jack Gray Center! Come sample one of our classes for "A Taste of the Greenberg Center." Choose from "The Origins of Modern Jewish Literature" with Professor Avinoam Patt on Monday, January 29; "Hebrew Language and Film" with Adjunct Instructor Yifat Avner on Tuesday, January 30; "An Introduction to Religion" with Professor Richard Freund on Wednesday, January 31; or "Ethnic Violence in the 20th Century" with Professor Hazza Abo Rabia on Thursday, February 1. Seating is limited; reservations are required. Kindly RSVP to Susan Gottlieb at mgcjs@hartford.edu or 860.768.5018 by Thursday, January 25.
January 30 - 31: Tu B'Shevat

Enjoy this fun Tu B'Shevat song for kids and kids-at-heart by Joanie Leeds.
Tu B'Shevat, "the New Year of the trees," has been a part of our calendar since Talmudic times. It falls on the 15th day of the month of Shevat; this year, it begins at sundown on January 30.

In the 16th century, the mystics of Tzfat, Israel, established the Tu B'Shevat seder, eating fruits, grains and nuts associated with the land of Israel. Early Zionists re-established Tu B'Shevat as a tree-planting holiday as part of their efforts to green the land of Israel. Today, our worldwide Jewish community celebrates Tu B'Shevat in these and other ways that celebrate nature and the bounty of the land.

Here are a few ways our community will mark Tu B'Shevat. Come join the fun!

January 17: The Mitzvah Mamas welcome women to prepare for Tu B'Shevat at a one-hour Rosh Chodesh (new month) gathering on the evening of Wednesday, January 17 at the Glastonbury home of Staci Coelho. Come at 7:00 p.m. to schmooze; the gathering starts promptly at 7:30. An RSVP is requested (so that we have enough materials) but not required. For the street address of the gathering, or for information on Mitzvah Mamas activities or the free trip to Israel for moms, please contact Mindy Glickman at MitzvahMamas@gmail.com or 917.698.7952... or join the Mitzvah Mamas Facebook group.

January 28: Celebrate the birthday of the trees with the Jewish Association for Community Living and Congregation Beth Israel's eighth grade class on Sunday, January 28 at 10:30 a.m. at Congregation Beth Israel, 701 Farmington Avenue, West Hartford. Kindly RSVP to Bonnie Eisenberg at beisenberg@jcl-ct.org.

January 28:
 Young children and their families are invited to celebrate the New Year of the Trees with PJ Library on Sunday, January 28 at 3:00 p.m. at the Roaring Brook Nature Center, 20 Gracey Road, Canton. We'll enjoy snacks, crafts, and stories and see some animals that don't hibernate during the winter! $5 per person. Click here to learn more; RSVP by January 20 to emacgilpin@mandelljcc.org.

January 30:  Temple Beth Hillel will host a Tu B'Shevat dinner on Tuesday, January 30 at 5:30 p.m. On the menu: roasted chicken, pasta with sauce, salad, rolls, and dessert. All are welcome! The price is $6 per person; children under 5 are free. Reservations are required. Contact the office at 860.282.8466 or Admin@tbhsw.org to make a reservation. Temple Beth Hillel is located at 20 Baker Lane in South Windsor.
February 4, 7 and 13: WOW!tastic Opportunities for Jewish Educators

WOW! brings Jewish concepts to life through exciting STEM projects. All Jewish educators are invited to participate in WOW! workshops. At our first ever WOW!athon on Sunday, February 4 from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m., you'll learn how to design your own WOW! programs with hands-on projects, text sources and materials. All participating teachers will receive a $10 Amazon gift card and a t-shirt, and you'll be entered to win one of two Kindle Fires for your classroom. Click here for details and registration. At "WOW! in a Box: When Marshmallows Fly" on Wednesday, February 7 or Tuesday, February 13 from 7:00 to 8:30 p.m. (choose one), you'll learn how to use simple physics to teach the value of courage. You'll leave with a complete program box. Click here for details and registration. WOW! events will be held at the Community Services Building on the Zachs Campus at 333 Bloomfield Avenue, West Hartford. Register today; programs fill up fast! WOW! is a program of Federation's Commission on Jewish Education. To learn more, contact Jennifer Schwartzman at jschwartzman@jewishhartford.org.
February 21: Join JFACT to Learn about U.S.-Israel Business Development Grants

Join Israeli officials, the BIRD (Binational Industrial Research and Development) Foundation, JFACT, and members of the Connecticut Legislature and the Department of Economic and Community Development for an important announcement about BIRD Foundation grants open to Connecticut businesses. The information session will take place on Wednesday, February 21 from 10:00 a.m. to noon at the State Capitol, 210 Capitol Avenue, Room 310, Hartford. The BIRD Foundation stimulates, promotes and supports industrial research and development of mutual benefit to the U.S. and Israel. It provides matchmaking services between U.S. and Israeli companies, as well as funding covering up to 50 percent of project development and product commercialization costs. To learn more, please contact JFACT Executive Director Michael Bloom at mbloom@jfact.org. This program is co-sponsored by Federation's Jewish Community Relations Council.
March 25, 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 - March 25, 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.
Register Now for an "Off the Beaten Path" Trip to Israel in August

Join Rabbi Richard and Lisa Plavin for a very special, 12-day "Off the Beaten Path" trip to Israel departing August 5, 2018. For more information including the full itinerary and costs, click here or contact Rabbi Plavin at 860.573.4503 or riplavin@gmail.com.