I hope you enjoyed a festive Fourth of July and your summer offers many opportunities for relaxation and reflection. Here at Federation, we are working to close our 2017 Annual Campaign, and there is still time to take advantage of the Challenge Match that doubles the impact of any new or increased gift! We rely completely on your support in order to bring many exciting new programs to our community in the fall. I want to give special mention to the Greater Hartford Jewish Leadership Academy, which we are launching with a generous grant from the Jewish Community Foundation of Greater Hartford. You can read more about the Academy immediately below.

As always, we welcome your input on JLink. To submit news or share your thoughts, please contact our editor, Susannah MacNeil, at smacneil@jewishhartford.org .

President and CEO
Jewish Federation of Greater Hartford
Federation to Launch Jewish Leadership Academy 

Federation's Commission on Jewish Education and Leadership has just been awarded a three-year grant from the Jewish Community Foundation to establish the Greater Hartford Jewish Leadership Academy. "The Academy isn't just another training program," noted Federation President and CEO Howard Sovronsky. "We'll work with each participant to develop an Individualized Leadership Plan that builds on his or her individual strengths and interests to create a unique leadership journey, supported by a network of experts and mentors. We will be preparing leaders to fill existing roles in Greater Hartford's synagogues, schools and organizations - but we will also be preparing them to envision, launch and manage initiatives that do not yet exist." The Academy is planning a variety of programs for the fall, including Community Leadership Forums; a yearlong Community Leadership Initiative; a Presidents' Circle for lay leaders of agencies, schools, and synagogues; and much more. More information is coming soon.
Ongoing: Mandell JCC Summer Camps & Programs

Parents and caregivers: Do you have an empty slot in your summer child care schedule? Stuck at home with bored kids? Never fear: No one does summer like the Mandell JCC! From week-long sports specialty camps and a stunning day camp in the woods along the Farmington River to childcare camps and an offsite swim/recreation club, summer's in session at the Mandell JCC. For more information, visit www.mandelljcc.org.
Saturdays through August 26: Summer Shabbat Speaker Series at Beth El Temple

Beth El Temple invites you to learn Torah from Beth El members as part of our Shabbat morning services, every Saturday beginning at 9:30 a.m. from July 1 through August 26. Torah comes in all shapes and sizes, with varying disciplines and perspectives. We will experience Torah from storytelling to rabbinic commentaries, with the perspectives of lawyers, teachers and more! Beth El Temple is located at 2626 Albany Avenue in West Hartford.
Mazal Tov to Federation Award Recipients!

At its Annual Meeting on June 13, Federation presented a number of awards to community leaders and teachers. Please join us in congratulating these community members and programs. An album of photos from the evening is available here.

Federation Innovation Award
Tara's Closet, a program of Jewish Family Services that provides fashionable, gently used clothing to JFS clients in a boutique setting

Henry M. Zachs Spirit of Judaism Awards
  • Sharon Conway, for her professional service to the Southern New England Consortium overseeing the Israeli Young Emissaries program

Commission on Jewish Education & Leadership Awards
Innovative Program Award
"Snacks with Lt. Shachar: The First Openly Transgender Commander in the IDF," developed by Sarai Hertz-Velazquez and Eric Maurer, JTConnect

Innovative Family Program Award
"Mishloach Manot and Visiting Homebound Seniors," developed by Lauren Benthien, Director of Youth Education from Congregation Beth Israel, West Hartford

Uniquely Effective Madrichim Awards
Presented to teen classroom aides (Madrichim) selected by their synagogue schools for their significant contributions.
Bess and Paul Sigel Hebrew Academy Enhances Math and Science Programs 

Through grants from the Jewish Federation and Jewish Community Foundation, Bess and Paul Sigel Hebrew Academy's math and science programs have been significantly enhanced with teacher coaching and mentoring from two exceptional educators from Dallas, Texas. Mrs. Denny Ticker, the science coordinator for Akiba Academy of Dallas, has been collaborating with Sigel Academy's teachers all year on a dynamic new science curriculum. She recently visited and taught an interactive science class for students in grades 3 through 5. Since last August, the Academy's math teachers have been coached in implementing a new Math in Focus/Singapore Math program by Dr. Beverly Millican, who was the math coordinator for the Plano, Texas Independent School District and the Richardson, Texas Independent School District as well as Akiba Academy's General Studies principal. These collaborations will continue in the fall. In partnership with the Jewish Federation and the Jewish Community Foundation, Hebrew Academy will continue to offer its teachers top-quality professional development opportunities that will positively impact its students.
Federation 2017 Annual Campaign Update 

Federation's 2017 Annual Campaign is drawing to a close! If you haven't made a contribution, we hope you will consider doing so today. All contributions are tax-deductible, and you can feel great knowing you've helped to support 15 beneficiary agencies and 20+ programs in Greater Hartford - as well as helping our Jewish brothers and sisters in Israel and around the world. Please give online or contact Beth Appelman, Vice President of Development, at 860.727.6123 or eappelman@jewishhartford.org.
University of Hartford Hillel Congratulates Jonah Rothstein '16 

Mazal tov to University of Hartford alumnus Jonah Rothstein '16, who is starting his career in Jewish communal leadership as the Reform Engagement Associate/Ezra Fellow at Cornell University Hillel! Jonah was part of the UHart Hillel community during his undergraduate years and served as a Hillel intern. He also held leadership roles in Alpha Epsilon Pi and the Maurice Greenberg Center for Judaic Studies, taught at Congregation Kol Chaverim, and served as the student intern for the 2016 Mandell JCC Jewish Film Festival. Read more here.
UConn Hillel's Summer Birthright Trip Brings Local Students to Israel 

Check out this video of UConn Hillel's summer 2017 Birthright trip, created by UConn student Rebecca Rosen! A large percentage of students on the trip came from the Greater Hartford area.
The Three Weeks and Tisha B'Av
July 11 - August 1

Bas relief of the Destruction of the Second Temple, Arch of Titus, Rome
This month, many traditional Jews will observe a period of mourning known as the Three Weeks. The Three Weeks begin with the fast of the 17th of Tammuz, thought to be the date Moses broke the original tablets of the Ten Commandments when he found the Israelites worshiping a golden calf. Several restrictions associated with mourning are observed during this time.

The Three Weeks conclude with Tisha B'Av, the ninth day of the month of Av, considered the saddest day in the Jewish calendar. Over the years, a number of historical events became associated with Tisha B'Av - most notably the destruction of both Temples (the first Temple by the Babylonians in 586 BCE and the second by the Romans in 70 CE). Many other tragic events have occurred on this date, including the expulsion of the Jews from England in 1290 and from Spain in 1492.

The Three Weeks and Tisha B'Av help us remember the hardships of the past and recommit ourselves to an ethical life guided by Jewish values. We hope you find meaning in learning about this solemn period. Here are some local community observances.

July 31: Beth El Temple and The Emanuel Synagogue Co-Host Community Tisha B'Av Services
Join Beth El Temple and The Emanuel Synagogue from 8:00 to 9:00 p.m. on July 31 for community Tisha B'Av evening services. We will pray mincha and ma'ariv (the afternoon and evening daily services) and read the Megillat Eicha (the Book of Lamentations). The service will be held at Emanuel Synagogue, 160 Mohegan Drive, West Hartford. (No evening services will be held at Beth El.)

July 31 and August 1: Observe Tisha B'Av with Young Israel of West Hartford
Please join Young Israel of West Hartford as we reflect on and mourn the destruction of the Temple and its meaning in 2017. Tisha B'Av is observed on Monday evening, July 31, with the reading of the Megillat Eicha at 8:30 p.m., and on Tuesday, August 1, with a full day of inspirational and meaningful programs, including an explanatory Kinnot service (a service of mournful songs) beginning at 8:45 a.m. and a special afternoon film presentation. Details are coming soon to the YIWH website.

July 13, 14 and 16: Emanuel Synagogue's Giant Indoor Tag Sale

The Emanuel Synagogue's Giant Indoor Tag Sale will be held on July 13, 14 and 16, 2017.  Early birds are welcome on July 13 from 5 to 8 p.m. with a $5 admission fee. The tag sale is also open with free admission on July 14 and July 16, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. (The tag sale is closed on Shabbat.) A bag sale will be held on July 16 from 1 to 3 p.m. Donations are welcome; click here to see the types of items that will be accepted. For more information, call 860.236.1275.
July 14: B'nai Tikvoh-Sholom to Hold a "Sha'barbecue"

Join B'nai Tikvoh-Sholom for a "Sha'barbecue" in honor of Board members past and present on Friday, July 14 at 6 p.m. The BBQ will be followed by Kabbalat Shabbat services; the entire community is welcome. Sha'barbecue tickets are $10 per adult and $5 per child (ages 6-12) with a $25 per family maximum. Kindly RSVP by July 7 by emailing office@btsonline.org or calling 860.243.3576. B'nai Tikvoh-Sholom is located at 180 Still Road, Bloomfield.
July 14: Shabbat under the Stars with Temple Beth Hillel 

Temple Beth Hillel in South Windsor invites you to a special "Shabbat under the Stars" on Friday, July 14. There will be a potluck Shabbat dinner starting at 5:30 p.m., followed by outdoor services at 7 p.m. All are welcome! Please contact the office at Admin@tbhsw.org or 860.282.8466 to sign up for a dish to bring. Temple Beth Hillel is a Reform synagogue located at 20 Baker Lane in South Windsor.
Hebrew HealthCare's "Join the Discussion" Features Issues that Affect All Seniors 

Did you know that Hebrew HealthCare hosts a monthly television show about aging called "Join the Discussion"? The June episode explored the ins and outs of assisted living with Valerie Bartos, Director of Community Relations at Hoffman SummerWood Community, and Janice Gibson, Director of Hebrew HealthCare's Assisted Living Service Agency. The July episode discusses issues that older adults face in making smart food choices; guest Matthew Arsenault, Executive Chef of the Crown Market, shares solutions that can help. Tune in to "Join the Discussion" on Wednesday evenings at 7:30 p.m. on West Hartford Community Television, or click here for a Youtube playlist of recent episodes.
July 17: Mandell JCC 18th Annual Scholarship Tournament

The Mandell JCC proudly partners with Saint Francis Care, University of Hartford, Trinity College, Charter Oak Cultural Center, Hartford Seminary, Mandell Center for Multiple Sclerosis at Mount Sinai, Hartford Marathon Foundation, and Special Olympics to host the Annual Scholarship Tournament at Tumble Brook Country Club. 100% of sponsorship dollars provide scholarships for the community; since the first annual event 17 years ago, we have raised over $3 million to support scholarships at the Mandell JCC! Children whose parents need child care in order to work, elderly émigrés from the Former Soviet Union, adults with developmental disabilities and senior adults have all benefited. Enjoy a day of golfing on one of Connecticut's finest courses, and gather with friends and colleagues to support this very worthy cause. Tumble Brook Country Club is located at 376 Simsbury Road in Bloomfield. For more information, registration, or sponsorship opportunities, click here or contact Sheri Gaudet at 860.231.6351 or sgaudet@mandelljcc.org.
July 22 & 29 and August 26: Charter Oak Cultural Center's Summer Courtyard Concerts Series

Charter Oak Cultural Center is once again setting the summer to music with its Summer Courtyard Concerts series. Concerts will be held on July 22 and 29, and August 26. The Center is proud to welcome The Funky Dawgz brass band, Hartford Steel Symphony, and Daniel Salazar's Americas Ensemble this year. As always, admission to this concert series is free of charge; bring a chair or a blanket and enjoy food and music under the Hartford skyline. Food and drink will be available at 1:30 p.m.; each 60-minute concert begins at 2 p.m. The Center is located at 21 Charter Oak Avenue in Hartford. Click here for details. Housed in Connecticut's oldest synagogue building, the Charter Oak Cultural Center was founded in the 1970s. It reaffirms Jewish engagement in Hartford while serving a multi-ethnic urban neighborhood and contributing to a downtown arts revival.
July 23: The Mitzvah Mamas Welcome Rosh Chodesh Av

All women ages 13 and up are invited to welcome Rosh Chodesh Av (the new month of Av) with the Mitzvah Mamas on Sunday, July 23 from 10 to 11 a.m. at Minnechaug Swim and Tennis Club. Enjoy the hour and then stay to play! This is an outdoor event, so please dress according to the weather. Bring a bathing suit if you'd like to swim, and please bring a chair if you can. The club is located at 980 Manchester Road, Glastonbury.  For directions or to  learn more about Mitzvah Mamas' monthly Rosh Chodesh gatherings or the free trip to Israel for moms, please contact Mindy Glickman at Dearmindela@gmail.com or 917.698.7952. You can also join the  Mitzvah Mamas Facebook group.
July 28: Congregation Beth Israel and FVJC Co-Host Shabbat under the Stars

Congregation Beth Israel and Farmington Valley Jewish Congregation - Emek Shalom will hold a Shabbat Under the Stars service and concert on Friday, July 28.The service begins at 6:00 p.m. at Schultz Park, 921 Hopmeadow Street, Simsbury. It's followed by a "Broadway A to Z" concert at the Talcott Mountain Music Festival. Guests are encouraged to bring picnic dinners to enjoy on the lawn during the concert. Tickets are $15/adults and $5/kids if you order by July 12. For online registration and more details, click here or call the CBI office at 860.233.8215.
August 8: Book Talk with Elizabeth Poliner 

Jewish Historical Society of Greater Hartford invites you to a book talk with Elizabeth Poliner, author of As Close to Us as Breathing, on August 8 at 6 p.m. Poliner's novel focuses on a small stretch of the Woodmont, Connecticut, shoreline named Bagel Beach, where Jewish families have long gathered for summer recreation. It's a multigenerational family saga about the long-lasting reverberations of one tragic summer. The talk will be held at the Community Services Building on the Zachs Campus at 333 Bloomfield Avenue, West Hartford. Bring a dairy picnic for dinner and Jewish Historical Society will provide ice cream sundaes for dessert! Cost is $5 per person; click here to learn more.
August 9 - 13: Hazon Food Conference at Isabella Freedman Jewish Retreat Center

Take a vacation at the home of farm-to-table (kosher, organic, and ethically sourced!) cuisine in beautiful Falls Village, Connecticut. Enjoy outdoor wood-fire cooking, berry picking and veggie harvesting, late-night stargazing and bonfires, swimming, boating, hiking, and other summer-fun activities. Learn with world-class experts, activists, artists, chefs and community leaders. There's even an all-inclusive kids program. Hazon works to create a healthier and more sustainable Jewish community, and a healthier and more sustainable world for all. Click here to learn more about the conference..
The Emanuel Synagogue Welcomes New School Principal 

The Emanuel Synagogue is pleased to welcome its new School Principal, Barbara Fink! Barbara received her Masters in Education from Rutgers University and taught in the NYC public schools for than 10 years before moving to West Hartford with her husband, Jonathan, and children, Hannah and Mason. Barbara is also a graduate of Solomon Schechter Day School of Essex and Union (now known as Golda Och Academy) and the Hebrew Academy of Morris County in New Jersey. She spends her summer at Camp Ramah in the Berkshires where she has been a counselor, Rosh Edah (division head), programming director and most recently a Yoetzet (advisor) to counselors and Rashei Edah (division heads).
Children's Reading Partners Reports Year-End Success 

Children's Reading Partners is pleased to report that during the 2016-2017 school year, its 332 volunteers conducted over 8,000 reading sessions with more than 500 at-risk students at 13 schools across Greater Hartford. For the next school year, Children's Reading Partners will be expanding into at least two more schools - so more volunteers are needed! Volunteer training sessions will be shared in JLink when they are available; in the meantime please feel free to email READ@jewishhartford.org or call 860.236.READ (7323) with any questions. Children's Reading Partners is a program of the Jewish Community Relations Council of the Jewish Federation of Greater Hartford. 
August 26: Come Home Again for Camp Laurelwood's 80th Anniversary Celebration

Camp Laurelwood invites all campers and friends to "come home again" for its 80th anniversary celebration and reunion! This fabulous 21+ event begins with registration and self-guided tours at 4:00 p.m. and continues with an open bar and hors d'oeuvres, a program and catered dinner by The Crown, and dancing with music from all eight decades of camp. Stay afterward for campfires, s'mores and sailing down the river. This event is free; you'll be invited to make a meaningful gift to Camp Laurelwood to support future programming. Camp Laurelwood is located at 463 Summer Hill Road in Madison. You can register here. Questions? Email clw80th@camplaurelwood.org or call 203.421.3736.
Beth Sholom B'nai Israel Welcomes Cantor Sarah Bolts 

BSBI is pleased to welcome Cantor Sarah Bolts as its next Cantor/Education Director. Cantor Bolts was ordained in June 2016 at Hebrew College in Newton, Mass. She comes to BSBI from Brookline, Mass., and has worked in various communities in Maryland and Massachusetts serving as a cantorial soloist, professional Torah reader, b'nai mitzvah tutor and ba'alat tefillah (reader of prayers). BSBI is excited to have Cantor Bolts join our community; we look forward to a bright future together! Beth Sholom B'nai Israel is located at 400 Middle Turnpike East in Manchester; call the synagogue office at 860.643.9563 or visit www.myshul.org to learn more.
Institute for Basic Judaism Announces Fall Course Offering

Are you curious about Judaism?  Fall classes are forming now with the Institute for Basic Judaism! This program, taught by Conservative Rabbis, helps adult learners deepen their Jewish knowledge in 21 weekly sessions. It will meet at The Emanuel Synagogue in West Hartford beginning November 2. Participants will learn about Jewish history and culture, holy days and festivals, concepts of G-d and ethics, the synagogue and its services, life cycle observances, Kashrut (Jewish dietary laws), anti-Semitism and the Holocaust, Israel and Zionism, and the diversity of contemporary Jewish life. If you were born Jewish and want to know more about your heritage, if you are considering conversion to Judaism, or if you simply want to better understand Judaism and your Jewish friends, neighbors and/or family, this course is for you. Advance registration and summer reading is highly recommended; some financial assistance is available. For more information, read the brochure or contact Rabbi Richard Plavin at 860.573.4503 or riplavin@gmail.com.
Tara's Closet at Jewish Family Services Receives Federation's Innovation Award 

JFS President Michael Cohen and Tara's Closet founder Barbara Roth accept the Innovation Award from Federation Chair Emeritus Robert K. Yass.
Jewish Family Services donor and Tara's Closet founder Barbara Roth and JFS President Michael Cohen accepted the 2017 Innovation Award during the Jewish Federation of Greater Hartford's Annual Meeting at Congregation Beth Israel on June 13. The Board and staff of Jewish Family Services wish to thank Federation for this special recognition - we are so very proud! To Barbara and the dedicated Tara's Closet leadership - Fredda Goldstein, Jill Stoner, Veronica Dicke, Leigh Farber, Lisa Finman and Charna Kaufman - as well as the many volunteers who make this program a reality, this recognition is for you and your wonderful service to the community through Tara's Closet. Mazal tov!
September 11: Save the Date for Voices, Federation's Signature Women's Fundraising Event!

Save the date for a very special Voices on Monday, September 11 at Beth El Temple, 2626 Albany Avenue, West Hartford. This is Federation's biggest women's event of the year, and you won't want to miss it! Our guest speaker is Lieutenant Commander Alexa Forsyth Jenkins, the first Jewish female commander of a U.S. Naval warship. She'll share how her Jewish values and upbringing have influenced her approach to leadership and service. The evening begins at 5:30 p.m. with networking, cocktails and a dinner buffet; the program and dessert follow at 7 p.m. More information is coming soon.
October 30 - November 9: Community Mission to Israel

Join Co-Chairs Vicki and Richard Rosenthal (left) and Carolyn and Jeff Gitlin (right) on Federation's Community Mission to Israel!
Join your friends and neighbors on Jewish Federation of Greater Hartford's Community Mission to Israel, October 30 through November 9, 2017! Led by Co-Chairs Carolyn and Jeff Gitlin and Vicki and Richard Rosenthal, we'll spend 10 days exploring our Jewish homeland. We'll visit holy sites such as the Western Wall, explore the beautiful Israeli wilderness, learn about modern Israeli culture and politics, tour a vineyard and taste local wines, and visit our sister region of Afula-Gilboa to learn how Federation is improving life for those in need. To learn more, please contact Beth Appelman at 860.727.6123 or eappelman@jewishhartford.org.