The High Holy Days may be over, but 5778 has just begun and there is so much to look forward to! From arts and cultural events to the religious observances of Sukkot, Shemini Atzeret and Simchat Torah, the month of October holds something for everyone. The new year is also a perfect time to try something a little outside your comfort zone. We hope this issue of JLink will help you expand your horizons and deepen your pride in our beautiful Jewish community.

To submit news or share your thoughts on JLink, please contact our editor, Susannah MacNeil, at .

President and CEO
Jewish Federation of Greater Hartford
Now through October 15: FVJC Coat Drive

Farmington Valley Jewish Congregation - Emek Shalom invites you to donate your gently used coats to its annual coat drive. A donation box is set up in the lobby of the synagogue at 55 Bushy Hill Road, Simsbury; all donations will be given to Gifts of Love. To inquire about office hours, call 860.658.1075.
Registration Now Open: Institute for Basic Judaism

The Institute for Basic Judaism's program for 2017-2018 is now open for registration. This is a program for both Jews and non-Jews who want to learn more about Jewish heritage. The first session will be held November 2. For more information, contact Rabbi Richard Plavin at or visit the Institute's website at
Chai Mitzvah Study Groups Are Forming Now!

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
October 4 - October 11: Sukkot

Shakin' the Lulav on Sukkot
Shakin' the Lulav on Sukkot

Sukkot is one of the three pilgrimage festivals (along with Passover and Shavuot) recorded in the Torah. It is named for the booths or huts in which we are supposed to dwell during the festival, a reminder of our 40 years of wandering in the wilderness after leaving Egypt.

Many observant Jews gather cuttings from the "Four Species" - the palm, willow, myrtle and etrog (citron) - and shake them during Sukkot. While there are many interpretations about the significance of the Four Species, perhaps the simplest is to give thanks for the harvest while remembering the abundance of Israel. 

Sukkot is a wonderful time to share a meal with friends and family outdoors, and our New England autumn makes it even more beautiful. Here are some local celebrations of Sukkot.

Beth Sholom B'nai Israel welcomes you on Friday, October 6 for a Shabbat service and dinner in the sukkah. Services begin at 6:00 p.m.; we move outside to the sukkah at 7:00 p.m. to eat. Brisket, chicken, and vegetarian options are available. Adults are $12 or $15 depending on your entree choice; kids ages 5 to 13 are only $5 each; and kids under 5 are free! Pre-registration is required; please contact Dawn at 860.659.4029 as soon as possible! Click here to view the flyer. BSBI is located at 400 Middle Turnpike East, Manchester .

B'nai Tikvoh Sholom invites you to a Shabbat Sukkot service and free program on Friday, October 6 at 7:00 p.m. with Saud Anwar, M.D., former Mayor of South Windsor and Chair of the Department of Internal Medicine at Eastern Connecticut Health Network. After the service, Dr. Anwar will speak about his involvement in local and global humanitarian and peace initiatives and share his vision of peace. On Saturday, October 7, BTS will hold a Social Justice Lunch & Learn on "Sukkah as Sanctuary" after our morning services (which begin at 9:30 a.m.). A light lunch will be served at 11:30 a.m. We'll consider the symbolism of the sukkah and how teachings about Sukkot might relate to current debates about immigration and refugees. The Lunch & Learn is free, but please call 860.243.3576 to reserve your spot. Donations are welcome in advance. BTS is located at 180 Still Road in Bloomfield.

Chabad of Greater Hartford invites you to a gourmet dinner with sangria, soup and salad in the sukkah on Wednesday, October 4 at 6:45 p.m. at Chabad House, 2352 Albany Avenue, West Hartford. Hear stories of some of the wildest Sukkah experiences! $25 for adults; $15 for children under age 12. Click here to register. You're also invited to a Sukkot party for all ages on Sunday, October 8 at 3:00 p.m. at the Gopin family residence at 295 North Main Street, West Hartford. (Parking is available on Pioneer Drive.) There will be games, party favors, and custom shakes and frappes. We'll be joined by former Harlem Wizard Jack Ryan, who will bring us an exciting basketball entertainment show! To learn more, contact Rabbi Shaya Gopin at 860.232.1116.

Congregation Beth Israel invites you to celebrate Sukkot with several services. On Wednesday, October 4 at 5:30 p.m., the Youth Engagement Programs will host an Erev Sukkot service in the sukkah that is open to all. On Thursday, October 5 at 11:00 a.m., CBI will hold a Festival Service in the sanctuary. And on Sunday, October 8 at 11:30 a.m., you are invited to celebrate with CBI in the sukkah. CBI is located at 701 Farmington Avenue, West Hartford.

Sisterhood  will hold a member reception in the sukkah on Tuesday, October 3, at 7:00 p.m., at 160 Mohegan Drive in West Hartford. Prospective members are welcome! Elysa Graber-Lipperman, president of The Emanuel Synagogue, will speak about the importance of engaging others to assist in realizing your leadership vision. For more information, email Audrey Yanofsky at

Farmington Valley Jewish Congregation - Emek Shalom Men's Club is taking a Sukkot hike to Heublein Tower on October 8 at 10:30 a.m. - and you are invited! We'll meet at the parking lot at the base of the hill. All are welcome; be sure to wear good walking shoes.

Young Israel of West Hartford invites all teens in grades 9 through 12 to join Miriam and Rabbi Brander for sushi in their sukkah at 6 Seneca Road, West Hartford, on October 7 at 8:00 p.m. Sponsored by Young Israel of West Hartford in partnership with NCSY. To learn more, click here or contact Rabbi Brander at 561.271.4148 or

October 10: Study and Celebrate with HHNE

Hebrew High School of New England's Community Mishmar program is designed for HHNE families and others who are interested in participating in Talmud Torah. Youth from 7th through 12th grades, their parents, and other adults are welcome. The October 10 program, which will be held at HHNE from 7:00 to 8:30 p.m., will center around Sukkot. Participants will find partners or small groups and spend 30 to 40 minutes learning and discussing source materials; a shiur (Talmudic study session) will follow with visiting scholar Sarah Robinson. Rabbi Skoglund will lead a brief but spirited song session followed by dancing for Simchat Beit Hashoeva (a special celebration during the intermediate days of Sukkot). RSVP to Rabbi Skoglund at HHNE is located at 300 Bloomfield Avenue in West Hartford.
October 10: University of Hartford's Greenberg Center Piano Recital and Lecture

Concert pianist Anastasia Seifetdinova and professor Sebastian Wogenstein, Ph.D.
The Maurice Greenberg Center for Judaic Studies at the University of Hartford invites the public to attend "A Celebration of Culture," a piano recital by Anastasia Seifetdinova, and "On Jews and German Culture," a lecture by Sebastian Wogenstein of the University of Connecticut, on Tuesday, October 10 at 7:30 p.m. in the Wilde Auditorium of the Harry Jack Gray Center on UHart's campus at 200 Bloomfield Avenue, West Hartford. The recital and lecture are part of the Rose and Arthur Fallmann Lecture on Western European Culture. Seating is limited and reservations are required; reserve your seats by calling 860.768.5018 or emailing The public is also invited to attend the opening of the exhibition "Vilna: The Jerusalem of Lithuania" on October 30. To learn more, or for a full list of Greenberg Center events, click here.
October 11 - October 13: Shemini Atzeret and Simchat Torah

Falling at the end of Sukkot, the holidays of Shemini Atzeret and Simchat Torah are celebrated separately by some Jews and together by others. 
On Shemini Atzeret, observant Jews say the first prayer for rain of the year. This is also one of the four holidays during which we recite the Yizkor or memorial service.  On Simchat Torah, we celebrate the conclusion of the annual cycle of Torah reading and the beginning of a new cycle. This is a very festive occasion marked by joyful processions (Hakafot) around the synagogue holding the Torah scroll .

Below are some ways our local community will be celebrating.

A cappella group SIX13
Beth David Synagogue of West Hartford 
welcomes the community to a one-of-a-kind Simchat Torah celebration featuring the internationally acclaimed a cappella sensation SIX13 on Thursday, October 12. We begin with Kiddush at 7:00 p.m. as SIX13 serenades attendees with their music. Then we'll transition into the sanctuary for singing and dancing led by SIX13. There is no charge; this event is a Beth David gift to the community - and Temple Beth Hillel of South Windsor will be joining us. There are equal opportunities for men and women, and all ages are welcome! Beth David Synagogue is located at 20 Dover Road, West Hartford.

Beth Sholom B'nai Israel has declared Simchat Torah "Silly Hat Night"! We invite you to join us on the evening of Simchat Torah, Thursday, October 12, at 7:00 p.m. wearing your silliest hat for a night of fun and celebration of Torah. Joking aside, no object in our tradition is holier than the Torah scroll - and on Simchat Torah we dance with the scrolls and process around the sanctuary. We will unwind the entire scroll so we may surround the entire congregation in its holiness. We will also do a quick review of the Torah, touching on the most significant verses. BSBI is located at 400 Middle Turnpike East, Manchester.

Chabad of Greater Hartford warmly welcomes you to a Simchat Torah celebration on Thursday, October 12 at 7:00 p.m. at Chabad House, 2352 Albany Avenue, West Hartford. There will be singing and dancing with the Torah, a festive buffet dinner, and a special children's Hakafah (procession). It's an experience for the entire family! Click here to learn more.

Congregation Beth Israel will hold a Simchat Torah service and celebration on Wednesday, October 11 at 6:30 p.m. A Shemini Atzeret Festival service and Yizkor will begin at 11:00 a.m. on Thursday, October 12. All are welcome to attend. CBI is located at 701 Farmington Avenue, West Hartford.

The Emanuel Synagogue welcomes you to a festive Simchat Torah on Thursday, October 12! Hakafot (Torah processionals with flags and songs) begin at 6:30 p.m., followed by a Simchat Torah CafĂ© at 8:00 p.m. The Emanuel is located at 160 Mohegan Drive, West Hartford.

Temple Beth Hillel of South Windsor will hold a Simchat Torah celebration on Friday, October 13, at 6:00 p.m., in addition to joining Beth David Synagogue on October 12. We'll unroll the Torah scrolls and consecrate our youngest and newest students. Temple Beth Hillel is located at 20 Baker Lane, South Windsor. To ensure that we have plenty of refreshments, kindly RSVP to 860.282.8466 or

Young Israel of West Hartford will celebrate Simchat Torah with lots of songs, spirit and, of course, food! Join us Thursday, October 12, beginning at approximately 7:00 p.m., and Friday, October 13, at approximately 10:30 a.m. followed by a dairy Kiddush luncheon. For more information, visit Young Israel of West Hartford is located at 2240 Albany Avenue, West Hartford.

JTConnect Launches New Teen Program with FVJC in Simsbury

JTConnect is excited to partner with Farmington Valley Jewish Congregation - Emek Shalom (FVJC) to launch a bimonthly teen program for Jewish teens in Simsbury! The 30+ teens enrolled in the program come together on one Sunday morning and one Wednesday evening per month. Click here to learn more.
October 14: Celebrate Rabbi Lazowski's 55th Anniversary with The Emanuel Synagogue

Rabbi Philip Lazowski
Please join The Emanuel Synagogue on Saturday, October 14 at 9:00 a.m. for Shabbat services and Kiddush to celebrate Rabbi Philip Lazowski's 55th anniversary as a rabbi. Rabbi Lazowski is a beloved figure in the Greater Hartford Jewish community. A Holocaust survivor who hid for almost three years in the White Russian woods, Rabbi Lazowski has authored and published 14 books - but we know him best for his warm smile and depth of soul. This free, public event is sponsored by The Emanuel Synagogue Brotherhood, Sisterhood, & Minyonaires. The Emanuel Synagogue is located at 160 Mohegan Drive in West Hartford.
October 15: Jewish Genealogical Society Welcomes Ron Arons on Researching Individual Ancestors

Ron Arons
The Jewish Genealogical Society of Connecticut (JGSCT) welcomes genealogical expert Ron Arons to its meeting on Sunday, October 15 from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. at Temple Sinai, 41 West Hartford Road, Newington. An expert on Jewish criminals of the Lower East Side, Arons has presented at numerous genealogical conferences. In this presentation, he'll discuss how to research your individual ancestors in depth to create a more vibrant family tree that answers the "whys" and "hows" of your family. This free program is open to everyone. The JGSCT library is also housed at Temple Sinai; members may borrow selected items.
October 15: See "Rags" at the Goodspeed with JFACT

Join JFACT on Sunday, October 15 at 6:30 p.m. as we see "Rags: An American Musical." "Rags" focuses on a young Jewish mother and son fleeing the pogroms for a better life in America. There will be a cocktail reception before the show at 5:00 p.m. and a meet-and-greet with the cast after the show. Tickets for the show and reception are $180 per person; part of the proceeds benefit JFACT. The Goodspeed Opera House is located at 6 Main Street in East Haddam. Please click here for details or contact Michael Bloom at
Camp Laurelwood Celebrates 80 Years

On August 26, about 400 guests "came home again" to an evening of dinner and dancing at Camp Laurelwood as part of the camp's 80th anniversary celebration. A no-charge event, this successful fundraiser netted in excess of $175,000 so that Camp Laurelwood can continue to provide the highest quality camp experience for generations of Jewish children. Some highlights of the evening include commentary by MC Josh Brogadir, a Laurelwood alumnus and current sports/news reporter and anchor at WCVB Channel 5 Boston, and moving speeches by the three honorees: Henry Zachs, Ken Yaffe, and Stu Katz. Click here to view the complete photo album. Here's to the next 80 years!
Nadav BBYO of Greater Hartford Is Off to a Great Start in the New Year

BBYO member Eitan Erlich resports, "Nadav BBYO of Greater Hartford has officially taken flight! At our last meeting we started with an icebreaker to see which team knew everyone the best. Our amazing advisors held up a huge sheet while two members sat on either side. Then, suddenly, the sheet was dropped, and whoever said the opposing member's name first won! Next we folded paper airplanes, but with a twist, they all had special themes such as teamwork where two members made the plane! Finally, we indulged in some sweet apples and honey to celebrate the new year. Shana Tova from Nadav BBYO!" To learn more about Nadav BBYO, contact Jennifer Kruzansky at 203.417.2868 or
October 17: "Jewish Comedy: A Serious History" at Charter Oak Cultural Center

Jeremy Dauber, Ph.D.
Charter Oak Cultural Center is excited to welcome guest lecturer Jeremy Dauber, Ph.D., author of Jewish Comedy: A Serious History, on October 17 at 7:00 p.m. as part of its 13th Annual Celebration of Jewish Arts and Culture. Dauber traces the origins of Jewish comedy and its development from the Book of Esther to Curb Your Enthusiasm. Dauber is the Atran Professor of Yiddish Language, Literature and Culture at Columbia University. This event is free and open to the public, but space is limited. To reserve your spot, email The public is also invited to a complimentary artists' reception for "Natural Instincts," featuring the work of some of New England's premiere Jewish visual artists, on October 26. To learn more, click here. Charter Oak Cultural Center is located at 21 Charter Oak Avenue, Hartford.
October 17: "Mussar: Path of the Mensch" Year-Long Course Begins at BTS

Mussar is a transformative Jewish practice for self-improvement "which focuses on living a more conscientious life and heightening awareness of the world and one's responsibilities; in short, becoming more of a mensch." This year-long course is based on the book Everyday Holiness: the Jewish Spiritual Path of Mussar by Alan Morinis. It is taught by Rabbi Debra Cantor and run in cooperation with the Mussar Institute. The course begins with a free, introductory session on Tuesday, October 17 at 7:30 pm at B'nai Tikvoh-Sholom, 180 Still Road, Bloomfield. The regular class begins on October 24 and continues every other week throughout the year. Outside reading and study are required between sessions. The course fee, including books and materials, is $100 for BTS members, Mandell JCC members, and Neshama Patrons, and $120 for others. To register, contact the BTS office at 860.243.3576.
Sigel Hebrew Academy Offers New After-School Programs

The Bess and Paul Sigel Hebrew Academy is excited to offer a new suite of after-school programs called "Discovery." There will be clubs for all ages, including drama for grades 4 through 8, culminating in an end-of-the-year performance; a higher level science club for grades 5 through 8, offered in conjunction with Hebrew High School of New England; music for grades 2 through 4, with an instrumental focus; basketball and soccer for grades 4 through 8; creative art for grades K through 3; and cooking for grades 4 through 6. We know that our students will be enriched by these programs and that it will add excitement and joy to our school day. We are so excited to have a top-quality staff that will be leading these clubs!
October 18: Hebrew Senior Care Auxiliary's Fall Bus Trip to New York City

Hebrew Senior Care Auxiliary (formerly the Auxiliary of Hebrew Health Care) will hold its fall bus trip to New York City on Wednesday, October 18. The bus departs at 7:30 a.m. from The Emanuel Synagogue at 160 Mohegan Drive in West Hartford; it returns at 6:00 p.m. The cost is $49 per person, pre-paid.  For more information on the route and methods of payment, please contact the auxiliary office at 860.523.3829.
October 18: Tara's Closet and JCC's Family Room present "Screenagers"

Tara's Closet at Jewish Family Services and the Mandell JCC's Family Room will present a free viewing of the documentary "Screenagers" followed by a panel discussion with JFS mental health professionals on October 18 from 7:00 to 8:30 p.m. at the Mandell JCC, 335 Bloomfield Avenue, West Hartford. "Screenagers" describes growing up in a tech saturated world where a balance needs to be drawn between screen time and screen-free time. It looks at how families are coping with kids and screen time, and how being connected to devices is affecting relationships and even child development. Advance reservations are required; click here to reserve your spot.
October 18: Community Volunteer Ronit Shoham to Be Honored with Leadership Greater Hartford's 2017 Polaris Award

Ronit Shoham
Ronit Shoham will receive Leadership Greater Hartford's 2017 Polaris Award during the annual Polaris Award Gala, to be held on October 18 at 5:30 p.m. at The Bushnell, 166 Capitol Avenue, Hartford. Ronit began her lifetime of service as a social worker in the Israeli Army. Locally, she has taught at Solomon Schechter Day School, served on the board at Beth El Temple, volunteered with Hartford Jewish Coalition for Literacy (now Children's Reading Partners), hosted a Federation Israeli Young Emissary, reviewed applications for the Federation grantmaking process, and much more. Ronit founded the Miracle League of Connecticut and has been a driving force behind Jonathan's Dream Re-Imagined and Cut Out Cancer. Also receiving awards are Cheryl and Jamie "Bear" McDonald of Bear's Smokehouse BBQ, and Iran Nazario, president of the Peace Center of Connecticut. Click here for information and tickets.
October 20: Wine and Cheese "Pre-Neg" and Shabbat Service with Israeli Consul General at CBI

Israeli Consul General Yehuda Yaakov
Congregation Beth Israel invites you to a wine and cheese "pre-neg" and Shabbat service with Yehuda Yaakov, the Israeli Consul General to New England. The "pre-neg" begins at 7:00 p.m.; the service follows at 7:30 p.m. During the service, Consul General Yaakov will speak about Israeli-American relations. CBI is located at 701 Farmington Avenue, West Hartford.
October 20 and 21: Religious Liberty Scholar-in-Residence Weekend with Dr. Michael Avi Helfand

Michael Avi Helfand, Ph.D.
Join Young Israel of West Hartford as we kick off this year's Scholar-in-Residence series with Michael Avi Helfand, Ph.D., a renowned expert on the intersection of religious liberty, American law and Halakha. Dr. Helfand is Associate Professor of Law and Associate Director of the Diane and Guilford Glazer Institute for Jewish Studies at Pepperdine School of Law. Come hear his presentations on Shabbat, October 20-21. To learn more, contact Rabbi Brander at 561.271.4148 or Young Israel of West Hartford is located at 2240 Albany Avenue, West Hartford.
October 21: Welcome Rosh Chodesh Cheshvan with the Mitzvah Mamas

Women ages 13 and up are invited to welcome Rosh Chodesh Cheshvan on Saturday, October 21 from 10:45 to 11:45 a.m. at the home of this month's shomeret, Carol Fishman, at 35 Bader Lane in Glastonbury. Each monthly gathering offers time to remember our mothers and grandmothers, share an act of kindness or a good moment from the previous month, and learn something Jewish. Carol recently returned from a JWRP MoMentum Israel experience. As part of her post-trip year of inspiration, she will guide us in a session on personal growth. Please arrive promptly, as the gathering starts promptly.  No RSVP is necessary; you are welcome to bring a friend! For directions or to learn more about Mitzvah Mamas, Rosh Chodesh gatherings or the next free trip to Israel for moms, please contact Mindy Glickman at or 917.698.7952 or join the Mitzvah Mamas Facebook group.
October 22: JSCO's 100th Anniversary Celebration

Please join the officers and board of directors of the Jewish Children's Service Organization for our 100th anniversary celebration on Sunday, October 22 at 2:00 p.m. at the Mandell JCC's Chase Family Gallery, 335 Bloomfield Avenue, West Hartford. JCSO has been helping Jewish children and their families for a century - and at this event we'll celebrate with music, speakers and refreshments. RSVP to; celebratory donations are welcome.
October 25: Monthly Yiddish Tish Discussion Group at UConn

Arnold Dashefsky, Ph.D.
The Center for Judaic Studies at UConn sponsors a monthly luncheon discussion group in the Yiddish language, led by founding Director Arnold Dashefsky, Ph.D. The Yiddish Tish ("table") is a small, intimate gathering of people from UConn and beyond, united by their love of Yiddish. All reading and speaking levels are welcome! You'll have the chance to practice your listening and speaking skills in a friendly and informal setting. Please bring a bag lunch; we provide dessert and drinks. Our next Tish will be held on October 25 from 1:00 to 2:00 p.m. in Conference Room 104 of the Dodd Research Center, 405 Babbidge Road, Storrs. Click here for a list of Tish dates and times, as well as helpful Yiddish links.
October 26: Monthly Lunch and Learn with Rabbi Glickman

You're invited to an enriching monthly study that brings together adult learners for a lively lunch-hour discussion with Rabbi Jeffrey Glickman. Rabbi Glickman is in his 20th year at Temple Beth Hillel in South Windsor. Many of his teachings revolve around the environment and how the opposite of fear is faith. Lunch with Rabbi Glickman meets the last Thursday of every month at Temple Beth Hillel at 12:00 pm. No reservation is required, and a soup lunch is provided. For more information, contact the Temple at 860.282.8466 or Temple Beth Hillel is a Reform Synagogue located at 20 Baker Lane, South Windsor. Everyone is welcome at all services and events.
October 29: Voices of Hope Sip & Shop

Join Voices of Hope and Holocaust survivor Irene Berman for a "Sip & Shop" book signing and chat on Sunday, October 29 from 2:00 to 6:00 p.m. at J. McLaughlin, 981 Farmington Avenue, West Hartford. Berman will discuss her book, We Are Going to Pick Potatoes: Norway and the Holocaust, the Unknown Story. 15% of all sales will benefit Voices of Hope's Holocaust education programs.
October 30: Which Side Are You On?

Relive the epic debates that rocked the Jewish world: The Dead Sea Scrolls. The suicide at Masada. Chasidism. The separation of Church and State. Join Chabad of Greater Hartford on Monday, October 30 at 7:30 p.m. for a riveting look at Jewish debates throughout history. Click here to learn more. Chabad House is located at 2352 Albany Avenue, West Hartford.
November 2: "Moving to the Suburbs: The Challenges of Fair Housing in Jewish West Hartford"

The Jewish Historical Society and The Emanuel Synagogue invite you to a fascinating, free, panel discussion about certain West Hartford neighborhoods that were shaped by religious discrimination, restrictive covenants and the real estate market from the 1940s to the 1970s. Like many of their fellow Americans, many Jews living primarily in the North End of Hartford moved to the suburbs in droves after World War II looking for modern single-family homes - but some were turned away from a number of neighborhoods. The discussion will be held on November 2 at 7:00 p.m. at The Emanuel Synagogue, 160 Mohegan Drive, West Hartford. Click here to learn more. Please contact Lynn Newman at 860.727.6170 or to register.
December 2: Enjoy a Weekend of Jazz with BSBI

Beth Sholom B'nai Israel's second annual Jazz Festival is fast approaching, and we need your support! Join us for a great weekend of music on Saturday, December 2, from 7:00 to 10:30 p.m., and Sunday, December 3, from 1:30 to 5:00 pm at Cheney Hall, 177 Hartford Road, Manchester. A wide variety of music will be showcased, including classical, klezmer and many styles of jazz. For a full lineup of performers, tickets, and program advertising information, click here. Questions? Contact Ken Wichman, Jazz Festival Committee Chair, at 860.324.8658.