news & events
Everyday (mitzvah) heroes

When I was just a kid growing up in the Jewish community in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, before I had any idea that we needed to pay dues to belong to our synagogue or the Jewish Community Center (what a shock that was to me), I knew that there were people who just made things happen; and those people were some of my heroes.

Sarah Katz played the piano for everyone, from the 4-year-olds' nursery-school class that my mom taught to the senior-adult lunch group where I had my first job.  

Ed Dunietz made sure everyone knew when to get up for their honors at my shul, and I can’t remember going to minyan and not seeing him there, often leading the davenning.  

Because of Sarah Katz and Ed Dunietz and countless others that I can remember from my youth - a time when budgets and fundraising campaigns didn’t occupy a fraction of my thoughts - things happened.

And while budgets and fundraising campaigns now take up significant real estate in my mind, I have remained very much aware and grateful for those mitzvah heroes -- those who, with incredible commitment and so often, little desire for the spotlight -- simply do those things that make our community, both Jewish and beyond, a better place to live.

On Sunday, January 28, we will give 14 of those community mitzvah heroes the recognition that they don’t seek but so deeply deserve. At 5 that evening on the Weinberg Jewish Senior Services Campus, we will present our first-ever Community Mitzvah Hero Awards to recipients chosen by 14 congregations throughout our community.

Those heroes include: Robert Bolton, Beit Chaverim Synagogue; Chanie Stone, Beth Israel of Westport/Norwalk; Maggie Hausman, Chabad of Fairfield; Howie Schwartz, Chabad Lubavitch of Westport; Jay Dimand, Congregation Ahavath Achim; Amy Gershberg, Congregation Beth El Fairfield; Harry Morgenthaler, Congregation Beth El-Norwalk; Sherry Portnoy, Congregation B’nai Israel; Mara Brosler, Congregation B’nai Torah; Gail Ostrow, Congregation for Humanistic Judaism of Fairfield County; Irwin Schildkraut, Congregation Rodeph Sholom; Allyson Gottlieb, Temple Israel; Susan Beyman, Temple Shalom; and Marilyn Katz, The Conservative Synagogue.

Like Sarah Katz and Ed Dunietz in my hometown, each of these honorees has made and continues to make an indelible impact on our community, one that we may not always notice but should never take for granted. I’m just delighted that we’re setting aside an evening to recognize their contributions to our community, and I hope you will join us for this special occasion, which will feature a wine and cheese reception, a keynote by Rabbi David Jaffe on the topic of mitzvot, and a very special awards ceremony. 

You can sign up today by visiting . See you there!
upcoming events
Annual Meeting Notice

The Annual Meeting of the Federation for Jewish Philanthropy of Upper Fairfield County will be held on Wednesday, January 31, 2018 at 7:30 p.m. on the Weinberg Jewish Senior Services Campus, 4200 Park Avenue, Bridgeport, CT 06604 . The keynote speaker for the meeting will be David F. Eisner, Chair of 70 Faces Media.
The Nominating Committee will present the following names for election to two-year terms as members of the Board:
Bryan Bierman
Owen Bregman
Jon Fraade
Arthur Gang
Ivy Gosseen
Deborah Hochhauser
Joan Kalmans
Sally Kliegman
Linda Lerman
Joanne Lippman
Bonnie Marcus
Sharon Miles
Linda Russ
Karen Sanger
Cantor Shirah Sklar
Bonnie Slyn
Additionally, the Nominating Committee will present the following names for election as officers:
James Sugarman, Chair
Mark Kirsch, Vice Chair
Wallace Zuckerman, Treasurer
Ariel Warshaw, Secretary

Officers and Board Members who are continuing their service and not subject to election at this annual meeting are as follows:
Bobbi Cohen
Jillian Klaff
Robert Velthuizen
Alison Wachstein
Rabbi Greg Wall
Carolyn Wasserlauf
Interested in joining our team?
The Federation is now hiring for the position of Administrative Assistant.
For more information,  click here .
Monday, March 12 | Quick Center for the Arts
The Great Jewish Songbook:
From Sondheim to Simon
do good ~ feel good
Three extraordinary months for your family, a young Israeli "ambassador," and the Jewish community
Book Buddies literacy volunteers read one-on-one for one hour a week with students at the Blackham Elementary School in Bridgeport.
events from our community partners
Meet Son of Saul actor Géza Röhrig
Sunday, January 14
1 p.m.

Temple Israel
14 Coleytown Road, Westport

Presented by Child Holocaust Survivors of CT, the Jewish Historical Society of Fairfield County, and Temple Israel

Free and open to the community
Registration required
(203) 323-1798 /
The 100 th  Birthday of Leonard Bernstein

Saturday, January 27
4 p.m.

Congregation B'nai Israel
2710 Park Ave., Bridgeport

Free & open to the community

Sunday, Feb. 4 & Sunday, Feb. 11
9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Jewish Senior Services
4200 Park Ave., Bridgeport

Training materials and meals provided free of charge

To sign up or learn more about hospice training, please contact Ellen Ashkins: (203) 365-6417 / .