Standing Together against Anti-Semitism
In the wake of last Saturday's attack in Monsey, as well as the attacks over the last 14 months in Pittsburgh, Poway, Jersey City and the near daily, violent incidents targeting Jews in New York City, Jews across the country are increasingly asking, Am I safe engaging in Jewish life?  Am I safe on the street, in the subway, in the grocery store, in synagogue?

Clyde Haberman, a veteran New York Times reporter, tweeted on Sunday: "Two years ago, maybe even a year ago, I was prepared to chalk off the rise of anti-Semitism in this country as an unfortunate blip. No longer.  This cancer, on both the right and the left, must be stopped before Philip Roth's 'The Plot Against America' becomes reality."

On Monday night, with seven hours' notice, over 400 came together in West Hartford at a rally organized by the Federation to underscore, along with key regional leaders, that we have the capacity and the will to confront and overcome this resurgent virus of hate - and to do so with unabashed pride, confidence and determination.

Government officials and law enforcement professionals at the rally and at an emergency meeting on Thursday emphasized that they are working diligently to address security needs and combat anti-Semitism.  Security funding at the state and federal level is being significantly expanded.  New education and community engagement initiatives are also being considered. 
The Federation will soon introduce a new, community wide effort to elevate the security of local Jewish institutions, provide comprehensive security training to the Jewish community, enhance law enforcement relations and intelligence sharing, organize crisis communication and help secure necessary funding for further security upgrades.   

We were also joined on Monday night by diverse religious leaders, good friends who recognize that anti-Semitism is not just a Jewish problem and doesn't just affect the Jewish community.  Combating extremism and ensuring that our community remains safe, inclusive and welcoming for all its residents must involve all faith communities.  

There is no single all-encompassing response to anti-Semitism.  Better intelligence, more expansive police coverage, enhanced institutional security, expanded anti-bias programming and continued support from the broader community are all critical.

Writing in The Atlantic this week about the recent attacks, Deborah Lipstadt concludes with the following:

Jews have taken and are taking anti-Semitism very seriously. Non-Jews must do the same.  You must do so, not solely for the sake of the well-being of your Jewish neighbors, friends, and fellow citizens. (Though that would be laudable.) You must do so for the sake of the well-being of the societies in which you live. No healthy democracy can afford to tolerate anti-Semitism in its midst. It is one of the long-term signs of rot in that democracy. If you care about democracy, you should care about the Jews among you, and the anti-Semites too.

The measure of a community is not whether incidents of bigotry and bias occur.  The measure of a community is how it responds. We have much work to do, but on Monday night our leaders, our allies and our community stood united and resolute in responding to the growing virus of anti-Semitism in America.

Media coverage of the rally can be found at the links below.  

Shabbat Shalom.
President and CEO
Jewish Federation of Greater Hartford
January 5: Solidarity March in New York City
On Sunday, January 5 UJA-Federation of New York is sponsoring an event to say no to hate and fear. A march, starting at 11 a.m., will begin in Foley Square in Lower Manhattan and proceed across the Brooklyn Bridge.  It will be followed by a rally in Columbus Park (near Cadman Plaza). Foley Square is located on Worth Street in New York City. For more information, click here.  
January 4: Welcome in the New Year with the first Havdalah of 2020! 
Join us on Saturday, January 4 from 5:45 to 7 p.m. in the Family Room at the Mandell JCC for Havdalah to say goodbye to Shabbat, followed by a family-friendly fun-filled New Year's Party. Join Coach Thai in the gym for games and Sensei Dave for a dance party! We will end with a special dessert. This event is free and open to all. (Children must be accompanied by an adult at all times.) Please RSVP by Thursday, January 2 to Jane Pasternak at 860.231.6342 or . For more information or updates, click here .
The Mandell JCC is located at 335 Bloomfield Avenue, West Hartford.  
January 4: Beth David Paint Night
Join Beth David Synagogue on Saturday, January 4 at 7 p.m. for Paint Night at Muse Paintbar, 69 Raymond Road, West Hartford. It will be an evening of sushi, drinks, and of course, a painting to take home! Children and adults welcome. First come, first served. Capacity is limited to 22 painters. Tickets are $45 per person. For tickets, click here.
Young Israel of West Hartford's Rabbi Brander Represents North American Rabbis at Israeli Conference
Rabbi Tuvia Brander, spiritual leader of the Young Israel of West Hartford, is visiting Israel to help lead a new initiative on behalf of the Rabbinical Council of America, the leading membership organization of Orthodox rabbis in North America, and the Barkai Center for Rabbinics in Israel. Rabbi Brander serves on the Federation's Israel and Overseas Allocations Committee and will be presenting at a conference for Rabbis from across Israel and Europe on the importance of respecting and understanding the broader Jewish community that is the North American Jewish community. On Saturday, January 4, the North American rabbis will join their Israeli colleagues for Shabbat, where they will serve as scholars-in-residence within their synagogues. This initiative will undoubtedly enhance community living on both continents by increasing awareness, knowledge, and synergy between, about, and within the Israeli and North American communities.  
Every Friday Morning: Family Shabbat Program at the Mandell JCC
All little ones and their grownups are welcome to a family friendly Shabbat celebration. Bring your little ones to play in the Family Room in the  Mandell JCC at 10:45 a.m. At 11:15 a.m. we will gather for Shabbat songs and stories, followed by blessings and challah. This is a free PJ Library event for children ages 6 months through 8 years old. RSVP to Susan at or just drop in! For more information or updates, click here. The Mandell JCC is located at 335 Bloomfield Avenue, West Hartford.
January 10: Shabbat Services at Gishrei Shalom Jewish Congregation 
Rabbi Alana Wasserman will lead Shabbat services at 7 p.m. on Friday, January 10 in the small chapel in Gishrei Shalom's home at the First Congregational Church of Southington, followed by an Oneg Shabbat in Memorial Hall. For a calendar of services, click here. The First Congregational Church of Southington is located at 37 Main Street, Southington.
JTConnect Expands Leadership Team and Hires Associate Program Director  
Cara Levine
JTConnect is excited to welcome Cara Levine as its new full-time Associate Program Director. Cara graduated from the University of Hartford's Maurice Greenberg Center for Judaic Studies.  She was a fellow in the Collegiate Leadership Internship Program at NYU's Bronfman Center for Jewish Life and interned in the Day Camp and Strategic Programs Department at the Foundation for Jewish Camping.  Click here to learn more.
Donate Professional Services to Holocaust Survivors  
Jewish Family Services of Greater Hartford is committed to honoring the dignity of Holocaust survivors, while providing the care and support needed to improve the quality of their lives. JFS is looking for people to donate in-kind professional services (such as handyman, contractor, electrician, plumber, removal, dentist, etc.) for Holocaust survivors in our community in financial need. If interested, please contact Miriam Brander at . JFS is located at 333 Bloomfield Avenue, Suite A, West Hartford.  
January 12: "Refugees and Asylum Seekers: Past, Present and Future" at Emanuel Synagogue 
The Emanuel Synagogue , 160 Mohegan Drive, West Hartford, will host Professor Jon Bauer, Director of the UConn Law School Asylum and Human Rights Clinic, at a program on Sunday, January 12, at 7 p.m. Sponsored by B'Yadeynu, the Social Action Committee of the Emanuel, the lecture is titled "Refugees and Asylum Seekers: Past, Present and Future." The evening will open with a brief teaching by Reverend Susan Gibson of the First Church of Farmington and Rabbi David Small of the Emanuel Synagogue. The event is free and open to the public. Donations to UConn Law School's Asylum and Human Rights Clinic are appreciated and accepted at the door. Snow date for the program is January 19. Click here for more information.
Check Out What's New at Chai Mitzvah!
Are you looking to connect with your Judaism in a new way? Like the ide a of Jewish
engagement that works like a book group? Come check out what's new and what West Hartford's Chai Mitzvah can offer you and your friends! We have added new tracks of study for both adults and teens. Our newest program is Aseret: The Big Ten. If you have any questions, please email Nina Woldin at 
January 13: Dignity Packs Hangout 
Join JewGood Hartford, the Jewish Community Foundation's giving circle of young professionals, as they assemble Dignity Packs of toiletry supplies and menstrual products. The items will be given to people in need through Federation's Dignity Grows Project. These items are often difficult to afford for people on limited incomes and are often overlooked during donation drives. The event, co-sponsored by JewGood Hartford and Dignity Grows/Jewish Federation, will be held Monday, January 13 from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at the Mandell JCC, 335 Bloomfield Avenue, West Hartford . For more information, please contact Elana MacGilpin at  
January 13, 20, & 27: Wisdom in Winter - January Mini Lecture Series 
Dr. Mark Silk
Join Beth Sholom B'nai Israel, 400 East Middle Turnpike, Manchester for a three-part lecture series with Dr. Mark Silk, Professor of Religion in Public Life at Trinity College. The series will be held on Mondays, January 13, 20, and January 27 at 7:30 pm. General admission is $12 per lecture or $30 for the full series. Student admission is $5 per lecture or $15 for the full series. Please make checks payable to BSBI and mail to 400 East Middle Turnpike, Manchester, CT 06040.  For more information on the lectures and to register, click here.
January 15: Aleph: At Home in America? Part 2: A Three-Rabbi Panel 
Join Rabbis Tuvia Brander, Andi Fliegel, and James Rosen for a lively discussion about  
the past, present, and future of Jewish life in America presented by Aleph: The Institute of Jewish Ideas on Wednesday, January 15 at 6:30 p.m. at the Mandell JCC 
Rabbis Andi Fliegel, Tuvia Brander,  and James Rosen
Innovation Center, Zachs Campus, 335 Bloom field Ave. West Hartford. How have the different denominations engaged with America and changed as a result of the encounter with the Golden Land? Please join us for an evening of dialogue, personal reflections, and lively conversation. The event is presented by the Mandell JCC in partnership with various other Jewish organizations. The program is free and open to all. For more information , contact Danielle Moghadam at or 860.231.6366.  
January 15 & 20: Celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. with the Mandell JCC 
The Mandell JCC, 335 Bloomfield Ave, West Hartford, will host two events to honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. On Wednesday, January 15 from 12:15 to 1:30 p.m., attend "Dream Work: Honoring the Legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr." a brunch and learn with Reverend Dr. Alvan Johnson. Contact Sharon Holtzberg for more information at 860.231.6311 or On Monday, January 20 from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m., attend the MLK Jr. volunteer program where we'll make sandwiches for Hands on Hartford, create recycled bags and fill with snacks and socks for people in need, and decorate cards to share with our friends at Hoffman SummerWood. This event is open to all with the donation of new adult socks and a loaf of bread per person attending. For more information, contact Jane Pasternak at 860.231.6342 or
January 18 : " We Cannot Walk Alone" Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Shabbat Lunch & Learn
Come be a part of the conversation at B'nai Tikvoh-Sholom as we share personal stories and reflect on how our experiences have moved us to build a better community and a more just, peaceful, loving, and democratic society. This lunch and learn, titled "We Cannot Walk Alone: How Personal Stories Inspire Our Struggle for Social Justice" will take place Saturday, January 18 at 11:30 a.m., following 9:30 a.m. services at BTS, 180 Still Road, Bloomfield. This lunch & learn is cosponsored with the Charter Oak Cultural Center and the Greater Hartford Interfaith Action Alliance. This program is free and open to the public. Donations are welcome. Please RSVP to BTS at or by calling 860.243.3576.
January 18: Axe Throwing with Young Israel of West Hartford   
You've heard about it've wondered about it ... now you can experience it! Axe throwing (yep, it's a real thing) is one of the hottest new pastimes. Come toss an axe with your Young Israel of Hartford friends on Saturday, January 18 at 8 p.m. at Montana Nights Axe Throwing, 80 Fenn Road, Newington. Cost is $30 for 75 minutes of axe throwing and refreshments. Please RSVP to Mitch at  
January 19 : SZIA (HI) HUNGARY! Discovering Your Hungarian Ancestors Live Webinar 

Judi Gyory Missel
Hungarian relatives offers wonderful rec ords with language and geographic challenges. Even if your ancestor(s) came from a town now in Slovakia, there is a good chance the records are in Hungarian archives. This live webinar will take place on Sunday, January 19 from 1:30 - 3:30 p.m. This session, offered by the Jewish Genealogical Society of Connecticut and presented by Judi Gyory Missel, will provide information about Hungarian records, and where to find them. Judi has research in Hungary, visited ancestral sites, and met cousins who still live there. She will also share additional information about the area which was formerly part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Please click here for more
details and to verify whether inclement weather will impact the live program.
January 25: Tot Shabbat with Kiddush  
All Jewish families in the greater Southington area are invited to a family-friendly Tot Shabbat led by Rabbi Alana Wasserman on Saturday, January 25. The service will begin at 10 a.m. in the small chapel in Gishrei Shalom's home at the First Congregational Church of Southington and will be followed by a kiddush. The First Congregational Church of Southington is located at 37 Main Street, Southington.   
January 25: Shabbat Service for Special Needs
Join the Jewish Association for Community Living at Beth El Temple on Saturday, January 25 at 10:30 a.m. for a fun and interactive Shabbat service led by Nancy Rosen with storytelling by Sara DeBeer. This service includes a Torah procession in the main sanctuary and will be followed by a light kiddush lunch. All are welcome! Beth El Temple is located at 2626 Albany Avenue, West Hartford.
Searching for "Shalom" Needlework Family Heirloom
Needlework font  
A former resident of Manchester, Sharon Squires, is searching for a cream, blue, and beige needlework picture of the word "Shalom" made by her mother circa 1978. Her mother gave the finished needlework to a local real estate agent in 2007, but it has since gone missing. The needlework is signed with either "AHT" or "AH." If this needlework is currently loved by someone who does not wish to part with it, Sharon understands and would simply appreciate a photo or any leads the Greater Hartford Jewish community
can provide. If you have any information on what you think may be this needlework, please email Sharon Squires at  
January 26: 10th Annual International Holocaust Remembrance Day Events at The Emanuel Synagogue
Your presence is requested at The Emanuel Synagogue for the 10th Annual International Holocaust Remembrance Day on the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz. On Sunday, January 26, there will be two events presented by Voices of Hope and the Hero Center, and in partnership with several other Jewish organizations. First, join us for a dairy brunch and 2020 Chesed Award presentation. Doors open at 11:30 a.m., and the event begins at noon. The cost is $18 but free for Holocaust survivors and students. Immediately following the program is a screening of the documentary Robbery of the Heart, which follows a Holocaust survivor from Connecticut as he returns to his hometown of Wetter, Germany on the 70th anniversary of Kristallnacht. The screening begins at 2 p.m. and will be followed by a talkback with producer Micah Brandt, Eva Weichsel Hausman, and Harry Weichsel. This screening is free to attend. For more information or to register, click here, call 860.470.5591, or email  . Please RSVP by Wednesday, January 22. The Emanuel Synagogue is located at 160 Mohegan Drive, West Hartford.
Hazon Tu B'Shvat Haggadah  
Hazon is pleased to introduce a new Tu B'Shvat haggadah which offers thoughts and ideas to help you celebrate the new year for trees in your home or community. Tu B'Shvat is celebrated in 2020 from sundown on Sunday, February 9, through sundown on Monday, February 10. The texts, questions, and activities in the haggadah can serve as a guide for viewing Tu B'Shvat through fresh eyes and recontextualizing the tradition. This haggadah uniquely focuses on the role that trees play in sustaining a healthy planetary ecosystem and mitigating climate change. The cost is $7 per copy; discounts are available for events. Learn more and preorder here. 
February 2: Beth David Synagogue's Third Annual Superbowl Raffle Party
Join Beth David Synagogue, 20 Dover Road in West Hartford, for its Third Annual Superbowl Raffle Party on Sunday, February 2 at 6 p.m. There will be football, a chili contest, games, wings, and prizes. This event is a fundraiser to support synagogue security and programming. Each $50 ticket includes entry to the party and a chance to win $1,000 cash, use of Cape Cod or Mrytle Beach vacation homes, or various other prizes. Entry is free for children under 10 with a ticket purchased by an accompanying adult. If you sell four raffle tickets, you'll receive a fifth for yourself. For more information, please call 860.236.1241.
February 4:  Lillian Fund Tours Prudence Crandall Center
The Lillian Fund, the Jewish Community Foundation's giving circle of women, will visit the Prudence Crandall Center (PCC) in New Britain on Tuesday, February 4 at 6 p.m.  The Center is Connecticut's largest domestic violence shelter, which provides comprehensive services for victims of domestic violence. Lillian Fund members will tour the Center's Rose Hill housing facility, which offers 18 apartments for victims of domestic violence. On the tour, they will see a family apartment, speak to a former shelter resident, and learn about the invaluable services that PCC provides to the community. To attend, please contact Elana MacGilpin at .
February 7 - 9:  Scholar-in-Residence Weekend with Rabbi Elana Zaiman at Beth El Temple
Join Beth El Temple for a special Scholar-in-Residence weekend with Rabbi Elana Zaiman from Friday, February 7 through Sunday, February 9! Celebrated author and beloved leader, Rabbi Zaiman will be our guest teacher and offer the evening's sermon at Friday evening services at 6 p.m., followed by Oneg Shabbat. At Shabbat morning services, she will be our guide on a storytelling journey into forever letters - what they are, why write them, and how they can be powerful tools to authentically connect us with ourselves and with the people we love. On Sunday morning, the community is invited to a Forever Letter Writing Workshop. No need to be a writer or love to write. You don't even have to know to whom you will write. Feel free to bring a special notebook and pen or your laptop. Coffee and a light breakfast will be served. This Scholar-in-Residence weekend is being underwritten by the Leonard & Vicki Eisenfeld Endowment Fund and Amy E. Toyen Endowment Fund, named funds within The Endowment Fund of Beth El Temple. Click here for complete details and registration.
February 9: "Crossing Delancey" at Temple Beth Hillel
Temple Beth Hillel's Adult Ed Committee invites you to the showing of "Crossing Delancey" on Sunday, February 9 at 2 p.m. at Temple Beth Hillel, 20 Baker Lane South Windsor. Thirty-something Isabelle "Izzy" Grossman (Amy Irving) spends her time going from her tiny, solitary West Side apartment to that of her grandmother (Reizl Bozyk) on the Lower East Side. In between, Izzy builds a glowing reputation at the swank bookstore where she works. While her grandmother plots to find her a romantic match, Izzy is courted by a married, worldly author, Anton (Jeroen KrabbĂ©), yet can't seem to shake the down-to-earth appeal of Sam (Peter Riegert), a pickle vendor. Candy bars, popcorn, and soda will be provided. Admission is free.
February 10 : "How to Raise your Voice for Israel and Build a Strong Reform Movement in Israel" at Congregation Beth Israel 

Rabbi Josh Weinberg, Executive Director of the Association of Reform Zionists of America discusses "How to Raise your Voice for Israel and Build a Strong Reform Movement in Israel" on Monday, February 10 at 7 p.m. at Congregation Beth Israel, 701 Farmington Avenue , West Hartford . Rabbi Weinberg, who will be discussing the World Zionist elections and how each of us can make a difference, serves as the Vice President of the URJ for Israel and Reform Zionism and is the Executive Director of ARZA, the Association of Reform Zionists of America. Josh is a reserve officer in the IDF spokesperson's unit, has hiked the Israel-trail, and came on aliyah to Israel in 2003. For more information, call 860.233.8215 or click here.