We are in the dog days of summer. Many of us are enjoying the last few weeks of a slower-paced life before autumn begins. In the Jewish community, we're about to begin the month of Elul, a time of reflection preceding the High Holy Days and the start of a new year.

Here at Federation, we're savoring the summer but we are also swinging into full gear for the fall. I hope you'll save the evening of October 4 for HINENI: "Here I Am": An Evening of Voices and Visions. We are planning an evening unlike any other Federation event you have ever attended, and I promise that it will move you and reinvigorate you. You'll find more information below; please watch your email inbox for an invitation coming soon.

Wishing you a relaxing and restful August,

President and CEO
Jewish Federation of Greater Hartford
Now through August 13: Fourth Annual JFS Back to School Drive

The Mandell JCC and Jewish Children's Service Organization are collecting school supplies to benefit clients of Jewish Family Services so they can go back to school with everything they need. Help us by donating supplies through August 13 at the Mandell JCC, 335 Bloomfield Avenue, West Hartford, or the Swim & Tennis Club, 4 Duncaster Road, Bloomfield. The items needed include packages of thick and thin markers, No. 2 pencils, colored pencils, blue or black pens, and glue sticks; packages of 24 crayons; highlighters, filler paper and computer paper, spiral notebooks, two-pocket folders, Scotch tape, index cards, and backpacks (no characters are allowed on the backpacks). Questions? Contact Elana MacGilpin at emacgilpin@mandelljcc.org or 860.231.6366.
August 3 - 5: Celebrate 40 Years of Camp Shalom with the Mandell JCC

The Mandell JCC is celebrating Camp Shalom's 40 years in Windsor, Conn., and you're invited! Catch up with old friends, meet new ones, and experience of the spirit of Camp Shalom on Friday through Sunday, August 3 through August 5. The excitement starts Friday with a waterfront Shabbat service and dinner under the stars from 5 to 7:30 p.m. at Camp Shalom ($18 per adult over 18, $12 per child age 6 to 17, and free for children age 5 and under). It continues with drop-in day at the Swim & Tennis Club in Bloomfield on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 7:45 p.m., with free admission at the Camp Shalom hospitality tent (snack bar fees apply). On Sunday, we'll pull out all the stops for the official 40th anniversary celebration at Camp Shalom from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. We'll enjoy swimming, boating, tennis, games, crafts, songs, a cookout lunch and much more! The celebration is free and open to the community; there's an additional fee for food. Click here for details.
JTConnect Releases 2018 Impact Report

This year over 400 local Jewish teenagers explored, deepened and celebrated their Judaism through JTConnect experiences. We invite you to read about some of these connections in our 2018 impact report - and please let us know what you think! Thank you for helping us achieve our vision of inspiring Jewish teens to become passionate leaders and active participants in the Jewish community. We are so proud of what we have accomplished and look forward to making even more connections in the year ahead.
August 11: An Evening of Love at The Emanuel Synagogue

The Emanuel Synagogue invites you to experience the romantic side of King Solomon with a poetry-music-arts performance anticipating our November play, "Philosopher King." Join us on Saturday, August 11 for evening services at 7:45 p.m., where we'll hear about his Song of Songs. After Havdalah, around 8:45 p.m., we'll begin a romantic evening of readings from King Solomon's love poetry as well as music and art inspired by his writings. Desserts and beverages will be provided. BYO kosher wine; one bottle of wine per couple. Free and open to the community. Reservations are encouraged; please contact Fern at stringteacher@cox.net.
The Month of Elul
August 11 - September 9

During Elul, the shofar is blown daily except on Shabbat. In this video from Ritualwell, Paul Root Wolpe,  Ph.D. - who happens to be a renowned Jewish bioethicist - shows you how to blow the shofar.
The month of Elul is traditionally a time of preparation for the High Holy Days of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. During Elul, many observant Jewish congregations blow the shofar (ram's horn) daily except on Shabbat; Sephardic congregations also recite Selichot (penitential prayers) each day. It's a time to ask for and give forgiveness and to visit the graves of loved ones. As Rosh Hashanah draws nearer, Ashkenazi Jews also recite Selichot. It's customary to begin or end letters written during Elul with Ketiva V'Chatima Tova - "may you have a good inscribing and sealing (in the Book of Life)." This year, the month of Elul begins at sundown on August 11. Below are few ways to observe Elul and prepare for the new year. Ketiva V'Chatima Tova!

Jewish women ages 13 and up are invited to celebrate Rosh Chodesh Elul with the Mitzvah Mamas on Sunday, August 12 from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the home of Lisa Book, 7 Woodbury Lane, West Hartford. The gathering starts promptly, so please feel free to arrive up to 30 minutes early to schmooze. There's no need to RSVP. All women ages 13 and up are welcome, so please bring a friend! Please park in the guest lot across from Lisa's unit. To learn more about the Mitzvah Mamas or the next free trip to Israel for moms, join the Mitzvah Mamas Facebook group or contact Mindy Glickman at MitzvahMamas@gmail.com or 917.698.7952.

Beth El Temple invites you to join us as we learn and discuss Elul themes, liturgy, and more during our Shabbat morning services on August 18 and 25 and September 1 and 8. Our special Shabbat study sessions begin at 8:30 a.m. and Shabbat morning services start at 9:30. Beth El Temple is located at 2626 Albany Avenue, West Hartford.

Celebrate Shabbat Elul September 7 through 9 at Isabella Freedman Jewish Retreat Center in Falls Village, Conn. We'll prepare for Rosh Hashanah with spirited, diverse prayer and deep learning in a beautiful setting. The weekend is available as an add-on to our Rosh Hashanah retreat or as a standalone Shabbaton. Click here for more information or to register.

August 12: "The Club" Goes to the Hartford Yard Goats

The Club is a new, inclusive program of the Mandell JCC and Jewish Federation of Greater Hartford that brings together young adults ages 18 to 30 - both those who have intellectual disabilities and those who don't. Several times a year, The Club will offer opportunities to relax and have fun while also building meaningful relationships. All young adults are invited to join The Club at Dunkin Donuts Park in Hartford on Sunday, August 12 for a Hartford Yard Goats game. The park opens at 3:30 p.m. and game time is at 5:05 p.m. The cost is $13 per person. Register by August 3 at 860.236.4571.
August 17: Birthday Shabbat at B'nai Tikvoh-Sholom

Friday, August 17 is Birthday Shabbat at B'nai Tikvoh-Sholom! Join us at 7 p.m. to celebrate all August birthdays with special blessings and cake. RSVP by contacting the BTS office at office@btsonline.org or 860.243.3576. BTS is located at 180 Still Road, Bloomfield.
August 17: Jordan Karp Presents Senior Project on Anti-Semitism at FVJC

The entire community is invited to attend Farmington Valley Jewish Congregation - Emek Shalom's Shabbat services on Friday, August 17 at 7 p.m. Congregant Jordan Karp, a high school senior, will share his senior project on anti-Semitism during the service. Teens are especially encouraged to attend. FVJC is located at 55 Bushy Hill Road, Simsbury.
"Delicious Memories" Community Food Blog Needs Your Help!

Do you have a treasured recipe that has been passed down through generations? A story about your family's holiday or special occasion traditions? Memories of favorite foods or eateries you remember growing up? Fabulous cooks in your clan? Amusing cooking accidents? The Jewish Historical Society of Greater Hartford is collecting family recipes and the stories and photos that go along with them to share and preserve for future generations on its new community food blog. Click here for more information or to submit your recipe, story, food memory or photo.
August 26: Faith & Family Day at the Hartford Yard Goats

The Beth El Temple Men's Club - together with the Jewish Historical Society of Greater Hartford, the Emanuel Brotherhood and several other congregations - is pleased to present Faith & Family Day at Dunkin Donuts Park on Sunday, August 26. The Trenton Thunder, Double-A affiliate of the New York Yankees, will play the Yard Goats (the Colorado Rockies' Double-A affiliate). Gates open at 12:05 p.m. and the game starts at 1:05 p.m. Join us for the game and a kosher lunch for $25, or just the game for $10. (No charge for children 3 and under sitting on a parent's lap.) Order your tickets by August 10; click here for details. RSVP to Dave Diamond at daviddiamond2@comcast.net or 860.965.3157.
August 30: Celebrate the End of Summer with a Party at CBI

Congregation Beth Israel invites you to reconnect at the end of summer as we go back to school and back to shul! On Thursday, August 30 from 6 to 7:30 p.m., we'll hold a "welcome back" party on our front entrance circle and lawn with pizza and taco trucks, live music, face painting, and fun and games for all ages. Meet our clergy and learn about the CBI community. Free and open to the public! For more information, contact Membership Coordinator Sunny Kagan at  skagan@cbict.org or 860.233.8215 ext. 2240. This event is supported by the Jewish Community Foundation of Greater Hartford. CBI is located at 701 Farmington Avenue, West Hartford.
Mandell JCC Launches New Programs for Interfaith Couples

The Mandell JCC is excited to announce a new collection of programs specifically for interfaith couples and families in Greater Hartford with funding from the Jewish Community Foundation. The Interfaith Family Connection welcomes, embraces, and educates interfaith couples and families in Greater Hartford. Programs developed specifically with interfaith families in mind include how-to educational and experiential workshops, as well as discussion groups and informal social gatherings. Participants will have opportunities to learn from community experts and connect with other intermarried couples and families. Let's explore, examine, learn, discuss, eat, and celebrate together! Click here to learn more.
Explore Our Jewish Community with the JMAP Community Dashboard

The JMAP Community Study was launched by the Jewish Community Foundation of Greater Hartford and the Jewish Federation of Greater Hartford in 2016 to shed light on attitudes, needs and trends in the Greater Hartford Jewish community so that we all can make better-informed decisions. More than 1,200 people participated in JMAP's online survey and hundreds more attended community conversations. Now everyone can access the JMAP Community Dashboard, which is based on the study results. It measures what local Jewish community members value most, and it will be updated yearly. This means that in 2018, you will only see one set of measures, but in 2019 we will be able to start comparing and seeing trends. To use the dashboard and download summaries and detailed results from the study, visit www.jmapct.org.
Change a Child's Life: Become a Reading Mentor

Children's Reading Partners has been helping local children learn to read for 20 years. Learn more in this video.
This fall, you can help a struggling student discover the joy of literacy by volunteering with Children's Reading Partners. Attend a training session, then select a 30-minute-per-week time slot to read to a K-5th grade student during the school day or after school. This fall, evening volunteer times will be offered for the first time! Trainings will take place on Thursday, September 13 at 7 p.m. at Congregation Kol Haverim, 1079 Hebron Avenue, Glastonbury; on Monday, September 17 at 7 p.m. at the Community Services Building, 333 Bloomfield Avenue, West Hartford; and on Thursday, September 20 at 1 p.m. at the Community Services Building. Children's Reading Partners is an initiative of Federation's Jewish Community Relations Council that has served over 6,500 at-risk students in Greater Hartford since its founding in 1998. To learn more or to register, email read@jewishhartford.org or call 860.236.7323.
September 9 - 12: Rosh Hashanah Retreat at Isabella Freedman Center

Enjoy lively prayer services, deep teachings, immersion in a relaxing wooded venue, tashlich in our stream, community celebrations, and fabulous farm-to-table feasting at Isabella Freedman Jewish Retreat Center's Rosh Hashanah retreat, happening September 9 through 12. We offer a variety of prayer services to meet your needs and nourish your soul. Includes Camp Teva for kids! Click here for more information or to register. Isabella Freedman Jewish Retreat Center is located at 116 Johnson Road, Falls Village, Conn.
October 4: Save the Date for HINENI: An Evening of Voices and Visions

Mark your calendars for Thursday, October 4 at 5:30 p.m., when we'll kick off Jewish Federation of Greater Hartford's 2019 Annual Campaign and get a very personal look at the impact that we can achieve when we work together in times of need. HINENI: "Here I Am": An Evening of Voices and Visions will take place at The Emanuel Synagogue, 160 Mohegan Drive, West Hartford. It will feature firsthand stories of Federation's rapid response to Hurricane Harvey in Houston, Texas; the school shooting in Parkland, Florida; and Hurricane Maria resettlement in Greater Hartford. Invitations are coming soon. If you'd like to help us expand our guest list by becoming a Table Captain, please contact Simone Singh at ssingh@jewishhartford.org or  860.727.6101.
October 10: Voices of Hope Presents Violins of Hope

Voices of Hope invites you to an evening with Violins of Hope: Strings of the Holocaust on Wednesday, October 10 at 6 p.m. at the G. Fox Ballroom, 960 Main Street, Hartford. We'll award the Simon Konover Recognition for Excellence in Holocaust Teaching to Joseph Olzacki, Ed.D., and Avinoam Patt, Ph.D. and honor Elysha and Matthew Dicks with the L'Dor V'Dor ("from generation to generation") award. For ticket information and sponsorship opportunities, click here.
Beginning October 11: Basic Judaism Course Taught by Area Conservative Rabbis

Whether you want to reboot your Judaism, satisfy your intellectual curiosity or consider Judaism as a new faith, you are invited to delve into the richness of the Jewish heritage. In three six-week sessions we will explore Jewish beliefs, values, prayers, festivals, peoplehood, lifecycle and more. Participants may register for one trimester or all three. The first session begins on Thursday, October 11. Classes will meet at Beth El Temple in West Hartford, 2626 Albany Avenue, from 7 to 8:45 p.m. They will be taught by Rabbis Debra Cantor, David Small, James Rosen, Randall Konigsburg and Richard Plavin. For further information, contact Rabbi Plavin at riplavin@gmail.com or 860.573.4503, or visit our website at www.ibJewish.org.
November 11: "Descendants of the Shoah" Community Conference

We are in the last few decades when Holocaust survivors and witnesses can share their stories with us in person. This daylong community conference on Sunday, November 11 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the University of Hartford will feature a keynote speaker and stories from firsthand witnesses and the children of Holocaust survivors, as well as historical context from leading scholars. It will also include breakout sessions for discussion and sharing. Presented by Voices of Hope and co-sponsored by Jewish Federation of Greater Hartford, Jewish Historical Society, Mandell JCC, and University of Hartford. Click here to learn more.
December 16: The Pianist of Willesden Lane with JFACT

Mona Golabek in The Pianist of Willesden Lane
Save the date for the Jewish Federation Association of Connecticut's Annual Night at the Theater Fundraiser on Sunday, December 16 from 3 to 7 p.m. at the Westport Country Playhouse, 25 Powers Court, Westport. We'll see the acclaimed one-woman show The Pianist of Willesden Lane, which tells the true story of a Jewish girl, Lisa Jura, who escaped Vienna on the Kindertransport and found refuge in music. The show is performed by Mona Golabek, Jura's real-life daughter, herself a concert pianist. Golabek sets the scene throughout by performing the works of Bach, Beethoven, Chopin, Rachmaninoff and more. After the show we'll enjoy a cocktail reception next door at Positano's Restaurant, where we'll honor the legislators who were crucial in passing Connecticut's new Holocaust Education bill. For more information, contact Ayelet Weber at aweber@jfact.org or 860.727.5771.
Register Now for the Arts Journey to Israel in March 2019

The Jewish Historical Society and the Mandell JCC are offering a five-star, 10-day arts journey to Israel from March 3 through March 13, 2019. You'll see Israel through the lens of her beautiful and diverse arts and culture with the help of a talented and experienced guide. Dance, music, culinary arts, decorative arts, photography, literature, theater - enjoy all this and more! Click here for details and pricing. Questions? Contact David Jacobs at djacobs@mandelljcc.org or 860.231.6313, Estelle Kafer at ekafer@jewishhartford.org or 860.727.6171, or Donna Goldstein at dgoldstein@mandelljcc.org or 860.231.6315.