As I write this message, I am returning from a Federation leadership mission to Argentina and Uruguay. Less than 300,000 Jews live in South America, among them about 180,000 in Argentina and 16,000 in Uruguay. Along with our Vice President of Development Rachel Berezin, incoming Board Chair Carolyn Gitlin and 2020 Annual Campaign Chair Dana Keller, I met local Jewish leaders, students and the elderly in Buenos Aires and Montevideo, toured vital Jewish institutions and programs supported by your contributions to Federation's Annual Campaign, and learned how our international partners are addressing poverty and economic instability that threaten Jewish well-being across the region, including Argentina and, particularly, in Venezuela, where the situation is becoming quite dire. Together with Federation leaders from across North America, we paid homage to the victims and survivors of the 1992 Israeli Embassy bombing and the 1994 AMIA bombing, Argentina's deadliest terrorist attack that was carried out at the site of the local Jewish federation. As a result of those bombings, virtually every Jewish institution is barricaded behind thick walls and armed guards. Our trip was a powerful reminder of the adage kol Yisroel areivim zeh l'zeh, all of the Jewish people are responsible one for another, and specifically how crucial it is that we continue to support Jewish life overseas.

We are in the midst of the Nine Days, a period of intense mourning on the Jewish calendar, culminating in fast of Tisha B'Av, that reminds us of the destruction of the Temples in Jerusalem and tragedies that have befallen the Jewish people over the centuries. Our sages teach that the cause of the Temples' destruction was sinat chinam - causeless hatred and strife amongst Jews - and that the antidote is ahavat chinam, causeless love amongst Jews. In so many ways, this remarkable community already expresses causeless love through daily expressions of tzedakah (charity or justice), chesed (compassion) and acts of kindness and inclusion. We should be proud of our actions in support of Jews around the world and at home and pledge to expand that support in the coming year.

President and CEO
Jewish Federation of Greater Hartford
August 7 and 21: Free Summer Concerts at Hoffman SummerWood

Hoffman SummerWood welcomes the entire community to enjoy its free summer concert series. Airborne will play a collection of cool jazz, swing, and island and Caribbean music on Wednesday, August 7. And on August 21, The Elderly Brothers will bring their unique blend of foot-stomping 1950s and '60s bandstand and rock 'n' roll oldies for a fun and memorable evening. Both concerts begin at 7 p.m. at Hoffman Summerwood. Bring your friends! Hoffman SummerWood is an award-winning nonprofit rental community for seniors located at 160 Simsbury Road, West Hartford.
August 8: "Early Jewish Nationalism: Herzl and Bialik" at The Emanuel Synagogue

The Emanuel Synagogue invites you to attend the next Summer Ziplow Study Session on the morning of Thursday, August 8 at our synagogue, located at 160 Mohegan Drive in West Hartford. Dr. Leon Chameides will lead us in a study session on "Early Jewish Nationalism: Herzl and Bialik." Come at 10 a.m. for a nosh and schmoozing; the program begins at 10:30 a.m. Summer Ziplow Study Sessions are free of charge, and all are welcome.
Community Diaper Drive Celebrates Success

From left: Ilana Bernstein of CRT, Alana Butler of Federation, Tyeisha Saffold of CRT, and drive co-chairs Susan Seid and Linda Brooks with some of the many infant care products donated through the Community Diaper Drive.
Thank you to everyone who participated in the Community Diaper Drive for 
homeless families with young children at CRT's East Hartford Community Shelter! During the month of July, generous community members dropped off two large carloads' worth of diapers, baby wash and other supplies at  B'nai Tikvoh-Sholom in Bloomfield, Congregation Kol Haverim in Glastonbury and six West Hartford locations: Beth David Synagogue, Jewish Federation of Greater Hartford, Congregation Beth Israel, the Mandell JCC, The Emanuel Synagogue and Young Israel of West Hartford. The drive was co-chaired by  Susan Seid and Linda Brooks and organized by Federation's Jewish Community Relations Council. Special thanks to MSA Worldwide for sponsoring the drive.
Jewish-Interest Books and Materials for the Visually Impaired

The JBI Library is the world's largest library of Jewish-interest books and cultural and liturgical materials in audio, Braille, and large print. It serves people of all ages and backgrounds and is free to blind and visually impaired individuals. To learn more, call us at 800.433.1531 or visit our website here.
August 10: Rabbi Tamir Nir Speaks on Israeli Elections at Congregation Beth Israel

Rabbi Tamir Nir
Congregation Beth Israel is delighted to welcome Rabbi Tamir Nir, founder and leader of the Kehilat Achva B'Kerem community and former deputy mayor of Jerusalem, for a Shabbat service and luncheon on Saturday, August 10 at 11 a.m. Rabbi Nir will share his wisdom on the parsha (Torah portion) during the Shabbat service. Afterward, he will join us for lunch and speak on the topic "How Will Israel Vote THIS Time? Israel in Search of its Jewish Soul." For details and registration, click here; lunch orders must be placed by Tuesday, August 6. CBI is located at 701 Farmington Avenue, West Hartford.
The Three Weeks and Tisha B'Av
July 20 - August 11

What is Tisha B_av_ The Jewish Day of Mourning
Learn more about the Three Weeks and Tisha B'Av in this short video from BimBam.
The Three Weeks are a period of mourning observed by many traditional Jews from the 17th of Tammuz to the Ninth of Av ( Tisha B'Av). During this time, we remember the conquest of Jerusalem, the destruction of the Temple and the dispersion of the Jewish people. Several restrictions associated with mourning are observed during this time. Tisha B'Av itself is considered the considered the saddest day in the Jewish calendar. We hope you find meaning in this solemn time; some local Tisha B'Av observances are listed below.

The Emanuel Synagogue, located at 160 Mohegan Drive, West Hartford, will hold Erev Tisha B'Av (evening of Tisha B'Av) services including the reading of Eicha (the Book of Lamentations) on Saturday, August 10 at 9 p.m. On Sunday, August 11, The Emanuel will join Beth El Temple for 1:30 p.m. Mincha (afternoon) services at Beth El's home at 2626 Albany Avenue, West Hartford. Following Mincha, at 2:30 p.m., we hope you'll join us for a program on refugee resettlement in the Hartford area..

Chabad of Greater Hartford invites you to learn more about Tisha B'Av and the Three Weeks at our online megasite. Click here for a complete guide.

August 13: Free Professional Development Seminar for Teaching Holocaust and Genocide Studies

The USC Shoah Foundation, JFACT and the Connecticut Department of Education have joined forces to present a free professional development seminar for educators on Tuesday, August 13 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Bridgeport Jewish Federation, 4200 Park Avenue, Bridgeport. You'll learn how to use testimony to implement the Connecticut Holocaust and Genocide Education and Awareness Act as well as effective strategies for teaching with IWitness, an educational website containing 2,400+ full life testimonies of genocide survivors and witnesses. Lunch will be provided; please bring a laptop and headphones if possible. Click here to register.
August 13 & 14: Help Our Jewish Day Schools Get Ready for a New Year

Help our local Jewish Day Schools get ready for the new school year by volunteering to organize and set up their classrooms, libraries, and offices! Volunteer opportunities are available from 9 a.m. to noon on Tuesday, August 13 at Solomon Schechter Day School and on Wednesday, August 14 at New England Jewish Academy. To learn more, contact Alana Butler, Federation's director of volunteer engagement, at 860.727.6152 or
August 13 & 14: Youth Mental Health First Aid Training at the Mandell JCC

The Mandell JCC is proud to partner with Cigna to offer Youth Mental Health First Aid Training. Our free 8-hour course teaches you to identify the signs of depression and mental illness in young people ages 12 to 18. The next course will be held over two days, on Tuesday, August 13 and Wednesday, August 14, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the J at 335 Bloomfield Avenue, West Hartford. Click here for a course schedule and registration.
August 16: Shabbat Services with Gishrei Shalom in Southington

Gishrei Shalom Jewish Congregation will hold Shabbat services led by Rabbi Alana Wasserman at 7 p.m. on Friday, August 16 in its home at the First Congregational Church, 37 Main Street, Southington. All are welcome to participate our friendly Reform congregation.  Click here to visit the GSJC website.
August 16: Shabbat under the Stars at Temple Beth Hillel in South Windsor

Join the members of Temple Beth Hillel for Shabbat under the Stars on Friday, August 16. There will be a potluck Shabbat dinner starting at 5:30 p.m. followed by an outdoor evening service at 7 p.m. To RSVP, please call the Temple office at 860.282.8466. TBH is located at 20 Baker Lane, South Windsor.
August 22: Learn Jewish Leadership by Herding Sheep

Have you ever wondered about all those sheep herding references in the Tanakh? Find out what it's like for yourself - and develop some crucial leadership skills - at this unique workshop on Thursday, August 22 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Westmoor Park, 119 Flagg Road, West Hartford. Casual waterproof or weather resistant footwear is encouraged.This free program is presented by the Jewish Leadership Academy and Federation's Jewish Professionals Network. RSVP is required by August 15; email us at
August 23: UConn Hillel Reception for Incoming Students and Parents

UConn Hillel invites all incoming UConn students and their parents to an ice cream social and parent reception on Friday, August 23 from 1 to 4 p.m. at UConn Hillel, 54 North Eagleville Road, Storrs. Stop by for some delicious treats, a tour of our building and a chance to meet our staff and student leaders. Please contact Scott Selig at with any questions. We look forward to welcoming you to campus and seeing you soon!
August 25: "Wheels Hit the Water" Raises Money for Alyssa's Angel Fund

The event formerly known as the Big Wheel Derby has a new name, and it's bigger and better than ever! "Wheels Hit the Water" will take place on Sunday, August 25 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Mandell JCC's Swim & Tennis Club, 4 Duncaster Road, Bloomfield. All proceeds from this family-friendly event will go to Alyssa's Angel Fund, created in 2006 by Gayle and Steven Temkin in honor of their daughter Alyssa who has Glycogen Storage Disease (GSD), type 1a. Alyssa's Angel Fund provides financial assistance to GSD families so they can receive expert treatment. "Wheels Hit the Water" includes swimming, cheering on the Sharks swim team as they raise funds for GSD, riding trikes and bikes, dancing, water games and a BBQ (additional fee). $20 per family; register with the J's Member Services Center at 860.236.4571.
August 25: Beth Sholom B'nai Israel Celebrates 10th Anniversary

On Sunday, August 25, BSBI will celebrate the 10th anniversary of the merger of Temple Beth Sholom and Congregation B'nai Israel, when we joined together in a beautiful friendship and a new family. Join us at our synagogue building at 400 Middle Turnpike East in Manchester to celebrate, beginning at 5:30 p.m. with a silent auction, dinner, music, reminiscences and photos of our family journey. For a full event schedule, a list of some auction prizes available that night and pricing/registration, click here.
August 28: Tribute to Maimonides at Chabad House

Enjoy a fascinating discussion exploring the life and work of Moses Maimonides - one of the most important figures in the history of Torah scholarship - on Wednesday, August 28 at 7:30 p.m. at Chabad House of Greater Hartford, 2352 Albany Avenue, West Hartford. Panelists will include Rabbi Shlomo Yaffe, dean of the Institute of American and Talmudic Law in New York City and rabbi of Congregation B'nai Torah in Longmeadow, Mass.; Rabbi Tuvia Brander of Young Israel of West Hartford; and Rabbi Eliyahu Tal of Beit Mordechai in West Hartford. Chabad House also invites you to experience the Second Temple through virtual reality glasses on Tuesday, August 20 at 7:30 p.m. A "virtual Kohen" (High Priest) will give you a tour and a deeper understanding of the sites. $15; space is limited. Click here to register for any Chabad House program.
Now through August 31: Apply for an Interfaith Family Connection Mini-Grant

Are you part of an interfaith family? Now through August 31, you can plan "a little something" Jewish with your friends and receive up to $100 to cover the cost of your gathering! You can hold your activity at home, in your neighborhood or in a public space. Just choose a theme (e.g. a Shabbat pizza party, a picnic with Israeli food, painting Shabbat candlesticks, or collecting school supplies for children in need), invite a couple of families and email your plan to us for approval. If we approve your plan, take photos of your activity and submit your photos and receipts for up to $100 of reimbursement! This mini-grant program is made possible by the Interfaith Family Connection grant, generously funded by the Jewish Community Foundation. For more information or to apply for a mini-grant, contact Susan Lentini at or 860.231.6374.
September 12: "Leading with Purpose" Breakfast with Author Lee Bolman, Ph.D.

Lee Bolman, Ph.D.
What is purpose? How do you think about leadership and yourself as a leader? What sustains you in the face of life's inevitable upsets? We'll explore these questions and more at a leadership breakfast with Lee Bolman, Ph.D., co-author of Leading with Soul, on Thursday, September 12 from 7:30 to 9:30 a.m. at Infinity Hall, 32 Front Street, Hartford. This kosher breakfast is presented by Leadership Greater Hartford in partnership with the Jewish Leadership Academy, Federation's Jewish Community Relations Council, Hartford Seminary and Travelers. Click here for details and registration. Discounted tickets ($40) are available to non-Leadership Greater Hartford members by using the code JLA20.
September 12: Trailblazer Women's Luncheon with Historian Judith Rosenbaum

Judith Rosenbaum, Ph.D.
The Jewish Historical Society of Greater Hartford and Federation's Women of Impact invite all women to a special luncheon, "Trailblazer: Connecticut Jewish Women Making History," with Judith Rosenbaum, Ph.D., executive director of Jewish Women's Archive, on Thursday, September 12 from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. at the Mandell JCC Innovation Center, 335 Bloomfield Avenue, West Hartford. This kosher luncheon is in conjunction with the traveling exhibit of the same name, which will be on display from Tuesday, September 3 through Wednesday, October 2 in the Mandell JCC's Chase Gallery. Docent-led tours of the exhibit will be available after the luncheon. Space is limited; tickets and sponsorships range from $58 to $250. Click here for details and registration.
September 12: March of the Living Information Session

Interested in the March of the Living, but missed the first information sessions? No worries - please join Voices of Hope on Thursday, September 12 at 7 p.m. for a brief program with Eli Rubenstein, national director of March of the Living Canada and director of education for the International March of the Living. Rubenstein will discuss his many years of experience leading trips, his reflections on the March's impact, and the importance of participating so that we can pass the torch of Holocaust memories to new generations. The location of the info session will be based upon your interest - so please contact us and let us know if you are interested in attending the September 12 meeting and/or participating in the trip. Contact Robin Landau at or 860.470.5591.
September 17: Retirement Strategies for Parents Supporting Adult Children

Jim Goldman and Nancy Lichtenberg
How will we retire if we can't stop supporting our adult child? Many families find themselves asking this question. You'll get some answers at a free program presented by Jewish Family Services on Tuesday, September 17 at 6 p.m. at Beth El Temple, 2626 Albany Avenue, West Hartford. We'll cover practical tactics for setting reasonable lifestyle expectations, increasing your children's independence while maintaining healthy relationships, addressing questions of mental illness and substance abuse, and deciding how much help is too much. The two-hour program will be led by JFS Money Coach Jim Goldman - a Certified Financial Planner ® with over 10 years as a JFS volunteer helping people solve financial problems - and Nancy Lichtenberg, a JFS clinician with expertise in the family dynamics at play in this situation. Kosher refreshments provided. The program is free and open to all; kindly register by contacting Patti Weiner at or 860.236.1927 x7129.
September 24: Save the Date for HINENI with Dr. Ruth Westheimer

Dr. Ruth Westheimer
Jewish Federation of Greater Hartford invites you to save the date for "HINENI: Living Joyously in Uncertain Times," an evening of Voices and Visions with Dr. Ruth Westheimer on Tuesday, September 24 at The Emanuel Synagogue, 160 Mohegan Drive, West Hartford. We'll celebrate the power of community to create a better world and hear Dr. Ruth's amazing personal story of surviving Nazi Germany and thriving in Israel and America. Invitations are coming soon! Click here for more information.
New "Embracing Judaism" Classes Begin in October

Explore the richness of the Jewish tradition with "Embracing Judaism," an 18-week introduction to Judaism program taught by Conservative rabbis in the Hartford area. This program will be of value to Jews, Christians and people of any or no faith. The first session this fall will be held on October 31. For more information, contact Rabbi Richard Plavin at or 860.573.4503. You can also check out our website here.
October 30: Save the Date for an Evening of Hope

Voices of Hope's signature annual event, an Evening of Hope, will take place on Wednesday, October 30 beginning at 6 p.m. in the G. Fox Ballroom, 960 Main Street, Hartford. Author Steven Pressman will share the inspirational story of an American Jewish couple's mission into the heart of Nazi Germany to rescue 50 children. Details are coming soon to our website; you can also email for more information.