Like many organizations, Federation operates on a July 1 to June 30 fiscal year - which means that summer is an important time of reflection, assessment and planning. As we ramp up for the 2019 Annual Campaign and a new program year, we also celebrate the accomplishments of 2018. That's exactly what we did at Federation's Annual Meeting on June 13, when nearly 200 community members gathered to recognize leaders and teachers who make significant - and often unsung - contributions to Jewish Greater Hartford. You'll find a list of our 2018 award recipients below; I hope you'll join me in congratulating them.

Stay cool, enjoy the summer, and get ready for an exciting new year of opportunities to repair our world together!


President and CEO
Jewish Federation of Greater Hartford
Mazal Tov to Federation Award Recipients!

Please enjoy this look back at our year together!
A look back at our year together. Thank you for being a part of our Federation!
Please join us in congratulating the following community members who help make Jewish Greater Hartford a great place to live! They received awards at Federation's Annual Meeting on June 13. An album of photos from the evening is available here.

Henry M. Zachs Spirit of Judaism Awards
  • David Goldfarb, a longtime member of Young Israel of West Hartford who volunteers with the Bess and Paul Sigel Hebrew Academy as well as Saint Francis Hospital and other medical centers
  • Denis Geary, Executive Director of the Jewish Association for Community Living for 25 years; JCL provides supportive housing and programs for people with intellectual disabilities

The President's Award
  • Deputy Police Chief Brian Foley, Retired, formerly of the Hartford Police Department, for his work to safeguard Federation's 29 historic Jewish cemeteries located in Hartford

Commission on Jewish Education & Leadership Awards

Innovative Program Awards
  • Anita Levy of Beth El Temple for "Sharing the Dream"
  • Barbara Fink of The Emanuel Synagogue for "Matzah Factory"

Innovative Family Program Awards
  • Rabbi Ilana Garber of Beth El Temple for "Sixth Grade Bar/Bat Mitzvah & Beyond"
  • Barbara Fink and the religious school faculty of The Emanuel Synagogue for "Repairing the World, One Mitzvah at a Time"

Uniquely Effective Madrichim Awards

Presented to teen classroom aides nominated for their significant contributions to classroom teaching
  • Jared Beatman of The Emanuel Synagogue in West Hartford
  • Brynnen Bernstein of Congregation Beth Israel in West Hartford
  • Mykayla Fluster of Farmington Valley Jewish Congregation - Emek Shalom in Simsbury
  • Benjamin Lawrence of Congregation Kol Haverim in Glastonbury
  • Jordan Oberstein of Beth El Temple in West Hartford
  • Lyla White of Temple Sinai in Newington
July 5, 19 & 26: Brush Up on Hebrew with Chabad

Freshen up your Hebrew reading and comprehension with Chabad of Greater Hartford! You'll improve your Hebrew reading fluency and expand your Hebrew vocabulary while exploring insights from the original Torah texts. This mini-course meets on three Thursdays - July 5, 19 and 26 - at 8 p.m. at Chabad House, 2352 Albany Avenue, West Hartford. For more information, please email
Friday Evenings in July: Outdoor Shabbat Services at Congregation Beth Israel

All are welcome to join Congregation Beth Israel for Friday evening Shabbat services in our courtyard. On July 6, services begin at 6:30 p.m. with Oneg Shabbat and a BYO picnic afterward. On July 13 and 20, services begin at 7:30 p.m.; on the 20th we'll honor personal and family milestones. On July 27, our Kabbalat Shabbat service begins at 6:30 p.m. Congregation Beth Israel is located at 701 Farmington Avenue, West Hartford.
Friday Evenings in July and August: Summer Shabbat in the Park with FVJC

Farmington Valley Jewish Congregation - Emek Shalom welcomes you to its Summer Shabbat in the Park series. On July 6 and 20 and August 10, 24 and 31, services will begin at 6 p.m. at Stratton Brook Park, 149 Farms Village Road, Simsbury. Bring your own dinner and join us; we'll be near the picnic tables by the Pavilion. Services will be held at FVJC, 55 Bushy Hill Road, Simsbury at 6 p.m. on July 13 (bring your own dinner) and at 7 p.m. on August 3 and 17. On July 27, we're tentatively planning to hold Shabbat under the Stars at the Talcott Mountain Music Festival. For more information, contact the FVJC office at 860.658.1075 or
July 7 - August 4: Summer Shabbat Speaker Series at Beth El Temple

Torah comes in all shapes and sizes, with varying disciplines and perspectives. Beth El Temple will experience Torah from storytelling to rabbinic commentaries, taught by our own members, lawyers, teachers and more, including Jonathan Alter (July 7), Jason Kay (July 14), Avi Patt (July 21), Nancy Rosen (July 28) and Barbara Klau (August 4). The Summer Shabbat Speakers Series takes place at morning services, starting at 9:30 a.m. Beth El Temple is located at 2626 Albany Avenue, West Hartford.
Nathan Schachter Selected for Hillel International Student Cabinet

Nathan Schachter
Rising UConn senior Nathan Schachter of West Hartford has been selected to serve on the Hillel International Student Cabinet. He is one of 19 students worldwide who will help Hillel International's leadership benefit from the advice, opinions and perspectives of Jewish college students. "Nathan's ability to create deep connections with people is almost effortless," said Scott Selig, UConn Hillel's Executive Director. "He will be a dynamic asset to the Hillel International Student Cabinet." Nathan is a 2011 graduate of Solomon Schechter Day School and a 2015 graduate of the Hebrew High School of New England. He previously served as a Teen Representative on the Mandell JCC's Board of Directors and has served on UConn Hillel's Student Board for the past two years. This summer, Nathan is working with the Jewish Agency for Israel's Shlichut & Israel Fellows Unit in Jerusalem. He recently completed a semester at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem as part of The Nachshon Project, a fellowship for future leaders of the Jewish community.
Bess & Paul Sigel Academy Bids a Fond Farewell to Israeli Young Emissaries

Israeli Young Emissaries ride Hersheypark's "Coal Cracker" flume with Sigel Academy's Rabbi Zev Silver.
Bess & Paul Sigel Hebrew Academy experienced another wonderful year with our community's Israeli Young Emissaries. They have played a vital role in instilling in our students an Ahavat Eretz Yisrael (a love of Israel). Our year together culminated with them joining our eighth grade on a trip to Philadelphia, Hershey and Lancaster, Penn. We are so grateful to the Jewish Federation of Greater Hartford for giving us these wonderful emissaries. We look forward to welcoming the new ones in the coming months.
July 12 - 15: The Emanuel Synagogue's Annual Tag Sale

The Emanuel Synagogue will hold its annual giant indoor tag sale on Thursday, July 12 through Monday, July 16 (the sale is closed Saturday, July 14 for Shabbat). Early birds can shop on July 12 from 5 to 8 p.m. with a $5 admission fee. Regular hours (no admission charge) are July 13 and 15, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., and July 16, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. A bag sale (not all items included) will take place on July 15 from 1 to 3 p.m. (get one bag for $10 or two bags for $15) and on July 16 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. (just $5 a bag). For details, contact Joanne at The Emanuel Synagogue is located at 160 Mohegan Drive, West Hartford.
July 13: Shabbat under the Stars at Temple Beth Hillel

Cantor Scott Harris and Rabbi Jeffrey Glickman of Temple Beth Hillel welcome Shabbat outdoors.
Join the members of Temple Beth Hillel in South Windsor for Shabbat under the Stars on Friday, July 13 as we welcome our new family from Congregation Beth Ahm. There will be a potluck Shabbat dinner starting at 5:30 p.m. followed by outdoor services at 7 p.m. All are welcome! Contact the office at or 860.282.8466 to sign up for a dish to bring.  Suggested donation $4; free for children 8 and under. Temple Beth Hillel is located at 20 Baker Lane, South Windsor.
JMAP Community Dashboard Goes Live

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
HERO Center for Holocaust Education Reaches More than 2,700 Local Students

A rapt audience of students learns about the Holocaust at one of HERO's educational programs.
Over the last five months, the Holocaust Education Resource and Outreach (HERO) Center has held more than 20 tour programs and facilitated 12 in-school presentations with Holocaust survivors and two trips to the Holocaust Museum in New York City. Due to this effort, more than 2,700 students met with local Holocaust survivors and heard firsthand testimony. Now is a great time to plan your visit to the Hartford Remembers the Holocaust exhibit! Contact us at for more information about scheduling tours and our programming.
July 18: Panel Discussion on Greater Hartford's Response to the Soviet Jewry Crisis

March for Soviet Jewry, April 16, 1967. From the JHS archives.
Jewish Historical Society of Greater Hartford and The Emanuel Synagogue's adult education program are pleased to co-sponsor "The Power of Community," a panel discussion program in conjunction with the Power of Protest exhibit, on Wednesday, July 18 at 7:30 p.m. at The Emanuel Synagogue. Learn how Jewish Greater Hartford responded to the crisis of Soviet Jewry through the stories of immigrants who arrived in the 1970s through the 1990s and the social workers, volunteers, community leaders and educators who helped them resettle here. Admission is $5 at the door. The Emanuel Synagogue is located at 160 Mohegan Drive, West Hartford. Questions? Contact Lynn Newman at 860.727.6170 or
July 19: Mussar Yoga at B'nai Tikvoh-Sholom

B'nai Tikvoh-Sholom invites you to join us for Mussar Yoga with Terry Wolfisch Cole on Thursday, July 19 from 6 to 7 p.m. Mussar Yoga links the Jewish spiritual practice of Mussar (self-study and the cultivation and discipline of ethical behavior) with yoga. This class will focus on the virtue of silence and the power of words and thoughts through poses, breath work and relaxation. Our classes are gentle and appropriate for beginners, accessible to anyone who can get down to the floor and back up again. The cost is $15; RSVP to 860.243.3576 or BTS is located at 180 Still Road, Bloomfield.
The Three Weeks and Tisha B'Av
June 30 - July 22

What do we mourn, what have we lost, what causes us pain, what are our destructions? As individuals, families, as the Jewish people, as citizens of the world? What and how do we remember those losses? And what, arising from the ashes, do we choose to celebrate? Where lies our hope and our belief, and how do we reflect that also?
- Nigel Savage, founder of Hazon, " Tisha B'Av: from Mourning to Celebration"

Bas relief of the Destruction of the Second Temple, Arch of Titus, Rome
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 distruction 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. Below are some Tisha B'Av events happening in our local community. We hope you find meaning in this solemn time.

Beth Sholom B'nai Israel invites you to join in a quiet and traditional observance of Tisha B'Av on Saturday, July 21 at 9 p.m. We'll hold a short Ma'ariv (evening) service and recite Eicha (the Book of Lamentations) by candlelight. We conclude our service with songs of mourning and of hope. (View the Facebook event here.) BSBI is located at 400 Middle Turnpike East, Manchester.

Several local Conservative synagogues are coming together for Tisha B'Av services on Saturday, July 21 and Sunday, July 22. On July 21, Beth El Temple and B'nai Tikvoh-Sholom members will come to The Emanuel Synagogue, 160 Mohegan Drive, West Hartford, for Mincha/Maariv (afternoon/evening services) at 8 p.m. followed by the reading of Eicha. On Sunday, Shacharit (morning) services will be held at The Emanuel at 8 a.m., and at 1:30 p.m. the congregations will gather for Mincha services at Beth El Temple, 2626 Albany Avenue, West Hartford.

Join Young Israel of West Hartford for Tisha B'Av afternoon film presentations on Sunday, July 22. From 4:20 to 5:45 p.m., we'll watch When the Smoke Clears: A Story of Brotherhood, Resilience and Hope. In this film, a group of wounded Israeli soldiers discovers renewed purpose and healing by giving to others. From 6 to 7:30 p.m., we'll watch Above & Beyond, about a group of Jewish American pilots who answer a call for help in 1948 - just three years after the liberation of the Nazi death camps. Both films are free and open to the public. Young Israel of West Hartford is located at 2240 Albany Avenue, West Hartford.
July 23 - 29: National Havurah Committee's Summer Institute at UHart

The National Havurah Committee's week-long Summer Institute is a unique, non-denominational opportunity for serious study, moving prayer, spirited conversation, late-night jam sessions, singing, dancing, swimming, meditation and hiking - all in the company of more than 300 people from a wide range of backgrounds. This year the Institute will once again be held at the University of Hartford, located at 200 Bloomfield Avenue in West Hartford. Click here to learn more or to register.
July 24: Share Your Recipes with the Delicious Memories Community Food Blog

Jewish Historical Society of Greater Hartford's new cooking and recipe blog, Delicious Memories, is live - and it needs your help! Join us on Tuesday, July 24 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Community Services Building for a Recipe Collection Day. Do you have a treasured recipe that has been passed down through generations? A story about your family's holiday traditions? Memories of favorite foods or eateries from the past? Amusing cooking accidents? Bring your favorite recipes, old cookbooks, stories and photos, and enjoy prizes, raffles and noshes! The Community Services Building is located on the Zachs Campus at 333 Bloomfield Avenue, West Hartford.
Federation's Lisa Vaeth Selected to Lead Jewish Cemetery Association of North America

JCANA Co-Chair Lisa Vaeth (left) with the organization's 10th Annual Conference Keynote Speaker, Rabbi Daniel Cohen (formerly of Young Israel in West Hartford), and fellow JCANA Co-Chair Jamie H. Cotel.
The Board of Directors of the Jewish Cemetery Association of North America (JCANA) has elected Jewish Federation of Greater Hartford staff member Lisa Vaeth as the organization's new Co-Chair. She shares the position with Jamie H. Cotel of Community Alliance for Jewish-Affiliated Cemeteries (CAJAC) out of New York. Lisa has been on staff at our Federation for 27 years; for the past 15, she has been the Director of the Association of Jewish Cemeteries of Greater Hartford, the part of Federation that oversees 30 historic Jewish burial grounds. She is widely respected for her care and attention to detail; in addition to overseeing cemetery management and maintenance, she personally inspects the cemeteries each week and arranges cemetery visits for bereaved family members. Lisa just completed a term as Treasurer of JCANA. She is a 2017 graduate of the International Cemetery, Cremation and Funeral Association at the University of Memphis, where she received a full four-year scholarship, and an active member of the Connecticut and New England Cemetery Associations. Mazal tov, Lisa!
Embracing Judaism: Exploring Its Teachings and Way of Life

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 at Beth El Temple, 2626 Albany Avenue, West Hartford, and runs from 7 to 8:45 p.m. Classes are presented by the Rabbinical Assembly of Connecticut (Conservative movement) and will be taught by Rabbis Debra Cantor, David Small, James Rosen, Randall Konigsburg and Richard Plavin. For further information, contact Rabbi Plavin at or 860.573.4503.
July 27 & August 24: Join Beth Sholom B'nai Israel for Shabbat Nariya

Shabbat Nariya m'halelim (music leaders) practice their songs at BSBI.
Come welcome Shabbat with rousing music for voices and instruments! These musical settings of the psalm texts of Kabbalat Shabbat were written by Rabbi Micah Shapiro and have been used in Boston, Mass., and in Jerusalem. The tradition of Shabbat Nariya is to teach the music ahead of time to singers and instrumentalists who become m'halelim - helping to lead the music from within the congregation. For more information, contact Cantor Sarah Bolts at Beth Sholom B'nai Israel is located at 400 Middle Turnpike East, Manchester.
July 27: Celebrate the Holiday of Love with B'nai Tikvoh-Sholom

Celebrate Tu B'Av, the holiday of love, with B'nai Tikvoh-Sholom on Friday, July 27 at 7 p.m. Our Kabbalat Shabbat services will be followed by champagne, strawberries and chocolate. RSVP to 860.243.3576 or BTS is located at 180 Still Road, Bloomfield.
FVJC Offers Special Rates for New Members

Farmington Valley Jewish Congregation - Emek Shalom is offering a special new member rate of 50% off for two years!* FVJC is a Reform congregation dedicated to creating, sustaining and nurturing the Jewish community in the Farmington Valley. We offer a vibrant religious school, exciting adult education programs, plentiful worship opportunities and warm community celebrations. Everyone is welcome regardless of age, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, and whether you're a Jew by birth or by choice. Ask us about free High Holiday tickets! To learn more, contact Marlo Zall at or 248.561.1550. FVJC is located at 55 Bushy Hill Road in Simsbury. *Excludes Junior and Associate levels.
August 1 - 5: Hazon Food Conference and Jewish Food Festival in Falls Village

At Hazon's Food Conference and One-Day Jewish Food Festival, taking place August 1 through 5 at the Isabella Freedman Jewish Retreat Center in Falls Village, Conn., you can expand your culinary expertise; enjoy local, seasonal organic fruits and veggies; unpack the complexities of our global food system; and connect to our ancient food tradition. The Kids' Food Conference, specially designed for young foodies, makes it perfect for the whole family! Click here to learn more and register for the best summer vacation ever!
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. More information is coming soon. If you'd like to help us expand our guest list by becoming a Table Captain, please contact Simone Singh at 860.727.6101 or
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.
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 860.727.5771 or