Bridging Today and Tomorrow.
We tell the story of the human experience through Jewish eyes.

January 2022, #1
1920 - 2021
We were saddened to hear of Carl Bennett’s passing on December 23rd in his home at age 101. Born in Greenwich, he resided in Stamford for several years and in 1984 moved back to Greenwich. Carl was a pillar in the Jewish and non-Jewish communities. The founder of Caldor Stores named for Carl and his wife Dorothy grew to 70 stores by 1981 and was eventually sold in the mid 1980s. 

Philanthropists Carl and Dorothy made major contributions to Stamford Hospital that resulted in the naming of the “Bennett Medical Center” in 2018, Fairfield University (Bennett Center for Judaic Studies), Greenwich Hospital, Jewish Senior Services in Fairfield/Bridgeport, the Weitzmann Institute in Rehovot, Israel and Yeshiva University in New York. Carl was a long time dedicated and strong supporter of Congregation Agudath Sholom - The Bennett Simcha Room is named in honor of the Bennetts. 
Please click the link to hear the 1977 “Carl Bennett Oral History” from the Archives at the Jewish Historical Society of Fairfield County. 
BISSEL YIDDISH is back with special guest, Jacob Waldman
Friday, January 7, 2022 at 10:00 am

Jacob grew up in the Satmar community of Brooklyn, where the mamma loshen is Yiddish. He will relate to us (in Yiddish and then in translation) about his family and about the Satmar movement. He will read and translate a Bintl Brief from The Forward newspaper.

Thursday, January 27, 2022 – 7 pm (zoom)

Join us for an educational experience as we explore the framing of our past and present through viewing of highlights from the documentary, Final Account. Following the screening is a conversation with Holocaust survivors (and children of Holocaust survivors) on complicity, propaganda, and responsibility through the lens of the film. 
Moderator: Mike Markovits
Panelists: Judith Altmann, Agnes Vertes, Ilan Fogel, Marilyn Altman

Co-sponsors: Jewish Historical Society of Fairfield County and United Jewish Federation of Stamford, New Canaan and Darien.

Rebel Daughter by Lori Banov Kaufmann
Wednesday, January 19, 2022 @ 10:00 am
Presented by Elissa Kaplan
This work of historical fiction tells the story of Esther Bat Hanan in Roman-ruled Judea during the first century C.E. The inspiration for this novel was a 2000-year-old tombstone found in southern Italy, written in Latin, which introduced Claudia Aster (Esther) and revealed an unlikely romance. Esther’s story involves family loyalty, bravery, famine, siege, and slavery at the time of the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem. The reader discovers how the daughter of a Kohen (priest), serving in the Temple, survives a journey from Jerusalem to Italy, and from privilege and wealth to slavery and poverty. Esther’s story is mysterious and remarkable. 

Please join JHSFC for the Zoom program. Send your name and email to and a confirmation and link will be sent to you.
Wednesday, February 16, 2022 @ 7 pm
The Jewish World of Alexander Hamilton
by Andrew Porwancher
Presented by Jonathan Fass
The untold story of the founding father’s likely Jewish birth and upbringing—and its revolutionary consequences for understanding him and the nation he fought to create.

Wednesday, March 23, 2022, @ 10:00 am 
The Book of Lost Names
by Kristin Harmel
Presented by Rhonda Ginsberg

Wednesday, April TBD
Judah Benjamin, Counselor to the Confederacy
by James Traub
Presented by Bob Abrams

Wednesday, May TBD
The Barbizon: The Hotel That Set Women Free
by Paulina Bren
Presented by Anne Peskin
Life in Eastern Europe in the 19th and 20th Century
with a focus on Galicia, Russia and Romania
Sunday, February 27, 2022 at 11:00 am
Presenter: Jill Culiner

What were conditions of life in Galicia and Russia like that resulted in so many Jewish families settling in Romania in the earlier part of the 19th century: Romania was seen as the ideal country back then. However, conditions in the Romanian towns were not as ideal as they’d hoped, and this resulted in immigration to America.

Ms. Culiner has written two books which she recommends reading before her presentation.
  • A Contrary Journey with Velvel Zbarzher Bard that focuses on daily life in the mid 1800s and
  • Finding Home in the Footsteps of the Jewish Fusgeyers that tells tells of the anti-Semitism in Romania that convinced people to leave.

These books will give you an understanding of what life was like in Eastern Europe in the 19th century and any discussion can be more rewarding.

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Jewish Historical Society of Fairfield County.
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