November 2020
November 5 & 8: Charter Oak Cultural Center Presents "Kristallnacht - A Multicultural, Interfaith Remembrance"
Join Charter Oak Cultural Center for a free, virtual commemoration filled with dance, music, and ritual on Thursday, November 5 at 7 p.m. and Sunday, November 8 at 5:30 p.m. Charter Oak's annual interfaith commemoration of Kristallnacht commemorates two nights in 1938 when the terror of the Holocaust began and the streets of Germany were strewn with broken glass. Click here for more information and to RSVP. Questions? Email
Create Your Own Community Through Federation's Greater Hartford Havurah Initiative 
Prior to the pandemic, the post-b'nai mitzvah moms' havurah celebrated havdalah (the end of Shabbat) at the Salt Caves at Spa Soli in West Hartford.
Are you interested in building your own community, connecting Jewishly, or meeting to fulfill your spiritual needs and bring joy to your life? If so, then the Greater Hartford Jewish Federation's Havurah Initiative may be for you! This initiative seeks to foster homegrown, peer-led Jewish gathering groups on your terms. It provides seed funding and program support for community members to form their own havurot - groups of friends who gather for Jewish learning. Keep an eye out for seven themed havurot in the Greater Hartford area, including a young professionals havurah for ages 22 to 30. To learn more about our established havurot or how to start one of your own, email Carrie Berman at
November 6 & 13: Welcome Shabbat with PJ Library!
On Friday November 6 and 13, join PJ Library at 11 a.m. or 3 p.m. to welcome Shabbat with your little ones! Come enjoy songs, blessings, and challah at this socially-distanced event, weather permitting. We will meet on the grassy area adjacent to the back entrance of the Mandell JCC, 335 Bloomfield Avenue, West Hartford. (Park near the Federation building.) This event is free and open to all, but please bring your own blanket and wear a mask. Click here for more information and updates. Please RSVP to Jane at   
November 7 & 9: Beth David Synagogue Invites You to Name That Tune and  Crochet for a Cause
On Saturday, November 7 at 7 p.m., join Beth David Synagogue for an interactive hour of some of the best (or possibly worst!) music from movies, TV, and Broadway! Come test your music IQ as we play "Name That Tune: Beth David Edition" with piano player Daniel Klau and his lovely assistant Jennifer. This entertaining game will take place virtually on Beth David's Facebook page. There is no need to register; simply click here to visit the Beth David Synagogue Facebook page at the the time of the event. Then on Monday, November 9 at 1 or 7:30 p.m., join the mitzvah chain and connect with a purpose! Join us virtually to crochet for a cause. We will learn to crochet hats to be donated to a local shelter. All skill levels are welcome. You will need: 120 yards of super bulky (6) yarn, an L (8.00mm) crochet hook, and scissors. The pattern will be provided. If you are unable to purchase the materials yourself, we will have packages available for purchase. Please email Robyn at by November 3 if you are interested in this event and if you would like to purchase a yarn and crochet hook package. 
November 8 - 19: ADL Presents "Never is Now" Summit on Antisemitism and Hate
Join ADL Connecticut in fighting hate from home as together we speak up, share facts and show strength. ADL's three-part fall series continues from Sunday, November 8 to Thursday, November 19 with "Never Is Now." Antisemitism, hate, and bigotry feed on the rumor mill of untruths. We must replace misinformation with facts. Join thousands of experts, community and business leaders, students, and concerned community members by taking part in Never Is Now, the world's largest summit on antisemitism and hate. Delivered virtually this year, "Never Is Now' is the best way to learn about and discuss contemporary drivers of antisemitism and hate and learn how to add your voice to the conversation in combating bias of all kinds. Click here to register. Then on Sunday, December 6, you're invited to attend "ADL In Concert Against Hate," the third event in ADL's fall series. Click here for more information. Questions? Contact Lisa Ratcliff at
BBYO Hosts Region-Wide Drive-In Movie Series Featuring Voice Your Vote
Greater Hartford teens attend BBYO's drive-in movie series.
The weekend of October 17, BBYO Connecticut Valley Region hosted nearly 100 Jewish teens from Greater Hartford as part of BBYO's region-wide drive-in movie series featuring Voice Your Vote. The Voice Your Vote campaign is a teen-driven initiative with the goal of getting teens to register to vote and work at the polls. With support from JFACT and Michael Bloom, teens heard from Connecticut Secretary of State Denise Merrill, Connecticut State Treasurer Shawn Wooden, and United States Senator Ed Markey. As part of their goal to support the community, teens brought non-perishable items which were then donated Jewish Family Services. For teens, the opportunity to socialize safely provided them a sense of normalcy they have missed since COVID restrictions went into place. More so than in previous years, BBYO is seeing many families and teens who are seeking out the organization. They are looking for a safe place to meet other Jewish teens - one where they can learn and explore their Jewish identities. While COVID-19 restrictions have made traditional programming difficult, BBYO is proud of the work our teen leaders and volunteer advisors are doing to continuously create and implement new and creative ways to gather and explore.
November 8: Emanuel to Host Lecture on Refugees

The Emanuel Synagogue's
Alan Dornan  
B'Yadeynu Social Action Committee and Connecticut Immigrant and Refugee Coalition will host a virtual event on Sunday, November 8 at 7:30 p.m. Learn about refugees, asylum seekers and immigrants from Connecticut advocates on the ground offering assistance. Guest speakers are Father Thomas Walsh and Alan Dornan. Father Walsh has been a priest in Hartford at both Saint Anne's Church on Park and Putnam Streets and Saint Augustine's Church. He spent a year in Mexico in order to better serve Hartford's growing Spanish speaking population. Alan Dornan is a social and community activist and philanthropist dedicated to assisting all immigrants and refugees. He is an active board member of the Connecticut Immigrant and Refugee Coalition (CIRC), as well as the chair of its fundraising committee. Both speakers have helped hundreds of Central American families, most of whom are undocumented but want to become naturalized. Click here for more information. Questions? Email Risa Davidson at or Janet Wallans at
November 8, 14, & 20: Gishrei Shalom Continues Discussion on Cultures Within Judaism and Offers Shabbat Services via Zoom

On Sunday, November 8, Gishrei Shalom Jewish Congregation will continue its yearlong discussion about the many cultures within Judaism. The discussion will begin at 1 p.m. on Zoom and will be led by Rabbi Alana Wasserman. You are also invited to a Shabbat morning service on Saturday, November 14 at 10 a.m. and a Shabbat evening service at 7 p.m. on Friday, November 20. Both Shabbat services will be led by Rabbi Alana Wasserman. For more information or to get the Zoom links, email or call 860.276.9113. 
Commit to Participate in the Brit Hazon 
Join a community
of people taking action to create a healthier and more sustainable world for all! Hazon invites you to participate in the Brit Hazon and commit to a specific behavior change for a six-week period. You'll receive customized emails to accompany you along your journey. Click here to sign up. Questions? Contact 
November 9, 11, 16, &19: Maurice Greenberg Center for Judaic Studies  
Offers November Programing 
On Monday, November 9, from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m., you're invited to a free, virtual course on anti-Semitism: past, present, and future. It's co-sponsored by the UConn Center for Judaic Studies and Contemporary Jewish Life, the University of Hartford Maurice Greenberg Center for Judaic Studies, the Jewish Graduate Study Program, and Aleph: The Institute of Jewish Ideas. Jews have suffered discrimination and attacks since ancient times. In this course, we'll study the history of anti-Semitism, discuss its present condition, and consider its future evolution. Advance registration is required; you'll receive Zoom links and access to digital course materials when you register. Three other unique programs will be offered on Wednesday, November 11; Monday, November 16; and Thursday, November 19. Click here for the full schedule of programming and to get more information.For details and registration, contact
November 10 & December 13: Mark Your Calendars for Schechter's Holiday-Themed Events!
On Tuesday, November 10 at 9:30 a.m., Solomon Schechter Day School of Greater Hartford invites children ages birth to 4 and their parent or caregiver to a free, outdoor Thanksgiving-themed event! Come to Shalom Reggio at the Schechter field, 26 Buena Vista Road, West Hartford for gratitude-focused crafts, songs, and PJ Library stories designed for your children. Please bring your own blanket to sit physically distanced; masks are required for ages 3 and up. Rain date: Thursday, November 12. Click here to register. Be sure to mark you calendar for Sunday, December 13 at 4 p.m., as we present our community-wide annual Hanukkah celebration! Come enjoy virtual candle lighting, songs, a Hanukkah PJ Library story, interactive games, and latke-making. Click here to register. Both events are free and open to the community. For more information, email Karen at
November 10: UConn Hillel Presents "The Jews - and Secrets - Behind Superman and Batman"
Holy smokes! UConn Hillel will be hosting a virtual program entitled "The Jews - and Secrets - Behind Superman and Batman" on Tuesday, November 10 at 7 p.m. with author Marc Tyler Nobleman (author of the illustrated books "Boys of Steel - The Creators of Superman" and "Bill the Boy Wonder: The Secret Co-Creator of Batman"). We will be providing free signed copies of one of his books to the first 25 individuals who register for the program. Please email Jacqui at to register and request the Zoom link info. Up, up and away! 
Hoffman SummerWood Resident Couple Celebrates 60 Years Together!  
Hoffman SummerWood couple Martin & Elaine Cohen 
Hoffman SummerWood residents Martin and Elaine Cohen recently celebrated a major marriage milestone: 60 years! The couple, who met on a blind date, recently shared their best advice to newlywed young couples. "It's about loving one-another, but it's also about being committed to each other," said Elaine. Marty added, "We hug, kiss, and snuggle. We know the same songs, and we treat each other as equals." The Cohen's have lived at SummerWood for the past year and continue to be a wonderful addition to the community. To learn more about Hoffman SummerWood's Senior Living Community or to schedule a tour, call 860.523.3808 and ask for Sophia or email
November 12: Jewish Historical Society of Greater Hartford Presents "Saving History Through Family Photographs"
Thinking about organizing and displaying some of your old family photographs? Do you have sentimental photographs that you would like to share? Sharing photographs is a great way to bring people together and prompt some wonderful stories and memories. On Thursday, November 12 at 7 p.m., join the Jewish Historical Society of Greater Hartford on Zoom as Sarah Beck and Sue Werner talk about preserving photographs digitally and in print and offer ideas for sharing your family's history in a creative and artistic way. Click here to register. Questions? Email
JCL News Goes Digital! 
The Jewish Association for Community Living is excited to announce that their newsletters are now available online! Click here to read the most recent ones. Be sure to check out our website to see what we're up to! For more information, contact Sarah Winiarski at
November 17: Join JewGood to Do Good at FoodShare 
Join JewGood Hartford young professionals in the Jewish Community Foundation's giving circle as we volunteer to sort food at FoodShare, 450 Woodland Avenue, Bloomfield on Tuesday, November 17 from 5 to 7 p.m. For more information on this socially-distant volunteer event, please email Elana MacGilpin at
November 17: "Nourishing Our Community's Soul" at Jewish Family Services' Annual Hunger Event 
Jewish Family Services and the Anja Rosenberg Kosher Food Pantry Hunger Event Committee invite you to join them on Zoom for an evening of "Nourishing our Community's Soul," on Tuesday, November 17 from 6 to 7 p.m. We will give gratitude for those who have helped us feed our community during this difficult time, and outline the ongoing needs of the community and how you can help. Your donation directly feeds the families at the food pantry. For every donation, a family that visits the Anja Rosenberg Kosher Food Pantry will receive a challah bread from The Crown Market in West Hartford. Help us ensure that the Anja Rosenberg Kosher Food Pantry continues to provide families in need with food for the holidays and throughout the year! Click here for more information and to reserve your space. 
November 18: B'nai Tikvoh-Sholom Presents - The Election: How Religion Matters   

Professor Mark Silk 
Over the past few decades, the Republican Party has become the party of the more religious, while the Democratic Party has attracted the less religious. On Wednesday, November 18 at 7:30 p.m., BTS will host Mark Silk, Professor at Trinity College and Director of The Leonard Greenberg Center for the Study of Religion in Public Life. He will discuss the significance of religion in this year's elections. For the Zoom link, contact the BTS office at 860.243.3576 or   
November 18: A Virtually Limitless Way for Jewish Women to Connect

Local Jewish women now have an exciting new way to connect with their peers across North America: a virtual book group! "Virtually Limitless: Our Shared Shelf," a monthly book and author series, is the brainchild of The Jewish Book Council and The Jewish Federations of North America's National Women's Philanthropy division. Be sure to join us on Wednesday, November 18 at 8 p.m., as our very own Board Chair, Carolyn Gitlin, moderates a talk with Michelle Cameron, author of "Beyond the Ghetto Gates." Click here to register. 
November 22: Congregation Beth Israel and Emanuel Synagogue Present "Israel at 72: Is This the Child We Prayed For?" 

Herb Keinon
Congregation Beth Israel and The Emanuel Synagogue are pleased to co-host journalist Herb Keinon as he virtually presents "Israel at 72: Is This the Child We Prayed For?" on Sunday, November 22 at 1 p.m. via Zoom. This event is free and open to all. Herb Keinon is a senior contributing editor and analyst at "The Jerusalem Post," writing extensively on diplomacy, politics, and Israeli society. He has covered major stories that have shaped the nation for more than three decades, from the first intifada to the withdrawal from Gaza; the massive immigration of Soviet Jews to the Rabin assassination; and the Ariel Sharon premiership to that of Benjamin Netanyahu. He has traveled extensively with Israel's prime ministers on their trips around the world and has interviewed dozens of Israeli and world politicians, statesmen, and decision makers. Keinon lectures widely in Israel and around the world on political and diplomatic developments in the country. For more information or to get the Zoom link, please email or call 860.796.0185.  
November 22: Young Israel Presents 3rd Annual Margot Jeremias Memorial Kristallnacht Commemoration Lecture 
Dr. Efraim Zuroff

On Sunday, November 22 at 2 p.m., join Young Israel of West Hartford for their 3rd Annual Margot Jeremias Memorial Kristallnacht Commemoration Lecture. Renowned Nazi hunter Dr. Efraim Zuroff will lead this conversation. Click here
to stay up-to-date on forthcoming program details.  
November 22: JTCares Thanksgiving Pumpkin Pie Bake - Putting Jewish Values to Action!

We need you to help us make a difference in the community! Jewish teens have committed to bake 100 pumpkin pies to donate to local soup kitchens for their Thanksgiving meals. Help us spread the holiday spirit! Join us on Sunday, November 22 at 4 p.m. for our annual JTCares: Thanksgiving Pumpkin Pie Bake. We will be kicking off our baking by hearing from an individual who has experienced homelessness himself. Ingredients will be available for pickup prior to the event. Open to all teens in grades 8 through 12. Please sign up no later than Friday, November 13. RSVPs are required. For more information, please click here or email  
November 22: Beth El Music & Arts Present - "Virtual Series Part 1: Backyard Concert & Conversation"

From left: Moran Katz, Eric Wyrick, and Anna Polonsky 
Beth El Temple Music & Arts cordially invites you to Part One of the 2020 - 2021 Beth El Music & Arts Virtual Series: a prerecorded virtual Chamber Concert on Sunday, November 22 at 8 p.m. The concert will feature Moran Katz on clarinet, Eric Wyrick on violin, and Anna Polonsky on the piano. These wonderful artists will entertain our spirits and fill our souls with a variety of musical styles. As part of the concert, Cantor Joseph Ness will engage Katz in a lively, wide-ranging conversation. All are invited to attend this delightful, free musical event! Click here to register. 
Voices of Hope Seeks Recipes of Remembrance

Voices of Hope is seeking family recipes and testimony of Holocaust survivors in an effort to honor the memories of the rich Jewish culture before the Shoah. If you are interested in participating in this project, please email your recipe to the cookbook's author, Jon Eastty, at You can also reach Jon by phone at 508.479.3552. Be sure to save the date for Voices of Hope's 11th Annual International Holocaust Remembrance Day on Wednesday, January 27, 2021. The commemoration - which will take place virtually via Zoom at 7 p.m. - will honor Bea Israel with the 2021 Chesed Award. 
November 23:  Temple Beth Hillel of South Windsor Offers Thanksgiving Service

Spiritual leader participants at TBH's 2019 Interfaith Service  
On Monday, November 23 at 7:30 p.m., all Greater Hartford residents are invited to a special virtual interfaith Thanksgiving service hosted by Temple Beth Hillel of South Windsor. This annual interfaith service has become a wonderful, community-wide tradition featuring the Temple's Rabbi Jeffrey Glickman and Cantor Scott Harris - along with spiritual leaders from a variety of local houses of worship who present inspirational readings and comments, music, and songs. This is the first year that the service will be solely virtual due to COVID-19 safety precautions. Click here to watch the live stream on our website or click here to watch via our Facebook page. Temple Beth Hillel is a Reform Synagogue with an inclusive congregation that welcomes interfaith families. For more information, call 860.282.8466 or visit our website.
Fall Tours & Events at Camp Laurelwood 
Camp Laurelwood is excited to offer a variety of upcoming virtual and safe in-person events including socially distant s'mores and tours at camp as well as virtual parlor meetings where you can learn more about Laurelwood! Click here to visit our website to get more information and view a complete list of events. And make sure you never miss out on the fun; click here to subscribe to our email list!
December 5: Beth Sholom B'nai Israel Presents 5th Annual Manchester Jazz Festival 2020
Beth Sholom B'nai Israel of Manchester is proud to present the 5th Annual Manchester-CT Jazz Festival on Saturday, December 5, 2020 from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. Due to COVID-19 concerns, the festival will be broadcast virtually. This year's lineup includes young, up-and-coming talents as well as internationally recognized performers including Eric Alexander, Peter Bernstein, Jonathan Barber, Max Dvorin, and others. Tickets are $20 per household. Click here to purchase tickets and get more information. 
January 7, 2021: "Embracing Judaism" Classes Begin
Always been curious about Judaism? Never paid attention in Hebrew school? Thinking about (or is someone you love thinking about) officially joining the Tribe? Our program, "Embracing Judaism," will begin January 7, 2021. The Rabbinical Assembly of Connecticut is hosting American Jewish University's Miller Intro to Judaism Program and everyone is welcome to join. Classes cover Judaism's biggest and most life-changing ideas, as well as the nuts and bolts of daily Jewish living; they're taught by local Conservative rabbis affiliated with the Rabbinical Assembly. We'll meet for 18 sessions on Thursday evenings, from 7 to 8:45 p.m. Classes will be held in person in a West Hartford synagogue or, if necessary, online. The standard subsidized fee for the 18-week program is $180. This year, due to the pandemic, we're reducing the fee to $90. Generous discounts are available for full-time students and significant others; scholarship funds are also available. This course meets the Conservative Movement's requirements for those considering conversion to Judaism. To learn more, contact Rabbi Richard Plavin at 860.573.4503 or
Follow Federation President & CEO David Waren on Twitter @DavidSWaren
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