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snh published by the Jewish Federation of Greater New Haven It was a Super Sunday By Gary Geller On December 8, over 80 people gathered at the JCC in Woodbridge and Temple Beth David in Cheshire for the New Haven Jewish Community’s annual Super Sunday telethon. This year over $250,000 was raised from almost 500 donors. A highlight of the day’s efforts was the $10,000 dollar for dollar match from an anonymous donor for all new and increased gifts to the 2014 Annual Campaign. This incentive was very successful as the $10,000 mark was reached by midday. The JCC Vine Auditorium was abuzz from 9:30 a.m. until closing time at 3 p.m. Past and present parents of Ezra Academy and Southern CT Hebrew Academy children led the way, representing close to 50% of those making calls. A strong effort to engage members of the Federation and Agency boards in the day was also successful as they turned out in force as well. This year there was a satellite call center during the afternoon in Cheshire, calling only Cheshire residents. An astounding 31% of the calls led to donations to this year’s campaign. This group is now the nucleus of future communal fundraising efforts in Cheshire. Super Sunday is not the end of the 2014 Annual Campaign, just a midpoint. As of December 10, $1 million dollars has been raised towards the $2.6 million dollar goal. If you have already made your commitment, thank you. If not, please respond positively when you receive your call or letter later in the year. 2014 Annual Campaign of the Jewish Federation of Greater New Haven Thank you for answering the call, together we raised $255,000 on Super Sunday. non-profit org. U.S. postage paid permit #2134 New Haven, CT SHALOM NEW HAVEN january - february 2014 / tevet/shevat - adar 5774 Visionary Educator, Dr. Wolfson, to Visit New Haven On February 20-22, the Jewish Federation of Greater New Haven, in collaboration with Congregation Beth El-Keser Israel (BEKI) in New Haven, and Temple Beth David of Cheshire, is hosting Dr. Ron Wolfson, Fingerhut Professor of Education at American Jewish University in Los Angeles. A visionary educator, cofounder of Synagogue 3000, and inspirational speaker, Dr. Wolfson recently wrote “Relational Judaism: Using the Power of Relationship to Transform the Jewish Community.” The book, which is capturing the rapt attention of the Jewish community, sets out principles of relational engagement to guide Jewish lay leaders and professionals in transforming synagogues and institutions into inspiring communities. Known as an expert in community revitalization, Dr. Wolfson says, “It’s all about relationships first and programming second. Other activities will eventually grow and thrive.“ Sydney A. Perry, CEO of the Federation “We have a wonderful community,” and Rabbi Joshua Whinston of Temple said Sydney Perry, “but it is separated Beth David reached out to Dr. Wolfson by geography, by denominations, by soon after the book was published memberships and by donations to the and invited him to New Haven. Rabbi annual campaign. Since the Pew study Whinston said, “The foundational was made public, it is all anyone is principles of Judaism are based on talking about. Let’s learn the lessons relationships after all - we share our from those organizations working on lives with one another, with family, with friends, in a minyan, in the Jewish the cutting-edge of relational work. When I read Dr. Wolfson’s world, the wider world book, I was reminded and with God. I look “It’s all about that the people we pray forward to Ron sharing ideas with us about the relationships first with, the people we play with, those with whom ways we can build our and programming we do social justice, or synagogues to be even celebrate life-cycle events better at conscious relasecond. Other - both those which are full tional living to help genactivities will of joy and those of sorerate further meaning in row, those who live next our lives.” eventually grow door, and those whose Shoshana Zax, chair of and thrive. “ needs we meet who are BEKI’s Programming far away, they are all a Committee, echoed connection point to a Rabbi Whinston’s invitation. “BEKI is healthier, more vibrant community. I well-known for its hospitality. We hope can’t wait to hear Dr. Wolfson teach us everyone will join us for services, a how to build these connections points. Kiddush luncheon and a “schmooze” I hope everyone will take advantage of with Dr. Wolfson on February 22.” this wonderful opportunity.” Dr. Wolfson will hold an interactive For more information, please contact Hilary talk for the whole community at the Goldberg at hgoldberg@jewishnewhaven. JCC February 20 at 7 p.m. Wolfson org or call 203-387-2424 ext. 325. All will meet community professionals on events are free. February 21. Israel @ 65 Mission to Israel By Stacey Trachten It was just a couple of weeks ago that sixteen community members joined the Jewish Federation of Greater New Haven for the Israel @ 65 mission. We went as tourists and we returned impassioned and impacted not by the places we visited but by the people we met who touched our hearts with their extraordinary stories. This is not only the Promised Land. This is a land of enormous promise. Despite its long history, Israel is a young vibrant nation, a melting pot of so many cultures and religions. Israel is where we explored the past, present and the future of the Jewish people. Some of the group had never been to Israel; others had lived there and traveled there many times. For some, it was the opportunity to visit a variety of sites - historical, archeological, and religious. For others, it was the opportunity to see up close the fascinating contrast between the ancient and the modern. For all of us, Israel has an extra dimension that turns every visit into a memorable experience! On our visit to Afula, our Partnership2gether community, we spent time at Beit Singer, a home and therapeutic care center for at-risk children who have been removed from their families because of neglect, violence or sexual abuse. Sponsored by the Jewish Federations of Connecticut and Western Massachusetts, this center provides a safe and supportive environment with an extraordinary interdisciplinary team of educators, psychologists and social workers who lovingly restore stability and trust. The children we spoke with were adorable and moved some of us to tears. Having been subjected to physical and emotional violence in dysfunctional families, the children at Beit Singer are provided with Jay Brotman, participant in the Federation’s recent mission to Israel, gives a cap bearing the Israel @65 logo to an IDF officer. schooling, love, support, and most of all safety. Beit Singer has returned smiles to the faces of these children, instead of the insecurity, hesitancy and tears which previously marked them. We felt proud that our community contributes to their support through our campaign gift to the Federation. It was only a year ago when the city of Sderot was under rocket attacks. The piercing sound of sirens gave residents Mission... continued on page 4

Shalom New Haven jan/feb 2014

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