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snh published by the Jewish Federation of Greater New Haven non-profit org. U.S. postage paid permit #2134 New Haven, CT SHALOM NEW HAVEN summer 2013 / iyar - elul 5773 What’s Remembering the Days of Bagel Beach: Entertainment? The History of Woodmont How about Women in Comedy! Sylvester Poli built a stately mansion, Villa Rosa, and several mini-mansions, referred to as cottages, along the shore. As Jews came to summer at the beaches in Milford in 1919, they predominantly occupied the area between Poli Terrace and Morningside. Many rented cottages, bought or built cottages and rooming houses along Merwin, Burwell and Farview beaches. Perspectives is the JCC’s thought-provoking speaker series for information seekers and life-long learners. Featuring significant presenters on contemporary topics, this year’s theme “That’s Entertainment!” focuses on the fascinating stories behind the work of performing arts, including musical theater and comedy. Join a panel of women – featuring comedian Robin Fox, author Yael Kohen and professor-columnist-author Gina Barreca, and moderator Binnie Klein of WPKN’s “A Miniature World” – to discuss the ins and outs of women in comedy, including the history, the sociology and the unique challenges that women face in a quest to exhibit their humor. Thursday, June 6. 7:30 p.m. JCC Vine Auditorium. $12/$10 JCC members. Get tickets at, or by calling (203) 387-2522 x300. Photo Credit: Andy Blair It’s hard to believe that we are still debating whether women are funny in the age of Tina Fey, Ellen DeGeneres and Sarah Silverman, and with a comedic legacy of Lucille Ball, Phyllis Diller and Joan Rivers. Visitors lounge on Bagel Beach circa 1960. Amongst the beaches of Long Island Sound, you’ll find rich history of a tiny borough in the city of Milford. Since the early 1900s, the Borough of Woodmont has been a popular destination for Jewish vacationers escaping the summer heat of New York, New Haven and Springfield, Mass. The name Woodmont came from the nearby trolley stop but the area came to be known casually as “Bagel Beach.” The Borough of Woodmont was incorporated in 1903. Between 1906 and 1912, a theater magnate named By 1925, there were over a thousand Jews in Woodmont and some felt the need for a synagogue. According to local Jewish historian Dr. David Fischer, editor of Jews in New Haven (Jewish Historical Society of Greater New Haven, 2005), it was Rabbi Yehuda Heschel Levenberg who held the earliest Jewish religious services at his home on Soundview Avenue in the summer of 1920. Six years later, a building campaign raised enough money to build a synagogue on land generously donated by Benjamin Rosenthal of Meriden. In July of 1926, the Hebrew Congregation of Woodmont was incorporated. By 1927, a one-room wooden building designed by Charles A. Abramowitz and built by Jacob Schiff was completed and ready to open at 15 Edgefield Ave. The Hebrew Congregation of Woodmont was the only summer synagogue in Connecticut. Woodmont continued on page 8 2013 JCC Summer Institute: Focus on Pressing Israeli Issues by Rabbi Marc Gopin, Director of the Each year, the JCC’s Summer Institute Center on Religion, Diplomacy, and engages the community with thoughtConflict Resolution at George Mason provoking lectures. For Israel’s 65th University’s Institute for Conflict Analysis anniversary, this year’s Institute will focus on several pressing issues facing and Resolution and the author of Bridges Israeli society. Exploring these topics as Across an Impossible Divide: The Inner Lives of Arab and Jewish a community strengthens Peacemakers and Holy War, the knowledge of Israel’s Holy Peace: How Religion Can sociopolitical landscape Bring Peace to the Middle East. and the passion for the country’s future. Summer African Refugees in Israel: Institute sessions will be Thousands of Africans are held on July 8, 22, and seeking refuge in Israel – 29. Times and locations what’s the impact and what to be announced. Topics challenges does it pose Rabbi Marc Gopin will include: to Israel? How are various aspects of Israeli society, dealing The Future of Peacebuilding in Israel: with the issue, and could efforts be Marking the 20th anniversary of the improved? Join a discussion about Oslo Accords with no peace in sight how Israeli law, international law, and between Israelis and Palestinians, Jewish law impacts the issue of absorbwe will examine the efforts of the ing and caring for refugees, and how grassroots religious peace movement this might impact the future of Israel. to bridge divides between Muslims, The discussion will be led by Jimmy Christians, and Jews through groups Taber of the New Israel Fund and including Jerusalem Peacemakers, Eretz Shalom, the Sulha Peace Project, members of Right Now: Advocates for and the singular work of the late Rabbi African Asylum Seekers in Israel. Menachem Froman. We will be joined Institute continued on page 9 Women’s Philanthropy and JFS Launch Kids Lunch Program Hunger doesn’t take a break on the weekend. In Connecticut, nearly one child in five is hungry or does not get enough food. Women’s Philanthropy of the Jewish Federation of Greater New Haven and Jewish Family Service of New Haven are joining forces to address this situation and to provide nutrition by launching Food4Kids, a program promoting healthy bodies and minds. The program aims to provide first graders and their siblings at the East Rock Community Magnet School with a bag of food each Friday to sustain them through the weekend. Most of these children are from low-income households and are chronically hungry. The program features bags, designed to discreetly tuck into backpacks, which contain kid-friendly foods that are easy to open and eat, such as shelf-stable milk and cheese, dried fruit, nut-free granola bars, fruit and pudding cups, beef jerky, cereal, juice boxes, tuna, and crackers. Backpacks continued on page 2

snh summer 2013

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