Page 1


published by the Jewish Federation of Greater New Haven

Joshua Foer Opens 2012 Perspectives Series

You’ve probably heard him on NPR or in other media talking about his New York Times best seller list book, Moonwalking with Einstein: The

Joshua Foer

Art and Science of Remembering Everything. You might have read his book (or his older brother Jonathan’s Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close). There’s also a chance you have seen him walking around the streets of New Haven where this Yale alum still lives. Now, on Monday, April 23, you can hear and see him live at the JCC in the first event in this year’s Perspectives series. Foer, a freelance journalist whose primary focus is science, was the 2006 U.S.A. Memory Champion. Moonwalking with Einstein describes Foer’s journey as a participatory journalist to becoming a national champion mnemonist. Along the way, he set a new record in the “speed cards” event by memorizing a deck of 52 cards in 1 minute and 40 seconds. Foer’s work has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post and Slate. Don’t forget to mark your calendar. Monday, April 23, 7:30 pm, JCC Vine Auditorium Tickets are $12; JCC members pay $10

inside snh

non-profit org. U.S. postage paid permit #2134 New Haven, CT


march - april 2012 / adar - nisan - iyar 5772

JCC Centennial Celebrations

Annual Events with a Splash of Centennial Flavor

By Tanya Weinberg

The smell of excitement is in the air and buzz is swirling around the center as the JCC is busy planning a year of centennial celebrations. Here’s just a taste of what you can expect to enjoy in the coming year for the JCC 100 festivities. We are kicking off this monumental year with a Basketball Brunch on Sunday, June 10. It’s partly a celebration of a sport that has been, and remains, an integral part of what the JCC is all about — teamwork, sportsmanship and bonding -- and reaching for ever higher levels of achievement. And it’s also a way to honor the four legendary coaches of the JCC Varsity basketball program: Red Kleinberg, Jimmy Wolf, David Beckerman and Mark Sklarz. We hope that you will come out for this truly memorable afternoon. Event sponsorship opportunities are available and there will be a Tribute book for those who wish to recognize our honorees or to advertise their products and services to our community. See our website for more details in April. Mark your calendar in red for our JCC 100th Birthday Celebration! October 20 is the day, and you know the place. We’ll be honoring the past JCC presidents at this event – and remembering together the many ways in which they have contributed to the growth and success of our beloved organization. Donna and Stan

We’ll keep the summer months alive and swinging with our Grill n’ Chill program, featuring six evenings of tasty kosher BBQ and live music in June, July and August. Last year’s program featured such performers as the Professors of Bluegrass and the Klezmaniacs. In conjunction with the Jewish Historical Society, we are excited to roll out a Bus, Bike and Bagel Tour on September 9 to explore the history of Jews and the JCC in New Haven. We will be traveling by bus or for the adventurous – by bike. That may be all the training you need for our Bagel 5K Fun Run on September 23. The festivities will conclude with a Family Fun Day in December just in time to celebrate Channukah. Tanya Weinberg is the Project Manager for JCC100.

continued on page 2…

Food For Thought Jewish Federation of Greater New Haven presents

Let’s Dish: A Feast of Food Talks What do a restaurant owner, executive chef, food writer, and the president of a tea company have in common? On March 22nd the answer is they will all be sharing the stage at the JCC of Greater New Haven for a lively discussion on the business of food. Cynthia Bigelow

This distinguished group of culinary experts

includes Carol Peck, owner of Good News Café in Woodbury, CT., A Voce Executive Chef Missy Robbins, food writer and internationally syndicated columnist Bonnie Leblang and Cynthia R. Bigelow, current president of Bigelow Tea Company. The evening will continued on page 2…

PJ Library New Haven Grows 25%! By Saskia Swenson Moss

In a time when schools are cutting their budgets and families are watching what they spend, The PJ Library program is something of a miracle. Up until this September, this national program run in partnership with the New Haven Jewish Federation’s Center for Jewish Life and Learning (CJLL), brought quality, developmentally appropriate books and music to around 400 children in the Greater New Haven area, ages 6 months to 6 years old. But as of September 2011, that age range expanded -- and so did the number of kids involved. There are now over 500 kids enrolled; the goal is 700. If this goal is met, there are additional funds available for New Haven area PJ library programming from the Grinspoon Foundation, which originated the national PJ program and is its primary funder. CJLL Director Rich Walter is confident that the program is

going to keep expanding rapidly. “With such high quality books and music getting mailed directly to your child, free, this is truly a remarkable gift to our community…with no strings attached.” For Cheshire Mom, Anat Leviteh Weiner, whose three boys Matan 8, Mayan 4 and Omri 2, are PJ recipients, the books only get better as the kids get older. “I loved getting Sammy Spider and those books meant for my younger children, but the books for my 8 year old, for example The Kishka for Koppel, often have great humor and deeper Jewish content and meaning.” If you are a Jewishly affiliated family living in the Greater New Haven Area with children ages 6 months to 8 years, you can join the PJ Library Program too! Just go to to register or contact Saskia Swenson Moss: 203387-2522 x 317, saskiasm@jccnh. org. Please note that books take eight

weeks to arrive and will come personally addressed to your child or children. Saskia Swenson Moss is PJ Library Director for the Greater New Haven area.



Mark G. Sklarz Federation President

A Special Month for Everyone The arrival of the month of Adar immediately evokes the thought of a special holiday. Purim is the only Jewish festival when it is deemed a true mitzvah to make noise – the twirling of graggers and stomping of our feet upon the mention of Haman’s name to eradicate his evil. We celebrate the courage of Queen Esther’s and Mordechai’s successful appeals to King Ahasuerus to grant the Jews their lives and right to defend themselves with special treats of hamentashen, spirits and parties featuring colorful costumes and masquerades. Yes, Adar is a period of joy and celebration. Yet, Purim should also be a time of reflection. The Megillah reminds us of our year-round responsibility to tzedakah and, on Purim, our special responsibility to remember the needy. Traditionally, that often meant instructing the youngest of children to place two small coins in a tzedakah box. It is that tradition of generation-to-generation (l‘dor v’dor) that has sustained our communities for over 5,700 years. And I believe it is that tradition which binds us in today’s period of economic hardship for much of our community. The Federation’s 2012 campaign is now in full swing. On Purim, have fun but remember those who rely upon our agencies, institutions and facilities to provide their essential needs, housing, education, food and programming for emotional and financial support. Please use the month of Adar to educate our youngest generation on the importance of charity to perpetuate our tradition and emphasize the joy that emanates from being a role model in our community. There is no better method to achieve this goal than to consider your Federation commitment, stretch that consideration a bit and close your gift. That will make Adar a special month for everyone.

Centennial …continued from page 1 Hersh, and Jan and Steve Miller are event chairs. Members of the 100th Birthday Celebration committee include: Andrea and Cary Benjamin Rachel Light Joanna and Scott Cooper Nancy and Marc Olins Stacey and Adam Dworkin Sherry and Steve Rothman Eileen and Andrew Eder Karen and Jeffrey Sklarz Velma and Stuart Grodd Jimmy Shure Bonnie and Randy Harrison Laura and Cliff Skolnick Judith and Roger Hess Robyn and Jeff Teplitzky Jocelyn and Scott Hurwitz Rebecca and Neil Tishkoff Vivian and Richard Kantrow Hyla and Barry Vine Rhonda and Steve Margolis Martha and Bert Weisbart Barbara and John Lichtman Jodi Cohen and Marc Wortman Join the fun, join the laughter, and join us in celebrating the past 100 years as we look forward to another 100 years. The only thing missing is you.

How can you help? Join the Centennial Society, which provides unrestricted funds to the JCC that allows us to continue to offer high-quality services to the entire community. Donate Sponsorships to provide support for a particular program or event and receive recognition and benefits connected to that program or event. Create an Endowment ensuring the JCC’s legacy for coming generations. The Jewish Foundation of Greater New Haven, our partner in this effort, offers a full spectrum of planned giving, endowment and special gift opportunities, each tailored to your specific needs and your dreams for the JCC’s future. For more information on the JCC 100, please call Tanya Weinberg, Project Manager at 203-387-2522 ext. 216.

Israeli Art Expo

Over 45 different Israeli Artists will be represented at the JCC’s Bar Kocva Israeli Art Expo April 25- 27 from 10 am to 8 pm and April 29 from 10 am until 6 pm. The show will feature original paintings and serigraphs, Judaica, and jewelry. A percentage of the sales benefit the Israeli Young Emissary Program in our community. More: Shelley Gans, 203-387-2522 x206,

Published by the Jewish Federation of Greater New Haven Mark G. Sklarz - President Sydney A. Perry - Chief Executive Officer Jewish Federation of Greater New Haven 360 Amity Road, Woodbridge, CT 06525, 203 387-2424 - fax: 203 387-1818 / Editor: Lewis Eisenberg. Production Staff: Alan Falk, Debbie Stach, Rebecca Hendel. Proofreaders: Hilary Goldberg, Ruth Gross shalomnewhaven is delivered free of charge to every home on the Jewish Federation’s mailing list. To add your name to the mailing list, please phone 203 387-2424 x307 or e-mail For advertising information, log on to and click on the ‘more information’ button. snh reserves the right to decline advertising that conflicts with the mission of the Jewish Federation of Greater New Haven. Publication of advertising does not constitute an endorsement of kashrut. For advertising information, phone 203 387-2424 or write to shalomnewhaven is printed on recycled paper with soy-based inks. Please recycle.

page 2



New American Acculturation Program


Sydney A. Perry

By Yelena Gerovich

Chief Executive Officer

We Have Met the Enemy and He is Us A Cautionary Tale. In the first century of the Common Era, as the Roman Empire reigned over Judea, the tiny nation of Jews rose in revolt, driving the mighty Roman legions into retreat. At the very moment of the Empire’s counterattack, under Vespasian and then Titus, the Jews began a brutal civil war which demanded the utmost unity for the insurrection.

Even with mild weather this winter, most of us have the desire to stay warm and The New American Acculturation Program offered our Russian-speaking community many warm things to do, including a Thanksgiving Celebration, educational workshops and a Chanukah celebration. There was also a lecture in Russian as part of the Taste of Honey program in January. Workshops were presented on many topics: assistance programs for disabled naturalization applicants (HIAS update), medical assistance for low income Connecticut residents and citizenship classes. Now as the coming spring infuses us with a sense of renewal and excitement, we look forward to a new season of programming for seniors, women, children and families. On March 8, we

will have our annual Purim celebration, followed by a Passover event in April. In May, we will continue workshops for Jewish immigrant women with “Embark with Us on a Journey into Your Jewish Soul” and “Hold on for the Spiritual Ride of Your Life.” There will also be a programs explaining prescription drug coverage in Connecticut and Patient Assistance Programs (PAPs) as well as news updates about changes in Medicare and Medicaid programs. Our programs are supported of Connecticut’s Department of Social Services, Women of Vision Society, Jewish Federation Association of Connecticut and the Jewish Federation of Greater New Haven. More: Yelena Gerovich at 203 387-2424 x321, or email

As the Romans lay siege to the holy city of Jerusalem and its Temple, two camps of Jews turned their weapons upon each other. Divided into internecine battle,the Zealots and the Sicarii, the extremist “dagger-men”, could not defend what they both cherished most. The Second Temple was burned to the ground and the Jews were exiled from their land.The Talmud recounts this disaster as being caused by sinat chinam, baseless hatred which eroded the ability to withstand the onslaught. That was then, this is now. Ultimately, the biggest danger Israel faces is not an external enemy bent on its destruction. We have weathered physical and spiritual attacks before from the Amaleks who threaten us. Ultimately, the most serious issue is an internal schism of seismic proportions: the growing backlash against the Haredization of religious life and the coercion on political, religious and social realms. Recent events have frayed the ties that bind Jews in Israel and around the world and once again threaten our unity. The volatile clash of values that set some of the Ultra-Orthodox or Haredim against mainstream democratic and Jewish values requires that we denounce religious extremism. In 1970, the political cartoonist Walt Kelly depicted Pogo the Possum, at home in his Georgia swamp, sardonically reflecting on human nature. Pogo declaims: “We have met the enemy and he is us”. We simply cannot allow a terrorist group, purposely self identifying themselves as Sicarii, to hijack the democratic nature of Israel. This is a struggle that can shape the future and the very soul of Israel. President Shimon Peres is correct when he says “Today is a test for the nation. All of us, religious, secular, traditional must, as one person, defend that character of the State of Israel against a minority which breaks our national solidarity.” Make no mistake about it. Over the past several months Israel has witnessed a series of abhorrent incidents perpetrated by a small proportion of the most fanatic of the Ultra-Orthodox. These actions stand in stark contrast to the democratic and Jewish values upon which the State was founded. The once hermetically sealed communities of Haredim has taken their customs to the public square. Women are pushed to the back of buses, young girls are spat upon, Israeli women soldiers can’t sing in public, women scientists aren’t allowed to go on stage to receive awards, rocks are thrown, harsh words are shouted, and demonstrators don the clothing of concentration camp prisoners. Is this the way of Torah, whose ways are the ways of pleasantness and all her paths are peace? Is this what it means to be like disciples of Aaron, loving peace and pursuing peace? Is this the way the Torah scholars increase peace in the world? Is this the direction of consensuality and constructivity or is this coercion? Is this righteousness or self-righteousness? Thankfully, behind the headlines, Orthodox chnagemakers are working hard to promote pluralism. The author Amos Oz once noted that it is misleading to speak of the Zionist dream as the basis for the State of Israel; rather, there are Zionist dreams. Colliding with one another, their ongoing interaction provides the context for the dynamic and complex reality of the modern State. The fullest articulation of what the Jewish democratic State should be, can be, will be, must be based upon the lofty values of freedom, equality, dignity and justice for all Israeli citizens.

page 3



Lauri Lowell Director, Jewish Community Relations Council

S-Comm and Our Broken Immigration System Secure Communities, or S-Comm, is a partnership between federal and local law enforcement, where people who have been arrested have their fingerprints taken and sent to the FBI and Department of Homeland Security to check their immigration status and criminal record. On paper, S-Comm purports to remove terrorists and dangerous criminals from the US. In practice, it casts its net far too wide, wasting scarce resources on the detention and deportation of low priority, non-violent offenders, guilty of only minor civil infractions, if any. The Jewish Community Relations Council went on record against the Secure Communities program, with testimony at the New Haven Board of Aldermen hearing at the end of December. What’s worse, S-Comm encourages racial profiling as police officers motivated to identify undocumented immigrants, or harboring prejudice against Latinos or other persons of color, find a pretext to make an arrest. In jurisdictions where S-Comm is in effect, the practice of stopping Latinos for minor traffic offenses — or for no reason at all — has escalated. If an immigration infraction is discovered through the federal database, individuals may be detained for up to 48 hours until ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) takes them into federal custody and begins deportation proceedings. The result has been serious civil rights and due process violations, not to mention damage to the trust between immigrant communities and local police. In New Haven, that trust is a precious commodity that took years to establish through innovations such as community policing and the residence ID card. The cost in terms of human suffering is also substantial, as families are torn apart. Further, the incarceration and deportation of the main wage-earner often leaves those left behind impoverished. Secure Communities actually makes communities less safe, because crimes go unreported when individuals live in fear of their local police whom they have come to regard as immigration agents. S-Comm is just another example of our broken immigration system. Five years ago, JCRC came out strongly for comprehensive immigration reform to establish a fair and equitable pathway to citizenship for most of the undocumented, with reasonable penalties for violating US law. Reform would make family reunification a priority, ending the prolonged separation of family members, and establish reasonable and consistent security standards for those wishing to enter our country and those already here.

The Joys of JCL By Beth Kaufman The rewards of being a reading partner with the Jewish Coalition for Literacy (JCL) are abundant. One of my happiest experiences was arriving at Columbus Family Academy on a day I was not normally scheduled, walking into the third grade classroom, and seeing my student, Jonatan Sari, reading the book I had given him at the end of the previous school year. He jumped to his feet, proudly showing me that he had written his name on the inside and outside of the book. He told me that the book, one in the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series, was a possession he had shared with his older sister at home. When we first met last year, I explained to Jonatan that he had been chosen for the JCL program because his teachers and literacy coach thought that he would be good at reading and discussing books with a reading partner, once a week, for half an hour. As I learned of his interests, I was able to find books which piqued his curiosity. He is a delightful and chatty boy, often spending the first moments of each weekly session catching me up on what has happened in his life. When we get down to reading, I notice his progress over the past year. He is an earnest, careful reader who is interested in pronouncing words correctly and knowing what they mean. I have complimented him on his ability to notice bolded or italicized words and use his voice to read them with the proper intonation. The routine we have adopted is that he reads one page, and I read the next, keeping each of us involved and invested in the story. I am already thinking about what book I will give Jonatan when we part for the summer. I know that it will be another tangible sign of the special connection we have made. JCL, a program of the Jewish Community Relations Council, now has over 160 volunteers reading one-to-one with New Haven area students in grades K – 4. For more about this nondenominational program: or 203 387-2424 x 308.

In the absence of a complete overhaul, so long overdue, the federal government is making stopgap efforts at enforcement, while drug and weapons trafficking continues, human trafficking persists, and 12 million undocumented immigrants remain in limbo. States are enacting a checkerboard of inconsistent rules and standards, from in-state tuition for students with illegal status, to law enforcement, to requirements of employers, elementary schools, and social service agencies. What this means for the many constituencies of Greater New Haven, including the Jewish community, will be the subject of a citywide educational forum entitled, “The Immigration Dilemma: Path to Citizenship or Road to Deportation?” It is sponsored by the JCRC and chaired by JCRC’s Immigration committee cochairs Angel Fernandez-Chavero and Lindy Lee Gold. See below for details.

SAVE THE DATE: A Citywide Forum on the Immigration Dilemma The Jewish Community Relations Council is sponsoring a citywide educational forum entitled: “The Immigration Dilemma: Pathway to Citizenship or Road to Deportation?” Come and hear all sides of the immigration issue. Find out why some want to reform the federal law and others want to leave it alone and focus on enforcement. Two nationally-known figures, one a proponent of reform and the other an opponent, will frame the discussion. Then a panel of distinguished leaders from business, labor, the faith community, and the AfricanAmerican and Latino communities will discuss how they see it in terms of jobs, community policing, in-state tuition, social services and the other key issues facing New Haven today. There will be a Q&A session. This event is free and open to the public. Monday, April 16, 2012, 7pm-9pm; Fair Haven School, 164 Grand Ave., New Haven. More:, or 203 387-2424 x318.

page 4



Why Jewish Camping? By Ruth Ann Ornstein Executive Director Camp Laurelwood Jewish camps are an essential component in the perpetuation and maintenance of our Jewish community. By providing a safe, fun, spiritually uplifting experience, our youth develop their own initial Jewish identity. Recently there have been many articles written to support the importance of Jewish overnight camps and the positive results that have been experienced by both campers and staff. In a recent article, Stephen Shore, MD states, “In addition to the benefits of a summer spent outdoors, Jewish camp has become a place to develop and create a Jewish community, to find Jewish roots, to connect to the land and people of Israel and to live a 24/7 Jewish life. This is where Jewish passion, creativity, and spirituality can grow and leadership skills can be developed. This is where our community’s next generation of leaders is nurtured.” Jewish camping comes in all different sizes, themes, religious levels and locations. We are very fortunate to have Connecticut’s only Jewish overnight camp located right in our backyard of Madison, CT and to have a wide-selection of Jewish day camps of all different religious levels to choose from. Each of our camps provides traditional camping with a Jewish flavor. The informal environment of our Jewish camps allows our kids to learn self- awareness and embrace Jewish values, while being led by young people close to their own age, has had profoundly helped foster our future leaders of the Jewish and secular world of today. Let’s start our kids off right -- check out your local camps today, in preparation for tomorrow.

Camp Laurelwood Open Houses for Overnight and Day Camp Sunday, March 18 • Sunday, April 22 • Sunday, May 20 Open houses are from 1:00-3:00pm and include tours and s’mores! Camp Laurelwood is located at 463 Summer Hill Road, Madison.

75 Years of Memories In a few months Camp Laurelwood will be turning 75 and throughout the last few months, articles, stories and pictures have been collected to create a Camp Laurelwood coffee table book. The stories are powerful, and share unique experiences of how Camp Laurelwood has shaped many people’s lives. Jan Moidel Schwartz is just one of the many alumni who have contributed articles. A portion of her story is excerpted below. “I grew up in Miami, Florida, and my mother, Verna Caryl Brodsky Moidel, spoke often about the summer she spent at Camp Laurelwood. Mom was raised in 1930s New Haven, the second child of a family deeply affected by the Great Depression. One year, she received a scholarship to go to camp. I don’t know if the gift came from Laurelwood directly, New Haven’s Jewish Federation or its JCC, but no one ever appreciated this largesse as much as my mother. Her fond memories of the fun she had that one and only summer away from home fueled her desire to have me go, and she made it happen in the summer of 1967. The Jewish experience of Camp Laurelwood has remained with me the most, instilled in a way that still sustains me. I believe it also affected my mother because while she didn’t have much of a Jewish life at home, being at Laurelwood made her appreciate her Jewish heritage. She instinctively knew I would benefit by going to Hebrew school, Israel, and, of course, Jewish camp. I will always remember the wonderful Friday night dinners with amazing challah and everyone dressed in our best whites. We would be singing together but I especially loved when Belle lit the candles and sometimes sang the Yiddish song, Bei Mir Bistu Shein (To Me You’re Beautiful). She was my favorite “elder” at camp. The Jewish girl in me will be forever grateful for those summers when Jewish song, ceremony and values were infused into our days and nights. That first summer, 1967, began one month after the Six Day War and looking back, I suspect a sense of pride permeated everything we did. Today, I work in my Jewish community, surrounded by young children and their parents. While day schools nourish our next generation during the school year, how lucky we are to have Jewish camps continue this sacred work throughout the summer. Like my mother before me, I will never forget what Camp Laurelwood did for me.” Save the date to join Jan and hundreds of other past alumni, staff, family members that have been touched by the Legacy of Camp Laurelwood this summer at our 75th Gala on Saturday, August 25, 2011.

page 5


Adopt a Survivor – Art Exhibition Extending the life and legacy of Holocaust survivors Opening April 18

“When you meet a witness, you become a witness” - Elie Wiesel

Bear witness to the outcome of a nine month partnership between six MAKOM Hebrew High School students and six local Holocaust survivors. Storyboards describing the survivor’s life experiences will be displayed in the lobby of the JCC. In addition, an exhibition of oil paintings, watercolors, and charcoal drawings by Dora Reym, survivor and Adopt a Survivor

Ceremonies of Remembrance and Commemoration By Anat Weiner The month of April is anchored by two dominant landmarks of remembrance and commemoration: Yom Hashoah and Yom Hazikaron for the fallen of Israel’s wars. The JCC will observe both events, and the entire community is invited to participate. On Wednesday, April 18, at 7:00pm there will be a tribute to the six million martyrs of Nazism and to all those who suffered but survived the horrors of the Holocaust during WWII. Local Rabbis and members of the community will be participating in the program. Ezra Academy’s youth choir and Z’mirah Chorale will provide music. The keynote speaker will be Professor Mira Reym Binford, survivor and Professor Emerita of Communications Adjunct Professor, Holocaust/Media Studies at Quinnipiac University, March of the Living participants will share their reflections of the journey directly from Poland and Adopt a Survivor participants will light a candle.

participant will be presented. Dora Reym, now 97 years old and living in Hamden, began painting when she was in her 60s. She taught herself to paint and draw, but she always had “a good eye.” She once caught sight of a diamond in the snow of Auschwitz and traded it for a piece of bread. The exhibit includes portraits, landscapes and still lives in oil and watercolor,

scenes of pre-war Jewish life in Poland, as well as charcoal drawings of members of her and her husband’s families, all of whom were murdered in the Holocaust. For more information contact Anat Leviteh Weiner at 203-387-2424 x313 or

Jonathan Sarna at Jewish Historical Society Noted historian and author Jonathan Sarna will be honored at the 36th Annual Meeting brunch of the Jewish Historical Society of Greater New Haven on Sunday, June 3 at 10am at the JCC in Woodbridge. Professor Sarna, one of the founding members of JHSGNH, will speak about his new book, “When General Grant Expelled the Jews.” Professor Sarna will be available to autograph copies of his book. Sean Wilentz, author of The Rise of American Democracy: Jefferson to Lincoln, “has this to say about the book:

“Ulysses S. Grant’s order expelling Jews from his war zone has long helped insure his eternal disgrace. Supposedly, the drunken, bloodthirsty crook was also an anti-Semite! Jonathan Sarna’s excellent, painstaking reevaluation of what really happened helps rescue Grant’s reputation.” The event is co-sponsored by the Jewish Federation of Greater New Haven. Tickets are $36 in advance. Send Checks payable to JHS, PO Box 3251, New Haven, CT 06515. More: 203-392-6125.

On Tuesday, April 24 at 7:00pm, there will be an Israel Memorial Day ceremony for the fallen soldiers and victims of terror. Join our Israeli emissaries, Yuval Oz, Raz Dadia and their fellow friends from the region as we honor and remember those who sacrificed their lives for the safety and security of the Jewish homeland in Israel. Local Rabbis and members of the community will be participating in the program.

Immigrant’s True Story Sunday, April 15, 1:30pm Dr. Ruth Brennan will be the guest speaker at the Jewish Genealogical Society of Connecticut meeting. Dr. Brennan is the author of the memoir Gathering Family, about her family’s immigration from Eastern Dr. Ruth Brennan Europe to the United States at the turn of the twentieth century. Board members will be available to help attendees with family research after the program. Program is free and open to the public. Godfrey Library, 134 Newfield Street, Middletown. More: Marcia Indianer Meyers, 860-638-3819.

Let’s Dish …continued from page 1 feature a panel discussion format with Mrs. Bigelow serving as moderator. The focus of the presentation will be real life case studies on what it takes to make it in the highly competitive food industry. The audience will get an in depth, insider’s perspective on behind the scenes challenges faced by “foodies” day in and day out. The success of these four food stars is an inspiration Missy Robbins to anyone with an entrepreneurial spirit. For anyone considering a career in the business, or just have a passion for food, this is an event you won’t want to miss. Of course we couldn’t stage an event with a food theme and have it be just all talk. The Let’s Dish event includes a light bite at 5:30pm, kosher laws observed. Presentation begins at 6:15pm. Cost for the evening is $36. This event is open to the entire community. To register, contact Enid Groves at or 203-387-2424 x267. More: visit the Women’s Philanthropy pages at

page 6

Marjorie Wolfe at NCJW Marjorie Wolfe, a native New Haven photographer, will be guest speaker at the local National Council of Jewish Women’s first general meeting of 2012 on Monday, March 19 at 1:00pm at the Jewish Community Center, 360 Amity Road in Woodbridge. Ms. Wolfe’s work documents real world places altered by a skewed perspective, focus and composition. She is especially attracted to minimal landscapes that confound perspective and facilitate the viewer’s reconsideration of a well-worn subject. Ms. Wolfe has exhibited in solo and group exhibits around the country and has received first honors and awards at Images, Art of the Northeast, New Canaan Society for the Arts, and the Connecticut Academy of Fine Arts.

Tour Touro Synagogue The Jewish Historical Society of Greater New Haven invites you to take a tour of Touro Synagogue, the oldest synagogue in the United States, in Newport, Rhode Island on April 22. Tickets are $45 per person and include deluxe bus, a brown bag lunch (kosher), entrance fees and guided tour of the synagogue and Center. An optional Colonial Jewish walking tour is an additional $5. Reserve no later than April 6. Make checks payable to JHS, PO Box 3251, New Haven, CT 06515. More: 203-392-6125.


JFS Jewish Wellness and Healing Center MESSAGE FROM

Rabbi Hesch Sommer Dear Friends, Soon we will be celebrating the joyous holiday of Purim. One of the often overlooked aspects in the Book of Esther (read during our frelich gathering) is that Mordecai accepted the responsibility to raise his orphaned cousin, Esther. The implicit message is a reminder of our moral commitment to the orphan. Concern for the orphan is a basic ethical principle of the Torah. Judaism places as a priority the well being of those who are most vulnerable because they are without parental guidance, love and support. The Talmud reiterates the biblical moral imperative when it states (Sanhedrin 19b) that individuals who adopt a child are considered as though they gave birth to that child. As part of a global community, we see the needs of children to find a loving home extend beyond geographic, ethnic, racial and geo-political boundaries. The basic human needs of love, of being cared for and of being wanted transcend any differences which segregate people from one another. The ever present need to find a home for a child who is up for adoption is one of the driving forces of Jewish Family Service’s mission. We are constantly searching for families who can welcome a child into their warm and embracing home environment. Our professional staff provides ongoing support as an extended family member to the individuals and/or families who can open their hearts and homes to a child in need. While adoption may not be for everyone, the ongoing communal support for the well being of the orphan is clearly a responsibility we all share. The Talmud (Ketubot 67b) speaks to the commitment to help as a lifelong challenge. The strength of a community is seen in the way it addresses the needs of the most vulnerable in their midst. Hesch Sommer is Director of the Jewish Wellness and Healing Center of Jewish Family Service of New Haven. More: 203-389-5599 ext. 117;

Jewish Views on Spousal Relations, Retirement and Bereavement The two remaining programs in this series are: Monday, March 12: “Retirement – The Wilderness or the Promised Land” Monday, April 16: “Finding Comfort and Support – A Guide To the Bereavement Journey” Temple Beth Tikvah, 196 Durham Road, Madison.

Finding Comfort and Support: A Jewish Bereavement Group Mondays - March 19, 26 and April 2, 7:00 - 8:30pm Coping with the loss of a love one has no set time frame. There are moments when we are managing as best we can in the new normalcy of life, and then there are moments, especially around holidays and life-cycle events, when we continue to struggle. If a bereavement support group might be of help to you, please know that you are welcome to come. Congregation Beth Shalom Rodfe Zedek, 55 East King’s Highway, Chester.

The Healing Power of the Psalms: A Spiritual Journey This year-long exploration of Tehillim will examine our longings, our hopes, our joys and our sorrows as expressed in the transcendent message of the psalms. The remaining classes are: Book IV (Psalms 90-106) at The Westville Synagogue, New Haven - (Rabbis Hyman and Sommer) * Special time 7:30 - 9:00 pm. March 14, March 21 and March 28 Book V (Psalms 107-150) at Congregation B’nai Jacob, Woodbridge - (Rabbis Levenson and Sommer), 7:00 - 8:30 pm. - May 2, May 9 and May 16.

Unemployment Support Group Providing a supportive environment for individuals to speak about the emotional issues they are facing in coping with unemployment. Meets weekly on Wednesdays from noon to 1:00 pm. During March at Temple Beth Sholom, 1809 Whitney Ave., Hamden. During April at Congregation Mishkan Israel 785 Ridge Rd., Hamden.

Caregivers’ Support Group

“Stars of David” Celebration The Stars of David is a social group formed by JFS specifically for Jewish families created through adoption. Most recently, the group held a raucous and funfilled Chanukah pot luck dinner. “It was wonderful to see so many of our families come together to bond and socialize,” said Amy Rashba, LCSW, JFS Infant and InterCountry Adoption Coordinator, and facilitator of the Stars of David group. This year’s Chanukah gathering brought out families with mostly young children. JFS volunteers were on hand to interact with the little ones so that their parents could talk, share their stories, commiserate and compare notes. The children who attended were adopted from Korea, China,

Guatemala and the U.S. “As fairly new adoptive parents, we were excited to expose Miles to some of the Jewish traditions, including lighting the menorah and a discussion of the Chanukah story,” said Renee and Michael Hoyt. “It was fun for him as he was able to interact with other adoptive children while we were making friends with their parents.”

Monthly meetings for individuals who are coping with the needs of the elderly and frail loved ones. Tower One/Tower East, 18 Tower Lane, New Haven, Thursdays – March 22 and April 26 from 7:00-8:30pm; Temple Beth David, 3 Main Street, Cheshire, Thursdays – March15 and April 19 from 7:00–8:30 pm. These groups are facilitated by Rabbi Hesch Sommer, Director of JFS’ Jewish Wellness and Healing Center, and are open to any individual in the Greater New Haven area. More: 203-389-5599 ext. 117;

Annual Fundraiser Gala Tuesday, April 11 , 6:30 pm, JCC 360 Amity Rd Woodbridge, CT

The Stars of David program is planning more activities for the spring. It is open to all Jewish adoptive families in the community, whether or not JFS facilitated the adoption. JFS of New Haven has one of the only Jewish adoption programs in the state of Connecticut. More: about adoption or the Stars of David social group: Amy Rashba, 203-389-5599 ext. 113.

Come spend a night with friends, eat delicious food, and have some great laughs while supporting the vital work that Jewish Family Service of New Haven does for our community. The gala will include live entertainment by Sea Tea IMPROV as well as dinner for all guests. All proceeds will benefit Jewish Family Service of New Haven. Tickets start at $72. More: Please contact JFS at 389-5599 ext.100

page 7



Book Signing and Wine Reception with Author Marthe Cohen

Retirement: Wilderness or Promised Land?

As a member of the French intelligence service during WWII, Marthe Cohen fought valiantly to retrieve needed inside information by slipping behind enemy lines posing as a young German nurse. Behind Enemy Lines: the True Story of a French Jewish Spy in Nazi Germany is a memoir of an unconscionable chapter in history that has captivated the world’s attention for more than sixty years. At its core is the account of an ordinary person rising above extraordinary circumstances to help her beloved country.

Jewish texts, spiritual insights and psychological principles will be referenced to explore this stage of life. This program is part of a new series launched by Jewish Family Service of New Haven which expands its new ‘Wellness and Healing Center’ to the Shoreline in partnership with Temple Beth Tikvah and supported by the Jewish Federation of Greater New Haven.

On Sunday, May 20, 3:00-5:00pm, Marthe will appear at a book sign-

ing and wine reception hosted by the Women’s Philanthropy division of The Jewish Federation of Greater New Haven in partnership with Shoreline Hadassah. A $10 donation is suggested. When asked about her inner strength and lifelong commitment to Jewish rights, Marthe answered with a lesson for us all-“One must always take an active role in fighting for freedom and treating all people with dignity and respect.” Senior Center at Madison Town Campus, 29 Bradley Road, Madison. More: contact Jill Weyler Lesage at 203-903-1901 or

Monday, March 12, 7:00-8:30pm

Temple Beth Tikvah, 196 Durham Road, Madison. More: Allison Barasz, 203-2457028; Jill Lesage, 203-903-1901; or Rabbi Hesch Sommer, 203-389-5599, ext. 117.

Not Your Mother’s Maxwell House Seder Sunday, March 18, 3:30pm The Shoreline Women’s Seder will be held again this year, but will be different from what has been done in the past. This year features a fresh approach including a new focus on incorporating personal poignant Passover stories alongside traditional stories and rituals, a new Haggadah and Cantor Nancy Ginsberg. Any woman is welcome to attend regardless of temple affiliation or membership. Registration deadline is March 5. Temple Beth Tikvah, 196 Durham Road, Madison. More: Cynthia Braver:, 203-315-8380.

Jewish Bereavement Support Workshop for Special Needs Parents: Raising the Bar at PPT Meetings by Debbie Berliner The parents of special needs families need help, guidance, and reassurance that they are on the right track for their child. Join us for a “hands-on” workshop for parents of children with special needs which is designed to help maximize your advocacy efforts in the special education process. We will also discuss strategies to manage the path to your child’s individual success. Topics include: student’s basic rights mandated by the IDEA; designing a unique learning program to meet the needs of each student; developing strategies to overcome learning challenges; how to prepare for any PPT meeting throughout the year; building a collaborative relationship with the school. The session will be facilitated by two experts in the field, Special Education Law Attorney Lawrence W. Berliner and Michele Isenberg, Executive Director of Wise Learning, a specialized learning center. Both have unique perspectives as professionals and parents. The event is co-sponsored by the Shoreline office of the Jewish Federation of New Haven and Kidsteps, SARAH, Inc. The workshop will take place on Tuesday, March 20, from 7:00-9:00pm at SARAH in Action, 51 Boston Post Road, Madison, CT. Reservations requested: Jill Weyler Lesage, Shoreline Program Coordinator, or 203-903-1901.

Mondays, March 19, 26, and April 2, 7:00-8:30pm Coping with the loss of a loved one has no set time frame. There are moments when we are coping with the new normalcy of life and moments when we continue to struggle. A bereavement group offers an opportunity to reflect with others who share our struggles. The group will be facilitated by Rabbi Hesch Sommer. Congregation Beth Shalom Rodfe Zedek, 55 East King’s Highway, Chester. More: Rabbi Sommer, 203-389-5599, ext. 117 or Rabbi Rachel Goldenberg, 860-5268920. Please note: the same presenters have scheduled a onetime Bereavement Workshop on Monday, April 16, 7:00-8:30pm at Temple Beth Tikvah, 196 Durham Road, Madison.

Save the Date

Lag B’omer Celebration with Israeli singing group, Shir Ba’Emek

Shira Kline in Performance Friday-Sunday, April 27-29 Shira Kline is a New York based performer and music educator. She travels with her band, ShirLaLa, bringing a dynamic and interactive program of joy, spirit, story and song. Weekend events include Yom Ha’atzmaut Shabbat Service on Friday night at 7pm, an adult evening concert and reception on Saturday night (time TBD) and a children’s educational concert on Sunday at 10:30am. This program is made possible through a generous donation by Temple Beth Tikvah member Joel Silidker and his father, Leonard Silidker, who created the Phyllis Silidker Music Enrichment Fund to celebrate Phyllis’s life. Temple Beth Tikvah, 196 Durham Road, Madison. More: Amy at 203-314-6763 or

page 10

Thursday, May 10, 7:00-9:00pm Shir Ba’Emek is the official singing ensemble of Afula. The ensemble includes 15 singers between the ages of 20-50, who are students, young mothers, and independent professionals. Shir Ba’Emek has won a national singing competition and was invited to perform at the Independence Day main ceremony at Mount Herzl. More: Jill Weyler Lesage,,


Ilan Stavans on Resurrecting Hebrew, Mexican Shiva


Rich Walter

Co-sponsored by Congregation B’nai Jacob/Center for Jewish Life & Learning

Director, Center for Jewish Life and Learning

March 17-18 Saturday, March 17 – Stavans will be the guest speaker at Congregation B’nai Jacob’s Lunch and Learn Program. At B’nai Jacob, Stavans will be speaking about his book Resurrecting Hebrew, the stirring story of how Hebrew was rescued from the fate of a dead language to become the living tongue of a modern nation. Sunday, March 18 – CJLL will be hosting a special screening of the film Morirse Esta En Hebrero (My Mexican Shiva). The film, which is based on Stavans’ novella of the same name, is about Jewish life in Mexico at the time of the 2000 presidential election. Stavans will introduce the film and lead a talkback afterwards. Ilan Stavans is the Lewis-Sebring Professor in Latin American and Latino Culture at Amherst College. Stavans has taught courses on a wide array of topics such as Spanglish, Jorge Luis Borges, modern American poetry, Latin music, Don Quixote, Gabriel García Márquez, Modernismo, popular culture in Hispanic America, world Jewish writers, the cultural history of the Spanish language, Pablo Neruda, the history of the Spanish language, Isaac Bashevis Singer, Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, Yiddish literature, Jewish-Hispanic relations, cinema, Latin American art, and U.S.-Latino culture.



Sharing Our Successes By Rich Walter Creating meaningful experiences that engage members of the community in Jewish life and learning is often a struggle as we compete for time in everybody’s schedule. Taste of Honey in late January, was once again a big success. We had nearly 700 attendees in the 40 class offerings on Saturday night and the Debbie Friedman concert on Sunday. TOH is not our only popular program, and certainly not the only one that generates joy of learning. I want to share a little about what other exciting programs. I am working on with my incredible colleagues Ruth Gross, Saskia Swenson Moss and Anat Weiner. Meyuchad Special Needs program – The number of students in supplementary schools being served in our special needs program dropped from 30 in 2005 to 14 last year. This prompted a change from exclusively funding educators at two schools to offering every school in our community the opportunity to apply for funding to assist their students with special needs. The result has been an increase in students who will receive some type of assistance from CJLL from 14 in two schools last year to 24 in four schools this year. CJLL is also providing two schools with consulting services from a special needs educator. Keeping the library open – While financial constraints forced us to eliminate the position of librarian, a cadre of committed volunteers are keeping the library open … and even moving towards being open more hours. Last month we initiated weekly library-time for several Yeladim pre-school classes. Nitzanim kindergarten students are now able to borrow books, too. PJ Library expansion continues – Working with National PJ, since July we have enrolled 137 new children, increasing our subscribers overall by almost 35%. Now we are launching a special ‘Refer a Friend’ Campaign which will encourage anyone to refer friends and have the chance to win a Kindle Fire. We continue to run a great number of programs, including last year’s Hanukkah party at Barnes and Noble and our weekly Shabbat Friends. Israeli Young Emissaries – Our Israeli Emissaries Raz and Yuval continue to do the amazing work of spreading Israel throughout our community. They are working in 10 congregational schools, MAKOM, Yeladim, Ezra and Southern Connecticut Hebrew Academys. They recently created a great video about the Emissary program in Greater New Haven. You can see the video at: watch?v=-CjfDpllP6k. We believe that ’Jewish living through Jewish learning’ provides meaningful experiences as we continue to think of new ways to engage our community. I invite your participation and feedback as we continue the work of reengineering adolescent experiences and programs, expanding adult learning opportunities, and seeking out new partners. Contact at me at to learn more. Rich Walter is director of the Center for Jewish Life and Learning at the JCC

page 11


Synagogues Our Rabbis Speak

Rabbi Rachel Goldenberg Congregation Beth Shalom Rodfe Zedek

“Ground Zero” for Modern Slavery A strange sight: Two weeks before Rosh Hashana a group of rabbis from all over the country enter a Publix Supermarket in Naples, Florida. Wearing their prayer shawls, they surround the tomato display and break into prayer and song. These rabbis were on a mission with Rabbis for Human Rights-North America (RHR-NA) witnessing the plight of Florida’s tomato pickers. U.S. farmworkers are paid by the pound, not by the hour. While pickers are paid $0.50 for every 32 pound bucket of tomatoes they pick, we pay $75-80 in the store for the same amount of tomatoes. Many workers make well below the minimum wage, for an average annual salary of about $10,000. They also face unsafe working conditions, and cases of human trafficking are rampant. One federal prosecutor has called Florida “ground zero” for modern slavery. RHR-NA, whose board I co-chair, is calling upon Trader Joe’s and Publix supermarkets to sign the Coalition of the Immokalee Workers (CIW) Fair Food Agreement. These agreements raise workers’ wages by one penny a pound and require retailers to only buy from growers who have agreed to a code of conduct. In the book of Deuteronomy, we read, “You shall not abuse a needy and destitute laborer. . . . You must pay him his wages on the same day, before the sun sets, for he is needy and urgently depends on it. . . .” As Jews, we must ensure we are not consuming food that has been picked by slave laborers. In the Jewish community we particularly love Trader Joe’s because of its wide range of kosher and Israeli products. I hope our Greater New Haven community will join this campaign, urging Trader Joe’s to adhere to higher ethical standards. Gerardo Reyes Chavez, a CIW leader, asks,“Why do I spend every day harvesting food for the rest of America and then have to stand in line at a food pantry on Thanksgiving for a plate of food?” To take action, go to: RABBI’S NOTE: As it happens, after the deadline for this piece, Trader Joe’s

signed the CIW’s Fair Food agreement. We should all hop on over to the nearest Trader Joe’s to thank them for taking this important step towards justice. Publix supermarkets has still not signed the agreement. Let’s build on the momentum and keep the letters and petitions going their way. Rachel Goldenberg is Rabbi of Congregation Beth Shalom Rodfe Zedek in Chester. She serves as Vice Chair of Rabbis for Human Rights–North America and is a member of the New Haven Board of Rabbis. She is a member of the Rabbinic Cabinet of JStreet, serves on the Steering Committee of the Rabbinic Vision.

Ezra’s ‘Dream Builder’ Gala Fourth generation New Haven caterer Meredith Abel will be honored at Ezra Academy’s Gala on March 3. The evening will feature live and silent auctions as well as dinner and entertainment for all guests. All members of the community are invited to attend. All proceeds raised will benefit the students of Ezra Academy.

been teaching nutrition and basic kitchen skills to elementary students in the Leadership, Education, Athletics, Partnership program (LEAP). “Meredith is an incredible human being and an invaluable asset to our community,” said Ezra Academy Interim Head of School Richard Gusenburg. “She has given so much to Ezra as well as to others outside of our school. We couldn’t be more thrilled to name her the honoree at our upcoming Meredith Abel Gala event.”

Ms. Abel is a 1993 graduate of Ezra Academy and currently plays an active volunteer role as the school’s girls’ basketball coach. Among her other achievements, she has developed a literacy program to assist women earning their GED’s while in prison and has

page 12

More: Jamie Sadek, Director of Development, 203-389-5500, ext. 33 or Dedicated Gala site: www.ezraacademy. net/dreambuildergala.

ABOUT: CBSRZ The Congregation With the Long Name By Lary Bloom The thatarchitect congregants see today, thehas result of the collaboration sanctuary of a visionary and and an visitors Books & Bagels attracted great internationally acclaimed artist, would authors. Music & More has hosted have astounded the chicken farmers Byron Janis, the first American pianist of the lower Connecticut River valley ever invited to play in the Soviet Union, who a century ago sought a simple Dwayne Croft, the Metropolitan Opera place to worship. But what goes on baritone, and Howard Fishman, rising inside this building – spirituality in star of the New York jazz scene. many forms – would make the foundIt is all done in a building designed by ers proud. the late Sol LeWitt, the father of conCongregation Beth Shalom Rodfe Zedek draws members to Chester from three dozen towns across the state. What are the reasons?

ceptual art, and architect Steve Lloyd, whose detailed plans for the building are a paean to the lost wooden synagogues of Eastern Europe.

For one, there is the dynamic spiritual leadership of Rabbi Rachel Goldenberg, who is also co-chair of the North American division of Rabbis for Human Rights.

And yes -- the long name. In the late 1990s, Congregation Rodfe Zedek, founded in Haddam, and Congregation Beth Shalom, begun in Deep River, merged, giving us today a growing family of worshipers who gather, as our entrance hall decrees: “to worship, to rejoice, to heal, to learn, to savor the great gift of Torah.”

Our school, headed by cantorial soloist Belinda Brennan, has made Jewish learning fun and rewarding for hundreds of children. The walls of our sanctuary, in effect, extend far outward, whenever a community member is in need of comfort or help. CBSRZ has been a community center of the arts. For more than 20 years,

Congregation Beth Shalom Rodfe Zedek is affiliated with the Union for Reform Judaism. 55 East Kings Highway, Chester, CT 06412; 860-526-8920;;

Temple Emanuel Cantor Jeffrey Klepper Performance Saturday, March 24, 7:30pm The renowned American Judaism musician will present a concert in collaboration with Temple Emanuel’s Band. This event is part of TE’s on-going 50th Anniversary Celebration (see website for full schedule). Tickets are $36 per family or $18 per person. RSVP recommended. More: 203-397-3000 or visit the TE @ 50! link at March 10, 7pm - Purim 007 Style - Purim Never Dies - A James Bond Purim spiel, dancing, nosh and cocktail including TE signature martinis! Adults only. Costumes encouraged. $15 per person/$25 couple. Registration @ March 19, 7pm - Temple Emanuel Sisterhood Bookclub - Hedda Kopf will lead the discussion of Old Filth by Jane Gardam. March 31, 7pm - Temple Emanuel Sisterhood Variety Show. Temple Emanuel (, located at 150 Derby Avenue (Route 34) in Orange,. For more information, or to request a membership packet, call 203-397-3000



Synagogues Mishkan Israel By Ann Teller

Purim Carnival Sunday, March 4, 10:00am-12:00 noon The synagogue’s youth group, MITYOR, will sponsor the annual Purim Carnival. The event features games, a haunted house and moon bounce.

Erev Purim Service Wednesday, March 7, 7:00pm The community is invited to come in costume to hear the story of Esther in the most hilarious manner possible.

Tot Shabbat Saturday, March 3, 10:30am Families with children aged six years and under are invited to Tot Shabbat celebrations led by Cantor Giglio, Nursery School Director Bec Luty and Religious School Director Michelle Goldstein. It’s a wonderful opportunity for families with preschool aged children to get to know each other and enjoy an evening of blessings, stories, food and fun. A potluck lunch follows the service.

Annual Deli Night Saturday, March 24, 6:00pm Congregation Mishkan Israel’s Brotherhood of Men and Women present its annual Deli Night. The event includes an all-you-can-eat buffet of homemade deli food, wonderful music and comedic entertainment.This year’s featured comedian is Michele Balan, a finalist on NBC’s Last Comic Standing. She has appeared on Comics Unleashed and The Joy Behar Show and was invited to perform on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno three times. Order early bird tickets for $35 before March 19 at 203-288-3877. Regular priced tickets are $40.

Annual Passover Seder Saturday, April 7, 6:00pm Join us at our annual community Seder on the second night of Passover. The cost is $45.00 for adults and $22.50 for children ages 4-12; children under 4 are free. This year’s food is provided by Emily’s Catering. Advanced reservation required by March 30. For more information about any of the events above, call the synagogue office at 203-288-3877. Congregation Mishkan Israel is a reform synagogue located at 785 Ridge Road in Hamden. It is the 14th oldest synagogue in the United States and the oldest continuously operated one in New England.

Congregation Or Shalom’s Kadima youth group held its first-ever Freeze Out in January. Participants were ‘sponsored’ to sleep outside in giant cardboard boxes to raise awareness about homelessness. More than $1000 was raised to support the Orange Fuel Bank and New Haven Home Recovery.

BEKI Shabbat Book Talk about Trotsky Saturday, March 3, 12:45pm

Joshua Rubenstein, author of Leon Trotsky: A Revolutionary’s Life, will discuss his book following Shabbat services and Kiddush. The event is part of the Jewish Lives series published by the Yale University Press. Mr. Rubenstein is the Northeast Regional Director of Amnesty International and author of several books on Soviet Jewish topics and people. His presentation is free and open to the public. BEKI, 85 Harrison Street, New Haven, 203--389-2108.

Family Roots Workshop Sunday, March 18, 1:30pm

Learn how to use the Internet, archives, libraries, and government record depositories in the United States, Israel, and other countries to research the history of your family. Session will be conducted by board members of the Jewish Genealogical Society of Connecticut and is free and open to the public. Workshop is co-sponsored by BEKI and by the Jewish Historical Society of Greater New Haven. Congregation Beth El-Keser Israel, 85 Harrison Street, New Haven. More: Jewish Historical Society of Greater New Haven, 203-392-6125.

Temple Beth Sholom

Congregation B’nai Jacob

Tonight’s Going to Be a Good Night

“The Big Event”

Saturday, March 17, 7:30pm A dinner and show directed by Steve Schulefand featuring songs, comedy and friends with Rabbi Scolnic. Dinner includes dessert, soda, coffee, and tea. Guests are welcome to bring their favorite wine or cocktail. $36 per person. More: 203288-7748.

Women’s Community Seder

Thursday, March 22, 6:00pm Celebrate with a delicious dinner, wine, dessert, lovely Haggadah and Seder service. All community members are invited to come and experience a Seder that is different from all other Seders. $36 per person. Reservations required by March 8.

Ladies’ Night Out

Thursday, March 29, 7:00pm The Temple’s Fifth fundraiser will include dozens of local vendors featuring jewelry, handmade soaps, clothing, cosmetics, accessories, and more. $10 admission includes refreshments, wine, and a chance to win dozens of door prizes. All proceeds benefit Temple Beth Sholom’s K’Tanim Early Childhood Program. Tickets and information:

Memory & Legacy Exhibit

Running now through March 15 New Haven is home to the first Holocaust Memorial in the country to be built on public land. Thousands of people gathered to dedicate the New Haven Memorial tribute to the Six Million in 1977. This exhibit joins the Memorial’s story to the personal stories of survivors who live in our community. The exhibit is free and open to the public. All events above are held at Temple Beth Sholom, 1809 Whitney Avenue, Hamden, 203-288-7748.

Learning about Homelessness

By Cindy Papish Gerber Saturday, March 31, 7:30pm B’nai Jacob’s biggest fundraiser of the year will feature a live and silent auction, as well as broadcasts of the NCAA semi-finals. Co-Chair Jim Cohen says, “We have tried very hard to plan an event which will appeal to every segment of the community. Young parents looking forward to a night out, folks in search of great items on which to bid….even NCAA fans - there truly is something for everyone.” The event includes cocktails, appetizers, buffet dinner and dessert bar. Tickets are $75 per person. More info or to purchase tickets: or 203-389-2111.

Distinguished Speakers Series

CBJ invites the entire community to these three adult education programs: Saturday, March 17, as part of the ongoing Shabbat Lunch & Learn Series, Ilan Stavans will speak on “Resurrecting Hebrew.” Stavans is a Mexican-American essayist, lexicographer, cultural commentator, translator, author, TV personality, and teacher known for his insights into American, Hispanic and Jewish cultures. He will speak at 12:30 pm, immediately following the kiddush luncheon. Sunday, March 25 at 10:00am, CBJ welcomes Adina Hoffman and Peter Cole, authors of Sacred Trash: The Lost and Found World of the Cairo Geniz. A Sacred Trash is a story of buried scholarly treasure that sheds light on 900 years of Jewish life. Cole is an acclaimed poet and translator; a winner of MacArthur Genius Award and the National Jewish Book Award. Hoffman is a prize-winning American essayist, critic and literary biographer. Wednesday March 28 at 7:00pm, Maurice Samuels, professor of French Literature and Director of the Yale Program for the Study of Anti-Semitism (YPSA), will speak about “19th Century French Anti-Semitism.” The YPSA program is one of only two university anti-Semitism programs in the nation. Congregation B’nai Jacob is an egalitarian and fully participatory Conservative synagogue in Woodbridge, Connecticut. Individuals and families from diverse backgrounds are welcome. 75 Rimmon Road, Woodbridge, CT; 203-389-2111;

page 13


Gala Honors Sydney Perry

Westville Synagogue

The Westville Synagogue announces plans for its annual spring gala, scheduled for Sunday, May 6, 2012. This 8th grader at Ezra Academy. year’s honoree is Sydney Perry, CEO Shirley and Irving Kroopnick were of the Jewish Federation of Greater supporters not only of the Westville New Haven and a member of the Synagogue but also many other synagogue. Ms. Perry has devoted Jewish and community organizamuch of her career in tions in New Haven support of Jewish eduand beyond. Their cation locally as well as family continues its nationally, developing support by underwritprograms for teens and ing both the Westville adults, on topics as varUniversity adult eduied as Holocaust educacation series and tion, intermarried famithe Westville Youth lies, special needs and Program. The MiDor Israel advocacy. Sydney LeDor Award will be and her husband, presented to the Sydney Perry Professor Tony Perry, Kroopnick family and have six grown children accepted by Jay and and numerous grandchildren. Robin Kroopnick. Shirley and Irv’s

Purim Seudah

The synagogue will present its Shul Leadership Award to Sally Zanger and Daniel Nadis. Sally and Daniel have served and led several committees and projects throughout their nearly 30-year tenure as members, and have been steadfast in their support even while living abroad for some years. Parents of two grown children, their daughter Maya is an

granddaughter Kayla is in the 6th grade at Ezra Academy.

A Tribute Book will be published in conjunction with the gala. Those interested in placing a greeting in the Tribute Book or attending the dinner should contact Barbara Zalesch at

Thursday, March 8, 4:30pm

Bikur Cholim, Westville Synagogue, and Young Israel Purim Seudah. Westville Synagogue, 74 West Prospect Street, New Haven. More: 203-389-9513.

Westville University Programs

Westville University is an educational initiative that offers dynamic high level programming to the community reflecting our commitment to Jewish learning, history, culture, law and the State of Israel.

Enhancing Kavanah: The Daily Shemona Esrei Tuesday, March 6 and 13, 8:00pm Rabbi Fred Hyman, Westville Synagogue

Yom Ha’Atzmaut Program and Celebration Wednesday, April 25 (check with shul for time) Co-sponsored by the Youth Committee.

Tehilim: A New Approach Wednesday, March 14, 21, and 28, 8:00pm Rabbi Hesch Sommer, Jewish Family Services, and Rabbi Fred Hyman

Sibling Rivalry Sunday, April 29, 4:30-7:00pm Young family program, including light dinner and childcare.

Jewish-Irish Film Festival Saturday, March 17, 8:00pm Modern Hebrew Literature: Leah Goldberg to Maya Arad Wednesday, April 18, 2012 8:00pm Dr. Adriana Jacobs, Yale University.

Westville Synagogue is a warm and welcoming Modern Orthodox community. 74 West Prospect Street, New Haven, CT 06515; 203 389 9513;

Congregation Or Shalom Purim Carnival

Zumba Gold

Sunday, March 4, 10:30am

Tuesdays and Thursdays, 7:00-8:00pm

Come play games and win prizes while you enjoy good food and time with friends. Admittance is free, but tickets for the games may be purchased at the door. All proceeds to benefit Congregation Or Shalom. Event presented by the Or Shalom Kadima Youth Group.

Join Zumba Gold with Coach Robin Allen each week for a one hour class. Cost is $48 for 8 classes. More: 203314-8176.

Purim Dinner Dance Party Saturday, March 10, 7:00pm

Join us for dinner, dancing, a costume contest and Coconuts, the funniest rock band you will ever see. The rock band will be followed by dancing with DJ Frank. Dinner party is $45 per person or $400 for a paid table of 10 people. More: 203-799-2341.

Naming Babies

Does your Jewish child need a Hebrew name? If so, we will provide him/her with one. There is no charge and is open to Congregation Or Shalom members and non-members. More: 203799-2341. Congregation Or Shalom is an egalitarian Conservative synagogue, drawn to tradition as well as aspiring to innovation. 205 Old Grassy Hill Road, Orange, CT 06477. 203799-2341;; www.

JCC Family Center Events JCC’s Annual Purim Carnival

Sunday, March 4, 3-4:30pm Purim games face painting, crafts and food! Prizes for best family costume! Location JCC, $5 child, $20 family max.

PJ Library Storytime

Tuesday, March 20th, 4:15-5:15 Celebrating Spring! Location: Wallingford Library 200 North Main St, Wallingford

PJ Library Passover Storytime

Sunday, March 25th, 3pm Location: Woodbridge Center Building 4 Meetinghouse Lane, Woodbridge (Part of Camp Gan Israel’s Pre Passover Fun Day, 1:30-4:30pm)

page 14

Passover in the Aisles at Elm City Market

Sunday, April 1, 1-4pm Learn about Passover and stock up on healthy kosher for Passover food! Special Guest: Singer Liz McNicholl of Musical Folk. Location: Elm City Market 777 Chapel Street, New Haven

Matzah Bakery

Sunday, April 1 3-4:00pm Learn how Matzah is made and then make your own! Fun for the whole family Cost: $8/child. Location: JCC Auditorium

Israeli Shuk (Marketplace) Wednesday, April 25, 5-7pm Celebrate Israel Independence Day with crafts, music, activities!



Enrichment Classes for Kids with Special Needs By Saskia Swenson Moss This winter, the JCC is proud to present two new enrichment classes for kids with special needs.

up with special education teacher, Nechama Yaffe, in consultation with Alida Engel, Speech-Language Pathologist, to create a dance program in which each class has a nature related theme such as winter, birds, and animals. It focuses on allowing students to connect to each other and their surroundings through movement. All Sports, taught by Chris Rafone, who teaches sports at Amity High School and the Woodbridge Tennis Club, will focus on building motor skills and hand eye coordination in a way that is fun and uses each child’s individual abilities.

The classes are Let’s Dance: A Class for Kids with Autism, which started in January and is co-sponsored by the Autism Parents Community, and All Sports: A Class for Kids with Special Needs, which starts at the end of February. “Our JCC has something for everyone.” says director, Shelley Gans. “These two classes expand what we are able to offer to our Greater New Haven community.” For the Let’s Dance Class, dance and yoga instructor, Sasha Lehrer teams

For parent Megan Iffil, both classes fill a need. Her daughter, Eryn is taking the sports class, and her son, Mark, wants to try the dance class. Eryn has Von Willebrand disease, which is a rare blood disorder and makes coordination challenging. She likes the idea of trying out different sports to see which ones fit for her. Her mother notes “I have peace of mind bringing her to a place like the JCC. For such a joyful girl, this is a blessing.” Both Eryn and her brother Mark, are able to participate in these classes through partial scholarships, generously donated by a community member. If you would like to donate scholarships contact: Saskia Swenson Moss, (203)-387-2522 x 317. To sign up for classes: Barbara Zalesch, or 203387-2522 x 250.

Still Spry at 100 As part of the JCC’s 100th anniversary celebration and renewal, we are making important changes to the JCC building and campus. It all began last December when the Beckerman-Lender building officially became a smoke-free environment. Then we opened a cafe which features healthy, homemade Kosher food (vegan, in fact). What is now called Mike’s Pizza, Bakery and Café has become a very popular place to eat and greet. The menu has a range of fresh, ‘grab and go’ food, very reasonably priced. “I like to cook,” says Mike Klein, “and I especially like seeing people eat and enjoy the food that I’ve prepared.” When Mike bakes challah bread every Thursday it makes the entire building smell like home. The café is located near the stairs to the Fitness area. It’s open Monday-Thursday 11-7pm; Sunday 11-6; and is closed Saturday. Phone: 203.528.7382. Inspired by the Café’s commitment to supporting healthier lifestyles, we have contracted for ‘healthy’ vending machines. Very soon, the JCC will no longer sell ‘junk food’ in our building. A

percentage of the vending proceeds will go to fight childhood obesity. This spring, with fuel costs continually rising, the JCC will be getting new energy management software to make our HVAC run more efficiently. “It’s an upgrade over the existing system,” said Israel Ortiz, the JCC’s director of Plant and Environmental Services. The new system will enable Israel to have more control over the flow of hot and cold air throughout the building. Diagnosis should be easier and solutions will be found more readily. The upgraded system will pay for itself in less than a year. As part of our campaign to ‘green’ the building, we have installed ‘low-flush’ urinals in five locations. They are actually delayed flush because they detoxify and collect the urine in the pipes below the urinal where it is all flushed at one time, once a day. This saves somewhere near 40,000 gallons annually per unit. All this is done simply by installing a special, $99 valve at the top of the existing flush mechanism. We plan to install five more in the spring.

page 15

Shalom New Haven - March/April 2012  

Latest Jewish news, programs and events in Greater New Haven

Shalom New Haven - March/April 2012  

Latest Jewish news, programs and events in Greater New Haven