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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


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


In its Time of Need, Repaying a Debt to the Philippines

Israeli Young Emissaries bring Israel to Greater New Haven

By Alan H. Gill NEW YORK (JTA) — As the extent of the catastrophic damage and tragic death toll continues to grow in the Philippines, a particularly heroic piece of history should be recalled by the global Jewish community, which owes a debt to the island nation. Seven decades ago, a Philippine president, a globetrotting Jewish family named Frieder and the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, my organization, helped save the lives of more than 1,000 Jews who otherwise would have almost certainly died in the Holocaust. Thanks to their initiative, these refugees were issued rare travel certificates to the Asian country to work as skilled laborers in the Frieders’ cigar factories in Manila — though in reality, few of them had any experience in the industry whatsoever. The audacious operation, seemingly extraordinary today, is the subject of the recently released documentary “Rescue in the Philippines.” At the time that Manuel Quezon admitted Jews to his country, the Filipino president made what seems today like a remarkably prescient statement. “The people of the Philippines will have in the future every reason to be glad that when the time of need came, their country was willing to extend a welcome hand,” he was quoted as saying. We recalled this moment in history last week when we began reading reports and watching coverage of the impending super typhoon Haiyan — the strongest storm in recorded history — as it barreled toward the Philippines. In anticipation of the impact, JDC’s disaster relief and development staff assembled a contingency plan that went into full effect once news emerged of the death and destruction wrought by Haiyan. As part of our ongoing response to the typhoon, JDC will ship critically important food, shelter, and hygiene and medical supplies — as well as ensure the provision of water and sanitation items and shelter support — through its partners, the Afya Foundation and Catholic Relief Services. JDC’s advance team of disaster relief and

development experts will head to the Philippines later this week to assess damage and needs while consulting with our local/international partners and the Filipino Jewish community to ensure maximum impact for storm survivors. About 30 percent of funds raised will be dedicated to immediate relief for food, water, shelter, medical supplies and care, unless the emergency phase lasts longer because of expanding, critical needs among survivors. The rest will be invested in sustainable local projects that will emerge in the long, slow process of rehabilitation that is sure to come. It’s a formula JDC, which is celebrating its centennial this year, has developed over decades of efforts in the field, from helping Ukrainians starved by the Bolsheviks in the 1920s to rehabilitating survivors of genocide in Rwanda. And on behalf of the North American Jewish community and with its support, we have over the past decade delivered tens of millions of dollars in aid to victims of natural and manmade disasters in Southeast Asia, Haiti and Japan. These efforts now come full circle, especially for one member of our team arriving in the Philippines later this week, Danny Pins. In addition to being one of our development and employment experts, Pins’ mother and grandparents were among the German Jews who fled to the Philippines to seek safe haven in 1938. His posting, in many ways a homecoming despite previous trips to the country, is highly symbolic. Today, in the wake of one of the worst storms in history, with perhaps more than 10,000 dead and hundreds of thousands homeless, we are fully committed to fulfilling President Quezon’s prophecy and returning the favor to the Filipino people. Not just because we are Jews, the heirs to this nation’s lifesaving actions, but because we firmly believe in mutual responsibility and the idea that each individual life is valuable beyond measure.

(Pictured l-r) Amit Amar and Nir Lustig at one of the many sites they visit in our community.

The Israel Young Emissary Program was first introduced 14 years ago to the New Haven community as part of Partnership 2000, and sponsored jointly by the Jewish Agency for Israel (JAFI) and the Southern New England Consortium (SNEC). SNEC is a partnership of 12 Jewish Federations in Connecticut and Massachusetts. The emissary program offers a 10-month volunteer experience to Israeli high school graduates from the Afula-Gilboa region in northern Israel who deferred mandatory army service for a year. Participants are selected and attend extensive preparatory seminars prior to coming to Southern New England. The mission of the Young Emissary program is to strengthen the ties between northern Israel and southern New England by building living bridges through people to people connections and by strengthening the ties to Israel amongst the Jewish people living in the host communities. Amit Amar and Nir Lustig are the 2013-14 Israeli young emissaries living with host families Stefanie and Howard Kreiger, and Gail and Eric Reiner. The emissaries travel between local synagogues, Ezra Academy, Tower One/Tower East, and Southern Connecticut Hebrew Academy to help with programming and serve as young ambassadors of Israel to our community. Follow Amit and Nir on Facebook:

Tower One/ Tower East An Affordable, Active Senior Living Community. Fostering Independence and Community— It’s All Right Here!

(203) 772-1816

r ou or s f ts! n n o ati me lic art pp Ap A g ing in pt Liv ce d Ac siste w s No ew A N

(Alan H. Gill is the CEO of the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee.)

Published by the Jewish Federation of Greater New Haven Donald S. Hendel - President Sydney A. Perry - Chief Executive Officer Jewish Federation of Greater New Haven, 360 Amity Road, Woodbridge, CT 06525 T: 203 387-2424, F: 203 387-1818, / Editor: Jennifer Gelband Editorial Committee: Shelley Gans, Hilary Goldberg, Ruth Gross, Tanya Weinberg. Design: Debbie Stach. shalomnewhaven is delivered free of charge to every home on the Jewish Federation’s mailing list. Add your name to the mailing list by contacting (203) 387-2424 x307 or Advertisers: log on to and click on “Shalom New Haven” in the left navigation. SNH reserves the right to decline advertising that conflicts with the mission of the Jewish Federation of Greater New Haven or does not meet our design standards. Publication of advertising does not constitute an endorsement of kashrut. For more information, contact Helaine at (917) 769-8353 or shalomnewhaven is printed on recycled paper with soy-based inks. Please recycle.

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JFS Food Pantry Seeing the Effects of Cuts to Food Stamps By Jonathan Garfinkle Executive Director, Jewish Family Service of New Haven As is its custom, JFS’ recent holiday food solicitation mailing outlined the impact that donations of various amounts could have on the client families the agency supports. For example, “A contribution of $36 will provide a food insecure family of four with supplemental food for one month,” the flyer explained. So imagine how that same family of four might be impacted when it is required to “contribute” $36 of its Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits, commonly known as food stamps, back to the United States Government. That is exactly what happened when JFS clients Martin and Elaine Harrison (not their actual names) received a letter in early November explaining that, effective immediately, their SNAP benefits would decline $36 per month, the maximum amount that a family of four could be asked to forfeit as a result of the recent $17 billion cut to SNAP over the next three years. “It may not sound like all that much,” Mrs. Harrison, 36, recently explained, “but it’s definitely affected the way we shop and how we live day to day.” Mr. Harrison, 42, chimed in, “We’re back to coming to JFS for emergency food toward the end of the month because we just can’t stretch our food budget any further than we already are.” He went on, “We’re back to that place of sometimes having to choose between luxury foods, like meat and milk, or hunger… I don’t want my daughters [ages 9 and 11] to know hunger again. No way.” The Harrisons became regular JFS Food Pantry clients soon after Martin lost his job in 2010, and although Martin

found a part-time job in sales nearly two years later, the family’s reliance on federal and local assistance has persisted. “What are we going to do when the really big cuts happen next year?,” Martin asked. “There are a whole lot of people worse off than us. I shudder to think…” The “big cuts” Martin alludes to are those that continue to be debated in Congress as part of the negotiation over the renewal of the federal farm support program. The House version of the farm bill proposes cutting $39 billion from the program over the next decade; the Senate would cut $4 billion over the same period. “We see the difference already, for sure,” said Sandy Hagan, the JFS food pantry manager, referring to the cuts that went into effect November 1. The number of emergency visits has shot up since then. And the pantry shelves are emptying quicker and quicker.” JFS distributed over 9,000 lbs. of nonperishable food and fresh produce during the week of Thanksgiving alone. Nearly 120,000 lbs. of food was given out in total during the last fiscal year. Over 300 families visit the JFS Food Pantry every month for supplemental or emergency food. JFS turns to the members of our community to respond to the continuing evaporation of national assistance to those facing food insecurity by requesting donations of nonperishable foods and cash contributions. To schedule a donation drop off, please call (203) 389-5599 x 121. Checks can be sent to JFS/ Food Pantry, 1440 Whalley Avenue, New Haven, CT 06515.

Mothers Circle: Guidance and Support

for Interfaith Families Nationally, as many as 200,000 nonJewish mothers raise their children Jewish within the context of skyrocketing Jewish intermarriage. Since 2002, the Jewish Outreach Institute (JOI) sponsored a program called “The Mothers Circle” to provide education and support in raising a family in an unfamiliar faith.

The JCC of Greater New Haven is proud to co-sponsor The Mothers Circle in conjunction with Big Tent Judaism, offering a free program with invaluable support, guidance and access to biweekly educational courses that feature occasional family events, holiday prep classes, and membership to a national list of women who continue the conversation online. Facilitator Jade Priest-Maoz’s magnetic energy provides a warm and welcoming atmosphere. “In a Jewish home, the mother is the foundation and the

heart of the family, and she is the glue between the family and the community. As I strive to deepen my own Yiddishkeit and understanding of how to be an effective and inspiring mother and Jewish community member, leading the Mothers Circle in my community is a chance for me to hear and share experiences with other mothers on this same path. I am grateful for this exciting opportunity,” explains Priest-Maoz. No prior knowledge of Judaism is required to take advantage of this comfortable space to learn, and explore Jewish holidays and rituals. The group serves as a quintessential representation of “Shalom Bayit,” peace in the home. SNH sat down to interview Mothers Circle facilitator Jade Priest-Maoz. Read the article on page 11.

Message from

Sydney A. Perry Chief Executive Officer

It’s the time of year when every magazine and newspaper pick their favorite movie for the Oscars, favorite TV show for the Emmys, and best books of the year. It’s my turn: I think “My Promised Land: The Triumph and Tragedy of Israel” by Ari Shavit should be obligatory reading. You may not agree with everything Shavit says but he is an impressive writer and a master storyteller. He tells the story of Israel, capturing both the extraordinary, even miraculous, rebirth of the Jewish State, and the complexities and conflicts that Israel faces on a daily basis. And he is not hesitant to share what he believes to be the truth behind some of Israel’s founding stories. He is a fervent patriot who is unafraid to reveal the events at Lydda, and the expulsion of the Palestinians, his moral outrage at the social and economic inequities and his deep dislike of the settlement policies in the territories. Shavit, a leading Israeli columnist for the left-center newspaper, Haaretz, has the mind of a historian and the lyricism of a poet. I have lived in Israel for two years during the glory days after the 6 Days War, from 1969-1971 and again in 1995. I have traveled there 38 times in the last 45 years. Shavit’s book, passionate and yet-fair-minded, uses vividly written personal stories of individual Israelis to depict modern Israel, its character, its values, its failings. It was a revelation to me in parts and a mirror of what is best, and most admirable in an Israel which strives to be a “light unto the nations.” He is also an equal opportunity critic of both the left and the right in Israeli politics and of the religious establishment. I was recently on a mission with members of our community. We, too, met with and heard the stories of individual Israelis, many of whom are nothing short of heroic in the work they do. We visited the wineries of the Golan, the nature reserve of the Hula Valley. We stood on the borderline of Lebanon at Moshav Malkiya, at Mt. Benham overlooking Syria, saw a checkpoint between Afula and Jenin, and stood at Sderot, on the one year anniversary of the Gaza. We visited an absorption center for the most recent wave of Ethiopians who came to Israel and marveled at how Israel has absorbed three million refugees: The broken survivors of the Shoah, the Jews from Yemen, Iraq and Iran and North Africa; the huge influx from the former Soviet Union who together rebuilt the Third Commonwealth, contemporary Israel. The modern halutzim, pioneers, of today are as committed to their Zionism as the men and women who came on the first and second aliyah, like Shavit’s own great-grandfather, the Right Honorable Herbert Bentwich from Britain. He mesmerizes us with Bentwich’s amazing story in the late turn-of-the -20th century Palestine; or the German refugee who built from nothing the behemoth Strauss-Elite chocolate factory; the romantic visionary who made kibbutz Ein Harod, in our Partnership2gether community, into a reality; the young farmer who bought an orange grove from his Arab neighbor in the 1920’s and developed the “Jaffa” orange. We met men and women who were so impressive in their moral courage and their commitment to social justice. Elli Nechama is the Principal of the Bialik-Rogozin school in Tel Aviv. At this school of 900 children in the poorest section of the city, Elli presides over the children of foreign workers, illegal immigrants and refugees from Eritrea, Somalia and Sudan who walked into Israel to escape terror and death. Elli teaches children who have never been to school in their lives and he does it with such love and devotion that it is hard not to want to nominate him for the Nobel Peace Prize. And every day while we were there we watched what the IDF was doing in the Philippines, after the mammoth typhoon devastated the area. There is so much to be proud of in tiny Israel. In an article in the newspaper while the Jewish Federations of North America met in Jerusalem, Shavit compared Israeli Jewry with American Jewry. Writes Shavit: “If we are to survive and prosper in the coming half-century as we did in the last one, we must realize that we are a nation in jeopardy. We must understand that we have to work hard and wisely in order to safeguard our existence”...the Iran crisis in Israel, the Pew report’s conclusions in America, he suggests, should cause us much consternation. Perhaps we are not one as our slogans once trumpeted, but our fate is one. That is why American Jews must stand by Israel and fight adamantly for it. Israeli Jews must do all they can to assist us in the struggle to maintain vibrancy in our communities. The privileged Jews we are in January 2014 are morally obliged to keep the wondrous Jewish success story alive and well.

Interested in Mothers Circle? Contact Laura Ross at or (203) 387-2522 x 317.

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Pearl Mantell Estate Makes Gift to the Jewish Foundation to Support Israeli Causes

What is Create a Jewish Legacy New Haven?

Shelton’s Hygienic Review. Pearl Mantell was a trailblazer. Pearl’s adventure carries on through a fund Pearl was a dedicated Zionist. Her she created at the Jewish Foundation trip to Israel was a real eye-opener of Greater New Haven to benefit sevfor her and she spoke often of a poseral Israeli causes that were especially sible follow-up trip. Her Zionism led to meaningful to her. Her some correspondence (rather nephew Charles, who one-sided) with Israel’s prime manages the estate, minister. remembers his aunt Her mother, “Bubbie” Mantell, with great fondness and had a particular interest in admiration. “Pearl took the General Israel Orphans great care of me and Home for Girls, and Pearl conwas a major influence tinued her concern for Israeli on my life and many othorphans. ers. She was a selfless woman, devoted to family Pearl also maintained an and her many causes. I interest in Beit Halochem, the Pearl Mantell at age 100 can’t remember her ever worldwide organization that spending a dime on herself.” looks after disabled veterans of the Israel Defense Forces. Charles recounts other aspects of

With Create a Jewish Legacy, you have the ability to create a legacy gift which can benefit one or more organizations that are important to you. You can make a commitment, either through a current or future gift to a Jewish organization’s endowment fund or by declaring your intent to remember Jewish causes in your will or estate plans.

Pearl’s legacy, painting a vivid picture of a life worth the admiration of many. Following some of her siblings, Pearl emigrated from Canada and enjoyed a long, productive life before returning to look after her ill sister and husband. She lived there for 30 years until her passing in 2011 at the age of 100. Longevity seemed to be a family birthright as Pearl’s mother and sister were also centenarians. A vegan before it was fashionable, Pearl believed in natural healing more than traditional medicine. She worked as a typist and office manager for a doctor. Her employment came with conditions - there would be no smoking allowed on the premises. Charles explains, “Aunt Pearl was convinced cigarettes were a cause of cancer and heart disease long before it was a widespread belief. She was among the first crusaders to spread that message and change office smoking policy.”

Pearl was equally passionate about creating a better world. She always sought and promoted peace, often taking to pen and paper. She sent letters to Mosques, imploring them to look inward for peaceful solutions after riots followed a speech by Pope Benedict. Pearl wrote about a perfect world in her “A Vegan Dreams” and “Return to Eden,” the latter published in Dr.

In recent years she was disturbed by reports in the Jewish press of the rising anti-Israel activity on university campuses and that led to her interest in CIJR - the Canadian Institute for Jewish Research. CIJR sponsors, among other things, an effective training program for pro-Israel students on campus and that seems to have struck a chord for her.

Although her life was untraditional by many of today’s measures, Pearl did inspire a tradition of giving back. “She was so frugal that her trust fund just continued to grow and grow. As a result, it can now make an even greater difference in the lives of others. She taught me a lot and helped me realize what is really important. She has honored me by allowing me to manage the estate and ensure her wishes are carried out,” explains Charles. The Pearl P’nina Mantell Fund at the Jewish Foundation was established by Pearl through her estate. It will continue in her name in perpetuity. Pearl appointed her nephew, Charles, as the donor advisor of this fund and as requested by Pearl, he will recommend distributions from the fund to the causes that were important to her -providing for orphans in Israel, wounded and sick Israeli soldiers, and supporting programs that educate people about Israel and fight anti-Semitism.

Create a Jewish Legacy represents a shared commitment by area synagogues and Jewish organizations to work together to secure a more vibrant Jewish future. Create a Jewish Legacy is sponsored and presented by the Jewish Foundation of Greater New Haven and the Harold Grinspoon Foundation of Western Massachusetts.

Your legacy gift of any size can be customized and structured to fit your dreams, lifestyle, family and financial needs. You can provide support for a particular institution (e.g., synagogue, day school, Jewish agency) or area of interest (e.g., caring for the elderly, helping those in need, educating our community’s children, advancing Jewish life, Jewish summer camp experiences, college campus programs or support for Israel and overseas programs).

Why Create a Jewish Legacy? Creating your own Jewish legacy empowers you to further the work of your heart and to enjoy the peace of mind that it brings. You can: • PERPETUATE the Jewish traditions and values you cherish • PRESERVE the programs and institutions that support Jewish life in our community and around the world in perpetuity • PLAN for your family’s philanthropic interests and enjoy tax advantages Creating your Jewish legacy ensures that you’ll be remembered and your work and Jewish values will continue beyond your lifetime. By creating your legacy today, you can secure vital Jewish community programs that you wish to sustain while ensuring a safety net is in place to protect and strengthen our Jewish community for generations. It’s a meaningful, personal way to honor loved ones, and teach your children and grandchildren the value of philanthropy. You will ensure a strong vibrant and engaging community that will perpetuate your values in the future. All of us, regardless of age, wealth or affiliation, have the ability to make a difference for future generations. The simplest method of creating your legacy is with a current gift of cash or stock. If you cannot do that now, you can create your legacy through a will or estate plan, or by adding (or changing) a beneficiary designation with other assets, such as retirement funds and life insurance. You can create a Jewish legacy with a percentage of your estate or a dollar amount that’s comfortable for you. You can commit a cash gift now that goes directly into the endowment. Some gifts can be structured to increase your current income, and the residual will benefit your designated organizations. Creating your Jewish legacy is simple. Some options include: • Bequest in a Will • Gift of Life insurance • Gift of IRA or Retirement Asset • Gift of Appreciated Stock • Charitable gift annuity or trust • Any combination of the above Together we can impact the future of the Jewish community and make a difference in the lives of the generations to come. For more information contact the Jewish Foundation, Lisa Stanger, Director, 203-387-2424, ext. 382 ,


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only 15 seconds to take cover. Imagine, having only 15 seconds to take your child out of a carriage and race to a shelter. Bomb shelters became a necessary addition to most homes. Sderot is located only one mile from Gaza, making it all remarkable that so many maintain their daily existence. Studies have indicated that the sirens and explosions have caused severe psychological trauma amongst the residents as we learned when we visited the community center there. We felt the impact of the issues that face the global Jewish community, and the need to respond accordingly! We witnessed first-hand, the efforts of our overseas agencies and the impact they provide to the everyday challenges. One of the Hebrew words that our guide taught us was “sababa” which translates to awesome or just great! As one of the first-time visitors said, “Israel is the most meaningful and engaging place for all of us; it should be on everyone’s bucket list.” Israel. Sababa!

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Students at the Jewish High School of Connecticut Hit Their Stride with Women of Vision Society Grant About Women of Vision Society Modeled after an endowment created in Philadelphia, New Haven’s Women of Vision Society is a permanent, restricted endowment fund dedicated to helping and enhancing the lives of women in our community. Founding New Haven Women of Vision Society member Barbara Katz recalls, “When I learned what women in Philadelphia were doing to encourage women’s philanthropy, I knew that we could do the same thing in New Haven and succeed.” Gifts to the Women of Vision Society can be made in someone’s honor or memory. If requested, a beautiful card can be sent in a lovely gift wrapped box to the person you are honoring. Please contact Jennifer Bayer at jbayer@jewishnewhaven. org or (203) 387-2424 x320 to learn more.

The impact of Women of Vision grants is tremendous. Eva Gerber, a student at the Jewish High School of Connecticut, will tell you herself. Echo, her school magazine, and the grant funding it has received from the Women of Vision Society has markedly augmented her education. The grant supports publishing the magazine, and special initiatives including writing workshops, trips and other professional growth and development programs. Eva and her sister Miriam visited Random House Publishing Company and learned first-hand about the publishing profession. Eva explained, “We are so grateful for this funding because we have been given a platform to express ourselves as writers and artists, and to learn and grow.” As she thinks about college and her professional life, Eva will tell you that because of Echo and the help provided by Women of Vision, she feels better prepared. Echo has been recognized by the National Council of Teachers of English and received a ranking of excellent by them. Rabbi Yonatan Yussman, head of the Jewish High School explained, “This project has had a tremendous impact on our students. They are editing and publishing their own literary magazine –

Pictured here are Jewish High School of Connecticut student editors who applied for and received a grant from the Women of Vision Society for the “Echo” Art and Literature Magazine (BR) - Eva Gerber of Woodbridge, Emma Stein of Weston, Eli Uder of Weston; (FR) Miriam Gerber of Woodbridge, Batsheva Labowe-Stoll of New Haven, and Talia Weseley of Stamford.

that type of empowerment is amazing. This project has promoted teamwork, responsibility, working under deadlines, creative problem solving, and has even made friendships blossom.” Women who give and who are involved in Women of Vision will equally tell you how rewarding it is. “Helping women in the community fulfill their dreams has been very satisfying. It is most rewarding to work with such an outstanding group of women who have come together to work on this challenge. I hope that as we grow, we will be able to add more names to our donor roster and increase the number of members involved in

the program,” describes Nancy Cohen, chairwoman of the Grants Committee. Women of Vision Grants Committee Member, Betsy Hoos sums it up well, “I think that Women of Vision provides an affordable way to impact women in the community. Each woman can become a philanthropist by joining with other women in the creation of a permanent fund at the Jewish Foundation.” With just a one-time gift of $1000 that can be paid over a three year period, women join the society and can feel proud of the difference in the lives of women and the trail they will blaze.

An Amazing Woman – An Amazing Memoir Author Judy Mandel shared her moving story of family love, lies, and forgiveness in her book Replacement Child. More than 50 members of our community attended the program on November 12. Presented in part by Women’s Philanthropy and the JCC Arts & Culture Festival.

From left: author Judy L. Mandel and Joyce Saltman

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Gan Hayeled Practices Sharing and Caring

CIJE-Tech Prepares Students to be 21st Century Learners

Children at Gan Hayeled Early Childhood Center in Woodbridge, CT learn about sharing and caring for others. During Chanukah, they collected non-perishables and built a huge chanukkiah - filling eight bags and a very large bag as the shamash (helper candle) to benefit the Jewish Family Services Food Pantry. Gan Hayeled Early Childhood Center, 75 Rimmon Road, Woodbridge, CT 06525 (203) 389-2111 x214,

JCC Yeladim Early Learning Center; the Right Fit

There are many factors involved in choosing the right child care program for full-time working parents - location, hours of operation, program curriculum, environment and cost, to name a few. In 2009, when Robert and Maria Messina relocated to the New Haven area for their residency, they were faced with the challenges of finding the right program for their family.

at Bethany Community School, and attends the AfterSchool program at the JCC. “Our oldest child’s transition into elementary school was seamless, and we attribute that to the Kindergarten head teacher Laura Prestash. And, with our oldest bused from Bethany to the JCC for AfterSchool, we only have onestop to pick up our children at the end of the day,” adds Robert.

“We heard many wonderful things about the JCC as a general institution, and were attracted to the welcoming atmosphere at Yeladim and the strong sense of community. Yeladim stresses play and education, and that was exactly what we were looking for,” explains Robert. “As a physician, if I had to be in New Haven at 8 am, I could safely drop the children off at 7:30 am, and we had flexibility at the end of the day until 5:30 pm.”

Yeladim Early Learning Center at the JCC offers quality programs in a supportive, nurturing environment that promotes the social, emotional, physical, and cognitive development of young children ages 3 months to five and one-half years. Our child-emergent curriculum encourages experimentation, problem solving, logical thinking and cooperative learning, as well as the assimilation of values, development of social skills, and positive self-concept. Children explore, create and build in an enriched and stimulating learning environment. Yeladim is fully licensed by the State of CT. Children and families of all religious and cultural backgrounds are welcome in our programs. For more information, contact Director Lynn Bullard at (203) 387-2522 x278.

“Having 2-to-3 teachers in a classroom, I know my children are safe,” says Maria. “We have personal relationships with the teachers. I also love the option of enrolling my children in the enrichment programs– PeeWee Sports and Little Scientist – and my children are personally escorted to and from the classes.” Two of the Messina children are currently at Yeladim, and the oldest is now

Now accepting applications for 2014-15 Kindergarten.

CAPTION: JHSC students in physics lab (l to r): Yaakov Stein of Weston, Dr. Paul Castle of Stamford (teacher), Alexandra Frenzel of Milford and Max Laufer of Roxbury.

The Jewish High School of Connecticut (JHSC) is the first school in Connecticut that offers the groundbreaking CIJETech Engineering Program for the 2013-2014 school year, provided by the Center for Initiatives in Jewish Education. Students in grades 10 through 12 are involved in the program overseen by Dr. Paul Castle, JHSC dean of faculty and teacher of engineering and physics. The CIJE-Tech High School Engineering Program is an innovative approach to STEM education, providing teacher training, on-going teacher mentoring as well as all science laboratory equipment and materials. Focused on scientific and biomedical engineering, CIJE-Tech exposes students to a diverse range of science and technical knowledge areas while helping develop multidisciplinary and abstract thinking as well as leadership and teamwork skills. Developed in Israel, and optimized in 2011 for the American student, the two-year curriculum is now in 27 schools nationwide. “CIJE-Tech will prepare our students to be 21st-century learners, while inspiring them to explore a career in STEM,” said Dr. Yonatan Yussman, JHSC Head of

School. “I love how the students have to problem-solve, think critically, apply information, explore and fix their own mistakes as well as manage complex group projects, all which is needed for a bright future.” JHSC is an accredited, independent, pluralistic Jewish high school that offers a rigorous, comprehensive curricular and co-curricular program of secular and Jewish studies. To fulfill the high standards of Jewish education and to prepare students thoroughly for college and beyond, JHSC and its faculty integrate well-established educational principles with progressive techniques and methods found in contemporary general and Jewish education. “Our hope is that with our established track-record of success, CIJE’s investment in the Jewish High School of Connecticut will be matched by local funders and philanthropists,” explains Jason Cury, President of CIJE. “We know there are many who believe, as we do, in the urgent need to provide Jewish school students with a 21st century education that imparts them with the critical thinking skills necessary for success in today’s global economy.”

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Ezra Academy Robotics First Lego League is an international program that provides teams with a new theme each year. The 2013 theme, “Nature’s Fury,” focuses on natural disasters. The children research actual natural calamities, and design robots that can help implement solutions in response.


Education Spotlight on Walker Ariker, Jewish Coalition for Literacy (JCL) Volunteer

“The class is fun and gets you thinking about natural disasters like blizzards, tornadoes, and floods and how to lessen their damage on the world,” says Ally, a seventh grader. “Through the background research that we have been doing, we are more aware of how unprepared some people are for natural disasters.”

Ezra robotics students Noah and Dimitri, grade 5, and David, grade 6, program their robots.

Stacey Wyner, mother of two Ezra students and two Ezra alumni, came up with the idea of a robotics class for the afterschool enrichment program. She and another Ezra mom, Miriam Feinstein, are leading an after-school robotics program based on the First Lego League model for grades 4-8. The program was an immediate success and is a great addition to Ezra’s slate of afterschool offerings. Stacey’s son Jacob, a senior at Amity High School, has a strong interest in robotics and built a robot for an honors project as part of an independent study. Jacob was Stacey’s inspiration for the Ezra class and he is helping to teach the students programming.

The Ezra students learned and talked about work that would be needed after a disaster, as well as its constraints, such as lifting a tree off a building without touching power lines. “Right now they are working on an arm that lifts up trucks, which is a pretty difficult task,” Jacob says. The students are enthusiastic. “I have really liked learning how to program a robot and making it come alive!” says Ethan, grade five. “Working on a computer to figure out different ways to make a robot move is brand new to me. I figure that one day I may be able to use my new skills in programming different kinds of machines... maybe as an astrophysicist or as an engineer.” A second session in the spring will build on the students’ coding skills. Ezra Academy is a K-8 Solomon Schechter day school in Woodbridge. For more information, call (203) 389-5500 or e-mail Aviva Luria is an Ezra parent who blogs at

Ezra Academy to Honor Trachten Family On Saturday, March 8, Ezra Academy will honor the Trachten family for their many years of commitment to Ezra Academy and the Greater New Haven Jewish Community. “The Trachten family is a role model for philanthropy and community involvement. We are thrilled to honor their service to the community at this year’s Ezra Academy Gala,” said Leslie Zackin, Ezra Academy Development Committee Chair. The Gala is Ezra Academy’s major fundraiser of the year and features a live and silent auction. Proceeds from the event directly support scholarship assistance as well as curricular and programmatic needs at Ezra. Save the date and join Ezra Academy on March 8. For more information, visit

Walker Ariker shares photos from a recent trip to Africa with his reading partners.

By Beth Kaufman, JCL Volunteer Reading Partner Having recently returned from an excursion to Africa, Walter Ariker culled his 600 photos down to 30 images on his iPad. He shared the presentation of photographs with the students at Christopher Columbus Family Academy and Brennan/ Rogers School. JCL coordinator Brenda Brenner explains, “What Dr. Ariker does is above and beyond, committing his time to read one-to-one with students at two schools. Meeting with the same students throughout the school year, getting to know each other and enjoying reading and conversation is a truly rewarding experience.” A second-year JCL reading partner, Ariker brings to the task his lifelong love of children. After a long career as an orthodontist, he became a docent at the Yale Art Gallery and the Yale Center for British Art, particularly enjoying leading the student tours. Working with third and fourth graders at two schools, Ariker enjoys exploring books which relate to the students’ heritage. Many students are first-generation Americans, and Ariker likes to tell the students that he, too, was first-generation. He parallels his own experiences with those of his students, encouraging them to become possibly the first in their families to attend college. In the case of his Spanish-speaking students, he lauds the fact that they are fluent in two languages. Volunteer like Ariker give one hour a week to share the pleasures of reading and conversation with children in our local elementary schools. Jewish Coalition for Literacy (JCL) is a nondenominational diverse group of volunteers from different faiths, educational backgrounds and experiences, giving children additional opportunities to experience the pleasure of reading and the love of learning. No experience required. The only one missing is YOU. (Children learn the pleasures of reading from caring adults and volunteers experience the thrill of helping students love to learn.) For more information, or to get involved, contact Brenda Brenner at (203) 387-2424 x308 or JCL is a project of the Jewish Community Relations Council of the Jewish Federation of GNH.

Camp Laurelwood embarks on its 77th season with the installation of its officers at Oak Lane Country Club. Those in attendance expressed appreciation to Lisa Harding, outgoing President (far right), and welcomed Jeff Rubin, Treasurer; Paul Schatz, Second VP; Bruce Small, incoming President; and Scott Cooper, First VP. Emily Goldschmid, Secretary (in abstentia).

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Largest Loser Sarah Schmidt Shares Her Success Story

New Haven JCC Hosts 53rd Annual Schoolboy/Schoolgirl High School All-Star Basketball Games

Ringing in the New Year signifies resolution for many. Sarah Schmidt made the commitment to participate in the 2013 Largest Loser program at the JCC. As the female individual winner, she lost 39.8 pounds during the competition. Since, Sarah is down a total of 69 pounds. Her journey to lead a healthier lifestyle began in 2009 when she started personal training at the JCC. Her total weight loss to date is an impressive 101 pounds. She attributes her success and lifestyle change to the Largest Loser program.

The JCC of Greater New Haven is proud to host the 53rd Annual Schoolboy/Schoolgirl High School AllStar Basketball games on Sunday, April 13. This is the longest-running high school basketball invitational in the United States featuring players from Connecticut and New Jersey. The Connecticut East-West Girls game begins at 1:30 pm followed by the Connecticut Boys versus an all-star team from New Jersey. Many of the previous Schoolboy/Schoolgirl High School All-Star basketball players have gone on to play in college, the NBA or the WNBA, including: Wes Mathews, John Williamson, Marcus Camby, Jeff Ruland, Kenneth Faried, Jen Rizzotti, Rita Williams, Tracy Claxton and Bria Holmes, to name a few. This year promises to be an outstanding event not only for those who participate but also for those who attend. For more information, contact Alison Lurie at

Jump Start the New Year Did you make a new year’s resolution to lose weight, start a healthier lifestyle, or begin to exercise regularly? Was it the same resolution you made last year? I challenge you to stop making that same resolution or looking for that magic formula. There is no better time than NOW and no greater gift to give to your body! Will today be the day you take charge and start living that healthy life? Get started on your fitness and weight loss goals with our new programs: Jump Start Fit and Jump Start Skinny. Jump Start Fit features an individual screening and fitness assessment, small group training, weekly weigh-in, and lifestyle coaching. Jump Start Skinny led by Pam Hutchinson MS Exercise Science, ACE certified health coach offers strategies to lose weight and keep it off with. Both programs begin in January. Contact Susan Donovan at (203) 387-2522 x265 or visit for details.

What attracted you to the Largest Loser program?

I was interested in the idea of joining a team of people who all are working towards the same goal, and who have similar weight issues. I also thought the program made a lot of sense combining both nutrition and exercise. Many well-known programs only tackle one or the other. As a result of the program, I’m aware and mindful of everything I eat. If I want apiece of chocolate, I let myself have a piece. However, I think about how much exercise I’ve had that day and if appropriate, I add an extra walk in (which the dog never minds) to make up for an indulgence. What were some of the most challenging aspects of the program? Logging every bite I ate, and submitting those logs to my trainer was one of the challenges. The fitness classes were challenging, but working out with a group of people made them enjoyable. What were the most rewarding aspects of the program? The people. I’ve made some amazing friends through the program and I am actually happy to go to the gym. I look forward to working out now. Has your life changed since participating in the Largest Loser? If so, how? How hasn’t my life changed! I have made numerous friends through the JCC and am truly blessed. In fact over the last week, I have had two different conversations where both I and the person I was speaking with said the JCC saved my life. Now in its 10th season, the Largest Loser is one of the most popular and successful programs at the JCC that encouraging participants to lose weight and modify behavior to lead a healthier lifestyle. The 10-week program includes group training workouts, special fitness competitions, nutrition counseling, and lifestyle and behavior modification workshops.

Applications for the 2014 Largest Loser are available January 5 online at or in the JCC Fitness Center. Email Susan for more information at

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Nicky’s Family Screenings to Mark Holocaust Remembrance Day January 21, 6:30 pm, Polson Middle School, Madison January 27, 6:30 pm, JCC of Greater New Haven, Woodbridge January 27 marks the 69th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, International Holocaust Remembrance Day. To commemorate, The Jewish Federation and the JCC will be screening two showings of Nicky’s Family, an awardwinning documentary. Nicky’s Family tells the nearly forgotten story of Nicholas Winton, an Englishman who organized the rescue of 669 Czech and Slovak children just before the outbreak of World War II. Winton, now 104 years old, did not speak about these events with anyone for more than half a century. His heroic efforts might have been forgotten if his wife had not found a suitcase full of documents and transport plans many years later. The first showing, sponsored by the Shoreline office of the Jewish Federation of Greater New Haven, Shoreline Hadassah and The Grove School will take place on January 21 at 6:30 pm in Madison at Polson Middle School, 302 Green Hill Road. The second showing will take place on January 27 at 6:30 pm at the JCC Vine Auditorium, 360 Amity

Road, Woodbridge. Following both screenings Mr. Ivan Backer, one of the children saved in the heroic rescue mission, will discuss his experience on the Kindertransport.

Today the story of this rescue has influenced thousands of children on every continent. Many have decided to follow in his footsteps and do something positive for our world through mitzvah projects that help the hungry, sick and homeless. In the Czech Republic, 120,000 children signed a petition to award Nicholas Winton the Nobel Prize for Peace.

That effort is motivating children and adults in the United States to help Winton achieve this honor while he is alive. The film proves that members of Nicky’s family are not the only people touched by Sir Nicholas Winton. Nicky’s Family has earned rave reviews from audiences and critics around the world, winning over 30 awards - including 14 audience awards from U.S. film festivals. The showing of Nicky’s Family is part of the Beckerman Lecture Series. Sponsored by the Beckerman Family Foundation, the series is designed to promote engaging conversations about topics and themes that have shaped our world and continue to impact our place in the global community. Suggested donation is $5. Proceeds of the movie will go to help fund scholarships for March of the Living, a program that sends Jewish teens from around the world for a two-week experiential journey to Poland and Israel for an educational experience about the Holocaust. For additional information about the screenings, go to or or contact Jill Lesage at (203) 738-0033, jwlesage@

Come Choose the Next Great Jewish Play!

Talent Wanted!

Seeking Local Actors for The Last Seder JCC Theaterworks is seeking actors of all levels of experience for the play The Last Seder, written by Jennifer Meisel and directed by Dana Sachs. The show runs March 6-10 at the JCC Vine Auditorium.

On February 16, the JCC will host the Jewish Plays Project Second Annual Playwrighting Contest at 7 pm, JCC Vine Auditorium. The Jewish Plays Project is an NYC-based organization searching for the next great Jewish plays and playwrights. Each year, they host a contest and receive approximately 150 scripts. A panel picks the top three, and the company goes on the road performing excerpts from the top three at JCCs and Jewish organizations throughout the Northeast. At each performance, the audience picks a winning play. The cumulative winner gets a week-long performance residency at the 14th Street Y in June, with the goal of a full New York production. Tickets: $25, $12 seniors/students, at For more information about the Jewish Plays Project, check out

Lily Price is welcoming her four adult daughters for their last Passover seder in their childhood home before she has to sell the house and put her deteriorating husband Marvin into nursing care. If that weren’t enough, the girls are dealing with issues of their own. Julia’s partner is pregnant, attorney Claire is on the fence about her fiancé, artist Michelle has enlisted a stranger to pose as her significant other, and Angel, the youngest, has dragged along her ex-boyfriend. Lily’s nextdoor neighbor won’t stop hitting on her. With poignancy, hilarity, dysfunction and grace, the family comes together for one last time. Auditions are Sunday, January 5 from 1-4 pm and Monday, January 6 from 7-9:30 pm, in the Community Room at the JCC, 360 Amity Rd, Woodbridge. Rehearsals begin on Sunday, January 19 and will be held on Sundays from 1-5 pm and Tuesdays and Thursdays from 7-10 pm at the JCC. Casting breakdown: LILY PRICE - family matriarch, 60s-70s MARVIN PRICE - her husband, 60s-70s, suffering from Alzheimer’s JULIA PRICE - oldest daughter, mid 30s-40s, very pregnant CLAIRE PRICE - second daughter, 30s MICHELLE PRICE - third daughter, late 20s-30s ANGEL PRICE - the youngest, early 20s HAROLD FREEDMAN - next door neighbor, Marvin and Lily’s friend. 60s-70s JANE - Julia’s lover, mid 30s-40s JON - Claire’s fiancée, 30s KENT - late 20s, early 30s LUKE – person of color, early 20s Email or call 203-772-2557 to book an audition time slot. Please include a photo and your acting background, if any. Come prepared with a 2-minute comedic or dramatic audition piece.

Apply today! Details at

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Jewish Russian Speakers Active in the Community

Shoreline Hadassah initiative: Project Israel Affiliate of Operation Music Aid International Project Israel, an offshoot of Operation Music Aid (OMA), is a charitable organization to raise funds for the purchase of musical instruments that support music therapy and education to Israeli youth villages.

Project Israel raised $5,000 for the first shipment of instruments that arrived in Israel in November with financial assistance from ELAL.

Yelena Gerovich, New American Acculturation Coordinator, (left) meets with members of the group.

How did the Jews in the former Soviet Union celebrate Chanukah? Unfortunately, they had to celebrate in secrecy because they were afraid their neighbors would report their “anti-communist activities.” They had to celebrate Chanukah with no candles or dreidels. All they could do was give Chanukah gelt to their children and make latkes. In the United States, immigrants from the former Soviet Union are free to celebrate Jewish holidays, and study Jewish history and traditions. Almost 100 years ago, British psychoanalyst Ernest Jones said, “Whatever other qualities Jews may possess... no one who knows them well can deny that they are personally interesting.… one could be sure of never being bored.” Our Jewish Russian-speaking community is never bored! The New American Acculturation Program offered a variety

of programs that included Chanukah and Thanksgiving celebrations, citizenship and computer classes, educational workshops, “Why Be Jewish” lectures. The New American Acculturation Program will offer a lecture in Russian as part of the Taste of Honey program. A trip to the Jewish Museum in New York featuring the exhibit Love, War, and Exile by Marc Chagall is also scheduled. The community is thankful for the tremendous support from JCC staff, and for the grants from the State of Connecticut Department of Social Services, Women of Vision Society, Jewish Federation Association of Connecticut, and the Jewish Federation of Greater New Haven. For more information about the New American Acculturation Program including sponsorships, please contact Yelena Gerovich at (203) 387-2424 x321, or email

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education, housing, and treatment. In addition to a need for Jewish education services, these youth-at-risk need extra support and attention to aid in becoming productive members of Israel’s society. The arts provide enrichment, new learning, cultural benefits and achievement. Music can be transformative, comforting and expressive. Project Israel is committed to enriching the lives of children in Israel.

George Hauer and Ethel Anne Chorney, co-owners of Madison Music Center

George Hauer and Ethel Anne Chorney, co-owners of Madison Music Center, have contacts with musical instrument companies and foundations that provide funding for instruments and accessories at or below cost. During Chorney’s recent trip to Israel for the Hadassah Centennial, she visited Neurim Village, a youth Aliyah program. Israel has numerous youth villages serving adolescents in need of emotional support and direction. These programs are often underfunded and rely upon grants and donations to provide the basics of

Neurim Village was selected as the initial recipient for musical instruments, accessories, and music instruction material. The village serves approximately 400 high school students in nearby towns. It is the goal to eventually provide educators, therapists and interns to assist students in their musical achievements. To support Project Israel, contact Ethel Anne Chorney, (203) 421-4431 or OMA is a nonpolitical organization whose primary focus is to raise funds for the purchase of musical instruments for wounded men and women in the armed services, returning home from areas of conflict.

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Shoreline Pathways to Judaism – A Six Week Class of Discovery Do you want to learn about Jewish holidays and life cycle rituals, engage in study of inspiring Jewish texts and teachings, get a taste of the Hebrew language, and tackle big questions like “Who is a Jew?” Pathways to Judaism is a six-week class of discovery for all who are curious to know more about Judaism or are seeking to deepen their understanding of Judaism. Sponsored by the Jewish Federation of Greater New Haven, Congregation Beth Shalom Rodfe Zedek (CBSRZ) and Temple Beth Tikvah (TBT), this shoreline Rabbiinspired series meets at the Henry Carter Hull Library, 10 Killingworth Turnpike, Clinton every Wednesday from 7-8:30pm beginning February 12. Rabbi Rachel Goldenberg of CBSRZ and Rabbi Stacy Offner of TBT explore the basic beliefs, practices and language of the Jewish religion and culture. Register by January 31. The program is $50 for book and materials. Send check to either: CBSRZ, 55 E. Kings Highway, P.O. Box 438, Chester, CT 06412 or TBT, 196 Durham Rd., Madison, CT 06443. For questions, contact Rabbi Goldenberg at (860) 526-8920 or, or Rabbi Offner at (203) 245-7028 or

Building Community, One Cup of Coffee at a Time By Rabbi Joshua D. Ratner How does one begin the process of engaging in Jewish community relations?, I asked a few months ago, as I began my job as Director of the Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) of Greater New Haven. The JCRC’s mission is vast and far-reaching-- building interfaith partnerships; engaging in tikkun olam through advocacy and action; supporting Israel; and bringing the concerns of the Jewish community to our elected officials and relevant government agencies. How, then, to start this important work? Among the best counsel I received was from Linda Kantor, a JCRC board member and a leader of Casa Otonal, a wonderful organization serving the Latino community of New Haven. Linda told me you cannot just hold panels and invite leaders to speak at the JCC. You must go where the people are, to interact with them where they live, in order to begin to form real relationships. Linda’s advice resonates with an emerging trend in Judaism—the idea that we need to focus less on programming and more on relationship-building if we want to create successful institutions and movements. Meeting face to face encourages us to seek out the common humanity in one another, to focus not on what divides us but on the “tzelem Elohim” of divinity that unites us. Relationship-building is holy work. So I have taken Linda’s advice to heart and spent the majority of my first few months engaged in relationship-building. I have worked to cultivate relationships internal to the Jewish community of Greater New Haven. Meeting in small groups with every one of the JCRC’s nearly thirty board members I have listened to their concerns and priorities, as well as discussed my own goals. I have reached out to all the Greater New Haven rabbis and synagogue Social

Justice/Tikkun Olam Committee chairs to discuss opportunities for collaboration and mutual support. I have begun conversations with leaders at JFS and The Towers and hope to continue to interact with those who are involved in Jewish communal work so that we can deepen the ties that bind us together as a Jewish community. Second, I have begun forging relationships with faith leaders of other religious traditions and with public interest organizations within Greater New Haven. I joined the Interfaith Cooperative Ministries (ICM), as had my illustrious predecessor Lauri Lowell, to work with local Jewish and nonJewish clergy on interfaith dialogue and engagement. I participated in a Congregations Organized for a New Connecticut (CONECT) meeting of local clergy to discuss CONECT’s successes to date and its vision for the near future. I have joined the Interfaith Fellowship for Universal Healthcare, a clergy gathering for promoting greater access to healthcare within Connecticut. I have met with leaders of the New Haven Latino Community to listen to their goals and concerns and to discuss opportunities for partnership, particularly with regard to issues of wages and labor rights. Finally, I helped organize and spoke on two panels at a statewide interfaith forum on climate change, the Climate Stewardship Summit, held in Hartford. I want to thank Sydney Perry, Don Hendel, and the Boards of the Federation and the JCRC for their confidence in me as well as their support and encouragement for me to pursue this important relationship-building work. If you have particular areas of interest where you would like to see the Jewish community engaged, please feel free to reach out to me at

Interview Mothers Circle’s Jade Priest-Maoz Laura LJ Ross, coordinator of Youth and Family Engagement at JCC, sat down with Jade Priest-Maoz, Mothers Circle facilitator. Laura Ross: What does Mothers Circle mean to you?

Jade: By facilitating the Mothers Circle group, I hope to gain personal connections with other mothers raising Jewish children. In addition, I hope to positively impact the existing local Jewish community by providing education and support to families who aren’t as involved in Jewish life as they want to be.

Jade: One of the most important Jewish values for me, and what makes me committed to raise my own children LR: What do you hope the women will Jewish, is family and community. Having gain from participating? Jade: I hope that the particinot been raised Jewish, my pants in Mothers Circle will first opportunity to observe gain a greater understanding Jewish culture was when I of the elements of a Jewish moved to Brooklyn, NY as home and family and will a young adult. I saw that increase their self-confithe core of being Jewish dence to participate personis family and community. ally and with their families in I noticed time and again Jewish activities they wish to that Jews, even upon just experience both inside and meeting one another for outside their homes. I also the first time, experience hope that the women in our an almost familial connec- Jade Priest-Maoz group gain a sense of suption and bond. They look out for each other like family. Wherever port and community and will form some they go in the world, they can seek out lasting friendships with one another. a synagogue or a fellow Jew who lives LR: What are you most looking there and they are instantly part of a forward too? community. I began to yearn to be a part of this beautiful thing. As I got older and Jade: I love meeting new people and began to think about marrying and hav- getting to know them and I love talking a family, I knew I wanted to create a ing about Judaism and Jewish experiences. So, I suppose I’m most looking Jewish family of my own. forward to having great conversations LR: What attracted you to the with other moms. program? LR: Has there been a time in your life Like many Jewish mothers, one of my where you felt on the outside and priorities is to strengthen and build needed a hand finding a way in? the Jewish community where my family lives. Sadly, there are many families in Jade: Of course, I have had many such our community who are not comfortably experiences. Specifically with regard to integrating into Jewish life because the being Jewish, I have had this feeling at mother is not Jewish. This is mutu- one time or another in every realm of ally unfortunate for our community and life. I have felt like an outsider at certhose families. For me Mothers Circle tain synagogues where we have lived, is the most personal and direct way of in my husband’s family early in our relareaching out to non-Jewish mothers rais- tionship and in certain Jewish schools ing their children Jewish, women who in which we have enrolled our children. have taken on an enormous task, which In these experiences, generally once I should be full of celebration and sup- decided to take the leap and jump on in, I have found my way to a very posiport, not hesitation for fear of fitting in. tive and rewarding place. LR: What do you hope to obtain by facilitating the group?

Tu B’Shevat: Minor Holiday with a Major Message By Laura Ross

Tu b’Shevat, popularly known as Jewish Arbor Day or Anniversary of the Trees, has steadily evolved into an extremely important symbol of modern-day Jewish consciousness. Deeply embedded in the character of Judaism, is a respect and appreciation for G-d’s green bounty, and while honoring Tu B’Shevat may have begun as a simple expression of gratitude, its perpetual reclamation speaks volumes about its timeless relevance. From post-temple rediscovery of eretz yisroel, to acting as a catalyst for diasporic environmental invention, it is clear that this minor holiday carries an extremely major message: Where does our food come from? How can we ensure that all have access and the ability to exercise the right to grow, sell

and eat healthy food? When Kabbalist Rabbi Yitzchak Luria of Safed and his disciples instituted a Tu B’Shevat seder with fruits from the shivat haminim- the seven species found in Israel, he sparked a tradition which engages us in body and mind. We remember our connection to Israel as well as our global responsibility to fight for ongoing environmental injustice. In an effort to pass down this tradition of environmental awareness, the JCC will celebrate Tree-aversary on January 19. The event treats your family to a multi-faceted look at the importance on “living green” through a slew of fun, environmentally-geared projects as well as a fruit and veggie tapas bar inspired by the shivat haminim.

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Hebrew Congregation of Woodmont/Chabad

Beth Israel Wallingford Religious Education via Online Classes If you’ve ever wanted to take an adult education class – but couldn’t or didn’t want to go out at night – Beth Israel Synagogue in Wallingford has an innovative solution for you. Since October 2013, Rabbi Bruce Alpert has been conducting online classes on prayer, bringing the classroom to participants’ computer screens. The convenience of the class has attracted students from New Jersey to Rhode Island to the hour-long discussions. Participation is open to anyone who would like to sign on, said Rabbi Alpert. All class members log on through the internet through a link from Zoom UMX Conferencing, which uses a temporary file on their computers. Everyone can see and hear each other through their video cameras, attached internally or externally from their computers or tablet devices. The teacher can share files with everyone at once, whether a passage to read or music to enjoy. Participation is interactive, with people reading content or commenting on topics. “I chose this modality because I thought it would attract more people by allowing them to take the class without having to leave home. I especially hope to attract younger folks into taking the class by offering it in such a way that they wouldn’t have to hire a babysitter,” Rabbi Alpert said.

The Coin Menorah at Westfield CT Post Mall

Community Celebrations

Ongoing. For more information, please email Rabbi Bruce Alpert at

Community Pool Party

On Saturday evening, Nov. 30, Hebrew Cong. of Woodmont/Chabad held a Menorah lighting on the Milford Green. Mayor Ben Blake addressed the crowd and lit the Menorah. On Sunday, Dec. 1, another celebration was held at Westfield CT Post Mall. Milford’s first-ever Coin Menorah was lit. We thank the Westfield CT Post Mall and all those who contributed to help fill our Menorah!

On January 12, Beth Israel will host a family pool and pizza party at the Faulkner Physical Therapy Group pool from 4 - 7 p.m. Pizza served at 6 p.m. Cost for the evening is $10 per adult, $5 per child with a family rate not to exceed $30. Payment is required in advance. RSVP to Beryl Bloch, (203) 949-0651, Faulkner Physical Therapy Group, Harvest Park, 101 North Plains Industrial Rd.,Wallingford, CT.

Hebrew Reading Crash Course

Game Night

Always wanted to read Hebrew? Follow the prayer service in its original Hebrew? Read street signs in Israel? Here’s your chance! No prior knowledge required. Six consecutive Wednesday nights, beginning Jan. 22. 7:30-8:30 pm. Fee: $50. To sign up, visit

On February 8, Beth Israel will host a Community Game Night from 6:30-9:30 p.m. Families are encouraged to bring their favorite board games; refreshments will be served. For questions, call (203) 949-0651,

Friday Night Community Dinner Friday, Feb. 14, 6 pm - Kabbalat Shabbat services, followed by 4-course traditional Shabbat dinner. $25/adult, $15/child, $180/sponsor (includes dinner for 2). RSVP online: or call (203) 878-4569.

Upcoming Women’s Events

Beth Israel Synagogue, 22 North Orchard St., Wallingford, CT. This friendly community, over 110 years old, has a very diverse and active membership. We pride ourselves in being a haven for interfaith families. Programming highlights our desire to encompass all the elements of Judaism – prayer, learning and gathering – into meaningful and fun filled events. For more information, contact Beryl Bloch at (203) 949-0651, or Further information can be found on our web site: You can also follow our news updates at

Tuesday, Jan. 14, 7 pm - Loaves of Love Challah Baking - call for location.

Rosh Chodesh Study Group: Tuesday, Jan. 7: “Seven Fruits - Seven Dimensions of Your Soul.” Tuesday, Feb. 4: “The Woman in the Moon: Kabbalistic Insights into Femininity & the Jewish Calendar.” $10/class. For more info visit or call (203) 878-4569. Hebrew Congregation of Woodmont/Chabad, 15 Edgefield Ave,, Milford, CT.

Westville University Westville University, 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. Wednesday, Jan. 8, 8 pm Joseph Fleischman“Readings by a New Poet: The Village of S’fat” Saturday, Jan. 11, 8 pm Film: “Six Million and One” Discussion led by David Fischer

Congregation Or Shalom Come out of the Cold with “Winter Blast” Sunday, Jan. 26, 4-6:30 pm Come to Congregation Or Shalom’s Winter Blast on January 26! Enjoy music, dancing, entertainment and games. Featuring a pasta dinner and make your own sundaes. Open to everyone. $5 per person; $15 per family. RSVP by Jan. 15 by calling (203) 799-2341 or email

Coffee & Learn Classes Wednesdays through March, 11 am – 12 pm. Or Shalom Rabbi Alvin Wainhaus leads the series of interesting and sometimes amusing topics regarding Judaism, Bible, Yiddish, and much more. This year, Rabbi begins the classes with Controversial Passages in the Book of Genesis. All are welcome. No charge and no reservations required. Congregation Or Shalom, 205 Old Grassy Hill Rd, Orange, CT. Telephone (203) 799-2341. Email:

Wednesday, Jan. 22, 8 pm Professor Paul Franks, Yale University “The Very Idea of Jewish Philosophy” Wednesday, Feb. 5, 8 pm Professor Hannan Hever, Hebrew University “Erez Biton: Writing Mizahi Poetry Today” Saturday, Feb. 15, 8 pm Saturday night film Wednesday, Feb. 19, 8 pm Rabbi Fred Hyman, Westville Synagogue “Does Free Will Really Exist? Perspectives from Torah and science” Westville Synagogue, 74 West Prospect St., New Haven, CT (203) 389-9513.

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Congregation Beth El-Keser Israel (BEKI) Max Missner Budovitch: Fish and Other Mysteries Saturday, Jan. 25, 12:30 pm US/Israel artist Max Missner Budovitch talks about his work after Shabbat services on exhibit through Feb. 28. Intrigued by the 2003 story of a New York fishmonger who reported one of his carp spoke to him in Hebrew, Budovitch introduces the carp as an embodiment of the universal, human imagination. He elaborates on this anecdote in unique and richly rendered sketches involving Jewish history. His work has been exhibited in several Chicago galleries, publicly displayed in Israel, and privately commissioned. Free and open to the public.


Synagogues Melodies, Mysteries and More at Congregation B’nai Jacob Bimah Band

January 24, February 28, March 21 and May 2 B’nai Jacob’s first ever Bimah Band is officially in the house... (of worship, that is)! Our Bimah Band members; David Franklin (drums and vocals), David Glassman (woodwinds), Malachi Kanfer (vocals), Jeanette Kuvin Oren (flute), and Michale Thalberg (keyboards), merge their talents to create a high-energy, “Rock the Shabbat” experience. All are welcome to chant and sing along!

Lunch & Learn presents Dr. Dan Oren -“A Tale of a Tombstone” Saturday, Jan. 11, following Saturday service and Kiddush luncheon, CBJ Library Join Dan Oren, associate adjunct professor of psychiatry at Yale University, as he revisits a 20 year real-life hunt to solve the mystery of “Who is buried in Sarah’s Tomb?” The answers are dug up from genealogical archives, tombstone poetry, memories predating the Holocaust, clues from Jewish literature, and the Internet.

Spotlight on BEKI/BJ USY and Kadima Groups

MAGEVET: a Musical Shabbat and Concert

The future of committed Jewish youth is right in our own community. Beth El-Keser Israel (BEKI) and B’nai Jacob (BJ) support a successful joint youth program for the past 15 years. Kadima serves children grades 5 to 8, and USY (United Synagogue Youth) serves teens in grades 9 to 12. Both are open to any Jewish youth, regardless of synagogue affiliation.

Saturday, Feb. 22, following Kiddush luncheon CBJ is proud to present, “Yale’s first, best and only Jewish A Cappella singing group!” MAGEVET has earned international renown for its varied, innovative repertoire and its warm, interactive performance style. These gifted Yale undergrads will sing selections during a Musical Shabbat morning service and present a diverse concert featuring traditional and modern arrangements of Jewish, Hebrew and Israeli songs. Please plan on joining us for this very special musical event.

The USY group meets Mondays evenings at B’nai Jacob, and schedules events such as a pie-making fundraiser, trips, Shabbat dinners, sleep-overs, and regional get-togethers. In November 2013, the BEKI/BJ chapter hosted the regional Shabbaton at BEKI. One parent praised the experience, “It was so inspiring to see so many enthusiastic teens in a safe, wholesome, engaging environment and giving back to the community.” Kadima meets twice a month for activities such as apple-picking, bowling, skating, and Shabbat hikes. The national Kadima/USY offers many U.S., Israel, and European trips, and a 5-day August Regional Encampment session in the summer.

Adult Education programs Shabbat Schmooze Friday evenings at 6 pm Join us to schmooze with wine & cheese before the start of Shabbat services.

Bread & Torah

BEKI-BJ Kadima-USY is jointly supported by both synagogues and its volunteer Joint Youth Commission. (

Saturday mornings, 9-9:45 am Explore the weekly Torah portion with Rabbi Shapiro. Be prepared for a lively discussion over bagels and coffee. No experience necessary.

Congregation Beth El-Keser Israel (BEKI), 85 Harrison Street, New Haven, CT. (203) 389-2108, email:

Congregation B’nai Jacob, 75 Rimmon Rd., Woodbridge, CT. (203) 389-2111,

Congregation Mishkan Israel

The Orchard Street Shul

CMI Hosts Interfaith MLK Service

The Four Sons of the Haggadah:a textual and visual exploration

Friday, January 17 at 7:30 p.m. Award-winning author Samuel G. Freedman discusses his recent book, Breaking The Line: The Season in Black College Football That Transformed the Sport and Changed the Course of Civil Rights. A columnist for The New York Times and a professor at Columbia University, Freedman is also the author of several other books and has appeared on NPR, CNN, and the News Hour with Jim Lehrer. Freedman is a board member of the Jewish Book Council and Religion News Service. CMI’s annual Martin Luther King Jr. service began in the 1970’s to celebrate the contribution Dr. King made to our community, and his memorable visit to CMI in 1961. Co-sponsored by Interfaith Cooperative Ministries. The event is free and open to the community. For further information, call the synagogue at (203) 288-3877.

Artists’ Beit Midrash

Wednesdays beginning Feb. 26, 7-8:45 pm. An artists’ critique group and workshop where we will create visual commentaries inspired by the Haggadah. Each session includes a textual study of the Haggadah, followed by a critique of work created outside of class. This is for Jewish artists of all affiliations and skill levels. Rabbi Yossi Yaffe of Chabad of the Shoreline will teach the Jewish texts, and Leah Caroline, a New Haven artist, will facilitate the critiques and workshops. For more information: (860) 717-0841, artistbeitmidrash@gmail. com, Cost $120 for 5 week session.

Save the Date Orchard Street Shul – Congregation B’nai Israel 100th Anniversary Celebration Sunday, April 6. Check out for more details! The Orchard Street Shul, 232 Orchard Street, New Haven, CT. (203) 776-1468.

Religious School Students Give Tzedakah for the Holidays For more than thirteen years, Congregation Mishkan Israel’s Social Action and Religious Education Committees have been hosting the annual Mitzvah Mall. The purpose is to educate children in the Religious School about the practice of tzedakah (“charity,” or more accurately, “justice”) in a concrete and meaningful way and to emphasize that the act of giving at the holidays is as important as receiving. This year, more than 200 individuals contributed to one of 20 different charities. CMI’s Rabbi Herbert Brockman noted that the success of the day cannot be measured in dollars and cents. “The real benefit is in the lesson that this brought home to our families how we as a community view the importance of tzedakah. For more information, contact the synagogue office at (203) 288-3877.

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jan. Shabbat Friends Fridays, ongoing, 11-11:45 am Story time featuring different community members, storytellers, musicians, and teachers each week! Free for children under 6 with their parent or caregiver. JCC Family Center, 360 Amity Rd., Woodbridge, (203) 387-2522. Bereavement: Finding Comfort in Our Time of Loss Tuesdays, Jan. 14, 21 & 28, 7-8:30 pm Temple Beth Tikvah, 196 Durham Rd., Madison. Tuesdays, Feb. 4, 11 & 18, 7-8:30 pm Temple Emanuel, 150 Derby Ave., Orange. Tuesdays, Jan. 7 & Feb. 4, 12–1 pm Jewish Family Service, 1440 Whalley Ave., New Haven. Fun ‘N Fit Day Sunday, Jan. 5, 9 am-4 pm Free day of fun and fitness! Character Bagel Brunch with Spiderman, Iron Man, Snow White, and the Ninja Turtles. Membership special, class sampling includes TRX, Zumba, Yoga, Karate, Spinning and more. Free babysitting. Open to the public. JCC, 360 Amity Rd., Woodbridge. (203) 387-2522, Open House Yeladim Early Learning Center Sunday, Jan. 5, 12-2 pm (Ages 3 months-5 yrs) Take a tour and meet teachers. Little Scientist demonstration. One-Day Special! Ask us about the returning Kindergarten program! Yeladim Early Learning Center at JCC, 360 Amity Rd., Woodbridge. (203) 387-2522 x278. Auditions for The Last Seder Sunday, Jan. 5, 1-4 pm Monday, Jan. 6, 7-9:30 pm JCC Theaterworks is seeking actors of all levels of experience for the community play The Last Seder. Show runs March 6-10. Contact: Dana Sachs, (203) 772-2557, JCC Community Room, 360 Amity Rd., Woodbridge, (203) 387-2522. Life Stages and Sacred Texts Wednesday, Jan. 8, 15 & 22, 7-8:30 pm Second Series, Proverbs Congregation B’nai Jacob, 75 Rimmon Rd., Woodbridge. Wednesday, Feb. 5, 12 & 19, 7-8:30 pm Third Series, Ecclesiastes Congregation Sinai, 1000 New Haven Ave., Milford. Contact: Rabbi Hesch Sommer at JFS, (203) 389-5599 x117 to register. The Healing Power of Psalms: A Spiritual Journey Thursday, Jan. 9, 10-11 am Facilitated by Rabbi Hesch Sommer D.Min. Shoreline Office Jewish Federation of Greater New Haven, Lighthouse Square, 705 Boston Post Rd., Guilford. Contact: Rabbi Hesch Sommer D.Min., (203) 389-5599,

page 14

Pirke Avot: Reflections on How We Live Our Lives: Shoreline Adult Ed. Thursday, Jan. 9, 11:15 am-12:15 pm JFGNH Shoreline Office, Lighthouse Sq., 705 Boston Post Rd., Guilford. Contact: Rabbi Hesch Sommer D.Min., (203) 389-5599, Mothers Circle Thursday, Jan. 9 and Jan. 23, 6 pm. Are you raising Jewish children, but you weren’t raised Jewish? RSVP to laurar@ JCC West Rock Room, 360 Amity Rd., Woodbridge, CT. (203) 3872522. Eating Mediterranean Sunday, Jan. 12, 11 am-12 pm Bill Bradley, registered Dietician discusses the health benefits of the Mediterranean Diet. Olive oil tasting with Kosher bread. JCC, 360 Amity Rd., Woodbridge. (203) 387-2522. Bagels and Books Sunday, Jan. 12, 10:30-11:15 am Once a month, pre-school aged children have the opportunity to attend this interactive story time and sing-along. JCC, 360 Amity Rd., Woodbridge. (203) 387-2522. Caregiver Support Group Thursdays, Jan. 16 & Feb.6 Tower One/Tower East,18 Tower Ln., New Haven. Thursdays, Jan. 23 & Feb. 13 Temple Beth David, 3 Main St., Cheshire. Contact: Michelle O’Brien at the Towers at (203) 722-1816 x170; Rabbi Josh Whinston at (203) 272-0037. JCC Day Camps Reunion - Carnival Saturday, Jan. 18, 6:30-8 pm Cotton candy, popcorn, Camp video, inflatable slide, photo booth, and games! Contact: Debra Kirschner, (203) 3872522 x253, JCC, 360 Amity Rd., Woodbridge. Genealogical Travel Sunday, Jan. 19, 1:30-2 pm Discussion of Jewish genealogical research in Germany and Romania. Contact: Gail Reynolds (860) 345-2723 Godfrey Memorial Library 134 Newfield St., Middletown. Happy Tree-Aversary! Sunday, Jan. 19, 2-4 pm Enjoy fruit and veggie tapas bar, and environmentally-geared projects! Members: $5; Nonmembers: $7. Free to under 3. JCC, 360 Amity Rd., Woodbridge (203) 387-2522 x317. Movie Screening: Nicky’s Family Tuesday, Jan. 21, 6:30-9 pm; (Snow Date: Thursday, Jan. 30) W. C. Polson Middle School, 302 Green Hill Rd., Madison Tuesday, Jan. 27, 6:30-9 pm JCC Vine Auditorium, 360 Amity Rd., Woodbridge, (203) 387-2522. Nicky’s Family tells the nearly forgotten story of Nicholas Winton, an Englishman who organized the rescue of 669 Czech and Slovak children just before the outbreak of World War II. $5 suggested donation. Contact: Jill Lesage, (203) 7380033,

The Healing Power of Psalms: A Spiritual Journey Thursday, Jan. 23, 10-11 am JFGNH Shoreline Office, Lighthouse Sq., 705 Boston Post Rd., Building C Suite 2A, Guilford. Contact: Rabbi Hesch Sommer, (203) 389-5599, hsommer@ A Taste of Honey Saturday, Jan. 25, 7-11 pm JCC’s 20th annual evening of community learning. Contact: DeDe Jacobs-Komisar, (203) 387-2522, JCC, 360 Amity Rd., Woodbridge. Winter Blast @ Congregation Or Shalom Sunday, Jan. 26, 4-6:30 pm Music, Dancing, & Games— Pasta Dinner with Make Your Own Sundaes $5/person; $15/family. RSVP (required) by Jan. 15. Contact: Jody Dietch, (203) 799-2341, Congregation Or Shalom, 205 Old Grassy Hill Rd., Orange.


Jeremy Ben Ami: Paving the Path to a Two State Solution Tuesday, Feb. 4, 7-9 pm The Greater New Haven Chapter of J Street is pleased to welcome J Street Founder and President, Jeremy BenAmi. Q&A will follow. Contact: Sydney Perry, (203) 387-2424 x302, sperry@ JCC, 360 Amity Rd., Woodbridge, (203) 387-2522. Mothers Circle Thursday, Feb. 6 and Feb. 20, 6 pm JCC West Rock Room, 360 Amity Rd., Woodbridge, CT. (203) 387-2522. RSVP to Beth Israel of Wallingford Community Game Night Saturday, Feb. 8, 6:30-9:30 pm Beth Israel of Wallingford, 22 North Orchard St., Wallingford. Contact: Beryl Bloch, (203) 949-0651, Creating Sacred Space and Peace of Mind for the End of Life Sunday, Feb. 9, 9:30-11:30 am With Cantor Dorothy Goldberg and gerontologist Donna Fedus. Contact: Jill Lesage, (203) 738-0033, Temple Beth Tikvah, 196 Durham Rd., Madison. The Healing Power of Psalms: A Spiritual Journey Thursday, Feb. 13, 10-11 am Contact: Rabbi Hesch Sommer, (203) 389-5599, JFGNH Shoreline Office, Lighthouse Sq., 705 Boston Post Rd., Building C Suite 2A, Guilford. Pirke Avot: Reflections on How We Live Our Lives: Shoreline Adult Ed. Thursday, Feb. 13, 11:15 am-12:15 pm Contact: Rabbi Hesch Sommer, (203) 389-5599, JFGNH Shoreline Office, Lighthouse Sq., 705 Boston Post Rd., Building C Suite 2A, Guilford.

Connecticut’s Jewish Farmers Sunday, Feb. 16, 1:30-2 pm Contact: Gail Reynolds,(860) 345-2723, Godfrey Memorial Library, 134 Newfield St., Middletown. Bagels and Books Sunday, Feb. 16, 10:30-11:15 am JCC, 360 Amity Rd., Woodbridge, (203) 387-2522. JCC Theaterworks presents The Jewish Plays Project 2nd Annual New Haven Playwriting Contest Sunday, Feb. 16, 7 pm Directed by David Winitsky - A showcase of new Jewish works. Contact: DeDe Jacobs-Komisar, (203) 387-2522, JCC, 360 Amity Rd., Woodbridge. Good Tents: The Relational Synagogue & the Community in the 21st Century Thursday, Feb. 20, 7 pm JCC, 360 Amity Rd., Woodbridge Friday, Feb. 21, 7:30 pm Temple Beth David, 3 Main St., Cheshire Saturday, Feb. 22, 1 pm BEKI, 85 Harrison St., New Haven A visionary educator, cofounder of Synagogue 3000, and inspirational speaker, Dr. Ron Wolfson, has just written a book which is capturing the rapt attention of the Jewish community: “Relational Judaism: Using the Power of Relationship to Transform the Jewish Community.” Come for an interactive talk for the whole community. Contact: Hilary Goldberg, (203) 3872424 x325, Wintertime Freylich at CMI Saturday, Feb. 22, 7 pm CMl’s Brotherhood of Men and Women sponsor a celebration of Yiddish culture. Congregation Mishkan Israel, 785 Ridge Rd, Hamden. Kabbalah-Inspired Expressive Arts Workshop Sunday, Feb.23, 1:30-3:30pm (Snow date: March 2) An expressive art and writing workshop for adults facilitated by Amy J. Barry. Contact: Jill Lesage, (203) 738-0033, jwlesage@ JFGNH Shoreline Office, Lighthouse Sq., 705 Boston Post Rd., Building C Suite 2A, Guilford. Adoption Homestudy Group Forming Jewish Family Service of New Haven is accepting registrations for the Infant/ Intercountry Homestudy Group. Contact Amy Rashba, LCSW, at (203) 3895599 x113, Preregistration required.

JFS recently celebrated National Adoption Month. More than 50 families and children enjoyed an evening of food, fun and family photographs. Pictured is Lisa Greenleaf, LMFT, a guest artist. JFS Adoption Coordinator Amy Rashba, LCSW, spearheaded the annual event.




Trips to Yale Concerts Guests are invited to join us for a complementary meal before the concert. Seating is limited. Please RSVP. Time listed indicates departure time from Coachman Square at Woodbridge.

Yale Faculty Artist Series R. Wilson, flute and Melvin Chen, piano Wednesday, January 15, 7pm

Yale Philharmonic Concert Tchaikovsky’s Pathetique, Conducted by Shinik Hahm with Boris Berman, piano Friday, January 24, 6:45pm

Yale Faculty Artist Series Weiner, Bartok, and Brahms Wendy Sharp & Friends Sunday, January 26, 3pm

Yale Jazz Ensemble Winter Concert With Paul Lieberman ’79, saxophone Friday, February 7, 6:30pm

Yale Philharmonia, Yale Choral Artists & Yale Baroque Ensemble Mozart: Mass in C Minor Saturday, February 8, 7pm

Coachman Programs

flavors Spring

Lunchtime Chamber Music

Dr. Bernie Siegel’s Care Giving Support Group Mind, Heart & Health Matters

Wendy Sharp, Director Wednesday, February 12, 11:30am

Savor the of This group meets the 1st Wed. of the

Yale Concert Band

month and is for all caregivers, families, at who need care. professionals, & those Wednesday, Feb 5 & March 5, 6:30pm Coachman Square

Music in Motion featuring Yaledancers Friday, February 14, 6:30pm

Opera Die Fledermaus

Dr. Bernie Siegel’s performed in English with orchestra 21 BRADLEY ROAD • WOODBRIDGE • 203-433-7013 Cancer Support Group Sunday, February 9, 7pm This group meets the 2nd & 4th Tuesday Yale Voxtet, Barocco Italiano of the month. If interested in either group, James Taylor, Director please contact Lucille Ranciato Thursday, February 20, 7pm 203 288 2839; or Dr. Siegel Yale Philharmonic Concert Conducting Fellows, Brandani & Lohraseb for more details. Tues, Jan 14 & 28, Feb 11 & 25, 6:30pm Friday, February 28, 4pm

May 12th 14th May 26th Lunch & TaiMay Chi for Health & Balance Master David Chandler, PhD 12:00pm 5:00-7:00pm 1:00-3:00pm

Seating is limited. Mother’s Memorial Celebrate Monthly Happiness Club Meeting Day Barbecue Please call today toDay Brunch Tuesday, Jan 7Shavuot! & Feb 4, 3pm MENU MENU MENU RSVP 203.433.7013. Meet MeSmoked at the Museum Chilled corn & crab soup Enjoy all of your barbecue salmon with Friday, Jan 3 & 17, Feb 7 & 21, 12noon

with crème fraîche • Frittata & salad

MOMA’schives Interactive Programfavorites, hot off the grill! and crème fraîche Ricotta tomato Sunday,•Jan 19and&braised Feb 16, 1:30pm blintzes

• Monte Cristo sandwiches • Sgroppino sorbet

• Potato pancakes

Featuring a guest chef performance

vegetables Current• Seasonal Events from a • Apple, cinnamon, banana, Religious Perspective and Nutella® crepes

Featuring a performanceRabbi Hesch Sommer, • Personal cheesecakesD. Min. of by our guest chef Jewish Family Featuring Services, a guest chef New Haven

Wednesday, Jan&15 & Feb performance a Dessert Sale12, to 2pm benefit the One Company Fund,

The Healing of inPsalms supportingPower our associates need


Rabbi Hesch Sommer, D. Min.

f you’ve been thinking memory for someone you love, you’ll Wed,about Janassisted 29 & living Mon,orFeb 17,care 2pm love our May tasting events. Be our guest as we treat you and your family to a taste of our award-winning dini Enjoy a live cooking demo by our guest chef, then tour and see what’s happening at Coachman Square this season!

Cinema Magic Monthly Meeting!

Michael Kerbel, Dir of Film Study @ Yale

Coachman Square at Woodbridge is proud to set the Benchmark Saturday, Jan 18 & Feb 15, 1:30pm in senior living, through: • Assistance with the daily routine Wine from around the World

• Award-winning dining • Care plans based on personal TBD – Please needs rather than time

A caring team, making life more call for •dates & times. wonderful 24 hours a day


21 Bradley Road • Woodbridge


W W W. B E N C H M A R K S E N I O R L I V I N G . C O M

Call early to reserve your seats! Can’t make it? Call 203-433-7013 to reserve a personal tour. Job#:





9.98”w X 20”t









Embrace the New Year Publication: Client:

Coachman Square Woodbridge









1017 TURNPIKE STREET, CANTON, MA 02021 • (P) 781.828.9290 • (F) 781.828.9419 • WWW.TRIADADVERTISING.COM

by bringing out the best you!

Please email Lisa Costantini at or call 203.397.7544 to reserve your seat at our events.


page 15

18th Annual Evening of Community Learning

Saturday, January 25, 7-11pm. Savor 40+ tastes of Jewish learning, taught by your fellow members of the New Haven Jewish community. An unparalleled social, cultural, and educational experience.

JCC of Greater New Haven

Learning at its sweetest!

360 Amity Rd. Woodbridge, CT Info:

Space is limited! Register early to get your first pick of classes. Walk-ins welcome on a space-available basis. Online registration and full session/presenter descriptions at

Be An Early Bird! If you register by January 10, you’ll be able to beat the lines and pick up your personalized schedule inside a free A Taste of Honey tote bag!

First Session: 8-9pm

Second Session: 9:10-10:10pm

1A. Koshering the New Anti-Semitism Doron Ben-Atar, Fordham University 1B. New Beginnings After a Loss Chaplain Sarah Blum, St. Raphael’s Hospital 1C. Current Trends on the Jewish College Campus Rabbi Noah and Sarah Cheses, JLIC, Slifka Center for Jewish Life at Yale 1D. Screening and Discussion: When Private Goes Public: Confessions of a Jewish Filmmaker David Fisher, Director, Six Million and One 1E. Scientific Support for Spirituality Rabbi Fred Hyman, Westville Synagogue 1F. Social Justice in the Bible and in Modern Society Iktae and Jiyoung Kim, Hebrew University 1G. Inclusion/Exclusion: What Defines “The” Jewish Community? Rabbi Yaakov Komisar, Ezra Academy and The Jewish High School of Connecticut 1H. Medieval Hebrew Love Poetry and the Song of Songs. Sharon Naveah, independent scholar 1I. Political Aspects Of Torah In The American Republic: From The Founding To The Present Joshua Sandman, University of New Haven 1J. How ADL Fights Hate in Connecticut Gary D. Jones, Anti-Defamation League 1K. Demonstration and Discussion: Tekhelet: God’s Chosen Color Baruch Sterman, author of The Rarest Blue: The Remarkable Story of an Ancient Color Lost to History and Rediscovered 1L. Esther’s Megilla: A Taste of an Artists’ Beit Midrash, Part 1 - Textual Study Rabbi Yossi Yaffe, Chabad of the Shoreline 1M. LECTURE IN RUSSIAN: Jewish Composers - From Bizet to Gershwin. Dr. Marina Zeldin and Yuri Zeldin 1N. Screening and Discussion: The Forgotten Refugees Avi Goldwasser, JIMENA: Jews Indigenous to the Middle East and North Africa 1O. The Incoherence of the Psalms: How the Psalmists Sing Together When Their Theologies are in Different Keys Leslie Brisman, Yale University 1P. Death is Not a Four-Letter Word Rabbi Dana Z. Bogatz, Congregation Sinai 1Q. Reading and Discussion: Kafka for Kids: How Our Understanding of Folktales and Oral Tradition Plays into Our Own Creation of Metaphors and Stories Matthue Roth, Author, video game designer 1R. Art and the Eruv: An Exploration in Words and Images Margaret Olin, Yale University 1S. What Happens in Sodom Stays in Sodom. Or Does It? Pamela Reis, independent scholar 1T. What the Numbers Are: Comparing and Contrasting the 2013 Pew “Portrait of Jewish Americans” and the 2010 Greater New Haven Jewish Community Population Study Rena Cheskis Gold, Demographic Perspectives, LLC.; Barry Kosmin, Trinity College


2A. Ghettos As Protective Havens? An Exploration of Jewish Life in Medieval Europe Rabbi Josh Ratner, Jewish Community Relations Council 2B. Queering Jewish Ritual: How Queer-identified Jews are Embracing, Wrestling with, and Transforming Jewish Traditions Rabbi Megan Doherty, Slifka Center for Jewish Life at Yale 2C. Should We Drink Four Cups of Wine on Pesach? The Problem of Demons in the Talmud Sara Ronis, Yale University 2D. Screening and Discussion: When Private Goes Public: Confessions of a Jewish Filmmaker David Fisher, Director, Six Million and One 2E. What’s Our Place in Creation? Discussing the Medieval Text “Debate of the Animals vs. Man” Lourdes Alvarez, University of New Haven 2F. Sing and Learn Yiddish! Rabbi Alvin Wainhaus, Congregation Or-Shalom 2G. Confronting Jewish Chosenness: Cosmic or Conditional? Rabbi Yaakov Komisar, Ezra Academy and The Jewish High School of Connecticut 2H. The Chained Wife: The Problem of Get Refusal in Contemporary Judaism Mark Oppenheimer, The New York Times 2I. Political Aspects Of Torah In The American Republic: From The Founding To The Present Joshua Sandman, University of New Haven 2J. How ADL Fights Hate in Connecticut Gary D. Jones, Anti-Defamation League 2K. Demonstration and Discussion: Tekhelet: God’s Chosen Color Baruch Sterman, author of The Rarest Blue: The Remarkable Story of an Ancient Color Lost to History and Rediscovered 2L. Esther’s Megilla: A Taste of an Artists’ Beit Midrash, Part 2 – Hands-On Workshop Leah Caroline, CT Artists’ Beit Midrash 2M. LECTURE IN RUSSIAN: Jewish Composers - From Bizet to Gershwin. Dr. Marina Zeldin and Yuri Zeldin 2N. Screening and Discussion: The Forgotten Refugees Avi Goldwasser, JIMENA: Jews Indigenous to the Middle East and North Africa 2O. Jews by Choice: What Conversion Then and Now Says About Us as a People Rabbi Benjamin Scolnic, Temple Beth Sholom, and Sydney Perry, Jewish Federation of Greater New Haven 2P. Death is Not a Four-Letter Word Rabbi Dana Z. Bogatz, Congregation Sinai 2Q. Reading and Discussion: Kafka for Kids: How Our Understanding of Folktales and Oral Tradition Plays into Our Own Creation of Metaphors and Stories Matthue Roth, Author, video game designer 2R. Pop-Up Shabbat: Active Engagement Outside of Institutionalized Judaism Danya Cheskis-Gold, Pop-Up Shabbat 2S. Our Parents, Ourselves: Jewish Approaches to Aging and Elder Care Marsha Beller, Elder Care Options, Inc 2T. What the Numbers Mean: A Conversation about the Sociological, Cultural, and Demographic Future of the Jewish Community Rena Cheskis Gold, Demographic Perspectives, LLC.; Barry Kosmin, Trinity College. Moderated by Philip Getz, The Forward

Sessions are subject to change. Check for updates.

A Taste of Honey 2014 Registration Form

To register, go to, or detach and return this form to Jewish Community Center of Greater New Haven, 360 Amity Rd., Woodbridge, CT 06525. Make checks payable to JCCNH-Honey. Forms must be postmarked by 1/10/14 to get the Early Bird discount. Participant’s Name ________________________________________________ Email ___________________________________________________________ Address _________________________________________________________ City ________________________________________ Zip _______________ Phone __________________________________________________________ Class Choices: First Session # ___________ Second Session #______________

Participant’s Name ________________________________________________ Email ___________________________________________________________ Address _________________________________________________________

Registration: r $22 Participant r $12 Student/Senior

(Students must bring valid student ID)

A Taste of Honey is made possible by community support. Please consider including a tax-deductible donation with your form. All partners will be thanked in the Taste of Honey program book and receive priority registration. Our giving levels include:

r $54 Friend r $72 Angel r $180 Patron r $360 Supporter r $500 Sponsor (Sponsors will be thanked in all event publicity.)

City ________________________________________ Zip _______________ Phone __________________________________________________________ Class Choices: First Session # ___________ Second Session #______________

Amount Enclosed $____________

Shalom New Haven jan/feb 2014  
Shalom New Haven jan/feb 2014