Westport – Author, scholar, and Holocaust survivor Nechama Tec of Westport delivered the keynote address at the 2010 observance of the International Day of Commemoration in memory of the victims of the Holocaust, held annually at U.N. Headquarters in New York. Tec is professor emerita of sociology at UConn, Stamford and the author of “Defiance,” which was made into a feature film last year.
Bridgeport – Congressman Jim Himes (CT-4) was among 54 Congressmen – and the only one in the Connecticut delegation – to sign a letter to President Obama calling on Israel and Egypt to lift their “blockade” of the Gaza Strip. The controversial move was met with much protest from many of Himes’ consituents.
West Hartford – Hundreds of congregants representing 15 of the 17 synagogues in the greater Hartford area came together for their first communal Havdalah program held at Congregation Beth Israel. Scheduling conflicts kept the remaining two from participating.
Statewide – Several Connecticut cities and campuses were among those hosting events for the sixth annual Israeli Apartheid Week, an international anti-Israel hatefest that aims to advance the global “Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions” (BDS) movement that target the Jewish state.
New London – The Solomon Schechter Academy (SSA) lowered its tuition by 27 percent, thanks to an unprecedented seven-year grant from Harry Leiser, founder of Leiser Sound and an active member of the Jewish community.
Westport – To celebrate its 25th anniversary, the University of Hartford’s Maurice Greenberg Center for Judaic Studies commissioned an original children’s opera based on the Medieval Jewish folktale “Eppes fun Gornisht” – “Something from Nothing.” The opera, performed by the Lyric Opera Players, premiered at Temple Israel.
Wethersfield – A year after it was first conceived by Rabbi Seth Reimer of Temple Beth Torah, the “Beyond the Pale Jewish Theater Experiment” raised the curtain on its first performance. The play: “Converted Imperfect,” was written by the rabbi himself.
Statewide – Congressman Joe Courtney (CT-2) led an economic trade mission of about a dozen Connecticut companies and organizations to Israel. Participants included: UTC, Goodspeed Musicals, Whelen Engineering, OFS Optics, and others.
Hamden – Gary Jones of West Hartford, a member of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) Connecticut regional board since 1988, was appointed the organization’s regional director. Jones took over the top spot from David Waren who, after 10 years at ADL Connecticut, moved on to become the agency’s national director of education in New York.
Hartford – “Stories of Freedom: What You Do Matters” was the theme of the 32nd Annual State of Connecticut Holocaust Commemoration, held in the state senate chambers of the state Capitol. The event was sponsored by the Jewish Federation Association of CT and the Jewish Federation of Eastern CT.
Hartford – To mark the 20th anniversary of its merger with Mount Sinai Hospital, Saint Francis Hospital and Medical Center unveiled a newly restored plaque that once hung in the original Mount Sinai building on Capitol Ave. The plaque bears the names of Hartford’s Jewish leaders who founded Mount Sinai in 1922. The merger of the two hospitals is the first recorded instance of collaboration between a Catholic hospital and a Jewish-sponsored hospital.
West Hartford – University of Hartford President Walter Harrison was appointed to the national board of directors of Hillel: The Foundation for Jewish Campus Life.
Windsor – It was a “happening” organized by the Mandell JCC in West Hartford: 800 women gathered together under one roof to bask in the spirituality of the women’s Mayan Seder, featuring the renowned composer/singer/recording artist Debbi Friedman.
Woodbridge – “Threads,” a documentary that tells the story of Sidney Glucksman, a Holocaust survivor who has worked as a tailor in New Haven for more than 50 years, premiered at the Jewish Community Center of Greater New Haven.
Waterbury – The new Waterbury Orthodox Jewish community celebrated its 10th anniversary this month. The community is believed to be the only instance of a planned Jewish community in the U.S.
Westport – It was a winning year for Staples high school sophomore Alexandra Wiener, who won the 2010 National All Girls Chess Championship in Cincinnatti in the 16-and-under division; then, for the sixth time, she took home the 2010 National Girls Open Award at the Connecticut state championship at UConn.
Wilton – Temple B’nai Chaim, a reform congregation and the only synagogue in the village of Georgetown, celebrated the opening of its new 9,000 square foot sanctuary.
Enfield – After months of debate, a federal judge in Hartford ruled that two high schools in Enfield were barred from holding their graduation ceremonies at a Bloomfield church because it would violate the First Amendment of the Constitution.
Fairfield – Hillel Academy, a K – 8th grade day school, announced that it would not open for classes in Sept. 2010. Instead, the school closed down for a year of restructuring and plans to reopen in the fall of 2011.
Ridgefield – The American Jewish Archives in Cincinnatti, Ohio accepted a donation of the archives and papers of Cantor Deborah Katchko-Gray of Temple Shearith Israel.
Stamford – Then Stamford Mayor Dan Malloy, the Democratic gubernatorial nominee, was slapped with a slander lawsuit by Lee Whitnum of Greenwich. The charge stemmed from a press conference Malloy held in August of 2008 in which he called remarks made by Whitnum “antisemitic.”
South Windsor – Rabbi Jeffrey Glickman of Temple Beth Hillel, a member of the South Windsor Human Relations Committee and chair of the South Windsor Haiti School taskforce, travelled to Haiti with the group to help establish an elementary school in Port Au Prince.
Waterbury – Rabbi Hillel Adler of Waterbury was among four Jewish educators and one lay leader recognized for excellence at The Educator’s Banquet, an annual event sponsored by the Resource Center for Jewish Education, a program of the Harold Grinspoon Foundation.
West Hartford – Suzanne Connell retired as executive director of The Emanuel Synagogue after 21 years of service.
West Hartford – Heather Fiedler a member of the Judaic studies staff of Solomon Schechter Day School of Greater Hartford, was named director of Yachad: Greater Hartford Jewish Community High School.
West Hartford – Fifty Jewish adults from throughout the greater Hartford area culminated their year-long personal Jewish journey as the pioneer group of Chai Mitzvah, a new program that engages adults in a lifelong pursuit of meaningful Judaism.
Hartford – Samuel Kassow, professor of history at Trinity College and author of the award-winning book “Who Will Write Our History? Emanuel Ringelblum, the Warsaw Ghetto, and the Oyneg Shabes Archive,” was elected a Fellow of the American Academy for Jewish Research (AAJR), the oldest professional organization of Judaica scholars in North America.
Statewide – Four Connecticut rabbis were among a group of 48 Conservative spiritual leaders to be awarded honorary Doctorates at the Jewish Theological Seminary’s convocation honoring members of the Rabbinical Assembly: Rabbi Richard Eisenberg, Rabbbi Joshua Hammerman, Rabbi Marshal Press and Rabbi James Rosen.
Cheshire – Congregation Kol Ami welcomed Cantor Dorothy Goldberg as its first ordained congregational cantor. Goldberg was previously cantor at Temple Beth Tikvah in Madison.
New Haven – Rabbi James Ponet, director of the Joseph Slifka Cener for Jewish Life at Yale University shared clerical duties with a Methodist minister at the wedding of former First Daughter Chelsea Clinton to Marc Mezvinsky.
Stamford – Rhonna Rogol, an active member of the Stamford Chapter of Hadassah, CT Region, has been named a recipient of the Twenty Fourth Annual Hadassah National Leadership Award.
West Hartford – Rabbi James Rosen and his wife Nancy were honored for his 18 years with Beth El Temple at the shul’s “Chai Anniversary Tribute.”
West Hartford – Lisa Fishman of Avon was named the recipient of the 2010 Kipnis-Wilson/Friedland Award presented by the National Women’s Philanthropy of the Jewish Federations of North America.
Statewide – In late August, for the thirteenth consecutive year, Connecticut’s Jewish communities welcomed a new crop of Israel Young Emissaries whose year-long mission it is to strengthen the living bridge between Israel and Connecticut’s Jewish communities. The 14 emissaries all hail from the Afula-Gilboa region of Israel and are sponsored by SNEC, the Southern New England Consortium. The Young Emissary program is a project of the Jewish Agency for Israel’s Partnership 2000.
Bridgeport – Eli Kornreich, president and CEO of the Jewish Center for Community Services (JCCS), left the agency to become executive vice president of the Lincoln Square Synagogue in New York.
Stamford – Cantor George Mordecai, who has performed Ashkenazic, Sephardic and Middle Eastern liturgical music throughout the U.S. and abroad, joined Temple Beth El as cantor.
Stamford – After nearly 30 years providing funding to Jewish and other non-profit organizations throughout Fairfield County and beyond, the Jewish Community Endowment Foundation announced plans to dissolve.
Stamford – The Stamford JCC welcomed Adam Weiss as its shaliach – Israel emissary. Weiss, 23, is the first shaliach to come to the Stamford Jewish community through the Jewish Agency’s Young Shaliach program which places post-army emissaries in Diaspora communities for one or two years.
Westport – Rabbi Yossi Pollak of Beit Chaverim Synagogue of Westport/Norwalk was among dozens of Orthodox rabbis to sign a statement supporting gay Jews issued by the International Rabbinic Fellowship, an organization of Modern Orthodox rabbis.
New Haven – The International Association for the Study of Antisemitism (IASA) at Yale University was launched with an inaugural conference entitled “Global Antisemitism: A Crisis of Modernity.” Conference partner was the Yale Initiative for the Interdisciplinary Study of Antisemitism.
West Hartford – Responding to changing demographics, Congregation B’nai Sholom, a Conservative congregation led by Rabbi Debra Cantor, pulled up stakes and moved from Newington to West Hartford. Founded in 1956, the congregation sold its Church St. building to a Hindu temple. B’nai Sholom is temporarily housed at the Solomon Schechter Day School on Buena Vista Blvd.
West Hartford – “Faith and Destiny,” a film chronicling the escape from Nazi-occupied Lithuania of Rabbi Philip Lazowski, rabbi emeritus of Beth Hillel Synagogue in Bloomfield, premiered at the Mandell JCC.
Statewide – It was a blockbuster month for kosher food across the state: Fairway, the popular New York-based gourmet supermarket opened a mega-store in Stamford featuring an impressive line of kosher products, including fresh meats; in West Hartford, Crown Supermarket marked its 70th anniversary with something new – a line of glatt kosher meats and the certification of its bakery by the Hartford Kashrut Commission; and, Big Y Supermarkets announced that it would maintain the kosher bakery and glatt kosher deli and fresh meat departments that were part of the Bishops Corner Waldbaum’s before it was sold to the Massachusetts-based chain.
Storrs – Close to 350 people attended the dedicaton of the newly refurbished Trachten-Zachs Hillel on the UConn campus.
West Hartford – Noah’s Ark, the daycare and nursery school program of Congregation Beth Israel, reunited many of its preschool alum to celebrate the program’s 25th anniversary.
West Hartford – Following Rabbit Stephen Fuch’s announcement that he would retire as spiritual leader of Congregation Beth Israel in June 2011, the shul voted overwhelmingly to name Associate Rabbi Michael Pincus to the post.
Westport – An unprecedented series of events entitled “Window onto History: Perpectives on ‘The Diary of Anne Frank’” accompanied The Westport Country Playhouse’s month-long presentation of “The Diary of Anne Frank.”
Statewide – Richard Blumenthal was elected to the U.S. Senate.
Bridgeport – Steven Wendell was named president and CEO of the Jewish Community Center and the UJA/Federation of Eastern Fairfield County, following the departure of Eli Kornreich.
Fairfield – Jewish speed dating came to Connecticut thanks to the efforts of Ari Disraeli, founder of JMix.org and a 30-something IT entrepreneur ( past Ledger “Mover and Shaker”).
New Haven – After 21 years of leadership, Dorothy Giannini-Meyers retired as CEO of Tower One/Tower East, the senior housing and assisted living facility in New Haven. She is succeeded by Richard Slutsky, who will assume his new post on Jan. 12, 2011.
Stamford – Gary Lipman stepped down from his position as CEO of the Stamford JCC to take a senior position with the Association of Jewish Community Centers in New York. The JCC announced that Eric Koehler will take over the role of CEO in January.
West Hartford – The Greater Hartford Jewish Historical Society launched its new publication, “A Life of the Land: Connecticut’s Jewish Farmers.”
West Hartford – The Mandell Jewish Community Center in West Hartford celebrated its 95th birthday.
Hartford – The Trinity Club of Hartford honored Samuel Kassow, Northam Professor of History, as the club’s Person of the Year.
West Hartford – Elaine Price retired after 15 years as the registered representative for State of Israel Bonds throughout Connecticut and western Massachusetts.
West Hartford – The Hebrew High School of New England put the finishing touches on its new, state-of-the-art Grinspoon-Konover Building in West Hartford and opened the facility for tours. Students from the school’s three communities – New Haven, Hartford and Springfield, Mass. – will open their books there for the first time on Jan. 3.
West Hartford – Three representatives from the Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Hartford (JCRC) joined a delegation of 21 people from all across the country to travel to Jordan and Israel on a leadership mission sponsored by the Jewish Council for Public Affairs (JCPA).
West Hartford – Solomon Schechter Day School of Greater Hartford announced that Behzad Dayanim would leave his position as head of school at the end of the year, which coincides with the end of his three-year contract.