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Connecticut in the News 2016



Ari Golub is appointed the new director of Camp Laurelwood, Connecticut’s only Jewish overnight camp, located in Madison.


the-sunlit-night-book-coverThe University of Hartford’s Maurice Greenberg Center for Judaic Studies names Rebecca Dinerstein winner of the 2015 Edward Lewis Wallant Award for her novel The Sunlit Night.


major-general-maurice-roseConnecticut’s Route 9 Bridge is renamed in honor of the late Major General Maurice Rose, who was born in Middletown and killed in action during the during the Second World War.


lillian-hillmanLillian Hillman, a resident of Hoffman SummerWood in West Harford, receives the Distinguished Resident Accomplishment Award from the CT Assisted Living Assoc. In December, Hillman passes away at the age of 105.


jcc-summer-2015The Stamford Jewish Community Center begins its year-long centennial celebration.


Steve Friedlander steps down as CEO of the Jewish Federation for Upper Fairfield County.





holtzHartford police call the desecration of Jewish headstones at the Dreyfus Lodge and Congregation Adas Israel burial areas a hate crime.


judy-diamondsteinJudy Diamondstein is appointed CEO of the Jewish Federation of Greater New Haven.


moldavanRabbi Yirmiyah Moldovan, a body-surfing native of Australia, takes on the role of spiritual leader at Congregation Ahavath Achim in Fairfield.





rabbi-schechtmanRabbi Barukh Schectman is named spiritual leader of Congregation Adath Israel of Newtown.


bus-adA Connecticut bus ad campaign funded by Henry Clifford, co-chair of an anti-Israel group called the Committee for Peace in Israel and Palestine, alleges that Israeli has been “stolen” from Palestinians.


The Connecticut AFL-CIO passes a resolution supporting BDS — but three months later the resolution is declared invalid.


jcc-tzahalThe Stamford JCC’s Tzahal Shalom program celebrates is 38th year — making it the longest-running cultural exchange program in Jewish Connecticut.


rabbi-marci-bellowsRabbi Marci Bellows is appointed spiritual leader of Congregation Beth Shalom Rodfe Zedek in Chester.





expo-groupNearly 200 business and community leaders attend the Connecticut-Israel Innovations Showcase in April to learn about Israeli entrepreneurs who recently located their U.S. operations in the state.


Trinity College Professor Sam Kassow spends three weeks in Lodz and Warsaw for the filming of a documentary based on his book Who Will Write Our History? Emanuel Ringeblum, the Warsaw Ghetto, and the Oyneg Shabes Archive.


Rabbi Gary Atkins announces that he will retire from his post as spiritual leader of Beth Hillel Synagogue in Bloomfield.


temple-sholomTemple Sholom — the first Jewish congregation established in Greenwich — marks its 100th anniversary.


adam-for-coverWest Hartford native Adam Greenberg wins the championship title on “Chopped,” the Food Network’s popular culinary face-off.


mimi-cohenThe story of Stamford resident and longtime Jewish educator Mimi Cohen’s (pictured here) family is the focus of a documentary — “A Link in the Chain”— by filmmaker Elena Neuman Lefkowitz.”


sydney-perry-family-photo-in-order-avi-julia-rachel-sydney-lucille-danya-josh-sarah-tonyAt a gala reception, close to 700 well-wishers toast Sydney Perry, who stepped down as CEO of the Jewish Federation of Greater New Haven after three decades of communal leadership.


chris-murphySenator Chris Murphy of Connecticut’s fifth district, is among 17 lawmakers opting not to join the bipartisan support for a letter arguing that Israel should receive increased annual defense aid from America.


rabbi-andrew-sklarzRabbi Andrew Sklarz of Greenwich and Ira J. Wise of Fairfield receive doctorates from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion at the school’s graduation ceremony.


andrew-baxterAndrew Baxter of Wallingford is selected a runner-up in this year’s NFTY Competitions, honoring teens involved in the Reform Jewish youth movement who express their Jewish identity through creative arts and social-action projects.


Israel Bonds announces the opening of a satellite bonds office at the Jewish Community Center of Greater New Haven in Woodbridge.


L25RabbisB - For D. Briggs - Rabbi Rona Shapiro. Rabbi Shapiro is the new rabbi of Congregation Bethaynu in Pepper Pike. Handout image. Maximum width 33.36 picas at 200 dpi. 8/22/07Rabbi Rona Shapiro, spiritual leader of Congregation B’nai Jacob in Woodbridge, is named one of The Forward’s “America’s Most Inspiring Rabbis.”


rabbi-daniel-greerA lawsuit is filed in U.S. District Court in New Haven accusing Rabbi Daniel Greer of repeatedly raping and molesting students at two New Haven yeshivas he founded and runs.


crown-afterThe Hartford Kashrut Commission (HKC) announces that its kosher certification of The Crown Market at Bishop’s Corner in West Hartford has been expanded to include all prepared food items in the store’s “5 O’Clock Shop” as well as the catering department. Crown’s meat room and bakery also operate under HKC supervision. The announcement coincided with the launch of the market’s extensive remodeling project, which included a new, state-of-the-art kitchen.


rabbi-vicki-axeRabbi Vicki Axe of Congregation Shir Ami in Greenwich received her Doctor of Ministry in Pastoral Care and Counseling from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion.


schachter-todayWorld War II U.S. Navy veteran Joseph H. Schachter of Westport is selected to service as grand marshal in the Westport Memorial Day Parade.


hhne-kidYaakov Schectman, a junior at Hebrew High School of New England in West Hartford, wins the top prize in the international Jerusalem Science Contest, sponsored y the Jerusalem College of Technology and Walder Science Center in Chicago.


OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERARabbi Stanley Kessler, rabbi emeritus of Beth El Temple in West Hartford, receives the Lifetime Achievement Award from T’ruah: The Rabbinic Call for Human Rights.


State Rep. Brian Becker (D-West Hartford, Avon and Farmington) announces he will end his campaign for re-election saying he is “extremely frustrated and disappointed “ by his inability to effect change.





richard-rubensteinCongregation Beth El in Fairfield celebrates the 50th anniversary of the publication of the landmark and controversial book After Auschwitz, with a talk by the author, University of Bridgeport Professor Richard Rubenstein.





tunnel-2Dr. Richard Freund, director of the Maurice Greenberg Center for Judaic Studies at the University of Hartford and a renowned archaeologist, returned from a trip to Ponary – a suburb of Vilna in Lithuania — during which he and his crew uncovered a tunnel in one of the burial pits at the Rasu Prison, headquarters of the Nazi commander and the Rasu internment site for “special prisoners.” The tunnel was used by a group of Jews to escape the Nazis during the last night of Passover, April 15, 1944.


The Anti-Defamation League says recent vandalism at several New England synagogues — two in the Boston area and one in Pawtucket, Rhode Island — are part of a spike in antisemitic incidents in the region since the start of 2016.


shir-shalomCongregation Shir Shalom in Ridgefield announces the sale of its building in South Salem, New York, former home of the Jewish Family Congregation (JFC). JFC merged with Temple Shearith Israel of Ridgefield in the summer of 2015 and was subsequently renamed Shir Shalom.


The Jewish Historical Society of Greater New Haven celebrates its 40th year..


After a decade as spiritual leader of Congregation Kol Hagerim in Glastonbury, Rabbi Craig Marantz announces he will be leaving for a new post in Chicago.


polinerAs Close to Us as Breathing, a new book by Elizabeth Poliner about Woodmont’s small stretch of Connecticut shoreline where Jews once flocked for their summer vacations (aka “Bagel Beach”), is designated “Best Book” by Amazon.





After 18 years at the helm, Shelley Gans resigns her post as director of the JCC of Greater New Haven.


rabbi-zev-silverRabbi Zev Silver takes over as the new principal of the Bess and Paul Hebrew Academy in Bloomfield.


jadeJade Stoltz, who grew up in Bloomfield, comes home to Connecticut to head up the Jewish Federation of Western Connecticut.


A federal grand jury indicts a 50-year-old Stamford man on charges he made online threats against Jews and synagogues.


scott-seligScott Selig is named interim head of UConn Hillel.


Congregation B’nai Israel of Bridgeport is one of 16 Reform congregations in North America selected to participate in a new initiative called Remaining Congregation Education, launched by the Union for Reform Judaism Community of Practice.





jss-blumenthalMore than 200 community leaders and dignitaries, including U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal and Bridgeport Mayor Joseph P. Ganim, attend the grand opening celebration of the new Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Campus on Park Avenue in Bridgeport — the home of the new Jewish Senior Services. The campus marked five years of comprehensive planning.


jcc-maccabi-stamfordJewish teens from throughout Connecticut— sponsored by the JCCs of Stamford and Hartford — were among the hundreds of young Jewish athletes competing in the annual Olympic-style JCC Maccabi Games and Artsfest, held in Stamford, August 7–12.


????????????????????????????????????Dr. Nehama Aschkenasy, director of the Center for Judaic and Middle Eastern Studies at UConn-Stamford and a UConn professor of Comparative Literary and Cultural Studies, is among several prominent scholars featured in Contemporary Israel: New Insights and Scholarship, a new book in the series “Jewish Tudies in the Twenty-First Century,” published by New York University Press.





judy-zachsJudy Zachs of West Hartford receives the Jewish Federations of North America 2016 Kipnis-Wilson/Friedland Award at the International Lion of Judah Conference.


rabbi-gary-karlinRabbi Gary Karlin arrives in Bloomfield to serve as spiritual leader of Beth Hillel Synagogue.


gary-jonesGary Jones is appointed interim head of Hebrew HealthCare in West Hartford.


Bi-Cultural Day School in Stamford and Carmel Herbrew Academy in Greenwich are among five tri-state area day schools chosen to participate in a new pilot project focusing on tefilah — prayer — in Jewish middle schools.


david-weisbergDavid Weisberg is named the new head of upper Fairfield County’s Jewish Federation.


glickmanRabbi Jeffrey Glickman of Temple Beth Hillel in South Windsor is appointed the new president of the Greater Hartford Rabbinical Association; Rabbi Tuvia Brander of Young Israel of West Hartford is appointed vice president.


lacrosse-teamFour Connecticut lacrosse players help Israel’s national men’s team win the silver medal at the European lacrosse championships.





mapWhen a Connecticut ad for a national storage company refers to the ‘country’ of “Palestine,” the local Jewish community takes action.


ct cover 12-2-11The Connecticut Jewish Ledger endorses a candidate for U.S. president for the first time in the weekly newspaper’s 90-year history. The Ledger’s pick: Hillary Clinton.


holocaust-panel-zachorWith an eye towards educating a younger generation, the University of Hartford unveils a permanent new exhibit focusing on the experiences of local Holocaust survivors.


A Jewish man wearing a kippah is threatened with antisemitic slurs at Bradley International Airport in Windsor Locks. Two brothers are arrested in connection with the incident.


michal-smartMichal Smart, associate principal for Judaic Studies at Bi-Cultural Day School in Stamford is selected to join a handful of Jewish educators from across the country and the world who will participate in a new initiative to invigorate jewish education.





adlTwenty Catholic educators travel to Israel on the third annual ADL Bearing Witness Advanced Program, designed to equip teachers with tools to more effectively teach about the Holocaust and antisemitism, Caltholic-Jewish relations, and the complexities of modern Israel.





fireA four-alarm fire sweeps through the Beckerman-Lender Building in Woodbridge, home to the JCC and Jewish Federation of Greater New Haven, causing the agency to relocate its early childhood center to a nearby synagogue. The building is expected to take up to six months to repair.

The 100 Coolest Jews campaign on Kickstarter
Conversation with Dr. Benjamin Shapira

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