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Honoring those who came to the rescue

At its Annual Meeting, held on Wednesday, June 7, the Jewish Federation of Greater New Haven presented the agency’s 2017 Robert Eisner Community Service Award to a select group of honorees, including the Woodbridge Volunteer Fire Department, Woodbridge Police Department, First Selectman Ellen Scalettar, and Town of Woodbridge Building Official Terry Gilbertson, as well as a Chinese menu of community volunteers, area synagogues and Jewish agencies.

Established in 1983 as a tribute to former JCC President Bob Eisner (1971-1974), the award honors individuals who made significant contributions in both the Jewish and secular communities during the course of the year. This year’s award was presented to first responders and community supporters who have helped the Jewish Federation and JCC of Greater New Haven through challenging times that resulted from a devastating fire in December 2016 that severely damaged the agency’s Amity Road building.

“This year our community experienced a trauma when fire broke out at our JCC, and those who will now come forward deserve this honor and more,” said Robert Eisner’s son, Larry Eisner, in presenting the award. “Some ran into the smoke and fire to rescue our property. Some provided shelter from the cold. Some stood with us, schlepped with us, and provided us a home away from home.”

Other 2017 Robert Eisner Community Service Award recipients include: Martin Halprin; David Trachten; Bikur Cholim Sheveth Achim; Brookdale Senior Living; Camp Laurelwood; Congregations B’nai Jacob, Beth El-Keser Israel, Beth Shalom Rodfe Zedek, Mishkan Israel, Or Shalom, and Sinai; Chabad Lubavitch; Temples Beth David, Beth Sholom, Beth Tikvah, and Emanuel; Westville Synagogue; Hebrew Congregation of Woodmont; Ezra Academy; Hebrew Congregation of Woodmont; Jewish Family Service of Greater New Haven; Orchard Street Shul; Southern Connecticut Hebrew Academy; Temple Beth David; Tower One/Tower East.

CAP: Recipients of the 2017 Robert Eisner Community Service Award: (l to r) Thomas Kenefick of the Woodbridge Volunteer Fire Department; Fire Marshall Joseph Cappucci; Chief Frank Cappiello; First Selectman Ellen Scalettar; Town of Woodbridge Building Official Terry Gilbertson.

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