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The Decades

1930s – Times of Turbulence                                                      

1930

Depression unEmployment Line.

Grant Wood paints American Gothic.

Unemployment soars to 16.3% as the stock market crash takes effect.

The Nazi party receives more than 18 

percent of the vote, garnering 107 seats in the German Reichstag. It is a stunning victory for Hitler, as overnight the Nazis go from the smallest to the second largest political party in Germany.

The British government appoints a commission “to determine the rights and claims of Muslims and Jews in connection with the Western or Wailing Wall.” 

Many auto manufactures go out of business as people don’t have cash to buy new cars.

Abraham S. Borden of Hartford is appointed associate judge of the Court of Common Pleas of Hartford County. Born in Russia, Borden eventually became a justice on the Connecticut Supreme Court. He is the first Jewish judge in Hartford and the third to serve in one of the Connecticut upper courts. 

1931

Star Spangled Banner” officially becomes U.S. national anthem by con-gressional resolution.

Alka Seltzer and the first electric shavers go on sale in the U.S.

The Scottsboro Boys, accused of raping a white woman, are arrested in Alabama.

The Empire State Building opens in New York City.

France and USSR sign neutrality/no attack treaty.

Lou Gherig hits his 3rd grand slam in 4 days and his 6th homer in con-secutive games in the NY Yankees 5-1 win over the Boston Red Sox.

1932

President Herbert Hoover is defeated by former New York Governor Franklin D. Roosevelt.

The first ever splitting of the atom occurs in Britain.

The Nazi party gains 37.4% of the vote in the Reichstag elections to become Germany’s largest party.

U.S. Representative Herman P. Koppleman becomes Connecticut’s first Jewish Congressional Representative. Koppelman emigrated from Odessa to Hartford at age one. Re-elected twice, he lost his seat in 1938, and was re-elected again in 1940
and 44.

1933

The worst year of the Depression results as unemployment peaks at 25.2% – one out of every four Americans is without a job.

Franklin Delano Roosevelt is inaugurated as President for the first time.

In January, Adolf Hitler becomes chancellor of Germany and opens the first concentration camp at Dachau.

The Gestapo, Nazi secret police, is formed.

In May, 25,000 ‘un-German’ books are burned in an “Action against the Un-German Spirit.” 

Temple Beth Israel (today known as Congregation Beth Israel), one of the two oldest Jewish congregations in New England, moves from its original location in Hartford to a building in West Hartford. 

1934

The first major laws curtailing the rights of Germany’s Jewish citizens are enacted, excluding from civil service, restricting the number of Jewish students at German schools, and curtailing “Jewish activity” in the medical and legal professions.

Joseph Stalin, the brutal ruler and de facto dictator of the Soviet Union who ruled
from the mid-1920s until 1953, begins his infamous massacres.

In China, the communist revolutionary
Mao Tse-Tung – aka “Chairman Mao” – becomes the founding father of the People’s Republic of China, which he rules until his death in 1976. 

Al Capp creates his popular, satirical comic strip Li’l Abner. Capp was born Alfred Gerald Caplin in New Haven, where he was also raised. He died in 1970.

1935

Germany begins passing the Nuremberg Laws, stripping Jews of their civil rights.

Italy, led by Benito Mussolini, attacks Ethiopia. Mussolini was Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Italy from 1922 to 1943 and Duce of Fascism from 1919 to his execution in 1945.

The Young Israel of Hartford, an Orthodox congregation, begins meeting at  Congregation Agudas Achim in Hartford. In 1943, the congregation purchased its own building, and in 1963 built a new sanctuary at 339 Blue Hills Avenue. Six years later, a West Hartford “branch” of Young Israel was opened at 2240 Albany Avenue.

William M. Citron of Middletown is elected to the U.S. House of Representatives. He served one term.

1936

The Boulder Dam (later renamed the Hoover Dam) is completed.

Germany hosts the Olympics in Berlin.

Anshei Israel Synagogue, an Orthodox congregation in Lisbon, Conn., builds a new facility. Later, membership dwindled and the synagogue closed in the early 1980s. 

The synagogue building was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1995.

1937

The German commercial passenger airship the “Hindenburg” catches fire while landing in New Jersey, killing 36 passengers.

Adin Steinsaltz, author of the first comprehensive Babylonian Talmud since Rashi in the 11th century, is born.

Aviation pioneer Amelia Earhart disappears off the coast of Howland Island, in the Pacific Ocean.

1938

On Nov. 9 and 10, the infamous anti-Jewish rampage Kristallnacht takes place, during which 91 Jews are murdered; close to 30,000 are sent to concentration camps; 267 synagogues are destroyed; and thousands of homes and businesses are ransacked.

In August, German authorities decree that Jewish men and women bearing first names of “non-Jewish” origin must add “Israel” and “Sara,” respectively, to their given names and must carry identity cards indicating their Jewish heritage. 

British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain goes to Germany and, after agreeing to allow Hitler to occupy Czechoslovakia, declares “peace in our time.”

1939

Germany and the Soviet Union attack Poland; Britain, France, India, Australia and New Zealand declare war on Germany; the U.S. decides to remain neutral.

The British government issues the “White Paper,” limiting to 75,000 the number of Jewish immigrants allowed to enter Palestine between 1940-1944. After this date, further immigration depends on the permission of the Arab majority; Restrictions are also placed on the rights of Jews to buy land from Arabs.

Britain and France declare war on Germany.

At the World’s Fair, held in New York, all eyes are on the General Motors Pavillion showing the world in 20 years – a world that includes automated highways, artificially produced crops, and platforms for flying cars.

 

1940s – A Noble Fight

1940

the State of Israel declares itself an independent nation in 1948

Franklin D. Roosevelt is elected for an unprecedented third term as the U.S. president.

Germany invades and occupies France, Denmark, Norway, the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg. 

The Battle of Britain begins as the German Luftwaffe attempted to gain control of British airspace through defeat of the Royal Airforce.

President Roosevelt signs the Selective Training and Service Act, making it the first military draft to be created during a peacetime.

The Hartford Yeshiva is founded. The first Jewish day school in Connecticut and the second in New England, it is originally located on Cornwall St. in Hartford. In 1974, it relocates to a new facility in Bloomfield built to resemble the city of Jerusalem, and becomes known as the Hebrew Academy, and later the Bess & Paul Sigel Hebrew Academy.

1941

British Prime Minister Winston Churchill addresses a joint session of Congress asking for help in the form of arms.

The Axis powers, led by Germany, invade and occupy Yugoslavia and Greece.

More than 2,000 American servicemen are killed when the Japanese attack Pearl Harbor in Hawaii. America declares war on Japan, and Germany responds by declaring war on America.

1942

Allied forces in Europe invade North Africa.

At the Wannsee Conference, plans are approved for the “Final Solution”.

The film “Casablanca” premières in New York City.

The United States and Canada begin the internment of 120,000 Japanese-Americans and Japanese-Canadians, fearing they will become a security threat during the war.

Congregation Tikvoh Chadoshoh (meaning “New Hope”) is organized by German refugees fleeing Hitler. Throughout the 1940s and 1950s, its membership consists mainly of these refugees, and, later, Holocaust survivors who settle in Hartford. 

1943

Mussolini resigns from his position of power and Italy surrenders during World War II.

General Dwight D. Eisenhower is appointed as the Supreme Allied Commander and takes control of the Allied forces.

An uprising takes place in the Warsaw Jewish Ghetto against the Nazis.

Italian and German forces surrender in North Africa.

On Oct. 6, 1943, 400 Orthodox rabbis march to the White House, wishing to meet face-to-face with President Roosevelt to plead for help in saving the Jews of Europe. Roosevelt is in the White House, but the group slips out the back to avoid meeting with them. Instead, the rabbis meet with Vice President Henry Wallace. 

1944

President Roosevelt is elected to a fourth term in the United States, becoming the only person to ever do so. His fourth term comes to an abrupt end, however, when he dies in office in April 1945.

Operation Overlord (D-Day) sees 150,000 Allied troops successfully storm the beaches of Normandy in France. Paris is soon liberated as the troops make their way through the country.

Popular musician and band leader Glenn Miller is reported missing while on his way to perform for troops in Paris.

Indian independence leader Mahatma Gandhi is released from prison..

The Hartford circus fire occurs on July 6 during an afternoon performance. One of the worst fire disasters in the history of the United States, an estimated 167-169 people die and more than 700 are injured.

1945

World War II officially ends in Europe on May 8 (V-E Day), as Allied and Soviet forces make their way towards Germany, liberating concentration camps along the way.

The United Nations is created.

Harry S. Truman becomes the United States President after FDR dies.

In June, the Nuremberg war crimes trial begins.

President Truman orders the use of the atomic bombs in Hiroshima and Nagasaki; five days later, on Aug. 14, Japan surrenders (V-J Day).

British troops detain Holocaust survivors attempting to enter Palestine illegally.

The Jewish Community Council, formed in 1935, and the Jewish Welfare Fund, formed in 1937, merge into a single Jewish Federation (later called the Jewish Federation of Greater Hartford. 

Annie Fisher, Hartford’s first female district superintendent of schools and first female principal, retires after a lifetime devoted to public education. Fisher, who came to America as a child to escape the persecution of Jews in Russia, later had a Hartford elementary school named in her honor. She died in 1968.

1946

The ENIAC (Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer), the first programmable electronic computer, is unveiled at the University of Pennsylvania.

Former Prime Minister, Winston Churchill, gives his “Iron Curtain” speech.

The struggle for the creation of a Jewish state in the British mandate of Palestine intensifies.

1947

The Polaroid instant camera is demonstrated.

Jackie Robinson joins the Dodgers, becoming the first African-American to play baseball in the Major Leagues.

On Nov. 29, the United Nations approves the creation of a Jewish state and an Arab state in the British mandate of Palestine.

The four-decades long “Cold War” between the world’s two superpowers – the USA and the USSR – begins.

1948

The Indian independence leader and pacifist Mahatma Gandhi is assassintated.

Great Britain creates the NHS (National Health Service).

On May 14, the State of Israel declares itself an independent nation; Andrei Gromyko, the Soviet Union’s UN ambassador, calls for the UN to accept Israel as a member state. The UN approves.

On May 15, Syria, Iraq, Transjordan, Lebanon and Egypt invade Israel.

The Soviet Union blockades West Berlin in Germany; the U.S. counters with an 11-month airlift of food and supplies.

1949

NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) is established.

Communist leader Mao Tse-Tung – aka “Chairman Mao” – establishes the People’s Republic of China.

“The Goldbergs” airs live on CBS as one of the very first television sitcoms.

Ben Gurion proclaims Jerusalem to be the capital of Israel.

The Association of Jewish Registered Nurses is founded in Hartford by three Jewish registered nurses whose mission it is to learn the newest techniques in nursing procedure, and provide scholarships for Jewish nursing students.

The Waterbury Jewish Federation is formed.

 

1950s – The Era of Good Feeling

1950

The Korean War begins when North Korea invades South Korea.

Famous physicist Albert Einstein warns the world that a nuclear war would lead to mutual destruction.

The United States begins the development and production of the hydrogen bomb.

Approximately 52,000 Connecticut men are serving their country in the Korean War.

The average price of a one-carat diamond ring costs is $399.

1951

DJ Alan Freed coins the term “Rock n’ Roll.”

The United States ratifies the 22nd Amendment, limiting a president to two terms.

The New Jersey Turnpike opens to accommodate the alarming increase in the number of cars on the road.

1952

Elizabeth II becomes the Queen of England after her father, George VI, dies.

The first hydrogen bomb is successfully detonated by the United States.

Puerto Rico is named as a self-governing commonwealth of the U.S.

The scourge of polio hits an estimated 50,000 families.

The Bloomfield Jewish Community Center is founded. A Conservative synagogue, in 1955 it adopted the name Beth Hillel and erects a new building at 1095 Blue Hills Avenue in Bloomfield. In 1967, a new synagogue and school are built at 160 Wintonbury Avenue. In 1969, Beth Hillel merged with Beth Sholom of 209 Cornwall Street in Hartford, led by Rabbi Philip Lazowski.

1953

The Double Helix DNA Model is revealed by Francis Crick and James Watson.

Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay become the first people to successfully climb to the top of Mount Everest, the tallest mountain in the world.

Jonas Salk develops the first polio vaccine.

Joseph Stalin, leader of the USSR, dies and is succeeded by Nikita Khrushchev.

1954

The U.S. Supreme Court rules that racial segregation is unconstitutional in public schools in their unanimous decision of Brown v. Board of Education.

U.S. Senator Joseph McCarthy is censured by the Senate, ending his four-year-long hunt for Communists within the United States government.

Ellis Island ceases to be a point of immigration into the U.S. when it officially closes.

Elvis Presley cuts his first commercial record.

“Nautilus,” the world’s first atomic-powered submarine, is launched at Groton.

1955

Abraham Ribicoff (right)

The Warsaw Pact is signed by the Soviet Union and seven of its satellite countries (Poland, Hungary, East Germany, Albania, Bulgaria, Romania, and Czechoslovakia).

Rosa Parks is arrested in Alabama after she refuses to give up her bus seat to a white passenger, sparking the Civil Rights Movement.

The United States adds “In God We Trust” to all paper currency.

Seven out of 10 families now own an automobile; new laws require seatbelts to be installed on all new cars.

Abraham Ribicoff is sworn in as Connecticut’s first — and, to date, only — Jewish Governor.             

Congregation Ateres Israel and the Koretzer Synagogue, both located in Hartford, merge under the new name of Ateres Knesseth Israel Congregation. In 1962, the congregation merges with Shaarey Torah Beth Hamedrash Hagodol and is renamed the United Synagogues of Hartford. The United Synagogues built a new synagogue in West Hartford in 1967, under the rabbinic leadership of Rabbi Isaac Avigdor.

1956

The Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1956 becomes law, allowing for the mass construction of tens of thousands of interstate highways in the U.S.

Albert Sabin creates the oral polio vaccine to replace the Salk vaccine.

Egypt blockades the Gulf of Aqaba and closes the Suez Canal to Israeli shipping. Egypt’s President Gamal Abdul Nasser calls for the destruction of Israel. Israel, England and France go to war and force Egypt to end the blockade.

Elvis Presley shakes his hips on “The Ed Sullivan Show” and hits the music charts for the first time with “Heartbreak Hotel.”

The Bi-Cultural Day School in Stamford is founded, becoming the second Jewish day school in Connecticut and the first in the southern part of the state.

1957

The USSR successfully launches Sputnik 1, the very first artificial satellite. They also launch Sputnik 2 later in the year, a satellite that carried the first animal into space.

Nine African-American students enroll at Little Rock Central High School in Arkansas and are met with resistance by protesters and the state’s governor. Federal troops escort the students into school at the command of President Eisenhower.

The University of Hartford opens.

1958

The microchip is co-invented by Robert Noyce and Jack Kilby.

NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) is created.

Fourteen-year-old Bobby Fischer wins the U.S. Chess Championship.

America’s first satellite is launched from Cape Canaveral.

1959

The Cuban revolution ends and Fidel Castro comes to power, creating the first Communist nation in the West.

Alaska and Hawaii are admitted as the 49th and 50th states in the U.S.

The Soviet Union’s Luna 2 spacecraft becomes the first man-made object to touch the surface of the Moon after it crashes.

The first astronauts are introduced by NASA (John H. Glenn, Jr. and Alan Shepard, Jr. ).

The Barbie doll by Mattel is born. American 

businesswoman Ruth Handler is credited with the
creation of the doll.

 

1960s – The Age of Aquarius

1960

John F. Kennedy wins the presidency with one of the smallest margins in history.

Adolf Eichmann.

Agents of Israeli internal security service Shin Bet and its foreign intelligence service Mossad abduct Adolf Eichmann, the Nazi officer primarily responsible for the actual implementation of the Holocaust, near his home in San Fernando, Buenos Aires.

The U.S. sends the first troops to Vietnam, following the French withdrawal in 1954, in the fight against communist North Vietnam.

Synagogue affiliation jumps from 20% in 1930 to 60% in 1960; the fastest growth coming in Reform and, especially, Conservative congregations

1961

In April, Soviet Cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin becomes the first person in space. One month later, Alan Shepard becomes the first American in space.

The Peace Corps is created.

The Berlin Wall separating East from West Berlin is erected. 

Americans finance anti-Castro Cubans for an invasion at the Bay of Pigs. The mission fails.

1962

James Meredith becomes the first African-American student to enroll at the University of Mississippi.

The comic book character of Spider-Man makes his debut in the Amazing Fantasy #15 comic.

The Cuban Missile Crisis occurs when the Russians place ballistic missiles on Cuban land just 90 miles away from the coast of Florida; JFK calls their bluff.

1963

U.S. Civil Rights Leader Martin Luther King Jr. gives his famous “I Have a Dream” speech.

Yugoslavia becomes a socialist federal republic and President Josip Tito is appointed as “President for Life.”

On Nov. 22, President John F. Kennedy is assassinated by Lee Harvey Oswald; Lyndon Johnson is sworn in as president.

Several Connecticut rabbis — including Rabbi Stanley M. Kessler of Beth El Temple in West Hartford and Rabbi Jack Bloom of Congregation Beth El in Fairfield – are among a group of 19 rabbis to march with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in Birmingham, Ala. and later join King in Selma, Ala., as a precursor to the five-day Selma-to-Montgomery march for voting rights. 

Abraham Ribicoff is sworn in as U.S. Senator from Connecticut.

Ahavath Achim Synagogue moves from Bridgeport to Fairfield. The Bridgeport building, built in 1926, and was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1995. The Orthodox synagogue catered to Bridgeport’s sizable Hungarian Jewish community whose members settled primarily in the city’s West End. It now functions as a church. 

1964

Three civil rights workers – two of them Jewish – are murdered in Mississippi.

On Feb. 9, the Beatles give their first live U.S. television performance on The Ed Sullivan Show, watched by approximately 73 million viewers.

Jewish-Christian relations are revolutionized by Vatican II.

President Lyndon B. Johnson signs the Civil Rights Act of 1964 into law.

Sidney Poitier wins the Academy Award for Best Actor, becoming the first black actor to win that honor.

The computer coding language BASIC (Beginner’s All-Purpose Symbolic Instruction Code) is introduced.

1965

Sandy Koufax.

Sandy Koufax, one of the outstanding Jewish athletes in American sports, retires as one of baseball’s greatest pitchers at the age of 30. Koufax’s decision not to pitch Game 1 of the 1965 World Series because it fell on Yom Kippur garnered national attention and won him the admiration of the American Jewish community.

The Vietnam War escalates and opposition to it begins to mount as anti-Vietnam protests become more common.

Mary Quant designs the mini-skirt in London and it becomes a fashion craze.

35,000 people march on Washington, D.C. to protest the Vietnam War.

Connecticut voters approve a new state constitution.

1966

Shmuel Yosef Agnon becomes the first Hebrew writer to win the Nobel Prize in Literature.

Race riots spread across the U.S. and the National Guard is called in to restore law and order.

The first episode of the popular television show “Star Trek” airs.

The Soviet Union’s Luna 9 unmanned spacecraft lands on the Moon.

Indira Gandhi becomes the Prime Minister of India.

1967

The Green Bay Packers and the Kansas City Chiefs play against each other in the first Super Bowl. The Packers win 35 to 10.

South African doctor Christiaan Barnard completes the first heart transplant operation.

Thurgood Marshall becomes the first
African-American appointed to the
Supreme Court.

In the days leading up to the Six Day War, Egyptian President Nasser demands that the U.N. dismantle its emergency force between Israel and Egypt. He then closes the Straits of Tiran to Israeli shipping and declares Egypt to be in a state of war with Israel; Egyptian troops mass in the Sinai.

On June 5, the Six Day War begins. The Israeli air force destroys the Egyptian air force on the ground over a period of three hours. Israel signs a ceasefire with its enemies Egypt, Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, and Iraq. It remains in control of the formerly Egyptian Gaza Strip and Sinai Peninsula, the Syrian Golan Heights and the Jordanian West Bank and East Jerusalem.

On Sept. 1, Arab leaders meet in Sudan and issue the “Three No’s of Khartoum: No recognition of Israel. No negotiations with Israel. No peace with Israel.”

1968

On April 4, Civil Rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. is assassinated by James Earl Ray.

On June 5, U.S. Senator Robert Kennedy of New York is assassinated in Los Angeles, Calif. as he campaigns for the Democrtic presidential nomination.

The first Black Power salute is seen on TV during an Olympics medal ceremony.

The Civil Rights Act of 1968 is signed into law by President Johnson.

Richard Nixon wins the United States presidential election.

The first manned Apollo mission, Apollo 7, is launched by NASA.

On July 20, Neil Armstrong becomes the first person to set foot on the Moon.

1969

Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin become the first men to arrive on the Moon during NASA’s Apollo 11 mission.

More than 400 young people attend the Woodstock music festival in New York’s Catskills Mountain. Performers include Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, and The Who.

The popular children’s TV show “Sesame Street” debuts.

 

1970s – Disco the Decade Away

1970

The Concord makes its first supersonic flight.

The voting age is lowered from 21 to 18.

The Beatles announce they are disbanding.

NASA’s Apollo 13 Moon Mission returns to Earth successfully after abandoning its mission to the Moon owing to oxygen tank problems and an explosion.

The United States invades Cambodia.

The first jumbo-jet, the Boeing 747, makes its debut commercial flight from New York to London.

1971

The invention of the microprocessor heralds the beginning of the digital age.

Solomon Schechter Day School of Greater Hartford is founded.

The Pentagon Papers are published by the New York Times.

1972

PONG, the first video game to have commercial success, is released.

The first U.S. cable subscription service, HBO, is introduced.

Richard Nixon is re-elected President of the United States.

Eleven Israeli athletes competing in the Summer Olympics in Munich, Germany are massacred by Arab terrorists.

Swimmer Mark Spitz wins seven Olympic gold medals at the Munich Olympics, setting a world record for most gold medals won in a single Olympics.

On June 17, five men are arrested for breaking and entering into the Democratic National Committee headquarters at the Watergate complex in Washington, D.C.

Rabbi Morris Silverman, the long-time spiritual leader of The Emanuel Synagogue in West Hartford and the author of Hartford Jews, 1659-1970, dies. Silverman edited the High Holiday Prayer Book — aka the “Silverman Machzor” in 1939, which became the Conservative movement’s official Machzor for more than half a century.

1973

Moshe Dayan led israel to victory during the yom kippur war.

The Yom Kippur War begins when Egyptian and Syrian forces simultaneously attack Israeli positions in the Sinai Peninsula and the Golan Heights, respectively.

OPEC reduces oil production and restricts the flow of oil to countries supporting Israel, driving up oil prices and triggering a global economic crisis.

The Watergate hearings begin in the U.S. Senate.

Secretariat wins the Triple Crown in horse racing.

The United States Supreme Court declares that abortion is a constitutional right in the landmark decision on the Roe v. Wade case

1974

President Richard Nixon resigns from office after being implicated in the Watergate Scandal. Vice President Gerald Ford assumes the presidency.

India becomes the sixth nuclear power when it successfully detonates a nuclear bomb.

Ella Grasso becomes the first woman to be elected Governor in Connecticut.

1975

The Vietnam War ends.

The movie “Jaws” opens in theaters.

Sony introduces the Betamax video tape system.

The popular late-night sketch show, Saturday Night Live, airs for the first time.

Bill Gates and Paul Allen create the company Microsoft.

President Gerald Ford signs the Jackson-Vanik amendment, tying U.S. trade benefits to the Soviet Union to freedom of emigration for Soviet Jews.

The United Nations adopts a resolution equating Zionism with racism; rescinded in 1991.

1976

Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak create the Apple Computer Company.

NASA introduces the first space shuttle, the Enterprise.

The Democratic candidate, Jimmy Carter, defeats Republican incumbent Gerald Ford, to win the Presidential race.

On July 4, the Israel Defense Forces rescue airline passengers held hostage by Arab terrorists in Entebbe, Uganda. Unit commander Lt. Col. Yonatan Netanyahu is the mission’s sole fatality.

Riots in Soweto, South Africa mark the beginning of the end of apartheid.

1977

Control of the Panama Canal is returned to Panama from the United States.

MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) Scanner is first tested.

The first oil flows through the Trans Alaskan Oil Pipeline.

The precursor to the GPS system in use today is started by the U.S. Department of Defense.

Elvis Presley dies from a heart attack at age 42.

1978

Yiddish writer Isaac Bashevis Singer receives the Nobel Prize for Literature.

Louise Brown, the very first test tube baby, is born.

Israel and Egypt sign the Camp David Accords at the White House. The agreement provides for the establishment of an autonomous authority in the West Bank and Gaza Strip and for withdrawal of Israeli forces from the Sinai Peninsula in exchange for the establishment of full diplomatic relations with Egypt.

“Son of Sam” serial killer David Berkowitz is convicted of murder after terrorizing New York for 12 months.

1979

Egypt and Israel sign the Egypt–Israel Peace Treaty under the framework of the Camp David Accords at the White House.

The Three Mile Island nuclear incident occurs in Pennsylvania.

After being exiled for fifteen years, Ayatollah Khomeini returns to power in Iran.

The Walkman is introduced by Sony.

Rhodesia becomes Zimbabwe after the country’s first black-led government in 90 years takes power.

Prime Minister Menachem Begin and President Anwar Sadat are awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

Israel launches Operation Elijah, the rescue of Ethiopian Jewry.

Margaret Thatcher becomes the first woman to be elected prime minister of the United Kingdom.

Following the return of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, Iran becomes an Islamic Republic; 63 Americans are taken hostage in the American embassy in Tehran.

 

1980s – The Days of Self-Indulgence

1980

Camcorders and fax machines begin to hit store shelves.

The U.S. boycotts the Moscow Olympic Games.

War breaks out between Iraq and Iran.

Mount St. Helens erupts on March 27.

John Lennon is shot and dies.

The popular video arcade game “Pac-Man” is released.

Ronald Reagan is elected President of the United States.

1981

The space shuttle Columbia lifts off for its first flight.

Lady Diana Spencer marries Prince Charles.

A little-known group called “Solidarity” inspires protests and a general strike in Poland.

Sam Gejdenson is elected to the U.S. House of Representatives from Connecticut’s greater New London area, serving until 2000. Born in 1948 in an American displaced persons camp in Germany, Gejdenson was the first child of Holocaust survivors elected to the U.S. House of Representatives.

The cable network MTV (Music Television) is launched.

Anwar Sadat, the Egyptian President, is assassinated.

Sandra Day O’Connor is nominated as the first female Supreme Court Justice by President Reagan.

1982

Israel invades southern Lebanon to drive out the PLO.

Argentina invades the Falkland Islands, and Argentina and Britain go to war over the small island. Britain prevails.

A major recession hits the United States.

1983

Sally Ride becomes the first American woman in space.

Motorola introduces the first mobile phones to the United States.

Microsoft releases “Word,” the company’s word processing program.

Following the worst drought in history, the death toll in Ethiopia reaches four million.

Reform Jews formally accept patrilineal descent, creating a new definition of “who is a Jew?”

Joseph I. Lieberman of Stamford is elected as the state’s Attorney General, serving until 1989, when he successfully runs for the U.S. Senate.

1984

The AIDS virus is identified.

Apple releases the Macintosh computer.

Recession continues to plague the U.S.; 70 U.S. banks fail in just one year.

Israel launches “Operation Moses, Joshua” to rescue Ethiopian Jews.

India’s Prime Minister, Indira Gandhi, is assassinated.

Band Aid records “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” a charity single to raise money for famine relief in Ethiopia.

The Soviet Union boycotts the 1984
Los Angeles Olympic Summer Games.

China and the United Kingdom agree that the U.K. will transfer power over Hong Kong back to China in the future.

1985

The first dot com is registered and the first version of Windows is released.

Palestinian terrorists hijack TWA Flight 847 and the Italian Cruise Liner “Achille Lauro,” killing a wheelchair-bound Jewish American passenger.

Live Aid concerts around the world raise many millions to help the starving in Africa.

Legendary basketball player Michael Jordan is named as the NBA’s “Rookie of the Year.”

The wreck of the Titanic is discovered.

1986

“Refuseniks” led by Natan Sharanskiy (front row in center) in Moscow.

Soviet Jewish dissident Natan Sharansky is finally freed from prison.

The Chernobyl Nuclear Power Station in Russia explodes, causing the release of radioactive material across much of Europe.

Elie Wiesel wins the Nobel Peace Prize.

The Space Shuttle Challenger disaster takes place when the space shuttle disintegrates after being launched, killing all on board.

1987

On Oct. 19, the stock market drops 22.6% in one day and throughout the rest of the world major falls are recorded by the end of October.

The first Arab intifada against Israel begins.

“The Simpsons” make their debut on the Tracy Ullman Show.

1988

The Soviet Union withdraws their troops from Afghanistan.

George H.W. Bush is elected President after defeating Michael Dukakis.

Two years after the Challenger Disaster, NASA’s Space Shuttle program resumes.

The site of the original Globe Theater is discovered by archaeologists in London.

The Hubble Space Telescope goes into operation to explore deep space and is still in full use today mapping our universe.

On Dec. 21, a bomb is exploded on Pan Am Flight 103 over Locerkbie in Scotland killing everyone on board.

1989

Following massive protests, the Berlin Wall collapses, leading to the end of the Cold War and the reunification of East and West Germany.

In China pro-democracy protesters clash with Chinese Security Forces in Tiananmen Square. 

Joe Lieberman is elected to the U.S. Senate, serving alongside Connecticut’s senior Senator Abraham A. Ribicoff.

The Exxon Valdez oil tanker spills 240,000 barrels of oil in the Prince William Sound in Alaska.

 

1990s – The Dot.com Decade

1990

The Soviet Union allows its three million Jews to leave – hundreds of thousands move
to Israel.

Following the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait, the U.S. and Britain send troops into Kuwait; Iraq bombards Israel with 39 Scud missiles.

Tim Berners-Lee publishes the first webpage on the World Wide Web.

A hole is discovered in the ozone layer above the North Pole.

Richard Blumenthal is elected Connecticut Attorney General.

Nelson Mandela is released from prison in South Africa and becomes the leader of the ANC.

Margaret Thatcher resigns from her position as Prime Minister in the United Kingdom.

1991

Lech Walesa is elected as president of Poland.

Israel rescues the remainder of Ethiopian Jewry with a 24-hour airlift known as “Operation Solomon.”

The Internet becomes available for unrestricted commercial use.

Croatia, Macedonia, and Slovenia become independent from the former Yugoslavia.

The lead singer of the band Queen, Freddie Mercury, dies from AIDS.

Operation Desert Storm takes place in Iraq and Kuwait.

Boris Yeltsin becomes Russia’s first elected President.

1992

DNA fingerprinting is invented.

The European Union is created when the Maastricht Treaty is signed.

Democrat Bill Clinton is elected President of the United States.

1993

Oslo Accords in Washington, D.C., providing for the withdrawal of some IDF forces from the West Bank and Gaza Strip and for the establishment of a self-governing authority for the Palestinians.

Islamic Fundamentalists bomb the World Trade Center.

Intel introduces the Pentium Processor.

Ruth Joan Bader Ginsburg becomes associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, making her the first Jewish female justice.

Czechoslovakia separates into the Czech Republic and Slovakia.

The Hubble Telescope is repaired in space by a crew on the Space Shuttle Endeavour.

NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement) is signed into law.

Intel introduces the Pentium Microprocessor.

1994

Israel and Jordan sign the Israel–Jordan peace treaty, which clarifies the borders of the two countries and their water rights. Each pledges that neither would allow a third country to use its territory to stage an attack on the other.

Yitzhak Rabin

Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, Foreign Minister Shimon Peres and PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat share the Nobel Peace Prize.

Nelson Mandela becomes the president of South Africa after being elected in the country’s first multi-racial elections.

Genocide and civil war take place in Rwanda with an estimated 500,000 killed. The English Channel Tunnel is opened, joining England to France for the first time.

Tensions erupt over the inspection of nuclear plants in North Korea.

The Lubavitcher (Chabad) Rebbe Menachem Mendel Schneerson dies.

Shlomo Carlebach, considered by many to be the foremost Jewish religious songwriter of the 20th century, dies. 

1995

On April 19, a car bomb destroys Oklahoma City’s Murrah Federal Building, killing 168 people.

On Dec. 10, Prime Minister Yitzchak Rabin is assassinated after a rally in Tel Aviv, by radical nationalist Yigal Amir, an opponent of the Oslo Accords.

Congregation Beth Israel’s two-story limestone building capped by a byzantine dome and built in the shape of a 12-sided polygon, symbolic of the 12 tribes of Israel, is listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places.

The American Space Shuttle Atlantis docks with the Russian Mir Space Station for the first time.

The online auction website Ebay is founded.

1996

Shimon Peres is defeated in the Israeli election for prime minister by Benjamin Netanyahu.

Britain’s Prince Charles and Princess Diana divorce.

The number of users on the Internet swells to more than 10 million.

The first ever cloning of a mammal creates Dolly the sheep.

The Hebrew High School of New England, a joint effort between the Jewish communities of Hartford, New Haven and Springfield, Mass., opens its doors.

Kofi Annan becomes Secretary General of the United Nations.

President Bill Clinton is elected to a second term.

1997

Great Britain hands Hong Kong back to China.

Princess Diana dies in a car accident.

The Westchester Fairfield Hebrew Academy opens in a rented space in Port Chester, N.Y.  In 2001, it relocates to Temple Sholom in Greenwich and, in 2006, it moves to Lake Avenue. The school is then renamed Carmel Academy in 2011.

Madeleine Albright is appointed as the first female Secretary of State of the United States.

The first Harry Potter book is published by author J.K. Rowling.

The Hale-Bopp comet makes its closest approach to Earth.

1998

Bill Clinton denies having “sexual relations” with former White House intern Monica Lewinsky, but later recants.

The search engine Google is founded.

Apple Computers reveals the iMac computer.

The United States has a budget surplus for the first time in thirty years.

Ireland and the United Kingdom sign the Belfast Agreement, also known as the Good Friday Agreement, ending their strife.

1999

Ehud Barak is elected prime minister of Israel.

Computers around the world run testing for the so-called “millennium bug” that many fear will cause wide scale disruption of business and infrastructure in the year 2000.

President Bill Clinton faces impeachment proceedings.

The file-sharing service Napster is created.

The Dow Jones closes above 11,000 for the first time.

Helen Clark becomes the first female Prime Minister elected in New Zealand.

Eleven countries begin to use the Euro as their currency.

 

2000s – The World Grows Smaller

2000

Y2K passes without anticipated computer failures.

Democrats nominate Joseph I. Lieberman for Vice President – making the Connecticut senator the first Jew nominated for a national office by a major political party. Lieberman loses when George W. Bush defeats Al Gore in a disputed election that made its way to the Supreme Court.  

In Yemen, several U.S. soldiers die when terrorists bomb the U.S.S. Cole.

Pope John Paul II visits Israel and prays for forgiveness for the sins of those involved in the Holocaust.

Israel unilaterally withdraws its remaining forces from its security zone in southern Lebanon. 

Nine Orthodox Jewish families arrive in Waterbury to form what may well be the first planned Jewish community in the U.S. Today, that community is several hundred strong. 

A study shows more than 125,000 Jews residing in Connecticut, ranking it the 10th highest state for Jewish population. The largest growth was in the Southern part of Connecticut, considered suburbs of New York City.

The lifespan of Americans stands at
77.5 years.

Hillary Clinton is elected to the US Senate representing New York.

Tiger Woods becomes the youngest player to win a Grand Slam in golf.

The State of Vermont legalizes Civil Unions for same-sex couples.

The cost of a U.S. postage stamp is 33 cents.

2001

Ariel Sharon is elected prime minister of Israel.

On Sept. 11 – aka 9/11 –terrorists hijack four U.S. commercial airliners, crashing into the World Trade Center, which collapses, the Pentagon and a field in Pennsylvania. Several thousand people die. 

In response to the Sept. 11 attacks, the U.S. invades Afghanistan, with some participation from the UK, to oust the Taliban and find Al-Qaeda mastermind Osama bin Laden.

Enron files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

Built in 1360 and closed in 1990 for repairs, the Leaning Tower of Pisa in Italy reopens after a team of engineers, architects, and soil experts successfully stabilized it without removing its famous tilt. The repairs cost about $27 million. It estimated that the building will last at least another 200 years before toppling over. 

 The U.S. pulls out of 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty.

2002

In the first three months of 2002, 14 suicide bombers kill dozens of Israeli civilians, and wound hundreds. In response, Israeli tanks and warplanes attack several West Bank towns.

The International Atomic Energy Agency discovers Iran’s concealed nuclear activities.

President George Bush creates the Department of Homeland Security to fight threats of terrorism.

The Euro becomes the official currency of twelve of the European Union’s Members.

2003

Former Iraqi president Saddam Hussein is captured by the U.S. In 2006, he is convicted of crimes against humanity by an Iraqi court and hanged in Baghdad.

The first Palestinian prime minister, Mahmoud Abbas, is elected.

Terrorists from Al-Qaeda drive two trucks packed with explosives and bombs into the Bet Israel and Neve Shalom synagogues in Istanbul, Turkey, killing 27.

On Feb. 1, the Space Shuttle Columbia disintegrates upon re-entry, tragically killing all on board.  All seven crew members, including Israeli astronaut Ilan Ramon, were killed. 

The Concorde, a supersonic, high-end passenger jet that flew at twice the speed of sound and was first launched in 1969, takes its last flight.  

The United States and the United Kingdom start a shock and awe campaign against Iraq with massive air strikes on military targets in Baghdad, before invading the country with land forces.  

Lance Armstrong wins his fifth Tour De France.

2004

The Boston Red Sox win the World Series in baseball for the first time since 1918.

President George Bush beats Democratic challenger John Kerry to gain a second term of office.

In February, Facebook is launched by Mark Zuckerberg and three fellow students as a social networking site only open to students from Harvard. It then expands first to other colleges in the Boston area and then to other Ivy League colleges.

Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon announces planes to unilaterally withdraw from the Gaza Strip.

In the face of ethnic cleansing by government-backed militia in Darfur, Sudan, one million people flee their homes.

Chechen rebels take 763 hostages in a Moscow theater. Russian authorities release a gas into the theater, killing 116 hostages and freeing the remainder.

A tsunami devastates Asia; at least 290,000 people are confirmed dead.

Yasser Arafat dies in Paris.

CBS uncovers systematic torture of Iraqi prisoners at the Abu Ghraib Prison.

2005

Hurricane Katrina strikes the Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama coastal areas, flooding roughly 80% of the city of New Orleans.

Islamic terrorist bombings kill 52 and wound about 700 in London.

Israel evacuates 8,000 Israeli settlers from the Gaza Strip.

Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon quits as head of the Likud party to start a new party called Kadima. In December, Sharon suffers a massive stroke and is replaced by Ehud Omert, who is elected prime minister in 2006.

Jordan Farmar becomes the only Jew in the National Basketball Association.

The Kyoto Protocol, intended to cut global emissions of greenhouse gasses comes into effect, without the support of the United States and Australia.

The video-sharing website “YouTube” is founded.

Israeli settlers are evicted from settlements in the Gaza Strip as part of peace settlement.

Lance Armstrong wins a record seventh straight Tour de France before his scheduled retirement.

 Iran’s Mahmoud Ahmadinejad wins a landslide victory in Iran’s presidential election.

The U.S. Supreme Court rules that users of medicinal marijuana can be prosecuted for violating federal drug laws.

2006

Militant group Hamas wins 74 of 132 seats in Palestinian legislative elections.

A Danish newspaper prints several negative cartoons depicting Muhammad, sparking riots throughout the Muslim world.

Iranian President Mamoud Ahmadinejad announces that Iran has successfully enriched uranium.

The terrorist group Hezbollah fires rockets into Israel and captures two Israeli soldiers. In response, Israel launches a major military attack into Lebanon, lasting 34 days.

The Islamist terrorist group Hamas wins the Palestinian parliamentary elections, and formally takes over the Palestinian government.

Pluto is downgraded from a Planet to a dwarf planet by The International Astronomical Union.  

2007

A student on the Virginia Tech Campus fatally shoots 30 students.

Former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto is assassinated.

Al-Qaeda terrorists explode bombs in Algiers, killing 50.

Nancy Pelosi is elected as the first female Speaker of the House.

The Apple Computer Company announces the release of the very first iPhone.

The Jewish High School of Connecticut, serving Jewish families in New Haven and Fairfield Counties, opens its door in Bridgeport. The school later relocates to Woodbridge and then to Stamford, where it sets up permanent stakes.

2008

Fidel Castro steps down as president of Cuba after almost 50 years in power.

Israel responds to the persistent rocket attacks from Hamas by launching “Operation Cast Lead,” a military invasion of the Gaza Strip that lasts 23 days.

Same-sex marriage becomes legal in Connecticut.

President Bush and House leaders agree to a $150 billion stimulus package, including rebates for most tax filers.

2009

Barack Obama is inaugurated as the first African American President of the United States.

The Likud party’s Benjamin Netanyahu becomes Prime Minister of Israel.

Entertainer Michael Jackson dies.

The $700 billion bailout/rescue package bill called the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008, is signed into law

 

2010s – The Rising Tide of Antisemitism

2010

Elena Kagan is confirmed as an associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. She is the fourth woman, and the second Jewish woman, to serve in that role.

The Burj Khalifa skyscraper in Dubai opens. The 163-floor tower is the world’s tallest building.

2011

Citizens in countries across the Middle East rise up against their governments in what becomes known as the Arab Spring. Countries affected include Tunisia, Egypt, Syria, Libya, Yemen and Bahrain among others. Many believe that social media was responsible for how widespread the
protests became.

Hundreds of protestors in Damascus, Syria call for democratic reforms but the protests are broken up by the government’s forces. When anti-government protestors form fighting units and stage an insurrection against the Syrian army a civil war is set off.

The Occupy Wall Street movement is launched as a protest meant to highlight income inequality in the U.S. and the world. 

Osama bin Laden, the mastermind behind the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks., is killed by U.S. forces during a raid on his compound hideout in Pakistan.

A monument honoring 14 Jewish chaplains who died in service to our nation is unveiled at Arlington National Cemetery. Among those memorialized is Rabbi David M. Sobel, a West Hartford native who died on March 7, 1974 while serving in the U.S. Air Force.  

In a project spearheaded by the Jewish War Veterans, Tresser Boulevard, named for Pvt. Samuel Tresser, who was killed in action during WWI, is rededicated after its memorial plaque is moved to a new location. 

2012 

The IDF begins an eight-day operation to strike at Hamas in the Gaza Strip, a response to ongoing rocket fire.

A gunman opens fire at a midnight screening of “The Dark Knight Rises” in Aurora, Colorado, killing twelve and injuring 58 people on July 20th..

Twenty-year-old Adam Lanza attacks Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, shooting and killing 26 people, most of them children. Lanza then kills himself. The attack was the second deadliest mass shooting committed by a single gunman in U.S. history and opened up discussion on gun control and mental health.

2013

The Hebrew Congregation of Woodmont, a synagogue built in Milford in 1926 for seasonal use by vacationing Jewish families, is badly damaged by a fire. By 2014, it is reconstructed and restored for year-round use.

Rabbi Henry Okolica, a Holocaust survivor who has served for 50+ years as spiritual leader of Congregation Tiphereth Israel in New Britain, marks his 100th birthday with a celebration attended by many local dignitaries. He died in 2017 at the age of 103.

Connecticut’s Jewish population is estimated to be 116,050.

2014

Saudi Arabia declares Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organization.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu presents former N.Y. Mayor Michael Bloomberg with the inaugural Genesis Prize at a ceremony held in Jerusalem and emceed by Jay Leno.

Hamas terrorists kidnapped three Israeli teenagers while they were hitchhiking home from school. After a three-week long search, their bodies are found in a field near Hebron. 

Abraham H. Foxman, who served as national director of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) for close to 50 years, announces plans to step down. 

Alan Gross, who was arrested in Cuba in 2009 when he was working as a subcontractor for the U.S. Agency for International Development setting up internet access for Cuban Jews, is released from prison as part of a prisoner swap. The same day, President Obama announces renewed ties with the communist nation. Gross and his wife, Judy, later announce plans to make aliyah.

Beth Israel Synagogue in New Haven – also known as the “Orchard Street Shul” – celebrates its centennial. The building at 232 Orchard St. was built in 1925.

Temple B’nai Abraham in Meriden celebrates its 125th anniversary.

Rabbi Joseph Ehrenkranz, spiritual leader of Stamford’s Congregation Agudath Sholom for close to 45 years and co-founder of the Center for Christian-Jewish Understanding at Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, dies. 

Dr. Stuart Miller, director of UConn’s Center for Judaic Studies and Contemporary Jewish Life, makes international headlines when he unearths a nearly perfectly preserved mikvah in the basement of a house in Chesterfield, a former Jewish farming community in eastern Connecticut.

2015

American yeshiva student Ezra Schwartz, 18, is killed in a shooting in the West Bank. Schwartz, who is from Sharon, Massachusetts, is memorialized by the New England Patriots with a moment of silence prior to their Nov. 23 game.

French supermarket shooting.

Four Jews are killed by an ISIS gunman during a hostage siege at a kosher supermarket in Paris, two days after ISIS gunmen storm the Paris offices of the satirical newspaper, Charlie Hebdo, killing 11.

Alberto Nisman — the Argentine prosecutor investigating the 1994 bombing of the AMIA Jewish center in Buenos Aires — is found shot to death, just hours before he is to present evidence implicating his country’s president and foreign minister in a scheme to cover up Iran’s role in the bombing.

Prime Minister Netanyahu addresses a joint session of Congress to warn of the emerging Iran nuclear deal.

The U.S. Supreme Court strikes down a 2002 law allowing U.S. citizens to list Jerusalem as their place of birth. 

Congress approves a deal between Iran and six world powers to curb Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for easing sanctions.

The ADL reports a 30 percent jump in anti-Israel activity on college campuses.

Jonathan Pollard is freed after spending 30 years in prison for spying for Israel — and a federal judge asks the Parole Commission to justify the overly strict conditions of his parole. 

 Connecticut hosts its first Connecticut-Israel Innovations Showcase.

Temple Shearith Israel in Ridgefield and Jewish Family Congregation in South Salem, N.Y. merge to form Congregation Shir Shalom.

Five months after a Facebook post about Hamas by Connecticut College Professor Andrew Pessin embroils the school in controversy, the tenured professor says he won’t return to campus because of persistent death threats.

2016

Running on the Republican ticket, N.Y. real estate mogul and media personality Donald J. Trump is elected President of the United States.

Former Cuban leader Fidel Castro dies at 90.

A political earthquake strikes Europe when 52 percent of Brits vote for their country’s exit from the European Union.

Connecticut’s Route 9 Bridge is renamed in honor of the Middletown native Major General Maurice Rose, killed in action during World War II. 

 

The new Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Campus on Park Avenue in Bridgeport — home of the new Jewish Senior Services — celebrates its grand opening. 

  

The Connecticut Jewish Ledger endorses a candidate for U.S. president — Hillary Clinton — for the first time in the paper’s 88-year history.

A four-alarm fire causes extensive damage to the facility of the JCC and Jewish Federation of Greater New Haven in Woodbridge.

2017

Millions of people worldwide join the Women’s March in response to the inauguration of Donald Trump as President of the United States.

An Islamic terrorist bombing attack at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, England, kills 22 people and injures more than 500 others.

Amidst widespread criticism, the U.S. government announces its decision to withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement in due time.

The Unite the Right rally is held in Charlottesville, Virginia, United States, by a variety of white nationalist and other far-right groups. A young counter-protester, is killed after being hit by a car.

A rental truck plows into cyclists and runners in Lower Manhattan killing eight people and injuring eleven in an Islamic terror attack.

Guatemala follows in the footsteps of the United States by announcing that they will also move their Israeli embassy to Jerusalem, followed by Honduras and Panama two days later.

PBS releases a NOVA documentary that tells the remarkable story about the discovery of the “Holocaust Escape Tunnel” by an international team of researchers led by the University of Hartford’s Dr. Richard Freund.

Westport residents wake up to find fliers with a white supremacist/neo-Nazi message strewn about their driveways, almost two years to the day after a similar incident in Westport, and three months after a similar incident in Norwalk.

For the third time in the past eight months, antisemetic and racist graffiti is found at a park in Ridgefield.

Bi-Cultural Day School in Stamford is selected a 2017 National Blue Ribbon School by the U.S. Department of Education – the only Jewish day school in the country, and one of only five schools in Connecticut, to earn the honor.

After an acrimonious 10-year fight, Rabbi Joseph Eisenbach earns the right to convert an historic 136-year-old Victorian home in Litchfield into a Chabad House.

2018

President Donald Trump formally announces the United States recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Later in the year, the United States dedicates its new embassy in Jerusalem.

The Czech Republic reopens its honorary consulate in Jerusalem.

Massacre at the “Tree of life” synagogue

Eleven congregants of Tree of Life Synagogue in the Squirrel Hill section of Pittsburgh are shot and killed during Shabbat morning services by a right-wing extremist shouting antisemitic slogans.

An FBI report reveals that hate crimes 

against Jews in America rose by more than a third last year and accounted for 58 percent of all religion-based hate crimes.

Antisemitic hate crimes in Canada increased by 63 percent in 2017, according to a new report by Statistics Canada.

The Polish Senate passes legislation making criminal accusations that accuse the Polish state of the crimes committed by the Nazis during World War II.

Olympic gymnast Aly Raisman delivers a searing courtroom victim impact statement against Larry Nassar, the former USA gymnastics team physician guilty of sexually abusing more than 140 women, including Raisman.

Ilhan Omar, the newly elected congresswoman from Minnesota immediately voices her support for the Boycott, Divest, and Sanctions movement against Israel.
She also makes several remarks that are viewed as antisemitic.

Sen. John McCain, who made human rights and Israel centerpieces of his advocacy for a robust U.S. influence across the planet, dies of brain cancer. He was 81.

Women’s March leader Tamika Mallory is mired in controversy because of her association with the virulently antisemitic Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan.

Congregation Sinai of West Haven and Milford closes its doors after nearly 90 years and merges with Beth El-Keser Israel (BEKI) of New Haven.

The Maurice Greenberg Center for Judaic Studies at the University of Hartford moves into a sprawling $1.2 million space.

More than 1,000 people celebrate the completed renovation of the Jewish Community Center of Greater New Haven. The official reopening comes a year after a fire did devastating damage to the facility, rendering its future uncertain.

In the aftermath of the mass shooting in Parkland, Florida, in which 17 high school students and teachers were killed, Governor Malloy requests that the legislature bond an additional $10 million to allow schools to increase their security.

The spate of antisemitic incidents that has plagued Ridgefield for two years continues with the discovery of swastikas in Ballard Park. This, despite educational programs provided by the local ADL.

 UJA Federation Greenwich and JCC Greenwich announce their merger.

After six years – and some controversy – Chabad of Westport gets set to host the grand opening of its new home.

Congregation Beth Ahm in Windsor closes its doors after 70 years and merges with Beth Hillel Temple in South Windsor.

Bi-Cultural Day School and the Jewish High School of Connecticut, both of Stamford, merge to form Bi-Cultural Hebrew Academy – the first pre k-12th grade Jewish school in the state.

 2019

“Who Will Write Our History,” a film based on Trinity University Professor Samuel Kas-sow’s book of the same name, premieres to sold-out audiences at the New York Jewish Film Festival at Lincoln Center, then open worldwide. 

U.S. President Donald Trump signed a presidential proclamation to officially recognize Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights.

The Bess and Paul Sigel Hebrew Academy of Greater Hartford and the Hebrew High School of New England announce plans to merge in the fall. The new school will be called the New England Jewish Academy.

The U.S. presidential season gets an early start as no fewer than 20 Democratic candidates throw their hats in the ring.

The Jewish world is outraged when The New York Times publishes an antisemitic cartoon. The cartoon, which was published last month in the opinion section of the paper’s international edition, depicts Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as a dog on a leash leading a blind President Donald Trump. The U.S. leader was drawn wearing a yarmulke and Netanyahu’s collar had a Star of David.

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