CT News

WHAT’S HAPPENING – April 20 – June 17

Jewish organizations are invited to submit their upcoming events to the our What’s Happening section. Events are placed on the Ledger website on Tuesday afternoons. Deadline for submission of calendar items is the previous Tuesday. Send items to: judiej@jewishledger.com.


How digital platforms and spaces can enable hate and bias
“Social Media and Extremism” is the focus of a panel discussion hosted by ADL Connecticut on April 20, 12 noon – 1 p.m. The discussion will explore the intersections of extremism, free speech, technology, and the future of public digital discourse. Panelists include Graeme Wood, staff writer at The Atlantic; Susan Benesch, director of The Dangerous Speech Project; Oren Segal, ADL vice presidents of the Center on Extremism; and Lauren Krapt, ADL National Policy Counsel. For more information, email Nora Cohen at ncohen@adl.org.  Register at:  https://adl.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_N5-7B2UUS_aZuVGbKDIRAA

Harry Potter in Yiddish, Magic in Mame-Loshn, with Arun Schaechter Viswanath
Arun Schaechter Viswanath will discuss “Harry Potter in Yiddish, Magic in Mame-Loshn,” on April 20 at 5:30 p.m. Hosted by UConn Judaic Studies. For more information, visit judaicstudies.uconn.edu/upcoming-events/

JCC in Sherman announces line-up for 2021 Great Decisions 
2021 Great Decisions, a nation-wide discussion group on U.S. foreign policy and global affairs sponsored by the Foreign Policy Association (FPA) and co-hosted by the JCC in Sherman and The Sherman Library, will begin on April 20, 7 – 8:30 p.m. on Zoom. The 8-session monthly program will run on Tuesdays through November. Each month participants will review and discuss a critical world issue facing America today.   

Topics for 2021 are: Global Supply Chains and the U.S. National Security; The Future of Persian Gulf Security; Brexit: Taking Stock and Looking Ahead; The Coldest War: Toward a Return to Great Power Competition in the Arctic, China and Africa; The Two Koreas; The World Health Organization’s Response to Covid-19; and, The End of Globalization.  

Briefing booklets: $20, purchase and pick up at the Sherman Library. Call (860) 354-2455 to schedule a pick-up time. Register early to receive a briefing book. 

For information:  info@jccinsherman.org, or visit jccinsherman.org/greatdecisions.  


“Alternate History of Antisemitism & Fascism in American Culture”
Since the 1930s, many American novels, films, TV shows and comic books have explored the possibility that the U.S. might one day embrace fascism. Today pessimistic assessments have saturated American culture as never before.

Gavriel Rosenfeld, PhD, Professor of History and director of Judaic Studies at Fairfield University will examine fictitious scenarios of collaboration, racism and antisemitism, on April 21 at 7:30. p.m. FREE. To register, visit ujf.ticketspice.org. 

Book Talk: Author Iris Krasnow will talk about “Camp Girls”
New York Times bestselling author Iris Krasnow will discuss her new book her memoir “Camp Girls: Lessons on Friendship, Courage and Loyalty” on Zoom, April 21 at 10:30 a.m. Hosted by UJA-JCC Greenwich. For more information, visit ujajcc.org or call (203) 552-1818.


“Hava Nagila” – Film Screening and Discussion
A screening and discussion of the award-winning documentary “Hava Nagila” on April 22 at 7 p.m. Follow the story of this infectious party song from the shtetls of Eastern Europe and Ukraine to the Catskills to Greenwich Village to Hollywood in this hilarious and surprisingly deep film. Featuring interviews with Harry Belafonte, Connie Francis, Glen Campbell, Leonard Nimoy, Regina Spektor and more.For more information or to register, visit cbict.org/calendar.


Mitzvah Project/Social Action Engagement Fair
Temple Sholom in Greenwich will host a virtual fair featuring community organizations currently seeking volunteers, on April 25, 1 – 3 p.m.. Representatives from these organizations will share info about their not-for-profit and how you can get involved. Perfect for volunteers of all ages, including pre b’nai mitzvah students interested in finding an appropriate mitzvah project that matches their interests. Admission is FREE. To register and to receive the Zoom link, contact Lori Baden at lori.baden@templesholom.com.

Making Art About What Matters
“Partners in Creation: Making Art About What Matter” with Rabbi Debra Cantor and art instructor Melinda Write will be hosted by B’nai Tikvoh-Sholom in Bloomfield and held virtually on April 25 at 11 a.m. Bring a pencil/pen and any kind of paper (pencil and paper will, but feel free to bring other art supplies, such as crayons, colored pencils, watercolors or other art supplies). Together, participants will reflect on a short Jewish teaching and relate it to the challenges, uncertainties and opportunities of our own time, and then do some creative writing and expressive art with items easily found around the house. For more information, call (860) 243-3576.

Eat, Drink & Connect
JTConnect will honor Rabbi Steven Chatinover, Audrey Lichter and Cyral Sheldon at an an evening of inspiration and celebration to benefit JTConnect’s work inspiring the next generation of Jewish leaders, to be held on Zoom, April 25 at 5 p.m. For tickets and more information:, visit jtconnect.org.


State of Play: The Political Future of the American Jewish Community
David Axelrod, political consultant/strategist; CNN senior political commentator former chief strategist and senior advisor to President Obama, will discuss the political future of the American Jewish community at a FREE seminar to be held on Zoom, April 26 at 7:30 p.m. Axelrod’s talk is co-sponsored by the Bennett Center for Judaic Studies at Fairfield University. Registration required at fairfield.edu/bennettprograms. For information: bennettcenter@fairfield.edu or (203) 254-4000 x2066.

The Jewish Idea of A Perfect World
A six-part virtual course that will be held on Mondays, 7:30 – 9 p.m., beginning April 26 that will demystify the Jewish idea of a perfect world and uncover a practical path for reaching it in our lifetime. Hosted by Chabad of Greater Hartford and led by Rabbi Shaya Gopin. For more information, including a course syllabus, and to register, visit chabadhartford.com. $99/includes textbook.

Introduction Into Polish-Jewish Genealogy
Voices of Hope will host a virtual talk Polish-Jewish Genealogy by Jeffrey Cymbler on April 26 at 7 p.m. Registration required. For more information: ctvoiceofhope.org or (860) 470-5591. 

APRIL 28 & MAY 5

A Virtual Historical Tour of Jewish Argentina 
A two-part virtual historical tour of Jewish Argentina with Claudia Hercman, an Argentinian tour guide and translator. She is also a sculptor and painter, and honors her four grandparents who emigrated from Poland to Argentina. Hosted by Congregation Beth Israel.

Session 1, April 28 at 8 p.m. – The Argentinian Jewish community is the 6th largest in the world. The first Jewish communities in Latin America were Sephardic. What happened to those Jews during the Inquisition? Why, if Latin America was part of the Spanish Empire, is the Jewish Community in Argentina 80% Ashkenazi and only 20% Sephardic today?

Session 2, Thursday, May 5 at 8pm – Before WWII many Jews came to Argentina. In a country of immigrants, it became a very important and strong community. What happened in Argentina during and after the Holocaust? Who was Perón; what was his policy towards the Jews? Did he really help the Nazis come to Argentina?

For information, visit www.cbict.org/calendar.


Manchester Memories: Jewish History Through the Decades 
Prof. Arnie Dashefsky will moderate a panel discussion on “Manchester Memories: Jewish History Through the Decades,” featuring panelists Will Bayer, Sissy Seader, Rabbi Richard Plavin, and Joel Wind. Co-sponsored by Beth Sholom B’nai Israel and the Manchester Historical Society, the discussion will be held April 29 at 7:30 p.m. Those who have memories of Jewish Manchester to share are invited to submit them when they register To register and receive the Zoom link, visit jhsgh.org/manechestermemries/

Short Story Coffee Break
A Zoom discussion of short stories and poetry by Erika Dreifus, Congregation Beth Israel’s Learning Center (Virtual) Writer in Residence, will be held APril 29 at 11 a.m. To register and receive a copy of the next short story and a link to the Zoom discussion, email kbeyard@cbict.org.

Book Discussion at Congregation Beth Israel
The Book of the Lost Names by Kristin Harmel will be the focus of a book discussion hosted by Congregation Beth Israel’s Sisterhood on April 29 at 7 p.m.  The Book of Lost Names is inspired by a true story that takes place during World War II, about a young woman with a talent for forgery who helps thousands of Jewish children flee the Nazis. A social hour will follow. For more information, contact Rabbi Tami Elliott Goodman at ravgoodman@icloud.com.


Cookbook author Susie Fishbein to headline West Hartford fundraiser 
World-famous kosher chef Susie Fishbein, author of the Kosher by Design cookbook series will be guest speaker at “Celebrate by Design,” the virtual fundraiser of the Young Israel of West Hartford, to be held Monday, May 2 at 8 p.m. Fishbein has been named one of the 50 most influential Jews by The Forward. She has appeared on dozens of network TV and radio shows, and has been an honored guest at the White House in recognition of National Jewish Heritage Month. At the Young Israel even, Fishbein will discuss her career highlights and prepareo three amazing and tasty courses. For more information, contact David Rosen at davidsrosen.au@gmail.com. To register, visit youngisraelwh.org/celebrate www.youngisraelwh.org/celebrate.


Tackling Antisemitism and Bigotry
UJA-JCC Greenwich will host a free virtual talk by Zach Banner, offensive tackle for the Pittsburgh Steelers, on Tuesday, May 4 at 7 p.m. When Banner posted a video on Twitter protesting an antisemitic Instagram post by DeSean Jackson, he became one of the first NFL players to speak out on the issue. Banner’s video quickly drew more than 700,000 views and an outpouring of praise. For more information, visit ujajcc.org.

Jason and Paris Rosenthal,  co-author of Dear Boy, team up for talk
The Israel Cancer Research  Fund  will host Jason Rosenthal and Paris Rosenthal on  Tuesday, May 4, 8 p.m for. “A Journey of Hope,” a live virtual interactive conversation. Guest speakers are Jason Rosenthal and his daughter Paris Rosentahl, the team behind the New York Times bestselling book, Dear Boy. Jason is author of the memoir, My Wife Said You May Want to Marry Me, an inspiring personal account of life, love, loss and new beginnings. Paris is the co-author of the #1 New York Times best-seller Dear Girl, a collaboration with her late mother, Amy Krouse Rosenthal. She also wrote Dear Baby, Dear Teacher, and Project 1,2,3. For information: beth_belkin@emus.gov.it. 

Lessons from Elie Wiesel’s classroom
Ariel Burger, author of Witness: Lessons From Elie Wiesel’s Classroom, will talk about his experiences as Elie Wiesel’s teaching assistant. Hosted by Voice of Hope, the Zoom event will be held May  4 at 5 p.m. Registration required. For more information: ctvoicesofhope.org or (860) 470-5591.


On Zionism, Israel, and Social Justice  
Prof. Gil Troy, McGill University will discuss “On Zionism, Israel and Social Justice,” on Zoom, May 6 at 7:30 p.m. The lecture is part o ALEPH: The Institute of Jewish Ideas, a community-wide Jewish learning initiative co-sponsored by the Mandell JCC and UConn Judaic Studies. Troy’s lecture will analyze the central theme in Zionism ideology, assessing what Israel has achieved  – and where it has fallen short – in creating a nation that fulfills the Torah’s commandment to seek justice. For more information, visit judaicstudies.uconn.edu or mandelljcc.org. 


Tikkun Leil Shavuot
A virtual annual celebration of Shavuot, co-sponsored by Beth Tikvoh-Sholom and the Conservative movement’s Rabbinical Assembly, will be held May 16 and 17 at noon. Participation is FREE. For more information, call (860) 243-3576.


BTS FIlm Schmooze: “Hava Nagila (The Movie)”
First, watch the film “Hava Nagila (The Movie),” a fun and fascinating journey through history, mystery and meaning of this great Jewish standard, featuring interviews with Harry Belafonte, Leonard Nimoy, Connie Francis, Glen Campbell, Regina Spektor and more (available on Amazon Prime, iTunes and Google Play). Then join a virtual discussion of the film on May 23 at 7 p.m., led by Shari J. Cantor, who has an MA in Judaic Studies and has danced the hora at a wedding a time or two. For more information, call (860) 243-3576.

Thursday, JUNE 17

Virtual Spring Celebration honoring Rabbi Herbert Brockman
Rabbi Herbert Brockman, rabbi emeritus at Congregation Mishkan Israel in Hamden, will be honored at a virtual celebration hosted by Jewish Family Services of Greater New Haven on June 17 at 7 p.m.  The evening will also include a look at the impact of JFS of Greater New Haven on the community. For more info: (203) 389-5599 x110, jfsnh.org.

The Connecticut Cookie Mitzvah
Great Jewish Books Summer Program opens to applicants
Birthright celebrates its Bar Mitzvah

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