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Jewish Federation of Greater Hartford launches the Pearl Society

WEST HARTFORD – The Jewish Federation of Greater Hartford has launched The Pearl Society, a new young women’s giving society. The Pearl Society recognizes young women who want to give from the heart and feel a connection to the Jewish community by making a gift of $180 or more to the Jewish Federation’s Annual Campaign.

This is an initiative of the Federation’s Young Adult Division and Women’s Philanthropy, developed by Katie Fineberg, Melissa Geller and Anna Huttner, who represent a new generation of women philanthropists who want to inspire young women to make a difference in the Jewish community locally, in Israel and worldwide.

A launch party for The Pearl Society is planned for Tuesday, Feb. 10, at 7 p.m. at the Mark Twain House in Hartford. The founders will share their story and why they are excited about this innovative partnership.

“We are pleased to be working with Anna, Melissa and Katie to make that vision a reality,” said Laurie Mandell, chair of the 2015 Women’s Philanthropy Campaign of the Jewish Federation of Greater Hartford. “The new program will provide excellent opportunities for young Jewish women to connect with one another, the community and Israel,” said Mandell.

The three founders worked closely with Elise Rosenstock of ElyseRyan Design, a Connecticut-based company, to create a silver pendant in the shape of a hamsa (hand) with a pearl inset. The necklace is $49 and can hold additional pearl charms. “Elise created a beautiful and timeless piece that has a special connection to the Greater Hartford community,” said Debbie Glassman, associate vice president of Women’s Philanthropy at the Federation.

The pearl necklace is assembled by students with disabilities who participate in the Easter Seals School-to-Life Program in East Hartford. Students’ work at Easter Seals helps them to pursue their goals of independence and self-sufficiency. Through this collaboration between the Jewish Federation of Greater Hartford and Easter Seals, donors are also supporting the social enterprise venture of these students. For each necklace sold, Easter Seals donates $10 to the Jewish Federation of Greater Hartford.

“The Federation takes pride in recognizing innovative ideas. We are so proud that we are able to help them realize their dream,” said Howard Sovronsky, President & CEO of the Federation.

Jewish Federation collaborates with 40 partners in 30 towns in Greater Hartford, 18 programs in Israel and more than 70 Jewish communities around the world, helping at-risk families, people living with disabilities, special-needs adults and children and the elderly. Since 1945, Federation has offered humanitarian care in times of crisis and fostered strong connections between Israel and Greater Hartford. As a community leader and an agent of change, one of Federation’s most important roles is to bring the community together to solve problems and develop hands-on, meaningful education, heritage and leadership programs.

To RSVP for the Feb. 10 event, email Rene Kariel, Young Adult Division Director or call (860) 727-6118. A gift of $180 to the Jewish Federation of Greater Hartford 2015 Annual Campaign is required to attend. The Pearl Hamsa Necklace (an additional $49) is available for order through Rene Kariel. Wine and dessert will be served (dietary laws will be observed). To learn more about the Jewish Federation of Greater Hartford, visit

To learn more about Women’s Philanthropy and the Young Adult Division, visit


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