Jewish Life

Southington congregation seeks photos, documents for milestone celebration

SOUTHINGTON, Connecticut –  Gishrei Shalom Jewish Congregation (GSJC) in Southington is preparing for the 2024 celebration of its 40th anniversary by compiling a comprehensive written history of the shul. Toward that end, the synagogue is seeking input from the community in the form of photos, documents. personal stories, and other memorabilia.

“We are looking for people who have been members or visitors of GSJC in the past and who may have photos, newspaper articles or personal stories that should be included in our records,” says Laura Minor, a member of the shul’s history committee. “We want to document the full 40-year history by including all who have been part of our religious rituals and traditions, educational programs, social action efforts, interfaith activities and other initiatives in which we interacted with community members and institutions.” 

GSJC began in 1983 as the Southington Jewish Community Group and was incorporated as Greater Southington Jewish Congregation in 1984. Over the years, it has changed its name and location, initially meeting in members’ homes, Briarwood College and other churches, before finding a permanent home at First Congregational Church in 1992. 

Today, Gishrei Shalom – which means “bridges to peace” – runs a Shabbat school for youth from kindergarten through bar/bat mitzvah. The congregation is led by Rabbi Alana Wasserman, who began her tenure as part-time spiritual leader in 2018.

One of the small congregation’s most significant accomplishments is becoming the shomer (guardian) of a saved Holocaust Torah written in the 1600’s.

Gishrei Shalom President Marc Romanow invites all who have been associated with GSJC’s history to participate in this effort. 

“We represent a small but mighty community that embraces worship, social justice programs, education and more for almost four decades. It will truly be an amazing  celebration,” he says.

Photos and articles being collected are uploaded to the congregation’s Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/gsjc777) and website (www.gsjc.org). 

To celebrate the 40th-anniversary milestone, the congregation is offering a special membership program for new or returning members. 

Those interested in learning more about the congregation and/or participating in this project, may contact Laura Minor at (860) 978-1210,  Marc Romanow at (860) 276-9113 or president@gsjc.org,  or membership@gsjc.org.

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