Jewish Heritage Celebration June 5, 2017

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Forum: Israel’s 69th anniversary is cause for celebration and rejoicing

One hundred and twenty years ago, Theodore Herzl wrote in his diary after the First Zionist Congress, “At Basel, I founded the Jewish State.” He readily acknowledged that this statement would be met with universal laughter. And yet, only 51 years intervened between that first Congress and the State of Israel’s Declaration of Independence on May 14, 1948.

What began as an evanescent movement – many of whose most ardent supporters never believed that the object of Jewish sovereignty in the British mandate of Palestine would be achieved in their lifetime- became a national movement that shaped a society and nation and built a dynamic, democratic modern state. The re-establishment in 1948 of a sovereign nation in the land of their ancestors reversed a long history of wandering in the diaspora, expulsions and pograms, insecurity and powerlessness. Rising like a Phoenix from the ashes of the Holocaust, with an ingathering of Jews from all four corners of the world and multivalent cultures, Israel was a collective affirmation of 2,000 years of hopes and dreams,memories and prayers.

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Israel 69 Independence Day.

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Interfaith Hunger Seder 2017

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Michael Bloom named executive director of JFACT

Michael Bloom named executive director of JFACT
By Stacey Dresner from the Jewish Ledger posted on March 15, 2017

HARTFORD – On Monday, March 13, Michael Bloom wrapped things up at his office at the State Capitol in Hartford, where he has served as a policy and outreach associate for the Senate Democratic Caucus for the past year.

On Wednesday, he began settling into his new office less than two miles away on Woodland Street, where he will serve as executive director of the Jewish Federation Association of Connecticut, or JFACT.  Continue reading

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Joint statement on Executive Order barring many refugees and immigrants

  • January 31, 2017
    We, the undersigned Jewish Federations throughout the State of Connecticut, along
    with JFACT (Jewish Federations Association of Connecticut) and the Anti-Defamation
    League of Connecticut, oppose President Trump’s Executive Order barring many
    refugees and immigrants from entering the United States.
    President Trump’s Executive Order, issued on Friday, January 27, 2017, bans any
    refugees from entering the United States for 120 days; suspends indefinitely any Syrian
    refugee resettlement; and bans nationals from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, or Yemen for any reason for 90 days.
    Judaism instructs, repeatedly and unambiguously, that we are forbidden from
    oppressing the stranger. The Bible states no less than 36 separate times that we are
    obligated to care for the stranger in our society. Leviticus 19:34, as one example,
    teaches: “The strangers who reside with you shall be to you as your citizens; you shall
    love each one as yourself, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt.” Both Jewish
    values and Jewish historical experience as immigrants and refugees mandate that we
    repudiate policies that demonize, ostracize, and leave stranded refugees and other
    vulnerable immigrants. We remember all too well the story of the St. Louis—of Jewish
    refugees fleeing Europe by ship on the eve of the Holocaust who were denied entry into
    the U.S. and sent back, many to their deaths. We cannot and will not stand idly by as
    today’s victims of war and terror are left helpless and isolated. Nor can we support
    policies that single out those who practice a certain religion—in this case Islam—for
    disproportionate treatment.   Continue reading
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