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So far Joyce has created 64 blog entries.

Annual Lillian Harris Thanksgiving Turkey Drive

Monday, November 21, 2016
7:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Joyce Kessler’s home
11 Seminole Circle, West Hartford (food may be left near Joyce’s garage)
Please drop off frozen turkeys and nonperishable food items between 7:00 am and 6:00 pm at the above address.  Please include traditional Thanksgiving food (i.e., stuffing mix, cranberry sauce) as well as healthy food choices (i.e., tuna, peanut butter, cereals). The food will be donated to Foodshare
If you wish to make a monetary contribution please write a check to the Emanuel and write “turkey drive” in the memo line. The money collected will be donated to Foodshare and the Anja Rosenberg Kosher Food Pantry at Jewish Family Services.
Sponsored by B’Yadeynu of The Emanuel Synagogue, call Joyce Kessler 860-232-7449 with questions.

2016-12-04T11:07:25+00:00November 13th, 2015|

Annual Kol Nidre Food Drive

Sponsored by the B’Yadaynu (Social Justice) CommitteeFood Drive
Tuesday, October 11, 2016 (Bring your food before sundown)
Bring non-perishable  food items to be distributed to the Anja Rosenberg Jewish Family Services Kosher Food Pantry and the West Hartford Food Bank.
As in the past, monetary donations are URGENTLY needed to help support a kosher meal program for the elderly. Last year we received wonderful congregational support for this effort. Please consider helping again. The program has provided kosher meals for elders for over 20 years at Federation Square in West Hartford and Federation Homes in Bloomfield.  The program also provides kosher meals for people from New Haven, New London, Waterbury, Bridgeport and Stamford.
Checks may be made out to The Emanuel Synagogue. Please write JFACT Fund in the memo line.
Most needed food items:  white tuna in water, peanut butter, canned fruit , cereal, mayonnaise, salad dressing, Near East rice and couscous mix. Please check all your donations and make sure food is not past expiration dates.

Questions? Contact: Risa Davidson, 860-236-8889,

2016-11-16T16:59:36+00:00October 6th, 2015|

Minyan on the Mountain and Breakfast

brotherhood-minyon-on-ntnBeth El Men’s Club and Emanuel Synagogue Brotherhood invite the entire community to join us at an Avon mountain scenic venue and experience the breathtaking fall foliage, a Sunday morning minyan and delicious breakfast.
Sunday, October 16 2016
Meet:          Beth El or Emanuel Synagogue parking lots to form car pools to drive to private home at 535 Deercliff Road, Avon. Venue is about a 150-foot level walk from parked cars.
Bring:         The Entire Family
Time:          9:00 AM
Cost:           Suggested Donation – $5
RSVP:        Ken Malley: 860-523-9283 /  Joe Springut: 860-676-9878 /
(by Tuesday, October 11th)

2016-11-16T16:59:36+00:00October 1st, 2015|

School Waffle Bar Breakfast

WafflesEmanuel Religious School invites you to a welcome back Waffle Bar Breakfast.
Sunday, September 11, 2016
9:00 am -10:00 am
Parents and Students:
9:00- Please join us on the first day of school for a MEET AND GREET
with your teachers and have a yummy breakfast.
10:00– Students will go to class.
Parents stay to hear author, Marjorie Ingall read a selection from her new book, Mamaleh Knows Best and hear her humorous point of view on Jewish parenting. Ms. Ingall has been published in The New York Times,
the Forward, and Tablet Magazine, to name just a few. A percentage of book sales from that morning will benefit the Religious School.
Come! You’ll eat, you’ll schmooze. It’ll be fun!
We are looking for volunteers to help set up before and clean up afterwards.
Please let us know at (860) 233-2774 or email .
Sponsored by Emanuel Brotherhood

2016-11-16T16:59:36+00:00September 9th, 2015|

Calling All Ba`Aley Tokea` (Shofar Blowers)

ShofarThe month of Elul begins Sunday, September 4th. On that day we begin to blow the Shofar every morning at minyan to remind us that it is time to start evaluating our lives and deeds of the past year in preparation for Yom HaDin (the Day of Judgement), or Rosh Hashana.
If you would like to be among our cadre of blowers, please contact Hazzan Cohn,, 860-236-1275 ext 114 so that he may schedule you. If you would like to learn how to blow Shofar, that too can be arranged.

2016-11-16T16:59:36+00:00August 25th, 2015|

Worshipful Weeding – Holy Hands

GardenNo previous experience required, all ages welcome.
A way of making Emanuel “more” beautiful for the Jewish holidays
Volunteer on Sunday August 21st at 9:00am and make Emanuel ready for the High Holidays!
If you are unable to dedicate time those days, please consider our watering opportunities, requiring just 10 mins.
Call Sheila Fox at 860-828-3939 or just come and help.

2016-11-16T16:59:36+00:00August 15th, 2015|

Yizkor Book

yahrzeit candleIf you would like to memorialize your loved in our Yizkor Book which will be used throughout 5777, please download and complete the form. We will accept names for the Yizkor Book through Friday, September 9, 2016.

Yizkor Book Form 2016

2016-11-16T16:59:36+00:00July 27th, 2015|

Summer Version of Ziplow Study Group

10:00am in the Chapel Lobby
We are a self-taught group over the summer . We are reading The Presidents of the U.S. and the Jews by David G. Dalin and Alfred J. Kolatch.
Tea, cookies, and sharing of ideas. Open to all.

2016-11-16T16:59:36+00:00July 5th, 2015|

Celebrate West Hartford

Celebrate WHVisit our booth at Celebrate West Hartford
Sunday, June 5, 2016
12:00pm – 6:00pm
This is a wonderful annual opportunity to introduce the community to our vibrant shul. We will have a lively Emanuel tent –come join us! If you can, please notify us that you will volunteer one hour of your time to greet folks at our booth! Contact Lisa Levy or the synagogue office at 860-236-1275. For further details, see

2016-11-16T16:59:36+00:00June 3rd, 2015|

Save for the Tag Sale

Tag Sale Start saving your gently used items for our Summer Tag Sale.
We will begin accepting items on June 27th.
The Sale will begin o July 24th.
Last year we were most fortunate to receive items from non-members. So if you have a friend or neighbor planning to move, please let them know about our sale. Watch the e-blast and website for more details. Email me with any questions. Joanne Pasternack

2016-11-16T16:59:36+00:00May 24th, 2015|

Selling Hametz Declaration/Passover Fund Contribution

Selling Chametz: The Torah instructs that in observing Pesach all leaven must be removed from one’s home or destroyed. To protect against excessive waste and financial hardship, the Rabbis permit the individual to sell one’s chametz to a non-Jew until Passover is complete. It is traditional at that time to make a contribution to the Maot Hittim, the Passover Fund, which helps needy Jews purchase the necessities to celebrate Pesach. To arrange for the sale of your chametz, please see Rabbi Small or Mr. Pinchover in person, or submit this declaration to the Emanuel office by noon, Friday April 22, 2016.

Passover Selling Chametz Declaration

2016-11-16T16:59:36+00:00April 4th, 2015|

Go Green with Shabbat and Holiday Candles

It’s a mitzvah to light candles. We do it on Shabbat, and holidays. The Emanuel synagogue now enables you to do a double mitzvah:  light soy candlescandles and use candles made from clean burning, renewable, American soy wax. Soy candles are clean burning, do not drip and fit any candlestick. Combine the mitzvah of lighting candles with the mitzvah of helping preserve the planet. Switch to soy !

Eco-friendly soy candles are available at the newly reopened Emanuel Gift Shop. The starter set includes 12 candles and two glass converters for $10. The converters fit easily into any standard candle sticks and are reusable indefinitely. Candle refills are available $6 for 12 candles or $28 for 60 candles.

2017-11-10T14:37:53+00:00April 1st, 2015|

Jessie’s Community Gardens

GardenThe Emanuel Synagogue is starting a Community Garden and we need your help! We will need people to start and maintain the garden.
Jessie’s Community Gardens combines growing vegetables with social awareness; its purpose is to serve the community in various ways as determined by that community, which could include such things as being used as an education tool, a community-building activity and a therapeutic outlet for volunteers and others.

2017-09-17T14:11:37+00:00March 30th, 2015|

Brotherhood Shabbat

Brotherhood cooksSaturday March 19 2016 – 9:00 am
Ken Simon and The Brotherhood will lead the Shabbat service. Come support the Brotherhood members who will be participating in the service and enjoy a wonderful Kiddush prepared by The Brotherhood.

2016-11-16T16:59:36+00:00March 15th, 2015|

Borrow by Email!

facilities Library 1

You can send book requests to Include the title, author, and your name, email address, and phone number. If you are looking for a book on a specific subject matter, please email that request, too. If we do not have the book in our library, our librarian can try to get it for you elsewhere. She will sign the book out to you and leave it for you on the library desk with your name on it for pick up at your convenience. Emails will be answered usually Tuesday and Sunday afternoons. We even have videos – VHS and DVD!

2017-09-17T14:11:45+00:00March 1st, 2015|

Emanuel Synagogue Selected for Inclusion Initiative

USY Shalanu Pizza46 crop

Nancy Fichman, Emanuel’s liaison to Ruderman Inclusion Initiative, helps a special needs student make pizza.

West Hartford: The Emanuel Synagogue is chosen, along with twelve other leading Jewish congregations in the country, to participate in the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism (USCJ) Ruderman Inclusion Action Community, a new leadership initiative to fully allow people with disabilities and their families to participate comfortably in thriving congregational life. Ira Henowitz, Emanuel Synagogue President, said “we are excited to participate in this new opportunity to continue building on our strong core belief of inclusion and accessibility for all who wish to experience our ninety-six year young, purpose driven, multi-generational center of Jewish life. We very much appreciate United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism for launching this initiative and thank the Ruderman Family Foundation for providing the generous grant to make this all possible.”   (more…)

2017-11-10T14:38:41+00:00February 9th, 2015|

Early Childhood Shabbat Dinner

Shabbat DinnerSponsored by the Magalhaes and Wu families
Friday, February 19, 2016
Services at 5:15pm
Shabbat Dinner at 6:15pm
All invited. No cost.
Click here to RSVP online by Friday, February 12, 2016  so we know how much food to have.
If you are interested in sponsoring a Shabbat dinner, contact the synagogue office!

2017-11-10T14:40:50+00:00February 5th, 2015|

Lunch and Learn with Rabbi Lazowski

Rabbi LazowskiStudying the Book of Hosea, a weekly series with Rabbi Lazowski
Tuesdays November 3  to December 1
12:00 noon
At the offices of Laz Parking, 15 Lewis Street on the 5th floor (Free lunch. Parking in the Trumbull on the Park garage will be validated. The entrance is  at about 88 Trumbull St. near Salute Restaurant and is right down the block from the Laz office.)
Coffee and Lunch will be served.
Please RSVP, 860-233-2774
Don’t miss this wonderful learning opportunity!   (more…)

2016-11-18T11:07:50+00:00September 26th, 2014|

Celebrate Sukkot: Order a Lulav and Etrog

lulav & etrog$40/Set
Arba Minim Sets Include: Lulav (Palm), Arava (Willow), Hadas (Myrtle), and Etrog (Citron).
(Scholarships Are Available. Please speak with Moshe Pinchover.)
All orders must be received by Friday, September 16, 2015  (more…)

2017-11-10T14:40:44+00:00August 2nd, 2014|

Backyard Bash

Backyard BashEmanuel Connections invites you and your family to Emanuel’s 2nd Annual Backyard Bash
Thursday, May 28th
Fun for Everyone…
DJ, Inflatables, Gaga Pit and more!!!!!!!!!!
Pizza & Refreshments
$10.00/family in advance
$15.00/family at the door
RSVP by: May 21st by calling 860-236-1275 or click here to register online now.

2016-11-16T16:59:37+00:00April 27th, 2014|

6th Annual Tour de Shuls

Tour de Shules“Not a race, but a meaningful ride for all”
All proceeds to benefit the Tikvah Program at Camp Ramah in Palmer, Massachusetts. The Tikvah program (“tikvah” means hope) serves Jewish children with physical and cognitive disabilities.
Sunday, May 31, 2015
Three rides to choose from! (20, 35 or 50 mile rides)
Start times
8:00 a.m. for 50 mile ride 9:00 a.m. for 35 mile ride 10:00 a.m.for 20 mile ride
Please arrive 30 minutes prior to start time for registration and refreshments
For the experienced cyclist, the occasional rider, or a mitzvah-minded teen, ride with us on West Hartford’s quiet residential streets, through Simsbury’s beautiful suburban neighborhoods and along Granby’s delightful back roads.
All rides start and end at Beth El Temple, 2626 Albany Avenue, West Hartford, CT.
Register at Contact Jeff Factor at (860) 916-0273 with any questions.

2016-11-16T16:59:37+00:00April 26th, 2014|

Hands Across the River Golf Outing

Hands Across the RiverSave the date!
Wampanoag Country Club
Tuesday, June 23. 2015
12:00 noon
Lunch and Dinner
Golf, Cart, Driving Range
$180 per golfer.
Hole in One prize 2015 Lexus NX
Celebrity Host is the voice of UConn, Joe D’Ambrosia
Contact Mark Wolfberg at or Call Mark at 860-655-5337 Ask about Sponsor packages

2017-09-17T14:13:26+00:00April 11th, 2014|

Rabbi Small’s Eight Item “To Do” List in Preparing for Pesach.

Pesach begins with the First Seder, Friday night, April 3rd, 2015. It is time to get ready! We not only seder plateprepare our homes; we prepare ourselves. In the spirit of Pesach preparation, here is a helpful “to do list”:

1. Passover Fund: Make a donation to aid the hungry prior to Pesach. There is a strong Jewish tradition of giving Maot Hittim to provide food and assistance to those in need. Please join us in this important mitzvah. Please support the hungry even if you are not selling your chametz. Your contribution is needed and appreciated. To give online click on the “Donate” box to the right.  Be sure to check other and put “Passover Fund” as where your want this donation to go.

2. Selling of Hametz: To empower me to sell your hametz, mail or bring the  form to the Emanuel office by Thursday, April 2nd, or see me or Moshe Pinchover after minyan. Click here to download a Passover Selling Chametz Declaration.docx

3. House cleaning and searching out Hametz (leaven): It is appropriate to complete this process by Thursday evening, April 2nd. Search for Hametz Kits are available in the Religious School office and the Synagogue office. While you are cleaning out your cupboards, please think of donating non-perishable food items to the needy. Bring your contributions to the synagogue office by Thursday April 2nd. The B’Yadeynu Committee will distribute the donations.

4. Burning of Hametz: This symbolic burning of a few bits of hametz may be done (with precautions) at home, but please be aware that a small fire will be maintained for this purpose in the Emanuel parking lot on Friday, April 3rd , from 8:00 a.m. to 9:15 a.m.

5. Siyum B’Chor: Firstborn Jews fast on the day before Pesach or attend a siyyum, a celebration of the completion of a unit of Torah study. A siyyum will be held on Friday, April 3rd , at the conclusion of morning Minyan. Minyan begins at 7:00 a.m. The Siyyum ends at 8:00 a.m. and is followed by breakfast.

6. Seder Guests: Welcoming guests to the seder is a great mitzvah. Please contact Gail Rappoport if you have room at your seder table for a guest/guests, or if you need an invitation for a seder/sedarim. We will do our discreet best to match hosts and guests.

7. Please note: that evening minyan will not meet on April 3rd and April 4th. A special Mincha service will meet at 12:30 pm, on those days. We encourage you to hold minyan at your seders. If you need to borrow siddurim, please contact Mr. Moshe Pinchover at

8. Vote MERCAZ in the World Zionist Congress Elections! Click here to vote now!

2016-11-16T16:59:37+00:00March 26th, 2014|

6th Annual Interfaith Hunger Seder to Raise Hunger Awareness

Hunger SederSponsors (as of 2/6/15): B’Yadeynu, The Emanuel Synagogue Social Action Committee, The Conference of Churches, JCPA, JCRCs of Jewish Federations of Greater Hartford and New Haven and MAZON.
Join us for a retelling of the Passover story and a call to action to raise hunger awareness.
Tuesday, March 31, 2015
4:30pm – 6:00pm
Connecticut State Capitol, Old Judiciary Room, 3rd Floor
Seating is limited, RSVP is required by March 25th to or (860)727-5789.
Seder led by Rabbi David Small, The Emanuel Synagogue and Reverend Dr. Shelley D. Best, President and CEO , The Conference of Churches
Please bring a donation of canned food or a contribution to Mazon.
Seder partially funded by JCPA (Jewish Council for Public Affairs)

2016-11-16T16:59:37+00:00March 5th, 2014|

Sisterhood Shabbat

Sisterhood ShabbatSaturday, January 17, 2015
Conducted in full by Sisterhood members new and old.
If you are interested in participating, please contact Bonnie Lasker, 860-236-7455 or
Following services all are invited to Kiddush Luncheon sponsored and prepared by our Sisterhood members.

2016-11-16T16:59:37+00:00December 20th, 2013|

We Have Much to be Thankful For

Ira Henowitz

Ira Henowitz

A message from our President, Ira Henowitz:
Dear Fellow Emanuelite,

We, The Emanuel Synagogue family, have much to be thankful for as we come into the final weeks of 2013. With over forty new mrembe households joining our congregation in the past year and with beautiful newly renovated spaces to enjoy, we are building on our re-energized spirit and momentum to create an even stronger, more connected and engaged, inclusive, multi-generational sacred community. Fellow lay leaders and I are busy planning and working with our clergy and professional staff developing and implementing updated strategies with a creative and reinvigorated vision to be a leading, compelling vital center of Jewish life in Metro Hartford for the 21st century.


2016-11-16T16:59:37+00:00December 1st, 2013|

Emanuel Synagogue Sisterhood Annual Bus Trip – New York City

bus tripSunday October 26, 2014
8:00am to 8:00pm (Leaving and returning to the back parking lot of the Emanuel Synagogue)
Cost: $45 per person includes the bus, tours and tips. Lunch is on your own.
Come along with us and tour the following places: Temple Emanu-El, Yeshiva University Museum, ZABARS
RSVP by October 12th by sending in your check and registration form to the Emanuel Synagogue.
Please call Audrey Yanofsky @ 860-690-6139 or Debbie Mehlman @ 860-232-2697 if you have any questions.
Click here for Flyer and registration form for New York Bus Trip.

2016-11-16T16:59:37+00:00July 1st, 2013|

One Happy Camper

One Happy CamperFind your perfect Jewish Camp today and you might be eligible for $1000 off when you enroll.

Honor the “new year of trees” by sending your kids to a place where they can really get their hands dirty—overnight camp!
You might even qualify for $1,000 grant towards summer camp!
At Jewish camp, your child will celebrate the joy of nature every day. Whether she’s practicing her diving skills, sharing stories around a campfire, or hiking through the hills, your camper will return home with a reinforced sense of wonder about the world around them (and some really cool new skills.)


2016-11-16T16:59:37+00:00January 25th, 2013|