Rabbi Small Receives Honorary Doctorate

Rabbi David J. Small, spiritual leader of The Emanuel Synagogue, is the recipient of a Doctor of Divinity degree, honoris causa, bestowed by the Jewish Theological Seminary.
He received the honorary degree in a March 2 convocation honoring members of the Rabbinical Assembly who have served as rabbis for 25-plus years. The ceremonies were held at Sutton Place Synagogue in New York.
Dr. Sheila Silverman, Emanuel Synagogue president, said, “While at the JTS Convocation honoring those rabbis serving their communities for 25 years or more, the emotional depth of a rabbi’s role spoke to me. As president, I am well aware of Rabbi Small’s duties, but performing a duty is not the same as being emotionally present in someone’s life when they need you most. That’s what our rabbi does. To do so whenever the need arises requires a lifelong, compassionate and skilled commitment to the job.”

March 7th, 2017|

Kids’ Kabbalat Shabbat

An interactive Shabbat program for kids of all ages!
Friday, March 24, 2017
Kid-Friendly Service at 5:30 p.m.
Dinner at 6:15 p.m.
Foosball, ping-pong and games to follow!!
$10 per adult
$5 per child
Under age 4—free
RSVP to or 860.233.2774 no later than March 22, 2017
Click here to register online.

March 6th, 2017|

Denim to Diamonds Dance

Emanuel Synagogue Sisterhood presents “Denim to Diamonds Dance”
Saturday, April 1–8:30-11:30 pm
Featuring “Crossroads,” live 10-piece band; rock music from the 70s, 80s, 90s
Refreshments, photography by Gary Cohen, and 50/50 raffle
Advance tickets: $30/per person by March 15; after March 15 and at the door, $36/person. Sponsors: $54 – Silver; $72 – Gold; $90+ – Angels. Sponsorships come with one ticket per person. All donors listed in the program.
For more information or to make a reservation, contact Fern Cohen,
Click here to download flyer.


February 26th, 2017|

Taking Your Seder to the Next Level

Rabbinic intern Leora Kling Perkins will lead an adult education program on Sunday, April 2, at 9:00 a.m., entitled, “Taking Your Seder to the Next Level: How to Lead an Engaging Seder for All Ages.” Contact Gail Adler at for more information.




February 25th, 2017|

The Jews of Spain

Take a look back at 1,500 years of the unique culture of Sephardic Jews in a program, “The Jews of Spain,” featuruing a kosher Spanish-themed dinner and lecture by noted journalist and author Andree Aelion Brooks
Sunday, April 2
6:00 p.m. dinner; 7:15 p.m. lecture
Co-sponsored by The  Emanuel Synagogue Adult Education Committee and the Jewish Historical Society of Greater Hartford
Register through the Jewish Historical Society, online at

February 24th, 2017|

The Bridge Ladies

Book talk with Betsy Lerner, author of “The Bridge Ladies.”
Thursday, April 20, 7:00 p.m., at the Emanuel Synagogue.
A 50-year-old bridge game, and the secrets it held, provides an unexpected way to cross the generational divide between the author and her mother. We learn a little about bridge and a lot about life.
Co-sponsored by JHSGH and the Emanuel Adult Education Committee.
RSVP to Lynn Newman at, or 860-727-6170.

February 23rd, 2017|

Golda’s Balcony

Award-winning actress Sandra Laub will appear as Golda Meir in a one-woman show, “Golda’s Balcony,” by William Gibson, for one night only.
Tuesday, May 2, 7:30 p.m.
Golda Meir tells the story of her life from Russian immigrant to a leader of international politics as the fourth prime minister of Israel.
General admission $18 by April 23 ($20 after April 23); Students $10
Dessert reception to follow the show.
Send your check to the Emanuel Synagogue or click here to register online.

February 22nd, 2017|

Tour Touro Synagogue

The Emanuel Synagogue and the Jewish Historical Society of Greater Hartford
are co-sponsoring a professional guided tour of Touro Synagogue in Newport, R.I., plus an optional walking tour of Jewish Newport.
Sunday, April 30
Cost of $40/pp members of either organization or $45/pp non-members includes transportation, museum and tour fees. It does not include lunch.
Bus leaves from JHSGH office promptly at 9:00 a.m. (please arrive by 8:45 a.m.), and returns approximately 6:00 p.m. Synagogue tour is noon-1 p.m., walking tour, 2:45-3:45 p.m., approximate times, lunch on your own.
For further information, call (860) 727-6170 or visit



February 20th, 2017|

The Cuba Tourists Don’t Visit


Brotherhood Breakfast Program with guest speaker Gary Cohen
Sunday, April 30, 9:00 a.m.
Free. No need to RSVP
For more information, contact

January 6th, 2017|

Root, Root, Root for the Home Team

Spend an afternoon enjoying Yard Goats baseball with your community at Dunkin’ Donuts Park.
The Emanuel Brotherhood and Beth El Men’s Club present Community Day at Dunkin’ Donuts Park
Sunday, May 21, 2017. Game time: 1:35 p.m. Gates open: 12:35 p.m. Akron Rubberducks (Cleveland Indians) vs. Hartford Yard Goats (Colorado Rockies).
Pre-Game kosher bbq in Market Street Parking Lot (12 p.m.-1:15 p.m.), 306 Market Street, Hartford.
Post-Game kids run the bases.
Ticket order deadline: Friday, May 5. Adults $18.00; child (ages 4-13) $12.00. Children 3 and under are free if sitting on a parent’s lap during the game.

January 5th, 2017|

Shabbat Learner’s Service

learner's MinyanSponsored by the Adult Education Committee and the Ritual Committee.
9:30am Saturday mornings
This is an opportunity to enrich our understanding of, and enhance our participation in, the Shabbat morning service. The structure of the service, an exploration of prayers– including their content and melodies– will all be touched upon.
A series of monthly Shabbat morning “services” will be offered, each approximately one hour in length; participants will then join the regular service in the Sanctuary. These special learner’s services will be led by our Rabbinic Intern, Leora Kling Perkins– a most inspiring and enthusiastic teacher – in collaboration with Rabbi David Small and Hazzan Sanford Cohn. Congregants are welcome to attend as many sessions as they wish.
Dates:  January 29, February 4, March 25, April 1, and May 20– these are subject to change.

November 27th, 2016|

Buy Gift Cards from The Emanuel

Scrip graphic

They make a perfect gift for your child’s teachers, for family members and friends – no problems with sizes or returns! In addition to a number of cards that we carry for grocery stores and book stores, Great Lakes has hundreds of other choices.  You can look on their website: and then give us your order.  We will be happy to get them for you – and the synagogue makes money so everyone wins!

The process is simple and there is no cost to you! Use cash, check or your favorite credit card to purchase these gift cards.

Click here to download a gift card order form.


March 5th, 2016|

Tabs for Tots Mitzvah Project

Tabs for TotsThe Emanuel Synagogue Sisterhood is sponsoring a mitzvah project collecting aluminum “Tabs for Tots” which will be used towards recycling. The proceeds will benefit Shriners Children’s Hospital in Springfield and Boston Burns Hospital in MA to purchase medical equipment, wheelchairs, orthotics, hospital beds, and other needs for a child’s medical care. The hospital in Springfield specializes in orthopedics, prosthetics, cleft lip and pallet care.
No child (under the age of 18) is ever refused regardless of ability to pay.
Please place your tabs in the respective containers in the Synagogue to help a child in need.
Please contact Audrey Yanofsky if you have any questions at 860-690-6139

December 10th, 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.

April 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. Contact Lauren Schleicher for more information at 860.236.1275.
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.

March 30th, 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!

March 1st, 2015|

Current and Upcoming Adult Education Offerings

Learners’ Servicelearner's Minyan

This is an opportunity to enrich our understanding of, and enhance our participation in, the Shabbat morning service. The structure of the service, an exploration of prayers- including their content and melodies- will all be touched upon.

A series of monthly Shabbat morning “services” will be offered, each approximately one hour in length; participants will then join the regular service in the Sanctuary. These special learners’ services will be led by our Rabbinic Intern, Leora Kling Perkins- a most inspiring and enthusiastic teacher – in collaboration with Rabbi David Small and Hazzan Sanford Cohn. Congregants are welcome to attend as many sessions as they wish.

Upcoming dates are: Jan. 28, Feb. 4, Feb. 25, March 4, March 25, April 1, April 8, May 6, May 20, and June 3- these are subject to change.

Upcoming Events

Dinner and movie at the Emanuel as part of the Jewish Film Festival in March. Information coming soon.
April 2, 2017The Jews of Spain – Dinner and Program co-sponsored with the Jewish Historical Society of Greater Hartford 6 pm at the Emanuel
April 20, 2017The Bridge Ladies – Author talk by Betsy Lerner. Co-sponsored with the Jewish Historical Society of Greater Hartford, 7 pm at the Emanuel
April 30, 2017 – Bus trip to Newport, with tour of Newport and the Touro Synagogue, co-sponsored with the Jewish Historical Society of Greater Hartford
May 2, 2017 (Yom Ha’atzmaut) – Golda’s Balcony – One woman play about the life of Golda Meir 7:30 pm at the Emanuel .

House Parties:

Interested in hosting a house party? Here’s how it works:
1. Contact Adult Education Chair Gail Adler, 860-236-1275. with a specific topic that interests you
2. Host the event at your house
3. We will take care of the RSVPs, just let us know how many people you can accommodate
4. Emanuel will facilitate the educational component

On-Going classes:

The Natalie Ziplow study group took a field trip to the Jewish theological seminary in NYC in oct 28. This is the group that went with Rabbi Small and Kate Goldman . In this pic we were with professor David Kramer in the rare book room. We got to see 3 ancient haggadot and some micrography.

The Natalie Ziplow study group took a field trip to the Jewish theological seminary in NYC in October 28, 2015.  In this picture we were with professor David Kramer in the rare book room. We got to see three ancient haggadot and some micrography.

Natalie Ziplow Study Group: Facilitator: Rabbi David Small
Thursday mornings, 10:30am – 12:00 noon. Chapel Lobby, will resume in, September 11, 2016.
A Sisterhood sponsored study group which includes text study, current events and lively discussion. Open to all.

For more information, please contact
Adult Education Chair Gail Adler, 860-236-1275.

March 1st, 2015|

Emanuel Synagogue Selected for Inclusion Initiative

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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…)

February 9th, 2015|

Make Giving a Donation to The Emanuel Easier

Set up a “Donation Paydown Account” with Gwen in the synagogue’s office.  With this special account you can email her your individual donations (include amount per donation and fund) and you won’t have to write a series of checks throughout the year.

Just send a check for $360.00 to The Emanuel Synagogue marked “Paydown Account.” and you can use it during our entire fiscal year (June 1 through May 31). Each time you make a donation, the amount will be deducted from your Paydown Account. The office will let you know when your account is getting low.

For further information please contact Gwen O’Donnel at (860) 236-1275.

March 1st, 2012|

Charitable IRA Rollover!

Did you know that you can help The Emanuel through your IRA? Tax-free distributions can be made from individual retirement plans for a charitable purpose. This “Charitable IRA Rollover”, permits taxpayers age 70 1/2 or older to make tax-free distributions to The Emanuel from any Individual Retirement Account (IRA) of up to $100,000 per taxpayer, per tax year. Please contact your tax advisor for details as The Emanuel is not qualified to give tax advice.

How does this work?

Just follow these simple steps:
1. The gift may be any amount, up to a maximum of $100,000 per year.
2. The gift must be an outright gift, not a planned or deferred gift.
3. You may not receive a benefit in exchange for the gift.
4. You must be at least 70.5 years of age.
5. The amount you give must be otherwise taxable if distributed directly to you.
6. You may make a gift between today and December 31, 2011, when the law is expected to expire.
7. You must make the gift directly to The Emanuel.
If you do not qualify for this tax incentive but are still interested in supporting your synagogue, The Emanuel, please call Lauren Schleicher at 860-236-1275

November 1st, 2011|