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Other Selected Projects

The Family Room Parenting Center –
Mandell Jewish Community Center

Jewish Community Center FamilyFrom after-preschool enrichment classes to Jewish holiday family programs to a lending library replete with resources dedicated to parenting, the Family Room offers a very special space where parents can spend time with their young children and learn how to be better parents.



Teen Leadership and Philanthropy Institute

Teen Mitzvah DayThe Teen Leadership and Philanthropy Institute offers an opportunity for Jewish teens to learn first hand the importance of tzedakah.  The program runs for the academic year and is affiliated with Yachad Greater Hartford Jewish Community High School.  It teaches teens about philanthropy and community through Jewish values based discussions and meetings with community leaders.  The Institute also involves experiential learning, from raising money, visiting local agencies, debating and making collective grantmaking decisions, to engaging in community service projects.  The program enables students to acquire a deeper knowledge of Jewish needs and causes and to understand the importance of taking responsibility for our Jewish community.

Preservation of old Jewish cemeteries in Hartford

Historic Jewish CemeteryAccording to Jewish law, the act of caring for the dead is so sacred that it bears a unique name, chesed shel emet, the truest act of kindness. Many of the Jewish cemeteries in Hartford, which were created as a first order of business by urban congregations, landsleit organizations and fraternal lodges in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, eventually fell into disrepair, the victim of vandalism and abandonment, as these synagogues and cemetery associations closed, moved to new locations in the suburbs or disbanded.

In 1975 the Jewish Federation of Greater Hartford created  the Association of Jewish Cemeteries (“AJC”) to oversee the operation, maintenance and security of existing and abandoned Jewish cemeteries in the Greater Hartford region, most of which are located in the North End and Zion Hill sections of Hartford.  Since its creation, the number of cemeteries under its care has grown from six to twenty eight.  While the scope of the responsibilities of AJC has expanded over the years and the cost of caring for the cemeteries and repairing broken headstones has substantially increased, the financial resources available to ensure the perpetual maintenance, restoration, and continuity of the historic Jewish cemeteries have not. Support of the work of AJC is crucial to its ability to continue to carry out our communal obligation to show deep respect and honor for our dead.

Celebration of Jewish Arts and Culture

Charter Oak Cultural Center’s Celebration of Jewish Arts and Culture is designed to provide exciting, thought-provoking programming that celebrates the creativity, spirituality and beauty at the heart of Judaism. It is a vehicle to teach those who are not Jewish in an accessible and non-threatening way about Jewish culture, history and thought, and  to offer the Jewish community many interesting and inspiring ways to connect to its heritage.

Each year, events include visual arts, dance, theatre, films and lectures. The Center also builds a sukkah with neighborhood children and presents a multi-cultural Kristallnacht commemoration in the country.

The goal of the Celebration  is to promote a greater understanding and appreciation for Jewish culture across the community and to explore the relationship among religion, spirituality and the arts.

PJ Library Project

The PJ Library, a program of The Family Room Parenting Center at the Mandell Jewish Community Center in West Hartford, reaches out to Jewish families with young children to foster children's curiosity about their Jewish heritage and help families explore their Jewish identity.  Each child six months to five years who is enrolled in the program receives a monthly gift of a children’s book or music touching on a variety of Jewish themes related to Jewish holidays, folktales and family life.  Thanks to the generosity of those who contribute to the PJ Library Fund at the Jewish Community Foundation, and the Harold Grinspoon Foundation of West Springfield, Massachusetts, The PJ Library is available free of charge to families throughout the Greater Hartford region.  Support of the PJ Library Project gives Jewish families wonderful tools to communicate Jewish stories, heritage and values by catching the eyes and ears of their young children.

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