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WEST HARTFORD, CONN. (September 21, 2020) – More than 200 community members and friends of the Jewish Federation of Greater Hartford gathered – virtually – to celebrate community accomplishments, recognize outstanding service, and elect new leaders at the organization’s Annual Meeting & Celebration, held Wednesday evening, September 16, via Zoom. In an unforgettable showing of collective creativity, the night highlighted the strength of the Greater Hartford Jewish community during an unprecedented year.

The event featured special guest Lior Zoref, Ph.D., noted TED presenter and author of the bestselling book “Mindsharing,” who led attendees in an interactive and engaging crowdsourcing activity live from Israel.

“I have been amazed and extremely moved by the power of the collective of our community. I always knew this was a special Jewish community, but now I have a firsthand perspective,” said Carolyn Gitlin, Chair of the Federation’s Board of Directors, during her remarks. “There are countless stories that speak to the thousands of acts of kindness that take place every day in our community. It is truly powerful and moving.”

“Through our Federation network and our international partners, your support has helped hundreds of thousands of Jews in need this year – both locally, in our Greater Hartford community, and globally, in Israel and throughout the world,” said David Waren, Federation President, and Chief Executive Officer. “It is times like these that demonstrate how utterly indispensable the Federation and the Jewish Community Foundation are to the quality of life in our Jewish community.”

Awards and Honorees
Two individuals received awards for their contributions to Jewish life in Greater Hartford. Jewish educator Maya Schwartz and volunteer Steven Kleinman received the Henry M. Zachs Spirit of Judaism Award, which was established six years ago by the Zachs family to highlight the Greater Hartford Jewish community’s volunteer and professional “unsung heroes.” Schwartz was recognized for her transformational work sharing her love of Israel, the Hebrew language, and Judaism with her students at New England Jewish Academy. Kleinman, a longtime volunteer with a wide variety of local Jewish organizations, was recognized for his deep commitment to the community.

New Trustees and Board Members
The program also recognized outgoing volunteer leaders and welcomed new Board members Michael Cantor, Garrett Fishman, Mindy Glickman, Ann Baidack Pava, and Gayle Temkin; incoming First Vice Chair Dana Keller; and new Life Trustees Stacy Nerenstone and Morton Weinstein.

Jewish Federation of Greater Hartford has been supporting and transforming the Jewish community since 1945. From educating children to caring for seniors, Federation touches every aspect of Jewish life here, in Israel and in 70 communities around the world. To learn more, please visit