Annual Report


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A letter from leadership.

In New Haven we know something about overcoming adversity.

Over the past year, our Greater New Haven Jewish community remained strong, resilient, and compassionate. In the face of significant challenges and evolving needs, the Jewish Federation, Foundation and JCC—alongside our committed, generous donors and volunteers—worked diligently to address the most pressing issues as we continued to serve with excellence.

We remain steadfast in our commitment to unite our diverse Jewish community, inspiring each person’s actions to strengthen Jewish life in greater New Haven and around the world. Together, we ensured our community stayed connected and Jewishly engaged. We built on every opportunity to grow and come out even stronger.

We are looking forward to continuing to build on the strides we made this year as we go from strength to strength.

Judith Alperin

Chief Executive Officer

Scott Cohen

Executive Director, JCC

Lisa Stanger

Executive Director,
Jewish Foundation

Steven Fleischman

President, Jewish Federation

David Sirowich

President, JCC

Scott Hurwitz

Chair, Jewish Foundation

Emergency Fund


In April, Jewish Federation President Steven Fleischman and Chief Development Officer Amy Holtz joined other Federation professionals and lay leaders from across the country on a humanitarian aid mission to Poland.

There, they witnessed first-hand the impact of emergency funds raised so far — through meetings with aid providers from Federation partner organizations, a visit to the Ukrainian border and listening to refugees as they give harrowing accounts of fleeing a brutal war. They also delivered 350 pounds of medical supplies and Passover activities to refugee shelters in Warsaw, and provided one family with life-saving medicine for their child afflicted with Glycogen Storage Disease, a genetic disorder which affects 1 in 71 Ashkenazi Jews.

These medical supplies and Passover activities were donated by members of the Greater New Haven community.

Ukraine Help in Numbers

Delivered over 400 pounds of donated over the counter medical supplies on a JFNA humanitarian mission, delivered by Steve and Amy.

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of medical supplies delivered
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Impact Areas

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A Special Trip to Israel

Thanks to the Jewish Foundation’s Israel Experience Scholarship, Zach Infeld had the incredible opportunity to travel to Israel. This summer he and 49 of his peers, all high school seniors from URJ Eisner Camp, had the trip of thier lifetime. “Our journey in Israel started in the Negev desert, just like our ancestors who came to this land escaping slavery in Egypt,” he recalls. 

Over the course of the trip, the group also visited Jerusalem and the Western Wall — where Infeld donned tefillen for the very first time — the Dead Sea and Masada. After spending the night in Bedouin tents, they traveled north, visiting Haifa and Tzfat, the Sea of Galilee, the Jordan River and the Golan Heights. “We had a week where six Israeli teenagers joined our group and ate, slept and traveled with us. We spent time deep in conversation about the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, discussing with Arab-Israelis their situation and visiting a security barrier between Israel and the West Bank,” he recounts. “This trip was an incredible experience. Traveling through Israel with all of your friends is an indescribable feeling. The memories which I created on this trip are ones that I will cherish for years to come.

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In 2015, the Jewish Federation of Greater New Haven, along with five local synagogues, formed JCARR (the Jewish Community Alliance for Refugee Resettlement) a partnership to help refugee and immigrant families build new lives in our community.

In February 2022, JCARR welcomed our seventh family. They are evacuees from Afghanistan: a 28-year-old mother, her three young daughters, and her 14-year-old nephew. The family was separated from their father, the breadwinner of the family. Here in the U.S., the mother deals with being separated from her husband, knowing she has to work to support her family, culture shock, a language she doesn’t know, trauma from political discord and being uprooted and evacuated, and the pain of not knowing what lies in her future.
Because Afghan evacuees in the U.S. are asylum seekers, not refugees, they don’t have a direct path to permanent U.S. residency. Their lives are in perpetual limbo. Afghan refugees deserve an opportunity to rebuild their lives in safety – without the fear and limitations associated with uncertain immigration status.
JCARR volunteers embrace working in partnership with the newly resettled members of our community. While JCARR can’t predict the future of our new community members, we can help families regain dignity, confidence, and sense of control during these transitions.

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Build a Tzedakah

Woodbridge Bar Mitzvah Boy “Builds a Mitzvah” by Dr. Dena Springer and David Novick 

We learned about the Jewish Foundation of Greater New Haven’s Build a Tzedakah Fund while attending the bat mitzvah celebration of our son Henry’s classmate.

Creating a fund in honor of Henry’s bar mitzvah was, for us, a meaningful opportunity for Henry to give back to his community and to learn about the importance of tzedakah at this critical time in his development as a member of the Jewish community and the community at large. By giving Henry direct and ongoing involvement in both raising money and directing its use, we hope the fund will instill in him an interest in charity and community that will remain a part of him long after his bar mitzvah.

While Henry has not finally decided where to direct his fund, he knows that he wants to provide less fortunate kids some of the opportunities that he has had.  
Henry says about his fund: “I love to read, love sports, especially hockey, and love science and building things. I also enjoyed learning to read Torah while preparing for my bar mitzvah. I think my charitable donations will focus on helping others be able to do the things I enjoy.”

Donor Spotlight

Stephen Saltzmann

Stephen Saltzman is greater New Haven’s newest member of the Star of David Society. The Society, a national designation through the JFNA (Jewish Federations of North America), includes a distinguished community of donors who have committed at their local Jewish Foundation, $200,000 or greater to PACE/LOJE (designated funds to endow a donor’s Jewish Federation annual campaign gift) or $500,000 or more in other designated funds.

Saltzman has established five different funds at the Jewish Foundation of Greater New Haven: for the benefit of the Jewish Cemetery Association, for the ADL (Holocaust Education) a PACE fund (Perpetual Annual Campaign Endowment) to endow his Federation gift and a LOJE (Lion of Judah Endowment) fund to endow his late wife Marilyn’s Lion gift to the Federation campaign. He also has a donor advised fund. “The LOJE fund was my first,” he shares, “as it was so meaningful to her that I wanted to make sure it was fully endowed. I set up the PACE fund after to make sure there was an endowment to cover my annual pledges, for the present and into perpetuity."
Saltzman, a principal member of the law firm of Brenner, Saltzman & Wallman, LLP, recalls how he was rapidly drawn into our community after moving here from Providence, Rhode Island fifty-five years ago.  “I like to think I’ve been involved in the beginning of so many things for Jewish New Haven,” he says. From “accompanying Murray Lender by airplane from NY to Moscow, Vienna and Israel” as part of a Russian-Jewish resettlement project, to “being at the historic meeting when Tower One was approved”, to attending meetings establishing The Jewish Cemetery Association, the local ADL chapter--gave Saltzman a front-row seat to, “pivotal events during my watch that I became very proud of”.
From 1987 onward, he served on boards of key organizations dedicated to NH Jewish causes. These include terms as:  Chair of the Jewish Foundation of GNH, Jewish Federation of GNH Fund Raising Campaign Chair, Jewish Federation of GNH President, Founder/ Director, Jewish Cemetery Association of GNH, President, Horeb Lodge, B’nai B’rith member/ director, Director, Congregation B’nai Jacob, board member/chair of CT Regional ADL and member of the ADL’s National Commission.
“No one can match Steve for his dedication and service to ADL Connecticut,” says Steve Ginsburg, Director of Connecticut ADL.  “He has been on the ADL Board over 50 years… the longest-serving leader in CT - and one of the longest nationally. His perspective on today’s challenges and opportunities is invaluable.  Steve is known by ADL staff and lay leaders for his commitment to standing up against anti-Semitism, interest in building bridges with other communities, support of Holocaust education, keen wit and sense of humor and love of world travel”.
Saltzman emphasizes why his Foundation funds, “reinforce the importance of endowing these worthwhile institutions.  This stems from being proud of my Jewish heritage and wanting to sustain it in whatever way I can…in this case, for my New Haven Community that I’ve been in most of my life.” 

PJ Library

Interested in moving closer to her hometown of Madison, Connecticut, from Boston, Elizabeth Kaplan recently relocated to New Haven with her husband David.  She has only been in town for just over a year and is already deeply involved with the Jewish community – and it’s all thanks to the Jewish Federation of Greater New Haven.

When Elizabeth was pregnant with her first child, she and Kayla Bisbee, Jewish Federation of Greater New Haven’s Family Outreach Coordinator, found each other on Facebook.  As a result of their messaging exchanges, Elizabeth signed up for PJ Library and Shalom Baby while still in the hospital, having given birth to her new baby boy. A few weeks later, Kayla, Elizabeth, and David enjoyed a virtual coffee to get to know each other better and help connect the Kaplan’s with the Jewish community.  Shalom Baby co-chair, Nicki Golos, followed up with a porch visit to deliver the Kaplan’s Shalom Baby bag.

“I used to work for the JCC in Boston and I worked really close with the staff who ran PJ [Library].  I had seen a lot of the books and co-led some of the PJ programming,” said Elizabeth. “We have signed up a lot of our relatives for PJ and now it’s our turn to register”.

When Kayla heard that she worked in Boston for the JCC and was looking to work part-time for a non-profit organization and knowing of an opening at Camp Laurelwood,  Kayla decided to introduce Elizabeth to Rabbi James Greene, Executive Director at Laurelwood.

One thing led to another and Elizabeth started a new job at Camp Laurelwood as the Family Camp Coordinator. “It’s been great so far,” said Kaplan. “I’m really lucky to have a job that supports my role as a parent.” Camp Laurelwood received a grant from the Foundation for Jewish Camp to facilitate several weekends per year, over the course of the next five years, welcoming families to get a taste of Camp Laurelwood. 

“My role is to program and manage family camp weekends,  planning the partnerships, getting families enrolled, and facilitating the weekends,” said Elizabeth. “I ran family programming at the JCC in Boston so it’s a pretty natural transition for me.”   Elizabeth did not stop there; she joined the Family Engagement Committee at the Jewish Federation due to Kayla’s outreach and engagement, and became Kayla’s partner in Pathways to Jewish Experiences, a series of engaging opportunities for families raising Jewish kids on the Connecticut Shoreline which just wrapped up its inaugural year.

“Now with working in the Jewish community but having also worked for the Jewish community in the past, I have some expertise in the programming, ideas, resources, and different connections,” said Elizabeth “and I just felt I had something to offer from that perspective.”

PJ Library Stats

Below is a heat map, courtesy of the PJ Library dashboard, showing the locations and concentration of our actively enrolled PJ Library children. Utilizing this data gives us an inside look into where young families are settling and where we can and should be reaching out to find new families and where to plan programs to engage them and their families.

enrolled children
families enrolled

Jewish Teen Education

This year, in collaboration with students from Ezra Academy, Jewish Teen Education (JTE) students took on a true mitzvah: building four Little Free PJ Libraries that have gone up around the Greater New Haven community.

Modeled after the Little Free Library Project, each box operates on a “take one, leave one” basis, and is pre-stocked with age-appropriate PJ Library books. The four libraries are located at the JCC Day Camps, Ezra Academy, Camp Laurelwood and the Beverly Levy Early Learning Center.

Shalom Baby

Shalom Baby is an outreach initiative of the Jewish Federation of Greater New Haven’s Women’s Philanthropy—designed to welcome Jewish babies and their families to the Jewish community in the Greater New Haven area. Through this collaborative effort, synagogues, vendors, and agencies that cater to our community extend a hand of friendship to families who have recently experienced the birth or adoption of a child. 

Long regarded as one of the premier infant outreach programs in the country, Shalom Baby is introducing many families to the Jewish Federation of Greater New Haven, the Jewish Community Center, congregations and other Jewish organizations. Additionally, Shalom Baby provides the connection to areas of interest for young families.

Incoming Shalom Baby chair Rebecca Gerber knows a thing or two about growing up in the Greater New Haven Jewish community. Before moving to NYC for college and career, Rebecca spent her childhood at the JCC as a Day Camps camper — and, subsequently, as a counselor! During pandemic, Rebecca and her husband moved in with her parents in Cheshire after getting pregnant with their first child. She then became Shalom Baby’s very first recipient of a welcome bag, which reconnected her to the JCC and Jewish Federation. Since then, Rebecca and her husband’s connection to Federation and JCC has grown through Shalom Baby and PJ Library — so much so that they built a house down the street from the JCC! Now Rebecca is set to become the Shalom Baby chair for 2023, along with her mother and mother-in-law.

90 babies have received a Shalom Baby gift bag with over 30 babies, (including several pregnancies) currently “in the queue” for scheduling a gift bag delivery. 
We continue to provide Shalom Baby bibs as a gift to grandparents in our community for use when their grandchild visits. So far, 45 grandparents have received a Shalom Baby bib to date.

Thank you to our presenting sponsors, Gayle & David Slossberg, for making this program possible.

Supporting Sponsors of Shalom Baby

Sound Obstetrics & Gynecology

Barker Specialty

Jonathan Perkins Injury Lawyers

Big Smiles Pediatric Dentistry

Cord Blood Registry


Yale New Haven Health/Yale New Haven Hospital

Drs. Stephanie Wain & Ruben Kier

A Loving Touch Doula Care

Women’s Health Associates

Rebecca Stern Photography

Jesse’s Toys

Ladle & Loaf

A Taste of Eden

Community Partners of Shalom Baby

Jewish Federation of Greater New Haven

Spa at the J


Congregation Beth El Keser Israel (BEKI)

Temple Emanuel

Congregation Or Shalom

Orchard Street Shul

Congregation B’nai Jacob

Camp Laurelwood

Ezra Academy

Jewish Family Service

Jewish Historical Society

The Towers

Southern Connecticut Hebrew Academy

Temple Beth Tikvah

Westville Synagogue

Enrichment Programs

The JCC experience is all about making new friends and learning new skills and children and adults are doing this in record numbers.

In the Marcia and Stanley F. Reiter Swimming Pool the water is churning all the time with 435 children taking swim lessons each session. The pool has never been this busy, as Nicolle Demorrow-Vigneron, the JCC Assistant Director, has found ways to accommodate the unprecedented demand for instruction.

In addition our Dance program is enjoying tremendous growth with 120 children dancing each week and culminating in an end of the year recital.

Some staples of the Recreation Department like Biddy Basketball, have been supplemented with new offerings like our first Dribble Drive Basketball Camp attended by 50 kids, one of a number of new mini-summer experiences offered in one week sessions.

It is not only children who are enjoying the fun, new classes Adults are learning Pickelball from Allan Greenberg, attending fitness classes and relaxing in the Spa at J.

Enrichment Program Stats

children taking swim lessons each session
children competing on the Blue Marlins Swim Team
children dancing this year
attended the First Dribble Drive Basketball Camp
children took part in Mini Camps after camp enrichment
campers plus 14 CITs

Beverly Levy Center’s Growth

The Beverly Levy Early Learning Center has played a crucial role for parents and children during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Sarah Schryver, the Director of Beverly Levy, has been the leader who has directed this rapid expansion since she came to the JCC in May of 2021. She is joined by Assistant Director Adrienne Oneza and new administrator Liz Manzi.

Combining a caring teaching staff, a beautiful facility and the community feel of the JCC, the Beverly Levy Early Learning Center is positioned to continue to welcome young families to the JCC community.

Upon reopening in September of 2020, the Beverly Levy enrollment numbered 32 children spread over 4 classrooms. In September of 2021, 67 children began school over 8 classrooms and September of 2022 brings 97 children and 11 classrooms with a 12th coming soon.

Grants for the Elderly

The Jewish Home Building Fund Corporation’s cash assets were transferred to the Jewish Foundation to establish permanent, designated endowment funds to benefit the Jewish elderly.

The Jewish Foundation established a grants process for the annual distributions from these endowment funds. These annual grants support programs and organizations that benefit the Jewish elderly residing in greater New Haven. Now in its second year, this initiative will award a total of $150,000, in 2021, to Jewish Family Service of Greater New Haven (JFS) and The Towers at Tower Lane (In 2020, a total of $130,000 was awarded). With this grant, JFS will help community members care for their aging parents by rolling out its Care Navigator program. JFS CEO Amy Rashba, LCSW, told Shalom New Haven that the new program will hire “two Aging Resource Specialists and a Community Social and Wellness coordinator who will address more pressing needs, not just for the elderly, but their loved ones as well, particularly after the devastation of the pandemic.” These specialists will be able to educate and guide families through the complicated decisions that come with aging.

Cindy Leffell, The Towers Board Chair, shared that they are “proud to be tackling one of the major ongoing problems faced by New Haven’s seniors — food insecurity.” The grant money will be used toward the Meal Sustainability Project, helping feed those in need, thus upholding the Jewish value of kavod habriut, honoring human dignity. As stated in the Towers’ grant application, “typically, organizations try to solve the problem of food insecurity each year through volunteer programs, drives, or through private donations. We are actually going to come close to solving the problem for the long-term.” Specifically, the project aims to expand the existing meal plan, for those in-need, from six to fourteen meals a week, expand the hours and availability of food, and make The Towers at Tower Lane more energy efficient overall. 
The COVID-19 pandemic has forced many older adults into isolation and added further complications to an already complicated stage of life. In light of this, the Care Navigator program and the Meal Sustainability Project should provide some much-needed assistance to Greater New Haven’s Jewish elderly.

The Jewish Foundation’s Grants for the Elderly initiative is available thanks to the Jewish Home Building Fund Corporation as well as community members who donated generously to ensure that our community would properly care and provide for our elderly.

Community Impact Grants

This year, the Jewish Federation of Greater New Haven instituted a new impact grants process to align with the 2020 community strategic plan. This revamped grant process enables the Federation to invest in new projects, programs, and initiatives from agencies, synagogues, Jewish organizations, and individuals to strengthen our Jewish community in the areas of Jewish Education, Caring for the Vulnerable, and Engagement Opportunities.

The first round of Impact Grants were awarded to the following projects:

Jewish Families Gather at Iconic Places on the Shoreline 
Camp Laurelwood in collaboration with Temple Beth Tikvah and PJ Library will provide Jewish programming at interesting local venues on the Shoreline to engage all ages and stages.  

Greater New Haven Community Introduction to Judaism 
Congregation Mishkan Israel with the local Board of Rabbis and Cantors to establish a collective adult learning program.  

Learning Garden at The Towers at Tower Lane 
The Towers will collaborate with Greater New Haven to institute a neighborhood revitalization food sustainability and environmental program. This project will take an unusable piece of land and turn it into something beautiful, functional and enjoyable for all to learn and grow. 

Uniper Technology to Reduce Isolation for Holocaust Survivors 
Jewish Family Services of Greater New Haven in partnership with the Hartford Jewish community will institute a communication program for home-bound elderly to ensure connection.

While many of these projects are still in the process of rolling out, we’re thrilled to share this update on the impact that our grant to Jewish Family Services is already having:

A shocking number of survivors live in poverty.  Jewish Family Service of Greater New Haven works one-on-one with these individuals who have endured so much to help them age in place and live life as fully as possible. Holocaust survivors and other aging adults faced incredibly high rates of social isolation even before the pandemic.  Uniper uses free, real-time, user-friendly, TV-based technology to connect older adults with local community programs, friends and family, allows them to participate in online classes, and much more. 

Uniper technology is in process to be deployed into the homes of 85 Holocaust survivors in Greater New Haven, assisted by a Senior Isolation Technology Coordinator who provides in-reach, infrastructure, community connection and the education necessary to make full use of the technoloogy by users and their families.

From JFS of Greater New Haven: “Thank you so much for the Federation’s dedication to Holocaust survivors in our region. The Uniper  program has had an incredible impact, and we are so grateful to you for making this possible.”

Vocational Experience with Jewish New Haven

For the last three years, the Jewish Federation and JCC have partnered with Chapel Haven Schleifer Center, a residential school and independent living facility in New Haven, to offer a series of workstudy opportunities through Chapel Haven’s Partnership for Achievement through Vocational Experience (PAVE) program.

Through volunteer placements in true work environments participants are fully immersed in the workplace, acquiring marketable job-specific and transferrable skills. Each participant is placed in a position that suits their interests, abilities, and career goals while also allowing for the opportunity to explore a variety of career areas. In addition to all that is learned on the job, participants receive daily instruction on employment and related skills, taught by a highly qualified team of instructors including a certified Special Education Teacher, Speech Language Pathologist, and Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist specializing in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. This past year, the Federation and JCC were fortunate to be joined by four incredible PAVE interns — James Stavola in Marketing; Debbie Margolis in Membership; Matt Shwartz in Sports and Rec, and Avi Spechler in Human Resources — who became cherished members of the team, and who were all too happy to share some reflections about their time working here.

Longevity of New Haven Community

The Silver Circle Society, a donor recognition society launched in October 2021, honors our donors who have supported the Federation Annual Campaign for 25 or more years.

Showing their dedication and commitment to the Jewish community in Greater New Haven, in Israel and around the world, Silver Circle members have maintained an active involvement in the Jewish community by helping and supporting in any way they can. Some have held leadership positions in the Federation, the JCC, and local synagogues while others have given their time to our local community agencies.

Over 900 members each who have their own unique stories and experiences which have shaped their desire to support the Federation, but the one thing they all share is an amazing passion for the longevity and future strength of the Jewish community.

Collectively, this group has contributed over $60 million to support Jewish life and the most vulnerable in our community.


Security Highlights

In October, the Jewish Federation of Greater New Haven hired its first full-time Regional Security Advisor in partnership with neighboring Federations and the Secure Community Network (SCN). The goal is to better protect members of the Jewish communities who attend local synagogues, Hebrew Schools, day schools, and other facilities.

The creation of this role comes at a time of historically high antisemitic incidents throughout the United States. The ADL (Anti-Defamation League) recently announced a recorded 2,100 acts of either assault, vandalism, and harassment against Jewish people this past year, a 12% increase from the year prior.

Michael J. Shanbrom was hired to lead the community security effort. Mike has over 20 years of experience as a public safety expert and is a veteran of both the New Haven Police Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), was hired to lead the community security effort. Mike serves as a representative of SCN and works full-time to develop and administer a comprehensive program that provides threat mitigation, security consultation, and trainings to Jewish institutions throughout the region.

Mike believes that, through working together as a united community, a more prepared and resilient Jewish community is possible.

Security Director Spotlight
"I am thrilled to dedicate myself full time to working with the Jewish institutions in our communities to make them more safe, secure, and resilient. We want to make these communities more active. We want to empower them. We don’t want anyone not to attend a Jewish event or organization because they’re worried about what could go wrong.”
— Michael J. Shanbrom

Security by Numbers

Trainings/types of trainings:

Security Assessments
CAT Trainings conducted
CAT Trainings scheduled
ISA Trainings conducted
MT1 Training scheduled

Trainings/types of trainings:

CAT trained
ISA trained
Camp trained


Harassment, Threats, Graffiti, Zoom bombing, Phishing Emails

Security consulting:

Consultations - Processes, Infrastructure, Suspicious Incidents, Threat Assessments etc.
Agencies, Schools, Hillels, etc.


Financial Stats

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0 +
Agencies, programs, and initiatives funded
Jewish New Haven Donors

This section of the Annual Report will be updated as soon as our audited financial statements are available.


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