JFGH Celebrates Kindness, Welcomes New Leaders at 2021 Annual Meeting

West Hartford, Connecticut (October 1, 2021) – Hundreds of viewers tuned in to the Jewish Federation of Greater Hartford's virtual annual meeting on Monday, September 13, to celebrate community accomplishments, recognize outstanding service, and elect new leadership. The program highlighted the many acts of kindness that have taken place across Greater Hartford's Jewish community over the past year.

Keynote speaker Dale Atkins, Ph.D., a TV personality, psychologist, and co-author of the “The Kindness Advantage,” shared expert advice on how to build an even stronger and more vibrant community through our everyday actions. Her remarks were echoed by local leaders throughout the evening.

“Our community, and our Federation, is built for times like this. We step up and say ‘Hineni – here I am,’” remarked Carolyn Gitlin, outgoing Chair of the Federation’s Board of Directors. “When it comes to our fellow Jews in need, when it comes to supporting our agencies and institutions, when it comes to supporting Israel, and when it comes to securing our communities and making them safer, we say Hineni.”

“Our Jewish Federation and its partners have touched even more people this year,” noted Dana Keller, who was elected Chair of the Federation’s Board of Directors during the program. “It’s one of the silver linings of this pandemic.” She added, “I want to make sure our Federation meets you wherever you are on your own personal Jewish journey.”

Award Recipients

Two community members – Shayna Gopin and Stuart Rabinowitz – received the Henry M. Zachs Spirit of Judaism Award for their contributions to Jewish life in Greater Hartford. This award was established seven years ago by the Zachs family to highlight the volunteer and professional “unsung heroes” of Jewish Greater Hartford. Gopin was recognized for more than a decade of professional service to the West Hartford chapter of The Friendship Circle, where she helps to bridge gaps between local Jewish teens living with and without disability. Rabinowitz was recognized for his 30-plus years of steadfast volunteer service to East Hartford’s Temple Beth Tefilah.

New Board Members and Trustees

In addition to electing a new Chair, the meeting also welcomed the following new Officers: Annual Campaign Chair David Rosenthal, Women’s Philanthropy Chair Jill Dulitsky, Vice Chair of Planning and Community Impact Benjamin Adler, Vice Chair of Long-Range Planning Stephen Bayer, Treasurer and Finance/Administrative Chair Robert Stillman, and Assistant Treasurer Robert K. Yass. New Board members at large include Juanita Moss and David Weiner, and newly elected Life Community Trustees include Ethan Goldman, Theodore Kaplan, David Miller, Alan Reisner, and Raymond 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 www.jewishhartford.org.


Above: Outgoing Chair of the Board Carolyn Gitlin passes the gavel to incoming Chair Dana Keller at Jewish Federation of Greater Hartford’s Annual Meeting on September 13.