In 1899-1900, the American Jewish Year Book records a chapter of Chovevei Zion in New London, and in 1913 Morris Mallove, a jewler in downrtown New London established the Sons of Zion. Mallove became an active Zionist leader in Connecticut and helped raise funs to purchase land in the Jezreel valley of Palestine, near Afula.
The lands of Afula and Gilboa region were eventually purchased in the 20's through Yehoshua Hankin, and funded thanks to the Jewish Community of Eastern CT.
In the 50s a delegation from Connecticut traveled to Israel to show support for the new state and the Batt family from New Haven donated a sign to the Great Synagogue of Afula. It is still hanging there to this day, as shown in the picture.
In 1994, The Jewish Federation of Greater New Haven along with 11 other Jewish Federations in Southern New England, established a partnership with the Afula-Gilboa region through the Jewish Agency for Israel. while the first decades of Israel's existence were dedicated to supporting its developing institutions and help it through crisis, the objective now is to strenghten our relationships, focusing on the wide spectrum of Jewish identity and its meanings for our people.
Through our partnership, we support Jewish pluralism in Afula, LGBTQ groups, youth at risk, women's rape and crisis centers and a basketball elague where Israeli Arabs and Jews have the chance to get to know each other and develop positive interactions.
If you are interested in learning more about the partnership and ways to get involved, please contact Amy Holtz, Chief Development Office at firstname.lastname@example.org