Jewish Federation of GNH Announces TEN

The Jewish Federation is proud to announce that the 2024 Community Impact Grants have been awarded to eight collaborative programs this year.

As part of the Jewish community strategic planning process, there was an increased request from many organizations to fund creative partnerships and strengthen the impact across Greater New Haven. 

The goal of the Impact Grants is to build sustainable, collaborative programs that educate, engage, and expand our Jewish community. The criteria for requesting seed money and developing new initiatives include collaboration, long-term impact, and positive change in our Jewish community. 


1) Colors of My Jewish Year Beth Israel Synagogue in Wallingford, in collaboration with Quinnipiac Hillel and local area libraries, will offer a series of creative, interactive educational programs that provide meaningful, Jewish, experiences for affiliated, unaffiliated and interfaith Jewish children ages 3-8 in the greater Wallingford area. Each experience will bring together families for interactive activities aimed at feeding the hungry, helping those in need, and promoting literacy. 

2) Conversations with Yossi Klein Halevi and Imam Abdullah Antepli 

A community-wide program that will bring together world renowned authors for a conversation about acceptance and connections. Sponsored by the Yale Forum of Jewish Faculty and Friends, the Slifka Center, The Buckley Institute, the Jewish Community Relations Council of the Jewish Federation of Greater New Haven and the Yale Program on the Study of Antisemitism. 

3) Community Inclusion Director 

In 2023, as part of an Impact Grant, the JCC, Jewish Family Services, Chapel Haven Schliefer Center, and the Towers collaborated to create Café J at the JCC. This program, which has now trained 24 student interns and engaged more than 30 volunteers, furthers the organizers’ commitment to serve people with disabilities. An inclusion director will enable the hiring of a professional social worker to extend all areas of service including social, educational, recreational, camping and expanded vocational opportunities for teens and adults with disabilities. 

Also planned are adult education classes for those with disabilities, social experiences focusing on important dates on the Jewish calendar, and recreational opportunities that move beyond athletics to include art and music. 

4) Community Meal Delivery

The Towers has initiated a Kosher Shabbat Meal delivery program to serve those identified by Jewish Family Services, local synagogues, and the Jewish Community Center as isolated, at-risk, or in need of community connection. The goal is to enable vulnerable older adults to be more socially and Jewishly connected, as well as educated about resources available to them, by providing a consistent volunteer visitor with a kosher meal. 

This initiative will educate the community about events, resources and assistance in a very personal way.  

5) Examining Today’s Greatest Challenges to American Jewish Life 

Adult learning is a key priority in our Jewish community. Congregations Mishkan Israel, Temple Beth Sholom, the Jewish Community Relations Council, and the Jewish Historical Society have joined together to create a four-part educational series of relevant topics and curriculum inspired by Hebrew College in Newton, Massachusetts.

6) Gospel Shabbat at Congregation B’nai Jacob 

In an effort to create a diverse unified community, Congregation B’nai Jacob, along with the Towers, Woodbridge Ad Hoc Committee of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, the First Church of Christ and the JEDI Taskforce of the Jewish Federation of Greater New Haven, will host a community event to acknowledge the social justice inspired by Dr. Martin Luther King. The program will expand social service programs throughout the year.

7) Jewish Women’s Conference at Yale

The goal of the Jewish Women’s Conference at Yale is to celebrate the 25th anniversary of women’s contributions to Jewish communal and religious life.This conference has been formative to many female leaders such as Betty Friedan, Judith Plaskow, Debbie Friedman, and Rabbi Angela Buchdahl. The conference inspires published writing, archival video, and other documentation that informs contemporary conversation about Jewish women, particularly as Jewish community leaders. 

8) Jewish Culinary Academy with Chef Danny Corsun

The Towers, Women’s Philanthropy of the Jewish Federation of Greater New Haven, and PJ Library are partnering to share resources and infuse our community with fun and engaging hands-on Jewish education by bringing generations together for more meaningful connections through cooking. The newly renovated dining room and kitchen facilities at the Towers will be the hub of cooking and programming with Chef Danny Corsun, to provide seven educational sessions focusing on the Jewish Holidays.

9) The Boundary That Creates Unity

The New Haven Eruv is collaborating with PJ Library and the Greater New Haven community to provide a unifying educational event, that includes an innovative project, to share the history, purpose and halachic significance of an Eruv.

10) The Beauty and Bliss of a Proper Burial

The Jewish Cemetery Association, Shure Funeral Home, and Women’s Philanthropy of the Jewish Federation of Greater New Haven are collaborating to educate the community about the spiritual and emotional aspects of a proper Jewish burial. The program will feature Sarah Birnbach, award winning author of “A Daughter’s Kaddish.” 

Many thanks to task force members, Linda Caplan, Nancy Cohen, Dena SchulmanGreen, Sami Merit, Stacey Perkins, and Norman Ravski (chair), for their time and dedication to this process. 



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