Beth Israel Synagogue in Wallingford has been awarded an impact grant by Jewish Federation of Greater New Haven for a regional outreach program. The program, Colors of My Jewish Year, will provide a series of creative, interactive educational programs for children ages 3-8 from affiliated, unaffiliated and interfaith Jewish families in the Greater Wallingford area (specifically Meriden and North Haven). This region is somewhat underserved and Beth Israel is geographically and historically positioned to serve as a hub and Jewish entry point for these families. The 126-year-old congregation is known for its community programs and through the years has attracted area participants to events such as its highly popular community seders. Beth Israel will collaborate with Wallingford, Meriden and North Haven libraries along with Quinnipiac University on this project.
The series will run from September 2023 — June 2024 and will include six programs of two sessions each (one in Wallingford; one in North Haven or Meriden). Each will serve as an independent event, but participants may attend all six programs.
Using the theme of colors, the program will feature hands-on experiential activities that engage children. Each hour-long session will feature stories, activities, crafts, and a special treat related to that holiday. The child’s parent or caregiver must be present for the entire session. The Colors of My Jewish Year program is designed to entice unaffiliated Jewish and interfaith families to connect with other Jews by joining an area synagogue. It will be run by Beth Israel’s education director Marcy Thomaswick. Quinnipiac students from the Peter C Herald House for Jewish Life will help facilitate each series.