Welcoming young Jewish families makes sure our future is bright!

I often say that your Federation serves the Jewish Community of Greater New Haven from ‛cradle to grave’—as a reflection of our commitment to Jews of all ages. One of our most exciting programs begins at birth with ‘Shalom Baby.’ This program—capably led by our staff professional Kayla Bisbee—welcomes the birth of a new baby with a wonderful gift bag filled with products donated by our generous sponsors.

The program is not restricted to contributors to the Federation’s campaign but is available to any Jewish family in our area. Most importantly, everyone can help by simply letting Kayla know if you are aware of a new Jewish baby in our area.

Being connected is part of our DNA and the accolades and responses from families who have received their bag has been outstanding. A big ‘thank you’ to our lead sponsors, Gayle and David Slossberg, as well as all of our sponsors, including: Sounds Obstetrics and Gynecology; Jonathan Perkins Injury Lawyers; CBR Life Sciences; Barker Specialty Company; Jordies, Jesse’s & Evan’s Toy Shoppe; Yale New Haven Health/Yale New Haven Hospital; A Taste of Eden; Ladle & Loaf; Rebecca Stern Photography; Women’s Health Associates; Nancy & Robert Gerber; J Screen Genetic Testing; Empowered Beginnings CT and A Loving Touch Doula. All of these sponsors have graciously provided the bags, gifts, or much needed dollars to make this program the rousing success that it has become.

Shalom Baby is just the beginning of our involvement with young children, as PJ Library provides another family connection with the distribution of Jewish books to Jewish families. Like Shalom Baby, you can help ensure the success of this program by letting us know of families who are raising Jewish children who aren’t yet receiving these free books. In addition, you can also let new parents know that they can register to receive books at PJLibrary.org or jewishnewhaven.org/PJ.

We love seeing so many of these children attending the Beverly Levy Early Childhood Center at the JCC, which provides full time and part time care for infants through pre-K.

There are so many elements to building a strong and vibrant Jewish community… and I think it is safe to say that one of the major ingredients that go into growing Jewishly is instilling a sound Jewish beginning. With all the distractions of our busy lives, it may be easy to forget that sharing a love for Judaism with our children is one of the most beautiful and everlasting gifts we can provide them. Pictured here is Chai Barker — the first (and only) grandchild of my wife Debbi and me — wearing his Shalom Baby bib. I don’t know if Chai is so happy because of his stylish new bib or because he knows that food is about to be served! But I do know that when we give to the annual campaign and welcome babies like Chai our future is bright!

Looking forward to a year of peace and health for all. Gerry Barker President Jewish Federation of Greater New Haven PS. Just got word that our first ever ‘Expecting Expo’ will be held at the JCC on February 19. Please share this wonderful news with all your family and friends.

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