Remembering the Warsaw Ghetto in Song and Film – May 19 – New London, CT

This year, the Preservation Society is joining with the Jewish Federation of Eastern Connecticut in sponsoring the Gala Opening of the 25th Annual International Film Festival at the Garde Theater, 325 State Street in New London, CT.

On May 19, at 2:00 pm, the program will feature the amazing Yiddish Chorus of the Boston Workmen’s Circle – A Besere Velt (A Better World) in a program of music inspired by the 76th anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. The concert will be followed by a screening of Who Will Write Our History, the much-anticipated film that tells the story of Emanuel Ringelblum and his clandestine Oyneg Shabes organization that documented life, death and resistance in the Warsaw Ghetto.

A Besere Velt is proud to be a “voice” for justice, weaving the heartache and irrepressible idealism of Yiddish folk music into a vision of justice and humanity for the 21st century.

Tickets are $20. Available online at JFEC.com or from the Garde Arts Center (860) 444-7373. We hope you will join us for a memorable afternoon.

9th Annual Community Passover Seder – April 7, 2019

Everyone is welcome to join us at our warm, interactive Community Passover Seder on Sunday, April 7 at 2:00 pm at Temple Beth Israel, 39 Killingly Drive, Danielson, CT. We will explore the meaning of this ancient holiday together in stories, songs and ancient rituals.

2018 Annual Campaign is Launched

This past year we were able to reach a new generation of young people and adults, sharing important lessons about the Holocaust.  We are teaching school children and teens constructive ways to non-violently stand up against hate and intolerance in our society today.  We are making a lasting impact and helping to build stronger relations with the local and regional interfaith community.  The work in which we are engaged has never been more important (more…)

Join Us To Welcome the New Year 5779

At Temple Beth Israel, we draw on our proud history to fashion rituals that are authentic, progressive, meaningful and provocative. We welcome everyone. You need not be Jewish or read Hebrew. Just bring an open heart.

We create a safe and supportive environment in which to contemplate our place in the universe and consider whether we are living up to our expectations and values.  We do this with a unique blend of traditional prayers, contemporary poetry, old and new songs, lessons and ideas. And this year, on the first day of Rosh Hashanah, we warmly welcome the Reverend Jonathan Chapman, pastor at the Westfield Congregational Church as our guest speaker.

(more…)

Ray Gawendo (1915-2018)

It is with heavy hearts that we announce the passing of our dear friend and founder, Ray Gawendo.  Ray died on Tuesday, April 3 in Norwich, Connecticut.  She was 103 years old.  Ray was a proud supporter and adviser of the Preservation Society.  We will miss her. (more…)

Board Passes Anti-Hate Resolution

Temple Beth Israel Preservation Society

(Adopted by Board of Directors August 27, 2017)

The High Holy Days are an opportunity for reflection and introspection.  As the holidays approach, we at the Temple Beth Israel Preservation Society (TBIPS) are deeply engaged in considering the events of the year that is ending and preparing spiritually for the year to come.

A key element of the mission of TBIPS is to honor the builders of this community, among them Jewish Holocaust Survivors and resistance fighters who experienced first hand the consequences of hate, prejudice and evil.  They came to the United States confident that they would never again experience the terrifying sight of a torchlit parade by angry men and women giving the Nazi Salute, carrying Nazi signs and shouting Nazi, racist and anti-Semitic slogans.  But we all saw it in Charlottesville a few weeks ago.  Not surprisingly, the consequences included terror, death and injuries.  Responsibility for the violence that occurred in Charlottesville does not lie with many sides but with one side: the Nazis, alt-right and white supremacists who brought their hate to a peaceful community.  We add our voices to those who have roundly condemned these hate groups.

We at TBIPS for ourselves and in honor of the courageous and principled founders of our temple, applaud and join with the Central Conference of American Rabbis, The Rabbinical Assembly, the Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association and the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, representing over 4,000 rabbis who have condemned the suggestion that there is any moral equivalency between the White Supremacists and neo- Nazis in Charlottesville and those who objected to their repugnant messages and actions.

The High Holy Days are a season of t’shuvah for us all, an opportunity for each of us to examine our own words and deeds through the lens of America’s ongoing struggle with racism.  Our tradition teaches us that humanity is fallible yet also capable of change.  We pray that President Trump will recognize and remedy the grave error he has made in abetting the voices of hatred.  Whether intended or not, leaders of the hate groups are delighting in the message that they have heard from the White House.  A correction is in order.  We pray that those who traffic in anti-Semitism, racism, and xenophobia will see that there is no place for such pernicious philosophies in a civilized society.  And, we pray that 5778 will be a year of peace for all.

Based on a resolution recently adopted by the rabbinical groups identified above.

(more…)