The purpose of Chailights is to showcase the variety of ways your Federation impacts the various institutions and communities in Western and Northwestern Connecticut. Your support of the Federation enables us to build partnerships and support so many important endeavors.
Federation President Pauline Zimmerman and CEO Gary Jones paid a visit to the Bais Yaakov, the Girls High School that moved to new space in Naugatuck earlier in the academic year to accommodate the rapid growth in attendance. We had the chance to see the students learning diverse and challenging subjects in different classes and to hear about plans for expansion in its new facility.
One of the highlights of the visit was the opportunity to see the truly remarkable Holocaust exhibit designed by the students both to commemorate the Shoah and to highlight hope for the future.
The Federation is proud to be in a position to provide educational grants to Bais Yaakov and other synagogue and days schools to support their important role in educating the next generation of our Jewish community.
Although most of the grants and allocations made by the Jewish Federation of Western Connecticut are made under the auspices of our Grants and Allocations Committee, there are times when circumstances require immediate action to help resolve a problem. Our friends at United Way of Greater Waterbury alerted Cathy Conti, our Program and Events Manager, to the fact that the recent surge in gasoline prices has hindered the ability of clients of the Salvation Army to get to grocery stores to purchase food and other basic supplies. In order to help alleviate that problem, we provided the Salvation Army with gift cards to enable its clients to purchase gas at the Waterbury Stop and Shop Supermarket.
With your financial support, our Jewish Federation works with our community partners, like the United Way and the Salvation Army, to help respond to the urgent needs of our friends and neighbors in our communities.
Gary Jones had the opportunity to visit Yeshiva K’tana of Waterbury last week. Yeshiva K’tana provides Jewish and secular education to students from pre-kindergarten through 8th grade. The Principal of the Yeshiva, Rabbi Yehuda Brecher, provided the tour which included visits to various classes and morning services. Gary was struck by enthusiasm of the students and the instructors alike! The growth of the Yeshiva in the twenty or so years of its existence is truly amazing, and is continuing to this day.
The Federation strives to work with and support all of the Jewish institutions and organizations in Western and Northwestern Connecticut, financially and in other ways as well. We are particularly pleased that we are able to provide education grants to Yeshiva K’tana and other synagogue and days schools to support their important role in educating the next generation of our Jewish community.
As part of our ongoing effort to support local nonprofit institutions, the Jewish Federation of Western Connecticut is pleased to have provided a grant to help Flanders Nature Center & Land Trust . Flanders was able to provide unforgettable summer experiences to children who would otherwise be unable to do so. Flanders again partnered with Waterbury non-profit, Save Girls on F.Y.E.R. to provide camperships to 23 students from Waterbury.
As part of Flanders’ ongoing efforts to increase environmental access for all, Flanders’ provided young learners from 6 towns and the city of Waterbury the opportunity to learn and engage with nature in a fun and memorable way. From learning about local agriculture and farming to gaining first-hand knowledge of potential career paths in STEM, campers were immersed in Flanders’ fully accredited camps and Academies.
The Jewish Federation regularly supports a variety of social services organizations in Western and Northwestern Connecticut that provide for the most needy and vulnerable among us. During the pandemic, the workload undertaken by these social services organizations substantially increased, and our Grants and Allocations Committee increased its support accordingly. However, the Committee also wanted to find a way to provide direct support to individuals, especially essential and front-line workers, who have suffered financially during the pandemic.
Working with our friends at the United Way of Greater Waterbury, we are pleased to report that we are making that happen. As a result of a $25,000 gift from the Federation, the United Way of Greater Waterbury and the Jewish Federation of Western CT recently announced a partnership to provide $200 gift cards to 120 ALICE (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed) families who are or were employed in essential roles such as transportation, childcare, and grocery workers to help meet their basic needs. We are truly honored to be able to provide support to those in our community who put themselves at risk for the benefit of others.
Rabbi Yehuda Brecher, Principal of Yeshiva K’tana of Waterbury, invited Pauline Zimmerman, President of the Jewish Federation of Western Connecticut, to visit the Yeshiva’s campus last week. Pauline noted that she was excited to see the ongoing upgrades to the campus and was especially pleased to see the enthusiasm of the students who attend the Yeshiva. The Federation is proud to support Yeshiva K’tana, and other religious schools in our catchment area, with direct funding to offset the cost of educating our community’s students. In addition, the Federation provides direct funding to students and families in the form of campership grants and scholarships for college students and study in Israel programs.
Federation President Pauline M. Zimmerman coordinated an effort to deliver holiday cheer and financial support to local toy drives run by the Southbury Police Department and the Community Council of Woodbury.
Our Executive Director Gary Jones met with administrators at Mesivta Yesodei Hatorah in Naugatuck earlier in the week. With your financial support, our Jewish Federation provides per-student funding to all religious schools (including synagogue Hebrew Schools and day schools) that provide Jewish education to our youth throughout our Federation communities.