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Federation’s ‘HINENI’ Celebration Launches Jewish Communal Security Initiative

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The West Hartford-based Jewish Federation of Greater Hartford raised more than $205,000 to strengthen local Jewish institutions.

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Generous guests raised more than $205,000 in one day for Jewish communal security at Jewish Federation of Greater Hartford’s “HINENI: Here for Each Other” virtual community celebration on Tuesday, May 25.

HINENI (Hebrew for “here I am”) celebrated the amazing collective impact of Greater Hartford’s Jewish community, even during a pandemic year. More than 600 guests tuned in to the virtual program, which featured powerful stories about the recent work of Federation and its partners fighting antisemitism on college campuses, welcoming Ethiopian Jews to Israel, and providing monthly hygiene kits to local people in need. In addition, they enjoyed an exclusive interview with Lior Raz of the hit Israeli Netflix series “Fauda” conducted by journalist Alison Lebovitz.

HINENI also served as the public launch of Federation’s Secure Community Initiative, a program that will enhance the safety of Greater Hartford’s Jewish organizations and community members by hiring a security director, conducting security assessments, training institutions and individuals on threat prevention and response, and strengthening law enforcement relationships at every level. Efforts have already started to launch this program in the coming months.

Prior to HINENI, Federation had obtained over $622,000 in private commitments – nearly half of the $1.6 million required to fund the first four years of the program Thanks to generous pledges of all sizes during the event, Federation easily surpassed the evening’s goal of $50,000 to raise another $205,281.

To accomplish its security goals, Federation has entered into a partnership with the Secure Community Network (SCN), the official safety and security organization for the Jewish community in North America. “This is a natural role for Federation because we are not only a fundraiser; we also convene Greater Hartford’s Jewish community and tackle the thorniest issues we face,” said Robert K. Yass, who co-chairs Federation’s Security Task Force with Michael Cantor.

“HINENI reminds me how connected we all are to each other as Jews, no matter where we are in the world,” said Carolyn Gitlin, chair of Jewish Federation of Greater Hartford’s Board of Directors, who emceed the program along with First Vice Chair and 2021 Annual Campaign Chair Dana Keller. “But none of Federation’s work would happen without our community’s generous support.”

HINENI was co-chaired by Risa and Roy Filkoff, Debra and Bruce Fischman, Stefanie and David Ochs, and Elise and Jerry Rosenstock. Event sponsors included Platinum Sponsors Liberty Bank, Mutual of America, and Bank of America; Gold Sponsors Blumenstein Funerals, Hartford Hospital, Marcus Insurance Agency, the Judie and Coleman Levy family, NEFCO, People’s United Bank, Retirement Visions, Solinsky EyeCare LLC, TD Bank, and Weinstein Mortuary; Media Partners The Connecticut Jewish Ledger and Hartford Business Journal; In-Kind Sponsor London Shop; Silver Sponsors GYL Financial Synergies, Hebrew Center for Health & Rehabilitation, and Webster Bank; and Bronze Sponsor Professional Business Insurers.

To learn more about the Secure Community Initiative, contact Laura Zimmerman at [email protected]. To make a gift or pledge, please contact Hayley Wasser at [email protected].

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