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‘Under One Roof: Welcoming the Stranger’ Unique Exhibit Coming to Mandell JCC

Hartford Public Library Students Designing Canvas. Courtesy photo

The Mandell JCC in West Hartford will bring together 50 Greater Hartford agencies an organizations for an extraordinary art exhibit ‘Under One Roof: Welcoming the Stranger.’

Courtesy image

Submitted by Michelle Bonner, Mandell JCC

The Mandell JCC is proud to present an extraordinary exhibit, bringing together 50 agencies and organizations from Greater Hartford. “Under One Roof” is a collaborative community experience featuring art canvases created by clients, staff, and members of each agency and organization, exploring the theme of “Welcoming the Stranger.”

The project will be on display in the Mandell JCC’s Chase Family Gallery from Oct. 6-Nov. 15, 2019.

“We are bringing together, ‘under one roof,’ artistic expressions, perspectives and ideas, from throughout the Greater Hartford community,” says David Jacobs, Executive Director of the Mandell JCC.  “We have chosen the theme, ‘Welcoming the Stranger,’ because of its universal relevance and importance.”

The exhibit will be held in conjunction with the Jewish holiday of Sukkot, a fall festival that commemorates the gathering of the harvest and recalls the temporary shelters (the sukkah) that the Israelites built as they wandered in the desert after the exodus from Egypt. “The sukkah reminds us of the fragility and temporary essence of life,” adds Jacobs. “It helps us focus on those things which are truly important, while also allowing us to create social connections throughout all of our communities.”

Each agency is creating their canvas, working collaboratively and creatively with their employees, leadership, clients and donors. “Creating a unique work of art is a journey,” says Jane Pasternak, director of Jewish and Family Life at the JCC. “The journey is just as important as the final product itself. When an organization comes together to collaborate, think and explore something special happens and often stories of hope, inspiration and community change emerge. We want share those stories with all of our communities.”

Participants include the following organizations and agencies: Farmington Valley Arts Center – ARTFORMS, Beth David Synagogue, Beth El Temple, Blue Hills Civic Association, Billings Forge Community Works, B’nai B’rith Youth Organization, Boys and Girls Club of Hartford, Camp Shalom, Catholic Charities – Migration, Refugee & Immigration Services, Catholic Worker, Charter Oak Cultural Center, Church of St. Timothy, Congregation Beth Israel, Connecticut Science Center, Connecticut Council for Interreligious Understanding, Inc., Connecticut Immigrant & Refugee Coalition, Deeds for Needs, Emanuel Synagogue, Futures, Glycogen Storage Disease, Grace Seventh Day Adventist Church Food Pantry, Hands on Hartford, HARC, Inc., Hartford Public Library – The American Place, Hartford Seminary, Interval House, Jewish Community Foundation, Jewish Association of Community Living, Jewish Children’s Service Organization, Jewish Family Services/Care at Home, Jewish Federation of Greater Hartford – JCRC, Jewish Historical Society, Jonathan’s Dream, JT Connect – Jewish Teen Learning Connection, Juniper Home Care, Mandell Jewish Community Center, Miracle League of Connecticut, My Sister’s Place, Neshama, Oak Hill, Progressive Women of Hartford, Refugee & Immigrant Advocacy, Soroptimist, Temple Sinai, The Village for Families & Children, Voices of Hope, and Young Israel of West Hartford.

“We know that the collaborations taking place to create these canvases have been uniquely meaningful to each of the participating groups, says Jacobs “We look forward to bringing them all together and having this unprecedented opportunity to express our universal commitment to welcoming the stranger.”

There will be a grand opening of the exhibit on Oct. 6, from noon-5 p.m. in the Chase Family Gallery, Mandell JCC, 335 Bloomfield Ave., West Hartford, CT 06117.

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The Village for Families & Children Work in Progress. Courtesy photo

Hartford Public Library Finished Canvas. Courtesy photo

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