2023 Fourth Quarter Newsletter



Downtown Evening Soup Kitchen (DESK)

Since 1987, Downtown Evening Soup Kitchen (DESK) has been a well-known presence in New Haven, offering daily hot meals and a food pantry to those in need. Addressing evolving societal needs, the organization has expanded its focus beyond food assistance, opening a daytime Drop-in & Resource Center to support the houseless as a place of refuge.

Steve Saltzman, a partner at Brenner, Saltzman & Wallman LLP, had witnessed the transformation of DESK over the years. DESK’s mission struck a chord with Saltzman, and he felt a responsibility to take action. “It’s important that we support the entire community,” he emphasized. Guided by this belief, he took meaningful steps to create a long-lasting positive impact.

Enter the Jewish Foundation of Greater New H aven. Founded with a vision to connect donors with community causes that resonate with their values, the Jewish Foundation offers expert endowment management services, and connects generous individuals to such organizations, growing resources to help build the future and ensure the community’s lasting strength. Saltzman worked directly with Lisa Stanger, Executive Director of the Jewish Foundation, and established an endowment fund to support DESK’s efforts and uphold the organization’s mission.

“The Saltzman Family Fund, borne out of Steve’s dedication to his community and philanthropic goals, became a shining example of the Jewish Foundation of Greater New Haven’s partnership with donors and community organizations,” said Stanger. “With the Jewish Foundation, you can create an endowment to benefit what is important to you. We are thrilled to support DESK with the Saltzman Family Fund, and look forward to watching the fulfillment and expansion of DESK’s mission.”

According to Luis Olmo-Rivera, DESK’s Development Director, the Saltzman Family Fund will cover operational expenses for flagship programs like nightly dinners and the Drop-in & Resource Center. However, the intention is to eventually channel these funds toward developing new services that can effectively address the evolving needs of the community they serve. “The Saltzman Family Fund is crucial for ensuring DESK’s sustained operational funding, enabling the organization to continue its mission of assisting the most vulnerable in Greater New Haven,” says Olmo-Rivera.

The Saltzman Family Fund, DESK, and the Jewish Foundation of Greater New Haven demonstrate the power of collaboration, compassion, and progress. Through transparent communication, endowment expertise, and a commitment to community, dedicated individuals and forward-thinking organizations can shape the future of positive change through impactful philanthropy.

Steve Saltzman has also established endowment funds at the Jewish Foundation for the benefit of the Jewish Cemetery Association of Greater New Haven, the ADL to fund Holocaust Education, Friends of Jewish Heritage Poland, a PACE Fund (Perpetual Annual Campaign Endowment) for the Jewish Federation Annual Campaign, a Donor-Advised Fund, as well as a LOJE fund (Lion of Judah Endowment) in memory of his late wife, Marilyn, to endow her Lion of Judah gift to the Jewish Federation Annual Campaign.

To learn more about DESK visit: deskct.org. To talk to an expert advisor on how you can donate to the causes you believe in, contact: [email protected].

“The Saltzman Family Fund is crucial for ensuring DESK’s sustained operational funding, enabling the organization to continue its mission of assisting the most vulnerable in Greater New Haven.”

—Luis Olmo-Rivera, DESK, Development Director

Create a Jewish Legacy

We all strive to leave the world a better place through

our children, our good deeds, our generosity.

Create a Jewish Legacy is a program sponsored and presented by the Jewish Foundation of Greater New Haven and is a collaborative effort of our area agencies and synagogues to secure the future of the New Haven Jewish community.

Create a Jewish Legacy for:

Jewish Federation of Greater New Haven (PACE)
Temple Beth Tikvah
Beth Israel Synagogue
Westville Synagogue
Congregation Mishkan Israel
Temple Beth David
Congregation Or Shalom
Temple Beth Sholom
Temple Emanuel
Congregation Beth Shalom Rodfe Zedek
Congregation B’nai Jacob
Congregation Beth El–Keser Israel
Orchard Street Shul
Jewish Family Service
Camp Laurelwood
Towers at Tower Lane
Ezra Academy
Southern Connecticut Hebrew Academy
Jewish Community Center of Greater New Haven
UConn Hillel
Jewish Cemetery Association of Greater New Haven
Jewish Historical Society of Greater New Haven
New Haven Mikveh Society

Be forever remembered by our community for the legacy you leave.

Make YOUR legacy a brighter Jewish tomorrow. 

Holli and Michael Shanbrom created a legacy for Temple Emmanuel.

Shanbrom Family

If I turn back time thirty-five years ago, I catch myself sitting in a house of worship with pews filled to capacity casual thoughts while watching the clergy stand tall on the pulpit, exhausted community members fighting to stay awake as the warm sun shined down on them through the stained glass windows, children restless in their seats, and women singing one hymn louder than the next—all while hoping my dad remembered to place a roll of Life Savers in his jacket pocket before he left home earlier that morning.

In more present times, the hair has changed colors, the pace is a bit slower, the wisdom a bit greater, and the responsibilities changed drastically as the visions and importance of religion in our future clearly change. Will my grandchildren have synagogues and temples full of spry children to sing gleefully with? Will they know the importance of their ancestors and be proud of their Jewish history? Will my adult Jewish children gather together on Shabbat to hear the Torah teachings? Will the local families create a solid Jewish foundation to enrich and preserve the Jewish traditions, holidays and the concepts of a G-d?

I have the choice to sit back and do nothing or take charge to guarantee our faith, customs, traditions, teachings, and history will not only continue on, but thrive in the years to come. So I chose to Leave a Legacy. Will you?

The required legacy documents are easy to prepare. The planning is easy. The execution is easy. The profits are invaluable.


“I have the choice to sit back and do nothing or take charge to guarantee our faith, customs, traditions, teachings, and history will not only continue on, but thrive in the years to come.”


Please take a moment to reach out to your institution’s Create a Jewish Legacy Team Leader to start the process today!

Whether you have $1,000 or $500,000 to donate as your own personal legacy as you begin to embark, be assured you will have taken the necessary steps to ensure the Synagogues are full of joyful congregants, Rabbis eager to teach the Torah, children thriving on Sunday mornings as they are surrounded by friends, and Cantors enthusiastic to bless us with their glorious voices years after we depart.

Elijah Harris scholarship recipient


During the summers of 2021 and 2022 I went to Ramah Sports Academy (RSA) where I enjoyed living with and spending time with Israeli staff and campers. When my time at RSA came to an end, I was excited to see what my next summer adventure would be. Since my older sister had gone to South Africa a few years ago with BBYO Passport, I knew that they would be the perfect place to look for my 2023 summer adventure. Little did I expect the great memories and friendships that I would make over the three week journey.

Fast forward to July 11, 2023, when I got to John F. Kennedy Airport to board my flight to Tel Aviv. I honestly was in disbelief that it was really happening; that I was going to Israel for three weeks. In what seemed like such a short time, I had some of the best experiences of my life. Some of those experiences include Shabbat at the Kotel, hiking Masada, and walking the Bahai Temple Gardens. These experiences were the top three highlights of my trip to Israel and I hope to revisit them all again, hopefully many more times. Not only were these experiences so incredible, but they also opened my eyes to the cultural diversity that lives within Israel. That being said, if I had one takeaway from this trip it would be to always go into every place you go with an open mind. Ever since I came home I have been dreaming about what my next time in Israel will be like, because I know for a fact that I will be going back there to revisit and relive so many of these incredible opportunities. This would not have been possible without the Israel Scholarship that I received from the Jewish Foundation of Greater New Haven. I could not be more grateful for the life changing experience you helped me receive and the people that you helped me meet, thank you.

To find out more about Israel Scholarships, visit: jewishnewhaven.org/scholarships

Hailey Weissman

“Ever since I came home I have been dreaming about what my next time in Israel will be like, because I know for a fact that I will be going back there to revisit and relive so many of these incredible opportunities.”

—Hailey Weissman


The Jewish Federation of Greater New Haven has launched an Israel Emergency Fund and are working with our partners such as the Israel Trauma Coalition, the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, and the Jewish Agency for Israel to help families and children in danger, to provide food and medicine for the elderly and disabled, to assist victims of physical and emotional trauma, and to find a safe haven for all in harm’s way.

Community Wishlist 2023: Make Your Community's Wishes a Reality

Each quarter we will highlight just some of our organizations’ funding needs on our Community Wish List. If you have a Donor-Advised Fund (DAF) at the Jewish Foundation, you can use it to fund a Community Wish.

Wellness Space


UConn Hillel seeks funding to create a Wellness Space in its existing building. Building on the success of the current Wellness Pop-Up program, UConn Hillel intends to create a permanent space for students to engage in multi-sensory self-care and to take private Zoom appointments with their mental healthcare providers. With students reporting high rates of anxiety and stress, there is a demonstrable need for a space, and other Hillel Houses that have instituted a Wellness Space have reported high rates of usage and student satisfaction. The funds will support the refurbishment of an existing space (minor room reservations and painting) as well as the purchase of furniture (bean bag chairs and warm lighting).


Student Book Club


UConn Hillel seeks funding to establish a Jewish student community book club. Composed of 12-15 students, the book club will meet three times per semester to discuss books on a wide range of topics related to Jewish culture and identity. Students at UConn Hillel would like to establish this club to build community and engage in thoughtful literary conversation. The funds will support the purchase of books and food for club meetings.




The Jewish Historical Society of Greater New Haven seeks funding for renewed outreach efforts to make its collections more accessible and visible to the community. The collections hold archival material, audiovisual recordings, oral histories, museum objects, and library books that document Jewish culture, institutions, organizations, families, and people in Greater New Haven and their shared history. Costs for this outreach include printing and framing costs, display easels, a traveling display case, and event and promotional materials.


The Community Wish List highlights current and future activites from Jewish organizations in Greater New Haven that are in need of funding. By funding these activities—either fully or partially—you can help keep our community strong and vibrant. Check out what else is on our Community Wish List by visiting newhavenjewishfoundation.org.


Scott Hurwitz

Nan Birdwhistell
Linda Caplan
Josh Erlanger

Eric Green

Glen Greenberg
Erica Gross
Eric Grubman
David Hass

Eric Hendlin

Norman Kaplan
Jackie Koral
Sara Nuland
Marc Olins
Michael Price
Linda Randell

Lewis Shaffer
Governance Chair

Doug Skalka
Kal Watsky


Gerry Barker
Federation President

Gayle Slossberg
Federation CEO


Rabbi Benjamin Scolnic
Board of Rabbis Appointee

Steve Fleischman
Federation Immediate Past Present


Steve Fleischman

Betsy Hoos
LOJE Chair

Jeffrey Hoos
Steve Glick

John Levy
Stephen Saltzman

Mark Sklarz
Governance Chair

Craig Sklar
Investment Chair & Jewish Elderly Grants Chair

David Trachten


Lisa Stanger, JD, LL.M.
Executive Director
[email protected]
(203) 387-2424, x382

Sarah Domena
Marketing and Communications Director
[email protected]
(203) 387-2424, x384

Tiberius Halai
Grants & Gifts Manager
[email protected]
(203) 387-2424, x312

Beth Kupcho
Director of Scholarships & Philanthropy
[email protected]
(203) 387-2424, x316

Stephanie Licsak
[email protected]
(203) 387-2424, x327

Tamara Schechter
Create a Jewish Legacy Manager
[email protected]
(203) 387-2424, x325


Think of a donor-advised fund as your charitable bank account. When you contribute cash or securities to your DAF, you are eligible to take an immediate tax deduction. Those funds can be invested for tax-free growth, and you can recommend grants to any IRS-qualified public charity over time.


Establish a special charitable fund in your name with the Jewish Foundation.


Contribute cash or appreciated securities.


Foundation sells the assets and credits your fund with the sale proceeds.


You receive a tax receipt for charitable deduction purposes—no capital gains taxes are payable.


The proceeds are invested and continue to work for you, tax free.


Request distribution to qualified charities—at your convenience.