A Torah Scroll Finds a New Home

Torah Scroll at Camp Laurelwood

This season, Camp Laurelwood has been able to welcome a Torah scroll to their camp. The scroll, along with seven other Torah scrolls, one haftorah, one megillot, and many other artifacts, belonged to the old Jewish Home for the Aged in New Haven and had been in storage since the Jewish Home closed in 2010.

“We created a ritual where our cornerstone fellows (third year counselors who were all campers at Laurelwood) help us unroll the scroll. We asked our campers to get into two lines and then sit down, and we unrolled the scroll on top of them, so their legs were supporting the scroll. We stretched across an entire basketball court at our Chuppah. We asked the campers and counselors to look for things in the scroll that were noticeable—crowns on the letters, breaks in the writing, letters of different sizes. It gave us a chance to talk about the journey of our ancestors was full of differences, and how those differences make the scroll special, just as our differences make our Camp community whole and special. We also talked about how the journey of our ancestors supports the community we are today, just as we are supporting the scroll with our bodies. We made a sheheheyanu, read from it, and sang some Torah songs led by one of our new counselors, Jessica. It was such a special moment, and would not have been possible without the help and support of the Jewish Foundation of Greater New Haven,” states Rabbi James Green, Camp Laurelwood Executive Director.

In December of 2019, The Jewish Foundation of Greater New Haven received ownership of all of the assets of the Jewish Home Building Fund Corporation which included 8 torahs, archival materials, as well as monies that were used to establish two new, Foundation-owned endowment funds to benefit the Jewish elderly. The Jewish Foundation established a grants process and this year awarded $150,000 in grants for the Jewish elderly (last year $130,000 was awarded).  Yahrtzeit plaques from the Jewish Home are now at the Towers and the torahs were evaluated by a scribe and the Jewish Foundation is working with the New Haven Board of Rabbis and Cantors to find a good homes for them. In addition, archival materials were moved to the Jewish Historical Society and the Jewish Foundation has awarded a grant to the Jewish Historical Society which will allow them to create a modern, digital archive for all of the Jewish Home material.

Let’s Start a Conversation

The Jewish Foundation can help you explore charitable opportunities that work for you. 

The Jewish Foundation is a trusted and expert resource for charitable gift planning and endowments and serves as a partner and resource for synagogues, local Jewish agencies, professional advisors and donors.

When you make a current gift or leave a bequest to the Jewish Foundation of Greater New Haven, you not only benefit our community, but you can also support the causes that are important to you.  You can designate that your gift be used to provide unrestricted funds to help meet community needs now and in the future or to endow a permanent fund to aid identified programs, your synagogue, agencies, organizations, or initiatives (Jewish or not Jewish, in Greater New Haven, Israel or beyond) that are of particular interest to you and your family.

Lisa Stanger, Esq., Executive Director
Tiberius Halai, Grants and Gift Manager
Beth Kupcho, Scholarship and Philanthropy Manager
Stephanie Licsak, Controller
Sarah Domena, Marketing and Communications Director
Tamara Schechter, Create a Jewish Legacy Manager

Jewish Foundation of Greater New Haven
360 Amity Road
Woodbridge, CT 06525
203-387-2424, ext. 382
203-387-1818 (fax)

I'm Interested!

These are the ways to give that interest me the most

12 + 15 =