Honor, Commemorate, and Celebrate with United Jewish Federation

Yom HaShoah

United Jewish Federation of Stamford, New Canaan, and Darien (UJF), the Stamford Board of Rabbis, and The Jewish Historical Society of Fairfield County invite the community to commemorate Yom HaShoah on Sunday, May 5 at 4:00 pm at Temple Sinai in Stamford.

Yom HaShoah is observed on the 27th of Nissan as Israel’s day of commemoration for the approximately six million Jews murdered in the Holocaust by Nazi Germany and its collaborators. The Stamford Jewish community has traditionally come together to recognize this day.

This year’s Yom HaShoah commemoration will feature Dr. Joanne Intrator, speaking about her book, Summons to Berlin: Nazi Theft and a Daughter’s Quest for Justice. Toby Schaffer, long-time Stamford resident and daughter of survivors, will chair the event and speak about her family’s experience in Hungary during the war.

“It is truly an honor to chair this event and give voice to my parents’ stories. Like so many other children of survivors, my parents’ experiences in the war affected our family life in the United States in many ways,” Toby shared.

This free event is open to the public but registration is required www.ujf.org/ yomhashoah2024. For more information contact JCRC Director, Sharon Lewis at slewis@ujf.org.

Yom HaZikaron and Yom Ha’Atzmaut

For many years, the Jewish community in Stamford, New Canaan, and Darien has gathered to commemorate Yom HaZikaron (Israeli Memorial Day) and Yom Ha’Atzmaut (Israeli Independence Day).

The two days are always observed in succession to reinforce that the existence of the Jewish state has come through sacrifice. Beginning on Monday, May 13, in the evening, the community will gather at Congregation Agudath Sholom, 301 Strawberry Hill Avenue, Stamford to remember the more than 25,000 who have given their lives for Israel since 1948, including those soldiers and civilians who have died since October 7.

The ceremony will include personal stories, prayers, songs, and the lighting of memorial candles. At sundown, Yom HaZikaron changes to Yom Ha’Atzmaut, and the spirit in the room will become more celebratory with dancing, singing, live music, crafts and light refreshments.

The Yom Ha’Atzmaut celebration will continue with a festival at Temple Beth El on Tuesday, May 14 at 5:30 pm. The festival is sponsored by UJF, the Stamford Board of Rabbis, Congregation Agudath Sholom, Temple Beth El, Temple Sinai, Hadassah, Friends of the IDF, Bi-Cultural Hebrew Academy, Israel Cancer Research Fund, Stamford JCC, and Young Israel.

The festival will be fun for people of all ages and will include a traditional Yom Ha’Atzmaut barbecue, bounce houses, crafts, music, an Israeli film discussion and more. Notably, this year’s English date of Israeli Independence Day, May 14, is the same as it was in 1948.

To register for this event please visit www.ujf.org/Israel76. For more information and to get involved, please contact Sharon Lewis, slewis@ujf.org or Yoav Yaron, yoav@ujf.org.

Celebrate Yom Yerushalyim with a Special Film Screening and Discussion

Join UJF for a very special viewing of the film, Ben K’far Etzion directed by Nissan Yaron, and discussion led by Community Shaliach, Yoav Yaron (the nephew of Ben Etzion), on Tuesday, June 4 (8:00 pm) at Young Israel. 

Nissan Yaron’s father, Ben-Etzion, was born after his father died in the last battle of Kfar Etzion in the War of Independence. Sadly, Ben-Etzion was told little to nothing about his dad.

Now at 70 years old, Ben-Etzion embarks on a personal journey and narrative in search of the man lost like so many others on that fateful day in 1948. Ben K’far Etzion is a compelling film filled with self-discovery, private reflections, and a chance to honor a strong family history in Israel.

Register to attend the viewing and discussion of Ben K’far Etzion at www.ujf.org/ben, or contact Yoav Yaron (yoav@ujf.org) for further information.