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Leading the Way ...

Beth David Synagogue becomes CT’s first synagogue to welcome Orthodox scholar from controversial women’s yeshiva 

By Stacey Dresner

WEST HARTFORD – Jenna Englender is a Jewish scholar.

Currently enrolled in an in-depth course of study that includes Jewish law, Talmud, Torah, Jewish thought, leadership training, and pastoral counseling, Englender will use all that she is learning as the new director of outreach at Beth David Synagogue, a Modern Orthodox congregation in West Hartford. Englender took up her new post on August 1.
     Next year, when she graduates, she has a choice of using the title of either “Maharat” or “Rabba.” Maharat is an acronym for “Torah, spiritual and halachic leader;” Rabba is the feminine for “Rabbi.”
     Beth David’s spiritual leader, Rabbi Yitzchock Adler, says the title is really up to Englender, who this fall will begin her fourth and last year of study at Yeshivat Maharat, the Orthodox women’s yeshiva founded in 2009 by Rabbi Avi Weiss and Rabba Sara Hurwitz.

     “For me it hasn’t really been about the title. It is more about the skills,” she explains. “I think it is important to have had someone say, ‘You have been taught, you have knowledge, you are capable of teaching the community in a serious way.’ But I think the conferral of a degree is very important in that way. It gives a sense of authority to what you are doing that I think is very important.”

Read the full Article here.  

Volunteers are Needed...

Director of Outreach, Jenna Englender

Jenna Englender has joined the staff of Beth David Synagogue as of August 1. Jenna now occupies the newly dedicated position of Director of Outreach and Educational Initiatives. This position is being funded through the generosity of several grants including Yeshiva Maharat, Jeremy and Ann Pava, Barry and Harriet Goldsher, and Dr. Leonard and Vicki Eisenfeld. Beth David acknowledges with deeply sincere appreciation the philanthropic support that is making this position possible.
     Jenna Englender is a member of the class of 2019 at Yeshivat Maharat. Jenna graduated cum laude from the Gallatin School of Individualized Study at NYU. Following graduation, Jenna spent a year as Communications Fellow for the Samuel Bronfman Foundation, where she managed social and traditional media as well as internal programming. Jenna then followed her love of Jewish text to Jerusalem where she spent a year at the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies. She spent the next two years managing recruitment for Pardes from its New York office. Jenna has facilitated community conversations around conversion and mikveh through her role as co-founder of the Orthodox Converts Network and is a trained mikveh salon facilitator with ImmerseNYC.  In 2017, she built the Jewish Learning Fellowship in Westchester as a member of the Hillel Rabbinic Entrepreneurs Fellowship. She is also a graduate of the Kevah Teaching Fellowship. 
    Jenna grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area. Her husband, Rabbi Sam Englender, is the newly appointed chaplain at the Hebrew Center for Health (formerly The Hebrew Home). Beth David welcomes Rabbi Sam and Jenna, their daughter Maya and their cat Emma. 

Welcome to Beth David!

Check out the Jewish West Hartford Video! 

We’re glad you found us.

Beth David is the largest orthodox synagogue in the greater Hartford area. For more than 70 years we have been a center of Jewish cultural and spiritual activity for hundreds of families, thousands of people and untold numbers of visitors and friends.

Members come from all over the world and from diverse Jewish traditions to form a friendly, committed and engaged congregation.  We are proud to be part of a thriving and energetic Jewish community in a remarkable town astride the Red Sox/Yankees divide (our Rabbi, a Braves fan, is above that fray), convenient to Boston and New York, home to renowned research, education and medical facilities, with urban amenities and rural tranquility all within easy reach.

If you're planning a visit, please be in touch so that we may welcome you and show you what our community and synagogue have to offer.  Click here to let us know when you'll be in town.  If you're already local, please fill out our Contact Us located in the box to the right.  We look forward to meeting you! 

More About Us

In the meantime, we welcome you to take a look at this film clip to get another glimpse into what we are all about here at Beth David.  The Making of BDS Welcome Video.

We are all "Jews in progress"

Our ritual committee members stand ready to connect you with whatever Jewish learning interests you have. Strengthen your synagogue skills, learn Torah or Talmud, find a study partner or a mentor. Contact Galya Greenberg to get started.

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Interview with Rabbi Adler

West Hartford Community Television:  View "Journeys with Jeff"  interview with Rabbi Adler at Beth David Synagogue.

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Wed, August 15 2018 4 Elul 5778