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leading the way to the future

Founded in 1991, our congregation's focus since inception has been on providing authentic Hebraic spirituality and fellowship within the context of American life and culture.

As a modern, post-denominational Sephardic Jewish congregation, we aim to be true to our prophetic calling, "to be a light unto the world," to be active in transforming our communities by increasing faith in the power of G-d, and by instilling hope through the promotion of that Hebrew wisdom which has inspired humanity throughout the ages.

For over thirty-five years, our goal has been to re-imagine Judaism, re-creating it as it was meant to be lived: with an eye towards the future, recognizing the teachings of the past.

Although we are not a large congregation, numbering less than 255 families in 2018, we have nevertheless played a major role among our peers and continue to lead the way within the Connecticut Jewish community in terms of relevant liturgy, educational programming, and effective community initiatives.

We invite those who are of Sephardic heritage and searching for a connexion with the transcendant G-d, to come celebrate the gift of life with us in a relevant, informed and affirming context where all people can live together in peace.

M@M

Tu B'Shvat/Adar 2020 Meldados

Tu B'Shvat is a minor Jewish holiday, occurring on the 15th day of the Hebrew month of Shvat. It is also called "The New Year of the Trees," because this is the date upon which young trees are transferred from their cold frames into the outdoor earth in countries around the Mediterranean Sea.

Tu B'Shvat is one of four religious "New Years" mentioned in the Mishnah (part of the Talmud). This year, Tu B'Shvat begins on Sunday evening, 9 February 2020, at sundown and lasts for one day.

The observance of the date of death of a person, called a "yahrzeit," is observed as a day of personal reflection by Ashkenazi Jews.

In our congregation, such an event is observed differently. We view the date of the passing of a person as a community-wide event. In our congregation, made up largely of Sephardic (ספרדית ופורטוגזית) Jews, we host a series of "meldados," study sessions, which are held to honor the memory of the departed to which relatives, friends and the entire congregation are invited.

Although a meldado can be held anytime during the year, at the Esnoga we hold special meldados during the Hebrew month of Shvat beginning with Tu B'Shvat through the following Hebrew month of Adar, which lasts through March 25, 2020.

This period is focused on personal spiritual rebirth and renewal, and is viewed as an auspicious period for embarking on a new journey.

For this reason, our focus has been upon honoring deceased who led active lives in the world, while at the same time embodying those values which reflect upon the true meaning of human life, and whose memories would be instrumental in instructing young people and others in the ways of how to live as Jews in modern society.

Prior to the meldado for a given deceased, our rabbis seek out those who knew the person, including relatives and friends, to help define the person's character, the issues and causes they felt were important, and the messages such a person might have wanted to impart to young people entering into their own adult lives.

The process takes several months and it's not unusual for a relative or a friend of the deceased to be contacted several months before the meldado is held. For those whose relatives and friends are to be honored with a meldado, expect a call or letter from one of our rabbis, if you haven't already received one. This year, twelve individuals will be honored by meldados to be held in their memory throughout this period.

The following individuals will be remembered during the Meldado season this year:

  • Sr. Richard Patrissi z"l
  • Sra. Susie Tarckini zy"a
  • Sr. Gennaro Russo z"l
  • Sra. Mary Catherine Tarckini zy"a
  • Sr. Dr. Bennie Zak z"l
  • Sra. Leota Plowman hy"d
  • Sr. Dr. Milton Superstine z"l
  • Sra. Charlotte Koski z"l
  • Sr. Dr. Chrysostom Maniudakis zt"l
  • Sr. Daniel Ryan z"l
  • Sr. Dr. Avery Sandberg z"l
  • Sr. Rabbi Henry Okolica ztvk"l