Greater Washington Coalition for Jewish Life


COVID Vaccine and other UPDATES:


CDC VAMS (Vaccine Administration Management System) link:

Connecticut link:

Newly-expanded vaccine appointment telephone assistance: (877) 918 – 2224

Please be aware that you first need to be eligible to get an appointment.  In Connecticut, you can check your town site regularly for eligibility requirements and updates, additional details on vaccinations and general health activities and news. They are collaborating with State and Federal public health departments, hospitals, clinics, and a range of community sites and providers.  They have a good amount of information.



To our dear Coalition Members:

At this time, we acknowledge those who have provided strength, sustenance and light for our group and others during these challenging and uncertain Covid times.

First and foremost, we are grateful to our Spiritual Leader Rabbi James, for bringing perspective, hope, an open heart and a ready smile into our lives during these wobbly weeks and months. We thank our wonderful Coalition Board, its religious and finance wizards and the Committees that keep us enlightened and informed, and bring us forward as a participant member of our community.

Our Speaker Series, masterfully chaired by Coalition member Lois Schein and generously underwritten by the Rene Bloch Foundation, continues to provide speakers and address issues that are challenging and consequential, intriguing and bold. Our reinvigorated Interfaith Committee, now our Community Social Action Committee and helmed by Carolyn Setlow and Ilene Leff, is a member of the newly-formed WCOC (Washington Council of Congregations). The collaborative group has been actively organizing food, blood and other community support initiatives this past year in the town of Washington and the neighboring New Milford and Warren communities.

We acknowledge our conscientious and dedicated membership who have risen to the occasion during this crisis in so many ways, as they have struggled to keep themselves and loved ones healthy and well. And we appreciate and recognize the can-do and enthusiastic support of members of our administrative staff.

Who you are, and all that you do, are what makes the Coalition the special group that it is today. Thank you for your great inspiration and large efforts. We look forward to continued and great things in the year ahead.

With warmest wishes,


Hannah and Marian,



Helping families in need has always been a focus of the Coalition. During this desperate time for many, we are hoping to direct our attention to our neighbors who struggle with food insecurity.  We ask now because of the increased need during the pandemic and as we enter the long winter months. Our Board urges all members to make a donation to our Tzedakah fund at this time, so that we can add to that which we contribute to our local charities. You can easily donate online (go to “For Members,” scroll down to “Donate Now” and type in “For Tzedkah”) or mail a check to the Coalition office.  Thank you.    Silky Berger, on behalf of the Coalition Board.


Following up on a good  MEMBER SUGGESTION, we share with you:

The modern miracle of the Pfizer vaccine and its equally remarkable backstory…”

PFIZER’s CEO, Dr. Albert Bourla, from Auschwitz to Greece to… Israel!

A fascinating journey, check out these links from the Forward (includes a 1-hr Zoom discussion with the Museum of National Jewish Heritage) and the other from The Greek Reporter.




“Transcendent Kingdom,” by Yaa Gyasi
A beautifully written novel about “a Ghanaian family in the contemporary South, both a profound story about race in American and an extraordinary portrait of a young woman reckoning, spiritually and intellectually, with a large and unwieldy loss. Gifty, a sixth-year doctoral candidate in neuroscience at Stanford Medical School is studying reward-seeking behavior in mice and the neural circuits of depression and addiction. Her brother, Nana, was a gifted athlete who died of a heroin overdose after an ankle injury left him hooked on OxyContin. An exceptional story about faith, science , religion and love.” Not to be missed!

“Yiddish Civilisation,” by Paul Kriwaczek, “The Rise and Fall of a Forgotten Nation”

Review: “Vital… remarkable… Artfully reveals the Zarathustrian hinges of Iranian culture… Written with the prescient elegance of a curious traveler and in the hope that ideas that once changed the world may do so again.”

A Pigeon and a Boy,” by Meir Shalev

Review: “A powerful novel of two love stories, separated by half a century but connected by one enchanting act of devotion — of how deeply we love, of what home is, and why we, like pigeons trained to fly in one direction only, must eventually return to it…”

My Russian Grandmother and her American Vacuum Cleaner,” also by Meir Shalev

Review: “A charming tale of family ties, over-the-top housekeeping, and the sport of storytelling in the small village of Nahalal…”



Go to“Learn” tab, scroll down to “Jewish Resources” and click  “MY JEWISH LEARNING” (or go directly to

Here you’ll find an aggregator that is regularly updated with a huge breadth of content and all sorts of goodies and surprises!

For example, the“Daily Guide to Zoom Events, Livestream and Other Online Resources.” Among the wide range of subjects, programs and activities you’ll see here are: “The Only Jewish Miss America” (Museum of Jewish Heritage), “Mindfulness Melodies” (Jewish Life in Maine), “Art as a Spiritual Practice,” A Midwives, Musicians, Soldiers and Rabbis: Whose Stories will Become History?,” “Bioethics During a Pandemic,” etc., etc.

And other treats too! Recipes for the holidays and everyday: “Potato Chip Schnitzel, Shwarma Chicken Kabobs, Roasted Butternut Squash with Orange Tahini, Briskett Tacos, Ethiopian Red Lentil Soup,” etc., etc…

Come visit and linger, you’ll be glad you did!


Visit LINKS OF INTEREST (on this site under “For Members” tab) to read an excerpt of an essay on Baron de Hirsch, his vision and involvement with Jewish farming in Connecticut.



Do not miss “The Queen’s Gambit.”  A fictional story, this 7-part Netflix mini-series follows the life of orphan chess player, Beth Harmon, from the age of eight to twenty two. The story begins in the mid-1950’s and continues into the 1960’s. The casting, acting, screenplay, music, photography, etc., etc. are all flawless. Riveting and powerful, it is a work of art. And within the context of the game of chess, it cleverly brings issues of our society, different cultures, politics and…life into “play.” See it!



A<em>corn (BBC), Apple + (“Central Park”); Disney (“Hamilton”), HBO, Amazon  (“The Plot Against America”);  Channels 95, 96 (C-SPAN) for live coverage of important political and academic meetings.



The Great Courses,  learn a language, instrument or subject; create something new or master a skill… and more. — be forewarned, (mildly) addictive!