An Appeal to Our Community


Rosh Hashanah represents a time of change and renewal. This year we want to help renew the hopes and dreams of people who are struggling to make ends meet in our local and global community. We hope you will join us.




There may be differences among us and our circumstances may vary, but when a child is hungry, a family needs financial help, a Jewish education is desired, a senior needs transportation or a home-cooked meal, we respond. Near or far, the needs are great and we can help. Federation is here to help give families what they need in times of crisis.


For tens of thousands of Holocaust survivors, your support means another year of food, shelter, and medicine. Your gift can help to ensure Jewish continuity for the future through Jewish camps and PJ library books enabling the next generation to learn and understand and promoting kindness, acceptance, and compassion in society.


  • A gift of $365 delivers a six-month supply of diapers for a low-income child in Greater New Haven.

  • A gift of $500 will give Jewish Museum admission to 250 Jewish public elementary school students.

  • A gift of $750 provides six months of vitamins and medicines for a Jewish newborn in Argentina or Venezuela.

  • A gift of $1800 can home deliver kosher meals to a homebound older adult for one year.


Federation is at work around the world, strengthening Jewish life, advocating pluralism in Israel, and offering comfort and support to the most vulnerable. Your contribution to the annual campaign enables us to meet the needs of people in all situations, locally and around the world.


Now is the time, when New Year’s blessing and wishes come from everywhere. Your gift to Federation helps fulfill those wishes, making an important difference in Jewish lives across town and across the globe.


Help make this a sweeter new year for our entire community.


We wish you happy and healthy New Year.


Dena Schulman-Green, 2019 Campaign Chair
Judy Alperin, Chief Executive Officer

Useful Resources

Judy Alperin's Mother's Rugelach

Jewish Federation of Greater New Haven Chief Executive Officer Judy Alperin uses a recipe for the dough from her mother, Marylee Alperin. “I remember her making it and it being a special thing,” she said. Alperin, who created and ran a made-toorder dessert business almost 20 years ago, has tweaked the recipe a bit over the years. She says the key is using plenty of cream, butter and other real ingredients. She rolls the dough on a surface coated with a mixture of cinnamon and sugar instead of flour. The dough must also be chilled for at least three hours overnight. Alperin grew up eating rugelach not just at Rosh Hashanah but at all Jewish celebrations. 



1/2 lb. cream cheese

2 cups flour

1/2 lb. butter



1 cup sugar

2 tsp. cinnamon

1 cup chopped walnuts

1 cup raisins



Preheat oven to 350º. Make dough at least 3 hours in advance or chill overnight. Blend softened cream cheese and butter. Add flour until it comes together. Divide into three parts and refrigerate. Roll out each part into a 9-inch circle. Spread filling around circle. Cut into 16ths. Roll from wide end to the tip. Shape into crescents. Place tip side down on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 20 minutes.

Rosh Hashanah Mediterranean Chicken with Dried Fruits


3 teaspoon olive oil

Half teaspoon salt

Quarter teaspoon black pepper

Quarter teaspoon dried thyme

4 - 6 ounce boneless skinless chicken breast

Half cup chopped onion

2 teaspoons minced garlic

3/4 cup dried mix fruit

Half cup dry white wine

Half cup fat free, low sodium chicken broth Salt and pepper



Heat 2 teaspoons oil in large nonstick skillet over medium high heat, sprinkle salt, pepper and thyme evenly over chicken. Add chicken to pan and cook for 4 minutes on each side or until done. Remove chicken from pan, cover and keep warm. Add remaining 1 teaspoon of oil to pan, when heated add in the chopped onion and sauté for 2 minutes until tender. Add garlic to pan and sauté it 30 seconds. Now add the remaining ingredients to the onion and garlic (fruit, wine, broth, salt and pepper). Cook 5 minutes or until liquid almost evaporates. When there is still some liquid left, return the chicken to the skillet to warm through and soak up some of the flavor. Option: You can add green olives, pitted and chopped, to the dried mixed fruit for a hint of saltiness. Enjoy and Chag Sameach!

Honey Cake

Preheat oven to 350 degrees


Boil 1 cup of water, add 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 1 teaspoon nutmeg, 1 teaspoon ground cloves, 1 teaspoon allspice, and 2 teaspoons baking cocoa.


Stir well, remove from heat and let cool. In large mixing bowl add 3 eggs, 1 ½ cups granulated sugar, 1 cup honey, ¾ cup of vegetable oil, 3 cups of flour, ½ teaspoon baking powder, and ½ teaspoon baking soda. Beat on medium speed with electric mixer until well incorporated, approximately 1 to 2 minutes. Add cooled water mixture and beat in slowly another minute. (Optional to stir raisins or crushed walnuts at this time) Immediately pour batter into greased 10” tube pan.


Bake in preheated oven 60 minutes or until cake tester inserted in center cake is dry. Let cool. Remove from pan, slice and enjoy! L’ Shana Tovah!

Kids Corner

Simple, Fun Crafts Help Usher in the High Holidays

Create your own Rosh Hashanah holiday cards! Here are two simple craft ideas:


1. Wine cork apples: With a sharp knife, create an indentation for the top of the cork and one at the bottom. Dip the cork into red paint. This is your apple! Use a small paintbrush to paint the green leaf; use this as a decoration for the cover of holiday cards that you and your family can send to friends and relatives!


2. Hand print apple with a worm: Paint the palm of your hand with red washable paint and your thumb with green washable paint. Press it down on a piece of paper and you have yourself an adorable palm print apple with a worm coming out of it! Decorate away the rest of the page.


We then go into Yom Kippur, a more serious time which requires prayer and deeper introspection. These can be difficult concepts for a child to understand.


Make it easier by having your child create their own Yom Kippur Machzor (prayer book). Take construction paper, and staple it into book. Have them decorate each page with different symbols of the time of year, like an apple and honey or a shofar, or help them tell or illustrate the story of Jonah and the whale, which we read on Yom Kippur in synagogue. To go a step further, have them draw or write ways in which they hope they can change in the coming year or what they are looking forward to.

High Holidays: 18 Interesting Facts

  1. 1

    Symbolic Fruit
    Many people eat pomegranates on Rosh Hashanah, demonstrating their wish for as many merits as the pomegranate has seeds. It is commonly said that the pomegranate has 613 seeds, corresponding to the 613 mitzvahs in the Torah, but this has yet to be empirically proven.

  2. 2

    No napping?
    Even though napping on Shabbat is considered a way to celebrate the day of rest, on Rosh Hashanah, we make a point of not napping, and some even stay awake all night, to not waste a precious moment. The Talmud states that if one sleeps at the beginning of the year—his good fortune also sleeps.

  3. 3

    Special Delivery
    Millions of people visit the Western Wall every year and leave requests on pieces of paper they wedge into the cracks of the stones. Right before Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, employees at the Western Wall in the Old City of Jerusalem clean out the wall and take the notes to be buried on the Mount of Olives.

  4. 4

    Sweet Holiday
    Every year in Israel some 1,600 tons of honey produced by about 100,000 beehives is consumed in the month of holidays that begin with Rosh Hashanah.

  5. 5

    So Puzzling
    Some 1.2 million puzzles are sold in Israel annually with the peak sales times coming just before the High Holidays. In 2010, Puzzleland — the largest seller of jigsaw puzzles in Israel — sold 2,200 puzzles a day in the days before Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.

  6. 6

    “Alien” Sounds and More
    Tradition tells us that the Shofar is the closest thing to the voice of God, which may explain why it has inspired so many composers. The Shofar was used in composer Jerry Goldsmith’s score for the 1979 film “Alien.” Even composer Leonard Bernstein’s musicals pay tribute to his Jewish roots and the High Holidays. The Jets’ call that opens “West Side Story “ simulates the call of the Shofar.

  7. 7

    Prayers Inspire Rockers
    Avinu Malkeinu, the Rosh Hashanah prayer that means “Our Father, Our King,” inspired Mogwai, a Scottish post-rock-trio, to write a 20-minute epic song which borrows the prayer’s traditional melody and is alternately soft and beautiful and loud and raging. More famously, in “Who By Fire,” the late singer-songwriter, poet and novelist Leonard Cohen draws inspiration from the Unetanah Tokef, which many consider the most important prayer for the High Holidays.

  8. 8

    Seasons Greetings
    In 1927, the Western Union Telegraph Company reported that Jewish people sent telegrams of congratulations and well-wishing much more frequently than members of any other group. In particular, they exchanged thousands of messages for Rosh Hashanah. Sadly, Western Union closed its telegraphy service more than a decade ago, but many now send their new years’ greetings electronically, especially through Tweets.

  9. 9

    Shofars Are Stinky
    You have to get close to notice, but a common complaint is that these horns smell bad. According to Jim Barbarossa, also known as The Shofar Man (, all kosher shofars have a bit of a scent because they come from a dead animal. There are even several products marketed exclusively for the purpose of removing or neutralizing shofar smells.

  10. 10

    Not All Shofars Are Created Equal
    According to Barbarossa, all Shofars are not created equal. Some have a very flat, muffled sound, while a select group has a very crisp, clear, vibrant, alive, victory shout type sound. The cost of a Shofar can vary greatly, from $20 for a small, simple one to more than $1,000 for a special, one of a kind ram’s horn that has a unique finish and colors as well as a beautiful sound. Generally, the larger the Shofar, the more notes or tones you will be able to play.

  11. 11

    Matchmaker, Matchmaker…
    Yom Kippur was once a big matchmaking day. According to the Talmud, both Yom Kippur and Tu B’Av (often described as the Jewish Valentine’s Day) were the most joyous days of the year, when women would wear white gowns and dance in the vineyards, chanting, “Young man, lift up your eyes and see what you choose for yourself. Do not set your eyes on beauty, but set your eyes on a good family.” It is said that in the Biblical era, during the late afternoon of Yom Kippur, the unmarried maidens would dance in the forest clearings, and the unmarried young men would watch, hoping to know which was meant to be his bride.

  12. 12

    Never on a Wednesday
    Rosh Hashanah generally falls in the month of September, but can actually be between September 5 and October 5 on the Gregorian Calendar. It always occurs 163 days after Passover. It also never falls on a Wednesday, Friday, or Sunday.

  13. 13

    Not Mentioned
    The name “Rosh Hashanah” doesn’t even appear in the Torah, which instead associates the holiday with the blowing of the Shofar (Yom Teru’ah) — probably because of its significance in heralding the imminence of Yom Kippur.

  14. 14

    Eat Your Veggies Too
    While it’s traditional to eat a fruit you’ve never tried or haven’t eaten for a long time on the second night of Rosh Hashanah, the holiday isn’t just about fruits. Jews do a number of different things with a number of different vegetables to celebrate. Carrots and squash are often eaten as a cleansing ritual, while eating leeks or cooking them into a soup is meant to symbolize the cutting off of enemies.

  15. 15

    Yom Kippur & Number 5
    The number 5 is an important number on Yom Kippur. In the Yom Kippur section of the Torah, the word soul appears five times. The soul is also known by five separate names: soul, wind, spirit, living one and unique one. Unlike regular days, which have three prayer services, Yom Kippur has five- Ma’ariv, Shacharis, Mussaf, Minchah and Neilah. The Kohen Gadol (High Priest) rinsed himself in the mikveh (ritual bath) five times on Yom Kippur. The Kohen Gadol wore five sets of garments (three golden and two white linen).

  16. 16

    Goat Lotteries in Ancient Times
    Many people eat pomegranates on Rosh Hashanah, demonstrating their wish for as many merits as the pomegranate has seeds. It is commonly said that the pomegranate has 613 seeds, corresponding to the 613 mitzvahs in the Torah, but this has yet to be empirically proven.

  17. 17

    Play Ball...or not
    In 1934, first baseman of the Detroit Tigers, Hank Greenberg, also known as the Jewish Babe Ruth and the Hebrew Hammer, anguished over whether or not to play in a key game against the New York Yankees on Rosh Hashanah. The Detroit media even sought the opinions of local rabbis and ran a headline that said, “Talmud Clears Greenberg for Holiday Play.” Greenberg skipped batting practice that day, but finally chose to take the field. He hit two home runs to lead the Tigers to a 2-1 victory. The next day, the Detroit Free Press ran a banner headline, in Hebrew, that read “Happy New Year, Hank.” Days later, Greenberg opted not play on Yom Kippur. When he arrived at synagogue, the service stopped, and the congregants gave him a rousing round of applause. Since Greenberg, there have been many Jewish athletes who have struggled with this holiday dilemma.

  18. 18

    High Holidays All Around the World
    For Jews around the world, there are different rituals performed and different foods eaten to celebrate Rosh Hashanah. French Jews of North African descent follow a Rosh Hashanah seder. A typical Rosh Hashanah dish in France is onion quiche. In Ethiopia, the village elders blow the Shofar and are the only ones capable of reading Jewish texts in their ancient dialect. In India, Jewish communities eat lamb and goat on the holiday and women wear colorful saris. At the stroke of midnight, Cuban Jews enjoy 12 grapes, one for each month of the harvest as a sign of good luck. While traditions, customs, rituals and celebrations around the world may be different, we all share in the same hope for a happy and sweet New Year! We wish you and your family a Shanah Tovah Umetukah!