Temple Emanuel Celebrates it’s 50th with a Gala


What a wonderful weekend it was! We celebrated our 50th year in true Temple Emanuel style with singing, dancing, music, food and good friends.

We started the weekend with a special musical Kabbalat Shabbat service, featuring the TE Band and Rabbi Daniel Freelander of the URJ. Rabbi Freelander sang songs and recited prayers with us, and gave a thought-provoking dvar on the future of synagogue life. After the service, we enjoyed a delicious Oneg. Special thanks are due to Jimmy Shure for providing the “extra” funds needed for the event.

Sue Neufeld’s decorating team went into high gear at Racebrook Country Club, creating centerpieces for the gala dinner, arranging flowers and inflating balloons. Also on display for the evening were wonderful collages featuring five decades of photos and newspaper clippings, showcasing the history of TE with pictures of some who are no longer with us, pictures of those who don’t look like they once did, and pictures of those who have grown up in our midst.

AMAZING does not begin to describe the feeling of warmth and sense of community that we shared at the Gala Dinner on Saturday evening, as we laughed, danced, celebrated, re-connected with old friends and met people we had not met before. We enjoyed cocktails on the veranda to the music of the Jazzhouse Gang, before the program, emceed by Max Case, began in the ballroom. Highlights of the evening included Havdalah led by Rabbi Farbman and all of the assembled rabbis and cantors; welcome speeches by Lew Shaffer and Rabbi Farbman; personal reflections by Rabbis Mark Winer and Les Bronstein; and a candle lighting ceremony recognizing TE members from each decade. We were honored by proclamations and good wishes from Representative Rosa DeLauro, Mayor John DeStefano of New Haven and Senator Joe Lieberman; and an additional proclamation and reflection delivered in person by Senator Richard Blumenthal. The program continued with a preview of Nancy Weber’s wonderful video history of TE’s first half-century; and a commemorative song composed by Andrea Shiffrin and performed with the assistance of members of the TE Players.

The final segment of our Second Half-Century celebratory evening included an opportunity to view the entire TE video, as well as dancing to the music of DJ Rabbi Michael. Peter Olin kindly donated his skills and photographed the entire event.

You can see the photos here:

TE 50th Gala Pictures Part 1

TE 50th Gala Pictures Part 2

Rise, Melissa, Karen, Laurel and Betty wish to thank the entire TE family for making this such a wonderful event; truly, this was a night many of us will never forget!



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