CT's Jewish Movers & Shakers For 2010 List Announced

Richard Blumenthal named Connecticut Jewish Mover and Shaker/Tracy Simmons - Creedible.comWEST HARTFORD — The Connecticut Jewish Ledger newspaper today released its list of Connecticut's "Jewish Movers & Shakers for 2010". Selected by the newspaper's editors, this year's group of 22 accomplished business professionals and community leaders are being recognized for their leadership and the impact they made in the Jewish community in Connecticut during this past year.


"It is always difficult to choose a few stars from so many. The various Jewish communities in Connecticut always offer a large group of dedicated candidates that we consider every year. I regret we cannot recognize everybody," said N. Richard Greenfield, publisher, Connecticut Jewish Ledger. "Without a doubt, this year's Movers & Shakers list embodies our goal to recognize those individuals who have made significant contributions through their hard work and tireless dedication to our community."

In alphabetical order, the 22 people named as Connecticut's Jewish Movers & Shakers for 2010 are:

Richard Blumenthal, Greenwich – Sworn in on Jan. 5, 2011 as Connecticut's new U.S Senator, Blumenthal previously served as Connecticut's Attorney General as well as the U.S. Attorney for Connecticut and the state's chief federal prosecutor. After combating special interests and large corporations as attorney general, Blumenthal continues his fight for the people of Connecticut in Washington, D.C.;

Ellen Davis, Greenwich – Ellen Davis recently led UJA Federation of Greenwich through a strategic planning process and now serves as the organization's president. As a result of her leadership, UJA Federation is launching "JCC Greenwich" in the spring, a JCC without walls offering programs and activities at various venues throughout the community;


Marty Edelston, Greenwich – It's hard to count how many community programs Marty Edelston has funded through UJA Federation of Greenwich because he and wife, Rita, sometimes do so anonymously. What's certain is that he has a penchant for educational projects which have helped hundreds of children and adults throughout the Jewish community;

Susan Birke Fiedler, Woodbridge – As founder and outgoing president of the Jewish High School board of trustees, Fiedler welcomed the first group of 9th and 10th grade students at the summer dedication of the new regional institution, housed at Congregation B'nai Israel in Bridgeport;

Steffi Friedman, Westport – A renowned sculptor and sculpture teacher, Friedman's commissioned works are represented in more than 150 institutional and private collections throughout the country, including Temple Israel in Westport. She established a sculpture program for inner-city high-school students as part of the Neighborhood Studios of Fairfield County, for which she received the center's 2008 Pat Hart Scholarship;

Rabbi Jeffrey Glickman, South Windsor – Five months after the earthquake that turned most Haiti to rubble, Rabbi Jeffrey Glickman of Temple Beth Hillel in South Windsor was in Port-au-Prince working to establish an elementary school in the capital city. Glickman, the town's rabbi and the chaplain of the police and fire departments, is a member of the South Windsor Human Relations Commission and chair of the South Windsor Haiti School taskforce;

Rabbi Adam Haston, Orange – Never considering himself a runner, Rabbi Adam Haston of Chabad of Orange/Woodbridge bought a pair of running shoes, trained and raced in the New York City Marathon this year with the goal of raising over $12,500 for The Blue Card, a New York-based non-profit that helps destitute Holocaust survivors meet their basic needs;

Freida Hecht, Norwalk – Ever since Freida Hecht arrived at Beth Israel Synagogue in Norwalk with husband Rabbi Yehoshua Hecht, she has been creating educational programs to engage Jews throughout the community. Soon she was getting calls from families throughout the area, requesting "friends" for their children with special needs. Now, with 100 teen volunteers, Circle of Friends involves 85 families of children and teens with special needs in a full spectrum of social and Judaic activities;

C. Robert Hillman, Bridgeport – Involved in the Jewish community since the early 1970s when he helped revive the JCC's young leadership division, Hillman later served as JCC president and has participated on every committee and in almost every position available;

Lois Koteen, West Hartford – Several years ago seeking intellectual stimulation, Koteen went back to school to get a Doctorate in organizational systems. At the same time, she was becoming more active in her synagogue, Beth El Temple in West Hartford. Koteen's academic life and Jewish life converged in 1999 when she became a facilitator in the "La'atid: Synagogues for the Future," a strategic planning program sponsored by the Commission on Jewish Education;

Harry Leiser, New London – Thanks to an unprecedented seven-year gift from longtime supporter Leiser, the Solomon Schechter Academy actually lowered its annual tuition from $10,850 to $7,950 for all students;

Jeremy Pava, West Hartford – Pava is president and a longtime supporter of the Hebrew High School of New England. Supported by the Jewish Federations of Western Massachusetts, Hartford and New Haven, the school is open to students from across the Jewish denominational spectrum;

Linda Meyer Russ, Westport – Serving on the boards of the The Conservative Synagogue and Bi-Cultural Day School in Stamford, this year Russ joined the board of UJA/Federation Westport Weston Wilton Norwalk and has been nominated to serve as its co-president. She is also vice president on the Bi-Cultural board;

Shamu Sadeh, Falls Village – As director of ADAMAH, the farming fellowship for young Jews at the Isabella Freedman Jewish Retreat Center, Sadeh was recently named one of "50 Top Jews" by an international publication. A leader in the Jewish food movement, Sadeh is an environmental studies instructor, Jewish educator, writer, organic farmer and wilderness guide;

Leah Schechter, Westport – As assistant director of education at Temple Israel in Westport, Schechter is responsible for the daily operations of numerous programs. In her spare time, Schechter is the singles outreach coordinator for Jewish Twenties and Thirties, a collaboration between Jewish Family Service, United Jewish Federation of Greater Stamford, New Canaan and Darien, and UJA/Federation Westport Weston Wilton Norwalk;

Morris N. Trachten, Woodbridge – When New Haven native Morris Trachten returned to the University of Connecticut on the G.I. Bill in 1946, there was no kosher kitchen, no Hillel house. The Jewish student organization had been active on campus since 1933, but Trachten would graduate a year before a Hillel facility opened its doors in 1949. This past year, Trachten celebrated the rededication of the newly refurbished Trachten-Zachs Hillel House at UConn, which he helped fund;

Carol & Mike Weinshel and Susan Spivack, Eastern Fairfield County – In October 2005, when the 159th Aviation Brigade was deployed to Iraq, these three members of Congregation Rodeph Sholom in Bridgeport "adopted" all 2,850 soldiers, and purchased, packaged and shipped a Christmas gift for each one. They continued supporting the brigade with monthly gifts and, last fall, they adopted 3,000 soldiers of the 82nd Airborne who were deployed to Afghanistan, sending them regular care packages;To date the three have sent care packages to nearly 8,000 soldiers;

Lisa Wexler, Westport – An attorney by profession, Wexler hosts "The Lisa Wexler Show" during the afternoon drive-time slot on Cox radio's WSTC-WNLK1350 AM in Norwalk. In 2006, after practicing law for 25 years, Wexler cut back to part-time to pursue her first passion – radio;

Nancy Wyman, Tolland – Now Connecticut's new Lt. Governor, Nancy Wyman got into politics in 1979 because she was unhappy with her children's school system. Running for a spot on the Tolland Board of Education – on which she served from 1979-1987 – she eventually became its vice-chairperson. The rest is history, literally. After a stint as a state representative in the 53rd district she ran for state comptroller and became the first woman to hold that office since the position was created in 1786;

Gary Wolff, Storrs – Last July 2009, South African native Gary Wolff took over as executive director of Hillel at the University of Connecticut. Growing up in the close-knit Jewish community of Johannesburg, he lived through apartheid and saw its eventual abolition. As a result, he brings to the job a unique perspective on Jewish identity, pluralism and tikkun olam;
 

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