Yom Shishi, 8 Adar 5778
  • Our Holocaust Torah
  • Acquiring the Holocaust Torah
  • The Meeting House
  • Adult B'nai Mitzvah Class
  • Mitzvah Day

Our Holocaust Torah

In May 2012, we acquired a Holocaust Torah. This is a “saved scroll”, recovered after WWII, from a destroyed community in Europe. We have become shomrim (guardians) of this Torah and we are honored to have it in our congregation.

Our scroll comes from the Memorial Scrolls Trust, MST#888, (the repository for saved scrolls) at the Westminster Synagogue in London, England.  It was recorded by the Jewish Museum in Prague as having been collected from Caslav-Golcuv-Jenikov. For more information see “The Jewish Sights of Bohemia and Moravia” by Jiri Fiedler, published in 1991. The author notes the following: Caslav is a town in Bohemia, 70km ESE of Prague. Up to the mid-19th century only one Jewish family was allowed to reside in Caslav. When the Jews were granted civic equality under law in the mid-19th century, Jews from the neighboring villages started to move to Caslav.  

Read more

This rich challah dough is not formed into braids for the High Holy Days, rather it is shaped in the form of a turban or snail. This is symbolic of the hope that the year will be filled with continuous good health and well being. If the challah is made into one very large challah there is the risk that the center will be under baked or the outer ring will be dry and over baked depending on the baking time you choose. I never use more than 2/3 of the dough to make a large challah.

challahwebsite Ingredients

    7- 7 1/2 cups bread flour, King Arthur or Gold medal Better for Bread
    2 packages rapid rise yeast
    1 1/2 cups water
    2 sticks parve margarine or butter
    1/4 teaspoon yellow food coloring
    3/4 cup sugar
    2 Tablespoons poppy seeds
    1 Tablespoon salt
    4 large eggs
    1 cup raisins, optional
    EGG WASH-1 egg mixed with 1 Tablespoon water and 1 teaspoon of honey

Preparation Instructions

    In a large mixer bowl combine 6 1/2 cups of the flour and the yeast. Stir to combine.
    Heat the water, margarine, food coloring, sugar, poppy seed and the salt in a saucepan until very warm (140F). Water should be uncomfortably hot to your finger but not hot enough to burn you.(It will feel like hot tap water).
    Add the warm liquid mixture to the flour while the mixer is on low. As the liquid is being incorporated, add the eggs. Mix thoroughly.
    Gradually add the remaining flour only until a fairly firm dough is formed. This process should take about 7 minutes whether you are using the dough hook on your mixer or are kneading it by hand. The mixture will be satiny smooth and will not stick to a lightly floured finger tip when touched. If adding raisins, add after 5 minutes of kneading
    Turn your oven on for 1 minute.  TURN YOUR OVEN OFF.  Lightly grease a bowl with oil and turn the dough in the bowl to oil all sides. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the TURNED OFF oven until doubled in size, about 30-45 minutes.
    Punch down the dough and divide in half or thirds. Divide each portion into 1 large rope and coil the dough around itself to make a round of dough that looks like a turban. Make sure to pinch the end of the dough under to prevent uncoiling during baking. Place formed breads on a greased cookie sheet or parchment paper and allow to rise until light and doubled, about 25 minutes.
    Preheat the oven to 375F. Brush the tops of the loaves with the egg wash and bake for 25-35 minutes depending on the size of the loaves. When the bread is done, it will be golden brown and have a hollow sound when tapped.

Spotlight On

Read about GSJC's Rededication Service for our Holocaust Torah
(Scroll down on the linked page)

Read about GSJC's Participation in Family Promise -- a Social Action Project in conjunction with FCC

GSJC Fundraiser
Penny Lane Band - A Beatles Tribute
Saturday, April 21, 2018, 7pm
First Congregational Church
Advance tickets recommended -- Available now; great for holiday gifts
For more info, see flyer

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Welcome to GSJC

Gishrei Shalom Jewish Congregation is a small but very active Jewish congregation affiliated with URJ, Union of Reform Judaism, the Reform movement. We are a mix of older singles, empty nesters and young families.  We warmly welcome all members of the Jewish faith including interfaith and same sex families.  Now in our third decade we provide a close, family atmosphere for Jewish observance, learning and worship.

We celebrate Jewish holidays joyously and provide family workshops, Jewish education for our children and numerous social activities. Our special celebrations include Sukkot under the stars (held at a member's house) and our communal Chanukah candle-lighting and latke-fest (also held at a member's home). All of our member families take an active role in helping our congregation come alive with Jewish meaning and warmth. (Read Rabbi Becker's sermon on how our congregation creates holy space). For more than 20 years, we have had a special relationship with the First Congregational Church on Main Street in Southington, where we hold our Shabbat services (see Shabbat services calendar) and many other events. We look forward to getting to know you!

Upcoming Events

Fri Feb 23 @12:00AM
8th of Adar, 5778
Sat Feb 24 @12:00AM
9th of Adar, 5778
Sat Feb 24 @12:00AM
Parashat Tetzaveh
Sat Feb 24 @12:00AM
Shabbat Zachor
Sat Feb 24 @ 9:30AM - 11:30AM
Religious School
Sun Feb 25 @12:00AM
10th of Adar, 5778
Mon Feb 26 @12:00AM
11th of Adar, 5778
Tue Feb 27 @12:00AM
12th of Adar, 5778
Wed Feb 28 @12:00AM
Erev Purim
Wed Feb 28 @ 6:00PM - 07:00PM
Religious School