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About Us

Young Israel of West Hartford Building

Young Israel of West Hartford is a warm, diverse and vibrant Centrist Orthodox community that spans the generations--connecting babies to bubbies. We are proud to be an integral part of the Greater Hartford Jewish community.

Founded in 1968, the Young Israel of West Hartford aspires to inspire personal growth and social responsibility as well as to strengthen our connection to our heritage, the Torah, our tradition, our Mesorah, and our homeland, the State of Israel. We seek create a nurturing atmosphere that promotes growth in  Torah, Avodah (Prayer), Gmilut Chasadim (Loving Kindness) and instills a connection to our homeland, the State of Israel.

We strive to care for one another and foster a sense of belonging that attracts and values all who make this place their home.

More than just a synagogue, the Young Israel of West Hartford is a warm and loving community that seeks to embrace, care for and inspire all of its members! 

Please feel free to reach out to learn more about our community and shul. We would be delighted to host you for a visit as our guests.

.....and dont forget to check out our facebook page!

About Our Town

Located in the leafy and scenic subrub of CT's capitol, West Hartford is conveniently positioned only 2 hours from NYC and 1.5 hours from Boston. We offer a warm and inviting small town feel coupled with all the amenities of a big city.

Starter homes within eruv (with spacious backyard) begin as low as $220k with apartments and rentals also available near our shuls. The cost of living is low, while the salaries are still comparable to metropolitan centers.

Job opportunities are abundant across all sectors including our massive medical field (5 distinct hospital systems), rich academic circles (9+ institutions of higher learning), growing hi-tech and aero/space engineering fields and of course, the insurance capital of the world next door in Hartford.

Average commute time? 7 minute; 12 minutes with traffic. Not too bad, right?

Our community boasts a rich and diverse Jewish life with vibrant shuls, strong adult educational opportunities, a wealth of social programs and a robust Jewish communal infrastructure: JCC, Jewish Federation, Mikveh, Eruv and so much more. Many of our children attend the New England Jewish Academy – the exciting new Nursey to 12th grade merger of historic Hebrew Academy of Greater Hartford and renowned Hebrew High School of New England.

West Hartford quality of life is wonderful. With lots of parks and activities for families, including fantastic libraries, town sports leagues for adults and kids, West Hartford is surrounded by some of the country’s leading children’s museums, science centers, art exhibits, theaters, amusements parks, and more. Plus, Connecticut has wonderful outdoors activities all four seasons!

Come Visit

& See Why We Love West Hartford!

Purim Spiel 2019

Young Israel Gala Awards Dinner Video

Also check out these photos of our community in action!

In The News...

Gentlemen, Start Your Crock Pots

(The Jewish Ledger)

Chulent is a traditional Jewish stew made of meat, potatoes, barley, onions and beans, prepared before the Sabbath and left to simmer overnight. In doing so, observant Jews avoid violating the Biblical prohibitions of cooking on the Sabbath while still being able to enjoy a delicious, hot Sabbath meal.

Did we say stew? The truth is, chulent is so much more. As the renowned German scholar Heinrich Heine described it, chulent is “pure ambrosia,” the “bread of Paradise,” the “food of heaven. For generations, Jews have been tweaking and perfecting their special recipes.

And so, last month the Young Israel of West Hartford decided to put chulent legacies to the test by hosting “The First Annual Chulent Cook-off.” The cooking began on Friday afternoon Jan. 20, when seven teams of participants met at the Young Israel to prepare their chulent entries....

Young Israel raises over $3,300 in donations in response to terrible fires in Israel.

(West Hartford News)

Young Israel of West Hartford raised over $3,300 in donations and directed other direct contributions to help support Israelis displaced by the devastating fires this past November, and to resupply Israel’s Fire & Rescue Services.....

Rabbi Tuvia Brander of Young Israel of West Hartford commented, “At moments like these, it is incumbent upon us to come together as a community to take action and show our support for our brothers and sisters in Israel.” This project continues to build on one of Young Israel of West Hartford’s core mission goals — to promote and strengthen our connection to the people of Israel, the land of Israel and the State of Israel.

The Jewish Response to Tragedy

By Cindy Mindell, Connecticut Jewish Ledger (August 10, 2016)

WEST HARTFORD – Rabbi Tuvia Brander and many of his congregants at Young Israel of West Hartford emerged at the end of Shavuot celebrations only to learn of the terrorist attack on the Pulse nightclub in Orlando.

Brander addressed the tragedy during his sermon the following Shabbat, tying together the highs and lows of the holiday weekend.

“I said, ‘We began last week by ascending the mountain, knowing that part of our role as Jews is not just going up the mountain but bringing the Torah down to the world and unfortunately, we came back into a world that was more imperfect, more fragmented and more in pain than we had left,’” he told the Ledger.

Brander suggested that the congregation craft a meaningful response to the suffering caused by the Orlando shooter.

“Paraphrasing the words of Rabbi Abraham Isaac Kook, in times of darkness, righteous people seek to add light,” Brander says. “We wanted to proactively do something positive to contribute to the world.” As a result, the rabbi and his congregants decided to organize a food drive at the synagogue to benefit the Anja Rosenberg Kosher Food Pantry at Jewish Family Services of Greater Hartford.

Not even a month later, five Dallas police officers were shot dead by a sniper. Again, Brander rallied Young Israel, sending an email of support to West Hartford Chief of Police Tracy Grove.

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Rosner's Torah-Talk: Parashat Behar with Rabbi Tuvia Brander

By Shmuel Rosner, Jewish Journal, (May 27, 2016)

Our guest this week is Rabbi Tuvia Brander, leader of Young Israel of West Hartford, CT. Rabbi Brander, a Wexner Graduate Fellow, was ordained at the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary...

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Young Israel of West Hartford Welcomes Rabbi Tuvia Brander

By Stacey Dresner, Connecticut Jewish Ledger, (September 30, 2015)

WEST HARTFORD – While growing up as a rabbi’s son in Boca Raton, Fla., Tuvia Brander had no plans to go into the rabbinate.

“Growing up in a rabbinic home, I always was passionate about serving the Jewish community but wanted to stay as far away from the rabbinate as possible,” he explained. “I really liked mathematics and thought I would either go into engineering or some other math-related field.”

But the son of Rabbi Kenneth Brander, who served for many years as the spiritual leader of the Boca Raton Synagogue (BRS), and who is now vice president for University and Community Life at Yeshiva University, Tuvia Brander eventually, as they say, entered the “family business.”

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Thu, June 20 2024 14 Sivan 5784