P.O. Box 1456 • Washington, CT 06793 • Tel: (860) 868-2434 • Fax: (860) 868-6887 • gwcjl@aol.com
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Welcome to the website of the Greater Washington Coalition for Jewish Life (GWCJL). Navigating our website will help you learn how the GWCJL offers an alternative to the traditional synagogue experience while providing our members with a variety of stimulating spiritual, creative, intellectual, and social events.

The GWCJL was founded in 1995 by a small group with the help of The Federation, Jewish Communities of Western CT. They envisioned an organization designed to meet the needs of a unique community including all expressions of Judaism: Jews-by-choice, interfaith families, the unaffiliated, full time residents and weekenders.

Over the years, that early dedicated group of 40 has turned into a membership of 90 families with our own Torah and prayer book. We celebrate holidays, pray together, discuss current events and have even gone on a spiritual mission to Cuba.

Today we are a diverse group that meets one or more weekends each month to observe Shabbat and important Jewish holidays. By visiting our Events page you will see that we gather for a Shabbat dinner before our Friday night services. On Saturday afternoons our rabbi leads us in discussion of the Torah and Judaism while we enjoy wine and cheese together. We often have special events or social gatherings on Saturday nights. Sunday mornings are for speakers, special cultural/interfaith and educational programs.

Our Vice President of Programs extensively researches Jewish publications and speakers to present an informative and challenging yearly calendar. For example, there are often relevant films, cooking classes with well-known chefs, concert trips, and golf outings. High Holiday services and Holocaust Remembrance Day are open to the Litchfield County Community. Mitzvah and outreach programs are ongoing, benefiting those who participate as well as our extended community.

One of the many things that makes the Coalition warm and embracing is that we hold Shabbat dinners and services, Torah and Judaic Discussions and our GWCJL Book Club in members’ homes. Large social gatherings and High Holiday services meet at local venues, such as The Litchfield Inn.

We are a 501 C(3) nonprofit organization. Our officers and board members are all volunteers. We employ a Spiritual Leader, Rabbi Natan Margalit and an Administrative Manager, Karen Hylwa. Members participate by volunteering their space, time and expertise for the good of the organization.

© Copyright 2010 The Greater Washington Coalition for Jewish Life