News & Events

News & Events

Purim 2017

RISING starsSeniors Alex Van der Hulst and Zev Granowitz have been chosen as Rising Stars by the West Hartford Press. Read the article here. 

sloaneOn Friday, March 17, 2017, Dr. David Sloane, parent of students Avi and Nesya, presented his first lecture in our 6 week physiology mini-course.Dr. Sloane is an active staff physician at Brigham and Women’s Faulkner Hospital and an instructor in internal medicine at Harvard Medical School.The 6 week mini-course began with a discussion of the brain and central nervous system and will continue for the next 5 Fridays (off for Pesach) with the heart, hormones, the reproductive system, muscles and the immune system.

macbethStudents in Mrs. Page’s 10th grade Literary Appreciation class presented their Macbeth monologues this week.

floor signingHHNE students took time out during their lunch to sign their names on the library floor before the new carpets were laid. Click for the video!

NeedlerThe AP Language and Composition class was visited by Mr. Howard Needler for an in-depth discussion about the Merchant of Venice. Many thanks to Mr. Needler for sharing his knowledge the class!

Rabbi Bruce interfaith seder 2017On Sunday, Rabbi Bruce represented HHNE at two interfaith gatherings. In the afternoon the Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Hartford’s held their Annual Interfaith Seder. Rabbi Bruce facilitated a lively group discussion about the customs and concepts behind the Seder. Later that evening Rabbi Bruce travelled to Guilford to speak to over 100 local high school students as part of an interfaith panel on the meaning of Judaism and what the Torah teaches about our task in life.

10th grade shabbatonHHNE’s 2017 10th grade Shabbaton was held in New Haven this past weekend. The sophomore class had an inspiring Shabbat filled with Torah, friendship and great food. Many thanks to the hospitality of the Westville Synagogue and the Hyman and Koenigsberg families for hosting this fantastic event!

rabbi dr sharon shalomRabbi Dr. Sharon Shalom was our esteemed guest speaker last week, giving a dynamic and moving talk to HHNE students and faculty. Rabbi Dr. Shalom spoke about the great importance of unity and told the story of his amazing life and achievements. Both students and faculty came away from the talk with new ideas and greater understanding.Born in a small Ethiopian village, Rabbi Dr. Sharon Z. Shalom embarked on a 1,500-mile trek to the Sudan at just nine years old, without his family. Airlifted as part of Operation Moses and believing his family to be dead, he received a new Hebrew name and lived in a home for immigrant and at-risk children in Afula. After high school, yeshiva and military service, he completed undergraduate and graduate studies at Bar Ilan University and was the second Ethiopian immigrant to be ordained by the Chief Rabbi of Israel. Today he leads the Kdoshei Yisrael Synagogue in Kiryat Gat, with members from around the world, and lectures at both Bar Ilan and Tel Aviv Universities.

model UNNesya Sloane, Gabriella Brackman, Adina Bruce and Esti Garfield represented HHNE at the 2017 Yeshiva University National Model United Nations (YUNMUN) as delegates of Kenya. HHNE worked alongside schools across the United States, as well as Brazil and Canada at the 3 day event. Throughout their stay, our delegation met with multiple committees in order to solve world-wide issues such as: over-fishing in the South China Sea, improving food sources to the impoverished, regulations and overseeing small private militias and trying to solve the refugee crisis. Many thanks to HHNE’s AP teacher Zach Towne for chaperoning these amazing students.

bsnyder blog revThis summer, senior Benjamin Snyder will be moving to Israel and enlisting in the Israeli Defense Force to become a Lone Soldier.

In his blog, Benjamin discusses why he has such a great passion for what he is doing, the process of making Aliyah, and what it is like to prepare to fight in the Israeli army.

Benjamin Snyder is a senior at HHNE. Read more about Benjamin’s journey on his blog:

shoshana drumsBand practice was moved outdoors to take advantage of the beautiful spring weather. Photo: Shoshana Olkin

Schechtman_-9965HHNE is proud to announce that senior Yaakov Schectman has been awarded a Certificate of Merit from the National Merit Scholarship Corporation and has advanced to Finalist standing in the National Merit Scholarship Program of 2017.

job skills bThe juniors and seniors recently participated in a job skills day titled “Professionalism 411.” The first part of the presentation was delivered by Linda Schultz from the University of Hartford, along with HHNE’s Liz Barlow and Brenda Cabelus. They focused on how to find a job, how to present yourself in an interview and what types of communication there are. The second part of the program was a “speed dating” style of interviews with numerous professionals in careers that are of interest to our students including medical, law, military, entrepreneurs and more.We would like to thank all of the professionals who volunteered their time to come in and work with our students. The feedback has been overwhelmingly positive and we look forward to offering this program again.

biodnalabGel electrophoresis is a technique that separates multiple fragments of DNA from one another by passing an electrical current through a gel containing a DNA solution. AP Biology students pipetted or “loaded” the DNA solutions into the gels, a task requiring precision. The students will determine the length of each fragment from the distance each fragment travelled in the gel. This technique is often used by genetic labs or forensic units to determine the similarities between different sources of DNA.

drschoenfeldvisitWe were honored to welcome Dr. Arnold Schoenfeld and Mr. Mark Schoenfeld, great-grandfather and grandfather of senior, Yisroel Dov Goldberg and freshman, Shoshana Goldberg, to HHNE.Dr. Schoenfeld was born in Austria before the war and was a part of the Ger Chasidic community in Vienna. He escaped to Britain and then the U.S. where he became a doctor of internal medicine in New York and only retired last year at the age of 90!Dr. Schoenfeld toured the school and addressed the students about the importance of a Jewish education.

P1110180Abbey Cohn, the Young Adult and Special Affinities Director of the Jewish Federation of Greater Hartford presented HHNE students, staff and board members with the Super Sunday Agency Participation prize for the 2017 Campaign Year. The winners were awarded $1,000 and a trophy for their exceptional performance during this years Super Sunday event.

planariaTo see the growth and multiplication of cells in real-time, Mr. Towne’s AP Biology students performed living dissection, called vivisections, on a flatworm. These flatworms, also called Planaria, display the impressive trait of regeneration. Having performed the vivisection, students will watch as each half of these flatworms grow into a living, fully functional organism. —Photo credit: Zev Granowitz

better togetherOn November 30th students from HHNE met with senior members of the Mandel Jewish Community Center for a luncheon to kick off the “Better Together Intergenerational Program.” Students from Rabbi Aharon Skoglund’s Chumash class began a yearlong service learning journey with their new senior friends. Each month the group will meet at the JCC to explore a wide variety of Judaic topics. Special thanks to Sharon Holzberg at the JCC for her support and to Better Together for funding the project.

cup stackingHHNE students were once again enthusiastic participants in the National Competitive Cup Stacking Day. Many thanks to Mr. Towne and Mrs. Dombroskas for organizing the event.

sci classSeniors in Mr. Towne’s AP Biology course performed dissections to learn about cell regeneration during their double lab period. Students learned about multiple dissection techniques and utilized microscopes to view the cells once they were prepared on slides.


Four Students Represent HHNE at the 2016 AIPAC Policy Conference

AIPAC 2016Meira Goldfischer, Yisroel Goldberg, Ari Zackin and Simon Ganeles attended the 2016 AIPAC Policy Conference in Washington, D. C. March 20-22.

“This year’s AIPAC Policy Conference was an amazing and inspirational experience. We had the wonderful opportunity to hear from presidential candidates and world-renowned speakers on various issues regarding politics, Israel, the United States, and the Middle East. We were also able to network with other like-minded pro-Israel advocates from across the nation. The program concluded with the HHNE delegation meeting with representatives of Senators Murphy and Blumenthal and having a discussion with Congressman John Larson about the importance of the relationship between the United States and Israel.

Overall, this experience allowed us to expand our knowledge of the situation in Israel, learn more advanced advocating skills, and grow a greater appreciation for the state of Israel.”


Purim 2016!


Purim womens reading 1 main megillah 1 girls costumes1
talent 4 girls megillah 5 talent 3 talent 1

This year’s Purim celebration at HHNE began with two individual Megillah readings (the mitzvah of Mikra Megillah); a Women’s Megillah reading in the Beit Midrash and the Traditional Megillah reading in the Commons.
Both were well attended by community members in addition to our students, faculty and staff.

At the Women’s service, Hadas Bromberg-Seltzer, Ariella Snyder, Dalia Bruce, Esti Garfield and Adina Bruce along with Dr. Nicole Brackman and community members each read a section of the Megillah to the assembled group. The reading was inspirational and empowering to the gathered participants.

At the traditional reading, participants read from a special Megillah on loan from Fran and Gene Wittenberg. The 19th Century Czechoslovakian scroll—given to Gene as a gift 30 years ago by a Jewish attorney—had originally belonged to a frum family and was handed down for generations. Many thanks to the Wittenbergs for sharing this beautiful piece of history with us.

The Megillah readings were followed by a talent show which included a martial arts demonstration, comedy skit, musical acts and a vocal exhibition by the student government president. The entertainment culminated in an entertaining game of Faculty Jeopardy—congratulations to the winning team of Liz Barlow, Mrs. Engelson, Mr. Page and Rabbi Balk.

We completed the four mitzvot of Purim as students exchanged treats with one another (Mishloach Manot) before sharing a festive meal (Seudat
Purim,) with school faculty and staff members. Many thanks to all who participated  in the final mitzvot, Matanot l’Evyonim, as students, staff, faculty and community members donated more than $600 for seven year old Meir Samuels who lives with a rare genetic disorder.


HHNE Students Attend Connecticut’s ACLU Lobby Day

12795102_10154696635378047_1322955892179127667_oOn Wednesday, March 23rd, Dalia Bruce, Esti Garfield, Micah Glickman, Gabriella Brackman and Ariella Snyder, with History and Government teacher Dr. Nicole Brackman, attended the annual ACLU Lobby Day at the Connecticut State Capitol.

The American Civil Liberties Union is an organization devoted to defending our rights in the courts and giving a voice to those who do not have one. ACLU Lobby Day is an annual event arranged to give constituents the opportunity to lobby their representatives in a formal manner regarding issues that they feel passionate about.

“This event was an extremely informative and fun experience,” freshman Gaby Brackman commented. “I had a great time learning about lobbying, and how easy it is to contact my representative”.

While at the Capital, the group had the pleasure of lobbying alongside Director Stephen Glassman for various Senate and House Bills concerning the rights of US citizens regarding privacy and criminal status. They lobbied the District Representative, Beth Bye on these matters, and pushed for her vote. Sophomore Micah Glickman remarked, “We learned a lot, and look forward to working with the ACLU in the future.”

Quarter 2 High Honors Students Announced

Congratulations to the following students who achieved High Honors for the second quarter marking period: Adina Bruce, Esti Garfield, Simon Ganeles, Ora Halpern, Batya Koenigsberg, Rebecca Hyman, Ilan Small, Ariella Snyder and Benjamin Snyder.

Students Attend YUNMUN XXVI

YUNUM 2016HHNE students Ilan Small, Simon Ganeles, Adina Bruce, and Arianna Bouchard participated this week in the YU National Model United Nations (YUNMUN XXVI) convention in Stamford, Connecticut, coached by Dr. Nicole Brackman. HHNE’s delegation represented Indonesia in various committees such as the International Criminal Court, the International Maritime Organization, the Disarmament International Security Committee and the UN Office of Drugs and Crime. Together with delegates from over forty five other Jewish schools around the US and the world, they debated salient world issues, worked together to make resolutions and reach consensus about possible solutions, and practiced diplomacy and negotiation. At its best the United Nations should be a forum for nations to come together to mediate disputes in a peaceful way; at YUNMUN our students were able to model these skills. Our students were a credit to HHNE in their leadership, erudition, skilled negotiation, and derech eretz.

Quarter 1 High Honors Students Announced

Congratulations to the following students who achieved High Honors for the first quarter marking period: Eitan Garfield, Esti Garfield, Simon Ganeles, Ora Halpern, Elana Kranc, Yaakov Schectman, Roy Siegelmann, Ilan Small, David Yashgur and Ari Zackin.

A Heartfelt Farewell to Community Pillar Simon Konover

20151015:  HHNE (Robin Smith for Shana Sureck Photography)It is with great sorrow that we bid farewell to our friend and supporter Simon Konover.

Mr. Konover was a supporter of The Hebrew High School of
New England from its inception—beginning with 14 students in the basement of a synagogue—until today, in a beautiful state of the art building that bears his name.

His incredible journey from the ashes of the holocaust to the “giant amongst us” has left a deep impression on our entire school
community. It is with tremendous gratitude that we can say that Simon Konover’s legacy will live on through the hundreds of Jewish teens who graduate from the only Jewish high school in the region. We know that they will go on to emulate Mr. Konover’s great works in our world.

A community memorial service will be held on November 15th. For more information please visit this link.


New Members Inducted Into the National Honor Society

nhs new inductees 2015Eight students have been inducted as the newest members of the National Honor Society. The ceremony conducted by Mrs. Heather Page was attended by proud parents, faculty, staff and the student body. Juniors Yaakov Schechtman, Natan Glahn, Benjamin Snyder, Yisroel Goldberg and Ora Halpern, and seniors David Yashgur, Linor Ben-Naim and Maya Hasbani stood proudly to join fellow NHS members who also took part in the event.


Guest Speaker: Former Bishop of the Hartford Archdiocese Delivers Inspiring Speech

Bishop RAfter hearing Bishop Peter Rosazza speak during this fall’s Anti Defamation League awards dinner, Head of School Rabbi Bruce knew the Bishop would be a great speaker for HHNE students to hear. On October 21st Bishop Rosazza visited HHNE and spoke about his own relationship with the State of Israel and gave an overview of the history of Jewish-Christian relations. At the conclusion of his talk the Bishop had lunch with student representatives. The students asked thoughtful, intelligent and sensitive questions which were all very well received. At the end of his visit, the Bishop’s final comments were “This is a wonderful school and you are doing a fantastic job with the students.”


 HHNE Ranks in Connecticut’s Top Private Schools

HHNE 29-100 article frontA recent study published by rated Connecticut’s private schools. See how Hebrew High School of New England stacked up in this Top 100 Private High Schools list.

State-wide, high schools were reviewed based on key student statistics and data sourced from various government and public data sets, Niche’s proprietary data, and opinion-based survey responses across a variety of topics from current students, recent alumni and parents.


Guest Speaker: Rabbi Mendel Samuels

HHNE Samuels front

On September 9th, Rabbi Mendel Samuels of Chabad of the Farmington Valley spoke to the student body and members of the faculty. Rabbi Samuels spoke about the need for new year resolution, prayer and meditation. Rabbi Samuels captivated the student body with stories, illustrations and the finer points of obligation and responsibility in an ever changing world.




Annual Retreat at Camp Laurelwood

2 kayaks cropThis year’s annual retreat was held at Camp Laurelwood in Madison, CT. Two beautiful, sunny days were filled with games, sports, team-building exercises, contests and boating. In the evening everyone gathered around a campfire to toast marshmallows, listen to students playing guitar and relax with friends. Many thanks to Henry Zachs, the staff at Camp Laurelwood and Ms. Sperber for making this HHNE tradition a huge success! View more photos of the HHNE 2015 Retreat here.


Back to School BBQ 2015

IMG_7033On Wednesday August 26th, HHNE welcomed in the new school year with the annual Back to School BBQ. Students and their families along with faculty and staff, enjoyed a traditional summer cookout prepared by Dr. Nabel, Mr. Page and Ms. Sperber. Many thanks to Heather Stambovsky, Stu Levy, Hava and Eric Goldstein for their help in making this another successful HHNE event!