Category Archives: Press

Press releases and community info

Hebrew High School of New England Announces Boarding Program Expansion

(West Hartford, CT)—Hebrew High School of New England (HHNE) now is expanding its boarding program to make its educational program available to a larger pool of students. Bringing together the best features of a college prep school, HHNE has earned a strong reputation over the last 18 years for providing a rigorous general studies education, enriching extra-curricular activities, and an engaging Judaic studies program. The school’s boarding program is designed so interested students from throughout New England can now attend and benefit.

Ever since HHNE first opened its doors nearly two decades ago, the school has welcomed young men and women from New York, New Jersey, Rhode Island and Israel as boarding students. According to Shimmy Trencher, HHNE’s Dean of Students, “Since it’s inception, students from out-of-town have boarded with local families in order to attend HHNE. The experience of coming to HHNE and boarding here is really transformative. We’re excited to welcome more of these students to our school.”

In recent years, HHNE has moved to a new campus, has expanded its programs, and has enrolled a diverse student body. The campus sits on 11-acres of beautifully-wooded land adjacent to the Park River and down the road from the University of Hartford, and the student body now represents 17 different public, private and Jewish day schools from nearly 40 cities and towns. Orthodox, Conservative, Reform and unaffiliated students all are welcomed at the school, and HHNE has a beginners’ Judaic studies program for academically and spiritually curious students with limited Judaic backgrounds.

For students living too far to commute daily, the boarding program provides the necessary resources to make attendance at HHNE a reality. Based on a “home stay” model, the admissions department works hand-in-hand with the student and parents/guardians to find the perfect fit with a local family. Boarding students benefit from HHNE’s exceptional academic program and full range of extra-curricular activities, and they also are provided with the unique opportunity to develop their independent living skills while being part of a “second family.” Together, HHNE and the boarding family provide care and support to ensure the student’s academic, social, and emotional success.

Shoshi Taube, a 2009 graduate who is now preparing for medical school, was able to attend HHNE because of its boarding program. “At the time that I started high school, moving was not an option for my family, and boarding made it possible for me to attend HHNE,” says Shoshi. “Personally, had I not gone to the school, I would never have received as great an education. The boarding program gave me the chance to attend and become who I am today.”

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HHNE Students Accepted Early to Yale, Princeton, and Others

While most high School seniors have at least two months to wait by the mailbox for that all important letter of acceptance or rejection from the college or university of their choice, 60% percent of the Hebrew High School of New England (HHNE) graduating class, nine of the 15 seniors, have received early acceptance; some to more than one institute of higher education. These schools include:

  • Binghamton University
  • Brandeis University
  • Clark University (with scholarship)
  • Drew University (with scholarship)
  • Eckerd College (with scholarship)
  • Florida Southern College (with scholarship)
  • University of Miami
  • University of Michigan
  • Princeton University
  • Rollins College
  • Rutgers University
  • University of Tampa (with scholarship)
  • West Point Academy (congressional nomination)
  • Wheaton College
  • Yale University

HHNE is proud of this outstanding accomplishment that shines a bright light on the quality of its educational program and is a testament to the focus, dedication and commitment of its students.

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Chai Five To HHNE

Hebrew High School of New England (HHNE) will hold its annual gala fund-raiser on March 9th, which this year celebrates a very special milestone: the 18th anniversary of the founding of the school.

On this prestigious occasion, HHNE is honoring Karen and Gerry Goldberg for their commitment and dedication to the school. The President’s Award will be presented to Eva Shragis and Amy Mager and there will be a special tribute to Rabbi Daniel Loew, Head of School, who is departing HHNE after 10 years of service. Guests can look forward to entertainment by Edon, the 15-year-old pianist-singer who was a semi-finalist on 2012′s America’s Got Talent.

Karen and Gerry Goldberg have become an integral part of the HHNE family, serving on the board, and volunteering on various committees. Former New Yorkers, the Goldbergs relocated to Hartford in 1991, in part because they were drawn to its vibrant Jewish community. Their children Rachel and Josh are HHNE graduates and come fall, their youngest daughter Hannah will be attending.

The Goldbergs are also active members of the broader community, belonging to both Congregation Agudas Achim and Emmanuel Synagogue. In 2013, Gerry was also invited to serve on the Board of Trustees of the Jewish Community Foundation of Greater Hartford. For the past 4 years, Gerry Goldberg has been recognized by Barron’s Magazine as being among “The Top 1,000 Investment Advisors” in the nation.

Born in Budapest, Eva Shragis was brought up formally without religion, but with her beloved Mami (z”l) she learned and studied Judaism in secret in the southeastern town of Szaged, Hungary. When she arrived in the USA, Eva continued her Jewish education, always appreciating the freedom to practice openly. She attended university and was a pharmaceutical chemist for many years. Eva always participated in the community, serving on various boards of directors and volunteering for many organizations, including HHNE.

Eva and her husband Bill, who reside in Woodbridge, CT, chose HHNE for their children, not only due to the excellent academic standards, but because of the warm and welcoming atmosphere. Their son Alex was a 2011 graduate and daughter Kate is in the Class of 2014.

Amy Mager MS, LicAc, is a birth educator, birth assistant and acupuncturist who works with women around fertility, pregnancy, postpartum and chronic pain. Amy served on the Board of Congregation B’Nai Israel and also worked with a small group of women to keep the kehilla and kiddush flowing at Congregation B’Nai Torah’s Forest Park minyan in Springfield, MA. She has been a very active HHNE parent, serving the Parent Association for many years.

Amy and husband Dr. Dan Garfield DC and their family moved to Springfield in 2006 so their eldest could attend HHNE. They were especially impressed with the ethos of the school. The Garfield’s two eldest children, Rashi and Emunah, are HHNE graduates and Akiva and Eitan currently attend. Their two youngest, Esti and Ashi, will be a part of the next generation of HHNE students. “We are a family committed to learning and growing. We look forward to the growth and development of HHNE,” says Amy.

Tickets are available for the event: $100.00 cover, $36.00 for students and alumni. For reservations, please contact HHNE at 860-231-0317, or visit the website:…

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HHNE Students to Present ‘Into the Woods (Jr.)’

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Student-Directed Play a Rousing Success!

Friday December 20, 2013

Once again, student director Nathan Schachter has shown his talent with last night’s performance of Monica Flory’s Once Upon a Pandora’s Box. The show, performed at the Herbert Gilman Theater at the Mandell JCC of Greater Hartford, opened to a huge audience drawn from as far away as New York and New Jersey. The actors didn’t fail to delight as they presented their story of two sisters who open Pandora’s box, letting out evil characters from a variety of fairy tales.

The show kept the audience on the edge of their seats until the very end—and with a cast (and crew) of such talent, no one left without a smile on their face.

Congratulations to the cast and crew for an amazing performance!






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HHNE Junior Selected for Senate Page Program

Miriam Young, 16, a junior at HHNE, has been selected to participate in the prestigious Senate Page Program in Washington, D.C..

Appointed by Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Young will join 29 other accomplished students from around the country in the spring Page session from February to June 2014.

Young, the daughter of Michael Young and Ruth Alcabes of West Hartford, has been interested in politics since she was a youngster, most particularly in its history and in policy, she says. She acknowledges that this is a very important time to be in Washington, D.C., to have a first-hand view of procedures and policies and to return with a more in-depth understanding of government and politics which will be of great importance as she pursues her higher education. “I’m honored to have the incredible opportunity to witness history up close, and I am so excited to have a new and interesting experience in our nation’s capital.”

Young (HHNE Class of 2015) presently has a dual curriculum of general and Judaic studies. She has taken AP Government and Politics and is currently taking AP U.S. History, among other challenging courses.

Although the over 100-year old Senate Page program is non-partisan, the pages traditionally are divided to serve the party that appointed them; 16 for the majority and 14 for the minority.

When the Senate is in session, pages typically attend school from 6:15 A.M. to 9:45 A.M. Some of the Page duties include delivery of correspondence and legislative materials within the Capital, prepping the Senate Chamber for session, taking messages for Senators, and carrying bills and amendments from the presiding officer’s desk. Pages are required to work into the early hours of the morning in cases of important business, filibusters and emergency situations.

“Miriam is enthusiastically civic-minded and her selection as a Senate Page will enable her to fulfill her passion for government and politics. I know that this will be a wonderfully educational experience for Miriam and it will enable her to further her ambitious aspirations,” says Rabbi Daniel Loew, Head of School of HHNE.

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Young is currently an intern for the Democratic State Central Committee in Hartford, developing youth resources, assisting with the coordination of social media, participating in outreach and conducting research. This year she is also serving as Chief of Staff of the national board of the High School Democrats of America. She previously was an intern for the Field Office of the Democratic Campaign Headquarters in West Hartford during the Obama 2012 campaign. In 2012, she was also selected to participate in a two-week long symposia at the Republic National Convention and Democratic National Convention.

In addition to her accelerated studies, Young is a Hebrew school teacher for grades 3-7 at Congregation Beth Am in Windsor, CT, teaching Ethics, Jewish Life Cycle and Jewish Culture as well as a youth counselor at the Young Israel of West Hartford. She is active in the youth theatre program at the Jewish Community Center in West Hartford and plays Varsity Girls Soccer for HHNE.

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HHNE Student Director Featured in CT’s Jewish Ledger

HHNE Student Director Nathan Schachter was featured in the Chanukkah edition of the Connecticut Jewish Ledger earlier this week. Schachter is directing Once Upon A Pandora’s Box, a play by Monica Flory. Everyone involved in this production—from actors to set designers, lighting technicians to ticket sellers—are all students from HHNE.

To read the entire article from the Ledger, click the link below:


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Senior Seminar—Local Rabbi Speaks About Fragile X Syndrome

December 5, 2014

The Senior Seminar class was joined by local Rabbi Ilana Garber today to learn about the importance of using genetic testing when planning to start a family. A mother of two boys, Rabbi Garber became involved in educating Jewish youth about genetic testing options after her younger son was diagnosed with Fragile X Syndrome.

Armed with the knowledge she has gained after extensive research, Rabbi Garber came well prepared to answer all of the questions that the twelfth grade students brought up. She explained the genetic cause, symptoms and presentations when the Fragile X is present as well as what life may be like for the family and those close to the child affected. She also advocated for arming oneself with the knowledge that genetic testings affords, both for Jewish diseases as well as generally, in order to be make the sometimes difficult decisions that present themselves as a couple is having children.

Rabbi Garber’s lecture was informative and yet touching. Sharing her own experiences allowed the students to see the personal way that Fragile X has impacted her family, and how one can appreciate the blessings in life even when that requires adjusting one’s expectations.

For more information about Fragile X Syndrome, go to

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AIPAC’s Sarah Ashman Visits HHNE

December 4, 2013

HHNE students had a special lunch guest today when featured guest Sara Ashman visited. Sara spoke to the students about the various roles that AIPAC plays in Washington and it’s importance in the U.S.-Israeli relationship.

As a member of AIPAC, HHNE and its students share a responsibility in helping to shape the future of the United States/Israel connection. Students were encouraged to ask questions during the visit and posed many thought-provoking inquiries.



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Latkes and Dreydls and Donuts…Oh My!

The smell of frying latkes filled the air as Hebrew High School of New England students and their families along with community members filtered into HHNE to enjoy a Hanukkah Celebration.

There were latkes and fried dough prepared by two of the HHNE Judaics instructors along with the help of several students. To say that the latkes were divine simply doesn’t do them justice. These were the gold standard in latkes.

The entire event was a collaboration between HHNE and the University of Hartford’s Maurice Greenberg Center for Judaic Studies. In addition to the food, local klezmer band Heavy Shtetl played traditional Hanukka music providing wonderful background music for all of the guests. Meanwhile, in a classroom a Yiddish film was being shown.

There was the traditional “fry anything” event (always popular with the kids) and a sufganiyot decorating contest,  as well as a dreydl spinning challenge, Hanukkah games, a trivia contest and Jewish Jeopardy.

Many thanks to all those who helped to make this event a success!

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