Real Art Ways hosts its monthly board game night starting at 6. Free.
Natural Hair Happy Hour at M Lounge, 942 Main Street. They say: “Come mix and mingle with other beautiful naturals! This event is perfect for catching up with family and friends, meeting new naturals and learning more about the Brown Skin Women network.” 6-8:30 p.m. Free.
Happy, Healthy Holiday Party: This is a healthy potluck with music by the Sacred Sorrow Singers. For the potluck, include a list of all ingredients for the dish you bring. Also, bring your own plate, utensils, and cup so that the event creates minimal waste. There is a suggested $5 donation, but nobody is turned away for lack of funds. 7-9 p.m. at Toivo.
I hate Giving Tuesday. It goes: Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday, Giving Tuesday. What? So, only after you have shelled out money everywhere else should you consider charitable giving? False. For this reason, we list giving first.
Instructions: Skim list. Jot down items of interest on own personal calendar. Enjoy.
Dave Costa will perform at noon on the terrace of the Downtown Hartford Public Library. Free.
The Wadsworth Atheneum continues its Movies & Music Under the Stars series with Bombshell, starring Jean Harlow. Music by Criollo Clasico begins at 5:30pm in Gengras Court. Dinner available for purchase. The film begins at 8:15 (dark). Members receive free admission and one free drink. Regular admission prices apply for non-members.
HartBeat Ensemble’s Youth Play Institute presents Change In Your Pocket, a play about food justice. The Youth Play Institute is a project that helps young people to brainstorm topics, develop a play, create the set, act it out, and more. Each play is on a different topic, with past ones exploring issues like violence and harsh punishments in schools. You can catch this three times– today at 7:30pm, on August 2nd at 7:30pm, and August 3rd at 2pm. Tickets are $5. Performances will be in the Carriage House Theater at 360 Farmington Avenue. Park for free in the Mark Twain Museum visitor lot (right across the street from the theater) or on street in legal spots.
There will be a free screening of Karate Kid in Goodwin Park at sundown. Bring a blanket or chairs and snacks.
Stop into MakeHartford, MakerSpace to make a blinking light bracelet out of LEDs and duct tape. This is an all-ages workshop. $12. This space is located at 30 Arbor Street. 10-11am. Bring your own safety glasses.
The backlash against the monster SUVs, McMansions, and other forms of conspicuous consumption is firmly here. Tiny: A Story About Living Small screens at Real Art Ways at 2pm. This documentary examines the movement to live in houses smaller than the average parking space. $10 general, $5 members. They say they are only showing this film once, so today is the day.
Watch the film Powered by Dreams, a documentary about the founder of the Dream Support Network and his steps to recovery after a near-death experience with kidney disease. This is hosted by The 224 (224 Farmington Avenue) at 3pm. Suggested donation $5.
The Dirt Salon (50 Bartholomew) presents Deep Blue Rendezvous, a summer party and art show. Expect rooms decorated to match the theme, along with underwater trash art, video projects, and DJs. It’s suggested that attendees dress for the theme: pirates, mermaids, jellyfish, etc. This is an 18+ event. Advance tickets are $10; at door, $15. 9pm-1am. (more…)
Part of a coloring/activity book made available to Seder participants. Bad coloring technique, all mine.
One block over the line in West Hartford, Congregation Beth Israel’s presence announces itself much like the Unitarian Society of Hartford and the Cathedral of Saint Joseph do. There’s no quietly blending in with the neighborhood; no way to pass without noticing.
Before the synagogue was here, it was in Hartford. The structure did not move, just the congregation. The original Congregation Beth Israel congregation worshiped at the former North Baptist Church, located at 942 Main Street. After twenty years in that spot, the community moved into a building constructed as a synagogue — Connecticut’s oldest one, actually — and remained there on 21 Charter Oak Avenue until 1936.
As Hartford’s Jewish community moved to the suburbs, the synagogues, one-by-one, followed.
Now, Congregation Beth Israel is the second notable establishment on Farmington Avenue (first, Tangiers) to greet folks as they venture into West Hartford.
Our two most recent visits fall into the category of “special events” rather than that of “routine service,” but no matter. Over the years we have been to CBI for regular services, special events, and going farther back, Music Together.
Many places of worship in this area seem to have embraced the obnoxious trend of bolting front doors, having everyone enter through a door closest to the parking lot. Thankfully, CBI breaks from this by admitting visitors through both the parking lot door and that which faces of main avenue. If the door is locked, ring the bell. “Security measures” seem drastic, but antisemitism is a thing. I’ve personally never had any trouble getting buzzed in.
This is possibly the least flattering view of Congregation Beth Israel, but it’s what you see if entering from the parking lot. The better view is from Farmington Avenue.
Inside, there is a long hall with plenty of doors to choose from. Services have been held in the sanctuary, chapel, and a courtyard outside. For special events, it might not be immediately obvious where to go, since there’s likely lots of activity including children zooming around. Look for a sign or ask.
The restrooms are near the large coatroom.
Visiting a new place can create some anxieties for those who don’t want to stand out as the person doing everything wrong. So, here goes:
CBI asks people to dress respectfully, but I have seen every variation on an outfit show up, from suits to micro mini skirts with Uggs. The latter will get you talked about, but not thrown out. One step up from jeans is always a safe bet.
Nobody is forced to wear a yarmulke. For services, most men do wear them, but this is a Reform synagogue. In other words, there is a lot of tolerance about personal choices. A basket of kippot are near the entrance for anyone — male or female — who chooses to participate in this custom.
Men and women sit together, in case you were wondering.
So, back in February, on one of those cold days that came with a bonus side of drizzle, we headed to CBI for the annual Purim Schpiel. The serious message of Purim is to embrace one’s (Jewish) identity, but mostly, it’s a day for costumes, drinking, eating Hamantaschen, and in this case, watching a campy play.
Friends had been raving about the “new rabbi.” After some prodding I learned that for some this meant the Senior Rabbi, and for others, the Assistant Rabbi. Both are on the younger side. The Assistant Rabbi is a woman.
Dr. Mary Washington will be giving a lecture on Intersectionality and the Reconstruction of Identity and Social Action at the University of Hartford. This will take place at 1:30pm in Regents Commons, located within the Shaw Center of Hillyer. This is free and open to the public. (more…)
For those just tuning in, every month Real Hartford creates a calendar of events happening in the city. This is not intended to be all-inclusive– you’ll note the absence of “Ladies Nite” events. (more…)