Welcome to the JHSFC

The Jewish Historical Society of Fairfield County provides historical and educational materials and information about the Jewish community of Fairfield County and serves the community through its membership and its archival resources.


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Announcements, etc.

The Jewish Historical Society of Fairfield County announces its Inaugural Norma and Milton Mann Lecture to honor the memory of two outstanding leaders of our community. Both Norma Mann, z'l and Milton Mann, z'l were patrons and long serving Board Members of The Jewish Historical Society.

The lecture "Nuremberg Lessons -- What Happened Then and Why It Matters Now" will focus on the increasingly relevant legacy of the Nuremberg Trials.

This topic was chosen because Milton Mann was an eye witness to the historic proceedings, as an observer to the trials.

Join us on Sunday, June 11, 2017 at Temple Beth El, Stamford, at 11:00 AM for the lecture, which is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served at 10:30 AM.

The speaker, John Q. Barrett, is a Professor of Law at St. John's University in New York City, where he teaches Constitutional Law, Criminal Procedure and Legal History. Professor Barrett, a renowned teacher, writer, public commentator and lecturer, is well known both in the United States and internationally. In November 2015, Professor Barrett was moderator and gave the introductory lecture in the famous Nuremberg courtroom at the commemoration of the 70th anniversary of the Nuremberg Trials.

Want a program about Jewish history in Fairfield County 1654 - 2016?

Do you know that the first Jew came to Fairfield County in 1654 to buy a slave? Do you know about some of the earliest Fairfield County Jews?

The first Jewish resident of Stamford was Nehemiah Marks. The earliest Jewish resident of Greenwich, was Abraham Hays, who settled there in 1728. The first Jew in Norwalk was Ralph Isaacs, who lived there with his family in 1724.

According to historian Irwin Miller, "There are many stories, such as the tale of Louis Drucker, the first Jew to settle in New Canaan in 1869. He was a tailor, volunteer fireman and town constable. He was murdered attempting to thwart a robbery, and his killer is thought to be the last man hanged in Connecticut." And, there's so much more! Join us to discover what we know, how we know it, and how you can be part of the continuing Jewish story of Fairfield County.

For information, contact JHSFC:
Phone: (203) 321-1373 x150
Email: info@jhsfc-ct.org

Joan Lapin, of New Canaan, visits the JHSFC Archives to donate photos, newspaper clippings, historical documents, a Master's thesis about the history of the Jews of New Canaan, and many other items from her files and scrapbooks. She is showing Elissa Kaplan, President of JHSFC, pictures of her father's grocery store, Rosen Brother's Market.

Upcoming Events

JHSFC Book Talks

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Israeli Poetry and Songs
Presenters: Richard Schwartz
and Yael Stolarsky, JCC Israeli Shlicha

Israeli poetry can be found in books, in songs, and on the streets. This conversation will take a surprisingly fresh look at Israeli poetry.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017
@10:00 AM
Stamford JCC
1035 Newfield Avenue
Stamford, CT 06905

FREE and Open to the Public

Become a Volunteer at the JHSFC

Volunteers are the heart of any non-profit organization.

Please consider volunteering to assist the JHSFC with its mission to collect historical artifacts related to Jewish life in Fairfield County and with its ongoing program activities.

No experience necessary! All activities come with training . . .

To volunteer contact JHSFC:
Phone: (203) 359-2196
Email: info@jhsfc-ct.org

Bridging Yesterday and Tomorrow,
Will You Be Part of the Story?

The Jewish Historical Society of Fairfield County is one of the largest secular Jewish organizations in Fairfield County, Connecticut.

As we enter our 30+ years, we invite you to join us. We need your help in telling your community's story so that we can together explore it further, preserve it and share it. Who were the first Jews in your community? Why did they come, what did they accomplish? How did the community change and grow? Who were and are the Jewish movers and shakers in the Jewish and overall community? What Jewish institutions were established? Through our archives in Fairfield County and our programs, library, traveling exhibit and oral/video history projects we discover and maintain our communities' collective memory dating back to the first recorded Jewish presence in our area in the late 1600's.

Help us capture your special story, so your community will be included in the greater story that is the Jewish story of Fairfield County, Connecticut.

Diaries, emigration documents, household objects, legal documents, letters, obituaries, postcards, posters recipes, scrapbooks vintage clothing, photographs and film clips of family and community events . . .

For information contact JHSFC:
Phone: (203) 359-2196
Email: archives@jhsfc-ct.org

Join Our Email List

Programs and Exhibits

JHSFC Monthly Program

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

The Bridge Ladies
A Memoir

Meet Betsy Lerner, she has written a memoir about her mother and friends, who had a regular bridge game for fifty years. The author and her friends found their mothers' regular bridge game old fashioned and stifling. Lerner swore that she would leave her hometown (New Haven) and lead her life as a free spirit.

More than a story about bridge ladies, this book is about the author's personal literary journey.

Instead of living a life that is totally opposite of her mother's, Lerner actually ends up moving less than five miles from where her mother lives. After a plea for help after surgery, Lerner reluctantly returns "home," and finds that she gets much more than she bargained for – life lessons and common ground. She even comes to the realization that "the Bridge Ladies are brave."

Wednesday, May 17, 2017
Refreshments will be served.
Program begins @7:00 PM
Harry Bennett Library
115 Vine Road
Stamford CT 06905

FREE and Open to the Public.

Archives Showcase

Please visit our exhibit case with an outstanding collection from the Society's Archives.

On display at the Stamford JCC

The 2017 National History Day Contest

Attention, all students in grades six-12 in public schools, Jewish day schools, and Jewish congregational schools: The Jewish Historical Society of Fairfield County in conjunction with Connecticut History Day, announces that it will again sponsor two monetary awards for the 2017 National History Day Contest.

Entries must fit the theme of the National contest, which is "Taking a Stand". In addition, to receive a JHSFC award, students must incorporate Jewish history or heritage and/or a Jewish personality into the 2017 National History Day theme.

National History Day is a program for students in grade six-12 that encourages exploration of local, state, national and world history.

For more information, visit: www.historydayct.org
***Press Release***



The Jewish Communities of Greater Stamford

This publication presents a broad historical view of the Jewish people of Stamford, Darien, and New Canaan, Connecticut and Pound Ridge, New York from the era just prior to the American Revolution to the 1900s.


An American Jewish Community 50 Years, 1889-1939: The Sociology of the Jewish Community in Stamford, CT.

This book, authored by Samuel Koenig, Ph.D., offers a unique study documenting the Jewish community of Stamford from 1889 to 1939.

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The Jewish Historical Society of Fairfield County is a recipient agency of
United Jewish Federation of Greater Stamford, New Canaan and Darien.

©2014 Jewish Historical Society of Fairfield County