JTConnect Welcomes Lauren Benthien as New President of Board of Directors

JTConnect announced at their annual meeting the appointment of Lauren Benthien as the new President of the Board of Directors.  

“I am enthusiastic about the opportunity to work with our Executive Director, Eric Maurer, our dedicated board and our area partners, to continue to support outstanding Jewish teen learning in the Greater Hartford community,” said Lauren Benthien.  

Lauren is currently the Director of Development at Congregation Beth Israel, and previously the Director of Youth Education at CBI, where her family has belonged for over twenty years.  She has been involved in various volunteer roles at CBI as well, including in the religious school and young families leadership and social action programs. Prior to her work at CBI, Lauren taught grades 7-12 Social Studies and spent some years as a stay at home parent. She is a certified secondary school teacher, has completed two Masters degrees in both Education and American History.  Immediately following her undergraduate years at the University of Pennsylvania, Lauren was a teacher in rural Arkansas as a member of Teach For America.  

In her spare time, Lauren enjoys spending time with her family and, in the summer, enjoying Martha’s Vineyard. Lauren has lived in West Hartford for 22 years with her husband, Ross, and their four children, Alex (23), Samantha (21), Jacob (18) and Allison (15). 

“With a lifelong commitment to education and Jewish community, Lauren’s passion and expertise will bring a new vision to JTConnect as we continue to grow and expand our impact in the community,” said JTConnect Executive Director Eric Maurer.  “In recent years JTConnect has experienced great success diversifying our program offerings and growing the number of teens who participate in our hands-on programming that includes classroom study, volunteer projects and community events.  Through the pandemic JTConnect remained passionately committed to working with our teens and thrived despite the anticipated challenges.  As we reemerge from this past year, I am excited for Lauren’s leadership as we think strategically and creatively on how to best engage and inspire teens in our community.”  

Serving three years on the Board as chair of the education committee under the outstanding leadership of Mark Berkowitz and Ben Wexler, Lauren will succeed Ben Wexler as President.  Wexler has led the organization the past two years and served on the board the past eight years.  Wexler will continue to serve on the JTConnect board as chairperson. “I could not be more proud of the growth and impact that JTConnect has had in the Greater Hartford Jewish Community, says Ben Wexler. “I am incredibly excited for Lauren to step up as the new President of JTConnect.  Lauren will continue to ensure the meaningful programming that our teens and families expect, strengthen the relationships with our partner synagogues, agencies and stakeholders and  will work tirelessly to create opportunities to impact the lives of more Jewish teens in the Greater Hartford area.”  

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