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Community Channel: Rosh Hashana shofar factory coming to town; Annual church tag sale this weekend

August 17, 2018

Rosh Hashana shofar factory coming to townThe new Westport/Weston Hebrew after-school program presents an event for the entire family, called make-your-own shofar. The event will take place Sept. 4 from 4 to 5 p.m. at the Norfield Grange, 12 Good Hill Road in Weston, and is open to all. Freida Hecht is director of the program.The cost is $10 per child. Participants will saw, sand, drill and go home with their own rams’ horn — called shofar in Hebrew — in time for the Rosh Hashanah holiday that begins Sept. 9.The Jewish culture after-school program features the Aleph Champ Hebrew reading and writing program and a hands-on learning approach with children learning about Jewish history, traditions, holidays, Israel and more through games, drama, arts and crafts and baking. The school offers a bar/bat mitzvah preparation and celebrations.New for this year is the B’nai Mitzvah Division for sixth- and seventh-grade students preparing for their bar/bat mitzvahs, which will include a Jewish Discovery Course, Social Action Opportunities and Stump the Rabbi discussions.The program is open to kindergartners through seventh-grade and meets on Tuesdays from 4 to 5:30 p.m. at the Norfield Grange. All are welcome, regardless of affiliation, level of observance, or prior knowledge. For registration and information, call 203-493-6505, email westonhebrewschool@gmail.com or visit www.westonhebrewschool.org.Annual church tag sale this weekendThe Unitarian Church in Westport is hosting its annual tag sale on Aug. 18 from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at their award-winning, Victor Lundy designed church at 10 Lyons Plains Road in Westport.Dozens of families contribute the thousands of items offered for sale at bargain prices. Items include furniture, clothing, books and CDs, artwork, garden and workshop tools, toys and games, kitchen supplies, glassware, linens, carpets and more.Families from neighboring towns go to find affordable home furnishings, as does the Connecticut Institute for Refugees and Immigrants, which settles refugee families and assists their transition to becoming self-sufficient, integrated and contributing members of the community. This tag sale provides furnishings for their first homes.The church also has a long-standing relationship with the Beardsley Elementary School and the Mercy Learning Center in Bridgeport. For Beardsley, it supplies classroom supplies, field trip money, tutors and mentors. At Mercy, volunteers offer their time tutoring mothers on their English and math skills.The indoor sale is one day only, with an early bird preview at 8 a.m. for a $10 fee. Contact Lynda Shannon at blueslyn@gmail.com.Walk Bridge program uncovers ancient fortAn archaeological investigation associated with the state Department of Transportation’s Walk Bridge Program in Norwalk recently uncovered a Contact Period Native American fort site, along with several thousand artifacts of varying age. The site is on top of a 3,000-year-old site, indicating Native American use of this area for many generations before the arrival of European traders and settlers.This discovery is a result of the Walk Bridge Program’s conducting preliminary archaeological surveys during the Environmental Assessment/Environmental Impact Evaluation. These surveys revealed the possibility of historically significant sites within the program’s work area, and further investigation revealed remnants of the pre-Contact and Contact Period fort. Contact Period refers to the period when Europeans first began coming in contact with Native Americans, generally understood to be 1500 to 1700.“This is a highly significant discovery that represents some of the only real information we have on Native Americans in present-day Norwalk,” said Dr. Ross K. Harper, senior historic archaeologist for Archaeological and Historical Services, Inc., the Connecticut-based cultural resources firm completing the archaeological recovery effort. “Sites like this one are very rare. Fewer than a half-dozen have been discovered in Connecticut and Long Island Sound combined. Were it not for the Department of Transportation and the Walk Bridge Program, we may have lost this important opportunity to deepen our understanding of these people and their role in Connecticut history.”The fort is believed to have been used primarily for trade between Native Americans and early Dutch settlers somewhere between 1615 and 1640 and is eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places. Artifacts uncovered from this time period include wampum, glass and copper beads, stone arrow points, European flint, and iron trade tools. Artifacts from the pre-Contact Period include an Orient fishtail point and a Lamoka point. No evidence of human remains or characteristics of a human burial has been found.Following consultation with the Federal Transit Administration, State Historic Preservation Office, and federally recognized Native American tribes, the Department of Transportation will complete the removal and the site. Artifacts will be conserved and analyzed to develop and present an understanding of what occurred at the site. This area is an active construction site, and the public is asked to refrain from trespassing for their own safety and for the preservation of the archaeological site.

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