The Shmooze

9 Killed in Shooting at Jewish-Owned Beer Distributor

By Michael Kaminer

  • Print
  • Share Share

The Connecticut company that was the site of a horrific workplace shooting yesterday is owned by a prominent Jewish family with a long history of charitable giving, according to the The New York Times. Hartford Distributors, one of Connecticut’s largest distributors of beer and wine, was founded in 1944 and bought soon after that by Jules Hollander, “a World War II veteran who served as the company’s chairman,” the Times reported. His son and grandsons continue to run the company; Steve Hollander, a grandson, was wounded in the shooting by a disgruntled employee at the company’s warehouse in Manchester, Conn.

The family’s been a fixture in local philanthropic circles for decades, according to the article, giving to area hospitals, libraries, business leagues and Jewish community groups. “There are a lot of people you meet in this world that have been really lucky and don’t give back the way this family does,” Cathrine Fischer Schwartz, chief executive of the Jewish Federation of Greater Hartford, told the Times. Ross Hollander has served as a board member there.

The family is the primary benefactor of the Hollander Aquatics Center at Hartford’s Mandell Jewish Community Center “and a contributor to a long list of other Jewish and secular causes in the area,” according to the Hartford Courant. “In 1994, the family donated a life-size bronze statue of Mark Twain to the city of Hartford. At first the statue was displayed outside the Hartford Public Library, then moved to storage during the library’s renovation. When the city couldn’t afford to move it back, the Hollanders said they would pay for it.”

That dedication to giving was instilled by its patriarch, the paper notes. Indeed, a 2001 Hartford Courant obituary for Jules Hollander noted that he was “active in, among other groups, Congregation Beth Israel, the Greater Hartford Jewish Federation, the Greater Hartford Jewish Community Center and the Simon Wiesenthal Institute.” Hollander the elder also headed the Greater Hartford Convention and Visitors Bureau and was a director of Hartford Hospital, the obit said.

While police are still piecing together clues, Omar S. Thornton, the 34-year-old Hartford Distributors employee who killed eight co-workers Tuesday before turning the gun on himself, had complained about racial harassment at work, the Times reported.


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: TImes, Ross Hollander, Philanthropic, Hartford, Connecticut, Beer

The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.




Find us on Facebook!
  • "You wouldn’t send someone for a math test without teaching them math." Why is sex ed still so taboo among religious Jews?
  • Russia's playing the "Jew card"...again.
  • "Israel should deal with this discrimination against Americans on its own merits... not simply as a bargaining chip for easy entry to the U.S." Do you agree?
  • For Moroccan Jews, the end of Passover means Mimouna. Terbhou ou Tse'dou! (good luck) How do you celebrate?
  • Calling all Marx Brothers fans!
  • What's it like to run the Palestine International Marathon as a Jew?
  • Does Israel have a racism problem?
  • This 007 hates guns, drives a Prius, and oh yeah — goes to shul with Scarlett Johansson's dad.
  • Meet Alvin Wong. He's the happiest man in America — and an observant Jew. The key to happiness? "Humility."
  • "My first bra was a training bra, a sports bra that gave the illusion of a flat chest."
  • "If the people of Rwanda can heal their broken hearts and accept the Other as human, so can we."
  • Aribert Heim, the "Butcher of Mauthausen," died a free man. How did he escape justice?
  • This guy skipped out on seder at his mom's and won a $1 million in a poker tournament. Worth it?
  • Sigal Samuel's family amulet isn't just rumored to have magical powers. It's also a symbol of how Jewish and Indian rituals became intertwined over the centuries. http://jd.fo/a3BvD Only three days left to submit! Tell us the story of your family's Jewish heirloom.
  • British Jews are having their 'Open Hillel' moment. Do you think Israel advocacy on campus runs the risk of excluding some Jewish students?
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.