February, 2015

One Shabbat, One World

As part of the annual international “One Shabbat, One World” event, the JRCC branches, along with 1,000 communities across the globe, hosted Friday night Community Dinners at seven locations on January 30. The events were part of the worldwide initiative to celebrate one Shabbat to unite the world, to bring the long awaited redemption for all mankind. In all, over 500 people attended the engaging events to enjoy hot food, a warm atmosphere and fascinating discussions about the Messianic era and its significance in Jewish life. The festivities also coincide with the anniversary of the passing of the Rebbe Yosef Yitzchak Schneerson, the predecessor of the Rebbe, the 10th of Shvat, as well as the day the Rebbe formally accepted the mantle of leadership one year later. More than any other Jewish leaders in history, they emphasized that attaining the coming of Moshiach is within reach and dependent on the efforts of every individual man, woman and child.

Tu Bishvat Parties

The JRCC community celebrated the New Year for Trees with a series of  programs and events exploring the meaning of nature and food, and their spiritual significance in our lives. The JRCC @ Rockford held a tasting and learning session called “The Kabbala of Fruit,” in which participants enjoyed the  sweet fruits of the Land of Israel, but also learned that there’s much more to fruit than just eating. The JRCC East Thornhill hosted a unique program where participants enjoyed a selection of tropical fruits and a chocolate fountain, while exploring the spiritual significance of food based on Chassidic teachings. The JRCC S Richmond Hill & Maple organized and evening of inspiration and fun, with fruit platters and lively discussion. 

Kiddie Chefs, Tu B’Shvat Edition

In preparation for Tu B’Shvat, Children ages three to eight were invited to come with their parents to prepare fruity treats and do holiday-themed crafts together at the JRCC S Richmond Hill & Maple and the JRCC East Thornhill. The Kiddie Chefs program focuses on Jewish baking, baking traditional challahs or treats, and enjoying a fun Jewish-themed craft. It’s hands-on learning at its best, and its tastiest!

The Tanya Revolution

Tanya classes have become in strong demand in the community. “Tanya is a  revolutionary book,” explains Rabbi Yoseph Y. Zaltzman, JRCC senior rabbi. “It makes the profound wisdom necessary to live a fulfilling Jewish spiritual life  easily accessible to everyone.” Rabbi Zaltzman himself is currently teaching three Tanya classes each week: Sunday evenings at the JRCC West Thornhill, Monday evenings at the JRCC Concord, and Thursday evenings at the JRCC S Richmond Hill & Maple. There is also a Tanya class every Sunday morning 10:30am with Rabbi Levi Jacobson at JRCC West Thornhill. These are part of the diverse selection of classes on various topics happening every week. Visit jrcc.org/ijs to learn more. You can also study Tanya online via text, audio and video classes at jrcc.org/tanya.

Passover Coming Soon

This year, Passover falls on April 3-11, 2015. The JRCC offers various programs and services to assist in preparing for and celebrating the Festival of Freedom. It is prohibited to have leavened food (chometz) in one’s possession during Passover. The practical solution is to store it away for the duration of the holiday, and “sell” it to a non-Jew, a process which is carried out by the local rabbinical authority. You can sell your chometz through the JRCC office, the JRCC website, or using the form on page ??. Another aspect of Passover is the mitzvah to eat matzah, with hand-made Shmura Matzah being the best option, especially for the Seders. The JRCC has a selection of hand made Shmurah Matzah available for sale through the office. The JRCC also hosts Communal Passover Seders in several location for both Seder nights. See the back page for details. In addition, there are several workshops where you can learn about how to prepare for Passover and how to conduct a Seder at home. Visit jrcc.org/ijs for details.