MARCH 2015 

Purim at Mount Sinai

On Thursday, March 5, about 700 people joined the JRCC’s annual Grand Purim Banquet, “Purim at Mount Sinai.” The decor, cuisine, and costumes all took on a desert theme, which connected the Purim celebration with the dedication of a new Torah scroll. The Torah was dedicated by Mr. Arye Leib Kaushansky and the entire community in honor of his recently departed wife, Nechama Leah obm, and two of his children, Refael obm and Chaya Mushka obm, who passed away tragically in the past year. As a way of transforming sorrow into joy and darkness into light, the new Torah scroll wil serve as an eternal legacy for the family. In addition to the Torah celebration, accompanied by live music and dancing, the evening featured various entertainment for adults and children, highlighted by Ed the Juggler and John Park, the famous comedy entertainer. It was a truly memorable evening with a real carnival atmosphere. Special thanks to Rabbi Shua Chanowitz, the JRCC’s new Holiday Programs Coordinator, who organized the event, and to GSR Photography for the great pictures, which can be viewed at

Mishloach Manot Distribution

Thanks to the extraordinary efforts of staff and volunteers, close to 3,000 festive Purim “Mishloach Manot” gift packages were delivered to homes in the JRCC West Thornhill and East Thornhil areas. The community participation in delivering the gifts, and the festive atmosphere and joy it spreads, made it an enjoyable and meaningful community activity.

Kiddie Chefs, Purim Edition

Children ages three to eight were invited to come with their parents to bake together and create beautiful crafts. For Purim, some special activities were added to the mix. At the JRCC East Thornhill participants made their own aprons, baked hamantashen from scratch, and made their own Purim graggers (noisemakers).

Community Purim Parties

Over 1,500 people participated in Community Purim parties at JRCC Branches, with hundreds more participating in special parties for seniors at several seniors residences. The JRCC @ Rockford held its annual Purim festival, featuring a Magical Magic Show, live music and various art projects and activities for kids. The JRCC West Thornhill held a family party featuring a fascinating and unique “Bubbleology” Show and other entertainment and great food in a festive atmosphere. The JRCC East and South Thornhill organized a joint Purim event at the Yorkhill Public School featuring an interactive Bird Show and different booths with fun, Purim-related activities. The JRCC S Richmond Hill & Maple held its Purim party at the Nellie McClung Public School, featuring a Magic Show, Purim art and crafts, and other activities. The JRCC Concord held a Purim party at its location in at 411 Confederate Parkway. All the parties included Megillah readings and masquerades, delicious Purim refreshments, and gifts and prizes for the children.

Passover Preparations

As this issue of Exodus goes to print, Passover is just around the corner and preparations have hit fill steam. Chairs, tables and food orders are beings organized for Passover Seders at 11 different locations throughout the GTA. Rabbis are preparing the words of wisdom and inspiration they will share at the Seders and throughout the holidays. Matzahs are being delivered by volunteers and Canada Post to thousands of homes throughout the community. The JRCC office and website are facilitating the sale of Chometz and the purchase of matzahs. Several pre-Passover workshops are being conducted to help those who are planning their own Seders. Yes, attaining freedom is hard work. Tune in next month for detailed reports on all Passover events and activities.