Thousands Attend High Holiday Services

Continuing in the tradition of past years, this year’s High Holiday services were exceptionally well-attended, with over 5,000 in attendance at several services in nine locations in the Toronto area, including Concord, Maple, four locations in Thornhill, and three in Toronto. Thank you to all those who purchased tickets, which helps with the organizing of the services and to offset the costs. And special thanks to all the JRCC staff and volunteers who helped make the experience meaningful and enjoyable for so many. May we all be insribed and sealed for a good and sweet year!

Know Your Machzor

Ever feel a bit lost during the High Holiday services? Those seeking to enhace their Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur experience were treated to special preparatory classes that helped people become familiar with the Machzor, the special High Holiday prayerbook. The classes took place at both the JRCC West Thornhill and East Thornhill branches. “I used to open the Machzor in bewilderment and become lost,” explains Micheal, who joined one of the classes. “This year, I was actually able to use the Machzor as a guidebook to help me find a way to connect and make my time in the synagogue much more meaningful.”


In honor of the 18th of Elul, known as Chai Elul, the JRCC S Richmond Hill & Maple hosted a community-wide farbrengen, a Chassidic gathering. The celebration was led by Rabbi Yitzchak Rappaport, who weaved a mixture of mystical insights with stories and life lessons gleaned from Chassidim of old and life in the FSU. Chai Elul marks the birthdays of two holy sages: The Baal Shem Tov, founder of the Chassidic movement, and the Alter Rebbe, Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi, the founder of Chabad.

Pre-Rosh Hashana Challah Baking

Hundreds of women gathered together at all the JRCC branches in advance of Rosh Hashana on September 10th to bake special round Challahs together for the New Year. According to Jewish tradition, when a group of women gathers to partake in this sacred tradition as one, it opens up the heavenly gates to their prayers, and draws blessing for the entire community – and it is a moving and powerful experience for those who participate. At the JRCC S Richmond Hill and Maple alone over 200 women participated and prayed for their families and friends, including one seriously ill members of the community.

Rosh Hashana

Fair Dozens of children enjoyed a Rosh Hashana Fair at the new JRCC East Thornhill Community Centre on Yonge Street in Old Thornhill. The event featired a Honey Bee Workshop, where children were able to explore the fascinating inner world of the honey bee and how it produces honey, as well as holiday themed arts and crafts, challah baking, and more.