Explosion of Torah Learning

The JRCC’s IJS (Institute of Jewish Studies) fall-winter semester is off to a great start, with dozens of classes attracting hundreds of people to a variety of Jewish learning opportunities. In addition to the planned classes, courses, and lectures, there has been a spontaneous increase in Torah learning in our community, a grassroots movement spurred by growing interest from people of all backgrounds and interests. At the JRCC East Thornhill alone, dozens of people pledged to increase their Torah learning during Simchat Torah celebrations – with some joining either the Sunday morning study and breakfast program or the Tuesday night one-on-one study session, and some participating in other learning sessions available throughout the community, of which there is no shortage: There are a wide array of daily and weekly learning sessions, some of which are facilitated and organized by the JRCC, and many more than are popping up in living rooms and cafes around the city. “The Torah is not just a great source of inspiration and wisdom that guides us in living a meaningful life,” explains Rabbi Levi Jacobson, Dean of IJS English Programs and Director of the JRCC West Thornhill. “The Torah is also the secret of our survival and thriving as a people for centuries. So it’s an amazing thing that there is a an explosion of interest in Jewish learning, both formal and informal, happening in our community. It’s a sign of the tremendous strength and bright Jewish future of our community.” You can visit to learn more, or call your JRCC branch rabbi to discuss learning opportunities in your neighborhood.

Community Shabbat Dinners

On Friday evening, November 11, the JRCC branches in East Thornhill and West Thornhill each hosted a Friday night Community Shabbat Dinner. The evening, which was open to anyone, brought together dozens of regular community participants as well as many new
faces. The evening – filled with great food, good company, a friendly atmosphere, and of course the wonderful, uplifting tranquility of
Shabbat – was a great opportunity for families and people of all ages to spend time with friends, get to know new people, and connect with their community.

Shloimele’s Library Celebrates First Anniversary

Shloimele’s Library at the JRCC East Thornhill Community Centre on Yonge Street in Old Thornhill celebrated its first anniversary last month. The library, named in memory of Meir Shlomo Zaltzman OBM, offers various events and a lending library with a great selection of Jewish books for the whole family, with a special focus on children’s programs and books. The anniversary event, which took place on Shloimele’s birthday, included a story reading, followed by the creation of an edible art project based on characters from the story, and the selection of books to take home. The Library also introduced a new initiative where children participating in the weekly Hebrew School program, which takes place at the same location, get to check out a book after each session and exchange it for a different book each week.

Better than Ever Chanukah Wonderland

This year’s Chanukah Wonderland Family Carnival, to be held December 25, promises to be more spectacular than ever. As has been the case for the last few years, the event will be held at the SRC (Schwartz/Reisman Centre, the JCC north location at Bathurst and Weldrick). But for the first time, the SRC will join the JRCC’s Chanukah Wonderland, rather than holding its own Chanukah event. It is a great honor and an exciting opportunity to bring two events
and two segment of our community together, promoting greater unity in the Jewish community.