September 2011 News


Kids Cook Up a Storm

Children ages three to eight were invited to come with their parents to bake together and create a beautiful honey dish in honour of Rosh Hashanah! The events were held simultaneously at the JRCC Thornhill Woods, East Thornhill and S Richmond Hill. All of the events focused on holiday-related baking, with some baking the traditional round challahs used for the New Year, while others made honey-cake cupcakes, which is also a high holiday custom. The events were part of a new creative and interactive cooking program for kids called Kiddie Chefs, which combines baking with arts & crafts in a fun-filled evening program. Children are much more engaged and open when they are involved with a satisfying and enjoyable activity that accompanies the learning. And it’s fun.

>>> Photos @ East Thornhill
@ S Richmond Hill

Call of the Shofar

The JRCC’s signature pre Rosh Hashana event is the Women League’s Call of the Shofar event, which drew approximately 250 people for an evening of community warmth and inspiration. This year’s event, held on September 18, featured Rabbi Danny Cohen, the Rebbe’s emissary in Hevron, as the inspiring keynote speaker. Rabbi Cohen shared the thrills and chills of living on the front lines of Jewish history – past, present and future. It was an informative and inspiring evening that demonstrated the power of conviction and perseverance against all odds in restoring our Biblical homeland. If you missed it, or if you want to watch it again, you can catch it on The evening also featured musical entertainment and a dessert reception. The JRCC Women’s League thanks all the staff and volunteers who made this event possible, and a special thanks to all those in attendance for making it a beautiful evening for everyone.

>>> Photos 


Challah Baking for Women

In preparation for Rosh Hashana, dozens of Jewish women gathered in five different to bake Challah together. In addition to the shared friendship, they learned how to make round Challah that are customary for Rosh Hashana, as well as other Rosh Hashana foods. In Jewish tradition, when a group of women gather together to prepare Challah, the gates of Heaven open up to receive their prayers. So imagine how open the gates were when five groups of women gather together at the same time! Women came to ask for blessings for the ill, people seeking their soulmates, those in need of livelihood. Ultimately, the overarching prayer was for the coming of Moshiach, which will herald a time of peace and prosperity for all humanity.

>>> Photos @ East Thornhill


Thousands Expected to Attend High Holiday Services

Continuing in the tradition of past years, this year’s High Holiday services are expected to be exceptionally well-attended. Based on advance ticket sales and general interest, over 3,000 in attendance at several services in seven locations in the Toronto area, including Thornhill, Thornhill Woods, Concord, North York and Richmond Hill. In addition to the large number of people in attendance, community members also purchased a record number of High Holiday tickets, which is much appreciated since it helps the JRCC offset the costs of running the services. The rabbis and volunteers at the various locations accommodated them with thoughtful commentary and guidance during the services, prayerbooks in Hebrew, Russian and English, and an overall atmosphere of warmth, encouragement and acceptance.


Pre-High Holiday Classes

In preparation for the High Holidays, the JRCC hosted several courses and workshops helped prepare people for the momentous High Holiday experience. The services on Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur can be overwhelming, even for those to whom they are familiar. The goal of the courses was to increase our understanding of the holiday prayers, resulting in a more personal and meaningful experience on the holiday itself. The JRCC West Thornhill hosted a two part series that gave an overview of the holiday services and songs and provided insights into several of the central prayers. The two parts of the course were delivered by Mrs. Nechama Dina and Rabbi Levi Jacobson respectively. Rabbi Chaim Hildeshaim provided insights into the holiday prayers in a course delivered at the JRCC West Thornhill.