December 2011 News

Chanukah 2011

With a flurry of activity over Chanukah, the JRCC hosted a variety of events, from kids programs to seniors’ activities and everything in between. In total, almost 2,000 people attended 30 events over the 8 days of Chanukah. See page 2 for a collage of event photos, and visit for even more pictures.


Public Menorah Lighting & Concert

The JRCC’s annual Public Menorah Lighting was an especially festive event this year as it included a special celebration of the JRCC’s 30 year anniversary. The 30 Years Celebration on December 20 featured the acclaimed “Jewish Song and Renaissance” performance by Broadway star Dudu Fisher. The concert was preceded by the public lighting of a giant Chanukah Menorah at Mel Lastman Square, which was attended by a number of community leaders and public dignitaries. The ceremony was sponsored in memory of Pavel Kharlip, and all proceeds will directly benefit the JRCC’s Summer and Winter Camps.


Chanukah Wonderland Carnival

The ninth annual JRCC Chanukah Wonderland Carnival brought a dizzying array of family activities to the CHAT campus in Richmond Hill to the delight of about 1,000 participants. Parents and children enjoyed an afternoon full of different holiday themed crafts and activities, including menorah making, donut cooking, an olive press demonstration, and Chanukah-themed rides, while live music played throughout the day. Children were also able to win prize tickets at various professionally constructed carnival booths and then redeem their tickets for toys and other prizes. Every hour featured a different show, including an ancient olive press demonstration, a master juggler, a clown show, and a children’s rally.


Community Chanukah Parties

Each JRCC branch held its own unique Chanukah party, complete with a menorah lighting and Chanukah refreshments like doughnuts and latkes.

The JRCC West Thornhill held a Wine & Cheese evening for adults that allowed people to mingle and socialize in a warm and friendly environment at the new center on Centre Street. The event featured Chanukah-themed party activities, and several bottles of fine wine were won by participants who succeeded in solving holiday riddles.

The JRCC Thornhill Woods’ Chanukah Café evening for adults at the Richmond Hill Country Club attracted over forty couples and some singles for an elegant evening featuring pasta and salads, desserts, as well as a menorah lighting, video presentation, and an interactive game show.

The JRCC S Richmond Hill began its Chanukah Café evening with a lighting of a giant outdoor Menorah and dozens of community members. Participants were then treated to a delectable dairy cuisine and warm atmosphere as old friends catch up and new ones meet.

The JRCC @ Rockford celebrated with a Melave Malka (post-Shabbat meal) with a Chanukah theme, great entertainment and a game show to break the ice and set the celebratory mood.

The JRCC East Thornhill served falafel and latkes at its post-Shabbat Chanukah party, where participants were treated to a great atmosphere and inspiring Chanukah insights.


Teen Chanukah Events

The JRCC S Richmond Hill Bar Mitzvah Club, and the JRCC @ Rockford Bar and Bat Mitzvah Club shosted a Chanukah parties for their participants and alumni, who each enjoyed a wonderful Chanukah experience.

Teens of the JRCC East Thornhill branch celebrated Chanukah with a “limo hop”. A stretch limo carried them to different stops, with a menorah lighting and chanukah gelt at one place, a Chanukah Taboo game with donuts at a second location, and a stop at King David Pizza for some latkes.  

Women’s Events

Last month, the JRCC Branches hosted a variety of interesting women’s events. The JRCC West Thornhill event featured a cooking demo of fine Jewish ciuisine with Dini Goldstein, who also shared her expertise in Shabbat decor. The demo was followed by an auction with several attractive prizes. At the JRCC East Thornhill, women enjoyed coffee, pastries and socializing while learning the art of candle-making. Each participant made and took home a handmade candle as a gift. The [email protected] hosted a Rosh Chodesh party featuring a live singing and guitar performance by Ariella Shteinberg.  At the JRCC S Richmond Hill, women were treated to a variety of gourmet coffees as they participated in making decorative bottles using oils. JRCC women’s events provide an opportunity for women to get together, share ideas, discuss issues that are important to them, cultivate a sense of community, and engage in a meaningful learning experience together.

>>> Photos of S Richmond Hill - Latkes & Lattes
>>> Photos of East Thornhill - Candle Making

What Do You Know?

The annual Jewish Trivia League at the JRCC @ Rockford last month drew its usual boisterous crowd of trivia buffs and curious onlookers. About 40 participants were divided into five teams that faced off in the best tradition of Russian competitive trivia, resulting in a unique blend of laughter and learning. It’s not too late to join for the upcoming session.


Living and Learning

Each week, hundreds of participants enjoy the wide selection of classes and lectures available at JRCC Branches. The classes are designed to be thought-provoking and enlightening, and cater to students at various levels of study, from beginner to advanced. The JRCC West Thornhill has recently implemented a drastic expansion of its adult education offerings, with a great variety of lectures and classes by Rabbi Levi and Mrs. Nechama Dina Jacobson, members of the community, and guest lecturers such as Rabbi Tzvi Freeman and Rabbi Yisroel Goldstein. For a detailed schedule visit


Kids Cook Up a Chanukah Storm

The JRCC offers a variety of unique and creative children’s programs. Among the most popular are the Kiddie Chefs events, which utilize the pleasure of culinary arts and other crafts to provide an enjoyable educational experience. Participants are treated to a hands on experience that celebrates the beauty and joy of jewish life, and learn how to bring the spirit of Shabbat and Jewish holidays into their homes. Last month, at the JRCC East Thornhill and S Richmond Hill, children made menorahs and delicious chanukah treats from scratch.

>>> Photos of Kiddie Chefs @ East Thornhill
>>> Photos of Kiddie Chefs @ S Richmond Hill