April 2012 News


Hands-On Passover Experience

Students attending the JRCC Hebrew School and participants from different JRCC Branches were treated to a hands-on programs that enabled them to experience Passover related activities first hand. Students took a special field trip to the Children’s Matzah Bakery. The children were able to learn how matzah is made, from the grinding of the wheat into flour to the baking of the matzah in 18 minutes “flat”. They even got to don their own baker hats and take rolling pins to the dough to make their own matzahs.


How to Passover

For dozens of people who attended the JRCC’s pre-Passover workshop, it was a valuable learning opportunity that they just couldn’t, um, pass over. A whole slew of preparatory Passover classes were hosted this year by each of the JRCC rabbis in their respective neighbourhoods. In addition to insightful classes highlighting the meaning and inner significance of Passover, several classes placed particular focus on the practical aspects of celebrating Passover, with workshops demonstrating how to conduct an enjoyable Seder at home. 

Over 700 People Attend JRCC Passover Seders

Over 700 people attended Community Passover Seders organized by the Jewish Russian Community Centre in 8 locations throughout the Greater Toronto Area on April 6 and 7. The Seders provided people with the opportunity to experience a traditional Seder in a warm and welcoming environment with family and friends. The insightful guidance and explanations of the presiding rabbis enriched the Seder with added meaning and depth, while the camaraderie and singing enhanced the jubilant holiday atmosphere.
Dozens more families were able to make traditional Seders at home - many for the first time - thanks to the assistance and instruction of JRCC staff and rabbis. Special Seders were also organized by volunteers for youth and seniors. 

The Feast of Moshiach

The last day of Passover is particularly associated with Moshiach and the future redemption. The Haftarah (reading from the Prophets) for this day is from Isaiah 11, which describes the promised future era of universal peace and divine perfection. Rabbi Israel Baal Shem Tov, founder of the Chassidic movement, instituted the custom of partaking of a "Moshiach's Feast" on the afternoon of the last day of Passover; in addition to the matzah eaten at "Moshiach's Feast", the Rebbes of Chabad added the custom of drinking four cups of wine, as in the Seder held on Passover's first days. Each JRCC branch conducted its own Moshiach Feast toward evening at the conclusion of Passover. Heartfelt songs and words of inspiration focused on the dream of the imminent redemption and the coming of Moshiach.

The Power of the Jewish Woman

A special evening was hosted in honor of the birthday of the Rebbetzin Chaya Mushka Schneerson, wife of the Rebbe, at the home of Tonya Levit. Women enjoyed refreshments and an evening of inspiration led by special guest speaker Mrs. Tsyrl Turen, Director of a Jewish Girls High School in Chicago. The uplifting talk focused on the power of the Jewish woman to be a leader in her community and in her home, and advice on dealing with various issues connected with raising and educating children.

Post-Passover Challah Baking

A tradition of communal challah baking following Passover, known as Shissel Challah, was celebrated simultaneously in five locations last month. Though communal Challah baking sessions are organized throughout the year, and are a tremendous source communal blessing for those in need, the post-Passover challah baking is known to be especially auspicious for eliciting healing energy and sustenance. As always, participants enjoyed the community experience, and were amazed at how easy it is to bake delicious, fresh home-made Challah.