May 2012 News


Annual Lag B’Omer Family Picnic at Earl Bales

Close to 1,500 people converged on North York’s Earl Bales Park for on May 10 for the JRCC’s annual Lag B’Omer Family Picnic. Lag B’Omer celebrates the life of the first century Talmudic Sage and mystic Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai, author of the Zohar, who is held as an example of Jewish pride and brotherly love.

It is difficult to describe the jubilant, festive atmosphere of the day, with hundreds of people involved in fun activities and spending quality time with their families and each other. As the festive music played throughout the park, Doo-Doo the Clown roamed the grounds making animal-shaped balloons for the kids. Lines formed in front of the various attractions, including the barbecue and cotton candy, face painting, and a moonbounce ride. The staff from Sports with Jay provided a lively and entertaining interactive sports area, where both children and adults competed for prizes and bragging rights. Fun picnic games, including potato sack races, hoola hoops, tug of war and parachute were intermingled with more traditional ball sports like soccer and baseball to provide a wide array of sporting activities all afternoon.

A children’s rally and a parade featured the children from the JRCC’s Daycare, Hebrew School and Kids Club, along with any children who wished to participate. The children demonstrated their Jewish knowledge and pride, and several prizes were given out.

Toward evening, the bonfire became the focal point, with people gathering around, playing music, singing, and roasting potatoes and marshmallows on the open fire. As night came, hundreds of students and young adults from across the city converged on the scene

to participate in the Gen J Kumzitz, in coordination with several student groups and organizations. Live music and a barbecue dinner were the main attractions, but as always the most memorable part of the evening was the opportunity to gather and “chill” with friends, and make some new ones.

The JRCC would like to thank all the staff and volunteers who came together to organize this year’s events and making it a day to remember.



Hundreds of children and adults attended the annual reading of the Ten Commandments on Shavuot at the various JRCC community synagogues on Sunday, May 27. The children were treated to the now famous Shavuot Ice Cream Party, while the adults enjoyed words of wisdom while celebrating the receiving of the Torah at Mt. Sinai over 3,000 years ago, along with a light buffet. On Saturday night, mass insomnia hit as several dozen people turned up for the traditional all night learning sessions, joining classes on various topics and ask the rabbi sessions, delving into Jewish teachings until the break of dawn.


Women’s Events

Last month, the JRCC @ Rockford and the JRCC S Richmond Hill each hosted an enjoyable and inspiring evening for women featuring a flower arranging workshop with Lily, as well as chocolate fondu with seasonal fruits, and a pre-Shavuot cheesecake tasting. Participants discussed the approaching holiday of Shavuot, it relevance to modern-day life, and, of course, its connection to flowers and cheesecake.


Bat Mitzvah Club Shabbat Experience

On May 17-18, the JRCC S Richmond Hill hosted a special Shabbaton for participants in its Bat Mitzvah Club. After spending time together on outings and studying about Judaism, the girls were thrilled to have a unique Shabbat Experience together, enjoying traditional Shabbat services, meals and other activities.


In Memory of Meir Shlomo, OBM

A special evening was held on May 23 in honor of the third Yahrtzeit (anniversary of passing) of Meir Shlomo Zaltzman, of blessed memory. The evening included an inspiring gathering and farbrengen led by his loving parents, Rabbi Mendel and Mrs. Chanie Zaltzman, and the printing of a special edition of Tanya in his memory. A special community fund, the Meir Shlomo Simcha Gmach, was also launched during the course of the evening, and many participants pledge contributions to this unique fund (see page 16 for details).