December 2012 News


Chanukah 2012

Last month, the JRCC hosted over 30 Chanukah events for people of all ages throughout the GTA and beyond. There were special events for seniors and students, kids and families, and even celebrations for adults (without the kids). New this year were community Chanukah parties in Barrie and Waterloo. Below is a report on some of the highlights from this year:

Public Menorah Lighting

The JRCC’s annual Public Menorah Lighting was was held on the first night of Chanukah, Saturday evening, December 8. The event attracted over 300 community members, local residents, as well as a number of passers by who were curious about the festive event and the 16-foot tall candelabra in front of City Hall. Several dignitaries and public figures were in attendance, who honored the celebration and the community with their presence and their warm words. The evening featured live music, refreshments and a live fire show, but the highlight, of course, was the lighting of the giant public Menorah.

Chanukah Wonderland Carnival

The tenth 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 East Thornhill hosted a Chanukah Cafe evening, where participants were treated to a great atmosphere and inspiring Chanukah insights while enjoying a scrumptious dairy buffet, latkes and donuts and a Menorah lighting.

The JRCC S Richmond Hill hosted a Bistro Chanukah evening that was billed as “An Adult’s Night Out,” giving parents in the community the opportunity to get together and meet new friends in a relaxed setting while enjoying a dairy buffet.

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.

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 West Thornhill, East Thornhill and S Richmond Hill, children baked delicious chanukah treats from scratch, and constructed their own Chanukah-related craft.

Teen Limo Hop & Party

The JRCC Hebrew School and Bar Mitzvah Club teamed up to organize Chanukah Limo Hops in both East Thornhill and S Richmond Hill. A stretch limo carried them to different locations, with different Chanukah-related activities at each stop, including a Menorah lighting, games and refreshments. The JRCC Rockford Teen Scene program hosted a Dreidels, Drinks & Donuts Chanukah Party at its Youth Lounge, where fresh donuts were made on the spot, and participants could choose their own toppings while enjoying tasty non-alcoholic beverages.

Liberation Festival

The auspicious day of the 19th Kislev, which marks the liberation of Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi, founder of Chabad, from Czarist prison, was celebrated at the JRCC West Thornhill with a large gathering. Rabbi Faivish Dalfin, a noted lecturer and director of Chabad in North Bay Village, Florida, was invited as the special guest speaker for the occasion. Rabbi Dalfin lead an informative and spirited evening, sharing inspiring words about the revolutionary innovations of Chassidic teachings, and how they sparked (and continue to spark) a renaissance in the international Jewish community and the life of the individual.

Happy Anniversary

Rabbo Yoseph Y. and Chiena Zaltzman celebrate a special anniversary on the last night of Chanukah, as they celebrated 32 years since their arrival to Toronto as a young couple at the Rebbe’s bequest, to serve as his emissaries to the burgeoning Jewish Russian community of Ontario in 1980. The occasion was marked by a warm gathering in the Zaltzman home, where the light of the Menorah was a fitting metaphor for the light they have added to this community in over three decades of service. Mazal Tov!

A Taste of Things to Come
One Shabbat, One World

Shabbat is a Taste of the World to Come. As Maimonides writes: "And at that time there will be no hunger or war, no jealousy or rivalry. For the good will be plentiful, and all delicacies available as dust. The entire occupation of the world will be only to know God... the people Israel will be of great wisdom; they will perceive the esoteric truths and comprehend their Creator's wisdom as is the capacity of man. As it is written (Isaiah 11:9): ‘For the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of God, as the waters cover the sea.’”
So do the prophets and sages of Israel describe the Age of Redemption – the "seventh millennium" that will constitute the realization and fulfillment of six millennia of human history and endeavor.
Shabbat is our weekly taste of this future world. And as the Sages write, “If all Jews would observe one Shabbat, they would immediately be redeemed from exile.” So what better way to connect ourselves to the ideals of peace and unity than to celebrate Shabbat together – not just our community, but hundreds, perhaps thousands, of communities across the globe participate in the international One Shabbat One World weekend. The JRCC alone will host several events
“Since the beginning of the One Shabbat One World event, the JRCC jumped on board,” explains Rabbi Yoseph Y. Zaltzman, JRCC Senior Rabbi. “We loved the idea from the beginning because it brings together so many of the deepest ideals that we stand for: Unity, community, love, and the anticipation of the coming of Moshiach and an era of peace and prosperity for all humanity.”
For more information on the upcoming One Shabbat One World events, visit
If there is no event in your neighborhood, please contact the JRCC office at 416.222.7105 or [email protected] and we can arrange for a nearby family to host you for the event.
If you will be traveling but would still like to participate, contact the JRCC office and we will help you make arrangements.