March 2013 News



Students attending the JRCC Hebrew School, children from the JRCC Preschool & Daycare, 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. 



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 — Rabbi Yisroel Karpilovksy at the JRCC @ Rockford, Rabbi Avremel Zaltzman at the JRCC S Richmond Hill & Maple, and two separate classes by Rabbi Levi Jacobson and Nechama Dina Jacobson at the JRCC West Thornhill. 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. 



To assist with Passover preparations, several JRCC branches organized community Friday night Shabbat dinners. Having the dinner at the branch allowed people to enjoy a relaxing Shabbat experience without worrying about how the celebration of Shabbat would affect their Passover cleaning and plans. It was a great excuse to get together and have a great time, and the JRCC @ Rockford, West Thornhill and East Thornhill branches all hosted pre-Passover communal Shabbat dinners.



Thanks to JRCC staff and volunteers, and in some cases the local mailman, 15,000 households in the GTA and beyond received a hand-baked Shmurah Matzah package from the JRCC. “Hand-made Shmurah Matzah is known in Jewish tradition as the ‘bread of faith’ and ‘the bread of healing,’” explains Rabbi Mendel Zaltzman, who helped coordinate the massive effort. “At this time of year, we want to make sure every individual in our community has the opportunity to experience this special mitzvah of matzah, and we wanted to wish everyone a year of good health, physically and spiritually.”
Many thanks to all the staff, volunteers, community members and supporters who made this campaign a success.


Over 700 people attended Community Passover Seders organized by the Jewish Russian Community Centre in 12 locations throughout the Greater Toronto Area and Southern Ontario on March 25 and 26, including the new JRCC South Thornhill branch, and a special Seder in conjunction with Chabad of Niagara for the first time. 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 JRCC Summer camp, now in its fourth year, is an unforgettable experience that mixes classic Ontario camping and outdoor adventure with Jewish education and friendship. Campers experience all the fun and adventure of summer camp, including beautiful natural settings, swimming, campfires. At the same time it is a distinctly Jewish camp where campers will meet Jewish friends and learn about Judaism through hands-on Jewish activities. And all of this is provided with comfortable accommodations and healthy meals. This summer’s program will benefit from new grounds at Burks Falls, Ontario, featuring a large dining room, a private lake for swimming and boating, and new, air conditioned bunk houses.
“I’ve been going to the JRCC summer camp for the last two years, and I hope next year I can be a CIT and then a counselor after that,” says Ilana. “I’ve made such good friends here - they are like sisters to me. We get together throughout the year and look forward to the summer camp time where we have the best time ever - laughing, playing and having fun all week long.”
The Summer Camp includes two separate one-week programs catering to the unique interests and needs of boys and girls ages 10-13, with the addition of a Counsellor in Training program for 14-15 year olds. CIT participants join camp activities and serve as assistants to the staff, and their work at the camp counts toward their High School community service credits.
The girls program runs from August 19 to 25, while the boys program runs August 26 to September 1. A 15% early-bird discount applies to those who register before April 30. For more information and registration contact Zalman or Tamar Shuchat at 416.222.7105 x238 or visit