April 2013 News


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.
One might ask, what is the point of eating an actual, physical meal that relates to the subject of Moshiach? This festive meal causes the image and the feeling of the future Redemption to penetrate not only all the faculties of a person's soul, including his capacity for action, but his physical body as well — by means of the physical food that becomes part of his very flesh and blood. Partaking of this festive meal is intended to draw down the radiance of Moshiach into every aspect of one's daily life throughout the year.
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. 


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. The custom usually involved a key - according to some versions the key is baked into the challah, some pierce the challah with a key, and some bake a challah shaped like a key. They “key” connection is that the channel from which heavenly blessings flow is often referred to as a gate - such as, the gates of mercy, the gates of healing, the gates of forgiveness, the gates of wealth, etc. Since we are asking that the gates of blessings be open, we symbolically connect a key to the custom, as if to say that this challah will serve as a key to open the gates of blessings for the Jewish people.


Close to 5,000 people are expected on North York’s Earl Bales Park for on April 28 for the annual Lag B’Omer celebrations. Since Lag BaOmer is going to fall out on Sunday this year, this allows for a much larger-scale, full-day event and for more people to attend. The day is going to be expanded to a complete Jewish Family Festival that is co-hosted together with Chabad organizations from across the GTA. The chief organizers of the event Chabad-Lubavitch of Ontario, the JRCC and Tzivos Hashem Canada, with participation from Chabad organizations and centers from across the GTA, including the newly-formed JToronto, an online matchmaking service co-founded by the JRCC.
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 that will be, with hundreds of people involved in fun activities and spending quality time with their families and each other. The event is to launch with a performance by acclaimed Jewish pop-rock band 8th Day. As the festive music played throughout the park, people will enjoy the various attractions, including a fair with rides, a hot air balloon, a barbecue and treats, face painting, and other activities.
A children’s rally and Walk for Jewish Education will feature students from many local schools, including the JRCC’s Daycare, Hebrew School and Kids Club. The children will demonstrate their Jewish knowledge and pride, and several prizes will be given out. And, of course, no Lag BaOmer festivity would be complete without a giant bonfire in the evening.


Toward evening, the bonfire wil become the focal point, with people gathering around, playing music, singing, and roasting potatoes and marshmallows on the open fire. As the night will fall, hundreds of students and young adults from across the city will converge on the scene to participate in the Gen J Kumzitz, in coordination with several student groups and organizations. Live music and a barbecue dinner are the main attractions, but as always the most memorable part of the evening is the opportunity to gather and “chill” with friends, and make some new ones. An occasion and celebration not to be missed!




An exciting new Jewish startup incubator project is being launched in Toronto by leading community organizations and leading professionals. The York Entrepreneurship Development Institute (YEDI) is a new non-profit organization being incorporated by Dr. Marat Ressin to incubate new, exciting and relevant small businesses and non-profits and help them grow to become efficient, productive and profitable for Canada and her citizens.
In partnership with the Schulich School of Business at York University, the Jewish Russian Community Centre of Ontario, 3V Communications and PresenTense, YEDI will run three business accelerator tracks, starting in September 2013.
YEDI is seeking applicants for an exciting Program Director position for its new startup incubator program. The Program Director is a part-time contract position (about 25 hours/week) working alongside a team of internationally accredited professionals and educators, and reporting directly to Dr. Ressin. The Program Director will be responsible for for implementing the accelerator programs, including the following: Recruiting and overseeing admissions process for entrepreneurs; managing and communicating with partners and volunteer mentors; executing programming, events, seminars and meetings, maintaining ongoing communication with all stakeholders; and overseeing program evaluation process, among other duties.

Preferred Experience:
• 1-2 years of professional experience, preferably at a start-up;
• Event coordination and planning;
• Administration and Logistics;
• Client relations;
• Sales and Development;
• Marketing and Social Media

Required Traits:
• A passion for networking and connecting;
• A near neurotic need to ensure order, process, operations and logistics;
• Self-motivated and independently driven;
• Interest in entrepreneurship and start-up businesses;

• Adaptable, honest, confident and enthusiastic
This is an amazing opportunity for anyone interested in business development, community development and entrepreneurship education.
Interested candidates should send their resume, along with a cover letter explaining their interest and qualifications, to: jrcc@jrcc.org.