May 2014 News


1,000+ Women at Mega Challah Event

On Wednesday, May 14, the JRCC joined in a huge community Challah Baking event, in conjunction with all 25 Chabad centers serving the GTA and surrounding areas. The Mega Challah evening took place at Beth Avraham Yoseph Congregation in Thornhill (aka, the BAYT), and participants included women from all walks of life young and old, observant and non-observant. It was an evening of tremendous feminine power and energy, a fitting tribute to Rashi Minkowitz and Rivky Barber, of blessed memory, two Chabad emissaries who passed away suddenly in recent weeks.


Post-Passover Challah Baking

A tradition of communal challah baking following Passover, known as Shissel Challah, was celebrated simultaneously in five locations last month. 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, symbolically opening the gates of heaven so the blessings can flow.


City-Wide Lag BaOmer @ Earl Bales Park

Close to 5,000 people converged on North Yorks Earl Bales Park for Lag BOmer celebrations on May 18. Since Lag BOmer fell on Sunday this year, which allows for a much larger-scale, full-day event and for more people to attend, the day was expanded to a complete Jewish Family Festival that was co-hosted together with Chabad organizations from across the GTA. There was a jubilant, festive atmosphere throughout the day, with hundreds of people involved in fun activities and spending quality time with their families and each other. The highlights were the performance by the acclaimed acrobatic entertainers The Twins from France, and a lively parade with children from various schools and organizations participating, including the JRCC. Other attractions included a fair with rides, a barbecue and treats, face painting, and other activities throughout the day, and of course a great bonfire.


Gen J Lag BaOmer Kumzitz

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 Kabbalah of Near Death Experiences

Around 50 people joined as Rabbi Yisrael Karpilovsky discussed the often misunderstood  topic of Reincarnation, or life after life. Participants learned what ancient Jewish sources say about the soul and its journey into this world and beyond, and how to apply these concepts to the phenomenon of near-death experiences.