December 2014 

Chanukah Kiddie Chefs

In preparation for Chanukah, Children ages three to eight were invited to come with their parents to bake Chanukah doughnuts and do holiday-themed crafts together at the JRCC S Richmond Hill & Maple and the JRCC East Thornhill. The Kiddie Chefs program focuses on Jewish baking, baking traditional challahs or treats, and enjoying a fun Jewish-themed craft. It’s hands-on learning at its best, and its tastiest!

Women’s Events

The JRCC’s monthly women’s evenings last month featured a diverse range of programs to nourish the body and soul. The JRCC East Thornhill and S Richmond Hill & Maple combined forces to host an pre-Chanukah event that featured a candle-making workshop and a latkes buffet. The JRCC@Rockford hosted a unique “Stretch Your Body, Nurture Your Soul” evening, filled with inspiring words, followed by yoga and yogurt. Women’s evenings are relaxing, rejuvenating, and a great opportunity to connect with your community.

Prayer Course for Women

The JRCC East Thornhill recently concluded a six-week Prayer Course for Women, led by Mrs. Chanie Zaltzman. The course was well attended by women from a variety of backgrounds and levels of experience. Together, they learned in-depth about the power of prayer, the meaning behind various prayers and rituals, and became more comfortable with the Siddur (prayerbook) and synagogue services in general. “I feel like I gained a new ability, almost like speaking a new language,” expressed one participant. “I can express myself in a soulful way like never before, and I no longer feel lost when I am at synagogue.”

Public Menorah Lighting

The JRCC’s annual Public Menorah Lighting, one of over 30 JRCC Chanukah events, was was held on the first night of Chanukah, Tuesday, December 16 at Mel Lastman Square. The event attracted over 300 community members, local residents, as well as a number of passersby who were curious about the festive event, live music, refreshments and the 16-foot tall menorah in front of City Hall. Several dignitaries and public figures were in attendance, including members city council, who honored the celebration and the community with their presence and their warm words.

Chanukah Wonderland Carnival

The twelfth 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 crafts and activities, including menorah making, donut cooking, an olive press demonstration, rides, and carnival games, while live music played throughout the day. Every hour featured a different show, including Mad Science, Balloon Art, and Steve the Magician.

Community Chanukah Parties

Each JRCC branch and program held its own unique Chanukah party for its participants, complete with a menorah lighting and Chanukah refreshments like doughnuts and latkes.

The JRCC S Richmond Hill & Maple 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, as well as a Doughnuts and Chanukah Craft for children at Nellie McClung Public School in conjunction with the Hebrew School and the Kiddie Chefs program.

The JRCC West Thornhill held a Wine & Cheese evening for adults that allowed people to mingle and socialize in a warm and friendly environment that featured Chanukah-themed party activities. For children, there was a Chanukah Party featuring activities and crafts focused on “edu-tainment” to teach children about Chanukah in a fun way.

The JRCC East Thornhill hosted a Saturday night 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. Children were invited to a separate Doughnuts and Chanukah Craft event in conjunction with the Hebrew School and Kiddie Chefs.

The JRCC@Rockford celebrated with a Melave Malka (post-Shabbat meal) Chanukah Party. The evening was a hit, with a program featuring mini trivia, hilarious performances, and table competitions.

In partnership with Chabad of Waterloo, the JRCC’s affiliate for the Waterloo Region, there was a Chanukah Party that was attended by Rabbi Yoseph Y. Zaltzman for the Jewish Russian community there. Special thanks to Rabbi Moshe Goldman for coordinating the party.

Thank you to all participants and volunteers!