APRIL 2016

Over 500 Attend Communal Passover Seders

The Passover Seder is a universal Jewish ritual observed almost identically by Jews around the world, regardless of their affiliation or level or observance. It is the quintessential reliving of the quintessential Jewish experience. Over 500 people attended Community Passover Seders organized by the Jewish Russian Community Centre in 10 locations on April 22 and 23. 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. In addition, dozens more families were able to make traditional Seders at home - many for the first time - thanks to the assistance and classes delivered by JRCC rabbis.

Matzah & Haggadah in Your Mail

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, together with a copy of our newly published trilingual Passover Haggadah. The goal was that every individual in our community has the opportunity to experience this special mitzvah of matzah, and to access the beautiful traditions of the Seder using the magnificent and user-friendly Haggadah. Many thanks to all the staff, volunteers, community members and supporters who made this project a success.

Women’s Pre-Passover Events

In preparation for Passover, the JRCC West Thornhill and the JRCC @ Rockford hosted pre-Passover evenings for women to explore some of the themes of the Exodus and what we can learn from them to experience greater freedom in our personal lives. Participants at the West Thornhill event enjoyed a cooking presentation by master chef and cookbook author Amy Stopnicki. The JRCC @ Rockford event featured a creative make-your-own tambourine session, connected to Passover since after the splitting of the sea Miriam celebrated and gave thanks by leading the Israelite women in song and dance using tambourines. Stay tuned for upcoming women’s events - an awesome opportunity to connect to our heritage and our community.

Model Matza Bakery

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.