MAY 2016

Post-Passover Challah Baking at all JRCC Branches

A tradition of communal challah baking following Passover, known as Shissel Challah, was celebrated simultaneously in five locations on Thursday, May 5. 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.


Lag BaOmer Family Celebration at Earl Bales Park

Close to 3,000 people converged on North York’s Earl Bales Park for Lag B’Omer celebrations on May 26. The family friendly event that was co-hosted together with Tzivos Hashem Canada (Chabad’s children and youth organization), and sponsored by Natan and Flora Aronshtam. There was a jubilant, festive atmosphere throughout the evening, with hundreds of people involved in fun activities and spending quality time with their families and each other. The highlights were the lively parade with children from various schools and organizations participating, including the JRCC, Live Music, and a Comedy Stunt Show. Other attractions included a fair with rides, a barbecue and treats, and other activities throughout the evening, and of course a great bonfire.

Gen J Lag BaOmer Kumzitz

Later in evening on Lag B’Omer, 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. 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.

  Hebrew School 2016-2017 Registration Now Open

JRCC Hebrew School registration is now open for the coming school year.The JRCC Hebrew School provides a Jewish environment within the child’sown neighborhood, with his/her own friends, and is a convenient after-school  activity for the parents. The opportunity to learn what it means to be Jewish through engaging in Jewish history, Hebrew language, and becoming familiar with Jewish holidays and other observances, solidifies our children’s Jewish identity. The acclaimed Aleph Champ program creates an individualized program of study that enables each student to progress in his/her Hebrew Reading skills by graduating to different levels using various colored “belt”levels like in Karate. The program is focused on education through hands-on experience and fun, where Judaism comes to life with a variety of creative art projects, educational games and interactive seminars. The sessions take place on Sundays and weekdays after school in six locations at various time to meet everyone’s schedule. For information and registration, please visit

JRCC Haggadah Gets Rave Reviews

To help make the beauty and meaning of Passover accessible to all, the JRCC recently published and distributed a trilingual Passover Haggadah, which includes the original Hebrew text of the Haggadah, along with translations in English and Russian. Each family in the community received one complimentary Haggadah delivered to their home (either by Canada Post or volunteers). Additional Haggadahs were available at discounted prices through the JRCC office. “Besides the beautiful layout and design and user-friendly format, the Haggadah really transformed our Seder experience,” wrote Ava V., “Our parents only ready Russian, our friends were more comfortable with English, and our kids who attend JRCC Hebrew School were able to follow along in Hebrew - and the whole time we were all on the same page! Amazing!” Please let us know how you enjoyed your Haggadah, and send us your feedback and suggestions so we can incorporate them into the second edition.