JUNE 2016


After the successful completion of a great year, students and teachers from the JRCC Hebrew School celebrated with a graduation evening. The event featured a great presentation that highlighted the material covered in the past year, a ceremony awarding Aleph Champ medals to the students for completing their new Hebrew proficiency levels, and a special thank you to the teachers. The JRCC Hebrew School currently operates at a total of six locations in Richmond Hill, Maple, Concord, Thornhill, and North York. Sessions are available at various times and days of the week. To give your child the gift of Jewish education, and to give yourself the gift of Jewish naches, contact the JRCC Hebrew School at 416.222.7105 x225 or visit www.jrcc.org/hebrewschool. Registration is now open for September 2016, and a limited number of scholarships are available. See ad on page 27.


Hundreds of children and adults attended the annual reading of the Ten Commandments on Shavuot at the various JRCC community synagogues last month. The children were treated to the now famous Shavuot Ice Cream Party while celebrating the receiving of the Torah at Mt. Sinai over 3,000 years ago, followed by a light dairy brunch buffet. Close 2,000 participants consumed over 180 liters of ice cream and 35lbs of toppings. The event was held simultaneously at all JRCC branches, with some branches holding multiple readings and parties throughout the day to accommodate everyone’s schedules.


There is an ancient custom to stay up all night studying Torah on the first night of Shavuot to express our excitement and anticipation for receiving the Torah, which reoccurs on a spiritual level each year dawn on Shavuot. Six JRCC Branches hosted all night study sessions featuring classes on various topics and ask the rabbi sessions, with over 100 people delving into Jewish teachings until the break of dawn.


Last month, the JRCC East Thornhill hosted Marthe Cohn, who shared her riveting story of serving as a spy for the French army during the Nazi occupation. About sixty people sat at the edge of their seats as she described in vivid detail how she slipped behind enemy lines and, using her perfectly accented German, posed as a German nurse, and was able to obtain information about German troop movements that helped defeat the Nazis. Marthe risked her life, facing death daily, and among other honors was awarded the Medaille Militaire, France’s highest military honor, in 1999 at the age of 80. In 2002, she authored a book about her story called “Behind Enemy Lines.”


The JRCC’s Kiddie Chefs events are seasonal, holiday-themed programs that combine learning about the upcoming holiday while preparing a holiday-related food and working on a holiday-related art project. Last month, as part of the program, children at the JRCC East Thornhill baked cheesecake delights and prepared a holiday craft in preparation for the festival Shavuot, celebrating the time we received the Torah at Mount Sinai.