October 2016

Thousands Attend High Holiday Services

Over 5,000 participated in Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur services at nine locations in the Toronto area, including Concord, Maple, four locations in Thornhill, and three in Toronto. Highlights included the blowing of the Shofar on Rosh Hashana, and the moving Kol Nidrei and Neilah prayers of Yom Kippur, which usher in a year of blessing. Thank you to all those who purchased tickets, which helps with planning the services and offsetting the costs. And special thanks to all the JRCC staff and volunteers who helped make the experience meaningful and enjoyable for so many. May we all be inscribed and sealed for a good and sweet year!

Over 1,500 People at JRCC Sukkot Events

Hundreds of people of all ages participated in events and celebrations during the week-long Sukkot festival. Sukkot is referred to in Judaism as "the time of our rejoicing," so JRCC branches at Rockford, South Thornhill, East Thornhill, and S Richmond Hill & Maple all held family Sukkot parties featuring music, prizes, children’s entertainment, and holiday-themed crafts and activities that made the holiday spirit palpable. The entire family was also invited to engage in the Sukkot experience by eating pizza in the Sukkah and shaking the lulav and etrog. In addition to the family parties, JRCC branches also hosted evenings specifically for adults to focus on their own spiritual growth and social activities, and to experience the joy of Sukkot and “Simchat Beit HaShoeva” in their own way. Special events were also held for teens and seniors. In all, it is estimated that over 1,500 people participated in dozens of JRCC Sukkot events.

Sukkah Hop a Big Hit

The JRCC East Thornhill organized an exciting “Sukkah Hop” evening during Sukkot, bringing the joy of the festival to the streets of Thornhill. Participants travelled as a group by classic horse and buggy, singing songs and celebrating as they carried the warmth of the holiday and community feeling into the brisk autumn air. They travelled from sukkah to sukkah in the community, spending some time at each stop before proceeding to the next destination. It was an interesting way to experience the holiday, and also a way to connect with the sense of community in the neighborhood - a sentiment that is especially relevant during Sukkot, as the sages each that “it is fitting that all of Israel sit in one Sukkah.” Special
thanks to the organizers and all the gracious hosts who opened their sukkas and provided refreshments.