MAY 2017

Community Unity on Lag B’Omer

Close to 5,000 people from different communities came together at 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 highlight was the lively parade for Jewish education prde, with children from various schools and organizations participating, including the JRCC’s Hebrew School, which was very well represented. The featured entertainment was a comedic-acrobatic performance by the The Twins from France. Other attractions included live music, a fair with rides, a barbecue and treats, and other activities throughout the evening – and of course a great bonfire. But by far the greatest aspect of the even was the mere fact that some many Jewish people from different backgrounds celebrated together – a tremendous show of unity that is very much in the spirit of Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai, for whom the day of Lag B’Omer is established.

Kumzitz for Students & Young Adults

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.

Program for Infants and Toddlers a Great Success

The JRCC’s Klyuchik program offers a unique program of dancing, singing, puppet show, finger gymnastics, painting, and more for infants and toddlers together with their parents. The free program, hosted at the JRCC East Thornhill, offers parents with young children the opportunity to advance their children’s social and cognitive development, in a friendly and supportive group setting. Space is limited, so registration is required.

Weekly Spring/Summer Class for Women

The JRCC East Thornhill began hosting a weekly class in Pirkei Avot (Ethics of the Fathers) at various rotating homes in the community. Pikei Avot contains the Torah’s views on ethics and interpersonal relationships. Each week, Chanie Zaltman leads a discussion on a different character trait. Having the class at a different woman’s home each week creates a sense of community, and opens up people to one another and to each other’s homes. It is customary to study Pirkei Avot in the weeks between the holidays of Passover and Shavuot, with someone continuing for the whole summer until Rosh Hashana. To findout about upcoming times and locations, visit

Kiddie Chefts, Shavuot Edition

The JRCC’s Kiddie Chefs events are semi-monthly, 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 made instant ice cream and created flower pots in preparation for the festival Shavuot, celebrating the time we received the Torah at Mount Sinai. What’s the connection? It is customary to eat dairy on Shavuot, and according to tradition Mount Sinai was suddenly and miraculously adorned with flowers when the Torah was given.