The JRCC’s Rosh Chodesh Society, a project of the Jewish Learning Institute, launched a seven-part monthly lecture series for women exploring the beauty and depth of Shabbat and its application to our lives. If the first installments are any indication, this series promises to be comprehensive and engaging – a must for any women who wants to deepen her understanding and connection to Shabbat. In addition to being a series, each lecture is also self-standing, so feel free to join in any time. The course is running at both JRCC West Thornhill and JRCC South Thornhill locations.

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The JRCC East Thornhill hosted a special evening as part of the Sara and Chaim Neuberger Holocaust Education Centre’s Holocaust Education Week 2017. Vita Shtivelman, founder of Et Cetera Club, spoke about the Soviet Union during the Second World War, Babi Yar, Drobitski Yar and the Holocaust. About two dozen people joined to hear her share reflections of these tragedies as portrayed in arts and literature.


Over fifty children and their parents participated in the most recent Kiddie Chefs gathering at the JRCC East Thornhill, where children express their creativity and learn about Judaism through baking, crafts and other hand-on activities. Children baked challahs decorated with their favorite toppings, created a Shabbat-related craft, and played in interactive educational game. Stay tuned for upcoming installments of Kiddie Chefs connected to upcoming holidays.


A farbrengen was held last month at the JRCC@Rockford in honor of the 10th of Kislev, celebrated as the liberation of Rabbi Dovber Schneuri, the second Rebbe of Chabad, from Czarist imprisonment. The Rebbe was arrested on the fictitious charge of sending money to Israel to aid and abet enemies of the Czar (the Ottoman Empire), when in face he was supporting poor residents in Israel. The warm and lively gathering inspired participants with soulful songs and words of wisdom to uplift and empower more meaningful living.


Forty women got into the Chanukah spirit early by joining in special evening of the JRCC East Thornhill’s Women’s Circle. Participants enjoyed a latkes bar, and a chocolate truffle-making workshop led by Rachel Murad. One of the themes discussed was the idea of giving children gifts of money during Chanukah, which is the traditional Jewish custom, as opposed to buying them Chanukah gifts (which seems to have evolved due to Chanukah’s proximity to a non-Jewish gift-giving holiday). One of the main reasons for giving money instead of gifts is that it provides an opportunity to educate children to give a portion of their income to charity, among other reasons.