JUNE 2018


After the successful completion of a great year, students and teachers from the JRCC Hebrew School celebrated with a graduation evening, and each Hebrew School branch also held its own end-of-year party. The main graduation 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 engaging interactive game show, 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.jrccschools.ca. Registration is now open for September 2018, and a limited number of scholarships are available.


In honor of the new month of Tammuz, several dozen women gathered at the JRCC@Rockford for a communal Challah Baking evening, complete with singing, words or wisdom and, of course, making challah. Baking challah, or more specifically performing the mitzvah of seeing aside challah, is a source of tremendous blessing and is profoundly spiritual. Eating may be seen as a very self centered task, and rightfully so: we work hard for our food, and we must eat to live. But by setting aside Challah we demonstrate our appreciation to G‑d for giving us food, and connect to the idea that our food has a higher purpose. When we engage in this special mitzvah together as a community, the resulting elevation and blessing is multiplied. The JRCC East Thornhill organized a Garden Party at the garden of Esther Karlin, with a delectable salad bar and desserts. The evening featured guest speaker Joanne Rose, who presented a riveting talk and shared her personal, while Ariela Goldberg provided musical entertainment. In addition, four JRCC locations are offering organized textual learning for women from the Ethics of the Fathers (Pirkei Avot) in the early evening hours. The engaging material and interactive style create an energized atmosphere where women can learn, discuss, and grow together. For list of times and locations, visit jrcc.org/ijs.


Participants of the Bat Mitzvah Clubs of JRCC West Thornhill, JRCC East Thornhill and JRCC S. Richmond Hill & Maple celebrated their graduation together with music and dancing in a joint ceremony attended by 120 of their families and friends. The girls spent the last year learning and discovering what becoming a Bat Mitzvah is all about, making friends, and developing a sense of pride in being a Jewish woman. For the graduation ceremony, each girl prepared a short speech, heard blessings from their teachers and community leaders, enjoyed a wonderful festive meal and atmosphere, and received special gifts. The evening culminated with a beautiful and touching candle lighting ceremony, during which mothers blessed their daughters. Registration is currently open for next year at jrcc.org/hebrewschool or hebrewschool@jrcc.org.


The JRCC marked a special day know as the Festival of Liberation of the Previous Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Yoseph Yitzchok Schneersohn, knows as the Rebbe Rayatz. This celebratory date commemorates the life-saving victory of the Rebbe Rayatz over his Communist persecution. He was initially sentenced to death by firing squad, and then has his sentence commuted to life in an exile colony. Ultimately though, international pressure prevailed and he was set free on the condition that he leave the USSR. It was an unprecedented and supernatural turn of events. By Divine providence, the date he was liberated was also his birthday. The day was celebrated with a special farbrengen (Chassidic gathering) at the JRCC @ Rockford, complete with food, song and words of wisdom. Participants reflected on the inspiring story of the Rebbe Rayatz, who demonstrated both in his teachings and in his actions that with the right mindset one can overcome even the most daunting challenge. Stay tuned for upcoming farbrengens in the community.


Following the festival of Shavuot, which commemorated the receiving of the Torah, the JRCC West Thornhill hosted a gathering of Torah Study and Inspiration. The evening was a celebration of the 5th anniversary of its Beis Medrash Chavrusa Program, where members gather weekly for guided one-on-one study. Speakers included the JRCC West Thornhill’s Rabbi Levi Jacobson and Rabbi Shalom Bakshi, as well as special guest speakers Rabbi Tzvi Heber, Director of COR Community Kosher, and Rabbi Eliyahu Zrehan of Ateret Torah Learning Center. Participants enjoyed light refreshments as they listed to the speeches, and most stayed for the post-event farbrengen that followed. For more info on the Beis Medrash program visit jrccwestthornhill.org.