Hundreds of people of all ages participated in dozens of events and celebrations during the week-long Sukkot festival, referred to in Judaism as "the time of our rejoicing.” JRCC Branches hosted several events, parties for children and special events for adults. The family Sukkot parties featured music, prizes, children’s entertainment like drum circles and science shows, and holiday-themed crafts and activities that made the holiday spirit palpable – including, of course, eating 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. Each branch found their own way to celebrate, with the JRCC West Thornhill living it up with “Scotch & Steak in the Sukkah, while the JRCC S Richmond Hill & Maple and East Thornhill each hosted a “Sukkah Hop” that kept people moving from sukkah to sukkah in the neighborhood and the JRCC at Rockford had Farbrengen gathering. 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, with even more coming out to dance together in the culminating festival of Simchat Torah.


Rabbi Yoseph Y. Zaltzman, JRCC senior rabbi and founder, guides a small group through the traditional kaparot ritual and prayer on the eve of Yom Kippur in Thornhill.


The JRCC West Thornhill hosted an evening for women, with Mrs. Chana Weisberg as the special guest and featuring a musical performance by Mrs. Miriam Ginsburg. Mrs. Weisberg, an acclaimed author and speaker, and a former Thornhill resident, spoke and led a discussion on the topic of “Exploring the Dance of Your Relationship.” It was a profound and inspiring evening, a refreshing and candid dialogue about what men and women really want and need in a relationship that left many women feeling that they gained new tools and insights to enhance their married life.


Children and their parents participated in a Shabbat-themed version of the popular Kiddie Chefs event at the JRCC East Thornhill last month. Participants baked challah together from scratch, which they then decorate with their favorite toppings. They also engaged in a Shabbat-themed craft, as they learned about the beauty and meaning of Shabbat, the Jewish day of rest. Kiddie Chefs programs, a hand-on learning experience, take place every month or two, and connects the content of the activities to the upcoming holiday when relevant.