An evening celebrating the life and leadership of the Rebbe in honor of Yud Shevat (the 10th of Shevat, the day the Rebbe accepted the mantle of leadership) was held on January 14 at the JRCC East Thornhill. The highlight of the evening was a fascinating talk delivered by Rabbi Dov Greenberg, from the University of Stanford, California, who spoke on the topic of “You Can Do the Impossible: Creating a New World” – focusing on the Rebbe’s call to each individual to be (and innovate) the change they want to see in the word. Much of the evening focused on how the Rebbe used his leadership to inspire people to reach their potential and motivate other to join his revolution that transformed Jewish life around the world forever. 


As part of the annual international “One Shabbat, One World” event, the JRCC branches, along with 1,000 communities across the globe, hosted Friday night Community Dinners at seven locations on January 11. The events were part of the worldwide initiative to celebrate one Shabbat to unite the world, to bring the long awaited redemption for all mankind. Close to 600 people attended engaging events at eight separate JRCC locations — S. Richmond Hill, Concord, Thornhill Woods, West Thornhill, East Thornhil, South Thornhill, Hilda and Rockford. One of the highlights was the arrival of special guest speaker Rabbi Yossi Gansburg at the JRCC East Thornhill event. Participants at all locations enjoyed hot food, a warm atmosphere and fascinating discussions about the Messianic era and its significance in Jewish life.


Tu B’Shvat, the Jewish New Year for Trees, was commemorated with several events in the JRCC community. It is generally celebrated by eating fruit, particularly from the kinds that are singled out by the Torah in its praise of the bounty of the Holy Land, and reflect upon the lessons we can learn about life using trees as a metaphor. Children’s events were held though the popular Kiddie Chefs program in S. Richmond Hill and East Thornhill here children and their parents made fruit-inspired creations together, while the JRCC West Thornhill hosted a Kids Party. In addition, the JRCC S. Richmond Hill & Maple hosted a Tu B’Shvat Celebration community event for adults, featuring exotic fresh fruits, music and words of inspiration.


The JRCC East Thornhill Women’s Circle hosted a Spa for the Soul event, an evening of relaxation, beauty, depth and spirituality. Participants experienced an uplifting evening featuring a talk by Rochel Goldbaum from Denver, Colorado, who spoke on the topic of “How to Like the One You Love.” Women also enjoyed a series of workshops by local health and beauty experts: “Tips for Skin Care and Beauty” with Orly Kahn Waldman, Make-Up Artist; “Finding the Place of Happiness” with Leah Rochel Weisberg, Integrative Nurse Coach; and “Improve Immunity” with Surie Weinberg, Holistic Nutritionist. In addition, women were treated to facials, massage, make-up, paraffin wax and other rejuvenating sessions, in a nurturing atmosphere permeated by warmth, friendship and community.