As in past years, the JRCC’s senior rabbi and founder, Rabbi Yoseph Y. Zatzman, used the occasion of his birthday to create a meaningful community gathering. “The Rebbe taught us that a birthday is not just a day to celebrate,” explains Rabbi Zaltzman, “it is a day to reflect and make positive resolutions, and encourage ones’ friends and family to do the same. It’s like a personal Rosh Hashana.” During the course of the evening, hosted at the JRCC at 18 Rockford Rd., dozens of community members, friends, colleagues and acquaintances, along with several local celebrities, stopped by to wish Rabbi Zaltzman a happy birthday and partake in the celebration. In addition to the words of inspiration, song, refreshments and l’chaims, participants were also requested to dedicate a special gift: A positive resolution connected to Jewish life. Dozens of people obliged the rabbi by committing themselves to various acts of goodness, including to light Shabbat candles, done tefillin, observe Shabbat, and speaking more thoughtfully.


To bring in the month of Adar, the JRCC’s Women’s League presented a special evening featuring a concert by Meleha, the internationally acclaimed French singer, who wowed the audience with her golden voice and unique flair at the Toronto Centre for the Arts. After a storied career in pop music, including recording with and opening for several famous artists, Meleha was inspired to return to her Jewish roots and focused her career in a more spiritual direction, seeking to share her inspiration with other Jewish women. In the singer’s own words, “the idea is to send a message that will reach and touch every jewish women and their daughters, and help them identify with these songs about Judaism and faith.” Jewish tradition teaches that, “when the month of Adar enters, we increase in joy,” and thanks to Meleha, the community organizers and the volunteers who made it happen this evening was truly joyous, meaningful and uplifting.


Purim is just around the corner, and for those planning in joining the JRCC’s annual purim banquet on March 21 at the Sephardic Kehilla Centre, it will be a trip back in time. Each year, the banquet, the main Purim community event, draws over 1,000 participants to a fun-filled evening of music, entertainment and a celebratory feast. And each year, the event features a different theme. Recent themes have included “Purim in Outer Space,” “Purim at Mount Sinai,” and last year’s “Purim in Morocco.” This year’s theme is Purim in the Soviet Union, so it promises to be especially memorable. The banquet will also feature a special interactive Purim Spiel performance by our community’s very own improv comedy troupe. In addition, there will be several community events for both families and adults hosted by various JRCC branches, along with megillah readings and mishloach manot distributions. To get in on the action, visit jrcc.org/purim.


Did you know that in addition to its branches and various services throughout the GTA, the JRCC also has a robust presence online. In addition to its powerful jrcc.org website, featuring community events and a virtual library with tens of thousands of online articles, classes, books, and videos, the JRCC also boasts an active Facebook page and is now also active on LinekIn. The website alone currently as has an average of over 13,000 monthly visitors. You can connect by signing up for our email newsletter at jrcc.org, liking our Facebook page, or join our network on LinkedIn.