MARCH 2019


On Thursday, March 21, over 1,000 people joined the JRCC’s annual Grand Purim Banquet, the largest crown attending in a decade! This year’s event took on the theme of “Purim in Soviet Union.” The cuisine, decor and costumes all took on a nostalgic Russian theme, which gave an added air of excitement that fit well with the out-of-the-box nature of the Purim holiday. It also added an extra layer to the celebration for the JRCC community in particular, since for many of us being saved from living under Soviet oppression is our personal “Purim” story. The festive dinner was accompanied by live music and dancing, and the evening featured a DJ and percussions and a Purim Shpiel comedy improv performance. A separate children’s programs, which included a show by the beloved Doo Doo the Clown, kept the kids busy and happy. It was a truly well-organized and memorable evening with a real carnival atmosphere. Special thanks to Aryeh Leib Kaushansky and the improv team for the amazing Purim Shpiel, and to Vlad and Elena Gruzman for donating the L’Chaim to help lift our spirits.


On the eve of Purim, over 1,500 people participated in simultaneous community Purim parties at JRCC Branches and other location in the GTA. Each of the parties included a Megillah reading, music, refreshments and a door prize for every child arriving in costume. All of the parties were warm and lively community events that focused on the children, and some included special entertainment, such as the JRCC S Richmond Hill & Maple and the [email protected] featuring Magic Shows, the JRCC East Thornhill party featuring a Bird Show, and the JRCC West Thornhill and JRCC Hilda featuring Balloon Art. There were also special Purim Parties for Seniors at two locations. 


Thanks to the extraordinary efforts of staff and volunteers, over 2,000 festive Purim “Mishloach Manot” gift packages were delivered to homes in Ontario, including 1,100 in West Thornhill and 850 in East Thornhill. Several hundred packages were also gifted by people to each other via their local JRCC Branch, which coordinated the deliveries. The community participation in delivering the gifts, and the festive atmosphere and joy it spreads, made it an enjoyable and meaningful community activity. Special thank you to all the volunteers who assisted with the deliveries in their neighborhoods.


In addition to the Purim events above, there were several events in advance of Purim to help children and parents learn about the holiday in a fun way and get into the holiday spirit, with baking and craft-making, an extension of the popular Kiddie Chefs program. The JRCC East Thornhill’s event featuring a Hamentach Bake-Off and the creation of a Purim Craft. In addition, similar events were held at the JRCC S. Richmond Hill & Maple and the JRCC West Thornhill.


As in part years, the JRCC will be welcoming students to fill a variety of positions at its offices this summer. The jobs are full-time, five days per week, and a great way to gain valuable experience while also making a meaningful contribution to the community. Interested students should submit resumes to [email protected]