APRIL 2019


Preparing for Passover contains a myriad of details for holiday that is ostensibly about freedom, and can feel overwhelming, especially to the uninitiated. And even those with some experience need to refresh their memory. To help shed some light and gain from the wisdom of those with experience, the JRCC organized pre-Passover workshop-like “crash courses.” The JRCC West Thornhill hosted “Practical Passover” for women, focused on the preparation of the home and the Seder, and the popular “Seder Leader Workshop” provided and in-depth overview and tips for running a meaningful and smooth Seder at home. The [email protected] also hosted separate Passover Workshops for men and women, while the JRCC South Richmond Hill and Maple hosted a Passover Workshop as well. 


On April 15-16, people around the world celebrated 11th of Nissan, the birthday of the Rebbe, who was born in 1902 in the Ukrainian-Russian town of Nikolaev and went on to spark the greatest renaissance in Jewish history that inspired millions. The entire Chabad movement today, including the JRCC, as well as the personal Jewish connection of countless people, are thanks to the Rebbe’s vision and tireless efforts. To mark the occasion, the JRCC held a farbrengen (Chassidic gathering) at the JRCC Concord. Participants enjoyed an evening of camaraderie, infused with inspiring words of wisdom and soulful song. To learn more about the Rebbe visit jrcc.org/therebbe.


The Passover Seder is a universal Jewish ritual observed almost identically by Jews around the world, regardless of their affiliation or level or observance. It is the quintessential reliving of the quintessential Jewish experience. Over 500 people attended Community Passover Seders organized by the Jewish Russian Community Centre in 10 locations on April 19 and 20. The Seders provided people with the opportunity to experience a traditional Seder and observe the related mitzvahs and traditions – eating the matzah and recounting the story of the Exodus to our children – in a warm and welcoming environment with family and friends. The insightful guidance and explanations of the presiding rabbis enriched the Seder with added meaning and depth, while the camaraderie and singing enhanced the jubilant holiday atmosphere.


A large contingent of 120 women from across the community came together at the JRCC West Thornhill for an empowering evening of connection, support and inspiration. The challah baking event was held in honor of Nechama Dina Jacobson, co-director of JRCC West Thornhill, in order to draw blessings from above for her complete and speedy recovery. Her presence at the event uplifted the participants, and her inspiring words emphasizing the uniqueness of the mitzvahs incumbent upon Jewish women were both insightful and empowering. The event was organized by community volunteers, who had special aprons emblazoned with the theme of the evening, “We Knead to Connect,” a play on words that symbolizes the power of connection and the special blessing that the communal baking of challah brings.


There’s nothing quite like pulling your matzah out of a custom-designed, smooth, silk matzah cover. The JRCC East Thornhill Women’s Circle hosted an evening where women were invited to create their own silk matzah cover to use at the Passover Seder. In addition to the beautiful creations they proudly took home, women enjoyed a relaxing atmosphere, learned about the Miriam, the heroine of the Passover story, and shared tips for a most enjoyable Passover experience.