Like many communities around the world that have been inspired and affected by the Rebbe’s leadership, the JRCC hosted an evening celebrating seventy years since the Rebbe accepted the mantle of leadership of the Chabad movement and became a driving force in the development of world Jewry. The day, known as Yud Shevat (the 10th of Shevat), was marked on Tuesday, February 4, with a special gathering at the City Playhouse Theatre in Thornhill. Over 350 people participated the moving event, which was highlighted by a unique multimedia concert, called “Songs of the Inspired Soul, featuring niggunim (Chassidic melodies) that the Rebbe introduced and taught. The audience also enjoyed a talk by guest speaker Mrs. Esther Zirkind, and a video recap of JRCC Chanukah activities. 


The recently established JRCC Woodbridge branch began hosting a “Kosher BLT” gathering every Sunday at 12pm. The brunch-focused weekly happening features bagels, lox and tefillin – an opportunity to start the new week by nourishing the body and soul. For more information about this weekly event and JRCC Woodbridge, visit jrccwoodbridge.org.


The Jewish new year for trees, Tu B’Shevat, is a time to celebrate and reflect upon the Divine blessings bestowed upon us through nature, and the spiritual lessons we can learn from the natural world. The JRCC marked the day with two events for adults and several for children. The JRCC of Concord hosted an evening featuring a fruit flower arrangements workshop. For kids, the JRCC Concord, Rockford and S Richmond Hill & Maple hosted Kiddie Holiday Chefs programs focused on holiday-themed food preparation and craft activities, while the JRCC East Thornhill had a Tu B’Shvat Health Bar and the JRCC West Thornhill hosted a Moms ’N Kids Tu B’Shvat program.


Rabbi Yoseph Y. Zaltzman, the JRCC’s senior rabbi and founder, used the occasion of his 64th birthday to organize a farbrengen, a meaningful community gathering. According to Rebbe’s teaching, a birthday is not only a day to be celebrated, but also a day to be reflective, akin to a person Rosh Hashana, and a day to make positive resolutions – something Rabbi Zaltzman encouraged participants to do in lieu of physical gifts. During the course of the evening, hosted at the JRCC East Thornhill, dozens of community members, friends, colleagues and acquaintances 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 mitzvahs and acts of goodness.


The JRCC East Thornhill recently launched a weekly study group for women on Wednesday mornings at 10:00. Women gather together to socialize and learn Torah together in a relaxed and informal setting suitable for people at all levels of Jewish knowledge. The class is open to all, suggestions for questions or topics of study are welcome, and registration is not required. Women are encouraged to join whenever they can.