lightup.jpgThe longstanding custom of post-Passover challah baking known as Shlissel Challah, was celebrated simultaneously via Zoom by JRCC Branches following Passover last month. Though communal Challah baking sessions are organized throughout the year, and are a tremendous source communal blessing for those in need, the post-Passover challah baking is known to be especially auspicious for eliciting healing energy and sustenance. The custom usually involved a key - according to some versions the key is baked into the challah, some pierce the challah with a key, and some bake a challah shaped like a key. They “key” connection is that the channel from which heavenly blessings flow is often referred to as a gate - such as, the gates of mercy, the gates of healing, the gates of forgiveness, the gates of wealth, etc. Since we are asking that the gates of blessings be open, we symbolically connect a key to the custom, as if to say that this challah will serve as a key to open the gates of blessings for the Jewish people.


lightup.jpgOn April 13, the JRCC marked the birthday of the Rebbe Maharash, Rabbi Shmuel of Lubavitch, with a special virtual farbrengen (Chassidic gathering) via Zoom organized by the JRCC Rockford. One of the Rebbe Maharash’s best known teachings is the approach of “L’chatchila ariber” – elevating oneself above life’s challenges without hesitation. Indeed, that is one of the cornerstones of what a farbrengen gathering is all about – listening and supporting one another trough the challenges we face in living meaningful, spiritual lives, so that we may transcend those challenges together as we learn and grow from them. Stay tuned for upcoming farbrengens in the community.


Thanks to a grant from the Canada Periodical Fund, the JRCC was able to set up and implement new systems for its Publications department based on the SaleForce platform. In addition to better automation that will increase efficiency for managing and expanding online and print advertisements, the system also enables the JRCC to better serve you, our community and readers, by ensuring everyone always gets the content they want in the language they need.


Throughout the year, the JRCC organizes various events and educational programs specifically for women. As the days get longer after the Passover holiday, it is customary to set aside some time on Shabbat afternoon for the study of Pirkei Avot, the Ethics of the Fathers. (You can also learn more and access resources on Pirkei Avot at avot.) Every Shabbat afternoon women gather to network, connect, and glean wisdom from the Sages through study focused on one chapter of Pirkei Aviot. As summer approaches, we hope to be able to meet in person. Check WomensCircle for updates about times and locations. In the meantime, enjoy a weekly virtual Pirkei Avot class given by Mrs. Esther Neft of the JRCC Rockford every Wednesday at 8pm at zoom


lightup.jpgThe past year has been a challenging one for everyone, and educational programs are no exception. The JRCC Hebrew School, with eight locations in the GTA plus an online learning option, has done its best to continue delivering its curriculum in the COVID era – both in-person when possible, and virtually.

The benefits of Hebrew School are well known, connecting children to their rich Jewish heritage, the Hebrew language, the Land of Israel, and the traditional and values hared by Jewish people around the world and throughout history. Sending a child to Hebrew school is a gift that gives them all of these benefits, and helps them carry on as part of the chain following their parents, grandparents and ancestors through the generations.

In addition to the great gift of belonging and meaning that is bestowed upon the children, as well as the satisfaction of their parents and grandparents, Hebrew School, whether in-person or virtual, is a wholesome, educational and enjoyable way to keep children occupied. Registration for the upcoming year is now open at, or call 416-222-7105 ext. 225 for more info.