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 at all eight JRCC branches locations on April 15 and 16. 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. In addition to the in-person community Seders, the JRCC also offered its Seder To Go option. Originally conceived during COVID, when restriction did not allow for in-person community Seders, the JRCC continued to make the service available by popular demand as a convenience for those who benefit from having their basic Seder needs delivered to their home.


The longstanding custom of post-Passover challah baking known as Shlissel Challah, was celebrated simultaneously in eight 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.


On April 11-12, 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, led by Rabbi Avrohom Jacks. The JRCC also participated in a city-wide mitzvah tank parade in honor of the day, marking 120 years since the Rebbe’s birth. To learn more about the Rebbe visit


The JRCC East Thornhill hosted a special evening of creative inspiration in preparation for the Passover holiday. The event revolved around a Seder Plate Pottery Painting activity, where each participant got to design, paint and take home their own Passover Seder plate. The evening also featured a trail mix bar, and women shared tips on making the Festival of Freedom stress-free and happy. In addition, several pre-Passover workshops that focused on the practical “how to” of getting ready to the holiday were hosted by several JRCC branches.