Roots and Branches: The Making of a Progressive Jewish Community

The Danforth Jewish Circle’s 25th anniversary book is now available for pre-order!

Edited by Paul Axelrod and Karen Robbins, and filled with contributions from numerous DJC members, Roots and Branches: The Making of a Progressive Jewish Community, will be published later this year. Its insightful chapters and poignant personal vignettes explain how the DJC resonates in the lives of its members, and the important place of this unconventional community on the contemporary Jewish landscape.

Richly illustrated, the book celebrates 25 years of the Danforth Jewish Circle, tracing its founding and emergence as a dynamic, thriving presence in Toronto’s Jewish life.

The publication and sale of Roots and Branches will help sustain the Danforth Jewish Circle as it enters its next 25 years. We hope you enjoy it as much as we enjoyed making it!

Shortly after the DJC was born — in spirit, though not in name — we decided to raise a proverbial flag and see which way the wind was blowing. What interest might there be in creating a new Jewish community, one that would take a grassroots approach to Judaism? Best to keep our goals modest, we thought. The call went out: an Oneg Shabbat would be held in the basement of Eastminster United Church. We would keep things simple: some challah, the blessings, some songs. Above all, a chance to meet and greet, to discover, to bond, to break bread. We knew there were Jewish and interfaith households in the neighbourhood. To choose to live in east-end Toronto meant planting stakes far from the city’s Jewish corridor, where the fruits of Judaism could be readily plucked. How many would show up? Who would show up?
-Emil Sher, “In the Beginning” – Roots and Branches: The Making of a Progressive Jewish Community

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