Miriam’s Cup: What’s the Blessing for the Covid Vaccine?

In Jewish practice, brachot/blessings give us the language to express joy and gratitude.  Brachot also function as the spiritual technology for lifting experiences, mundane as well as sublime  experiences, into elevated moments of consciousness and wonder.  Particular experiences are assigned their particular blessings to root us where we are, directly linked with the action we …

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We Are Excited to Be a Founding Partner in the Danforth Multifaith Commons

The Danforth Multifaith Commons was born in 2020, when three faith communities – East End United Regional Ministry, the Danforth Jewish Circle, and Neighbourhood Unitarian Universalist Congregation – joined in a long-term partnership. This partnership formalized many years of multifaith collaboration among our congregations and other faith communities, including an annual solidarity walk on the Danforth. …

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Spring Fundraising Campaign

30 March 202117 Nisan 5781 וכל המרבה לספר ביציאת מצרים הרי זה משובח And the more one expounds on and interprets the storyof the Exodus from Mitzrayim, the more elevated it is. Dear DJC Member, You’re receiving this letter almost exactly a year since the first lockdown. You may agree, it’s been quite a rollercoaster, with …

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Getting Ready for Pesach

These two weeks in the month of Nissan prior to Pesach are a time of preparation. Here are some ways you can prepare for a liberating Pesach for yourself and others: *Clean out your chametz – foods made from the 5 grains: wheat, barley, spelt, rye, and oats. You can donate food, give it to neighbours …

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Miriam’s Cup: Interfaith Families in Toronto – A Brandeis Study

Brandeis University’s Center for Modern Jewish Studies has released a study of Interfaith families in Greater Toronto. The project was initiated by UJA Federation of Greater Toronto with the desire to understand the needs and experiences of interfaith families. I have the pleasure of participating in UJA’s Interfaith Working Group, along with a thoughtful and …

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Miriam’s Cup: Artists are the New Rabbis

As I listened to Amanda Gorman perform her powerful poem at Joe Biden’s presidential inauguration, I remembered and re-remembered this statement – “artists are the new rabbis.” These were the words of Kendell Pinkney, a theatre artist and rabbinical student who moderated the recent panel, ‘Art and Artists On Being Black and Jewish,’ assembled by Fenster …

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Miriam’s Cup: Learning From Trees – What Will Get Us Through the Winter

I was walking with a dear friend in High Park right after a beautiful snowfall. Tree branches held ribbons of snow along their leafless lengths. The cedars and spruces wore the snow more thickly among their needles. The ground was so soft, muffling the sounds of traffic and voices and our footsteps. We followed a …

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How do I decide what to give as my donation to the DJC this year?

Some of us have asked, “How big a donation should I give to the DJC over and above my Membership fees?”   There are so many variables that a simple straightforward answer is not possible. We hear a Jewish voice saying, “On the von hand and then on di udher hand…” “I do not believe one can settle how …

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Miriam’s Cup: What 15 B’nei Mitzvah Students are Teaching Me About Chanukah

This past weekend, I spent more time in our sanctuary at Bethminster than I have in the past 9 months!   I felt a special kind of quiet and reverence walking into the space. The colourful fabric banners were already hanging on the walls and the aron kodesh (the ark) was in its place on …

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Revised Nominating Committee Report to the Membership – October 30, 2020

The Nominating Committee consists of one Board representative and three community members who responded to a broad call for members. We were asked to reach out to the membership for recommendations to fill upcoming vacancies on the Board, consider potential candidates, and present a list of nominees to fill the vacant positions for a two-year term at the …

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A Little Less Alone, A Lot More Together: A Report from our Community Conversations

This past week, we held two community conversations about Judaism in the time of Covid on Zoom.  I love community conversations! (Yes, I am that kind of nerd.)  As a rabbi, I spend a lot of time leading and shaping experiences and practice for the community but when we gather to think together, share ideas …

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