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Rabbi Ilyse on a light blue background, banner reads The Word from the DJC.

Discover, Watch, Listen: Every Life is a Universe

It was announced a few days ago that four Israeli hostages who were held captive in Gaza are confirmed dead. It has been 242 days since October 7th and since these individuals and hundreds of others were abducted. How does one compute and begin to understand 242 days of living as a hostage? How much longer will the remaining hostages be in Gaza under Hamas rule?

Discover, Watch, Listen: Every Life is a Universe Read More »

A star of David against a rainbow background title The Word from the DJC

DJC efforts/actions to further truth and reconciliation with Indigenous peoples:

The DJC has regularly supported Indigenous causes through donations, educational programs, and collaborative events to promote reconciliation. These include contributions to organizations like Native Earth Performing Arts and Toronto Council Fire, and events like Kairos Blanket Exercise and virtual tours, underscoring their commitment to truth, reconciliation, and solidarity with Indigenous communities.

DJC efforts/actions to further truth and reconciliation with Indigenous peoples: Read More »

A star of David against a rainbow background title The Word from the DJC

Nominations are now being accepted for five new members on the DJC’s Board of Directors for the 2024-2026 term!

This is a pivotal time to contribute your skills and creativity to strengthening the DJC. Along with the Rabbi and the staff leadership team, Board members provide leadership and strategic direction to ensure the DJC’s health, vitality, organizational effectiveness, governance, and financial stability. Board members are appointed for two-year terms and can serve a maximum of three consecutive terms.

Nominations are now being accepted for five new members on the DJC’s Board of Directors for the 2024-2026 term! Read More »

Rabbi Ilyse on a light blue background, banner reads The Word from the DJC.

IntRIGuiging Thoughts: Antisemitism on Campus…and a big JEW hat

In early 2023, I had a conversation with DJC member Alan Gotlib (exemplary human being/lay leader/dedicated volunteer) about my desire to see a clothing and accessory line in the marketplace proudly representing Judaism. To my great delight and surprise, Alan crafted a hat for me that perfectly matched my vision: a white cap with the letters “JEW” embroidered in two shades of blue, boldly proclaiming my identity. He presented it to me on Yom Kippur. Thirteen days later: October 7. Everything changed.

IntRIGuiging Thoughts: Antisemitism on Campus…and a big JEW hat Read More »

Rabbi Ilyse on a light blue background, banner reads The Word from the DJC.

Seder Supplements, Readings, and Poems for Passover 2024/5784

Pesach 5784 begins in five days and it is clear to all of us that our sedarim will feel different than last year. How could they not? How might we consider what additions to bring to the table to supplement our usual haggadot? Should we bring new readings or poems to speak to the matzav (“situation”)? How about additional items to the seder plate? And is all of this kosher (by that I mean, OK)?

Seder Supplements, Readings, and Poems for Passover 2024/5784 Read More »

A star of David against a rainbow background title The Word from the DJC

Hope for enduring peace 

We are distressed by the hundreds of drones and missiles that were launched from the Iranian Regime directed at Israel. We pray for the safety of everyone living in Israel, and for the recovery of all the injured, including a 7-year-old Beduin Israeli who sustained significant injuries and is in life-threatening condition.

As Israelis wait to hear the next round of air raid sirens and contemplate the threat of a regional war with Iran, those living in the West Bank are also experiencing the same fear of missiles that Israelis are experiencing. In Gaza, Israeli hostages are still being held captive, and it was yet another night of Palestinians living with fear, insecurity and suffering.

We know you join us in our hope for enduring peace for all, and a future that embraces justice for everyone.

Hope for enduring peace  Read More »

Rabbi Ilyse on a light blue background, banner reads The Word from the DJC.

Discover, Watch, Listen: Music in a Time of War

Director of the Shalom Hartman Institute Yehuda Kurtzer takes us on a musical journey in a recent episode of the podcast Identity/Crisis. To set the scene for exploring the musical offerings from Israel since October 7, he outlines the history of the politics of Israeli music in three phases (I hope you will permit me quoting him at length here as I think this history is fascinating)

Discover, Watch, Listen: Music in a Time of War Read More »

Rabbi Ilyse on a light blue background, banner reads The Word from the DJC.

600 Standing Together in Toronto last night

Last night, over 600 people gathered in the Appel Salon at the Toronto Reference Library here in Toronto for an event co-sponsored by The New Israel Fund, Friends of Standing Together Canada, and Heart to Heart. I was in attendance and was delighted to see no fewer than two dozen DJC community members. The program was a moderated conversation by Dr. Miri Sucharov (professor of Political Science at Carleton University) with Rula Daood and Itamar Avneri. Daood (an Arab Israeli) is the National co-Director of Standing Together and a community organizer. Avneri (a Jewish Israeli) is a social and peace activist, a community organizer, and a member of national leadership in Standing Together. 

600 Standing Together in Toronto last night Read More »

Rabbi Ilyse on a light blue background, banner reads The Word from the DJC.

Addressing the Fallout: Antisemitism in the Shadow of Conflict

Today’s offering is not about the war in Israel and Gaza directly but about the fall-out of it, namely the rise in antisemitism globally. Consider this recent Time Magazine article titled “The New Antisemitism” written by Noah Felman, which explores “How an ancient hatred has reinvented itself in the modern world.” The United Kingdom has

Addressing the Fallout: Antisemitism in the Shadow of Conflict Read More »

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