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Kabbalat Shabbat Service – Refugee Shabbat

February 23 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm

Silhouetted figures in light blue walk together holding hands.


Join the Danforth Jewish Circle as we participate in Refugee Shabbat, a world-wide initiative focused on aligning our hearts and our actions in response to the plight of refugees and asylum seekers. At this Kabbalat Shabbat service, we will bring awareness and reflection, sacred practice, prayer, song, and community strength to the project of welcoming strangers and protecting refugees. This special service will feature guest speakers.

A light Kiddush (refreshments) follows the service.


Special Guest Speakers:


Ms. Tahmina Arian has more than 4 years of experience working in the field of humanitarian, social and community services inside Canada. Considered as an influential Afghan by the US embassy of Afghanistan in 2017, author of a documentary book titled Burka: Not My Identity, awarded as an international human rights Tulip Afghanistan in 2018 for her dedication on women empowerment, girls education rights and human rights. Served the Canadian community as a social worker in a diverse environment with Scholars at Risks Organization, Youthful Cities Organization, Afghan Women Organization, Hazara Community Organization and currently working as a Settlement Worker at JIAS Toronto.

Laura Gold is a dedicated social worker who has spent her career supporting the needs of marginalized communities, either through direct service, policy making, or managing and supporting front line workers. Laura has worked in various social service sectors both in the U.S. and Canada, including settlement, home care, HIV/AIDS, as well as state Medicaid policy. In her current role, Laura serves as the clinical manager of a team of intake and settlement workers at Jewish Immigrant Aid Services (JIAS) Toronto. JIAS welcomes and supports newcomers from around the world through settlement support, community connections, English language instruction and refugee sponsorship. Laura holds a Master of Social Work from the University of Toronto and completed a 2-year advanced training program in Psychodynamic Psychotherapy from New York University’s School of Medicine.

Rev. Bri-anne Swan is currently Lead Minister (Minister to Congregation and Community) with East End United Regional Ministry in Toronto, an Affirming congregation of the United Church of Canada. She is also a singer/songwriter with a heart for all those who have been told that they do not belong. Bri-anne has served as Community Minister for the Living Presence Ministry and Minister for Social & Ecological Justice and Communications at Shining Waters Regional Council (United Church of Canada).  Since 2019, Bri-anne has been leading Resistance Church, a justice-focused, online ministry that reaches out to those for whom traditional church models are not always relevant or accessible.

Passionate about facilitating spiritual encounters in digital spaces, Bri-anne has hosted the Do Justice Podcast, the Wilderness Times Podcast and Sermons from the East End.  You will often find her editing video, writing a song, or designing something for online worship. Bri-anne is also a spiritual advisor to incarcerated individuals on Texas’ Death Row.  

Bri-anne shares in life with her spouse (Rev. Jason), their two children (better known as The Lockdown Brothers), as well as their rescue dog (Dobby) and one-eyed cat (Alastor).



Instagram: @resistancechurch

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February 23
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Event Category:


Danforth Jewish Circle
View Organizer Website


Rafos/Cappuccino room
310 Danforth Ave
Toronto, ON M4K 1N6 Canada
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