As we look forward to gathering in September for the High Holy Days, it’s worth taking a moment to celebrate how much our community has accomplished this year. Here are just a few highlights:
- The DJC gained the ability to conduct interfaith marriages for its members. Cantor Lisa Kent is officiating our first inter-faith wedding in July.
- The DJC School and B’nei Mitzvah programs both grew to meet demand: we are renting additional space in the Danforth Baptist Church for the school next year and running two B’nei Mitzvah classes for the first time ever.
- The Syrian family we mobilized so powerfully to sponsor finally arrived and began settling in with the help of a truly remarkable fleet of DJC volunteers.
That’s just the beginning: a new Pride Committee has formed and mounted its first Pride Shabbat; the Fundraising Committee broke new ground with successful arts-based fundraisers such as The Boy in The Moon; the Member Engagement Committee has reached beyond the DJC to engage members across downtown shuls with events like the Kensington Market Walk and Jewish Folk dancing. And then there is the bold outreach and partnership of our Multi-Faith Committee, the rich discussions of the Movie Night and Reading Circle groups, and the essential contributions of our Chesed Caring Committee.
In April, the Board invited a diverse group of leaders from within the community to discuss the DJC’s Vision for the next 5 years. The result was a draft aspiration — To Be a Prominent Voice for Progressive Judaism in Toronto — with an Expanded Focus on Tzedek /Justice, a Commitment to Engaging the Next Generation (from tots, to teens, to millennials), Growth in Arts & Creative-based Programming, and Radical Wisdom. We’ll be reaching out to you in the fall to learn more about how these possibilities resonate with you, and to engage further in defining the future of the DJC.
Finally, this year, you’ll see some adjustments to our fees.
Sliding Scale Fees. In the spring, we piloted siding scale fees for the B’nei Mitzvah Program, and we were pleased to see that many families voluntarily paid more than the minimum. Over the years, many members have encouraged us to make it easier to support the community financially at the time of registration. This is one way to do that.
DJC Members Only High Holy Day Single Tickets for out-of-town guests. Is your aunt visiting from out of town during the High Holy Days? Does your daughter want to bring her boyfriend? Do you wish your elderly mother could come in from London to break the fast? Members can now purchase additional tickets to individual services at a reduced rate of $54 for family or close friends who will accompany them as a unique occurrence. Please, help us maintain this special benefit for members. This ticket category does NOT replace single service tickets for Torontonians who are considering joining the DJC each year.
$100 Increase in Senior Membership. The cost of a senior membership is now the same as the cost of an individual membership. The transition has taken place over several years. It recognizes that, with shifting demographics, many seniors don’t have lower incomes than many of our individual members.
As always, the DJC remains committed to ensuring that no one is turned away for financial reasons. Contact us in confidence to learn more.
For more about the items we’ve mentioned here, please read the complete copy of the materials shared at our recent Annual General Meeting.
Wishing you all a glorious summer!
The DJC Board of Directors ~
Amelia, Emma, Hilla, Janice, Josh, Mara, Mindy, Nadya, Shelley, Tammi
in partnership with Rabbi Miriam