How You Can Make a Difference for the DJC during the Coronavirus Pandemic

Dear DJC friend,

The Danforth Jewish Circle is here for you during the Coronavirus pandemic – as a source of support, connection, and uplifting Jewish life. 

Rabbi Miriam and the three of us who co-chair the DJC board hope you and those you love are well and coping with this crisis. 

For so many DJC members, and perhaps you, your family, friends and neighbours too, this is a time of anxiety, grief, and loss. You have to live with uncertainty and concern for your own well-being and those close to you…

For the health of our society’s most vulnerable members…

For those on the front lines of support and care…

And for people around the world. 

Surprisingly this crisis has also created valuable opportunities to be connected with one another and to use this moment for community-building, learning, spiritual engagement, and sharing joy with one another. 

As you may have discovered already, DJC has been responding to the sudden need for physical distancing with creative online programs to bring us all closer to each other and to Jewish wisdom and tradition, in ways that cultivate strength, buoyancy, courage and insight. 

To make it possible to develop and deliver these creative new ways to engage in Jewish life, would you please donate today – if you are able?

Your contribution enables Rabbi Miriam and the DJC team to provide creative new programs to care for those in your Circle.  Here are just a few examples of those that have happened so far.  Were you involved with any of these? There will be more to come!

More people than ever are turning to religion for comfort and strength. 

  • To welcome Shabbat together on Friday evenings, you are invited to participate in online ceremonies.  These services offer you a warm minyan for elevating celebration, and provide an essential community for our members who are saying mourner’s Kaddish.
  • The DJC attracts remarkable numbers to online gatherings for song, Jewish learning, and checking-in online, every Wednesday morning.
  • An amazing 54 households participated in the DJC online Earth Hour program, Havdalah, and coffee house.  Sharing awareness and activism about the climate crisis, listening to inspiring DJC talent, joining together from our various living rooms, kitchens, and homes.
  • And what a joy it was to gather with so many for the DJC’s Second Night Pesach Seder.  It was an interactive journey leaving behind constriction and slavery and journeying toward wide freedom.

Education for the next generation is also continuing – in new ways.

  • The teachers from your DJC Jewish Studies program have been demonstrating their incredible creativity and skill, engaging our students in interactive online learning. 
  • Jewish Storytime with Alysse Rich, the DJC’s Director of Education, and Shabbat and Me with the playful and talented Fran Sharpe, have been bringing together families with young children for meaningful and fun Jewish experiences online. 
  • You might be pleased to know that the DJC now has TWO B’nai Mitzvah classes meeting online each week!  Thanks to donations that fund our experienced teacher, Mira Lynonblum, the students have developed a marvellous tikkun olam video project reaching out to people who are isolated. 

Support and outreach are also so important to everyone’s mental health.

  • Rabbi Miriam has been counselling many members who are facing loss or anxiety, or seeking spiritual and emotional support and resources in these challenging times. 
  • Did you get a phone call yet? A dedicated team of DJC volunteers have been calling DJC members like you, first reaching out to the most vulnerable members of our community, with love. 
  • The volunteers were also ensuring that members who can’t leave home to go shopping have matzah for Pesach. 

These are just a few examples of how donations from generous members like you help each and everyone in the DJC during this emergency.

You and I know that many in the DJC community are out of work or have lost income. 

This is a stressful and difficult time for many.  So we understand if you are not able to make a financial donation to the DJC at this time.  We appreciate all the other ways you make the Circle strong. 

If you can, if you have the means and are able, we ask that you take this opportunity to help sustain the DJC through this challenging time

If you are making or revising your will, we ask that you also consider the DJC in your plans for the future. 

Rabbi Miriam, your board, the small staff, and the many volunteers are committed to keeping your DJC community connected, vibrant, and well supported. 

Committed to offering creative programming, emotionally moving services and meaningful education. 

Committed to ensuring that the DJC is poised to keep responding as the situation unfolds. 

No one knows how long you will need to keep securing yourself in your home but you and I know that everyone feels the impact. 

Because you are reading this Pesach letter, I know that you care about the DJC and the people in the Circle. 

Thank you for taking the time to think about what the DJC contributes to the community to progressive Jewish life in Toronto, and to your life. 

More members of the DJC than ever will need subsidies to participate in programs such as Children’s Jewish Education, B’nei Mitzvah classes, High Holyday services, and all the ways your DJC helps, one person at a time.

Please, donate now. 

Can you give $18 or $36 a month?  Maybe $180 or $360 today.  Perhaps you are able to give $1,800?  More? 

Your donation will be used wisely. 

And you will receive a charitable tax credit for the full amount bringing you back almost half of what you give at tax time. 

Where does your money do the most good?

You may be interested to know that:

  • $180 helps to make a DJC program happen
  • $360 lends support for a child to participate in the DJC Children’s Jewish Studies Program
  • $1,050 covers a music-filled Shabbat service led by Rabbi Miriam and Cantor Lisa
  • $2,300 pays for B’nei Mitzvah training for one beautiful child

Please give now at djctoronto.com/donate/donate-now.

May this Pesach and the days ahead be a time of healing and good health, of resilience and strength, and the possibilities of liberation. 

Chag Sameach,

Emma Firsten-Kaufman, Kathy Glazier, Nicki Weiss

Co-chairs, DJC Board

P.  S.  Your gift of $36, $72, $180 – or any amount you can afford – will make a difference in the life of one child or adult at DJC who needs your support. 

Please give right away. 

It’s a mitzvah!  Thank you.