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Queer Interfaith Coalition's Open Letter calling for 2SLGBTQIA+ rights

As part of its continued advocacy, the Reform Jewish Community of Canada (RJCC) has signed the Queer Interfaith Coalition's "Open Letter calling for 2SLGBTQIA+ rights,” as has some of our other Canadian Reform congregations.

We support all those who seek to live without fear of harassment, violence, or discrimination, and we are committed to caring for and supporting everyone who is affected by the dangerous and widespread assault of trans and queer people. We celebrate the countless parents, educators, health care providers, and advocates who help our youth inhabit and navigate the world as their authentic selves and we commend all who are fighting for justice and equality.

RECORDING AVAILABLE - Israel Conversation with Jon Allen, former Ambassador to Israel - November 11, 2023

The recording for the session is available here:

https://youtu.be/ivMA0wDnVnM

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Volunteer in Israel Missions- JNF Canada

Volunteer for 4 Days in Israel

Israel needs us now more than ever. Spend 4 days in Israel to help provide immediate relief, make a difference, and come away feeling the meaningful impact of your work. Join our friends from JNF-USA for this unforgettable experience.

Book trip here

JNF Canada - In Unity with JNF-USA

To all our wonderful Canadian donors, thank you for the support you’ve shown JNF Canada and the Jewish communities across Canada during this difficult time.

Our friends at JNF-USA have extended an invitation to Canadians who would like to participate in or some of JNF-USA's programming during this conflict. We are proud to have such welcoming partners to the south and encourage our communities to access their resources as well:
 

 

 

Holocaust Education

NEWS RELEASE

Ontario Strengthening Holocaust Education in High Schools

New mandatory learning, resources and investments will help educate students about the significance of the Holocaust

November 01, 2023
Ministry of Education

 

 

TORONTO —The Ontario government is introducing new and expanded mandatory learning about the Holocaust in the compulsory Grade 10 History course. In addition, the province is investing $650,000 in community partnerships that provide resources for students and educator training to expand learning on fundamental Canadian values, including the importance of safeguarding democracy from extreme and harmful ideologies.

“Our government is decisively combatting the rise of antisemitism and hate in all its forms,” said Stephen Lecce, Minister of Education. “By including new mandatory learning in Holocaust education in elementary and secondary schools, we are ensuring students are never bystanders in the face of hate and division. We will ensure that ‘Never Again’ is our legacy to the next generation, as we safeguard and promote those fundamental Canadian values of democracy, freedom, civility and respect.”

Starting September 2025, new expanded learning about the Holocaust in the Grade 10 History course will explicitly link the Holocaust to extreme political ideologies, including fascism, antisemitism in Canada in the 1930s and 1940s, and the contemporary impacts of rising antisemitism.

This expanded learning will build on the current Grade 10 History curriculum about how the Holocaust impacted Canadian society and the attitudes of people in Canada toward human rights. The course complements new mandatory learning on the significance of the Holocaust included in Grade 6 Social Studies, strengthening students’ ongoing understanding of how to identify, respond to and change harmful assumptions and stereotypes that can lead to tragic events like the Holocaust, including antisemitism and other forms of racism.

To help students learn about historical and present-day discrimination, Ontario is investing $650,000 (2023-24) in community partnerships including:

  • Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center for Holocaust Studies to create an Antisemitism Classroom Toolkit curriculum resource for Grades 5 to 8 and a training workshop for teachers on how to teach students about the Holocaust
  • the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs to continue their work on a resource hub for educators and parents to learn about, identify and take action to address antisemitism
  • Liberation75 to provide Holocaust and antisemitism education resources/supports for educators and students, as well as an online teacher resource to support Grade 6 Holocaust education
  • the Canadian Society for Yad Vashem to provide teaching materials related to the story of the MS St. Louis, a ship carrying Jewish Germans fleeing Nazi Germany to Cuba in 1939
  • UJA Federation of Greater Toronto’s Holocaust Museum to create virtual and in-person tours for teachers and other Holocaust-related resources

Ontario’s revisions to both the elementary and secondary school curriculum demonstrate its ongoing commitment to strengthening anti-hate training for Ontario students and educators. New course guidelines for teachers developed by the Ontario College of Teachers (OCT) will be ready by 2025 so they can begin developing courses to help support their efforts to educate students on the Holocaust.

 

Quick Facts

  • According to a 2021 survey on antisemitism and Holocaust knowledge conducted by Liberation75, one in three teens in Canada and the United States think the Holocaust was fabricated, exaggerated or are unsure it actually happened.
  • In its 2022 Annual Audit of Antisemitic Incidents, B’nai Brith logged 2,769 incidents, among the highest rates of hate crimes ever recorded in Canada.
  • Holocaust Education Week is recognized every year from November 1 to 9, and honours the survivors of the Holocaust and commemorates those murdered by the Nazis.
  • Jewish Canadians remain the most targeted religious minority for hate crimes in Canada, according to Statistics Canada. While Jewish Canadians make up one per cent of the population, they were victims of 14 per cent of all reported hate crimes in 2021.
  • In 2021, Statistics Canada found that police-reported hate crimes targeting the Jewish religion were up 47 per cent from the previous year.

In 2021, Ontario launched the new Anti-Racism and Anti-Hate Grant Program, which focuses on

increasing awareness on the impact of racism and hate. It is a two-year investment of $1.6 million.

Additional Resources

Education funding, 2022-23

     

Greening Sacred Spaces (London)

Greening Sacred Spaces (London) and Reforest London are excited to announce the upcoming annual INTERFAITH TREE PLANTING EVENT and we invite you to be a part of this transformative experience. We hope you can join the following faith communities: Temple Israel, Or Shalom, AlMahdi Islamic Centre, St.James Westminster Anglican Church, Calvary United, St. John the Divine Catholic Church, London Sikh Society and others who have already signed up to help create a greener, healthier more sustainable future. Families are welcome. High school students can get credit for volunteer hours.

WHEN - Sunday October 22nd ( 2:30-5pm)
WHERE - Glen Cairn Park E (170 Helena Ave) off Thompson Rd

This event is free but donations are welcome.

Visit here and note “ INTERFAITH PLANTING" in the message box.

Go to this Eventbrite link to register if you're able to attend.
 

 

CBC Article with Rabbi Dressler

CBC's recent article featuring Rabbi Dressler:

"London, Ont., Jewish community gathers to pray for coming days as Israel-Hamas conflict escalates."

Read here

Upcoming JIC Discussion Sessions

These sessions this year are for people who are, have been, or plan on attending an Introduction to Judaism class.  We will discuss topics from the curricula as well as others, to build community and connection among those learning more about Judaism.

Our first session will serve to re-acquaint ourselves with each other, and brainstorm a plan for the upcoming year.

All are welcome!  RSVP to the office here and find Zoom link here.

Sessions run from 1:00 to 2:00 pm

Saturday, October 14, 2023

Saturday, November 18, 2023

Saturday, December 2, 2023

Upcoming CCAR Seminars

Here are two upcoming opportunities to gather, process, and connect. We invite you to join either or both.



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Space for Comfort and Connection:

With Dr. Betsy Stone

 

Thursday, October 12, 2023; 7:00-8:00 PM ET

REGISTER HERE

 

Join Dr. Betsy Stone for an hour of open conversation and reflection with CCAR colleagues. Guided by Betsy, this will be an opportunity to honestly share whatever you are feeling in a safe and non-judgmental forum with colleagues who understand.

A Gathering to Ground Yourself before Shabbat

With Rabbi Dusty Klass

 

Friday, October 13, 2023; 12:00-12:30 PM ET

REGISTER HERE

 

Join for a half hour to be together and connect, to take a breath, and gather strength in community before heading into Shabbat after a truly unimaginable week. We will sit, listen to music and poetry and have time to share and serve as witness to each other.

CCAR Solidarity Statement

With Israel at war, we stand in solidarity with our Israeli colleagues and all Israelis. We are heartbroken and horrified by these attacks by Hamas, on Shabbat and Simchat Torah no less, a time dedicated to renewal and joy. We mourn the lives lost, and we pray for healing of the wounded. We pray too for those defending Israel and for the safe redemption of the captured. May an end to the violence and bloodshed come quickly.

The CCAR's official statement of solidarity can be found here.

Additional resources:

ARZENU Statement on Hamas Attacks in Israel


Our joyful celebration of Simchat Torah has been shattered by the news out of Israel and the vicious attack by Hamas. As the casualty and fatality numbers rise, we stand together across the world as Reform, Progressive and Liberal Zionists in solidarity with our partners, our friends, and our family throughout Israel and in the Israel Movement for Progressive and Reform Judaism. We pray for their safety and security, and for their return to health from the physical and emotional toll of the terror they now face. Together we pray for the state of Israel and bless those who serve in the Israel Defense Forces with the words found in Tfilat Ha-Adam, the prayerbook of our movement in Israel, 


"צּור ישְראֵל וְגֹואֲלֹו
ּבָרְֵך נָא אֶת מְדִינַת יִשְרָאֵל,
רֵאשִית צְמִיחַתּ גְאֻּלָתֵנּו.
הָגֵן עָלֶיהָ ברֹב חְַּסדֶָך,
ּופְרש עָלֶיהָ סֻּכַת שְלֹומֶָך." 


“Rock and Redeemer of Israel, bless the State of Israel, the dawning of our redemption. Shield it with Your compassion and spread over it the sukkah of your shalom.”


"מִי שֶּבֵרְַך אֲבֹותֵינּו אַבְרָהָם יִצְחָק וְיַעֲקֹב, וְאִּמֹותֵינּו  שָרָה רִבְקָה
לֵאָה וְרָחֵל, הּוא יְבָרֵך אֶת חַיָלֹות וְחַּיָלֵי צְבָא הַהֲגַנָה לְיִשְרָאֵל
ּושְאָר מְגִּנֵי עַּמֵנּו, הָעֹומְדִים עַל מִשְמַרְתָם "


“May the One who blessed our ancestors Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Sarah, Rebecca, Leah and Rachel, bless the soldiers of the Israel Defense Forces, and all who stand guard protecting our people.”

ARZA Canada Week - October 10-22, 2023

 

 

 

 

ARZA is welcoming Noga Maliniak, Vice Chair of the Israel Reform movement and Orly Erez Likhovski, Executive Director of the Israel Religious Action Center to Canada to engage with our congregations across the country.
Visit here for all the events.

Announcing: Ontario's Mandatory Holocaust Education Details Released!

In 2021, Liberation75 conducted the first survey of teen knowledge about the Holocaust and found that one in three students believed that “the Holocaust was fabricated, exaggerated or they weren’t sure.” In response to these disturbing statistics, today, the Ministry of Education released the following:


“As announced on November 9, 2022, the Ministry of Education is introducing mandatory Holocaust learning for the first time in elementary schools to help younger students gain a deeper understanding of its significance and combat rising cases of antisemitism in Ontario schools. In order to frame the Holocaust learning, students will learn about Jewish heritage, the experiences of Jewish individuals, families, and communities, including ways in which they have contributed to Canada, the ongoing impact of antisemitism, and responses to acts of hate and human rights violations after World War II. The revised Grade 6 Social Studies curriculum, which is part of Ontario’s continued modernization of the curriculum, will be implemented in September 2023.

The new learning is available to all parents, teachers and students on the Curriculum and Resources website at Ontario.ca/curriculum. It was developed with community organizations to ensure grade content is factually accurate, age appropriate, relevant and culturally responsive.”

Liberation75 is honoured to have been a partner in the development of this new curriculum and will continue to provide easy-to-use resources for teachers and students. We applaud the Ministry of Education, and especially Education Minister, Stephen Lecce, for leading the way as the first province to implement such bold and important education to ensure that Ontario students will learn to fight antisemitism and all discrimination beginning in grade 6. We are profoundly grateful to Yael Ginsler, Assistant Deputy Minister, and Denys Giguère, Assistant Deputy Minister, and their team for working so hard to make this historic change to the curriculum.

For more information, please contact 
info@liberation75.org

London Interfaith Peace Camp


 

New Policy at Temple Israel

In view of recent changes in public health guidelines, the Temple Israel Board has voted to suspend the requirement of proof of COVID vaccinations for attendance at in-person services and events.

In view of health vulnerabilities of some members of our community, however, the Board strongly encourages full vaccination for members who attend in-person Temple activities, and more generally encourages compliance with public health guidelines.

We hope to see you in person at services and events.

Temple Israel Food Policy (Revised in 2014)

Food Policy (2010 - revised in 2014)

Temple Israel of London is a Reform Jewish congregation, and as such, we are committed to supporting the diverse expressions of Jewish practice within our community. Temple Israel’s kitchen is not kosher in the traditional sense. Our kitchen does not contain separate dishes, cooking implements, or serving platters designated specifically for meat or dairy meals. 

At Temple events, within and outside of the temple building, we will follow a "kosher style" food policy, defined in the following manner:

Restrictions:

  • We strive to be nut-free. Our policy is that no tree nuts, peanuts, nut products, or any foods prepared with these will be allowed on the Temple premises. While our nut-free policy cannot guarantee that persons with nut allergies will not suffer allergic reactions, we believe that adherence to these guidelines will minimize the possibility of anaphylactic reactions.

  • Shell fish is not allowed (lobster, shrimp, crab, oysters, mussels, clams, etc.).

  • Pork and pork products are not allowed (bacon, ham, pork, pepperoni, sausage, etc.). Special care should be taken to review the ingredients in prepared food (such as pies and pie crusts) to avoid foods containing lard (pork fat).

  • No dishes combining Meat and Milk products may be served (see further instructions, below, under "labeling.")

  • No food may be served during Yom Kippur, with the exceptions of child care and medical necessity.

  • No bread or "bread-like products" (those made with a leavening agent) are allowed during the seven days of Passover.  In addition, prepared foods that would typically contain grain in any form (e.g. cereal, flours), must carry a "Kosher for Passover" seal. Temple Israel does permit the serving of kitniyot during Passover--rice, corn, millet, legumes (including soy), although it is preferable that this use be limited to their natural state, since "Kosher for Passover" designations are not typically available in North America for such products.

Labeling and Menu Choices:

Temple Israel will employ the following methods to support our members' varied approaches to kashrut observance and other dietary restrictions: 

  • When serving a meal containing a meat entree, a fish or vegetarian alternative should also be offered.

  • When serving a meal containing a meat entree, pareve side dishes, pareve coffee creamer, and pareve desserts should also be available.

  • All prepared dishes should be labelled as Dairy, Meat, or Pareve (neither meat nor dairy), with a brief listing of ingredients, whenever its content is not obvious. Cards to identify dishes are available in the Temple kitchen.

Other:

Further, we maintain the following food policies not directly related to kashrut.

  • Local and/or Israeli products should be purchased when possible. 

RJCC Statement on Israel's November 2022 Elections

Read the statement on the Israeli elections from the Reform Jewish Community of Canada (RJCC), Reform Rabbis of Canada (RROC) and ARZA Canada.

View statement here.

Life & Legacy - Assuring Jewish Tomorrows

RJCC and ARZA Canada Host a Series on Minorities in Israel: Postponed until after the High Holy Days

Fake COVID Kits

Health Canada has warned that several fake COVID testing kids have been found in Ontario. They look like the legitimate Rapid Response tests in the light green boxes — but according to CBC News , there a few signs that tell you they’re not the real deal.

While the real boxes are sealed with transparent stickers that say “QC APPROVED,” the fakes are not. They purport to be legit with text that reads “ Official Canadian Distributor” and “Health Canada Approved.” The real boxes don’t include this wording.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The fake kits reference “Health Advance” and say “HEALTH CANADA APPROVED.” (Provided by Health Canada)

The real kits, meanwhile, don’t have that added text, but are sealed with a clear sticker. Health Canada  said in a statement  that the fake tests had been sold online, from the manufacturer “Health Advance Inc.” The website of the distributor, which was listed as “Healthful Plus,” is no longer active. The person who bought the original shipment of 435 test boxes sent it to Health Canada, and the agency said there’s no reason to believe other fake test kits are being distributed elsewhere in the country. Still, it’s important to check, they added.

Ukraine Crisis Fund - WUPJ

In the light of the Russian attack on Ukraine, the World Union for Progressive Judaism launches the Ukraine Crisis Fund. We ask people from all over the world to make donations towards the support of the Ukrainian Jewish community.

Money will be spent on individuals and communities to ensure their safety and well-being. If the conflict escalates further, your money will become crucial and necessary help for many people. If the tension eases, the fund will be spent on the development of the progressive Jewish community in Ukraine.

To donate, visit here.

 

Ad in Globe & Mail February 7, 2022 created by Reform Rabbis of Canada and RJCC

Important Statements from Reform Jewish Community of Canada (RJCC)

Reform Movement Strongly Condemns Amnesty International Report
Click here for more information

Reform Jewish Leader Responds to Uptick in Antisemitic Incidents
Click here for more information

URJ Statement on Prime Minister Bennett's Abandonment of the Kotel Agreement
Click here for more information

Letter from Reform Jewish Community of Canada (RJCC)

A statement from RJCC was sent to the Toronto District School Board ahead of the meeting to potentially censure Trustee Lulka for calling out, on Twitter, antisemitic and anti-Israel material that was circulated to teachers by a Student Equity Program Advisor. It was signed by the RJCC, ARZA Canada and the Reform Rabbis of Greater Toronto (RRGT).   See letter here.

B'nai Brith Calls on Canadian Govt. for Strong Action on AntiSemitism

Nov. 15, 2021 OTTAWA — B’nai Brith Canada is proposing a four-point action plan to the Government in hopes of combating increasing antisemitism. A letter sent Monday morning to Irwin Cotler, Special Envoy for Preserving Holocaust Remembrance and Combating Antisemitism, contained recommendations from B’nai Brith that would transform into concrete gains the significant commitments made ...

www.bnaibrith.ca We are heartened by the Government of Canada's country pledge made October 13 at the Malmo International Forum to Combat Antisemitism:

Read more here.

 

New!! Member Bulletin Board

Check out our new Member Bulletin Board here!

From the Reform Jewish Community of Canada

Reform Jewish Community of Canada Statement

June 2, 2021

The Reform Jewish Community of Canada Calls for Action on the Discovery of the Unmarked Graves of Indigenous Children at The Kamloops Indian Residential School


Our hearts are with the Tk'emlúps te Secwépemc First Nation and Indigenous peoples and communities across the country as they mourn once again the deaths of 215 children found to be buried in a mass grave on the grounds of the Kamloops Indian Residential School. We know that this was not a discovery, but a confirmation, and we know that silence is not a solution to the continuing pain and injustice experienced by Indigenous communities.

We stand in solidarity with Indigenous peoples to address the historic and ongoing effects of colonialism to ensure a rich heritage, legacy, and future for your children and your children’s children. Our tradition teaches that the loss of even one life is the loss of a whole world. This particular loss is unfathomable.

We bear witness to the truth and call on our governments to follow through on commitments made to ensure meaningful reconciliation, including following through on articles 71-76 of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada Calls to Action outlining crucial steps related to missing children and burials. We further acknowledge that the injustices inflicted upon Indigenous peoples in Canada are not limited to historic events like abuse that occurred through the Residential School System. Rather, there continue to be pressing issues facing Indigenous communities, and it is our responsibility to work together to address them. As our tradition further teaches us, while it may not be upon us to complete the work, we are not free to desist from it.

A national Indian Residential School Crisis Line has been set up to provide support for former students and those affected. People can access emotional and crisis referral services by calling the 24-hour national crisis line: 1-866-925-4419.]

 

Reform Jewish Community of Canada Stands With Israel

RJCC/ARZA/RROC Stand with Israel.

 View May 16, 2021 Statement here.

 

 

 

Recipes and a recording of our session are now available!

The home of Reform Judaism in London, Ontario.

large rock with Temple Israel of London and address (605) carved into it.

At Temple Israel, we weave the gifts of our Jewish past into the promise of our future.

An inclusive and diverse congregation, we encourage participation from all who seek a meaningful Jewish life in the 21st century. We welcome Jewish and interfaith couples, traditional and non-traditional families, singles, LGBT, and people of every age, race, and ethnicity.

As a community of around 135 families, our Shabbat services, holiday and  life-cycle observances are warm and lively. We also offer a  Religious School, Pre-School Experience,  Adult Education Classes, as well as Social Action, Outreach, Interfaith, and Social events.

Whether you are new to Judaism or a learned scholar, our tent is open.

Wed, 24 July 2024 18 Tammuz 5784