Jewish Heritage Month Ontario with Rabbi Ilyse Glickman

On February 23, 2012 the "Jewish Heritage Month Act" (Bill 17) was unanimously passed by the Ontario Legislature. This Bill proclaims that the month of May shall be Jewish Heritage Month, and acknowledges and celebrates the significant contributions that Jewish Canadians have made to Ontario’s political, social, medical, philanthropic and cultural landscape. Throughout this month various events, exhibits, speakers, concerts, walking tours, and films will be offered throughout the Greater Toronto Area that will highlight Jewish heritage in the province.

The Prosserman JCC is hosting one such exhibition from May 1-10. Titled “Being Jewish in Ontario: A Pictorial Celebration”, this travelling exhibit from UJA Federation’s Ontario Jewish Archives explores Jewish life in our province from behind the lens. One facet of Jewish life that is explored is summer camp. A recent study by sociologist Steven M. Cohen shows that there is a profound connection between attending a Jewish summer camp (like the Jack and Pat Kay Centre Camp) and feeling connected to Jewish life and community as adults.

The analysis indicates that they bring, first of all, an increased inclination to practice Jewish behaviors in their lives, from Shabbat candle lighting to using Jewish websites, and to appreciate the value of Jewish charity. Secondly, they bring an increased inclination to value and seek out the experience of Jewish community, whether in the immediate sense of joining other Jews in prayer or in the more abstract sense of identifying with fellow Jews in Israel.

Stay tuned for future posts throughout May about Jewish Heritage Month where I will highlight the Festival of Shavuot, Jewish Music Week, Doors Open Toronto and the Canadian Jewish Book Awards. 

Click here to view part of the exhibit.


Rabbi Ilyse Glickman

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