Issue 93 | July 2022
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Maxie’s Garden Becomes Dawne’s Garden

JF&CS has been sharing our love of nature and the benefits of gardening and nutrition with the downtown Toronto community for years. What started as an in-person program and then pivoted to virtual workshops during the pandemic is coming back together in a brand new way. We are pleased to announce that Maxie’s Garden is back after three years of distanced programming! 

Now known as Dawne’s Garden, named in memory of Dawne Ella Goldin z”l who was a committed member of the Maxie’s Garden community, the program is being held in the new location of the garden of Kiever Synagogue. JF&CS is collaborating with Shoresh, a grassroots Jewish environmental organization that leads, inspires and empowers our community members to become Shomrei Adamah – Protectors of the Earth.

Over the course of nine weeks, from June 22 to October 12, community members will participate in one-hour sessions focused on food and gardening. These sessions are designed to teach basic and intermediate organic gardening skills, develop community building, connect to nature, promote health and wellness, and increase access to local, organic food. The produce harvested will be given to the participants throughout the program, and the last session in October will close with a festive meal in the Sukkah prepared by the gardeners!

JF&CS Celebrates Pride!

Every year, Pride Month takes place during the month of June. People from around the world take this time to discuss important LGBTQ2S+ topics and celebrate the many years of dynamic history behind the community. JF&CS has participated in Pride Month for years, marching in Toronto Pride parades, decking out our offices in rainbow flags, and providing valuable programs and services to the community. 

This year, JF&CS chose to commemorate Pride Month in three different ways. The first was updating our Pride logo. By adding pink, light blue, brown, and black, we align our agency with the important progress being made towards a more inclusive society. JF&CS acknowledges the diversity of LGBTQ2S+ people, including people of colour, those who identify as transgender, gender nonconforming and those who don’t identify with any gender. 

The second way we celebrated Pride Month was by sharing invaluable information on our social media accounts. Throughout the month, we shared educational resources and local Pride-related events and initiatives to inform the community on relevant subject matter. If you don’t already follow us, now’s a great time to start!  

Finally, we organized delicious rainbow kosher treats and a Pride-themed scavenger hunt for all of our staff, encouraging everyone to get out there, get informed, and get colourful! To learn more about what JF&CS does to create an inclusive and safe space all year round, please click here.

Bernie’s Backyard is Open! 

On Thursday, June 16, JF&CS hosted the grand opening of Bernie’s Backyard – an exciting backyard renovation at the Jerome D. Diamond Adolescent Centre (JDD). The renovation was made possible by an incredibly generous donation from Bernie and Joan Aaron and contributions from Canadian Hadassah – WIZO (CHW) Toronto and other community donors. The opening evening was a great success!

Bernie and Joan Aaron have been giving back to the Jewish community since the early 70s, when they started a group home for Jewish children in need of a place to stay. The JDD has always had a special place in the hearts of the Aarons, who were close friends with Jerome Diamond, so this gift was especially meaningful. 

At the grand opening, we were welcomed by Talyah Breslin, CEO of JF&CS, Helen Goldlist, JF&CS Board President, heard a beautiful D’var Torah from Rabbi Mordechai Chemel, and thoughtful words from JDD Manager Robyn Cohen, and JDD student Amelia*, all about spending more time outside. Guests at the event had fun playing on the brand new tetherball court and enjoying the fresh air.

The JDD also held their annual awards and recognition ceremony on June 28 to honour the eight students graduating from the program. The weather was beautiful, and the event provided the perfect opportunity to celebrate in the brand-new backyard. Awards were given to students for exceptional academic and personal achievements, and we are very proud of the accomplishments of the young people at the JDD. 

If you are interested in more information or learning about enrollment in the JDD, please contact the JDD Manager at 416.482.3023 x 225 or click here.

 FRC Community Marketplace 

In collaboration with Jewish Immigrant Aid Services (JIAS ) and UJA Genesis, the Family Resource Centre (FRC) has been hosting a community marketplace to provide a dignified shopping experience for newcomers to Canada. 

Together, with the support of the Promenade Mall, we created a volunteer-run pop-up store for those fleeing the war in Ukraine. Newcomers could visit the marketplace for important items such as clothing, toiletries, household items, and diapers – all free of charge. The goal was to offer a sense of empowerment and choice to these newcomers, most of whom have just recently arrived in Canada with very few possessions. 

This spectacular example of community support and agency collaboration has occurred over the last two months and is ongoing throughout July. Not only did we receive an overwhelming amount of donated items, but we also had exceptional volunteer support. Prior to opening, our volunteers spent hours sorting and organizing all of the items to be placed within the space. Then, on opening day, newcomers were assisted in finding exactly what they needed. Across the hall, representatives from Service Canada processed applications for Social Insurance Numbers and members from JIAS and the Jewish Russian Community Centre of Ontario (JRCC)  were also available to answer questions about life in Canada. Upstairs in the FRC, Russian-speaking staff welcomed young families with children ages 0-5 and offered them annual memberships at no cost. 

Thank you to all of those who donated items, time, and effort to this extremely important initiative. We could not have done it without you!


We are pleased to announce that we are now featured on a new planned giving platform – Epilogue. Epilogue is a digital solution that puts philanthropy at the forefront of the Will-making process. 

The platform was created by two former estate lawyers, Daniel Goldgut and Arin Klug, who believe that planning for the future and protecting your family shouldn’t cost a fortune. It allows you to reduce the complexity of making a Will, a process that can be overwhelming, and provides a more simple and affordable way to get started. 

Create your custom, legally-binding document in three straightforward steps to protect those who matter most and leave a gift to the charity of your choice.

Please click here for more information or if you are considering making a bequest to The Jewish Family and Child Foundation.


COVID-19 Resources

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Join the Monthly Mitzvah Makers! 
JF&CS' monthly giving program.
Click here for more information. 

Leave a Legacy 
Click here to learn about planned giving through the Gordon S. Wolfe Legacy Society at JF&CS.

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Jewish Family and Child Service | 4600 Bathurst St, 1st Floor, Toronto, ON   M2R 3V3
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