As the coordinating agency of the Downtown Jewish Community Council (DJCC), the MNjcc brings together over 45 downtown Jewish schools, youth groups, prayer communities and congregations, social service agencies, and cultural and recreational programs that serve you year-round. The DJCC invigorates our community by promoting cooperation, resource-sharing, partnerships and collective action between its member organizations. We are committed to the Jewish values of diversity, accessibility and inclusion, motivating the work of our council.
• To gather and disseminate information about our community
• To increase the visibility of downtown Jewish life to the greater Jewish community
• To strengthen communication and cooperation with each other
• To encourage the participation of the downtown Jewish community in activities serving the welfare of the greater community
• To preserve and increase the opportunities for all aspects of Judaism and Jewish life in downtown Toronto
OUR MEMBER ORGANIZATIONS
Let us connect you to the resources you need! Join the Downtown Jewish Toronto Facebook Group or connect with any of our member organizations below:
Toronto Jewish Film Society (TJFS)
A program of the MNjcc, the TJFS offers a series of eight outstanding films each year in the Al Green Theatre on selected Sundays. Our programs are once per month and feature a noted guest speaker who leads a discussion and introduces the film. All are welcome. Comedies, dramas and documentaries from Israel, Europe, North America and more.
Toronto Jewish Film Foundation (TJFF)
(presenters of the Toronto Jewish Film Festival)
TJFF is dedicated to presenting the best in feature films, documentaries and shorts from Canada and around the world, on themes of Jewish culture and identity. TJFF produces year-round programming and projects, as well as the annual Toronto Jewish Film Festival.
Committee for Yiddish, UJA Federation (CFY)
Through educational, cultural, and engagement programs, the UJA Committee for Yiddish fosters and promotes Yiddish language and culture as a vibrant part of contemporary Jewish life and as a vital link between the Jewish past and future.
Koffler Centre of the Arts
The Koffler Centre of the Arts is a cultural platform that explores critical ideas and concerns of our time through exhibitions, publications, performances, literary events and digital initiatives. We examine complex issues through transformative art experiences that stimulate intercultural dialogue and position Jewish identity in conversation with diverse perspectives and global voices.
This annual festival of Jewish learning, culture and the arts brings people of all backgrounds together to experience the rich diversity of Jewish heritage and contemporary thinking. Reflecting the diversity, talent and energy of Canada’s biggest city, and biggest Jewish community, Limmud Toronto is multicultural, multidenominational and multimedia. Limmud Toronto is a one of a kind festival experience: we welcome 60 presenters-- authors, artists, clergy, scholars, students, advocates, politicians, collectors, and storytellers of all kinds-- to participate in a day-long festival of Jewish learning and discussion. Limmud Toronto brings together voices and ideas from across the range of religious, political, cultural, and generational identities. Wherever you find yourself, Limmud Toronto will take you one step further along your Jewish journey.
Ontario Jewish Archives, Blankenstein Family Heritage Centre (OJA)
(UJA Federation of Greater Toronto)
The OJA is the largest repository of Jewish life in Canada. Founded in 1973, the OJA acquires, preserves and makes accessible the records that chronicle our province’s Jewish history.
Niv is a Jewish culture digital magazine based in Toronto that is published bi-monthly. We are independently run and a not-for-profit publication. Niv's work seeks to foster a wide range of Jewish voices and strives to be representative of an inclusive Jewish community. We accept submissions year-round for news, opinion, arts & culture, and variety (literary work, plays, and art).
Habonim Dror Camp Gesher (Camp Gesher)
Camp Gesher creates an environment for campers to grow as individuals and as part of the Habonim Dror movement. We encourage them to become proud leaders in their respective communities. In the city and at camp, our campers participate in educational activities; connecting with Israel, both its history and its place in the world today, as well as actively working toward Tikkun Olam and social justice projects. Camp Gesher is a place where ALL people are welcomed, valued and respected. We are inclusive of all families, gender identities, sexual orientations, political opinions, and Jewish expressions.
Hashomer Hatzair - Camp Shomria Canada (Camp Shomria)
Hashomer Hatzair Canada works with youth to build progressive Jewish values, links to Israel, community, and a commitment to social, environmental and economic justice in a setting based on youth leadership and responsibility. We offer year-round programming for our whole community, as well as a winter and summer camp for campers in grades 2-10. All activities are led by youth leaders in a setting that promotes and models youth leadership, individual excellence, mutual responsibility, social, environmental and economic justice, respect and cooperation.
ADRABA is a Ministry inspected Private school which offers year-long courses in Jewish learning towards an Ontario Secondary School diploma.
We are dedicated to providing personalized and shared opportunities for high-school-age learners to explore our shared Jewish culture, values, languages, histories, practices and traditions while nurturing academic excellence. We are continuing the centuries-old Jewish conversation. This year, we’re continuing it online.
City Shul School
The City Shul School focuses on an experiential and child-centred Jewish living curriculum (Torah, Avodah, G’milut Chassidim). Our integrated programming includes the arts (drama, music, dance, and multi-media), Jewish ritual, holiday traditions, Hebrew reading, and history. Our Curriculum is explored through lively discussions, engaging centres and hands-on activities, field trips, family learning days, and holiday events. Our partnership with UJA’s Shinshinim program, Shoresh, and Ve’ahavta facilitate a deeper connection and understanding of Israel, our environment, and Tikkun Olam.
Danforth Jewish Circle: Children’s Jewish Studies & B'nei Mitzvah Program
Our program expands our traditions, nurtures students’ big ideas and questions, and helps them build a Jewish community they want to be a part of. Our curriculum reflects the inclusive nature of the Danforth Jewish Circle and the wide range of student backgrounds and experiences within Judaism. Our students learn to question what it means to be a Jew and how being Jewish affects our values, beliefs, and behaviour. Classes include a combination of discussion and debate, music, drama, Hebrew language, sources and stories, special guests, holiday learning, family activities, and Jewish rituals, as well as an engagement with both Jewish history and current events. Since 2007, the DJC B’nei Mitzvah Program has been offering a unique, year-long program of weekly learning within a group of peers. Through the interactive group setting and innovative curriculum, we work
together to craft knowledgeable, feminist, liberal Jewish identities and practices.
Downtown Jewish Community School (DJCS)
The Downtown Jewish Community School is an independent supplementary school in the heart of downtown Toronto. We offer Hebrew and Jewish learning for students in JK to High School. We provide family education across the grades highlighting experiential Jewish Learning as well as optional integrated enrichment options in media, dance, drama and pottery. Music is a key component for early grades and a strong Hebrew language component begins in Grade 2. During COVID-19, we have been able to seamlessly pivot to online learning with professionalism and offer virtual classes to all of our students. We are proud of our partnerships with UJA Shinshinim, JF&CS and Veahavta promoting core values relating to social justice, Israel and Tikkun Olam.
750 Spadina Avenue www.djcs.org
Morris Winchevsky School for Secular Jewishness and Social Justice (Winchevsky)
The Morris Winchevsky Sunday School is Toronto’s secular Jewish shul focused on social justice. Offering a range of programs for pre-school all the way to Bar/Bat Mitzvah groups, our shul focuses on experiential education, immersing our students in an environment where they get to learn, play, and experiment with secular Jewishness and social justice practices. With our rich decades-long history, we have impacted generations of students that have grown up with our talented and creative teachers, starting at the tender age of 2.5 and continuing on to graduate with their own personally-crafted, secular, Bat/Bar Mitzvah ceremony.
918 Bathurst St https://www.winchevskycentre.org/morris-winchevsky-school • Facebook • Twitter • Instagram
Oraynu Children's School
Oraynu Children's School (supplementary school, Sunday mornings only) offers instruction in Jewish history, culture and values from Pre-school through Grade 7 and Bnai Mitzvah. Oraynu provides an understanding of the humanistic values in Judaism, especially the individual’s responsibility to oneself and to society—how these values were part of Jewish life in the past, and how they can guide us today. Jewish education at Oraynu Children’s School develops a positive Humanistic Jewish identity in our students and helps them become strong individuals and responsible citizens of the world.
Paul Penna Downtown Jewish Day School (Paul Penna DJDS)
Paul Penna DJDS is a vibrant SK to Grade 6 Jewish day school committed to exceptional academics in a dynamic environment. The school’s distinct program integrates Judaic and General Studies while encouraging artistic expression as a tool for learning. Committed to social justice and Tikkun Olam (Repairing the World), we nurture responsible citizens and compassionate, confident human beings. Embracing the values of diversity and equality, the school welcomes students of all Jewish backgrounds.
Robbins Hebrew Academy (RHA)
As a progressive Jewish learning academy, we equip students with the skills to think critically, the imagination to think beyond and the discipline that builds character.
Shoresh Jewish Environmental Programs (Shoresh)
Shoresh inspires and empowers our community to take care of the earth by connecting people, land, and Jewish tradition. Through nature-based Jewish education, healthy food production for vulnerable community members, environmental action, and sustainable Jewish products, we offer community members meaningful opportunities to be responsible stewards of the world around us. Serving the communities of Southern Ontario, Shoresh operates out of the Kavanah Garden in Vaughan, Bela Farm in Hillsburgh, Maxie’s Garden in Kensington Market, and through schools, synagogues, camps, and community organizations throughout the Greater Toronto Area.
The Leo Baeck Day School (Leo Baeck)
The Leo Baeck Day School is Canada's first Jewish international baccalaureate world school. Our progressive Jewish lens paired with our global outlook and nurturing community offer our students the best of all worlds.
SOCIAL SERVICES/HEALTH CARE
Jewish Family & Child Service (JF&CS)
A multi-service agency that strengthens and supports individuals, children, families and communities by increasing safety and security, improving mental health and wellness and reducing the effects of poverty, within the context of Jewish values.
Jewish Free Loan Toronto (JFLT)
Established in 1924, Jewish Free Loan Toronto (JFLT) gives interest-free loans to Jewish residents of Ontario who are in need. Today, it has close to 900 loans worth $4 million circulating in the Community helping people help themselves. JFLT’s loan portfolio includes Personal Loans up to $8,000, Student and Jewish Educational loans up to $12,000 and Fertility and Business loans up to $10,000. To help people financially hit by the pandemic, JFLT has created an Emergency Covid Program with $2500 offered without guarantors and $8000 with two guarantors.
Kehilla Residential Programme
Kehilla Residential Programme (Kehilla) was established in 1982 as the UJA Federation’s community housing agency. Our mandate is to identify and champion affordable housing initiatives responsive to the needs of the Jewish community in the Greater Toronto Area. We implement this through education, awareness, project sponsorship, development consultation, and research. Kehilla operates a Rental Assistance Program (RAP) that provides up to $300 per month to assist households to better afford their housing. We also partner with developers to access city-mandated affordable housing units and integrate low-rent and inclusive housing with RAP funding into rental and condominium developments.
Mazon is the Jewish Response to Hunger. We are a grassroots network that feeds both Jewish and non-Jewish Canadians in need by supporting food projects across the country - including food banks, school lunches, hot meals at shelters, community gardens and more - and advocates and educates towards food justice. On behalf of the Jewish community, we provide over 500 meals a day across Canada, from coast to coast to coast.
301-788 Marlee Ave • mazoncanada.ca • Facebook • Twitter • Instagram
New Israel Fund of Canada (NIFC)
New Israel Fund of Canada strives for an Israel that lives up to its founders’ vision, as a state that ensures social and political equality to all inhabitants, regardless of religion, race, gender or national identity. We support projects and programs in Israel that strengthen and safeguard civil and human rights, bridge social and economic gaps and foster tolerance and religious pluralism for all of its residents.
Reena is a non-profit organization that promotes dignity, individuality, independence, personal growth and community inclusion for people with developmental disabilities within a framework of Jewish culture and values.
Sinai Health System
Sinai Health System, comprised of Mount Sinai Hospital, Bridgepoint Active Healthcare, Circle of Care and the Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum Research Institute, delivers exceptional care in hospital, community and home, focusing on the health conditions with the greatest impact on the overall health of the population. We discover and translate scientific breakthroughs, develop practical health solutions, educate future clinical and scientific leaders, and lead efforts to eliminate health inequities.
Ve’ahavta is a Jewish humanitarian organization dedicated to promoting positive change in the lives of people of all faiths and backgrounds who have been marginalized by poverty and hardship. We mobilize volunteers in meaningful, hands-on experiences to fulfil our collective responsibility to care for our neighbours. Our programs support individuals through a variety of opportunities including relief and referral, expressive arts programming, work and life skills training programs, and paid work placement training programs. Each of our program areas includes engaging volunteer opportunities that are integral elements of the programs.
200 Bridgeland Avenue, Unit D • www.veahavta.org
Annex Shul provides a spirited, open, and egalitarian multi-denominational space in downtown Toronto for people from all walks of life to explore their Jewish identity and experience Judaism through prayer, education, and community.
Beach Hebrew Institute (BHI)
BHI is an Independent Egalitarian Conservative congregation in Toronto’s Beaches.
109 Kenilworth Avenue (Queen Street East of Woodbine Ave) www.beachhebrewinstitute.ca
Beth Torah Congregation (BTC)
Beth Torah Congregation serves the spiritual, communal, and educational needs of more than 500 families with warmth and vibrancy. Existing at the nexus of tradition and modernity, Beth Torah offers the wisdom of the ages gleaned from the Torah while speaking to the modern concerns of its congregants with relevance and meaning.
Bina Community Circles
Bina Community Circles is a new spiritual project fostering Jewish personal flourishing and communal change through deep relationship-building circles. Each community circle is an 8-week cohort, learning Jewish wisdom, building new connections, and supporting each other's growth. The focus is as much on the Jewish content as it is on the relationships formed. Through many circles, we form a larger community. Bina Community Circles is designed around the values of inclusion and empowerment. We embrace participants’ gender identities and sexual orientations, family structures, racial and ethnic identities, Jewish status and interfaith backgrounds. And we design Jewish experiences to affirm that each participant has the wisdom to share, expertise to contribute and care to give. Contact Rabbi Julia Appel.
https://www.binacommunitycircles.org • Facebook
We are a group of downtown Jews who have created a welcoming, inclusive, innovative, spiritual congregation whose goal is to enrich the downtown Toronto Jewish community and to enliven downtown Jewish life both personally and communally. We love to sing together, to struggle over interesting texts together, to search for a meaningful Jewish life in the 21st century together. We are building this unique community with many different angles and facets so that folks who resonate with our vision can find their way in and make a difference.
300 Bloor Street West (at Huron) cityshul.com • Facebook • Twitter
Congregation Darchei Noam
Darchei Noam, Toronto’s only Reconstructionist synagogue, is an inclusive, egalitarian and welcoming congregation that blends traditional practice with innovative forms of Jewish expression. We recognize that Jewish life and community evolve over time, yet preserve their unique wisdom and teachings, and aspire to create a sacred space that encourages all who enter to experience Judaism as a source of joy. In all matters of congregational life, we turn to our common values for inspiration.
Congregation Shir Libeynu
Shir Libeynu is Hebrew for “song of our hearts,” and our participatory services include prayers and music, both ancient and modern. Our inclusive rituals combine tradition and innovation. As Toronto’s longest-standing LGBTQ-inclusive congregation, our community embraces an egalitarian and progressive Judaism.
Danforth Jewish Circle (DJC)
The Danforth Jewish Circle is a joyous and inclusive, accessible and inspiring Jewish community located in the heart of Riverdale. We are an egalitarian, unaffiliated community that is part of a larger progressive Jewish movement. We share in the rich wisdom and inspiration of Jewish tradition and culture while seeking to challenge, explore, and reinterpret it.
We hold most services & programs in a rented location: Eastminster Church, 310 Danforth Ave www.djctoronto.com
First Narayever Congregation (Narayever)
First Narayever Congregation is a traditional, egalitarian synagogue dedicated to serving Jews from the downtown core and beyond. Our shul follows the traditional Hebrew liturgy, with changes made for the purposes of gender egalitarianism. Our services are conducted in a relaxed, participatory and heymish atmosphere. We are a pluralistic, progressive, welcoming congregation dedicated to Tikkun Olam and social responsibility. We encourage thoughtful and committed connection to the State of Israel and provide opportunities to enhance spiritual growth and Jewish identity through our myriad of multi-generational programming, from pre-school through to adult education.
Holy Blossom Temple, Toronto’s first synagogue, is a leading Canadian Reform Jewish congregation with a rich history of responding to both tradition and modernity in our religious and spiritual expression. We pursue meaningful opportunities for personal growth and family fulfilment at every stage of life through belonging, learning, prayer and ritual, and acts of service for our congregation and community, our city and country, the Reform Movement, Israel, and all the world.
Jews for Judaism
Jews for Judaism is dedicated to countering the multi-million dollar efforts of Christian missionary groups that target Jews, the impact of cults and eastern religions, assimilation and other challenges to Jewish continuity. Jews For Judaism's goals are to strengthen Jewish pride and identity and to win back Jews who have been influenced by missionaries and cults. We achieve our goals through free educational programs, materials and counselling services that connect Jewish people to the spiritual depth, beauty and wisdom of Judaism and keep Jews Jewish.
Since 1912, the Kiever Synagogue has safeguarded a steadfast flame of Orthodox practice inside the dynamic urban tapestry of Kensington Market. Our vision for contemporary Orthodox Judaism nurtures this unique and authentic flame so that it shines ever more brightly within the constantly transforming downtown landscape. Our historic 1927 edifice is home to a diverse and engaged congregation that harmonizes urban culture with orthodox prayer, tradition, and community. We welcome visitors, new attendees, and invite new members to join us.
25 Bellevue Avenue www.kievershul.com
Makom: Creative Downtown Judaism (Makom)
Makom: Creative Downtown Judaism is an inclusive Toronto community fusing Jewish tradition and progressive values through spirituality, learning and culture. Makom inspires diverse participants to explore together how Judaism can meaningfully enrich our lives.
Oraynu Congregation for Humanistic Judaism
Oraynu is a warm and inclusive community celebrating Jewish holidays, engaging in Jewish learning, and committed to bettering the world, all through a secular/culturally Jewish lens. We hold events in a variety of locations.
Secular Synagogue is an online community for anyone who is a secular/cultural Jew. We do holiday celebrations, learning, and offer a close-knit digital community. Find out more: www.secularsynagogue.com
YOUNG ADULTS/SOCIAL GROUPS
Hillel at the University of Toronto
Hillel strives to inspire every Jewish student to make an enduring commitment to Jewish life, learning, and Israel. Through promoting Jewish identity, cultivating student leadership, and embracing religious and political diversity in an inclusive environment, U of T Hillel will enrich the lives of Jewish students so that they may enrich the Jewish people and the world.
Alex Richler, Community Builder
Alex Richler (she/they) is a queer community builder striving to create intentional Jewish community based out of Toronto. Previously a Moishe House resident, Alex now independently runs several events each month with "wholeheartedly" being the theme - folks should feel comfortable showing up with all parts of themselves and their identity, and to do so enthusiastically.
Her events are free (unless otherwise stated), on zoom, and open to all folks who would like to participate regardless of age, ethnicity, denomination, gender, sex assigned at birth, sexual orientation, ability, Jewish background, or English speaking ability.
Julia and Henry Koschitzky Centre for Jewish Education
Miles Nadal JCC
UJA Social Services
UJA Community Capacity Building
DJCC Interfaith Inclusion Grant: 2022-2023
The goal of the DJCC Interfaith* Inclusion Grant is to advance interfaith inclusion work in the Toronto Jewish communal landscape, with an emphasis on supporting projects within the downtown Jewish community. Through this grant we aim to enable Jewish community initiatives in deepening their interfaith inclusion work aligned with their specific organizational goals.
The grant is funded through the financial support of UJA Federation of Greater Toronto as part of UJA’s strategic priority of ensuring that more members of our community have access to compelling Jewish identity building experiences. The grant is administered by the Miles Nadal JCC in collaboration with UJA Federation of Greater Toronto.
Submissions are due May 2, 2022 at 5:00 pm. The application form can be found here.
*Please note we use ‘interfaith’ as an umbrella term for – intercultural, Jewish&, mixed heritage, multi heritage, multifaith.