SUNDAY MAY 16, 2021 • 6:00 PM - MIDNIGHT

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Oy Vey! A Pandemic! Documenting the Jewish Response to COVID-19  

With Dara Solomon, Joshua Tapper, Donna Bernardo-Ceriz, Michael Friesen

Presented in partnership with Ontario Jewish Archives, Blankenstein Family Heritage Centre

Typically, archives collect materials after historical events have occurred. However, as the pandemic unfolded, the OJA began to proactively document the community’s response. Join us for a panel discussion exploring the resulting collection that will illuminate this unprecedented time for the future.

6:00 - 7:00 PM

7:00 - 8:00 PM

8:00 - 9:00 PM


The Knock-Out Lock-Down Loaf – A Kosher Style Bake Along

With Amy Rosen

Move over, banana bread... carrot-zucchini bread has arrived. It's not health food, but it's good food. Loaded with vegetables and the crunch of pecans, it also oozes sweetness and with its decadent cream cheese frosting. You'll want to make this loaf. Bake along with Amy from her cookbook ‘Kosher Style’ and enjoy a study snack to keep you going all night long and have breakfast ready for tomorrow morning if there’s any leftover!


Into the Labyrinth: A Meditation & Arts-Based Workshop  

With Or Har-Gil 

Join Art Therapist Or Har-Gil for meditation and a reflective art exercise on the theme of revelation. We’ll use the labyrinth as a metaphor for wandering through the wilderness before making our way to the sacred centre to receive our own, and divine, wisdom. Bring basic art supplies (paper/notebook, pencil crayons, markers or pastels) and a journal and pen. No artistic experience or skill necessary.

9:00 - 10:00 PM

10:00 - 11:00 PM

11:00 - MIDNIGHT


Yiddishkeit 101: An Intro to the Past and Present of Yiddish Culture 

With Jonathan Brown Gilbert & Ester Reiter 

So you’ve downloaded Yiddish on Duo Lingo... nu? now what? Come for an introduction – punctuated with music, short stories, and humour – to the vibrant history of Yiddish culture often forgotten in today's mainstream Jewish spaces. Come listen, learn, and sing with us!


Cripping The Torah 

With Ophira Calof 

Learn how to “crip the script”, centering disability in our practices! With a focus on storytelling, this session will explore the connections between disability art and Jewish tradition. 


Mixed Race and Jewish: The Personal and The Political 

With Tema Smith 

Growing up mixed-race and Jewish drove Tema to dedicate her professional life to working towards a more racially inclusive and equitable Jewish community. In this conversation, Tema will open up a space to reflect on what we do well and what we can do better to ensure that we address and root out racism inside our own community.

The MNjcc's Tikkun Leil Shavuot is turning 13, and we're staying safe at home for our B'nai Mitzvah year.


Join all of your friends from the downtown Toronto Jewish community on Sunday May 16th, where we'll be learning live on Zoom from 6 pm to midnight. With 18 sessions to choose from, there's something for everyone at this year's Tikkun Leil Shavuot - a virtual night of community, study, snacking and more!

→  Looking to bring Shavuot home to the kids? Check out our free Shavuot Holiday Bundle.


→  This year's self-directed Shavuot study guide, with contributions from teachers and thought-leaders across Toronto and beautifully designed by Aaron Rotenberg, is ready to download for your asynchronous learning needs. Grab your study buddy and download it today.


Free and open to all, regardless of heritage, ability, experience or level of observance. We are committed to accessibility. This event will have auto-captioning. Please be in touch by email at LaurenS@mnjcc.org or by phone at 416.924.6211 to let us know about your access needs as soon as possible.


There are three sessions every hour and each session falls under one of three headers:



We Were At Sinai Too: Conversion Stories 

With Bradley Caro Cook

Presented in partnership with Career Up Now
Join Dr. Bradley Caro Cook, publisher of Choosing Judaism: 36 Stories, a collection of thought-provoking, intimate and inspiring personal essays on what it means to choose or be chosen as a member of the Jewish people. The stories collected in this anthology represent a diverse range of voices and experiences from individuals of all ages, racial and gender identities, abilities, and across denominations—Orthodox, Conservative, Reform, Reconstructionist, Humanist, and secular Jews—from contributors all over the world. During this session, you will hear his story as well as a range of convert experiences in the global Jewish community. For anyone who has been curious about converting, who has converted, or just wants to be inspired.


Hiddur Mitzvah & The Lost Art of Shavuot

With Bareket Kezwer


Join artist Bareket Kezwer in this hands-on workshop where you’ll learn about the lost art of Jewish paper cuts and have an opportunity to make your own unique paper artwork. Participants will be guided through the process of hiddur mitzvah (beautifying ritual) meets vision boarding in a supportive space where they can reflect on the abundance of their harvest and the seeds they want to sow moving forward.

No previous art experience required; everyone is welcome! Family-friendly and open to folks of all ages. This session has a restricted capacity to create an intimate learning environment, please only register if you can commit to attending. If you register and are no longer able to attend, please let us know so that we can make the spot available for someone else.


Secret Recipes: Food in the Judeo-Arabic Rabbinic Tradition

With Chaim Grafstein

The Judeo-Arabic tradition is a trove of cultural knowledge from songs, philosophy, to food. We’ll explore a few texts to learn about food from Saadia Gaon, Moroccan Kabbalists, and beyond.


Wrestling Our Way Into Shavuot  

With Evelyn Tauben & Maxine Lee Ewaschuk


Presented in partnership with Fentster Gallery 
Discuss, dance and dive into art, art history and textual interpretation! Dancer Maxine Lee Ewaschuk and Curator Evelyn Tauben host an interactive exploration inspired by the moment in Genesis when Jacob wrestles through the night with an angel and is transformed by morning. On Shavuot we wrestle through the night with Jewish texts and teachings - what will the morning bring? Together we'll grapple with this key narrative and how various sages and artists throughout history have responded to it including Nathan Rapoport (best known for his memorial to the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising in Warsaw and at Yad Vashem) whose monumental sculpture of Jacob wrestling the angel can be found on Toronto’s Sherman Campus. Through discussion and movement, we’ll explore the layers of wrestling introduced in Breishit that are deeply resonant at this time. 


Queering Jewish / Queering Family 

With Rachel Epstein & Sadie Epstein-Fine

Presented in Partnership with Morris Winchevsky School - United Jewish People's Order

​What makes a "real" Jew? What makes a "real" parent/family? Children's books about Jewish holidays typically feature a cisgender, heterosexual, nuclear family passing on Jewish family traditions to their children. Is this how most of us learn our Jewishness? Are some forms of Jewishness valued over others, similar to how some family configurations are normalized and/or idealized? We will explore, through video, texts, writing and conversation, how we learn our Jewishness and the role that "family" plays in this learning, and where Queer Jewish families fit in.


The Illustrated Pirkei Avot 

With Rabbi Zachary Goodman


Presented in partnership with Holy Blossom Temple & Lishma
"Say little, do much." "Who is Wise? Those who learn from all people." "Turn the Torah over and over again, for it contains everything." 
This class will take a deep dive into the Jewish ethics of Pirkei Avot and is suited for all levels of prior learning and experiences.


Into the Night

With Kendell Pinkney, Daniel Sarah Karasik

Presented in partnership with LABA & Reboot

Shavuot is an ever-expanding vista on Jewish time and tradition - from that ancient mythic moment when the Israelites spent the evening in the wilderness in anticipation of Divine Revelation to the reception of the commandments that would alter their futures and the futures of all their descendants, forever. What happened at Sinai? What was revealed exactly? What woke them up in that ancient past? And what do we need to wake up today? Join multidisciplinary artist, Daniel Sarah Karasik, & LABA Rabbinic Fellow, Kendell Pinkney, as they play with text, tradition, and what this Shavuot might mean for us all.


Finding Treasure & Getting the Dirt: A DIY Research Methodology Workshop 

With Cesario Lavery

Whether you've got a family heirloom whose history you're curious about, you want to ask someone in your life to share their stories, or you just love finding junk on the sidewalk, come discuss treasure-hunting, personal/family research, and the ethics of finding. Learn how to find the goods and how to listen to the stories they tell.


I will speak that I may find relief: Judaism & Mental Health

With Michelle Anbar-Goldstein

This session will give an overview of the mental health and addiction issues that affect the Jewish community, and offer some insight into culturally appropriate treatment modalities. Let’s talk Freud, King David’s depression, whether or not we are an especially neurotic people, and how to manage that pesky inter-generational trauma.


Identity Politics with a Poetic License 

With Akilah Allen-Silverstein


Presented in partnership with No Silence On Race 
Join Akilah Allen-Silverstein of ‘No Silence on Race’ for a hands-on poetry workshop and conversation around intersectional experiences and identities, exploring art as an important medium to express pain, joy and internal conflict. 


Sex & Intimacy in the Time of Corona 

With Den Temin 

Let’s Sexplore the manner in which COVID-19 has impacted our pleasure, relationships, and sex lives. Den will share some wisdom on how we can overcome sexual & relationship obstacles during the pandemic. Bring all the sex questions you have always wanted to ask but never could!


The Sinai Speakeasy  

With Sharoni Sibony 

Sneak into the "bais-meant" for reflections on silence and speech, prohibition and permission in Jewish art. In this discussion, you're licensed to be loquacious and learned or learning. If you’re not a temperance leaguer, feel free to mix yourself a kosher-style cocktail like The Shavuot Sour (save your spot for the recipe) and drink in some learning, speak-easy style.

Thanks to the following partners for their support:

Alex Richler- Community Macher, Beth David, Beth Tzedek, Career Up Now, UJA Committee For Yiddish, Danforth Jewish Circle, Downtown Jewish Community School, EshelTO, Habonim Dror/Gesher, Fentster Gallery, Hashomer Hazair/Shomria, Hillel UofT, Holy Blossom Congregation, Jewish Family and Child Services, LABA, LimmudTO, Lishma Jewish Learning Project, Makom, Morris Winchevsky School - United Jewish People's Order, Narayever Congregation, Ontario Jewish Archives - Blankenstein Family Heritage Centre, Ontario Yiddishkeit, Oraynu Congregation, Reboot, Secular Synagogue , Congregation Shir Libeynu, Shoresh, Niv Magazine, No Silence on Race, Beach Hebrew Institute