Thursday, October 1, 2015

Shabbat project returns with Challah Bake 2015

Last years wildly successful Shabbat Project sold out nearly every event it offered, both across the Greater Toronto Area and around the world.

Once again, the hashtag #KeepingItTogether is starting to trend, and the Shabbat Project is gearing up to do it all over again this month.

The goal is to extend the splendour of passing traditions of our people on through the generations, whether by preparing favourite foods or making time for family – both key tent poles of observing the Sabbath.

Creating a warm and loving space, holding our families together, and spiritual fulfilment are what these events are all about.

Don't miss your chance to register for the Cholent Cook Off and Tasting, or the Challah Bake, leading up to the worldwide Shabbat celebration Oct. 23 and 24.

For more details or to register,  click here.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Sushi in the Sukkah: a modern holiday meal?

It's hard to say what drives its popularity, but sushi has come a long way on this continent from the days of being just a casually eaten fast food.

But in many North American sushi bars, all-you--can-eat offerings and even sushi pizza have taken the market by storm over the last 25 years.

In the midst of celebrating the holiday of Sukkot this week, during which we traditionally revel in the bounty of the harvest after the Days of Awe, it was interesting to see two religious centres in Toronto using the rice roll in its various varieties to add a contemporary spin to celebrating the chag.

The Annex Shul, in partnership with Hillel, hosted a fusion event at the Wolfond Centre on Harbord Street in the holiday hut, for singles and young professionals in and around the University of Toronto campus.

Similarly, up north along the Bathurst Street corridor, the Sephardic Kehila Center just north of Steeles Avenue hosted a sushi in the sukkah night, too.

Would sushi be a go to for you on your sukkah table? Too modern? What do your guests typically sit down to as they come to dwell in your temporary home?

Thursday, September 24, 2015

90s Scream queen Neve Campbell returns to TV

The 2015 Emmy Awards honoured the best in television last weekend, and a slew of high-profile premieres are coming soon for new and returning shows.

Fans of the hit Netflix series House of Cards will need to wait a few months for season 4, but we caught up with Canadian actor Neve Campbell at Toronto's Fan Expo this summer. Campbell will be joining the House of Cards cast, led by Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright, when the show returns in 2016.

For those unfamiliar with its premise, it's an American political drama set in Washington, D.C., and revolves around Frank Underwood (Spacey), a Democrat from South Carolina, who, after being passed over for secretary of state, develops a complex and elaborate plan to get himself into a position of even greater power.

No word about the character Campbell will play, though she's rumoured to be playing the female half of a rival political couple, opposite fellow Canadian Colm Feore.

The show was adapted from a BBC miniseries and is based on the novel by Michael Dobbs.

Campbell – a practising Catholic whose mother is descended from Sephardi Jews – was in Toronto to mark 20 years since filming on the Scream movie franchise began, which was one of crowning achievements of director Wes Craven's career. Sadly, the filmmaker passed away Aug. 30 just days before start of this year's Expo.

Campbell looked back fondly on Craven and had high praise for the director she absolutely adored working for, because he challenged everyone on set and made them better actors because of how much he was able to draw from them in their roles.

Here are some of the highlights from what we got to see and hear.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

The Yom Kippur fast according to Amy Schumer

Comedian Amy Schumer is having a red-hot year: she starred in one of the most critically acclaimed and wildly successful comedies of the summer and won an Emmy earlier this week for her Comedy Central show Inside Amy Schumer.

On Sept. 17, in anticipation of Yom Kippur, Becca Soverinsky, a student at the University of Michigan, posted 10 memes featuring the multifaceted Shumer that illustrate the 10 stages of the fast.

Undoubtedly, in counting down the hours until eating, we'll have worked our way through items 1 to 10, as listed below:

Stage 1. Extreme confidence
Stage 2. Lying to yourself
Stage 3. Irritability
Stage 4. Exhaustion
Stage 5. Hysteria
Stage 6. Defeat
Stage 7. Random burst of endurance
Stage 8. Excitement
Stage 9. Blacking out
Stage 10. Comatose

See the the 10 stages with the Schumer memes by jumping to Soverinsky's post here.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Sodastream scored a win as 5775 came to a close

We've been documenting a number of setbacks home-carbonation beverage-machine maker SodaStream has faced over the last couple of years, so we're happy to report something that is actually good news for the Israeli manufacturer.

Shares of the publicly traded company jumped as much as 8.8 per cent to $16.13 in morning trading on Sept. 11 after the Wall Street Journal reported that PepsiCo would deepen its ties with SodaStream International. The soda giant announced that it would expand the number of Pepsi and Sierra Mist flavour offerings it makes for the Israeli machine.

According to business insiders the "caps" (which are similar to Keurig pods) will be available through SodaStream’s website in the next few months. A four-cap pack will be priced at $3.49 (US) and will also soon be sold at about 50 Bed Bath & and Beyond stores in the United States (we're likely to see the caps in Bed Bath & Beyond stores north of the border as well). Each cap makes about half a litre of soda and saves users a ton compared to buying cans from the store.

Are you a SodaStream owner? Sound off on your experience using this Israeli innovation.

Use Sticko to take selfies hands-free on the go

You've got a holder for your sunglasses, a holder for your phone, and a cup holder for your pop can that makes it difficult to sip on the go. What if you could do away with all those separate holders for one that could do it all?

Israeli innovator eNovi is hoping its Sticko will take the world by storm with its creative spin on hands-free technology.

Its durable, double-sided suction cups let you mount the Sticko to any surface without the hassle or bulk of traditional phone holders – be it a car mirror, side window, or even a can of Coke to take that all important hands-free selfie.

Just look at all it can do.

What do you think? Could they be the next big thing?

Thursday, September 10, 2015

The CJN Prize for Young Writers: Win $1,800

Attention aspiring writers between the ages of 18 and 29: The CJN wants to hear from you.

We're launching The CJN Prize for Young Writers, an award for excellence in Jewish writing. The first prize winner will receive $1,800 and 10 runners-up will each receive $180.

All winners will have their works published by the award-winning CJN.

To enter, you must adhere to the following contest rules and regulations:

• You must be a Canadian citizen or resident of Canada (outside the province of Quebec)
• You must be between the ages of 18 and 29

Essays must be:

• Written in English and be between 500 and 1,000 words
• On a Jewish theme of your choice
• Submitted by Oct. 22, 2015 to

Employees of The CJN and their immediate families are not eligible

Essays will be judged by an independent panel of experts.

Not an aspiring young writer? Then share this page with someone you know!

Follow us on Facebook or Twitter for contest updates.

For more information, visit

Questions? Contact