Rabbi Jonathan Infeld and Lissa Weinberger

OJC was delighted to have Rabbi Infeld and his wife Lissa Weinberger from Beth Israel Synagogue in Vancouver for our very first monthly Shabbaton week-end on August 11-13, 2023. A lovely week-end consisting of two Shabbat services with corresponding meals and a wonderful presentation by them of their recent trip to search for their roots in Krakow, Poland. The week-end was capped off by a PJ Library program on the Sunday morning, led by Lissa, manager of Jewish Education at the Jewish Federation of Greater Vancouver. The morning program was attended by about 14 children and their 10 parents. Great to see all these young families come out for this very fun program.

OJC’s Annual Start of Summer picnic/bar-b-que took place on Sunday, July 2nd at Sarsons Beach. Spectacular weather enabled everyone to thoroughly enjoy the event, one another’s company and the delicious food that was both supplied and brought by members. The OJC took the opportunity to say “thank you” to Rabbi Tom for his time with us and wish him all the best on his future endeavours. President Laura McPheeters presented Rabbi with a card and gift from the community. Very special thanks to Mondy Challmie and Misty Smith for arranging, shopping, transporting and working the bar-b-que! Hope to see you all out again for our repeat Summer event at Sarson’s Beach on Sunday, August 27th.

Although not participating with food sales on the Shabbat, OJC members participated as individuals volunteering at the entranceway to the event at Prospera Place on July 1st, 2023. Our volunteers included Sharon Silver Gitlin, Marla Edelson and the COMPLETE Spevakow family. Thanks to all these great volunteers for helping the City of Kelowna celebrate Canada’s birthday!

The May 7th Sisterhood Luncheon featured Vancouver artist Linda Dayan Frimer who gave an excellent talk about her artistic career, including her historical roots in Romania and her “pioneering” childhood in the Caribou region of British Columbia prior to eventually settling in the Lower Mainland. The stories and artwork presented on the screen were extremely uplifting. Anyone interested in receiving the Sisterhood emailings, please contact Anne in the office at [email protected] to be added to the list. Wouldn’t want to miss out on any of these exciting monthly events!

Great attendance of about 40-50 persons at our Yom Ha’Atzmaut party celebrating the 75th anniversary of the founding of the State of Israel. Great turn-out and support from the Israeli contingent in the Valley. Thanks to Hilla and Oren Shlomi for organizing the event. The food was great with freshly-prepared Shakshuka along with other Israeli delicacies. Thanks to Fern Helfand for leading us in some Israeli Dancing. A fun event for young and old!

What a great Purim Carnival! The place was packed with dozens of members and friends from far and wide, as the synagogue and social hall were turned into a festive carnival setting. The event featured wines from various Jewish wineries in the Valley, hamantashen galore, costumes, treats, face painting and games for the kids, along with a festive Megillah reading accompanied by lots of loud graggers. Special thanks to Abbey, Mark, Mondy and David for the tremendous amount of work they put into the event to make it a smashing success.

Future Jewish Olympians filled the Kelowna Curling Club on Saturday for a fantastic afternoon of curling and Tacos. We began with a quick lesson from our seasoned curler, Bob Levin, and then divided into 6 teams across 3 sheets of ice for 2 hours as “hurry hards” and “SWEEP” echoed in the arena. The event concluded with Taco’s, beverages and lots of laughs. Thank you to everyone that attended and looking forward to having this event once again in the fall.

Natalie, Laura, Barb and Steven
TEAM OJC, Don and Judith

Seventeen persons, young and old, gathered at OJC on Sunday morning, February 19th, 2023 to get experience in creating a meaningful Hamsa design with watercolours. The program was led by local artist, Olya Krasavina, who led us in the design, choice of theme, the drawing and painting of our creation. A lovely, pleasant way to spend a Sunday morning being creative. Thank-you to Olya for presenting this project to us.

This year’s Tu B’Shevat seder was enjoyed by all.  We celebrated the New Year of the Trees with the eating of fruits grown in Israel and the drinking of different shades of wine to signify the four seasons.  We told stories, sang songs, and discussed the importance of trees in Israel and the world.  Spirits were high and everyone had a great time together.