These are difficult times we are facing. It is important for all of us to remain active and engaged while we continue to do our parts in practicing physical distancing to help curb the Coronavirus (COVID-19) global pandemic.
While our fitness and aquatic centre is closed and our in-person programming and classes are cancelled until further notice, we are here for you. With that said, we are excited to introduce you to Rady JCC Virtual Connect: an online collection of links and resources to fitness classes, health resources, and cultural programs and activities. These resources, listed below, will be updated regularly.
We here at Rady are a community. Our community is defined by the character of our members: strong, resilient, and caring. We are here for you to stay active and engaged, until the time comes we can welcome everyone back to the community we all love.
Fitness & Health
Enjoy these challenging workouts from our personal trainers and instructors:
- Andrea’s Hatha Based Practice to Reduce Anxiety – Click here
- Susan’s Legs Up The Wall Yin Class – Click here
- April’s Strength Training Workout – Click here
- Tabata Workout with Kevin Roy – Click here
- Full Body Resistance Training with Lindsey – Click here
More Fitness & Health Resources
- Peloton App – 90 day free trial – Click here
- Stay Active, Stay Healthy with ParticipACTION – Click here
- Eight Week Fitness Program for Seniors – Click here
Cultural Programs and Activities
Always wanted to learn how to dance Israeli style? Click on the below links and start TODAY:
Israeli Dance Festival in Mexico City – Enjoy this fun, inspiring music and dance video. The choreographer of the group has been to Winnipeg and members of the ensemble have performed at Folklorama… Click here to enjoy
Passover: April 8 – 16, 2020
Dayenu: A Jewish Template for Gratitude
This classic Seder poem is not merely a reflection on Passover, but a model for true thanks.
It’s rare to hear people say, when commenting on a blessing in their lives, “It’s enough.” When it comes to goodness, we are greedy. We want an abundance of happiness, and sometimes think of it as our due.
But immediately after we tell of the exodus from Egypt in the Hagadah, we break into a 15-stanza song where we sing jubilantly and in unison, Dayenu – It is enough.
Even those who rush through the Seder spend time on this song, luxuriating in its central refrain. Should we sing the chorus after each stanza or wait? It depends on the family ritual. Yet, when we get to the last stanza, we find ourselves holding the last note.
Tightly constructed, Dayenu dates from the early medieval period. It is included in Seder Rav Amram, a prayer book created by Amram Gaon in the ninth century, though we do not know if Amram wrote the song or whether it was customarily recited in the Babylonia of his day.
The 15 stanzas may mimic the 15 psalms, or songs of ascent, that were sung on the 15 steps of the ancient Temple. The song, just like the psalms, climb in holiness and significance. Dayenu’s first five stanzas have to do with leaving Egypt, thus its placement right after the retelling of the Exodus. The first one thanks God for freeing us, while the remainder look back to other features of the experience. We might have expected each stanza to praise a separate plague or have a line that speaks of all them cumulatively, but only one plague is mentioned: the death of the firstborn Egyptians. It is only this most awful plague that signaled a real step toward freedom. The other three stanzas sing of the redress of justice necessary for us to feel truly thankful.
The next five stanzas focus on the wilderness experience and the unique miracles that God wrought for the Israelites during this transitional time. The first three concern the parting of the Sea of Reeds — first the sea split, then God escorted us through to dry land, and only then were the Egyptian pursuers drowned in the chase. This event was so seminal that we pause and speak of it in detail and sing for each blessed facet of its salvific power. We then thank God for manna, heaven’s bread, and offer gratitude that God took care of our needs for those hard, long 40 years.
As we ascend in holiness, we turn away from historical events and miracles to the staples of spiritual life that are foundational to Judaism. The final five stanzas express gratitude for Shabbat, Sinai, the Torah, Israel and the Temple. Each represents different portals of Jewish expression: rest, revelation, knowledge, homeland, and prayer. Just as we sing “Next Year in Jerusalem” when we remain terribly far from that reality, we conclude Dayenu with the Temple because our work is not yet done.
Many commentators have observed that it would actually not have been enough if we had the manna but not Shabbat or the Torah or the Land of Israel. Judaism would be incomplete. But this perspective is exactly the opposite of the sentiment the song is meant to conjure.
As the scholar Dr. Solomon Schimmel has written, “One interpretation of the structure of this poem is that when we reflect on a benefit that G-d (or by extension, another person) has done for us, we should break it into its multiple components, meditating on each element.” Dayenu begins with an experience we had just been through, the exodus, and uses it to wax lyrical on a host of other experiences, asking us to see the interconnectedness of our blessings. It invites us to break each gift into its multiple components and then put them back together and stare in disbelief at our good fortune: I am grateful for this and for this and for this — until we become saturated with the unfolding of our prosperity and can think only of God’s myriad kindnesses.
The writer Melody Beattie beautifully captures what Dayenu is really saying and what all deep gratitude looks like: “Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more.” We don’t realize how lucky we are until we speak our blessings in detail. Dayenu is not merely a reflection on Passover, but a template for true thanks.
Passover Crafts for Families
Homemade Seder Plate
Non-toxic enamel paint markers in your favourite colours (can be purchased at most dollar stores)
Clean, dry, round ceramic plate – white is best
Clean work space
1. Gather your paint pens. Keep in mind; these paint pens aren’t that messy if they are used properly. But use them with caution, as they are permanent. Cover your work area with newspaper or a plastic table cloth.
2. Make sure your clothing isn’t something you mind getting stained, just in case. Make sure you shake your pens before you uncap them, and follow the directions on how to push in the pen nib on a test piece of paper to prime it.
3. A handy tip when painting with these kinds of opaque paint pens is to lay down your colour “filling” strokes first. Then, when they are dry, outline your shapes in black.
For example: paint the leaves of your maror (or lettuce) first, and then add the detailed outlines later after the green has dried. You can do it the other way around, of course, but you’ll find that the opaque colors will blot out the black outlines if you make a mistake and go outside of the lines. You can always retrace the black if that happens, though.
4. Add some Xs or dots around the edges of each design, or some curly-ques between your blessings. Whatever you do, just have fun with it. If you make a mistake, don’t sweat it too hard. You can carefully dab the paint with some acetone nail polish remover and a cotton swab to remove the mistake, let the area dry thoroughly, and then try again.
When you are done decorating your plate, pop it in the oven at 350 degrees for 30 minutes to set the paint. Let the plate cool completely; give it a gentle rinse in cool water with a mild detergent, and then you are ready set your Passover table!
Note: After you’ve used your Seder plate, make sure to wash it gently by hand. No dishwashers, sorry. But it’s definitely worth the extra care! After all, you only use the Seder plate a couple of times a year. Caring for it properly will make it last for a long, long time. Your family will have a totally unique Seder plate that you’ll never find in any department store!
Elijah’s cup is an important part of Passover Seder. Every year, Elijah the Prophet is invited to the Seder meal. A place is set at the table for Elijah, and we pour a cup of wine in his honour. It would be fun to create a beautiful, crafty wine goblet for Elijah- Eliyahu; for the whole family to participate in. While you wrap the colorful strings, let little fingers help and tell your children the story of Elijah & Pesach
Natural jute or wool string in several colours
A paint brush
An inexpensive wine glass or goblet
White craft glue or Mod Podge
A receptacle for holding the glue
Gems or sequins for decorating the cup (optional)
Damp paper towels or wipes for cleaning up sticky fingers
1. Starting at the top of the glass, paint a stripe of glue all the way around the circumference.
2. Carefully wrap your first colour of string around the top. You can secure the end by overlapping a length of string. Don’t worry too much about loose ends. If you can’t get the end to hold, dab an extra bit of glue onto the end and hold for ten seconds or until it is secure. Wrap the string around and around, descending with each lap until you have created a stripe in the width you desire.
3. Cut off your string and hold it for ten seconds before you start with your next colour.
4. Keep wrapping more stripes of colour. As you get to the curve of your glass, it might be easier to turn the glass upside down. Wrapping the underside of the glass is probably the trickiest part but have patience and apply glue liberally. It will hold, just wait and see.
5. Wrap the stem (the easiest part!) and move onto the base.
6. Coil your string around and around until you reach the outside of the base. Tuck your end under and apply another dollop of glue. Hold for ten seconds to secure.
7. If the cup isn’t colourful enough for your taste, you can add sequins and gems. Just dab on some glue and apply wherever you would like.
8. If you fill this cup with wine at the Seder table, you will need to rinse it very carefully– best to use a damp cloth to wipe it out, rather than put it under running water. Or, use it as a decorative, symbolic Elijah’s cup. Just be careful if you’re adding liquid or washing the cup, if it touches the jute string on the outside of the cup, the colours may run.
Matzah Ball Recipes
Floaters or Sinkers?
Do you prefer your matzo balls buoyant and bouncy or dense and delicious? Would you prefer to cut your matzo ball with a spoon or knife and fork? Whichever way you slice it, matzo balls are good food. Check out these tips to get the perfect matzo ball every time, and then go to our recipe section for a great matzo ball recipe.
Tips to get a ‘Floater’
Use carbonated “seltzer” water instead of tap water
When rolling the matzo ball, handle it as little as possible, just until a ball forms. Or use an ice cream scoop and drop them into the soup directly.
Mix your ingredients until combined, but don’t overmix
Separate your eggs. Whip whites separately and then fold into batter in the end.
Add baking powder to your mix.
Note: Bring your soup up to a low boil and not a rolling boil, or your floaters will break apart
Tips to get a ‘Sinker’
Leave the mixture in the fridge longer than the allotted time (a few hours or even overnight)
When mixing, “overmix” the ingredients
When rolling the matzo ball, roll it in your hands until you have very compact matzo balls
Don’t follow any of the floater tips above!
Matzah Ball Recipe
1 cup Matzah meal
4 tablespoons vegetable oil
8 cups of chicken broth
½ cup cold water
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon white pepper
½ teaspoon garlic powder
Separate 2 eggs and put the egg whites in a medium-sized mixing bowl. Set the yolks aside because you will add them later. Whisk the egg whites until they are light and fluffy.
Crack the last egg and combine with the yolks you set aside. Using a fork beat together. Gently fold the yolks into your fluffy egg whites.
Add Matzah meal, vegetable oil, 2 tablespoons of chicken broth, water, salt, white pepper, and garlic powder, again folding it carefully into your mixture.
Place bowl in refrigerator for 1 hour, until the mixture is chilled and firm to the touch.
Place chicken broth in a large pot. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat
Remove Matzah mixture from the refrigerator. Using your hands, scoop out a small bit of mixture and gently roll it in your hands to form a ball, about 1 inch (2.5 cm) in diameter. (Rinse your hands with cold water if the dough is sticking to your fingers.)
Using a slotted spoon, place Matzah balls into the chicken stock 1 at a time. Reduce heat so mixture is at a low simmer.
Cover pot and allow Matzah balls to cook gently for about 45 minutes until they are cooked enough.
Serve your Matzah balls in the broth they were cooked in, or as a substitute for the noodles in chicken noodle soup.