SJCC Closed until further notice. Find updates and program information here

Cultural and Educational Classes

Stimulate your mind and your soul at the SJCC with inspirational classes taught by inspiring educators. Learn a new language, take an art class, study Shakespeare or be part of the Florence Melton School of Adult Jewish Education. It’s always a good time to learn something new!

Contact: Roslyn Wollock (613) 798-9818 ext. 254,

All spring courses have been postponed. Those who have registered for courses will be fully refunded when the JCC reopens.

‘Mameloshn’ is alive and well.

Click here for some wonderful, fun and interesting ways to practice Social Distancing the Yiddish way. 

Melton School of Adult Jewish Learning

Jewish Mysticism: Tracing the History of Kabbalah with Rabbi Steven Garten

This course presents the rich history of Jewish mysticism, along with understandings of many of the texts that have been so central to that tradition, speaking to the deepest mysteries of human existence and to many of life’s eternal universal questions.

NOTE: Registration for this course begins on Tuesday, February 18 at

Thursday 10:00 am – 11:30 am
March 19 – June 4
No class: April 9, 16

Crossroads of Jewish History with Rabbi Steven Garten (Part 2)

Dramatic developments, experiences and issues from different periods in Jewish history as reflected in historical texts.

Ethics of Jewish Living with Rabbi Deborah Zuker (Part 2)

Ethical issues such as justice, life and death, sexuality and community with case studies from Talmudic, rabbinic and contemporary literature.

Wednesday 10:00 am-12:15 pm
March 18 – June 17

Jewish Answers to Life’s Most Challenging Questions with Rabbi Steven Garten.
FREE Program. Open to All

This new four-part course of study offers thought-provoking approaches to the eternal mystery of the Divine’s involvement in our lives based on teachings preserved in Jewish tradition, as well as lessons learned from lived experiences.  To reserve your spot please email

Monday 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm
April 20 – May 14


Reading Genesis with Dr. Shawna Dolansky

The book of Genesis contains some of the most foundational narratives recorded by the people of ancient Israel. In a seminar-style roundtable discussion, Shawna Dolansky will guide the class in literary and historical considerations of the core ideas, principles, values, hopes, and fears of the people who produced this book against the background of other ancient Near Eastern texts and histories. Please note: as there will be no formal lectures, regrettably this course will NOT be available as a video recording for those unable to attend in person.

Tuesday 10:00 am – 11:30 pm
April 21- May 26
$150 SJCC Members • $174 Non Members

The Essentials of Judaism – In Five Weeks with Rabbi Idan Scher

Whether you are studying towards Conversion or simply looking for an entry into Judaisms many beliefs and traditions, this class is for you. During this five week overview course students will learn, among other topics; why Jews believe as they do, Jewish history, in a nutshell, the why and rules of Shabbat, the laws of Kashrut (keeping kosher), the Jewish holidays and Fast days, Prayer, Love and Marriage and Jewish interpersonal ethics.

Monday 10:00 am – 11:30 am
April 20 – May 25
$75 SJCC Members • $90 Non Members
No class: May 18



Creating CanLit: Devising and Disrupting the Canadian Canon with Dr. Nick Milne

From Henry Kelsey’s exploratory poetry of the 1690s to the work of authors flourishing at the time of Confederation in 1867, Canadian literature has long been marked by a series of sometimes tense relationships: English and French, Indigenous and European, Empire and Dominion, Canadian and American. This course will examine the fruits of these relationships as we track the definition and development of Canadian Literature, the establishment of its major voices, and the progress of certain disputes – some old, some new – that continue to shape that evolution today.

Tuesday 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
April 28 – June 9   (7 weeks)
$170 SJCC Members • $194 Non Members



From Longhouse to Lumber to Legislation: An anecdotal history of Ottawa with author/columnist Phil Jenkins

Join author Phil Jenkins as he combines the anecdotal, biographical, administrative and infrastructural to provide a chronological social history of Ottawa, from the arrival of the First Nations to the region, through the arrival of the Europeans to the present multi-cultural city. The philosophical approach to the story of Bytown/Ottawa running through the course is to see how each arriving ‘tribe’ (Algonquin, French, and British) made use of the geographical setting of Ottawa. Each class is augmented by the extensive use of illustrations, photographs and a song or two, all the songs having some aspect of Ottawa history as their theme.

Tuesday 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm
April 14 – May 19
$150 SJCC Members • $174 Non Members



SJCC Ottawa Jewish Chorus with Rachel Eugster and Aviva Lightstone

This recreational choral ensemble under the baton of Ottawa soprano Rachel Eugster, and with musical accompanist Aviva Lightstone, is an inclusive choir open to anyone with an interest in singing. The ensemble will be dedicated to the exploration and performance of Jewish choral music (Hebrew, Yiddish, Ladino) as well as other repertoire, such as pop, contemporary and world music.

Thursday 1:30 pm – 3:00 pm
January 16 – May 7 (12 classes)

Music Concert Series

All of the below concerts are held on Monday afternoons at 1:30 pm and take place in the SJCC Social Hall. Cost for each program differs. Program details and Admission prices TBA.

March 16 Gabriel Faurewith pianist Katherine Addleman and Soprano Sophie Bertrand

April 27 Claude Debussywith pianist Katherine Addleman and violinist Galina Rezaiepour


Watercolour for the Beginner & Intermediate Beginner with Janet Agulnik

During this eight week course, long time watercolour instructor, Janet Agulnik, will guide you through the basics of drawing and painting. By the end of the course you will have completed a number of your own beautiful creations. Beginner kits are available at De Serre in Bells Corners. Ask for Michelle and let her know you are looking for “Janet’s Beginner Kit”. If you don’t require a full kit, but a few items only, after registering, please email for a list of supplies. Class size limited to 10.

Monday 9:45 am – 11:45 am
March 23 – May 25
$170 SJCC Members • $190 Non Members
No class: April 13


Daytime Conversational Hebrew for Beginners  – Level 3 with Ella Dagan

Each lesson includes 90 minutes of spoken language practice. Geared for those who have taken Beginner Conversational Hebrew Level 2 and for those who have knowledge of the basics, including the Hebrew alphabet. Emphasis is on comprehension and pronunciation.

Thursday 10:00 am – 11:30 am
May 7 – June 18
$165 SJCC Members • $189 Non Members

S’iz Besser Oyf  Yiddish – It’s Better in Yiddish –For Lovers of Mamaloshen with Shirley Steinberg and Rubin Friedman

Join writer, director Shirley Steinberg and humorist Rubin Friedman for a Yiddish smorgasbord, where you’ll enjoy a melange of stories, humorous Yiddishisms, song and improvisation. No knowledge of Yiddish required.

Tuesday 10:00 am-11:30 am
March 17
Free Program.

Yiddish Conversation Circle

Open to all who love the beauty and sound of the Yiddish language.

1:00 pm-2:30 pm
Winter: January 15, 29; February 12, 26;  March 11, 25
$35 SJCC Members • $50 Non Members

Spring: April 22; May 6, 20; June 3, 17
$30 SJCC Members • $45 Non Members

Learn to Play – Mahjong with Merle

If you’re looking for a way to sharpen your memory and keep your mind stimulated while making new friends, why not try Mahjong. This popular past time, with Chinese roots, challenges the brain to stay sharp and improves concentration. Merle Haltrecht, well known Mahj instructor, patiently guide you through the brain stimulating game you’ve been searching for. *Please bring $11 to first class for your Mahj card.

Thursday 10:00 am – 11:30 am
April 23, 30, May 7, 14
$65 SJCC Members • $75 Non Members


The Jewish Experience In Canada Today

A free public presentation and discussion panel on the 2018 Survey of Jews in Canada

In 2018, a landmark survey produced the first comprehensive picture of Canada’s Jewish population on such issues as identity, practices, values, and experiences. This research is based on the 2013 Pew survey of American Jews, providing the basis for understanding how this country’s Jewish community is similar and different.

This event, hosted by Or Haneshemah and the Soloway JCC, will feature a presentation of the research, followed by a panel discussion to consider the significance and implications of the research generally and for the Ottawa community.

Event Host: Rabbi Elizabeth Bolton, Or Haneshamah
Survey Presentation: Keith Neuman, Environics Institute for Survey Research
Discussion Panel: Rabbi Deborah Zuker, Kehillat Beth Israel Synagogue; Mira Sucharov, Carleton University; Sarah Caspi, Executive Director, Jewish Family Services Ottawa
Moderator: Joel Westheimer, University of Ottawa

Wednesday, March 4, 2020
7:30 – 9:30 pm
Soloway JCC , 21 Nadolny Sachs Private, Social Hall A

Risen Leaves – A Rare Books Workshop presented by the Montreal Jewish Public Library

The earliest of the 1,500 rare books were printed in 1481 (about 20 years after Gutenberg), and while the array of books ranges from early Hebrew grammars, Talmuds, kabbalistic works, liturgical texts, history, and early anti-Semitic tracts, there are also unusual tracts dealing with religious vestments, architecture and travel

Wednesday, March 25, 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm
Free Admission.  SJCC Teen Lounge

Identity Politics in Ancient Israel with Professor Shawna Dolansky

From Noah’s sons to Lot’s daughters, some biblical stories can seem rather bizarre to us reading them today.  Professor Shawna Dolansky will take us on a quick tour through the book of Genesis, with an eye toward revealing what these less well-known stories might tell us about their authors’ concerns with identity politics in their larger Syro-Canaanite environment.

Sunday, March 29
10:30 am
SJCC Social Hall A

The Ottawa Jewish Genealogical Society in partnership with The Soloway JCC: Organizing and Running an International Family Reunion – with John Diener

Sunday, April 19, 10:30 am – 12:00 pm

A Celebration of Jewish Music

Featuring the Ottawa Community Concert Band
Sunday, May 3, 1:00 pm – 2:30 pm

Florence Melton School of Adult Jewish Learning Graduation Ceremony

Thursday, June 18, 7:30 pm

Author Talk – Makeup Tips From Auschwitz: How Vanity Saved My Mother’s Life with Tommy Schnurmacher

Well known Montreal media icon, Tommy Schnurmacher, long time society columnist for the Montreal Gazette, and morning talk show host for radio station CJAD, will speak about his remarkable book Makeup Tips From Auschwitz: How Vanity Saved My Mother’s Life . In this memoir, Tommy shares his own personal journey, that of his mother, a survivor of Auschwitz, and their journey together as mother and son. A fascinating story.

Sunday, June 21 • 10:30am
Social Hall A
Admission: $10 at the door


Film: From Cairo to the Cloud: The World of the Cairo Geniza

Date: TBA


CREATIVE CONNECTIONS – In Partnership with AJA50+

For seniors who enjoy a weekly day out with their peers. Activities include gentle exercises, music programs, speakers, entertainment, games, lunch (bring your own or purchase onsite).

Tuesday 9:30 am – 2:15 pm

Winter: January 7 – March 10
Spring: March 31 – June 9

Creative Connections received generous support from the Congregation Beth Shalom of Ottawa Legacy Fund
For information please contact