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. Its always a good time to learn something new!

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

Fall/Winter 2018-2019

Register online here or in person at the SJCC front desk.
For more information contact Roslyn Brozovsky Wollock – Adult Education Manager,, (613) 798-9818 ext. 254

Florence Melton School of Adult Jewish Learning –  Year One

To register for Florence Melton Adult School courses please visit
For assistance please call Roslyn Wollock (613) 798-9818 ext. 254

Purposes of Jewish Living with Rabbi Idan Scher

Why do Jews believe as they do? What are the big questions of life and how do Jewish thinkers answer these questions? This course explores sources both ancient and modern in pursuit of answers to many of the major issues of Jewish thought and theology.

Rhythms of Jewish Life with Rabbi Deborah Zuker and Rabbi Steven Garten

What’s the point of living Jewishly? What ideas, beliefs, and practices are involved? This course examines a wide variety of Jewish sources to discover the deeper meanings underlying Jewish holidays, lifecycle observances, and Jewish practice.

Wednesdays, September 26 – December 12
10:00 am – 12:15 pm

Scholars Course Sold out for Fall

The Star and the Crescent: The Long Relationship of Judaism and Islam with Rabbi Steven Garten

This ten week Melton Scholars course explores the historical evolution of the relationship between Judaism and Islam, between Jews and Muslims. The Star and the Crescent broadens ones understanding and challenges assumptions about both faith groups at a time in our own era when tensions are high.

*Due to demand this course will be offered again during
Spring 2019.

Dates TBA

Kindness: The Giving Imperative with Lauren Shaps

The Jewish People are known for their acts of kindness both large (tikkun olam) and small (chesed). The Sages state that kindness and compassion is one of the identifying traits of a Jew and that one of the three pillars of the world is acts of loving kindness. This class looks at classical Jewish sources of this fundamental value. It explores how we can develop it in ourselves and others, common errors, and how Jewish law guides us to look after the sick and comfort the bereaved in a caring and compassionate way.

1. Source of the giving imperative
2. Cultivating Compassion in ourselves  and others
3. Kindness Blunders
4. Visiting the Sick/Comforting the   Bereaved

Tuesdays, October 9 – October 30
1:00 pm – 2:15 pm

$77 Members $89 Non Members


Humour and Satire from Antiquity to the Present with Nick Milne

While much of humour is purposefully ridiculous or profane, aiming below the belt on either side of the body, it has also served as an important tool of critique, protest, and even revolution. Join us as we explore the history of humorous writing from a variety of cultures and backgrounds, from the ancient Roman epigrams of Martial and the bawdy adventures of Chaucer’s pilgrims to the best of modern humourists and comedians. Participants will examine everything from jokes and anecdotes to complex satire and performance art, covering authors and artists like William Shakespeare, Jonathan Swift, Stephen Leacock, Stella Gibbons and Kate Beaton.

Tuesdays, October 9 – November 13
10:00 am – 12:00 pm

$145 Members • $169 Non Members

General Education

Italian Influences of Western Culture with Lucia Dolcetti

The course will focus on well- known and less known figures whose influence have contributed to the development of Western culture, such as Benedetto da Norcia, Matilde di Canossa, Fibonacci, Dante, Boccaccio, Giotto, Brunelleschi, Leonardo, Machiavelli, Michelangelo, Palladio, Caravaggio, Bernini, and on centres such as Assisi, Florence, Rome, Venice, Urbino, Milan, Napoli and Palermo. From these portraits, the course will illustrate themes and issues that have become associated with the notion of Italian culture in the Western world, such as opera, mafia, Made in Italy, and cultural heritage. Given the nature of the course, participants are invited to share their personal knowledge relevant to all these subject matters.

In partnership with AJA50+

Mondays, October 15 – November 19
10:00 am – 12:00 pm

$145 Members • $169 Non Members

Modern Drama with Pierre Brault

Actor/playwright Pierre Brault takes you through a journey of the some of best and most influential plays of the late 20th to early 21st century. Well known dramas from the likes of David Mamet, Arthur Miller, Caryl Churchill, Tony Kushner and more will be studied and discussed, all within a fun and lively setting. These playwrights all had a significant impact on theatre specifically but also spoke to a greater societal change.

Thursdays, October 4 – November 15
1:00 pm – 3:00 pm

$145 Members $169 Members


NEW! SJCC Ottawa Jewish Chorus

This exciting new choral ensemble will begin rehearsing September 2018 under the baton of well-known Ottawa soprano Rachel Eugster. She will conduct alongside keyboard accompanist Aviva Lightstone. 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, classical, contemporary, gospel and world music. The Ottawa Jewish Chorus is an inclusive choir open to anyone with an interest in singing.

Rachel Eugster is primarily a singer and actor. She will be familiar to those who have seen her perform at the Gladstone (Bear & Co., Plosive, Three Sisters) or with Dragon’s Tea Trio, the “folkazzical” voice guitar and cello ensemble she co-founded.

Rachel has conducted choirs in settings as varied as Aiyue (the choral society of Ottawa’s Chinese community) and the Parkdale United Church. She works frequently as a music director for theatrical productions, with a central focus on vocal ensemble, and has also served for a number of years as a lay chazzan.

Rachel holds a BA with Honors in Music and Theater from Marlboro College, and a Master of Music degree from the Peabody Conservatory. She has worked on both side of the border in settings ranging from barns in Vermont or parks in Ottawa to the stage of the Kennedy Centre.

In partnership with AJA50+

Thursday, September 27 – December 13
1:30 pm – 3:00 pm

 $100 10 weeks

Music from Around the World with Pianist Katherine Addleman and Violinist Anna Baksheeva

Join Anna Baksheeva and Katherine Addleman on a journey of song and dance from around the world. Haunting songs of Spain and Romania (Bartok and de Falla), and lively Russian, Slavic, French and English dances (Tchaikovsky, Dvorak, Poldini, Elgar) are on the itinerary, along with a couple of gypsy detours.

Wednesday, October 24
1:00 pm – 2:15 pm

$15 at the door

Chanukah – Songs for the Family: Joy, Courage, and Celebration! with Floralove Katz (Vocals) and Natasha Giller (Piano)

Bring your friends, children, parents, and grandparents for a joyous, hand-clapping, Chanukah, sing-along Concert of perennial, old favourites, and new tunes!

Sunday, November 25
10:30 am – 12:00 pm

Adults: $12
Children 12 and under: $7


New! Yiddish Conversation Circle

All levels welcome. The first meeting will take place on: Wednesday, September 26 from 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm in the SJCC Boardroom.

S’iz Besser in 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. A true mechaye (a pleasure). No knowledge of Yiddish required.
Free Program.

Wednesday, October 10
1:00 pm – 2:30 pm

Tuesday, November 20
10:00 am – 11:30 am

Tuesday, December 4
10:00 am – 11:30 am

Conversational Hebrew from Scratch: Available Daytime or Evening

Each lesson includes 90 minutes of spoken language practice at the beginner level. Topics covered: greetings, numbers, and family, shopping, telling time, scheduling activities, and asking /giving directions. Emphasis is on comprehension and pronunciation.

Wednesdays, October 3 – November 21
$165 Members $189 Non Members

Evening with Yochi Sirota
7:00 pm – 8:30 pm

Creative Connections

For seniors who enjoy a weekly day out with their peers. Activities include gentle exercises, music program, speakers, entertainment, games, lunch (bring your own or purchase onsite), fun, laughter and so much more.

Tuesday, 9:30 am – 2:15 pm

Fall: October 9- December 11
Winter: January 8-March 19.
No program: March 12

Soloway JCC
In partnership with AJA50+

For information and registration contact: Merle Haltrecht (613) 824-6833,

Special Interest Programs at the Soloway JCC

Joey Jacobson’s War – A Jewish Canadian Airman in the Second World War with Author Peter Usher

In the spring of 1940 Canada sent hundreds of highly trained volunteers to serve in Britain’s Royal Air Force as it began a concerted bombing campaign against Germany. Nearly half of them were killed or captured within a year. This is the story of one of those airmen, Joey Jacobson, as told through his own letters and diaries as well as those of his family and friends.

Sunday, October 21
10:30 am – 12:00 pm

Free Admission • Books available for Sale

‘Double Threat’ – Book Talk with Author Ellin Bessner

It is with great pleasure that Ellin – the granddaughter of one of Ottawa’s founding Jewish families, the Lieffs – brings her book and research to the Soloway JCC for a community lecture about Canada’s Jewish community, and how Ottawa responded to WWII with personnel, political support, and financial support. Her book tells the stories of well- known local families and their contribution to defeating Hitler and saving the survivors of the Final Solution. Hear about Ed Saslove, Willie Zelikovitz, the Maser family who had nine children in uniform, and many more, including some who didn’t come home.

Sunday, November 4
10:30 am – 12:00 pm

$5 at the door • Books available for Sale

Memoir as a Genre of Canadian Holocaust Literature: Reflections from the Azrieli Foundation’s Holocaust Survivor Memoirs Program

Opening session for the conference, Canadian Holocaust Literature: Charting the Field

A panel featuring survivor author Nate Leipciger, managing editor Arielle Berger and educator Stephanie Corazza reflects on the process of writing and producing Holocaust survivor memoirs and the ways in which this genre serves as a foundation for Holocaust education.

Saturday, October 27
7:30 pm – 9:00 pm Soloway JCC

Co-sponsored by the Soloway JCC, the Azrieli Foundation, the Department of English at Ryerson University, the Vered Jewish Canadian Studies Program at the University of Ottawa, the Association for Canadian Jewish Studies and Library and Archives Canada.

Speaking Globally: Yiddish and Esperanto as World Languages with Sebastien Schulman, Executive Director of Klez Kanada

A presentation exploring the parallel histories of Yiddish and Esperanto, two languages whose speakers have been scattered across the globe. Placing an internationalist reading of Yiddish cultural history beside a Jewish look at the history of Esperanto, we’ll explore the mechanics of how ideas travel and transform over transnational networks, and fashion a model for understanding the traffic of thought in today’s globalized world writ large. The session concludes with a lively performance of the speaker’s fresh translations from both cultures’ vibrant literary traditions.

Sunday, November 18
10:30 am – 12:00 pm • Soloway JCC

Co-sponsored by the Soloway JCC, the Vered Jewish Canadian Studies Program and the The Esperanto Rondo de Otavo.


Contemporary Israeli dances. Old favourites. Great music. Exercise. All in a fun and friendly atmosphere.

Join us Tuesday evenings in the gym at the Jewish Community School, 31 Nadolny Sachs Private (off Carling Avenue and Broadview) from 6:30 to 10 pm, starting Tuesday, October 9, 2018.

Learn beginner steps and easier dances to start, progressing to intermediate and advanced dances. We do the latest line and circle dances, as well as old favourites. No experience or partner necessary. All ages welcome.

Cost: $5/evening (pay at the door)

Visit our Facebook page, OttawaIsraeliDance, for details about who we are and what we do. Or email for more information.