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Saturday, August 23, 2014

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Teens and their families welcome Shabbat

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Seen at the second annual Family Shab-bat Dinner at Beth Avraham Yoseph of Toronto are, from left, Susan Yalowsky and her daughters, Sydney, Emily and Morrie [Ari Heitner photo]

TORONTO — About 650 people, or 150 families, gathered at three Toronto-area synagogues for the second annual Family Shabbat Dinner organized by the National Conference of Synagogue Youth (NCSY) and Torah High on March 1.

Some 350 welcomed Shabbat at Beth Avraham Yoseph of Toronto (BAYT) in Thornhill, 240 participated at Torath Emeth (Viewmount), and more than 50 were at Kehilat Shaarei Torah.

Participating Torah High and NCSY teens’ families were paired with families from the hosting congregations where introductory Shabbat remarks were followed by dinner and singing in a relaxed atmosphere. Last year, friendships were established and maintained, aimed at enhancing the educational experience and building Jewish unity. Many such relationships were begun again this year.

“Torah High and NCSY Canada took Shabbat to the next level,” Rabbi Glenn Black, chief executive officer of Torah High and NCSY Canada, said. “The Jewish values and traditions we teach in the classroom and through our programs are magnified a hundredfold by inspired and committed parents and families. These Jewish teens will be our community’s leaders in the future. We need to engage and support them and their families today.”

Last year, the inaugural event attracted 250 to the BAYT. Organizers hope to expand the program to five synagogues and 1,000 people next year. The event was sponsored by the Cherniak and Silverstein families.

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