TORONTO, Sept. 17, 2017 /CNW/ - In an unusual move, the City Shul congregation moves Sunday Sept. 17 at 11 a.m. from its inaugural home in the Wolfond Centre for Jewish Life at 36 Harbord St. into a church -- the Bloor Street United (BSU) at 300 Bloor St. West. There will be three Torah scrolls, a wedding canopy, and a lot of spirit – in the festive and colourful parade up Huron Street, with a traditional Klezmer band heralding its progress to BSU.
Church members will welcome the congregation, which will then install the holy Torahs in its new home. The move is occurring because the five-year-old synagogue has enjoyed such rapid growth to 600 members that it outgrew its original space. It previously had held annual High Holiday services at BSU. The only other known example of a Canadian church-synagogue building partnership is in Waterloo.
City Shul's rabbi, Elyse Goldstein, the pioneering first female rabbi in Canada, will also bless the traditional attaching of the mezuzah, the sign of a Jewish home, on BSU's premises, another unusual event. "We will be continuing the sacred and spiritual Jewish space that we've created for the last four years on High Holidays," said Rabbi Goldstein. "We'll maintain our warm, welcoming and inclusive spirit that has attracted so many people to us." City Shul, noted for its diverse population, includes members who are visible minorities, LGBTQ, interfaith couples, Jews-by-choice and those exploring Judaism, and many young people.
City Shul, a Reform Congregation, describes itself as "The Jewish heart in the heart of Toronto." Rabbi Goldstein says that this move will create major changes, as the Shul establishes a greater presence and visibility in the Bloor St. heart of the city. "Our presence on Bloor Street will attract all kinds of Jewish people – singles, young families, empty nesters, and downtown residents of all ages – who are looking for a welcoming, spiritual home," commented Rabbi Goldstein. "Bloor Street United, well established in its social action, will work with us on projects that strengthen our communities, and we look forward to that."
SOURCE City Shul
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