Fifteen years ago, the JRCC West Thornhill was founded by Rabbi Levi and Nechama Dina Jacobson to serve the Jewish needs of this burgeoning community within a community, conducting programs and services in borrowed and rented facilities. Yet, despite not having its own facilities, it has developed a warm and welcoming community, that all its members, from the more than one hundred regular attendees to the countless visitors, are proud to be a part of. And despite the lack of facilities, the JRCC West Thornhill has touched and inspired and touched the lives of thousands.

What is community? It’s about an attitude. A space created more in the heart than in the neighborhood. A shared vision for what we want our future to look like, and making that our present reality. For the last fifteen years, that’s exactly what we’ve worked to create. Through the programs of JRCC West Thornhill, we have strived to connect the hearts and minds of neighborhood residents with a Jewish life that is as vibrant and engaging as they are. We are proud of the community we have created together.

A story is told of a little girl whose father was a pilot in the Canadian Air Force. Due to his job, he was often assigned to different locations around the world. At one point, the couple and their daughter were placed in a hotel until better accommodations would become available, but a few months later they were still living in their hotel room. Being the upbeat, loving family that they were, they tried to make the best of it.

On their daughters eighth birthday, her parents threw her a birthday party and invited some family friends. At the crowded party, one of the pilots turned to the little girl and asked, “How does it feel to be without a home?” She replied, “We have a home, we just don’t have a house to put it in.”

Some people have gorgeous houses, but no home. Ours is a community that is like a family, it has a home, though we never had a proper house in which to put this lovely family. After starting in a basement, moving to a community room, to a dining room, to a gymnasium, and finally to our current storefront location, we are now embarking on the journey to bring our family into a permanent home – a place where we will be able to grow more, create a proper community space where we can do more, and do it better than ever before, for ourselves and our children and grandchildren. But to do so, we need your help.

Some communities have houses, overflowing building funds that enable them to buy new facilities or renovate old ones. We have you, our extended family. We hope that you too will see the need and value of our own community centre, and give generously to this campaign – a gift that will give your family, our community and future generations the house we all deserve to call home.

Please respond generously and join us on our collective journey.