J Hamilton grand opening

Laura Wolfson
September 2018

When you come to visit J Hamilton for the first time, you will surely feel the positive energy in the air. The new home of the Hamilton Jewish Federation, the Jewish Community Centre, the Jewish National Fund, and the Beth Tikvah Foundation, J Hamilton is much more than a building. It is a home for our shared memories and a place where Jewish Hamiltonians of all ages and from all backgrounds can gather for social and educational events. J Hamilton represents the unlimited possibilities that can occur when all of us work together to create a thriving and caring Jewish community. The entire community is invited to attend its grand opening on Sunday, Sept. 16. 

The J Hamilton open house festivities begin at 10 a.m. with family friendly activities that include PJ Library storytelling, balloon making and face painting, and a sing-along led by Camp Kadimah director Oliver Borr.  An especially exciting aspect of the morning's programming will be the creation of a communal art collage that, with your help, will convey the richness and depth of Jewish Hamilton history and hint at the unfolding potential that lies ahead.   

We are asking everyone connected to the Jewish community to bring us your photos of Jewish life in Hamilton. It doesn’t matter what size or colour, or even the quality of the photo — just something that represents your best memories: a family Passover seder at Uncle Syd and Auntie Sophie’s house in 1957, your parents’ wedding at the synagogue in 1978, volunteering at the Hadassah Bazaar in 1986, the UJA Walkathon in 1999, the Hanukkah Hustle in 2008, your daughter’s Bat Mitzvah in 2013 ... all of this and more applies. We want to use all of these in a rotating gallery exhibit of Jewish life in Hamilton. You can drop off your photographs at 1605 Main St. W. in Hamilton in an envelope marked “Welcome Collage” or email high resolution jpeg images to grymberg@jewishhamilton.org. (Make sure you include your name and contact information so that we can arrange to return your photos to you after we’ve scanned them!) We are planning on a dedication of the collage to take place around Hanukkah.

The afternoon will feature activities geared more towards an adult audience. Come for coffee and live music (performers TBA) at 2 p.m. and stay for a 3 p.m. screening of the film, Ben-Gurion: Epilogue. The acclaimed documentary about Israel's founding father offers a rare intimate look at what went on inside Ben-Gurion’s heart and mind. The film presents a recently unearthed interview with him, discovered in the Spielberg Archives, that was conducted in 1968, 20 years after he declared the establishment of the Jewish State and five years after he left the government, quite abruptly, to retire. Ben-Gurion's introspective soul-searching provides a surprising vision for crucial decisions Israel needs to make today. The film also brings thought-provoking insights about the role of leaders in today's complex world.

Supporting our Jewish educational institutions, providing opportunities for youth, caring for the vulnerable members of our community, providing a place where everyone can gather for social events, welcoming newcomers, celebrating and supporting Israel —  all these values and more are served by the new J Hamilton.  We can’t wait to see you at our open house. For more information contact Hamilton Jewish Federation CEO Gustavo Rymberg at grymberg@jewishhamilton.org.


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