Making Chaverim

Ofakim brings Jewish community to Montreal’s South Shore. 

Ofakim is an educational program for children ages 3-12 and their families on the South Shore. The theme changes from month to month, as does the location, but the desire to develop their Jewish identities remains a constant factor.

Once a month, dozens of Jewish children and their families from various South Shore locations such as Brossard, Candiac, St. Bruno, St. Constant and Greenfield Park, among others, meet at the home of a host participant in order to come together and make connections.  The goal is to educate children and families on the South Shore, to bring them into contact with Judaism in a secular humanist environment, and overall, to build a sense of community.

“It’s fantastic that there is something Jewish on the South Shore that is a good fit for our family,” said Libby Nasimok, an Ofakim member who hosted the July gathering. “We like that it is a relaxed atmosphere where our kids can play and have fun while further developing their Jewish identity. It’s important to us that they feel part of a Jewish community.”

Ofakim July Host Libby Nasimok and her son

Federation CJA has been supporting the Jewish families in the area since 1996 through the Community Grants funding to the South Shore Jewish Community Centre, an area that has seen a 67% increase in the Jewish population since 2001. There are currently close to 1,000 Jewish individuals living in the South Shore. Over the years, Federation CJA has also provided training and workshops.

Ofakim Group Celebrates Israel in the South Shore

In July the Ofakim theme was a simulated trip to Israel. Children learned about the culture, geography and people of the country by participating in different activities. After receiving their boarding passes, the children, who call themselves chaverim (which means friends in Hebrew) learned about Israeli geography, painted a flag to represent their group, played matkot (Israeli paddle ball), and danced to Israeli folk music. Parents got into the fun and got caught up while noshing on hummus, pita and falafel.

Ofakim is a grassroots initiative created by parents living on the South Shore and supported by the Generation Fund’s jQmtl , and is open to anyone looking for some family friendly Jewish content. The group is nondenominational, and is happy to include anyone who feels a connection to the Jewish community.

Everyone is welcome, but being a home-based program the location changes each month, so signing up ahead of time is a must.

For more information about Ofakim please contact Adrienne.Sholzberg@federationcja.org.

  • michael daren says:

    Libby is our daughter. We are thrilled at the initiative that she & Kevin & their friends have taken & are most appreciative of the Montreal Community’s support.

    Our grandchildren are so precious to us its gratifying to see this opportunity for them to connect Jewishly (?)

    Kol Hakavod & our thanks.

  • Abi says:

    Je cherche quelque chose similaire, mais plutôt proche de Laval, Est-ce que ça existe?
    Merci, pour l’information.

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