News & Events
More patience or a different point of view?
Toddlers are busy little people. They like to run, explore and have things their way. As an early childhood expert, parents often ask me: ‘how are you so patient?’. The truth is, I do have patience but when you understand the toddler’s perspective you don’t need as much.Read more »
I have trained myself to have a different point of reference when looking at a situation. Here are three examples of natural triggers for even the most saintly of parents and what can be done for a smoother parent-toddler experience.
Going to the mall
The first thing a parent must do is decrease the to-do list. Have a plan for your mall visit with only one to two goals. Browsing with a toddler is impossible so set your own personal expectations in advance with that understanding. Plan your visit to be longer than needed, this way you can give your child more time to explore the environment. Leave time for your child to lead the way, and just follow (no questions asked). Approaching the mall visit form your child’s point of view will make the experience less stress for you. You may even enjoy it, along with some good educational time for I Spy games such as finding colours, shapes, animals, or playing catch. Be creative.
Going to the park
This may be your toddler’s first spring outdoor experience. There is no need to push children to play with ALL the playground structures at once. As adult, we are conditioned to be excited about the ability to try everything. Toddlers, however, need time to learn new environments. It is better for children to use their senses to understand their surroundings than to simply “play” in the playground. Let your child listen to the birds and airplanes in the sky. Encourage touching the grass, sand, rocks (feel free to take off shoes, and yours too if possible). Smell the flowers, examine bugs, ants, bees, and flies (don’t show your dislikes- be brave). Teach your child to be respectful of nature and share your knowledge and curiosity.
Going to the grocery store
We all know toddlers will sit in the shopping cart for less than a minute before asking to be unbuckled. Don’t fight it. Ask your toddler to help with the grocery list and in leading the way. Follow your child through the aisles and load your shopping cart with items on your list (make your shopping list short so the experience can be successful).
Some grocery stores have small shopping carts that can be used by the children such as the Sobeys on Rutherford and Bathurst. Allow your child to keep busy putting items in the mini-cart, just like you. If possible, allow your toddler to also feel the accomplishment of helping to pack the bags with your support.
The bottom line is, toddlers will be toddlers! Be there for them, listen, engage, guide, share, laugh and make memories for a lifetime as they don’t stay this age forever. What does stay the same? Stores at the malls, park play structures the supermarket shopping. You’ll have a lifetime of that.
Naama Yaacov, Director of Early Childhood Education Development at the ProssermanJCC and Schwartz/Reissman Centre
Posted: May 01, 2019|
How To Care For Yourself,
While Caring For Your Family
Being a mother is one of life's biggest gifts, but we would be lying if we said that it didn't come with its challenges. Until the day you have children, you are the top priority in your life, but the second you have your first child, that all changes. It's truly amazing how quickly the change happens, but as the kids get older, we continue to drop further and further to the bottom of the totem pole. One thing we have learned, is that WE are in charge of inching ourselves back up to somewhere near the top, because when we don't, everyone suffers.
As the women of our households and entrepreneurs, it is extremely important that we are organized and make the most of every minute of the day. Running Savvy Sassy Moms, an online parenting magazine that provides helpful parenting advice, is our passion and we do our best to practice what we preach! They say it takes a village, or in this case, a community, to get it all done, and we couldn't agree more. Taking advantage of what our community has to offer is how we manage to care for ourselves while caring for our family.
Self-care in the community
How many parents can say that they are able to fit in a workout while their child is equally attuned to their arts and crafts program or in a swim class? A 30-minute or 1-hour class for your kids doesn't give any parent much time to hop in the car, drive to the gym, get a good workout in and then make it back to pick up their child on time! Over the years, we have always tried to enroll our kids in programs at the same facility and at the same time to try and minimize the burden of arranging carpools and running through the city like a chicken with our heads cut off.
However, over the years, we have learned that not only do we need to enroll our kids in programs at the same time and place, we need to consider ourselves and what we will be doing during that time. Our first choice for programming is at the local community centers. The beautiful facility has incredible programs for the kids and a top of the line gym for us. This gives us the ability to do it all. After a long day of work, working out gives us the time to reflect on what we have accomplished throughout the day and allows us to end the day with a clear head. It's second nature to plan for the kids and not for ourselves. When we are constantly running from A to B, our time for self-care used to get shelved until the weekend. That is no longer the norm and we can see how it affects our families in a positive way.
Work and play at the same place
We are always on the go, meeting people for work. Having a place where we can work and play, helps us maximize our days. We can go from a coffee or lunch meeting, into the pool or to an art class in a matter of steps. Making time to do things that we love is so important for us as parents. Whether it's an art class, a water aerobics class, or a workout class, doing something we love gives us real time to ourselves to enjoy and grow as a people. It allows us to make me-time that keeps us calm and enables us to continue finding ourselves.
More than that, we absolutely love seeing the friendly faces of our community members. Many have become friends from our times spent at the community center or through our children. We look forward to community celebrations and events where we can all come together as a group.
Come join us
In a big city or small, we all need our mom tribe. For us, we have found that tribe at the place where we spend most of our time. We feel a strong sense of community that allows us to feel supported as parents and business owners.
Posted: December 06, 2018
Last night, the Prosserman JCC and Schwartz/Reisman Centre Board of Directors announced its new Chair, Michael Sherman. Michael is well known to our community but we thought we would take a few minutes to help you get to know him even better. Use any of the following as jumping off points to start a conversation with Michael the next time you see him at an event, class or meeting (of course other conversation topics are welcome!).
- When not at the J, he works as head of Behavioural Economics at RBC Royal Bank, introducing new ways to bring about exceptional client experiences.
- His connection to the JCC began when he first entered law school in the ‘80s and working out a the “J” became part of his daily routine.
- Where you may have seen Michael at the J: Weight training, playing basketball, taking art classes, swimming in the pool and attending community and holiday events.
- His lay leadership with the JCC started in 2013 and has included serving on the Marketing, Budget and Finance, and Executive Committees.
- Personal mantra: It’s all about relationships. Care. Compassion. Connect.
Posted: August 31, 2018|
Ron and Myra Greenberg make the drive to the Prosserman JCC every week to play bridge. Their love for the game started after the couple took lessons at the Schwartz/Reisman Centre. Once the lessons were completed the couple were asked to play a more advanced level of the game at Prosserman, where they now come every Thursday to meet with friends and share their love for cards.Read more »
However, their affiliation with the JCC started much earlier their lives – as it was the place they first met! Both Bobby and Myra had mutual friends through the JCC who thought they would be a great match and were they ever right! “We went out for coffee – and the rest is history,” says Bobby as he recalls the details of their first date which led to their 21-year marriage and counting.
Throughout the years, the JCC has been as place for the couple to meet friends and like-minded individuals. The couple continues to come back to the Centre because of the atmosphere, and because no matter where they are in life there are always programs and events that have allowed them to find couples and individuals with the same interests. “We are pretty close with a few people, we go out to dates and it’s a lot of fun!” Said Bobby of the friends they have made through Bridge.
The couple continues to come back to the Centre because no matter what stage of life they are in, there are always programs and events that lead to meeting great people.
Seems like it isn't just their hand of bridge that makes Ron and Myra our winning players
Posted: March 15, 2018
We are now in our 9th week of construction at the Prosserman JCC. It is completely amazing to see the large steps that have been accomplished in such little time.Read more »
The large machinery has been brought in and the foundation is in the process of being laid down. The contractors have begun the backfilling and compaction for the new roadway. Additionally, the excavation for the pool and lower level foundation walls has started and the pouring of concrete for the foundation footings commenced last week.
Whether you grew up with the Flintstones or Bob The Builder – it’s exciting to watch!
The daycare kids are mesmerized with their front row seats watching as their future JCC comes to life right in front of their eyes. One of the construction workers even showed them some of the equipment and see how it works. They loved it!
Despite all the excitement, we wanted to take this opportunity to remind members and visitor that the trucks and heavy equipment traffic will be sharing the access road. Please use extra caution. When necessary, there will be flagmen in place to direct traffic. For safety purposes, all pedestrian access should be through the Bathurst Street entrance. The potential relocation of the southbound TTC stop has been delayed due to some technical considerations so we will update you once the situation has been resolved. If you have any questions please feel free to contact us at anytime.
If you haven’t already, check out this time lapse which will be updated each month, here.
Posted: December 12, 2017
This year I am celebrating my 20-year anniversary with the Prosserman JCC Stroke Recovery and Parkinson’s Support and Fitness Group. (Twenty years translates to over 1000 hours!) Of course back then the centre had a different name and in fact we were located in a different building. When I first began facilitating this inspiring group my children (now adult Millennial) attended the Centre Camp on campus and I was happy to be on site. My kids have since grown and flown, however I continue the routine drive up Bathurst Street on Monday mornings to the Prosserman JCC – my home-away-from-home.
Read more »
It’s well-known in our community that Ben and Jerry are much more than just ice-cream. This quasi-autonomous group is spearheaded by Ben Swartz and Jerry Weinper, two longtime and exemplary members and volunteers at the Prosserman JCC. They were on the scene when I arrived way back and they share a friendship longer than my lifetime (I think). When they are not volunteering they can be found on the treadmill downstairs in the gym. These two guys are incredible role models for all of us. Thank you Ben and Jerry for your constant enthusiasm longtime commitment to this wonderful group. The world needs more Ben and Jerrys!
Over the years this group has benefited from many dedicated volunteers including former Y members, members of the community and compassionate caregivers (too numerous to list). Maurice Rabinovitch and Joe Steinberg are longtime volunteers from before my time. This incredible group of people including, participants, spouses, volunteers and caregivers is a tremendous source of inspiration and pride to the staff, and members of the community at large.
The group meets on Wednesday and Fridays too, but that’s Elv’s story to tell.
Several members of this group are contributing authors to Brain Attack - The Journey Back - A Collection of Inspirational Personal Narratives about Stroke Recovery (PK Press, 2005, 2016). Lynne, and Alma thank you for sharing your heartfelt stories with us.
We look forward to our Monday mornings together filled with music of many genres: Classical, contemporary, golden-oldies, ballroom dancing and of course sing-along favourites. Music is magical: it resonates deep in our brains and prompts our bodies to “Shake, Rattle, Rock and Roll”! We all love to sing and dance, in any way we can.
But most of all, we look forward to schmoozing and sharing updates and celebrations. What’s our favourite part of the program? No question: coffee and fresh bagels. Sometimes we enjoy freshly brewed coffee with bagels, lox and cream cheese―what a great start to the week. On special occasions… we enjoy homemade sweets and treats. Mmm.
The Prosserman JCC Stroke Recovery and Parkinson’s Support and Fitness Group is a hidden gem in the community. We are dedicated to the wellness of our participants; we are a caring and compassionate network.
My very best wishes for a happy and healthy holiday season! I look forward to many more Monday mornings together in 2018.
Until 120! Ad Meah V’Esrim! Biz a Hoondred oon Tzvuntzig!
Posted: November 09, 2017
Artist Suzanne Metz is celebrating a career milestone. The Thornhill, Ont.-based artist has a one-woman art show now running at the SLATE Atrium Gallery in Vaughan City Hall.
Suzanne regularly teaches at both the Schwartz/ Reisman Centre and the Prosserman JCC.
Born in South Africa, Suzanne Metz graduated with an Honours BA (fine arts) degree in 1980 from the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg. She emigrated to Canada in 1986. She has been teaching art and painting professionally for over 25years. Suzanne is the recipient of numerous accolades and awards, her work having been featured in solo and group art exhibitions, including Toronto and New York art expos and the Artist Project Toronto. Her work is housed in private and corporate collections in Canada and internationally.
Learn more about her upcoming show here: http://www.cjnews.com/culture/artists-urban-graffiti-welcomed-inside-vaughan-city-hallRead more »
Posted: October 04, 2017
An exhibition of work by Tilya HelfieldRead more »
Tilya was a prolific artist who worked in Montreal most of her career as a printmaker, papermaker, sculptor and painter. She exhibited widely and her works are included in Canadian and international collections. Canadian artist and educator, Sadko Hadzihasanovic, has curated this exhibition of paintings produced during the last stage of Tilya’s career in Toronto from 2005 to 2017.
The exhibition will run October 15 to December 4, 2017 at the Prosserman JCC, 2nd floor.
Posted: October 02, 2017
Teaching children to read, it’s so much more than phonics
By Cheri Szereszewski, RECE
Director, Prosserman JCC Daycare and Preschool
Learning to read begins in early infancy. By reading to your baby everyday parents begin to instil a love of language and reading while simultaneously providing physical and emotional stimulation that leads to positive bonding and attachment.
Studies have shown that the amount of time a child spends being read to can affect a child’s own ability to learn to read. (1) Over time, sounds begin to have meaning. Looking at books with children helps them make connections between the pictures, the sounds and the words on the page
The Ministry of Education ELECT Curriculum Framework, used daily by the teachers at the Prosserman JCC Daycare and Preschool in their program planning, outlines how the imitation and repetition leads to the ability to pretend and imagine, two skills important for early literacy.
As children become more verbal, parents are encouraged to engage children in conversation with open-ended questions and responsive statements, rather than reading books cover-to-cover. This interaction can enhance a child’s understanding of and ability to use language, ultimately leading to reading comprehension. (2) For example, ask “What do you think is going to happen next?” Then, stop to identify elements in the pictures that provide food for thought.
Provide your child with real world experiences that show them that letters and words are all around. Look for opportunities to teach letters and words by playing with letter blocks, sharing books to look at independently, singing songs and labelling items.
Make reading a habit. Read every day as part of the daily routine as well as something that happens spontaneously. Above all, make it fun! Use funny voices, sing songs, encourage your toddler or preschooler to tell you the story. Make stories up with your child and write them down together. This is a great way for your child to make literacy connections between reading and writing.
Learning to read is not all about phonics anymore. Learning to read is a balance of learning letters and learning sounds. It’s about taking the time to expose your children to books, letters and sounds and to encourage them to develop a love of reading that will help them gain the skills needed to become a lifelong reader.
Read more »
1. Wolf, Maryanne; Stoodley, Catherine J. (2007). Proust and the squid: the story and science of the reading brain. New York: Harper. pp. 81–83. 2. Ministry of Education (2014). How Does Learning Happen? Ontario’s Pedagogy for the Early Years. Ottawa. Retrieved from: http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/childcare/HowLearningHappens.pdf
Posted: September 27, 2017
Jews of Iran
by Elizabeth Katchen, Programs Department
Did you know that there are still Jews living in Iran today?Read more »
The Jews of Iran event grew out of my surprise in discovering this information. My curiosity was a catalyst to weeks of research on this community and on the Persian Jewish community in North America.
What started as a small talk has evolved into a full evening celebration of the culture, heritage and history of the Jews of Iran. As well, a cross-cultural and bridge building initiative with the greater Iranian community has come about thanks to this community’s incredible support of the event. I encourage you to join us Tuesday October 24th. The evening promises to be an enlightening and informative opportunity to learn and celebrate through art, music, imagery, refreshments and discussion.
To register, please click here