Yarchei  Kallah Classes

Complete Class Descriptions Below Graphic

yk 2020 schedule

The program will feature dynamic, in-person speakers, as well as guest speakers joining us online from around the world.

Participant Information:

  • All classes, Monday – Friday, will take place at the Young Israel, 1762 Carling Ave, Ottawa, ON K2A 2H7 (near the JCC) in air conditioned rooms.
  • Have the opportunity to interact with presenters during break times as well as enjoy the camaraderie of other participants.
  • Classes given by out of town presenters will be featured on a large screen with interactive capability.
  • Refreshments and lunch will be available.
  • Classes will be recorded for participants.

Rabbi Ken Spiro and Rabbi Rueven Tradburks will be presenting live from Israel on the big screen.  All other classes will be presented live in person. 

Morning Classes




Squeezing Water From a Stone

Rabbi Zischa Shaps

Squeezing Water From a Stone

Rabbi Zischa Shaps

G-d tells Moshe and Aharon to speak to the rock and bring forth water. Moshe hits the rock and he and Aharon are barred from entering the Land of Israel. Why such a harsh punishment? Why did Moshe hit the rock and what was Aharon’s role? Join this text based class for a behind the scenes look at the event that changed the course of Jewish history. Learn lessons in faith, leadership and human emotions through a careful analysis of the text using classical commentaries.  



Wisdom and Wiggles

Danielle Altonaga

Wisdom & Wiggles

Danielle Altonaga

Bring your little one along to play, as we discuss some fresh insights about parenting.

Coffee and snacks provided.



The Jews’ Place in the World

Rabbi Ken Spiro

The Jews’ Place in the World

Rabbi Ken Spiro

Monday: Why the Jews? Explores the deeper meaning and message behind humanity’s longest, strangest and most intense hatred – Antisemitism.

Tuesday: Israel & Yishmael: This presentation explores the deepest metaphysical roots of the Middle East conflict – the Biblical and Kabbalistic origins of the struggle between Judaism and Islam.

Wednesday: Universalism vs. Particularism: the Jewish perspective on this great divide including what role the Jewish people play in healing this rift and unifying humanity?

Thursday: Israel’s Inspiring Story – Making it your own Part 1: How connected am I to modern Israel and how essential is that to my Jewish identity? A voyage through the Jewish history and connection to the land of Israel, to understand the centrality of Israel to our identity and destiny.

Friday: Israel’s Inspiring Story – Making it your own Part 2

Lunch and Learns




Collateral Damage in War, a Jewish View

Rabbi Tradburks

The Miracles that Happen Everyday

Rabbi Dave Rotenberg

This too, is for the Best

Yiska Guberman

Engaging Canadian Law Enforcement:

My trip to Poland and Israel with the Canadian Chiefs of Police

Aviva Rotenberg

Will we believe it when we see it?

Biblical prophecies fulfilled before our eyes.

Elisha Guberman

Evening Classes



Monday -Thursday




Heard at Sinai

Rabbi Harris Guedalia


Love in the Torah

Dahlia Farkas



Judaism & Technology

Rabbi Michael Altonaga


Heard at Sinai

The Macro and Micro of Torah

Rabbi Harris Guedalia


Love in the Torah

Dahlia Farkas

We will take a look at the Jewish definition at love through a thorough investigation of relationships in Sefer Shmuel. What can we learn about love in friendship, fatherly love and incestuous love through king David.

Technology & Torah

Rabbi Michael Altonaga

New technologies are being introduced every day. Some of them change our lives in ways no one could have imagined hundreds of years ago. How do these technologies affect how we live Jewishly? How can we apply the Torah’s timeless principles to use these technologies in the best way possible?

Monday: It’s the End of the World as we Know it – How evolving technologies are changing the way we observe the Torah. We’ll explore some of the mitzvos affected and discuss how certain technologies have made things simpler/better and others make things more challenging.

Tuesday: Talking to Robots – You can talk to your phone. You can talk to your fridge. Are your words actions? What ramifications does that have in how you keep the Torah?

Wednesday: The New Shabbos – Lights on timers, Shabbos mode ovens, walking by security cameras, Shabbos elevators… It’s impossible to fully keep Shabbos today without understanding many technologies and the melacha relevant to each one. We will open these boxes and discuss how Shabbos has changed from what our bubby kept.

Thursday: Space Travel – Commercial space flight has become a reality, and with it come questions about what it means to keep the Torah in space. When should an astronaut pray? Is soil still called “earth” when it’s on the moon? Does Hashem want us to explore the stars?


Jewish Health & Wellness

Monday with Lauren Shaps

Tuesday with Dr. Deborah Mervitz and Rabbi Michael Altonaga

Wednesday with Maya Phansalker-Davies and Rabbi Steven Gotlib

Thursday with Andrea Gardner and Rabbi Zischa Shaps

Jewish Health and Wellness

How to be the healthiest you, you can be.

Explore the many facets of health and Jewish perspectives on health & wellness. Hear from Jewish experts in physical and mental health and learn what the Torah has to say about physical and mental health.

Monday: Relationship to Friends and Family with Lauren Shaps, Social Worker, MSW, RSW

Tuesday: Relationship to Self – Physical Health with Dr. Deborah Mervitz and Rabbi Michael Altonaga

Wednesday: Relationship to Self – Mental Health with Maya Phansalker-Davies, Psychotherapist, MACP, RP and Rabbi Steven Gotlib

Thursday: Relationship to Community with Andrea Gardner, Associate Executive Director of Jewish Family Services, MSW, RSW and Rabbi Zischa Shaps


Monday -Thursday