Shalom Life | August 30, 2014

I'm A Jew, A Social Jew, On Christmas

Contrary to popular belief, there are many outings and festivities that Jewish people can take part of this Christmas Eve and Day. Looking for something to do this Christmas? We got you covered

By: Daniel Koren

Published: December 24th, 2013 in News » World

I'm A Jew, A Social Jew, On Christmas

Times have changed, Kyle Broflovski.

Contrary to what the consensus is regarding what's open and what one can actually do on Christmas, Eve and Day, we at Shalom Life have done some research and found several events, parties, and activities for all you yehudim out there who are looking to take advantage of the day off.

Regardless of if your cup of tea includes movies, drinking, parties, rap music, Chinese food, etc., no longer does one need to feel lonely on Christmas when everyone else is celebrating with family and opening presents.

With hundreds of thousands of like-minded Jews in the Greater Toronto Area, know that you are in good company.

Here's some great ideas for what to do this Xmas for all you Jewish Torontonians:

Traditional Jewish Christmas


As a young punk growing up in Thornhill, there weren't many options of what to do on Christmas day save for two: going to the movies (Silver City, Richmond Hill was our mantra) and getting Chinese food (Richmond Court at Highway 7 & East Beaver Creek is amazing, plus it's open late). As no other activities were available, the marriage of Chinese food and a movie became a staple, and eventually would be known as Jewish Christmas. Though I certainly suggest getting out of your comfort zone, and trying out some new themes this year, I, as a man of tradition, strongly encourage continuing this lovely ritual, whether it be dim sum at Rol San and watching American Hustle – my personal plans for Jewish Xmas 2013 – or Chicken chow mein at Spadina Garden and Anchorman 2.

Matzoball 2013


For the past 25 years on Christmas Eve in Toronto, a night that was once associated, for Jews, at least, with stores being closed, streets being deserted, and having absolutely nothing else to do, there has been one annual party that has managed to keep us all warm, offering a big, end-of-the-year bash for young Jewish people to get together, meet new friends, network, mingle, and dance the night away.

The Matzoball.

Presented by Magen Boys Entertainment and the Jewish National Fund, this year's monumental quarter-century Matzo Ball extravaganza is poised to be the biggest and brightest yet.

To obtain more details surrounding the iconic annual event, we spoke to Magen Boys co-founder Jian Magen on what to expect this year.

"While there are many events on the social calendar, especially in this great city we are in, The Matzoball is Toronto’s go to night for the members of the Jewish community," says Magen. "This is a guaranteed night filled of fun, dancing, mingling and celebrating with like minded Jewish individuals. This is a night where Jewish people meet other Jewish people in a very casual and up beat environment."

Taking place at Six Degrees.

The Jew Meet Jew 5th Year Anniversary


This year, Matzoball 2013 has some stiff competition. However, as the Jew Meet Jew party takes place at the completely other side of the city, it also provides suburbanites with a great party to head to this Christmas Eve. Taking place at On The Rox (1600 Steeles Ave West), this party will feature amazing drink specials (including $4 Jager bombs and $4 Canadian & Coors Light), and is advertised as the only place to be this Christmas Eve, unless, you know, you’re waiting for Santa Claus to swing by.

Christmas Eve at Nazareth


Last year, a few friends and I headed over to Nazareth, a wonderful Ethiopian restaurant in Toronto, (coincidentally, Christmas festivities in the city of Nazareth are currently taking place as well) that stays open on Christmas Eve. As we all loved the friendliness of the staff, the charming Christmas atmosphere, and the very modest prices, we’ve decided to make it an annual Christmas Eve tradition. With a plethora of unique menu items, and listed as the number one Ethiopian spot according to BlogTO, this wonderful little restaurant is an ideal location to bring your friends this Christmas Eve, particularly if you’re looking to try exotic vegetarian foods.

I will be there at 9pm; hope to see you all.

Pacific Mall


The largest indoor Asian mall in North America prides itself on being open 365 days a year. Located on Steeles Avenue near Kennedy Road in Markham, expect Pacific Mall to be rammed this Christmas, as people who can’t stand being away from their Netflix – due to the ongoing power outages across the city – will flock to the DVD stands and find other fun activities to keep their minds off the cold. Also, if you still don’t have electricity, it’s a good place to head to just to stay warm, and of course, to eat your traditional Jewish Christmas Chinese food meal. With a variety of electronics and great gift ideas still available, Pacific Mall may be just the place to bring your friends to this Christmas.

To Jews and non-Jews alike, Happy Holidays and enjoy the day off!!

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