Shabbat message

Shabbat message by Rabbi Dini Lewittes, Rabbi in Residence


Wow. Time flies not only when you’re having fun, but also when you’re immersed in a beautiful community, building new relationships with people who are as serious about being warm and welcoming as they are about living a traditional, meaningful Jewish life. Truthfully, KBI models how deeply intertwined those are. Thank you for a most engaging and enriching few months, for the kindness and generosity you showed Andi and me, and for the honour of serving as your rabbi, your teacher, and your friend.

It won’t surprise you that I’m hoping to “go out with a bang”! Please join me for a spirited Kabbalat Shabbat tomorrow at 5:30pm filled with soaring niggunim/melodies and deep teachings, and accompanied by Joel Yan on guitar, Seymour Schlien on recorder, Aharon Zohar on accordion, and perhaps some other musicians as well. Maariv will proceed as usual without instruments.

While we’ll say goodbye after services on Shabbat morning, I’m hoping it’s more of a “L’hitraot/See you again soon” as we discover future opportunities to be together in the community. May the next time we meet be one filled with renewed peace and hope for Israel, for the Jewish people, for humanity and for our planet.

In the meantime, I wish KBI success and fulfillment in your search for a permanent rabbi. May your future be bright and promising and may you continue to contribute to the vitality of Jewish life here in Ottawa and well beyond.

Please stay in touch! I can be reached by email at You can sign up for my weekly emails which contain teachings and information on my upcoming classes and trips directly from my website,

I wish you all a sweet and meaningful Pesach and offer you my deepest gratitude for your partnership and fellowship and for the expanded Torah and soulfulness I will carry with me from this special place.

Shabbat Shalom,


For new commentary, rituals and questions to add to your Seders this year in light of the war in Israel, the rise in antisemitism and the state of the world, see the following articles and supplements:

Can Jews Sing Dayenu While There Are Hostages?

Inside 10 New Haggadahs for Passover 2024 

The Hartman Haggadah supplement

Seder Interrupted: A Post-October 7 Haggadah Supplement (Ora Horn Prouser and Menachem Creditor)

A New Guide for Families: 7 Ways to Address October 7 at Your Seder