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Richmond students from Highway to Heaven to join forces to celebrate seasons

Richmond Jewish Day School on No. 5 Road is hosting Shine a Light on Dec. 12 for students of different faiths
Students from different faiths on Richmond's Highway to Heaven celebrate at a previous event

A Richmond school on the city’s so-called “Highway to Heaven” is hosting an inter-cultural and inter-faith event next month.

The Richmond Jewish Day School (RJDS), on No. 5 Road, between Blundell and Williams roads, is hosting Shine a Light on Dec. 12.

The school said it will be “bringing 'Highway to Heaven' schools and community members together to showcase what wintertime celebrations look like in their respective cultures and traditions.”

The spirit of the celebration, added the school, will be to “share winter customs, such as those practiced during Chanukah and Christmas, which “build into our individual identities.”

RJDS principal Sabrina Bhojani told the Richmond News that, last year, “we did an evening event during Hannukah called ‘A Celebration of Light’ and invited members of the Highway to Heaven community.”

Guests included Mayor Malcom Brodie, Ezra Shanken, CEO of Jewish Federation, several city councillors and leaders from the Bahai and Sikh faiths, some of whom spoke, before students at RJDS did several dance and musical performances. 

“This year we have changed the name and format to create a more kid-friendly celebration and invited various schools to attend,” added Bhojani.

Among this year’s guests will be students from Richmond Christian School, Az-Zahraa Islamic Academy and Cornerstone Montessori.

Activities that the students will participate in will be those that showcase their personal winter-themed traditions and may include singing and arts and crafts.

The school said it hopes “to create an environment to improve understanding about different cultures thereby encouraging people and institutions to work together and share responsibility for addressing racism, discrimination and antisemitism.”