Feedback Brett and Katherine

Brett & Katherine

We could not have picked a nicer, funnier and more professional officiant for our wedding! We got married in August 2018 at the Toronto Hunt Club by Sandra Ruch and from the first phone call, we could tell that she was going to be wonderful. She understood exactly what we wanted and gave us plenty of options and accommodated our asks. She was sweet, charming and engaging and the ceremony went off without a hitch. We received a lot of positive affirmations from our guests who absolutely loved Sandra and we’re so happy she could be a part of our special day! She’s a fantastic officiant and still the best I’ve seen (even though we might be biased!)

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Feedback Jaclyn and James

Jaclyn & James

We are beyond happy that we chose Sandra Ruch to be the officiant for our wedding! Sandra gave us many options for our wedding ceremony which we really appreciated since we were having a culturally blended wedding and we weren’t sure where to start. It was nice to put our ceremony together and choose what we did/didn’t want. Sandra is so warm and loving, she has a such a great spirit. We could really feel that she was so happy for us on our special day. She kept us calm with our spirits high. Jaclyn & James Aug 25th, 2018

Feedback Jesse and Diana

Jesse & Diana

Sandra Ruch is a lovely and warm person and a professional when it comes to wedding officiating. She conducted our official signing and was present for our first look, while our officiator facilitated the ceremony. She communicated everything with us in advance and completed everything quickly and efficiently. We are happy to recommend her services to other couples. Jesse and Diana August 12th, 2018

Feeback – Ali and Sarah

Ali & Sarah

Sandra was kind and very patient with us on what can be a stressful day to plan. As well, she was prompt and responsive in communications leading up to our day. She also does signings only – in our case we had a spiritual leader to our ceremony, while Sandra took care of the legal signing. I *highly* recommend Sandra! [Aug 5th, 2018]

Feedback Aaron and Brittany

Aaron & Brittany

I can’t say enough good things about Sandra Ruch! My (now) husband reached out to All Seasons looking for a Jewish officiant for our interfaith wedding and Sandra was the perfect fit from the start. From our first meeting she was simply delightful, and truly interested in making it a wedding that was OURS. We worked with her to create a ceremony that was reflective of Jewish traditions, while remaining secular and more importantly inclusive. She was so positive and engaging through the whole process! Our ceremony went off without a hitch, and that’s in large part to Sandra’s professionalism, calm demeanor and positive outlook. We truly feel like we lucked out choosing/finding Sandra. Thank you! Aaron & Brittany July 14th, 2018

Celebrating the End of the Week

Celebrate the end of the week with an evening of singing, chanting, drumming and dancing as we welcome the Sabbath.

Bring a potluck dish to share. Suggested donation of $18 or pay what you can..

This is an evening for all who identify as women and for women of all faiths. I do offer a personal Jewish lens.

Friday, August 17 at 6:30 PM – 9:30 PM (contact me at miriamswell@hotmail.com for the location)

Refresh and Reboot Retreat

Fall is a time for new beginnings, a time for dreaming and planning and creating. Anything and everything is possible.

Come for a weekend of celebration – singing, dancing and drumming. We will offer workshops in herbs and aroma therapy. We will mindfully walk in the labyrinth. Meditation sessions and yoga will be part of each day. Participate in as much or as little as you prefer. The meals are healthy and delicious vegetarian food. Let us know if you have any food requirements.

When: 

Sep 22 at 1 PM to Sep 24 at 1 PM
Where:
Hub and Hearth Retreat Centre, Hockley Valley (near Orangeville) details at time of booking.
This retreat is open to all who self identify as women. It is also for women of all faiths.Weather permitting we will have bonfires each evening and enjoy time in the communal outdoor hot tub.The Fall is a time of new beginnings and a time to reboot and refresh ourselves to move ahead in our lives. In Jewish tradition it is the New Year and this weekend begins the Harvest Holiday of Sukkot.
Sukkot is a time to recreate our world. The holiday is celebrated with its waving palm branches, fragrant myrtle leaves, and open-air huts.
We will gather on Saturday afternoon and build our community of women – a community of trust and compassion.

Workshops will include:
Journal writing – how to heal and to grow through the art of personal journaling.

Body movement – embracing our body with love and acceptance. Roula Said will lead us in dance and movement,

Drumming – recreating the beat of heart. Roula will lead us in drumming and singing,

Vision Boards – dare to dream and to create the world that you desire.

Creating ritual objects – bring your imagination and we will work together to create something unique to you.

Natural personal products – Using only natural ingredients and essential oils, learn to make healthy and easy personal products from toothpaste to deodorant.

About us:

SandraLaya Ruch has been inspiring women to live their lives to the fullest. She is a firm believer that anything is possible and each of us must dare to dream. She encourages women not be held hostage to our victim story but to use our survival as a reminder of our strength and possibilities.Her personal journey is a commitment to living a meaningful, substantial and significant lifestyle. From her extensive women empowerment experience and expertise, SandraLaya provides timely insight for women and how they can begin to see and manage conflict differently. She is a sought-after speaker on strategies for social justice and empowering women to come into their voice.

SandraLaya Ruch is a Celebrant of Life Cycle events including weddings, funerals and memorial services. She is a Kohenet (Hebrew Priestess) Initiate and will be ordained in 2019. Through her work she helps empower women to live meaningful lives. She views conflict and crises as pivotal moments in our lives that can deepen our significance or destroy it.

Both a Mother and Grandmother, SandraLaya raised her daughters independently facing many of the struggles familiar to single parents. She is no stranger to domestic violence and the dangers that women experience in a patriarchal society.

“We must look for the opportunities waiting for us”. SandraLaya Ruch

Roula Said:
Roula Said is a singer, dancer, musician and wordsmith of Palestinian heritage based in Toronto, Canada. Roula runs Om Laila Studio, home of Seven Waves Movement and Embodied Voice, original methodologies rooted in the Arab Arts. She has been teaching and performing Arab dance for over 25 years and has most recently appeared in the Body Percussion Festival at Harbourfront Centre, and both on film and stage in XTOD, Kaeja d’Dance’s beautiful creations for 22 “Xtraordinary Toronto Dancers”.

Roula also plays qanun and percussion to accompany traditional Arabic songs and original songs created from her sufi-inspired poems. She has just received recognition for her writing with a Playwright’s Grant from the Toronto Arts Council for her poetic one-woman show, 40 Days, which tells her story in original music, movement and word to her father who died when Roula was 40 days old.

Along with her husband, trumpeter and composer David Buchbinder, Roula co-leads the funked up Arabic-Roma band, Nomadica, whose first recording Dance of the Infidels, was nominated for a Juno Award in 2016. David and Roula also run a cross-cultural creativity-based project called Diasporic Genius that brings citizens together across boundaries of race, religion, ethnicity and age to create music, art, feasts and festivals to enrich their communities and the city at large.

What I love about Love

Being a wedding officiant is just about the most perfect vocation anyone could ask for.  I absolutely love spending time with people who are so positive about the future, so full of hope and love.  Joy, happiness and excitement surrounds them in a cloud of deliciousness!!!

Kenana and Dave

One of my daughters says there is nothing that she loves more than a love story and encourages her friends to share their stories.  My first favourite book ( I read it over and over) was Erich Segal’s “Love Story”.  ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

Love_Story_(Erich_Segal_novel)_cover

 

The first thing I want to hear from a couple is their story.  I want to know how they met and how long they have been together.  It is that connection that is the foundation of the new life they are building.

It’s wonderful to hear about their plans for the future and the many things they have in common.  I often wonder what is the most important element of a relationship? Is it sharing hobbies, professions, physical attraction, values, culture, religion, politics, family values?  Somehow it is a little bit of everything.   A couple may seem like total opposites until there is a bit more excavating and you find that at the core they are so similar.

What do you think?  Will you share your love story with me?

I’ve been in my element these past few weeks.  I created a bedroom in my closet.  The closet is about 6 feet by 7 feet and I have loved having all that storage space!  I had an abundance of items organized in that closet – my clothes and everything else.  The apartment is only 400 square feet in total.  It’s small but more than enough space for me to live very happily. I often have friends and family over and can comfortably entertain a dozen or more guests.  I frequently have overnight guests too.

A few weeks ago I was scrolling Pinterest when I found this photo.  I was so inspired.  I went to my closet, took a look went back to the sofa, got up and looked again.  I repeated that scenario at least 3 times until I just couldn’t help myself. I started hauling everything out of my closet – clothing, suitcases, shoes, boots, boxes, jewellery, coats and so on and so on and so on.  A lot of stuff.

Pinterest

After washing the floors and the shelving, I moved the single bed into the room.  Now what to do with all the “stuff”.  Of course,  a quick trip to Ikea would have quickly solved all my problems but I didn’t have that amount of extra cash and I also prefer to use recycled products whenever possible.  Ol, I admit, I am very frugal and I hate waste more than anything.

That same week I found a dresser in the parking lot of my daughter’s condo. I am so lucky when it comes to finding things that I need.  Looking around my place right now there are many great finds.

the dresser
The dresser (free)

Then I started scouring Marketplace on Facebook.  I was hoping to find something cheap, in my neighbourhood  and that someone might deliver. No small wish list.  Here’s what I found this week.

 

 

The storage box
The storage box $15 picked up
The wardrobe
The wardrobe $40 delivered

 

The clothes are in the dresser, the wardrobe and the storage box.  I emptied a few shelves in my linen closet moving all the towels into the bathroom and all the bedding into the storage box of my Ikea Beddinge sofa.  Before the move, I had the beautiful quilts that my Grandmother made there but now I am showing them off in my new bedroom. I moved the shoe shelf into the entrance way and gave it a beachy look.

Beachy shoe rack
Shoes and boots

I love my new room.  I love the bold red accents.  I am surrounded by my favourite things.  I now have more living and dining room space and having a private bedroom is fabulous.  My rent is the same but now I have a one bedroom apartment.  This is the best of tiny space living!

Bedroom
My new bedroom