Connect with us

Local News

17 cases of Covid now at Simkin Centre



Simkin Centre logoUpdated April 2 The past few days have seen a resurgence of Covid at the Simkin Centre, although the current variant affecting residents, Omicron B-1 is milder than the previous Delta and Alpha variants. According to information provided on the Simkin Centre Facebook page, 14 residents on Simkin 2 are currently testing positive for Covid, while three residents on Weinberg 1 are also testing positive.

Previously, seven residents on Weinberg 1 had tested positive but, as of March 28, four have recovered. The outbreak on Simkin 2 was first made public on March 28. At that point only one resident on Simkin 2 tested positive. The fact that the outbreak has now spread to 13 other residents is an indication how virulent the current strain of Covid is.

The April 1 Simkin Centre Facebook post warns that “Designated Caregivers on Simkin 2 are welcome to visit at their own risk. Personal protective equipment will be provided and must be worn during your visit.”

The post goes on to say that “With the rising number of Resident and staff cases we are experiencing significant staffing shortages. We want to thank the Designated Caregivers for their assistance during this challenging time.”


Poarws Jan. 17 A total of 20 Residents have tested positive for Covid. Of those 20, 15 have recovered. The remainder are in the Covid isolation unit. In addition, two more staff have tested positive, bringing the total number of staff who have tested positive to 31. Twenty-six of the staff have returned to work.

Updated Jan. 13 Three more Residents have now tested positive for Covid. The total number of Residents who are now in the Covid isolation unit is  up to 15. One Resident has recovered and has been released from the isolation unit.

Updated Jan. 11 Of the 29 staff who had testd positive for Covid, 26 have now returned to work following the mandated five-day quarantine period. One more Resident has tested positive for Covid. The first Resident to test postive for Covid has been released from the Covid isolation unit.

Updated Jan. 10 On Sunday, Jan. 9 the Simkin Centre reported that a total of 10 Residents have now tested positive for Covid. On Jan. 8 3 Residents had been reported as having tested positive. The total number of Residents who have now tested positive stands at 10. The Centre reports that additional tests for some Residents on Weinberg 3 have been administered.

There are no additional reports of staff having tested positive. Twenty-six staff will have recovered and were expected to return to work today.

Posted Jan. 7

A total of 29 staff mmebers have tested positive for Covid.  By Monday we expect 20 staff will have recovered and returned to work.Staffing at the moment has stabilized.

There are no new Resident cases of Covid to report. The one Resident with Covid is stable.

Posted Jan. 4

Some staff who tested postive are now back at work. A total of 24 staff have tested positive, with 8 having completed their isolation period.. So far, still only one Resident has tested positive.

Posted Jan. 3

An additional three staff cases have now been identifed at the Simkin Centre, bringing the total number of staff affected to 16. There are no further Resident cases to report.

The Simkin Centre welcomed back Designated Caregivers today. Only one Designated Caregiver is allowed to visit at a time.

Posted Jan. 2

The Simkin Centre now reports that three more staff have tested positive for Covid, bringing the total number of staff affected to 13.

As well, late in the evening of December 31, the Centre was advised that a Resident from Simkin 2 tested positive for Covid.

According to the Centre, “the Resident has been transferred to our Covid Isolation Unit and is receiving excellent care. Family members of Residents living on the affected unit will be contacted. All visitations, including designated family care givers, have. been suspended until further notice.

Posted Jan. 1:

The Simkin Centre now reports that 10 staff members have tested positive for Covid. According to the Centre, “One staff member did not work during their infectious period.”

There are no Resident cases at this time.

Posted Dec. 31:

The Simkin Centre now reports that a total of seven staff members have tested positive for Covid. As well, the Centre reports that “We have also had visitors adivse us that they have tested positive after being at our Centre.”

The Centre also reports that they “are experiencing staffing shortages in all departments.” As a result the Centre has implemented the following steps:

1. Tub baths and showers will be suspended. Residents will be receiving sponge baths instead.

2. Bed linens will be changed only when wet or soiled.

3. Beds will be clean however not necessarily “made” as per usual expectations.

4. Resident personal clothing may be worn for more than one day at a time unless wet or soiled prior to sending for laundering.

5. Residents may be dressed in hospital gowns to facilitate expedited care delivery.

6. Pandemic meal plans will be iniitiated. This includes the use of disposable clothes, standardized menu items such as  pureed soup and dessert for all residents.

7. Housekeeping services have been prioritized for Resident areas and high touch surfaces.

As well, the Simkin Centre issued the following all for help on their Facebook page:

Are you a retired health care aide who is interested in coming back to work at the Simkin Centre to assist with our staffing shortages during our outbreak? If so please reach out to as soon as possible. We need your experience!

Posted Dec. 30

On December 26 the Simkin Centre reported that “we were notified of a staff member testing positive for Covid-19 who worked on Simkin 2 night shift on December 22nd…”

Then, on December 29 the Simkin Centre issued another report: “Today we were notified of two more staff testing positive for Covid-19 who worked on Weinberg 3 and Simkin 2. Their cases are linked which means we are now in a Covid-19 Outbreak….

“We have no Resident cases at this time. Residents on affected units will be closely monitored and tested if they develop any symptons. The visting restrictions being implemented tomorrw will remain in place.”

To read the complete list of rules that are now in place at the Simkin Centre go to

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Local News

Gray Academy Visiting International School program attracts first student from Australia



Grade 12 student Natalie Rozenberg (left) from Brazil and Grade 10 student Tara Foster from Australia

By MYRON LOVE Gray Academy, our community’s only junior kindergarten–12 Jewish day school, holds a unique place among Jewish schools in Western Canada.
The school has a higher per capita enrollment than any other Jewish day school in Western Canada related to the number of potential Jewish students in the community. As well, it is the only Jewish high school in North America – other than yeshivot – that offers an international student experience.
“We generally enrol one or two students a year from international communities,” says Gray Academy Head of School and CEO Lori Binder. “Our International Student program has always been a niche program,” “We want to be able to make sure that the international students are well integrated into our student body.”
For the most part, she reports, the visiting students have come from Brazil and Mexico. “We have agents in Brazil and Mexico,” she notes. “In the past, we have participated in recruitment trips – and we might again one day – depending on available resources. Most of our international students hear about our program through word of mouth.”

This school year, Gray Academy has two international students enrolled. Natalie Rozenberg is from Rio de Janiero This is the Grade 12 student’s second year at the school. She is following in the footsteps of her older sister, Dafne, who graduated from Gray Academy in 2020 and is currently enrolled in third year Data Science at the University of Manitoba.
The newest international student at Gray Academy is Tara Foster, who has come all the way from Australia to sample a different kind of educational experience. “Tara is the first Australian student to participate in our program,” Binder says. “In fact, she reached out to us after finding information about our program online.”
The Grade 10 student was born and raised in Sydney. Her father, she notes, was also originally from Sydney, but her parents met and married in London. They moved to Sydney 18 year ago. Up to now, Tara has been a student at Masada College, a K-12 Jewish school in Sydney, where she will be returning next fall.
I wanted to experience a school somewhere else – preferably in an English-speaking country,” she says. “I searched online and Gray Academy was the only school offering this program.”
While her mother, she notes, had some concerns about her 15-year-old daughter traveling so far from home for school, her father was fine with the idea. He is involved in an accounting software business which brings him frequently to Toronto. Her mother, Tara says, is planning to come to visit in January.
Tara has been here for just over a month. She reports that Winnipeg so far is sort of what she expected. “It is very flat,” she muses. “It is easier to get around here than in Sydney.”
She says that she has already made some friends in her new school and is starting to get involved in extracurricular activites
Natalie began the school year by joining her Grade 12 classmates on their Human Rights and Holocaust Education trip to Washington, DC. She is looking forward to continuing to work out regularly at the Rady JCC.
”I am still working on improving my English,” she says.
She notes that her parents are happy that their two daughters are living in a safe community such as Winnipeg.
As is the standard practice with Gray Academy’s International Student program, both girls are living with host families. “Over the past 15 years or so, our visiting International Student Program has hosted more than 30 students,” Lori Binder reports. “Not only do the visiting students benefit from the experience of going to school here, but our own students get the opportunity to welcome fellow students from different places and learn more about the larger world.”
She adds that the visiting students form long-lasting bonds with their host families, with the guests often becoming part of the host family’s extended family.

Continue Reading

Local News

Rabbi Michael Skobac, international leader in Jewish outreach, to speak at Adas Yeshurun Herzlia on October 20



By MYRON LOVE It has been many years since I have had the pleasure of interviewing Rabbi Michael Skobac. I am happy to report that the long time Education Director of Jews for Judaism has been invited back to Winnipeg by the Adas Yeshurun Herzlia Congregation to do a presentation – on Friday, October 20, after Kabbalat Shabbat services – on the subject of the ongoing missionary threat to the Jews.
The subtext for “The Battle for the Jewish Soul,” the title of his lecture, he points out, is an exploration of why so many Jews are susceptible to the siren song of missionaries – not just Christian missionaries, but also Asian religious movements – an issue that also falls under the aegis of Jews for Judaism.
“It is not just a matter of a lack of education or knowledge,” he explained in a wide ranging interview with the JP&N last Friday morning. “Many of those who have left Judaism grew up in Jewish homes, had their bar/bat mitzvahs, went to Hebrew school and visited Israel. What they are missing is a sense of spirituality.
“Too many Jews have grown up in a spiritual vacuum,” he continued. “They have holes in their soul that cry out to be filled and they are not finding it in Judaism. Therefore, they are turning to Bhuddism, Hinduism and the Church.”
To further illustrate his point, he cited a story about a conference on Jewish meditation a year ago in New York City. “There were about 1,000 people registered,” he recounted. “They were asked to raise their hands if they had participated in Eastern mediation practices. Everyone raised their hands. When subsequently asked how many of them had had any experience with Jewish meditation, no hands went up.”
That anecdote speaks to one of the several ways that Jews for Judaism’s mission has evolved and expanded. The organization was founded in 1989 in Toronto by Julius Ciss, himself a former “Jew for Jesus” who had returned to Judaism some years before and had begun doing counter missionary work.
Rabbi Skobac joined Jews for Judaism full time in 1992. A graduate of Yeshiva University, the former New Yorker received his smicha in 1980. After teaching for a short time, he was drawn into outreach work within the Jewish community prior to joining the staff of Jews for Judaism.
Initially, Jews for Judaism’s primary mission was working to bring back to Judaism susceptible Jews who were enticed into joining messianic congregations operating under the guise of following Jewish ritual practices within a context of worshipping Yesha (Jesus).
Skobac notes that Jews for Judaism’s focus has never been criticizing Christian beliefs, but rather on educating lost Jews as to the joys of Judaism. “We operate under the idea that the missionary activity of Jews for Jesus is not the problem,” he explains. “It is a symptom. The problem is that a growing number of Jews are disconnected from Judaism. Our communities are dealing with a lot of assimilation and apathy. The other thing we realized is that it is not just Christ who is calling to Jews. Twenty five percent of North American Bhuddists are Jewish and Jews are similarly overrepresented in other Eastern religions such as Hinduism and Bahai.”
Skobac noted that Jews for Judaism has become a 911 service forJewish communities – responding to many family members concerned about siblings or children who have strayed into other religious faiths.
There have been some interesting phenomena developing in more recent years that Skobac commented on. One is related to the growth of the messianic movements themselves.
“We are not dealing with just one or two messianic congregations in North America now,” he observed. “There are currently more than 500 – and they have become organized. They have camps and day schools and “rabbinical schools” to fill the growing demand for “rabbis”. The result is more of the messianic Jews are actually studying Judaism and some are – as a result- coming back to the Jewish community.”
Another difference that Skobac points out is that you no longer see these missionaries preaching on street corners. As with everything else in our modern world, virtually all the missionary work today is happening online. And the outreach efforts of Jews for Judaism has also moved to some degree online.
“Twelve years ago, we started our own YouTube channel,” he reported. “We have had between 8 and 9 million views. Obviously not all of our viewers re Jewish.”
He pointed out that over the past 40 years, a growing number of non-Jews have become interested in learning about Judaism and begun practising the “Noahide” laws as ordained in the Torah. These laws were required by God of Noah’s descendants and include prohibitions against idolatry, blasphemy, adultery, theft, murder and cruelty to animals.
And some of these Noahides convert to Judaism. Skobac reported, for example, that he was recently in Alberta to help a family living outside of Edmonton that was converting to Judaism.
The bottom line, Skobac noted, is that a growing number of Jews are not finding meaning in Judaism. “People need a sense of the spiritual in their lives to give their lives meaning,” he observed. “If they can’t find it in Judaism, they will look somewhere else. What we try to do is bring out the beauty and spirituality in Judaism.”
Readers who may be interested in attending rabbi Skobac’s presentation (which includes supper) can contact the Adas Yeshurun Herzlia office at 204 489-6262.

Continue Reading

Local News

Three Jewish candidates in running for upcoming provincial election



Jewish candidates (l-r): Nathan Zahn, River Heights, Green Party; Phil Spevack, Wolseley, Manitoba Liberal Party ; Teddy Rubinstein, St. John's, Progressive Conservative Party

By MYRON LOVE For those of us who still remember the 1969 provincial election that vaulted Ed Schreyer and the NDP into office for the first time, one of the aspects of that turning point in our province’s political history that stood out was the large number of Jewish MLAs who were elected to office that year.
That number included four for the NDP (Sid Green, Saul Miller, Saul Cherniack, and Cy Gonick) as well as two for the Progressive Conservatives (Maitland Steinkopf and Sidney Spivak). Spivak later went on to become leader of the recently defeated Progressive Conservatives and Leader of the Opposition.
It has now been more than 30 years since a Jewish MLA has sat in the Legislature. That would be the late Jim Carr, who was first elected as part of the Liberal resurgence in 1988, was returned to the Legislature in 1990 as part of a much reduced Liberal caucus, and resigned in 1992.
While there are three Jewish candidates in the running in the election next week, it is very unlikely that the dearth of Jewish MLAs will be coming to an end any time soon.
For Nathan Zahn, representing the Green Party in River Heights, this will be his third try and second in River Heights. As the Green Party has never won a seat n the province and he is running against the long-serving and popular former Liberal party leader Dr. Jon Gerrard, to describe Zahn’s campaign as an uphill battle is an understatement.
The annual Electronic Music Exhibtion organizer (which is held in June in the Exchange district) and founder and executive director of the non-profit Science First (that promotes science literacy and ecological conservation policies) is a long time Green Party member.
“My goal in running,” Zahn says, “is to raise awareness of several issues.”
Some of those issues, according to the Green Party platform, are fighting climate change, electoral reform, instituting a guaranteed basic income and improving access to healthcare.
In Wolseley, Phil Spevack is the Liberal standard-bearer. The candidate is best –known in our Jewish community as the long time organizer of the Saturday evening Grant and Wilton Coffee House concert which are held in the basement of Temple Shalom (where Spevack also serves as the
shamas. He has also volunteered over the years for Habitat for Humanity and has a program wherein he speaks to church groups, using a combination of music and humour to educate his audiences about Judaism.

The Liberal caucus in the Legislature currently consists of only three MLAs and Spevack is fully aware of the long odds he is facing. “The Liberals needed a candidate to stand for the party in Wolseley,” Spevack says/ “Jon Gerrard asked me to run and I thinki very highly of Jon.”
While the candidate did have a couple of campaign events planned, he points out that working around all the yom tovim has limited the amount of time he actually has to go knocking on doors in the riding.
Running for the Progressive Conservative Party in the north Winnipeg riding of St. John’s is first time candidate Teddy Rubinstein. Although new to politics, the University of Winnipeg student in the Faculty of Education does have a role model in his baba, Sheila Billinghurst, who served two terms as a school trustee in Pembina Trails school Division.
(Teddy’s parents are Steven Rubinstein and Marla Billinghurst. Bernie and Sheila Rubenstein are also his grandparents.)
While Rubenstein had not responded to efforts to contact him by press time, his blurb on the PC election website notes that “he is running because he wants to make a difference in the St. John’s community, be a positive voice for youth, and give back to Manitoba, where Teddy has lived his whole life.
Teddy believes that it’s important that the younger generation, the future of Manitoba, gets involved in decision-making in order to make a difference in, and be a representative of, their communities. He wants to work to help fight for Manitobans, including addressing the issues of crime that we are seeing in Winnipeg, and to make life more affordable for all Manitobans.”
The St. John’s riding has to be considered a lock for Nahanni Fontaine, the current sitting MLA and Deputy Leader of the Party.
Election day is next Tuesday. Please go out and cast your vote.

Continue Reading

Copyright © 2017 - 2023 Jewish Post & News