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Allan Finkel

By BERNIE BELLAN

In what will be the fourth recent appointment of a Winnipeg-born rabbi to a pulpit in Winnipeg, Temple Shalom, Winnipeg’s liberal reform congregation, has announced that, as of July 1st, Allan Finkel will assume the role of rabbi of that congregation.

 

 

 

Allan Finkel joins Rabbi Yosi Benarroch at the Adas Yeshurun-Herzliah Congregation; Rabbi Kliel Rose at Etz Chayim Congregation; and Rabbi Matthew Leibl, of Shaarey Zedek Congregation as native-born rabbis here. They are all also former graduates of Joseph Wolinsky Collegiate.
Allan Finkel will be succeeding Rabbi Bill Tepper, who has been traveling to Winnipeg twice monthly to serve as rabbi at Temple Shalom since the fall of 2016. According to a press release issued by Temple Shalom, “For both work and personal reasons Rabbi Tepper has decided that his time as our Rabbi will come to a close at the end of June 2019.”
In making the announcement, Temple Shalom drew attention to Allan Finkel’s multi-varied career: Allan Finkel was born and raised in Winnipeg. His parents both immigrated from Eastern Europe (Galicia), which set the tone for his early life, especially through his mother and grandparents, who were Holocaust survivors. Allan grew up at the Talmud Torah Synagogue, where he was a junior chazzan and member of Cantor Brownstone’s Shabbat and High Holiday choirs. After graduating from Joseph Wolinsky Collegiate in 1972, he wandered away from his traditional roots, through the Conservative movement and finally into Reform Judaism. At Temple Shalom, his fascination with Judaism was rekindled within an extremely active, liberal congregation. He has been a valued member of Temple Shalom since 1990, a frequent lay leader and creator of new services.
Allan graduated from the Florence Melton program in 2015 and has since continued with follow-up Melton hevrutahs study. He was then accepted into the Jewish Spiritual Leaders Institute’s Rabbinical School based out of New York City, and will receive his ordination (smicha) in June 2019, together with five colleagues from Canada, the United States and Costa Rica.
Along the way, Allan has accumulated a law degree, an MBA, three wonderful children, two Guinness World Records and many marathons. After practicing law for five years, he then spent many years as executive director for three not-for-profit organizations. He has worked as an Appeal Commissioner for Workers Compensation for over 20 years. Allan has also had extensive volunteer and board involvements over the years including the Manitoba Marathon, Winnipeg Folk Festival, Manitoba Runners Association, Jewish Heritage Centre and Temple Shalom. He has also been active in the addictions recovery community for many years. Allan has been a host/facilitator at the Holocaust Education Centre and in the Winnipeg school system, working with survivors (including his mother) to help present their stories. Allan has a strong passion for initiating social and community change in any organization in which he is involved. 

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