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Book about history of Manitoba Jewish physicians to be launched November 3

Eva Wiseman

Two and a half years ago, the Jewish Heritage Centre of Western Canada, in conjunction with Medical Heritage Manitoba – a branch of the University of Manitoba’s medical school, embarked on a very ambitious project: the production of a book devoted to chronicling the history of Jewish physicians in Manitoba. The project was titled “A Century of Manitoba Jewish Physicians” (CMJP for short).

Bob Freedman tells a funny story about meeting with some representatives of the Ashkenazie Synagogue

Bob Freedman

In the late 1980s Bob Freedman and Marjorie Blankstein were the two key individuals who spearheaded an effort to revitalize the Jewish community in Winnipeg. In our Oct. 16 issue we'll have a full-length story about that effort, but in the meantime you can watch an excerpt from an interview we did with Bob Freedman where he recounts a very funny story about one particular meeting he & Marjorie had. Watch the video at

New book tells story of Operation Ezra

Yazidi refugees in Turkey - Operation Ezra provided vital assistance to refugees living in camps there

On Tuesday, Sept. 24, a book launch was held at the Berney Theatre of the Asper Campus, for a publication entitled “OPERATION EZRA: Winnipeg’s Jewish Community-led Interfaith Response to the Survivors of the Yazidi Genocide”. About 100 men, women and children attended the event, which was sponsored by Operation Ezra and the Jewish Heritage Centre of Western Canada.

Westwood Collegiate student this year’s winner of the Minna Rosner Essay Competition

Blake Edwards being presented with his monetary award by Cecil Rosner, son of the late Minna Rosner (l-r): Mark Kantor, President, Jewish Heritage Centre of Western Canada; Belle Jarniewski, Executive Director, JHCWC; Blake Edwards; Cecil Rosner, Minna Rosner’s son; Kelly Hiebert, History teacher at Westwood Collegiate (who also took a group of students from the school to Europe this past spring on a tour of some of the Nazi camps); Stan Carbone, Director of Programs and Exhibits, JHCWC

Grade 11 Westwood Collegiate student Blake Edwards is this year’s winner of the Minna Rosner Essay Competition, which invites students in Grades 9-12 to submit essays on the subject of the Shoah and/or human rights.
The title of Blake’s essay was “The Importance of Historical Education for the Youth of this Generation: Case Studies include the Warsaw Uprising and Dachau Concentration Camp”.
The competition is in memory of the late Mina Rosner, a Shoah survivor who dedicated many hours to educating people about the Shoah as well as the importance of combating racism and discrimination and upholding human rights.

Five Jewish lawyers appointed Queen’s counsel


Recently the Province of Manitoba appointed 15 Manitoba lawyers as Queen’s counsel.
In making the announcement, it was noted that the Queen’s counsel designation is reserved for long-serving members of the legal profession who have demonstrated outstanding practice, fostered excellence in the profession, and who have conducted themselves with integrity and leadership throughout their careers.
This is the first time since 2001 that the Province of Manitoba has announced Queen’s counsel appointments.

36% of the residents at Simkin Centre are not Jewish

In a column that you can read elsewhere on this site I referred to funding received by the beneficiary agencies of the Jewish Federation. Apparently some of the information I gave about the Simkin Centre, Winnipeg's Jewish Personal Care Home, was not quite correct, while other points I made about the centre require further clarification.

Gwen Secter theatre group explores issues related to seniors

Entire cast (including playwright Freda Glow, second from left, holding flowers)

The diningroom at the Gwen Secter Creative Retirement Centre at Sid Glow Place was packed on Wednesday, August 28, as appreciative Gwen Secter members enjoyed the latest theatrical offering of the centre’s own “Wits and Skits” players.

Operation Ezra helps Yazidi families to grow enough vegetables to feed 52 families - and to run a very successful pop-up vegetable stand in front of the campus

Pop-up market at Asper campus selling Yazidi-grown vegetables

Thanks to the combined efforts of Yazidis who have settled in Manitoba, along with volunteers from Operation Ezra, and the very generous assistance of Bo Wohlers, owner of Shelmerdine Nursery, over eight acres of vegetables that had been seeded on a farm that had not been in use in the St. Francois Xavier area produced a bumper crop of 33 different kinds of vegetables this summer.

Jewish Child and Family Service desperate for new space

Al Benarroch, Executive Director, JCFS

In another article on this site, I had written about the “bureaucratization” of Jewish agencies in Winnipeg, noting how many agencies which used to rely on volunteers have now become very large institutions – and have in some cases greatly expanded their roles.
Of those agencies, one in particular stood out for me: Jewish Child and Family Service.