Jewish Child and Family Service stepping up to meet the needs of the neediest members of our community in this extraordinarily difficult time

Al Benarroch, Exec. Director, JCFS

With the Corona virus enveloping the entire world, and with seniors being among the most vulnerable members of our community, the agency whose mandate it is to provide social services to seniors in our community has been thrust into the role as the primary source of contact for many seniors - and others who rely upon social support.
Rather than being able to provide in person counseling and other services to its clientele, however, the Jewish Child and Family Service is front and centre among Jewish organizations in this city that have had to improvise how it provides its normal services.

Canadian Jewish News - Canada's flagship Jewish newspaper, announces it's folding


This story is one that I had been dreading to see. The Canadian Jewish News has been a hallmark of superior journalism for years. It was the model for all other Jewish newspapers in Canada.

April 3, 2020

MONTREAL (JTA) — Canada’s flagship national Jewish newspaper, the Canadian Jewish News, became a coronavirus casualty after it announced that its April 9 issue would be its last after 60 years in business.

New film about 94-year old Holocaust survivor Isaac Gotfried premieres at Berney Theatre

Panelists following presentation of the film about Isaac Gotfried (l-r): Kaitlin Medeiros (former student at J.H. Bruns Collegiate; Tim Beyak, teacher at J.H. Bruns; Isaac Gotfried

For 94-year-old Isaac Gotfried. telling the story how he survived three years in various slave labour and concentration camps during World War II has been his mission in life for over 26 years now.
In 2018 I recorded a talk Isaac gave to 32 Muslim students from a school in St. Boniface. A video of that session can be seen on our website at categories-media/78-shoah/227-isaac-gotfried. During that talk Isaac noted that, at that point in his life, he estimated that he had spoken at over 100 schools to over 20,000 students.

Holocaust survivor Edith Kimelman keynote speaker at the Jewish Heritage Centre’s 19th annual Holocaust and Human Rights Symposium

Edith Kimelman with her grandson Ari

Edith Kimelman, whom I have known for many years, exudes elegance and confidence. Beneath the surface though, this child survivor of the Holocaust – in common with most Holocaust survivors – will tell you she continues to bear the scars of the trauma that she went through. And, as with many of her fellow survivors, she came here with nothing and built a life for herself as a wife, mother, grandmother, scholar and educator.

Jewish Post & News donates profits from its YMHA 100th anniversary commemorative publication to Rady JCC

Jewish Post & News Publisher Bernie Bellan (right) hands over a cheque for $3100 to Rady JCC Executive Director Rob Berkowits

This past November, in honour of the 100th anniversary of the YMHA having received its charter, The Jewish Post & News published a special commemorative issue marking that occasion. At the time our paper made a commitment to both the Rady JCC and any advertisers who wanted to join in saluting the YMHA/Rady JCC that we would allocate a portion of the profits made from that November Lifestyles issue to the Rady JCC. We kept our word - and handed a cheque for $3100 to Rob Berkowits on Thursday, March 5. If you haven't seen that commemorative issue, click on the box on the right side of this page that says "Click here to download the November issue of Lifestyles".

A taste of Limmud 2020

Limmud volunteers

Limmud Winnipeg celebrated its tenth anniversary on the weekend of February 29/March 1 with quite possibly its best attendance to date. Close to 400 members of our community had more than three dozen sessions to choose from, with presenters from across Canada, New York and Israel joining local speakers and facilitators in providing a smorgasbord of topics both secular and religious, cultural and culinary.
As usual, this writer indulged in a representative sampling of what was on the menu, balancing local and Israeli issues with some religious study as well as delving into Jewish history. And, while each session could make for an entire feature on its own, space considerations leave me to focus on the highlights.

Update from Jewish Federation

Jewish FedFollowing is a message received from Elaine Goldstine, CEO of the Winnipeg Jewish Federation re closures and changes in plans for various community organizations:

Dear Community Members,

The situation relating to COVID-19 is continually changing, with many communications being issued by companies and organizations regarding cancellations, closures and postponements.

19 members of BBYO Red River Region attend BBYO International Convention

IAN BARUCH (right), Youth Program Director at the Rady JCC, with actor JESSE EISENBERG at BBYO International Convention


When Ian Baruch accepted the position of Youth Program Coordinator at the Rady JCC - in charge of BBYO, back in August 2019, he was excited to be leading a program in which he himself had been a member only a few years previously.

Winnipeg Jewish community organizations take steps in reaction to spread of Coronavirus


(Posted March 13, 5:00 pm, updated March 14, 15, 16, 17) As governments, businesses, and organizations throughout the world assess just what steps are necessary to take in order to halt the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19), Jewish organizations in Winnipeg have also begun to adopt new measures in reaction to the extraordinarily swift spread of the pandemic.

Looking for something different while you're cooped up? Here are some services being offered by different people

By BERNIE BELLAN (Posted March 21)

Do you know someone who is in desperate need of some delicious - and kosher prepared meals - at reasonable prices, that can be picked up? Then Grandma Alla by Chabad may have just what you're looking for. Read more here:

New Jewish Federation outreach event hit all the right notes

(l-r): Kendall Hinds, Carly Kahan, Richard Pound, Samantha Kasloff

In early February, Fling Before the Ring, geared to newly engaged and married couples, and the community as a whole, was put on by the Jewish Federation of Winnipeg.
The event was the brainchild of the Federation’s Madeline Lopez Ficher. It was held at the Audi Dealership with 14 couples in attendance.
Of Lopez Ficher, the Federation’s engagement manager, Florencia Katz, said, “She was I think inspired a bit by the Shalom Baby Shower Event that we offer twice a year for new parents who just had babies...So, based on this concept, she came up with this idea and we started thinking of how to reach out to the young adult demographic who tend to be drawn to live stage events.