When Joe Elfenbaum (Z”L) passed away on February 28, 2023, the world lost a true gentleman.
His passing has left a void for his children Murray, Mia and Marshall, Deb and Brent; his grandchildren Elana, Peggy, Dena (Josh), Liat, Gilad, Julia and Justin; his siblings Sylvia Segal, Louis Elfenbaum and Elizabeth Lefcourt; and dozens of relatives and friends. Joe was predeceased by his wife Bernice; his parents Abraham and Dora Elfenbaum; and his siblings and siblings-in-laws, Jack and Nellie Elfenbaum, Tillie and Norman Goren, Albert Segal, and May and Sam Kantor.
Joe was born in Lipton, Saskatchewan on January 6, 1930, on the family farm. His early years were shaped by hard work and guided by his parents’ examples of honesty, fairness, and dedication to community. As a young adult, Joe was active in Saskatchewan politics and the farmers’ union. In 1960, while farming in Lipton, Joe visited Winnipeg and met Bernice Garfinkel. After a mostly long-distance courtship, they married in 1963 and began their life together on the farm.
In 1964, Joe and Bernice moved to Winnipeg and Joe farmed on land north of the city. That was short-lived, as he was soon enlisted by his in-laws to manage their apartment buildings, which led to other property owners asking Joe to do the same for them. Joe and Bernice later acquired property of their own. Property management was the perfect career for Joe as it capitalized on his ability to communicate well, to get along with people, and to fix just about anything. He was fair and honest in all his dealings and was well-respected.
Joe and Bernice had a loving and happy home for 51 years until Bernice passed away in 2014. Joe described it as losing his best friend. Family and community were Joe’s passions. He was a fantastic husband, father and grandfather. He was happiest when he was helping other people, whether doing things for his family and friends or contributing on boards and committees. Joe enjoyed a wide network of friends through his many activities – curling, golfing, bowling, and playing cards.
Joe led by example, modelling kindness, humour, compassion, thoughtfulness and generosity. No matter the challenge, he maintained his positive approach to life. He has left his family with an incredible legacy.
The funeral took place on March 7, at Congregation Etz Chayim. They family is grateful to Rabbi Kliel and Cantor Tracy for officiating and to the pallbearers: Charles Kantor, Mark Kantor, Brent Meyers, Justin Meyers, Ray Reider, and Marshall Stitz.
Joe loved well and was well-loved. If you would like to make a donation in his memory, please consider the Joe and Bernice Elfenbaum fund at the Jewish Foundation of Manitoba or a charity of your choice.

- Advertisement -