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Chai Folk Ensemble
Photo by Keith Levit

Jewish Pioneers Memorial Cairn, Winkler MB



Rhonda J. Prepes, P. Eng., June 1, 2012

For the second year in a row Sweet Spirit Ministries Canada, under the leadership of Pamela and John Funk of Morden, will be holding an "All Nations Bless Israel” celebration in Winkler MB on June 24, 2012.
The purpose of this celebration is to honor the Jewish Community of Manitoba and to discover the Jewish roots of Morden and Winkler. This year’s event features a performance by the Chai Folk Dance Ensemble at Winkler’s P. W. Enns Centennial Theatre, 783 Mountain Avenue in Winkler on Sunday, June 24, 2012 at 7:00 p.m. Tickets are available at 204-325-5600 or at Tickets are $22.00.
There will also be a tour of the Winkler Bethel Heritage Park including the Jewish Pioneers Memorial Cairn. This monument was erected by the Winkler Heritage Society and the Jewish Heritage Centre of Western Canada on May 26, 2002 in commemoration of the pioneer Jewish settlers of Winkler. The monument lists only those who settled before the outbreak of the First World War, in 1914. The initial 15 families were:
  • Isaac and Sarah Greenblatt (arrived 1890s) 
  • Pinyah and Mary Silver (arrived 1890s)
  • Aaron Arka and Etta Nitikman (arrived 1898)
  • Yosel and Freyda Nitikman (arrived 1899 and 1901)
  • Aaron and Annie Nitikman (arrived 1901)
  • Abraham and Sarah Greenblatt (arrived 1903)
  • Max and Chia Buchwald (arrived 1904 and 1908)
  • Isaac and Ruchel Sirluck (arrived 1906 and 1901)
  • Harry and Razelle Danzker (arrived 1908) and Rachel Danzker (arrived 1910)
  • Usher Zelig and Bella Sirluck (arrived circa 1908)
  • Morris and Masha Gladstone (arrived 1910)
  • Barney Dave Safeer (arrived circa 1910)
  • Aaron (“Harry”) and Freda Gladstone (arrived 1912)
  • Morris and Flossie Goldberg (arrived 1913 and 1901)

These pioneers made new lives for themselves, becoming peddlers, storekeepers, grain merchants, and farmers. Their descendants include numerous prominent Manitobans, including a President of the University of Manitoba, a judge of the Manitoba Court of Queen’s Bench, an eminent cardiac surgeon, a judge in the Manitoba Provincial Court, a member of the Order of the British Empire, members of the Order of Canada, advisors to governments, a City of Winnipeg alderman, a newspaper publisher, many business executives, members of learned professions, scientists, teachers, scholars, arts patrons, and community leaders.

Last year delegates from Israel, Kenya, Fiji, Nigeria and the United States, as well as descendants of the first Winkler Jewish pioneers came to partake in the conference. MP Ms. Candice Hoeppner spoke on behalf of the Prime Minister and special video clips were prepared by the Prime Minister's office which showed segments of his speeches supporting Israel. Shelley Faintuch of the Jewish Federation of Winnipeg spoke on the topic of "Anti-Semitism Today" at a special Jewish Honoring Ceremony. Also, Mr. Mel Lazareck of the Jewish National Fund and his wife Karyn were present and announced that olive trees would be planted in Israel in honor of last year’s conference. Three olive trees were also given for planting in Winkler.

This year’s celebrations including the Chai Folk Dance Ensemble concert promises to be packed full of talent, live music, and cultural dance. The Chai Folk Ensemble is North America's largest and oldest Israeli folk dance ensemble. The show will be about 2 hours. Winkler is located approximately 120 km southeast of Winnipeg. If enough people are interested in bus transportation, a “party” bus will be arranged. Call the Chai office at 204-477-7497 for details.If  interested in bus e  Call the Chai office at 204-477-7497 to let us kn

Those with Jewish roots in the Winkler or Morden areas are invited to contact Ms. Funk at [email protected]

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Rhonda Spivak, Editor

Publisher: Spivak's Jewish Review Ltd.

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