Winnipeg Jewish Review  
Site Search:
Home  |  Archives  |  Contact Us
 
Features Local Israel Next Generation Arts/Op-Eds Editorial/Letters Links Obituary/In Memoriam

Rabbi Alan Green

 
Response of Winnipeg Council of Rabbis to the Decision of The Rady JCC to Open on Shabbat Mornings

posted January 6, 2012

[Editor's note: On Dec 24 a copy of this letter was sent to me by Alice Weissmann Ritual Secretary Congregation Shaarey Zedek. It was printed on Shaarey Zedek letterhead and is being reprinted in full here.]

December 18, 2012

Dear Friends:

The Winnipeg Council of Rabbis feels compelled to respond to the Rady Centre’s recent decision to open its facility on Shabbat morning.

We are aware of the factors that motivated this decision. We appreciate the obligation to serve the needs of Rady Centre members, many of whom are not Jewish, and the vast majority of whom are not Sabbath observant. We also appreciate that the decision to open Rady Centre facilities on Shabbat morning will have little if any impact on synagogue attendance on Shabbat morning.

What moves us to respond is the symbolism of this change. Shabbat observance already has been in decline in our community for years. There are many reasons for this, and they go far beyond the scope of this letter. However, that the Rady Centre originally refrained—first, from opening on Shabbat; and second, from opening on Shabbat morning—signaled a laudable intent on the part of the community, at least to acknowledge the ideal of Shabbat observance in Winnipeg.


This intent was praiseworthy all the more so, given that neither the administration nor the membership of the Rady Centre is oriented in a particularly Shabbasdig direction. It’s not unlike the Rady Centre’s laudable commitment to maintain Shmoozer’s as a Kosher café, as well as Kosher supervision of the annual Rady Sports Dinner, in spite of the fact that the vast majority of our community does not observe the laws of Kashrut.


However, with the Rady Centre’s decision to remain open all day on Shabbat, the final vestige of observance of this most significant Mitzvah—the fourth of the Ten Commandments—“the eternal sign” of the covenant between God and Israel, according to the Torah—has now been erased from the institutional memory of our community. The Winnipeg Council of Rabbis wishes simply to draw the community’s attention to this subtle, but significant shift. These kinds of decisions not only affect the current generation of Winnipeg Jews, but also, our generations yet unborn.


So the questions we would like to address to the Winnipeg Jewish community—difficult questions, not to be answered without some depth of thought—are these: How much further down this road is it prudent for us, as a community, to travel? And what kind of message are we currently sending to our young people, about the incorporation of Jewish values into their lives?

Very sincerely yours,
Alan Green, Chair
Larry Lander
Ari Ellis
Neal Rose
Winnipeg Council of Rabbis

 
<<Previous Article       Next Article >>
Subscribe to the Winnipeg Jewish Review
  • RBC Royal Bank
  • Fillmore Riley
  • Jewish Federation of Winnipeg
  • Winter's Collision Repair
  • Gray Academy
  • Coughlin Insurance
  • Joyce Rykiss
  • CHW
  • Cantor's Meats
  • JCFS
  • Esther and Sid Halpern Shana Tovah
  • GTP
  • Jim Muir
  • Booke & Partners
  • Sobey's
  • Commercial Pool
  • CDN Visa
  • Jack & Debbie Lipkin
  • Daniel Friedman and Rob Dalgliesh
  • Rady JCC
  • The Bob Silver Family
  • Carol and Barry McArton
  • D'Arcy & Deacon LLP
  • Shinewald Family
  • Piston Ring
  • Bruce Shefrin
  • Munroe Pharmacy
  • Fair Service
  • Eddie's Gravel Supply Ltd.
  • John Bucklaschuk
  • Tyler Bucklaschuk
  • Kromar Printing
  • Daien Denture Clinic
  • Bob & Shirley Freeman
  • Protexia
  • Ixtapa Travel
  • Superlite
  • Brent Schacter Sora Ludwig
  • Dr Ted and Harriet Lyons
  • Amalgamated Drywall Systems Ltd.
  • Josef Ryan
  • Munroe Dental Centre
  • Chisick Family
  • Broadway Law Group
  • JLS Construction
  • Dakota Chiropractic Office
  • Maric Homes
  • Artista Homes
  • Southwynn Homes
  • Tradesman Mechanical
  • Imperial Soap
  • Winnipeg Drapery
  • JCFS
  • Western Scrap Metals Inc.
  • Taverna Rodos
  • Jim Gauthier
  • Capital Grill
  • CVA Systems
  • Stella's
  • Chochy's
  • Trevor Arnason Plumbing
  • Accurate Lawn & Garden
  • Dr. Gary Levine
  • Fetching Style
  • Lazar Family
  • Dr. Marshall Stitz
  • Michel and Danita Aziza and family
  • Ronald B. Zimmerman
  • Dimensions Insurance
  • HUB
  • Doheny Securities Limited
  • Orthodox Union
  • Allan Davies
  • City Sheet Metal
  • John Orlikow
  • Ross Eadie
  • Ambassador Mechanical
  • Winnipeg Prophecy Conference
  • Thorvaldson Care
  • Shoppers Drug Mart
  • Total Lighting Sales
  • Miller's Super Valu Meats
  • Pitblado
  • Cavalier Candies
  • Erickson Motors
  • Bridges for Peace
  • Elaine and Bernie Lofchick & family
  • Cascade Financial Group
  • Sorrento's
  • Canadian Friends of Boys Town Jerusalem
  • East India Company
  • Nikos
  • Sean Fisher
  • Sarel Canada
  • Santa Lucia Pizza
  • Center for Near East Policy Research
  • Roofco Winnipeg Roofing
  • Center for Near East Policy Research
  • Nachum Bedein
Rhonda Spivak, Editor

Publisher: Spivak's Jewish Review Ltd.


Opinions expressed in letters to the editor or articles by contributing writers are not necessarily endorsed by Winnipeg Jewish Review.