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Rabbi Alan Green

Bob Freedman, CEO Jewish Federation of Winnipeg

Marsha Cowan, CEO Jewish Foundation of Winnipeg

Gayle Waxman, CEO of Rady JCC


March 9, 2014

[Editor's note: Below is a memo sent to community based organizations re kashrut from the Jewish Federation of Winnipeg and underneath that is a letter sent by the Council of Rabbis to the Jewish Foundation re kashrut and the Wowen's Endowment Fund Luncheon, and a letter sent by the Council of Rabbis to the Rady JCC re the Sports Dinner ]


Memo to community-based organizations and synagogues, sent on behalf of David Kroft, Federation President:


As many of you may have heard, the Fort Garry Hotel  closed its kosher kitchen at the end of December.  Despite this set back, it is even more imperative that as Jewish organizations, we make every effort whenever possible to hold any public event where food and drink is served, at a kosher facility. 


The Board of Directors of the Winnipeg Jewish Federation has directed that I circulate this note to the organized community to encourage the maintenance and implementation  of policies that I am sure already exist with respect to this kashrut.  Federation is very much supported in this regard by the Council of Rabbis.


I would be very happy to hear back from you, if you have questions on this very important matter.


David J. Kroft,



Letter to Marsha Cowan,Chief Executive Officer Jewish Foundation of Manitoba

from the Winnipeg Council of Rabbis:

February 25, 2014


Dear Marsha,

            The Winnipeg Council of Rabbis recently received the unfortunate news that the Ft. Garry Hotel, for business reasons, is no longer maintaining its Kosher kitchen.  We can well understand why the Ft. Garry Hotel, with its unique architecture, interior design, and superior catering has been a venue of choice for many Jewish events over the years. 


We can also understand why the Jewish Foundation is locked into its original plan to hold its annual Women’s Endowment Fund Luncheon at the Ft Garry Hotel. As you are well aware, these kinds of events are planned many months in advance.  Moreover, this year’s event is honouring Ida Albo, managing partner of the Ft. Garry Hotel.  So, practically speaking, this year’s Luncheon could not have been held at any venue other than the Ft. Garry Hotel.


Here are our concerns:

1.      In lieu of the new status of the Ft. Garry Hotel’s kitchen, Council of Rabbis strongly urges the organizers of this year’s Women’s Endowment Fund Luncheon to provide an industry standard Kosher option for all luncheon participants. 

2.     Council of Rabbis similarly urges dairy-only options—i.e. fish, or pasta and vegetables--for those who do not wish to order Kosher meals.  From our perspective, it would be most unfortunate to serve explicitly non-Kosher food at a Jewish event.

3.     Having said that, our main concern is for the future. Going forward, Council of Rabbis urges the Jewish Foundation to hold its future events at one of the many available Kosher venues in town.  Choices range from the Fairmont Hotel, to the Simkin Centre, to the major synagogues, where the annual Foundation Book of Life event typically has been held for many years.


The Winnipeg Council of Rabbis strongly believes that we, as a community, still wish to honour the tradition of food consumption that has been passed down through a hundred generations of our Babas and Zeidas; a tradition that connects us to Jews the world over; one which makes it possible for us to comfortably host Jews of all persuasions, and all walks of life, at our communal events.  


It may be that many of us no longer wish to maintain this dietary standard on an individual level.  But Council of Rabbis strongly maintains that communal organizations need to take a leadership position, and set an example of the way to plan and execute the dietary aspect of Jewish events. For us to fail to maintain an industry-standard of Kashrut supervision for Jewish communal events in Winnipeg, would be to sever one of our last links to the beautiful tradition of conscious food consumption bequeathed to us by our ancestors. 


The Winnipeg Council of Rabbis therefore urges the Jewish Foundation to take the proper decision in planning the menu of future Foundation events—a decision in which both past and future generations of the Jewish people will be able to take pride, and for which they will be forever grateful.


With all best wishes,

Alan Green, Ari Ellis, Larry Lander, Moshe Smierc, Neal Rose

Winnnipeg Council of Rabbis


Letter to Gayle Waxman, Executive Director, Rady Centre and Blair Worb, Chair, Rady Sports Dinner Committee from the Winnipeg Council of Rabbis


Dear Gayle and Blair,

The Winnipeg Council of Rabbis was thrilled to learn that you and the Rady Sports Dinner Committee succeeded in inviting Magic Johnson to speak at this year’s Sports Dinner.  We hope that this 42nd edition of the Sports Dinner will be the most successful one yet!

We understand that because of the renovations now occurring at the Convention Centre, it will be impossible to serve a Kosher meal at the Sports Dinner this year.  We also understand that the Sports Dinner is a major source of funding for the Rady Jewish Community Centre; that an event of this size could not be held at any other venue in town; and that cancelling the Sports Dinner simply was not an option.

We also understand that the Sports Dinner Committee has wisely arranged for Kosher meals from the Gwen Secter Centre to be provided to all who request them. We have also been given to understand that a vegetarian, fish, and (non-Kosher) chicken and beef option will be available for those not requesting Kosher dinners. 

From the perspect

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