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Bob Freedman, CEO of the Jewish Federation


by Rhonda Spivak, April 8, 2014

In  a recent previous issue  issue, the Winnipeg Jewish Review published an email circulated by the Jewish Federation of Winnipeg encouraging the implementation of kashrut.


Following that the Winnipeg Jewish Review received a phone call from a subscriber advising us of the existence of  an event March 25 put on by the Federation at a restaurant where non-kosher vegetarian hors d'oevres were served.   


Prior to the event taking place, the Winnipeg Jewish Review asked the Jewish Federation to explain its policy, and received the following response sent on behalf of David Kroft, President and Bob Freedman, CEO:


"This past January, an email regarding kashrut was circulated to the community on behalf of the Board of Directors of the Winnipeg Jewish Federation.  In the email, the community was encouraged to make every effort, whenever possible, to maintain and implement kashrut policies in light of the closure of the Fort Garry Hotel’s kosher kitchen at the end of December.  This included, whenever possible, holding events at locations with kosher facilities. The Federation respects the observance of Jewish dietary laws and upholds these at events whenever possible. 


On Tuesday, March 25th, the Federation’s Young Adult Division is organizing an event at Mano A Mano restaurant, featuring Michael Fegelman, CEO of Honest Reporting Canada.  Vegetarian hors d’oeuvres will be prepared by the restaurant and Gunn’s Bakery will be providing kosher cookies and desserts, to be served at the event. Evidence points to the fact that successful engagement of the next generation occurs when we meet them where they are at, and these are not usually the traditional Jewish venues we are all familiar with.  It is our belief that we are providing ample kosher options within this context so that any young Jewish adult who wishes to participate can enjoy this and other YAD programs as full participants. "


In response to a WJR inquiry as to whether there would be kosher or non-kosher wine served, The Jewish Federation wrote in an email: "There will be kosher wine served, along with other regular bar options available."


Regarding kashrut standards in the  community, Israel based organizations such as the Winnipeg Chapter of  Canadian Friends of Hebrew University or The Jewish National Fund  do not as a policy hold events serving non-kosher food.

The Gray Academy of Jewish Education is holding its Grade 12 Graduation at Grengates which is kashering its kitchen specifically for the event.


Below is the full memo originally sent out by the Jewish Federation of Winnipeg:



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,

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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.