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by Rhonda Spivak May 23, 2017

Note: Please see companion article to this regarding the  proceeds to the Jewish National Fund`s Negev Gala honouring Rabbi Green, which are going to the World`s Jewish Museum in Tel-Aviv, the braincild of the Asper Foundation.


In an interview with the Winnipeg Jewish review Rabbi Green, who is this year`s honouree for the JNF Negev Gala and who  is set to retire as the Rabbi of Shaarey Zedek Synagogue in about a year’s time, reflected on his 26 years in Winnipeg. “I have participated in the burial of an entire generation” he said.


Green says that our Jewish community is “much less traditional and not as strongly identified ethnically and culturally as it once was.” In that sense, there are grounds for pessimism in regard to our future. However Green perceives “great strength in this community.” He therefore sees grounds for optimism. “I see many young interfaith families who are willing to go on raising their children as Jews” but he also believes their “kind of Judaism will be different.” He notes that  “Shaarey Zedek Synagogue is now evolving to serve their spiritual needs.”


Rabbi Green also anticipates that when it comes to synagogues “the membership model may be passing into history.” He believes that the next generation will not be taking out membership in Synagogues but that their connection to Synagogues will be “more event based,” in that they will still want to mark life cycle events.


He also believes that financial imperatives will require a “consolidation” in that several congregations will need to share one building.


When asked about a possible future merger between the congregations of Shaarey Zedek and Etz Chayim, Rabbi Green responded “it wasn’t time for a merger yet. Economics aren’t directing us to do it yet. But I believe that economics will dictate this eventual outcome.” When asked how long he thought it would be before this eventual outcome was dictated Rabbi Green responded “ten to twenty years.”


Rabbi Green also foresees that a merger of these synagogues will eventually mean that they are relocated near the Asper Campus since the pulse of the Jewish community is at the Asper Campus. He foresees that there will still be a need for an orthodox synagogue in this city as well as a reform synagogue but “I could imagine them functioning together in the same building.”


In regard to the number of Jews in North America in g

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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.