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Gayle Waxman


by Rhonda Spivak, posted January 14, 2019


On Dec 18, 2018 there was a farewell event held for Rady JCC's Gayle Waxman who left the Rady JCC at the beginning of  January to take up  a new position as head of a nation-wide nursing association.(Tamar Barr, Assistant Executive Director will serve as Interim Executive director while the Rady JCC Board commences a search for Waxman's replacement.)


The Winnipeg Jewish Review thanks Waxman for all her contributions to our community and extends its very best wishes to Waxman in all her future endeavours. The Winnipeg Jewish Review's editor Rhonda Spivak had an opportunity to interview Waxman about the accomplishments of the Rady JCC during her 13 year term as Rady JCC's Executive Director, and that interview is below:


Q: What were some of  the highlights of your tenure at the Rady JCC ?


Waxman: One thing that struck me shortly after assuming my role, was the many positive memories of the YMHA that people shared with me.    Those memories inspired me.   Early on, I committed to ensuring the Rady JCC created similar memories for the children, teens and families in our community today.   With the start of a few simple programs – Family Fun Zone, Tweens and Teens, the Family Shabbat Dinners, and eventually Yom Ha’azmaut – we worked hard to build a sense of community belonging I hope will last for years.  Over the past few years, Rady’s board made a commitment to invest more in our youth.  It has been great to see our youth programs – BBYO, Macabbi Games, TAL grow.  This year,  I feel fortunate that I was part of Israel’s 70th Anniversary celebration.   With almost 3000 people, and the participation of almost all Jewish organizations, we exemplified what it means to be a community.  


The JCC is in many ways an organization whose time has come.   It is been my job, in partnership with the board, management and staff to create a strong platform that allowed the JCC to respond to the changes in our community and the world that surrounds us.   I hope that I have achieved that."




Q:What have been some of the greatest accomplishments/successes during your term at the Rady in terms of cultural programming?


Waxman: My role has been to encourage and support the creative program staff at the Rady JCC, led by Tamar Barr.  I learnt so much from them.  I think the thing that stands out most for me was our ability to connect an audience to different expressions of Jewish identity and explore different ideas.  More recently, we have looked for way to attract a younger audience.  That involved finding different venues as well different content.  We took risks and they paid off.  Of course seeing Tarbut start and continue to grow over the years has been very rewarding.  I think we provided that the arts are not just about entertainment, but about making our world better.  One of my favorite moments happened during Tarbut two years ago, when we hosted over 800 students – Jewish and not Jewish at series of workshops.  I will never forget seeing 200 kids from schools across the city – some Israeli and some wearing Hijabs – singing Gesher T’zar Meod in Amharic with the Israeli singer Aveva. 



Q: What has it been like working with your Board and volunteers and staff?

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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.