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by Rhonda Spivak, Nov 22, 2019



Following the Rady JCC/YMHA Nostalgia Weekend on Nov 15-17, The Winnipeg Jewish Review interviewed Rob Berkowits , who has been the Executive Director of the Rady JCC since August 2019.


Berkowits reported that there were 165 people who attended the Shabbat Dinner on Friday, November 15,    220 who attended the “Y” Days Canteen Dance on Saturday, November 16, and 150 people who attended the Brunch & Schmooze on Sunday, November 17.


When asked to describe the mood of the weekend, Berkowits replied, " I would describe the mood as vibrant and energetic. Each event was well received and smiles were abundant throughout the weekend."


When asked about the highlights of the weekend, Berkowits indicated that the "Shabbat Dinner performance by Justin Odwak" was a highlight as was the "live 6-piece band (Rewind) who played songs from the 50s & 60s at the “Y” Days Canteen Dance on the Saturday night." He noted that "We offered the famous Hot Dog Special (hot dog, coleslaw, fries and gravy)."


Another highlight, in Berkowits's view, was the "formal slide show that provided historical photos from the Albert and Hargrave locations" of the YMHA. "Those in attendance throughout the weekend were fascinated as they watched the nostalgic slides scroll by. Attendees loved seeing themselves and other familiar faces," he said.


" One of my favourite parts of the weekend was visiting with participants whether they were previously known to me or new acquaintances. Everyone that I spoke to was so warm and sincere about what the old YMHA meant to them as well as how important the Rady JCC is to their individual quality of life today. Each person that I spent time with was genuinely pleased to be at the Nostalgia Weekend and made a point of communicating their gratefulness," he said


Berkowits also pointed out that " The Co-Chairs, Tannis Mandel and Murray Gilfix did an unbelievable job organizing, planning and delivering the Nostalgia Weekend with significant assistance from their dedicated committee members and the Rady JCC staff led by Tamar Barr. This effort was recognized by the attendees throughout the weekend. We have received many messages of congratulations." 


Berkowits concluded that " For our organization to reach such a milestone it takes commitment, dedication and passion from so many. This “centennial” anniversary would not have been possible if it was not for all the support from our donors, sponsors and our partner agencies as well our loyal members, volunteers, board and staff. For 100 years, the YMHA/Rady JCC has been a pillar not only in the Jewish Community but in the Winnipeg community as a whole offering a wide range of fitness and cultural programming available to individuals of all ages and backgrounds. We know that we have made a difference in so many people’s lives over the past 100 years and we look forward to bigger and better things in the future."




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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.