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$14,000,000+ Capital Campaign Launched to Upgrade and Redesign Congregation Shaarey Zedek’s Synagogue

Jan 26, 2022

For over 70 years, Congregation Shaarey Zedek’s synagogue at 561 Wellington Crescent has gone through a variety of changes to its facility, but none as substantial as the one that is being undertaken today. Congregation Shaarey Zedek has officially launched its capital campaign, titled ‘L’Dor Va Dor’ — From Generation to Generation — an opportunity for the congregation to upgrade and redesign the synagogue’s spaces to be enjoyed by current and future generations, and enhance their shul experience.

“This project will be not only a stunning rebirth for our synagogue building, but a commitment by our congregation that Shaarey Zedek will have an ongoing role in the Jewish life of our community.” – Neil Duboff, Capital Campaign Chair

Phase one will focus on critical upgrades and renovations needed to keep the building in good condition — a new roof, heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems, as well as modernizing wiring for data communications are in need. As a result of these necessary renovations, asbestos that has been sealed for decades will also need to be removed to keep our building safe.

“I am pleased to be the president during these exciting times, the launch of a capital campaign that will help transform and modernize our shul for current generations and generations to come. Todah Rabah, thank you, to the leadership, volunteers, and staff that made this possible. A contribution toward this project is your vote for a prosperous Shaarey Zedek future — L’Dor Va Dor.” – Dr Gary Hyman, President

Phase two is related to invigorating the shul’s interior. Working with Number Ten Architectural Group, and their professional team, the task is to create ‘transformative’ spaces – aesthetically pleasing with modern features and technology to provide engaging event spaces that are flexible and scalable in size; life cycle events, social engagements, community functions, classes, meetings, programs, playgroups and more.

“The Shaarey Zedek Synagogue is a magnificent piece of Modernist architecture and has formed the backdrop of memories for generations of families. We feel a profound responsibility that our work deepens these emotional and spiritual connections, creating a place that invites, inspires and enhances its timeless aesthetic.” – Dave Lalama, Partner / Brent Bellamy, Creative Director / Number TEN Architectural Group

In addition to the Social Hall, Lounges, Foyers and Office spaces, the Sanctuary and Chapel are also part of this large-scale renovation. These spaces will retain their Aronei Kodesh (arks), while the pews, bimah, walls, ceiling, and flooring will be upgraded for comfort, style, and flexibility of use. The audio and visual systems will also be updated to modern standards to optimize the experience of in-person and online services and participation.

“I'm looking forward to the rich and varied opportunities this exciting project will bring to Congregation Shaarey Zedek and the entire community — a sustainable future based on a hybrid of in-person and virtual ways to study, learn, pray, and grow together.” – Rabbi Anibal Mass, Spiritual Leader

Construction begins in early summer 2022 and will take two years to complete – in time for two special anniversaries — the 75th of the building (est.1949), and the 135th of the congregation (est.1889). During the renovations, synagogue services, events, catering, and offices will be relocated — important news about this will be coming soon.

“For over eight decades, Shaarey Zedek Sisterhood has had a role of support and leadership in the shul through countless congregational endeavors — from programs to movements! We are very excited to be a part of this next journey to enhance our congregation’s home for this generation and future generations to come.” – Sandy Polanski, Co-President, Shaarey Zedek Sisterhood

“Our new and invigorated space will be an inspirational venue to welcome the community for dynamic and engaging Jewish programming and educational offerings.” – Dr Rena Secter Elbaze, Engagement and Education Director

At the time of this publication, the overall budget of $14,000,000 has been approved by the Board of Directors, and $6,400,000 in pledges has already been committed to this project. Information packages have been sent to Congregation Shaarey Zedek members, but support is not limited to them — non-member congregants of Shaarey Zedek, community members, former Winnipeggers, and others are all invited to be part of this special project. Please visit for information, to donate, and sign up for updates.

“This undertaking is much more than an investment in a building. It is an investment in an institution that is the very definition of a Jewish community. We all have an obligation to ensure that our children and grandchildren live and prosper in a vibrant and progressive Jewish community. L’Dor Va Dor!!”  Bob Freedman, Capital Campaign Consultant

The fundraising team is led by Neil Duboff, Capital Campaign Chair; Bob Freedman, Capital Campaign Consultant; Jodi Novak, Capital Campaign Manager; with support from Ran Ukashi, Congregation Shaarey Zedek’s Executive Director. Contact can be made through the website or by emailing [email protected] or by calling 204-452-3711.

“I am so looking forward to the modern infrastructure this renovation will provide, allowing us to further connect children and families physically, virtually, and most importantly — Jewishly. We will continue the important work of building connections and strengthening our community through programming — whether it be in-person, virtual or a hybrid format.” – Tali Millo, Program Director and Lay Clergy

From King Street, to Dagmar Street, to Wellington Crescent — Congregation Shaarey Zedek and it’s synagogues were created for community as a place for worship, learning, and gathering for celebration — this great legacy will continue with your help.

“Communal prayer is always heard. God does not despise the prayers of the community. Therefore, a person must include themselves with the community, as much as they are able, and not pray by themself.” – Rambam, Hilchot Tefillah 8:1

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Rhonda Spivak, Editor

Publisher: Spivak's Jewish Review Ltd.

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