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Congregation Etz Chayim Lists its Synagogue and Rosh Pina Housing Co-op for Sale-Condos Could be Built

by Rhonda Spivak, September 19, 2022


Congregation Etz Chayim, which has 375 member families, has just listed for sale two parcels of land. The Etz Chayim synagogue at 123 Matheson Avenue plus the majority of the adjacent synagogue parking lot is one parcel, and the Rosh Pina Housing Co-op at 133 Matheson Avenue plus some parking is on a second parcel of land.  

Avrom Charach, President of Congregation Etz Chayim, who is also Vice President of Kaye Four Properties, explained to the Winnipeg Jewish Review that the second parcel of land at 133 Matheson could be very valuable, as by 2030 the new owner could potentially build a condominium project or for profit rental. As Charach indicates in regard to 133 Matheson Ave, “‘There is a land lease which expires in 2030 so the land and everything on it including the building that is now a Co-op reverts to the owner at that time.  The owner would have to negotiate how to transition the building with the Co -op. The Co-op has 60+ apartment units plus some common space.  It could be valuable as a condominium or for profit rental after 2030.”

Additionally, it should be noted that there may be a possibility that the land on which the synagogue now sits could be re-zoned such that a second condominium or apartment building could  be built on it. 

When asked by the Winnipeg Jewish Review what the list price for the two parcels of land are, Charach responded that “I want to clarify that there is a no price on our listing because our agent [ Bob Tallieu of Colliers] has done similar listings in the past with much success.  Rather than tying a specific number you could obtain better value by not placing a price. He  suggested that there is  even a possibility we could get an offer of up to $10 million from the right person.”

When asked about potential places that Congregation Etz Chayim could move to in the event the building is sold, Charach responded, "We have irons in the fire and  we have a few potential deals we are working on, that would enable us to move south."

Charach announced the  listing of the two parcels of land in a recent Etz Chayim newsletter, writing as follows:

 "I would like to provide an update on our relocation plans.

"In September, you will likely see a “for sale” sign in front of our shul. I know that will be a difficult sight to see for many of you, me included, but the time has come to move forward with our long-developing relocation plans.
"The Board, under the advice of real estate professionals and legal counsel, has decided to sell both the shul and the land on which the Rosh Pina Housing Co-Op sits if the right offer is presented. Of course, this means that within the coming year we expect to move to a new location, a move that the Board is working hard to make as seamless as possible with a bare minimum of interruption to synagogue activity.
“The Board also is very aware of its fiscal responsibility and is vetting every possible move option for affordability as well as suitability. We will update membership when more information becomes available, but I can tell you that there are a number of options we are studying in a serious way.  Rest assured that the Board’s plans include having a new home to move into before we move out of Matheson Avenue.
"As you know, the decision to move has not been taken lightly. For many years, the Boards of CEC (and even the Boards of our founding shuls) have wrestled with the challenge of how to best serve the community for the long term. We have consulted with the membership over the years and the consensus has emerged that for CEC to thrive, we must look to relocate in Winnipeg’s south end where 80% of our members now live.
"Also, as many know, our current building is due for major upgrades. Rather than investing significant money into our current home, we will invest in a newer building that is more suitably located for our changing community. We aim to find a buyer who will see the potential of 123 Matheson Avenue East and redevelop it as their own.”

Charach told the Winnipeg Jewish Review that Congregation Etz Chayim intends to buy and renovate an existing building or rent on a temporary basis until a more suitable building can be located. 

Charach noted that he hoped that the amount received from the sale of  the two parcels of land will cover much of the cost of buying and renovating a new building for the congregation.

Earlier this year, Congregation Etz Chayim became a member of the the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism (USCJ). The USCJ is the major congregational organization of Conservative Judaism in North America, and the largest Conservative Jewish communal body in the world. USCJ closely works with the Rabbinical Assembly, the international body of Conservative rabbis.

Charach  told the Winnipeg Jewish Review at that time that "We can proudly state that we are a certified Conservative Congregation, the only one in the city that not only has a USCJ trained rabbi but also the stamp of USCJ on our shul and its programs."

Regarding High Holiday seating, as of Friday Sept 16, Congregation Etz Chayim has sold " 275 in-person High Holiday seats," according to Charach. "We have 150 members who bought seats specifically for on line viewing – this could be multiple people in one home. We expect, because this always happens, that our numbers will go up a bit before the weekend and will go up again between Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur as apparently some people decide to come only for Yom Kippur a few days before."

"Our numbers are in the range we budgeted for this year-no surprises," Charach added


"Misericordia Hospital has asked for and been given our link because they have a number of Jewish patients who want to be at a service.  We provided it to them, free of charge, of course," Charach stated


Charach also  wrote in an email that "Tracy Kasner will be the first Jewish Clergy invited to daven at St. John’s Anglican – she is reciting Tehillim for the Queen’s official memorial service.  I refer to  links to two articles below.  The error is that since publication they changed it to Psalm 72 in Hebrew instead of psalm 90."



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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.