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Temple Shalom announces the retirement of Rabbi Allan Finkel

posted May 28, 2023

Temple Shalom announces the retirement of Rabbi Allan Finkel after four years as spiritual leader of Temple Shalom and a leader in building bridges and strengthening the Winnipeg Jewish community. He will officially step down on June 2, 2023 at a special musically rich Friday night Kabbalat Shabbat service. He will also become the congregation’s first Rabbi Emeritus, a great honour which also indicates the mutual desire to maintain a strong relationship between Rabbi Allan and the Congregation.

Judith Huebner, co-president of Temple Shalom, noted that Rabbi Finkel was critical in helping the congregation navigate, survive, and even thrive in the face of the challenges of the pandemic which arrived not long after he became our rabbi. He has a passion for welcoming new Jews from diverse backgrounds into our community and shows compassion and understanding in engaging with people wherever they are in their Jewish journeys and in their lives. He has been and remains a leading voice for liberal Judaism in Winnipeg. His creative reimagining and new ideas of community have helped us set a course for the future.

Rabbi Finkel has always upheld and exemplified the values of Reform Judaism in his interactions with individuals and in the broader community. He has been a strong supporter and advocate for the Temple’s commitmentto social justice, diversity, inclusion and the LGBTQ2+ community, religious pluralism, and a world in which all individuals are honoured and connected.

Rabbi Finkel notes that “Temple Shalom truly is the home of liberal Judaism here in Winnipeg, and it has been a true joy to grow as a congregant into a lay leader and into the rabbinate where I had the incredible opportunity to be the spiritual leader of the congregation that I have been part of for over 30 years. Going forward, I hope to be involved in serving the Jewish community in different ways. But Temple Shalom will always be my spiritual home and my congregation and I am pleased to help out over the next year.”

The Temple has been preparing for this transition for the past year. We are pleased to let the community know that Rabbi Finkel will be working with the Temple on a limited basis in the next year to allow this process to unfold. He will lead the High Holiday services in 2023 and will continue to support the congregation’s life cycle needs. He will also continue to sit as the Temple’s representative on the Winnipeg Council of Rabbis

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Rhonda Spivak, Editor

Publisher: Spivak's Jewish Review Ltd.

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