President’s Message Nov/Dec 2016

It’s hard to convey what goes on from day to day at Temple Shalom – as with any community organization there are myriad details on a daily basis. We have the great privilege of representing Reform Judaism in the city of Winnipeg, with all the interactions that entails locally, nationally and internationally.

On a recent teleconference with congregations who are members of the Canadian arm of the Union of Reform Judaism (URJ), the President of URJ Canada, Paul Lezner, spoke about being proud of the URJ as well as proud of our distinct Canadian status. The URJ is the largest and most diverse Jewish movement in North America, with 900 congregations and more members than all others combined. Interestingly, there are 40 or 50 Reform congregations now in Israel.

What the Reform movement strives to do is strengthen communities that connect people to Jewish life, building a more whole, just and compassionate world. The URJ priorities are: 1) strengthen congregations, helping them stay relevant and innovative; 2) repair the world: galvanize people to pursue social justice, equality of all people; 3) invest in the next generation, through youth programs; and 4) “Audacious hospitality”: make our Temple a place where Jews of all persuasions come together. An important part of what we want to achieve is that everyone can feel at home in being Jewish.

I’d say we’ve been working hard at these basic principles for the past many years, and are always looking for new ways to do it better. So please feel free to call or write me ( if you have suggestions for changes or improvements you’d like to see in what we are doing at Temple Shalom.

And do come out to participate in some of our regular events, listed at the front of the bulletin. It’s such an interesting, varied and stimulating environment – come make it even more so! Rabbi Tepper will be here for Shabbat services once a month, all year. While he’s here there will be Torah Study on Saturdays at 10 a.m., plus Havdallah and an entertaining program on Saturday evenings. The discussions are lively and informative – we’d love to have you join us.

And I can’t close without urging you to come to the Jewish Comedy Night we have planned for Sat. November 26th. It’s shaping up to be a uniquely special evening for our Temple Shalom family so you won’t want to miss it. Tickets are limited so don’t wait ‘til the last minute!

Best wishes for health and happiness as we forge ahead into our New Year.