On Saturday, November 4th Rabbi Steve Blane installed Rabbis Matthew Leibl and Anibal Mass at an installation ceremony at Congregation Shaarey Zedek in Winnipeg Canada before a congregation of 500. Rabbi Alan Green, the Senior rabbi, is retiring and is implementing a seamless transition. Rabbis Leibl and Mass studied with Rabbi Blane at Jewish Spiritual Leaders’ Institute and were ordained in July 2017. Rabbi Blane notes, “The congregation and the two Rabbis are blessed to share this experience of innovation, rejuvenation and mutual respect and love.”
Shaarey Zedek prides itself on being a progressive forerunner in Winnipeg and the concept of a shared pulpit is unique. In addition, they have transformed the Saturday morning service into one that is accessible to all and joyfully musical. Rabbi Leibl explains the Torah reading so that all can understand the events of the week’s parasha. Attendance is soaring to reflect the reception of these innovations advanced by the new team and supportive Board. According to Rabbi Mass when asked about the denomination of the synagogue, “We incorporate elements of tradition and liturgy from the entire spectrum of Jewish worship. We are not Orthodox or Reform or otherwise defined. We are just Jewish.”
The weekend of events illustrated the passion of this congregation and love inherent in its people. Sim Shalom streamed its Friday night service to a record breaking number and the youth choir directed by Rabbi Mass sang at Shabbat dinner with fun choreography while Rabbis Blane, Leibl and Mass closed the evening with a playful musical performance.