The first Jewish church services in Manitoba date back to 1879 and took place at a private residence. It was only after the Jews from Russia arrived in this area in 1882 that the Sabbath was held at a central location. Today, you will find locations throughout the area offering such services to those that wish to practice this religion. You will find several small Jewish communities scattered throughout Manitoba.
However, you will find Jewish people and families living in all neighbourhoods. They aren’t isolated to just certain areas. Typically, they live in middle-class homes with an average income. They don’t live lavishly, tending to spend money on their needs and putting the rest into savings. Only about 1.5% of the population in Manitoba are Jewish.
There are outreach programs in Winnipeg designed to share the Jewish faith and connect people to the Jewish community. This is a wonderful resource for immigrants new to the area. They may worry about continuing their faith in this new location. They may not be aware of the many resources to prevent them from living in poverty. These programs provide information, basic needs, and assist people in the area with finding work and affordable housing.
Places of Worship
There are several places of worship for the Jewish faith, with most of them found in Winnipeg. These are the three largest synagogues where people go to worship and spend time with others sharing the same faith. The Jewish house of worship is often referred to as a temple.
- Congregation Etz Chayim
- Congregation Shaarey Zedek
- Temple Shalom
The Hebrew Congregation of Winnipeg Beach is just outside of the city. It is located along the West shore of Lake Winnipeg. Approximately 16,000 Jewish people spend their summers in this area and attend services at this location when they do. It is a lively place, full of prayer, Jewish songs, and religious teachings. It isn’t uncommon for weddings and Bar Mitzvahs to be held at this location.
Worship is very important to Jewish culture and beliefs. The synagogues offer daily services including prayer circles. It is an opportunity to connect with their spiritual guidance and to create a community based on similar religious beliefs and ideals. They are also locations where festivals and Rites of Passage take place. Individuals also study religion at home and take part in prayer several times each day.
To the Jewish communities in Manitoba, education that includes their religious beliefs is very important. There are various schools offering a high level of education that also brings in a solid understanding of the Jewish ways for children to gain value from. The quality of such education surfaces the typical education curriculum for other students in Canada.
Since so many of them attend college throughout Canada, you will find Jewish culture and religious options on campus. This includes the larger universities and the smaller colleges. They understand these students are serious about their studies and about their religion. They wish to attend a place of higher education offering them both.