50 years that passed in a minute ..or two!

We have faced many wonderfully happy times, the saddest of times, adversity, joy, love, birth, sickness, death…all those life cycle events that we each must pass through during a lifetime. Memories of the years we have travelled. With our families, the first date, standing under our marriage chupa in 1956, the birth of our children, their marriages, our grandchildren.

We first came to the Temple in 1966 when Sharon was 7 and Stuart 8 as we realized that a religious commitment was something our family needed. How impressive the tiny congregation that celebrated the High Holy days was at the first service we attended held at Council House on Pritchard & Salter. That day 40 years ago was the birth of a friendship with the Sokoloff family that is as strong today as any friendship could ever possibly be. The warmth of the Friday nights at each other’s homes, the Holy Torah that was carried in car trunks from home to home. All so good!

The executive meeting when we were told that we could get a Torah from England that was rescued from Czechoslovakia. We passed the hat around at that meeting and ended up with enough money to pay for the cost to get it for our congregation. Unbelievably, it arrived in Winnipeg on Simcha Torah and how we danced with it that so special night.

David’s years as President of the Temple…essentially the keeper of opening and shutting Council House and chairing those long, long meetings. Stuart’s Bar Mitzvah held in the bar at the then Ramada Inn on Pembina Highway, the bandstand resembling the Bimah of any small synagogue. Sharon’s Bat Mitzvah when I was so ill I could not plan it. It was held at the Temple’s then home, the International Centre, on William and King. Our friends in the Temple banded together. Gladys took Sharon shopping (shopping is a chore that she avoids to this day) for her Bat Mitzvah outfit. All of the women baked and put on a glorious Oneg Shabbat taking all the tasks off our shoulders.

The choir that David, Sharon & I were all members of for so many years as it meant so much to us. How pleased we were with the benevolence of the Viscount Gort that gave us the use of a closet to hold our treasures and a room in which to hold services. Stuart & Sharon’s confirmation class was taught by Bernie Melman, a former president of the Temple. Their confirmation, (with the Temple’s first class), was a major culmination to their education and commitment to Judaism.

The purchase of the Grant Avenue Baptist Church, the transformation into Temple Shalom and the construction of Shalom Gardens attached to it was a huge high note for us. My parents sitting in the 3rd row on the centre aisle every High Holiday so we could share the meaning of the High Holidays. We cannot enter this sanctuary and not see them there!

And so the years passed. We are heart warmed by the presence of family, cherished friends and congregants. Through joys, illnesses and much time, David & I stand side by side today to thank you all for filling the frame of our lives with meaning, caring, friendship, and love.

Thank you, Steven Hyman, Len Udow, the Friday Night Live band, Phil Spevack, Theresa, and Judy for making our anniversary so special for all of us here. To our friends and relatives that did so much baking for tonight, a heartfelt thank you. To our children and grandchildren that made tonight possible… the largest hugs and kisses we have ever given to you. We think you are all wonderful.