April 29, 2021 By BERNIE BELLAN In what must have come as a shock, not only for members of Shaarey Zedek Congregation, but for most of Winnipeg’s Jewish community as well, Gary Hyman, President of SZ Congregation, announced on April 27 that Rabbi Matthew Leibl will not be renewing his contract when it expires at the end of June this year.
It was only three and a half years ago – in November 2017, that both Rabbi Leibl and Rabbi Anibal Mass were installed together as co-rabbis at the Shaarey Zedek, following the retirement of Rabbi Alan Green earlier that year.
We are attempting to inquire as to what may lay behind this surprising development.
In the meantime we present here the full text of the letter issued by Gary Hyman:
I would like to bring you up to date on current events specifically regarding the ritual department at the synagogue.
Rabbi Matthew Leibl has decided not to renew his contract with the synagogue and will be leaving at the end of June. He advised that he has decided to move on and focus on his family and mostly being a Dad. We are very sorry to see him go and wish him and his family well.
You can be assured that the Board of Directors is fully committed to ensuring that any transition will be a smooth one and will be meeting this week to discuss this issue (both for the short term and going forward). At the same time, we will be firming up additional ritual related issues including the upcoming High Holy Days.
We are very fortunate that our current staff component is more than capable of conducting all our ritually related services and events.
Unfortunately, with the most recent government edicts, we have had to review our Bar and Bat Mitzvah schedule for the next month due to new limiting restrictions. However, it is hoped that with improved numbers we will be able to resume these events within the next month.