Clergy

Rabbi Larry Lander

Larry Lander has been a Rabbi for 28 years, including 11 years at Congregation Or Shalom in London, Ontario, his last pulpit before coming to Etz Chayim in 2007. A proud Canadian, he was born in Calgary and holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Manitoba as well as Bachelor and Master of Social Work degrees from the University of Calgary. After receiving his ordination, he came to Winnipeg to serve as an Assistant Rabbi to Rabbi Shalom Rappaport Z”L at Rosh Pina from 1986 to 1988. As Rabbi at Etz Chayim, Larry Lander takes a special interest in leading congregational study sessions; counselling individuals and couples; teaching and mentoring Jews by choice; and connecting congregants to Jewish life, thought, and community through innovative programs and participatory services. When not at the pulpit or otherwise serving his congregants, you might find Rabbi Lander riding his bike, running a half marathon, or enjoying a refill at Starbucks. He is married to Arlene Davis, and together they have five children and five grandchildren.

Tracy Kasner Greaves, Cantor

Tracy has been leading the Congregation in prayer and song since 2004. She has an Education degree and part of her work at the synagogue involves training our youth for their B’nai Mitzvah.  Musical training began for Tracy at the Royal Winnipeg Ballet where she studied ballet and other dance forms and was a member of the Advanced Musical Theatre Company. Tracy is a trained vocalist having studied music and voice for over 10 years with the noted vocal instructor Diane Berger at the Conservatory of Music and Arts. Hebrew and Jewish music became a huge part of Tracy’s life when she joined the Chai Folk Ensemble in 1991. Today, she is the group’s Artistic Director. When Tracy was in High School at Joseph Wolinsky Collegiate, she worked for Cantor Sanford Cohn at the Shaarey Zedek Synagogue in programming and the ritual studies department. Cantor Cohn became a valued mentor and she began devoting much of her study of music to Chazzanut. She continues to study cantorial music with Cantor Cohn today. Tracy is married to David Greaves, and they have two children a daughter Nesya and a son Aaron.

Leon Berger, Torah Reader Emeritus

Leon Berger came to Winnipeg in 1949 from Poland to start what turned out to be a 47-year career teaching at Talmud Torah and Joseph Wolinsky Collegiate. He retired in 1996 but still enjoys studying and discussing Torah. He became the Torah reader at Beth Israel Synagogue more than 20 years ago and has served Congregation Etz Chayim since its inception. Leon Berger has three sons.

In 2012, Congregation Etz Chayim honoured Leon Berger for his leadership in Jewish education and synagogue life in Winnipeg.

Rabbi Emeritus Peretz Weizman

Rabbi Weizman is originally from Poland, and was Senior Rabbi of Bnay Abraham for over 40 years. He is Rabbi Emeritus of Congregation Etz Chayim. Now living in Toronto, he is the author of “Imrei Fi V’Hegyon Libi,” a book of insights and divrei Torah. The book is available for purchase at Etz Chayim’s giftshop. Rabbi Weizman and his wife Reeva have two children, six grandchildren, and one great grandchild.

 

In Memoriam – Rabbi Shalom Rappaport Z”L (1927–2009)

Rabbi Rappaport, Rabbi Emeritus of Congregation Etz Chayim, obtained his rabbinical ordination in 1951 from Mesivta Chaim Berlin. After positions in Pennsylvania and San Diego, in 1967 he became spiritual leader of Rosh Pina Synagogue, one of Etz Chayim’s legacy shuls. After more than 20 years in that position, in 1988 he became Rabbi Emeritus. Under Rabbi Rappaport’s dedicated leadership, Rosh Pina became a large and vibrant congregation and a significant force in Winnipeg’s Jewish and greater community. Seen as a mensch by all, he was beloved and honoured by his congregants because of his humility, his intellect, his sense of humour, his sensitivity, and his understanding. He set the highest standard for synagogue leadership, devotion to family, friends, congregants, yiddishkeit, and to the State of Israel. He fulfilled each of his important roles of Rabbi, leader, teacher, and therapist with passion and compassion. Upon his retirement, Rabbi Rappaport and his wife Elaine moved to Florida where they continued to make a significant contribution to the intellectual, spiritual and social life of their new community. In 2010, the chapel at Congregation Etz Chayim was rededicated in honour of Rabbi Rappaport.