Let’s welcome Dr. Rena Secter Elbaze to the OJC. Dr. Elbaze serves as Executive Director of Winnipeg’s most historic synagogue, Shaarey Zedek, where she is also a member of the lay leadership team. Cultivating her expertise in Israel, Canada, and the French Riviera (ahhhh….), she is excited to step onto the OJC bimah and to connect with our congregation.

Join Dr. Elbaze as she leads us in inspiring and joyous services on Friday night and Saturday morning, during which she’ll share her insights about how ancient Jewish wisdom can inform modern-day decisions.

As ever, we’ll come together for a community potluck dinner before the service (6pm) on Friday evening and we’ll share a potluck Kiddush luncheon after the service on Saturday. We encourage attendees to bring a dairy or pareve side dish to share at each meal.

We look forward to celebrating with you!

This weekend’s Shabbaton kiddush is generously sponsored by Shirley Schneider, in memory of her husband, Aubrey Schneider, z”l, on the occasion of his first yahrzeit.


Friday, April 12

6:00 pm – Potluck Shabbat dinner

7:00 pm – Kabbalat Shabbat service


Saturday, April 13

10:00 am – Shabbat morning service

12:00 pm (ish) – Potluck Kiddush luncheon

7:00pm – Philosoper’s Kaffeehaus: An emotional and informative evening led by Dr. Elbaze and the OJC’s Harley Kushmier. The evening’s program will include a little bissel of kibbitzing and a lot of thoughtful discussion about recent events, and how and why the media controls Israel’s public image.

Dr. Elbaze Bio:

Born and raised in Winnipeg, Rena earned her bachelor’s degree in Near Eastern and Judaic Studies from the University of Manitoba and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in 1985.

In the fall of 1986, Rena went to work and study in France. While living in Nice, she met her husband and started a family. She spent over 20 years on the French Riviera teaching in institutions of higher learning – among other things, Marketing and Business – while working on her doctorate. Dr. Elbaze graduated in 1999 from the University of Nice-Sophia Antipolis, France, with a Doctoral degree in Communications, dealing with Israel’s Image in the Media.

Along with her husband and three daughters, Rena, returned to Canada in January 2007 to work in the field of Economic Development and Branding.

Before she was appointed as Congregation’s Shaarey Zedek’s Executive Director, she was the Director of Engagement and Education. She previously worked for the Jewish Federation of Winnipeg and Jewish Child and Family Services. In addition to her full-time commitments, Dr. Elbaze has taught Business, Marketing, and Communications courses through the University of Manitoba.

Rabbi Cantor Russell Jayne

Welcome back, Rabbi Russ!

Great friend of the OJC (and honorary Okanaganite), Rabbi Cantor Russell Jayne brings his beautiful voice and charismatic insights back to our sanctuary. What a great way to kick off spring break!

Join the congregation for a delightful Shabbaton weekend with Rabbi Cantor Russ.

FRIDAY, March 15th

6:00 pm – Potluck Oneg Shabbat dinner (dairy pareve)

7:00 pm – Evening Kabbalat Shabbat service

SATURDAY, March 16th

10:00 am – Shabbat morning service

12:00 (ish) – Potluck Kiddush Luncheon (dairy pareve)

SUNDAY, March 17th

10:00 am – Sunday Learning Session with the Rabbi


Then, join fellow OJC members (and Rabbi Russ) as we cheer on the Kelowna Rockets on Saturday night. Get tickets here by Thursday, March 14

We are delighted to welcome back Rabbi Schachar Orenstein from Montreal for our first Shabbaton weekend of 2024!

Join us on Friday evening, February 16th, at 6 pm for an Oneg Shabbat potluck dinner followed by a lively Kabbalat Shabbat service! The Rabbi brings his charisma back to the bimah on Saturday morning, February 17th, for an engaging morning service and a potluck kiddush luncheon.

A great friend of the OJC, Rabbi Orenstein’s musical and philosophical approach to Judaism is always delightful. We’re really looking forward to his visit, we hope you are, too!


This wonderful Shabbaton weekend is sponsored in part by a generous donation from the Zacks Family Charitable Foundation.
Rabbi Jonathan Infeld and Lissa Weinberger

OJC is excited to announce our very first Shabbaton weekend with guests Rabbi Jonathan Infeld from Congregation Beth Israel, Vancouver and his wife, Lissa Weinberger.

Schedule of Events

FRIDAY, August 11:

6:00pm –  OJC’s fish dinner with potluck dairy and vegetarian dishes. FAMILY FRIENDLY Kaballat Shabbat service to follow led by Rabbi Infeld.

SATURDAY, August 12:

10:00am –  Shabbat morning service, followed by a luncheon as usual. Fish will be supplied along with similar potluck side dishes.

7:00pm – Rabbi will be giving a presentation of his recent visit to Krakow, Poland to explore his “Galician” roots.

SUNDAY August 13:

10:00 – 11:30 –Lissa Weinberger will be leading a children’s program from PJ Library accompanied by a light Havdallah brunch.

CLICK HERE to register for the Havdalah Brunch for families with kids ages 0-10.