History of Renewal in Canada

Jewish Renewal has a long history in Canada. Reb Zalman lived and taught in Winnipeg, Manitoba from the mid 50s, inspiring numerous Canadians to pursue Judaism and a new spiritual path.

Beginning in the late 1960’s, Reb Zalman, in conjunction with Neal and Carol Rose and others, began running living room chavurot, learning groups and davening (prayer) retreats. Since the late 1970’s the Rose Alternative Minyan has met for major holidays, using teachings from Reb Zalman & music from Hanna Tiferet & R’ Shlomo Carlebach as mainstays.

In 1976, Daniel and Hanna SiReb Daniel Siegel and Reb Zalmangel first came to British Columbia and served several Conservative synagogues including Victoria, Richmond, and North Vancouver.  In 1974, Reb Daniel was the first person given Rabbinic ordination by Reb Zalman.

In the fall of 1979, Daniel and Hanna Siegel started a bi-weekly Shabbat Minyan in their Vancouver living room.  This had grown out of the monthly Friday night services Daniel had organized during the previous year at the University of British Columbia’s Hillel House where he was the director. Or Shalom Synagogue, as it officially became known in 1986, has been davening together in some capacity ever since.

Numerous other chaverot, minyanim, and community groups have been meeting together on and off across Canada for decades. Most recently under the leadership of Sherril Gilbert, Congregation Bnai Or in Montreal has taken root and is now flourishing.

Beginning in Winnipeg surrounding Reb Zalman, spreading West to BC, and most recently Montreal.  Canadian Renewal has a long, strong, and growing history.  Join us as we work together to write the next chapter.

Locate Jewish Renewal in Canada near you.