Tarbut: Festival of Jewish Culture ONLY FIVE DAYS AWAY!

October 16, 2023

This weekend, our community will gather to celebrate and embrace Jewish culture. The question is – Will you be there?

The Rady JCC’s annual Tarbut: Festival of Jewish Culture kicks off on Saturday, October 21, and runs until October 28. Individuals from all backgrounds will come together and experience incredible live presentations in music, film, art, and storytelling.

“All of our festival’s Israeli performers are eager to arrive here in Winnipeg in a few days,” said Karla Berbrayer, the Tarbut Festival’s Music Producer. “They tell me this festival is more important than ever before given everything that is happening right now.”

All programming takes place at the Asper Jewish Community Campus (AJCC), located at 123 Doncaster Street in Winnipeg, apart from a special opening night engagement at the West End Cultural Centre (WECC), located at 586 Ellice Avenue. Transportation for this performance is available from the AJCC.

“We are only days away from coming together to celebrate this beautiful kaleidoscope of Jewish culture”, said Laura Marjovsky, Director of Programming ,  Rady JCC. “This year will be our finest and most crucial festival yet.”

A full lineup of events with descriptions can be found below. Tickets are now available for purchase by clicking here.


Saturday, October 21, 8:00 p.m.

Gili Yalo (CONCERT)
WECC (586 Ellice Avenue) | $20 Member | $25 Non-Member

Gili Yalo is one of the most intriguing musicians in the music scene in Israel. Gili combines Ethiopian roots with soul, funk, and jazz music. The result is an exceptional, rich, vivid melody accompanied by Gili’s unique voice with lyrics in English Amharic and Hebrew. The music made by Gili Yalo embodies his own personal story, which inspired the rhythm and flow of the whole project. His music gives a new meaning to traditional Ethiopian music. The expression of his story through an advanced music production represents his own personal triumph.

This opening concert of Tarbut: Festival of Jewish Culture will feature a pre-show Ethiopian coffee service and a post-performance vegan reception catered by Habesha Ethiopian Restaurant.

Transportation available to the WECC from the Rady JCC upon request. Call Shira 204.477.7534 to book and for more details.

Sunday, October 22, 7:00 p.m.
Berney Theatre, AJCC (123 Doncaster Street) | $20 Member | $25 Non-Member

Join us for an evening of stories, reflections, and conversation about Israel, with Israel 201 author Joel Chasnoff. Joel, who was born in the US and lives in Israel now, will talk about why he joined the IDF at age 23, the current situation on the ground, and why, despite the challenges, he has no plans to leave.

Joel has performed comedy in more than 1,500 Jewish events in ten countries, including the Melbourne Comedy Festival in Australia, Montreal’s Just-For-Laughs, two off-Broadway shows, and TV appearances in the US and Israel. Joel is the author of multiple best-selling books. His newest, Israel 201: Your Next-Level Guide to the Magic, Mystery, and Chaos of Life in the Holy Land, is an up-close look at daily life in Israel, behind the headlines. The book has received praise from such notable Jewish-world voices as Mayim Bialik, Yossi Klein Halevi, and former prime minister Ehud Barak.

Monday, October 23, 7:30 p.m.
The World of Bob Wiseman (CONCERT)
Berney Theatre, AJCC | $30 Member | $36 Non-Member

Bob Wiseman is a musician, song writer, producer, filmmaker, and actor. His music has been described as rock, country, jazz, folk – with improvisation. He is a multiple Juno award recipient and Governor General Media Arts Nominee. His recent book Music Lessons on ECW Press was listed by the Globe and Mail as a top ten music book of 2020. He is a founding member of Blue Rodeo with whom he won five Juno Awards. Bob lists as some of his career highlights (in no specific order): being kissed by Odetta, added to David Byrne’s influential playlist, and head-butted by Wesley Willis.

Tuesday, October 24, 7:30 p.m.
Farewell Mr. Haffmann (FILM)
Berney Theatre, AJCC | $10 Member | $12 Non-Member.

One of the more highly successful and popular films from the 2023 Winnipeg International Jewish Film Festival, Farewell Mr. Haffmann captures the story of Jeweler Joseph Haffmann who arranges for his family to flee occupied Paris in 1941 and offers his employee Francois Mercier the chance to take over his home and shop until the war’s end. As Mercier and his wife move into the Haffmann home, the agreement turns into a Faustian bargain, one that will forever change the fate of all… Rich in moral complexity with plot twists and turns to keep viewers on the edge of their seat, this is big-screen cinema at its finest.

Wednesday, October 25, 7:30 p.m.
Itamar Erez (CONCERT)
Berney Theatre, AJCC | $30 Rady Member | $36 Non-Member

The music of Israeli musician Itamar Erez blends the delicateness of Middle Eastern music, the freedom found in jazz, and the passion of flamenco, creating a unique sound all his own. His music holds a depth and sensitivity that touches listeners deeply. Some of the many venues and festivals that Itamar has performed at throughout his career include: the Barbican in London England, Sydney Opera in Australia, Jerusalem Jazz Festival, Amsterdam Jewish Music Festival, Oman Opera House, and Vancouver International Jazz Festival.

Thursday, October 26, 7:30 p.m.
Hallelujah: Leonard Cohen, A Journey, A Song (FILM)
Berney Theatre, AJCC | $10 Member | $12 Non-Member

Shown to a sold-out crowd at the 2023 Winnipeg International Jewish Film Festival, this definitive exploration of singer-songwriter Leonard Cohen as seen through the prism of his internationally renowned hymn “Hallelujah”. Cohen, Jeff Buckley, John Cale, Brandi Carlile, Judy Collins, Bob Dylan, Rufus Wainwright and many others feature in the documentary. With never-before-seen archival materials including Cohen’s personal notebooks, journals and photographs, performance footage, and rare audio recordings and interviews.

Friday, October 27, 6:00 p.m.
Family Musical Shabbat Dinner (FAMILY MUSIC/DINNER PROGRAM)
Multi-Purpose Room, AJCC | $18 Adult | $12 Child | Free Under 2

Join Rabbi Mass (Congregation Shaarey Zedek) for a one-of-a-kind Family Musical Shabbat Dinner. This special evening will provide a chance for families to enjoy a delicious meal, and participate in the beautiful music of Shabbat.

Saturday, October 28, 8:00 p.m.
Songs from The Brill Building: The Jewish Connection (CONCERT)
Berney Theatre, AJCC | $30 JCC Member | $36 Non-Member

New York City’s Brill Building was the artistic home of hundreds of the 20th century’s most popular songwriters. Located just north of Times Square, the Brill Building is famous for housing music industry offices and studios where some of the most popular American songs were written. Songs from the Brill Building: The Jewish Connection will highlight the role that Jews played in creating the Brill Building sound. Led by Music Director Phil Corrin, this all – Winnipeg cast of musicians includes Melanie Whyte, Debbie Maslowsky and Justin Stadnyk on vocals, with David Rosenbaum on bass, Brendan Thompson on drums, and Phil Corrin on piano. Expect to hear the hits of Ellie Greenwich, Neil Sedaka, Burt Bacharach, Carole King, John Kander, Harold Arlen, Billy Joel, Paul Simon, and more, as we tour this famous musical landmark.

Jewish Art Expo – October 21 – 28, Open 1 hour prior to performances
Berney Theatre Foyer, AJCC | FREE

Be sure to visit the Jewish Art Expo, kicking off on with an opening reception on Sunday, October 22, at 5:30 p.m., and running all week long in the Berney Theatre Foyer. This-one-of-a-kind exposition will feature a wide variety of paintings, ceramics and photographs all done by local Jewish artists.

For all Tarbut Festival inquiries, please contact:

Laura Marjovsky
Director of Programming
Rady JCC