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  • Writer's pictureReuben Berger

Renovating the Minsk

The Minsk Synagogue in Kensington Market is one of the first synagogues in Toronto. At the heyday it was a bustling place of prayer and community. As the Jewish community migrated to more northern parts of the city of Toronto, fewer came to the Minsk. New, more modern synagogues were built and The Minsk just faded into the mist of time.

Thirty years ago, a Rabbi from the States came to fill a position at the Minsk as the spiritual leader. He has been there ever since.

It has a reputation of helping people get off the streets and providing a warm meal to the hungry passerby. To this day, there is a Sabbath service and meal every Friday night as well as on Saturday.

A handful of regulars keep it going.

There is a backyard area that is quite dilapidated and the foundation of the synagogue itself is in serious need of repair. The backyard could be transformed into a stunning patio open year round. The entire building needs a complete makeover and not just in a physical sense. It could once again be a thriving center of education and outreach to the community.

The best way to become united is by working on a project together. The great Jewish Philosopher, Martin Buber, so eloquently said, "A community of faith can only exist when it is a community of work." Working together with other like-minded people is truly the way to create true bonds and more beauty in the world.

May this be the year, 5782/2022, that this Jewish landmark becomes a beacon of hope, peace and love to many.

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