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Winnipeg Jewish Renewal Oral History Collection

Identifier: COU:4070

Scope and Contents

This collection contains 50 interviews conducted by Justin Jaron Lewis as part of the Winnipeg Jewish Renewal Oral History Project that began in 2014 to record interviewees’ experience with Zalman Schachter-Shalomi during his time spent in Winnipeg. The collection also includes signed consent forms from each participant as well as a transcript of Lewis’ interview with Herb Basser.


  • Creation: 2014 - 2017

Conditions Governing Access

The recorded interview with Ezra Scheff is restricted until 2030.

Biographical / Historical

Dr. Justin Jaron Lewis is an Associate Professor in the Department of Religion at the University of Manitoba. Before joining the University of Manitoba in 2008, Lewis was assistant professor in the department of religious studies at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario and served as the director of Jewish studies there. Lewis received his rabbinic ordination from the Academy for Jewish Religion in New York in 2001. Lewis received his PhD in post-biblical Hebrew language and literature from the department of near and Middle Eastern civilizations at the University of Toronto in 2003. Until 2007, he was the rabbi of Congregation Iyr HaMelech, in Kingston, Ont., where he was responsible for adult education.

About the Project from Justin Jaron Lewis: “Rabbi Zalman Schachter (later Schachter-Shalomi, also known as “Reb Zalman”) lived in Winnipeg from 1956 to 1975. He passed away in summer 2014 in Boulder, Colorado, aged 89. He was well known as the founding figure of the Jewish Renewal Movement, and is widely considered one of the most influential rabbis of our time.

Rabbi Schachter’s years in Winnipeg were important, the foundation of his later career, but they have not been well documented. This is an oral history project to record interviews with people who knew Rabbi Schachter while he lived in Winnipeg. We are looking for all perspectives and points of view, whether laudatory or critical. Brief memories are welcome; interviews so far range from five minutes to two hours. Please contact me if you would be interested in sharing any memories of Reb Zalman during his Winnipeg years.”


.25 linear feet (1 box)

Language of Materials



The Winnipeg Jewish Renewal Oral History collection contains interviews conducted by Dr. Justin Jaron Lewis with people who knew Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi while he lived in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada (1956 to 1975).


Arranged in 2 series according to content type. All physical materials are in original order. Original flashdrive organization is also maintained.

Series 1, Interviews, 2014-2015

Subseries 1.1, Audio files (includes all copies flash drive, .mp3 and .wav, and digital objects on Luna, the CU digital repository)

Subseries 1.2, Transcribed interviews

Subseries 1.3, Participant agreement forms, 2014-2015

Flashdrive Contents in Order: MP3 Interviews (28 files, 1.96 GB) Wave Interviews (28 files, 15 GB) ConsentFormsScan-1 (1 file, 4.22 MB) ConsentFormsScan-2 (1 file, 3.36 MB) DonationCoverLetter(1 file, 157 KB) Gift AgreementWinnipeg (1 file, 161 KB) WinnipegHerbBasserSept102014-transcript (1 file, 170 KB)

Series 2, Interviews, 2016-2017

Subseries 2.1, Audio files (includes all copies of flash drive, .mp3 and .wav, and digital objects on Luna, the CU digital repository)

Subseries 2.2, Participant agreement forms, 2016-2017

The Winnipeg Jewish Renewal Oral History Collection
In Progress
Processed by Jane Thaler, 2017; ArchivesSpace entry by Samantha Mat, 2017. Edited by Kalyani Fernando, 2022, 2023.
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Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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Repository Details

Part of the University of Colorado Boulder Libraries, Rare and Distinctive Collections Repository

1720 Pleasant Street
184 UCB
Boulder Colorado 80503 United States