Organic Apple Juice Hebrew School Fundraiser

From CastleRock Pardes Farm—Made from a mixture of crisp Spartan, Red Delicious, MacIntosh and Granny Smith apples, this apple juice has been filtered and passed through UV cold pasteurization, retaining its exquisite complex taste and total nutritional value. The jugs can be frozen and imbibed throughout the year.  Fill your freezer!

  • All proceeds will be donated to Hebrew school children.
  • Fundraiser price per 2 litre jug – $15 or 3 jugs for $40.
  • Please email Noa or Carolyn at to order the juice.
  • Juice can be picked up at the shul on Tuesday, October 26, 2021 between 9:30 and 11:00 am, or between 3:15 and 5:45 pm. These are our preferred pick-up times; as an alternative for Hebrew School Families only, juice could be picked up at Hebrew School on Sunday, October 24, 2021.
  • Delivery is available upon request. Delivery volunteers are welcome!

Zachor Remembrance Wall Dedication

Sunday, October 17, 2021, at 3:30 pmThe Cemetery Committee and the Friends of the Jewish Cemetery invite the community to the dedication on Sunday, October 17, 2021, at 3:30 pm of the new Zachor Remembrance Wall in Congregation Emanu-El’s cemetery on Cedar Hill Road. The wall provides a place where the names of loved ones not buried in our historic cemetery may be inscribed in their memory. Pre-registration is not required but appropriate COVID-19 safety measures will be observed on site. For information on how you can honour a loved one on the wall, or you may contact the Office at 250-382-0615 or

VIJFF Opens with its Virtual Program

Saturday October 16, 2021, at 7 :30 pm—The Victoria International Jewish Film Festival (VIJFF) opens at 7:30 pm on Saturday, October 16, 2021, with a virtual program of three shorts and four feature-length films (all available until October 23, 2021):

  • Here We Are, a humorous, heartwarming story about an Israeli father and his autistic son.
  • They Ain’t Ready for Me, a documentary about a female African-American rabbinical student’s efforts to make her Chicago neighbourhood safer (with an online interview with the film’s director on October 21, 2021 at 7 pm).
  • Winter Journey, with Bruno Ganz in his last performance as a Jewish German father sharing his recollections of his past with his son.
  • Whispers of Silence, an innovative, albeit weighty Mexican documentary about intergenerational trauma among the families of Holocaust survivors (with an online discussion with the film’s directors and other panelists on October 19, 2021 at 7pm).

VIJFF continues in the Vic Theatre on Sunday, October 17, 2021, with two feature-length films:

  • The Crossing, a family film about the journey to safety of two Jewish Norwegian children and the two Christian children who assist them in Sweden during WWII—Screening at 1 pm (and online from 8 am–8 pm).
  • Neighbours, a film, rich in humanism and humour, about a Kurdish boy and his uncle in Syria and their relationship with their Jewish neighbours through time and tyrannies—Screening at 4 pm.
  • Breaking Bread, a mouth-watering documentary about the Jewish and Palestinian chefs who gather in Haifa for a celebration of food and culture.

VIJFF presents its closing film on Sunday, October 24, 2021, at 4 pm in the Vic Theatre: Ticketing is by donation. For more information…

Isa Milman Launches her Memoir

Sunday, October 17, 2021, 2–3 pm PDTIsa Milman invites you to the launch of her memoir Afterlight: In search of Poetry, History, and Home, on Sunday, October 17, 2021 from 2-3 pm PDT. This will be a free, virtual event hosted by professor/journalist Lynne Van Luven and registration is required. Register here to receive the livestream link. Isa looks forward to your attending, and celebrating this special event with her. Please feel free to share this among your friends.

To Sefarad and Beyond: Dr. Judith Cohen

The Victoria Jewish Community Choir (VJCC) will continue its Journeys in Jewish Music fall series on Monday, October 18, 2021, at 7 pm with Dr. Judith Cohen discussing To Sefarad and Beyond, A Personal Journey. The talk will take place on Zoom. In an informal interview with moderator Carol Sokoloff, Dr. Cohen shares her personal tales of a journey which took her from her youth in Montreal to the land of Spain and beyond.

Dr. Cohen writes, “Fifty years ago I crossed the border into Spain on the lumbering old train from France, with one small bag and a dictionary. The word Sefarad was not yet in my vocabulary. I was part of the 60s folk revival, sang French Canadian and Yiddish songs, and played classical clarinet. I had been to the-then-Yugoslavia and loved the music—but had no knowledge of Spain or Spanish anything. This is an informal account of how I got from there to here, with songs and stories—and Carol’s and all of your questions!”

Dr. Judith Cohen of York University is an acclaimed ethnomusicologist and performer specializing in Sephardic music, also known as Judeo-Spanish or Ladino song. In Sephardic music we hear the tales of so many times and places from the well-remembered culture of Spain to the various lands Jews settled in after their expulsion in 1492.

You won’t want to miss this fascinating conversation which examines the questions of what makes Sephardic music so universally appealing, and how it has survived through centuries and numerous.

Send a note to register for this and all the Journeys in Jewish Music series. All are welcome and the talks are free of charge thanks to the generous support of the Jewish Federation of Victoria and Vancouver Island.

  • Join online: CLICK HERE
  • Regular Dial-in: Call: 1 778 907 2071
  • Meeting ID: 958 9049 0481
  • Passcode: 333095

Calling All Artists 2021: Exhibition

What happens when Midrash is not generated by the sages of the distant past but by contemporary artists? This is the question, posed by Rabbi Harry, that served as the basis for this year’s Calling All Artists—a program that has run every year since 2005. This year, in the middle of a pandemic, the project was even more meaningful although its format was more unusual. Eighteen artists, using various media, gathered on Zoom to explore Torah as it relates to Hope, Faith and Prayer.

For the artists, it was a way of working with Rabbi Harry on braiding a spiritual lifeline during a time of isolation and fear. Their work—sculpture, ceramics, paintings, prayer flags, poetry bowls, and more—are on the walls of the Social Hall, where they will be until the end of November 2021. You can view the exhibit Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, from 9:30 am to 2:30 pm, by appointment.

As Rabbi Harry says in his introduction to the project’s chapbook, “In many ways the sages of now are artists; open, courageous, creative seekers of truth and beauty, and conduits to understanding universal essence.” This beautiful little book, called A Light in Dark Times contains photographs of all the artists’ work, with their comments about the creative process that brought their art to life. They are for sale, at $7—a real deal! Ask at the office to purchase your own copy, as a memento of the 2021 Calling All Artists, or a gift.

Simḥat Torah Celebration 2021

On Tuesday September 28, 2021, we revelled in the great outdoors as we marked both the completion, and the beginning anew, of the cycle of Torah readings. An enthusiastic crowd gathered in Leah and Uri Levi’s lovely backyard to daven, chant Torah, and sing. Rabbi Harry led us through the festivities. We celebrated our Kallat Bereshit (Frances Rosenberg) and our Ḥatan Torah (Rabbi Louis Sutker) by calling them up for aliyot, and saying a few words about each of them. Read more about the event…
Religious Services Committee
Kehillah Kodesh Emanu-El

Support our Youth Group as they Do the Loop for youth

Sunday, September 26, 2021Congregation Emanu-El Youth Group invites you to support and/or join them on Sunday, September 26, 2021 when they will saddle up for Threshold Housing Society’s Do the Loop bike/walk/run fundraiser. Our Youth Group, under the guidance of their coordinator Adele Mark, will bike around Victoria to raise money for Threshold Society, which provides safe housing and services for youth at risk of homelessness. Want to donate to our Youth Group team? Click here! 

Erev Simhat Torah Celebration

Starting at 5 pm, Tuesday, September 28, 2021Pre-registration required—Join us for a joyous, spirited evening outdoors in Uri and Leah Levi’s backyard to celebrate the completion of the Torah reading cycle and the joy at having the Torah. All ages are welcome. Many thanks to Uri and Leah for offering their backyard. Due to space constraints, we have limited the number of attendees to 30 so you MUST pre-register. Please note that registration is only complete when you receive confirmation from the office. As parking will be limited, please consider coming by other means or car-pooling.

As part of the evening’s festivities, we will take time to appreciate the contributions of two congregants. These individuals have shown dedication and generosity of spirit, and contributed in a significant way to further Jewish life at Congregation Emanu-El and in the larger Victoria community. This year, the Religious Services Committee has chosen to honour Frances Rosenberg and Rabbi Louis Sutker. We hope you will be able to join us for this year’s Simḥat Torah celebration!  Don’t forget to register if you plan to attend.

Sukkot Open House in the Brechners’ Sukkah!

Sunday, September 26, 2021, 1–3 pm: Preregistration necessary

  • Shake a lulav! Take a lookah our sukkah! Sit down and have something to eat! (Sorry, no down-home-gumbo this year).
  • We look forward to hosting folks who want a sukkah experience and share some joy.
  • Due to nasty COVID-19, we must limit the number of people present at any time, so preregistration is a must.
  • Sign up to visit the Brechners’ sukkah. Select a time slot and enter the number in your group.
  • Looking forward to seeing you—we miss you!

RaeAnn and Rabbi Harry