Emanu-El Congregant Recognized as Health Care Hero

BC Health Care AwardsDr. Ramm Hering, physician lead for primary-care substance use with Island Health, was awarded a 2018 Golden Apple in the Provincial Health Care Hero Category.  Ramm, his wife Carolyn and their children are active members of our congregation and Ramm is a member of the Hebrew School Parent Committee, his wife, Carolyn is  a Hebrew School teacher.

By passionately and effectively advocating for improved services for patients dealing with substance use and addiction, Dr. Hering has inspired his colleagues to work together to develop new programs and create an efficient, client-centered system of addiction services”.

Mazel Tov to Dr. Hering! Read more…


Greater Victoria Acting Together (GVAT)

GVAT imageWednesday July 18, at 7 pm — Join Rabbi Harry and others on Wednesday July 18, at 7 pm at the home of Ruthi Wicks for a GVAT Call-out and pilot listening session. Anyone interested in learning more about GVAT and/or joining the process of bringing about positive change in our community and beyond as described in the following paragraphs by Rabbi Harry is welcome.
“We live in a time of increasing polarization, anxiety and fear: a time when truth is subjective, and around the world the spectre of demagoguery rears its head. Leaders are unencumbered by facts: the most exposed and vulnerable of society are increasingly at risk.

We believe that the medicine for polarization and fear mongering is relationship building. In working for the common good we serve as partners with Divine Source to bring about tikkun olam. This is a powerful mode of resistance to demagogues.

Our congregation is a founding member of Greater Victoria Acting Together (GVAT), an alliance of faith communities, trade unions, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and community organizations joined together to build strength for affecting positive change in our city, our province and our world. GVAT is based on the traditions of the Industrial Areas Foundation (IAF), a community organizing movement founded in 1940 in Chicago based on the ideology of the American community organizer and writer Saul Alinsky, founder of modern community organizing.

GVAT is about working together towards a reality that expresses shalom, equality, sustainability and compassion. GVAT believes that strong communities are made up of strong organizations wherein sister organizations lend expertise and support to one another. Involvement in GVAT is good for our congregation. It allows us to use our unique gifts to help other organizations and offers us organizational partners to call upon for power and guidance. GVAT principles hold that strength begins by listening and knowing your community.

A challenge for us as Jews: there are organizations and trade unions that hold ideas and stances that are abrasive and alienating for us as a Jewish organization. The world of social justice is currently not always a comfortable place for us as Jews. The hope is that by working together on shared values we can forge relationships, change hearts and make a positive difference.

We want to involve you in a listening campaign. We have had opportunities to hear from many congregants about what attaches ḥaverim (members) to Emanu-El. We have heard stories of what congregants love about our congregation and what has been tricky for members in our congregation. We have listened to congregants describe their own struggles as collectively we try to understand what are the crucial problems facing our greater community and the world. Before we tally up the data from our own listening, we want to hear from you!

Please come join us.”

Rabbi Harry

What a fine concert!

Carol thanks the audience!On Sunday June 7, an appreciative crowd attended the Jewish Community Choir Evening of Jewish Music concert. The audience enjoyed the music and expressed genuine enthusiasm as they mingled with the choir after the performance and enjoyed refreshments.  Here are a few photos from this lovely evening. Thank you, Penney and Frances Aknai for making these available.

JFSVI Annual General Meeting

JFSVIThursday, August 2, 2018 at 7:00 pm — If you are interested in learning more about the Jewish Family Services of Vancouver Island (JFSVI) and its important work within Victoria and the communities of Vancouver Island, please check out our website: JFSVI.ca and join us for our Annual General Meeting on Thursday, August 2, 2018 at 7:00 pm in the  Jewish Community Centre of Victoria at 3636 Shelbourne Street.
For a copy of the meeting agenda and more information, please contact president@jfsvi.ca.

From the President – Rental Policy

Rental PolicyAfter considerable research the Congregation Emanu-El Board of Directors has adopted a rental policy for all our facilities. This action is a response to our growing membership, our increasing number of activities and our need to cover costs.
We encourage all members to continue to use our congregational home as they have in the past. As members, they will be charged a nominal fee that covers our basic expenses (utilities and custodial services) for venue use.

To book an event at the synagogue, please contact our Synagogue Director, Betsi Boeno at 250-382-0615. Or while she is on holiday during July and August, please phone the office at the same number.

Let your friends and associates know that our venues are available for private rentals. We have separate pricing for Jewish community groups, not for profit organizations, private functions and events. A copy of the full rental policy with fee structure is available from the office. With some training, our new high quality projector and our state of the art sound system are available for use during an event.
Do think about Emanu-El for your next family sima and celebration.
We wish everyone a safe and fun summer,
l’shalom, Ruthi Wicks

Musical Kabbalat Shabbat Loses a Maestro

Kabba Shabba loses maestro

Last Friday night’s eco-vegetarian (read: bring your own utensils and a veggie dish to share) kabbalat shabbat was a big crowd pleaser for the fifty synagogue members, friends and visitors in attendance. The kabbalat shabbat service was accompanied by our wonderful musical group, the Kabba Shabba Band, consisting of violins, guitar, harp, drums, singers and others. Kids were invited to perform dance routines with Rabbi Harry, and adults later formed a dancing chain. It was also a last performance for synagogue and veteran band member Dániel Péter Biró.

Sadly Dr. Biró, a UVic Professor of Music and renowned new music composer, organizer of the SALT New Music Festival, and a recent winner of a major Guggenheim fellowship, is departing for new horizons at the University of Bergen, Norway, where he has been hired to lead the experimental new music program. We wish Dániel, his wife Zsofia Surjan, and their son Dávid (a recent Emanu-El bar mitzvah), well on their journey north and eastward. They will be greatly missed. We hope to hear news of their flourishing new life in Norway!