Bēma back “virtually” in Victoria Fringe Festival 2021

Mazel Tov, John Lennon is compelling, humourous, and based on the true story of the Nixon administration’s attempt to deport John Lennon. Directed by Zelda Dean—with Nicholas Guerreiro as John Lennon, and Perry Burton as Leon Wildes—this play makes today’s headlines echo in our heads with the currency of history and the story of a cultural icon. Vietnam war protests are at their peak, and John Lennon walks into the office of an eminent immigration lawyer. As ultra-laid-back Lennon and the strait-laced lawyer navigate Lennon’s stormy immigration case, an unlikely kinship unfolds, while both men gain a greater understanding of friendship, personal values, and patriotism.
The Fringe guide, website and tickets will all launch on Wednesday, August 4, 2021. Our digital run of Mazel Tov, John Lennon will be featured in Week 3 of the Victoria Fringe: August 27 to September 2. Tickets will be $13, and audiences can purchase to view our show on demand, anytime during this one week timeframe. You will receive instructions on how to view when you register:

Two-Part Tallit Making Workshop

Come make a tallit for yourself or for a loved one or consider making another one for yourself. No sewing skills are needed. There are people who will sew for you. We will not be sewing the tallit during class time.

We will meet twice at 1135 McClure Street:

  • 1st meeting: Wednesday, July 28 at 7:00 pm.  You don’t need to bring anything to this first meeting.
  • 2nd meeting: Sunday, Sept. 5 at 7:00 pm.  We will tie the tzitzit at this meeting.

Call Charlotte Sutker at 250-516-9993 or email her at charlotte.sutker@gmail.com to let her know you are coming.

Cost: $18 plus the cost of the materials you choose.

Mænni Ruben’s Theresienstadt 1945 Autograph Book

If you have not yet seen the Theresienstadt Autograph Book Exhibit about Mænni Ruben’s story and connection to congregation member Susi Deston (z”l) in the Social Hall, there is still time, as it doesn’t close until August 12, 2021.
The research, exhibit and booklet reflect international participation and last August a newly created project website was launched along with a program sponsored by the Victoria Shoah Project. The original Autograph Book has been donated to the Canadian Museum for Human Rights in Winnipeg. For viewing before August 12, please contact Congregation Emanu-El office at (250) 382-0615 or info@congregationemanuel.ca for open hours.

Update: Antiracism & Equity Working Group

The Anti-Racism and Equity Working Group met on July 9, 2021. The members are looking forward to taking part in the upcoming Union of Reform Judaism (URJ) online 4-part Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Community Training Series: How to create a DEI Working Group & Assess Our Community DEI Efforts. The sessions will be held from 5 to 6:30 pm PT on Wednesdays—July 28, August 4, 11, and 18, 2021. There is no cost.

We hope others will join in, and specifically, that we can bring together at Emanu-El as representative a group as possible with respect to race, ethnicity, sexuality, gender, age, ability, Jewish background, and more. Have any questions? Interested in joining us? Please email Ilana at vicepresident@congregationemanuel.ca.

Stay tuned for a special Emanu-El community facilitated workshop later this fall.

And there was music

 The Journeys in Jewish Music series produced by the Victoria Jewish Community Choir (VJCC) wrapped up on Sunday, June 20, 2021 with an engaging session on Klezmer music by Moshe Denburg. VJCC is grateful for the funding from the Jewish Federation of Victoria and Vancouver Island (JFVVI) which, along with the support of our community sponsor Congregation Emanu-El, the enthusiasm of the many who participated and those who made donations, made the program possible.

We are incredibly pleased to announce that JFVVI has granted us another generous allotment which makes it possible to continue the series in the Fall with an additional six Zoom presentations. We are now organizing this series and welcome any suggestions regarding content or knowledgeable presenters. The talks are scheduled for Monday evenings following the High Holydays, and dates and details will be released as available. If you registered for the previous series, you will automatically be notified and sent the links.

To register or send comments or suggestions please send a note to: jewishmusictalks@gmail.com.
The Victoria Jewish Community Choir is non-auditioned and welcomes all voices. The Choir will re-convene as soon as regulations permit. If you are interested in joining the choir, please contact co-director Carol Sokoloff at casjazz@islandnet.com.

Thursday morning minyanim

RSVP required—We will hold our Thursday morning minyanim at 7 am in the synagogue throughout the summer. Our Thursday morning minyan offers an intimate, contemplative experience—a way to connect with others, with self, and ultimately, with Divine Source. 

To register for the Thursday morning service, please email elishevag@shaw.ca. Please do not attend if you have any symptoms or have travelled out of the country within the last two weeks.

Tish’ah Be’Av 2021

Tish’ah Be’Av Saturday night, July 17, 9:00 pm on Zoom—the ninth day of the month of Av—marks moments of deep tragedy and destruction in Jewish history. It is the day when we commemorate the destruction of the first and second Temples in Jerusalem, the expulsion of Jews from Spain in 1492, and many other tragedies that have befallen our people.
There is a teaching in Talmud (Tractate Yoma) that the Second Temple was destroyed by sin’at ḥinam—baseless hatred. We are entering Tish’ah Be’Av this year at a time of war, a time of suffering and a time of anxiety. Join with your congregation in commemorating Tish’ah Be’Av in a spirit of ḥesed ḥinam—free flowing love.
Tish’ah Be’Av begins on Saturday night, July 17, 2021. We will hold evening services including the chanting of Eikhah (Lamentations) followed by the recitation of traditional liturgical poems of yearning for a Jerusalem rebuilt. Services will start at 9:00 pm.
 Join Online: CLICK HERE…
To dial in: 1 778 907 2071
Meeting ID: 874 2587 9161
Password: 059827
May this season of escalating tensions and violence soon end. “May we see the day when war and bloodshed cease, when a great peace will embrace the whole world” (Lev Shalom p. 178) May our prayers and commitment to ḥesed ḥinam lead us towards that day.

Return to In-Person Worship Services

Drawing of Congregation Emanu-El

Saturdays at 10 amRSVP by Friday, 3:30 pm—Throughout the summer, we will hold Shabbat services in the sanctuary, and broadcast the service on Zoom. For now, we are allowing a maximum of 50 people to attend in person. Preregistration along with adherence to all health and safety protocols is required.

If you would like to attend, please register by emailing the synagogue office at info@congregationemanuel.ca before 3:30 pm on the preceding Friday. We look forward to seeing you then!

Rabbi Harry and Aaron Severs

Back-to-Shul Thursday morning minyan

June 24, 2021 at 7 am RSVP necessary—This week, our Thursday morning minyan will take place in the sanctuary. We look forward to praying together “in-person” and hope you can join us. Our Thursday morning minyan offers an intimate, contemplative experience—a way to connect with others, with self, and ultimately, with Divine Source.  Also, we are hopeful that we will soon return to breakfast at John’s Place.

For information about the service, including registration, contact the office at info@congregationemanuel.ca before Wednesday at 3:00 pm.

Please do not attend if you have any symptoms or have travelled out of the country within the last two weeks.

Update: Antiracism & Equity Working Group

We began our third meeting by recognizing the profound grief, loss and reckoning following the murder of a Muslim family in London, Ontario, and the disturbing discovery of 215 children’s bodies at the site of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School. We also discussed what the calls from Indigenous communities and leaders for responsibility and accountability mean for our work. Please see the links below: for a letter from Tk̓emlúps te Secwépemc on how to support that First Nations Government, interviews with Indigenous leaders, and the Indigenous organizations accepting contributions.

We attended the Union for Reform Judaism’s fantastic three-part REDI (Racial Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion) series covering how to intentionally build Jewish communities of belonging, to deepen understanding of identities, biases, and much more. We are happy to share the wonderful resources we received, so please reach out if interested! 

We will attend their next 4-part Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Community Training Series: How to create a DEI Working Group & Assess Our Community DEI Efforts on July 28, August 4, 11, and 18, 2021. We welcome anyone interested to sign up and join us! You can register and see the training series description here: https://urj.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZctf-qoqDMsGNBo6nwqk8khKQPpBnprjtU9

Stay tuned for the first community event that we are planning for October, after the High Holy Days.

The group’s fourth meeting will be on Thursday July 8, 2021 from 6:30 – 8 pm. Please contact the office for more information and the meeting Zoom link.

How to support Tḱemlúps te Secwepemchttps://tkemlups.ca/wp-content/uploads/How-to-Support-TteS-June-3-2021-v2.pdf
Two excellent interviews on CBC’s The Current with Indigenous leaders Dr. Cindy Blackstock, Executive Director at the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society, and Murray Sinclair, former Canadian Senator and former Chair of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
Indigenous organizations accepting contributions