Jewish Cemetery Tour

Sunday, September 6, 2020 at 2:00 pm RSVP required … Fraternal organizations were an important part of community life in early Victoria. With the help of Mark Anderson and Diana Pedersen, Amber Woods (author of the OCS’s publication Guide to Victoria’s Historic Jewish Cemetery), will tell stories of the Jewish Freemasons and Woodmen of the World buried here. Meet at main gates Fernwood Road at corner of Cedar Hill Road. Men, please wear a hat.

Cost is $2 for members of the Old Cemeteries Society and $5 for non-members.

COVID-19 Protocols for Old Cemetery Society’s tours for safety:
1.     Social distancing will be required.
2.     Masks are optional.
3.     Maximum capacity of this tour will be 20 people.

Registration is required. Space will be filled on a first come first serve basis. A second tour at 3:30 pm will be offered if needed. Please send an email with your name, contact information and number in your party attending to Please put Jewish Cemetery Tour in the subject line.

Copies of the Guide to Victoria’s Historic Jewish Cemetery will be available for purchase outside of the cemetery. Please bring cash or a check made out to Old Cemeteries Society.  Books are also available at Simcha Gift Shop at Congregation Emanu-El, Munro’s and Bolen Books.

Concerned about racism, climate change, public health, affordable housing…?

GVAT revised
If you are concerned about racism, climate change, public health, worker’s rights, affordable housing, colonialism, mental health, a just recovery…—here’s help getting organized! Greater Victoria Acting Together (GVAT) is offering leadership training in a series of sessions on June 30, July 2, 7, 9, and 14 from 10 am – 12 pm.

What will you learn?

Continue reading Concerned about racism, climate change, public health, affordable housing…?

JFVVI establishes emergency pandemic relief fund

JFVVI EPRFundThe JFVVI has established an Emergency Pandemic Relief Fund to provide as much help as possible for members of the Vancouver Island Jewish Community who are facing financial challenges as a result of the coronavirus/COVID19 pandemic. The fund will be administered by Jewish Family Services of Vancouver Island.

Donations received before April 6, 2020 will be generously matched by the Jewish Federation of Victoria and Vancouver Island
as part of their Pandemic Emergency Response Plan.

JFSVI will purchase gift cards from Aubergine Specialty Foods and mail them to any household that is in difficulty at this time of the Coronavirus closures.

Please donate online or send cheques to: Jewish Family Services VI JCC, 3636 Shelbourne Street, Victoria, BC V8P 4H2.

JFSVI collects Ma’ot Ḥitim – or “wheat money”

90462847_2799300823458537_6275698207372607488_nMa’ot itim – or “wheat money” is the traditional practice of Jewish communities that collect money to help cover the cost of Matzah for those in need. This custom was mentioned in the Jerusalem Talmud more than 1600 years ago.

As our tradition continues, Jewish Family Service of Vancouver Island (JFSVI) is asking you to kindly donate to help the needy amongst us to be able to fulfill the mitzvah of Passover. JFSVI will purchase gift cards from Aubergine Specialty Foods and mail them to any household that is in difficulty at this time of the Coronavirus closures.

Please donate online or send your cheques to

Jewish Family Services VI JCC, 3636 Shelbourne Street, Victoria, BC V8P 4H2.


JFVVI Grants and Scholarships deadline extended

JFVVI 2019The deadline is extended to May 31, 2020 at 11:59 pmThe Jewish Federation of Victoria & Vancouver Island (JFVVI) Grants and Scholarships forms for allocations have been revised for the 2020 application period.  Please read the forms carefully and note the new email address on the form for queries and submission of your application.  Guidelines for each funding program are contained in the forms. Application forms for all three of JFVVI’s funding programs are now available. Continue reading JFVVI Grants and Scholarships deadline extended

Help Save a Life!

Canadian Blood Services

This month, Canadian Blood Services is asking members of the Congregation Emanu-El to take the time and help save a life by making an appointment to donate blood at our Victoria Donation Centre at 3449 Saanich Rd in Victoria.

Blood donation? I’ve always thought of doing that but haven’t done it!  How do I get involved? Well, the process itself is actually very simple, it only takes about 1 hour to donate, and you get FREE juice and cookies at the end of your donation. All you need to do is check to make sure you’re eligible to donate, and then visit to make an appointment! You can check your eligibility by taking a quick quiz by clicking HERE. One of the easiest ways to get started is to come together as a group to donate, there’s nothing better than supporting your friends and family during a donation. Contact or to book your group or for more information on how to get organized!

As a bonus, this month, Browns Social House is offering a $5 voucher for anyone who comes in during the month of March, redeemable at their UPTOWN or the Victoria West locations as a special “THANK YOU” to our donors! There’s no better time to donate.
As if that’s not enough reasons to give already, we know that our hospital patients are always 100% dependent on volunteers like YOU to help save lives. Here are some reasons to give, what will yours be?

  1.  It can take up to 50 donations to help save the life of a car crash victim.
  2. It can take up to 8 donations PER WEEK to help save the life of a leukemia patient.
  3. 50% of Canadians will need blood or know someone who will.
  4. 50% of Canadians are eligible to donate but only 1/60 ever will.
  5. We need 112,000 NEW donors EACH YEAR.

Zigzag’s Irish Adventure

Zig Zag Irish Adventure 1000Join Congregation Emanu-El member, Noa Paster on an Irish adventure this weekend. Performing music from Ireland and around the world on fiddle, piano, harp & in song, Noa is joined by two friends for her own musical, theatrical St. Patrick’s Day review. The show is an all ages show, 40 minutes long. Tickets at  All shows are at Skam Satellite Studio 849 Fort Street.

Preschool kids sought for new programme

Math for Tots 1000Former Hebrew School teacher Rene Ozi is seeking preschool children for a radical new programme for teaching the elements of mathematics to children, based on a method developed by Israeli mathematician Moshe Klein in collaboration with Stanford University, known as Siaḥ Matemati. For further information, telephone or text Rene at (250) 886-4252.

POSTPONED – Not Hiring a Hitman: How Our Stories Can Save Democracy

GVATPOSTPONED Saturday, March 14, 2020, Congregation Emanu-El—The presentation by Chet Philipps, the Lead Organizer for Greater Victoria Acting Together (GVAT) about GVAT’s purpose scheduled for this Saturday is postponed. His talk is entitled “Not Hiring a Hitman: How Our Stories Can Save Democracy”. This is an opportunity for the congregation to better understand why our leadership has chosen to support GVAT and why congregant involvement in GVAT is important.

About the talk

We live in a time when political polarization and personal isolation are increasing, and democracy itself is imperiled around the world. It can be tempting to retreat into our most intimate circles of loved ones, those with whom we most agree, even as these circles get smaller and the lines around them turn into walls. Yet revitalizing our communities, our democracy, cannot be done at a distance. Nor can it be done through debating “the facts.” Sharing our stories means being vulnerable enough to share both our own personal pain and concern and to seek out how our stories connect with those of others, even the stories that seem to challenge our own. Pluralistic democracy depends on respect for our differences, yes, but also on our working constantly to invite others to join in the telling of a common story.

About Chet Phillips

Chet Phillips arrived here after 22 years in southern Arizona, where his work ranged over fields as varied as sustainable agriculture, creative writing, collaborative land management and conservation planning, and the social science of conflict resolution. For the 8 years prior to his moving to Victoria with his partner and their 3 young children, his work focused on organizing and empowering student leaders to create positive institutional change on the University of Arizona campus and in Tucson. Chet joined GVAT this past July as our full-time lead organizer. In all his work, he is guided by a saying from one of his mentors: “An individual can resist injustice, but it takes a community to do justice.”


Pesach Market

CEE Pesach MarketMarch 29 to April 1, 2020—Please support Congregation Emanu-El’s Hebrew School fundraiser by shopping for your Kosher for Passover supplies. We offer a wide selection of goods for Kosher for Passover Dry Goods and Frozen Food.

Market dates:

  • Sunday, March 29   1 to 4 pm
  • Monday, March 30   4 to 8 pm
  • Tuesday, March 31  10 am to 3 pm
  • Wednesday, April 1 4 to 8 pm

If you are going to be away, place your order with Leah Levi at 250-370-1246.

Simcha Gift Shop will be open during Pesach Market hours.
Cash and cheques only.
Please bring your own bags.