Sunday, June 20, 2021, at 7:30 pm—Journeys of Jewish Music, sponsored by the Victoria Jewish Community Choir, brings Moshe Denburg back for the sixth and last conversation in the series. Moshe will explore the Ashkenazi stream of Jewish music and answer some of the following questions: What is Klezmer? What are its modes and rhythms? How is Yiddish song associated with the Klezmer tradition? How have Ashkenazi traditions of Jewish music-making evolved over the past 150 years? There will be musical examples sung and played live with participation encouraged. For advance information on the subject, consult this essay on the Tzimmes website: http://www.tzimmes.net/jewish-music/the-way-of-the-klezmer/
Moshe Denburg is an award-winning composer, arranger, and music educator whose works have been widely performed in Canada, the US, and internationally. Moshe hails from a well-known Montreal Rabbinical family; he moved to the West coast in 1982. Having grown up in the synagogue, his knowledge of Jewish liturgy and musical practices is deeply rooted. He has traveled worldwide, living, and studying in the US, Israel, India and Japan. A life-long musician, Moshe has sung and written songs in Jewish and Middle Eastern idioms extensively. He started his ensemble Tzimmes in Victoria in 1986; he studied composition at UVic. Moshe is committed to presenting Jewish Music in its many styles and languages. His music incorporates Klezmer (European), Sephardi (Mediterranean), and North American Folk influences in several languages: Hebrew, Yiddish, Ladino, and English. Moshe is also the founder of the Vancouver Inter-Cultural Orchestra and has written many large scale compositions which bring together the instrumental and musical resources of many cultures.
# 1 Beginning with the June 18, 2021 Newsletter, the submission DEADLINE for item inclusion is noon the preceding Friday. There are a variety of circumstances that prompt this change: an all-volunteer newsletter team; growing variability in publication readiness of submissions; incorporation of online links in items and the event schedule; and the need to better attend to privacy.
# 2 Since February 2021, we have adopted several measures to protect our congregant’s privacy:
The Congregation Emanu-El Newsletter is no longer published on Facebook or Twitter.
The Congregation Emanu-El Newsletter will not publish the pictures of individuals, who are neither “public figures” nor have a Facebook page, without their express consent.
The Congregation Emanu-El Newsletter will not publish an individual’s phone number or personal email address without express consent.
This means that you may receive a request for CONSENT to publish your personal data that was/will be included in a newsletter item. If so, please respond promptly as we are working against a deadline.
#4 We have a temporary online newsletter editor joining us in July, so it is important that our processes efficiently include that person. We need to be able to move in a step-wise fashion from the receipt of content through to its publication.
Monday, June 7, 2021, from 7:30 -8:45 pm—Journeys of Jewish Music sponsored by the Victoria Jewish Community Choir welcomes Rabbi Hanna Tiferet Siegel who will continue our series with Sing a New Song to G!d: New Prayer Compositions.
The phrase, “Sing a New Song to G!d” is found in several psalms. Rabbi Hanna—composer of new liturgical music—will explore the creation of soulful songs of Jewish prayer, and share her experience as part of a moment when new melodies were pouring into the world. She affirms that, through inspiration and connection, one may open the heart to “the mystery” tapping into grace.
Rabbi Hanna will share her own compositions, and some exquisite prayer songs currently flowing through gifted young composers. These songs invite the joy of transcendence, and the experience of oneness that bring about a kind of ecstasy for composer, listener, and those who sing. Rabbi Hanna is a poet and composer of mystical music, who has recorded eight albums of original liturgical compositions. With her husband, Rabbi Daniel, she has helped build and sustain communities in Vancouver BC, Hanover NH, and Boston, MA. She also serves as a spiritual guide in the ALEPH Clergy Program.
The 7th annual Victoria International Jewish Film Festival (VIJFF) will introduce its 2021 program with a Feel-Good Film Festival running June 6-10, 2021, in VIJFF’s virtual cinema (https://watch.eventive.org/vijff). The Feel-Good Film Festival aims at creating a shared experience with the cathartic effects of comedy.
In addition to presenting two feature-length comedies and a heartwarming documentary, the program opens with specially-curated stand-up comedy. The opening night live-streamed comedy event is from 7:30-8:30 pm on June 6, 2021, and hosted by NPR’s Ophira Eisenberg, a Canadian Brooklyn-based comedian who will be joined by three other hilarious comedy acts. For your shared experience to go beyond the screen, we are also offering special snack boxes (nosh boxes) crafted by Spinnakers and a “support local” initiative encouraging purchases from favourite local shops. Festival participation is by donation. Visit vijff.ca for more information.
The spring Feel-Good Film Festival complements the VIJFF’s more expansive main fall festival, which will present seven films, narratives and documentaries. The VIJFF is a program of the Jewish Community Centre of Victoria (JCCV).
Hillel BC is looking for an individual based in Victoria, to work with us in supporting Jewish students and staff at the University of Victoria. The position involves implementing programs, connecting with students, and creating a warm and welcoming environment for Jewish students throughout campus and at the Hillel House, based near the campus. The individual will work as part of the Hillel BC team.
We know our members are missing one another. So your Membership Committee has an idea to help – just a little.
We are looking for volunteers who are willing to deliver ḥallah to our member households in the coming weeks. The ḥallot will be ready and waiting at the synagogue Social Hall on Fridays, along with a short list (about half a dozen) of addresses for delivery. We’ll match you with members in your area, to minimize driving time.
Monday, May 31, 2021 at 7:30 pm— The Journeys of Jewish Music series sponsored by the Victoria Jewish Community Choir continues with Rabbi Matt Ponak presenting Nigunim: Ḥasidic Meditative Melodies.
“There are gates in heaven that cannot be opened except by melody and song.” — Rabbi Shneur Zalman of Liadi, 18th century
The Hebrew word nigun literally means “melody.” It is commonly understood as a meditative song without words. Since the origins of the Ḥasidic movement in the 1700s, nigunim (pl.) have been sung alone, or in groups, to cultivate an experiential connection with the Divine. Some nigunim are joyful, some are sad, others are deep and contemplative. Join Rabbi Matthew Ponak for an exploration of the different shades of Ḥasidic melodies through stories, teachings, and live singing.
Rabbi Matthew Ponak is a musician and teacher of embodied transformation. His 2016 album Bridges of Song contains traditional and original nigunim with bluegrass instrumentation. Rabbi Matthew received ordination through Hebrew College Rabbinical School and also holds an MA in Contemplative Religions from the Buddhist-inspired Naropa University. He weaves world wisdom with ancient Jewish insights when he teaches and leads contemplative singing.
Sunday, May 30, 2021, at 7 pm—Congregation Emanu-El Adult Education Team invites you to join Dr. Suzanne Snizek, when she will introduce the concept of “suppressed music” through musical examples and biographical sketches, and discuss some of the contemporary issues and challenges related to reinstating music that was marginalized for racist and ideological reasons during the Shoah.
Suzanne Snizek has performed and presented extensively throughout North America, Europe and Asia. Dr. Snizek’s groundbreaking research on Music in WWII British Internment Camps has been published by Böhlau Verlag-Vienna, Routledge-New York, the Council of Europe, Berghann-New York, Armand Colin-Paris, and online by the World ORT website.
A former winner of the national Flute Talk Magazine Competition, the UArts Concerto Competition, the New York Flute Club Competition and the Mid-South Young Artist Flute Competition, Suzanne Snizek has performed with the ESO (National Orchestra of Taiwan), and was an active freelance orchestral and chamber musician before receiving her DMA at UBC (Vancouver) in 2011. Currently an Associate Professor at the University of Victoria, Dr. Snizek released her critically acclaimed CD titled Chamber Music (Re)Discoveries in 2016, and subsequently received the 2017 REACH award for “Excellence in Creative Expression” from the University of Victoria.
On Sunday, May 23, 2021, at 7:30 pm, Journeys of Jewish Music sponsored by the Victoria Jewish Community Choir continues with a Call from the East: The Mizrahi Tradition with Gary Cohen and Amber Woods.
For centuries, Jews lived in Arabic countries where their music influenced, and was influenced by, the local culture. This music has been called Mizraḥi—the Hebrew term for “Eastern”. Gary Cohen and Amber Woods of the world folk duo, Kouskous, will share the flavours and rhythms of various regions of the Middle East and Mediterranean basin—including Morocco, Turkey and Yemen. Through musical examples, they will explore the influence of the Sephardic populations, the features of Arabic music, and the unique traditions of several regions. With infectious rhythms and intoxicating melodies, this promises to be a most engaging journey to the East.
Gary Cohen began his musical career as a teenager. He was inspired by his mother’s singing of Jewish songs, and was greatly influenced by his friend, teacher and mentor, Moshe Denburg. Gary was a co-founder of Tzimmes, and has played in a number of bands, ranging from Greek to Klezmer. Currently he fronts the world folk music duo, Kouskous.
Amber Woods came to music through many years of folk dancing, and her studies of Egyptian Dance with Carol Sokoloff. The wonderful rhythms moved her to study the Middle Eastern hand drum and tambourine. She is the other half of the world folk music duo, Kouskous.