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.

Beginners’ Mind: Poetry Workshop for Beginners and Nervous Writers

BP Beginners MindMarch 7, 2020 from 10 am to 3 pm—Barbara Pelman is offering a one day plunge into the exhilarating waters of poetry for those who have previously only tiptoed around the shores. Beginners’ Mind is a poetry workshop for beginners and nervous writers in which you will explore activities that are fun (really!) and become familiar with some of the basic skills of writing: using metaphor, rhythm, line breaks, and rhyme. Continue reading Beginners’ Mind: Poetry Workshop for Beginners and Nervous Writers

Tu Bishvat 5780: Plant a sapling!

March of the Saplings 1000Let’s do something good for our city and planet. In celebration of Tu Bishvat (the New Year of the Trees), Congregation Emanu-El, in collaboration with the City of Victoria, is holding a communal tree planting event. Our goal is to plant scores of trees!
Following tree planting, you are invited to attend an inspirational Tu Bishvat Seder at 12:00 noon in the synagogue. Continue reading Tu Bishvat 5780: Plant a sapling!

Help for street family desperately needed!


We received the following email from Rev Al, Executive Director Victoria Dandelion Society. We hope that you are able to assist us in responding to this great need with a contribution to Avodah.

“It’s dangerously cold outside, and lives could be at risk!  This morning, as I handed out coffee to men and women with icy hands, I heard stories of people struggling to get by, unable to find shelter.  The need is urgent. My street family desperately need shelter, sleeping bags and warm clothing today.

With your help, I’ll purchase items like sleeping bags, jackets and mittens to keep my street family warm. You’ll also help me to find shelter for people who are most at risk today.  Please give!”

A Conversation about Jewish Community Security

Ed Fitch PortraitSunday, January 12, 2020 at 3:00 pm, Jewish Community Centre of Victoria—In view of recent increases of attacks against Jews, the Victoria Society for Humanistic Judaism invites you to A Conversation about Jewish Community Security with Ed Fitch, Security Member, Board of Directors Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA) on Sunday, January 12th, 2020 at 3:00 pm at the Jewish Community Centre of Victoria, 3636 Shelbourne Street. Everyone Welcome. Refreshments will be served.
For more information or to RSVP: Sharon Kobrinsky, VSHJ Ceremonial Leader at Telephone: 250-474-7173; email:

Suppressed music during the Shoah: Making the connection

SnizekSunday,  January 5, 11 am at Jewish Community CentreKolot Mayim invites the congregation to a talk by Dr. Suzanne Snizek  on Suppressed Music during the Shoah on Sunday, January 5, 2020 at 11 am in the Jewish Community Centre. Dr. Snizek is a professor of Music at UVIC, and an extremely accomplished concert flautist.  Continue reading Suppressed music during the Shoah: Making the connection