Introducing Rani Earnhart

Rani Earnhart - PhotoA warm welcome to Rani Earnhart, who is joining us as our new Kitchen Coordinator, taking care of preparing many of our Kiddush meals and snacks.  Rani previously owned the Bagga Pasta deli in the Fairfield plaza.  She currently runs her own catering business, called Left Coast Catering, which provides meals to various social and environmental activist groups around Victoria as well as Jewish community events.  She also volunteers with the Mustard Seed’s commercial processing kitchen, which uses waste food from grocery stores and turns them into prepared hot meals for the Mustard Seed’s Queens Avenue location. Rani is the chair of Victoria’s chapter of Fair Vote Canada, a lobbying group dedicated to electoral reform that results in more effective democratic government. When not busy in the kitchen, Rani enjoys hiking and gardening. Rani is very pleased to have the opportunity to serve Victoria’s Jewish community. Please drop by the kitchen and say shalom to Rani.

Kafe & Kibitz resumes

kafe kibitzSunday, January 19, 2020, 10:15 am to noon,  710 Pandora Avenue lobby—Kafe & Kibitz is back! Come schmooze with other parents in a warm & welcoming environment. For January 19, the theme is “Judaism and the Environment.” Dr. Rick Kool, who teaches at Royal Roads University in the School of Environment and Sustainability will join us. Parents are welcome to bring young children along. If you have any questions, please contact Jennifer Karmona at (jkarmo@gmail.com). We look forward to engaging conversation, laughter, reflection, support, and, of course, caffeine. Everyone is welcome, including  non-members—feel free to spread the word. Find us online at the Jewish Families Greater Victoria Facebook group.

Kafka and Secular Jewish Mysticism

Kafka postponed!POSTPONED from Sunday, January 5, 2020 due to illness. Will announce new date when available. —The Emanu-El Adult Education Team invites you to the third presentation in the Alternative Realities in Judaism series when Lee Henderson will take a look at the life and work of the great 20th century Jewish writer Franz Kafka and his relationship to Tanakh, the tales of Rabbi Nachman, the Midrash, Kaballah, as well as contemporary secular political ideologies.

A weekend of memory and remembrance with Rabbi Victor Reinstein (January 25 & 26, 2020)

Rabbi Reinstein

Shabbat Service and Special Kiddush
Please come and celebrate with us on Saturday, January 25, 2020 at Congregation Emanu-El as we welcome Rabbi Victor Reinstein back to the congregation he led for many years. Rabbi Reinstein is visiting from Boston. He will give the drash during our Shabbat service. Following services, there will be a special Kiddush in his honour. We hope you will join us for this happy event and have a chance to either reconnect or connect for the first time with Rabbi Reinstein.

We welcome donations to cover the cost of this Kiddush. Please contact the synagogue office at 250-382-0615 if you wish to contribute to this special occasion.

Tell Them Not to Hate
On Sunday January 26, at 2 pm at the JCC, Victor Reinstein will give a speech: “Tell Them Not to Hate” — Words of Witness and Sacred Imperatives. In recognition of International Holocaust Remembrance Day, he will reflect on the first commemorations of the Shoah Victoria, when our congregation included many survivors. “Their words,” Rabbi Reinstein recalls, “seared into our collective consciousness . . .  we sought to honor our survivors. In the process, we were strengthened and given hope.”

Following his lecture, members of the University of Victoria’s Defying Hatred Project will share the results of their research on communal memory, history, and resilience.

With thanks from the Religious Services Committee, The Shoah Project, and the Defying Hatred Project.

Bēma Productions presents “O My God”

OMYGODGRAPHIC-NLJanuary 16 – 26, 2020Bēma Productions, now in its sixth season, is excited to present the Canadian premiere of the comedy, “O My God”, by the Israeli playwright, Anat Gov at Congregation Emanu-El, Black Box Theatre. “O My God” is directed by Zelda Dean, and performed by Christine Upright (the therapist), Rosemary Jeffery (God) and Jesse Wilson (the autistic son of the therapist and is himself on the autism spectrum). Performances are scheduled for the following dates:
  • Thursday January 16, 7:30 pm
  • Saturday January 18, 7:30 pm
  • Sunday January 19, 3:00 pm
  • Tuesday January 21, 7:30 pm
  • Wednesday January 22, 7:30 pm
  • Thursday January 23, 7:30 pm
  • Saturday January 25, 7:30 pm
  • Sunday January 26, 3:00 pm
Tickets: $23 available online at ticketrocket.co or at the door.
Media Enquiries: Zelda Dean zeldadean@shaw.ca Telephone: 250-881-2094.
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/bemaproductionsvic/

A Welcoming ecoKabbalat Shabbat: RSVP important

Kabbalat ShabbatJoin us for an eco-Kabbalat Shabbat welcoming Rabbi Matt & family! Bring a vegetarian or dairy dish to our potluck dinner along with your own dishes & utensils for dining (that’s the “eco” part!). We’ll supply the ḥallah and wine for kiddush. Services will begin promptly at 7 pm, following dinner – it’s OK to come just for services if you can’t make it to the dinner.

As we need to work out how to accommodate dinner arrangements with the set-up for the Bēma show, it is critical that we know how many will attend for Shabbat dinner. If you plan to come, please RSVP to info@congregationemanuel.ca by January 15, 2020.

Kabbalat Shabbat is a spirited and joyful service with singing and storytelling lead by Rabbi Harry and the Shul’s very own KabbaShabba band! Services will conclude at 7:45 pm with a tasty oneg dessert. Fun and meaningful for both kids and adults!

Introducing Rabbi Matt and Melina Ponak

b771bab9-306c-4516-b03e-b5c5a854abe8To the members of Congregation Emanu-El,
We are so excited to meet everyone when we land in January. We are feeling very grateful for this opportunity and are looking forward to getting to know you all. Victoria has been in our hearts for many years.

Matt: I grew up in Calgary and spent many summers on the Island growing up. My mother is from Port Alberni and I continue to have many relatives in the area. Music is a big part of my life. I play banjo and guitar, lead singing, and back Melina up while she tells stories. I have an MA in Contemplative Religions from Naropa University in Boulder, Colorado and am passionate about spirituality and transformation. Besides having been raised in a Conservative Synagogue, I have been a part of Reform, Orthodox, and Renewal communities. My personal goal at Emanu-El is to have meaningful conversations with each of you during my three months there.

Melina: I am originally from Chicago, have lived in California, and Colorado, but have always felt connected to my Canadian roots. My mother is from Toronto and I enjoy visiting relatives in Kelowna. I spent nine beautiful years in Montreal where I went to McGIll, studied herbology, and learned French. I love storytelling and story-gathering, teaching, dancing, book indexing and learning about life with my children. Orion is 5-years-old and will be eager for play-dates! He loves running around, building Lego ships and co-creating new games. Sephira will turn one-year-old on January 16. She is a very friendly baby. She loves to clap her hands and say “Yay!” (her first word) while clapping.

Matt and Melina!