Qi Gong: Movement, Meditation, & more!

Come join Rabbi Matt as he leads us in this calming and centering movement form. Qi gong (pronounced “chee gong”) is an ancient Chinese meditative martial art that is often likened to yoga for its physical, spiritual and emotional benefits. Held on Thursday mornings at 10 am, the sessions consist of 30 minutes of movement followed by meditation and sharing that involves a wide range of topics including how members connect to the Qi Gong practice, kabbalistic insights from the rabbi, some music and more. The discussions are always stimulating and you never know what will come up!

Location: As long as weather permits we will continue to meet outdoors for qi gong. We will go indoors once the colder weather sets in. You must register for class at info@congregationemanuel.ca if you’re interested and you will be given location info and be updated if anything changes.

Choose your own High Holy Day experience

COVID-19 has forced us to become creative and expansive in order to sustain the soulful connected experience we yearn for at the High Holy Days. (Please note that all plans are fluid and may need to change based on COVID-19 cases on Vancouver Island.)
Please choose your first and second preferences for the Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur services and let the shul office know by email at info@congregationemanuel.ca  or by phone at 250-382-0615 by September 15, 2020. 

For Rosh Hashanah Day 1
We offer three different experience blocks at different times and venues. Each block will accommodate up to fifty participants. Congregants will need to choose which block to attend and cannot migrate from one block into another. Some of the blocks are traditional and some are alternative; one block is tailored to families and children.
You will have to book your choice with the shul office  (We will do our best to accommodate congregants’ first choice. )
Block A Traditional with a Twist: 10 am to 12 noon at the synagogue (and on Zoom)
A condensed traditional service in our beautiful sanctuary. We will begin with Shaḥarit and do our utmost to cover the prayers and tunes that are most integral to us. We will read Torah, listen to a sermon followed and participate in a spirited yet abbreviated musaf service.
Block B Experiential Alternative Service: 2 – 3:30 pm at St. Ann’s Academy, 835 Humboldt Street
Led by Rabbi Harry, we will focus on contemplation, movement, niggunim/chanting and Bibliodrama and include an alternative musaf service.
Block C Family Encounter: (Block C. 1. 11 am – noon and Block C. 2. 12:30- 1:30 pm) at St. Ann’s Academy 835 Humboldt Street
Led by Rabbi Matt, this is a very special Rosh Hashanah experience tailored to families and children including music, movement, contemplation and story telling. You must choose Block C 1 or Block C 2.

For Rosh Hashana Day 2
Morning Service: 10 am to 12 noon at the synagogue (and on Zoom). We are offering a condensed traditional service similar in nature and content to Block A Day 1.
Shofar Service and Tashlikh: To keep our numbers safe and compliant we will offer three opportunities to participate in a meaningful Shofar service followed by an interactive Tashlikh service:
· Banfield Park (Esquimalt ): 2pm
· Dallas and Cook (the usual Emanu-El venue):  2pm and 3:30pm

For Yom Kippur
Kol Nidre:
September 27: 6 pm in our beautiful sanctuary an evening of haunting liturgical music letting go of unfulfilled promises marking the beginning of the Day of Atonement.  Doors will open at 5:45 and close at 6:15. 
Yom Kippur Morning service: September 28: 10 am – 1 pm with a special yizkor  at noon. Doors will open at 9:45 am and close at 10:15 am.  
Yom Kippur Nei’lah :  September 28 : 6:30 pm the final powerful closing prayers of Yom Kippur and the cathartic sounding of the final shofar. Doors will open at 6:15 and close at 6:45.

Congregation Emanu-El High Holy Day Zoom Links

The following table contains the Zoom links for the High Holy Day Services. The dial-up number is for BC. The dial up number for other locations may be found here https://us02web.zoom.us/u/ksfZ9VA4O.

Join Zoom Meeting
Regular Dial-in: 1 (778) 907-2071
Meeting ID: 834 6005 2081
Passcode: 825182
Join Zoom Meeting
Regular Dial-in: 1 (778) 907-2071
Meeting ID: 818 9561 6837
Passcode: 612595
ROSH HASHANAH DAY 1 19 SEPT. 10:00 AM-12:00 PM
Join Zoom Meeting
Regular Dial-in: 1 (778) 907-2071
Meeting ID: 816 6787 0187
Passcode: 058730
ROSH HASHANAH DAY 2 20 SEPT. 10:00-12:00
Join Zoom Meeting
Regular Dial-in: 1 (778) 907-2071
Meeting ID: 824 9478 2385
Passcode: 325484
Join Zoom Meeting
Regular Dial-in: 1 (778) 907-2071
Meeting ID: 898 8642 3813
Passcode: 183635
Join Zoom Meeting
Regular Dial-in: 1 (778) 907-2071
Meeting ID: 853 9702 2080
Passcode: 828506
Join Zoom Meeting
Regular Dial-in: 1 (778) 907-2071
Meeting ID: 873 7518 5094
Passcode: 281391
Join Zoom Meeting
Regular Dial-in: 1 (778) 907-2071
Meeting ID: 859 7459 1819
Passcode: 250836
SUKKOT DAY 1 3 OCT.  10:00 AM-12:00 PM
Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 884 3064 7767
Passcode: 340661
Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 828 8046 2001
Passcode: 820919

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 oldcem@pacificcoast.net. 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.

2020 Apples & Honey Notice

Order Deadline:  Tuesday,  September 8, 2020

Rosh Hashanah is coming! Give apples and a honey cake to everyone on your Rosh Hashanah list and support programming for our Jewish youth. Honey Cakes are $18 each. All cakes are parve (dairy free), baked in Emanu-El’s kosher kitchen. A gift box with apples and a honey cake costs $18. (We will issue a tax receipt for $12 per box.)

Rosh Hashanah begins on Friday evening, September 18. To best comply with COVID-19 guidelines, we will arrange scheduled pickup after 3 pm on Sunday, September 13, 2020. You will have to let us know whether you plan to pick up your gift boxes and deliver them or whether we should call the recipients and arrange for them to pick up their gift box. Limited deliveries will be made for those who may be house bound. Call the office with address information for house bound recipients for whom you are unable to provide delivery.

If you plan to pay by credit card, you may do so through our secure ShulCloud website. Here is the link…

If you wish to pay by check or would rather email your gift list, you can download an order form here. This form becomes fillable after opened with Adobe Acrobat Reader. If you plan to email us the form, please do not complete the credit card information.

Breaking News!

The Canadian Museum for Human Rights in Winnipeg has formally accepted the donation of Mænni Ruben’s Teresienstadt 1945 Autograph Book which belonged to our beloved Susi Deston’s first husband Mænni Ruben z”l. The book will become part of their permanent collection. We are very pleased the book will stay in Canada and at a museum focused on human rights. For more information about the book… 

Remarkable beyond words

The launch of the Mænni Ruben (z’l) Autograph Book was an overwhelming event. This book captures the experience of the survivors of Theresienstadt camp while recounting the friendship, humour and desire to survive they shared. Thank you, Janna for making this project happen. Thank you, Susi (z”l) for your indomitable spirit and your endless valuing of  people. Todah rabah to everyone who made this happen! Everyone is welcome to see the exhibit, replica book and more on the website: https://terezinautographbook1945.ca

Special Outdoor Shabbat Morning Service: Parashat Ki Tetze

Saturday, August 29, 2020 10:00 am in Government House Grounds—Unfortunately, due to COVID-19 restrictions our outdoor Shabbat service at Government House on August 29, 2020 is cancelled. We will be together on Shabbat Ki Tetze via Zoom.  Thank you for all of your understanding.

Theresienstadt 1945 Autograph Book Exhibit Launch

MRT Autograph BookAugust 20 at 11 am PDT, live-stream exhibit & website launch—Please join the Victoria SHOAH Project as we launch a special exhibit of the Autograph Book given by Susi Deston (z’l) to Rabbi Harry. You are invited to tune in on Thursday, August 20 at 11 am PDT.

The book belonged to Susi’s first husband, Mænni Ruben (z’l), a violinist from Copenhagen, who was taken as a young man with his family in 1943 to the ghetto/camp Theresienstadt near Prague.

Beginning in April 1945 as the war was ending, the autograph book contains optimistic and hopeful greetings, pieces of music and beautiful illustrations. Music flourished in the camp during the war. A remarkable piece of history, the book is in the final stages of being donated to the Canadian Museum for Human Rights in Winnipeg.

To join on line…CLICK HERE

To dial in: 1 (778) 907 2071
(For non BC residents: Find your local number here… )
Meeting ID: 848 1978 3591
Passcode: 055337

After the launch you can see the exhibit, replica book and more on the website:

Janna Ginsberg Bleviss, Writer and project coordinator
Richard Kool, Launch producer and website development
Micha Menczer, Victoria Shoah Project

Qi gong plus kabbalah of the body

qi-gong-1282017_1920 1000Come join Rabbi Matt as he leads us in this calming and centering movement form. Qi gong (pronounced “chee gong”) is an ancient Chinese meditative martial art that is often likened to yoga for its physical, spiritual and emotional benefits. The next qi gong sessions will be on Thursdays, at 10 am. After 30 minutes of movement, those who wish to stay are invited for a discussion-based class on kabbalistic teachings about the spirit-mind-body connection. Come for one or for both!
Location: We’re looking for the best outdoor spot for qi gong and the location may change in the first few weeks. Email info@congregationemanuel.ca if you’re interested and you will be given location info and be updated if it changes.