Simcha Gift Shop Opens for Ḥanukkah Shopping

Simchat Gift ShopCome in and check out:

  • Our new shipment of Menorahs
  • Our selection of candles and dreidels
  • Beautiful pieces of jewelry
  • Gifts of Judaica

Simcha Gift Shop will be open on Sunday, Nov. 25 and Sunday, Dec. 3 from 1 to 2 pm.
Simcha is also open during office hours:
Tuesday – Thursday 9:30 am – 2:30 pm
Or by arrangement:


Calling All Artists Returns!

Calling All Artists 2019-001Wednesday, November 14 at 7:00 pm — Now in its thirteenth year, Calling All Artists invites artists from all media – including visual, textile, graphic artists, poets, musicians, photographers, sculptors and ceramicists—to join Rabbi Harry for monthly study sessions on a topic connected to biblical, rabbinical, Talmudic, folk tradition, and a wide range of other sources. “Art is a form of Midrash”, Rabbi Harry states. The artists interpret and deepen their spiritual knowledge through their art. A Gala celebration is held, usually in June, to show the work done over the months in study.

We begin on Wednesday, November 14 at 7:00 pm in the sanctuary, and continue once a month. Payment is $85 for non-members, $60 for members. Send payment to the synagogue office or bring a cheque payable to Congregation Emanu-El to the first meeting on November 14. Can’t wait to see all of you here, ready to plunge into new and wonderful learning and art! For further information, contact Barbara Pelman at

Do you have a treasure to lend to the new exhibit?

Treasures 11022018In late November, a new exhibit showcasing the hamsah and the kippah will open in the Fisher Social Hall. Both contemporary and historical ones as well as other Judaica will be displayed. Do you have a treasure to lend for the exhibit?

We are looking for beautiful pieces of interesting material and designs, perhaps from a special occasion or collected from far away. Please send a photograph and description to Jackie Saunders-Ritchie at by November 5 and we’ll get back to you. Thanks, Jackie Saunders-Ritchie and Janna Ginsberg Bleviss.

Not-Your-Usual Book Club


Wednesday, November 7, at 7 pm — Book lovers come together to explore Jewish themes within a variety of settings—from Canada to Europe to Israel. Meeting monthly, we’ll delve into the complexities of Jewish life, and how they reflect on our times, our lives, and our future. The initial selection is Visitation, by the German author Jenny Erpenbeck. Visitation is a meditation on the fate of a tract of land outside Berlin and that of its diverse inhabitants, mostly during the 20th century. Continue reading Not-Your-Usual Book Club

Book Launch: City in Colour

Wong in color.pngTuesday, November 7, 2018 – 7 to 9 pm at 1644 Hillside Avenue — Join Bolen Books in celebrating the release of May Q. Wong’s new book, City in Colour, a collection of rediscovered stories of Victoria’s pioneers, trailblazers, and community builders who were a people of diverse colour. It includes a story about Congregation Emanu-El, Judge Samuel D. Schultz, and Amelia Copperman. Meet the author, join in on a discussion about the unsung individuals of the city’s history, and pick up a signed copy of the book.

Often described as “more English than the English,” the city of Victoria has a much more ethnically diverse background than historical record and current literature reveal. Significant contributions were made by many people of colour with fascinating stories, including:

  • the Kanaka, or Hawaiian Islanders, who constructed Fort Victoria, and members of the Kanaka community such as Maria Mahoi and William Naukana
  • three Metis matriarchs—Amelia Connolly Douglas, Josette Legacé Work, and Isabelle M. Mainville Ross
  • the Victoria Voltigeurs, the earliest police presence in the Colony of Vancouver Island, and who were primarily men of colour
  • Grafton Tyler Brown, now known in the United States as one of the first and best African American artists of the American West
  • Manzo Nagano, Canada’s first recorded immigrant from Japan
  • and many more

With information about various cultural communities in early Victoria and significant dates, May Wong’s City in Colour is a collection of fascinating stories of unsung characters whose stories are at the heart of Victoria’s history.

Eco-Veggie Potluck & Musical Kabbalat Shabbat

Kabbalat Shabbat PGFriday, October 19, 5:45 pm Doors Open, 6:00pm – Shabbat Dinner, 7:00pm – Kabbalat Shabbat Service — 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. The dinners are a great way to get to know each other and all are welcome. Services begin promptly at 7:00 pm following dinner – it’s OK to come just for services if you can’t make it to the dinner. Services conclude at 8:00 pm with a tasty oneg dessert.

Please RSVP for the dinner at

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 conclude at 8:00 pm with a tasty oneg dessert. Fun and meaningful for both kids and adults, we hope you will join us for this wonderful inter-generational event.

Help the Homeless! Donate goods and/or funds!

Project Connect 1.2

On Tuesday, October 9, 2018 at Central Baptist Church, 833 Pandora Avenue, the Downtown Service Providers, as part of Homeless Action Week, will host PROJECT CONNECT, a one-day service fair that assists those struggling with homelessness and poverty, and includes foot-care, professional photographs, haircuts, information booths, and a lunch. We will serve anywhere from 500-700 people.

Project Connect needs goods and funds. Please help!

Project Connect welcomes the following goods:
Socks, underwear, scarves, toques, rain jackets, backpacks, bus tickets, notebooks and paper, Tim Horton’s gift cards, bandaids, Polysporin, razors, handheld USB chargers.

Project Connect welcomes financial donations which will be spent for the day by purchasing the listed  items or for the lunch. All cheques should be made out to The Our Place Society with “Project Connect” in the memo line.

Donation Drop Off Times at Anawim House at 973 Caledonia Avenue:
• Friday, October 5, 9:30 am -7:00 pm
• Saturday, October 6, 9:30 am -2:30 pm

If you wish to volunteer, please contact Michelle Later at Cool Aid at: