Update: Antiracism & Equity Working Group

The Anti-Racism and Equity Working Group met on July 9, 2021. The members are looking forward to taking part in the upcoming Union of Reform Judaism (URJ) online 4-part Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Community Training Series: How to create a DEI Working Group & Assess Our Community DEI Efforts. The sessions will be held from 5 to 6:30 pm PT on Wednesdays—July 28, August 4, 11, and 18, 2021. There is no cost.

We hope others will join in, and specifically, that we can bring together at Emanu-El as representative a group as possible with respect to race, ethnicity, sexuality, gender, age, ability, Jewish background, and more. Have any questions? Interested in joining us? Please email Ilana at vicepresident@congregationemanuel.ca.

Stay tuned for a special Emanu-El community facilitated workshop later this fall.

And there was music

 The Journeys in Jewish Music series produced by the Victoria Jewish Community Choir (VJCC) wrapped up on Sunday, June 20, 2021 with an engaging session on Klezmer music by Moshe Denburg. VJCC is grateful for the funding from the Jewish Federation of Victoria and Vancouver Island (JFVVI) which, along with the support of our community sponsor Congregation Emanu-El, the enthusiasm of the many who participated and those who made donations, made the program possible.

We are incredibly pleased to announce that JFVVI has granted us another generous allotment which makes it possible to continue the series in the Fall with an additional six Zoom presentations. We are now organizing this series and welcome any suggestions regarding content or knowledgeable presenters. The talks are scheduled for Monday evenings following the High Holydays, and dates and details will be released as available. If you registered for the previous series, you will automatically be notified and sent the links.

To register or send comments or suggestions please send a note to: jewishmusictalks@gmail.com.
The Victoria Jewish Community Choir is non-auditioned and welcomes all voices. The Choir will re-convene as soon as regulations permit. If you are interested in joining the choir, please contact co-director Carol Sokoloff at casjazz@islandnet.com.

Tish’ah Be’Av 2021

Tish’ah Be’Av Saturday night, July 17, 9:00 pm on Zoom—the ninth day of the month of Av—marks moments of deep tragedy and destruction in Jewish history. It is the day when we commemorate the destruction of the first and second Temples in Jerusalem, the expulsion of Jews from Spain in 1492, and many other tragedies that have befallen our people.
 
There is a teaching in Talmud (Tractate Yoma) that the Second Temple was destroyed by sin’at ḥinam—baseless hatred. We are entering Tish’ah Be’Av this year at a time of war, a time of suffering and a time of anxiety. Join with your congregation in commemorating Tish’ah Be’Av in a spirit of ḥesed ḥinam—free flowing love.
 
Tish’ah Be’Av begins on Saturday night, July 17, 2021. We will hold evening services including the chanting of Eikhah (Lamentations) followed by the recitation of traditional liturgical poems of yearning for a Jerusalem rebuilt. Services will start at 9:00 pm.
 Join Online: CLICK HERE…
To dial in: 1 778 907 2071
Meeting ID: 874 2587 9161
Password: 059827
 
May this season of escalating tensions and violence soon end. “May we see the day when war and bloodshed cease, when a great peace will embrace the whole world” (Lev Shalom p. 178) May our prayers and commitment to ḥesed ḥinam lead us towards that day.

Update: Antiracism & Equity Working Group

We began our third meeting by recognizing the profound grief, loss and reckoning following the murder of a Muslim family in London, Ontario, and the disturbing discovery of 215 children’s bodies at the site of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School. We also discussed what the calls from Indigenous communities and leaders for responsibility and accountability mean for our work. Please see the links below: for a letter from Tk̓emlúps te Secwépemc on how to support that First Nations Government, interviews with Indigenous leaders, and the Indigenous organizations accepting contributions.

We attended the Union for Reform Judaism’s fantastic three-part REDI (Racial Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion) series covering how to intentionally build Jewish communities of belonging, to deepen understanding of identities, biases, and much more. We are happy to share the wonderful resources we received, so please reach out if interested! 

We will attend their next 4-part Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Community Training Series: How to create a DEI Working Group & Assess Our Community DEI Efforts on July 28, August 4, 11, and 18, 2021. We welcome anyone interested to sign up and join us! You can register and see the training series description here: https://urj.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZctf-qoqDMsGNBo6nwqk8khKQPpBnprjtU9

Stay tuned for the first community event that we are planning for October, after the High Holy Days.

The group’s fourth meeting will be on Thursday July 8, 2021 from 6:30 – 8 pm. Please contact the office for more information and the meeting Zoom link.

Links:
 
How to support Tḱemlúps te Secwepemchttps://tkemlups.ca/wp-content/uploads/How-to-Support-TteS-June-3-2021-v2.pdf
 
Two excellent interviews on CBC’s The Current with Indigenous leaders Dr. Cindy Blackstock, Executive Director at the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society, and Murray Sinclair, former Canadian Senator and former Chair of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
https://www.cbc.ca/listen/live-radio/1-63-the-current/clip/15846185-calls-accountability-remains-215-children-found-former-kamloops
https://www.cbc.ca/listen/live-radio/1-63-the-current/clip/15847022-murray-sinclair-deaths-children-residential-schools-helping-survivors
 
Indigenous organizations accepting contributions

Return to In-Person Worship Services

Saturday, June 19, 2021 at 10 amIt’s not a dream nor is it a fantasy!
Dr. Bonnie Henry’s announcement on May 25, 2021, signalled the possibility of a return to “in-person” worship services in British Columbia. Our plan is to start small, and to build slowly and safely. During the past year, we have missed seeing you “in-person” and davening together in our beloved sanctuary.

We are pleased to announce that we will hold our initial post-lockdown sanctuary Shabbat service on Saturday, June 19, 2021, at 10 am. As this is the first step in BC’s staged re-opening process, we can only accommodate 35 people. Preregistration is required, along with adherence to all health and safety protocols.

If you would like to attend, please REGISTER by emailing info@congregationemanuel.ca before Friday, June 18, 2021, at 3:30 pm.
The service will be broadcast on Zoom.

Rabbi Harry and Aaron Severs

Notes from your Newsletter Editor

# 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.

#3 To help those who have forgotten, and those who may never have known, how to submit an item to the newsletter, here’s a link to this information.

#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.

Temporary newsletter publisher/editor needed

Congregation Emanu-El is looking for a temporary newsletter publisher/editor. Our editor is taking a much-needed hiatus to work on our synagogue information management system. If you have time and some experience with MailChimp, or desktop publishing skills, please contact the synagogue office at 250-382-0615 or info@congregationemanuel.ca. This is a three-month position, and there is an honorarium attached to this essential role.

Stories of the Holocaust: Local Memory and Transmission

Thursday, April 15, 2021 at 7 pm—Please join us on Thursday, April 15, 2021 at 7 pm for the online launch of a newly created digital exhibit featuring ten stories told by local community members whose families were devastated by the Holocaust.

Students in the Holocaust and Memory Studies course offered by the UVic Department of Germanic and Slavic Studies worked one-on-one with community members from Victoria, Vancouver, and Salt Spring Island to prepare these unique stories of the Holocaust for presentation. The exhibit centers not only on the actual stories themselves, but also on notions of relationship building, storytelling and transmission, as well as memory work, inter-generational trauma, and active remembering.
 

To register for the event, visit http://bit.ly/uvicmemory
If you have any questions, please contact Dr. Helga Thorson at helgat@uvic.ca.


The Israeli-Palestinian Joint Memorial Day Ceremony

April 13, 2021 at 10:30 am PT—Join hundreds of thousands of people from around the world in what is being called the biggest Israeli-Palestinian peace event in history. On April 13, 2021 at 10:30 am PT, we will gather to call for peace, freedom, and human rights for all. The Joint Israeli-Palestinian Memorial Day Ceremony is hosted by Combatants for Peace and The Parents Circle–Families Forum.

Register today: www.afcfp.org/memorial

Yom Hazikaron, Israel’s Memorial Day, is a solemn day on which Israelis remember those they have lost in the years of war and conflict. Traditionally, the Palestinian narrative is erased, leading both sides into deeper despair. By acknowledging the pain of those living on the other side, the Ceremony offers us all the choice to walk a new path: the path of respect, equality, freedom – and ultimately peace. In this time of immense anxiety and separation, the upcoming Joint Memorial Day Ceremony offers hope for a better future.

Rabbi Harry invites you to join him AFTER the ceremony to share and process the experience.  

To Join Rabbi Harry online after the ceremony: CLICK HERE
Regular Dial-in: Call: 1 778 907 2071
Meeting ID: 870 2802 1233
Passcode: 443148

Congregation Emanu-El: Hebrew School Director

Congregation Emanu-El is a warm and welcoming progressive conservative synagogue located in downtown Victoria, on beautiful Vancouver Island.

This is a part time position (approx. 20 h/week). The Hebrew School Director models Congregation Emanu-El values, and maintains a supportive intellectual and emotional climate for all our families and youth. As the most prominent representative of our growing Hebrew School, the Director—in conjunction with the Rabbi—is the chief articulator of our educational mission and goals, our academic philosophy and program, and our willingness to engage the congregation and community at large.

Recognizing that education and engagement happen across and throughout the Jewish calendar and lifecycle, the Director will also envision and facilitate the Bnei Mitzvah program, and—ideally—a semi-regular baby/tot group, and teen youth programming. Finally, in conjunction with the Rabbi, the Hebrew School Director will offer High Holiday and semi-regular Kabbalat Shabbat family programs.

Job Overview
• Establish and maintain a Jewish learning culture that is progressive, innovative, and relevant for our youth and families.
• Engage prospective and new members.
• Keep informed about the latest educational theories, methods, and technology in order to establish and maintain standards based on the best educational practices.
• Provide a leadership role in designing and implementing new educational curricula and programs, with a particular focus on Hebrew School and the Bnei Mitzvah program

For the full job description…