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…

Delicious Seder Meals Available!

Order Deadline: Monday March 22, 2021If you can’t or don’t want to cook, and you need a Seder Meal and a Seder Plate, we can provide delicious Kosher for Passover (dairy) meals, catered by Rani Earnhart.

For those who can afford it, the suggested donation is $25 per person. If this is too much, please contact the office and we’ll be happy to provide this delicious meal free of charge or on a sliding scale.

Also available: The six ritual foods for the seder plate are available without cost to anyone in the community who needs them. 

Seder Meal

  • One Seder Plate with the ritual foods for Pesaḥ
  • Matzah Ball Soup (Vegetarian)
  • Gefilte Fish
  • Vegetarian Matzah Lasagna
  • Side Veggies
  • Salad
  • Cake for Dessert (Kosher for Pesaḥ, contains almonds)

Notes: (i) Meal does not include matzah or grape juice/wine (available through the Pesaḥ Market (ii) meal will need to be re-heated—will require transfer from delivery container to suitable vessel.


  • Order Deadline: Monday March 22, 2021
  • Please place your orders with the office: (250) 382-0615 or info@congregationemanuel.ca
  • How many meals? (each order will include only one Seder plate)
  • Payment details: We can call you back if you need to give credit card information, please don’t email or leave sensitive information on the voicemail.
  • Please confirm that you can pick-up your order (see below)
  • If you need delivery, let us know.
  • Do you just want a Seder Plate (ritual foods only)? Please order this through the office by the 22 March deadline.  There is no charge for this. Please consider a donation to support Outreach.

At the shul: Thursday, March 25 (9:30-5:30) and Friday, March 26 (9:30-12:00 noon)
If you are able to pick up your own meal, please do so during these times.
If you are not able to pick-up your meal, please let the office know when ordering and members of our Outreach team will deliver.
If you would like to be a volunteer driver, please let the office know.

Pesaḥ Market is open for business!

Pesaḥ products are arriving and we are excited to be able to offer you a wide range of Kasher LePesaḥ items to help you celebrate our forefathers’ (and foremothers’) historic delivery from slavery in Egypt and, just as importantly, the upcoming escape from COVID! It is going to be a special Pesaḥ, and we have lots of treats to make it even more special!

You will be surprised to see a wide variety of chocolates and macaroons which we have never had before. We have Yehuda Gluten-Free Matzah which organizer Leah Levi is told is the best Gluten-Free Matzah on the market! Streits, Yehuda, and Kedem products have taken the place of Manischewitz. We have Israeli spices, Bamba, Bissli, sparkling grape juice, spelt matzah ball mix, and most of the usual items.

We will not have personal shopping at the Pesaḥ Market this year instead, you will submit an order, and either schedule a pick-up or have it delivered. CLICK HERE for the fillable PDF order form which you must download (to Adobe reader), complete on your computer screen, save including your last name, and return to Leah Levi as an attachment to an email. Dates to note:

March 14 – Deadline for submitting the order to leah.levi@gmail.com or calling her at 250-370-1246 to place an order.

March 21 – 22 – Orders will be picked up at the shul or delivered. You will indicate on the order form which you prefer. We will be in touch with pick up or delivery times.

Payment – By cheque made out to Congregation Emanu-El or by e-transfer to bookkeeper@congregationemanuel.ca.

Orders will be filled in the same order as they are received. We might have to use discretion as to how many of one item we can sell to one household.

Coles Notes for the order form: We have two new sections:

  • “If we get it, do you want it?” – products which we might be able to get – please indicate if you are interested in the product. This will help us know how much to secure, if we can.
  • “Last Years’ Products” – at a cheaper price.

Simcha Gift Shop has some Pesaḥ supplies, such a Haggadot and Seder Plates. You can see what they have and order by going to this link: https://sites.google.com/view/simchagiftshop/shop?authuser=0

Thank you so much for supporting education programs at Congregation Emanu-El.

Leah Levi,


Congregation Emanu-El will have a Pesaḥ Market!

With Purim upon us, it must be time to speak about Pesaḥ! The annual Pesaḥ Market at Congregation Emanu-El will happen. We will have our usual products: matzah & matzah products, (including gluten free), jarred & frozen gefilte fish, jams, grape juice, lots of sweets and blintzes, candles, and some Israeli products such as olives, pickles, spices, bamba and bissli.
The “how” of our Pesaḥ Market will be a lot like last year: you will complete an order form and your completed order will either be delivered or you will pick it up at the shul at a designated time. We expect the orders to be ready for distribution about a week before Pesaḥ begins.
Keep your eye on this space next week for the order form and further plans. We are very excited to be bringing Pesaḥ to your homes despite the uncharted waters we are still living in.
Please call Leah Levi at (250) 370-1246, if you have any questions. Thank you for supporting Jewish education at Congregation Emanu-El.

CNOY! Avodah did it!

I am elated to let you know that our Avodah team raised $6942 for this year’s Coldest Night of the Year (CNOY) campaign (more than double what we raised last year) and the third highest amount raised by the 58 Victoria teams. This impressive result is due to the outstanding enthusiasm exhibited by the team members every step of the way and the wonderful generosity of our 124 sponsors!  It was most gratifying to see the heartfelt, generous support of our congregation and community for Our Place, our neighbours down the street. And, as heartening as it was to see the money raised, equally gratifying was the joyful time we had doing this together. 

Here are some photos showing members of our Avodah team on our COVID-19 compliant, Coldest Night of the Year walk on February 20, 2021 in aid of Our Place, the  place of “hope and belonging” for so many in need in our city. Because of COVID-19, our team members couldn’t all walk together this year  but we were very much together in spirit!
With sincere thanks to those who contributed to making this important social action such a success and wonderful experience.
Penny Tennenhouse
Avodah CNOY Team Leader

Tu Bishvat at House of Commons

Everyday when the House of Commons is sitting, there is 15-minute period when any member who is not a minister is permitted to address the House for up to one minute on virtually any matter of local, provincial, national or international concern. On January 28, 2021, Victoria MP Laurel Collins delivered a statement marking the occurrence of Tu Bishvat. To view her presentation… 

Finding Joy in an Upside Down World

Deadline Shpiel submissions, Friday, February 12, 2021, Megillah reading, Thursday, February 25, 2021, 7 pm—Let’s take a deep dive into the Purim pool for some frolic and fun. Although this year we will be celebrating Purim a little differently, we can still take time during the lead-up to this joyous holiday to find the humour in the meshugas, the absurdity and uncertainty of our daily lives.

In the weeks before Purim, we invite you to create a video Purim-Shpiel—a short skit or parody (aim for 2 min) about the ups and downs you experience in family or with friends. Design a piece of self-mockery, kvell about a new skill you have learned or are learning during lockdown, or just share in your own creative way something that helps to highlight the levity and joy of Purim. Please send your Purim-Shpiels by Friday, February 12, 2021. Contact Susan at sholtz@congregationemanuel.ca for instructions on how to upload your submission.

Please join Congregation Emanu-El on Thursday, February 25, 2021, at 7 pm for a night of animated and joyous Megillah reading and the opportunity to swap the medical masks for some real masquerading and colourful costumes.  We’ll share some of your Purim-Shpiels throughout the evening. Let your wild and crazy side emerge. Feel free to dine on delicious appies, hamantaschen, or other food and drink, with your family (or social bubble).

This year, let’s reclaim and celebrate joy in a world turned upside down.
All are welcome.

  • Join online: CLICK HERE
  • Regular Dial-in: Call: 1 778 907 2071
  • Meeting ID: 814 8217 3114
  • Password: 161772