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… 

SUSI’S GIFT: Theresienstadt Autograph Book

Theresienstadt Autograph Book

The Theresienstadt Autograph Book, belonging to Susi Deston’s first husband, Mænni Ruben, is being donated to the Canadian Museum for Human Rights in Winnipeg for their Holocaust gallery. The book is in remarkable condition for being 75 years old! Continue reading SUSI’S GIFT: Theresienstadt Autograph Book

VIJFF Retro Drive-In Theatre tickets on sale now

VIJFF 1000August 23 – 25, 2020, Legacy Drive-In Parking Lot 10 University of Victoria—Announcing the 6th annual Victoria International Jewish Film Festival (VIJFF), this year with two ways to see the best new Jewish films: a Retro Drive-In Theatre August 23 – 25, 2020 at the Legacy Drive-In, Parking Lot 10, University of Victoria and streaming films in the fall (schedule TBA). There will be something for everyone.

Tickets for the Retro Drive-In Festival are on sale now. Space is limited to 50 vehicles per screening, so don’t delay in securing your spot. The drive-in tickets are $36 per vehicle, and you can bring as many people that will legally fit into your car for the price of a single ticket. Even better, the ticket price also includes a Nosh Box full of treats (feeds 2). The drive-in film schedule, film trailers, film descriptions and drive-in FAQ are on the website now.

For more information on the festival or on how to become a festival supporter (charitable contribution means a great deal to us because ticket sales and grants provide only part of our budget) visit vijff.ca or contact Deborah at coordinator@vijff.ca.

Bēma presents: Peace Talks (Online)

Peace Talks graphic for NL 1000Can someone’s mind be opened in an hour? An American college student is stranded in a hookah bar in Israel—a country he’s been taught to despise. He collides with a sharp-witted Israeli, and as they clash he discovers some harsh realities of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict and that it is a world which isn’t as clear cut as he thought. How can you make winning moves in a game where there are no rules? Continue reading Bēma presents: Peace Talks (Online)

GVAT on prevention of youth homelessness

GVAT revisedGVAT (Greater Victoria Acting Together) is an alliance of unions, congregations, environmental, education, local business, and frontline service organizations, working together for the common good in Greater Victoria and British Columbia. Congregation Emanu-El is a GVAT founding member. We have congregants who participate in Action Research Teams that are currently working on three issues: 1. Housing for all, 2. Mental Health and Addictions care, and 3. Climate Action.
Greatly concerned about youth homelessness during these COVID-19 times, GVAT wrote to the provincial government ministers in charge of this issue on July 24, 2020. Here is a link to this letter…

We Did It!

Caring & Sharing We did it 1000Our on-line auction was both fun and successful. Corrine and Zelda are still working hard to tally the final numbers – initial calculations are that we raised just under $10,000.
The success of our Caring and Sharing Auction is a tribute to our members’ support for Congregation Emanu-el.  A big vote of thanks to those who generously contributed items and to those who bid!
Jean Dragushan
Fundraising Chair

Shabbat Service in the Sanctuary

PHOTOsanctuarysocial distancing 1000If you are longing for a return to our beautiful sanctuary for a soulful Shabbat service this is your opportunity. Our COVID-19 response team has determined that we can return to services. Susan Holtz has been working tirelessly on the details required for us to return safely. Please keep in mind that in order to reduce risk and maintain safety, things will need to be different. We will do our utmost to craft an experience that holds the essence of our prayer service. We are super excited to host our congregation back in our spiritual home.

YOU MUST PRE-REGISTER. Continue reading Shabbat Service in the Sanctuary

Emanu-El Picnic Wrap-Up

IMG_8298 1000A group of nearly 50 congregants gathered on Ingrid Friesen’s beautiful Saanich farm on Sunday, July 12, 2020 for a picnic and a  wonderful face-to-face encounter. We enjoyed delicious central American food provided by Congregation Emanu-El’s own Benjamin de la Vega and family through his catering company, Pinto Xpress. While ensuring that social distancing was maintained we particpated in some very fun Latin dance lessons from Benjamin and his daughter Ariel! We all enjoyed getting to see each other in person. Our membership committee hopes to hold other similar events in the future! (For photos by Frances Rosenberg…)


Emanu-El Caring and Sharing Fundraising Auction

CEE Caring Sharing Auction logo 1.3COVID-19 has brought many changes. We are all relying more on family, friends and neighbours to help, inspire or entertain us. Could you offer something to fellow congregants during this COVID-19 crisis? What if you could help the synagogue at the same time? Continue reading Emanu-El Caring and Sharing Fundraising Auction

Special Outdoor Shabbat Service at Government House

Elisheva reads prayers 1000On June 27, 2020, Congregation Emanu-El went where it had never before ventured. The red letter day marked our first live outdoor COVID-19 restart Shabbat service on the grounds of Government House. The orchard was a perfect setting, the weather was kind and it was so uplifting to see many of our friends praying together again. About 50 eager people were present. The two-hour service had all the ingredients of a typical Saturday event, with our davening pesukei through musaf. Torah and haftarah were chanted, and a simple yet heartfelt ceremony to welcome Rabbi Matt, Melina, Orion and Sephira to our community was conducted.  The high point seemed to be the joy, smiles and virtual hugs that occupied this sacred space.

Todah rabah goes out to Rabbi Harry and RaeAnn for their leadership here. A big shout out is sent to all the volunteers who assisted in organizing the special day, and, of course, to the kehillah members who attended and helped to make this event a success.
Religious Services Committee