Want to go beyond talking about social justice?

Tuesday, November 17, 2020 from 7 – 8:30 pm on ZoomGreater Victoria Acting Together (GVAT) Core Teams Workshop on Tuesday, November 17, 2020 from 7 – 8:30 pm on Zoom provides its member organizations with an opportunity to learn how to build support for GVAT purposes and activities from its members and to help them make the world a better place.

Congregation Emanu-El is a founding GVAT member. This workshop is an opportunity for Congregation Emanu-El members to explore whether participating in GVAT projects offers them a suitable opportunity to pursue social justice.

If you wonder about GVAT and whether it is a right fit for you, please see the GVAT orientation document…
If you wonder about GVAT Core Teams see here…

For information about the workshop and how to register, head over to gvat.ca/get-involved or to register directly head here. I

Kristallnacht: Commemoration in times of COVID-19

Congregation Emanu-El was host to a very different, and beautifully presented Kristallnacht program last Monday, November 9, 2020. Restricted by COVID-19 public health orders from gathering, the Victoria Shoah Project produced a commemorative video and showed it via Zoom. Instead of pronouncing The Pledge of Mutual Respect and Support collectively from the bimah, the leaders pledged individually while holding a placard highlighting their commitment. Kristin Semmens  and Susanne Snizek spoke of the persistence of the creative process among Jews during the Third Reich. Misha Menczer and Elisheva Gray led the recitation of the Kaddish of the Camps. Jeanne Lamon and Christina Mahler performed a number of soulful musical works. The program was recorded, and will be available online. Heartfelt thanks to all those who contributed to this beautiful program.  

Kafka, Nachman, Kabbalah and Neuroses

Sunday, November 15, 2020 at 7 pm—Congregation Emanu-El Adult Education Team invites you to the first of our 2020/21 “one-off sessions” on Sunday, November 15, 2020 at 7 pm featuring a discussion of Kafka, Nachman, Kabbalah and Neuroses by Lee Henderson, an Associate Professor of Writing at the University of Victoria. Lee will discuss Franz Kafka, his writing, his life, and the influence of Jewish mysticism and kabbalah on his themes and style, and in particular, Kafka’s familiarity with the great Hasidic storyteller from a century earlier, Rabbi Nachman.

Continue reading Kafka, Nachman, Kabbalah and Neuroses

What if we took better care of each other?

Congregation Emanu-El (CEE) members were graced with an enthusiastic Greater Victoria Acting Together (GVAT) panel that included Rabbi Harry, CEE congregants Robert Oppenheimer and Ruth Shreier (shown above) and GVAT Lead Organizer Chet Phillips. The panelists briefed us on GVAT’s past and present; they invited us to consider what a world where we took better care of each other might look like. They were passionate; they promised to provide us with ways to individually and collectively explore how Congregation Emanu-El might connect with their vision and help make things happen. They made it clear that they had given up “begging bowls” and planned to be more than “latté liberals”. Their policy development is oriented toward action. GVAT wants to collaborate more actively with Emanu-El and will take steps to make this happen. Our President, Sam Godfrey and many of our Board members attended this inspiring panel. Stay tuned! (For a few more pictures…)

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