Congregation Emanu-El Online: Fall 2020

Here’s a rundown of the Fall 2020 online programs hosted by Congregation Emanu-El.

Shabbat Service

(Saturdays, 10 – 11:30 am)

  • Join online: CLICK HERE…
  • Regular Dial-in: Call: 1 778 907 2071
  • Meeting ID: 824 1330 9293
  • Password: 929054

Morning Minyan service

(Thursdays, 7 am)

  • Join online: CLICK HERE…
  • Regular Dial-in: Call: 1 778 907 2071
  • Meeting ID: 846 0853 1602
  • Password:  982524

Brown Bag Beit Midrash

(Tuesdays, 12:30 – 1:30 pm)

Join Rabbi Harry for a lunch hour opportunity to delve into the world of Talmudic sages and explore foundational Jewish text in a supportive, intellectually honest and spiritual environment.

In our upcoming session, we will study the Sefer HaAggadah, aka the Book of Legends—a compilation of tales/lore assembled and edited by Hayim Nahman Bialik and Yehoshua Hana Rawnitzki in the early 20th century. It is a collection of rabbinic teachings and stories that fall into the category of “aggadot“, tales, legends and stories that are like spiritual rebar. They serve to strengthen our attachment and love of Judaism and Divine Source.

  • Join online: CLICK HERE
  • Regular Dial-in: Call: 1 778 907 2071
  • Meeting ID: 849 4761 5582

Mystic Moka

(Friday, 12:30 – 1:30 pm)

Grab your favorite mug and fill it with your favorite caffeinated beverage and join Rabbi Harry Brechner and an eclectic crew of seekers and learners as they delve into Kabbalistic and Ḥasidic texts in a quest for insight and understanding into self and our relationship with Divine Source.

  • Join online: CLICK HERE…
  • Regular Dial-in: Call: 1 778 907 2071
  • Meeting ID: 826 5893 2465

Other Adult Education programs

The following Adult Education Programs have moved online:

  • Shiur Tanakh (Tuesdays, 7 – 8:30 pm)
  • Ḥug Ivrit (Wednesdays, 7 – 8:30 pm)
  • Play Club (according to the schedule)
  • Calling all artists (for information)

For information about Shiur al haTanakh, contact the shul office:; about Ḥug Ivrit, contact Dahlia Beck; and about Play Club, contact Rachel Ditour.

An Honour for One of Our Own

Emanu-El member Mark Leiren-Young, has just earned top honours for his children’s book Orcas Everywhere: The Mystery and History of Killer Whales.  
He is the winner of the City of Victoria Children’s Book Prize, now in its 13th year.  Mark’s entry topped several well-known locals to take the $5,000 prize awarded during a virtual gala last Sunday evening.
Congratulations, Mark, from all of us!

Kristallnacht: Creativity Emerging from the Shards of Tragedy

Monday, November 9, 2020 beginning at 7 pmThe Victoria Shoah Project invites the public to the annual commemoration of Kristallnacht (Night of Broken Glass), the beginning of the tragic history of attacks on European Jews. This year we will live-stream the commemoration on Monday, November 9, 2020 on Zoom beginning at 7 pm. The title of the program is The Persistence of Creativity Emerging from the Shards of Tragedy.

Continue reading Kristallnacht: Creativity Emerging from the Shards of Tragedy

Safety information for participants at Emanu-El services & events

For all in person Emanu-El services and events


  • You must pre-register. Unless the program information states otherwise, preregister at
  • When you register, please provide name, phone number and email for each person you are registering. You will receive more information about our COVID-19 Safety Plan after you register.
  • Please, do not register if you don’t intend to come as we may have to turn people away.
  • Please, if you or anyone in your household is ill, stay home.
  • Please, if you are at higher risk for severe illness, seriously consider staying home.

Masks and/or face coverings:

  • You will have to wear a mask for the duration of the activity.
  • Bring your own mask and put it on before joining the activity.

Cleanliness and Physical Distancing:

  • When you arrive, you will have to sanitize or wash your hands.
  • To help everyone stay six feet apart you will have to follow instructions about where to go.

For Shabbat services in the Sanctuary

  • Doors will open at 9:45 AM and they will be closed at 10:15 AM. PLEASE NOTE: NO admittance will be possible after 10:15 AM.
  • Please bring your own tallit.
  • Please obey instructions about handling the shul’s books and obey arrows marked on the floor

High Holy Days 2020/5781 Service Schedule

The following table contains the schedule of services and candle lighting times along with the Zoom online link (CLICK on the service title), the dial up number for BC and the meeting ID and passcode.

Saturday, Sept. 12 Leil Sliḥot7:30 pm Sliḥot Service (on Zoom) “Human Flourishing – looking at blessings and choosing life during a pandemic”
Regular Dial-in: 1 (778) 907-2071
Meeting ID: 834 6005 2081
Passcode: 825182
Friday, Sept. 18 Erev Rosh Hashanah6:30 pm Candle lighting with simanim and song (on Zoom)
Regular Dial-in: 1 (778) 907-2071
Meeting ID: 818 9561 6837
Passcode: 612595
7:00 pm Light candles
Saturday, Sept. 19 Rosh Hashanah Day 110:00 am – 12:00 pm Traditional Service with a Twist (at synagogue and on Zoom)
Regular Dial-in: 1 (778) 907-2071
Meeting ID: 816 6787 0187
Passcode: 058730
11:00 am – 12:00 pm & 12:30 – 1:30 pm Family Encounter (at Saint Ann’s Academy)
2:00 – 3:30 pm Experiential Alternative Service (at Saint Ann’s Academy)
8:03 pm Light candles
Sunday, Sept. 20 Rosh Hashanah Day 210:00 am – 12:00 pm Traditional Service with a Twist (at synagogue and on Zoom)
Regular Dial-in: 1 (778) 907-2071
Meeting ID: 824 9478 2385
Passcode: 325484
2:00 pm Interactive Tashlikh service & shofar blowing (at Banfield Park & at Dallas and Cook)
3:30 pm Interactive Tashlikh service & shofar blowing (at Dallas and Cook)
8:01 pm Havdalah
Saturday, Sept. 26 Shabbat Shuvah10:00 am – 12:00 pm Shabbat Service (at synagogue and on Zoom) Parashat Ha’azinu Regular
Dial-in: 1 (778) 907-2071
Meeting ID: 898 8642 3813
Passcode: 183635
Sunday, Sept. 27 Erev Yom Kippur6:00 pm Kol Nidre Service (at synagogue & on Zoom)
Regular Dial-in: 1 (778) 907-2071
Meeting ID: 853 9702 2080
Passcode: 828506
6:41 pm Light candles
Monday, Sept. 28 Yom Kippur10:00 am – 1:00 pm Morning Service (at synagogue and on Zoom)
Regular Dial-in: 1 (778) 907-2071
Meeting ID: 873 7518 5094
Passcode: 281391
12:00 pm Yizkor (approximately)
6:30 – 7:30 pm Nei’lah (at the synagogue and on Zoom)
Regular Dial-in: 1 (778) 907-2071
Meeting ID: 859 7459 1819
Passcode: 250836
7:44 pm Fast ends
Friday, Oct. 2 Erev Sukkot6:31 pm Light candles
Saturday, Oct. 3 Sukkot Day 110:00 am – 12:00 pm Morning Service (at synagogue and on Zoom)
Regular Dial-in: 1 (778) 907-2071
Meeting ID: 884 3064 7767
Passcode: 340661
7:33 pm Light candles
Sunday, Oct. 4  Sukkot Day 210:00 am – 12:00 pm Morning Service (at synagogue only)
7:31 pm Havdalah
Friday Oct. 9 Hoshana RabbaNo Service
6:17 pm Light candles
Saturday, October 10 Shmini Atzeret  
Erev Simḥat Torah
10:00 – 12:00 pm Morning Service plus Yizkor (at synagogue and on Zoom  
Regular Dial-in: 1 (778) 907-2071
Meeting ID: 828 8046 2001
Passcode: 820919
Service details TBA
7:19 pm Light candles
Sunday, October 11 Simḥat TorahService details TBA
7:17 pm Havdalah

Simanim kits for Rosh Hashanah

In Talmud we learn about simanim—different foods that serve as portents for extra blessings at Rosh Hashanah. I do not understand the use of symbolic foods as a form of religious magic (theurgy) but I do see them as a way to spark dialogue and open our hearts towards blessings for the coming year. As part of Congregation Emanu-El’s, “Choose your own Rosh Hashanah spiritual adventure” we are offering congregants simanim kits. Each kit will have six different foods to add to your apples and honey and some instructions on how to create your own blessing.

Most of the traditional foods come from a play on words. For example, the word in Aramaic for pumpkin is kara which means read in Hebrew, so when we eat pumpkin we can bless that the reading of the next chapter in our lives be full of joy. Our synagogue caterer Rani Earnhardt will be preparing delicious and exotic symbolic foods for all congregants who are interested. Rabbi Harry and Rabbi Matt will share some blessings on the first night of Rosh Hashanah at a special candle lighting pre-meal Zoom encounter. Hopefully this exercise will get you in the right frame of mind to generate your own meaningful and creative blessings with your family. One way of understanding these symbolic foods is that they are road signs and indicators, that we are sending positive intentions even in the midst of a pandemic and that our paths forward are pathways of joy, peace and connectedness.

If you want your own simanim kit simply call the office at 250-382-0615 or email Zelda at and let us know how many people with whom you will be sharing the kit so we can make sure you have enough goodies. The kits will be available for pick up at the synagogue on Sunday, September 13 between 2 and 4 pm.

Human Flourishing: Our Leil Sliḥot program

Saturday, September 12, 2020 at 7:30 pm on Zoom…What does human flourishing look and feel like? We talk about plants flourishing and growing luxuriously but how can that translate into our lives. Sliḥot is a time when we put our prayer engines into gear and begin our new year’s prayers for forgiveness and renewal. The period directly before the Days of Awe is a time of contemplative soul accounting and personal reckoning.

This unique Leil Sliḥot program focuses on examples and visions of human flourishing and of living with goodness, generativity, resilience, spirituality and beauty as a means of envisioning our lives in order to make meaningful change.
This program brings together a unique panel of congregants who have found fascinating life niches in which to flourish and congregants who serve as healers who help to bring others to a place of health and flourishing. Keeping our intentions on hope, goodness and self realization and actualization feels vital during this difficult time of pandemic.

The program will conclude with a short traditional Sliḥot service to help us get our hearts directed towards High Holy Day prayer.

5781 USCJ Jewish Art Calendar

Congregation Emanu-El was chosen for inclusion in the 5781 Jewish art Calendar printed by the United Synagogue for Conservative Judaism (USCJ)! 
We were invited to submit a photo with a Torah theme and sent in Penny Tennenhouse’s beautiful photo of scribe/soferet Aviel Barclay in the sanctuary surrounded by a few congregants. The calendars are available now. You can order them by using this link.

Racism: Understanding the realities and what we can do!

What can we do 1.2Tuesday July 28, 2020 starting at 7 pm—Many people think racism is not a problem in multicultural Canada, but racism still exists everywhere in this country—including Victoria, BC. Following months of activism against systemic racism and police violence in the USA and Canada, join us on Tuesday, July 28, 2020 at 7 pm for a discussion on Zoom as we explore how our community can respond to this call to action and find our role in fighting racism locally and more broadly. We have a panel of academics, social activists and community leaders who will lead an exploration of racism in Canada, its local manifestations and how we can all better recognize our blind spots and work towards the kind of truth and reconciliation that awakens tikkun, cosmic repair. Continue reading Racism: Understanding the realities and what we can do!

Only 2 Days Left for our Caring and Sharing Auction

CEE Caring Sharing Auction logo 1.3Closes Sunday, July 19, 2020 at 6 pm—Our Caring and Sharing Auction is well underway!  It finishes on Sunday, July 19 at 6:00 pm. Some amazing offerings were put forward by your fellow congregants. We were able to secure additional offerings of the more popular items, and have added a few new items as well. Check out the auction catalogue  – just click on the link. It’s easy – follow the instructions and submit your bids. Continue reading Only 2 Days Left for our Caring and Sharing Auction