[Correction] Help! We Need a New portable roll-down Screen

As you are no doubt aware, the shul has a portable roll-down screen that is used quite a bit for Adult Ed talks and other events to show slides, DVDs, etc. The one we have now is on its last legs, and since budgets are tight, we are polling the community to see if anyone out there has a screen they no longer use. It should be in very good condition so it can stand up to lots of use.
If you have one or have any ideas about getting one cheap, please contact the office or Heshi Olson. Thanks!

Poetry: A Meditative Practice

Poetry is everywhere, and is for everyone.

Poetry is everywhere, and is for everyone. Barbara Pelman, teacher and writer, and recent co-teacher of the Hebrew Poetry course, will lead these Sunday afternoon classes which will explore the power of writing as a personal kind of meditation. Learning to pay attention to rhythm, imagery, sound—the magic of language itself, is a way to enter into a deep connection with self as well as the world around us. “Poetry is as essential as bread. Cseslaw Milosz states. “When the physical needs of the body have been satisfied, we begin to look around us to discover meaning, to satisfy the spirit’s hunger.” 

Participants in the workshop will begin to satisfy the spirit’s hunger: by exploring the stories and metaphors of our lives and our connections to the self and others through poetry.  Often, it is an oblique approach to writing that works best—a  random word or line opens the subconscious, the place where the poem resides.  We will develop techniques to write free verse as well as some form poems. Each session will be different, concentrating at times on metaphor, at other times on sound and rhythm, or the way an image can define an inner reality.

 These monthly workshops begin on April 6, and continue on May 4, June 1, July 15, and August 3,  1–4:00 pm. They consist of reading and sharing poems, and a lot—a lot!—of writing. Bring pens and paper, preferably a notebook of some kind. I’ll provide tea and coffee and snacks. The workshop will take place at my home, which has comfortable room for up to 10 people. The cost is $60.00. Contact Barbara at or tel. 250-480-1081.

Tallit Making Workshop


Come and make a tallit for yourself or a loved one, or consider making another one for yourself. No sewing skills are required. There are people who will sew for you. We will meet 3 times: once in March and twice in April:

  • 1st Meeting is on Tuesday, March 11 at 7:30 pm, 1135 McClure Street. You don’t need to bring anything to this 1st. meeting.
  • 2nd Meeting is on Tuesday April 1st
  • 3rd meeting to be announced.

Call Charlotte Sutker at 250-361-1698 to let her know you are coming. Cost: $18.00 plus cost of the materials that you will choose.

Pennies* for Poorim


Mitzvah of matanot l’evyonimon 

Your donation will further the work of Avodah to feed and house people in need.

*Actually, any change is welcome! We need change, takke!

Please bring change to the shul office (pishke on Zelda’s desk) or to the Penny Lane box at the Beatles on Blanshard Purim Party on March 15.

“Beatles on Blanshard” – March 15


  • What:  A Blow-out Beatles Themed Purim Party & Megillah Reading
  • Who: You, your friends and family
  • When:  Family Festivities and a children’s carnival and puppet show begin at 7pm Saturday March 15.  Followed by havdallah. Megillah reading and a dance party.   Live klezmer music, a Beatles shtick contest, and great mixing and dance music with DJ Yid Yad.
  • Why: It’s Purim – Be Happy
  • Where: Your favourite synagogue at 1461 Blanshard Street

Families with kids should arrive at 7pm; those coming for Megillah should come at 8.

Come in costume!! Live music and shtick for Beatles on Blanshard post reading will turn it onto a ticking Sat night out!

The carnival will feature the following booths:

  • Face painting
  • Bowling
  • Bean Bag Toss
  • Fishing pool
  • Fortune Teller Booth
  • Cut-Out Character Races
  • Cookie decorating

Sefer Emanu-El—out now!


Sefer Emanu-El is an attractive 120-page, full-colour hardcover book describing the history of Victoria’s Jewish Community, our congregation and our beautiful historic building. It contains detailed information and photographs. Sefer Emanu-El celebrates our 150th anniversary in June 2013. It will be a treasured memento of this important event.

During its 150 years, Congregation Emanu-El has experienced ups and downs, and now has a bright future. Intrepid Jews first arrived in Victoria during the 1858 gold rush, quickly integrated into the city and its politics, and built an imposing 350-seat synagogue when the Congregation only had about fifty active members. This book describes the Congregation’s handsome Romanesque-style synagogue, its unique architectural features, its decline and eventual restoration. It also introduces basic Jewish concepts and traditions, Jewish recipes, and profiles some community members who have helped make it the dynamic, progressive, haimish (Yiddish, “warm and friendly”) congregation that it is today. Sefer Emanu-El is for anybody interested in Victoria’s history, its Jewish community, heritage restoration, or who simply enjoys a good story.

For more information, see the Sefer Emanu-El webpage

Copies can be bought directly from the Simcha Gift Shop during synagogue office hours (Tue–Thurs, 9:30 am–2:30 pm) at 1461 Blanshard Street in downtown Victoria.

An online purchase option is being developed, which will include a $15 shipping fee. However, this is not currently available so, for mail orders please telephone (250-382-0615 ) or email the office for information.

Seeking to rent private pool for sessions with autistic girl


Rene Ozi is looking to rent use of a private pool for pool therapy for an autistic girl with anxiety problems cannot use the crowded busy public pools.

The requirement is for weekdays during school hours. If you have such a pool or know of one available, please email Rene , or tel. her at 250 595 7259.  Thank you.