Partners in Light – December 4, 5:30pm


Join with Congregation Emanu-El’s Avodah Social Action Committee and friends in a public Ḥanukkiah Lighting in Centennial Square. We will be joined by Mayor Fortin & Council, our local MLAs and representatives of the various social service agencies and advocates that partner with Avodah. The Victoria High School R&B Band will perform, and there will be some light refreshments.

Note: Half-tonne truck needed to transport tables & chairs to the event. If you can help please contact Aaron Severs.

Partners in Light – a public lighting of a Ḥanukkah Menorah on the last night of Ḥanukkah December 4, 2013 5:30pm at Centennial Square. The word Ḥanukkah literally means “dedication,”  referring to the rededication of the Holy Temple by the Maccabees. The intention of this lighting is for those of us who are working towards eradicating and alleviating poverty can connect with one another and rededicate ourselves and our agencies to this integral work.

A pickup truck is needed to transport tables & chairs to Ḥanukkah event. If you can help please email Aaron Severs.

We welcome and will gratefully accept your donations of warm coats, blankets, sleeping bags and non-perishable food (such as peanut butter) at the menorah lighting.

Butternut Squash Soup

by Frances Aknai

  • 1 butternut squash
  • 2 TBSP oil
  • 2 onions, diced
  • 1 cup diced celery
  • 1 cup sliced carrots
  • 5 cups vegetable broth
  • ½ tsp. cinnamon
  • ½ tsp. ground ginger
  • ½ tsp. nutmeg
  • ½ tsp. curry powder
  • Pepper to taste


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut squash in half lengthwise. Remove all seeds. Place cut side down on baking sheet with sides. Bake until skins are tender, 45 minutes to 1 hour OR cook in microwave oven approximately 9 minutes. Cool slightly. Remove skin and cut into chunks. Set aside.
  • Heat oil in large soup pan over medium heat until hot. Add onion, celery, carrots, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and curry powder and sauté until soft, about 10 minutes.
  • Add broth, water and pepper. Bring to a boil.
  • Add squash and simmer until all vegetables are tender.
  • Puree the soup in a blender until smooth. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.

Lemon Chicken

by Sharon Fitch 

A favourite for Shabbat dinner.
  • ½ cup flour
  • 1 ½ tsp seasoned salt
  • ¼ tsp pepper
  • 1 chicken cut in eighths
  • 4 tbsp. veg oil
  • ½  can (355 ml) frozen lemonade
  • 3 tbsp. brown sugar
  • 3 tbsp. white vinegar
  • 1 lemon, sliced
  • Combine flour & seasoning in a plastic bag. Shake chicken to coat. 
  • Brown chicken in hot oil. Arrange pieces side by side in a baking dish. 
  • Combine lemon juice, sugar & vinegar. 
  • Pour over chicken. 
  • Bake at 350°  F for 45 minutes. 
  • Baste & place lemon slices over 
  • chicken. 
  • Bake another 15 minutes.

Organic Apples for Sale

Jill and Mike Goldstein are again offering exquisite apple juice from their Pardes orchards, made from organically raised Gravenstein, Macintosh, Spartan, Delicious, Mutsu and Granny Smith apples.  The juice is filtered and passed through through a UV process to ensure both a healthy and safe product.  The juice remains fresh for about two weeks or can be frozen for year-round consumption.  Profits will be donated to Congregation Emanu-El.  

The cost is $6 per 2 litre jug, or 3 jugs for $15.  The juice may be picked up at the Shul on November 6th or 13th, or you can email Mike at for possible delivery.

Hakhnasat Torah and Siyyum HaTorah a Resounding Success


Aaron Severs writes: “At 10 a.m. on October 20, the crowd gathered at the corner of Pandora and Vancouver. Undeterred by grey skies above, participants had already begun to dance to the music of Avram Yuval & Friends. The restored Sifrei Torah were placed under the brand-new chuppah canopy. Proceeding west on Pandora towards the shul, we danced, sang and strolled with purpose. 


"Children and adults alike, we accompanied and danced about our heritage Torah scrolls, carried by Sharon and Ed Fitch.


"At the parking lot behind the shul, an impromptu Hora broke out:


"Eventually we all entered via the sanctuary doors, and the newcomers (i.e. heritage scrolls) were greeted into the synagogue by our resident Torah scrolls, held by Leah and Uri Levi.


"Rabbi Harry welcomed the masses and explained that today’s simḥah was similar to a wedding ceremony. Torah is the covenant in our relationship with Hashem. A short drash by Marc Michaels, one of the sofrim or ritual scribes followed (Avielah Barclay taught later on).


"The last 12 letters of Deuteronomy were next to be filled in. All eyes in the room (about 150 participants) seemed transfixed on the front of the sanctuary. A big screen showed the programme, while the Torah to be completed lay open on a table, next to the sofrim and their Jewish scribal materials.


"The excitement mounted. One by one, groups of leaders/volunteers in our kehillah joined the sofrim in the completion of one letter each. Hebrew School teachers and kids went first, then Bnei Mitzvah teachers/tutors and USY/Kadima, then our Elders, Avodah Social Action and so on. Each leadership group stood next to the scribes and were encouraged to lay hands on the scribes. The energy in the room was palpable. Awhile later, once all the letters were filled in, the scribes declared the Torah scrolls to be kosher.


"The last portion in the Torah was chanted, then a t’kiah g’dolah was sounded and more dancing ensued. A specially written prayer for the kehillah was read aloud. More music was performed by the Jewish Community Choir, and a delicious Kiddush lunch followed.


"For many of us, participating in the Siyyum was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. There was joy and pride and a renewed commitment to Torah.”


Gone But Not Forgotten!


On September 29, Our Legacy: Celebrating 150 of Congregation Emanu-El – an exhibit that exemplified the rich history, intrepid pioneers and beautiful ritual items of our congregation, came to a close. 

It was a bitter sweet few days as Sharon Fitch and I worked with the kind assistance of Daryl Levine and Amber Woods. We took apart each case and display, undressing mannequins, then carefully checking and wrapping each item for return to congregants’ homes.
The delicate silk 1864 chuppah, Henry Nathan’s store sign, and JP Davies commemorative watch, along with 4 display cases and mannequins are now back at the RBCM. The good news is that we have two large exhibit cases in the Social Hall – one is available for future exhibitions and the other will be transformed into another permanent display to compliment the two in the Sanctuary.
The Synagogue also has had several artefact donations over the summer and these will be exhibited together with items provided by Rabbi Harry.


Do not let the memory of Our Legacy fade. Please be sure you have a keepsake copy of Allan Mandell’s outstanding Commemorative 150th Anniversary Exhibit/Art Calendar with 16-month calendar, still available in the office for $20.00. Net proceeds go to Congregation Emanu-El’s Building Restoration Fund

It has been a amazing 4 months. The Synagogue and Exhibition was visited by many travellers, tour groups and local residents. A special thanks to our excellent docents and guides, especially Shoshana Litman dressed as Elizabeth Davies Schultz, and Amber Woods and Gary Cohen who provided that extra-special ingredient to visitors’ experience.
I am grateful that I had the opportunity to curate this marvellous event which highlighted and celebrated our 150th year.
Todah rabah,
Janis Diner Brinley, Our Legacy Curator

Farewell to Adele!


Saturday Kiddush, Oct. 26
Adele Vernon is leaving Victoria to live permanently in San Luis Obispo, California. We will miss her! Adele has been a significant part of shul life for many years.

A special Kiddush is being held in her honour on Saturday, October 26 after services. Please come, enjoy a nosh, give her a hug and say goodbye. Wear something colourful, give her a smile, and share a story or two.
If you wish to be a sponsor and contribute to the Kiddush, your contributions are welcome. Please send your donation to the shul office, marked “Kiddush for Adele”.

New: Upload page for news or classified ads


Hard on the heels of the new Congregation Emanu-El Classifieds Page (password: 1461Blanshard) launched last week, we are now offering a special Congregation Emanu-El Upload page, where you can send us text and images for news items or classified ads (just mark as applicable). Note that we prefer text and images, rather than PDFs, as we cannot publish the PDFs as they are. Thank you. 

Jewish Arts 2013 Grand Finale

Sun, Nov. 24, 2:30 pm

The Lafayette String Quartet, with pianist Arthur Rowe, and tenor Benjamin Butterfield at Congregation Emanu-El.

Admission $30; tickets available at Long & McQuade, Russell Books, Ivy’s Bookshop, Tanner’s Books in Sidney, Shul Office and at the door.

There are only 275 seats in the synagogue’s heritage sanctuary, so buy your tickets early! Doors open at 1:45 pm.

Jewish Arts Presents: An Evening with Eleanor Wachtel

Sat., Nov. 9, 7:30 pm

The award winning literary interviewer, and host of CBC Radio’s Writers & Company, Eleanor Wachtel will speak about her interviews with contemporary writers and how they shape our literary consciousness and enrich our lives.
Admission is $25; tickets available at Munro’s Books, Russell Books, Ivy’s Bookshop, the Shul Office and at the door.
There are only 275 seats in the synagogue’s heritage sanctuary, so buy your tickets early! Doors open at 6:45 pm.