Yom Kippur Break Fast

Break the Fast

Wednesday September 19, 8:10 pm — After the ecstatic intensity of Nei’lah, the final closing prayers of atonement as the gates are closing, and a spirited Havdalah, there will be a delicious break fast catered by Yaaqov and Rosalind – so expect tasty nutritious and comforting food.  As usual all are welcome. Donations to cover the costs of feeding everyone are also welcome. Looking forward to reconnecting at this prayerful and meaningful time.
Todah rabah in advance for your cooperation.  Shanah Tovah U’Metukah to you and yours. May you have a sweet and healthy year ahead!


Childcare during the High Holy Days

domalo-childcareDuring High Holy Day Services there will be Childcare available in the Shalom Day Care facility on the 2nd floor of the Social Hall during the following hours. Heather Seckinger from the Shalom Day Care staff will provide the childcare. Continue reading Childcare during the High Holy Days

Modern Terrorism in the Levant

JFVVI Campaign small

Monday, September 17 at 7 pm – The Jewish Federation of Victoria & Vancouver Island (JFVVI) will present a talk “Modern Terrorism in the Levant” by Victoria native Michael Starr (Masters Student in Counter-Terrorism Studies at the Interdisciplinary Centre at Herzliya, Israel) on Monday, September 17 at 7 pm at the Jewish Community Centre, 3636 Shelbourne Street. This event is the launch of the annual United Jewish Appeal fundraising campaign.

Michael Starr is a former IDF soldier and graduate of the Argov Fellows program at the Inter Disciplinary Centre (IDC) in Herzliya. Originally from Toronto, Michael spent much of his youth in Victoria. He moved to Israel in 2009 to enlist in the IDF, serving three years. He volunteers with Reservists on Duty, a group of former soldiers seeking to educate about the complexities, moral challenges, and perseverance of the IDF’s soldiers in the Levantine conflicts. Michael will be beginning his Masters studies in counter-terrorism at IDC Herzliya this Fall.

This is a free event. There will be refreshments after the talk, and a chance to meet your Federation Board and learn about the important work in which the Jewish Federation engages.

ECC – close but no cigar!

CEE ECC Close CigarḤaverim Shalom:
Just want to give you the latest update on our Emergency Capital Campaign (ECC). At this juncture we have raised eighty six thousand dollars for which we send a super heartfelt thank you to everyone who has donated. We are so very close to our grand goal of one hundred thousand dollars.

The masonry work is complete, our new heating/air conditioning and ventilation system is in place and working which to quote my grandmother “it is a mechayah.”  For those of us who are new to Yiddish a mechayah is a small life affirming gift.  I remember my grandmother sitting with friends on a side street in Brooklyn and when a cool breeze off the ocean would come they would all raise their arms and say, “Such a mechayah!”

The new roof is nearly complete and soon the compressor will be up and running. Our house chair Todd Golumbia deserves a shout-out in thanks.  If you have not given yet, it is not too late. We can really use your help. Right now our grade as far as collective generosity is a B+ which with some more help we can turn this emergency campaign into an A+.  Help make this a year of living generously and please donate.

Rabbi Harry & Ruthi Wicks, President, Congregation  Emanu El

Shivat Shefa (the return of “Shefa”)

Shefa SiegalCongregation Emanu-El announces happily that Shefa Siegel, our cantorial soloist for the Jewish New Years from 2014-2016, will join us for the 2018 High Holy Day services. Shefa mixes the traditional modes, or nusaḥim, of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, with the songs of Leonard Cohen, the melodies of Shlomo Carlebach, Persian classical music, and original compositions. He approaches prayer as devotional storytelling, using nusaḥ, liturgical poetry, and song to create sacred experience.

Song, especially our old sacred modes, springs from the spirit more ancient than law or scripture. Before any revelation of holy writ, Sinai still in the distance, the Israelites learned the Song of the Sea while travelling across the ocean floor, where music has its source. And long after all wisdom goes into oblivion, there still will be song, for in the beginning was not the word, but a melody.

On Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur we go on a pilgrimage of the imagination. We chant our way to places marked by the sacred exploits of ancestors before following the pure sound of the shofar to the origin in a blinding moment of union.

Prayer may no longer spring so naturally or easily out of daily life, but the key to unlocking its sacred experience is nothing more complicated than sincerity. Each prayer has its own mode, nusaḥ, whose arabesques transfigure liturgical poetry from words on a page to worlds appearing like islands on the sea. Just as a navigator knows that if you see the image of the island in your mind, you will never be lost, prayer uses these old modes to know ourselves, by remembering how we got here. “You’d sing,” Leonard Cohen writes. “You’d sing, not for yourself, but to make a self.”

Rabbi Harry and Aaron Severs, our Gabbai, will from time to time call out page numbers from the Maḥzor, the High Holy Day prayer book. This does not mean that you, as a participant, need to jump to the page. If you are reading or studying a part of the Maḥzor that speaks to you then by all means, stay where you are. If you are connecting to the music and the vibe in the synagogue and want to put down the prayer book that is a great thing to do as well. Tfilah(”prayer” in Hebrew) is about being reflective and connecting to the Transcendent. In Yiddish the word davennen holds the word divine within it. Prayer can be about allowing ourselves at a soul level to connect to Divine Source. Using the music and the beautiful light in our sanctuary as a place of meditation can be a powerful and renewing exercise.

Before various prayer segments of the service Rabbi Harry will give a short teaching about the intentions of the prayers, deconstructing the technology of the liturgy, teasing out what the liturgy is trying to accomplish.

We are excited to connect with everyone this upcoming holiday season and we look forward to davening and learning together.

 Shana Tovah u’Metukah
Rabbi Harry & Shefa Siegel

PS: The editorial staff did not appreciate that the Rabbi was making a play on words with respect Shefa’s name, which means abundance in Hebrew … so we corrected the article title to a literal translation. We have returned the title to the Rabbi’s intent – the return of a plentiful vocal experience aka “Shefa”.

Congregation Emanu-El High Holy Days

Sunday, Sept. 9 Erev Rosh Hashanah

  • 7:30 pm Ma’ariv Service
  • 7:20 pm Light candles

Monday, Sept. 10 Rosh Hashanah Day 1

  • 9:00 am Service
  • 5:00 pm Tashlikh (on beach at Cook & Dallas)
  • 8:24 pm Light candles

Tuesday, Sept. 11 Rosh Hashanah Day 2

  • 9:00 am Service
  • 8:21 pm Havdalah

Saturday, Sept. 15 Shabbat Shuvah

  • 9:00 am Service
  • Parashat Vayelekh וילך

Tuesday, Sept. 18 Erev Yom Kippur

  • 6:15 pm Kol Nidre Service
  • 7:01 pm Light candles

Wednesday, Sept. 19 Yom Kippur

  • 9:00 am Morning Service
  • 1:00 pm Yizkor
  • 5:00 pm Minḥah followed by Nei’lah
  • 8:04 pm Fast Ends
  • 8:10 Community Break Fast

Sunday, Sept. 23 Erev Sukkot

  • 6:51 pm Light candles

Monday, Sept. 24 Sukkot Day 1

  • 9:00 am Service
  • 7:55 pm Light candles

Tuesday, Sept. 25 Sukkot Day 2

  • 9:00 am Service
  • 7:53 pm Havdalah

Saturday Sept. 29 Shabbat ḥol Hamo’ed

  • 9:00 am Service
  • 7:45 pm Havdalah

Sunday, Sept. 30 Hoshana Rabba

  • 11  – 11:45 am Service at Rabbi Harry and RaeAnn Brechner’s Home
  • 12 – 2 pm Open House at the Brechner’s
  • 6:36 pm Light candles

Monday, Oct. 1 Shmini Atzeret

  • 9:00 am Service
  • 11:00 am Yizkor

Leil Simḥat Torah

  • 7:00 pm Service
  • 7:41 pm Light candles

Tuesday, Oct. 2 Simḥat Torah

  • 9:00 am Service
  • 7:38 pm Havdalah


May you and yours be inscribed for a healthy, peaceful, and sweet New Year ahead!

Religious Services Committee, Kehilat Kodesh Emanu-El