Community Security Training

Jewish Federation of Victoria & Vancouver Island

The Jewish Federation of Victoria and Vancouver Island (JFVVI) is working with the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA) to enhance security for our community.

A reported increase of anti-Semitic incidents across Canada in 2020 and 2021, and the January 2022 hostage taking of members of a Texas Temple, are clear indications of the need for more vigilance, awareness and knowledge to ensure we can protect our loved ones and our community.

The JFVVI invites you to join us for an introductory virtual workshop on Security and Community Safety. 

The training is being offered twice:

·      Tuesday February 22, 2022 at 10AM and

·      Tuesday March 1, 2022 at 2PM  

The training will last approximately ninety (90) minutes including time for questions and answers. This training will be facilitated by a representative of the Vancouver Jewish Federation who brings years of experience and hands on knowledge to their presentation. This is an introductory workshop open to all members of the Jewish Community residing on Vancouver Island and surrounding region.

It is the desire of the JFVVI that this training will result in a core group of individuals who will want to join us to establish a Jewish Community Security Watch Team. The Watch Team will consist of volunteers from all interested Jewish community groups within the JFVVI umbrella. The Watch Team will assist our member organizations and local law enforcement authorities by providing passive and active security monitoring of our community, facilities and special events. The Watch Team will help our member organizations arrange for security assessments of buildings and pre-planning for special events even when hosted in a third-party location.

Interested individuals will be required to register and provide confirmation of their affiliation to a JFVVI member organization. Once vetted they will receive an email link to their chosen day (attendees will only be able to select one of the two days currently being offered).

Please register:

Summary of Event Details

  • Dates offered:
    • Tuesday February 22, 2022 at 10AM or
    • Tuesday March 1, 2022 at 2PM
  • Duration: 90 minutes
  • Register: Security Training Signup

Biblical Hebrew 101

Hosted by Or Shalom in Vancouver: Join Arabic-Hebrew translator and seasoned Biblical Hebrew expert Rahel Halabe in a rigorous beginners study of the language as it is found in the Tanakh. Using her Biblical Hebrew the Practical Way method and materials, all you’ll need to bring to the table is the ability to comfortably read Hebrew with vowels—no requirement to understand what you’re reading! By the end of this course, you’ll be ale to apply what you’ve learned to Jewish prayer at and outside of shul, become more familiar with the vocabulary of Torah, and have an opportunity to continue learning with Rahel as you master the sacred language of the Jewish people.

Important notes:

Biblical Hebrew 101 with Rahel Halabe requires up to 3 hours of homework between sessions.

These 10 sessions are just the beginning – so you can keep the learning going over several seasons! First class: Sunday 20 February 2:00 – 4:00 PM

If you are unsure of whether your Hebrew level is appropriate for this course, please contact Rahel at Rahel also offers a free review, if you’d like a quick refresher before the course begins:

Required materials:

You will need to purchase the Hebrew The Practical Way set in order to participate in this class. First-time buyers will enjoy a 25% discount from Magnes Press. This publisher is located in Jerusalem, so delivery is not instantaneous. While you await your printed copies, Rahel will provide PDFs to the class.

If you own an iPad, you have the option to buy the electronic version. This version is not user-friendly on laptops or iPhones.

You’ll also need the following reference book. Check used book shops, conventional bookstores, and to procure your copy.

  • A Concise Hebrew And Aramaic Lexicon Of The Old Testament: Holladay, William L.: 9780802834133

Summary of event details

Hug Ivrit Resumes

Ḥug Ivrit resumes Wednesday, January 26, at 7:00 PM, via Zoom.

Relaxed, high-intermediate Hebrew. Focused on conversation, vocabulary and grammar related to the teacher-selected weekly text. 

If you’ve not participated in this Circle yet, please write to Dahlia: Past participants will receive a Zoom link from Dahlia.

Summary of event details

From the Inquisition to the Caribbean: Jews of Jamaica

Sunday, January 23, 2022, 5pmRivka Campbell will speak on From the Inquisition to the Caribbean: Jews of Jamaica.

This is the 6th event of The Sephardi/Mizrahi Jewish Speakers’ Series cosponsored by Congregation BINA, Canadian Institute for Jewish Research (CIJR), Beit Rayim, Lodzer Synagogue, Canadians for Israel’s Legal Rights (CILR), Kulanu Canada, Jews Against Antisemitism Canada, and the United Grassroots Movement.

Rivka Campbell will enlighten us on the history and experiences of the Jews of Jamaica from the time of the Spanish Inquisition to the Caribbean and beyond.

This is a free event!

After you have registered, you will receive the YouTube Live link for the event by email. Please check your spam folder if you do not see it in your Inbox.

Summary of event details

Adult B’nei Mitzvah Program

Starts Tuesday January 11, 2022 – Come take a deep dive into Jewish literacy and practice.  This program will combine classroom learning and discussion with workshops on central Jewish topics culminating in a personal ceremony and celebration.

The Goal of the program is for students to experience:

  •  Making meaning from Jewish sacred text
  • Gaining a sense of the scope of Jewish History
  • Understanding the spiritual meaning within Jewish lifecycle rituals
  • Unpacking the deeper meanings found within the Jewish calendar cycle
  • Surveying Jewish ethics and values
  • Finding meaning and beauty within Jewish liturgy and developing a personal practice
  • Exploring topics and issues within Jewish theology and philosophy

The course will run for 20 sessions, roughly twice a month on Tuesday evenings beginning on 11 January.  Beyond class attendance, participants will be expected to attend Shabbat services at least once a month, and there will be occasional projects and journaling.

The course will meet in-person when possible, but Zoom will remain an option for those who prefer this.

If you never had the opportunity to have a B’nei Mitzvah experience or if you want to have this experience in a more personalized and deep way from an adult perspective, this course is for you!  

This course is available only to Emanu-El members and is free of charge.

To register contact

Summary of event details

  • Dates: January 11, 2022 for 20 sessions, roughly twice a month
  • Where: In-person or by Zoom
  • Cost: Free; only available to Congregation Emanu-El members
  • Registration and information:

Introduction to Judaism

January 13, 2021 to March 24, 2022 – This course is for anyone interested in exploring Jewish life.  Open to all, this course is perfect for interfaith couples, those raising Jewish children, spiritually curious, and individuals considering conversion.  

Topics include holidays, life cycle celebrations, theology and core beliefs, Hebrew, prayer, the Torah and other sacred texts, and history.    

Judaism is the way of life of the Jewish people.  As a way of life, it includes the social, cultural, and religious history of a widespread and diverse community.  Being Jewish involves not just adhering to a religion but also belonging to a people. 

Please note, if you are considering conversion, this class is a pre-requisite for conversion.

Registration with payment is required. Class size is limited to 20 persons. See below for full details.

Congregation Emanu-El is a modern Conservative, egalitarian and inclusive synagogue.   

We look forward to seeing you in January.

Summary of course details

  • Dates: January 13, 2021 to March 24, 2022 (no class March 17th)
  • Time: 7 pm to 8:15 pm
  • Cost: $140 per person for members or $160 for non-members
  • Where: Zoom (register for link)
  • Registration and information: Please contact Emanu-El’s office during office hours at 250-382-0615. Office hours are Tuesday to Thursday 9:30 am to 2:30 pm

Let’s Talk about Diversity, Equity and Belonging in the Victoria Jewish Community!

December 19, 2021 – The Antiracism and Equity Working Group and Adult Education are excited to announce our first co-sponsored discussion titled Let’s talk about Diversity, Equity and Belonging in the Victoria Jewish Community! on Sunday, December 19th from 6 to 7:30 pm.

Join Sara Yacobi-Harris from No Silence On Race in Toronto and Carmel Tanaka from JQT Vancouver in a community-wide dialogue on the need for diversity, equity and belonging work in the Jewish community. Both speakers are changing the landscape of what it means to be a Jew in Canada and globally. They will share what’s working and what still needs improving on community and organizational levels, in an engaging 90-min presentation and Q&A with you. Bring your questions so we can all listen and learn together in this open forum, and come up with sustainable next steps moving forward.

Carmel Tanaka is a queer neurodivergent Jewpanese woman of colour from Vancouver on the unceded territories of the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh peoples. She is a community engagement professional and her leadership initiatives include: JQT Vancouver, Genocide Prevention BC and Cross Cultural Walking Tours. She was named one of Be’chol Lashon’s 7 LGBTQ+ Jews of Color you should know. 

FB/IN: @jqtvan @crossculturaltours

Sara Yacobi-Harris is the founder of No Silence on Race. She is an artist, filmmaker, media professional and community organizer. Sara is the director and producer of Periphery. She holds a Masters of Education (M.Ed) from the Ontario Institute of Studies in Education at the University of Toronto.

instagram: @nosilenceonrace


Summary of event details

The Kosher Pig Lecture Series

Thursdays 6 to 7:30 pm, beginning August 12, 2021

It is a myth that Judaism “has always been this way.” In these four lectures, Rabbi Matt Ponak will show how and why our ancestors have always made choices about how they want to live, regardless of what religious customs they inherited. You’ll even learn how to make a pig kosher!

Thursdays August 12, 19, 26 and September 2 from 6 to 7:30 pm PT on Zoom. The lectures will be recorded.

And there was music

 The Journeys in Jewish Music series produced by the Victoria Jewish Community Choir (VJCC) wrapped up on Sunday, June 20, 2021 with an engaging session on Klezmer music by Moshe Denburg. VJCC is grateful for the funding from the Jewish Federation of Victoria and Vancouver Island (JFVVI) which, along with the support of our community sponsor Congregation Emanu-El, the enthusiasm of the many who participated and those who made donations, made the program possible.

We are incredibly pleased to announce that JFVVI has granted us another generous allotment which makes it possible to continue the series in the Fall with an additional six Zoom presentations. We are now organizing this series and welcome any suggestions regarding content or knowledgeable presenters. The talks are scheduled for Monday evenings following the High Holydays, and dates and details will be released as available. If you registered for the previous series, you will automatically be notified and sent the links.

To register or send comments or suggestions please send a note to:
The Victoria Jewish Community Choir is non-auditioned and welcomes all voices. The Choir will re-convene as soon as regulations permit. If you are interested in joining the choir, please contact co-director Carol Sokoloff at

Bad Faith: Why the Jews are not a religion—and shouldn’t be!

Sunday, May 2, 2021 at 7 pm—Congregation Emanu-El Adult Education  team invites you to join Daniel Boyarin 0n Sunday, May 2, 2021 at 7 pm, who argues,  “In this lecture, I intend to show that historically the Jews did not consider themselves a religion until modernity. I will argue for Jewish Peoplehood (however that may be ultimately defined and experienced). I will try to show some negative consequences of defining ourselves as a religion even now.”

Daniel Boyarin, Taubman Professor of Talmudic Culture and Rhetoric, University of California at Berkeley, received his PhD in 1975 from the Jewish Theological Seminary of America. He has been a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellow (twice), a Guggenheim Fellow, a Fellow of the Institute for Advanced Studies in Jerusalem, a holder of the Berlin Prize at the American Academy in Berlin and a Ford Foundation Fellow.

Prof. Boyarin has written extensively on talmudic and midrashic studies. His work has focused on cultural studies in rabbinic Judaism, including issues of gender and sexuality, and research on the Jews as a colonized people. His most recent research interests centered primarily around questions of the relationship of Judaism and Christianity in late antiquity and the genealogy of the concepts of “religion” and “Judaism.”

For information and the Zoom link contact Donations to our Adult Education fund are always welcome. You may donate ONLINE or through the office at