On Wednesday May 1, Tal Svoray, Israeli citizen and visiting professor from Ben-Gurion University spoke with clarity and hope at Congregation Emanu-El to an engaged but somewhat skeptical audience about why he believes Israel will pursue a solution to the Palestinian question, why two states is the only tenable answer and what the solution would involve.
Wednesday, May 1, 2019, 7 pm, Congregation Emanuel, 1461 Blanshard Street, Victoria — Invited by Rabbi Harry, Tal Svoray, Professor, Ben-Gurion University, Department of Geography and Environmental Development currently in Victoria on Sabbatical will speak to us about current affairs in Israel on May 1, 2019 7 pm at the synagogue. Tal will speak to us, not as a “professor” but as a native of Israel, a member of the Six Day War baby boom, someone who is contemplating the fate of Israel over the next 100 years rather than just a few years or months, as one who considers the big clock ticking over Israel’s head is the “Palestinian question” and as one who believes in a two state solution.
On Sunday, March 24 our two wonderful professors, Francis Landy and Andrew Gow provided a spirited account of the dispersion of the Sephardic Jews: how it had occurred in two phases and how this had resulted in the existence of two very distinct types of Sephardic Jew. Continue reading The Sephardic Odyssey: A Tale of Twos
Join Rabbi Harry Brechner from Congregation Emanu-El for this informative 10-week course, which introduces Jewish beliefs, practice and history. The course reflects egalitarian Conservative Judaism: the topics include holidays, life cycle celebrations, theology and core beliefs, prayer, Jewish sacred texts, history, the Holocaust, and Israel. This course is open to anyone wishing to explore the many facets of Judaism. Continue reading Judaism – An Introduction
Sunday, March 24, 2019, 2 pm at Congregation Emanu-El — Andrew Gow and Francis Landy will delight us with tales of How the Sephardim “Worlded”. This is the fourth presentation in the Exploring the Sephardic Legacy series sponsored by Congregation Emanu-El’s Education Team. Entry is by donation: light refreshments will be served.
Pre-Isabellan medieval Spain lived on in the post 1492 Sephardic diaspora: in the 1920s a Spanish envoy remarked on the “purity” of the “Castillian” (Ladino) he encountered at Thessalonika in the 1920s. The Sephardim “worlded” an alternate or parallel Spanish empire, an empire consisting not of military conquest and oppression, but of a shared language and culture—a largely urban constellation characterized by commercial and intellectual vigour, an urbane and relatively relaxed religiosity (if not downright, apikorsut), and a simultaneous openness and clannishness that preserved such communities in splendid separation, whether in Salonika, Amsterdam, London, or New York, until well into the 20th century.
About the presenters:
Andrew Gow is a historian who has followed his family to Victoria to retire after a career of research and teaching about pre-modern European culture and religion at the University of Alberta (and elsewhere). He has written all the books and articles he cares to publish, and continues to edit both a series of scholarly monographs in his field and an 18-volume scholarly reference work on pre-modern Europe.
Francis Landy is a biblical scholar who has recently made his home in Victoria, after a career of over thirty years at the University of Alberta. He is a member of Congregation Emanu-El. He has published a number of books and many articles, and is in particular a specialist in the poetry of the Hebrew Bible. He has written on the Song of Songs, Isaiah, Hosea and other books, as well as the theory of the study of religion.
On Sunday, March 10 at Congregation Emanu-El in his talk about Unsustainability & Vancouver Island, Rick Kool remarked that we might not see significant results from effective sustainability efforts during our lifetime and that the “What has the future ever done for me?” (WFDM) attitude is a stumbling block to an effective communal approach to the environmental challenges we face. Pictured above are Peggy Wilmott (GVAT) and Rick Kool as they discuss the sustainability challenge with the audience. For more photos taken by Penny Tennenhouse & Frances Rosenberg…
An enthusiastic, overwhelmingly female audience gathered at the synagogue last Sunday to hear Gabriella Goliger speak about her novel Eva Solomon’s War. The audience appreciated the clarity with which Gabriella provided the background to the plot and to the historical setting. Continue reading How writing about the past challenges the novelist!