Calling All Artists Returns!

Calling All Artists 2019-001Wednesday, November 14 at 7:00 pm — Now in its thirteenth year, Calling All Artists invites artists from all media – including visual, textile, graphic artists, poets, musicians, photographers, sculptors and ceramicists—to join Rabbi Harry for monthly study sessions on a topic connected to biblical, rabbinical, Talmudic, folk tradition, and a wide range of other sources. “Art is a form of Midrash”, Rabbi Harry states. The artists interpret and deepen their spiritual knowledge through their art. A Gala celebration is held, usually in June, to show the work done over the months in study.

We begin on Wednesday, November 14 at 7:00 pm in the sanctuary, and continue once a month. Payment is $85 for non-members, $60 for members. Send payment to the synagogue office or bring a cheque payable to Congregation Emanu-El to the first meeting on November 14. Can’t wait to see all of you here, ready to plunge into new and wonderful learning and art! For further information, contact Barbara Pelman at

The Many Hands of the Chuppah: our story from 2013


Opens June 3 at Congregation Emanu-El synagogue — This exhibit tells the story of what inspired the hands of a multigenerational group of 14 women—artists, quilters, and designers—to create a new wedding canopy (chuppah) in celebration of the 150th anniversary (2013) of the consecration of Congregation Emanu-El synagogue.

Enid Elliot, one of the contributors to the creation of the Chuppah, said at the festive launch of the Chuppah in 2013:
“Each woman shared some of her love and energy for this community and each square comes from the heart.  It was truly a communal effort…an inspiring project.

Here’s what inspired Annette Wigod (age 91) to create her square, The Shabbat Candles.

“When a call went out for hand-sewn squares for a new Chuppah in 2013, one image leapt into my mind: Shabbat candles glowing brightly.  The Chuppah, held over the heads of the wedding couple symbolizes a Jewish home. The sight of the Shabbat candles is a weekly reminder for the couple, and later their children, that says: We are a Jewish family. Even if there is little other observance in the home, the lit Shabbat candles carry the message.

In the early 1950s when my husband and I decided to light candles on Shabbat, I didn’t know the traditional blessing. So a friend offered to type it for me in transliteration. She asked me “What kind of accent do you want? East European or Israeli?” I asked her what kind she had, her answer was “Israeli.” My answer: “I’ll take it”. Now sixty years later the image of Shabbat candles still burns brightly in my heart, and I believe, in the hearts of my children.”

The Many Hands of the “Chuppah” Exhibit

full-chuppahOpens Sunday June 3, Congregation Emanu-El, 1461 Blanshard Street — Opening at the synagogue on Sunday, June 3 2018, this exhibit tells the story of what inspired the hands of a multigenerational group of 14 women — artists, quilters, and designers — to create a new wedding canopy (chuppah) in celebration of the 150th anniversary (2013) of the consecration of Congregation Emanu-El synagogue.

This fabric masterpiece will be displayed along with panels of text and photos about the women who contributed a square to the chuppah. For each contributor, the panel will contain her photo, a photo of the square she contributed and a short description of what inspired her to participate in the project.

The exhibit will be located in the foyer adjacent to the Emanu-El synagogue kitchen. This exhibit will mark the fifth year since the wedding canopy was gifted to the synagogue and recognize the 155th year since the synagogue was consecrated.

This wedding canopy (chuppah) features 12 unique pieces surrounding a central panel of light and colour representing a stained glass window. In the time-honoured tradition of quilting bees, the chuppah was sewn using multiple materials and diverse techniques of hand stitching, machine stitching, embroidery, and paint.

The Many Hands of the Chuppah exhibit will be available for viewing throughout the summer until mid-August. Call the synagogue office (250-382-0615) during office hours, Tuesday to Thursday 9:30 to 2:30.


Calling All Artists “Encounters” Opening Gala


Sunday, June 3 from 2 – 5 pm Congregation Emanu-El — Divine–human interactions: What happens in this encounter? What does it look like and how is it reported and remembered? What are some examples in biblical and rabbinical tales? How do we understand God and how does that understanding affect our world view?

These are some of the questions that artists of different genres have been exploring with Rabbi Harry, in five sessions over the past winter. Now their interpretations will be shown in a celebratory Opening Gala on June 3, from 2 pm to 5 pm. Paintings, sculpture, mixed media, mosaic, and poetry will be hung on the walls of the synagogue Social Hall and the artists will discuss their creative process, while the poets will read their poems. “Art is Mishna”, states Rabbi Harry.

The art work will be on sale, and the Simcha Gift Shop will be open. There will be food, champagne, drinks, and schmoozing! You don’t want to miss this opportunity to honour art in the synagogue and the wider community. And in one of the display cases in the Social Hall will be art work from previous Calling All Artists projects.

The artists who participated in the Calling All Artists Encounters project are Dahlia Beck, Louise Crossgrove, Gail Davidson, Graham Dragushan, Joseph Finkleman, Susan Finkleman, Judith Fischer, Susan Holtz, Daryl Levine, Barbara Pelman, Karen Rowantree, Louis Sutker, Jean Sonmor, Devorah Stone, Kathy Switzer, Tobias Tomlinson, Amanda White and Maurice Yacowar.

Opening on the same day is an exhibit The Many Hands of the Chuppah featuring the wedding canopy (chuppah) created in celebration of the 150th anniversary of the consecration of Congregation Emanu-El synagogue and the stories behind its creation.

The Calling All Artists work and the Chuppah exhibit will be available for viewing throughout the summer until mid-August. Call the synagogue office (250-382-0615) during office hours, Tuesday to Thursday 9:30 to 2:30.

Making of an artist: Pnina Granirer

Pnina Talk publicityMay 2, 2018 at 7 pm Congregation Emanu-El — After a long career as a visual artist, Pnina Granirer published her memoir Light Within The Shadows last year. Congregation Emanu-El Adult Education Team invites you to the synagogue on May 2, 2018 at 7 pm when Pnina will share herstory with us.

Born in Romania in 1935, she moved to Israel in 1950, and came to Canada in 1965. Throughout her life she has created a large body of art while searching for beauty and spirituality. She will speak to us of her successes and failures and how issues of dislocation, otherness, being a woman and the uprooted soul’s wish for permanency and belonging shaped her art. She will offer us insight into how art is forged and released into the world.

Entry is by donation: book signing to follow: light refreshments will be served. 

 Pnina Granirer has exhibited her work locally, nationally and internationally since 1962. She has shown in more than eighty solo exhibitions. Her work has been included in numerous group exhibitions, and in books and exhibition catalogues in Canada, Israel, Spain, Portugal, Costa Rica and Chile. Her works are found in many private and public collections in Canada (some as cultural property donations), the US, Chile, Europe and Israel. Recently her triptyich Sorrow, Hope, Truth has been hung in Government House, Victoria BC.

Pnina Granirer: Celebrating a Life’s Work; a 40 Years Survey, her retrospective of 120 works at the Richmond Art Gallery in January 1998, reflected the artistic development over her long career. The lavishly illustrated book Pnina Granirer: Portrait of an Artist by Ted Lindberg (Ronsdale Press) was launched at the opening of the exhibition and a film on her work by Mehdi Ali was first screened in 2005 on Bravo!TV.

The Trials of Eve, a major work of 12 mixed media drawings and 12 poems, now in the collection of the Glenbow Museum in Calgary, Alberta, was published as an Alcuin Citation Award limited edition book and later as a softcover. The book has been acquired by numerous Special Collections of Universities, Art Galleries and libraries as well as by private collectors. A film by the same title was first shown at the FIFA in Paris, and subsequently on Bravo!TV, on Knowledge Network and other venues.

In 1993 Granirer co-founded Artists in our Midst, the first ongoing Open Studio Walk in Vancouver, BC. For six years she organized and hosted Philosopher Art Cafes sponsored by Simon Fraser University.

In 2014 the artist was included in the encyclopedia of International Surrealism by Arturo Schwarz, Il Surrealismo — Ieri e oggi (Italy) and in a 5-page chapter of José Miguel Pérez Corrales’s Anthology, Surrealismo: El Oro del Tiempo (Spain).

Visit Pnina’s web site…for a review of Light Within the Shadows: A Painter’s Memoir…

Sandra Levy exhibit at Saanich Municipal Hall


November 1-28 — Sandra Levy, a member of the local Jewish Community, has an exhibit of her recent works, floral studies in oils, at Saanich Municipal Hall Second Floor Gallery, 770 Vernon Ave. that runs from November 1-28 from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm Monday to Friday.

Originally from Montreal, Quebec, Levy studied art at Concordia University, École des Beaux Arts de Montréal, and Arizona State University. She has done graduate work in fine arts and in biology. Her interest in the natural world is reflected in the use of trees, tree trunks, plants as subject matter, as well as nudes. Levy has works in private collections; the Liberal Arts College of Concordia University; the official residence of the Canadian government representative in Tokyo; and in the rental gallery of the Art Gallery of Victoria.

Valerie Wouters on Studio Tour

Poppies Val Woutens

November 4 & 5, 12 pm to 4:30 pm — The Oak Bay Parks, Recreation, and Culture 18th semi-annual Oak Bay Artists’ Studio Tour will take place Saturday, November 4 and Sunday, November 5, from 12 pm to 4:30 pm. Congregant Micha Menczer’s wife, Val Wouters (see her painting above) is participating. Val says: “My work is an expression of what I see in nature and I use oils or encaustic medium as a vehicle for my perceptions.”

Many of Oak Bay’s established and emerging artists will use their homes and studios as backdrops to display original watercolour, acrylic, and oil paintings, fibre, photography, woodcuts, glass, and pottery creations. Val’s studio is located at 737 Transit Rd., Oak Bay.

The tour is juried and produced by Oak Bay Parks, Recreation, and Culture. Download the brochure or pick one up at Henderson, Monterery or Oak Bay Recreation Centre.