Housing as a Human Right means Housing for All. Time to make this a reality, not just a slogan
August 9, 7:30p.m. – Join Emanu-El’s Avodah and GVAT’s Affordable Housing team, as we hear how GVAT has been engaging with member organizations to establish housing priorities and needs, and the achievable solutions it has been developing.
The presentation is a work in progress. Come be part of the process, for – in its final form – it will be the basis of GVAT’s campaign and the ASKS, to be made of candidates and politicians prior to the Elections
On The Coldest Night of the Year, 26 February, our enthusiastic Avodah Team walked the walk and raised $7,698.00 for Our Place! Thanks to the Avodah volunteers and to everyone who donated—the Avodah Team was the #1 team out of the 65 in Victoria, raising the most money. A heartfelt thank-you to our wonderful Avodah walkers, volunteers, and sponsors: TOGETHER, we truly made a difference in our community where it is so needed.
On February 26, our enthusiastic Avodah team will again be participating in the Coldest Night of the Year walk to raise money in support of Our Place, dedicated to serving vulnerable people in Victoria experiencing homelessness, hurt, and hunger .
If you wish to support this important Avodah initiative, please go to the Coldest Night of the Year website where you can donate to the Avodah team. Avodah is especially happy to let you know that in celebration of our beloved Annette Wigod’s recent 95th birthday, her daughter, Eve Abrams, will be walking with the Avodah team. Your sponsorship of Eve would be a wonderful way to honour Annette, a longtime active and dedicated member of Avodah.
“Of all the gifts we receive, the importance of socks cannot be overemphasized”
Rev. Al Tysick
Every year since 2005, Emanu-El member Michael Bloomfield has helped put socks on the feet of Victoria’s homeless population. To date, over 125,000 pairs of socks valued at $562,500 have been distributed. In 2019, Michael won the prestigious National Philanthropy Day award for Outstanding Fundraising Volunteer.
You can be a part of this year’s campaign by volunteering some time or donating to the Victoria Cool Aid Society: https://coolaid.org/socks
Michael first reached out to McGregor Socks, who responded generously. Today, PVH Legwear Canada makes McGregor socks and, together with the Victoria Cool Aid Society and other local social services agencies, Michael’s efforts distribute about 10,000 pairs of socks a year to the homeless in Victoria, Duncan, Nanaimo and Salt Spring Island. La-Z-Boy Furniture generously ships the socks from Mississauga to Victoria.
All of this is possible because Michael’s compassion became action. Cold and wet feet are prone to infection, nail and skin diseases, fungus, and frostbite.
“A gift of socks is a gift of health for our neighbours who are homeless“
Don McTavish, Cool Aid’s Director of Housing and Shelters
Twenty-five pairs of socks costs $25 but any amount helps.
Victoria’s vulnerable are facing a food shortage; numerous ways exist so we can all be part of the solution. Congregation Emanuel-El’s social action committee, Avodah, is sponsoring two George Jay School families with large food boxes containing 10 to 13 varieties of veggies and fruit for a year.
Here’s an opportunity for you to order a food box for yourself or sponsor one for a family in need.
For further information visit the website at: thegoodfoodbox.caor call 250-381-1552 ext. 100 to set up your weekly or bi-weekly prepaid order.
Avodah Social Action Group expresses gratitude to members of the Congregation Emanu-El for their substantial contributions to the Food Bank at St John the Divine at the public menorah lighting on December 5th.
$380 dollars and a full car load of non-perishable items, food and toiletries were donated at the event. Some members also donated directly through the Canada Helps website.
Your kind gesture will ensure that individuals and families will be better cared for in this inner city neighbourhood.
On December 5th, a Public Menorah Lighting was held at Centennial Square. It was a wonderful evening filled with spirit and celebration – in essence a glorious Hanukkah street party! This year’s theme was the Light of Tzedakah, of Righteous Giving.
It was our privilege to honour Reverend Al Tysick, a person who powerfully exemplifies Tzedakah via his words and deeds. Rabbi Harry spoke of how Rev. Al has brought light, hope and comfort to members of Victoria’s street and vulnerable community for many decades.
A giant Hanukkah menorah (hanukkiah) was lit for the eighth night of the Jewish Festival of Lights. The musical headliner was none other than the fabulous klezmer group, The Yiddish Columbia State Orchestra. They belted out klezmer songs, Hanukkah tunes, and much more to get the audience fired up. The many attendees were singing, dancing, and simply sharing their joy and gratitude about being able to celebrate Hanukkah in person for the first time in two years.
The Avodah Social Action team collected non-perishable food and cash donations to support the food bank at St. John the Divine. Thanks go out to the Downtown Victoria Business Association for their support, and to the many others who made this an enchanted evening to remember!
Please see photos attached, and a link to an article in the Times Colonist below.
“Avodah allows me to live my values. As a group, we contribute to the well-being of the often forgotten and vulnerable members of our Victoria community. We do this through both direct interaction and financial support. Talk is easy. As a synagogue member of Avodah, I believe in action!”—Jackie
“It [moved] me… Rabbi Harry’s vision/invitation/challenge in 2003: to get involved in creating a social action group, Avodah, within our synagogue, a group that would translate our Jewish values of lovingkindness for our neighbours into action. I responded in a heartbeat—and am still, 18 years later, to my own astonishment, deeply involved. I am grateful for and proud of Avodah.”—Penny