Calling All Artists project 2020

Starts Thursday, November 19, 2020 on Zoom—A light in a dark and strange time: Calling All Artists returns! We will begin our monthly meetings with Rabbi Harry on Thursday, November 19, 2020, and continue on December 10, 2020, and in 2021 on January 14, February 11, and March 18. Calling All Artists is a project inviting artists of many kinds—visual, textile, multi-media, music, poetry—to study a biblical or rabbinical text with Rabbi Harry, and to interpret this learning through their art. A kind of midrash, the Rabbi explains it. In the spring, the artists, if it is possible to meet again, will celebrate their work with a delicious and gorgeous Gala in the Social Hall.

Continue reading Calling All Artists project 2020

Calling All Artists Opening Gala 2019

Barbara Pelman shows!

This year’s theme for Calling All Artists is “Memory and Essence”. At the gala the artists spoke briefly about their work which was mounted around the hall and included paintings, sculptures, poetry, and drawings. A chapbook detailing the artists’ works is available in the Simcha Gift Shop for $10.  The accompanying picture is a display of poems that Barbara Pelman presented in individual chapbooks. To view photos taken at the Gala by Penny Tennenhouse click here…

What a wonderful encounter!

Calling All Artists Event LeadersThe guests who attended the Calling All Artists Encounters Opening Gala at the synagogue on Sunday, June 3 had a wonderful encounter. The welcome, the refreshments, the presentations and the art were offered with warmth, delicacy and joy. Congratulations on a superb show! For pictures (provided by Penny Tennenhouse, Frances Aknai and Frances Rosenberg)… Continue reading What a wonderful encounter!

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.

Calling All Artists 2017/2018 Opening Session Booked

Calling All ArtistsTuesday, November 7, 7:30-9:00 pm in Congregation Emanu-El sanctuary has been booked for the opening session of the 2017/2018 Calling All Artists series.  Artists of all media—writers, graphic artists, visual artists, fabric artists, mixed media, musicians, dancers—are invited to study with Rabbi Harry on a particular theme. This year’s theme is “What does it mean to be a tzadik (righteous one) and how do we attain it?”

We will explore Jewish mystical ideas of equanimity, joy, loving kindness, generosity, and different states of consciousness. The framework of our “call-out” is for students to learn and explore sacred texts over the course of about five months and to allow the learning to be their muse. Art as Midrash: what could be more exciting?

We invite participants to create, share and participate in a group gallery show in June 2018, around the time of Shavuot. No experience is necessary. We have the work of accomplished artists hanging side by side with absolute beginners.

Opening session: Tuesday, November 7, 7:30-9:00 pm. Cost: $60 for members, $85 for non-members, with possible additional costs to create a chapbook of the artists’ work.

Note: Pre-register through the office at 250-382-0615


“The Revelation Project”

Sunday, June 5


The Gala Opening of The
Revelation Project
 will be held on the evening of Sunday, June 5, from 6:30 to
9:00 pm
at the synagogue. 

The show is the culmination of five months of study
with Rabbi Harry on the topic of Revelation: the receiving of Torah and the
concept of revelation itself – what is revealed, what is hidden, what is known
at a soul level, what cannot be known. 

Artists of various types—writers,
graphic artists, visual artists, fabric and mixed media artists have worked
with Rabbi Harry, exploring biblical and rabbinical texts with the focus on
“The Sinai Moment” and its ramifications in Jewish thought and tradition. The
artists will present their work, with a brief explanation of their creative
process. This event will anticipate the occurrence the following week of the festival of Shavuot, which celebrates the giving of the Torah at Mount Sinai. Refreshments will be
served. The artwork and the chapbook/catalogue, will be for sale.

This is the ninth Calling
All Artists
project, and the Gala is an exciting demonstration of creativity
and learning. Please mark this date on your calendar; come and enjoy the

Join us for refreshments, a tour of the project, artists’ comments on their work, and a sale of the artwork as well as the beautiful chapbook designed by Patrice Snopkowski.  

Admission is free, but donations gratefully accepted.

Calling All Artists

Tuesday, Oct. 27, 7pm


Calling All Artists returns for a ninth season!  Sessions begin on Tuesday, October 27 at 7:00 pm at the synagogue.  

Artists of all media — writers, graphic artists, visual artists, fabric artists, mixed media, musicians, dancers are invited to study with Rabbi Harry on a particular theme, exploring biblical, rabbinical, and traditional commentaries. This year the theme will be the Revelation on Mt. Sinai, and the concept of revelation itself: what is revealed, what is hidden, what is known at a soul level, what cannot be known.

After five sessions of study, one evening per month until the end of February, artists will interpret the theme and present their work at a Gala Evening in June, around the time of Shavuot.  Art as Midrash—what could be more exciting?

Cost is $50 for members, $75 for non-members, with possible additional costs to create a chapbook of the artists’ work.  Please complete and return the Registration Form with your payment to the Synagogue office at 1461 Blanshard Street, Victoria.  Please do NOT send any credit card information by email.