Special Outdoor Shabbat Service at Government House

Elisheva reads prayers 1000On June 27, 2020, Congregation Emanu-El went where it had never before ventured. The red letter day marked our first live outdoor COVID-19 restart Shabbat service on the grounds of Government House. The orchard was a perfect setting, the weather was kind and it was so uplifting to see many of our friends praying together again. About 50 eager people were present. The two-hour service had all the ingredients of a typical Saturday event, with our davening pesukei through musaf. Torah and haftarah were chanted, and a simple yet heartfelt ceremony to welcome Rabbi Matt, Melina, Orion and Sephira to our community was conducted.  The high point seemed to be the joy, smiles and virtual hugs that occupied this sacred space.

Todah rabah goes out to Rabbi Harry and RaeAnn for their leadership here. A big shout out is sent to all the volunteers who assisted in organizing the special day, and, of course, to the kehillah members who attended and helped to make this event a success.
Religious Services Committee

Unity (1918): then and now!

Unity reading screen shot

The Emanu-El Play Club held a Zoom reading of Kevin Kerr’s play Unity (1918) on Thursday, July 25, 2020. The club followed up their reading with a debriefing on the next Monday. Unity (1918) takes place in the fall of 1918, when a world ravaged by four years of war was suddenly hit by a mysterious and deadly plague—the “Spanish Flu.” The setting for the play is a small town in Saskatchewan. Our members were profoundly affected both by the reading experience and by the content of the play which raised themes and depicted experiences highly relevant in our COVID-19 world. Continue reading Unity (1918): then and now!

Special Outdoor Shabbat Morning Service: Parashat Koraḥ

Government House GardenMap-650x514

Saturday, June 27, 2020 10:00 am in Government House Grounds—Come and reconnect in person with friends for a spirited, casual, participative prayer and Torah learning experience.

If you wish to attend, please register as soon as possible HERE. Continue reading Special Outdoor Shabbat Morning Service: Parashat Koraḥ

Backyard Thursday morning minyan

Minyan with dredits

Please consider joining the minyan on Thursdays at 7 am in Uri and Leah’s backyard. If you are looking for a very sweet, welcoming prayer experience that is intimate and relaxed, this is place for you.

Services will continue to be streamed as usual on Zoom, to Join Online: CLICK HERE…

In the interests of personal and community safety as we open up this opportunity for congregational worship we must observe the following practices:

Continue reading Backyard Thursday morning minyan

Emanu-El invites you to an evening of “virtual” trivia

Trivia at home simpleThursday, June 18, 2020 7:15 pm — Come join us on Zoom for a fun evening of trivia! Bring your favourite beverage and prepare for some friendly competition! This will be a “pot-pourri” of trivia questions, some Jewish-focused, some general knowledge. Continue reading Emanu-El invites you to an evening of “virtual” trivia

An Exploration of Heroes

Banksy's Game ChangerAt our Tikkun Leil Shavuot on May 28, 2020 (6 Sivan 5780), Aaron Severs shared his passion for superheroes beginning with an introduction to these comic characters and ending with a remarkable testimonial for our Victoria COVID-19 heroes.

Heroes are made, not born. They are admired by many people for doing something brave. They flash into public view, and dazzle us with courageous and selfless acts. Despite their noble achievements, heroes are not perfect. Continue reading An Exploration of Heroes

Virus as a teacher

Rick Kool (2019_03_13 23_20_58 UTC)

I’ve always felt that one of the basic roles of a teacher is to reveal things that are hidden. My most memorable and influential teachers were those that gave me insight into things that I never saw, never saw about myself or about the world around me.

I was reminded of the Wizard of Oz, who once outed for not being a real wizard, showed he was a good teacher, revealing to the lion his bravery, the straw man his brain, the tin man his heart, and Dorothy a way to go home. His teaching, for those students, would have been profound and transforming. Continue reading Virus as a teacher

Collaboration key to peace and healing amid crisis

Times ColonistThis altered state reality of self-isolation generates fear and anxiety. On top of that, the usual places and people that we turn to for soothing and grounding may not now be available, at least in person…

To read the article by Rabbi Harry that appeared in the Times Colonist Spiritually Speaking on May 9, 2020 click here …