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 …

Siddur Lending Program

lev-shalem-web-002As we continue our online services during this time when we are not able to meet at our beloved shul, we invite members and regular attendees of Congregation Emanu-El to borrow a siddur for use at home via our lending program for the Siddur Lev Shalem. We hope that this will enhance and increase the comfort level for taking part in the Zoom prayer services offered on Saturday mornings. Also, the Lev Shalem is a wonderful resource for learning and doing additional davening on your own. Prayer books will need to be returned when we recommence services on a regular basis at the synagogue.

If you are interested in borrowing a siddur, or have any questions, feel free to contact Elisheva Gray at or Aaron Severs at

We can then arrange for either pick up from the synagogue or, where needed, delivering the siddur to your home. Stay calm and daven on!

  • Religious Services Committee
  • Congregation Emanu-El

Avodah: Helping People during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Congregation Avodah.pngOver the last few extraordinary weeks, as the COVID-19 pandemic created new hardships and special needs for homeless people, Avodah has been very active in providing much-needed  bottles of water, camping gear and new underwear to the street community in Victoria.

Fortunately, bottled water and camping gear will no longer be required now that homeless people are, thankfully, being moved into temporary accommodation in hotels.  However, the need for many services continues unabated to meet the huge challenges in supporting the most vulnerable in our community created by the pandemic.

Please consider donating to Avodah at this  time.  We will do our best to find opportunities to assist organizations with their valuable work in the field.

The synagogue office is closed but Zelda who is working from home can access the shul telephone messages. Send her an email or call 250 382 0615 and leave her a  message indicating that you wish to donate to Avodah and she will get back to you.

Todah rabah for your generosity,
Avodah Social Action Committee


Howie’s Challah Baking Zoom Workshop

pizza picture-001

Join Howie Herzog in this four part interactive workshop where we will make challah together in our own kitchens. Please come to the workshop from your kitchen with the ingredients ready to go.

  • Part 1:  11:15am – 12:15pm: Make the dough
  • Part 2:  2:00pm – 2:45pm: “Take challah” and braid
  • Part 3:  3:30pm – 3:45pm – In the oven she goes
  • Part 4:  4:15pm – Challah!

Continue reading Howie’s Challah Baking Zoom Workshop

Can you donate any NIOSH-approved N95 masks to Brooklyn hospital in crisis?

n95-particulate-respirator-500x500Dear Ḥaverim—Our son, Dr. Aaron Herzog is a medical resident at SUNY Downstate Medical Center–Kings County Hospital in Brooklyn, NY, an underserved inner city hospital currently at the epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic that has been shifted to a 100% COVID-19 treatment facility. They have an immediate and critical shortage of NIOSH-approved N95 masks. The hospital’s medical residents have formed a group and are making requests of anyone who works in construction, or in do it yourself home construction projects donate any N95 respirators they may have on hand that can be used by hospitals. Continue reading Can you donate any NIOSH-approved N95 masks to Brooklyn hospital in crisis?