Readings from Orcas Everywhere and Orcas of the Salish Sea

June 12, 11AM to 4PM – Mark Leiren-Young will be appearing at World Oceans Day at Fisherman’s Wharf. He will read from two of his books for younger readers – “Orcas Everywhere” and “Orcas of the Salish Sea” – and answer questions about the southern residents, and orcas everywhere. Readings at noon, 1PM, and 3PM.

Summary of event details

Candles4Climate Vigil: Call to Action from Jewish and Christian Faiths

#Candles4Climate Vigil

Monday December 13th, 5:00 PM – This Monday, bring your candle to the Candles4Climate Vigil in support of our climate!  

Emanu-El joins with the Anglican Diocese of Islands and Inlets to demonstrate support of 10 climate emergency actions. Rabbi Harry and Bishop Anna Greenwood-Lee have written to Premier John Horgan calling for accountability and the protection and preservation of our environment. 

Read the letter to Premier John Horgan

Join Rabbi Harry and Bishop Anna at the vigil. 1084 Fort Street: the office of Grace Lore MLA Victoria-Beacon Hill.

There’s more you can do! Read on…

The Campaign

Goal: Demonstrate public support for the ten climate emergency actions with a visible weekly candlelight vigil for the victims of climate change.

Action: Light a candle in your window every Monday night at 8pm until the provincial government takes the movement’s ten emergency actions. Share on social media as you see fit with hashtag #Candles4Climate.

Organize: Plan a Monday candlelight vigil outside your MLA’s office with other community members and invite your MLA. 

Sample Social Post

Tonight, we’re remembering victims of BC’s record heat wave and widespread flooding & calling on the province to take urgent action on the climate emergency. Please light a candle in your window at 8pm this evening. Take a photo, use the hashtag #Candles4Climate & tag your MLA

Facebook image – #Candles4Climate Vigil

Sample Network Email

Dear [NAME],

Somber news from the B.C. Coroner’s Office confirmed nearly 600 people died from extreme heat this summer in the province. Since then, floods have swept away critical infrastructure, farmlands and First Nations communities throughout the province. These devastating events are sounding the alarm for us to eliminate carbon pollution as fast as possible to prevent even more deadly extreme weather.

People across the province are lighting a candle to remember the victims of these deadly events and to show our communities we need to act on the climate emergency with the urgency it requires.

Every Monday evening at 8pm, we’re putting this candle in our windows and sharing a photo on social media. Together, we are grieving the victims of climate change and honouring their memory by demanding action from our provincial government. We’ll continue this weekly vigil until B.C. has a climate plan that reflects the emergency.

Earlier this year, nearly 300 Indigenous organizations, student clubs, faith communities, businesses, unions, environmental non-profits and cultural groups wrote to the provincial government with a list of actions it must take to combat this crisis. You can read the open letter here and sign on for your organization here

Please join us and put candle (a beeswax, soy-based or LED are great) in your window on Monday night. Share it on social media with the hashtag #Candles4Climate and tag your local MLA! Thanks for taking the time out of your week to remember those we’ve lost to the climate crisis and resolve not to rest until everyone is safe from its devastating impacts.



P.S. Please be safe and make sure to extinguish your candle before you go to bed. 

Summary of event details

  • Date: Monday December 13th
  • Time: 5:00 pm
  • Where: 1084 Fort Street: the office of Grace Lore MLA Victoria-Beacon Hill

Kafe & Kibitz

kafe kibitzSunday March 1, 2020 from 10:10 – 11:30(ish) am — We are excited to invite parents and caregivers to our next discussion group on environmentalism, climate crisis and parenting on Sunday March 1, 2020 from 10:10 – 11:30(ish) am in the Atrium at 808 Yates Street. We are building on our last wonderful conversation about Judaism and the Environment. Continue reading Kafe & Kibitz

Tu Bishvat 5780: Plant a sapling!

March of the Saplings 1000Let’s do something good for our city and planet. In celebration of Tu Bishvat (the New Year of the Trees), Congregation Emanu-El, in collaboration with the City of Victoria, is holding a communal tree planting event. Our goal is to plant scores of trees!
Following tree planting, you are invited to attend an inspirational Tu Bishvat Seder at 12:00 noon in the synagogue. Continue reading Tu Bishvat 5780: Plant a sapling!

An Honour for One of Our Own

Ed Fitch PortraitCongregation Emanu-El Board member Ed Fitch [otherwise known as Major-General Edward Fitch (Ret’d)], was recently appointed Honourary Lieutenant-Colonel (HLCol), 4th Canadian Ranger Patrol Group.  This is a significant volunteer assignment for Ed whose long and distinguished military career is replete with accomplishments.
The Canadian Rangers are a part of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) Reserves working in remote, isolated and coastal regions of Canada. They act as the eyes and ears of the remote areas they cover, and provide an essential support to CAF national security and public safety operations within Canada. Their motto is ‘Vigilans‘, meaning ‘The Watchers.’

HLCol Fitch was instrumental in extending the 4th Canadian Rangers Patrol Group from British Columbia into Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba in the late 1990s through the early 2000s while he was Commander of Land Forces Western Area (now the 3rd Canadian Division).

Congregation Emanu-El congratulates HLCol Fitch and wishes him all the best in his new assignment.

“What has the future ever done for me?”

Peggy RickOn Sunday, March 10 at Congregation Emanu-El in his talk about Unsustainability & Vancouver Island, Rick Kool remarked that we might not see significant results from effective sustainability efforts during our lifetime and that the “What has the future ever done for me?” (WFDM) attitude is a stumbling block to an effective communal approach to the environmental challenges we face. Pictured above are Peggy Wilmott (GVAT) and Rick Kool as they discuss the sustainability challenge with the audience. For more photos taken by Penny Tennenhouse & Frances Rosenberg…

Unsustainability & Life on Vancouver Island

Unsustainability 2March 10, 2 pm at Congregation Emanuel — Dr. Richard Kool will speak to us about the sustainability challenges Vancouver Islanders face. Rick says, “We think of Vancouver Islanders as being green, eco-friendly and trying to be sustainable. And yet, our Island community is an enormous distance from living within the means of the island’s ecosystems and will be increasingly at risk from a changing climate.” Rick will present some of the sustainability challenges on Vancouver Island, some things that might be done, and some things that we are doing that are likely to not have much of an impact at all.

Rick is a professor in the School of Environment and Sustainability and founder of the MA program in Environmental Education and Communication at Royal Roads University. Before joining Royal Roads, he worked at the BC Provincial Museum initially as an education officer and ending his time there as director of public programs. Rick served as the environmental education coordinator for the B.C. Ministry of Environment, and coordinated park interpretation within B.C. Parks, before joining Royal Roads in 2003.

Sponsored by the Emanu-El Adult Education Team.  Contact Heshi ( if you have any questions.

Entry is by donation: light refreshments will be served.




Environmental issues in Israel and the Palestinian Territories

Join us on Wednesday, March 1st at 7 pm at the Congregation
Emanu-El synagogue, for the third talk in our series Sketches of
Israel and the Middle East
when Dr.
Richard Kool will address the topic “… a
land flowing with milk and honey (Ex. 33:3)”: Environmental issues in Israel
and the Palestinian Territories.

Although smaller in area and length than Vancouver Island, Israel
is a place that receives far more attention from people around the world. While
religion and politics attract global interest primarily, Israel and the
Palestinian Territories have significant environmental issues, ones that seem
as intractable as the political and religious ones that generate most
international concern. This presentation by Dr. Richard Kool, who has
participated in various Israeli environmental projects, will look at the
serious environmental issues facing those living in Israel and the Palestinian
Territories, and the work that is being done by Israelis and Palestinians   together to improve conditions for all.

Dr. Richard
Kool is an Associate Professor in the School of Environment and Sustainability
at Royal Roads University. He was invited to be part of Israeli environmental
projects first in 2003, and then in 2014, where he attended the Batsheva de
Rothschild Workshop on Initiatives in Science and Education for Improving the
Kidron/Nar Basin
 and consulted with the management and staff at the
Memorial Gardens and Nature Park at Ramat HaNadiv near Zikhron Ya’akov.

by the Emanu-El Adult Education Team, this series aims at increasing our
members’ knowledge of Israel and the Middle East. Contact Heshi at if you have any questions.

Entry is by
donation: light refreshments will be served.