#DoTheLoop Fundraiser

Do the Loop!

September 18 to 26, 2021—Do the Loop is 25 km run, walk, bike, roll or glide around the perimeter of Greater Victoria. It’s a fun, community fundraiser event in support of Threshold Housing Society. Their mission is to prevent adult homelessness by providing safe housing, support services, and community to at-risk youth. Threshold is a co-member of Greater Victoria Acting Together (GVAT) with working relationships with our Avodah Social Action group and GVAT’s Housing team. You can go with friends or alone, take your time, do the circuit in stages—whatever takes your fancy. 

For more information and to register go to: https://www.thresholdhousing.ca/dotheloop

High Holy Days 2021/5782 Service Schedule

Indoor Services in the Sanctuary

Register at info@congregationemanuel.ca—Due to limited capacity at our indoor services, we ask that you choose ONE indoor service—this means selecting either one Rosh Hashanah OR one Yom Kippur service as your top choice.

  • Rosh Hashanah Day 1 – September 7, 10:00 am
  • Rosh Hashanah Day 2 – September 8, 10:00 am
  • Erev Yom Kippur/Kol Nidre – September 15, 6:15 pm
  • Yom Kippur Morning Service – September 16, 10:00 am
  • Yom Kippur Minḥah/Neilah/Break-fast – September 16, 6:00 pm

When you email your first choice, please also add your second and third choices so that we can be sure to fill the services to capacity. If we can accommodate people at more than one service, we will.

Last year, we were able to add people to their second choice the day before—quite last-minute.

We will confirm your registration for each service, so please keep track once we notify you. All of these services will also be offered on Zoom (no need to preregister for Zoom).

Also note:  Members will have the first opportunity to register. After August 24, 2021, we will open registration to non-members.

Outdoor Services at St. Ann’s Academy

For many reasons, people may prefer to gather outdoors. We are offering several services on the grounds of St. Ann’s Academy.

Rosh Hashanah Day 1

  • Alternative Experiential Service with Rabbi Harry – Sept. 7, 12:30 to 2:00 pm
  • Children’s Service and oneg, with Carolyn Blum and Noa Marnin, walk to Tashlikh at Dallas Road – Sept. 7, 3:00 to 4:15 pm

Yom Kippur

  • Traditional Highlights with Rabbi Harry – Sept. 16, 1:30 to 3:00 pm

If the Provincial Guidelines allow, we will not require pre-registration for our outdoor services at St. Ann’s Academy and, while recommended, we may be able to allow more flexibility about masks. We will still request that congregants have consent before approaching or touching others. People will be choosing the outdoor option for many different reasons, including vulnerable health. There will be washrooms and hand-sanitizer available.

High Holy Days: Safety Information

Welcome!  It is our hope that everyone who wants an in-person experience in our sanctuary will be able to have this during the High Holy Days.
To ensure that this is possible, we recommend the following simple guidelines and request that we all follow them:

  • We will limit attendance to allow seating at 2 m physical distance.
  • We will require preregistration, to maintain physical distancing.
  • We request that masks be worn when you are not at your seat or when you are singing. We recommend masks at all times, but you can take them off while seated and not singing/ chanting.
  • We request that congregants draw no nearer than 2 m to another without that person’s consent.Please assume that everyone wishes to maintain physical distance, and forgo handshakes, hugs, close conversation, and close seating. Please obtain consent before approaching or touching another person.
  • Please do not attend if you are ill.
  • Please continue to exercise good hand hygiene and cough etiquette.

Join us for A Light in Dark Times

Tuesday, August 24, 2021, at 6 pm“What happens when Midrash is not generated by the sages of the distant past but rather contemporary artists?” This question, posed by Rabbi Harry, is the basis for the project, Calling All Artists (CAA), which has been held every year since 2005. This year, in the middle of a pandemic, the project was even more meaningful, though its format more unusual. Eighteen artists of different media gathered on Zoom to explore Torah that relates to Hope, Faith and Prayer. For the artists, it was a way to work with Rabbi Harry on braiding a spiritual lifeline during a time of isolation and fear. Please join us on Tuesday, August 24, 2021, on Zoom to celebrate the insights and interpretations of the year’s learning, titled A Light in Dark Times.

Each artist will show their work and explain the process that birthed it. Sculpture, paintings, handmade books, prayer flags, dance, poetry bowls—a treasure of wisdom and creativity. As Rabbi Harry says in his introduction to the project’s chapbook, “In many ways the sages of now are artists; open, courageous, creative seekers of truth and beauty, and conduits to understanding universal essence.”

The show will be hung in the Social Hall from August 20, 2021, to the end of November 2021. The chapbook A Light in Dark Times, which includes the artwork and artists’ statements, will be available through the Gift Shop and the individual artists.

Though not the most intimate of venues, our little Zoom frames are nevertheless wide-spread and accommodating. We would love to celebrate our work with all of you on Zoom, and by invitation only, with a small audience in the synagogue.

The Kosher Pig Lecture Series

Thursdays 6 to 7:30 pm, beginning August 12, 2021

It is a myth that Judaism “has always been this way.” In these four lectures, Rabbi Matt Ponak will show how and why our ancestors have always made choices about how they want to live, regardless of what religious customs they inherited. You’ll even learn how to make a pig kosher!

Thursdays August 12, 19, 26 and September 2 from 6 to 7:30 pm PT on Zoom. The lectures will be recorded.

Back to Shul Picnic

Please join Congregation Emanu-El for a Back to Shul picnic on Sunday August 22, 12pm – 3pm!

Back to Shul Picnic Poster

Come join us for vegetarian kosher dairy boxed lunches, schmoozing, music by the Klezbians, games for kids, and lots of conversation. Please bring a chair or blanket to sit on and plates and cutlery.

For location information please contact the office: info@congregationemanuel.ca

Rides will be available for those who need them—to arrange, please call the office at 250-382-0615 before 3:00 PM August 19.

Tikkun Leil Shavuot

Save ShavuotSaturday May 19, 2018 — As Shabbat draws to a close and Erev Shavuot begins, join us for an awesome night of Torah learning (in its broadest sense), dairy treats to nourish you, and the camaraderie of friends new and old. We are blessed with many excellent teachers in our midst and they will engage and challenge you with their ideas.  Our learning will be fueled by an array of munchies and of course, coffee! Details to follow.

2018 Victoria SALT New Music Festival Daniel Biro: Talk & Concert

Ethica ConcertWednesday, May 9 at 7:30 pm, Congregation Emanu-El, 1461 Blanshard Street Congregation Emanu-El (CEE) Adult Education Committee is pleased to present the closing event of the 2018 Victoria SALT New Music Festival at the synagogue on Wednesday, May 9 at 7:30 pm. The program will feature an introductory talk by CEE member and composer Dániel Péter Biró about Baruch Spinoza and the Amsterdam Portuguese Synagogue. A concert featuring musicians from Heidelberg will follow the talk. Continue reading 2018 Victoria SALT New Music Festival Daniel Biro: Talk & Concert

Who were the Prophets?

נביאים3Sunday, April 29 at 2:00 pm, Congregation Emanu-El synagogue — The writings of the prophets occupy a large section of the Hebrew Bible. Who were the biblical prophets? What was their message and their legacy?
On Sunday, April 29 at 2:00 pm in Congregation Emanu-El synagogue, 1461 Blanshard Street, Dr. Francis Landy will give the first of two talks on Prophets and Prophecy sponsored by the Emanu-El Adult Education Team. Entry is by donation.

In this talk, Dr. Landy will give some background to the biblical prophets and to the historical situation to which they responded, to the relation between prophets and the prophetic books named after them, and to other strands of ancient Jewish thought, such as the priestly tradition, the historical books, and wisdom literature.

Francis Landy is a biblical scholar who has recently made his home in Victoria, after a career of over thirty years at the University of Alberta. He has published a number of books and many articles, and is a specialist in the poetry of the Hebrew Bible. He has written on the Song of Songs, Isaiah, Hosea and other books, as well as the theory of the study of religion. He is an Associate Fellow of the UVIC Centre for the Study of Religion and Society. He is a member of Congregation Emanu-El and a study partner of Rabbi Harry Brechner.

Bēma offers us Lessons!


April 12, 15, 16, 17, 19 & 22 — Bēma Productions proudly announces the Canadian premiere of Lessons, a thoughtful, compelling play by Wendy Graf about finding faith and love in a sometimes violent and alienating world, in the sanctuary at Congregation Emanu-El on April 12, 2018. The play will run for six performances.

Lessons is performed by Christine Upright (last seen as Edna in Bēma’s Prisoner of Second Avenue) and Alf Small (Horowitz and Mrs Washington). Zelda Dean directs. When Ben finally decides to have a Bar Mitzvah (at his age!) he hires Ruth, a Rabbi who’s lost her faith, to tutor him. The two characters forge a friendship as they each search for healing and forgiveness while wrestling with their own deep-rooted problems. Lessons is a touching, funny and poignant drama that asks the question: Can we find healing and forgiveness when our beliefs are questioned?

TICKETS: $22.00, available online or at Ticket Rocket, 101-804 Broughton Street, or at the door

  • Thursday, April 12   7:30 pm
  • Sunday, April 15      2:30 pm
  • Monday, April 16      7.30 pm
  • Tuesday, April 17     7.30 pm
  • Thursday, April 19   7.30 pm
  • Sunday, April 22      2.30 pm

All performances will be taking place in the Sanctuary at Congregation Emanu-El.

“A blend of wit and wisdom, “Lessons” questions, amuses and beguiles. Graf is in the long tradition of Jewish writers that include Neil Simon. And, very much like Simon, she mixes the angst in our lives with an overlay of humor that is both touching and tender.” – Ed Kauffman, Hollywood Reporter

“This quest for faith—in his case, a faith he’s never had, and in hers, a faith that she’s forsaken—is a poignant plea that touches everyone,” – KABC Radio

Wendy Graf is an award winning playwright whose plays have been produced throughout North America. “Lessons” was first produced in 2004 by West Coast Jewish Theatre and The Group at Strasberg in West Hollywood.