Innocence Stolen: Hungary, the Shoah and the Revolution of ’56

Never Again Farkas

Congregation Emanu-El Adult Education Committee is pleased to present a talk Innocence Stolen: Hungary, the Shoah and the Revolution of ’56 at the synagogue (1461 Blanshard Street, Victoria) on November 28 at 7:00 pm by Endre Farkas, author of Never, Again, a story set in post-war Communist Hungary. Farkas, the son of Holocaust survivors who escaped with his parents during the 1956 Hungarian uprising and settled in Montreal, is a poet, playwright and novelist.  He recently visited Hungary and will speak about what has and what has not changed since the revolution. Admission is by donation. Continue reading Innocence Stolen: Hungary, the Shoah and the Revolution of ’56

The Original Deed: Getting Family Right!

Sam AbelsonThe Original Deed, which will be staged November 15, 16, 18 and 19 at 7 pm in Congregation Emanu-El sanctuary, tells the story of an old man trying to hold onto his best memories, and to forget some of his worst, as he struggles to save his synagogue. But it’s really about family, the family of origin, the family we grew into, and the greater family beyond our relatives. Continue reading The Original Deed: Getting Family Right!

SAL’AM 2017: An Evening of Shared Cultures & Faiths

Muslim Jewish UVIC RevisedPresented by UVic Muslim Students & Jewish Students Association on Wednesday, November 8. Event starts promptly at 6:30 pm in the Student Union Building, Michele Pujol Room.  As there is limited space, please RSVP to or by phone to 250-361-7661 or to  or by phone to 778-922-2314.

Eco Vegetarian Potluck & Musical Kabbalat Shabbat

Kabbalat ShabbatFriday, November 3, 5:45 pm — Bring a vegetarian or dairy dish to our potluck dinner along with your own dishes & utensils for dining (that’s the “eco” part!). We’ll supply the ḥallah and the wine for kiddush. The dinners are a great way to get to know each other and all are welcome.
Services begin promptly at 7 pm, following dinner – it’s OK to come just for services if you can’t make it to the dinner.
Kabbalat Shabbat is a spirited and joyful service with singing and storytelling lead by Rabbi Harry and the rockin’ Emanu-El band. Services conclude at 7:45 pm with a tasty oneg dessert. The is a fun and meaningful event for kids and adults.
Please RSVP for dinner at the .

2017 Ralph Barer Community Service Award Ceremony & Kiddush

Barer 2On Saturday, October 21 the Barer/Sturmwind family invites you to join them at the synagogue for the presentation of the 2017 Ralph Barer Community Service Award. A short ceremony in honour of two dedicated volunteers: Graham Dragushan and Aaron Severs will take place during the Shabbat Service. Continue reading 2017 Ralph Barer Community Service Award Ceremony & Kiddush

Yom Iyun: Jewish cemeteries & the burial of non-Jews

Jewish Cemetery

Sunday, October 29, 2 – 4 pm: In an era where there are many multi-faith marriages, Congregation Emanuel has arranged for a Yom Iyun (day of learning) focused on the halakhah (Jewish jurisprudence) applicable to the burial of non-Jews in Jewish cemeteries. Continue reading Yom Iyun: Jewish cemeteries & the burial of non-Jews

The Ralph Barer Community Service Award

Emanu El. RSC 1.2

Ralph Barer moved to Victoria in 1952 with a young family and immediately immersed himself in the affairs of Congregation Emanu-El. At that time, the community was small, with only a handful of active members.

No matter how big or small the task, Ralph could be counted on to take care of it, often quietly behind the scenes. Organizing yearly Passover orders; editing and publishing the newsletter Koleinu for many years, sometimes almost singlehandedly; repairing small wooden chairs for the preschool; taking linen to be laundered and returning it ready for the next Kiddush; and countless other glamour-less tasks were carried out without fanfare or a need for recognition.

Ralph was, remarkably, an active and dedicated member of the board for over 50 consecutive years. During this time he provided leadership, continuity, and stability. While exercising diplomacy in dealing with contentious issues that arose over the years, he never hesitated to stand up and express his views, even when he knew they would be unpopular. These views were always driven by an interest in what was best for the community, and his own sense of integrity. Ralph played instrumental roles in searching out, interviewing, and hiring teachers and rabbis, and was one of the major forces behind ensuring that our historic building was retained for the Victoria Jewish Community.

To honour Ralph’s memory and his outstanding dedication and service to the Victoria Jewish Community, his family established The Ralph Barer Community Service Award which is presented to deserving Congregation members who embody Ralph’s spirit of exceptional commitment to community.

Morris, Denise (Sturmwind), Daniel, Philip and Steven Barer