From membership to ownership

Shares in our Shul 1000As we all know, it costs a whack of money just to keep the lights on in any building. This is particularly the case for a heritage building like part of ours. With a great deal of help from our treasurer Ellen and Yossi Boeno, (thank you guys) we’ve drawn up an itemized list (see the attached graph) of several of our annual operational expenses, some small, some significant.

Donations to our ‘general shul fund’ cover some of these expenses, some of the time. However, such funding is arbitrary and can feel a bit like giving to a black hole, we don’t really know what we’re contributing to. ‘Shares in our Shul’ will give us the opportunity to donate regularly an amount with which we are comfortable—monthly, quarterly or annually—to a specific expense of our choosing.

It is my hope that knowing what some of these annual expenses are, seeing them illustrated in a graph like this, will help us all understand our finances better and thus feel more connected and engaged with our Congregation when we contribute to one of those specific expenses; that an enhanced sense of engagement may help change our mind set moving us from the idea of ‘membership’ (i.e., I pay my dues so everything is covered) towards a concept of ‘ownership’, generating a sense of responsibility, a feeling of belonging and pride in our community and in our buildings. After all, we will be contributing to ‘Keeping the Lights On’.

Our office team is still coming to grips with the new synagogue management software, ShulCloud. Once that system is up and running fully we will work on the logistics of implementing ‘Shares in our Shul’. Watch this space…

Ruthi Wicks
President, Congregation Emanu-El

Emergency Capital Campaign

CEE Capital Campaign 2 final

Dear Ones,

Our synagogue needs your help. We have been blessed and lucky that our new building, the Fisher Educational and Cultural Building, has offered us incredible program space and allowed our congregation to grow both in numbers and in educational, spiritual, cultural and recreational activities. We are a dynamic flourishing community learning to successfully navigate space issues without compromising the quality of the programs we deliver to a diverse and growing congregational family. However, after 15 years of use our “new” building shows dramatic signs of wear and tear and, in some crucial places, systems breakdown. We have multiple building issues that must be fixed now. They are as follows:

Continue reading Emergency Capital Campaign

Realizing Israel’s Potential: One Town at a Time

aug-18-cov.18.Ruth-Wasserman-Lande-IMG_6857-600x636Thursday, September 14, 7 pm: — Ruth Wasserman Lande will launch the annual VVIJF fundraising campaign on September 14 at 7 pm in the Jewish Community Centre of Victoria with a talk entitled Realizing Israel’s Potential: One Town at a Time. Lande is a respected Mid-East expert and former advisor to Shimon Peres z”l who rose through the ranks at the Israeli Embassy in Egypt. Continue reading Realizing Israel’s Potential: One Town at a Time

Fundraiser dinner and haflah for Rashid family

June 29, 6–8pm at Congregation Emanu-El • 



Good News!

Update: All tickets are now sold, but it is still possible to donate without participating in the dinner: these donations would be receipted at full value.

We are excited to announce
that Sari Alesh, an accomplished violinist from Syria, will delight us with an interlude of Syrian music.

Thanks to the many people who have already purchased
tickets to support
the Rashid family in repaying
their loans to the federal government.

At long last, you can join us
in welcoming the Syrian family sponsored by Congregation Emanu-El.  Your support thus far has been remarkable. We
hope you can help again, as we seek to help the Rashid family raise funds to
repay their large travel loan.

The RashidsUbaydah, Samar
and Faruq – were not among the first 25,000 Syrian refugees accepted into
Canada. As a result, their travel expenses were not covered by the Canadian
government.  They received a loan of several
thousands of dollars, and must now repay it. 

As you can imagine, the
outstanding loan is very stressful for the family, who are diligently studying
English and a taking a training course to find employment.

Ubaydah’s brother Amer and
his family are in a similar situation. They are connected to another
sponsorship group (the Marhabaan group), who have joined with us to co-sponsor
this fundraising event. 

Together, we are supporting a
TRADITIONAL SYRIAN DINNER and ḤAFLAH (party). Samar and Ubaydah will prepare
the vegetarian and fish meal together with his brother and family. The proceeds
will assist the families to repay their travel loans.

Please join us for this
casual, delicious evening:

  • DATE: June 29, 6–8pm at Congregation Emanu-El
  • TIME: 6 to 8 pm
  • PLACE: Congregation
    Emanu-El Synagogue, 1461 Blanshard Street
  • COST: $100 per person*

The venue can only
accommodate 100 people, so we urge you to sign up soon if you would like to
enjoy this evening. If you cannot attend but are willing to support someone
else to attend the dinner, or make a donation to support the family, it would
be greatly appreciated.

Please confirm your
attendance no later than June 8
by sending a cheque to Congregation
Emanu-El 1461 Blanshard Street, Victoria, BC V8W 2J3. For payment by credit
card, call the synagogue office at 250-382-0615 Tuesday through Thursday, 9:30
a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

After June 8, we will open this event to the larger
Victoria community.

Questions?  Please contact Michael Goldstein at

*Ticket price is not eligible
for a charitable tax receipt.

Thanks for using uour Smile Cards!

Thanks to everyone who is using their Thrifty’s Smile
to buy groceries. Your combined efforts raised over $2,000 for the
synagogue in this past year!

Each time your Smile Card is used, Thrifty Foods
automatically donates 5% to Congregation Emanu-El’sSmile Card Account. This
income is invaluable when something needs to be fixed or replaced – unexpected
one-off projects are particularly problematic for our synagogue.

The more you use the cards, the bigger the benefit to the
synagogue. We’ll re-apply for the Smile Card program in the next
month, and if approved, for funding in 2017/2018, we’ll get the word right

Need a card – for you or someone else in your family? Please
call the synagogue office at 250-382-0615.

And the best thing about using the Smile Card is that it’s
faster than using a debit or credit card. Even faster than cash – give it a

Marathon finished successfully


Judith Belton announces:

I have now run the promised 460 km Marathon of Home, i.e., the length of Vancouver Island.

I finished with a weekend of running in Port Hardy, Courtenay, Campbell River, Qualicum and Nanaimo. I am delighted to report that my marathon raised $1500, while allowing me to enjoy some beautiful parts of our wonderful island. I am enervated by my rediscovery of running. I thank my supporters and hope to organize a future run in support Emanu-El’s social action initiatives. I just haven’t figured out yet the when, where and how. 

In the interim, I have to get started on another fundraising initiative – the organization, planning and publication of the next Vancouver Island Jewish Community Directory (2017). If you can think of any ways in which you’d like to help with that initiative, please let me know

– Judith Belton


Smile Cards funding approved

has once again approved Smile Card funding for Congregation
Emanu-El.  Our goal this year:  to replace our ageing and unreliable stove in
the  kitchen.

Every time your Smile Card is used to buy groceries, Congregation Emanu-El receives a
5% rebate on your purchase
.  The more we
use our cards, the bigger the benefit.
Let’s get that stove!  

Need a
new or replacement card for a family member or friend?  Please call the synagogue office at

Mantle for a mensch


Join us in raising
funds to sponsor a Torah mantle in memory of Gidi Nahshon z”l.

Gidi was a mentor,
scholar, teacher and devoted friend to many of us. He was a “Gadol” (spiritual
pillar) in our community.  He touched our
hearts, fed our minds, and left this
world far too soon.

 Sponsorship of a
Torah mantle costs $10,000, with proceeds going to both the Torah Fund and
General Operating Fund at the synagogue. Inspiring and distinctive new mantles
have been designed by Phyllis Serota. They will be unveiled in a special
Shabbat dedication ceremony on Saturday, March 19.  It would be only fitting if we could have one
Torah mantle in Gidi’s name.

If you can assist
us in this endeavour, please call the synagogue office at 250 382 0615 to
donate.  For more information or any
questions, please contact Aaron at or
Rabbi Harry at

All contributions
– large or small – are most welcome.

Todahrabah for
your generosity

– Religious Service

Syrian Refugee Family Sponsorship Update


26, 2016

The Inter-Cultural
Association (ICA) has confirmed that the sister of the
little family we’re sponsoring has completed her paperwork. While some of the
paperwork from the family has come in, other pieces are outstanding. The family
is having trouble either gaining access to or using a computer in Turkey. Nonetheless,
the ICA’s translator will begin English translation of the currently received documents.
There are mountains of forms, reports, applications etc. that must be completed
by all parties. This is a lengthy process. Needless to say, we are all anxious
to know the outcome of the paperwork review, and the medical/security

In the meantime,
fundraising will continue to help us reach our goal. Last Sunday’s fundraiser
at Congregation Emanuel – The Song of
– was wonderful, and raised $500 for our sponsorship project and $300
for the synagogue.  

Dahlia Beck’s description
of her experience says it all:

Faulkner has said that “the work of the artist is to lift up people’s
hearts and help them endure.”

The 9 artists

up our hearts,

our bodies,

our souls,

our senses,

buoyed our spirits.

Todah rabah to the poets Isa, Barbara, Judith, & Dvora, and The Klez —Kate (violin), Alex (mandolin), Martina (flute), Barb (bass), and Lucy (guitar).

Members of our community
have been most generous in volunteering to provide all manner of goods for the
family.  Thank you so much!  Once we create a database of offers received,
and needs outstanding, we will request other supplies and household goods.

Just couldn’t take the pressure any more…

R.I.P., Fridge Compressor
Ed Fitch, chair of the House Committee, has sadly informed the Board that after many years of noisy heat-producing labour, the compressor of the walk-in fridge has met its demise,  all efforts at valiant repair notwithstanding.

The Board has therefore authorized a new replacement compressor to be purchased and installed on the roof above the kitchen, thereby eliminating the noise and heat of the existing interior compressor.

We have an estimate of $3,400 to purchase and install the new compressor.
Any and all generous donations will be thankfully acknowledged (tax receipt)  and appreciated.
Please call Zelda at the office, Tuesday through Thursday 9:30 am–2:30 pm at 250-382-0615.