On December 22, 2019, a crowd gathered in Centennial Square to celebrate the first night of Ḥanukkah. The musical headliner was the high-octane and popular Victoria High Rhythm and Blues Band. After lighting a large free-standing menorah (“shout out” to Ed Walker), the music and dancing began. Holiday joy, ruaḥ (spirit) and “horas” filled the square. Participants were invited to let their inner light shine amid the darkness of the season and, at times, our troubled world. Generosity and kindness led to many donations to the Avodah “8 for 8 campaign” to support the food bank at St. John the Divine. The backdrop of the “Lights of Wonder” exhibit encouraged more attendees than usual (too many to count!) to show up at the menorah lighting. Lastly, a heartfelt thanks goes to the Downtown Victoria Business Association who partnered with us in this successful and memorable evening.
For more photos (taken by Penny Tennenhouse, Frances Aknai & Frances Rosenberg)…
Avodah got Ḥanukkah off to a delicious and freilach start with our 7th annual well-oiled Big Latke Lunch at Our Place. Our enthusiastic, dedicated volunteers, led by our exceptional latke-maker, Daryl Levine, fried and served an amazing 600 latkes while the ever-loving spirited Klezbians once again came to the aid of the party with their joyful klezmer music including the dedication of a special song to Rabbi Harry—the Rabbi’s Hornpipe and somehow getting Rabbi Harry and Penny to sing with them! Continue reading Avodah serves latkes at Our Place
On or before December 22, 2019 — Avodah invites you to bring 8 items – one for each night of Ḥanukkah to the Menorah Lighting in Centennial Square, Sunday, December 22, 2018 at 5:00 pm or to the synagogue office during office hours.
Let’s share our abundance with the Emergency Food Service at St. John the Divine.
Suggested non-perishable, new items for donation are:
• canned fruit • canned salmon
• tins of meat, chicken • granola bars
• condiments • honey
• jam • cereal, canned milk
• chunky soups • crackers
• cookies • margarine
• eggs • razorsCanned goods with pull tab tops are encouraged.Thank you from the Avodah Social Action Group!
Deadline December 15, 2019 — Every year Jewish Family Services of Vancouver Island (JFSVI) runs Ḥanukkah gift donations and food drives, hand delivering gift baskets to over 40 families and individuals in our community who are struggling. Currently our client list is growing primarily due to the high cost of living in the Victoria area. This year we are promoting Gift Card donations by multiples of $18 (ḥay). Continue reading JFSVI requests gift card donations for Ḥanukkah 2019
Sunday December 22, 2019, from 5 pm, Centennial Square — In a world beset by politics and division, we ask you to shine your light. Share your own special brand of kindness, thoughtfulness and faith in one another. Shine your light to demonstrate your belief that together we are better, respect eases the journey and miracles do happen. Join Congregation Emanu-El for a joyous and raucous Hanukkiah lighting, illumine the path of hope amidst the darkness, and let your inner light shine. Continue reading A Public Menorah Lighting
Thursday, November 28, 2019, 6 pm — The UVic Jewish students together with other cultural groups on campus will hold a Festival of Lights Dinner on Thursday, November 28, 2019, 6 pm at which they will share experiences and customs of light festivals in support of diversity and respect of the other. Hillel invites community members to join in this special dinner. The admission is free but community members that wish to attend must RSVP by November 26, 2019. Here is the link to RSVP…
On December 9, 2018 an enthusiastic crowd gathered in Centennial Square to celebrate the final night of the Jewish Festival of Lights. Our youngest participants led the way at the public menorah lighting, and lit up the large Ḥanukkiah, designed by Ed Walker. Then the partying began in earnest, spurred on by the high-octane singing and passion of the Victoria High Rhythm and Blues Band. People danced with abandon to a long-play version of Havah Nagilah. Other Ḥanukkah favourites, along with a number of R & B tunes, followed. Attendees generously brought non-perishable items to support the food bank at St. John the Divine Anglican Church.
Huge Thank Yous go out to the many volunteers who stepped up to make this evening a rousing success. Todah rabah to Rabbi Harry who led by example, both with his spirited dancing and wise teaching about this year’s Ḥanukkah theme “The Light of Courage – Demonstrating Resilience in the Face of Hatred and Fear
For more photos… (Penny Tennenhouse & Frances Rosenberg)… and a ruaḥ video… (Frances Rosenberg) …