Organic Gravenstein Apple Juice Sale: Hebrew School Fundraiser

apple_juice_14Sunday, September 15, 2019 at 12 pm —Organic Gravenstein apple juice grown at Pardes Farm in Saanich! $10 for 2 litres.

  • Usually we have a mix of apples in our juice, but this year, the Gravensteins were plentiful, so we’ve pressed an early batch of juice solely made up of our prize-winning Gravensteins.
  • Come out and try it. Support the Hebrew school. You can also write to and we’ll set aside some bottles of juice for you to pick up at the Hebrew School sale, Sunday, September 15 at noon.

Emanu-El Participates in National Bible Contest: כול הכבוד

Bible Contest Photo 1.2

The National Bible Contest was held in Montreal this past Sunday and Monday. Six of Congregation Emanuel’s Grade five/six class competed long distance from Vancouver. The material was parts of Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy, a total of 23 chapters. On Sunday morning the students wrote a 50-question multiple choice exam and two other exams which required them to answer questions like “who said to whom?” and “what does this mean”: “the wages of your labourer shall not remain with you until morning”. Continue reading Emanu-El Participates in National Bible Contest: כול הכבוד

Attention parents: Kafe & Kibitz

kafe kibitz

Sunday, April 28, 10:15 am to noon, 710 Pandora Avenue lobby — Come hang out with other parents in a warm & welcoming environment; feel free to bring along any young children currently in tow. We look forward to engaging conversation, laughter, reflection, support, and, of course, caffeine. Everyone is welcome, including non-members. NEW LOCATION: We’ll be meeting in the lobby of 710 Pandora Avenue (the new building at Pandora & Douglas) beside Sherwood Cafe.

Bear This in Mind!

Bear stuffiesThis year, the Hebrew School tried something new and different on Tuesday afternoons: teachers Beatrice and Leah asked students to bring in teddy bear ‘stuffies’ to serve as symbolic (and cuddly) surrogates for learning about Jewish life-cycle events.

The students chose Hebrew names for their ‘stuffies’, which they gave the bears at a “naming ceremony” in December, for which each student also made her or his bear a kippah and a wimple (usually used to tie Torah scrolls) to use as a sash.

Later, the bears were prepared for a ‘Bear-Mitzvah’. To do this, each student was given a mitzvah to do on behalf of his or her bear, such as visiting the sick or helping someone in need.

It was very moving for educators and parents to see these children talking about what Jewish life-cycle events mean to them. The students also explained how they understand the meaning of the phrase, in the Ve’ahavta prayer, that calls upon Jews to “impress them” (i.e., the words of the shamma prayer) “on their children.”

The ‘Bear Mitzvah’ finale event was held during a Friday night family Kabbalat Shabbat on March 1. Students chanted prayers, sang songs, and, together with their bears, stood under a “Bear Mitzvah” tallit shawl for a blessing from the congregation.

The Jewish bear project has been a wonderful means of imparting Jewish education in ways that are meaningful to children. It also attests to the educational value of Tuesday afternoon Hebrew School classes, where there is more time and space to focus in depth on a learning project.

So, is the Jewish bear project now over? Maybe not. We hear that somebody’s preparing for a wedding! Stay tuned for a bear ḥuppah


Attention parents: Kafe & Kibitz

kafe kibitz

Sunday, February 24, 10:15 am to noon in lobby, 710 Pandora Avenue — Come hang out with other parents in a warm & welcoming environment: feel free to bring along any young children in tow. We look forward to engaging conversation, laughter, reflection, support, and, of course, caffeine. Everyone is welcome, including non-members. NEW LOCATION: We’ll be meeting in the lobby of 710 Pandora Street (the new building at Pandora & Douglas) beside Sherwood Cafe.


Shabbat Shebang

Kabbalat Shabbat

November 30, 7:00pmKabbalat Shabbat Service: Come join the Hebrew School and experience a joyful, spirited Kabbalat Shabbat service with our amazing Kabba Shabba Band.  Services are spirited, interactive, and family oriented. If you are looking for intergenerational Jewish fun replete with singing, dancing, storytelling, great food and company, this is the place in Victoria. Services followed by a dessert Oneg at 8 pm.

November 30,  5:45 pm — Hebrew School & Community Shabbat Dinner: Before the Kabbalat Shabbat service, join Hebrew School families and friends for an eco-pot luck vegetarian dinner. Bring a vegetarian/dairy main course or salad and a small dessert along with your own dishes and cutlery (because many folk don’t have kosher kitchens, we can’t use the Shul’s dishes).  Label your dish with ALL ingredients. Please RSVP to if you plan to attend dinner so we know how many tables to set up.
Noise-alert: there will be an element of frenetic kid energy at this dinner. Feel free to come just for services.
Looking forward to an evening full of joy and connection!

Organic Apple Juice Hebrew School Fundraiser

From CastleRock Pardes  Farm — Made from a mixture of crisp Spartan, Red Delicious, MacIntosh and Granny Smith apples, this apple juice has been filtered and passed through UV cold pasteurization, retaining its exquisite complex taste and total nutritional value. The jugs can be frozen and imbibed throughout the year.  Fill your freezer!!
  • All proceeds will be donated to Hebrew School children.
  • Fundraiser price per 2 litre jug – $10
  • Please call Jill or Mike at 250-544-8870 or send an email to to arrange pickup at the synagogue.
  • You can also pick up juice this Sunday, October 14, from 9-9:30 a.m. or at 12:30 pm

Emanu-El students capture 1st and 3rd prize in National Bible Contest

20180506_112743-1-1Last week seven Congregation Emanu-El Hebrew School students travelled to Vancouver to compete in the National Bible Contest. They wrote three separate exams on over 25 chapters of Exodus; no easy feat for people of their age. When the finallists were announced, we were thrilled that we had three students in the mix: Ephrem Boyarim, Tillie Stanger-Ross and Sam Roubini. Then they wrote the final which had a question in honour of Israel’s 70th birthday – when and in what context was the land of milk and honey mentioned in Exodus? Not easy, right? Anyway, when the winners were announced Sam Roubini took 1st prize and Tillie Stanger-Ross took 3rd prize.

We are proud of all the students who wrestled with the material all year, wondering why God stiffened Pharaoh’s heart and made the Egyptians suffer so much and why wasn’t Aaron punished for making the golden calf.

Mazal Tov to everyone!

Many thanks to those of you who supported this trip financially and to the Jewish Federation of Victoria and Vancouver Island (JFVVI) who continues to support Hebrew School activities.

Todah Rabah,
Leah Levi and the students.

Lots of amazing learning!

Hebrew SchoolWhat’s new at the Hebrew School? Lots of amazing learning is happening (in Hebrew with a smidgen or two of English)!

We have seven Hebrew School students scheduled to compete in the National Bible Contest in Vancouver on May 12-13 weekend. During the past year among their many other Hebrew School activities, they have studied more than 25 Exodus chapters for this contest.

After Havdalah on Sunday April 15, in celebration of the upcoming Yom Ha-atzma’ut (April 19), Leah told students the story of the modernization of Hebrew started by Eliezer Ben-Yehuda in the late 19th century after 2000 years during which Hebrew was exclusively a liturgical language of Torah and prayer.

Leah asked students to name other languages exclusively spoken by Jews, such as Yiddish, Ladino and Judeo-Arabic. The students (and a few parents who were in attendance) were fascinated by the remarkable story of Hebrew’s reinvention in the context of early Zionism. Leah ended the story with the establishment of the State of Israel, but we know that modern Israeli Hebrew speakers continue to expand the language – so let’s remember this as we break out the עגבניות (tomatoes), מלפפונים (cucumbers), פטרוזיליה (parsley), בצל (onion) and מיץ לימון (lemon juice) for a tasty “Israeli salad” snack!

In late April, we said goodbye to some of our beloved Hebrew School teachers who are UVic students; these students are now out of school and off to partake in their own summer activities. So, goodbye and thank-you (להתראות ותודה) to Sarah Friedman, Etz Greenfield, and Hannah Faber, and a very warm welcome to our newly minted Hebrew School teachers Grace Gardner and Carolyn Blum! ברוכים הבאים (welcome)!

Finally, we say many thanks to the volunteers who helped and to the shoppers who supported the Hebrew School by purchasing Passover supplies and other goodies at our Pesach Market. תודה רבה (Thank you very much)!

Lincoln Z. Shlensky

Pesaḥ Market Open for Extended Hours


Wednesday, March 21, 6-8 pm, Sunday & Monday, March 25 & 26, 11 am-2 pm — Our Pesaḥ Market is a Fundraiser for Emanu-El Hebrew School. The Hebrew School thanks you for your ongoing support. We are pleased to announce that we have received additional goods and have extended our market hours. Continue reading Pesaḥ Market Open for Extended Hours