Jewish Cemetery Tour

Sunday, September 6, 2020 at 2:00 pm RSVP required … Fraternal organizations were an important part of community life in early Victoria. With the help of Mark Anderson and Diana Pedersen, Amber Woods (author of the OCS’s publication Guide to Victoria’s Historic Jewish Cemetery), will tell stories of the Jewish Freemasons and Woodmen of the World buried here. Meet at main gates Fernwood Road at corner of Cedar Hill Road. Men, please wear a hat.

Cost is $2 for members of the Old Cemeteries Society and $5 for non-members.

COVID-19 Protocols for Old Cemetery Society’s tours for safety:
1.     Social distancing will be required.
2.     Masks are optional.
3.     Maximum capacity of this tour will be 20 people.

Registration is required. Space will be filled on a first come first serve basis. A second tour at 3:30 pm will be offered if needed. Please send an email with your name, contact information and number in your party attending to oldcem@pacificcoast.net. Please put Jewish Cemetery Tour in the subject line.

Copies of the Guide to Victoria’s Historic Jewish Cemetery will be available for purchase outside of the cemetery. Please bring cash or a check made out to Old Cemeteries Society.  Books are also available at Simcha Gift Shop at Congregation Emanu-El, Munro’s and Bolen Books.

Upcoming unveiling ceremonies

headstone-unveilingJanuary 10 @ 11 am & January 12 & 1 pm 2020 at Congregation Emanu-El cemetery — Dear Ones,
Within the past year we experienced the deaths of two congregants who were like family to many of us and for whom we were their closest loved ones.

  • The unveiling for KimNoa Bromberg z”l will take place on Friday, January 10, 2020 at 11 am.
  • The unveiling for Suzi Deston z”l will be on Sunday, January 12, 2020 at 1 pm. Reception to follow unveiling. To RSVP and for details…

Please come to honour their memories and share life lessons we received from them.
B’Virkat Shalom
Rabbi Harry

Joy Wilkins Baruḥ Dayan HaEmet

Joy Wilkins October 2018It is with a very heavy heart that I write to tell the community that Joy WIlkins died Monday July 29, 2019.

Most of the members of Congregation will not have known Joy, but anyone who has had a loved one buried in our cemetery or have come to visit the cemetery will have likely met Joy. She was the partner of our caretaker, Geoffrey Perkins, and like Geoff, carried a deep and abiding love for the cemetery, its history, its beauty, and the community it serves. Continue reading Joy Wilkins Baruḥ Dayan HaEmet

Invitation to a Cemetery Tour

Gravestone

Sunday, March 3 at 10 am, Jewish Cemetery, Cedar Hill Road near Hillside Avenue — Congregation Emanu-El invites you to attend a guided tour of our Cemetery at Cedar Hill Road led by our Cemetery Director, Dr. Rick Kool and local Jewish historian and tour guide, Amber Woods on Sunday, March 3 at 10 am.
This guided visit is in conjunction with Congregation Emanuel’s last Sunday’s Facilitated Encounter and the ongoing discussions around the possibility of providing space for the burial of congregants’ non-Jewish partners with their Jewish counterparts. It is hoped that, once having seen the area of the cemetery proposed for these burials, congregants will be better able to assess the proposition and form their opinions.

Maps of the cemetery will be provided, as will copies of Rabbi Harry’s tshuvah.

Old Cemeteries Society tours Congregation Emanu-El Cemetery

13119047_1030145147060277_9165576666690625803_nSeptember 2, 2 pm — The Old Cemeteries Society will conduct a tour of Congregation Emanu-El cemetery on Sunday, September 2 beginning at 2 pm. This Jewish Cemetery is the oldest continuously operating cemetery in BC and has connections to many pioneers from Victoria and other places. Amber Woods, author of the OCS’s recent publication Guide to Victoria’s Jewish Cemetery, will explain the cemetery’s location and describe its people, symbolism and monuments. Meet at the main gates, Fernwood Rd. at the corner of Cedar Hill Rd. Men, please wear a hat.

Guide to Jewish Cemetery Draws a Crowd

Book SigningClose to 50 people came to the official book launch for the Guide to Victoria’s Historic Jewish Cemetery written by Amber Woods and published by the Old Cemeteries Society. Rick Kool was the MC on behalf of Congregation Emanu-El and the Cemetery Committee. Short presentations were given by John Azar of the Old Cemeteries Society (OCS) and Amber Woods. Gary Cohen read a short biography as an illustration of one of the three anomalies of the Jewish Cemetery. Books were sold and signed in the social hall and a few Jewish desserts were served.

Guide to Victoria’s Historic Jewish Cemetery

AmberJewishCemeteryOn Monday, June 18, 7:30 pm you are invited to attend the launch of Guide to Victoria’s Historic Jewish Cemetery written by Amber Woods at Congregation Emanu-El, 1461 Blanshard Street. Copies of the book will be available for sale.

Continue reading Guide to Victoria’s Historic Jewish Cemetery

Interfaith burials – the Rabbi responds

Jewish Cemetery

Sunday February 18 2:00 pm Congregation Emanu-El — Over the past decade and more, there have been both formal and informal discussions about the possibility of creating a section of our cemetery for the burial of non-Jewish partners of members.

We had an open meeting in November when the Rabbi provided attendees with a range of rabbinic interpretations about the related issues surrounding such a change to our cemetery. Now that we have had a chance to review that material, Rabbi Harry will provide his formal rabbinic response to the the question of the creation of a section in the Emanu-El cemetery for interfaith burials in the upcoming meeting.

Dr. Richard Kool, Director, Congregation Emanu-El Cemetery

Jewish Cemeteries: How does the halakhah apply today?

Yom Iyun JC & Burial NJAlthough the sunlight outside was enticing, about forty congregants turned out for our Yom Iyun on Jewish Cemeteries and Burial of Non-Jews. Rabbi Harry presented the relevant halakhah using an historical approach. Those present listened attentively and responded with thoughtful questions and comments.

The Rabbi said that he would issue a formal response to this question by January 2018 when there would be a congregational meeting to consider the matter. Those present understood that any decision to change the current burial rules would require various policy/by-law decisions by the congregation.