Explaining the priest/prophet divide

IMG_6024-001Dr. Francis Landy intrigued the audience who came out to hear him speak about the Biblical Prophets on Sunday, April 29. He provided a sociocultural context for the prophets within Jewish history, pointing out that the concerns of the prophets differed greatly from those of the priests who were completely centered on the temple religious practice.

He acquainted the audience with the prophets’ anti-ritualist perspective – one which considered temple and temple ritual as unnecessary, dangerous and potentially corrupt. He presented the prophets as a group of inspired poets who considered the values of justice, righteousness and kindness as the pathway to reflecting divine wisdom in our lives.  Landy will follow-up with a talk exploring the prophets’ writings on Tuesday, May 15 at 7 pm at Congregation Emanu-El synagogue.



Limmud Vancouver: April 14-15, 2018

Limmud Vancouver is part of a global phenomenon that began in Great Britain in 1980 and has spread over the past three decades across the Jewish world. More than 60 Jewish communities from Bulgaria to Brazil now hold Limmud events.

Continue reading Limmud Vancouver: April 14-15, 2018

Judaism – An Introduction


Course starts January 18, 2018 — Join Rabbi Harry Brechner from Congregation Emanu-El for this informative 8-week course, which introduces Jewish beliefs, practice and history. The course reflects egalitarian Conservative Judaism: the topics include holidays, life cycle celebrations, theology and core beliefs, prayer, Jewish sacred texts, history, the Holocaust, and Israel. This course is open to anyone wishing to explore the many facets of Judaism.

  • Dates: January 18, 2018 and ending March 15, 2018*
  • Time: Thursdays, 7:30 – 9:00 pm
  • Sessions: 8
  • Location: Congregation Emanu-El sanctuary
  • Cost: $90 for students, $120 for members, $150 for nonmembers.
  • Note: Pre-register through the office (Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, 9:30 am to 2:30 pm phone: 250-382-0615)
  • Further information, contact Chanah by email: chanahaviva@gmail.com

*There will be a one week break in February: date TBA.


History of Jewish Scholarship on Islam: The Story of a Fascination

Thursday, March 23 at 4:30 pm
University of Victoria, David Strong Building C118

As a leading scholar of Judaism, and religion and culture in European history, Dr. Heschel will present the history of Jewish scholarship on Islam in the modern world. 

In the nineteenth century, Jewish scholars in Europe began to demonstrate the parallels between Judaism and Islam. Theirs was a distinct Orientalism that focused on Islam’s rationalism, monotheism, and religious law. Dr. Heschel will reflect on the role of Jewish scholarship within the larger context of the nineteenth century’s approach to “religion,” European imperialism, and its adoption and transformation of insights drawn from New Testament scholarship.  This is a free event; the general public is invited.

Rabbi Harry talk at “Religions of the World” series

Thursday, January 19, 12–1pm

Rabbi Harry opens the second series of lunch time lectures
(noon to 1:00 pm) on Religions of the World on Thursday, January 19, at Christ
Church Cathedral
, Chapter Room, Quadra and Rockland. 

Christ Church Cathedral
and the Multi-Faith Society are the co-sponsors for this series of talks which
take place on Thursdays through to February 16 with a different speaker each
week. For more information call 250-383-2714 or go to website

Other speakers are:

  • January 26 – Sri Ganti (Hindu)
  • February 2 – Wayne Codling (Buddhist)
  • February 9 – Parminder Virk (Sikh)
  • February 16 – TBA (Aboriginal Neighbours – The
    Blanket Exercise) 

Bring your lunch or just sit and listen. Coffee and tea will be

Introduction to Judaism 2017

Please join Rabbi Harry Brechner for this informative 12-week course, which introduces Jewish theology, rhythms of life, peoples of the book, Jewish history, contemporary Judaism, ethics and values and much more.  

This course is open to anyone wishing to explore the many facets of Judaism.  

  • Course start date: Thursday, February 9th at 7:30 to 9 pm
  • Where:  Congregation Emanu-El Synagogue, 1461 Blanshard Street, Victoria, BC
  • Cost: $130 for members of Congregation Emanu-El; $155 for non-members

Please contact the Synagogue office: Tuesday-Thursday for course registration and payment.

If you require further information, please email Chanah