A Todah Rabah Kiddush for all

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Saturday, July 7 — Ruthi and Alexandre are saying THANK YOU to our super caring community for all the support, food, affection and love showered on Ruthi during the last few months and for the many unsung gestures of kindness, generosity and support our community provides when needed.
Thank You, Everyone. Please come and enjoy!

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The Ralph Barer Community Service Award

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Ralph Barer moved to Victoria in 1952 with a young family and immediately immersed himself in the affairs of Congregation Emanu-El. At that time, the community was small, with only a handful of active members.

No matter how big or small the task, Ralph could be counted on to take care of it, often quietly behind the scenes. Organizing yearly Passover orders; editing and publishing the newsletter Koleinu for many years, sometimes almost singlehandedly; repairing small wooden chairs for the preschool; taking linen to be laundered and returning it ready for the next Kiddush; and countless other glamour-less tasks were carried out without fanfare or a need for recognition.

Ralph was, remarkably, an active and dedicated member of the board for over 50 consecutive years. During this time he provided leadership, continuity, and stability. While exercising diplomacy in dealing with contentious issues that arose over the years, he never hesitated to stand up and express his views, even when he knew they would be unpopular. These views were always driven by an interest in what was best for the community, and his own sense of integrity. Ralph played instrumental roles in searching out, interviewing, and hiring teachers and rabbis, and was one of the major forces behind ensuring that our historic building was retained for the Victoria Jewish Community.

To honour Ralph’s memory and his outstanding dedication and service to the Victoria Jewish Community, his family established The Ralph Barer Community Service Award which is presented to deserving Congregation members who embody Ralph’s spirit of exceptional commitment to community.

Morris, Denise (Sturmwind), Daniel, Philip and Steven Barer

Kiddush for Avodah

Saturday, March 4th, after service

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Join us for Shabbat service and kiddush on March 4th as we honour Congregation Emanu-El’s social action group, Avodah which was created by Rabbi Harry Brechner in 2003 as a vehicle to put our beliefs (v’ahavta l’reyakha kamokha—“Love your neighbour as yourself”; tikkun olam—“putting the world to rights”; and gmilut ḥasadim—acts of lovingkindness) into action and to serve those in most need in Victoria, particularly the poor and homeless youth, adults and families. 

The word avodah means “service”, “work” and “worship.” The Avodah Social Action Group is based on the concept that avodah is at the heart of being a holy congregation, that there is no being without doing — and that it is through acts of loving kindness that we repair the world and transform our spiritual lives. Avodah volunteers work closely with other congregations and social service agencies to ensure that we target services to those most vulnerable in Victoria. Over the past thirteen years, Avodah has become a vital force in our synagogue and in the community at large, providing food, shelter, rent supplements and other much-needed practical assistance to people in need in Victoria. On March 4th we will express our gratitude to Penny Tennenhouse for her Avodah leadership and her tremendous efforts over those years and we will welcome Hannah Rabinovitch as the new Avodah leader. We have invited representatives from our collaborating community organizations to join us for this celebration. We hope you are able to attend!