Congregation Emanu-El Shabbat Dinners Postponed

The Membership Committee was excited to offer a Shabbat Dinner Program to our members a couple of months ago. An unprecedented number of guests and hosts responded to our invitation to participate. 

Now, we’ve decided to pause out of an abundance of caution. We’ll wait until public health officials provide more encouraging news about gatherings. Hopefully, we won’t have to wait too long!

POSTPONED – Kiddush honouring Zelda Dean

Zelda PostponedThis kiddush is postponed! The Reznick family invites you to a kiddush luncheon following the Shabbat service on March 14 in honour of Emanu-El’s own superhero, Zelda Dean. By day, Zelda is our wonderful office manager. By night (and by matinee) she is the extraordinary director and producer of Congregation Emanu-El’s very own theatre company, Bēma Productions. Force of nature? Superhero? BOTH! Her newest endeavour is the remarkable play, Survivors, by playwright Wendy Kout. This play, produced in collaboration with the Victoria Shoah Project, will tell the stories of Shoah survivors — in their own words — to middle and high school students throughout Vancouver Island and hopefully further, to students throughout British Columbia. (Please contact the office if you would like more information or to contribute to this project.) In the meantime, please give Zelda your love at the kiddush on March 14.

Honouring our fathers


Shabbat Yitro, February 15, 2020—This is the time of year when a group of us mark the yahrzeit of our fathers. We invite you to join us as we honour their memory at this special Shabbat service and the kiddush luncheon that follows.

Janis Diner Brinley, Steven Diner, Sharon Fitch, Janna Ginsberg Bleviss, Dan Goldberg, Sepora Mayim Jacobsen, Shoshana Litman, Isa Milman, Barbara Pelman, Jackie Saunders-Ritchie, Aaron Severs, Hanna Tiferet Siegel, Penny Tennenhouse, Sheila Tennenhouse.

Women on the Bimah: Commemoration & Kiddush

shl100331_hi 1000Saturday, February 8, 2020—Please join us on Saturday, February 8, 2020 for Shabbat Shirah services (Parashat Beshalaḥ) followed by a kiddush catered by Jaaqov & Rosalind and sponsored by Frances Rosenberg as commemoration of the struggle to achieve full participation of ‘Women on the Bimah’ at Congregation Emanu-El. This is the first Shabbat Shirah since the death of our beloved Laurel Nahshon z”l who ordinarily remembered our adoption of egalitarian services each year by chanting the Beshalaḥ haftarah. All are welcome.

Introducing Rani Earnhart

Rani Earnhart - PhotoA warm welcome to Rani Earnhart, who is joining us as our new Kitchen Coordinator, taking care of preparing many of our Kiddush meals and snacks.  Rani previously owned the Bagga Pasta deli in the Fairfield plaza.  She currently runs her own catering business, called Left Coast Catering, which provides meals to various social and environmental activist groups around Victoria as well as Jewish community events.  She also volunteers with the Mustard Seed’s commercial processing kitchen, which uses waste food from grocery stores and turns them into prepared hot meals for the Mustard Seed’s Queens Avenue location. Rani is the chair of Victoria’s chapter of Fair Vote Canada, a lobbying group dedicated to electoral reform that results in more effective democratic government. When not busy in the kitchen, Rani enjoys hiking and gardening. Rani is very pleased to have the opportunity to serve Victoria’s Jewish community. Please drop by the kitchen and say shalom to Rani.

A weekend of memory and remembrance with Rabbi Victor Reinstein (January 25 & 26, 2020)

Rabbi Reinstein

Shabbat Service and Special Kiddush
Please come and celebrate with us on Saturday, January 25, 2020 at Congregation Emanu-El as we welcome Rabbi Victor Reinstein back to the congregation he led for many years. Rabbi Reinstein is visiting from Boston. He will give the drash during our Shabbat service. Following services, there will be a special Kiddush in his honour. We hope you will join us for this happy event and have a chance to either reconnect or connect for the first time with Rabbi Reinstein.

We welcome donations to cover the cost of this Kiddush. Please contact the synagogue office at 250-382-0615 if you wish to contribute to this special occasion.

Tell Them Not to Hate
On Sunday January 26, at 2 pm at the JCC, Victor Reinstein will give a speech: “Tell Them Not to Hate” — Words of Witness and Sacred Imperatives. In recognition of International Holocaust Remembrance Day, he will reflect on the first commemorations of the Shoah Victoria, when our congregation included many survivors. “Their words,” Rabbi Reinstein recalls, “seared into our collective consciousness . . .  we sought to honor our survivors. In the process, we were strengthened and given hope.”

Following his lecture, members of the University of Victoria’s Defying Hatred Project will share the results of their research on communal memory, history, and resilience.

With thanks from the Religious Services Committee, The Shoah Project, and the Defying Hatred Project.

A ‘Welcome Bon Voyage’ Kiddush

Welcome Bon Voyage 2Saturday, January 18, 2020—Helene Kadziora and President Ruthi invite the congregation to join them for a special ‘Welcome Bon Voyage’ kiddush luncheon following services on January 18, 2020 welcoming our temporary Rabbi Matt Ponek, his wife Melina and children Orion and Sephira and bidding bon voyage to Rabbi Harry and RaeAnn as they embark on a three month sabbatical.