A Piece of Our History–in Music!

After over 100 years we can now listen to “The Charge at Dawn” composed by Victoria’s own Judge Samuel Davies Schultz, the first Jewish judge in Canada.

Click here to find out more about Judge Schultz; musician, composer, journalist, pitcher and former Vice President of Congregation Emanu-El (1897 to 1902).

Amber Woods came into possession of an original copy of the published score from a descendant.  Before donating it to the Jewish Museum and Archives, she made a copy. After a couple years of false starts, she found Jan Stirling, who performs the piece on piano.

To hear the piece:

Composed by S.D. Schultz of Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. Copyright 1900. Performed by Jan Stirling.

Many thanks to Amber Woods for her remarkable research. Her rigorous scholarship is a gift to our community that gives us precious information as well as a sense of continuity with our past.

To see more of Amber’s work, and to explore more Jewish history in Victoria, click:

A Musical Passover Seder

Monday, April 18, 2022, 7 pm PDT on Zoom

The Victoria Jewish Community Choir’s Journeys in Jewish Music series will celebrate Passover with a musical seder on Zoom on Monday, April 18, 2022 (the fourth night), at 7 pm PDT. We won’t be eating—but singing! Outstanding presenters from the Journeys in Jewish Music series will share traditional and original seder–related Passover songs from various traditions. You are welcome to celebrate through wine, singing, listening, dancing (while muted for technical reasons).

We feel privileged to welcome the following friends of our series: Rabbi Hanna Tiferet, Rabbi Louis Sutker, Hazzan Rob Menes, Dr. Judith Cohen, the World Music duo, Kouskous (Gary Cohen & Amber Woods), Moshe Denburg of Tzimmes and songwriter Carol Sokoloff. They will share remarkable music including traditional songs, sung yearly, as well as some humorous, Sephardic and contemporary melodies.

Mark the calendar, tell your friends, and even have a little gathering. Warm up your voice and get ready to sing along as we celebrate the spirit of Pesach through its wonderful music. A Musical Passover Seder is free of charge (though donations to the choir are appreciated). Everyone is welcome.

Anyone who has previously registered for a Journeys in Jewish Music talk will be notified with the zoom link for this program. To register please send a note to this email: JewishMusicTalks@gmail.com.

Donations to the choir can be e-transferred to the same address: JewishMusicTalks@gmail.com.

The Victoria Jewish Community Choir is grateful for the assistance of the Jewish Federation of Victoria and Vancouver Island whose support helps make these programs possible.

We also thank our generous presenters and the many individuals whose contributions have sustained the Journeys in Jewish Music series.

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Benefit Concert for the Trees

Friday April 8, 4-5pm, at Esquimalt United Church (corner of Lyall & Admirals) – See a host of incredible performers from opera to cabaret, including singers Luke Wallace, Anne, Gary and Deanna Relyea, and Haida singer/drummer Kuu’laay, plus a ballerina, pianist and clarinetist. Admission by donation. Proceeds go towards Fairy Creek legal costs. Sponsored by Esquimalt United Church Justice Team and Elders for Ancient Trees. If you can’t make it in person, come by Zoom. Email oldfolksforoldgrowth@gmail.com for the Zoom link.

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ZigZag Lights the Stage


Amati String Studio presents a fiddle theatre show written and arranged by Congregation Emanu-El member, Noa Paster. Including lots of great Chanukah music, this show is performed by Noa and 5 other young violinists.

Join ZigZag for an afternoon of music for families! These short performances are ideal for all ages, and perfect for young families! Featuring violin, keyboard, harp and voice, this delightful & energetic musical holiday review is sure to make you smile and clap along!

Choose from 4 performances this weekend. Family ticket prices. Vaccine Passports and masks mandatory. Limited capacity seating for each show.

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Sacred Singing Circle

December 6, 2021 – Come sing with Rabbi Matthew Ponak as he leads us in easy-to-learn songs inspired by the nigun tradition of wordless melodies.

No prior knowledge of the tunes is necessary: just join the circle, lend your voice, and sink into the music…

Finally we can sing together! 

Vaccine passport, photo ID and mask required. 

The space can host 100 people and we will have 50 maximum.

Music has been described in Jewish mysticism as a universal key that can unlock even the most stubborn doors on the spiritual journey. 

Please join us as we immerse ourselves in joyous sacred melodies @ the UVic Multifaith Centre’s beautiful Celebration Hall. 

Stay a little longer to schmooze and nosh in the foyer before you go, just like old times : ) 

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Zigzag’s Irish Adventure

Zig Zag Irish Adventure 1000Join Congregation Emanu-El member, Noa Paster on an Irish adventure this weekend. Performing music from Ireland and around the world on fiddle, piano, harp & in song, Noa is joined by two friends for her own musical, theatrical St. Patrick’s Day review. The show is an all ages show, 40 minutes long. Tickets at www.eventbrite.ca.  All shows are at Skam Satellite Studio 849 Fort Street.

POSTPONED – Memory, Identity & the Romanian Shoah

Memory postponed 1000This program is postponed—Join us for a  multi-media program celebrating the post holocaust renewal of Jewish Romanian culture using music, photos and conversations on Sunday, March 15, 2020 at 4:00 pm in Congregation Emanu-El,  1461 Blanshard Street.  The presenter will be Julia Herzog and the accompanying musicians will be: Amy Paster, Rick Kool, Lucy Nerenberg, Sammy Herzog, Julia Herzog. Continue reading POSTPONED – Memory, Identity & the Romanian Shoah

Jewish Music Jam Binder

Jewish Music

Wednesday, February 19, 7:30 to 9:00 pm—Here is the link to the music binder (the binder works best if you download the pdf and read it with an adobe reader) for the Jewish Music Jam with Rabbi Matt and Kouskous (Gary Cohen and Amber Woods) on Wednesday, February 19, 7:30 to 9:00 pm at Congregation Emanu-El.  Bring your instrument, music or just come and listen and keep a beat with some egg shakers.  Some music will be provided.

Here are the “notes”Rabbi Matt has provided for the “keeners”!

The Tishrei Niggun

Hava Nagila

Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah

Sage Tea

Sage TeaSage Tea is a gathering of Emanu-El elders who come together twice a month for tea, torah and discussion at 2 pm at Adele Vernon’s home. Come join old and new friends for an afternoon of schmoozing, learning, connecting and some nosh. Bring nothing other than an open mind and a desire to socialize. Please RSVP to Adele at 778-440-4096. If you need help with transportation, please let Adele know and we will do our best to find you a ride.

Suppressed music during the Shoah: Making the connection

SnizekSunday,  January 5, 11 am at Jewish Community CentreKolot Mayim invites the congregation to a talk by Dr. Suzanne Snizek  on Suppressed Music during the Shoah on Sunday, January 5, 2020 at 11 am in the Jewish Community Centre. Dr. Snizek is a professor of Music at UVIC, and an extremely accomplished concert flautist.  Continue reading Suppressed music during the Shoah: Making the connection