Sefer Emanu-El—out now!


Sefer Emanu-El is an attractive 120-page, full-colour hardcover book describing the history of Victoria’s Jewish Community, our congregation and our beautiful historic building. It contains detailed information and photographs. Sefer Emanu-El celebrates our 150th anniversary in June 2013. It will be a treasured memento of this important event.

During its 150 years, Congregation Emanu-El has experienced ups and downs, and now has a bright future. Intrepid Jews first arrived in Victoria during the 1858 gold rush, quickly integrated into the city and its politics, and built an imposing 350-seat synagogue when the Congregation only had about fifty active members. This book describes the Congregation’s handsome Romanesque-style synagogue, its unique architectural features, its decline and eventual restoration. It also introduces basic Jewish concepts and traditions, Jewish recipes, and profiles some community members who have helped make it the dynamic, progressive, haimish (Yiddish, “warm and friendly”) congregation that it is today. Sefer Emanu-El is for anybody interested in Victoria’s history, its Jewish community, heritage restoration, or who simply enjoys a good story.

For more information, see the Sefer Emanu-El webpage

Copies can be bought directly from the Simcha Gift Shop during synagogue office hours (Tue–Thurs, 9:30 am–2:30 pm) at 1461 Blanshard Street in downtown Victoria.

An online purchase option is being developed, which will include a $15 shipping fee. However, this is not currently available so, for mail orders please telephone (250-382-0615 ) or email the office for information.

Honouring the volunteers of the Emanu-El Sesquicentennial


Ed Fitch & Barbara Pelman, Co-Chairs, of the E-E150 Committee, write:

On 11 January 2014, there will be a special Shabbat service and Kiddush in honour of all our wonderful volunteers who made the Emanu-El 150th Anniversary celebrations move from plans to reality to triumph.

As the year of our Sesquicentennial slips away we may be tired but we are satisfied and grateful that our plans excited, educated and motivated so many people from within Congregation Emanu-El and the community at large. By any measure we succeeded at our strategic goals to “educate, celebrate, commemorate”. Now it is time to thank the people who made it all possible.

The Shabbat morning services of 11 January 2014 will express the gratitude of Congregation Emanu-El for the devoted service of so many volunteers. Services will be followed by a Kiddush lunch where we can enjoy delicious treats and retell some of the stories of 2013.

Please join us to thank our volunteers for all their effort and for their assistance in the evident success of Congregation Emanu-El’s memorable anniversary.

On behalf of the Board of Directors,

Ed & Barbara