Pride Kabba Shabba and Potluck on the Beach

Pride Kabbalat Shabbat and Potluck Dinner, Friday evening June 17 Gonzales Beach  starting at 6:30 PM (We’ll stake out a space closer to Foul Bay entrance).

Join us in celebrating the myriad expressions of sexuality and gender identification in our congregation as we celebrate Shabbat Together. 

Expect lots of song, dance, ruach (spirit), friendship and (hopefully) great food.

Everyone is welcome come share the love!

Please bring a vegan or vegetarian/dairy dish, serving utensils for sharing, your own plates and utensils, a chair or blanket and musical instrument or drum.  Please dress for the weather.

6:30 Appies
6:45 Kabbalat Shabbat and music followed by a Shabbat potluck meal.


Summary of event details

  • Date: June 17, 2022
  • Time: 6:30 pm
  • Where: Gonzales Beach
  • What You Need: Vegan/ vegetarian dairy food with utensils for sharing, BYO dishes and utensils, chair or blanket, drum/ instruments

Save the Date: Pride Shabbat

Pride Kabbalat Shabbat and Potluck Dinner, Friday June 17 6:30pm, at Gonzales Beach. Join us in celebrating the myriad expressions of sexuality and gender identification in our congregation as we celebrate Shabbat together. Expect lots of song, dance, ruach, friendship and hopefully great food. Everyone is welcome come share the love!
More information is forthcoming.


Summary of event details

  • Date: June 17, 2022
  • Time: 6:30 pm
  • Where: Gonzales Beach
  • Cost: n/a
  • Registration: tba
  • Contact: tba

Updated – Shabbat Shirah Commemoration: A Reprise

January 15, 2022, on Zoom only: For the past two years Congregation Emanu-El held a special service on Shabbat Shirah commemorating the adoption of egalitarian services and remembering our beloved Laurel Nahshon z”l, who was accustomed to celebrating each year “Women on our Bimah” by chanting the Beshalaḥ haftarah. Last year owing to the pandemic, we held an abbreviated service on Zoom that did not include Torah readings. This year we plan to have an in-person/Zoom Shabbat Shirah service on Saturday, January 15, 2022—as the pandemic evolves has evolved, we may have to revert to Zoom only. Mark the date and plan to join us. 

See Siddur Lev Shalem


Summary of event details

Four Worlds Shabbat Service: Body, Heart, Mind, and Soul

Saturday, January 23, 2021 from 10:00 – 11:30 am on Zoom—Inspired by the deep structure of the Shaḥarit Service, Rabbi Matt will lead us through Qi Gong movement, niggun (wordless melodies) singing w/guitar, spiritual reading, and meditation.
The Four Worlds Service is inspired by Kabbalah and the teachings from Reb Zalman Schachter Shalomi. He taught how the four parts of Shaḥarit —  Birkhot Hashaḥar, Psukei D’zimra, Shma U’virkhoteiha, and the Amidah align with the Kabbalistic worlds of physical/assiyah, emotional/yetzirah, mental/briyah, and spiritual/atzilut

As an alternative to liturgical forms of tefillah (prayer), Rabbi Matt will share practices that align with the Four Worlds that are not siddur-basedQi Gong for physical (because it involves body movement), niggunim for emotional (because they open our heart), a spiritual reading for mental (because it brings in a sense of awe), and silence/meditation for spiritual (because it is an invitation into connection with Goddess—whatever your preferred Goddess language is!). Reb Zalman taught of the “deep structure” of texts, prayers, and mitzvot and it is from the deep structure of the “Four Worlds” that this service is based. 

Continue reading Four Worlds Shabbat Service: Body, Heart, Mind, and Soul

Special Outdoor Shabbat Morning Service: Parashat Ki Tetze

Saturday, August 29, 2020 10:00 am in Government House Grounds—Unfortunately, due to COVID-19 restrictions our outdoor Shabbat service at Government House on August 29, 2020 is cancelled. We will be together on Shabbat Ki Tetze via Zoom.  Thank you for all of your understanding.

Shabbat Services Online plus

PHOTOsanctuarysocial distancing 1000After a meaningful, safe and successful second service in our beautiful sanctuary last week we are hoping to continue holding small services with a Zoom alternative on a routine basis starting August 22, 2020 (Parashat Shoftim) followed by September 5, 2020 (Parashat Ki Tavo). We are doing our very best to help us all maintain connection to the shul and to one another through this strange and sometimes difficult time.

YOU MUST PRE-REGISTER. We are limiting this event to 36 people, including babies and children. Please register with Zelda at info@congregationemanuel.ca by 4:00 pm on Friday, August 21, 2020.  For September 5, 2020, please register with Zelda at info@congregationemanuel.ca by 4:00 pm on Friday, September 4, 2020. If more than 36 people ask to attend, we’ll do our best to give those people priority at subsequent services. Continue reading Shabbat Services Online plus

Special Outdoor Shabbat Service at Government House

Elisheva reads prayers 1000On June 27, 2020, Congregation Emanu-El went where it had never before ventured. The red letter day marked our first live outdoor COVID-19 restart Shabbat service on the grounds of Government House. The orchard was a perfect setting, the weather was kind and it was so uplifting to see many of our friends praying together again. About 50 eager people were present. The two-hour service had all the ingredients of a typical Saturday event, with our davening pesukei through musaf. Torah and haftarah were chanted, and a simple yet heartfelt ceremony to welcome Rabbi Matt, Melina, Orion and Sephira to our community was conducted.  The high point seemed to be the joy, smiles and virtual hugs that occupied this sacred space.

Todah rabah goes out to Rabbi Harry and RaeAnn for their leadership here. A big shout out is sent to all the volunteers who assisted in organizing the special day, and, of course, to the kehillah members who attended and helped to make this event a success.
Religious Services Committee

Being Present with the Unknown: Shabbat D’var Vayikra

Rabbi Matt Vayikra

 Shabbat Shalom, When I was in undergrad, I had a roommate who was from Edmonton. She, among other things, besides being an artist, was also an improv actor. She told me about an event that happened at the main improv theatre in Edmonton every year. It was a 24 hour straight improvised performance with a whole team of improv actors.

I had not done improv acting myself, so I asked her about it, “How do you do that even for a minute? How do you create an entire performance that has a narrative arc, with funny moments and serious moments? How do you create all of that on the spot?”

What she told me was that it’s all about trust.

Continue reading Being Present with the Unknown: Shabbat D’var Vayikra

Rabbi Matt: Shabbat D’var Vayakhel/Pekudei

Rabbi Matt Dvar Torah

Shabbat Shalom! There’s a story that’s told of a group of birds, a flock that would spend their time together, go flying in groups, nest near one another. One day, someone came along while this whole group was together and they cast the net on top of all of the birds. The strongest bird tried to lift the net but it was too heavy. Other birds started trying, but they couldn’t do it. Then someone said, “What if we all try together?” So every single bird took a section of that net and together they flapped their wings and they managed to lift it up and toss it to the side. And all together they became free. Continue reading Rabbi Matt: Shabbat D’var Vayakhel/Pekudei