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

Shabbat Services Childcare

We are very
pleased to announce that Childcare during Shabbat Services and High Holidays
began on September 10, 2016 for children aged 2 to 6 years. You can be sure
that they will be well taken-care of and entertained by our new Childcare
facilitator, Leah Greschner

Leah grew up in
Victoria. She attended Lakehead University in Ontario where she studied
psychology. She travelled to South Korea and taught English for a year. She has
18 years of experience with children. Always passionate about working with
children and youth, she most recently managed a youth centre in the Kootenays.
Leah has worked as a community support worker, a behaviour therapist, a
residential supervisor and an outdoor educator. She is excited to be a part of
the community at Congregation Emanu-El again. She looks forward to meeting your
little ones.

Our childcare
services are free of charge. They will be held upstairs in Shalom Daycare’s
place between 10 am and noon during Shabbat Services.

Synagogue Shabbaton

September 23-25, 2016

Save the Date!! The congregational retreat is a time for us to bond as a community through prayer, music, learning, lots of play and great food.  A congregational retreat is a huge undertaking.  If you are interested in participating next fall, please email RaeAnn Brechner.  Please also let us know if you are happy with the rustic ambiance of Camp Miriam or if you would prefer a different venue.

Shabbat Club for Tots

From February 26

Join Rabbi Harry and Gan Shalom for
a Tot Shabbat experience on Friday mornings at 10:45 at
Congregation Emanu-El/Gan Shalom.

All children under five accompanied
by an adult/parent are welcome.

Join us for a fabulous Oneg Shabbat
(Shabbat celebration) with music, dance and movement, Torah stories and
ruaḥ-spirit!  Did we mention homemade
ḥallah?

This new Jewish enrichment programme begins February 26.

Shabbat Shebang

Come join Hebrew School families, Hillel Students, Rabbi Harry, RaeAnn, Nejama and friends for a spirited joy filled Shabbat experience—Friday, December 5 at 6:00pm at Congregation Emanu-El

We start with Happy Hour, followed by Shabbat Dinner.  Dinner is a modified eco-kosher potluck.  The synagogue takes care of Shabbat accoutrement wine, ḥallah….Rabbi Harry and some volunteers will prepare our main course—a down home Cajun Tuna Riverboat Gumbo File.  

You supply your own plates, utensils, bowls, napkins etc…  You also bring a dairy or vegetarian side dish to add to the potluck.  (If you do not have a kitchen and do not have utensils—not to worry, we will have an assortment of compostable disposals and there is always enough food) 

After Dinner we will have a soulful, spirited Kabbalat Shabbat experience led by our very own Nejama and RaeAnn.  Services will be led in a camp-song leading style and accompanied by guitar and percussion. Expect dancing.   Rabbi Harry will do some kid friendly teaching/story telling.

After Kabbalat Shabbat we will return to the social hall for ice cream sundaes followed by Birkat HaMazon (grace after meals) 

Why:  Shabbat is a time for expansive joy.

Who:  Everyone is welcome we ask that folk make a minimum donation of five dollars per person to cover some of our costs.  This is a pilot program- let’s make it a huge success!

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