Incident at our synagogue

Dear Haverim (Friends)

We have had an incident at the synagogue that required police intervention. You may have read something regarding this incident through the news or social media.

A mentally ill person brushed past a Gan Shalom (daycare) parent and managed to enter the building not due to any fault of the daycare parent. Another daycare parent quickly called emergency 911 and the police were dispatched. The police were remarkably responsive, communicative and efficient. Our day care children were never in a dangerous situation and for most of the incident they were not aware that anything unusual was happening.

This mentally ill man held himself up in the balcony of the sanctuary; we were not successful at talking him down and out of the building. The police provided a transit bus for the daycare to transport the children to the other Gan Shalom daycare and the children felt like they were going on a field trip. It took the police a bit of force to subdue and retain the intruder and we are left with some broken windows and a mess to clean up. I am super thankful to Victoria’s finest for their professionalism in containing this situation and ensuring that everyone was safe.

This incident had nothing to do with antisemitism and could have occurred in any downtown building. The incident is a difficult and powerful reminder of the intensity and difficulties associated with our current mental health crisis.

I want to also state that the Gan Shalom staff and Gan Shalom parents who stayed by to ensure that the children were safe were remarkable and very calm. We are very safe, our protocols were tested and proved efficient.

B’virkat Shalom
With blessings of peace and wholeness
Rabbi Harry

Drama meets history: a $60,000 offer for the shul

Deed Cast and Crew
Cast and crew of The Original Deed (Photo: Penny Tennenhouse)

“I am two of your characters.” An animated Ben Levinson approached me after the final performance of The Original Deed last Sunday. “I was the one who crawled up into the attic and I was one of those who searched for land for a new shul.” Continue reading Drama meets history: a $60,000 offer for the shul

Your help needed for Back to Shul event!

BTS Volunteers WantedEmanu-El needs YOU to help ensure our Back to Shul event is a total success. We need help schlepping and setting up at the park. We will meet at the shul at 9:30 am to load tables, chairs, etc. and will arrive at the park about 10:15 am to unload and set up. Enthusiasm is the essential ingredient, youth and strength would be wonderful but not a requirement. If you’re happy to help, please call the office at 250-382-0615 or email our Synagogue Director, Betsi to sign up. Thank you in advance for your enthusiastic help.

Open Auditions: September 17 & 18, 7-10 pm

The original deed 3The Original Deed by Sid Tafler is a two-act play that will be staged at Congregation Emanu-El on November 15, 16, 18 and 19, 2017.  There will be Open auditions (9 characters) at Langham Court Theatre Rehearsal Room, (enter through stage door at back) 805 Langham Court Victoria on Sunday, September 17 and Monday, September 18, 7-10 pm. Callbacks: Wednesday, September 20, 7-10 pm. Continue reading Open Auditions: September 17 & 18, 7-10 pm

Part-time Synagogue Director appointed


our congregation has grown, so have our administrative needs. An anonymous
donor, who observed that the steady growth and expansion of congregational life
was challenging the resources of the synagogue staff and volunteers alike,
suggested the addition of a part-time synagogue director. This generous individual
has donated funds to the synagogue to cover this
position into the future.

response to this timely and wonderful offer, Congregation Emanu-El has engaged
Betsi Boeno as a part-time Synagogue Director for a six
month period beginning mid-July 2016. 

The Board is confident that
as our synagogue director, Betsi will assist us in seizing the opportunities
for further growth that we are poised to experience and in strengthening our
synagogue programming and services.

will be responsible for co-ordinating congregational activities, maintaining a
calendar, collaborating with Jewish organizations, and overseeing the resource
needs of synagogue classes, programs, events and venue rentals.

comes to Emanu-El with extensive senior administrative and management
experience. Many of you will know her from Hebrew classes and other projects
she has undertaken in the past year.