Jewish Cemetery Tour

Sunday, September 6, 2020 at 2:00 pm RSVP required … Fraternal organizations were an important part of community life in early Victoria. With the help of Mark Anderson and Diana Pedersen, Amber Woods (author of the OCS’s publication Guide to Victoria’s Historic Jewish Cemetery), will tell stories of the Jewish Freemasons and Woodmen of the World buried here. Meet at main gates Fernwood Road at corner of Cedar Hill Road. Men, please wear a hat.

Cost is $2 for members of the Old Cemeteries Society and $5 for non-members.

COVID-19 Protocols for Old Cemetery Society’s tours for safety:
1.     Social distancing will be required.
2.     Masks are optional.
3.     Maximum capacity of this tour will be 20 people.

Registration is required. Space will be filled on a first come first serve basis. A second tour at 3:30 pm will be offered if needed. Please send an email with your name, contact information and number in your party attending to Please put Jewish Cemetery Tour in the subject line.

Copies of the Guide to Victoria’s Historic Jewish Cemetery will be available for purchase outside of the cemetery. Please bring cash or a check made out to Old Cemeteries Society.  Books are also available at Simcha Gift Shop at Congregation Emanu-El, Munro’s and Bolen Books.

Invitation to a Cemetery Tour


Sunday, March 3 at 10 am, Jewish Cemetery, Cedar Hill Road near Hillside Avenue — Congregation Emanu-El invites you to attend a guided tour of our Cemetery at Cedar Hill Road led by our Cemetery Director, Dr. Rick Kool and local Jewish historian and tour guide, Amber Woods on Sunday, March 3 at 10 am.
This guided visit is in conjunction with Congregation Emanuel’s last Sunday’s Facilitated Encounter and the ongoing discussions around the possibility of providing space for the burial of congregants’ non-Jewish partners with their Jewish counterparts. It is hoped that, once having seen the area of the cemetery proposed for these burials, congregants will be better able to assess the proposition and form their opinions.

Maps of the cemetery will be provided, as will copies of Rabbi Harry’s tshuvah.

Explore Jewish Victoria tours


Experience Victoria’s Jewish Roots

Visit Congregation Emanu-El, Canada’s oldest surviving synagogue. Explore this
beautiful site’s unique history, architecture and restoration with maggidah
(Jewish storyteller) Shoshana Litman

After your synagogue tour, join Gary Cohen for an easy 90-minute walk that
winds through downtown from the synagogue’s front steps to Government &
Yates, rain or shine. Discover how a small, vibrant Jewish community helped
shape Victoria’s destiny.


Every Thursday until August 25, 2016:

1:00–1:50 pm: Tour the Synagogue with Maggidah (Jewish storyteller) Shoshana

  • $10 for adults
  • Free for children under 12

2:00–3:30 pm. Enjoy a gentle Walking Tour of Victoria’s Jewish roots with musician
Gary Cohen.

  • $15.00 for adults
  • $13.00 for students/seniors

Both tours are offered every Thursday, rain or shine, in summer

  • Payment in cash only
  • $2 discount on the walking tour for taking both tours

To arrange private synagogue tours for $20 per person at other times, email Shoshana, or tel:

To arrange a private Walking Tour of Jewish Victoria, please email Gary Cohen
at or John

Groups of 20 or more can also enjoy a delicious Jewish style lunch prepared
with finesse by

Marc Fagen of Veggie Fast Foods

(with two weeks’
notice). Cost: $15/person. Email Marc or tel.  250-514-4078

Jewish History Comes to Life every Thursday this Summer!

Congregation Emanu-el—Canada’s oldest surviving synagogue—opens its doors for public tours again this summer.  Most Synagogue Tours will be led by Canada’s first ordained maggidah (female Jewish Storyteller and Educator), Shoshana Litman.

Enjoy an easy 90-minute Walking Tour in the footsteps of the Jewish pioneers who were so instrumental in shaping the history of Victoria. Walking tours will be led by accomplished musician and tour guide, Gary Cohen.

When: Every Thursday June 12–August 28, 2014
Synagogue Tour begins at 1 pm; Walking Tour begins at 2 pm


Synagogue Tours:                  

  • Adults: $10.00
  • Children under 12: free

Walking Tours:

  • Adults: $15.00 (cash only)
  • Seniors/Students: $13.00 (cash only)

$2 discount for anyone taking both tours

Synagogue Tours explore our synagogue’s unique history, architecture and restoration as well as Jewish customs, history, sacred texts and stories.

Walking Tours begin outside the synagogue on Pandora and Blanshard, slowly winding through downtown and ending at Government and Yates, rain or shine.  

To book a Synagogue Tour at another time or for more information contact Shoshana:


To book a Walking Tour at a different time contact Discover the Past:


Walking Tour of Jewish Victoria


Hebrew Ladies Hall, 1910s (Courtesy of BC Archives)

Discover the Past Presents:  Pioneers, Shopkeepers, Frontier Merchants, Legislators, and Curio Dealers:  A Walking Tour of Jewish Victoria.

Peel back the layers of time to discover how a very small population of Jewish pioneers was so instrumental in shaping early Victoria.  Their contributions include, first Jewish Mayor, first Jewish Judge, first Jewish Member of the Legislature as well as building what is now the oldest synagogue in continuous use in North America.  Walk in the footsteps of the early Jewish pioneers and of those in subsequent waves of Jewish immigration to get a better idea of the Jewish Community in Victoria, then and now. 
The Walking Tour of Jewish Victoria is a gentle 1½ walk through the main streets of downtown.  Beginning at the synagogue and ending near Yates and Government which was THE hub in gold rush days.  This tour is part of John Adam’s new Discovery Walks and lead by Gary Cohen
  • Starts at 10:30 am, Rain or shine
  • Meet outside of Congregation Emanu-el, 1461 Blanshard Street (Corner of Blanshard and Pandora)
  • Adults $15 (cash); Students or Seniors (over 65) $13 (cash)
For more information, obtain group discounts or to arrange for an alternate tour day contact: John Adams: