Rosh Hashanah 5738/1977 in Victoria

Egalitarian services 1977

Dr. Rick Kool, Congregation Emanu-El Cemetery Director forwarded the above article published on the day before Rosh Hashanah (1977) by the Victoria Times with the remark “Our Congregation has been making significant changes and opening up new approaches to Conservative Judaism for a long time”. It seems likely that the Victoria Times article refers to the first participation by women in High Holy Day services in Victoria.

In 1973, the Rabbinical Assembly of Conservative Judaism approved the following motion: Men and women should be counted equally for a minyan. The Scribe 2012 records the following comment by Rabbi Daniel Siegel:
“It was during my tenure (1974-1976) that we began the process by which the congregation became egalitarian. Out of respect to those who were not in favour, we established an alternating week schedule where we gave aliyot [the honour of being called to the Torah] to women half the time. With only two exceptions that I can remember, everyone who came to shul came every week, regardless of which week in the rotation it was. It was an amazing experience to stand next to women as they received their first-ever aliyot and got to look into the Torah scroll from so close, an experience that often moved them to tears.”

For larger image…

The Many Hands of the “Chuppah” Exhibit

full-chuppahOpens Sunday June 3, Congregation Emanu-El, 1461 Blanshard Street — Opening at the synagogue on Sunday, June 3 2018, this exhibit tells the story of what inspired the hands of a multigenerational group of 14 women — artists, quilters, and designers — to create a new wedding canopy (chuppah) in celebration of the 150th anniversary (2013) of the consecration of Congregation Emanu-El synagogue.

This fabric masterpiece will be displayed along with panels of text and photos about the women who contributed a square to the chuppah. For each contributor, the panel will contain her photo, a photo of the square she contributed and a short description of what inspired her to participate in the project.

The exhibit will be located in the foyer adjacent to the Emanu-El synagogue kitchen. This exhibit will mark the fifth year since the wedding canopy was gifted to the synagogue and recognize the 155th year since the synagogue was consecrated.

This wedding canopy (chuppah) features 12 unique pieces surrounding a central panel of light and colour representing a stained glass window. In the time-honoured tradition of quilting bees, the chuppah was sewn using multiple materials and diverse techniques of hand stitching, machine stitching, embroidery, and paint.

The Many Hands of the Chuppah exhibit will be available for viewing throughout the summer until mid-August. Call the synagogue office (250-382-0615) during office hours, Tuesday to Thursday 9:30 to 2:30.

 

Self Defence for Women

Female self defenseNovember 26 from 2 -5 pm: Register by November 22 — Congregation Emanu-El will offer a class on Self Defence for Women on Sunday, November 26 from 2 -5 pm. This class is for those who wish to learn how to enhance their own personal safety. The instructor Sheila, a black belt in TaeKwon with extensive training in Empowerment Self Defense provides a safe and trauma-sensitive environment, in which participants will learn the emotional, verbal and physical skills needed to protect themselves.

This class is empowering, positive and socially aware. It addresses the kinds of dangers that women are most likely to face statistically, including sexual assault and intimate partner violence. Participants will leave feeling confident in their ability to protect themselves.

Sheila, the instructor, is part of a global movement to reduce violence against women and other vulnerable groups.

Sheila welcomes girls over the age of 12 years, women, female-identifying, and gender non-conforming persons of all levels of ability and physical limitations to her class.

  • Date: Sunday, November 26 at 2:00pm-5:00pm
  • Place: Congregation Emanu-El Social Hall
  • Cost: Members – $10 for teens and students, $25 for adults and $30 for mother/daughter combos
  • Non-members – $15 for teens and students, $30 for adults and $40 for mother/daughter combos
  • Registration: Please register and pay through the Synagogue office at (250) 382-0615 on or before November 22.

Thank you, Sheila for generously donating your time and expertise, all proceeds will go to funding our new Youth Programs.