Congregation Emanu-El is composed of an eclectic group of 200 families who come together to create a dynamic and spiritual expression of Jewish life. It is a place of love and growth where deep friendships are forged and nourished. We believe in connecting people to one another and to their Jewish roots and traditions, as well as nourishing feelings of community, security and belonging.
Some events below are external initiatives not sponsored by Congregation Emanu-El.
Shut World Weekly's first edition features Congregation Emanu-El
A new publication, Shul World Weekly, which showcases worldwide synagogues, has featured our own Congregation Emanu-El alongside three other synagogues for its inaugural edition. See the featured page here.
Emanu-El's Got Pride
Sunday, July 5 was the annual Pride March in Victoria, and LGBTQ congregants and their supporters from Congregation Emanu-El were walking proudly under the banner Emanu-El’s Got Pride!
Jewish Roots & Turkish Blues
Wednesday, July 15, 7:30pm
Who: Shtreiml & Fencioglu
Where: Congregation Emanu-El
Tickets: $20 at the door
Founded in 2002, Montreal/Philly-based Shtreiml offers a high-octane mix of not-so-traditional Eastern-European Jewish and Turkish music. Read more >>
Synagogue Tours: Winter-Spring 2015
Experience a guided tour of Canada's oldest synagogue, Congregation Emanu-el. Fall tours are conducted on the last Sunday of the month. For more information, please visit our Synagogue Tours page.
"The rest is commentary"
Time to Work Against Hilul HaShem
Language matters; how and what we teach matters; thinking matters; spirituality matters; religious thought matters. The recent wrenching state of violence in Israel brings to me a sense of trembling, and a sense of shock followed by anxiety. I usually calm myself by remembering that, in my experience, being outside Israel in times of volatility feels worse. This time, however my sense is that we are witnessing the effects and natural consequences of an accumulation of hate speech and the use of sacred texts for purposes that are antithetical to Torah. These are teachings that are unholy and create ḥilul HaShem—a desecration of G.’s name and eclipsing G.’s presence in our universe. Read more >>
Guest Dvar Torah on parashat Devarim by Dr. Lincoln Z. Shlensky, July 25, 2015
What is the difference between history and memory? That’s a question parshat Devarim tackles with profundity and insight. As a scholar myself of literature of the recent past, and particularly of the literature born of catastrophic social traumas, I have often puzzled over how best to communicate a distinction between history and memory, a distinction which I believe is key to understanding the social and psychological impact—and not just the factual details—of trauma. Deuteronomy, the fifth book of the great Jewish epic and legal text composed, according to biblical scholarship, more than 2500 years ago, ought to be required reading for anyone seeking to explore how the workings of history and memory intersect. Read more >>
Rabbi Harry's Welcome Message
Rabbi Harry Brechner, who has been Congregation Emanu-El's rabbi since 2001, welcomes anyone interested in the Congregation's many activities and community events, including prayer services.
A Year of Wonderful Celebration
Congregation Emanu-El celebrated, in 2013, its 150th year sitting at the corner of Pandora and Blanshard in Victoria. It was a year for commemoration, celebration, and education. We worked hard on the restoration so that our beloved synagogue would last another 150 years and more. Please consider assisting our ongoing restoration efforts in 2015 by donating.