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.
News & Events
Some events below are external initiatives not sponsored by Congregation Emanu-El.
Congregation Emanu-El Steps Up to Support Refugees
In a unanimous decision on November 23, our Board approved a motion to support sponsorship of a refugee family. Please consider what you can do to support our response to the refugee crisis. There are two ways to donate:
Listen to a CBC interview with Jean Dragushan of Emanu-El on this topic.
Times-Colonist: "Victoria Synagogue Steps Up for Syrians."
An article in the Victoria Times-Colonist on December 21, 2015 (December 15 online) profiles the Synagogue's decision to raise $50,000 for the resettlement of a Syrian refugee family in Victoria. Jean Dragushan and Rabbi Harry Brechner are interviewed.
Experience a guided tour of Canada's oldest synagogue, Congregation Emanu-el. Thursdays in June, July and August or at other times by prior arrangement
Lunch: 12-1 p.m.
Synagogue Tour: 1-2 p.m.
Walking Tour: 2-3:30 p.m.
For more information, please visit our Synagogue Tours page.
"The rest is commentary"
Jan 30–31, Congregation Beth Israel, Vancouver, BC
This year’s Limmud Vancouver conference features some presenters from, or known to, the Victoria and Vancouver Island communities—including:
Cannabis and the Rabbi: Reflections on a Most Unusual Forum
By Judith Stamps, Reprinted from: Canabis Digest
On November 24, 2015, I had the unique privilege of speaking at a forum on cannabis held at Congregation Emanu-El, the conservative Jewish synagogue in Victoria BC. The event was planned and hosted by the congregation’s spiritual leader, Rabbi Harry Brechner. On the panel with me were Dieter MacPherson, president and executive director of Victoria’s oldest compassion club, the Victoria Cannabis Buyers’ Club, and Dr. Arnold Schoichet, one of a small percentage of BC’s 12,000 physicians willing to provide patients with a recommendation for cannabis. Moderating the panel and the ensuing group discussion was congregation member Richard Kool, associate professor of environmental studies at Victoria’s Royal Roads University. Read more in Cannabis Digest >>
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.