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 news items in this column are external initiatives and not Emanu-El events.
Passover 2015 Communal Seder
Friday, April 3, 2015, 6:30 pm
As in years past, our annual Passover seder is a family-friendly affair for congregants and guests of all ages. Rabbi Harry Brechner will lead us through the Passover Haggadah with his special flair. The evening promises be a joyous and festive occasion. Deadline date for reservations is Tuesday, March 31. Please use this form to make reservations.
Public talk by Michael Tsur: "Negotiating in a Chaotic Reality."
Tuesday, April 21 at 7 pm
Our ability to control our reactions in a chaotic reality is limited. A situation of uncertainty can easily deteriorate into a crisis which, if not handled correctly, can cause irreversible damage. This interactive talk will introduce contemporary tools and methods for creative thinking that will emphasize long term consequences. Michael Tsur, an Israeli lawyer and expert in negotiation and crisis management, is the founder of the Mediation & Conflict Resolution Institute (MCRI) in Jerusalem. For more information about this talk, contact Adult Education.
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 Jewish Federation of Victoria and Vancouver Island announces applications for 2015 grants and scholarships.
There are three categories of funding:
Purim Pizza & Pyjama Party
The Purim Pizza Pyjama extravaganza was a super evening of fun. With the help of some dedicated volunteers—especially Ellen Dragushan, Aaron Severs, Leah Levi and RaeAnn Brechner—a small sea of young children in costumes and pajamas enjoyed the mayhem. Marc Fagen catered pizza and hamantaschen. Here are photos...
What fun for the 75 people who attended the soul food slam fundraiser on February 17! And what a rush to watch Rae Ann Brechner, Ellen Dragushan, Allan Mandell, and Aharon Ittah as they chopped, fried, cooked and served such delicious food. Thank you, Jean Dragushan, for cooking up this event!
"The rest is commentary"
Rabbi Harry's Passover Message
We are in the final stretch before the Passover festival—a period when we invoke ideals of liberation and renewal. I strongly feel that, at this juncture of history, we Jews are very fractured and are at risk of becoming even more fragmented. The recent elections in Israel, combined with the rising scourge of racism and anti-Semitism on our planet, is fuelling this fragmentation. Whether we like it or not, events in Israel affect all Jews everywhere, whether we are sharing grief or sharing pride. How Israel is depicted in the media and popular culture affects world and local attitudes towards Jews. Read more >>
Guest Dvar Torah by Dr. Lincoln Z. Shlensky
on parashat Mishpatim (Exodus 21:1-24:18), Shabbat services, February 14, 2015. "Mishpatim crystalizes a more complex and profound aspect of the Israelites’ collective transformation into a nation than the reciprocal testing of trust found elsewhere in Exodus. This other transformation is the birth of the Israelite nation as a truly free community reliant not on visible or empirical proofs but on a deeper form of covenantal trust rooted in the development of social responsibility..." 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.
2014 Restoration of the 1863 sanctuary Emanu-El of Victoria
The interim report of the committee overseeing the restoration of our 1863 synagogue was released on July 23, 2014. The report provides fascinating insights that will appeal to history and architecture buffs, and it demonstrates the extraordinary lengths to which the restoration project has gone in preserving the original look and feel of our historic building. Read the report >>
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.