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.
Introspective Retreat: Turning my life around, again!
Tuesday, September 8, 7–10pm
An evening of connecting, sharing and learning in an intimate, supportive environment, and spiritual preparation for High Holy Days and soul accounting for life—at the Pardes, Mike and Jill’s farm in West Saanich. Caravans leave from the synagogue at 6:30pm. Bring comfortable clothes a sweater, flashlight, food for sharing, a pillow and/or yoga mat.
Apples & Honey 2015/5776
Rosh Hashanah is coming! Send apples and a honey cake to everyone on your Rosh Hashanah list and support local programming for Jewish youth. Honey Cakes are $18 each. The order form can be downloaded here. All orders MUST be received by FRIDAY, SEPT. 4th.
The Best Meal You Ever Ate
August 27–Sept 6 on Sun, Tues, Wed, Thurs.
Bema Productions’ newest offering served up in style for Victoria Fringe Festival audiences.
Warning: Attending This Performance May Cause Cravings For Fine Dining
Tickets are $11 each; they can be purchased through Ticket Rocket at 250-590-6291 or at the door, but we are only seating 75 per show, so buy early.
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.