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Sefer Emanu-El is an illustrated history of Victoria’s Jewish community and Canada’s oldest surviving and operating synagogue. During its 150 years, Congregation Emanu-El has experienced ups and downs, and now has a bright future. Intrepid Jews first arrived in Victoria during the 1858 gold rush, quickly integrated into the city and its politics, and built an imposing 350-seat synagogue when the Congregation only had about fifty active members. This book describes the Congregation’s handsome Romanesque-style synagogue, its unique architectural features, its decline and eventual restoration. It also introduces basic Jewish concepts and traditions, Jewish recipes, and profiles some community members who have helped make it the dynamic, progressive, haimish (Yiddish, “warm and friendly”) congregation that it is today.
Sefer Emanu-El is a book for readers interested in Victoria’s history, its Jewish community, and its heritage restoration. It also makes a perfect gift for anyone who simply enjoys a good story.
Sefer Emanu-El is available for $36 at the synagogue during office hours (Tues-Thurs, 9:30 am-2:30 pm) and at various Congregation events. You may also have it sent to you for $50, including shipping costs. To have the book sent to you, please use this link.