150th Anniversary
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“In 2013 and 2014, our generation has the wonderful opportunity to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Congregation Emanu-El. The vision and generosity of our remarkable founding generation gifted us with the beautiful spiritual space which has nurtured development of the dynamic, creative and inclusive congregation we enjoy today.

"Now it’s our turn! Just as these pioneers provided for us, we have the privilege to provide for our children and grandchildren and generations to come. As my father taught me, Tikkun Olam, is the act of repairing the world and leaving our part in better condition than we found it.

"There are many ways we can help to do that and share in the pride and joy of this sacred act. In addition to supporting restoration of our historic synagogue, we have the opportunity to honour those we respect, admire and love and celebrate each other. Please be generous. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to preserve a beautiful legacy and build a strong future for ourselves, our children and grand-children and the many people near and far who benefit from this wonderful community of spirit.”

—Rabbi Harry Brechner
“Sefer Emanu-El”
Sefer Emanu-El: The First 150 Years of Congregation Emanu-El in Victoria, BC
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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. It is available for Cdn $50, including shipping, or Cdn $36 at the synagogue during office hours (Tues–Thurs, 9:30 am–2:30 pm) and at various Congregation events.
Historical Summary
Historical Summary of the synagogue (PDF, 7Mb.) created in the run-up to the congregation’s 150th anniversary.
Video clips

Congregation Emanu-El, 1461 Blanshard Street, Victoria, B.C. V8W 2J3 Canada
Tel: 250-382-0615 • InfoAtCongEman
Office hours: Tues–Thurs 9:30am-2:30pm