Congregation Emanu-El celebrating 150th anniversary

History re-created in frock coats and top hats at Canada’s oldest synagogue

  • May. 22, 2013 9:00 a.m.

A grand ceremony to dedicate B.C.’s first synagogue in 1863 will be re-enacted June 2 – 150 years after Congregation Emanu-El was established in downtown Victoria.

Mayor Dean Fortin, city councillors, local MPs, MLAs and Victoria Freemasons will lead the parade, starting at the Freemasons’ Temple at Fisgard and Douglas streets at 11:15 a.m. and accompanied by the music of the Naden Band.

“We invite all Victorians to join us in the spirit of community involvement and cooperation that led to the founding of our synagogue,” said Rabbi Harry Brechner, spiritual leader of the congregation.

Many non-Jews were among the list of donors to the construction of the synagogue in the Gold Rush era of the early 1860s.

Celebrants in the parade will be dressed in period costume, wearing top hats, frock coats, long skirts and bonnets.

After the re-enactment of the cornerstone laying at 12:30 p.m., the synagogue at Blanshard Street and Pandora Avenue will be open for a historical exhibit of artifacts illustrating Jewish life over the past century and a half, including the original corporate seal of the congregation from the 1860s.

At 6 p.m., a gala celebration will be held at the Empress Hotel, featuring a keynote address by former federal justice minister Irwin Cotler on Jewish Values and the Pursuit of Justice.

Gala tickets can be purchased online at www.congregationemanu-el.ca for $150, or through the synagogue office at 250-382-0615.

Proceeds of the gala will help restore the building to its original glory, repairing the roof, the floors, the windows, and preserving the synagogue, now the oldest in Canada.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Victoria’s 75,000 veggie plants ready to find a home

New gardeners line-up for Get Growing Victoria

Vancouver Island hasn’t seen a new homegrown case of COVID-19 in two weeks

Island’s low and steady transmission rate chalked up to several factors

No one injured in suspicious Victoria boat fire, say investigators

Victoria police and fire personnel called to blaze on waters near Selkirk Trestle May 22

Three people facing mischief charges after protests at Premier John Horgan’s home

Special prosecutor was appointed to avoid real or perceived undue influence

VIDEO: Saanich police tackle man who refused to move off Trans-Canada Highway

At this point, it is unclear why the man refused to move

Dump truck in Nanaimo snags power lines, snaps hydro pole, crashes

No injuries in incident Monday morning on Old Victoria Road

Ferry sailings scheduled once again at Nanaimo’s Departure Bay terminal

BC Ferries announces that resumption of service June 3 includes four daily round trips

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in ways that would have… Continue reading

Island Health signs working agreement to turn former Comox hospital into a ‘dementia village’

Island Health has signed a project development agreement with Providence Living to… Continue reading

Kelowna man charged with harming a hamster

The 20-year-old Kelowna man faces several animal cruelty charges

High tech fish transport system set up to ‘whoosh’ salmon past Big Bar landslide

Fish will spend roughly 20 seconds inside the system, moving at roughly 20 metres per second

Trudeau to seek 10 days of paid sick leave for Canadian workers, says talks are ongoing

Paid sick leave is key to keeping COVID-19 spread under control, prime minister says

Snowbirds jets will not be leaving Kamloops, just yet

The Snowbirds have been in Kamloops since May 17 when a plane crashed killing Capt. Jennifer Casey

Most Read