Adult Education 2022–23

Congregation Emanu-El Adult Education & Events team has arranged an interesting mix of ongoing and one-off sessions for the fall-winter term. Please note that some events and classes are in-person and some are Zoom-only (subject to change as needed).

Tanakh Shiur

Tanakh Shiur

Weekly on Tuesdays at 7:00 pm, resuming September 13
(currently on Zoom).

Contact the office for continuing schedule or to register.

In this shiur (lesson) we work through the text of the Tanakh (the Hebrew Bible) closely, to try to understand what these ancient writers were trying to say and how they made sense of their history and their world. No prior knowledge is required but be prepared for an intellectual adventure!

At the moment, we are reading the last chapters of the book of Isaiah (chapters 61–66)—and when we finish that, we will go on to the Book of Kings.

Shabbat Lab

Shabbat “Spiritual Ma’abadah” (Laboratory)
Starts Saturday, October 22, 10:00 am. Meet at Gonzales Beach, at the Foul Bay end.
Join Rabbi Harry and other seekers for meaningful, fun, and different Shabbat experiences. Experiment with Jewish meditation, movement, chant, guided visualization and ritual. Often, we’ll meet in nature and use the beauty of creation as inspiration and a means of connecting. We’ll also explore and play with different ideas and modes of Jewish expression in a comfortable and haimishe (comfortable, caring) atmosphere. Families, children, and youth are very welcome.
Wear weather-appropriate clothing and solid footwear, water, and a chair or blanket if needed. (Save the following Saturdays for additional sessions: November 26 and December 17.) Open to everyone.
Watch the newsletter for more information.

Beit Midrash

Beit Midrash: Sefer Ha-Aggadah
Weekly on Tuesdays at 12:30 pm starting October 25, (Zoom only):
Join online: CONNECT Regular Dial-in: 1 778 907 2071
Meeting ID: 813 7832 8678
Passcode: 541493
Join Rabbi Harry and a class of inquisitive students who are delving into a fascinating compendium that reflects the literary heritage of our people. In 1908, Hayim Nahman Bialik and Yehoshua Hana Ravinitzky selected hundreds of texts from Talmud and Midrash and compiled a work that remains at the heart of Jewish literacy today. Sefer Ha-Aggadah, The Book of Legends, is a remarkable collection of Midrash, rabbinic/Talmudic Torah fan-fiction that touches on history, parables, proverbs, and folklore, exploring ideas about Divine Source, good and evil, human relations, the art of healing, the natural world and more.
Aggadah, rabbinic lore, is the core expression of classical Jewish creative thinking. Come and immerse yourself in ways of thinking, exploring, responding, and questioning virtually all aspects of human life through a traditional Jewish lens. There is never a dull moment and never a class that does not elicit meaningful responses. The 19th century Jewish thinker, Leopold Zunz, characterized aggadah: “Whatever the imagination can invent is found in aggadah, its purpose always to teach man the ways of God.”
Text is in English translation—no previous experience is necessary.

Introduction to Judaism

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What is Judaism?

Being Jewish involves not just adhering to a religion but also belonging to a people.
Jewish knowledge extends from ancient biblical times to the present through texts, belief, and practice.
Judaism emphasizes actions over beliefs.
An overview of this course includes:
  • People of the Book(s)
  • Rhythms of Life (life cycles, Jewish holidays)
  • Ethics & Values
  • Shabbat, Kashrut, Daily Practice
  • Ethics & Values; Jewish History
  • Contemporary Judaism.
The class is 9 lessons, taught every second week (except the 3-week gap between Dec 22 and January 12). Lessons are in-person at the Synagogue. We are not offering Zoom or hybrid classes. Class dates:
  • October 27
  • November 10 & 24
  • December 8 and 22
  • January 12 & 26, 2023
  • February 9 & 23rd, 2023.

Class time:
7:00 pm to 8:15 or 8:30 pm, Thursdays as per the above dates.

Cost: $180 per person payable at the time of registration.
To register: Please call the office Tuesday through Thursday’s from 9:30 am to 2:30 pm. We accept credit card, cheques. E-transfer can be made by request.
Please contact the Congregation Emanu-El office
by email or by telephone (250-382-0615) for further information and/or questions.

Calling All Artists

Calling All Artists

(Dates and subject TBA)

Calling All Artists is a project inviting artists of many kinds—visual, textile, multi-media, music, poetry—to study a biblical or rabbinical text with Rabbi Harry, and to interpret this learning through their art, a kind of midrash.

(You can see the fine work from last year’s class on September 18 at 2:30 pm at the Gala launch of the Calling All Artists Exhibit. Please see online calendar). Be inspired for next year’s class!

Jewish Spiritual Life 101

Jewish Spiritual Life 101: The Art of Mindful Jewish Living
Starts Thursday, November 3, 7:00 pm (continuing, roughly, alternate Thursdays. (Please contact office for schedule and to register.)
We’ll be exploring different themes:
  • Jewish Liturgy: Making sense and finding meaning and connection through prayer.
  • Sacred Time: An exploration of festivals and holidays. Unlock the renewing power of holy time finding personal meaning through the themes, rituals, and observance of holy days.
  • Kashrut: Understanding Jewish dietary laws and developing a practice around a core aspect of being human, eating and food; linking kashrut observance to sound environmental practice.
  • Shabbat: Learning to create a framework for renewal, rest, and connection. Transcending the “Don’ts” and exploring what Shabbat can be.
  • Shabbat Lab: Using Saturday services once a month to deepen understanding of prayer and finding handholds in the liturgy to promote greater spirituality and connection. Please note: Shabbat Lab is open for everyone. Classes are not pre-requisites for Shabbat Lab although they are designed to enhance your shul experience. For information, please see the Shabbat Lab listing.

Teen Limud

Teen Limud
Monthly: Dates TBA

Teens! Join Rabbi Harry once a month for meaningful discussions, enlightening text study, social justice/ action projects and a delicious dinner. We will meet once a month at Rabbi Harry and RaeAnn’s home.

The hope is for us to plan out a trip together to an interesting and fun Jewish destination and also to plan a wilderness Shabbat backpack trip for this cohort in the spring. Bring an open heart, and open mind, a sense of humour, and a hearty appetite for good food and learning.

Melaveh Malkah

Melaveh Malkah: Escorting the Shabbat Queen

Monthly: Dates TBA

Beginning with Havdalah and appies, followed by a variety of entertainment and fun!
Programming will vary—some for all ages and some programming will be geared towards adults and baby-sitting and kid activities will be provided. Movies, board games, lively discussions on current topics, Beit Cafe performances featuring poetry and music.
Coming up:
  • Saturday, November 19, 6:00 pm Melaveh Malkah–Beit Cafe: Dust off your beret and join us for an evening of poetry, music, laughter, and finger snapping.
  • Saturday, January 14, 6:00 pm All-Ages Night on the Town: Join us for a frolicking playful party that sweetly pushes boundaries and generates lots of fun. For example: Temporary Tattoos in our “Kosher Tattoo Parlour.”; Gambling for M&M’s in our Tzedakah Casino; The tastiest Mocktails in Victoria.

(More dates TBA in the spring)

Be Prepared (Jewishly)

Be Prepared (Jewishly): Ethical Wills, Health Directives, Power of Attorney, Bequeath/Endowments

Monthly: Dates TBA

Sunday, January 22, 2023 at 4:00 pm (Please contact the office for information or to register.)

This workshop, facilitated by Rabbi Harry, RaeAnn and other experts, will look at preparedness through the lens of Jewish values.

Retreat for Couples

Retreat for Couples: Relationship Day-Retreat for Couples of all Flavours

Sunday, January 22, 2023 at 4:00 pm (Please contact the office for information or to register.)

This is a workshop focused on couples: bonding; exploring; introspecting; and dreaming together. Facilitated by RaeAnn and Rabbi Harry.

Modern Hebrew Poetry

Modern Hebrew Poetry

Weekly, about six classes, in person only. More information will follow.

Led by Susan Holtz and Dahlia Beck

A mid-winter exploration of modern Hebrew poetry. We’ll be reading and discussing English translations with guidance from native Hebrew speaker, Dahlia Beck. We’ll look at the world through others’ eyes.