Adult Education 2021–22

Congregation Emanu-El Adult Education & Events team has arranged an interesting mix of ongoing and one-off sessions for the fall-winter term. Of course, the COVID pandemic has made the process a bit more challenging since most of what will be taking place will be on Zoom for the foreseeable future.
Enter the name for this tabbed section: Classes

Judaism – An Introduction

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Judaism is the way of life of the Jewish people. As a way of life, it includes the social, cultural, and religious history of a widespread and diverse community. Being Jewish involves not just adhering to a religion, but also belonging to a people.
  • This course is for anyone interested in exploring Jewish life. Open to all, this course is perfect for interfaith couples, those raising Jewish children, spiritually curious, and individuals considering conversion.
  • Topics include holidays, life cycle celebrations, theology and core beliefs, Hebrew, prayer, the Bible and other sacred texts, and history.
  • The class size is limited to 20 persons.
  • Please note, if you are considering conversion, this class is a prerequisite for conversion.
  • Congregation Emanu-El is a modern Conservative, egalitarian and inclusive synagogue.

This course is currently running, and will be available for registration again in Fall 2022.

Calling All Artists (NEW)

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“Signs and Symbols”

Calling All Artists returns!
We will meet once a month for learning sessions with Rabbi Harry, beginning on January 20, 2022, and continuing on February 24, March 24, April 7, and May 12, 2022.

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, the Rabbi explains it. This year, we will study Jewish symbolism, and the significance of using symbols. Meetings will be a hybrid of in-person and Zoom sessions, beginning with Zoom until the news improves.

In the fall, the artists, if it is possible to meet again, will celebrate their work with a delicious and gorgeous Gala in the Social Hall. If not, the Gala will still happen, but Zooming.

For more information and to register, please email the office at

Fees: $70.00 for non-members, $50.00 for members.

(Image: Akeda and Exile II, mosaic, by Dahlia Beck)

Adult B’nei Mitzvah

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(Starts January 11, 2022, runs for 20 sessions)
Come take a deep dive into Jewish literacy and practice. This program will combine classroom learning and discussion with workshops on central Jewish topics culminating in a personal ceremony and celebration.
This program offers students the opportunity to garner meaning from Jewish sacred text, to sense the scope of Jewish History, to appreciate the spiritual meaning within Jewish lifecycle rituals, to unpack the deeper meanings found within the Jewish calendar cycle, to survey Jewish ethics and values, to find meaning and beauty and develop a personal practice within Jewish liturgy, and to explore topics and issues within Jewish theology and philosophy.
• The course will run for 20 sessions, roughly twice a month on Tuesday evenings beginning on January 11, 2022. Beyond class attendance, participants will be expected to attend Shabbat services at least monthly and there will be occasional projects and journaling.
• The course will meet in-person when possible, but Zoom will remain an option for those who prefer this.
• This course is available only to Emanu-El members and is free of charge.

If you never had the opportunity to have a B’nei Mitzvah experience or if you want to have this experience in a more personalized and deeper way from an adult perspective, this course is for you!
To register contact

Enter the name for this tabbed section: One-off Sessions
All lectures are held by Zoom (Watch newsletter for details)
Participation: by voluntary donation to Adult Education
payable online or through the office

  • Sunday, December 19, 2021, at 6:00 pm Let's Talk about Diversity, Equity and Belonging in the Victoria Jewish Community!
    Join Sara Yacobi-Harris from No Silence On Race in Toronto and Carmel Tanaka from JQT Vancouver in a community-wide dialogue on the need for diversity, equity and belonging work in the Jewish community. Both speakers are changing the landscape of what it means to be a Jew in Canada and globally.
    For information and the Zoom link, contact:
Enter the name for this tabbed section: Ongoing Sessions

Mystic Moka

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This is an hour-long immersion into the realm of the mystic. Through the lens of Kabbalah, together we process emotions, learn practices, and encounter spirit. If you are seeking intuitive understanding of life and connection to Divine Source, this may be the place for you. It’s also a lot of fun.

Weekly on Fridays, 12:30 – 1:30 pm on Zoom Participation: by voluntary donation to Adult Education payable online or through the office
For the Zoom link, please email the office
Please check weekly newsletter for class confirmation.

Brown Bag Beit Midrash

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Come explore the powerful, sometimes whacky, often surprising world of Midrash. Midrash are stories that deepen, expand and flesh out Torah. Midrash is Talmudical rabbinic fan-fiction. Midrash makes the Jewish ethos and pathos come alive. Come join us as we take a deep dive into The Book of Legends/Sefer Ha-Aggadah a compilation of Midrash and rabbinic sources by Haim Nahman Bialik and Yehoshua Hana Ravnitsky.
Quotes from students:

“It’s like pulling back the curtains for a peek at what might really be behind the family feuds, love stories, conflicts of our ancestors from a totally new perspective.”

“Studying Midrash with Rabbi Harry makes my understanding of Torah so much deeper. It’s a fascinating way to spend an hour.”

Weekly on Tuesdays, 12:30 – 1:30 pm on Zoom
Participation: by voluntary donation to Adult Education payable online or through the office at.
For the Zoom link, please email the office
Please check weekly newsletter for class confirmation.

Ḥug Ivrit

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Each Ḥug Ivrit encounter is a text-based conversation. Students—Intermediate-Advanced readers & speakers of modern Hebrew—prepare the (teacher) assigned text and exercises ahead of time. During class, we discuss the topic and read the text, focusing on ideas, vocabulary, and grammar, as well as on students’ opinions and experiences with the topic-at-hand.
Students are welcome to lead the conversation in whichever direction they desire. We search for the roots and connotations of words and seek out their source. We argue, negotiate, laugh, and wonder, in Hebrew.

Weekly on Wednesdays 7:00–8:30 pm on Zoom
Participation: by voluntary donation to Adult Education payable online or through the office at. For more information email Dahlia.

Tanakh Shiur

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A shiur is a collective learning experience, in which lots of different voices, Jewish and non-Jewish, lay and scholarly, come together to try to understand the biblical text in its unfathomability and beauty. We have studied the books of the Torah, the book of Job, and now we have almost completed the books of Samuel. You can dive in at any time but be prepared for an adventure
Weekly on Tuesdays 7:00–8:30 pm on Zoom
Participation: by voluntary donation to Adult Education (suggested amount: $50) payable online or through the office.
For information or registration, please email the Shul office