The Jewish Community Centre on Shelbourne Street, where volunteers like Rose Carr prepare traditional potato latkes leading up to Hannukah, is the administrative centre of the Jewish Federation of Victoria and Vancouver Island. Travis Paterson/News Staff

Federation represents diversity of Jewish life in Greater Victoria

Some 1,500 members of the Jewish faith representing a variety of communities and traditions of religious observance live in the Greater Victoria area and the Jewish Federation of Victoria and Vancouver Island aims to give all of them a home.

“We are an entirely secular organization, so ‘Jewish’ in our case is any Jew — regardless of affiliation or religious commitment,” said David Blades, president. “We represent the Jews on the Island, much like other organizations represent their faith groups, only we don’t have a religious angle to our organization — we are ‘all-encompassing’ or try to be.”

This goal also appears in the wide range of activities, which the federation pursues. It hosts Jewish celebrations, holds events that educate Jewish and non-Jews about Jewish religion and culture, and helps raise funds for various Jewish organizations. They include the Jewish Community Centre and Jewish Family Services.

“So our fund-raising helps seniors and those who need extra help in the Jewish community in Victoria,” said Blades.

This financial support extends throughout the community. “For example, we sponsor kids going to camp, support the Jewish Film Festival, [and] support some local choirs,” he said.

The federation also hosts local Holocaust memorial services, events marking Israel’s independence, and coordinates relations with provincial organizations and other community agencies.

“We also work closely with law enforcement agencies to track and document anti-Semitic acts,” he said.

One of the centres of Jewish life in the Greater Victoria area is the Jewish Community Centre of Victoria, out of which the federation operates. It includes spaces for community activities and festivities, an extensive library, and the Lox, Stock and Bagel deli serving Jewish delicacies, including popular potato latkes prepared during the Hannukah period.

The federation also has a presence at the University of Victoria, by being part of university’s multi-faith organization.

In short, the federation tries to nourish the Jewish community in many ways. “I see our major contribution as being a non-sectarian agency that offers opportunity to the Jewish community and greater Victoria and Vancouver Island community,” said Blades.

 

Just Posted

Province delivers notice of unauthorized occupation to Saanich tent city Camp Namegans

A Ministry of Transportation liaison to Camp Namegans delivered a “notice of… Continue reading

Campfire ban coming into effect across West Coast

The Coastal Fire Centre says bans will begin on Wednesday

LETTERS: It’s time to stop looking for excuses

Re: Proposed fishing restrictions will be devastating: officials I understand how those… Continue reading

UPDATE: Woman hit by car in parking lot 93 years old

Driver of sedan backs into older adult walking through lot

Delivery truck downs power lines in Sidney

A tractor trailer delivering eggs clipped a low-hanging wire on Second St.… Continue reading

Trudeau asks transport minister to tackle Greyhound’s western pullout

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says he’s asked Transport Minister Marc Garneau to find solutions in Greyhound Canada’s absence.

Special forces unit to monitor Hells Angels ride on Vancouver Island

Enforcement unit says motorcycle club to hold 35th anniversary ride in Nanaimo

Hub for mental health and addictions treatment opens at B.C. hospital

St. Paul’s Hospital HUB is an acute medical unit that includes 10 patient beds

Saanich Police investigate store robbery

Store video captures image of suspect

Restaurant Brands International to review policy over poaching employees

One of Canada’s largest fast-food company to review ‘no-poach’ franchise agreements

Calgary family’s vacation ends in tragedy on Texas highway

Three people died and four others were injured in the crash

Union construction cost competitive, B.C. Building Trades say

Non-union firms can bid on infrastructure, but employees have to join international unions

Trudeau to shuffle cabinet ahead of Liberals’ team for 2019

Trudeau could lighten the work loads of cabinet ministers who currently oversee more than one portfolio

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of July 17

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Most Read