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 now allowing tent city campers to stay at Goldstream Park

Contrary to earlier reports, Ministry of Environment says there is no hard deadline for campers to leave, park open to public

Victorians for Tranportation Choice survey Greater Victoria election candidates

Mayoral and council candidates from across Greater Victoria face 12 questions

Saanich offers land for housing for the homeless

Unclear many units of supportive housing the province will build in Saanich

Oak Bay lawn bowling team takes gold in Qualicum Beach

Brent Jansen and Karen Evans take win at Canadian Lawn Bowling Mixed Pairs Championships

UPDATE: missing 26-year old Victoria man Gregory Partington found safe

Partington was last see on Sept. 19 in downtown Victoria

Watch out for Pavement Patty: Drivers warned outside B.C. elementary school

New survey reveals unsafe school zones during 2018 back-to-school week

B.C. MP Todd Doherty receives award for saving man who collapsed on a plane

Conservative MP was flying from Vancouver to Prince George, B.C., in June last year

Alleged border jumper from Oregon facing 2 charges after police chase in B.C.

Colin Patrick Wilson charged with dangerous operation of motor vehicle, flight from a peace officer

More than 35 B.C. mayors elected without contest

No other candidates for mayor in the upcoming local election in 22 per cent of B.C. cities

Tofino Bus launches shipping service to replace Greyhound across Vancouver Island

Affordable, same day and next day freight options are available as Greyhoubd Package Express ends

Admitting mistakes is the first step

On Friday afternoon a dramatic three-vehicle crash took place on Highway, an… Continue reading

Fred’s Bed has a nice ring to it

Your more diligent readers, or at least those with a serviceable memory,… Continue reading

First Nations block roads to stop the moose hunt in B.C.’s Interior

Chief Joe Alphonse confirmed Thursday they’ve deactivated the Raven Lake Road and the Mackin Creek Road just before the Island Lake turnoff

‘Like an Alfred Hitchcock movie’: Birds fall dead from the sky in B.C. city

Raptor expert says he’s never seen it happen anywhere in the Lower Mainland

Most Read