Congregation Emanu-El (Victoria, British Columbia)


Congregation Emanu-El (Victoria, British Columbia)
Congregation Emanu-El
Basic information
Location Blanshard Street, Victoria, British Columbia, on Vancouver Island, Canada
Affiliation Judaism
Rite Nusach Sefard
Status Active
Leadership Rabbi
Website congregationemanu-el.ca

Congregation Emanu-El is a synagogue in Victoria, British Columbia, on Vancouver Island. It is the oldest surviving synagogue in Canada.[1] It can also boast of being the oldest synagogue building on the west coast of North America.[2] Founded by 1859 when the cemetery is known to have been dedicated, in 1863 the congregation built the synagogue that is still in use. It is affiliated with the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism. The building is a National Historic Site of Canada as designated by the Heritage Society of British Columbia.

Contents

History

Designed by John Wright, architect, the synagogue, located on Blanshard Street at Pandora Avenue beside a twentieth century community building, was built in 1863, [3] during the Victoria building boom caused by the discovery of gold on the mainland nearby in 1858. The first Jews to settle on Vancouver Island came mostly from the United States during the Fraser Canyon Gold Rush.[4]

The synagogue is said to have been the first building in town to have its cornerstone laid by the recently organized Victoria chapter of the Freemasons.[5] A second cornerstone was laid on the same day by a member of the congregation's Building Committee. A time capsule was ceremoniously buried. It included not only the congregation's constitution, a list of donors tho the building fund, some coins, and a copy of the local newspaper, the British Colonist, still publishing today as the Victoria Times-Colonist, but the full membership lists of the Germania Sing Verein and French Benevolent Society of Victoria.[5]

The dedication was marked by a procession of benevolent societies of what appears to have been every religion and ethnicity resident in the young city. The marchers in the procession are known to have included not only the Hebrew Benevolent Society, but the French Benevolent Society, the St. Andrew's Society, the Germania Sing Verein (a German Singing Club), and the Fraternity of Ancient, Free and Accepted Masons. The band from HMS Topaze, a 24-gun, Liffey class, Royal Navy frigate, played.[4][5]

The congregation's cemetery on Cedar Hill Road in Cedar Hill (Greater Victoria), dedicated in 1859.[6]

Architecture

The building is in Romanesque Revival style. The facade of the two-story, brick building features a rose window and a corbelled gable. The ceiling of the interior is domed.[7][8] The building was renovated in the 1980s.[9]

In the traditional plan of the sanctuary, Torah is read to the congregation from the bimah and the Torah scrolls are stored in the aron kodesh on the east wall. The congregation face towards the east, and Jerusalem, in praying. The ornamentation features symbols such as Stars of David, signs of the zodiac and natural forms. [10]

Notable members

See also

References

  1. ^ Sheldon Levitt Revised: Julia Gersovitz. "''The Canadien Encyclopedia''". Thecanadianencyclopedia.com. http://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.com/index.cfm?PgNm=TCE&Params=A1ARTA0007839. Retrieved 2010-10-13. 
  2. ^ "Walking Tour 2 in Victoria at Frommer's". Frommers.com. http://www.frommers.com/destinations/victoria/0185020034.html. Retrieved 2010-10-13. 
  3. ^ "Dictionary of Architects in Canada". http://dictionaryofarchitectsincanada.org/architects/view/1289. Retrieved November 16, 2011. 
  4. ^ a b Colonist, Times (2008-12-07). ""City celebrates synagogue's start, The cornerstone-laying ceremony for Victoria's first synagogue was a grand affair and revealed how rich the city's cultural and religious character was during the 19th century", ''Times-Colonist'', Victoria, December 7, 2008". Canada.com. http://www.canada.com/victoriatimescolonist/story.html?id=667c974d-78ca-4e14-a850-1ffc9bb2cc83. Retrieved 2010-10-13. 
  5. ^ a b c "''The Synagogue of Congregation Emanu-El'', U.Vic website". Web.uvic.ca. http://web.uvic.ca/vv/student/edges_of_time/synagogue.html. Retrieved 2010-10-13. 
  6. ^ "The IAJGS International Jewish Cemetery Project has moved". Jewishgen.org. http://www.jewishgen.org/cemetery/northamerica/bc.html. Retrieved 2010-10-13. 
  7. ^ Sheldon Levitt Revised: Julia Gersovitz. "''The Canadian Encyclopedia''". Thecanadianencyclopedia.com. http://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.com/index.cfm?PgNm=TCE&Params=A1ARTA0007839. Retrieved 2010-10-13. 
  8. ^ A guide to Canadian architectural styles, By Shannon Ricketts, Leslie Maitland, Jacqueline Hucker, Broadview Press, 2003, p. 98
  9. ^ The Jewish travel guide, Betsy Sheldon, Hunter Publishing, 2001, p. 243
  10. ^ PgNm=TCE&Params=A1ARTA0007839 "Canadian Encyclopedia". http://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.com/index.cfm PgNm=TCE&Params=A1ARTA0007839. Retrieved November 16, 2011. 

External links


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • BRITISH COLUMBIA — BRITISH COLUMBIA, province of Canada bordering the Pacific coast. Although much smaller than the Jewish communities of Ontario and Quebec, the Jewish presence in Canada s western most province, British Columbia (B.C.), has been part of the region …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • Liste der National Historic Sites of Canada (British Columbia) — Diese Liste führt alle Bauwerke, Objekte und Stätten der kanadischen Provinz British Columbia auf, die zur National Historic Site erklärt wurden. Nur ein Teil wird von Parks Canada verwaltet, in ganz Kanada 158 Stätten, in British Columbia 13.… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Emanu-El — This is a disambiguation page for Emanu El used as a synagogue name. For other uses of the word, see Immanuel and Emanuel. Temple Emanu El is the name of numerous Jewish synagogues. It is also spelled Emanuel and Emanu El in English. Emanu El… …   Wikipedia

  • Morris Moss — Not to be confused with the fictional character Maurice Moss. Morris Moss Born May 31, 1842(1842 05 31) London, England Di …   Wikipedia

  • Oldest synagogues in Canada — The designation of the Oldest synagogue in Canada requires careful use of definitions, and must be divided into two parts, the oldest in the sense of oldest surviving building, and the oldest in the sense of oldest congregation. Even here, there… …   Wikipedia

  • Oldest synagogues in the world — The Santa María la Blanca synagogue was built in Toledo, Spain in 1190 …   Wikipedia

  • List of National Historic Sites of Canada — This is a complete list of the National Historic Sites of Canada. All such designations are made by the federal Minister of the Environment on the advice of the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada . As of March 2008, there are 935 sites …   Wikipedia

  • List of synagogues in Canada — A partial list of synagogues in Canada:British Columbia Flagicon|British Columbia* Congregation Emanu El (Victoria)Ontario Flagicon|Ontario* Machzikei Hadas (Ottawa) * Beth Avraham Yosef (Toronto) * Shaarei Shomayim (Toronto)Quebec… …   Wikipedia

  • Geschichte Kanadas — Die Geschichte Kanadas reicht mehr als zwölf Jahrtausende zurück.[1] Um diese Zeit boten sich den frühen menschlichen Bewohnern des heutigen Kanadas durch das Ende der letzten Eiszeit günstigere Lebensmöglichkeiten.[2] Dabei entwickelten sich in… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Kanada — Canada (engl./franz.) Kanada …   Deutsch Wikipedia


We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.