The board of Congregation Emanu-El of Victoria has unanimously approved a motion to proceed with sponsorship of a Syrian refugee family. They believe that this is a moment to step forward as Jews and “welcome the stranger.”
Many in Victoria’s Jewish community trace their families’ arrival in Canada from the time they fled brutal pogroms in the Russian empire, and some came as the surviving remnant of European Jews after the Holocaust. Others landed here because they were expelled from their countries throughout the Middle East and North Africa after the creation of the state of Israel in 1948.
“As we cannot forget our oppression and persecution over millennia, we also count our blessings for living in freedom and comfort in Canada. Jewish ethics enjoin us to reach out to others to help end their suffering. The concept of tikkun, or repair, is central to Jewish belief, in that it is our duty to try and fix what is broken in this world,” said Congregation Emanu-El’s Rabbi Harry Brechner.
The synagogue welcomes all who wish to join in the fund-raising efforts. Office hours (1-250-382-0615) are Tuesday to Thursday, 9:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m., to make credit card donations, or cheques can be sent to 1461 Blanshard St., Victoria, B.C., V8W 2J3. Tax receipts will be issued for all donations.
For more information, contact Jean Dragushan, chair of the refugee sponsorship steering committee, at [email protected] or 1-250-818-4132.