Government of Canada Supports Congregation Emanu-El of Victoria's 150th Anniversary Celebrations

VICTORIA, June 2, 2013 /CNW/ - Mark Adler, Member of Parliament (York Centre), on behalf of the Honourable James Moore, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages, today took part in the 150th anniversary celebrations of the Congregation Emanu-El of Victoria. The Congregation Emanu-El is the oldest synagogue in Canada and was designated as a National Historic Site in 1979.

"Our Government is proud to invest in important anniversaries, like the 150th anniversary of the Congregation Emanu-El of Victoria. It gives me great pride to see that the Jewish community's deep roots in Canada are being recognized and celebrated at the national level," said Mr. Adler. "For 150 years, the Congregation Emanu-El has thrived and enriched the lives of so many people. This momentous anniversary event is the perfect opportunity to reflect and celebrate the rich history of Judaism, in not only Victoria, but throughout our great country."

The Government of Canada has provided funding that will support a variety of anniversary activities, including a public showcase of music, theatre, dance, and visual and literary arts. The Emanu-El of Victoria was built in 1863, five years after the arrival of the first members of Victoria's Jewish community. The Congregation is still in use today.

"The Government of Canada is proud to support and commemorate the historical and cultural contributions that have made Canada the country it is today," said Minister Moore. "Today is an opportunity to celebrate the contributions of the Jewish community in particular, symbolized by the majestic Temple Emanu-El, which is not only a National Historic site, but has served as a centre of community, culture and learning for generations."

"People from many different faith communities have made Canada their home, and community events, such as the celebration of the 150th anniversary of the Emanu-El of Victoria, provide all Canadians with meaningful opportunities to learn about the invaluable contributions of these communities to building our country," said the Honourable Jason Kenney, Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism. "The Jewish community has been instrumental in this regard since arriving in Canada, and today is an occasion to celebrate a milestone and the particular achievements of Congregation Emanu-El and Victoria's Jewish community."

"As Congregation Emanu-El of Victoria celebrates its 150th anniversary it continues to benefit the larger society through social, cultural and educational programs throughout the year," said Michael Bloomfield, Chair of Fundraising for Congregation Emanu-El. "Victoria's Jewish community is a founding and active partner in the remarkable interfaith and multicultural co-operation, which are a source of pride for all Canadians.  We are very grateful to the Government of Canada for their invaluable support toward the celebration and restoration of this national treasure."

The Government of Canada has provided funding of $34,900 through the Building Communities Through Arts and Heritage program of the Department of Canadian Heritage. This program provides Canadians with more opportunities to take part in activities that present local arts and culture and celebrate local history and heritage.

Parks Canada has provided funding of $100,000 through its National Historic Sites Cost-Sharing Program in support of the Emanu-El of Victoria's anniversary celebrations.

The Department of Citizenship and Immigration Canada has contributed $4,500 toward the anniversary celebrations through its Inter-Action program.

SOURCE: Canadian Heritage

For further information:

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For more information (media only), please contact:

Sébastien Gariépy
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of
Canadian Heritage and
Official Languages
819-997-7788

Anna Gravelle
A/Regional Manager
Communications
Western Region
Canadian Heritage
604-666-6504

Media Relations
Canadian Heritage
819-994-9101
1-866-569-6155
media@pch.gc.ca

(This news release is available on the Internet at www.canadianheritage.gc.ca under Newsroom.)



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