Victoria’s Emanu-El Congregation is hosting a public lighting of the Menorah in Centennial Square to honor the work of Reverend Al Tysick.
The eight-day Jewish celebration of Chanukah – also known as the Festival of Lights – runs from November 28 to December 6.
On December 5, the square will be filled with joy, music and light to celebrate Tysick, who the event organizers say is a shining example of someone who has spent decades performing acts of tzedakah – a Hebrew word meaning righteousness and commonly used to mean charity.
Known as Rev Al by the street community, Tysick has been involved in the streets – where his heart and family are – for over 40 years. He helped found Our Place Society and founded the Victoria Dandelion Society in April 2011. He retired this summer at the age of 75.
Hanukkah is about dedication and Tysic taught what it means to dedicate oneself to Tikkun Olam – cosmic repairing and building a better, more loving community – by caring for the vulnerable in the area.
The December 5 event features a menorah billed as one of the largest in British Columbia, along with music from the Yiddish Columbia State Orchestra and Klezmorim and the tasty sufganiyah (traditional donut).
Donations of cash or non-perishable items for the food bank at St. John the Divine Church will be accepted.
The BC Center for Disease Control’s public health guidelines do not place significant restrictions on religious gatherings. However, to ensure the health and safety of the community, the organizers ask sick people to stay at home and that participants wear a mask.
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