Congregation Emanu-El, the Jewish Federation of Victoria and Vancouver Island, the UVic History Department and I Witness Field School, will jointly host an event at the synagogue on Sunday, January 17 at 7:00 pm to announce the launch of Sacred Sites: Dishonour And Healing — an online exhibit produced by the Jewish Museum & Archives of BC examining the 2011 desecration of Jewish graves in Victoria and the response that it engendered.
SACRED SITES: DISHONOUR AND HEALING
This online exhibit investigates the 2011 desecration of Victoria’s historic Jewish cemetery and the outstanding community response it engendered. An engaging multimedia exhibit, Sacred Sites affirms the importance of the Jewish cemetery in Victoria, explains individual reactions to and actions against racism, and traces the connections between these local events and the broader contestation of sacred spaces in British Columbia and elsewhere.
When Congregation Emanu-El members organized a vigil to stand against the anti-Semitic violence, they were surprised and reassured by over a thousand Victorians who attended the event. As students enrolled in University of Victoria’s Public History graduate seminar, Alissa Cartwright and Kaitlin Findlay partnered with the JMABC to create this online exhibit about the desecration and the community’s response to it. Cartwright and Findlay were tasked with investigating the roots of the local response and comparing it to other communal reactions to acts of desecration. They conducted oral history interviews with congregants and other individuals who attended the vigil, as well as museum professionals and historians and used the exhibit to situate the desecration and the vigil in broad theoretical and comparative contexts. Their outstanding exhibit is an example of history in action.
1461 Blanshard Street
January 17, 2016