Kabbalat Shabbat on the beach: This is Jewish life on Bowen Island

Kabbalat Shabbat on the beach, summer 2020. (Photo courtesy Aryana Rayne)

A spiritual search was part of the reason Aryana Rayne moved to Bowen Island years ago. Judaism wasn’t exactly part of that quest, but once she discovered a small Jewish community on the island of 3,600 people—mostly ad hoc gatherings, meeting in people’s homes and celebrating potluck holidays, with an emphasis on the mystical side of Judaism—something clicked. She started going to seminars, reading up on her religion and becoming a linchpin of the community.

Today, the Jews of Bowen Island have a driftwood Hanukkah menorah, a formal organizational name and a Torah scroll they purchased off eBay. Rayne joins to discuss life on the island, how she lives a Jewish life in her own way—and how the future looks bright.


Yehupetzville is hosted by Ralph Benmergui. Michael Fraiman is the producer and editor. Our music was arranged by Louis Simão and performed by Louis Simão and Jacob Gorzhaltsan. Our sponsor is PearTree Canada, which you can learn more about at peartreecanada.com. This show is a member of The CJN Podcast Network—find more great Jewish podcasts at thecjn.ca.