Victoria Fringe Festival Volunteer Outreach

Interested in joining an amazing community of artists and theatre enthusiasts, all while getting sweet perks like free show tickets? The 2022 Victoria Fringe Festival team is now looking for volunteers! Fringe is a theatre and arts festival with performers from around the world, and live events at six venues. Learn more and sign up at

Summary of event details

TD Victoria International Jazz Fest: Call for Volunteers

This summer, Congregation Emanu-El member Sunny Lewis is working at the Victoria Jazz Society, helping put together the 39th TD Victoria International JazzFest (June 24 to July 3). She writes:

I want to welcome the Congregation Emanu-El community to join me by volunteering at JazzFest. As Jewish people, we know the power that music has to bring us together.

TD JazzFest making its return after two challenging years gives me hope that we can once again build community through the celebration of live music. Volunteers receive free access to all presentation series shows (subject to availability) and the opportunity to choose a Royal Theatre or McPherson Playhouse concert to attend as well. In addition to the free shows, each volunteer gets an invitation to the volunteer appreciation party, a t-shirt, and the opportunity to gain experience and meet new people.

Volunteers are the heart of TD JazzFest and however you would like to help out, from artist hospitality to green team to first aid and many more options, we would be delighted to have you. I look forward to working with some of you this summer.

For those of you who wish to learn more or take part in the comeback of one of Vancouver Island’s longest running music festivals, you’re welcome to call me at the office at 250-388-4423 or you can reach the volunteer coordinator at

Summary of event details

  • Date: June 24 to July 3, 2022
  • Where: Various venues in Victoria
  • Cost: Volunteers receive free access to all presentation series shows (subject to availability)
  • Registration:
  • Contact: 250-388-4423

Volunteer Position: Fire Warden

Congregation Emanu-El needs a Fire Warden

Once a month, we need to test our fire alarms.  Normally this is done on a Sunday afternoon when the Daycare is not on site and when there is nothing else scheduled.

This doesn’t take long to do, and is an interesting task.  It’s a wonderful way to get to know our remarkable building.  You’ll be helping to protect the building and all of us in it. 

If you would like to volunteer, either by yourself or with a partner to share the task, please contact Susan:

Shabbat Ushers and Greeters Needed!

Coming back to Shabbat services in the Sanctuary is a joy!

It would be great if we could offer a warm welcome at the door!  If you can come a bit earlier (9:45) to greet people and introduce yourself to newcomers and guests, we’d love for you to be Emanu-El’s welcoming smile.

It’s our hope to create a roster so that this commitment can be shared among many.

You can volunteer on your own, with a friend or with your whole family.

If this is something you’d like to do for the community, please contact Susan

Congregation Emanu-El is helping the community

outreach-hands-ss-1920-1030x579May 17, 2020 4 pm – Outreach Phone Caller Training — Thank you again to the volunteers who made the phone calls to every family in our community before Pesaḥ. The phone calls are one way we help keep our kehillah connected.  We’re continuing to phone congregants who requested that we keep in contact with them. Our volunteers do errands, including grocery/prescription or other deliveries, and tech training on Zoom, Facetime and Skype. Several resources are also available for other more specific needs. Continue reading Congregation Emanu-El is helping the community

Outreach needs your help!

outreach-hands-ss-1920-1030x579Outreach is Congregation Emanu-El’s offer of support when you or your family are in transition. It may be a birth, it may be grief, sickness, an accident or changes in personal status. Sometimes changes are joyous and sometimes you may really need care and support. Too often we think we need to go it alone when dealing with change, but what you may need is Outreach. Some services Outreach provides:
    • Cooked meals
    • Rides to appointments or to synagogue
    • A warm visit
    • An open heart to listen

 The Outreach committee will be there for you as much or as little as you want. If you or your loved ones or friends need support, please call us. You can reach the Outreach committee by calling the synagogue office at (250) 382-0615. The committee is fully committed to maintaining confidentiality.

The Outreach committee is made up of congregants helping congregants. And Outreach needs your help! We especially need people who can cook, drive, visit, check in by phone, and deliver food. If you want a periodic mitzvah or want to be part of the Outreach team, please contact

An Honour for One of Our Own

Ed Fitch PortraitCongregation Emanu-El Board member Ed Fitch [otherwise known as Major-General Edward Fitch (Ret’d)], was recently appointed Honourary Lieutenant-Colonel (HLCol), 4th Canadian Ranger Patrol Group.  This is a significant volunteer assignment for Ed whose long and distinguished military career is replete with accomplishments.
The Canadian Rangers are a part of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) Reserves working in remote, isolated and coastal regions of Canada. They act as the eyes and ears of the remote areas they cover, and provide an essential support to CAF national security and public safety operations within Canada. Their motto is ‘Vigilans‘, meaning ‘The Watchers.’

HLCol Fitch was instrumental in extending the 4th Canadian Rangers Patrol Group from British Columbia into Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba in the late 1990s through the early 2000s while he was Commander of Land Forces Western Area (now the 3rd Canadian Division).

Congregation Emanu-El congratulates HLCol Fitch and wishes him all the best in his new assignment.

Our Place seeks volunteers for new program

Our Place logo

Our Place is embarking on an exciting new program, the Faith Initiative Program and invites members of our congregation to be involved. This primarily involves listening — not giving advice on how to fix a person’s life — just listening with respect and dignity for all. Our Place is looking for individuals who are open, non-judgmental, compassionate; who can remain grounded in the mix of turmoil, pain and suffering; and who can remain positive, hopeful and able to celebrate the unique gifts of every individual member of the Our Place family. This new initiative intends to provide extra support to the Our Place family, develop stronger connections with faith communities in Victoria and add value to ourselves by hanging out, ready to listen and be a loving presence to Our Place family members.

General orientation, training and on-going support will be provided by the Spiritual Care program staff at Our Place. Volunteers will be required to undergo a Criminal Record Check.

This is an opportunity to deepen and expand the hand-on support Congregation Emanu-El has offered over the years. Our Place envisions various faith groups in Victoria each taking ownership for providing spiritual care volunteers on one day of the week.

If you are interested and would like more information, please contact Penny Tennenhouse.

The Synagogue Key Saga (aka “Tales from the Key Box”)


I am an office volunteer. Most Thursdays you can find me in the office doing whatever our office manager, Zelda, has for me. About 6 months ago Zelda asked me to organize the keys in the key box. The key box is located on the back wall of the office. Inside were 27 hooks. On each hook hung from two to ten keys. The keys were labeled, after a fashion. The labels were of every description, from plastic to masking tape, many shapes and colours – some unreadable, some mislabeled. There was a chart that told what each key was, on each numbered hook. Except that they did not match. I had my work cut out for me.

Over the next six months I worked on those keys. I visited the three levels of our shul trying keys in locks. I discovered the locked compost and hydro meters outside the rear of the shul. A key labeled storage room cupboard didn’t actually unlock anything, it was the handle to open the cupboard door. I discovered why there were 100 keys that did not work in any lock in the building: whenever anyone changed a lock or door knob, they had six copies of the new key made. Then they hung all those new keys on top of the old ones. The more the merrier. There was a key for something ancient (no one had ever seen a key in that shape). A paper towel dispenser had an upper and a lower door with key holes but the key holes were different. And one key was missing. A key labeled paper towel dispenser was from an earlier dispenser. The new dispenser was not locked. At this point nothing surprised me.

In honour of this project Zelda bought new key ring labels, all the same shape, in pastel colours. Now this key box is a thing of joy. Easy to identify and find a key, maximum two keys on a hook, numbers match keys on the chart. After months hunched over piles of keys, or roaming our historic building, I have a new appreciation for the inner workings of keys and locks. I can finally say the key box is in order. And heaven help anyone if they return a key to the wrong hook!

Now Zelda wants me to make a second full set of keys to be stored away. That should only take me three hours. Price’s Alarms, here I come.

From your Thursday office volunteer,

Sharon Fitch, alufat hamefeteḥot