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





Call for Bēma “House” volunteers

Bema Front of HouseBēma’s new show, The Prisoner of Second Avenue, opens in January 2018. Bēma needs volunteers to collect and sell tickets and to perform other house tasks on Sunday afternoons and Saturday evenings in January 2018.
Please email Jill Swartz for more information!

Call for Volunteers for HeroWork’s Anawim House project

HeroWork-LogoHeroWork is a charitable organization that renovates non-profits community infrastructure through fast-paced leadership-driven events called Radical Renovations. HeroWork does this at a fraction of the normal cost and time, through fast-paced renovation events. These are akin to a modern-day version of an old fashioned barn-raising. Continue reading Call for Volunteers for HeroWork’s Anawim House project

Call for Front of House Volunteers! Bēma’s Fringe Show Needs YOU!

Bema Front of HouseCome and join the Bēma Team during the 2017 Victoria Fringe Festival from August 24 to Sept 3.
We need “Front of House” volunteers to welcome and assist people during Bēma’s Fringe show, Horowitz and Mrs. Washington. Volunteer shifts are about 2 hours. Continue reading Call for Front of House Volunteers! Bēma’s Fringe Show Needs YOU!

Our Place seeks volunteers and donations


Volunteer Opportunities

Program Volunteers for the Choices site in View Royal Mondays & Thursdays
2:30 to 4:30 pm. 

hosts for Saturday Night at the Movies – your group of 4
volunteers provides the pop & pizza for a special evening of fun for the
Our Place Family. 

contact Julianne at 250-480-8927 or

Donations Needed

Our Spiritual Care Team needs mittens for our elderly family members with arthritic hands that don’t fit into gloves.

Our Spiritual Care Team is looking for gently used board games with all the pieces.

mandate includes the provision of off-site health and educational opportunities
to our Transitional Housing residents. We are currently seeking new or gently
used umbrellas for the residents accessing these activities. 

Please bring donations to Our Place Society at 919 Pandora Ave and let the reception desk know these donations are for the Spiritual Care Department.

Volunteer Drivers Required

Jewish Family Services of Vancouver Island is seeking volunteers for
occasional driving of certain of its clients to or from medical or dental
appointments, seniors events and grocery shopping within the greater Victoria

You could expect to be called upon once or twice a month subject to your availability.
No evening drives. Applicants will be required to hold a valid B.C. Driver’s
licence and drive their own vehicle suitable to the purpose. Supplemental
vehicle insurance will be provided. 

If you have the time and can help please
call us at 250-704-2744 before May 25, 2015 and leave your name and a phone
number where you can be reached and indicate you are calling in response to
this notice and we will return your call as soon as possible.

Communal Seder: Help Needed

Now is your chance to join our Congregation Emanu-El family Pesaḥ Brigade and help make our communal Seder a fun and meaningful event. Our Seder will take place on Friday, April 3, 2015 and your help will ensure it will again be, a resounding success.

We need volunteers to help with the following:
•    Set up tables in the social hall – likely Thurs 2nd April evening or Fri 3rd in the am
•    Preparing food – our sensational Chef Yakov will be prepping on and off during the week prior and on Fri 3rd.
•    Serving food.
•    Clean-up after the Seder.
If you can help out during the week before, during or after the Seder, please contact the synagogue office at 250-382-0615 or email Ruthie (aka Lesley) and give your name and contact details. Please specify which tasks you would be available to help with.

Volunteer a little or volunteer a lot. All help is greatly appreciated and will contribute to the success of our special evening together.

Thank you,
The Pesaḥ Brigade