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 jillswartz@gmail.com.


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

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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”)

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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 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!