President’s Message

JCCV President’s Year-End Message
December 2021

Dear JCCV Members and Friends:

I would like to share with you my President’s report below that I delivered at the JCCV Annual General Meeting on December 21, 2021.

I wish you and your mishpocha good health and much happiness in 2022.

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I believe that 2021, my 8th year as President, has been a good year for the Centre, one in which we succeeded to rise above the challenges of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. The board continued to meet virtually via Zoom and we were able to successfully adapt and move forward throughout the year with Centre activities and programs.
 
At the start of the year, we continued take-out service in our Deli with an abbreviated menu operating safely through the front door, with a sheet of plexi-glass at the front desk, a mandatory mask requirement, payment by credit or debit only, one-way traffic down the hallway, order pickup in the back hall, and exiting through the side door.

In September, we opened the deli for dining-in. We used the entire back hall to allow for distancing between tables and we required proof of vaccination and ID. Masks were required to be worn except while seated at tables. We just concluded a very successful Latke Mania take-out service and Chanukah gift shop. We fried about 2,400 latkes over the 12 days of Latke Mania from November 30th to December 17th and our customers raved about them. The gift shop had a large selection of Chanukah gifts and supplies and sold out of most items. The Centre is now closed and will re-open in the new year on January 4th.

The 7th annual Victoria International Jewish Film Festival was a great success with a virtual feel-good mini festival in the spring and a combo virtual and in-theatre main festival in October.
 
We continued with our monthly free live webinars. Our monthly book club continued virtually, as well as our virtual havurah for Jewish study and discussion.
 
In the first two weeks in July we hosted the Camp Miriam Day Camp, with about 30 campers and councilors singing, dancing, doing crafts, watching videos, playing games and having fun with many other activities.
 
The JCCV Social Walking Group started back up in September under the leadership of Juliet Simon, and the Tuesday afternoon drop-in Mahj also started back up in September.
 
We will need to keep adapting Centre activities and programs according to the status of the ongoing pandemic, now in a 5th wave with the omicron variant of concern.
 
We continued to maintain an up-to-date website, and we kept our members and friends informed of Centre events and activities through our MailChimp email blasts. Our mailing list has grown to 365 strong.
 
I would like to thank my fellow board directors who provided wise counsel and were a pleasure to work with over this past year. I would like to thank Coral Grant, who is stepping down from the board, for her very valuable contributions and service.
 
I would like to thank Edie Reckon for running the office, Ethel Chochinov for looking after the Centre’s finances, Tim Humphreys for his accounting expertise and wisdom, Nanci Secter for running the gift shop, and Juliet Simon for looking after our library with such great care.
 
I would like to thank Deborah Bricks and Farley Cates for co-directing the 7th annual VIJFF in 2021. A special thanks to Earl and Ethel Chochinov who stepped down from the film festival committee at the end of this year’s festival after serving on the committee since the inception of the film festival in 2015.

I would like to thank Phyllis Arron for coordinating our virtual webinar series, Cyril Kesten for leading the monthly virtual book club and Jennie Preuss for leading the virtual Jewish Havurah.
 
I would especially like to thank Rose Carr for her dedication and many hours of hard work running the deli, in particular during Latke Mania.
 
I would like to thank our many volunteers who help at the Centre. We are very fortunate to have such a wonderful and dedicated group of volunteers. We could not run the Centre without them and they are greatly appreciated.
 
The JCCV continues to be an important gathering place for Jewish life in Victoria and home to several Jewish organizations and groups. It is a place in Victoria where any and all Jews can come together to celebrate and enjoy their Jewish heritage whatever their affiliation or level of religious observance.
 
I look forward to another good year for the Centre in 2022 and to your continued support.
 
Larry Gontovnick, President

Presented at the JCCV Annual General Meeting on December 21st, 2021