President’s Message

JCCV President’s Year-End Message
December 26, 2022

Dear JCCV Members and Friends:

I believe that 2022, my 9th year as President, has been a good year for the Centre, one in which we saw a progression towards normalcy whilst still living with Covid. The board continued to meet virtually via Zoom and were able to move ahead successfully throughout the year with Centre activities and programs.

Over the years, over 300 volunteers have contributed their time and energy to the creation and running of the Jewish Community Centre of Victoria. In January, we launched a Volunteer Recognition page on the JCCV website listing in alphabetical order all the volunteers at the Centre from its founding in June 1988 to the present day. Peruse the list at and if we missed anyone or entered any information incorrectly, please let us know by email at

Throughout the year, we operated the Deli for both dining-in and take-out. We continued to use the entire back hall for seating to allow for generous distancing between tables. Also, our customers comment that the ambiance is much better with the dividing wall left open. We opened the Deli over the summer for take-out only with some delicious weekly specials. We were very disappointed to cancel Latke Mania this year, however the Deli and Chanukah Gift Shop were very busy in December.

We sold the Food Kiosk to JCCV volunteers Yaaqov Ittah and Rosalind Majorki. They made several upgrades to the kiosk. Julicious, with some JCCV menu favourites and others, will be open for business in the Langford Station in mid-January. The JCCV will get a percentage of sales.

Our librarian created an online catalogue for the Centre’s library collection on the JCCV website at

The 8th annual Victoria International Jewish Film Festival ran over 6 days in early November with a combination of virtual and in-theatre screenings and was well attended.

We returned to in-person luncheons in October with a Vintage Fashion Showcase that was well attended. We also offered several live webinars throughout the year as well as our virtual havurah for Jewish study and discussion, virtual book club, social walking group and Tuesday afternoon drop-in mahj.

We maintained 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 over 425 members and friends.

We introduced a new monthly MailChimp blast “Spotlight on Canadian Jewish Culture” authored by JCCV member Jennie Preuss.

We provided use of the Centre’s parking lot on Sundays in the summer and fall to JFSVI for their Saanich Green Market, the Centre’s hall to Bema Productions for their rehearsals and use of the Centre’s hall on Monday afternoons to a charitable sewing group.

Importantly, with the recent rise in antisemitism, we established a Security Committee to develop a plan for enhancing security at the Centre.

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 extend special thanks to Ethel Chochinov, who stepped down from the board after more than 25 years, for her very valuable contributions and service as Treasurer, President and volunteer at almost every Centre program and event.

I would like to thank Edie Reckon for running the office, Tim Humphreys for his accounting and IT expertise, Nanci Secter for running the gift shop, and Leah Freedman for looking after our library, including creating an online catalogue.

I would like to thank Deborah Bricks and Farley Cates for co-directing the 8th annual VIJFF. I would like to thank Phyllis Arron for coordinating our luncheons and virtual webinars, Juliet Simon for leading the social walking group, Cyril Kesten for leading the monthly virtual book club and Jennie Preuss for leading the virtual Jewish Havurah and writing the monthly “Spotlight on Canadian Jewish Culture”.

I would especially like to thank Rose Carr for her dedication and many hours of hard work running the Deli and delighting our customers.

I would like to thank our many volunteers who help in the Deli and Front Desk.
Deli Volunteers: Bernie Moss, Karen Savell, Yaaqov Ittah, Rosalind Majorki, Mel Macara, Janis Silver, Willie Markson, Ricki Buckwold, Barbara Humphreys and Ralph Neuman.
Front Desk Volunteers: Andrea Fill, Sandie and David Bornstein, Irv Brody, Rosalind Majorki, Earl Chochinov, Tim Humphreys and Sandra Glass.

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.

The Centre is now closed and will re-open in the new year on Tuesday, January 3rd.

I look forward to another good year for the Centre in 2023 and to your continued support.

Larry Gontovnick, President