Ever since the Jewish Museum of Australia was established in 1977, volunteers have played an integral part within the organisation, and the Museum could not exist without their dedication and support. Today we engage up to 150 volunteers each year who work across all Museum departments, primarily in visitor facing roles. Our volunteers are known as Mentchs and Mavens. Mentsch is a Yiddish term describing someone who is friendly and helpful. A Maven is someone who seeks to acquire knowledge and share it with others. Below is a brief description of volunteer roles at the Museum:
Museum Mentsch (Reception) – Volunteer Mentschs working at the reception desk are the first contact for visitors to the Museum in person or on the phone. They provide a warm welcome, essential information, and facilitate admission and shop sales. Enthusiastic, friendly and informative, with a desire to make everyone’s visit to the Museum a positive one – these are the key attributes of a Museum Mentsch! This roles suits people with good computer skills, excellent telephone manner and confidence handling cash. This role may also be quiet when the Museum is not experiencing a busy period. Shifts are 3 hours each.
Museum Mentsch (Galleries) – Volunteer Mentschs working within the Museum galleries welcome and orientate visitors, answer basic questions, supply information about Museum programs and events, and support staff to maintain safety and security. They have a good grasp of the Museum’s permanent collections and key objects, but are not expected to provide in depth knowledge or lead guided tours. This role may be quiet when the Museum is not experiencing a busy period. Shifts are 3 hours each.
Click here to learn more about being a Museum Mentsch
Museum Maven (Adults) – Volunteer Mavens working with adult visitors are trained to deliver themed gallery tours within the Museum, as well as tours of the adjacent Synagogue (St Kilda Hebrew Congregation). You may either be delivering one of our daily tours (12:30 and 2:30, 30 minutes each) or guiding a pre-booked adult group (2 hour visit, approximately 10 guests per Maven). This role suits volunteers who prefer to come in for a short burst to deliver a specific tour. Mavens require experience as a Museum Mentsch and further training before commencing tours.
Museum Maven (Schools) – Volunteer Mavens working with students deliver the Museum’s school programs, which include introductory tours of the collection and the Synagogue, activities and worksheets, and mock Jewish rituals such as the Shabbat benediction or model seder. The school program welcomes around 5000 students a year and is an integral part of the Museum’s activity. School Mavens must be confident speakers, comfortable working with children and young adults ranging from 8-17, and highly reliable. This role works on an ‘opt-in’ roster based on monthly school bookings. It suits people who like to fit volunteering around other commitments rather than have a ‘regular’ day, and who like to be busy and energised. It is preferred that School Mavens have experience as a Museum Mentsch.
The Museum occasionally offers some back of house roles primarily with the collections department. These are advertised on an ad hoc basis according to requirements.
The Museum will be recruiting new volunteers for the roles of Mentsch and Maven (Schools) early in 2016. If you would like to be considered, please complete an application form below and return by email to the Volunteers’ Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org
Applications for these roles will close on Tuesday 1 March 2016
Applicants will be invited to attend a short informal interview. If selected, new volunteers are required to attend training on the following days:
- Module I – Induction and Visitor Services: either Sunday March 13th or Monday March 21st
- Module II – Museum Mentsch (Galleries): either Sunday March 20th or Tuesday March 22nd
- Module IIIb – Museum Maven (Schools): Wednesday March 23rd