Positioning Statement

The SAJBD is the umbrella representative spokesbody and civil rights lobby of the SA Jewish community. It promotes the safety and welfare of South African Jewry, including combating antisemitism in all its forms, and builds bridges of friendship and understanding between Jews and the broader South African population.   

Condolences

The SAJBD is saddened by the passing of award winning photographer David Goldblatt today.  His work in documenting various aspects of daily life throughout South Africa, made him a house-hold name.  

Flurry of antisemitic incidences against SA Jews. "Enough is enough!"

Over the past 24 hours, a flurry of viciously antisemitic and threatening attacks have been made against South African Jews, both on social media and in direct face-to-face encounters. The incidents, which are being followed up by the SA Jewish Board of Deputies (SAJBD), have generated great anxiety and anger in the Jewish community and screenshots of the offending posts have gone viral

The SAJBD has been notified of a number of appalling antisemitic comments posted on social media recently

Dear Community Member

The SAJBD has been notified of a number of appalling antisemitic comments posted on social media platforms by a number of different people over the past 24 hours.  We have been investigating the incidents and have now established the identities of two of the perpetrators. A third case, which occurred more recently, is currently being followed up. 

The various posts are in clear violation of South Africa’s laws prohibiting hate speech. Please be assured that the SAJBD is dealing with the matter and will be taking appropriate steps against the guilty parties.  We are now in communication with our legal advisers to decide on the most effective course of action. 

BDS Bullying tactics are hollow victory

It took less than 48 hours for the BDS to do a complete turn-around over Shashi Naidoo.  On Sunday, Ms Naidoo was the devil incarnate, the target of multiple death threats for having dared to tweet comments supportive of Israel.  Now, having apologised for her ‘heresy’, she is suddenly a celebrity. Indeed,  the intention now is to set her up as a poster girl for the BDS movement.   Shashi Naidoo, a local television personality, took to Social Media over the weekend to express the true facts about the Israel-Palestinian conflict. 

Enough of intimidation & blackmail against those who seek to exercise their basic Constitutional Rights

Earlier this year, the ANC repeatedly denounced artist DJ Black Coffee simply for exercising his democratic right to perform in Israel. Then civil society went for journalist Gareth Cliff, depicting him as a moral pariah for daring to put forward an alternate opinion on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.  Now Dr Mpho Phalatse, MMC for the DA in Gauteng, has become the target of hysterical condemnation for having expressed support for Israel at a South African Friends of Israel conference on Sunday.  This is despite her subsequent clarification that she did so in her personal capacity. 

David Saks

David Saks says media reaction plays into Hamas' hands, which guarantees further civilian deaths ISRAEL AND GAZA: WHO IS REALLY TO BLAME?

Feelings continue to run high over the recent deaths and injuries along the Israel-Gaza border. In view of the completely one-sided nature of the confrontation, it is easy to buy into the “brutal massacre of innocents” narrative being assiduously propagated by anti-Israel agitators. Emotional, knee-jerk reactions are nevertheless unhelpful when trying to understand how such a tragedy could have taken place in the first place and, more importantly, how they might be prevented from reoccurring in the future. 

Zev Krengel talks to Mpho Tsedu on SABC

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SAJBD condemns antisemitic statements

The SA Jewish Board of Deputies is appalled by the unambiguously antisemitic statements made by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Monday. In a chilling revival of classic expressions of anti-Jewish hatred, Abbas sought to justify the historical persecution of Jews by claiming that Jews had brought this upon themselves by their alleged immoral and harmful actions.

Celebrating Israel’s 70 years in song with Yonina

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Charisse Zeifert

Charisse Zeifert writes for Political Analysis on the importance of remembering our past:

In October 1934, my great-grandfather was the last Jew in Germany to be buried with full military honours. That same year his son, my grandfather, was at a university class when another student warned him that he shouldn’t go home - the Gestapo were at his house.  He cycled from Cologne to his cousin in Amsterdam.  Eventually he made his way to South Africa. 

​The SAJBD are saddened to note the passing of politician Zola Skweyiya.

The SAJBD are saddened to note the passing of politician #Zola Skweyiya, and extends its condolences to his family, friends and colleagues.  Mr Skweyiya will be remembered as a dignified and committed leader who always put his responsibilities to the betterment of the South African people first.   The SAJBD worked closely with him when he was one of the envoys appointed by former President Jacob Zuma to finding a lasting solution to the Middle East. To this end we appreciate the tireless diplomatic effort he put into finding resolutions to the Palestinian Israeli conflict.

Winnie Madikizela Mandela message

On the 30th of April 2013, former resident of Brandfort Faisia Shaskolsky with assistance from the SAJBD’s Travelling Rabbi Moshe Silberhaft, published a booklet recording the history of the town’s Jewish community. At the launch event, Winnie Madikizela Mandela, who was banished to the town during the Apartheid era, wrote a moving piece about the Brandfort Jews which was read at the event.

David Saks

Ceremony to commemorate victims of the Holocaust

On Thursday, South African Jewry will gather in cities around the country to mark Yom Hashoah, the annual Day of Remembrance for the estimated six million Jews who died at the hands of Nazi Germany during World War II. This year, the focus will be on remembering those who, despite the impossible odds, physically resisted their persecutors, with a particular emphasis on the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. However, the prevailing mood will, as always, be one of sorrow and sombre reflection. 

Shaun Zagnoev

Ms Thokozile Xasa would like to give her support to the Palestinian people

Ms Thokozile Xasa would like to give her support to the Palestinian people (Star 27/03/18). The goal is a worthy one. However, one of the best ways of finding a solution to any given situation, is to first properly identify the problem. Notwithstanding her emotive ramble, and her evocation of a range of admirable people whom she quotes, the Israeli – Palestinian conflict cannot be resolved by sensationalising the issues. Nor can it be resolved by such overtly partisan interpretations of what it is all about.

Jewish Affairs: Pesach 2018

We are happy to announce that the Pesach 2018 issue of Jewish Affairs has just come off the presses and has been posted on the SAJBD’s Website. The printed version will be mailed to subscribers shortly.

SAJBD says no upside to an Embassy downgrade in Israel

The South African Jewish Board of Deputies (SAJBD) notes the 54th National Conference Report & Resolutions, under the theme, Remember Oliver Tambo: Towards Unity, Renewal and Radical socio-economic transformation.   The SAJBD is firmly supportive of the ruling party’s efforts and commitment to improve the lives of all South Africans and make meaningful its promises to improve economic growth and meaningfully address inequality and unemployment.

David Saks

Genocide+ apartheid = Israel won't fly

Could it be that die-hard Israel bashers are realizing that the “Israel Apartheid” ploy is a kite that just won’t fly? This might explain why the Media Review Network’s Firoz Osman, one of the most vociferous local proponents of the analogy, has now chosen to go a step further. According to him (, 10 March), Israel is no longer ‘merely’ guilty of apartheid but of the ultimate crime against humanity – genocide. This means that in his view, Israel is carrying out a deliberate programme of mass extermination against the Palestinian people, specifically those living in Gaza.