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.

This issue is largely devoted to South African Jewry, and what its members have accomplished, or are accomplishing. It kicks off with an erudite, engaging and in fact long-overdue overview of the influential role that Jews have played in the South African newspaper industry, from the very beginnings of the independent press in Cape Town in the 1820s onwards. Written by the distinguished journalist and editor Irwin Manoim, co-founder of the Weekly Mail (now the Mail & Guardian), it features many eminent figures in the annals of local journalism, amongst them Joel Mervis, Benjamin Pogrund and Johnny Johnson.

Gwynne Schrire, a veteran contributor to the journal whose contributions over the decades have covered an impressive range of topics, this time writes about five very remarkable Jewish women in Cape Town, each of whom in their own way have pioneered life-changing social welfare programmes for needy South Africans beyond the confines of the Jewish community. That SA Jewry remains a fertile area for both  popular writing and scholarly research is demonstrated by Juan-Paul Burke, who has compiled a comprehensive listing of books and articles relating to the community that have appeared beyond such Jewish-focused publications as this one over the past four years. This editor has weighed in with an account of how Jewish youths were prepared to go beyond the law in confronting the threat of Nazi-inspired antisemitism in South Africa in the 1930s, and indeed in later years as well. Johannesburg heritage guru Kathy Munro records how a commemorative blue plaque came to be placed outside the childhood home of one of SA Jewry’s greatest personalities, Helen Suzman, to mark the centenary of her birth last November.

The second section looks at the legacy of the Holocaust, commencing with the third part of Don Krausz’s harrowing account of his years in the Nazi camps and concluding with Jeff Fine’s full-colour anthology of selected Holocaust art from his private collection. The third part of the issue comprises new poetry by Charlotte Cohen, Honey Gluckman, Keith Gottschalk (with Hebrew translation by Devis Iosifzon), Ben Krengel and Bernard Levinson. 


On behalf of the Jewish Affairs editorial board, I wish everyone a Chag Pesach Kasher v’Sameach.

David Saks


Recent Articles

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.