Welcome to our new Cape Director

Last month, the SAJBD – Cape Council appointed Joshua Hovsha as its new executive director. Joshua has very much hit the ground running, and we have already had the opportunity of working with him on issues of national concern. I wish him all success in his new position, while knowing that he has an excellent team of lay leaders and professionals to back him up. 

The Cape Council can look back on another successful year, despite having to deal with various complex challenges.  The latter included having to address the sensitive question of women singing solo at Yom Hashoah, and here, thankfully, it was possible to come to a mutually acceptable solution for all those concerned. As in previous years, the Council continued to be active in the interfaith arena and broader social outreach, was much involved in making this year's commemoration of 175 years of Jewish life in South Africa such a success and in general played a key role in fostering unity and cooperation within the Cape Town Jewish community. Kudos to all those concerned, and especially to Cape Council chairman Eric Marx for his dedicated and hands-on leadership.

Recent Articles

A day in THE LIFE. Getting down to business with the SA Jewish Board of Deputies

When my children were in primary school, they had no idea what their Mum did as a job.  I didn’t fit in the mould as a doctor, lawyer, speech therapist or teacher.  When it came to careers’ day in grade 2 they asked me to come in and talk to the kids but my talk was met with blank stares.  I never handed out surgical masks or Nandos burgers. I was just a lady with a complicated story. 

The reality of Israel APARTHEID WEEK. Exposing the anti-Semitism of the BDS

I have no illusions about `Israel Apartheid Week’ (IAW) being an antisemitic hatefest with BDS and their cohorts dressing up as human rights activists and using this platform to spew hatred against SA Jewry.

What struck us this year was how hard the BDS folk tried to convince the public that IAW wasn’t antisemitic. It was definitely a case of `the lady protesteth too much’.  One of the opeds on this theme, which appeared in the Sunday Tribune on the eve of IAW, was by SA Jews for a Free Palestine activist Sheila Barsel, who dogmatically dismissed our claims of antisemitism as being not `accurate’. 

Lessons we can learn from the Holocaust

It is remarkable that, seventy two years after the Holocaust, a seemingly never-ending amount of new material on the tragedy continues to emerge.  Surely by this time, the history of this period, should have already been told.  Yet, on an almost daily basis, new stories are coming to light and fresh research (thanks in large part to the recent opening of Eastern European archives) is being undertaken.  New books are being written, while educators are constantly looking for ways to ensure the Holocaust is never forgotten.