Working for Our Students

If you were to ask our National Director, Wendy Kahn, which aspects of the Board’s work are the most complex, time-consuming and stressful, there is no doubt that resolving problems of university exams set on Shabbat or Yom Tov would rank high on the list. Whether timetable clashes involve many religiously observant Jewish students or even a single individual, the Board will exert itself to the utmost in order to come to an acceptable alternative arrangement with the university concerned. That we have in the vast majority of cases to date been successful in this regard has in large part been due to the absolute dedication with which Wendy has devoted herself to such cases. It can truly be said of her that she feels a personal obligation to help each and every individual and that will not rest until every door has been knocked on and every possible option pursued. For this innumerable Jewish students, and indeed the entire community, owe her a particular debt of gratitude.

A second area in which the Board has become involved is in assisting Jewish medical students wishing to be placed in reasonable proximity to a Jewish community when doing their post-graduation year of community service. Students accept that they will be placed in areas where their skills are most needed, but wherever possible we assist them in obtaining posts not too far removed from one or other centre where there exists an organised Jewish presence. Once again, Wendy has taken this particular task on her shoulders.

As in previous columns, I would like to reiterate the need for students who require our assistance in these or any other such areas to contact the Board as timeously as possible on 011 645 2521/ sajbd@sajbd.org

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Gauteng on the threshold horrific xenophobic violence

Gauteng appears to be on the threshold of yet another outbreak of horrific xenophobic violence against foreign nationals. Already, there have been serious incidents of arson and looting targeting immigrants in both Johannesburg and Tshwane, while tensions are being further heightened by an upsurge in inflammatory rhetoric, particularly on social media.

Gauteng on the threshold horrific xenophobic violence

Gauteng appears to be on the threshold of yet another outbreak of horrific xenophobic violence against foreign nationals. Already, there have been serious incidents of arson and looting targeting immigrants in both Johannesburg and Tshwane, while tensions are being further heightened by an upsurge in inflammatory rhetoric, particularly on social media.

The SAJBD urges South Africans to avoid resorting to antisemitic hate speech

The South African Jewish Board of Deputies urges South Africans, when commenting on issues of public concern, to avoid resorting to antisemitic hate speech, including sinister invocations of behind-the-scenes Jewish financial domination. It is becoming more commonplace for those in leadership to refer to “Jewish based entities” somehow being behind financial institutions and manipulating politics through economic power.