Shaun Zagnoev

Above Board 11.7.19


Amongst the Fellows at this year’s event was the Board’s Cape Executive Director Stuart Diamond. He is one of scores of young South Africans who have attended at least one NGFP programme over the decades. Many of these alumni today hold senior leadership positions, whether in a lay or professional capacity, within our Jewish communal structures, including within the SAJBD. They include the Board’s current Cape Council Chairman Rael Kaimowitz, who was centrally involved in pioneering the concept of regional Nahum Goldmann programmes in South Africa. The latest of those regional programmes was held last year in Saldanha Bay.

The NGFP is one of the flagship projects of the Memorial Foundation for Jewish Culture (MFA), a body established with the primary purpose of rebuilding Jewish life in post-Holocaust Europe. It has since become a dynamic vehicle for grooming future Jewish leaders in all parts of the world, largely through its flagship NGFP project. We congratulate our distinguished past-president Marlene Bethlehem on being elected for a fourth term as President of this prestigious organisation. The close, mutually enriching relationship that exists between the Board and the Foundation has very largely been due to her dedicated efforts over many years.

SA Jewry Survey, 2019 – Don’t miss out!

In May this year, as previous reported, the Kaplan Centre for Jewish Studies and Research at UCT launched its Jewish Community Survey of South Africa (JCSSA). The results of the survey, which exams such questions as levels of Jewish identity and practice, attitudes towards South Africa and its future prospects, emigration, Israel and Zionism, involvement in Jewish communal life, antisemitism and political leanings will be of critical importance in assessing where our community is holding a quarter of a century since transition to democracy.

As with previous studies of this nature, the survey is being conducted in close consultation with the SAJBD and other major communal bodies like the UOS, Chevra Kadisha, SAZF and SAUPJ. However, the degree to which the project is successful will depend on how many members of our community complete the survey. Participating in this vital project, apart from the benefit that results to those responsible for ensuring the continued vibrancy and sustainability of our communal organisations, is easy, interesting and enjoyable. Again, I urge those who have not yet filled out the survey to do so on www.jcssa2019.co.za You can assist further by encouraging friends, family members and any others you might be aware of to do likewise.

Recent Articles

Sad Passing of Goldie Goldsmith

We were saddened to learn of the passing on Friday of our treasured friend and esteemed colleague Goldie Goldsmith. For over forty years, Goldie worked for the SAJBD in various capacities, primarily as administrative secretary of the Board’s journal Jewish Affairs as well as of its Afrikaans language publication Buurman which appeared during the 1970s and early 1980s. She was well into her eighties when, by her own choice, she decided to finally retire.

Sad passing of Michael Schneider

The SAJBD mourns the passing of Michael Schneider, a great Jewish South African who risked his life in the fight for justice in his country of birth and went on to render outstanding service to global Jewry. Schneider died in New York aged 83 last Shabbat from complications of diabetes. As one of the world’s foremost Jewish communal leaders and professionals at the time of his retirement in 2011, he was secretary general of the World Jewish Congress, although the greater part of his career was spent working for the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, one of the premier global Jewish relief organisations.