Learning from the past

As reported elsewhere in this issue, the Board was involved in a number of very moving commemorative events last week, in Soweto on Youth Day and in Boipatong the following morning. Our participation in these events, in which the victims of the 1976 Soweto Uprising (one of the first of whom, Dr Melville Edelstein, was a distinguished member of our own community) and the 1992 Boipatong Massacre were remembered, forms part of our broader mandate of leading South African Jewry in identifying with our country’s national culture and heritage. Earlier this year, we partnered with the Greek community in sending a delegation to Sharpeville to participate in the Human Rights Day memorial ceremony there. In 2015, amongst other initiatives, the Board hosted an evening to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the Freedom Charter and partnered with Chabad SA in ensuring an enthusiastic Jewish presence at the Heritage Day carnival in Pretoria. Apart from the tremendous goodwill that it generates amongst our fellow citizens, our participation in events of this nature strengthens our own feelings of connection and ‘buy-in’ to the society of which we are part, and creates avenues through which we can find ways to continue contributing and building bridges in our country.   

Coming up next, the Board will be holding a panel discussion with senior representatives of the various political parties contesting this year’s municipal elections. For further details of this event, watch this space.

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