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.

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Dishonest campaign by UCT boycott lobby 18.9.19

In a thoroughly duplicitous and misleading statement issued on Friday, a small Jewish fringe group sought to create the impression that support for an academic boycott against Israel is a view that enjoys significant support in the South African Jewish community. They were commenting ahead of a UCT Senate meeting where a boycott of Israeli Universities was to be discussed.

Above Board 13.9.19

Jewish Achievers Awards point the way forward

Coming as it did at the end of a traumatic week for this country, this year’s SA Jewish Achievers Awards was a heartening demonstration of how much people from across the age and gender spectrum in our community are managing to accomplish.

Above Board 6.9.19

Xenophobic violence against foreign nationals remains a serious problem in South Africa. Over the past decade the Board, with the ready assistance of the Jewish community as a whole, has on a number of occasions involved itself in relief efforts on behalf of victims of such unrest.