Jewish Affairs - Chanukah 2018

In this issue, the distinguished journalist, author and editor Jeremy Gordin provides a perspective on the significance and continued relevance of the Rambam/Maimonides from both a personal and academic perspective. This is followed by the latest in veteran contributor Bernard Katz’s “A Brief Journey Through…” series looking at some of the main centres of Jewish life in Europe and the Near East from the earliest times until today. This time he focuses on the Jewish presence in Hungary over the centuries. For his part, regular contributor David Sher has focused on various aspects of the Anglo-Jewish heritage over the years. In this issue, he looks at the Jewish community in South Manchester.

The darker side of Jewish life in Europe features in Part IV of Don Krausz’s Holocaust memoir ‘Child of the Concentration Camp’, covering his incarceration in Sachsenhausen and the Death March that he and his fellow survivors were forced to undertake in the dying months of the war.

In ‘The Battle over Velvel’s Velvet  (Keidan, 1816)’ tireless Gwynne Schrire produces a skilfully fictionalised account of an intra-communal clash that actually occurred in early 19th Century Keidan, Lithuania. It can be read in tandem with Sorrel Kerbel’s review of ‘The Keidan Memorial (Book) – A New Translation’, the latest in a growing body of reprints and compilations of records, memoirs and translations relating to Lithuanian and South African Jewish history to be brought out by David Solly Sandler. Related to the theme of translations into English, Egonne Kirsh assesses the Jewish-themed poetry of Olga Kirsh, who uniquely wrote her poetry almost exclusively in Afrikaans even after she had made aliyah.  

Under ‘Fiction’, Charlotte Cohen’s ‘The Grandmaster (All In The Game)’ uses Chess as a metaphor for how to approach life, through a touchingly-portrayed relationship between a boy and his grandfather. Elsewhere in the issue, we have new poetry by Bernard Levinson and Charlotte Cohen and a review by Milton Shain of a new book on the 1903 Kishinev Pogrom by Steven J Zipperstein.

On behalf of the Editorial Board, I wish everyone a Chanukah Sameach and a safe and restful end-of-year break.

Read the  publication here.

Recent Articles

Above Board 17.1.20

“Mir zaynen do!”(We are here!) The defiant concluding words of the Partisan Song constitute a ringing declaration by the Jewish people that despite the unspeakable crimes of those seeking their destruction, Am Yisrael Chai - the Nation of Israel still lives. They remind us that when remembering those whose lives were so cruelly and unjustly extinguished, we are also testifying that for all the harm they were able to inflict on us, our enemies failed in their aim of eradicating the Jewish people altogether.

Above Board 10.1.20

The SAJBD: Always open for business

While the Board’s work naturally slows down over the December break, it never stops altogether. There are always new issues that arise that cannot be put off but have to be dealt with there and then. These can range from renewed upsurges of violence in the Middle East, incidents of antisemitism and even natural disasters. Following the 2004 Boxing Day tsunami, for example, we became extensively involved in assisting members of our community along with other South Africans caught up in the tragedy.