The importance of remembering

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VOLUME 32 No 4 MAY 2015
The importance of remembering
Below is a speech by Michael Cohen that he delivered at Yom Hashoah Vehagevurah at Pinelands Cemetery on 16 April. Michael is head student at Herzlia.
ave you ever come across something
so horrific that it leaves you silent?
All you feel is something you cannot
explain… numbness.
This time last year I participated in the
March of the Living in Poland. As a regular
17 year old Capetonian, nothing could fully
prepare me, absolutely nothing, for being
at the sites of such inconceivable horror in
the history of our people. So unimaginable
that it still haunts me to this day. Together
with my fellow South Africans and others
of my age from all over the world — from
Argentina, to Hungary and even Panama
— we began our march.
What I have realised is that the March
of the Living was not an end in itself, it
was the starting point of a much longer
journey — of reflection, questioning,
deeper understanding, realisations and
responsibility — the responsibility to speak
out against anti-Semitism and all injustice,
to keep the memory of the Holocaust alive
and to ensure the continuity of the story of
the Holocaust for the next generation.
My personal connection to this period
of history is through my grandfathers
Sonny Jaffe and Oscar Cohen. They both
volunteered to serve in the South African
army in their effort to stop Hitler’s rampage
across Europe and North Africa. My one
grandfather, Sonny Jaffe, was captured in
North Africa and taken as a POW to Europe
where he was held until he was liberated
by the Russians. Fortunately they both
returned home safely to loving families,
after giving up five years of their lives. This
was a privilege not shared by survivors
in Europe whose families, homes and
livelihoods were broken and destroyed.
My grandfathers were not much older
than I am now when they went to war in
1940 and I realise with a sense of pride that
they felt the responsibility to stand up and
join the march against brutality.
In 2014 in Poland, while surveying the vast
compound of Majdanek and seeing the
lines of barracks preserved in their entirety
stretching into the distance — taking half
an hour to walk the length of AuschwitzBirkenau — only then did I get a true sense
of the scale of the killing operations and
the Nazi effort to murder those who they
I kept on asking myself how it was
possible that a nation like Germany used
its resources and its educated minds
to create a sophisticated infrastructure
specifically designed to murder millions
of people. So many ordinary citizens on
every level of society collaborated with the
Nazi government to cause such pain and
suffering — a phenomenon that occurred
not only in Germany but in many countries
across Europe.
If human beings can use their power for
evil, then surely, we can use our power for
My generation cannot change history
but we can change attitudes by our
actions. What struck me with devastating
impact is that the Holocaust did not start
with murder but with racist attitudes and
prejudice. Attitudes became laws which
led to concentration camps, and ultimately
to the final solution — death camps and
Jews and many other groups of people
were murdered by the Nazis and it is our
responsibility to stand up for all humanity.
We must never stop speaking out against
anti-Semitism, intolerance, prejudice and
all forms of discrimination. That is how we
can continue our march.
Today a year ago I was at the Yom
Hashoah service at Auschwitz. 10,000
of us walked, some in silence, others
singing and chanting, retracing the steps
of those who marched the 3 kilometres
from Auschwitz to Birkenau to their deaths.
We remembered those who had been
murdered and those who had suffered
under the brutal hands of the Nazis and
We marched knowing our fate, but the
victims did not know whether they were
going to live or die.
We are privileged to have survivors with
us here today — we are inspired by your
resilience and courage to overcome the
horrors that you faced as you continued
with your lives.
We marched under the flags of our
different countries but were united under
the banner of Am Yisrael. We were united
as young Jews in the knowledge and
living proof that Hitler and the Nazis did
not succeed in their mission — to murder
the Jewish Nation. I felt a deep connection
with everyone marching, an overwhelming
sense of grief, but also of unity and pride
— of being Jewish.
We are the link between that generation
which experienced the horrors of the
holocaust and the next generation when
there will be no more survivors still with us.
Our generation is responsible for
ensuring the continuity of the story of the
Holocaust. It is part of our Jewish story as is
Pesach when we speak about the Exodus
so that it lives on from one generation to
the next. We must keep the memories of
the Holocaust alive in a way that does not
diminish their importance nor reduce the
impact it had on the victims, survivors and
their families.
It is impossible to fully comprehend the
events that took place all those years ago,
but I feel a step closer to understanding
what happened and an overwhelming
sense of responsibility not only to react,
but to be proactive.
As we, the youth, march into the future, join
us as we stand up against anti-Semitism,
injustice and prejudice, wherever it may
be. I fear that if we remain silent, we could
allow evil to be perpetuated.
Today on Yom Hashoah — 70 years later
— to remember and to act is as important
as ever.
Lighting candles for victims. Taken at MotL 2015.
Magen David at Gensia Cemetery, Umschlagplatz Mila 18,
Warsaw Ghetto. Taken at MotL 2015.
Camp at Lublin/Majdanek, Poland. Taken at March of the Living 2015.
Photographs by Emmanuel Tolentino Santos
Cape Jewish Chronicle May 2015
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Cape Jewish Chronicle May 2015
Lindy with a why
Why should we speak up?
This has been a thought-provoking
month for Capetonian Jews. We read
in horror of 147 students in Kenya
murdered at the hands of brutal
terrorists, two icons have stepped
down (one voluntarily, one not so
much), and we remember the tragedy
of the Holocaust.
n 2 April Al-Shabaab gunmen
stormed the Garissa University
College in Kenya, killing 147 students and
injuring many more. The gunmen took
over 700 people hostage, freeing Muslim
students and killing those who identified
as Christians. Social media lit up with
responses to the tragedy. Many people
posted graphic images of the aftermath,
sparking debate on whether it is OK to
show such images, and if it is OK, whether
social media is the place to do it. One of
the social media awareness campaigns
that struck a chord with me came under
the hashtag #147notjustanumber. Images
of the students in happier times, in casual
poses, laughing and enjoying the sorts
of activities that young people enjoy —
these images show just how “normal”
the students were, as people rather than
statistics of gruesome news content. This
isn’t some far-removed horror story. These
were a group of educated Kenyans who are
suddenly no longer a part of Africa’s future.
On to involuntary step-downs; in March,
the UCT Senate “voted overwhelmingly in
favour of recommending to council that the
statue of Rhodes be moved”. The council’s
decision came after much protest and
debate over the statue online and on-site.
Dr Max Price said of the decision “Rhodes
must fall. Out of his dust, may UCT rise.”
The conversations around shabbat tables
following this action were lively. For many,
the removal of the Rhodes statue felt like
a violent attack on white South African
history. Some questioned why colonialism
was seen as such a terrible thing. Others
felt it was a daily reminder of what the
colonialist era did to African civilisation
and that its removal was a necessary
part of healing our country. I read one
view that resonated with me. There is
no greater revenge than success, and
the ultimate gesture of defiance against
colonialism and apartheid is the education
and graduation of black students out of
UCT. Imagine Rhodes, eternally perched
on his plinth, forced to watch generations
of non-white students become doctors,
lawyers and teachers
educated future of our country. I quite liked
that reality. But it is much easier for me to
not be offended by something that never
affected me. So my final opinion has to be,
if it hurts you, it’s not alright with me.
And on to voluntary step-downs; Helen
Zille dropped the bombshell that she
would not be running for another term as
party leader of the Democratic Alliance.
Following the advice that says, “the best
time to go is when no-one wants you to”,
she made her announcement which was
immediately followed by excited debate
on prospective replacements. Eight years
of leadership have left their mark on the
political landscape, and opening the floor
up to fresh blood to lead the party leaves
us with a potentially exciting few years to
Lastly, we remember our Jewish history.
We marked Yom HaShoah on 16 April.
We commit ourselves to remembering the
atrocities of the past. We pledge to teach
them to the next generation, to educate
those around us and to honour those who
were removed too soon from our past. We
recall them in the present so that they may
live on in our future. In a moving speech
at the Yom HaShoah event at Pinelands
Cemetery, Michael Cohen said, "What
struck me with devastating impact is that
the Holocaust did not start with murder but
with racist attitudes and prejudice. Attitudes
became laws which led to concentration
camps, and ultimately to the final solution
— death camps and genocide."
On the same day in Durban, a march
was held to stand up against xenophobia
and the horrific violence that was occurring
at the time. It behoves us to recognise
discrimination and hatred of “the other”.
It is our duty to stand up and reject these
ideas. We need to ask ourselves if we are
making enough noise in support of the
human rights of foreigners and "the other"
in our country — as we wish had been
done for us 70 years ago.
Leave it in
our hands
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Cape Jewish Chronicle May 2015
A witness to history
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Leonard Berney with Richard Freedman
“It is not often that the liberators are
asked to tell their stories, yet they are
key witnesses to the horrors of the
Holocaust,” said Richard Freedman
(Director of the South African
Holocaust & Genocide Foundation)
upon meeting Leonard Berney, one of
the British officers who liberated the
Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in
Germany in April 1945.
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r Berney, who lives on the cruise ship
‘The World’, which recently docked
in Cape Town, spent time speaking to
members of the local press; sharing his
story of being one of the first people to
enter the camp 70 years ago.
It was in Bergen-Belsen that Anne Frank
and her sister Margot perished just a few
days before liberation. “She was one of 500
people who died there every day,” said Mr
Berney. He explained that at the time, the
prisoners had had no water or food for four
or five days, and most were desperately ill
with typhus, dysentery and tuberculosis.
He recalled: “I remember being
completely shattered. There were dead
bodies lying beside the road, emaciated
prisoners still mostly behind barbed wire,
open mass graves containing hundreds of
corpses. The sights, the stench, the sheer
horror of the place, were indescribable.
None of us who entered the camp that day
had any warning of what we were about
to see or had ever experienced anything
remotely like it before.”
In a written account of his experiences,
he asked: “What should you do when
faced with 60 000 dead, sick and dying
people? We had no knowledge of dealing
with a situation like this and we had been
all more or less traumatised by the sights
we had seen... Yet the major priority was to
save lives.”
There were several immediate tasks,
including providing water and food;
burying the dead; evacuating the camp;
hospitalising the sick; and rehabilitating
and repatriating the prisoners. “We
managed to do this in the face of such
horrors because of our army discipline”,
explained Mr Berney, who was a Staff
Officer in the Anti-Aircraft Artillery (rank of
Major). “We had to put aside what we felt
and get on with it.”
He described how the British Army was
quickly able to establish a water supply,
and that they discovered stores of food
nearby – demonstrating that it could have
been possible for the Nazis to provide food
and water at Bergen-Belsen. “Although it
was not a death camp, hundreds of people
died every day due to deliberate starvation,
slave labour and allowing disease to run
rampant,” he said.
These nearby food stores were in barracks
that also had dormitories, kitchen facilities
and a hospital; all these were converted
into a Displaced Persons (DP) camp, of
which Berney was in charge. “In just six
days the hospital was ready to receive its
first patients from the concentration camp.
Eventually the hospital had 15,000 beds
and patients – the largest hospital in the
world, before or since!”
Mr Berney explained how after a few
weeks with decent meals, separate beds,
proper washing and sanitary facilities,
“the physical recovery of the previously
emaciated and dehumanised inmates
took place with remarkable speed. We
started to receive gift parcels from many
countries, mostly food and clothing. One
crate we received contained hundreds
of lipsticks! I remember remarking at the
time, of all the essentials the camp inmates
need, lipstick isn’t one. I was wrong - those
lipsticks probably did more to recover the
self-esteem of the younger women than
anything else could have done!”
The former Major told how “As the weeks
went on and it became clear that no
country would offer asylum. The inmates
were asking, ‘What is to happen to us?’
Many became desperate and believed that
their only salvation was to make their way
to Palestine. Every day or two, groups of
between 20 to 50 people would leave for
that 2,000 mile long and perilous journey. I
would see to it that they were well supplied
with food and water and that they knew the
locations of other DP camps along their
route to the Mediterranean,” he said.
Mr Berney supervised the DP camp for
a number of months, and after the war he
returned to Britain. He started sharing his
wartime experiences about 10 years ago,
when he noticed an increase in Holocaust
denialism. “How can they say it didn’t
happen? I was there!”
Mr Berney’s message is that “the same
thing can happen again if you let it happen.”
He emphasised that we must be vigilant in
the face of dictatorships, and keep trying
to prevent prejudice, oppression and the
genocides that plague our world.
Cape Jewish Chronicle May 2015
Cape Jewish Chronicle May 2015
Prioritising Education
Are we sounding the alarm
By David Jacobson, Executive Director,
Cape Jewish Board of Duputies
The incredible outpouring of sentiment, argument and
anguish around the ‘Rhodes must fall’ campaign and the community
mobilisation from our own ‘Kippahs Against Hate’ campaign got me to
ow do we balance the memory of a traumatic past or a harrowing event with
the need to always reflect the hope and light that is a legacy of our creator?
There is something spiritually powerful about holding up examples of positive
achievement, of success and triumph, as vehicles for propelling an individual and
a society forward. We are more likely to want to do better, to be better, if we are
surrounded by people and images and indeed memories that reflect this optimistic
reality. Simply put: positivity breeds positivity.
It is far more inspirational to turn to the sports pages of the paper to be greeted
by the triumph of the human spirit (Cricket World Cup pain notwithstanding) than
sink in the stories of crime and corruption that populate the front pages. Immersing
ourselves solely in ‘good news stories’, however, could create a false sense of
complacency and fill our brains with warm and woolly thoughts — which would
then preclude us from averting real danger and facing a harsh but necessary reality.
That is a dilemma facing us as a Jewish community in Cape Town and the same
dilemma faced by Jewish communities around the globe. Do we paint a picture of
a community under threat, holding up examples of racism and hate, or do we shine
the light on the incredible lives that most Jews continue to enjoy in our respective
countries of birth?
We have just finished celebrating Pesach. Perhaps more than any other Jewish
festival, Pesach is very much about that delicate balance between past trauma and
present possibilities. At the Seder we look backwards, acknowledging the pain of
slavery, the cruelty of Pharaoh, while at the same time celebrating the freedom that
accompanied this dark period and the nation that was formed by our departure
from Egypt. And we look forward to ‘next year in Jerusalem’ — a constant reminder
that we carry our values forward with hope and do not let the baggage of our
painful past slow us down. If we only ever bemoaned the trauma of our Jewish
past, we would not have been able to contribute so powerfully to the present and
the future.
It is this balancing act that Jewish leaders must get right. If we focus too much on
incidents of hate and anger, we run the risk of creating a picture that will paralyse
any possibility of moving forward. There is necessary vigilance and then there is
unhealthy hysteria.
Our core responsibility has to be to enable our communal future by inspiring our
community with the light that shines from so many of our Jewish individuals and
Jewish organisations. That is without doubt our best protection against the forces
of darkness.
Record Jewish involvement in UCT
Programme at UCT is aimed
at combating the extremely
high drop-out rates of first year
students from disadvantaged
t is run in collaboration with the HCI
Foundation which provides bursaries
towards the tuition of these students,
and the Cape SA Jewish Board of
Amy Kessler and Siwabongile Mandlevu
Deputies. The Board assists in finding
3rd and 4th year students to take on
the responsibility of being a mentor for one academic year, to these first-year
The mentors are given training and are supported in their first meeting with their
mentee. The group then meets three more times formally in the year for an exam
preparation workshop, and inspirational speaker breakfast and a graduation
celebration to round off the year. In between, mentor-mentee pairs meet informally
at least once a month. We are delighted to have a large contingent of Jewish
students in the mentor body in this, the 4th year of the Peer2Peer Programme.
Education is one of the pillars on which
Judaism stands. On 10 March, the MEC for
Education in the Western Cape, Debbie
Schäfer, was hosted by the Cape Board as
part of our ‘Drink and Think’ series.
inister Schäfer, a lawyer by profession,
was an MP in the previous Parliament.
However, a few days before the elections last
year, she received an unexpected call from
Premier Helen Zille, asking her to be the MEC
for Education. She said that she nearly fell off
her seat!
However, to date she has made her mark
on the Western Cape education system.
Unlike other departments which have national
counterparts, those of Health and Education
are quite independent in their respective
provinces. Those present at the event heard
some of the inroads which she has made in
the province, and one that certainly stuck
out was E-learning in our schools. After
years of planning, the Department now has
the potential to make a major contribution
towards improving the quality of teaching and
learning in the province. The Minister said that
“E-learning will assist us in tackling some of
the problems we face including increasing
access to quality education in disadvantaged
communities, providing support for struggling
learners, contributing toward teachers’
training and professional development and
improving management and administration at
schools. It will also provide learners with the
skills to participate
in our increasingly
As is the case
whenever education
is raised, there were
many present anxious
to ask questions
about the state of
education in South
Minister Schäfer
province. One of the
questions was why there was not enough
accommodation for learners when they began
the new school year. She replied that due to
a massive influx of people from the Eastern
Cape, the province cannot deal with children
who are not registered in the system. She also
mentioned that parents often do not register
their children at schools until the first day of
the new term, which results in many children
being turned away.
However, she ended on a more positive
note. When asked about the Matric pass
rate, and that the Western Cape was ranked
fourth out of the provinces. She said that the
results did not show that the province had
the highest retention rate of students in the
country, with less learners dropping out each
year. This shows the provinces commitment to
its learners and the future of education in the
In the footsteps of ‘Mensches’
Mensch member Danielle Ehrlich speaking to Herzlia High School learner
and what inspires them to do what they do.
Later the same day, Ben Getz from Urban
Harvest Edible Gardens and Dalit Shekel from
Relate Bracelets addressed the Grade 11s
and spoke about their organisations and roles
and how working in the area of Social Change
was so important and satisfying for them.
The expo was on display for students to
he Mensch Network collaborated with come and see and read about, in their own
the Jewish Life and Learning curriculum time, in the Media Centre, for three weeks at
the end of term one. The Mensch Network is
teachers Rabbi Sean Cannon and Debra Suiza
grateful for the warm welcome we received
at the Middle School, to bring young, dynamic
from Herzlia and would like to say a special
Mensch Network members to speak to the
thank you to Rabbi Sean for inviting us and
learners about their work and their personal
Head Librarian Lorraine Rabinowitz for her
journeys leading them to this area and sector.
assistance with setting up the physical expo.
Jason Woolf from Umbiyozo – a traditional
African dance and song troupe co-ordinating
The Mensch Expo is available to be installed
organisation — and Kayli Levitan from The
in other spaces. If you are interested
Street Store — a free pop-up clothing store for
in inviting us to do so, please contact
the homeless — spoke to the Middle School
Grade 7s and 9s with stories of their initiatives [email protected]
Following the enormous success of
the Mensch Network launch expo at
the South African Jewish Museum this
summer, it was decided that the expo
should be displayed again – this time
installed in the Media Centre and Library
at Herzlia High School.
Cape Jewish Chronicle May 2015
A crucial conversation: Cape Board of Deputies hosts Public Protector
By Tali Feinberg
In an unprecedented event, the
Cape South African Jewish Board
of Deputies recently hosted Public
Protector Thuli Madonsela and Tony
Leon in conversation. Part of the
Board’s ‘Straight Talking’ series, this
event was entitled ‘Speaking Truth to
n a Gardens Shul filled with over 500
people, these two leading South Africans
spoke about the challenges, successes
and aims of the Public Protector’s work in
the country today.
While the discussion mainly focussed
on national politics, it demonstrated the
Jewish community’s commitment to
engaging with South African society and
its challenges, and the esteem with which
it holds figures of authority, like Advocate
Indeed, the South African Jewish Board
of Deputies “works for the betterment
of human relations in South Africa and
debates issues of concern for all South
Africans,” said Cape Board Chairman
Eric Marx. “We draw inspiration from our
Jewish values and traditions to effect
social change.”
This was echoed by Gardens Synagogue
Rabbi Osher Feldman, who said that the
parsha of the week in fact dealt with
accountability, describing how Moses
ensured that a record was kept of all the
precious metals used to build the Mishkan.
“Stories like these demonstrate how
Judaism expects every person in power to
behave beyond reproach,” he explained.
These ideas were emphasised by
Advocate Madonsela herself, who said that
one of her aims during her years in office
has been to encourage more people to be
aware of corruption, engage government
and to expect accountability. In her humble
manner, she said that “we [the office of the
Public Protector] get more acclaim than
we deserve. We are not the only problemsolvers — we are simply one of many.”
Describing the limits and challenges of
her work, she told the audience that “we
only have the power to make findings
and recommendations,” yet she hoped
systems would be put in place to enforce
these. She said that since the fall of the
Scorpions, more corruption cases had
The Cape Board and Public Protector’s professional staff
Tony Leon interviewing Adv Thuli Madonsela
come to her office, but these had not
all been investigated to their ultimate
conclusions due to a lack of resources.
Getting down to ‘tachlis’ and the R246
million dollar question, in Tony Leon’s
words; the two discussed her report on
President Zuma’s Nkandla homestead.
Perhaps to the disappointment
of the audience, Advocate
criticise the president directly,
saying that she “tries not to
personalise things. We rather
ask how best we can help
the President regarding the
enforcement of ethics, and by
extension how we can ensure
that the ethical codes of all
organisations are upheld.”
She added that she thinks
her report on Nkandla will be
resolved to her satisfaction, no
matter how long it takes.
Turning to the recent
accusation that Madonsela
is a ‘CIA spy’, she said that
although the claim was
laughable, it was also serious
in that it leads to the dangers
The crowd gives a standing ovation for Adv Thuli Madonsela
w w
of conspiracy theories. She worried that
her conversations could be tapped and
that her independence and privacy could
be compromised if this was actually
investigated. “A misuse of security can
lead to a sinister agenda and outcome,”
she said.
Leon asked Advocate Madonsela why
she thinks she is so well-known, even being
named one of TIME magazine’s ‘100 Most
Influential People’, while her predecessors
were practically ‘invisible’. “They had to
make simpler decisions, and had to build
this office from scratch. I stand on their
shoulders, and therefore ‘higher ground’”,
she answered, modest and generous in
her perspective.
“Justice Edwin Cameron recently said
that ‘the tide of corruption is coming higher
and higher, threatening democracy and all
we hope to achieve,” said Mr Leon, asking
the Public Protector if she thought this was
true, and her view of the future. She agreed
that “we are engulfed by complaints and
do have a lack of resources,” but that “I am
100% certain that things will get better.”
Questions from the audience included
asking if she had ever feared for her
safety — she answered that “her family
was concerned”; her plans
for the future — she “has
no interest in going into
politics”; and why there
was such a prevalence
of corruption at present.
To this she answered that
“We are actually not the
most corrupt country —
we’re in fact one of the
Constitution is a sacrosanct
citizens and those in power,
and my aim is for everyone
to know it, so that leaders
can be held accountable.”
“What I’m proud of is that
South Africans are saying
‘no’ to maladministration,
which is why we are hearing
more about it,” she said.
“There are many institutions
that are successful in
fighting these challenges,
but this is not grounds for
resting on our laurels. Every
South African has to play
their part.”
Cape Jewish Chronicle May 2015
View from the Chair
By Ben Levitas, Chairman, SAZF Cape Council
As Jews, we are imbued by our religion
to value life above all else.
e say a blessing every time we
experience something pleasant,
thanking Hashem for allowing us to live
to reach this special day. Our spirituality
instills in us a deep sense of human dignity
and of human worth. Whilst we don’t deny
that evil exists, we are commanded to fight
against it, as partners with Hashem, in the
process of redemption.
To be redeemed, we are guided by the
words of the Baal Shem Tov, the founder
of Hassidism, that ”Remembrance is the
Secret of Redemption” and that forgetting
leads to exile.
“Through memory, we identify with what
happened so that it becomes part of us
and who we are. History is the story of a
past that is dead. Memory is the story of
a future. When we remember as Jews, we
do so for the sake of the future, so that
those who died may live on in us.” (Rabbi
Jonathan Sacks)
We are witnessing forces, drawing
succor from an extremist interpretation of
Islam, that are so vile and wicked, which
contradict our values of humanity and of
cherishing life. They also stand in stark
contradiction to all the progress that
humanity has made. These forces are so
destructive and glorifying of death, that they
threaten the very fabric of civilisation. The
perpetrators see no shame in committing
the most heinous acts of decapitation and
of mob justice in full view
of the public and even in
front of cameras.
They seem to revel
in causing hurt and
suffering to their victims.
victims as trophies to
their frightened, bloodthirsty and baying
supporters. They generally show no
remorse for abusing the weak and of
raping women.
All who value human rights and a caring
culture should be alarmed and outraged.
Yet the United Human Rights Council sits
in silence, still obsessed with pinning the
blame on Israel for human rights violations.
Its silence speaks volumes about its
indifference to the real perpetrators of
crimes against humanity.
It is at times like these that our core
Jewish values offer hope and illumination.
The halachic response to these types
of tragedies and crimes is the act of
‘remembering’ (Yizkor), which is an
affirmation of life and of our respect for our
collective consciousness. These crimes
are perpetrated by barbarians who have no
memories. Rather they strive to eliminate
memory and all signs of civilisations and
of history.
The best way of fighting this scourge
of death worship is to cherish our values
which offer a path of light and redemption
in a world where there are few such sources.
48th SAZF Conference 2015
The 48th annual
took place on 8
March at the Sandton
Convention Centre.
he theme of this
of Creation’.
evening with welcome
messages from Mr.
Arthur Lenk, the Israeli
Ambassador to South Advocate Jonathan Silke receiving an award for his outstanding
contribution to the SAZF by Paula Slier
Africa and by Mr.
SAZF. Mr. Silke said: “It is with much
Natan Sharansky, the
pleasure and pride that I am able to bring,
Chairman of the Jewish Agency for Israel.
after serving a tumultuous term of eight
Mr. Avrom Krengel, the chairman of the
years as National President of the SAZF,
SAZF, then gave his official welcoming
a message of hope and fulfilment to the
speech and said “that it has fallen upon
SAZF Conference in Johannesburg.” Mr.
us, as South African Jewry, to lead the fight
Silke then continued by saying that: “we,
against this modern day “blood libel” and
to persuade the people of South Africa that together with the diaspora communities,
Israel is a country worthy of their love and look forward to the time when there will be
support rather than hatred and enmity”. This peace between Israel and Palestine with the
ultimate realisation of a two state solution,
opening was then followed by two inspiring
which has been the primary objective of
speakers; Mr. Nir Barkat, the Mayor of
Jerusalem and Mr. Irwin Cotler, who is a successive Israeli governments since the
signing of the Oslo accords. We are keenly
member of the Canadian Parliament and
Canada’s Minister of Justice and Attorney aware of the South African government’s
General. Irwin Cotler has been described support for a two state solution and
would like to see our government play an
as being “at the forefront of the struggle for
important role in facilitating the advance of
justice, peace and human rights.”
Advocate Jonathan Silke, the National the peace process, knowing full well that
South Africa achieved a miracle in attaining
President of the SAZF received an award
for his outstanding contribution to the a free and democratic society.”
Palestinian and Greek Orthodox priest speak on Israel
Monday 9 March marked the
beginning of what the supporters
of BDS and the PSF like to refer to
as ‘Israel Apartheid week’. Those
who have visited Israel and are
more informed refer to it as ‘Israel
Awareness week’.
invited to meet with both
Father Naddaf and with
Mr Eid. Father Naddaf
is an Israeli Christian
Greek Orthodox priest
and a familiar face
in Israel who told the
guests in attendance
that Christianity
events marking
the week were
I love Israel just as
without Judaism
held on university
much as the Jews
and that the
campuses across
love Israel and we
C h r i s t i a n
South Africa. It
was an incredibly
need to protect
Israel together
people have the
emotional time for
because we have
nowhere else to go
and therefore
we need to
Christian Zionists.
support each
The South African
Union of Jewish Students (SAUJS) worked
hard and were preparing long in advance
continued by saying that this is his first
to counter the anti-Israel stance of the BDS,
visit to South Africa and that he is here
PSF and the numerous other organisations
in order to inform people about the real
who would like to see the destruction of
Israel — the Israel that he knows and
This year, the SAZF was very fortunate loves. “I am here to tell the truth and to
say that enough is enough, I love Israel
to host Father Gabriel Naddaf and Mr
just as much as the Jews love Israel and
Bassem Eid who came all the way from
we need to protect Israel together because
Israel in order to support the UCT students
we have nowhere else to go”. In addition
during this hostile week. As part of the IAW
events, the SAZF Cape Council hosted a to being a judge of religious law for the
Greek Orthodox Community and the
press breakfast where the local press were
Bassem Eid
patriarchate spokesman, Father Naddaf is
the spiritual leader of the Christian Israeli
IDF Recruitment Forum that encourages
the enlistment of Christians into the Israeli
Defence Force.
After the strong words by Father Naddaf,
the attendees listened to an inspiring
speech by Mr Eid who is a proud Palestinian
and who grew up in a Palestinian refugee
camp. Mr Eid told us that the Palestinian
people were the ones responsible for most
of the damage in Gaza. He continued by
Father Gabriel Naddaf
saying that things are now much worse
in Gaza than they were when Gaza was
under Israeli sovereignty and that Gazans
are suffering much more under their own
brutal regime than they are from any
supposed Israeli oppression. According to
him, it appears that the authorities in Gaza
are not interested in reaching any peace
agreement with Israel.
After the press breakfast, Father Naddaf
and Mr. Eid conducted interviews with the
SABC and journalists from Joy magazine.
Cape Jewish Chronicle May 2015
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Cape Jewish Chronicle May 2015
Natan Sharansky in Cape Town
addresses Aliyah Expo
The Israel Centre recently held an Aliyah Expo
which was informative and helpful for potential
Olim. This exciting expo culminated with a
spectacular address by Natan Sharansky,
Chairman of the Executive of the Jewish Agency
for Israel. Mr Sharansky is an ex-Soviet prisoner
and freedom fighter who discussed his harrowing
but inspiring history.
Higher Education Expo
he Israel Centre was proud to host numerous representatives
of Higher Education institutions and long-term MASA gap year
programmes in Israel. These included the IDC, Technion, Aardvark
Israel and Israel Experience Long-programmes amongst others
— there was even a current South African pupil taking part in the
delegation. These delegates addressed an excited audience of Grade
11 and 12 pupils at Herzlia High School addressing their post-school
options in Israel.
hroughout the day people explored Israel and
considered the land home, however Mr Sharansky
also emphasised the importance of diaspora Jewish
communities and their role in maintaining a strong Israel
for the future. Mr Sharansky mentioned that assimilation
is a threat to Jewish communities around the world
with research showing that communities need one
of two traits to maintaining Jewish continuity, strong
religious observance or a strong connection to Israel. Mr
Sharansky identified Cape Town as a Jewish community
with admirably strong ties to Israel, warm hospitality, a
caring community and the beauty of an incredible city.
The enjoyable and informative day ended with a
delicious wine tasting offered by a delegation from
Mateh Yehuda in Israel (South Africa’s partner region
in Israel within the Partnership2Gether programme)
highlighting the exciting industries growing in Israel and
the strong relationships nurtured by the programme in
South Africa.
Natan Sharansky addressing the Cape Town
Jewish Community at the close of the Israel Centre
Aliyah Expo
Vintner Lin Gold with Veronica Belling at the
Partnership2Gether Mateh Yehuda wine tasting.
Ex-Capetonian Mateh Yehuda vintner Paul Dubb
showcasing his wine to Michael and Nicola
Ralph, at the wine tasting.
Giselle Rotman of the Technion meeting with Herzlia High school pupils at
the Higher Education Expo
The Knoetze family meeting with Dorron Kline of Telfed at the Aliyah
To be free people in our land
On the same evening as the Israeli
elections were taking place, the Israel
Centre and the SAZF Cape Council
held a community event providing
some understanding around the
foundation of the Israeli political
system. Hagai Dagan reports back on
this event.
e were fortunate to have the Deputy
Ambassador of Israel, Mr Michael
Freeman, and the previous Shaliach,
Mr Yaniv Nachmias join us through
video calls, as well as Ms Hila Zetler, the
SAZF Media Officer and I (as the current
Community Shaliach) providing the voice
on the ground at the event.
Prior to the elections, the different parties
had presented in their campaigns their
different agendas, and argued their various
standpoints. I am not going to discuss
the different stances, but rather point out
a different level of debating between the
parties — a philosophical level which
deals with the definition of Zionism.
I would like to start with the assumption
that a Zionist, in its most broad sense, is
someone who believes that Israel has
the right to exist as a Jewish State and is
constantly striving for a better future for
that state.
Using Makom (an educational unit of
the Jewish Agency for Israel) as a tool
to examine Zionism we can translate
the aspiration of a Zionist that was just
mentioned above, to a sentence from
Hatikva, the Israeli National Anthem: “To
be a free people in our land”. Now, we can
break up that sentence into four different
components, and ask questions about
their meaning as follows:
•“To be…” — Questions of existence; how
we can ensure Israel’s existence against
literal threats, for example against the
Iranian threat?
•“…free…” — Questions of freedom,
Justice; what kind of civil society are we
dreaming of?
•“…People…” — Questions of nationality;
the relation between State and Religion.
•“…in our land”— Questions of borders;
what is our land?
What are the right answers? What is
the right priority to place within these
questions? This is the debate amongst the
Although there are many parties, the
political battle is between two main blocs:
Right and Left. In order to try and offer an
alternative to the Right-wing that has been
in power for the last few years, a Left-wing
party and a Centrist party joined together
under the name “The Zionist Camp”.
The Zionist Camp offered a different
interpretation of Zionism. While the Rightwing in general are more conservative,
and regarding the four questions that we
have mentioned, they emphasise security
issues and border issues (“To be” and “in
our land”), The Zionist Camp claim that the
focus should be on social issues, dealing
with welfare, the economy and healthcare.
Both sides call themselves Zionist and
both sides have criticism toward the other
side — and they use this to try to convince
the Israeli population to give them the
mandate to lead the country
To make it clear, the Right-wing do care
about social issues and the Left-wing do
care about national security, but still have a
very different interpretation of the meaning
of these four questions.
The debate about what Zionism means is
an important debate for the entire Jewish
people, although it is an insoluble dispute,
it is one that is important to continue having
within a constructive and democratic
framework. Hopefully the new government
will take us a step forward along the path of
“being a free people within our land”.
Cape Jewish Chronicle May 2015
South Africa visit for
Telfed CEO
Telfed CEO Dorron Kline travelled to South
Africa in March for a two-week visit where he
was a guest of the Israel Centre.
Lone Soldiers’ Luncheon in
memory of Aubrey Diamond (z”l)
Friday 20 March
marked the first
biannual event
to acknowledge
and thank lone
soldiers in Israel.
e met with many community leaders,
building bonds between the Southern African
communities in Israel and South Africa, raising
awareness of Telfed’s fundamental role for South
African Jewry and laying the groundwork for
fruitful collaborations.
Dorron was a guest at this year’s SAZF
Conference at the Sandton Conference Centre,
Johannesburg; the 48th event of its kind. The
demand for the conference was evident from the
1500 strong crowd that attended on the opening
night. Even the vitriolic protests staged outside the
venue by the BDS Movement and Anti-Jewish and
anti-Israel activists were not enough to deter the
crowd who wished to participate .
he idea was
born out of a
desire to remember
Aubrey Diamond
Dorron Kline, Telfed CEO, with prospective olim
African man with a
During the two days of the conference, Dorron
giant heart and a Dorron Kline and Susan Sharon (Telfed staff) greeting a
worked flat-out offering advice and direction to
love for soldiers in lone soldier – March 2015
many potential Olim.
the IDF.
He also attended a number of professional
His daughter Nicci Diamond-Levenstein, together with Susan Sharon, the
meetings, addressed over 400 congregants at four
Klita Counselor at Telfed, created a day in which Lone Soldiers from South
Johannesburg synagogues and was interviewed
Africa and Australia could be acknowledged and thanked for the vital and
twice on the local Jewish radio station “Chai FM.
courageous role they
play in the IDF.
The event was hosted
at the Michael Levin
Lone Soldier Centre in
On Sunday 22 March, several representatives of Telfed attended a heartTel Aviv and attended
warming Children’s Pesach Seder held in the Maksam Centre in Hadera.
by the lone soldiers and
Telfed volunteers.
early 50 primary school children of Ethiopian origin enjoyed an hour singing
“Thank you so much,”
traditional Pesach songs (including Echad Mi Yodea) with great enthusiasm,
said Tanya, one of the
asking the Four Questions and reading about the Four Sons.
female lone soldiers.
The gathering was partly funded by donations secured by TECI, the Telfed
“Our families are so far
Ethiopian Community Initiative.
away. It means a lot to
Dorron Kline, CEO of Telfed, held a lively interactive session with the children,
us that we can turn to
challenging them with questions and answers about Pesach and the importance
Telfed to help care for
of the concept of “Dayenu”.
us here.”
TECI has been involved in upgrading the computer centre at Maksam;
It is our intention to
sponsoring parent and child participation in a unique summer programme
host such events in the
focusing on relationships, learning about Zionism, Yiddishkeit, Jewish History
future before Pesach
and culture. The group visits the Kotel, Yad Vashem, Mt. Hertzl and other
and Rosh Hashanah.
Ethiopian children ready to enjoy their seder
important sites.
Telfed Ethiopian Community Initiative
Hebrew Monuments
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Cape Jewish Chronicle May 2015
Thoughts on the Israeli elections
Elections for the 20th Knesset were held in Israel on 17 March 2015. The final voter turnout was 72.3% - 4.6% higher than in the previous election and the highest
since the 1999 elections, which had seen a 78.7% turnout. The incumbent Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, confirmed a victory in the election for Likud.
Initially, exit polls reported a virtual tie between the Likud and the Zionist Union — a coalition headed by Leader of the Opposition Isaac Herzog and former
Justice Minister Tzipi Livni.
The CJC asked two community members to reflect on the results and give their opinions on the ramifications for Israel in the near future.
enjamin Netanyahu’s victory in the
any State of Palestine. Surely even the most
recent Israeli elections was a decisive
blinkered among us can grasp that the Arab
moment in safeguarding Israel’s future. It
and Muslim world has changed. In this
reflected an understanding deep within
new ISIS world, Netanyahu will not commit
Israeli society of the realities facing their
national suicide by abandoning Judea and
nation in these days. It demonstrated
Samaria. He will not allow ‘Hamastan’ on
courage to face those realities head on,
his eastern border the way it is in Gaza.
irrespective of the tide of international and
It is crucial for the safekeeping not just of
media opinion.
Israel but also of the West that Islamists are
Netanyahu’s crushing defeat of the
denied any more territory.
Hertzog/Livni duo shows how the preHerzog and Livni are fully committed to
election media hype and exit polls were
re-igniting the peace process and working
hopelessly wrong and completely out of
towards a so-called two state solution,
touch with Israeli society as a whole.
which in its essence is a land for peace
One of the criticisms of Netanyahu’s
agreement. Have they chosen to forget
government has been its lack of attention the disaster that was the land for peace
to the dire state of housing and cost of
disengagement from Gaza? Israel gave
living in Israel today. The Left-led Zionist
the land but never got the peace. Instead,
Union alliance wholeheartedly concerned the area has been transformed into one big
itself with these issues. True, these social rocket launching pad. Is this what they want
problems must be addressed more closely
for Judea, Samaria and even Jerusalem?
and Netanyahu has stated his commitment
Netanyahu will not be pushed around or
to do just that.
forced to give away yet more
Like people the world over,
land to a ‘partner’ that seeks
Israelis care about paying
his nation’s destruction. If
their rent and the price of
the withdrawal from Gaza
bread. However, in today’s
is an advertisement for
issues are very
climate, something else that
the land for peace mantra
important but for
Israelis have to care about
then it is clearly time to
Israel there are
is whether or not they will be
start singing a new tune.
even more crucial
alive to eat that bread.
Any political party or leader
Benjamin Netanyahu is
who persists with the same
matters at stake.
firmly committed to issues of
failed, regressive policies of
security and Israel’s survival.
land for peace is doing so
Social and economic issues are very
to Israel’s detriment. Thankfully, Netanyahu
important but for Israel there are even more
will not submit to such folly.
crucial matters at stake.
Even one of Israel’s veteran Arab Moslem
But wait, according to the Left all this talk
journalists, Khaled Abu Toameh, lambasted
of existential threat and security concerns the nature of the peace process. He said,
are nothing but scare mongering and fear
“Under the current circumstances, where
tactics. Really?
some Palestinians continue to seek the
Somebody’s got their head in the sand.
destruction of Israel and others are unable
Netanyahu is a leader who discerns the
to make any concessions for peace, any
very real threats facing his country and
talk about the resumption of the peace
who is determined to defend and protect
process is nothing but a silly joke.”
his kinsmen. During the Second World War
A healthy dose of reality, however
many could not bring themselves to believe
unpleasant and inconvenient it may be,
that the evil rhetoric of Hitler would actually is needed for those who insist on giving
translate into action. Benjamin Netanyahu is
land away on a silver platter and engaging
a man who has learnt from history, whose
with lunatics determined to build nuclear
head is not in the sand and who will do
weapons — and use them.
everything in his power to prevent a second
Netanyahu has taken a resolute stand
Holocaust against his people.
against those seeking to compromise
Israel, like every country, has a long list of
Israel’s security. Disrespectful Obama
problems ranging from the cost of living to
and hateful Europe cannot be allowed
minority rights to deal with. It’s not that the
to call the shots when it comes to Israel’s
domestic, internal struggles of Israeli society
identity, safety and future. If the American
do not matter or are somehow irrelevant to
administration wants to punish and isolate
the greater struggles that Likud is focusing
Netanyahu for actually leading his own
on. They do matter. Netanyahu has
country and not bowing down to Obama’s
acknowledged that. However, unlike most wishes then healthy diplomacy has suffered
other countries, Israel also has genocidal
a tragic blow.
neighbours like Hamas, Hezbollah and
At the end of the day Netanyahu has proven
Iran breathing down her neck. How could
himself to be the leader that the majority of
security not be a primary issue?
Israelis feel they need. Their alternative was
a prime ministerial duumvirate that would
state under the current circumstances,
submit to Obama and continue forward with
Netanyahu has a clear understanding
a flawed and dangerous ‘peace’ process
of the bigger picture. Who could really
full of short-sighted strategies.
doubt that a state of Palestine today would
By voting for Netanyahu the majority of
unavoidably become yet another proxy of
Israelis have voiced their agreement that
Iran and others? For a number of years it Israel’s security concerns are legitimate
has been easy to see that if Israel left Judea
and paramount. They have expressed their
and Samaria, Mahmoud Abbas would never
desire to preserve their ancient, Jewish
have been able to withstand Hamas. Today,
homeland and they have chosen a leader
Hamas is but one in a queue of increasingly
who will lead with bravery, courage and
more barbaric groups poised to take over
sraeli Prime Minister Benjamin
he has accused the Europeans of
Netanyahu’s ruling Likud Party
plotting to overthrow him — a clearly
scored a resounding victory in the
baseless charge.
country’s recent election. Pre-election
Netanyahu has earned the distrust
opinion polls indicated that he was in
and resentment of his critics. Anybody
trouble; chief rival Isaac Herzog of the who has followed Israeli politics
Zionist Union enjoyed a slight lead. knows that Netanyahu’s promises
Exit polls then showed the two camps
stand for nothing. Every Israeli has
deadlocked but once the final results
been let down by Netanyahu on one
were in it was confirmed that Likud
or other front: He says that tens of
was the winner.
thousands of apartments are being
Netanyahu’s victory took a number built but where are these affordable
of Israelis by surprise. Many perceive
apartments? He says we defeated
Netanyahu as a man living in a bubble,
Hamas in Operation Protective Edge
as a politician who is disconnected — but Hamas is visible from Kibbutz
from the real issues faced by the
Nahal Oz; Netanyahu says he is the
Israeli public and whose own life no
victim of a worldwide plot — where
longer reflects reality. These Israelis
and what is this plot? It’s as if his
were desperate for a change.
sense of reality has become warped.
Netanyahu won the 2009 election Like many of his predecessors, he has
with the slogan “Netanyahu strong reached a point in his career in which
on Hamas”, which brought us to the
personal vendettas, hatred and fear
become his primary
driving forces. That
history since the War
cannot be good news
Netanyahu as
for his upcoming term
(Operation Protective
as Prime Minister.
a man living in
Edge which lasted
Netanyahu’s victory
a bubble, as a
50 days). He ignored
in the election comes
politician who
on the back of his
is disconnected
to solve the conflict
in a multilateral way
from the real
with other countries
issues. The failures
issues faced by
in the region. Instead,
of our prime minister
Israeli public
Israel left Gaza with no
during his prolonged
term in office has
and whose own
no real change in
life no longer
these conditions and
damage to Israel’s
reflects reality.
with many people just
waiting for the next
An equally serious
round to start. I was not
failing on the security
against the mission — Hamas firing
front has been his inability to see
rockets left Israel with no other choice
and seize the security and political
but to fight back — but Netanyahu
opportunities created by years of
missed every single opportunity to regional upheavals, which have
solve the conflict and open a route for weakened most of Israel’s main rivals
open dialogue with moderate forces in and created a common interest not
the Middle East.
just between those countries with
It feels like in this campaign as well
which we have already signed peace
as in the past six years, Netanyahu
accords — Jordan and Egypt — but
forgot the real things that matter to
also governments from North Africa
the majority of Israelis. He stated that to the Persian Gulf. A rare window of
Iran is the biggest threat to Israel’s
opportunity was opened up for a new
security. There are many more issues
dynamic in the region — a dynamic of
that are as important as dealing with
dialogue, calm, political agreements
Iran — the relationship between the
and security pacts. Netanyahu missed
US and Israel, for example. Speaking
this opportunity with his aggressive
at the American Congress, behind
foreign policy actions.
Obama’s back and against his will,
Netanyahu hasn’t done much to deal
isn’t the way to deal with the situation.
with the criticism Israel has received
Due to Netanyahu’s speech and his
in the international community. There
refusal to follow protocol regarding
are more and more countries calling
this visit, Obama stated that the US will Israel an apartheid state. Israelis who
rethink the automatic protection Israel
have witnessed the occupation first
has in the UN. Iran is an important
hand know we are not at that point yet,
issue — but we cannot disregard
but without a major change, it could
other important issues, such as the
deteriorate into some problematic
relationship with Israel’s biggest ally.
situations. It is unlikely that these
And if that is not enough, he has changes will occur in Netanyahu’s
undermined the international entities
next term.
that are working tirelessly to thwart
The centre-left camp woke up to the
Iran’s nuclear aspirations, and similarly
results on 18 March realising that their
has eroded their support of his antihope for a better future in Israel had
Hamas stance. His behaviour over
not come to pass, and we can only
the past two years is endangering the
hope for a better tomorrow in internal
very fabric of our strategic relationship
and external affairs. Right now, Israel’s
with the United States; and, recently future looks uncertain.
Cape Jewish Chronicle May 2015
Cape Jewish Chronicle May 2015
Cape Jewish Chronicle May 2015
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Cape Jewish Chronicle May 2015
Cape Jewish Chronicle May 2015
Cape Jewish Chronicle May 2015
Likud SA: Growing and Protecting
South African Zionism
“Israel must always choose strength” —
Menachem Begin
of Israel have
B e n y a m i n
prevailed in the Israel elections.
Jewish people.
Fifth, stand united in the face of the
enemy. We Jews love life, for life is holy.
But there are things in life more precious
than life itself. There are times when one
must risk life for the sake of rescuing
the lives of others. And when the few
risk their own lives for the sake of the
many, then they, too, stand the chance of
saving themselves.
Sixth, there is a pattern to Jewish
history. In our long annals as a nation,
we rise, we fall, we return, we are
riting in Arutz Sheva, Ronn Torossian
(CEO of 5WPR, one of the largest PR
agencies in the USA) declared that “despite
the US Government relentlessly going after
Netanyahu in the aftermath of his victory,
Israel must always choose strength” –
quoting the words of the great Jewish leader,
Menachem Begin, who as Prime Minister in
1981 spoke the following words:
“I believe the lessons of the Holocaust are
First, if an enemy of our people says he
seeks to destroy us, believe him. Don’t doubt
him for a moment. Don’t make light of it. Do
all in your power to deny him the means of
carrying out his satanic intent.
Second, when a Jew anywhere in the world
is threatened or under attack, do all in your
power to come to his aid. Never pause to
wonder what the world will think or say. The
world will never pity slaughtered Jews. The
world may not necessarily like the fighting
Jew, but the world will have to take account
of him.
Third, a Jew must learn to defend himself.
He must forever be prepared for whenever
threat that looms.
Fourth, Jewish dignity and honor must
be protected in all circumstances. The
seeds of Jewish destruction lie in passively
enabling the enemy to humiliate us. Only
when the enemy succeeds in turning the
spirit of the Jew into dust and ashes in life,
can he turn the Jew into dust and ashes in
death. During the Holocaust it was after the
enemy had humiliated the Jews, trampled
them underfoot, divided them, deceived
them, afflicted them, drove brother against
brother, only then could he lead them, almost
without resistance, to the gates of Auschwitz.
Therefore, at all times and whatever the
cost, safeguard the dignity and honor of the
honor. These,
I believe, are
the underlying
unspeakable tragedy of the Holocaust.”
Menachem Begin rightfully said what
needed to be said. And no matter what
President Barack Obama says, Israel
must continue to do what is needed to
protect the Jewish nation.
US-Israel cooperation defies
Obama-Netanyahu confrontation
By Ambassador (ret.) Yoram Ettinger 27 March 2015
efense, scientific and commercial
co-operation between the US
and Israel is surging unprecedentedly,
in defiance of the unbridgeable gap
between the worldviews of President
Obama and Prime Minister Netanyahu.
For example, 250 major US hightech companies maintain research and
development centres in Israel, which has
become a major source of cutting-edge
innovative technologies, improving US
competitiveness, increasing US exports
and expanding US employment.
In 2014, Israeli startups raised an alltime record of $3.4bn, mostly from US
investors. Israel operates hundreds of US
military and homeland security systems,
providing the US defense industries with
critical lessons of operation, maintenance
and repairs, which dramatically upgrade
the quality of those systems.
US-Israel co-operation in the areas of
cyber, nano and space technologies is
rising sharply. Israel provides the US with
intelligence, exceeding the intelligence
provided to the US by all NATO countries
combined. The formulation of US battle
tactics, in general — and urban warfare,
in particular, is based largely on Israel's
Celebration Message"
on the morning of
Wednesday 18 March,
David Abel (National
LikudSA & Chairman,
e-mailed Likudniks as
To join Likud SA
contact David Abel:
[email protected] or 0823496018
exiled, we are enslaved, we rebel, we
liberate ourselves, we are oppressed
once more, we rebuild, and again we
suffer destruction, climaxing in our own
lifetime in the calamity of calamities, the
Holocaust, followed by the rebirth of the
Jewish State.
So, yes, we have come full circle,
and with G-d’s help, with the rebirth of
sovereign Israel we have finally broken the
historic cycle: no more destruction and no
more defeats, and no more oppression
— only Jewish liberty, with dignity and
hat a good day
it is today! The
sun is shining, the birds
are singing in the trees
and Likudniks the world over are celebrating
a landslide election victory in Israel. And
Jabotinsky must be smiling in heaven! Likud's
massive victory is so much sweeter as it comes
against all the odds! Many, many people were
praying and fasting — and eventually Divine
Providence was revealed in all its glory this
battle experience. Joint US-Israel air
force exercises are conducted regularly.
US Army units on their way to Afghanistan
are trained by Israeli experts in urban
warfare, car bombs, suicide bombers
and improvised explosive devices (IEDs).
Contrary to the one-way-street type
of relationship of 40 years ago (the US
gave and Israel received), current USIsrael ties have been transformed into
a mutually-beneficial two-way-street,
expanding cooperation — especially at
a time of drastic cuts in the US defense
budget and the US withdrawal from Iraq,
Afghanistan and Yemen — irrespective of
the intensified tension between Obama
and Netanyahu.
While President Obama harshly
criticises Prime Minister Netanyahu's
attitude toward the Palestinian issue,
US national security and commercial
interests, as well as US-Israel relations
and Obama's legacy transcend, by far,
the Palestinian issue.
While Obama and Netanyahu are on
a collision course, the US Congress —
the most authentic representative of the
American constituent and a co-equal,
co-determining branch of government
in all areas — has been a systematic
supporter of enhanced US-Israel cooperation. The US political system
provides Congress with the muscle to
initiate policy and change, suspend,
de-fund rollback and abort presidential
domestic, foreign policy and national
security initiatives.
Unlike US ties with most other
countries, US special ties with the
Jewish State reflect the sentiments of
most constituents, independent and
irrespective of presidential policies. They
are based on Judeo-Christian values,
dating back to the 17th century Pilgrims.
Today, there are statues of Moses in the
US House of Representatives (facing the
Speaker) and the US Supreme Court
(above the desk of the Justices), and Ten
Commandments monuments stand on
the grounds of the Texas and Oklahoma
state capitols.
For Netanyahu to embrace Obama's
policies on Iran and the Palestinian issue
would spare him the wrath of the White
House, but would distance him from
Middle East reality, dooming the Jewish
State to destruction.
"Congratulations to Likud!"
have been receiving emails, Facebook
messages and phone calls — many
informing me that they and many of their
members were praying and fasting for
Likud's success in the elections.
When one considers that US
overwhelming majority of the world's
politicians and media; as well as many
worldwide Jewish and other Leftists —
all demonised Netanyahu and wanted
him replaced as Prime Minister (with
the chant “anyone but Netanyahu”) —
Likud's achievement in turning around
the significantly negative position in
the pre-election polls into a remarkable
victory, brings to mind what Menachem
Begin used to say: “Man proposes;
and God disposes! Israel Likud's
inspiring victory truly exhilarates and
motivates LikudSA to continue carrying
the Jabotinsky legacy forward into the
future. Am Yisrael Chai!”
Rev Kenneth Meshoe
you all, and thanking God for
emailed, “Even though I will
answered prayer. Bless you all.”
sadly not be with you during
the celebration in Cape
Town, please know that
Region) said, “I wish all
my family, ACDP members
Likudniks a hearty mazel
and DEISI International are
tov and chazak to the new
rejoicing with Likud SA over
the stunning victory that
May Israel prosper, grow under
Prime Minister Benjamin
his leadership and may Am
Reverend Kenneth
Israel stand in unity.”
have achieved against
Rev Albert Mabenga wrote,
all odds. VIVA PRIME
“G-d has spoken clearly
and He answered the prayers of all
VIVA!!! VIVA LIKUD VIVA!!! Wishing you
those praying for a strong right wing
a very successful celebration and G-d’s
government in His nation
richest blessings.”
“He is the One who raises Israeli
Typical of many such messages, Beryl
leaders up and He removes them.
and Don Loram of Belville emailed, Yes miracles are still happening in
“We have been praying and fasting for
Israel. Congratulations to Likud for the
Israel and for Netanyahu in particular
outcome of what may amount to be
— we are so thrilled for the victory; we the most strategically important Israeli
have been celebrating in our hearts with
Cape Jewish Chronicle May 2015
ORT SA CAPE hosts successful annual fundraiser
Samson hosted the
ORT SA CAPE annual
at their beautiful
farm, Klein Cabriere,
in Franschhoek on
Sunday 15 March.
Dr Lydia Abel, Director of ORT
uests arrived to the
beautiful sounds of
Two Flutes and enjoyed
delicious starters under
the oak trees. After Dr
Lydia Abel, Director
welcomed all to enjoy
a wonderful day, Merle
Rubin served a splendid
enjoyed the humorous
magic show performance by renowned magician Jacques
le Seuer.
Berg Rivier Secondary School in Wellington is one of
the beneficiaries of ORT SA CAPE’s Constructive After
School Programme for EnRichment (CASPER). This
CASPER drama group performed a poem, ‘Dream
Chaser’ to the 200 adults and 100 children. They were
well-rehearsed, confident and their message was well
thought out and communicated. Their performance
brought tears to the eyes of many guests.
Ariella Kuper conducted a successful auction in her
inimitable style, raising funds for the ORT SA CAPE
CASPER programme. The function ended on a sweet
note while guests enjoyed dessert.
A special thank you to the Samson family for their
generosity and to all our friends for their ongoing
commitment to ORT SA CAPE.
ORT SA CAPE prides itself on development for social
change; opening minds, getting children off the street
into enriching learning experiences and balancing this
with helping teachers engage with their challenges.
Berg Rivier Secondary drama group, part of ORT SA CAPE’s Constructive After School
Programme for EnRichment in Wellington
ORT SA CAPE is an accredited B-BBEE organisation
(Level2) and you will receive a Section 18A Certificate for
your donation.
Guests enjoying the luncheon catered by Merle Rubin
Children at the robotics station — one of the many activities provided on the day
Deloitte Western Cape and ORT JET
invite you to a Women’s Work–Life Integration Breakfast
Work-life integration … Myth or
reality? Come and join our panel
of successful business women for
a lively and robust discussion on
this complex, yet very important
topic which impacts our lives daily.
Our panel will also share their
experiences and practical tips on
how they are striving to attain
integration in their lives.
Anthea Scholtz – Deloitte Partner
Anthea is the chairperson of Deloitte Women in Leadership in the Western Cape and serves
on the boards of Deloitte Southern Africa and Deloitte Africa. She is the leader of the
national Tax Oil and Gas Industry team for South Africa and heads up the Global Employer
Services unit for Deloitte in the Western Cape.
Lara Rosmarin – Co-Founder and CEO: Seed Academy | Executive Director:
Seed Engine Business Accelerator
With a passion for philanthropy and a background in behaviour risk management, Lara has
advised some of SA’s top companies on their CSI strategies. Through Seed Academy, she
educates and empowers entrepreneurs to take control of their destinies. She is the author of
the best-selling children’s book, A Magical Day for Dreaming, of which all proceeds go to
Vanessa Borchers – Deloitte Partner
5 June 2015
07h30 for 08h00 until 10h00
Venue: Deloitte, First Floor, The Cape Quarter,
27 Somerset Road, Green Point
RSVP: [email protected]
or 021 448 8516 by Friday, 29 May 2015
Vanessa has worked for Deloitte in the United States, The Netherlands and South Africa,
where she has served large multinationals in various industries and capacities, including as
an audit partner and lead client service partner. She is also the Global Diversity Leader for
Deloitte worldwide.
Nina le Riche – Deloitte Partner
Nina is the leader of the Risk Advisory practice of Deloitte in the Western Cape and leader
of the Governance service line for Deloitte Africa. She specialises in financial services, with a
particular focus on market conduct.
© 2015 Deloitte & Touche. All rights reserved. Member of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited.
Ortjet Advertorial.indd 1
2015/04/02 9:00 AM
Cape Jewish Chronicle May 2015
People ask the Darndest Things
Family Announcements
The Jewish Board of Deputies is known for monitoring Anti-Semitism, networking
with government and building bridges with other faith communities.
Berenice, Janis, Dalida, Justin
and families sincerely thank Rabbi
Wineberg, Rabbi Liebenberg, Rabbi
Knof, Basil Sacks, family and friends
for the love and support on the
passing of our beloved husband,
father and grandfather.
I cannot find sufficient words to
express my gratitude and deepest
and sincere appreciation for the
unbelievable kindness and support
received on the sudden passing of my
beloved wife on the 22 February.
Our two daughters Belinda and Alison
and our four grandchildren share my
message of appreciation.
Special thanks to all those who
provided us with so much sustenance
at this very difficult and painful time.
We also extend grateful thanks to
Temple Israel for their wonderful
support, and extra special thanks to
Rabbis Richard Newman and Greg
Alexander who were both outstanding.
Selwyn Winer
Cecil will always be remembered
with love for his positive loving
caring nature and the lessons which
we have learnt from him.
To place a family announcement,
email: [email protected] or phone
Tessa 021 464 6736 (9am — 1pm)
By Gwynne Robins – Deputy Director of the Cape SA Jewish Board of Deputies
lesser known role is that of providing an information resource on Jewish life and
history. One way it does that is through its annual Guide to Jewish Southern Africa
and through the recently launched Map to Jewish Cape Town produced with the help of
Marco van Embden and Philip Todres.
The Board receives numerous queries from Jews and non-Jews. Here are some of the
more unusual ones.
Where can I buy a shofar? Our church in
Elsie’s River is having trouble with the
Council over building permits. We want
to blow a shofar at the four corners of our
property like the Holy Book says, in case it
will help.
I gave them the name of shops. They never
phoned back to tell me if it worked
Can you lend me a Jewish scarf so that I
can dress like Jesus at Easter?
(after referring to a rabbi). Unfortunately
as it will be Passover at the same time,
taleisim will be in use.
Quick, I am doing a crossword — what
is a small Israeli coin in six letters, the
first and third letters are “a”?
All donations to
Glendale are tax
Thank you most sincerely for your continued support.
Our residents are most grateful
Our well-known Shabbat, miniature Shabbat and Yartzeit candles and
Shabbat glass candle holders are now available from all supermarkets
and at our office.
Getting married overseas? Ask your guests to donate to Glendale
Home in lieu of wedding gifts. An appropriate letter will be sent to the
bride and groom advising them of your donation. No amount will be
disclosed. For further details contact the office.
Glendale Greeting Service: Letters can be sent to loved ones for
birthdays, wedding anniversaries and chaggim or any special occasion.
Make use of this service, which is available worldwide.
Tins: If your tin needs collecting, please phone the office
tel: (021) 712 0270 fax: (021) 712 0873
10 Galway Road Heathfield
PO Box 40 Bergvliet 7864
email: [email protected]
Glendale activities now on YouTube — search ‘Glendale Cape Town’
Do Jewish people anoint themselves with
Hi. I am Muhammed and I am giving a
talk on divorce in Islam, Christianity and
Judaism. Could you give me information
on Jewish divorce?
Certainly, just give me your e-mail address
and good luck with your talk.(and then I
googled the answer, which he could have
done himself)
(two years later), Where can one buy
anointing oil?
I am afraid you have stumped me there. I
do not know.
Can you answer the following questions?
My 8 year old granddaughter’s class is
studying religions and she got Judaism.
Ask your granddaughter to phone me. It is
her project.
Reply: She is far too busy with ballet.
I have a very difficult neighbour.
Would it be anti-Semitic if I complain?
You see she is Jewish and I am German.
You get good and bad Jews just as you get
good and bad Germans and good and bad
people. If she were my neighbour, I would
also complain.
I am being victimized by a neo-Nazi
cult who can hear every word I say
through the electric wires in my house
and the television.
I got her rabbi to contact her family to tell
them she needed treatment
I will be visiting South Africa from
America. My parents were German Jewish
refugees who lived in Sea Point. My
mother died when I was small and my
father remarried. His wife divorced him
moving to Johannesburg with my halfsister. I was sent to my uncle in London.
I am now 80 and I would like to find my
With the help of Charisse Zeifert of SAJBD,
notices in community newspapers, and
an amateur genealogist who spotted the
notice, we were able to find his half-sister
who knew nothing about him or her father
and there was an emotional reunion in
Who says life at the Board is not interesting?
Did your ancestors come from Birzh, a small town in the northeast of Lithuania?
If so please advise who they are and provide contact details. We hope to have
a memorial with the names of the murdered Jews created at the killing site just
outside the town - as has been done in other Lithuanian towns such as Plungian
and Keidan.
The Lithuanians in Birzai, who have created a Tolerance Centre in their local high
school, are also keen to have a panel about the Jews in their local museum in
which Jews are currently not represented. Do you have any photos of Birzai in the
period before the Nazi Holocaust? If so could you please scan them (300 dpi)
and send them to us. Please let us hear from you on both queries.
You can contact us at [email protected] or [email protected]
Rubi and Anne
With Compliments
With compliments
from Ben Rabinowitz in
memory of Shirley
Meyer Hirsch
Paul Arieli
Family Trust
Cape Jewish Chronicle May 2015
Is ‘Mein Kampf’ a learning tool, or too offensive and dangerous to reissue?
By Robert Gluck/
Given the current climate of rising antiSemitism in Europe and elsewhere,
is it too offensive and dangerous to
reissue Adolph Hitler’s “Mein Kampf”
autobiographical manifesto? Critics of
the book’s planned republication say
yes. But others believe that with the
proper annotation and commentary,
the book can be an important learning
based on the current research knowledge
on the origins of National Socialism and the
Third Reich, to deconstruct the ideological
theories of the book and its racist agenda
to prevent further misinformation.”
Some Jewish leaders have expressed
concern about the reissuing of “Mein
Kampf” amid the uptick in global antiSemitism. Levi Salomon, a spokesman
for the Berlin-based Jewish Forum for
Democracy and Against Anti-Semitism,
told The Washington Post, “I am absolutely
hen “Mein Kampf” (translated in
against the publication of ‘Mein Kampf,’
English as “My Struggle”) was first
even with annotations. Can you annotate
published in 1925, it sold poorly. Next year,
a new edition will go on sale in bookstores the Devil? Can you annotate a person
like Hitler? This book is outside of human
in Germany for the first time in 75 years. The
state of Bavaria has owned the German
Ronald S. Lauder, president of the World
copyright to the book and has legally
Jewish Congress, wrote in a letter to The
blocked attempts to print it. The copyright
New York Times, “Because of Germany’s
expires this December, and the Munichbased Institute for Contemporary History history, publishing it there again at a time
of rising anti-Semitism would be a travesty.
(IfZ) plans on reissuing an annotated
Only recently, Germany elected a neoversion of “Mein Kampf” full of criticism
Nazi deputy to the European Parliament,
and analysis that will stretch its original size
showing that the Hitler virus has yet to be
from 700 pages to nearly 2,000.
stamped out.”
IfZ is regarded as the world’s leading
“What would the Holocaust survivors
institute for the research of National
and their relatives think if they visit a
Socialism — also known as Nazism.
German bookstore and see Hitler’s book
Founded after World War II, the institute
on the shelves?” added Lauder. “We
has the goals of examining how National
must do everything we can to prevent the
Socialism took root in Germany and
publication and mass distribution of ‘Mein
understanding the reasons behind the preKampf.’ We owe it to Hitler’s victims.”
Hitler failure of German democracy.
As far as “Mein
Matthäus — director
Kampf” goes, its text
“This book is most evil;
of applied research
is widely available
at the United States
it is the worst antieven without IfZ’s new
Holocaust Memorial
Semitic pamphlet and
a guidebook for the
Joseph and Morton
printed in its German
Mandel Center for
version in more than
Advanced Holocaust
12 million copies,”
Studies — agrees
with IfZ’s Brechtken. Speaking as an
deputy director of IfZ, told
expert on Nazi propaganda and not as a
“Many hundred thousands of these
representative of the museum, Matthäus
copies have survived the Third Reich and
told that the reissuing of “Mein
are available in academic libraries and
Kampf” might have a fairly minimal impact
antiquarian bookshops. The German text
on readership.
is also available through the Internet. The
“Those who have a right-wing philosophy
copyright of the English translation was
have access to ‘Mein Kampf’ anyway,”
sold in the 1930s and the book has been
Matthäus said. “My hope would be, and
in print ever since. The English version
I hope also the hope of those putting the
has been constantly available all over the
new edition together in Germany, that
the general public would be aware of the
Though the copyright expiring at the end
additional context that would be taken into
of this year prevents the republication of
account. The general readership would
“Mein Kampf,” it has “no influence on the
benefit from this [new] critical edition by
given availability of the text,” according to
finding out more about the context in
“It is an open question whether or not the which this document emerged, and also
end of copyright will make any difference to the context that is needed to understand
it properly.”
the availability of the text,” he said. “Should
To understand “Mein Kampf,” experts
there be re-publications of the original text
say, it is important to understand its author.
without any comments, it is even more
Matthäus and Brechtken agree that one of
urgent to have a critical edition which is
the most definitive books on the subject
is “Hitler: A Biography,” by Ian Kershaw,
a modern history professor emeritus at
the United Kingdom-based University of
Sheffield who was given the German award
of the Federal Cross of Merit in 1994.
Kershaw believes “Mein Kampf” provides
important insights into Hitler’s thinking in
the mid-1920s.
“By then,” Kershaw wrote, “he had
developed a philosophy that afforded him
a complete interpretation of history, of the
ills of the world, and how to overcome
them. Tersely summarized, it boiled
down to a simplistic, Manichean view
of history as racial struggle, in which the
The first edition of Adolf Hitler's book,
highest racial entity, the Aryan, was being
Mein Kampf, on exhibition at the German
undermined and destroyed by the lowest,
Historical Museum in Berlin. Credit: Anton
the parasitic Jew.”
Huttenlocher via Wikimedia
Many of Hitler’s contemporaries “made
a mistake in treating ‘Mein Kampf’ with
Asked to address criticism of the book’s
ridicule and not taking the ideas Hitler
reissuing, Brechtken told, “We
expressed there extremely seriously,”
understand and respect the feelings
Kershaw explained.
and views of those who have suffered
“However base and repellent they
as victims of National Socialism, and we
were, they amounted to a set of clearly
respect their feelings of uneasiness and
established and rigidly upheld political
concern at the thought of seeing the text
principles,” he wrote.
being republished.”
Kershaw actually started his career as a
“The text is a historical source which
historian at IfZ. Known as a “structuralist”
must be analyzed to understand the link
— in line with the theory of humankind
between the formulation of anti-Semitism
in which all elements of human culture,
anti-Semitic political
are thought to be
“Like any other document
actions after 1933,” he
parts of a system of
signs — Kershaw sees
“It is important to
the structures of the
piece of history, there is
analyze this historical
Nazi state as far more
a need for [‘Mein Kampf’]
text to deconstruct
important than the
personality of Hitler (or
antiresearched, and to be
any other individual) in
Semitism at the time,
explaining the way Nazi
to deconstruct racist
Germany developed.
worldviews in general,
In particular, Kershaw
and to prevent racist
subscribes to the view adopted by the
ideologies from ever coming close to
German historian Hans Mommsen that
political power again. With a critical edition
Nazi Germany was a chaotic collection
as the IfZ currently works on we assume
of rival bureaucracies in perpetual power
to aim for the same overall objective — to
struggles with each other. In Kershaw’s
fight racism and anti-Semitism.”
estimation, the Nazi dictatorship was not a
Matthäus argued, “Like any other
totalitarian monolith, but rather an unstable
document that pertains to this piece of
coalition of several blocs in a “power
history, there is a need for [‘Mein Kampf’]
cartel” comprising the Nazi Party, big
to be out there, to be researched, and to be
business, the German state bureaucracy,
the army, and the SS police. Each of the
“What is missing is the critical
“power blocs,” according to this view, were
engagement of [‘Mein Kampf’] by scholars
divided into several factions.
who know the history and can put that in
But for some whose primary concern
the right context,” said Matthäus. “The
is contemporary anti-Semitism, such
worst thing that can happen is to put
historical details are not the point in any
this into the poison cabinet and make it
discussion of “Mein Kampf.” Charlotte
inaccessible and prohibit the use of it, and
Knobloch, head of the Jewish community
thus create, or enhance, the myth that this
in Munich, told Time magazine, “This
is something that the establishment, or
book is most evil; it is the worst antithese evil powers or conspiratorial forces,
Semitic pamphlet and a guidebook for the
don’t want the general public to see.”
The Susman
With compliments
The Jack & Ethel
Goldin Foundation
With compliments
Inge Marks and family
in memory of Solly
With compliments
The Henry Van Embden
Family Foundation
With compliments
Stanley and Zea
With Compliments
Kalman, Esther and
Michael Maisel Trust
Cape Jewish Chronicle May 2015
Members of The Union of Jewish Women are committed to
investing in the people of South Africa and endeavour to create a
better life for all South Africans.
Cape Town
Blankets knitted for Glendale
Therapies at Herzlia
Cookie Icing with Tikva
Donation in lieu of a gift
Launch of the 33rd
Women's Jewish Community Fund
Our three ideals are:
• Tzedakah-toembracematerialandspiritualgenerosityandthereby
• Feminismandthepromotionofwomen’srights
• Abroadhumanity-undenominational,educationalandphilanthropic.
With your help, we can continue to provide support for:
Join us in making a difference
[email protected]
A project of the Union of Jewish Women
Cape Jewish Chronicle May 2015
Confronting poverty
Poverty is a complex, dynamic and
multifaceted condition which may be
chronic or temporary.
Multiple studies have shown that living
in poverty has a devastating effect on
Maslow, the renowned psychologist,
himself born into a poor Jewish family,
t reflects gross violations of human
constructed a hierarchy of needs.
dignity through the inability to access
choices and opportunities. Its narrative The daily worry and stress caused by
is one of insecurity, powerlessness and existing in a state of survival-mode
exclusion. Poverty comes as the harsh acts against positive psychological
development and contributes to an array
blow of insufficient income to feed and
of psychopathologies.
clothe one’s family and the
In Maslow’s hierarchy,
inability to get to school
Suffering from a lack
poverty gives a perfect
or to a job to earn a living.
of fulfillment and
It is a insidious network
how needs that go
of harm — economic,
enrichment paves a
unmet disable us from
steep life-trajectory
continuing to ascend to
emotional and spiritual.
of struggle.
higher aspirations.
Absolute poverty or
Suffering from a lack of
destitution refers to the
fulfillment and enrichment
deprivation of basic human
paves a steep life-trajectory of struggle.
needs — the starkness and desolation
An account of poverty within the context
of which is portrayed in the media as
of the Jewish community would be
the extremes of malnourishment and
kwashiorkor. Relative poverty is defined incomplete without including Halacha;
and the signpost of relative poverty in a
contextually as economic inequality in the
predominantly affluent context.
society in which people live.
The olden day Jewish sages viewed
assist the Jewish community to the extent
poverty as a great affliction and said that, that it does.
“he who is crushed by poverty is as if he
The most revered response is considered
were subject to all the afflictions of the to be that which facilitates the fullest
world.” (Midrash Rabbah, Exodus, 31; 12).
expression of the dignity of the needy by
At the core of Jewish values is enabling them to become self-sufficient.
tzedakah which means righteousness.
Confronted with the ever-rising cost
Righteousness translates into compassion
of living, decaying socio-economic
where a person cannot assist financially.
conditions and reduced funding, JCS
This feeds into the mandate of JCS
mobilises various intervention strategies
in order to combat and
alleviate the stress and
The most revered
relief but supportive
instability of poverty.
response is considered to
counselling and other
This is facilitated by
using a combination of
be that which facilitates
social work intervention;
the fullest expression of
the dignity of the needy
to the poor is an
expression of solidarity
educative counselling
and in the wider South
services; material relief
African cultural perspective translates into
and community projects in a courageous
mission to facilitate optimum levels of selfThe mitzvah of giving tzedakah is the
reliance and independence in our clients.
most central of the mitzvot that define
Tabled below are approximate figures
Jewish communal life. It is this philosophy outlining the JCS’s monthly response to
that enables the Jewish Welfare sector to
assist with poverty alleviation:
TIKVAH (fruit and vegetable hampers)
80 families/individuals
R25 000
MOW (meals on wheels) In partnership with kosher
46 families/individuals
R35 000
(In partnership with kosher MOW)
150 families/individuals
R300 000
PSYCHIATRIC CARE (nursing home)
8 individuals
R100 000
BARGAINS GALORE (clothing, furniture and
household items)
Available to all qualifying clients for basic needs.
Cape Jewish Chronicle May 2015
A new lease on life for
Jewish seniors
Joan Sarembok, Nan Scholij, Barbara Nakin and Cecile Becker at the garden party
Suppers are an opportunity to sit around a
table and chat with friends instead of being
alone at home.
Our social workers are highly trained and
hatever your reason for joining the
they perceptively use their skills to assist
association, there are numerous
any member who might need support in
benefits. You can become an integral
any way. Individual counselling sessions or
part of a caring group and you can be
as involved as you wish. Some of our home visits allow members to feel cared for
members attend functions every day of the confidentially and in a professional manner.
The myth behind membership is that
week, but you are also welcome to be more
selective, choosing activities that take your most senior citizens feel that they are “too
fancy. Whether you wish to be stimulated young” to belong to a senior’s organisation
which is so far from the truth! Existing
by guest speaker presentations, unleash
members will attest to the fact that CJSA
your creativity in our art classes, go on great
has given them a new lease on life and
outings or keep fit in our exercise or yoga
new friends and a reason to get up in
classes; there is certainly something for
everyone. Transport is provided for those the morning and most importantly the
opportunity to give back to the community
who no longer drive and members are also
able to make use of our driving service to should you wish to volunteer in your area
of expertise.
do their weekly shopping. Monthly Twilight
Purim @ Astra
CJSA members really do benefit from
belonging to a caring organisation.
Rabbi David Benchlouch with some of the workers
he Cape Town Sephardi
Hebrew Congregation’s
Rabbi David Benchlouch
visited Astra Centre to deliver
mishloach manot to the
Workers, ensuring a chag
purim sameach for everyone.
Rabbi David Benchlouch with
Paul Rawraway.
Picnic @
Hirschberg, Loren Weiner
and Ian Sank enjoy the
Below: Astra’s annual
picnic for the Workers
and their families was
once again a huge
success. Thank you to the
Astra Committee for the
wonderful braaiing.
Achievements @ Astra
raduates of iLearn, Daniel Isaacson and Bradlee
Gruss, proudly show their certificates after
completing beginners courses in Word and Excel. The
courses were generously donated by Richard Rayne of
iLearn Training.
Cape Jewish Chronicle May 2015
Consider This
The Destruction of Cult Objects —
Still a Torah Imperative?
The anniversary of the giving of the Ten Utterances (Aseret
haDibrot) at Mount Sinai is celebrated near the end of the
Purim and Star Trek
By Rabbi Malcolm Matitiani
he first two utterances demand exclusive loyalty to G-d who
brought our ancestors out of Egypt and that no images be
made for worship. Any likeness of anything contained in the
universe is forbidden to be an object of veneration. The Torah
goes further in commanding that when the Israelites settle in the
Land of Israel they must destroy all the cultic high places, sacred pillars, altars and
images of Canaanite worship (Exodus 34:13-14, Deuteronomy 7:5, Deuteronomy
12:2-3). The context of this instruction was that the Israelites who had spent forty
years in isolation (apart from a few skirmishes with the Amalekites, Moabites and
Ammorites) were about to enter and settle in the Land of Canaan to be surrounded
by the local populace. The fear was that the new inhabitants would be vulnerable to
the temptations of the Canaanite religious cults and be lured away from the worship
of the God of Israel.
They only way to prevent this from happening was to deliberately destroy all
sacred objects and spaces of the indigenous gods. Indeed a reading of the books
of Judges and Kings reveals that the Israelites were attracted to the veneration of
Canaanite gods, especially El, Ba’al and Asherah because they failed to demolish
the altars, sacred posts and images of these gods. Archaeological finds have
proven that many Israelites counted statuettes of El, Ba’al and Asherah among their
The Mishnah and Talmud (both the Babylonian and the Jerusalem) dedicate an
entire tractate (Avodah Zarah) to the discussion of how Jews should relate to the
non-Jewish world. The restrictions on socialising with the then mostly pagan world
and the ban on entering their places of worship were motivated by the fear of being
lured away from Judaism.
The question is whether this fear of idolatry is still relevant today. It is highly unlikely
that an observant Jew would be tempted to abandon Judaism simply because he
or she has friends, acquaintances or colleagues that profess another religion (be
it Abrahamic or Eastern). Neither would such an occurrence occur if an observant
Jew entered a church, mosque, temple or shrine.
I believe that the vast majority of us condemn the fanaticism that led members
of Islamic State to destroy archaeological artefacts and sites in Syria and Iran,
claiming them to be idolatrous. In March 2001 the Taliban in Afghanistan blew
up two 1,700-year-old sandstone statues on the same pretext. This unwarranted
disregard for the sacred sites and objects of other cultures and faiths, not to
mention the wanton destruction of the archaeological history of humankind is rightly
condemned by all enlightened people. Yet the perpetrators of these crimes cite the
Quran as justification of their destructive behaviour.
As pointed out above the Torah also explicitly
demands the obliteration of all manifestations of
Mazeltov to those
Canaanite religion. Yet none of us would enter
who celebrated B’nei
a Hindu temple and take a sledge hammer to
Mitzvah with us in
the statues of Brahma, Shiva, Vishnu, Shakti or
the last month:
any other deity. The historic circumstances have
drastically changed since biblical times and we
all acknowledge that it is possible, and indeed of
paramount importance, to live as Jews in harmony
with and alongside those of other faiths
We are blessed in Cape Town in that we have
a very strong interfaith initiative and I have been
privileged to be asked to participate in many
Alexander Ackerman
interfaith services held in various places of worship
11 April
including Temple Israel. It is only through dialogue
and sharing knowledge of each other’s traditions
and beliefs that we can combat prejudices and
The world has changed since biblical and
Talmudic times and there are no longer grounds
to fear the religion of others. There is, however, the
very real threat of religious fanaticism that expresses
Thomas Ackerman
hatred towards those who do not subscribe to a
11 April
particular faith or to a specific interpretation of that
faith. A fanaticism that leads its adherents to destroy
the heritage and sacred objects of another culture,
a fanaticism that drives its follows to gruesomely
murder anyone who does not conform to their world
view. It is these religious expressions that we must
target for obliteration, not statues and artefacts that
are revered by peaceful devotees of the various
Aliyah Joseph
18 April
faiths of the world.
The carnival atmosphere
at Temple Israel Wynberg
filled the shul and the
whole campus.
t all started with the
interactive megillah reading,
with all three rabbis in action,
and the chapters translated by
different congregants. Then,
after a parade of costumes,
everyone headed out to the
stalls, booths and food stands
and an instant street party erupted. On the
more serious side of Purim, coming just as the
Southern Peninsula fires began to be brought
under control, we set up a spontaneous
collection for the Volunteer Fire Services
which brought in more than R2000 for these
heroes of the City. The themes of rescue and
being saved took on a very real feeling.
So many of the costumes were outstanding,
but one needs mentioning – just before
Purim, the actor Leonard Nimoy died, most
famous for his portrayal of Mr Spock in Star
Trek. Nimoy never hid the fact
that the iconic Vulcan hand
salute that he created for the
character was remixed from an
ancient Jewish blessing ritual,
the birkat kohanim. In some
non-Progressive synagogues
on the festivals, Kohanim are
called up to the front of the
shul to bless the congregation
with “May G!d bless you and
keep you...” (B’midbar 6:23–
27). The Kohanim traditionally
cover their heads and arms with their tallit
and hold their hands palms-down, touching
at the thumbs, with the first two fingers of
each hand separated from the other two, in
a shape resembling the letter Shin. When the
producers of Star Trek were looking for an
appropriate Vulcan salute, Nimoy suggested
the gesture of the Birkat Kohanim and added
the words, “Live Long and Prosper.” As we
are sure you will agree, Rabbi Greg was a
pretty convincing tribute to Leonard Nimoy
TIMEOut (Temple Israel Machaneh
Experience Outdoors) — What a Blast
The weekend of 6-8 March saw the first
ever TIMEOut weekend take place at the
beautiful Langdam Farm near Montague.
ore than 70 people drove from Cape
Town and either pitched their tents or
unpacked their bags in the luxury chalets and
then joined up for the service and dinner, with
some gusto-filled singing afterwards bringing
Erev Shabbat to a close .
With some activities such as an early
morning run as well as a yoga session bringing
in Shabbat morning, the awe-inspiring Torah
service led by Rabbis Greg and Malcolm with
musical accompaniment from Nina Hoffman
brought us to the communal lunch and
afternoon activities like machanayim, shiurim
and hikes in the mountain, by which time
Havdallah brought Shabbat to a close. We
all then got together for a communal braai at
the campsite which was followed by another
song session around the campfire in true
machaneh style.
Sunday morning saw continued frolicking
in the dam and general relaxing before we
had to begin the trip home as our weekend
sadly came to an end. We would like to thank
everybody who contributed to this wonderful
weekend and look forward to planning the
next TIMEOut experience.
Torah service — creative and beautiful
Temple Israel goes camping
Cape Jewish Chronicle May 2015
Cape Jewish Chronicle May 2015
Cape Jewish Chronicle May 2015
Cape Jewish Chronicle May 2015
Nechama Compassion Pack
Waiting to exhale
By Dr Brad Beira, Chief Executive Officer of Jewish Care Cape
or many years Nechama has been providing the Cape Town Jewish
community with Compassion Packs. Packed by the volunteers at Astra
and distributed by the Chevra Kadisha and the rabbi’s in each community,
the Compassion Pack has been positively accepted in the community as
a source of comfort at a great time of distress.
Everyone at Glendale is reflecting
on our recent period of tremendous
ne of our frequent visitors described
the past year (in a fashion) “as if
the strong south Easter blew through
Well, here is hoping — just like the
change in season — that the wind is past
and calm will prevail.
We welcome a host of new talent to
Glendale. Rehana, our new occupational
therapist is settling in. Charmian, our new
social worker will have begun her role by
the time this article is in print. Five new
carers are experiencing life at Glendale
and adding their passion to the existing
In our effort to provide the best possible
care and support, on advice from
Highlands House we have added two
new outsourced partners to Glendale’s
support team: Korserv has taken over our
daily cleaning tasks and Feedem/Pitseng
are managing our kitchen and catering
services. This frees up our full time staff
to do what they do best — care for our
A thank you must go out to Solly and Gita
Lison, Paula Baskir and all the support
persons from Glendale for running an
excellent second-night seder. Our hall
was filled with residents, their families and
Friends sharing matza on the outing
Where to from here? Hopefully a calm
period of reflection; the beginnings of our
renovation project, a period of laughter
and joy and activities and even the odd
game of pool and karaoke”
The pack comprises:
• 1 Yahrzeit candle, matches and two shabbat candles
• A tzedakah box that people can donate to the charity of their choice in the name of the
• A handbook for mourners supplied by the UOS
• A Nechama pamphlet entitled "When Comfort Is Needed"
• A Nechama shiva pamphlet explaining the shiva process.
• Conduct in a shiva home
• Tehillim booklet to use at the cemetery
If you would like to honour the memory of your loved one by making Compassion Packs
available to those that need them, a dedication label will be placed on the container.
Please contact Shana on 021 465 9390/021 462 5520 or email [email protected]
Packs may be sponsored at R240.00 each. Banking Details: Nechama, Nedbank,
Gardens Centre. Branch Code: 106939. Account No: 1069278939. Reference: Name/
Compassion Pack
Please take this opportunity to do a mitzvah in the name of your loved ones
Ari, Dale and Megan enjoying the view
Tuesday 12th May 2015
Coffee Time @ Astra, 20 Breda Street, Gardens
09H00 – 11H00
Presented by Barry Pogrund.
R.S.V.P. The Office on 021-462 5520 or [email protected]
Residents and staff having a picnic on the Sea Point Promenade
Getting ready to go home after the Pesach picnic
Cape Jewish Chronicle May 2015
ALBOW CENTRE PHONE: 021 462-5088 FAX: 021 465-8670 email: [email protected]
AZRIELI, Avraham. The Jerusalem Assassin. This fast paced sequel to
the Jerusalem Inception will keep you engrossed till the end. In the wake
of the 1995 Oslo Peace Accords, a wave of Palestinian terror hits Jewish
targets in Europe and Tel Aviv. When a Mossad agent is critically wounded
in Amsterdam, the master spy, Jerusalem Gerster, follows the attackers
back to Israel. He uncovers a conspiracy to carry out the assassination of
Prime Minister Rabin. Brims with gritty authenticity.
BLOOM, Joe. RIDLEY ROAD. The book takes us into 1960’s London
capturing the music, clubs and vibrant fashions of the time. Vivien Epstein
leaves Manchester after her father’s death to start a life as a hairdresser in
London and to search for Jack, a man who captured her heart. When she
locates him he appears to be part of a Nazi-style fascist group operating in
the heart of the Jewish East End. Blending facts with fiction Bloom creates
a fast paced story and reveals the chilling hatred and bigotry of the time. DIAMANT, Anita. THE BOSTON GIRL. An unforgettable novel about the
daughter of Jewish immigrants from Eastern Europe coming of age in
the United States. It portrays her complicated life in Boston and looks at
a generation of women finding their places in a changing world. 85 year
old Addie tells the story to her 22 year old granddaughter. Written with the
same attention to historical details and emotional resonance that has made
Diamant a best-selling author.
BOGACZ, Yoram (Rabbi). FACETS OF ETERNITY: An Exploration of
Seven Intriguing Topics in Jewish Thought. What did our forefathers
observe before the Torah was given? Are we rewarded in this world for
mitzvoth? What should our attitude be towards the suffering of wicked
people? Do our Sages have the authority to forbid that which the Torah
explicitly permits? These are a few of the intriguing questions posed by
Rabbi Bogacz in an exciting new book, valuable to lay people and advanced
Torah scholars alike .
PEREZ, Laurence (Rabbi). LEADING THE WAY: Collected Writings on
Some of Life’s Most Important Matters. In his capacity as the Rabbi
of Mizrachi South Africa and Head of the Yeshiva College Schools, he
made an enormous and transformative impact on the South African Jewish
community with his inspired, creative and visionary leadership. Israel,
education, virtues and vices, the Days of Awe, leadership, life and death are
all covered in this outstanding, easy-to-read book.
OF ISRAEL. The mysterious origins and past of the Japanese people are
revealed in this fascinating story. Eidelberg analyses ancient Japanese
writings, religion, traditions, names and folk songs and discovers similarities
between ancient Hebrew and Japanese language and culture. A possibility
is suggested that the Japanese are descendants of the Ten Lost Tribes who
were exiled 27 centuries ago.
OREN, Ram and KFIR, Moti. SYLVIA RAFAEL: The Life and Death of
a Mossad Spy. Rafael, born in Graaff-Reinet, became a young dedicated
Mossad agent. The book details her rise to fame within the organisation
and her ultimate arrest for murder and espionage as a result of a fatal
misidentification of a targeted terrorist mastermind. The book is written by
Moti Kfir, the man who trained her and Ram Oren, an author and journalist.
A thrilling and engrossing story of espionage and the Israeli-Arab conflict.
to Fascism in the 1930’s. Charts the rise of Sir Oswald Mosley, founder
of the British Blackshirts. Mosley, an avid anti-Semite, styled himself on
Mussolini and Hitler. The shocking anti-Semitism in Britain during the 1930’s
culminated in an attempted march through the streets of London’s Jewish
East End. As the campaigns became more intimidating, Jewish groups
debated how to deal with the fascist threat.
Book launch by Cecile Levin
A delightful & humorous novel about facing
change, while remembering the past.
Date: Monday 4th May 2015
Place: 88 Hatfield Street,
Refreshments will be served.
For catering please RSVP
by 28th April 2015
RSVP: 021 462 5088
Email: [email protected]
Book of the month
The Girl from Human Street
By Roger Cohen
ohen, an award-winning New York Times columnist, is
a wonderful storyteller. Linked to Lithuania through his
ancestors, he places the Zagare genocide at the centre of
his three-generational history of a Jewish family that chose
different homelands — South Africa, USA, England and
Israel — in which to bury or confront their past. His parents
left for England in 1957 and at the heart of the book is his
mother’s dreadful struggle with bipolar disorder. The title
of this luminous book refers to the actual street where his
mother once lived.
FROM THE ASHES: Reflections of Children and Grandchildren of
Holocaust Survivors. Well-known contributors, from 16 countries and 6
continents, respond to the question of how the experiences of their parents
and grandparents have shaped their identity and attitude towards God,
faith, Judaism and the world. These moving and compelling accounts allow
us to glimpse how much the world has lost and will have a profound effect
on the way future generations understand the Holocaust.
NICHOLAS WINTON. This book, written by his daughter, is a testimony
to his remarkable rescue of 669 children from Czechoslovakia at the age
of 29. He worked from Prague and persuaded the German authorities to
let children leave by identifying British foster families who would open their
homes to them. For half a century Winton knew nothing about the nearly 700
people who call themselves “Nicky’s children.”
CARNESON, Ruth. GIRL ON THE EDGE. Ruth’s life was turned upside
down at age of 4 when her father was arrested for high treason. Thereafter
she lived in constant fear of the Special Branch Policemen, moving from
family to friends. At 14 she moved to England and struggled to reconstruct
her life. She shares her stays in asylums, her ‘Hippie’ days in London and
then her journey back to a changing South Africa. Written with honesty and
heartbreakingly sad at times, Ruth allows the reader to look deep into her
FEDLER, Dov. OUT OF LINE. Fedler describes himself as a true product of
Johannesburg. He was born in 1940 and the third child of a family struggling
to exist. Although he always enjoyed drawing the last thing on his wish list
was to be a political cartoonist and yet he has been South Africa’s leading
one for 50 years. His memoir is personal, honest, humorous and filled with
FRY, Stephen. MORE FOOL ME. A heady tale of the late Eighties and
early Nineties. The book paints a picture of Fry’s extremely busy but often
lonely life and reveals some wonderful celebrity encounters. He partied with
his many famous and infamous friends regardless of the consequences
and admits to having spent “an enormous amount of time and money on
cocaine”. If you enjoyed “ Moab is my Washpot” and “The Fry Chronicles”
then this eloquent third autobiography is for you.
HALBREICH, Betty. I’ll drink to that: New York’s Legendary Personal
Shopper and Her Life in Style – With a Twist. Halbreich has dressed the
rich and powerful for 40 years at Bergdorf Goodman and her clients have
ranged from Candice Bergen to Betty Ford to Meryl Streep. Interwoven is her
childhood, her marriage to a wealthy hotel owner and her life in the dressing
room and beyond. This 86 year old grand dame is delightfully funny, honest
and inspirational. “Dressing someone well is as divine as helping someone
to walk, to see, to smile or to bake a tall, light angel food cake.”
MELAMED, Caron. A PINCH OF… Her inventive and inspiring recipes
are detailed and will reach the table of the most inexperienced cook. She
guarantees stress-free entertaining. The book is beautifully designed and
features traditional Jewish food, exotic Asian fare, Italian and much more.
Whatever your culinary taste you should find this book as appetising as
each mouth-watering delight.
LINKSFIELD Senderwood Hebrew Congregation. TANTALIZE WITH
SALADS. This beautifully laid out cookery book is filled with recipes
to nourish your body and soul. It is a collection of the best dishes of
a group of ladies from the Linksfield Shul kitchen. Each contributor is
passionate about sharing the joy of cooking and food. This will offer the
accomplished hostess fresh and innovative ideas on how to prepare soups,
salads and pasta.
Cape Jewish Chronicle May 2015
community connections
Cape Jewish Chronicle May 2015
Simcha Snaps
Shana Miller married Kevin Trope
Photographer: Moira West
Printing is
in our
(to suit Your PoCKet)
[email protected];
3110 KAdimah JC Ad#2 40 x 110mm.indd 1
Fax: 021 447-5545 Tel: 021 448-2130 email: [email protected]
Owned and operated by Diane and Ivan Sabath
2013/04/12 7:09 PM
community connections
Cape Jewish Chronicle May 2015
Simcha Snaps
To enhance your
Ceremony or
Reception with the best
performance in Jewish
with SUPERB musical
to add the finishing
Maurice and Anita Shenker (nee Kleinberger) celebrated their 40th anniversary. They were married in the Vredehoek
Synagogue on 16 March 1975 by Rabbi Marcus and Cantor Lichterman.
082 7777740
021 434-2002
Send us your
Simcha Snaps!
Have you recently celebrated a
birthday, barmitzvah, batmitzvah,
anniversary, the birth of a baby, an
engagement or a wedding?
Send us a photo and share your
simcha with the community!
Email [email protected] or call the
Chronicle office: 021 464 6736 for
more information.
Office hours: 9am - 1pm
Burr & Muir
The Mirage, Shop 5, Cnr Strand & Hudson
Streets, De Waterkant, Cape Town
021 4181269 Fax: 021 418 1273
email: [email protected]
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Custom Made to your Ideal Specifications
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community connections
Rates: R34 per line + VAT
Phone: 021 464 6736 (mornings)
Eastern Suburbs. A selection of fully furn
apartments available for holiday or short/
long term.
Email: [email protected]
Caulfield South. Dec 2015 / Jan 2016.
Melbourne house offers 3 bedrooms,
study, playroom and pool. Deborah 078
374 5533 [email protected]
Mid Jan - Mid Feb 2016. One/two bedroom
flat swap Sea/Green Point for a two
bedroom cottage Hampstead Garden
Suburb, NW London. Car avail. David:
[email protected]
Seeks full time position, 33yrs experience.
Please phone Joyce 072 953 3037
Reliable, professional, refs avail.
Linda 083 726 9873. [email protected]
Student/driver afternoons
To collect kids from school in Camps Bay
and drop in Milnerton. 083 444 9552
Sea Point area. Neil 072 133 0954
HOWIE’S SHUTTLE — Since 2007
Airport transfers, general transport.
Howard 082 711 4616
Shuttle and airport transfers. Avail 24/7.
Covering the peninsula. Air cond vehicle.
072 252 6989
Mel Gottschalk 082 396 0370.
Email: [email protected]
To lift you OR Tambo / anywhere — 24hrs.
Gershon 073 422 8447
Downsizing home? Retirement move?
Kids leaving home? Deceased estate?
Organising, sorting, disposing of books,
household effects, etc. 083 265 7738
Sturdy and versatile. R1200. In support of
UJW projects. Barbara 082 566 7611
Gorgeous hand painted, for weddings.
Ph Sybil-Ann Creations 083 285 7336 or
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Cape Jewish Chronicle May 2015
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Reliable 24hr 7-day service. All contracting,
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For the steam-cleaning of carpets and
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Phone Leslie Kaplan 082 547 7208
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All PC needs including new computers,
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Cape Jewish Chronicle May 2015
Jewish Fragility
By Ayal Belling
Sitting at the Seder table the other
night I found myself struggling to
restrain an angry and emotional
reaction to something that was said.
moves ultimately lead the White Fragile to
claim that they are being attacked and
Fragility undoubtedly occurs in many
groups that have power and privilege. Male
Fragility would be the state in which even
he statement, about me, was
true. mild references to misogyny in society are
unbearable to men, often causing them
However, the person who said it was
my mother. As an adult, there are few to point out that, in fact, they are the real
victims (of feminisation or
experiences more universal
the burden of being the
than being reduced by
provider, for example).
a parent to a crotchety,
Or Hetero Fragility where
explosive, teenage version
The state in which
the mere suggestion that
of yourself. My friends will
even muted
tell you that I can sometimes
criticism of Israel
evident is greeted with
have a masochistic fetish for
is intolerable to
critique of my personality,
marriage, the family and
the illumination of my blind
Jews is what I call
religious institutions. In
spots. Unless, the source is
Jewish Fragility
White, Male and Hetero
my mother. Or, in the terms
Fragility it is the discomfort
of a 2010 paper by the
from the loss of some
American academic, Robin
degree of privilege (largely only in statute)
DiAngelo, I have very low psychosocial
that leads to feelings of victimhood and
stamina for even minimal critique of myself
when it comes from my mother.
The state in which even muted criticism
DiAngelo, though, looks at how some
of Israel is intolerable to Jews is what I
white people in North America angrily
call Jewish Fragility. Consider how the
and emotionally react to being told that
following familiar statements (triggers)
they have all sorts of privileges accruing
make you feel.
to them from the colour of their skin.
She introduces the term White Fragility - Israel's response to attacks by Palestinians
to describe the “state in which even a
is sometimes disproportionate
minimum amount of racial stress becomes
- Israel illegally occupies the West Bank
intolerable, triggering a range of defensive
- Palestinians suffer discrimination in Israel
moves. These moves include the outward
-The Israeli army sometimes mistreats
display of emotions such as anger,
Palestinians at checkpoints
fear, and guilt, and behaviors such as
DiAngelo tries to get at the source of
argumentation, silence, and leaving the
the offence caused by the triggers
stress-inducing situation.” These defensive
of White Fragility. She says that the
challenge to beliefs white people hold
Israel is a country of eight million people,
about themselves is at the heart of their
an externality, while race, gender and
reactions. Four of these challenges —
sexual orientation are internal qualities that
to objectivity, solidarity, liberalism and form our identity. I would argue though that
meritocracy — can be reframed to apply
we see Israel as our family home and a
to Jewish Fragility. Objectivity relates to particular version of its story as our family
the challenge that our view comes from a
story — one which we have internalised.
Jewish frame of reference. Jews who break
DiAngelo says that white people don’t
with the Jewish consensus challenge the think complexly about racism which leads
solidarity of the group. The
them to trivialise their
accusation that Israel's
history of brutalisation of
actions have a racist impact
other races and to confuse
(We) not only
or that access is unequal
discomfort for fear and
wield significant
between Jewish and nonlack of safety. This is true
power as a
Jewish Israelis, challenges
of Jewish Fragility too. In
the perception that we are
my experience, Jewish
nation but can
liberal, unprejudiced and
communities around the
also commit
The most well-worn
degrees of — decentralised,
response to the triggers
human rights
of Jewish Fragility is
— Zionist
abuses and even
the accusation of antinarrative lock-down which
Semitism. This is backed
reduces our capacity for
up by arguments about
empathic and complex
thinking about Palestinians
historic treatment of Jews by Arab states,
and Israel. Many of us are unable to
Israel’s right to self-defence and that admit that we, a people who suffered
Palestinians are responsible for Israel’s
the holocaust and who have been so
occupation and behaviour because they
thoroughly persecuted for thousands of
cannot be trusted or do not have leaders
years, today not only wield significant
to represent them. These defensive power as a nation but can also commit
manoeuvres prevent nuanced thinking
discrimination, human rights abuses and
about the morality of Israel’s behaviour
even atrocities.
and how it is experienced by Palestinians.
While White, Male and Hetero Fragility Ayal Belling is a tech entrepreneur working
are caused by the fear induced by in Cape Town. He previously worked in
the reduction in privilege and power, finance in the UK. He studied mathematics
Jewish Fragility derives from the loss of at UCT and real estate investment in
victimhood and discomfort with Jewish London. He returned to Cape Town in 2012
power and privilege in Israel. Of course, after spending 13 years in London.
We are happy to announce that Endee Panel Shop (since 1969) has amalgamated their goodwill and customer base of
46 years with Dent Magic Cape Town (address: l20 Buitengracht Street, Cape Town, entrance in Helliger Lane)
under the name of Dent Magic, in association with Endee Panel Shop.
Dent Magic, in association with Endee Panel Shop, will continue to strive to provide Endee clients with the same
standard of integrity, quality and service to which they have been accustomed over the last 46 years.
Our telephone numbers and email addresses will remain the same.
Looking forward to welcoming our long-standing customers and friends.
Milton Berger
Phone: 021-4224201/2/3 ; Fax 021-4224749
Email : [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]
Cape Jewish Chronicle May 2015
‘There was once a home…’
Every month in this Chronicle series, Veronica Belling shares aspects of her trip to Lithuania. Text and photographs by Veronica Belling
The final destination on our trip was
ovno, (Kaunus in Lithuanian) is the
second largest city in Lithuania after
Vilnius, with a current population of just
over 300 000.
During the interwar years when Vilnius
was annexed to Poland, it was the capital
city of independent Lithuania. During
this period it accommodated a Jewish
population of 38 000. The city was a hub of
Jewish culture with schools, synagogues
and the headquarters of the Jewish
People’s Bank. Kovno University had
a thousand Jewish students and many
attended the Hebrew Teaching Seminary
including future South African Jewish
educationalist, Moshe Natas.
Sugahara Museum
The Sugahara Museum is also located
in Kovno. It is named in memory of the
Japanese diplomat, Chiune Sugahara
who was responsible for issuing 6000
visas for Jews to leave Lithuania during
the Holocaust. The director of the
museum, Simon Davidovich, was our
guide for this leg of the trip.
In the Vilijampole district, known to
the Jews as Slobodka, a simple stone
memorial marks the entrance to what
was the Kovno ghetto where 29 000
Jews were incarcerated on 15 August
1941. Another stone marks the spot
where the ghetto hospital once stood.
It was burnt down by the Nazis with the
patients and medical staff inside.
The Bet Midrash of the famous
Yeshiva of Slobodka still stands in that
area today. Just over 200 Jews
remain in Kovno today, including
our guide, Simon Davidovich,
whose parents and grandparents
survived the Holocaust.
Kovno’s darkest side is the Ninth
Fort on the northwest outskirts
of the city where approximately
30 000 Jews amongst people
of many other nationalities were
executed by the Nazis. Its stark
walls house a chilling museum
to the dead. It is built along the
contours of a hill, overlooked by
a brooding Soviet statue to the
victims, built in 1983.
The Ninth Fort
Slobodka Yeshiva
Soviet memorial to victims at The Ninth
Memorial at entrance to the
Kovno Ghetto
A truly fantastic line-up for
Limmud Conference 2015
The difference you deserve...
Limmud Conferences around the world have come to be associated with a
phenomenal variety of Jewish thinkers, movers and shakers from across the
globe. This year, Limmud Cape Town (7-9 August 2015) is no different in this
regard, as we look forward to welcoming stellar Jewish minds to our shores. We
are thrilled to announce a taste of our international presenters for this year’s
Conference, each of whom is sure to add to our programme content that is as
fascinating and exciting as their resumes:
nnika Hernroth-Rothstein, a political advisor and writer from Sweden, made
international headlines in 2012 when she filed for asylum in her own country on the
basis of religious persecution, in order to force her government to protect the Jewish
minority and acknowledge the growing Anti-Semitism in the country.
air Dalal, an Israeli musician of Iraqi-Jewish descent, is an oud- and violin-player, as
well as a singer and composer. He has won several Israeli music awards and has
also been nominated for a Grammy and BBC World Music Award due to his interwoven
influences of Arab, Jewish, Indian and European music.
ttay Flescher is a Jewish educator, born in Israel and currently teaching at Mount Scopus
Memorial College in Australia. His courses there and elsewhere include Religion and
Society, Israeli Society through Film and Music, and teaching Tanach in a Pluralist setting.
Julia Lieman
083 303 1002
Office: 021 434 8755
[email protected]
Behind the scenes of our conference’s riveting line-up is a team of dedicated volunteers,
working to make Limmud Cape Town a weekend of stimulating and fulfilling experiences:
Gabi Nudelman and Heidi-Jane Esakov-Jacobson are our Programme Co-Chairs;
Melissa Marcus and Lauren Kessler are heading up our Logistics Team; Sofi Zway and
Nina Hoffman are planning the children’s portion of conference, Young Limmud; Jackie
Maris is taking care of Marketing, and Nancy Krisch is our National representative.
Overseeing this executive team are Craig Nudelman and Maxine Boyd – a duo whose
extensive, passionate experience with Limmud in the past is sure to make this year’s
conference one of the best yet.
Diarise the dates now (7-9 August) and don’t forget to register for this amazing event,
so that you can be a part of a weekend which takes you one step further on your Jewish
journey. Go to now to get the Early-bird special.
Cape Jewish Chronicle May 2015
‘mensch of the month’
Whether you’re into banting, yoga, CrossFit,
vegetarianism, juicing, or earth-friendly produce...
Whether you’re a vitamin junkie, detox queen,
smoothie fanatic or gym bunny…
There’s only one store for you!
Jason Woolf Founding Director with Anele Xhali Dance
Ambassador of Umbiyozo
Jason Woolf is a twenty-one year old social
entrepreneur, cultural activist, musician and
university student. Raised in the U.S. by South African parents, Jason was one
of 17 inaugural members of the social enterprise accelerator, Watson University,
and will graduate from New York University‘s Gallatin School of Individualized
Study in May 2016. He is a dual citizen, with both his mother and grandparents
residing in Cape Town.
Jason is the Founding Director of Umbiyozo a youth-focused social
venture uniting the traditional-song and -dance troupes of Cape Town’s townships.
Umbiyozo’s mission is to incentivise youth participation within their communities’
troupes so as to prevent gangsterism, drug usage, teenage pregnancy, social
isolation, and disempowerment. Umbiyozo aims to empower individuals and
showcase these independent troupes through the creation an Umbiyozo Hub
based in Khayelitsha, as well as helping the troupes to help themselves through
assistance and training in fundraising, self-promotion and event organising.
Umbiyozo are urgently in need of financial support to continue to
grow and build on their success thus far. Please contact Jason if you are
interested in assisting Umbiyozo: [email protected] 0761862245
The Atlantic Seaboard and City Bowl Team
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Cape Jewish Chronicle May 2015
The future is bright for Habonim
Dror’s upcoming leaders
The past few weeks have seen
highly successful Mini Machanot run
in both of Habonim’s main kenim of
Johannesburg and Cape Town.
e also saw excellent visits to the
smaller centres of Durban and
Port Elizabeth. This has made it a very
exciting time for Habonim channichim
and madrichim across the country.
allowed for a fantastic opportunity to
foster a future generation of leaders
in the movement. The Mini Machanot
in both cities were privileged to have
many young and upcoming leaders
in Habonim take on leadership roles,
Channichot pose for the camera at
some for the first time. Our madrichim Johannesburg Mini Machaneh
who have recently returned from our
year-long gap year programme in
for many years to come. But of course, mini
Israel, Shnat Hachshara, were able to use
machanot would not be worthwhile were
these experiences to put what they learned it not for the dozens of smiling, laughing
into practice and make these weekends
channichim spending a weekend away;
unforgettable for our newest chaverim.
learning, making new friends, playing
Alongside them were recent matriculants
sport, doing arts and crafts and generally
having their first experience in Habonim
having a remarkable Habonim experience.
Dror leadership roles as well as matrics
We were delighted to have had this, in
and grade 11s taking part in a journey of
numbers, in both cities and are looking
leadership preparation that will hopefully forward to the next few months of channich
see them actively involved, both on our events, Shorashim, leadership tours and
December machanot and during the year,
much more.
SA Union of Jewish Students
Madrichim bonding at Kirstenbosch Gardens
We cannot believe that the first quarter
of the year is over.
t feels like just yesterday camp ended, but
you know what they say, ‘time flies when
you’re having fun’ and Netzer Cape Town
has definitely been having tons of fun!
In March we celebrated Purim at Wynberg
Temple Israel Synagogue, where different
games and stalls were set up for the
children and parents to enjoy. There was
face-painting, a jumping castle and several
games where many sweet prizes were won.
We also had a bonding day for our
Madrichim in Kirstenbosch. We discussed
all our exciting plans for the year and
our new initiatives, while exploring the
botanical garden. We left our bonding
session brimming with ideas and new ways
to improve the movement.
Some other events from March include a
Hadracha Seminar for our madrichim. Here
they learn skills on how to run successful
peulot and other leadership skills which will
be useful in all spheres of life.
In the second term of the year we might
be holding a Netzer Cape Town sleepover
for all the channichim. Other events that
we will be involved with during this time
include some Lag Ba’omer festivals, Yom
Ha’azmaut at Ratanga Junction and our
very first big camp meeting where we will
start to plan what is sure to be one of the
most amazing December camps yet!
If you are interested in finding out more
about Netzer and what we represent, feel
free to look up our website, which has just
had a very modern make-over; www.netzer. You will find articles about our most
recent events, photos, information about
our mazkirut as well as Netzer’s ideology.
Nilmad vena’aseh
Kalia Barkai
The Shlichot’s report
At the beginning of the
year we told ourselves
that 2015 would be
an extraordinary year
for Bnei and we were
completely right!
SAUJS peace tent at UCT
SAUJS has been incredibly busy for the
past three months with Orientation
Week, Israel Apartheid Week, campus
braais, Pesach seders and many other
e recorded our highest number of
sign-ups ever with nearly 200 new
members. We have a full leadership
committee of 13 people who have put
together even more great plans for the year.
Israel Apartheid Week was highly
successful for all at UCT with UWC and
Stellenbosch being fairly quiet. Our Israeli
delegation from Stand With Us and IDC as
well as support from the Israel Centre, Bnei
Akiva, Netzer, Habonim and the Jewish
Board of Deputies helped to make this
week possible.
The biggest thanks need to go the SA
Zionist Federation Cape Council for all
their support and advice before and during
this tough week. Our campaign would not
have even got off the ground if it weren’t
for the assistance of the SAZF. We had the
right balance of materials and personal
support to get our message across to the
student body. We were also grateful to see
the support of the greater community who
attended our lunchtime talks and enforced
our sentiments that the students are not
fighting this battle alone. We are already
strategising for next year and would
appreciate any input from the community.
We are now looking forward to our Yom
Yerushalayim party. It promises to be even
bigger and better than the one we hosted
last year at Salt Vodka Bar. The event
should be up on Facebook soon and we
invite all Jewish young adults and tertiary
students of Cape Town to attend!
We would like to assure the community
that we are still dedicated to building the
Jewish student community at universities
across the Western Cape and we would
like to wish all students good luck for the
second semester.
Jonathan Levi
Western Cape Chairperson 2015
fter an unbelievable
camp we kicked off
the school year by doing
visits to all the schools
around Cape Town with
a programme including
music and fun and
games during breaks.
Every week, when the
Shlichot are in Sea Point,
they run a program at
Channies outside in the sunshine
Morasha Shul called
‘Snif’ which includes
For the younger Gurim kids (grade 3-6)
fun activities in a safe environment that
we had a Mini Machaneh in Villiersdorp at
enriches the kids that participate.
the SOS Campsite. It was only a weekend
The first event of the year was for
but the kids got a taste of what Winter
Ktantanim (Grades 3 and 4) we made
Camp in July will be like.
yummy pizza with over 30 primary school
Bnei Akiva South Africa launched a
kids. The first event of the year for Chevre
campaign for “World Chessed Day” to take
(Grades 7-10) got great reviews and we
place nationally. Chessed is one of our
have subsequently turned it into a biweekly
fundamental pillars and we wrote letters to
event called Mifgash. We started off with
IDF solders and made sandwiches for an
sushi making and every second week
underprivileged nursery school.
there is supper with amazing activities,
This is just a handful of the many things
discussions and chilling.
we have done this year and we are looking
At Purim we made Mishloach Manot.
forward to the many more amazing
Many people ordered from us and we were
activities to come!
happy to help them fulfill the Mitzvah! We
had over 500 Mishloach Manot orders,
Bevirkat Torah Ve’Avoda,
which was amazing and we thank everyone
Tamar Sa’ar and Lee-el Shoshtari
who supported the movement.
(Bnei Akiva Shlichot)
Cape Jewish Chronicle May 2015
Reflections on the ICC World Cup Cricket
Afghan fielding coach, Ryan Maron, shares his experiences
Ryan Maron, a parent at Herzlia Kerem, visited Herzlia
Constantia for their weekly assembly to share his
experience as field coach for the Afghanistan Cricket Team
in their first ICC Cricket World Cup.
Five minutes with Ryan
ur boys, who are cricket enthusiasts, followed the World Cup
cricket very closely. Ryan shared the experiences he had with
the Afghanistan Team and many of the matches they played.
The fascinating complexity of the lives of the cricketers, so foreign
to our children, added a new dimension to the presentation. Ryan
shared that as a Jewish man he was fully accepted by the Muslim
cricketers who were very religious and who prayed 5 times a day.
He spoke about the training that had to take place in Dubai as it
was too dangerous to be in Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan. He
described the lifestyle of the cricketers whereby up to 40 family
members all live together in one home and contribute to their
shared income.
The questions that the children asked were intelligent and
thought-provoking and created added value to the discussion.
Ryan kindly dished out World Cup paraphernalia to children who
could answer cricket questions.
Herzlia Constantia received an Afghanistan cricket shirt from
Ryan which we will frame for our hall.
How did you find the atmosphere at the
he atmosphere was massive. Being
exposed to the highest level of oneday cricket and meeting top coaches and
players was a priceless experience. I often
had to pinch myself to remind myself where
I was and the level of cricket I was involved
in. It has been an honour and privilege
working with the Afghanistan players. I
tried to see as much of Australia and New
Zealand as I could and was fortunate
enough to have my wife with me to share
the experience.
Herzlia cricket fans pose with Ryan Maron after the talk
Isabella Sherman, Hannah Cohen, Rebecca Chin and Emma
Rabinowitz with Ryan Maron
Game, set, match for
Cape Town star
Aaron Marks is currently
ranked Number 1 in Western
Province and Number 5 in
South Africa for tennis, in his
age group — U14. His match
record for 2015 is 9 matches, 8
wins and 1 loss.
e competes in all the local
Western Province and Boland
tournaments — some of which he
plays in the U16 age group. He also
plays in the National tournaments
around South Africa.
Aaron trains at The Anthony
Harris Tennis Academy in Sea
Point. He is very committed,
focussed and dedicated.
Icy water doesn’t
stop Michael
Michael Levitt
is 11 years old
and has already
completed his
Freedom Swim
Island to Big Bay.
(Last year his
relay team won
the event)
Michael with his medal
his year the water temperatures made it extremely
difficult to swim, but he still did his part in a speedo.
The team, called Three Suits and a Polar Bear, comprised
four swimmers — two 16 year-olds, a 15 year-old and
Michael. They came 14th overall and 7th in the wetsuit
relay competition.
Aaron has also started to play in ITF
(International Tennis Federation)
Tournaments which is the 18 and
Under International Junior Tour
played around the world.
Aaron gives his all on the court.
To date he has played ITF
Tournaments in Zimbabwe and
Kenya, and two in South Africa, in Stellenbosch and Potchefstroom. Players
from all over the world including Russia, Spain, Britain, USA, Netherlands,
France and Italy play in these tournaments. He will be playing in Botswana
and Namibia in April/ May.
Are you happy with your team’s
he team played well in stages, but I still
feel that they could have performed
better, especially with the bat. I have been
very satisfied with the level of the fielding.
It was an all-round great experience for the
players, this being their first Cricket World
What is your plan for after ICC?
am going to spend some time with my
family and catch up with outstanding
admin at my Cricket School of Excellence.
I am looking to get more involved with the
Afghanistan side and also to improve my
coaching through international coaching in
the future. After meeting with the Australian
fielding coach, Mike Young, I am hoping
to work closely with him to improve as a
coach and also broaden my horizons.
Keeping it in the
rothers Adam Gradner (Grade 6) and
Jason Gradner (Grade 4) broke two
records each at the recent Herzlia interschools sports day held in Green Point.
Adam also won the Victor Ludorum at the
Weizmann Sports Day the previous week.
In the past year Aaron played and won several tournaments,
Winner Western Province Summer — Doubles
Winner Boland Sportsman’s Warehouse Mini 1 — U14 Singles
Winner Boland Sportsman’s Warehouse U16 — Singles and doubles
Winner Boland Civvio Winter — Boys singles
Runner up Boland Masters invitational U14 for top 8 performers of 2014
Runner up Western Province Masters Invitational U14 for top 8 performers
of 2014
Winner Boland Sportsman’s Warehouse Mini in U16 age group.
Swimming far out at sea
Adam and Jason pose with a trophy at the
Weizmann Sports Day.
Cape Jewish Chronicle May 2015
We Sold Over
*March 2014 - February 2015
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