One of our objectives at the Cape SAJBD is to represent all Jews in the Western Cape, and so it is important that we visit our country communities — no matter how small — to engage with them in a meaningful way.
That’s why we have started #countrycommunitiesvisits, a project that will see representatives of the board travelling to our country communities for Shabbat services, lunches, and other opportunities to connect and show support. In February we visited Stellenbosch, which is presently a community made up of eight families.
Our Shabbat experience in Stellenbosch was an evening of chazonis, of togetherness and warmth. Next month the Board will take #countrycommunitiesvisits to Hermanus and Paarl. We look forward to spending time in these communities.
This past month has been a busy one for us. The Board has promoted the No Place for Hate campaign through a variety of programmes and projects such as the United Nations Holocaust Memorial Day exhibition at the Cape Town Civic Centre. Using the stunning mosaic art created by Herzlia art students and the community at last year’s Yom HaShoah memorial, the exhibition was an opportunity to educate councillors about the Holocaust. It showcased that discrimination on the basis of race, religion or ethnicity, is inconsistent with our countries constitution. The Cape Town Jewish community must be committed to building a city and province where everyone can enjoy freedom from the evils of prejudice, intolerance and discrimination.
Since 1904, one of the Board’s key objectives is to ensure that our voices are heard at all spheres of government. And so we continue to act on behalf of the Cape Jewish community in all matters affecting its relationship with the Provincial and Local Governments. In February we engaged with the ACDP and Good in our build-up to the Great Cape Debate to be hosted at the Hatfield Street Campus in April. These parties also enjoyed an educational tour of the SA Jewish Museum.
There have been minor increases in the levels of antisemitism in our community, resulting from tensions unfolding in the run-up to elections. However, compared to the reported cases of antisemitic incidents in communities in the northern hemisphere and Australia, these numbers are insignificant.
Here in South Africa, we are fortunate to have a constitution that protects our religious and civil rights and prohibits hate speech. Notwithstanding, it is still the Board’s role to be vigilant and to be there to support the civil and religious rights of all in our community.
To download the full PDF of the March Cape Jewish Chronicle, click here
To visit The Board of Deputies’ website, click here
To read the most read article of last month, click here