By Jaime Uranovsky
Involved community member and former councillor for the City of Cape Town, Jacques Weber can now add ‘Paul Harris Fellow’ to his list of achievements.
Jacques was recognised by the Rotary Foundation of Rotary International on 19 June this year “in appreciation of tangible and significant assistance given for the furtherance of better understanding and friendly relations among people of the world.”
To Jacques, making a difference to the community goes hand-in-hand with his Jewish identity:
“I have gone through the Herzlia system where, from a very young age, they teach you to always have that open heart and to give charity, be it through gemilut chasadim projects or getting involved in community.
Then from the age of 17 I started volunteering on a number of different boards, so I think that’s also just become part of who I am, and volunteering is very much a part of Judaism.
During my time working with the Jewish community, predominantly in CSO as director, I got to help our community too, and Rotary creates a space for me to help the broader Sea Point community. Community initiatives and community-based charities are very important to me.”
This is not the first time Jacques has been honoured by the Rotary Foundation for his work in public organisations.
He relays, “I’ve received other certificates over the last four or five years for different roles. During my time as a councillor, Rotary was always one thing that I fully supported in terms of dealing with any issues. There’s a number of projects they run and I’ve always tried to assist them where I can, so I’ve always just been involved in it.”
Over the years, the now ‘Paul Harris Fellow’ has worked on a plethora of ventures aimed at aiding the community, such as the license plate recognition camera system, which has been installed across the Atlantic Seaboard, as well as relief for victims following some of the devastating fires in informal settlements.
Jacques says, “At Rotary they practise being good to your fellow man and I think that’s exactly what I believe. One of the reasons why I still keep my Facebook active even though I’m not on Council is that often, I put up information that can help another individual. If everyone did something good for someone every day the world would be a better place.” These values align with those of the Rotary Foundation.
Jacques continues, “Listening to the amount of good work that Rotary does was mind-blowing. There were so many different projects, and I just want to reiterate that if everyone wakes up and does one good thing in the morning, just imagine what powerful change can be made where we live.”