The 86th Annual General meeting of the Union of Jewish Women was a well-attended morning of inspiration and gratitude at the Hellenic Community Centre.
Patsy Fivelman, Chairman of the UJW welcomed everyone and thanked loyal supporters and members for attending.
Proceedings kicked off with Myra Goldenbaum, President of the UJW, speaking about the history of the Union and the UJW’s affiliation with the International Council of Jewish Women (ICJW) and the UN. (There is ICJW representation at the UN, and the UJW has an Honorary Life President, Irene Zuckerman, and a Vice President, Lynne Raphaely, from South Africa as well as eight other South African members of the UJW executive committee represented on the ICJW.)
Myra spoke about trafficking and slavery. She explained how trafficking and slavery are prominently placed on the Global agenda, and that there was more awareness being created worldwide.
The past year saw the loss of four very special women who had been an integral part of the UJW. Gita Finkenstein, Delia Livingstone, Julie Peires and Mavis Horwitz. Friends and family were asked to say a few words in honour of each of these special women and it was very touching to hear each person speak of the dedication and love these women had for their families and their community. Mia Shaked, a member of the Herzlia ensemble then sang a beautiful song in honour of those we have loved and lost. There wasn’t a dry eye in the room.
Guest speakers Kentse Radebe and Shifra Jacobson from The Counselling Hub gave an inspiring and very moving talk about their organisation and their vision for the future. It is always so encouraging to see how many like-minded organisations are working to aid and support those who are destitute in our community. Karen Kallmann thanked the two speakers for their remarkable initiative and wished them luck going forward.
Patsy Fivelman then spoke about the past year and all the projects, programmes and events the UJW had been involved with, she thanked the staff, Executive Committee, Groups, members of the UJW, Patrons and Benefactors all of whom had contributed to helping the UJW fulfil its goal of uplifting and serving those less fortunate in our community.
The morning continued with the handing out of awards to members of the UJW for their dedicated and meritorious service, these included Pearl Mandelstam Award, which went to the Adult Education Division committee. Dr Hannah Reeve Saunders, Dr Sheila Aronstam and Shirley Gelcer. Phyllis Friedlander, Sheila Aronstam and Joyce Allen were handed awards for being part of the UJW Cape branch for 50 years and over.
Alan Hoffman and Michelle Cohen received Service Excellence Awards. Georgie Solomon who has worked at the UJW Cape branch for 40 years, was handed a Long Service Award. Tzipi Brivik was recognised with an Appreciation Award. Cecily Kaplan received the Sara Sloman Award for 25 years and Beverley Zetler and Michelle Miller were awarded with the Toni Saphra Award for 35 years.
The Chairman, Executive Committee and staff of the UJW wish to say a big thank you to guest speakers, Kentse Radebe and Shifra Jacobson from The Counselling Hub. Thank you also goes to Yolande Kretzmer-Keys for her impressive photos, Mia Shaked for her enchanting voice, Barry Berkowitz from Berkies for the delicious food, Patrick and his team from Sound Events for their exceptional service and last but certainly not least our loyal members for their continuing support.