|Participants at the Cape Town Mini Nahum Goldmann.|
On the weekend of 21/22 August the second Mini Nahum Goldmann Fellowship (NGF) was held in Cape Town.
After returning from the recent international Nahum Goldmann Fellowship in Croatia in March of 2010, a team of fellows — David Jacobson, Rael Kaimowitz, Lance Katz, Daniela Peiser and Saul Gerdis — got together to plan this latest Mini Nahum Goldmann Fellowship, following on from the success of the inaugural one held in October of last year.
While the first Mini NGF had dealt with general issues facing the South African Jewish community, this one confronted a very real and substantial issue — ‘Jewish Education’, with the weekend themed: JEWISH EDUCATION SA — BACK TO THE DRAWING BOARD?
Over the course of the Saturday night and Sunday, the 38 people, from diverse backgrounds and political affiliations, gathered to discuss openly, without judgment or agenda, what they felt the goals of Jewish education should be and whether the current Jewish educational institutions and communal structures were achieving those goals.
Various sessions explored what elements were missing and what actions were required to address the gaps, in order to allow Jewish education to flourish within our community.
The Mini NGF was opened on Saturday night by Rabbi Kenneth Brander, dean of the Centre of Jewish Futures at Yeshiva University in New York. Included in the deliberations and making short presentations were Geoff Cohen, Natalie Altman and Viv Anstey.
The success of these mini Fellowships is achieving wide recognition and the Memorial Foundation for Jewish Culture in New York (the parent body responsible for the creation of the Nahum Goldmann Fellowships) is utilising the South African model to create future mini Fellowships in Israel and the United States.