2011 April

Can you believe that Pesach is already upon us? While it is a time for family and festivities, the most important message to emerge from the Haggadah is that Pesach is a festival of freedom. On Pesach we remember that we too were slaves in Egypt and, with this empathy in mind, we must always help those in need.

Therefore, in the spirit of this Pesach message, this issue of the Chronicle looks at the abundant outreach and activism work of the Cape Town Jewish community. From the Board of Deputies to Herzlia, Astra to ORT, Highlands House to Ma’Afrika Tikkun, and from youth to leadership; the plethora of welfare work, outreach and the pursuit of justice is overflowing from our community.

This issue celebrates all of this, whether it is carried out by organisations, institutions or individuals. Most of all, it highlights that the Cape Town Jewish community is utilising the Jewish values epitomised in the Pesach story to help build a better South Africa.

On a different note, this issue has some wonderful cultural pieces, including an interview with Sir Antony Sher and an article about prolific Israeli author David Grossman. While looking at the lives and work of the actor and author, we come to understand so much more about the world around us and – most importantly – so much more about ourselves.

Finally, the community was saddened by the sudden passing of Rabbi David Hoffman in California. The rabbi of the Cape Town Progressive Jewish Congregation from 1991 to 2006, Rabbi Hoffman’s unforgettable presence, energy and work in the community will be fondly remembered and he will be sorely missed.

We hope that this ‘outreach and activism’ issue of the Chronicle will inspire you to reach out to others and help build a better world. Wishing all our readers in Cape Town and around the globe a Chag Pesach Sameach!