2011 May

This month, the Chronicle takes a look at past, present and future aspects of the Cape Town Jewish community.

In terms of history, we continue the communal conversation about Lithuania, which is such a dominating aspect of our heritage. In this context, we interview Abel and Glenda Levitt about their work to preserve the memory of the Holocaust in that country. But this is not only about the past – the Jewish community in Lithuania is also growing and thriving. This was epitomised by the visit of three young Lithuanian Jews to Cape Town in April. Their powerful and poignant message of a Jewish renaissance in Lithuania is discussed in this issue.

In terms of the present and future, Yom Ha’atzmaut (celebrated on 9 May) is a day that encapsulates all our hopes for Israel’s present and potential, as discussed in Galya Greig’s opinion piece on Zionism’s crucial path forward (Page 4). Professor Alan Dershowitz’s recent visit to Cape Town added further motivation to our community to work towards Israel’s future. Read about Dershowitz’s visit on pages 8, 9 and 14.

The future of the community looks bright, as we read about young Jewish leaders grappling with challenges and debates at the Nachum Goldmann Fellowship mini conference (page 5). The UJC Top Donors event and the YAD campaign launch demonstrate how the community is in strong and capable hands – now and in the decades to come. In addition, we look at the phenomenon of young South African Jews returning from overseas to settle and raise their families in Cape Town. If anything, this article shows how the community will continue to grow and thrive well into the future.

As we look back and move forward, let’s continue to strive to reach the fullest potential in every aspect of our community!