Friends of the UJC

Friends of the UJC

On Thursday 20 December, the Green Point Urban Park was transformed into a fantastical dinner venue for the fourth annual Friends of the UJC Cape Town Summer Function.

A spectacular evening of lighting, aerial acts, delectable cuisine and outstanding musical entertainment awaited the 140 special guests. The evening brought together individuals from around the globe, who maintain part-year residences in Cape Town; and some of our community’s most philanthropic individuals.

The sole beneficiary of the activities of the Friends of the UJC Cape Town is the David Susman Community Foundation. This Foundation was established to ensure that should economic difficulties befall our community, there is a safety mechanism in place that will sustain the operations of those organisations that rely on the United Jewish Campaign to meet their annual operational deficits.

As the Chairman of the Friends of the UJC Cape Town Marco Van Embden remarked, “Capetonians are at once heirs to a wonderfully rich communal legacy and sophisticated organisational infrastructure, and, they are simultaneously the custodians of these resources for future generations. This presents as both a profound privilege and an immense responsibility.”

It is the desire to sustain and enhance Jewish life in Cape Town that fuels projects like the Friends of the UJC Cape Town. The Cape Town Jewish community is indebted to those many individuals from around the globe who recognise the immense value that our community adds to the Jewish world and who have consequently invested in the David Susman Community Foundation. With their support, this community can be assured of a strong future from which our children and grandchildren will also benefit.

Philanthropy for the future

The evening was greatly enhanced by the words of Brad Fried, who spoke passionately on behalf of Investec about the incredible work of the Cape Town Jewish community and the need to support it.

The keynote address was delivered by Mick Davis. Arguably amongst South Africa’s greatest business exports, Mick is Chief Executive of Xstrata PLC, a Patron of the Friends of the UJC Cape Town, and an accomplished leader of British Jewry. Mick provided insight into the Xstrata Glencore deal and gave a rich narrative on some of the challenges and opportunities confronting the global Jewish community. The evening also saw two new Patrons of the Friends of the UJC Cape Town announced. Sheila Samson and the Moshal family have now joined Mick Davis, Sol Kerzner, Natie Kirsh and Eric Samson as Patrons. Two further individuals pledged their support at the level of Patron at the evening, and we look forward to sharing the names of these incredibly philanthropic individuals with you in due course.

Ultimately, the 2012 function proved both thoroughly enjoyable for the guests and wonderfully beneficial for the Cape Town Jewish community.

Thanks must go to Investec, whose sponsorship makes this annual function possible. Their support speaks volumes about the philanthropic culture that infuses their efforts. Anne Mann, our indefatigable events coordinator, continues to ensure every detail is catered to with exceptional class. Finally, the organising committee of Marco Van Embden (Chair), Karen Abrahamson, Helen Berger and Nina Kovensky must be recognised for the hours of dedication they pour into this event each year.