On arriving in the Boroughs of New York in mid-November, I found myself in Chabad Manhattan davening in thanks not only for my safe arrival, but for all the warmth and positivity that I see on a daily basis in Cape Town. Sometimes you have to zoom out to see the finer details and appreciate what you have.
One would be forgiven for wondering how I could even be thinking of light and warmth as I sat there on a cold, fog-filled New York morning, ready to attend a series of meetings and a conference with the US-based Anti-Defamation League. But it was the message of Chanukah; a small bit of oil making a difference, the courage to fight for what you believe in, dedication to what is important, that filled my mind as I reflected on one complete year as the Executive Director of the Cape Board and my strengthened connection to my faith and community.
This past year has gone by so quickly. While life for Cape Town Jewry is still generally comfortable, we exist in a world of identity politics and fundamentalism on both the right and left. The work carried out by the professional staff sees us track, reflect and act, to ensure the continued safety of our community. My team has a strategic focus on building meaningful relationships so that we have allies in a sometimes dark world, where each friend becomes a positive light in our fight. To them I say thank you.
This year I have also had the privilege of meeting Jews who identify with their religion in many different ways. In Cape Town we are really lucky to have plenty of opportunities to find a space — where each of us is right now in our lives — to opt in to our Jewish community.
When we continue to choose to light up our daily lives with positivity, inclusivity, Tikkun Olam and caring for each other we ensure that Cape Town Jewry can prosper and be a community that continues to shine bright.
Chag Chanukah Sameach
To read the editor’s column for December/January click here
To read or download the December/January issue of the Chronicle in PDF click here
To read the most read article of the November issue, click here
Portal to the Jewish Community: to see a list of all the Jewish organisations in Cape Town with links to their websites, click here
Featured organisation of the month: The Jewish Community Services’ (JCS) activities are centered on relief for the poor and distressed in the Jewish community. They provide a full range of preventative, educative and supportive counselling, statutory services as well as material relief. Visit http://www.jcs.org.za for more.