Friends of UJC 12th annual year-end event goes online

Alan Winde, Western Cape Premier and Marco van Embden, Chairman, Friends of the UJC Cape Town at Leeuwenhof

More than 150 guests logged in from around the globe on 29 December for the 12th annual celebration of the Friends of the UJC Cape Town (Friends).

Patrons and Friends connected from overseas and South Africa, and were joined by local Top Donors for this uniquely South African affair.

The event, which has become a highlight of the summer season in Cape Town, and is usually held at a unique and distinctive venue, was held online this year, due to the pandemic. This did not detract from the usual splendour and even though guests were not able to connect in person the sense of community and connection could be felt by all. This year-end event was graciously hosted by Western Cape Premier Alan Winde and was live-streamed from his beautiful residence, the historic Leeuwenhof Cape Dutch home built in 1665.

Premier Winde welcomed all to our Cape Town event and spoke about the humanity that South Africans have displayed towards each other in facing the challenges that COVID-19 has presented.

Guests were then treated to an hour of entertainment by the Cape Minstrels, Nik Rabinowitz (comedian), Carina Rubin-Frankal (producer of My Octopus Teacher), Gabriel Sieff (pianist), Choni G (musician, chazzan) and Dani Bitton (songstress, storyteller) all beautifully tied together by MC, Africa Melane.

Marco Van Embden, Chairman of the Friends and the David Susman Community Foundation (DSCF), addressed the guests and shared the Friends remarkable 12 year journey.

The main focus of the annual Friends event is to raise funds for the DSCF and to celebrate Jewish Life in the Mother City. This foundation was established in 2007, with great foresight, as a financial safeguard against any unforeseen adverse events our community may face in the future.

The COVID-19 pandemic was just such an event and 2020 marked the first time that it was called upon to aid the community in a significant manner on many levels. The DSCF’s Board of Trustees approved a disbursal from the fund in support of the COVID-19 Emergency Campaign launched in Cape Town to assist our communal institutions and help them cover the additional and ongoing costs forced upon them by COVID-19 pandemic.

We thank our patrons, friends, donors and loyal supporters for standing with us and sharing our vision for a stronger, more resilient community. Their support allowed us to answer the call to action when it came.

We would like to make special mention of and thank our generous annual sponsor Investec, who have supported us since inception 12 years ago.

For more information on the Friends of the UJC Cape Town contact Robyn Slot on or call +27 21 464 6700

Published in the print edition of the February 2021 issue. Download the February 2021 issue PDF here.

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