The Israel of our youth epitomises the physical nature of the verb ‘to build’

By Karen Marsden Sank, Chair SAZF Cape Council

They physically cleared swamps to build fertile plots of land, they built buildings and cities and more recently they have built skills and resources in the technology space which has resulted in them becoming leaders in many of these arenas.

But the term ‘to build’ is still relevant today and here in South Africa it feels more relevant than ever when it comes to the building of relationships between Israel and ourselves and in and amongst ourselves.

Building relationships is about finding commonality. It’s about putting aside differences to build something that is for the common good of both parties. We witnessed this first-hand with the recent signing of the Abraham Accords last year. The differences between Israel and the UAE did not evaporate but their focus on what they had in common allowed for this landmark relationship to be built.

The role of the SAZFCC going forward will be to build — to continue to build relationships with other community organisations, to build relationships with all demographics of our community, to build relationships between various sectors of business and to build a relationship with Israel that is no longer based on their economy as it was during the time of our youth, but with Israel as the strong and successful nation it has become today, and to use that as a foundation to forge strong bonds between our two countries.

Since our new leadership stepped in late last year we have been meeting with each affiliate of the SAZFCC; getting to know them, sharing our vision and establishing renewed working relationships for the benefit of all our organisations. We have had an extremely welcoming response and our affiliates, which are the core of the SAZFCC, are excited for the way forward. We have harnessed some of the finest leadership talent our community has to offer and for this we are not only proud, but also grateful — grateful to those who have volunteered their time and skills to help us build a SAZF that can take us into what is fast becoming a new world of shared ideas and resources all based on our common love of Israel.

With Pesach upon us and Israel at the forefront of the world vaccination programme, we are truly a light unto the nations, helping to forge the way towards the freedom that we have all lost over the past year.

Chag Sameach. Wishing you and your families a joyous Pesach.

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• Published in the print edition of the March/April Pesach 2021 issue. Download the March/April 2021 issue PDF here.

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