And so the isolation continues!

Who would have thought that we would be celebrating a second Pesach isolated from our families and friends?

For as long as I can remember, right back to my childhood when the family got together to celebrate chags, with the cousins enjoying the together time and the adults sitting with our grandparents enjoying just being together — Pesach was the time of the year that resonated with family life and being together. Yet, once again, throughout the Jewish world this was not the case, and even though many did have small social gatherings, the majority of our seniors and others celebrated a very solitary Seder.

We really tried our best to ensure that every member could have the pleasure of a Seder, even if they were on their own; and thanks to Merle and Berkies and our incredible volunteers, we delivered over 200 families with both Shabbat and Pesach Seder meals. The planning and execution of such a service was really frenetic and unbelievably stressful, but our goal was achieved and everyone was happy once they received their order. Of course, added to the fact of lockdown, this year Pesach commenced directly after Shabbat (this happens every seven years), so we had to ensure that our Shabbat meals were suitably prepared in order to conform with Pesach requirements.

Special thanks to KOCOSA Cape Kosher Consumers — under the chairmanship of Rebbetzin Maizels — for their generous donation to the Shabbat meal and Yomtov project. Their donation enabled us to include taiglach treats in each parcel. Our thanks also, to the Herzlia Weizmann learners who took time to beautifully illustrate and thoughtfully pen Pesach cards which were also included in the parcels. We have had such positive feedback from both of these special gifts.

We have seen the need to assist a number of our community members with meals during the week, and each Wednesday we deliver a one-plate meal to people who have been identified by our social workers as a person who can benefit from the added meal. We have so many angels who have sponsored those meals — a real mitzvah for the recipients and special thanks to those who have come on board with this sponsorship. If you are celebrating a birthday, or would like to honour someone in your family or the community, please contact us to enquire as how to sponsor our Wednesday midweek meals.

Our Zoom presentations are increasing. There is the opportunity for our members to log on at least once daily to enjoy the programmes we are offering. Our Ageless Grace exercise classes are offered twice a week, and they really do help our members in loosening up and getting the heartbeat going. Our weekly Yiddish classes, beginners class with Sybil and intermediate with Rochelle and Veronica, are enjoyed every Friday morning at 10am. Thursdays offer weekly guest speakers on a variety of interesting and stimulating topics, and on the first Thursday of the month, there is a wonderful concert with Cantor Ivor Joffe and friends. Each Thursday afternoon we enjoy a concert series. Social worker Rebecca Yoko hosts a quiz and each social worker has the opportunity to have a session with their members. Our knitting group meets every Wednesday afternoon and whilst they knit for charity, they watch a movie series that is enjoyed by all. We join in with JW3 Abraham Presentations in the UK on Tuesdays and Fridays at lunchtime for their excellent Zoom programme, and we also forward to members any other programmes that might be of interest.

The social workers continue to interact with the members regularly. Home visits take place whenever necessary, and Zoom counselling sessions are also available if requested. Our members care for one another and are wonderful in giving the heads-up to the social workers if there is any concern felt regarding anyone at all.

At the end of March we bade farewell to both our Sea Point housekeeper Wadia Isaacs, and Sea Point driver, Malcolm Stuppel. Both loyal members of the CJSA team have retired after being so loved and so much part of everything that we do for our members. They will be sorely missed, but know that we all wish them well as they retire, and thank them for their years of service to our seniors. As soon as we open our doors again, we will host a suitable event to acknowledge them for what they have done for us and meant to each one of us.

Hopefully, the third wave will not appear, and it won’t be long before we are all able to receive the very necessary vaccination so that each centre can can open its doors to welcome each member back to our homes. Please take care and remain safe!

Diana Sochen, Director

Note that CJSA Wine is available at a donation of R80 per bottle.
Please support this fundraising initiative.

Social and Personal
Even during the lockdown period, there have been numerous occasions of celebration.
Miriam Lichterman — great granddaughter
Wilfred Mirkin — great-granddaughter
Hymie and Shirley Waldman — great-granddaughter
Adele and Bernard Saven — granddaughter
Stuart and Lindy Diamond — daughter
June Benjamin — grandson
Special Birthday
Selwyn Schiff — 80th
We welcome new members
Eliav Bigelman, Neill Selipsky, Gail Shorkend and Debbie Sher
Wishing a speedy recovery
Mae Navias
Our sincere condolences to members and families of members who have recently passed away:-
Barbara Kahn — brother Rabbi Desmond Maizels
Diane Abel — husband Colin
Muriel Sendzil — sister Truda Goldman
Condolences to the family of Marion Blomson and Ida Surovsky.

CJSA is providing weekly Shabbat meals and special mid-week meals to members of our community. There are people who cannot afford to pay for these meals. We have a number of ways in which YOU can assist us in providing Shabbat meals or mid-week meals by either sponsoring the meal in lieu of a birthday or any special gift, or purchasing booklets of gift certificates. Choose one of these special gift cards and make someone very happy.

Cape Jewish Seniors Association
Director: Diana Sochen, 021 434 9691,
Admin: Amanda, 021 434 9691,
CJSA on Facebook

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

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