By Tzvi Brivik, Chairperson, Cape SAJBD
As we exited the High Holy Days, we immediately embarked on our various projects for the new year. As with all our projects, we endeavour to deliver in three principal ways: to educate, engage and empower.
During Sukkot, our Interfaith and Intercommunity subcommittee hosted representatives of our community and affiliated organisations, and of the Burundian, Congolese and Rwandan communities, as well as interfaith leaders and political figureheads, in the Gardens Shul sukkah. Invitees also included representatives of the younger generation. It was an opportunity to engage face-to-face with internal and external allies (with all COVID-19 regulation guidelines adhered to). As our mission statement includes the betterment of relations between Jews and all people of South Africa, we saw Sukkot as the perfect time to connect whilst sharing the concept of a shelter and the protection provided to the people of Israel by G-d on leaving Egypt.
Since my last column, and pursuant to some litigation, the date of the Local Government Election has been set for 1 November 2021.
278 municipalities around the country will be up for grabs, including wards in which we interact regularly. So, what are the issues in these wards? How will the results of this election affect our community? How do we register to vote? Join us for a Town Hall discussion with representatives of the various political parties as they offer their party’s views on issues relevant to us, such as antisemitism, relations with our community and social justice. We want to empower our community to make well-informed decisions and speak to the issues at hand. Follow us on Facebook (@Cape SAJBD) and Instagram (@capesajbd) to find out more about this event! Special thanks to our Associate Relations subcommittee and professional staff for the tremendous work that has gone into this.
Thirdly, we aim to educate our community. Our Generation Next subcommittee has finalised a Know Your Rights on Campus booklet which will be presented and distributed to school-leavers and Grade 10s and 11s. It gives young adults the tools to respond effectively to antisemitism, hate speech, defamation and discrimination. It provides an overview of the law, what relief is possible and who to report an incident to. We hope this booklet will equip Jewish students when joining universities all over the Western Cape to confidently know their rights, and it can be easily referred to should they ever need the support of the campus or Cape SAJBD.
We also remember the loss of two former Council members, Jack Tworetsky and Paul Sulcas, both of whom sat around the table and made a huge contribution to our organisation and our community.
Finally, we are pleased to remind everyone of our annual conference. Other than the ordinary feedback reports to our members and affiliates, our speakers will address vexing, recent events in our country such as the Durban and Gauteng looting and COVID-19 – what has happened and how should our Jewish community navigate these and other events? I look forward to virtually greeting you all then!
• Published in the PDF edition of the October 2021 issue – Click here to get it.
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