22 stories of resilience from the Mensch network

‘Mensch’ is about people. People supporting people. People creating positive social change and justice for people, our country and our planet.

Mensch is about collaborating for good together to create greater impact. In short, it’s about seeing people. It’s about creating and leveraging opportunity.

In Yiddish, mensch means ‘a good person’. As we know, some of these qualities include decency, wisdom, kindness, honesty, trustworthiness, respect, benevolence, compassion, and integrity. At Mensch, we are privileged that so many people who embody these values have chosen to join our network. They are committed to tikkun olam in their capacity as Jewish South Africans.

Mensch Network Members are trailblazers, advocates, innovators, doers, people that persevere, people with resilience, people who care. It’s not easy work. Developing the right solutions to address urgent, immediate needs, and working towards long-term positive progress requires dedicated, innovative and adaptable minds. Especially when operating within our complex South African context. As with all enterprises — resources, funding, income, inputs, outputs, and outcomes are a constant juggle. But what makes these individuals even more remarkable and worthy of our attention and support, is that their work is done to help and improve the world that we ALL live in. It is done for ALL of us.

It is said that society moves forward when change-makers embrace mindsets that focus on possibilities rather than fears. This is certainly true of those in the Mensch network. To illustrate this and promote a ‘possibility mindset’ in the Jewish community, Mensch in partnership with the Cape Jewish Chronicle launched The Mensch Thoughtleaders Column. The column aims to give deeper insight into what motivates our network members; what drives them from intention to action. We asked them to share what they are thinking, what they have learned, what they have gained, and what on a personal level directed them to this work.

In this month’s issue, we offer you a beautiful and honest compilation of these 22 articles written over 22 months by 22 truly remarkable people. Themes and topics span from incarceration justice to early childhood development; from gender rights to language usage; from housing to climate justice; from volunteerism to the food economy; from working with migrant women to the power of listening… and it goes on.

Click on the links below and be inspired!

Ilana Meltzer
Shani Kaye
Mani Kuti-Alexander
Romi Kaplan
Olivia Krok
David Kossew
Melissa Zackon & Laurie Shone
Kerry Hoffman
Danny Diliberto
Bryan Opert
Glenn Stein
Galit Cohen
Ari Poyurs
Dalia Katz
Anna Shevel
Dr Lauren Lee & Dr Anthony Smith
Howard Richman
Michalya Schonwald Moss
Dr Baz Dreisinger
Shana Kagan
Leah Mundell

Menschwww.mensch.org.za | Mensch on Facebook | Mensch on Instagram

• Published in the PDF edition of the November 2021 issue – Click here to get it.

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