By Tzvi Brivik, Chairperson, Cape SAJBD
We are on the cusp of a new year. What better time to assess how far we have come and what work remains for us to do?
At our annual conference, we reported on the work which the Board has done during the course of the last 12 months. And what a busy period it has been. I would like to recognise and thank the full Board, which is representative of Cape Jewry, for all that it has done.
An immense amount of work goes into organising the many webinars, in-person events and educational material which is produced. A huge amount of work is also placed into liaising with our affiliates, listening to their needs and lending a hand wherever possible. This usually means attending meetings with outside parties, explaining who we are, whom we represent and why our issues are significant and should be heard. In addition, much of the work that is done is actioned through our competent and able professional staff — from daily management of our social media to in-depth articles written about our country communities, as well as critical analysis of day-to-day events. The professional staff are able to do it all.
We are not alone in protecting the rights of the Jewish community. Recently the National SAJBD held its own national conference at which elections for office were held. We would like to congratulate Shaun Zagnoev, the outgoing chairperson who has been appointed National President, and Professor Karen Milner, who formerly chaired the Gauteng Provincial Region, on her appointment as National Chairperson. During these elections Rael Kaimowitz, Marc Pozniac and Susan Abro were appointed national Vice-Chairpersons. Mary Kluk and Zev Krengel were both appointed National Vice-Presidents. We wish them success on their new term.
Some of the issues which we have been monitoring and on which we have made submissions include commenting on the Prevention and Combatting of Hate Crimes and Hate Speech Bill, with oral representations made by our national representatives. In addition, we have addressed the Judicial Services Commission on the manner in which the two Jewish candidates had been interviewed and treated. Despite this being the second round of interviews to ensure the process is correctly held, irrelevant questions relating to the Palestine-Israel conflict were asked.
One of our key focus areas, alongside most communal organisations, is how to reach Jews in our community to become involved in communal structures. There are so many in our community who possess skills that could benefit our organisations — such as with outreach work, management of organisations and communications. Communal work is not only an opportunity to give back, but is also rewarding and provides an opportunity to meet and learn from senior leadership from different professional backgrounds and walks of life. It is an opportunity for personal growth, whilst also benefitting our communal structures and helping them grow. As the Board, we will be rolling out some action campaigns aimed at inviting participation in communal structures. We look forward to your support.
• Published in the PDF edition of the November 2021 issue – Click here to get it.
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