by Craig Nudelman
“Today we visited the Cape Town Holocaust & Genocide Centre and we were all in awe. This is an experience I would want my Ward to witness”. This is just one of the many comments made by ward councillors from across the City of Cape Town who visited the South African Jewish Museum and the Cape Town Holocaust and Genocide Centre on Wednesday 2 March, hosted by the Cape SAJBD.
For many of the councillors from across the political spectrum, including the DA, ANC, ACDP, and GOOD, this was the first time they had seen their colleagues in a physical space, having had their council meetings online since the Local Government Election in November last year. After a light lunch and an introduction by our Chairperson, Tzvi Brivik, the group was split into two and taken around the two world-class museums with their respective directors, Gavin Morris and Heather Blumenthal.
The tours offered a chance for the councillors to engage with the past and the present of the Jewish community’s rich history in South Africa, whilst also highlighting the consequences of silence and apathy by learning about the devastation and lack of humanity during the Holocaust. In a world where we encounter hate and discrimination daily, it was an important reminder to always encourage our communities to stand up against hatred and intolerance. This was all the more pertinent, taking place a day after the United Nation’s Zero Discrimination Day, which celebrates all people’s rights to live a full and productive life with dignity.
It also connects to our #WordsMatter campaign, where we put forward the idea that our Western Cape Jewish community take up the challenge of becoming practitioners of careful, thoughtful and deliberate positive communication. We believe that only through dialogue, are we able to traverse our differences and work together to overcome challenges facing the community.
This experience gave the councillors an opportunity to engage with one another on how to best serve their constituents in 2022. The Cape SAJBD looks forward to working further with the City to encourage more councillors and their constituencies to come to these powerful exhibitions.
Published in the PDF edition of the Pesach/April 2022 issue – Click here to get it.
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