Mensch: Meet the members

Introducing three of our Mensch Members, Southern Africa’s largest network of Jewish social change-makers. Network members are Jewish people who are committed to working with beneficiaries across broader South Africa to help bring social justice to all.

Being a member of Mensch opens doors to productive networking opportunities; subsidised leadership and skills training; education, awareness and advocacy support, project collaboration; donor visibility; and community volunteering. Through these services Mensch supports the transformational work of our community members who contribute daily to provide opportunity to those in South Africa who have less. 

Abigail Smith is the new Executive Director of Lifeline Western Cape. Lifeline’s vision for over
50 years has been to offer all a safe space of caring counselling excellence. 

Abigail began her career in international development and public health in Southern Africa 15 years ago. She is passionate about communities in need — helping them to achieve equality in access to public health and advocacy for their human rights. Her expertise spans areas of HIV treatment literacy, dementia, mental health and other noncommunicable diseases (NCDs).

Rachael Glaser is a freelance grant writer, qualitative evaluation researcher, and technical writer. 

Her consulting work has traversed the NGO and Government sectors. She is a qualified Speech Therapist and has an MA in International Social Development. Rachael has represented South Africa at the United Nations Commission of Science and Technology for Development. She has worked on projects for local NGOs including Ikamva Labantu and the Kolisi Foundation, and multilateral organisations such as the OECD and WHO.

Simone Honikman has a medical degree and an MPhil in Maternal and Child Health, and has worked in the fields of psychiatry, paediatrics, obstetrics and gynaecology, and HIV medicine. 

In 2002, she co-founded the Perinatal Mental Health Project (PMHP), to address widespread common mental health conditions among antenatal and postpartum women who live in communities where poverty, gender inequality, violence and social isolation are rampant. PMHP focuses on cost-effective, evidence-based prevention and management approaches to reduce psychological distress and promote emotional wellbeing and human development.

Are you a Jewish Social Change Maker working across broader South Africa? Are you looking to join a network of like-minded people? Email See our other Network Members HERE. | Mensch on Facebook | Mensch on Instagram

Published in the PDF edition of the May 2022 issue – Click here to read it.

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