Workers’ Day, Women’s Day and Election Day!

By Tzvi Brivik, Chairperson, Cape SAJBD

On 1 May, we celebrate Workers’ Day, and commemorate the role of trade unions and labour organisations in the fight for equal rights and social justice in the employment sector in South Africa.

More so than in most countries, this day commemorates the right of employees to regulated working hours and a minimum wage. Ultimately, as it was South Africa’s working class who were most oppressed during Apartheid, the struggle for better working conditions was a struggle to overthrow systemic segregation. It was a victory of democracy and human rights in our country.

However, we believe that not until all are free, are we truly free. The Board has a long-standing relationships with refugee communities, working closely with members of the Burundian, Rwandian and Congolese communities. We have also allied efforts with our National body to collect funds for Ukrainian refugees during the current crisis, which has seen a significant amount of money raised and sent to various relief organisations. It is important that we stay connected with organisations and communities abroad and assist where we can.

A mere week later, we celebrate mother-figures everywhere and the great influence they have had on each of our daily lives. Yet, we still have a long way to go towards true gender equality, with the go-to —particularly here in South Africa — of the parenting domestic arrangement and care still falling on the mother-figure of the family. South African and Jewish history has been steered by the matriarchs in our families and in our community, and no opportunity to celebrate them should be missed. To this end, we note the Board’s newest tribute to the incredible influence of mothers in the form of the book, edited and published by the National Board, called Mensches in the Trenches which highlights leading figures in the path to democracy. In addition to these day-to-day obligations and responsibilities which women assumed, they also took on a number of leadership roles in various organisations — a tradition we are proud to say still continues. When we look across the various committees which manage our 67 affiliated organisations, we are proud to say there is significant representation of both women and mothers.

Becoming a member of a communal organisation allows each individual the opportunity to guide the communal structure, revolutionise its activities and participate not only directly in our own community but also in the greater South African community, for the greater good. This year is an election year for the Board, where you get the chance to decide who represents you at our committee table. We have already started our voter education in the past edition of the Chronicle and will continue to do so on our social media channels and website. We want as many members of our community as possible to vote and engage in this democratic and independent election process, overseen by a panel of esteemed members of our community. Make sure to follow us on Facebook and Instagram (@capesajbd), to keep up to date on the latest election news.

Our Board is made up of people who are accomplished in their own right, yet as the saying goes — if you want something done, give it to a busy person! Each of our members makes an important contribution to our Board table, bringing their skills and experience to the foreground, to drive strategy and activities. So, what will your contribution be to the Board and your community and what can you bring to the table? Nominations open on the 1st of May, get involved!

Cape SA Jewish Board of Deputies website:, Instagram, and Facebook page.

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

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