By Daniel Bloch, Executive Director, Cape SAJBD
Change can teach us to adapt and help us develop resilience, but only if we understand our own capacity for growth and learning.
Change can bring about many positive aspects in one’s life. It can improve our quality of life and break the everyday routine. It can heal emotional wounds, bring a sense of security, and it can make you a better person. Conversely, change can be scary. It takes you into the unknown, causing anxiety, panic and general uneasiness.
I have always embraced change in my life. In the past 15 years my wife and I have had three different homes (all positive changes in our life), our children left Herzlia Constantia when the school closed and that was certainly a life-changing experience; and I have changed jobs, finding the right role for me, and ultimately finding my niche with the Cape SAJBD.
After 17 months in my role as Executive Director, having worked with an incredible executive committee and chairperson, the Board’s AGM and Conference on 18 September saw a new council coming in, which also means the possibility of a new chairperson and a brand-new executive committee.
Now some people may worry. Will things change? How will I be affected? Different chairpersons have very different leadership styles. Will we continue seeing eye to eye on everything or will we argue more often than not? These are all extremely important concerns to have, however I am optimistic. I believe that regardless of who the new team will be, I will be able to connect with each person as we all have the same objectives — working for and working with our incredible community. I also have the confidence not only to lead but to guide whomever the new chairperson will be, and to work with that person and the new executive committee, to accomplish our goals.
Whilst working at the Board, I have noticed a change in myself in everything I do, from the way I engage with people, my style of writing statements and articles, the way I present during meetings and my general outlook on the community. At first things may have been new and possibly daunting, but as the months have rolled on, I have become more confident in everything I do and have embraced the change with open arms. The change in my life has been excellent, and despite several uneasy moments, I have managed to stay calm and centered.
My role within my shul (Marais Road) has also changed, as I have recently been appointed Vice President. There is far more responsibility on my shoulders and a far greater expectation to get more involved in shul affairs. I have taken the bull by the horns and accepted this challenge. Just as I have worked with an inspiring chairperson and executive committee at the Board of Deputies, the same can be said for our shul president and the management committee with whom I currently serve. Although I’m the youngest member of the committee, I am surrounded by people with vast experience and wisdom.
Change can be scary and it can be daunting — there is no doubt about it. However, if you believe in your own abilities and if you are fortunate enough, like I am, to be surrounded by incredibly passionate and knowledgeable people, then you can achieve anything you set your mind to. Change is not good, it’s fantastic, and I for one am looking forward to seeing what the winds of change will bring over the coming year.
• Published in the October 2022 Digital Edition – Click here to read it.
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