Friends of the UJC Cape Town year-end event

Marco Van Embden, Chairman- Friends of the UJC Cape Town, Andrea Dennis, Philip Krawitz, Wendy Fisher

On Thursday, 22nd December, for the first time in three years, guests gathered from around the globe for an in-person celebration at the Friends of the UJC Cape Town year-end Summer event. Overseas and Johannesburg-based Patrons and Friends attended this wonderful evening. 

The event, which has become a highlight of the festive season in Cape Town, was held at the Historic Old Shul in Gardens, indeed a spectacular venue with a rich cultural history. The Old Shul, built in 1863, is the oldest existing synagogue in South Africa and a beautiful Jewish heritage building that has been recently  lovingly restored.

Guests mingled with others from far and wide and enjoyed the character of this unique location where they were treated to an enjoyable musical performance by recent Herzlia Matric graduate, Mila Smith, a singer-songwriter with a voice beyond her years. Gourmet food of the highest calibre, catered by Stanley Norrie and Jacques Erasmus of Hemelhuijs, was enjoyed by all.

Henry Blumenthal, Executive Chairman of Investec Wealth, spoke on behalf of Investec, whereafter Wendy Fisher, President of the Board of Trustees of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, introduced Guest Speaker Sir Bradley Fried. Among Bradley’s many impressive achievements is his position as CEO of Investec Bank plc. Recently he was knighted by the Queen of England in the year of her Platinum Jubilee, in recognition of his public service. He has also held the Chair of the Court of Directors of the Bank of England, Chair of the Board of Directors at Preqin and has recently been appointed Chairman of Goldman Sachs International. It was a privilege to have him join this special year-end event and deliver a brilliant address.

Marco Van Embden, Chairman of the Friends and the David Susman Community Foundation (Community Foundation) addressed the guests and shared with them the successful 14 year journey. The main focus of the annual Friends event is to ensure support for the sustainable future of the Cape Town Jewish community and to celebrate Jewish Life in the Mother City. The proceeds of the Friends event support the Community Foundation. These funds have grown significantly since inception, with dedicated oversight by a Board of Trustees. A number of important bequests and legacies have added to the financial strength of the Foundation. The Foundation is crucial to the Cape Town Jewish community, as it serves as a protection mechanism against any future adversity which may befall it.

Friends of the UJC Cape Town thank our Patrons, Friends, Donors and loyal supporters, and believe that the Friends, as well as the Community Foundation, will continue to grow from strength to strength. 

A special mention and thank you to generous sponsor Investec, who have supported every event since inception 14 years ago. 

For more information on the Friends of the UJC Cape Town contact Robyn Slot on or call +27 21 464 6700.

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