The passing of a special human being

Reading the many tributes to the late Raymond Ackerman z’l that appeared almost immediately after his passing in early September, one is struck by the fondness with which he was remembered by people from all walks of life.  Whether a packer at one of the many Pick n Pay stores, a manager of one of the stores, a leading business figure, or even someone who knew of him and did not actually know him personally, it’s clear that Raymond was a giant among human beings. 

Noted for his humility and the deep respect he showed to all people, the examples he set for the rest of us are profound: from his approach to leadership in business, to the steadfast nature of his challenges to government in the pursuit of looking after the interests of the consumer, to the way he treated his fellow man. 

The way in which he grew the Pick n Pay brand has long been the focus of many an article, but for us it is Raymond Ackerman’s huge generosity as a philanthropist that we acknowledge.  Nearly every communal organisation within Cape Town’s Jewish community was a beneficiary of his largesse – the Cape Jewish Chronicle included – and this generosity continued over very long periods of time.  As outgoing Executive Director of the United Jewish Campaign, Barry Levitt, says: “Raymond supported the Campaign wholeheartedly for many, many years and the impact of his giving cannot be understated.”

Hazel Levin, Executive Director of Jewish Community Services Cape Town says:

“Raymond was a remarkable  philanthropist who was deeply committed to supporting the indigent and vulnerable members of Jewish Community Services Cape Town.  His unwavering dedication and integrity shone brightly, making him a beacon of hope for those in need.  He will be sorely missed by the JCS Chairman, Exco and staff, leaving behind a lasting legacy of generosity and unwavering commitment to JCS and all its recipients.”

The community’s deepest condolences go to his wife, Wendy; to his children, Gareth, Kathy, Suzanne and Jonathan; and to his grandchildren and great-grandchildren, as well as to the extended Pick n Pay family – in fact, to all who knew and loved him.

• Published in the October 2023 issue – Click here to start reading.

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