The South African Jewish Board of Deputies is appalled by the Anti-Muslim graffiti that was painted on residential houses in Eersterust yesterday (including, “F**K Muslims”).  The South African Jewish Board of Deputies (SAJBD) has been consistent and tireless in its work to advocate for education around the dangers of hate speech and hate crimes, and calls for legislation to combat such instances of discrimination.

The recent decision by the Minister of Home Affairs to disallow homophobic and Holocaust-denier Pastor Steven Anderson from visiting South Africa is indicative of Government’s recognition of the dangers inherent in hateful language directed against any community in our country.  Slogans, such as those painted in Eesterust, have no place in South Africa and should be condemned in the strongest terms.

The SAJBD calls on Government to publish the draft Hate Crimes Bill for public comment as soon as possible, to ensure that prejudice based on religion, gender, ethnicity, race or sexual orientation, is taken.





The Hate Crimes Working Group applauds Minister Gigaba’s decision today to prohibit Steven Anderson and his associates from visiting South Africa.

This bold move is a clear stand against hate and prejudice, and strengthens South Africa’s commitment to building a just and humane society where dignity, respect and equality are afforded to all. 

The views of a visitor like Anderson, whose abhorrent rants have denigrated women and Africans and are homophobic and anti-Semitic in nature, would only serve to damage social cohesion, create division and promote ignorance in South Africa.

We wish to thank the Department of Home Affairs, and the South African government, for taking the concerns of civil society, the LGBTI and other communities into consideration in this matter.

We sincerely hope that this decision is a positive step towards greater progress on the issues of hate crimes awareness, education and legislation in South Africa. The HCWG looks forward to engaging with government further in combating hate in our country, in particular in the promulgation of a Hate Crimes Bill.

Issued by Alana Baranov (South African Jewish Board of Deputies).


The SA Jewish Board of Deputies notes that the Hawks have arrested four terror suspects on charges of contravening the Protection of Constitutional Democracy Against Terrorism Act.  We further note that that included in the alleged targets were Jewish installations.  Terrorism is a global challenge that affects many countries, including our own.  We appreciate efforts by our authorities to monitor and prevent incidents of terrorism, and we will be monitoring the current situation.


At a meeting of the Board of Trustees of the Memorial Foundation for Jewish Culture held in Mexico on June 27th, South African Marlene Bethlehem communal stalwart, spanning over fifty years of service, was unanimously elected as President of this prestigious organization.

The outgoing President Professor ISMAR SCHORSCH  said the following: “Marlene’s international perspective, rich organizational experience, deep understanding of the Memorial Foundation, abundant wisdom and grace will be of inestimable benefit to the foundation.”       

Marlene has been associated with the foundation for many years and has been instrumental in fostering close and mutually beneficial relationships with the South African Jewish Board of Deputies, which she represented.    

In thanking the organization Marlene started by quoting from a significant South African proverb saying ” Ubuntu, ungumuntu,ungabanya abantu” which means people are only people through other people. In the context of the Memorial Foundation I am only accepting this enormous honour because of the wonderful people of this foundation,  who I have been proud to work with over very many years.  With deep regard to the learned Rabbis present I now  quoted from Perkei Avod chapter 4.1 ”  Ben Zoma asks Who is honored? He (or she) who honors others, as it is said: “For those who honor me I will honor.” “It is therefore my great privilege to honor the Past President, board of trustees and the professional staff of the Memorial Foundation and to thank them for the enormous trust placed in me. I hope  that I will be able to carry on the outstanding commitment of the dedicated leaders who have served the Foundation with great distinction in the past.

The salient feature of the Memorial Foundation that excites me is the new emphasis in our work which is the development of the social capital of the Jewish people, its communal, cultural and professional leadership. We need competent and committed young leaders to deal with the new sociological realities and challenges that our communities are facing. It is vital that we make sure that there is continuity of purpose around the world to maintain the lofty ideals that we nurtured for fifty one years. Having had the privilege of being present to meet the fellows at this year’s program I am confident that our future is in good hands”.



Cape Council of the SA Jewish Board of Deputies held a colloquium to discuss whether women solo singers should sing at Yom Hashoah ceremony

21 June 2016

Yesterday evening (20 June), the Cape Council of the SA Jewish Board of Deputies held a colloquium to discuss whether women solo singers should be included on the programme of Yom Hashoah, the annual Holocaust commemoration ceremony in remembrance of the Six Million Jews who died at the hands of the Nazi regime. Certain individuals […]

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Wendy Kahn writes for The Times.

17 June 2016

Wendy Kahn writes for The Times: “Tide Of Time Washes Up Healing For All.”             View the full article here. 

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The South African Jewish Board of Deputies has made a submission for this year’s Constitutional Review

10 June 2016

The South African Jewish Board of Deputies (SAJBD) has made a submission for this year’s Constitutional Review, focusing on issues of ‘hate speech’ and how the SA Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) could be made more effective in addressing them. The SAJBD is of the view that racist hate speech is of itself damaging, and this […]

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Terror Attacks in Tel Aviv Condemned

9 June 2016

The South African Zionist Federation (SAZF) and South African Jewish Board of Deputies (SAJBD) condemn the brutal terrorist attack in Tel Aviv last night Wednesday the 8th of June 2016.  The attack by armed men took place at a popular shopping area nearby a children’s playground. This act of violence resulted in the deaths of […]

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SAJBD Expresses Condolences on the Passing of Jules Browde

31 May 2016

Early this morning, the South African Jewish community lost one of its most loved and respected members with the passing, at the age of 98, of Advocate Jules Browde, an eminent member of the Johannesburg Bar and a long-serving human rights activist and Jewish communal leader. In the course of a career stretching over more […]

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“Holocaust Day about inclusivity, not bickering”

23 May 2016

Mary Kluk writes for the Sunday Independant: Holocaust Day about inclusivity, not bickering Read the full article here.  

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