Events

Gauteng Premier, David Makhura, and Dr Zweli Mkhize, ANC Treasurer General, will be amongst those participating in the SA Jewish Board of Deputies Gauteng Council, to be held this Sunday, 14 September, at Investec from 14h30 – 15h15.

The focus of the conference will be to celebrate the 20th anniversary of South Africa’s democracy, reflect on the journey thus far and also engage in a topical discussion about pertinent issues in the development of South Africa and its citizenry. A panel discussion on ‘Journeys to Freedom’ will form part of the conference. Panellists are Dr Mkhize, Colin Coleman and Prof Michael Katz. Mr Coleman, who is head of the SA office of Goldman Sachs International and nominee for the World Economic Forum’s Global Leaders for Tomorrow award, will explore the economic transformation of our country. Prof Katz, a past president of SAJBD, Chairman of ENSafrica and former chairman of the Tax Commission, will focus on changes in the Jewish community over the past 20 years. Dr Mkhize will share his contribution to the establishment of a democratic government, specifically within the health sector.

In addition to this, there will be a session on Gaza during which the Jewish leadership will report back on issues affecting the Jewish community during Gaza, including anti-Semitism and media bias.

The SAJBD, through its conferences and other internal projects, engages actively on issues with the Jewish community and the broader South African citizenry. While its primary audience and constituency is the Jewish community, it creates platforms of dialogue and is the interface between the minority group and the broader South African population.

During the Apartheid years, although constituting a small minority of the population, the Jewish community played a disproportionate role in the struggle for democracy.  The book Jewish Memories of Mandela, which chronicles some of the stories from those dark years, will be available at the conference.

NB:  RSVP Essential:  Jenni@sajbd.org. or 011 645 2521

 

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Hate Crimes should be considered as both a priority crime, and be understood and reported on differently from other forms of crime, said Dr Juan Nel, at a Hate Crimes Working Group Media breakfast on 22 October.

The aim of the breakfast was to strengthen the media’s understanding of hate crimes, and the sensitivity around reporting on it.  What made hate crimes different from other criminal acts, explained Dr Nel, of the Hate Crimes Working Group, was the motivation for the attack:  Hate Crimes were motivated by prejudice, and the perpetrators seek to demean and dehumanise the victim based on the fact that the victim doesn’t conform to the ideas of the “norm”.  These can include the victim’s race, ethnicity, culture, appearance, age, religion or sexual orientation.

The reason they should be a priority was not because of its prevalence, but because the severity of the attack extends to the family, group and society at large.  These attacks were anti-democracy and anti-open society.  The fear with which victims live prevents them from living life to the full.  He and his colleague, Yolanda Mitchell, provided details on the legal attempts to delete crime and hate speech, as well as then news tool that have been developed to capture details of both victim and perpetrator.  This will aid in understanding the phenomenon better.

Dr Nel noted that hate crimes are preceded by hate speech.   In her presentation, Wendy Kahn, the National Director of the SA Jewish Board of Deputies gave concrete examples of some of the hate speech made through social media, against the SA Jewish Community.  She joked that it should be referred to as “anti-social” media, due to the viciousness of the attacks that can be now made anonymously.  Lucinda van der Heever from Sonke Gender Justice gave a practical example of a hate crime that occurred against a young David Olyn, a young gay man in Cape Town among a coloured community.  Olyn was viciously raped and murdered.

The media were encouraged to ask questions of the various partners that were there.  The breakfast was hosted by Sonke Gender Justice and was funded by the Open Society for South Africa.

 

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Yesterday noon, the South African Jewish community held a protest outside the Seapoint Woolworths against the placing of a pig’s-head by COSAS, in what was assumed to be the kosher section of the shop.  Keeping to a limit of 50 people as required for the permit to hold the demonstration, the Jewish community stood shoulder to shoulder, wearing t-shirts with the words by Nelson Mandela “South Africa belongs to all who live in it” emblazoned on them.  Waving South African flags, they held placards that read, inter alia: “Free Speech Not Hate Speech”, “Proudly South African, Proudly Jewish”, and “Say no to Antisemitism”.

Wendy Kahn, National Director read a strong message to the crowd and the media, saying that

“We gather here as fellow South Africans to express outrage against all forms of hate.  What happened here exactly a week ago with a pig’s head being smuggled in a baby’s pram and placed in a fridge that was assumed to contain kosher meat shows a vicious and vulgar hatred that cannot be tolerated by South Africans in our country.  Every South African citizen that cherishes our democracy should be horrified by this incident.  In the words of Nelson Mandela, ‘SA belongs to all how live in it’.  Hatred against any minority group does not end there. It needs to be stamped out now.”

The crowd chanted “No to Hate”, while cars passing by in the Main Street, hooted in approval.  The SAJBD has lodged a complaint with the SA Human Rights Commission against the perpetrators.

Links to some of the Media Coverage of the event

http://www.iol.co.za/capetimes/call-for-action-over-pig-s-head-insult-1.1773230

http://ewn.co.za/2014/10/30/Jewish-community-protest-anti-semitism-outside-Woolworths

http://m.news24.com/news24/Live/SouthAfrica/News/Jewish-community-fights-back-after-pig-incident-20141030 

http://dispatch.newspaperdirect.com/epaper/showarticle.aspx?&article=8785f735-a458-48cd-bd7d-0bc2729c654a&viewmode=2&page=5 

 

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National Director, Wendy Kahn, Attends the World Jewish Congress’s National Community Directors Forum

20 November 2014

Earlier this week I attended the World Jewish Congress’s National Community Directors Forum.  My counterparts from 45 countries met in Prague to share our experiences and work together to find solutions to the challenges we all face. I joined executive directors from countries such as Spain, Turkey, Georgia, Costa Rica, Germany, Ukraine, Ireland, Hungary, the […]

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YOM HASHOAH 2014

2 May 2014

Earlier this week, the annual Yom Hashoah ceremonies took place under the auspices of the SAJBD in all the main Jewish population centres. The ceremonies in Johannesburg, Pretoria and Port Elizabeth took place on Sunday and in Cape Town and Durban the following day. The keynote speaker in Johannesburg and Durban was Eva Schloss, a […]

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Jewish community leadership meets with DA and ACDP

2 May 2014

With the country’s 5th elections since the democratic transition less than a fortnight away, the Gauteng Jewish leadership had the opportunity last week of hearing from two of the parties likely to between them attract the bulk of the Jewish vote. On Thursday evening Jack Bloom, leader of the DA in the Gauteng Legislature, headed […]

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SUSHI, SPORT & SA : Jewish Youth meet Minister Filile Mbalula

12 March 2014

  With the elections now just two months away, the ANC has embarked on a “Suburbs Outreach” communications initiative aimed at making contact and engaging in dialogue with various minority constituencies around the country. On Monday evening, it was the turn of the Johannesburg Jewish community, with Minister of Sport and Recreation Fikile Mbalule addressing […]

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Interfaith Women’s Day of Prayer, 12 December 2013, Orlando Stadium

13 December 2013

Wendy Kahn & Jenni Fearnley, SAJBD attended this tribute at the Orlando Stadium in Soweto. The event was well attended by Women’s Church Groups and prayer messages were delivered by the Muslim, Jewish, Bahai, Hindu and SA Federation of Churches to the audience. VIP’s at the event included Ms Nomvula Mokonyane, Gauteng Premier / Ms […]

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SAJBD & SAZF LEADERS AT NELSON MANDELA MEMORIAL SERVICE, FNB STADIUM

11 December 2013

    Zev Krengel, Mary Kluk and Wendy Kahn from SAJBD accompanied by Avrom Krengel, Ben Swartz SAZF, at FNB stadium yesterday  

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JEWISH COMMUNITY MEMORIAL SERVICES FOR NELSON MANDELA

6 December 2013

Dear Community Members We are deeply saddened by the passing of our beloved Nelson Mandela and together with our fellow South Africans we mourn this loss. Please find below the statement that was released to the media earlier this morning: “The Jewish community of South Africa mourns the passing of Nelson Mandela, beloved father of […]

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South African Ambassador to Israel Lights a Candle of Hope for Disabilities in Israel

5 December 2013

  In honor of  International Disabilities Day – which this year coincides with Chanukah – South Africa’s Ambassador to Israel, Sisa Ngmonbane, lit a Chanukah candle of hope at Beit Issie Shapiro with Yoav, a child with intellectual disabilities, and had high praise for Israeli innovation at Beit Issie Shapiro, Israel’s leading disabilities organization.   […]

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70th Anniversary of the holocaust in Hungary. Holocaust commemeration event with SAJBD, JHGC & the Hungarian Embassy

11 November 2013

The SAJBD Gauteng Council hosted an evening with the Hungarian Embassy and JHB Holocaust & Genocide Centre to commemorate the beginning of the year commemorating the 70th anniversary of the Holocaust in Hungary. November is also the 75th anniversary of Kristallnacht. This featured an evening of traditional Hungarian food such as Hungarian Goulash and Cucumber & […]

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SAJBD National Director Presents at ADL Conference in Washington DC

9 May 2013
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