At the time of writing, the third Sinai Indaba has just taken place in Johannesburg and Cape Town and will shortly be held in Port Elizabeth and Durban. From all accounts, it has once again been a resounding success, attracting a capacity attendance from across the spectrum of our community. As always, the speakers were of the highest calibre, amongst them being Chief Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks, Rabbi Paysach Krohn, Rabbi Yossi Chazan, Ambassador Yehuda Avner and Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis. In order to maximise the reach of this special event, the organisers will ensure that podcasts of the various presentation will be made freely accessible. [read more]
At the time of writing, our thoughts cannot but be dominated by an awareness of Nelson Mandela’s serious state of health. It can safely be asserted that South Africans across the board will be feeling the same sense of concern over the situation. It is a testimony to Mandela’s generosity of spirit and full-hearted outreach to all the peoples of this country that each and every one of us, regardless of race, creed or ethnicity, genuinely feels that he belongs to them. He was able to transcend all these differences to become a leader loved, trusted and revered by all.
Underpinning the democratic, human-rights focused society that people like Nelson Mandela devoted their lives to achieving is the Constitution, with its Bill of Rights. A range of laws and institutions have been established to uphold its fundamental principles, amongst them the SA Human Rights Commission (SAHRC). The latter has become a crucial vehicle not only for people’s grievances to be addressed, but just as importantly for parties engaged in a dispute with one another to come together and resolve their differences without recourse to litigation. [read more]
A mediation meeting between Deputy Minister of International Relations Marius Fransman and the SA Jewish Board of Deputies (SAJBD) failed to take place when the Deputy Minister informed the SA Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) that he would not be attending after all. The meeting, the date of which had been mutually agreed upon a month before, was scheduled to take place under the auspices of the SAHRC on Friday, but when the SAJBD representatives arrived, they were informed not only that Fransman would not be attending but that he had no interest in participating in any future mediation process. [read more]
The recent past has been a busy one for Board lay leaders and professional staff in terms of participating in international Jewish events. Currently, National President Zev Krengel and senior professional staff from Johannesburg and Cape Town are in Washington DC for the American Jewish Committee Global Forum. Thereafter, Cape Executive Director David Jacobson will be attending the Foundation for Ethnic Understanding’s 3rd Delegation of Muslim and Jewish Leaders from Australia, South Africa, and New Zealand. Last week a member of our national professional staff, Steve Gruzd, represented us at the Global Forum for Combating Antisemitism in Israel. During his stay, he also met with the incoming Israeli Ambassador to South Africa Arthur Lenk and with the World Jewish Congress. [read more]