Jewish Affairs

Jewish Affairs, South Africa’s leading Jewish intellectual journal, features a wide variety of articles on Jewish religion, history and culture. It has been published under the auspices of the Board since 1941. To subscribe or take out a gift subscription, please contact Shirley Beagle +27116452583 or

Click on the link to view David Sacks’ opinion piece SAJDB pdf_01


Following an antisemitic incident concerning a group of American Jewish business and communal leaders at the AU Commission Summit in Equatorial Guinea, the SAJBD liaised with Malcolm Hoenlein for a full briefing on the occurrence.

The SAJBD issued a statement regarding the incident and wrote to the Chairperson of the AU Commission Dr Dlamini Zuma to protest the treatment of the Jewish group asking for a full investigation.  She responded on Friday that the issue was raised at the post Summit meeting, an investigation is under way and she will communicate the findings.

A letter was sent to President Zuma requesting clarification as to whether the SA delegation had been at all involved and at a DIRCO briefing last week, Clayson Monyela assured our Chairman Mary Kluk that he had personally spoken to each of the delegation and none of them had been involved in any way.


Jewish Affairs Pesach 2014 EDITION


Pesach 2014

This Pesach 2014 issue of Jewish Affairs is divided into two broad themes. The first looks at the legacy of Jewish Lithuania, providing perspectives by those who were born and grew up there, those descendants of Jewish Lithuanians who have returned to visit and from a renowned rabbi and historian on Lithuanian Jewry’s enduring spiritual-intellectual heritage. Veronica Belling, Natalie Ginsberg and Joseph Rabie are all descendants of Lithuanian Jews who settled in South Africa. In their accounts of visiting the land of their forebears, they bring their particular family experiences and academic training to bear in describing their thoughts and feelings on confronting the echoes of a culture that was all but obliterated seventy years ago. The Lithuanian boyhood of Solly Per features in a memoir written up by his daughter-in-law, Linda Per, and the editor tells the harrowing yet also inspiring story of Lithuanian Jews who escaped the Nazi killing machine through being sent to a Soviet slave labour camp just days before the German invasion. The opening article by Rabbi Berel Wein is taken from the recent book The Legacy: Teaching of the Great Lithuanian Rabbis, co-authored with South African Chief Rabbi Warren Goldstein. This stresses the importance of ethical, moral conduct and fitting inter-personal conduct in Jewish philosophy, one of the areas in which Lithuanian Jewry did much to enrich the Jewish world.

Part two of this issue deals more broadly with the themes of identity and culture. Gwynne Schrire’s witty and erudite take on Jewish eating habits through the ages provides, as it were, much food for thought on the question of how much diet and Jewish identity are intertwined. Bev May, a new contributor, exams with much sensitivity the complex area of gender in Jewish tradition. The extent to which the British connection has influenced Jewish modes of worship in South Africa is addressed by David Sher, and SAJBD archivist and frequent contributor Naomi Musiker looks back on an invaluable oral history project conducted by the Jewish Historical and Sociological Society in the middle of the last century. Finally, veteran Israeli scholar Dr Aryeh Newman puts the case for a more open and flexible approach to current Halachic challenges.

Book reviews include Ralph Zulman on Robe Rose’s take on a local Jewish Ponzi scammer and two new studies focusing on the theme of immigration from Eastern Europe. Hazel Frankel’s original Yiddish poem poignantly relates to the opening theme of this Jewish Affairs issue.

On behalf of the Editorial Board of Jewish Affairs, I wish you all a Chag Pesach Kasher v’Sameach.

David Saks


Jewish Affairs – Chanukah 2013JA CHAN 2013



29 November 2013

JA Chan2010

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4 November 2013


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Jewish Affairs: Rosh Hashanah 2013

2 September 2013

Download Volume 68, Number 2, Rosh Hashanah 2013  Why Jewish Affairs serves such an important purpose is that it is the only vehicle that allows for a properly detailed, extended exploration of subjects of interest to South African Jewry, unlike other publications where space constraints seldom allow for topics to be dealt with in more […]

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Jewish Affairs: Pesach 2013

3 April 2013

Volume 68,  Number 1,  Pesach 2013 Highlights of this issue include a focus on the artist Samuel Bak by Ute Ben Yosef, including numerous examples of his internationally acclaimed work.  In the field of South African Yiddish literature, Hazel Frankel and Cedric Ginsberg respectively write on the renowned poet David Fram and the short story writer Nehemiah […]

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Jewish Affairs: Chanukah 2012

29 November 2012

Volume 67, Number 3, Chanukah 2012 Jewish Affairs in large part serves to showcase the achievements of members of our South African Jewish community. We have seen of late a strong focus on South African Jewish artists, including Sidney Goldblatt, Herman Wald, Naomi Jacobson, David Goldblatt and Moses Kottler. In this issue, we feature the work […]

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Rosh Hashana 2012

21 September 2012

Volume 67, No. 2.  Rosh Hashana [.PDF] This year is the 71st year of publication for our prestigious journal, today South African Jewry’s premier forum for historical research, debate and cultural expression.  

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