Press Releases

The verdict against ten students guilty of misconduct during a concert at Wits University represents a resounding reaffirmation by Wits of the values of academic freedom, diversity and tolerance. In March last year, a group of demonstrators lead by members of the then Student Representative Council invaded the venue where Israeli-born pianist Yossi Reshev was giving a recital and prevented the event from continuing. This behavior was immediately condemned by the University leadership and steps were duly implemented to investigate the incident and call to book those responsible. In addition to taking appropriate action against those who perpetrated the disruption of the Reshef recital, the University also hosted a follow-up concert by a group of internationally renowned Israeli jazz musicians headed by Daniel Zamir. This resoundingly successful event took place on 28 August in the Wits Great Hall, which was packed to capacity for the occasion. All necessary measures were taken by the University to ensure that the concert went ahead without incident, thereby affirming the University’s commitment to creating safe spaces for all on the campus. The SA Jewish Board of Deputies (SAJBD) applauds Wits University for taking a firm and unambiguous stand against those who abuse their right to protest by flouting the principles of academic freedom and unlawfully seeking to silence alternative viewpoints. The outcome of the above hearings sends out a clear message that Wits remains committed to providing a free, open environment in which the values freedom of expression and association are strenuously upheld and where any behavior aimed at preventing others from exercising those rights is not tolerated. The SAJBD is hopeful that the satisfactory outcome to the Reshef affair will usher in a new era of mutual respect, trust and openness on Wits campus, one that provides safe spaces for the expression of diverse opinions and where people of differing viewpoints can learn from rather than try to silence one another.” Issued by Wendy Kahn, National Director, SA Jewish Board of Deputies 0824443675

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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 our nation. We join with all the peoples of the world in paying tribute to the life of a true giant of humanity, and in extending our sincerest condolences to the Mandela family.

A man of unflinching courage and unswerving principle, of boundless compassion and the profoundest humility, Nelson Mandela epitomised the miracle of South Africa’s democratic transformation. Many heroic men and women played their part in bringing about the triumph of justice and democracy in South Africa, but the name of Nelson Mandela towers above them all. May his noble example inspire the people of South Africa to strive to follow in his footsteps and may his memory be a blessing for all humanity.  Synagogue services will be held around the country.”

We would like to advise the community that Memorial Services for Nelson Mandela with Chief Rabbi Goldstein will be held at the following times:

nelson-mandela

Johannesburg

Oxford Shul

20 North Avenue

Riveira

Johannesburg

Sunday night, 8 December

18:00 p.m.

 

Cape Town

Cape Town Hebrew Congregation

88 Hatfield Street

Gardens, Cape Town

Monday night, 9 December

18:00 p.m.

 

Durban

Durban United Hebrew Congregation/Great Synagogue

75 Silverton Road

Durban

Sunday night, 8 December

18:00 p.m.

 

Pretoria

Pretoria Hebrew Congregation

246 Schroder Street

Groenkloof

Monday night, 9 December

18:00 p.m.

 

Port Elizabeth

Port Elizabeth Hebrew Congregation

Abraham Levy Centre

Barris Walk

Glendenningvale

Sunday, 8 December

18:00 p.m.

 

East London

East London Hebrew Congregation

32 Lukin Road

Selborne

Sunday, 8 December

18:00 p.m.

 

Bloemfontein

United Hebrew Institutions of Bloemfontein

1 Dickie Clark Street

Waverley

Bloemfontein

Sunday, 8 December

18:00 p.m.

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The Jewish community of South Africa mourns the passing of Nelson Mandela, beloved father of our nation. We join with all the peoples of the world in paying tribute to the life of a true giant of humanity, and in extending our sincerest condolences to the Mandela family.

A man of unflinching courage and unswerving principle, of boundless compassion and the profoundest humility, Nelson Mandela epitomised the miracle of South Africa’s democratic transformation. Many heroic men and women played their part in bringing about the triumph of justice and democracy in South Africa, but the name of Nelson Mandela towers above them all. May his noble example inspire the people of South Africa to strive to follow in his footsteps and may his memory be a blessing for all humanity. 

Synagogue services will be held around the country. 

Issued by Wendy Kahn, National Director, SAJBD

Wendy Kahn - Mandela Day 2013

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photos courtesy of SAJBD archives :

ERIC SAMSON & MANDELA

Nelson Mandela Seapoint 2

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tyfoon

https://secure3.convio.net/jdc/site/Donation2;jsessionid=DA4F61B64A8C707B1488AB5476E946DE.app347a?df_id=2741&2741.donation=form1

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

relief

New York, NY, November 9, 2013 – In the aftermath of the destruction wrought by super Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines, The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) has begun collecting funds for relief efforts. Responding to a quickly rising death toll and catastrophic destruction, JDC staff experts are consulting with local authorities, the Filipino Jewish community, and global partners to assess the unfolding situation on the ground and ensure survivors’ immediate needs are addressed. The typhoon, one of the strongest storms in recorded history, caused widespread damage to the island nation, especially the hardest-hit central city of Tacloban, and is barreling its way towards Vietnam.

“Our heartfelt prayers go out to the Filipino people in the wake of yesterday’s deadly storm. We immediately activated our network of global partners and will leverage our previous experience in the region to provide immediate, strategic relief to survivors in their time of need,” said Alan H. Gill, JDC’s Chief Executive Officer. “These efforts are especially poignant for us given the Philippines’s life-saving actions during the Second World War when the country offered safe haven to more than 1,000 Jewish refugees fleeing the Nazi onslaught. It is our privilege today to honor that historic debt.”
As damage reports and casualty rates continue to grow, hundreds of thousands of Filipinos remain inaccessible, without power and shelter in the wake of Haiyan, called Typhoon Yolanda in the Philippines. JDC has a history operating in the Philippines, previously helping to fight post-typhoon cholera through an Israeli partner in 2009 and working to enhance emerging Jewish community life through the inclusion of the Filipino Jewish community members in pan-Asian Jewish events. During the buildup to World War II, JDC ensured the emigration of more than 1,000 European Jews escaping Nazi persecution to the island nation. The story of European Jews who took refuge was the subject of “Rescue in the Philippines,” a recently released documentary. It followed the remarkable story of how one family – the Frieders – together with the JDC helped bring hundreds of European Jews to Manila, saving them from near certain tdeath in the Holocaust.

JDC’s disaster relief programs are funded by special appeals of the Jewish Federations of North America and tens of thousands of individual donors to JDC. JDC coordinates its relief activities with the U.S. Department of State, USAID, Interaction, the Israeli Foreign Ministry, Israeli relief agencies, and the United Nations.

JDC has provided immediate relief and long-term assistance to victims of natural and manmade disasters around the globe, including Haiti, Japan, and South Asia after the Indian Ocean Tsunami, and continues to operate programs designed to rebuild infrastructure and community life in disaster-stricken regions.

ADDITIONAL PRESS RELEASES:

JDC’s response to the disaster in the Philippines following Typhoon Haiyan has already been covered by major international and Jewish news outlets including AP (which has appeared on ABC and NBC News), CNN, JTA, JNS, Arutz Sheva, and eJewishPhilanthropy. Of note was a CNN story on NGO’s involved in relief efforts. Additionally, JDC is the first organization on the heavily trafficked CNN Impact Center’s Typhoon Haiyan relief list which can be found at www.cnn.com/impact.<http://www.cnn.com/impact>. You can also get there from the CNN Home page in the “Help” link that is grouped with the headline story on the typhoon.

CURRENT IDP ACTIVITIES:

Contact has been made with the Jewish Community in the Philippines and we have offered JDC’s assistance, and requested their advise and counsel, and offered to partner with the community in responding to the disaster.  The majority of the community is situated in Manila with a a small Jewish community in Cebu, and a few in Boracay.  The community reported that there are probably a few Jews that were in the direct path of the Typhoon but they are not aware of them. Hopefully they will be in contact and if need be assistance will be provided.

We are at the stage where everything is still very fluid – we don’t know how much money will be collected and have available to allocate,  we are assessing the extent of the needs on the ground and are identifying US, Israeli and local partners. Within the next few days we will be sending a JDC assessment team comprised of emergency response professionals, well versed in disasters and in identifying potential partners.

Currently we are working on upcoming interventions with USAID, Catholic Relief Services, Afya, Heart to Heart, UNICEF, the Israeli Embassy in the Philippines, the Israel Defence Forces (IDF) – Field Hospital, MDA, Mashav, and other international partners of JDC from our previous disaster relief efforts.  There are several local organizations that we are vetting for disaster response capacity, some that have been working with JDC’s Center for International Migration and Integration (CIMI) so have a history of working with JDC.  We will work with multiple agencies depending on their capacity, access and track record with a priority for local agencies.

Our general rule is to provide one third of our funding (depending upon the amount of money we raise) to immediate relief – food, water, shelter, medical assistance and then our longer term focus is upon developing sustainable projects with vulnerable populations that have been impacted by the disaster.  Such programs can include infrastructure – the reconstruction of schools, hospitals, playgrounds that have been destroyed, and an additional set of programs that include training and capacity building through community development,  psychosocial/post trauma, education, where our focus is upon the most vulnerable populations, children, elderly, women and people with disabilities.  Wherever possible we prioritize working with local partners to build capacity and ensure sustainability.  Where appropriate we will use Israeli expertise and recognize the partnership, as well as utilize JDC’s in-house expertise.

We will continue to send situational updates.

Alan H. Gill
Chief Executive Officer
JDC
212-885-0804
www.jdc.org

Super Typhoon Haiyan, which ravaged the Philippines and is now pummeling Vietnam and China, has already caused catastrophic damage.

Millions of people are in need of urgent humanitarian assistance.

They need your help.

JDC’s emergency teams are already headed to the region and working with the Filipino Jewish community and our global NGO partners to get critical aid to the region as soon as possible.

As the world’s leading Jewish humanitarian assistance organization, we feel a particular responsibility to the people of the Philippines, who courageously saved so many lives during the Holocaust.

We are just starting to learn the true impact of this terrible disaster. But what’s certain is the faster we can get assistance on the ground, the greater impact we can have on people in dire need right now.

donate nov 2013

 

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letter to community re statements by Minister Nkoana Mashabane and MK Avigdor Lieberman

4 November 2013

STATEMENT FOR JEWISH COMMUNITY The SA Jewish Board of Deputies and SA Zionist Federation have issued a statement expressing surprise and outrage over recently reported comments by International Relations Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane’s regarding the South Africa-Israel relationship. According to media reports, Minister Mashabane stated on Friday that her government’s policy is not to engage with [...]

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PRESS RELEASE : 4 NOVEMBER 2013

4 November 2013

The South African Jewish community is surprised and disappointed by International Relations Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane’s comments regarding South Africa’s relationship with Israel. According to media reports, Minister Mashabane stated on Friday that her government’s policy is not to engage with Israel at the ministerial level until progress has been made in advancing the Israeli-Palestinian peace [...]

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Press Release: “Shoot the Jew” Chant Condemned by SAJBD

2 September 2013

What was supposed to have been a silent demonstration against a concert by an Israeli jazz quartet at Wits University last Wednesday [28 August] turned ugly when some of the protestors chanted dubula e juda – ‘Shoot the Jew’ – outside the venue. The protest was organised by BDS–South Africa, an organisation that campaigns for [...]

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Press Release: SAJBD Commends University for Upholding Freedom of Speech

29 August 2013

Last night [28 August], a capacity crowd enjoyed an enthralling recital by the Daniel Zamir Quartet, four world-renowned jazz musicians from Israel, at Wits University. The event, held in the Great Hall under the auspices of the Wits Music Department, was attended by over 1000 people from across the ethnic, racial and religious spectrum. It [...]

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Press Statement: Bogus “Racism” Charges Won’t Derail Wits Concert

28 August 2013

As a desperate last-ditch tactic to discredit a concert by an eminent Israeli jazz quartet that is taking place at Wits University on Wednesday, anti-Israel extremists have resorted to levelling scurrilous and thoroughly baseless smears against the Jewish communal leadership. Those making these accusations are the self-same activists whose members were responsible for the disgraceful [...]

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Statement of Support for Mandela Family and Presidency

25 June 2013

Nelson Mandela is more than a political leader: For the South African people, he is a wise, caring father, a kind and loyal friend and an enduring symbol of national unity and reconciliation. His very presence amongst us all has been a source of strength and hope. For the world at large, he remains a [...]

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