What We Do
The SAJBD’s mission is to work for the betterment of human relations between Jews and all other peoples of South Africa, based on mutual respect, understanding and goodwill, and to protect the civil liberties of South African Jews. It is committed to a South Africa where everyone will enjoy freedom from the evils of prejudice, intolerance and discrimination.
What does the SAJBD do?
- Combating Antisemitism – monitoring antisemitism and taking appropriate action.
- Monitoring the Media – checking media reporting overage in South Africa and countering biased media coverage.
- Promoting Jewish Culture – enriching and maintaining Jewish life including the Yom Hashoah commemoration, publications, exhibitions and academic seminars.
- Participating in Outreach – co-ordinating social welfare projects on behalf of the wider society, particularly in times of national emergency. An excting new project called Jubuntu highlights Jewish involvement in the fields of education, skills development and job creation.
- Engaging on Policy – making input on issues of national importance, such as promoting and protecting freedom of information and the Civil Society Hate Crimes Working Group, and monitoring legislation affecting the Jewish community.
- Interacting with Universities - on issues including exams set on Shabbat and Jewish holidays, antisemitism, arranging speakers and providing bursaries to students in need.
- Strengthening Interfaith Dialogue – building bridges with other faith communities.
- Providing Information – acting as an information resource on Jewish life and history, locally and internationally.
- Enhancing Political Ties – networking with government at every level in order to maintain open lines of communication between government and SA Jewry
- Monitoring Holocaust Developments – keeping abreast of Holocaust-based claims and litigation and making this information available to Holocaust survivors and heirs.
The Board also provides for the needs of Jewish communities through our Country Communities Department in outlying areas and throughout Southern Africa through the African Jewish Congress. The Archives of the SA Jewish community are housed and maintained by the Board, and communications are pursued with other Jewish communities abroad.
The Board’swidely read publication, Jewish Affairs, contains articles of significant thought and opinion on Jewish contemporary issues. Internationally, the SAJBD is a member of the African Jewish Congress, World Jewish Congress, the European Jewish Congress and the Anti-Defamation League.