- SA Jewish Report

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- SA Jewish Report
A TRUE MENSCH HAS LEFT US
Abe Abrahamson, former chairman of the SA Jewish
Report, who was renowned for his leadership in the
Jewish community, business and politics, passed away
last Saturday / SEE PAGE 4 & 12
Subscribe FREE to Jewish Report’s weekly
e-mail edition. Go to www.sajewishreport.co.za
www.sajewishreport.co.za
Friday, 19 March 2010 / 4 Nisan 5770
Volume 14 Number 10
Diplomats scramble to defuse
major US-Israel tensions
PAGE 12-13
Journalist Paul
Martin set free by
Hamas / 8
El-Al impasse
with OR Tambo
still unresolved
/8
Jewish professor
defends antiZionist stance / 5
New chief exec
Sieff ‘blown
away’ by Chevra’s
work / 3
JPO concert
celebrates SAJapan ties / 14
BOOKS: ‘The
Book Lovers’
Appreciation
Society’ / 15
SA MUSICIANS
SHOUT LOUD
AGAINST CRIME
YOUTH / 22-23
SPORTS / 28
Kabelo Mabalane and Danny K have started a movement called
"Shout" to help the fight against crime. The initiative was founded as
a result of the senseless murder of SA Reggae star Lucky Dube. They
have assembled South Africa's most important musicians to come forward. A song they performed can be downloaded from their site.
Proceeds go towards the fight against crime.
LETTERS / 16
CROSSWORD & SUDOKU / 24
Stunning new
brides / 25
Radiothon aims
to feed Pesach
families / 9
COMMUNITY BUZZ / 7
WHAT’S ON / 24
2
SA JEWISH REPORT
19 - 26 March 2010
PARSHA OF THE WEEK
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BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Stan Kaplan (Chairman)
Issie Kirsh (Deputy Chairman), Marlene
Bethlehem, Russell Gaddin, Norman
Lowenthal, Bertie Lubner, Benjy Porter,
Herby Rosenberg, Howard
Sackstein, Jason Valkin.
Mr Justice Meyer Joffe
(Chair, editorial comm)
KASHRUT
The following symbols will appear on
advertisements and/or advertising features to indicate whether or not they are
kosher. Where no Kashrut mark appears
on an advert, the Jewish Report
assumes no responsibility for the
Kashrut status of that establishment or
advertiser:
NK Non-Kosher
Let’s live according to Torah view on children
WHEN I was growing up there
was a cliché: “Children should be
seen and not heard.” As a rule
children were not treated with
much respect. Thank G-d this is
certainly not the Torah view. In
fact it is just the opposite.
One observed the great respect
and patience the Lubavitcher
Rebbe greeted every age with,
beginning with children in their
mothers’ arms, how much more
so, once a child has developed
emotional feelings.
In former good days, when they
began
teaching
children
Chumash, they started with
Chumash Vayikra. At first glance
this seems difficult to understand.
Firstly it’s the third book, why not
commence
with
the
first,
Breishis? Secondly it’s more complicated and difficult than the others.
The traditional answer is that
children are innocent and pure
(tahor) and Chumash Vayikra discusses karbanot - sacrifices which are pure and which restore
spiritual purity (taharah) to a person. Therefore, it is fitting that
children should begin their education with the topic of purity
PARSHAT
VAYIKRA
Rabbi Alex
Carlebach of
Chabad of
Lyndhurst
Torah’s view is that in many
ways children are even more significant than adults, because they
are considered hevel shiain bahem
chait - breath without sin, (Talmud
Shabbos 119a). They can often
accomplish matters in Heaven that
adults cannot achieve.
The Midrash tells us in the period of Purim, when our nation was
threatened with annihilation,
Mordechai gathered the children
and it was their studying Torah
that accomplished G-d A-mighty to
repeal the decree.
Pesach certainly features children. As Torah says “Viheegadita
livincha - You should tell your children” - much of the seder centres
around the children.
I recall in one of the dangerous
times that Israel was facing, the
Yom Kippur War , the Lubavitcher
Rebbe encouraged us to make as
many children’s rallies as we can
and get as many children as possible together to recite words of
Torah.
He quoted the famous verse in
Chapter 8 of Tehillim - Psalms which says: “Meepee olelim viyonkim yeesadita oz - Out of the
mouths of babes and sucklings
you have established strength,
because of your tormentors to
silence foes and avenger” and He
encouraged us to gather children
together and by them recite
words of Torah. This ensures
Hashem’s protection where we
need it most.
You know, my friends, we are
told that anti-Semitism is at its
worst since the Second World War.
Just last week the US has been
fanning the conflict against Israel,
to the degree that the Israeli consul in the US says this is the lowest
point of Israel-US relationship in
35 years!
Let us remember that Israel’s
safety and that of Jews is not
dependent on the US, the UN or
the EU, but rather awakening
Hashem’s mercies upon His holy
people and His holy land.
Marc Lubner is honoured
by international YPO
MARC LUBNER, CEO of outreach
organisation MaAfrika Tikkun and
executive chairman of the Smile
Foundation, has been honoured by
the international Young Presidents’
Organisation (YPO) for his contribution toward making a difference
within the South African community.
MaAfrika Tikkun said in a media
release that YPO was a not-for-profit, global network of young chief
executives connected around the
shared mission of becoming
“Better Leaders Through Education and Idea Exchange”.
Lubner was one of five category
awardees of the Social Enterprise
Networks of YPO’s 2010 Corporate
Social Responsibility (CRS) Awards
that takes place once every three
years. Lubner took the award in the
category for philanthropy/nonprofit organisations for his work
with MaAfrika Tikkun and the
Smile Foundation.
MaAfrika Tikkun is a non-profit
NGO helping improve the lives of
South Africa’s children by employing a holistic approach to poverty
alleviation that begins in early
childhood and continues through
young adulthood.
Offering assistance for thou-
SHABBAT TIMES
March 19/4 Nissan
March 20/5 Nissan
Vayikra
Starts Ends
18:03 18:51
18:10 19:32
17:51 18:40
18:10 18:59
18:00 19:03
18:04 18:53
Johannesburg
Cape Town
Durban
Bloemfontein
Port Elizabeth
East London
Scripture and oral law teach us
that having the “tehorim - pure
ones” occupying themselves with
purity, reciting words of Torah,
helps us in Heaven immensely.
This can be done in every home.
When our children come home,
sit around the meal table, before
going to sleep, anytime they have
a few moments free, we should
encourage them to open a Sefer
and recite some holy words.
They will have the mitzvah of
Talmud Torah; they will be more
knowledgeable, with a better education. Above all, they will be saving our nation literally. Can anyone ask for more than this?
Even if only one household
takes this advice, may it bring us
Hashem’s promised brochos.
Shabbat Shalom.
AROUND
THE WORLD
NEWS IN BRIEF
SWASTIKA DISCOVERED AT
CALIFORNIA UNIVERSITY
DORM
sands of children in Gauteng and
the Western Cape, MaAfrika
Tikkun operates out of community
centres from which services such
as early childhood and youth development, primary healthcare, feeding and reaction and emergency
relief, are offered to the communities.
The Smile Foundation is a nonprofit organisation that addresses
the medical backlog in the public
healthcare system in dealing with
children who suffer from treatable
facial abnormalities such as cleft
lip and palate, burn victims,
Moebius syndrome (facial paralysis) and other conditions.
Another South African, Gareth
Ackerman, chairman of Pick n
Pay, a supporter of MaAfrika
Tikkun, won the CSR Award for
Leadership.
Lubner said he was grateful and
humbled to have been recognised
by his peers around the world.
K Kosher
Where no symbols appear, consult the
Beth Din Kosher Guide or contact the
advertiser.
Hatzolah has a new address
Advertisements and editorial copy from
outside sources do not neccessarily reflect
the views of the editors and staff.
HATZOLAH MEDICAL rescue
has moved its offices to
Glenhazel. The new address is
Glenstar House, cnr Queens
Square/Northfield
Avenue,
(between Shoshana’s Bakery
and Michelos Pizzeria).
The new tel number is
0860-100-101 and the new fax
number is 086-689-7233. The
emergency number is still 083222-1818.
LOS ANGELES - A swastika
was discovered carved into a
hallway bulletin board at a residence hall at the University of
California, Davis.
Last Sunday night's discovery comes on the heels of five
other swastikas that have been
found on the campus in recent
weeks, according to the university. The first was discovered carved on the door of a
Jewish student's dorm room in
late February; four more were
spray-painted around campus
earlier this month.
The swastika discovered by
a resident adviser late Sunday
night, was 127 millimetres
high by 76 millimetres wide.
Police believe the swastika
may have been carved into the
board earlier, but covered by
fliers, according to the university.
The police took crime scene
photos and fingerprints.
"This sort of reprehensible
behaviour is an affront to all of
us," said Fred Wood, vice chancellor for student affairs.
"We must be bold in addressing these and all other acts of
hate and prejudice," he added.
"We must make our community more inclusive and welcoming. Everyone has the right to
feel safe here." (JTA)
19 - 26 March 2010
SA JEWISH REPORT
New Chevrah head
has many plans
STAFF REPORTER
Wide variety of
Chevrah services
SEVERAL OF the Chevrah Kadisha’s divisions are involved in outreach programmes for the benefit of the wider community.
At the Selwyn Segal Centre, mentally
challenged young adults are bussed in
daily from the Nokuthula Daycare Centre
in Alexandra Township to spend each day
participating in the life enrichment and
therapy programmes offered to Selwyn
Segal residents. They also attend the
annual
recreational
camp
in
Magaliesburg.
The aged homes - both Sandringham
Gardens and Our Parents Home - are
involved in a school mentoring programme in terms of which residents
assist 150 primary schoolchildren with
homework and schoolwork. They do this
at the schools and also by bringing the
children to Our Parents Home once a
week.
Every year, senior childcare workers
and social workers at Arcadia run a training programme for 100 trainees who work
with previously disadvantaged children.
They are brought to the Arcadia premises
and coached on the National Association
of Childcare Workers course.
This training impacts on thousands of
children in Gauteng’s places of safety,
children’s homes, secure care facilities
and industrial schools. There is also an
arrangement in place to provide specific
training and consultation for staff at an
under-resourced children’s home in
Soweto.
Kadimah Occupational Centre, part of
the
Chevrah
Kadisha
Protected
Employment Services, which provides
sheltered employment, is both multiracial
and non-denominational.
Second Innings, a social and education
group for active, older people, runs a
schools project under which 50 members
reach over 800 primary schoolchildren
from previously disadvantaged communities each month.
Second Innings is run by the
Community Social Services division of
Chevrah Kadisha Social Services and
their members go to the schools to assist
the children with language development
and reading and to form inter-generational and interracial relationships with
them.
Community Social Services has very
successfully launched a bereavement
project to train teachers to provide basic
counselling skills to an increasing number of children experiencing the loss of
parents or caregivers due to HIV/Aids,
violent crime and other causes.
To date the programme, which is
twofold in addressing the needs of the
children, and equipping teachers with
additional skills to prevent feelings of
helplessness, is running in two schools
and will extend into other primary
schools.
THE CHEVRAH Kadisha’s new group
chief executive, Michael Sieff is “blown
away” by the work his organisation does.
Speaking about his new role, Sieff says
the work done and the impact the organisation has on people, is often underestimated. He served as ORT SA’s national
director for the past six years
The modern-day Chevrah Kadisha is a
large and complex organisation with a
myriad responsibilities, he says. His first
plan is to align and consolidate the various divisions.
He also wants to introduce business
principles across the whole group and to
increase the quality and customer service of the Chevrah’s many services to the
community.
“It is going to be a challenge to apply
business principles to a non-business
organisation,” he remarked.
Another of his aims is to interact with
other Jewish organisations in the community and to enhance both internal and
external communication.
Sieff has long experience in community matters. He has been actively involved
in the Jewish community for a number of
years holding various honorary positions
across different organisations, including:
Bnei Akiva; Division of Informal Jewish
Education; South African Union of
Jewish Students and the Sunny Road
Community. He was recently elected vice
president of the Union of Orthodox
Synagogues. Sieff was nominated for the
Absa Jewish Achievers Award in 2009
and more recently the David Awards of
the King David Schools.
He has a Master’s degree in business
administration (MBA) from Heriot-Watt
University (UK); an industrial psychology honours and a BA in psychology and
law
from
the
University
of
Witwatersrand and he headed up the
training and development division at
Discovery Health for six years prior to
his tenure at ORT.
Sieff was born in Johannesburg and
attended Yeshiva College Primary and
King David Linksfield High School, after
which he spent a year in Israel.
He says he is committed to growing and
fulfilling his own potential and is passionate about facilitating this in others
too.
“It is going to be an exciting year
ahead. There are lots of challenges but
we are going to ensure that we continue
to deliver the service which is expected of
us,” he said.
3
4
SA JEWISH REPORT
19 - 26 March 2010
Small in stature, but
with the heart of a lion
Community leader, businessman, politician and family patriarch - Abe
Abrahamson, former chairman of the SA Jewish Report, who passed away
last Saturday, had been all of these and more in his long and rich life.
Gill Marcus
Governor of the South African Reserve Bank:
“It is with a deep sense of loss that I learned of the passing of Abe Abrahamson. I have had the privilege of interacting with Abe over a number of years, particularly
through Jewish Achievers.
“His passion, commitment and service to the community was a hallmark of the man who gave so generously of
his time and ideas. Abe will be sorely missed. I wish his
family long life in this difficult time.”
Rebbetzen Ann Harris
Widow of the late Chief Rabbi Cyril Harris:
LIONEL SLIER
PHOTOGRAPH: ILAN OSSENDRYVER
THE HONOURABLE Abe Abrahamson, a stalwart of the
South African Jewish community, a former Rhodesian
Cabinet minister and in later years chairman of the board of
directors of SA Jewish Report in Johannesburg, passed
away on Shabbat March 13, after a long illness, at the age of
87. He was a fighter to the end - small in stature, but with a
heart the size of Table Mountain.
He relinquished his position as chairman of the board of
SAJR towards the end of last year due to his failing health
and was succeeded by Stanley Kaplan. The Hon Abe passionately believed in the Jewish Report and the ethos it
espoused.
In 2004 Paul Clingman wrote a biography on
Abrahamson, with the intriguing title: “The Moon Can
Wait”. This was a reference to breaking the space barrier,
which was hailed at the time as such a great advance for
mankind. Abrahamson was invited to address a meeting of
the International Labour Organisation in Canada in 1961 the first ever Rhodesian to do so. In 1962 he told the ILO in
Geneva: “The moon can wait, but social justice cannot
tarry.”
Helen Suzman in 2003 wrote a foreword for the book: “He
may have become the Hon Abe (a title bestowed on him by
Queen Elizabeth), a minister holding three portfolios of
Labour, Housing and Social Welfare in the government of
Edgar Whitehead in Southern Rhodesia, and risen to
become deputy leader of the governing party, but he
remained a modest and committed man with liberal principles.” She made mention of Abrahamson’s “deep aversion
to the doctrines of racial superiority”.
Abrahamson called himself “a progressive conservative”
who approached his hurdles “cerebrally rather than emotionally”.
The years 1958 to 1961 were to prove definitive in
Abrahamson’s political career. He played a prominent part
in the conference held at Lancaster House in London in 1960,
at which a new constitution was negotiated to meet the
demands of rising African nationalism and which envisaged
the handing over of power to a truly democratically elected
government in Rhodesia.
The constitution was accepted in a referendum held in
Southern Rhodesia in 1961, but in a general election the following year the liberal Edgar Whitehead was ousted as
prime minister and the right-wing Rhodesian Front
emerged, first under Winston Field and then under Ian
Smith. Abrahamson was one of only a handful progressives
to retain his seat and they became the opposition in parliament - but they could do nothing to prevent Ian Smith’s
Unilateral Declaration of Independence in 1965.
With opposition effectively silenced, UDI for Abrahamson
heralded the end of a political career which had begun in
1953, at the age of 31.
Abrahamson then became more active in business, first in
Rhodesia and later in South Africa, where he developed a
major industry in optical manufacture. In South Africa - as
had been the case in Rhodesia - Abrahamson became
immersed in Jewish affairs and was elected chairman of the
SA Zionist Federation in 1991. He was a man who rose to the
top of every organisation in which he became involved,
either as president or chairman. His curriculum vitae reads
like a summary of Jewish institutions throughout southern
Africa.
Rabbi Yossi Chaikin of Oxford Shul, who had known
Abrahamson for 12 years, conducted the funeral service. He
told of how Abrahamson had compiled a book of photographs of his family and forebears - again with the aid of
Clingman. The book was due to be published within days of
Abrahamson’s passing. In fact, Abrahamson, when he was
admitted to hospital, showed Rabbi Chaikin the draft. He
was determined to leave something “of worth” behind.
Rabbi Chaikin pointed out that Abrahamson was successful in three areas: as a businessman, as a Jew and as a community leader.
At the Abrahamson residence, after the funeral, Rabbi
Avraham Tanzer spoke of Abrahamson as “a man small in
stature, but a giant”. He also mentioned how much
Abrahamson loved people. He was always surrounded by
people.
Beyachad in Rouxville, Johannesburg, the hub of all
Jewish organisations in the city, has a reception/lecture
hall named after Abrahamson, thus ensuring he will never
be forgotten by the community he served with such loyalty
and dedication.
Abraham Eliezer Abrahamson was born in Bulawayo in
1922 to Leah and Morris, immigrants from Eastern Europe.
He went to the prestigious Milton School and furthered his
education at the University of Cape Town where he read
Personal tributes to
Hon Abe Abrahamson
“How sad I am for Abe’s family, but at the same time, how
proud they must feel with all the memories of such a special husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather.
“All of us who knew Abe as a friend and colleague loved
and respected him and were privileged to be a part, in
some small way, of his monumental achievements in
South Africa and Zimbabwe, for the Zionist Federation,
for the Board of Deputies and for the Jewish Report,
indeed for our community as a whole.
“We are all the poorer for his passing.”
She added that ours is a community fortunately rich in
young leadership who are able to instil a lot of confidence,
and that Abe had the wisdom and dignity to step aside for
them.
Stan Kaplan
Chairman of the board of the SA Jewish Report:
“The most important characteristic of Abe Abrahamson
that stood out was his ability to care for the well-being of
everyone.
“My own relationship with him began as a colleague on
the Jewish Report’s board; it turned into a warm and very
great friendship. Abe did not discriminate - he was able to
overlook shortcomings.
“We all could learn what human behaviour should be
from a man like Abe. He was genuinely interested in other
people, not out of a sense of obligation. I feel privileged to
have had him as a friend and will miss him so much.”
Ilan Baruch
Former Israeli ambassador to South Africa:
law. At the university he was on the committee of the Zionist
Youth Society and was head of the Students’ Jewish Society.
He was secretary of Cape Town NUSAS (National Union of
SA Students) and also president of the debating society.
When he finished his studies he joined the Rhodesian
army and after his army service went into his father’s business.
Out of uniform he became chairman of the Chovevei Zion
group. At the age of 35 he became president of the
Rhodesian Board of Deputies.
He went into politics in Rhodesia and when just 30 he was
elected to Parliament as an MP for the United Federal Party.
In business in Rhodesia he was president of the Bulawayo
Chamber of Industries as well as president of the
Federation of Rhodesian Industries, and after Federation he
was the chairman of the Federal Council for Industries.
As a Cabinet minister, between 1960 and 1962 he was in the
forefront of removing all discriminatory legislation from
the Statute Book. However, when the Rhodesian Front came
to power in the next election soon thereafter, what he had
instigated came to naught.
When Abrahamson and his wife, Anita, left for South
Africa in 1986, Dr Bernie Tatz, vice-president of the Central
African Jewish Board of Deputies spoke of the esteem in
which the couple were held. Abrahamson had been a member of the Board for over 40 years, 17 of them as president.
In 1989 he was made honorary life member of the Central
African Zionist Organisation.
By 1986 in South Africa, he was a member of the SA
Zionist Federation executive. Three years later he was senior vice-chairman and by 1991 he was chairman and in 1994,
president. In 1998 he was made an honorary life president.
Abrahamson was unmovable in his concern for the South
African Jewish community and its support for Israel.
In 1993, at the SA Board of Deputies’ conference, he said:
“There can be no dichotomy between a Jew and a Zionist.
We are one people with one destiny and Israel is central to
our lives.
“Our local institutions and our links to Israel - religious,
historic, cultural, social and national - all make up the whole
Jew and it is our joy and constant concern to ensure the continuation of that totality.”
Abrahamson was a family man par excellence, spending
his life passionately committed to his wife, Anita, his three
children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
The late Solly Yellin, a prominent member of the South
African Jewish community, once said: “The Honourable
Abe Abrahamson is entitled to a seat at the Western Wall.”
This small man in stature, who would take on anyone in a
cause he believed in, will be sorely missed. He is mourned by
the Jewish community in South Africa and by the wider
Jewish community. We salute a great man.
“Abe was a man of high regard to all, of deep respect to
most, of personal friendship to many and invaluable individual guidance to several. I owe Abe the success of my
assignment as Ambassador of Israel to South Africa.
“There is no argument over the fact that the relations
between our two countries are uniquely complex. It is not
a secret that pitfalls are many on the road the
Ambassador of our country in South Africa needs to take.
“I arrived in Pretoria on a Monday. Tuesday morning
Abe was at the embassy. Day one, I received from him the
inspiration I needed for the entire posting of three years.
“Abe was a dear and unique friend, my mentor and
guide on South African Jewish community affairs.
Zev Krengel
National chairman of the SA Jewish Board of Deputies:
“What a stalwart to our community Abe was. The work he
did to protect and grow us was invaluable and we are so
grateful that we were able to honour him during his lifetime by naming our boardroom for him, which we did late
last year. Abe had amazing composure. He was truly a
man for the community.”
Avrom Krengel
Chairman of the SA Zionist Federation:
“Abe was an absolutely wonderful man and an utter gentleman, an elder statesman and mentor to the whole community.
“I was 32 when I took over chairmanship of the Zionist
Federation and he was wonderful in the help and guidance he gave me over the years.
“I always referred to him as the Jewish Renaissance
man - in all the key areas of life he excelled - in business,
politics and family, and the way in which he and Geoff
(Sifrin) built up the Jewish Report to be such a vital community aspect to reflect who we are today, attests to this.”
Reeva Forman
Chairman of the Israel Now Tour and vice-chairman of the
SAZF, member of the SAJBD:
“It was such a great honour to work with a man of his
integrity. His commitment to the welfare of Jews, not only
in South Africa but further afield; to Zionism and Israel
was legendary.
“Abe was always able to see a clear moral path through
conflict. I can only compare his greatness to that of the
late Mendel Kaplan - men of this calibre give 100 per cent
to the community, 100 per cent to Israel and 100 per cent to
family.
“So often, power and the achievement of accolades can
go to a person’s head, but this was never the case with
Abe. He was a giant.”
19 - 26 March 2010
Jewish professor defends
his anti-Zionist stance
STORY AND PHOTOGRAPH BY
MOIRA SCHNEIDER
CAPE TOWN
NOT ALL Jews were Zionists and it was
very important to distinguish between
the two, Professor Yaacov Rabkin told a
gathering at the University of Cape
Town during Israel Apartheid Week.
Rabkin is the author of “A Threat
from Within: A Century of Jewish
Opposition to Zionism” and is professor
of history at the University of Montreal
in Canada.
What was particularly interesting was
that all three of the platform party at the Professor Yaacov Rabkin (left) engages with a
meeting held under the auspices of the member of the audience after addressing the
Palestine Solidarity Group, were Jewish. Palestine Solidarity Group at UCT.
Rabkin, a practising Jew and liberation theologian, differs from mainstream
demonised, he felt there was room for disJewish thought and, according to activist
cussion. “In the UK, all the Jewish newspaHeidi Grunebaum who introduced him,
pers published positive reviews on my book.
operates against the backdrop of the “silenc“Yes, it’s an uphill battle and discouraging of views that contest the basis of political
ing,” he agreed, “but I don’t think it’s lost. I
Zionism”.
accepted a lunch invitation from the Board
Giving a history of the emergence of
of Deputies today - we had a frank discusZionism, he stated that the “Zionist state”
sion and they thanked me.
represented “a rupture of Jewish history,
“As to dissident voices, I don’t consider
not a continuation” of it.
them as such. They’re Jewish voices and you
“Some Jews are Zionists, others are not,”
don’t need an organisation to sanction
he added. “Many are anti-Zionist. Thinking
them,” he said.
in group categories is an extremely dangerous thing - there’s no such thing as ‘The Jews
think that...’ It is extremely important not to
antagonise potential allies,” he stressed, urging the group to distinguish between Jews
and Zionists.
Rabkin noted that Jews hadn’t responded
to Israel the way they had been expected to.
“When South Africans left, most did not go to
Israel. It has acquired its population largely
through situations of distress, (through) people who didn’t have another choice.”
Rabkin said that, however Zionist Jewish
communities felt, they did not necessarily
have an impact on what Israel is and does.
“We often lose a sense of proportion when
we talk about the various associations and
causes.
“A note of humility has to be introduced
here. Even if the Shministim (Israeli army
conscientious objectors) convinced every
South African Jew (of their point of view), it
would make no difference to Israel’s policy
because they (the Shministim) carry no
political weight.
“In the Jewish community, we talk about
left-wing, right-wing - we believe if one side
wins, something’s going to happen. Nothing
is going to happen,” he posited.
“What we can do is explain what the issues
are - that there are Israelis who are Arabs,
An ultra-orthodox Jew protesting against
that there are Jews that are Zionists and
the creation of the state of Israel.
those that are not...”
Audience member Richard Cooper, who
chairs Jews for Justice for the Palestinians
in the United Kingdom, spoke of a “struggle
for the right to hold different opinions in the
Jewish community”. He said that the picture
Rabkin had painted of religious opposition to
Zionism did not match his experience in
Britain where the chief rabbi was “100 per
cent horrific gung-ho” on Israel.
He added that younger Jews in that country were “not that supportive” of Israel.
Rabkin replied that, though he had been
Professor Rabkin’s book
SA JEWISH REPORT
5
6
SA JEWISH REPORT
19 - 26 March 2010
SOCIAL SCENE
Rita Lewis [email protected]
Catering fundi and guest
food demonstrator for
the event, Shelley Geffen,
holding a chocolate cake
“to die for”.
Kari Berkowitz discusses her table decoration ideas with some of the
gathering. With her is Rabbi Yossy Goldman.
Getting into Pesach
the Expo way
STORY AND PHOTOGRAPHS BY
RITA LEWIS
PESACH IS a time when the very
word will most times cause every
Jewish woman the world over to
sigh and wish the period of cleaning, shopping, cooking and checking
that all the foodstuffs bought are
Pesachdik, etc was already over.
However, when it is over, what a
wonderful feeling!
But until that feeling of euphoria
is felt, what better time could there
be to gain more knowledge of the
basics of the festival and getting
some new ideas, while attending a
well-organised and interesting
“Pesach Expo” incorporating “All
You Always Wanted to Know About
Pesach”.
The Expo which was attended by
some 150 women, was held at the
newly-revamped Sydenham-Highlands North Shul halls and introduced by Rabbi Yossy Goldman with
a short talk entitled: Pesach: Pain or
Pleasure?
He explained the reasons why we
are much stricter on the laws of
kashrut over Pesach than we are all
year round.
He also explained that some of the
pain we experience may be selfinflicted by overdoing things.
Many people give themselves
unnecessary stress by “extreme
makeovers” which is not a religious requirement.
Who better than Shelley Geffen
who holds court there, to give a
cookery demonstration on some
new recipes to whet the appetites in
between all the matzos which will
be eaten?
Rabbi
Yossi
Baumgarten
expounded on what is and isn’t
allowed on Pesach, explaining that
not everything on the Pesach
shelves was in fact Pesachdik
(kosher for Pesach).
He explained that many people
seeing some Hebrew writing on the
packaging of an article, thought
that that made it kosher le Pesach “but it doesn’t”.
He said many of the packers at
the supermarkets unknowingly
and unwittingly just lump everything together - erroneously
assuming that it is all Pesachdik.
He emphasised the importance
of checking for the Pesach stamp
and consulting with the store’s
kosher adviser (where there is one)
or checking back with the kashrut
Rabbi’s Yossi Baumgarten and Yossy Goldman.
Sister-inlaws and
friends,
Zillah and
Debbie
Rakusin.
department on telephone (011) 4854865.
At “Question and Answer” time
after his talk, he and his assistant
Adele Joffe answered a variety of
questions from the floor.
From there the gathering went
downstairs to the two revamped
conference/function halls.
In the smaller one Geffen gave a
cooking demonstration, showing
how food can be both Pesachdik
and very tasty.
In the large hall there was a great
deal of activity. On one side of the
hall a selection of Pesachdik wines
was displayed.
In the centre stood a massive and
magnificently set seder table, complete with crystal glasses and silverware.
Totally different to the old style
of things, were silver embroidered
matzah holders with everything
else matching, which made the
table look absolutely stunning.
At the back of the hall, Kari
Berkowitz gave a demonstration of
“Simple but Stunning Ideas for
Your Table”.
It was a pleasure to see how easy
it was to glam up the table without
spending a fortune.
Nic Friedman and Yosef Wahrhaftig beside the magnificently laid
Pesach table just ready for guests to sit at.
Joan Porter; Adele Joffe; Maureen Frankel; with Adele’s daughter,
Chava.
Yolande Goldman with Tracey Miltz.
Left: Josh
Melunsky;
Noel
Twersky;
and Colin
Gamsu.
Right:
Shirley
Stein and
Bernice
Crouse.
Selwyn Joffe
beside the
display of
Pesach
books.
19 - 26 March 2010
COMMUNITY BUZZ
LIONEL SLIER
082-444-9832, fax: 011-440-0448,
[email protected]
WITWATERSRAND
From Don Krausz:
“I was interested to read your
column on the Cullinan diamonds. You wrote that Cullinan
bought the diamondiferous farm
from the Prinsloo family after
they had become impoverished
during the Anglo-Boer War and
that Prinsloo insisted in being
paid in gold coins.
“You will have heard of
Advocate Morris, one of the most
brilliant Jewish advocates of
South Africa. He was the advocate who featured in the film
“White Mischief ”. In his later
years he published a ‘slim’ volume of stories about early
Johannesburg and named it ‘In
my Anecdotage’. I think that he
deserves admiration if only for
that title.
“In this book he tells a story
about the gold rush that took
place on the Witwatersrand. The
Afrikaner farmers may not have
been well educated, but they
knew that they were on to a good
thing. So when one such farmer
was approached with a view to
selling his mineral rights, Oom
Koos did not hesitate and
demanded one million pounds in
gold.
“After allowing a little time for
the prospectors to regain their
senses, it was pointed out to Koos
that there was not that much
money in the whole world. Even
if there was, it would be unlikely
that one individual possessed the
lot. After much discussion,
smoking of pipes and imbibing of
brandy a price of one hundred
thousand pounds in gold was
agreed upon.
“Now according to Morris the
following took place: One
evening the prospectors rode up
to the farmhouse. Oom Koos was
sitting at his dining room table
and the room was lit by a solitary
oil lamp. The prospectors opened
their bags and counted out one
hundred gold sovereigns which
lay on the table glistening in the
lamplight. ‘One hundred pounds
in gold!’ said the prospectors.
‘Ja,’ said Oom Koos.
“Next they repeated the performance with one thousand
gold sovereigns. ‘One thousand
pounds in gold!’ said the prospectors. ‘Ja,’ said Oom Koos, who
had never seen so much gold in
his life and could not take his
eyes off it. ‘One hundred thousand pounds in gold!’ announced
the prospectors and with that the
deal was concluded.
“There were many fascinating
stories in that little book which I
had borrowed. In later years I
hunted high and low for a copy.
Eventually the Africana book
dealers Frank R Thorold offered
me a copy for the price of R400. I
had come across a copy in the
library of Justice Meyer Joffe
which had been priced at four
shillings and sixpence and so
thought the R400 a bit steep. I am
not too well versed in such dealings (like Oom Koos) and may
have been wrong to refuse the
offer.”
MUSINA
The town of Musina lies 16 km
south of the South African/
Zimbabwe border. It was founded
on the farm Berkenrode in 1904
and originally called Messina. In
1957 it was proclaimed a township.
Well-known as a copper mining town, Musina means “cop-
SA JEWISH REPORT
per” in the Sesotho and Venda
languages. In 2002 the original
name of Messina was changed to
Musina.
In March 2009, this item was
printed in Fedspeak, a publication issued by the SA Zionist
Federation. It came from Dennis
Weiner in Netanya:
“This week, my wife Charlotte
and I attended a very special ceremony at the Tel Ha’Shomer
Hospital in Ramat Gan. The only
Jewish member of the Messina
Hebrew Congregation, Jack
Klaff, donated the congregation’s Sefer Torah to the shul at
the rehabilitation centre of the
Sheba Medical Centre - Tel
Ha’Shomer.
“This donation was arranged
by Rabbi Doron Kline, director of
Telfed’s project development and
Rabbi Moshe Silberhaft, the
South African country communities rabbi and by Maish
Isaacson,
chairman
of
Hachnassat (2009)...
“A ‘Hachnassat Sefer Torah’
ceremony was arranged and
attended by, among others, the
Flaxe and Wolfson families who
made aliyah from Messina many
years ago. Emotional speeches
were delivered by Jack Klaff, as
he recalled the bygone days of
the Messina Jewish community.
“It is unbelievable to think
how this Torah made its way to
Messina and then to Israel
where it is now being used by
our wounded soldiers and civilians.”
PORT ELIZABETH
From David Abel:
“Following my previous references to Port Elizabeth Jewry’s
old community centre, the
Emanuel Hall complex, it should
be noted that the legendary
Isaac Goss who pioneered much
of the Jewish educational network, started his career as principal of the PE Hebrew School
(cheder) housed within the complex.
“I remember him addressing
community gatherings in the
hall with the background of a
massive ‘old master’ type painting of the Biblical patriarch,
Jacob, surrounded by his family.
One wonders where that impressive painting is today. Perhaps
the present community director,
Michael Simmons, or maybe
someone like Denzil Levy or
Effie Schauder could shed some
light on its whereabouts?
“Another principal was a Mr
Goodman who became very frustrated with us youngsters in the
middle of an exciting cricket, soccer or bok-bok game when we
should have reported for our cheder class waiting to begin. He used
to lean outside the window of his
office furiously ringing a little
hand bell, shouting at us to come to
the classroom - much to our dismay
and annoyance.”
JOHANNESBURG
David Abel’s story about, as a boy,
being shouted at for asking Rev
Klaff the meaning of the word
“midwife” reminds me of a similar
incident at Highlands North High
School in the 1940s.
It opened, as a co-ed school in
1939 in north-eastern Johannesburg, originally with only form 1
and form 2 and each following year
there was an extra class and by
1942 it had a matric class.
There was hardly a culture of
learning at the school and “swots”
were looked down upon. In fact
homework was something that one
did on the bus coming to school in
the mornings.
On Wednesdays, in form 3, I
remember we were given “Die
Huisgenoot” to read. This was,
(still is), a family magazine and we
could barely understand the
Afrikaans. One day a boy, Arnie
Gordon, went up to the teacher’s
desk to ask him the meaning of a
word in an advert.
Suddenly the teacher started
shouting at Gordon and told him
that he was going to give him cuts
in front of the class for trying to be
funny. He made Gordon bend over
and put his head under the table so
that he could not jerk up, his head
being held down by the underside
slat of the table. He gave him three
cuts and a warning.
Afterwards we asked Gordon
what had caused the problem. He
told us that he had innocently
asked “meneer” what the meaning
was of a word in an advert. The
word was “hardlywigheid”. We
rushed to our woordeboeke (dictionaries) and looked it up. It
meant “constipation”. Of course,
Gordon had to take down his
trousers, later, so that we could see
the welts on his backside.
JOHANNESBURG.
Do you want any books in Hebrew
for free? Go to the Library at
Beyachad and help yourself.
7
8
SA JEWISH REPORT
19 - 26 March 2010
El Al-O R Tambo impasse is
continuing unabated
LIONEL SLIER
THE DISPUTE between El Al’s security
arrangements at Johannesburg’s O R Tambo
International Airport and the South African
government, remains unresolved. A decision
was expected by the end of February and it is
now the third week in March and only silence
remains.
Last Sunday, Carte Blanche, the TV investigative programme, flighted the story again.
They rolled out the original former El Al
employee, the whistle blower, Jonathan Garb
who had maintained that the Israeli Secret
Service was operating above the law in South
Africa (at the airport).
Garb now told Carte Blanche: “People have
phoned my family and made threats to them
to sleep with one eye open at night.”
On Facebook, Garb was accused of being “a
traitor” to the State of Israel and the Jewish
religion. He denied this. The Facebook site
was closed down at Garb’s request after many
messages unfavourable to him, were posted.
“I expected some sort of backlash from the
Jewish community,” he admitted.
Carte Blanche commented that they simply wanted to know why a foreign intelligence agency could operate “with impunity”
on sovereign soil.
Chief Director of Public Diplomacy in the
Department of International Relations and
Diplomacy Saul Molobi, said: “The discussions are very sensitive and there are issues
of emotions involved in them, so I wouldn’t
want to divulge how far we are in terms of
resolving all these issues.”
Zev Krengel, national chairman of the
South African Jewish Board of Deputies,
said that they had asked Israeli Prime
Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to get
involved because this was such a massive
issue for the Jewish community.
President Jacob Zuma was at Davos earlier
this year at the World Economic Summit and
it was hoped that he and President Shimon
Peres of Israel would meet, but such a meeting never took place.
Roz Bukris, general manager of El Al in
South Africa, not surprisingly, could not give
Carte Blanche reporter, Bongani Bingwa,
any further information.
A young South African girl, Sylvie Vignola,
now living in London, had come to visit her
family here. She said on the programme that
that the best airfare deal she could get was on
El Al - London-Johannesburg via Tel Aviv.
She complained about the “rough treatment” she had received at O R Tambo from
Israeli security staff.
Then Carte Blanche came up with two men
who allegedly took part in the murder of
Hamas military commander, Mahmoud AlMabhoud and who had come to South Africa
from Dubai via Emirates Airways and had left
immediately afterwards for Israel by El Al,
the inference being that they had been assisted by Israeli agents at O R Tambo.
The programme said that “reliably placed
sources” had told Carte Blanche that both the
El Al and the immigrant passenger list for
that particular flight were missing.
Carte Blanche then remarked: “With these
kinds of questions, why is it that South Africa
is still negotiating, when our laws are very
clear?”
Meanwhile the South African Jewish community holds its breath.
Journalist Paul Martin is set free by Hamas
RITA LEWIS
THE SOUTH African-born journalist, Paul
Martin, who was captured in Gaza on
February 14 and imprisoned by Hamas for
allegedly intending to testify on behalf of a
Palestinian militant accused of collaborating
with Israel, has been released.
Martin, who is presently living in the UK,
was set free last Thursday.
At the time of the announcement of his
imminent release, lawyer Sharhabil Zayim
said Martin would be released to the South
African and British authorities. However, at
the time there had been no confirmation by
the Foreign Office of Martin’s release.
Martin is the first foreigner to have been
arrested by Hamas since it seized power in
Gaza in 2007. However, this is the second occasion that Martin himself has been arrested in
the country. The previous one was when he
was reporting for the British newspaper, The
Times, on an anti-Hamas demonstration.
At the time he, together with a cameraman, were allegedly covering a story on a
Fatah demonstration which was being held
by a group of female students. The demonstration apparently got ugly when the
women were assailed by Hamas security
forces.
After they were taken into custody, the two
journalists were both detained in a police cell
for a while, but allowed to go free some time
later. After he had been released last week
Thursday, Martin said: “I was never accused
of any crime, although I was interrogated for
something which it was blatantly impossible
for me to have done.
“I think it was realised that there was no
case against me, but it took a long time for
the extremely suspicious security people to
absorb the message.”
According to reports, Hamas did not at the
time file any charges against Martin but in
commentating about his release, said that
they were deporting him because they
“believed him to be guilty”.
Martin who had previously travelled to
Gaza on many occasions to report for both the
BBC and The Times, said his release had been
a great victory for the rights of journalists to
be able to cover different stories in a fearless
and accurate way without being subject to
arrest - or worse - at the hands of a group who
dislike their journalism.
When contacted, members of Martin’s family said they did not want to make any comment at this stage, other than to say how very
happy they were that he had been released
and that he was safely home.
AROUND
THE WORLD
NEWS IN BRIEF
DON'T MARRY DICAPRIO, REFAELI
IS URGED
JERUSALEM - Members of a Jewish
nationalist group have written to
Israeli supermodel Bar Refaeli urging
her not to marry her non-Jewish
boyfriend, actor Leonardo DiCaprio.
"Your grandmother and her grandmother did not dream that one of
their descendants would one day
remove the family's future generations from the Jewish people," read a
letter from the far-rightist Baruch
Marzel on behalf of the Lehava
organisation, which is dedicated to
preventing assimilation.
"Come to your senses, look forward
and back too - and not only the present. Don't marry Leonardo DiCaprio,
don't harm the future generations,"
the letter reportedly concluded.
The letter comes after DiCaprio
said in interviews earlier this month
that he was thinking of getting married and starting a family. Refaeli also
recently denied rumours that she was
engaged to the actor after wearing a
ring on her ring finger. (JTA)
FOXMAN SLAMS ISRAEL ON
JERUSALEM ANNOUNCEMENT
WASHINGTON - Israel's announcement of new housing starts during US
Vice President Joe Biden's visit, had
been a "disaster," Abraham Foxman
said in a rare rebuke.
"Whatever the motivation and whoever the responsible party, it is the
government of Israel that justifiably
is held accountable for converting an
optimal moment in US-Israel relations into a moment of crisis,"
Foxman,
the
Anti-Defamation
League's national director, wrote in a
post on the liberal Huffington Post
website.
"The crucial point is that the government had an obligation to anticipate what might go wrong during the
vice president's visit and to give firm
instruction to all Cabinet members
about avoiding such pitfalls, particularly on the subjects of settlements
and East Jerusalem."
Mainstream US Jewish groups usually refrain from criticism of Israel on
peace process issues. The ADL has
condemned examples of hate rhetoric
by Israeli officials, but tends to
refrain from critiquing defence and
diplomacy decisions.
Biden strongly rebuked Israel for
announcing plans to build 1 600 units
in disputed eastern Jerusalem during
his visit, which was aimed in part at
reviving Israeli-Palestinian peace
talks.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin
Netanyahu apologised for the timing,
and said he was not aware of the
plans by the relevant planning committee to make the announcement.
The Biden trip also was aimed at
assuaging Israeli concerns about the
Obama administration's outreach to
the Muslim world. Foxman said
administration anger was "understandable", but advised the sides to
step back and salvage the moment.
He praised Biden for going ahead
with a speech that lauded Israel and
recognised its Jewish significance,
but chided the vice president for
reportedly rebuking Netanyahu in
private by saying that the announcement endangered US troops in the
region.
"This is the kind of rhetoric that
does exactly what Mr Biden has studiously avoided doing, linking the
Israeli-Palestinian
conflict
to
America's larger Middle East challenges, and it unnecessarily calls into
question Israel's role as an ally and
the impact on American interests,"
Foxman wrote. (JTA)
19 - 26 March 2010
SA JEWISH REPORT
9
Yad Aharon, Radio Today in
Freedom of Hunger Radiothon
YAD AHARON and Michael was
founded 16 years ago, with its mission is to ensure that every needy
family within the Jewish community that is brought to their attention, is given a weekly parcel filled
with a variety of fresh fruit and
vegetables, a protein of the week,
eggs, bread and milk.
The Freedom from Hunger
Radiothon on March 25, will be Yad
Aharon’s major fundraising campaign for their Pesach Drive.
Although Yad Aharon focuses on
the disadvantaged within the
Jewish community, they are very
aware of the desperate plight of fellow South Africans, so other selected charities will also benefit from
this exciting event: Operation
Hunger and NOAH (Nurturing
Orphans of Aids from Humanity).
In a media release Yad Aharon
said: “All three organisations
share the belief that once a person
is able to provide for the very basic
needs of their family, they are in a
better position to tackle life’s other
challenges. One simply cannot
function on an empty belly.
“It’s been said that life is about
continuously being hungry - the
hunger to move ahead, the hunger
to achieve, the hunger to succeed.
Let this be the only hunger in our
world. We know that feeding a family is feeding their future.”
The objective of the Freedom
from Hunger Radiothon is to motivate the public to call in and make
a donation.
“This is your 15-hour opportunity to break the shackles of poverty
and generously assist us in reach-
AROUND
THE WORLD
NEWS IN BRIEF
COURT: SWEDISH MAN CAN
BE DEPORTED TO POLAND
STOCKHOLM - A Swedish court
has ruled that the man accused
of organising the theft of the
"Arbeit Macht Frei" sign from
the front gate of Auschwitz, can
be extradited to Poland.
Anders Hogstrom, a former
Swedish neo-Nazi, can be handed over to Polish authorities, the
court ruled last week Thursday.
Hogstrom is suspected of
ordering five Polish men to steal
the metal sign. He reportedly
acted as an agent for a British
Nazi sympathiser who wanted
it.
Hogstrom can appeal the decision within three weeks. If his
appeal is rejected, he will be
deported within 10 days.
Three of the men who allegedly cut up and stole the sign,
reportedly confessed to the
crime earlier this week. They
are facing prison terms of up to
three years, the Krakow Post
reported on Tuesday, citing the
Prosecutor's Office in Krakow.
The metal sign of nearly five
metres, which means "work
makes you free", was cut into
three pieces and stolen on
December 18; it was recovered
across the country 72 hours later.
Experts are working to
restore the sign. It is not certain
that the sign will be returned to
its place; a copy that was placed
at the front gate immediately
after the theft remains there.
Some 1,1 million people,
including about one million
Jews,
were
murdered
at
Auschwitz. (JTA)
ing our target of raising R2 million. The day will be filled with
great giveaways, challenges, and
competitions to enhance the spirit
of togetherness and goodwill within the greater Johannesburg
Jewish community. We trade in
what we trust. So join our venture
to secure our supply - giving is
growing.”
Challenges have been rolling in
from people as diverse as
optometrists, hair salons, and
speech therapists.
“We challenge you, your family
and friends, your colleagues and
companies, to take a chance and
make a change by contributing to
the
Freedom
from
Hunger
Radiothon.
“Change your tune on March 25
to 1485AM Radio Today and make
your pledge at (011) 242-5555.
Donations can also be made at
Greenstone Shopping Centre outside Ster Kinekor cinemas and
Norwood Mall by Monroe’s,
between 11:00 and 15:00”
Bank details: Account name:
FEEDAFAM - Nedbank Limited branch name: Balfour Park branch code: 151105 - acc no:
1511139129 - current acc/cheque
acc.
10
SA JEWISH REPORT
19 - 26 March 2010
Chabad is calling all seniors
to its Model Matzah Bakery
RABBI ARI KIEVMAN
DIRECTOR OF CHAI SENIORS AT
CHABAD HOUSE
ONCE AGAIN Chabad House is
offering its hands-on Model
Matzah Bakery to Johannesburg
and its environs. Hundreds of
kids have already filed through.
The Model Matzah Bakery is an
exciting, educational, and fun
experience in which participants
Photo
are able to experience the story
supplied
and art of authentic hand-baked
shmurah matzah.
This year’s programme has been modified
to cater to Johannesburg’s senior citizens.
The baking site has been transformed into
an old-style matzah bakery, where visitors
may participate in the entire process of
matzah making.
“In the past this interactive presentation
has included winnowing, threshing, and
grinding of the wheat. In this year’s programme, participants have a great time
learning about their heritage and the tradition of the matzah as they don their baker’s
hats, roll up their sleeves and knead the
dough to make their very own matzahs.
“The Chai Seniors’ Matzah baking programme will be followed by a model Pesach
seder. The event promises to add holiday
spirit to all who attend. Join us and ‘re-live’
the exodus from Egypt as you roll out your
very own matzah.
“The Model Matzah Bakery will have a
special ‘seniors only day’ for the ‘young at
heart’ on Tuesday, March 23. To reserve a
time slot, or for more information please
contact Rabbi Ari Kievman, director of Chai
Seniors at Chabad House (011) 440-6600 ext
214, or e-mail [email protected]”
Chevrah Kadisha is offering
a communal Pesach seder
ROBYN SASSEN
R110 per child under 10. All
three seders will commence
after the ma’ariv service - it is
advisable to arrive by 18:00 at
the venue, according to the
organisers.
Contact Shirley Resnick for
bookings and further details
on (011) 532-9710.
The following kosher retailers will be open during chol
hamoed Pesach:
Glenhazel B&B, Northfield
Avenue, Glenhazel, phone
PESACH HAS often been
considered a time for families to be together, particularly around the seder table,
but what of those who have
no family or are unwilling or
unable to go to all the trouble
of making a Pesach seder?
The Chevrah Kadisha in Matzah, the Pesach staple.
Johannesburg is hosting (PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY
communal sedorim on both HTTP://SNACKTIME.FILES)
nights - Monday March 29
(011) 887-5648
and Tuesday March 30 - at three venues:
Kosher Nando’s, Aintree Avenue, Savoy,
Sandringham Gardens in Sandringham,
(011) 885-1496
Our Parents Home in Norwood and the
Shirley’s Deli and Bakery, William Road,
Capri Hotel in Savoy.
Norwood, (011) 728-0974
The cost per seder is R165 per adult, and
Recognised eruvim help
Jews to observe the Sabbath
RITA LEWIS
WITH THE growth of the more observant
and religious communities in South Africa,
the Union of Orthodox Synagogues has
been cognisant of the necessity to provide
facilities for the easier observance of certain of the main Halachot of Shabbat, (the
laws of the Sabbath).
One of these is the creation of eruvim
(boundaries) so that people may push
prams and wheelchairs as well as carry
permitted items such as eye glasses, keys,
medication, prayer books as well food and
drink for the Sabbath.
Items such as cellphones, umbrellas, cigarettes etc, which are called “muktsa”,
meaning that they are not allowed to be
used on Shabbat, may not be carried, even
within an eruv.
Shabbat is a day of rest with prohibitions
existing against doing any type of work.
Among other things this includes pushing
and carrying.
With many young parents wanting their
children to be with them on Shabbat, it has
become necessary to create lawful
eruvs/eruvim (boundaries) so that this
wish could be fulfilled.
Although it is not a difficult job to create
an eruv, it is time consuming and care
must be taken that there are no breaks in
the continuous joining by wire of the lampposts, poles, houses etc to make up the
unbroken boundary.
Accordingly, after much pressure was
exerted on them, the Union of Orthodox
Synagogues which is based in Orchards,
Johannesburg, created the first eruv in
Glenhazel around the Yeshiva College of
which Rabbi Avraham Tanzer was not only
rosh yeshiva, but head of the various
schools on the Yeshiva College campus but
also the rabbi of the then-Glenhazel Area
Hebrew Congregation, now known as the
Glenhazel Shul.
From there, the eruvim/eruvs extended
to other adjoining areas and outwards
across Johannesburg in all directions.
Presently eruvim exist in the Greater
Johannesburg area of Edenvale, Gallo
Manor, Glenhazel, Illovo, Linksfield,
Morningside and Morningside Manor,
Oaklands, parts of
Oxford Road,
Strathhaven, Victory Park and Waverley.
One eruv is also functional in Pretoria.
It is not only in South Africa that emphasis is placed on not only creating eruvim in
necessary areas, but also maintaining
them.
It is believed that there are over 200 eruvim worldwide. More than a few of the
larger cities in the US have eruvim in their
Jewish areas. This includes many places in
New York and Washington where surprisingly and incidentally, the White House is
included in this area.
Other countries and cities where eruvim
are known to have been created for their
Jewish communities, are Australia,
(Melbourne, Perth and Sydney); Belgium,
(Antwerp); Gibraltar; Italy (Venice); and
France (Strasbourg), although it is
believed that there must be far more areas
than just these to allow for the figure of 200
to be correct.
19 - 26 March 2010
SA JEWISH REPORT
11
Portrayal of an extraordinary
friendship in ‘London Road’
MOIRA SCHNEIDER
CAPE TOWN
PHOTOGRAPH: JESSE KRAMER
IN THE world premiere of London
Road, 2009 Fleur du Cap best
actress nominee Robyn Scott plays
the role of Rosa Kaplowitz, an elderly Jewish, Sea Point widow. With
Scott not being a typically Jewish
surname, I feared the audience
might be subjected to a cringeworthy stereotype. I needn’t have.
“When I read the script, I threw
my head back and laughed. I
thought: ‘This has been sent to me
by my Dad’,” Scott says of her initial reaction to the play.
She explains that her father,
Herbie, who passed away a year
ago and to whom she dedicates her
performance, was Jewish and in
fact was on the last “kindertransport” boat out of Germany prior to
the outbreak of the Second World
War. Scott and her brother are
named for the “very poor” Jewish
couple, complete strangers, who
took six-year-old Herbie into their
home in London’s East End.
Scott, who describes herself as
“half-Jewish”, was raised in Sea
Point; all her friends were Jewish.
“I knew all their bobbas - I grew up
with these wonderful ladies.
“Every night, my mom and I
would walk on the promenade - I
just knew this character,” she says
of ‘Rosa’.
In addition, in preparation for
the role during the two months
before rehearsals started, she
spent time there stopping elderly
ladies and listening to their stories. At 36, her further challenge
Ntombi Makutshi and Robyn Scott as Stella and Rosa, in “London Road”.
was to portray a woman of 74.
“You have to start off by asking:
‘What does she look like, what does
she sound like?’ Then I have to
look into ageing and what that
means.
“Where is the body sore? Limbs
don’t move so smoothly. You have
to break all of that down to build it
up,” she says, stressing: “I have to
come across as believable.
“You just meet the most amazing
people, it’s fascinating. I love that
process.”
The two-hander by Nicholas
Spagnoletti deals with the “very
unlikely” friendship between an
elderly Jewish lady and a young
Nigerian woman - performed by
Ntombi Makutshi. “What the audience take away is that it doesn’t
matter what your background,
when two people need each other,
a friendship can be formed.
“We tend to judge people by just
looking at them - she’s Nigerian,
she must be a crook, a thief. What
do they want with little old ladies they’ve got nothing to offer them.
Ageism is big in South Africa; the
elderly are undervalued.” Further
themes are loneliness and fragmented families - Rosa’s children
have emigrated.
“It’s a very, very tender, sad,
very funny little play,” Scott says.
As to her first time being directed by Lara Bye, a long time ambition, she says: “I like to call her an
actor’s director. She understands
actors because she’s been one. She
just tells the human story so beautifully.”
• London Road is at Kalk Bay
Theatre until April 10. For more
information, phone 073-220-5430.
12
SA JEWISH REPORT
19 - 26 March 2010
OPINION AND ANALYSIS
FORUM FOR DIVERSE VIEWS
US-Israel crisis: This time, it’s serious
Abe Abrahamson - a
man with a smile
who kept striding
A PERSON’S essence cannot be distilled into a few
words. But certain phrases can point in the right
direction. About Abe Abrahamson, former chairman of the Jewish Report’s board, who died on
Saturday, a “profound sense of balance” would be
fitting - between the deadly serious versus the
hilarious and ironic; the intimacy of family versus
the worldliness of business; the individual domain
versus public, community involvement; and personal morality versus the “public morality” of politics.
Abe was the patriarch of a huge family of children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren; and
equally, the consummate “man-of the world” in
business, politics and community life.
We at the Jewish Report knew him since 1998,
when he was part of the initial founding committee of the paper; for many years he was chairman,
resigning in late 2009, when Stan Kaplan took over.
His impeccable balance was always there: board
meetings would be conducted with the utmost
seriousness, but at the end of them, out would
come a bottle of whisky and those present would
spend a relaxed half-hour chatting about anything
and everything.
Abe was the perfect chairman for a newspaper strong and clear in his vision, yet with a profound
respect for its editorial independence. He never
attempted to bully the paper into carrying particular articles to his liking and understood that a
newspaper is a living, breathing, robust thing,
hard to keep up with.
It demands a personal relationship, a love affair
with its readers - which can be tempestuous at
times. Abe had that connection with the paper, but
also brought a calmness, an ability to see the big
picture - the wood, not just the trees.
A serious paper covering a wide spectrum of
issues, news and open debate will inevitably sometimes enter turbulent waters and be attacked from
various quarters when people, for their own reasons, may object to part of the content.
There may be attempts to control it or, in
extreme cases, even shut it down - as we have certainly experienced. Abe was always outraged at
these attempts. He believed passionately in the
importance of the media’s independence. He was
always ready to jump to the Jewish Report’s
defence, as long as it stuck to its mandate of serving Jewry as a whole with quality content. “You
can’t please everyone,” he would say, “nor should
you try to.”
Abe’s infirmity eventually forced him to resign
as chairman of the newspaper’s board, to the sadness of its members. But, true to his dignity and
impeccable sense of duty, he did not simply send a
letter to the board informing them of his decision:
at the next meeting, he arrived in a suit and tie and
was helped up the stairs to the boardroom. He sat
down in his chairman’s seat and went through the
agenda methodically until it came to the relevant
item, then announced his resignation.
He loved a glass of whisky, particularly combined with a chat about something interesting. By
an ironic twist of fate, after arriving in South
Africa from (then) Rhodesia, Abe and his wife
Anita lived for many years within 100 metres of a
major outlet of a well-known whisky company on
Oxford Road, Johannesburg, where a huge banner
portrays an image of the “striding man”. At Abe’s
funeral, the rabbi commented with a sorrowful
smile that Abe was the ultimate “striding man”.
With his passion for life and his intelligent, open
mind, he “kept walking” until the last.
On Monday, when he was extremely frail, I
asked if I could visit him. “Yes!” said Abe with a
“twinkle” in his voice. “Come tomorrow. I’ll have a
drink waiting for you!”
The next day he was too ill for visitors. Those
last words epitomised him - despite his frailness,
he projected a smile to the world and an invitation
for a “l’chaim!” with a glass of wine or whisky. A
gracious and welcoming host, an astute businessman, a man of immense integrity, insight and wisdom, Abe was not just a man, but a mensch for all
seasons with a giant heart and giant vision.
We salute him.
Geoff Sifrin
Editor
RON KAMPEAS
WASHINGTON
LAST SUMMER, when the relationship
between the Obama and Netanyahu
administrations was getting off to what
appeared to be a rocky start, Israeli
Ambassador Michael Oren was at pains twice - to deny that he had been “summoned” to the State Department for a
dressing down.
One such “meeting” was actually a
friendly phone call, he said, and the other
was a routine getting-to-know-you meeting. The distinction was key, he told journalists: When the State Department actually “summons” an envoy, “that’s serious”.
Welcome to the serious zone: Oren’s
spokesman, Jonathan Peled, confirmed
to JTA that the ambassador indeed had
been “summoned” for a meeting last
Friday with James Steinberg, the deputy
secretary of state. The summons came as
the controversy engendered by Israel’s
announcement of new construction in
eastern Jerusalem during last week’s
visit by US Vice President Joe Biden
showed no sign of abating.
“It wasn’t a meeting,” Oren told the
Washington Jewish Week in an interview
at a fundraiser for a Washington-area
school last Sunday night. “It was a summoning. I was told it was the first time
that any ambassador had been summoned at that level.”
Oren said he was “working hard to
avert an escalation. We’re working very
hard to get back to what we need to do to
make peace and stop Iran from making
the bomb. We have apologised publicly
and privately profusely.”
Israeli media reported on Monday that
in a conference call last Saturday night
with other Israeli diplomats, Oren - a
New Jersey-born historian who has gone
out of his way to talk up the US-Israel
relationship - said that ties were at a 35-
year nadir.
The previous low presumably was the
Ford administration’s threat to “reassess”
the relationship with Israel because of
perceived Israeli reluctance to make the
necessary concessions to achieve peace
with Egypt.
The controversy erupted last week with
what both sides agreed was a humiliation
for the US vice president, considered to be
Netanyahu’s best friend in the Obama
administration. Biden had come to allay
Israeli concerns that Barack Obama’s
outreach to Muslims would come at
Israel’s expense; just as he was getting
ready to meet with Palestinian officials as
part of the administration’s push to
restart peace talks, Israel announced
plans to build 1 600 housing units in
Ramat Shlomo, part of disputed eastern
Jerusalem.
Biden, furious, condemned the
announcement - several times - but went
ahead with a speech that affirmed the
unshakeable US-Israel bond. Israeli
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
apologised for the timing and said he
would probe how the announcement was
made without his knowledge.
“There was a regrettable incident, that
was done in all innocence and was hurtful, and which certainly should not have
occurred,” Netanyahu said in his statement. “We appointed a team of directorsgeneral to examine the chain of events
and to ensure procedures that will prevent such occurrences in the future.”
Israeli officials and leaders of proIsrael organisations are asking the
Obama administration to dial down the
tension, in tones ranging from the pleading to the berating.
“The Obama administration’s recent
statements regarding the US relationship
with Israel are a matter of serious concern,” the American Israel Public Affairs
Committee said in a statement on Sunday
night, a rare direct broadside from an
organisation that generally operates
behind the scenes. “AIPAC calls on the
administration to take immediate steps
to defuse the tension with the Jewish
State.”
Like an array of other Jewish groups,
AIPAC wants the matter kept quiet: “We
strongly urge the administration to work
closely and privately with our partner
Israel, in a manner befitting strategic
allies, to address any issues between the
two governments.”
But Obama administration officials,
who accepted Netanyahu’s explanation
that he had been blindsided by the
announcement of new housing units for
Jews in eastern Jerusalem, nonetheless
were not ready to let the matter go.
In addition to Friday’s summons of
Oren, State Department spokesman PJ
Crowley described a conversation the
same day between Netanyahu and US
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in
exceptionally blunt terms. Clinton
objected to the announcement “not just
in terms of timing, but also in its substance”, Crowley said.
The Netanyahu-Clinton phone call
reportedly lasted 45 minutes - and by
most accounts sounded less like the
“conversation” Oren says he had with
Steinberg and more like a lecture.
Ha’aretz reported that Clinton, who is
scheduled to speak at the AIPAC conference next week, wants three demands
met beyond Netanyahu’s offer to check
into how the announcement was made.
In order to defuse the US-Israel tensions, Clinton wants Israel to reverse the
decision to add housing in eastern
Jerusalem, make a substantive gesture
to the Palestinians, such as a prisoner
release, and agree to peace talks that
encompass not only borders but finalstatus issues such as refugees and
Jerusalem.
Continued on page 13
Palestinians in
the West Bank
city of
Ramallah
carry pictures
of the late terrorist Dalal
Moughrabi
during a controversial ceremony naming a plaza for
her on March
11.(PHOTOGRAPH:
FLASH90)
The settlement issue is a source of ongoing tension between Israel and the Obama administration. In the picture is
Ma’ale Adumim, a large Israeli settlement very close to Jerusalem in the West Bank and on the edge of the Judean desert.
More severe tension relates to Israeli building construction within East Jerusalem and settlements deeper into the West
Bank. (FILE PHOTO)
19 - 26 March 2010
SA JEWISH REPORT
OPINION AND ANALYSIS
FORUM FOR DIVERSE VIEWS
US-Israel crisis: This time, it’s serious
Continued from page 12
On Monday, Netanyahu told a Likud
Party meeting that construction in
Jerusalem would not stop. However, his
defence minister and Labour Party leader
Ehud Barak said more needed to be done to
assuage the Americans. Barak hinted at a
Labour Party meeting that failure to do so
could lead his party to withdraw from the
government.
In the past, the pro-Israel community has
been able to rally push back against
demands like those of Clinton. The Ford
administration backed down from its threat
of “reassessment” in 1975 after AIPAC garnered more than 70 signatures from the
Senate signalling that Congress would override any presidential attempt to cut back
funds. That was the lobby’s first signal victory, accruing to it the “don’t mess with us”
reputation it maintains until now.
Now, however, the president can count on
a Democratic Congress less likely to break
ranks with him in a Washington that has
become much more partisan. Notably,
Republicans have sided with Israel in the
matter, but as of Monday the only Democrat
to speak out for Israel has been
Representative Shelley Berkley (Democrat
Nevada), perhaps the most-pro-Israel stalwart in her caucus. Other more powerful
pro-Israel reliables - like Representative
Howard Berman (Democrat California),
chairman of the House Foreign Affairs committee - have been silent.
It’s unclear, however, what impact they
would have if they did speak out. Unlike
President Ford in 1975 or President George
H W Bush in 1991, Obama is not threatening
any cut in assistance to Israel, rendering
Congress’ “purse strings” powers superfluous. By holding back on such threats, the
Obama administration can ignore Congress
and continue to reproach Israel.
In fact, it is Obama’s stated commitment
to “tachles” - increased assistance to Israel
in the realm of military co-operation, such
as missile defence, and ramped up pressure
on Iran to make its nuclear intentions transparent - that has made the latest flap particularly upsetting to members of the president’s circle who are close to Israel and have
been pushing Obama on these issues.
There are signs of a push-back strategy
among Israel and its Washington supporters: Frame Palestinian provocations as
more damaging than the announcement of
building in Jerusalem.
Berkley listed Palestinian violations in
her statement: “Where, I ask, was the
administration’s outrage over the arrest
and month-long incarceration by Hamas of
a British journalist who was investigating
arms smuggling into Gaza?
“Where was the outrage when the
Palestinian Authority this week named a
town square after a woman who helped
carry out a massive terror attack against
Israel? It has been the PA who has refused to
participate in talks for over a year, not the
government of Israel. Yet once again, no
concern was lodged by the administration.”
The Obama administration routinely condemns Hamas terrorism and has chided the
Palestinian Authority for dragging its feet
on talks; the State Department’s most recent
human rights roundup cited Palestinian
incitement as an ongoing problem.
However, Obama officials have not condemned the naming of the square after
Dalal Mughrabi, a woman who died leading
a 1978 terrorist attack that killed 38 Israeli
civilians, including 13 children.
Meanwhile, the Israeli Cabinet appeared
to get Netanyahu’s message about the need
to avoid future embarrassments of US officials (and, for that matter, of the prime minister himself); the poorly timed announcement of the Ramat Shlomo building was
believed to be part of a “more right wing
than thou” contest of wills between two
ministers of the religious Shas Party,
Interior Minister Eli Yishai and Housing
Minister Ariel Attias.
For his part, Attias was cowed, pleading
on Israel Radio on Monday morning to
“look forward” and asking “experienced
and wise people” in the United States and
Israel not to let matters further deteriorate.
(JTA)
Oren, White House
deny ‘crisis quotes’
WASHINGTON - Israel’s ambassador to
Washington and the White House has
denied remarks that have fuelled the
current Israel-US crisis.
Israel’s Michael Oren was quoted this
week by Ha’aretz as saying that relations between the two countries were at
a 35-year low after Israel embarrassed
Vice President Joe Biden during a visit
to the region, by announcing a massive
housing development in Jerusalem.
On Tuesday evening, Oren issued a
statement flatly denying that account of
a conference call he had last Saturday
night with Israeli diplomats.
“I was flagrantly misquoted about
remarks I made in a confidential briefing this past Saturday,” Oren said in a
statement. “Recent events do not - I
repeat - do not represent the lowest
point in the relations between Israel
and the United States.
“Though we differ on certain issues,
our discussions are being conducted in
an atmosphere of co-operation as befitting long-standing relations between
allies. I am confident that we will overcome these differences shortly.”
Separately, numerous media quoted
senior White House officials as denying
an account in Yediot Achronot last
week that Biden had told Israeli Prime
Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that
Israel was endangering the lives of
American troops in the region.
“He never said that, and there’s no
basis to assert that he did,” The
Atlantic quoted one official as saying.
“What he did say in a meeting with
the prime minister and his senior advisers and his own team, was that the US is
doing a number of things in our national security interest, and in Israel’s
national security interest, and they
include a strong effort to build a coalition against Iran’s nuclear programme;
deploying 200 000 troops in conflict
areas in the region; standing against
efforts to delegitimise Israel in various
international bodies, sometimes virtually alone; acting decisively against terrorists in very significant ways; and
building probably the strongest defence
co-operation relationship with Israel
that we’ve seen, including on missile
defence.” (JTA)
13
14
SA JEWISH REPORT
19 - 26 March 2010
TAPESTRY
ART, BOOKS, DANCE, FILM, THEATRE
ARTS MATTERS
COMPILED BY
ROBYN SASSEN
Call 084-319-7844 or
[email protected] at
least one week prior to
publication
Art on Paper, Milpark: “Beast
at Home”, by Bonita Alice, until
April 3, (011) 726-2234.
David
Krut,
Parkwood:
William Kentridge’s “The
Nose” etchings, until April 10,
(011) 447-0627.
Fugard Theatre, District 6:
Athol Fugard’s “The Traindriver” until April 11, (021) 4614554.
Joburg Theatre, Braamfontein: In the Mandela, SA Ballet
Theatre performs “Swan Lake”,
until April 4. In the Fringe,
“Unforgettable: The Nat King
Cole Story”, March 23 - April 11,
(011) 877-6800. In the People’s
Theatre, Kipling’s “Jungle
Book”, directed by Jill Gerard
and Keith Smith, until April 18,
(011) 403-1563.
Kalk Bay Theatre, Cape
Town: “London Road”, with
Robyn Scott and Ntombi
Makutshi, until April 10, 073220-5430.
Market, Newtown: In the
Laager,
Patrick
Marber’s
“Closer” opens March 25; in the
Barney Simon, “Death of a
Colonialist”, directed by Craig
Freimond, opens March 26,
(011) 832-1641.
Montecasino, Fourways: In
the Studio, “Unplugged: The
Musicals”, until April 18. In the
Main Theatre, Mzansi Productions’ “Somebody to Love”, until
March 21. “Boeing Boeing”,
directed by Alan Swerdlow
opens March 25. In Teatro,
“Stomp” opens March 23, (011)
511-1818.
National Children’s Theatre,
Parktown: Johanna Spyri’s
“Heidi”, directed by Joyce
Levinsohn, until April 17, (011)
484-1584.
Old Mutual Theatre on the
Square, Sandton: Fugard’s
“Master Harold and the Boys”,
directed by James Ngcobo, until
April 10. On March 28, Francois
le Roux (Ha-Man) and Paul
Hanmer in concert, (011) 8838606.
Promusica Theatre, Roodepoort:
Diversity Quartet,
directed by Yudi Cohen performs, March 21, (011) 674-1357.
Sibikwa, Benoni: Sibikwa’s
second Dance Xplosion, March
21, (011) 422-4359.
State Theatre, Pretoria: In
the Drama, “Sing”, a 17th-century romp with Tobie Cronjé,
Lizz Meiring and Terence
Bridgett, until March 28. In the
Opera, Opera Africa performs
“La Bohème”, March 20 - 27,
(012) 322-1665.
Theatre on the Bay, Camps
Bay: “Roots... Shmoots” and
“Gimpel the Fool”, with Saul
Reichlin, until March 27, (021)
438-3301.
Wits University, Braamfontein: Paul Hanmer and McCoy
Mrubata perform, March 27,
(011) 717-1380.
A concert to strengthen consular
ties - where East and West meet
Concert: Johannesburg
Philharmonic Orchestra (Linder)
Conductor: Yasuo Shinozaki
Soloist: Noriko Ogawa, piano
Programme: Music by Allan
Stephenson, Toru Takemitsu and
Tchaikovsky
REVIEWED BY PAUL BOEKKOOI
THIS CONCERT celebrated a century of consular and later also diplomatic ties between Japan and South
Africa. Two compositions representing composers of each of the countries, were performed in the first
half, after the performance of the
South African and Japanese
national anthems the JPO.
The concert proper commenced
with “A Johannesburg Overture”
by British-born Capetonian Allen
Stephenson. Written in 1992, it
illustrates Stephenson’s accessible-to-all approach to music, his
grip on sonata form, contrapuntal
playfulness and his winning streak
concerning orchestration.
However, halfway through the
piece I wanted to say “hello, John
Williams”. At times it really
sounds like film music, and in this
Pianist Noriko Ogawa.
PHOTOGRAPH: SATORU MITSUTA
(WWW.HKSINFONIETTA.ORG)
particular overture skylines in
sound flash past your eyes. That’s
exactly what Stephenson, according to his programme note, wanted
to convey. Yasuo Shinozaki conducted it with rousing enthusiasm.
For me its effect was like candy
floss for the external ear and cotton
wool for the inner.
Listeners had to make a drastic
paradigm shift as soon as pianist
Noriko Ogawa, the JPO and
Shinozaki opened with the sounds
of Toru Takemitsu’s “riverrun”
piano concerto of 1984. Due to the
fact that Takemitsu uses his forces
sparingly, the way the music
sounds is rather more multi-layered than dense. An expressive
intensity is ever present, but it
would be hard to find a common
denominator which could describe
it as sounding “Japanese”.
In many ways expressionism is at
work. The self-taught Takemitsu
can sound strikingly reminiscent of
Messiaen, while at other times a
Ravel-like texture, a watery mode,
or a succession of tones reminding
one of Debussy, passes the diapason of a typical Takemitsu sound.
In these instances the composer
also became a kind of neoImpressionist.
In Ms Ogawa’s scrupulous way
in bringing the solo part to life, we
experienced its beauty in the rich
sonorities and harmonies within
this predominantly slow-moving,
reflective and meditative music.
By hearing all this first-hand and
in concert, one immediately recognised why Takemitsu (1930-1996)
became the first Japanese composer who also achieved fame outside
of his country of birth. In him the
cross-pollination between East and
West was completed - something
“riverrun” explores and demonstrates on all levels. The lucid textures, sounds, as well as his serenity, is truly something to behold.
Let’s hope we can keep on welcoming Japanese artists to our
shores. They can open our hearts,
minds and souls even further to the
music of someone like Takemitsu,
or lesser-known composers who
might have followed in his footsteps.
Notwithstanding a blackout just
before the end of the opening
movement
of
Tchaikovsky’s
Symphony No 5, the JPO gave us a
warmly moulded reading within
generally steady speeds. Woodwind
ensemble could have been more
precise in parts of the Valse; otherwise the symphony burst at the
seams with presence, passion,
drama and vitality.
Olckers steals problem-beset Swan Lake glory
Ballet: “Swan Lake” performed by
The South African Ballet Theatre,
The Mandela, Joburg Theatre, (011)
877-6800
Choreography: after Petipa and
Ivanov
Music: Tchaikovsky
Design: Vanessa Nicolau (set), Simon
King (lighting)
Key performers: Burnise Silvius,
Hyon Kyung Cho, Lauryn Summerley,
Robin van Wyk, Yolandi Olckers and
Guy Wheatstone.
Until: April 4
REVIEWED BY JONATHAN HURWITZ
FACING AN uncertain future, as the
South African Ballet Theatre (SABT)
is now, impacts not only on the logistics of presenting a major classic like
“Swan Lake” but, as we saw last
weekend, sets up a frisson of tension
that can be propulsive and debilitating.
But despite reduction in the number of permanent company members
and recorded music rather than an
orchestra, SABT opened a long run of
“Swan Lake” with three performances that, while tinged with apprehension, were mostly attractively and
confidently performed by soloists
and corps de ballet alike
Although not an ideal way to
perform a great classic like “Swan
Lake”, given the company’s
reduced numbers and the ongoing
shortage of male dancers (scarce
at the best of times, given the present uncertainty of ballet as a
career in South Africa, the problem becomes acute), the decision
to shed sections of choreography
makes sense.
Gone are Act I’spas de trois and
some of the national dances in Act
III; these cuts do not impact negatively on telling the story. The single interval format makes for a
more streamlined narrative.
Injuries seem to have played
havoc with the casting of the role
of Prince Siegfried. On opening
night Burnise Silvius was paired
with technically neat senior corps
de ballet dancer Hyun Kyung Cho
whose slight physique and modest
presence cause him often to disappear from the action.
The technically immaculate
Silvius, superb in so much else,
does not have quite the necessary
amplitude for Odette-Odile; her
FELDMAN
ON FILM
Peter Feldman
PICK OF THE WEEK
The Blind Side
Cast: Sandra Bullock, Tim McGraw, Kathy
Bates, Quinton Aaron, Lily Collins, Jae Head
Director: John Lee Hancock
Two outstanding films, “The Blind Side” and
“The Hurt Locker”, are being released. Both
netted Oscars and they are obviously capitalising now on their success.
In next week’s issue I will review Kathryn
Bigelow’s “The Hurt Locker” which is a far
more intense, edge-of-the-seat production
about the elite group of soldiers who defuse
bombs in Iraq.
A far lighter, but still an immensely uplifting production, is “The Blind Side” which has
projected actress Sandra Bullock into a new
Burnise
Silvius as
OdetteOdile. (PHOTOGRAPH BY
JOHN HOGG)
performance, if translated into
operatic terms, is akin to a fine
Mozartean in a role of Wagnerian
dimensions.
An even more marked economy of
scale pervaded Lauryn Summerley’s Odette-Odile at the second performance and this reticence was
thrown into sharper focus by Robin
van Wyk’s generous showing as her
Prince.
In his first-ever Prince Siegfried,
the Cape Town City Ballet guest
artist combines experience and pas-
hemisphere.
She has picked up her first Oscar and thoroughly deserves this accolade - after spending
so much time during her career stumbling
through mostly mediocre fare. She has not
been my favourite actress, but in John Lee
Hancock’s film she shows true grit.
Based on a true story, “The Blind Side” is
the tale of teenager Michael Oher (Quinton
Aaron) who has spent most of his life surviving on his own.
When he is spotted on the street by Leigh
Anne Tuohy, played by a blonde-haired
Bullock, he is homeless.
Learning that this giant of a young man is
one of her daughter’s classmates, Leigh Anne
insists that Michael - wearing shorts and a tshirt in the middle of winter - comes out of the
cold and goes home with them for the night.
What begins as a simple gesture of kindness turns into something much more farreaching as Michael becomes part of the
Tuohy family despite the differences in their
backgrounds.
What elevates “The Blind Side” is not only
Bullock’s muscular performance, but
Hancock’s subtle touch and his refusal to give
sion to create a character that
responds vividly to the drama and
whose dancing devours space.
The weekend’s most auspicious
performance came from Yolandi
Olckers whose Odette on Saturday
night displayed a clean, elegant
line, musically sensitive phrasing
and a potent ability to both project
character and tell the story of the
bewitched princess-turned-swan.
The great Act II pas de deux
effectively captures the awakening
of her love for Siegfried and when
she returns to her swan-like incarnation at the end of the act, she
leaves a shimmer in the air.
She has the ability to enhance
Guy Wheatstone’s hesitant but
attractively danced debut as the
Prince, reflecting and making visible his love for her in a way that the
youthful Wheatstone does not yet
achieve in his own right.
Although less effective as the evil
Odile, overall Olckers’ performance was a notable achievement.
• Senior SABT ballerina Angela
Malan dances her farewell performances partnered by visiting
Latvian dancer Raimond Martinov,
on March 21, 24, 26 and 28.
in to sports movie clichés. Hancock (of “The
Rookie” fame) displays a sure hand in his
audience manipulation and also keeps the
film on an even keel by carefully balancing
the emotional aspects with bursts of humour,
as well as managing to score the occasional
telling point about what causes one to value
individuals.
This is a story about triumph over adversity and is uplifting while, at the same time,
providing a strong social commentary.
The real Michael Omar, whom we glimpse
in the final credits, became an American football superstar. Portraying him is newcomer
Quinton Aaron who certainly knows how to
give shape and form to the character. He
oozes both spirituality and physicality.
The support team are uniformly good;
Country superstar Tim McGraw as the
wealthy father; Jae Head as SJ, the bright
young son who bonds with his new black
brother; and daughter Collins (Lily Collins)
who shows spunk as the older sister who
defies peer pressure to embrace her new
brother. Kathy Bates plays the dedicated
tutor who helps take Michael to new levels.
“The Blind Side” is a winner.
19 - 26 March 2010
SA JEWISH REPORT
TAPESTRY
ART, BOOKS, DANCE, FILM, THEATRE
Alas, weak contributions
demean the worthy ones
The Book Lovers’ Appreciation
Society (Orion, R113)
REVIEWED BY GWEN PODBREY
WHEN SHORT story anthologies
are over-hastily, or under-discerningly, put together, there is a real
risk of allowing weak contributions to demean not only the better
ones, but the entire collection.
Moreover, when anthologies are
compiled “to celebrate women”
(meaning that they are all about
the infidelities, follies and fickleness of men), one is doubly wary.
In this case, however, the cause
behind the compilation - the UK’s
Breast Cancer Care initiative,
which provides financial, emotional and therapeutic support to indigent patients - is so worthy that
one forgives the poor judgement of
the editors.
Nevertheless, while the list of 34
contributors includes some wellrespected authors (Nicci French,
Maeve Binchy, Elizabeth Noble,
Joanna Trollope and Anne Fine),
as well as four men, too little
thought has been given to the standard of writing.
This is particularly true of the
first few stories, which are chicklit at its most one-dimensional indeed, just one step up from Mills
& Boone. A breathless foreword
from pop singer and former Spice
Girl Geri Halliwell, lauding the
stories because they are “short”
and “they are specially written for
us women, us females!” (her exclamation mark), hardly helps.
Entering the book, one’s worst
fears seem to be confirmed. Maeve
Binchy’s story, “A Healthy Option”
- a simpering little tale about a
downtrodden,
under-confident
young woman who comes into her
own by taking a professional risk,
Rowan Coleman’s “In Sunlight and
in Shadow” (about a woman who
“Finds Herself” (and Love, Truth
and Fulfilment, into the bargain) in
a Venetian art gallery) and Katie
Fforde’s “The Holiday of a
Marriage”, in which a middle-aged
wife discovers an unexpected side
of her husband, all scrape the bottom of an already shallow barrel.
Kate Mosse’s “The Blind Spot” a florid, cloyingly sentimental
essay about forgiveness - reads like
a parson’s sermon, with about the
same level of pomp and prescriptiveness.
But persevere and things
improve markedly. Some of the
writers have chosen not to linger
on the lot of
abandoned/
abused/deluded/oppressed
women, and have instead crafted
stories about relationships where
the female is at least as culpable as
her partner, or where woman-onwoman violence and betrayal is
vividly explored.
Nicci French’s “Straight and
True Like the Lilies of the Field” is
a diabolically clever work about
the revenge exacted by fat, ugly
Bella - the class misfit who suffered years of humiliation and
misery - on her tormentors at a
high school reunion long after the
girls have grown into women.
Well written and finely controlled, it carries a twist that would
do Roald Dahl proud. Mark Mills’
“Bred in the Bone” continues the
upswing, with a story about a
young mother whose terminally ill
son propels her into disclosing a
terrible secret to her husband.
In “The Last Word”, also by Nicci
French, a successful career
woman, sharing a home with her
unemployed partner, suddenly has
to deal with his fury and resentment at the reversal of their roles.
Bitter and malicious, he reveals the
extraordinary lengths he has gone
to in documenting her shortcomings (by way of proxy for his own).
The story is a terrifying scenario
of gender politics taken to extreme
levels - and an illuminating look at
what can incubate in the silences
and absences of a long-term relationship.
In all three of these stories, we
are given a refreshing perspective
of women as the stronger, more
manipulative of the genders.
Then there is Elizabeth Jane
Varley’s “A Charitable Woman”, a
poignant, hard-hitting story about
the hostility between a disfigured
cancer survivor and her healthy,
attractive sister-in-law.
After years of antipathy, the two
women suddenly find a moment of
connection when they are forced to
recognise what it is that they dislike in each other.
The story is not only intelligent,
but brave and honest, dealing candidly with the reality of breast
cancer - as befits this anthology and its long-term psychological
effects on victims.
And, adding the ultimate
redemptive touch to the book, the
inimitable Alexander McCall
Smith’s contribution, “Men Don’t
Wear Pink”, takes us on a delightful and hilarious visit to the office
of the No 1 Ladies’ Detective
Agency, where Mma Precious
Ramotswe is startled by the arrival
of her assistant, Grace Makutsi, in
a red dress. “It was a most peculiar
dress. It was... well, it was difficult
to describe. Rather like a tent? A
tent that had collapsed in the
wind? And that red?
“It was not a colour that one normally saw in a dress - or in anything, really, except perhaps overripe tomatoes.”
In fact, the dress was a gift from
Phuti Radiphuti, who found it at
the hawkers’ market, immediately
snapped it up and proudly presented it to his unfortunate fiancée,
Mma Makuti.
The problem now is how to convey to Radiphuti firmly, but tactfully (for feelings may not be wilfully hurt among civilised people),
that the domain of female fashion
would be better left to women.
As always, Mma Ramotswe hits
on an ideal solution - combining
ingenuity, finesse and diplomacy.
And, as always, McCall Smith’s
gentle, jocular magic leaves one
sorry to reach the concluding
paragraph.
For gems like these, it is worth
wading through the muck. And
while it is regrettable that the 35
stories in the book vary so widely
in terms of quality and relevance,
the book does offer entertaining,
albeit lightweight, reading.
CONTACT
Trevor Stamelman: 082-608-0168
[email protected]
www.stamelmanproperties.co.za
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15
16
SA JEWISH REPORT
19 - 26 March 2010
LETTERS
Disclaimer
The letters page is intended to provide opportunity for a range of views on any given topic to be
expressed. Opinions articulated in the letters are those of the writers and do not necessarily
reflect the views of the editor, staff or directors of the Jewish Report
GRAVE DOUBTS ABOUT THE ‘WHOLE CODESA EPISODE’
I READ the editorial of the SA Jewish
Report (of March 12) and I don’t understand what its message is supposed to be.
It seems to be that, since Israel might
(according to the column) be pressurised
one day to basically (hand) control to
some Palestinian group, it should do some
capitulation now and give up hope.
Regarding what Nelson Mandela was in
prison for, and why or how he was
released: I would like to mention that he
was imprisoned in the first place for planning a violent takeover of South Africa.
And 20 years later, he orchestrated (as he
admitted in his biography, according to
http://www.hnp.org.za, the Pretoria
Church Street bombing of May 20, 1983,
which resulted in 19 innocent people dead
and over 200 injured.
He was offered parole in exchange for
denouncing that bombing, but he refused
that offer, until South Africa - for some
reason or another - completely capitulated
to the ANC, after Mandela was unconditionally released less than eight years
after that bomb.
In South African prisons there are prisoners who are there for more years, for
killing fewer - and sometimes less innocent - people.
I wouldn’t like to be too controversial,
but the fact is that unlike Africans in the
past in the homelands of “South Africa”,
Afrikaners today have basically no selfdetermination.
So, who is the fanatical one and who the
pragmatic one? How would Jews respond
to a bombing of a synagogue, which, G-d
forbid, caused so many casualties? And
how would Muslims respond to such a
bombing of a mosque?
The bottom line is that the example of
the Codesa episode is questionable.
Avner Eliyahu Romm
Sea Point, Cape Town
COMMISSION ON KOSHER PRICING: QUESTIONS FOR THE UOS
THE CURRENT communal concern
(Jewish Report March 5 et al) with regard
to the commission into the price of kosher
food (starting with chicken), has elicited a
number of interesting observations.
It’s too much of a coincidence that concurrent with the communal concern, that a
statement from the Union of Orthodox
Synagogues detailing the work of the commissioners, Messrs Kingston and Peper, has
surfaced now. We remind the UOS that it is
due to community concern that the commission has been requested in the first place.
It is the community that has expressed
alarm at high prices, not the UOS. It will
serve no purpose whatsoever for an air of
arrogance to pervade this important communal concern. This arrogance, unfortunately, was noted from comments attributed
to the UOS’ CEO made in the “Myshetl”
website.
Now that the announcement has been
made, it will be appreciated if the community could be informed as to how these two
gentlemen (Kingston and Peper) came to be
appointed. What is their sphere of expertise?
We repeat the request to know how the
independence of the commissioners is
going to be guaranteed. And furthermore,
surely the community should also be a participant in this commission from whom the
commissioners could glean evidence. It is,
after all, the community that is spending
the money to keep kosher!
Since this issue surfaced, there have been
a number of pricing issues highlighted by
the community in both the Jewish Report
and other sites. The thread running
through all of these has been that of high
cost compared to the cost of non-kosher.
It is appreciated by the community
that there has to be a cost involved in
ensuring that kosher standards are
maintained; it is how that cost ( regarded
in some instances as excessive) becomes
ingrained in the “cost price” of items
that contributes to this concern. And it
is from that base that the profitability
issue arises as suppliers/manufacturers
are in the business of trading profitably.
In the absence of any indication that
the community will be invited to make
representation to the commission, we
hope that in the course of the commission’s deliberations, the following areas,
among others, will be covered:
1. Are the Beth Din charges for certification and inspection excessive?
2. Is there a premium cost for the
“Pesachdik” certification including the
“mashgiach fees” over and above the
normal kosher certification? What is the
justification for this?
3. Where an importer who wishes to
bring in bulk kosher supplies and repackage them, having to pay an excessive duty imposed by the Beth Din for
that purpose, is it not counter-productive?
4. Are there supplier “kick-backs” that
benefit the Beth Din ?
It is hoped, too, that the community be
given time frames within which the commission will work and report.
Albert Glass
Cape Town
KOL HAKAVOD TO EL AL AND ITS CREW, SAYS CARLEBACH
ON FRIDAY March 12, I had the pleasure of
flying back to Johannesburg from Israel on
an El Al flight. The crew were friendly, courteous and smiling.
I am in the year of mourning for my late
mother and was concerned about missing a
kaddish in the Shacharis - morning prayers. I
approached the head of the crew, a Mr Harel
and told him my dilemma. I pointed out that
I didn’t want to interfere with their serving
breakfast and inquired as to when would be
the most convenient time to make a minyan
so that I can recite my obligatory kaddish.
His response to me: “Kaddish acharei haima oleh al koolano - Kaddish takes priority
over everything else. Whenever you find it
convenient, go ahead and daven. We will
work around you.”
I managed to gather a minyan, some with
tefillin, with others just agreeable to stand
and answer amen with us and we davened.
I was a little embarrassed because I felt so
many of us standing in the galley for so long,
and this while the staff were actually serving the meal. It did appear to be an interference, yet all the stewardesses smiled and
went on with their work, allowing us to
freely fulfil our spiritual requirements
My thanks to Mr Harel and all his coworkers on that particular flight. My
respects to El Al for the courtesy and help,
especially in matters of Yiddishkeit. May
Hashem give them His brochos and may they
continue their route to South Africa for
many years to come
I would also like to express my thanks to
Rabbi Aron Grinshtein who is studying in
Pretoria, for running around and organising
a minyan for me for both mincha and maariv
on the SAA flight when I came back from the
US after shiva for my mother. Due to him, I
did not miss any kaddish.
Rabbi Alex Carlebach
Chabad of Lyndhurst
Johannesburg
FOR THE RECORD
One Partnership 2000 recipient was a woman
IN THE article about Partnership 2000 on
page 2 of March 12, the heading incorrectly
reads: "Partnership 2000 pays tribute to two
exceptional men". In fact one of the recipients was a man and the other a woman.
Also, the article was written by Eli
Rudolph, national director Partnership 2000
South Africa; Ilan Ossendryver took the
photos but did not write the article. We
regret the errors.
The Editor, Suite 175, Postnet X10039, Randburg, 2125 email: [email protected]
Guidelines for letters
Letters up to 400 words will get preference. Please provide your full first name and surname, place of
residence, and a daytime contact telephone or cell number. We do not publish letters under noms de
plume. Letters should preferably be e-mailed. Letters may be edited or shortened.
MARCH OF THE KASRILS TRIUMVIRATE A DAMP SQUIB
NOTWITHSTANDING
widespread
advertising, the march through Gaza,
intended to doom Israel in the world’s
eyes, (planned for the year’s end, and
the new year’s beginning, 2009-2010)
petered out. Do not imagine, however,
that this is the last we have heard of the
initiators of the march, the triumvirate
Ronnie Kasrils and the two British parliamentarians, George Galloway and
Gerald Kauffman.
The cost must have been immense.
According to reports, there were no less
than 198 trucks, the contents of which
were not allowed to be inspected by the
person in charge, George Galloway.
These trucks, with drivers, and
requiring fuel and maintenance, were
shipped on one vessel, first from the UK
to the Syrian harbour, Lantakia, then
south to Alexandria and, finally, back
empty, to the UK.
Between 500 and 1 300 so-called
“activists” quite obviously required provisioning and accommodation. The
money-donors could not have been very
pleased by the anti-climatic outcome.
Galloway had, eventually, to be deported
by the Egyptians.
But the planning and the organising
bears all the hallmarks of the experi-
ence and ideology of Kasrils. He won’t
stop now. Clues as to his likely future
anti-Israel activity can be found in
“People’s War” by Dr Althea Jeffery,
published by Jonathan Ball under the
auspices of the SA Institute of Race
Relations.
Kasrils invariably drew his inspiration
from the former Soviet Union and from
the revolutionary wars in Vietnam.
Close contact with the KGB and with the
Vietnamese revolutionary leadership
has led to a recognisable pattern in his
activities - organising usually successful
“mass-actions” and, finally, the further
step of open war.
This pattern became obvious in 1990 in
regard to “Operation Vula”, when
Kasrils headed Umkhonto weSizwe’s
special operations. It became even clearer at Bisho in 1992.
Who are Kasrils’ current financial
backers? Is it Libya? Is it Iran? One can
only guess. But the “March through
Gaza”, that never was, should alert not
only the Israeli government but also ourselves in the Diaspora.
Julian Schragenheim
Pinelands
Cape Town
MAYBE A PRODUCT BOYCOTT WILL BRING DOWN KOSHER PRICES
IT IS reported that some years ago a man
approached a prominent rabbi and said that
he liked cheese but could not afford the high
kosher cheese prices. He allegedly asked
(the rabbi) how to overcome the problem.
The rabbi is reported to have replied that
if all kosher customers were to boycott the
cheese and refuse to buy it until the price
came down, there would be an improvement.
As we know, sellers will charge what the
market will bear. As long as we pay the
price, it will continue to rise.
What if an organised boycott was
arranged of kosher meat and poultry,
cheese and fish? Would that bring it within
the range of more Jews wishing to keep
kosher?
Last week I saw an older woman sadly
turn away from a kosher counter saying she
could not afford R78 for a small chicken for
Shabbat. So many of our older Jews are living on ever-diminishing incomes and are
undernourished as they cannot afford the
proteins they require to keep healthy.
The chicken in question was not even a
fresh one, but was frozen very hard indeed
and filled with pupik, helzel and feet to
make up weight.
One finds chickens with two stomachs,
three feet and even two necks!
When you consider that the bones, offal
and skin of the chicken have to be discarded, it does not leave much meat and the
chicken soup is soon consumed. One needs
more than this.
Then too, families with children are also
suffering and the children are not getting
the essential proteins they require in early
life to grow correctly.
Are we as a community of so-called
moral Jews going to stand by and see this
continue? Time has come to stop the cycle
and while one realises that all must earn a
living, excessive margins are not acceptable. We need a Maccabian revolt! This is
just not right!
Lynette Douglas
Umhlanga Rocks
NAUSEATING ANTI-ISRAEL PROPAGANDA FROM SO-CALLED PRO-ISRAEL JEWS
AS A reasonably informed “liberal right”
Zionist activist, I am keenly aware of dangers to the best interests of Israel and
Jewry lurking behind such groups as the
recently launched Ameinu in South Africa.
For example, the Ameinu website
http//www.ameinu.net
features
a
Guardian newspaper article by Tony
Greenstein claiming that the JNF deliber-
ately indulged in “ethnic cleansing” activities against Arabs - which was so sickening that I just could not finish reading it.
The anti-Israel propaganda was simply
nauseating, coming from Jews claiming to
be “pro-Israel”.
David Abel
George
ALL ABOUT INTELLECTUALS - AND NOT-SO-INTELLECTUALS
I HAVE been reading with interest, even
amazement about a group of young intellectual people who are protesting the closing of a street in Hebron, namely the “Open
Shahuda Street” saga in which Israelis of
Hebron have closed a street to Palestinians.
According to Collins Dictionary, an intellectual is one who reasons and uses his
intelligence rather than using his emotions. (In my opinion there are often underlying emotions driving his logic.)
Intellectuals, however, have one flaw in
their thinking, they assume that the bulk of
the population, the masses, behave in a
rational manner as they, the intellectuals
do.
The intellectual communist theorists
(Marx and Engels) assumed that the masses, if given the opportunity, would work
efficiently, plan and assume accountability.
Communism is a classic case of good intentions gone awry.
Capitalism on the other hand is a wasteful, messy system subject to fraud and corruption, but it permits people who can plan
and assume accountability, to rise to the
top of the commercial-industrial hierar-
chy, which makes the system viable (not
necessarily good, but at least viable).
(Robert) Mugabe, a true intellectual, if
ever there was one, assumed that the peasants, if given land, would work efficiently,
plan and assume accountability - that they
would act in an intellectual rational manner. (Oy vey!)
The pro-Palestinian Jewish and/or
Israeli intellectuals attribute the above
positive characteristics to the Palestinian
masses, in spite of what Hamas did to the
Fatah leadership in Gaza; in spite of what
has been the fate of Israeli prisoners of
war.
They (the intellectuals) discount the
rantings of the Iranian leader and the
charter of his proxies, Hamas and
Hezbollah.
On this basis, in my opinion, to incorporate another, say one million West Bank
Palestinians into Israel, would be national
suicide. But have no illusions, intellectuals
can be quite militant.
John Brenner
Johannesburg
19 - 26 March 2010
SA JEWISH REPORT
COMMUNITY COLUMNS
ABOVE
BOARD
Zev Krengel,
National Chairman
A column of the SA Jewish Board of Deputies
OVER THE past six months,
there has been much uncertainty over the future of El-Al’s
direct flights to South Africa. At
one time, it was a very real possibility that these would be suspended, given the difficulties
involved in reconciling local
protocol requirements or foreign security personnel operating in this country and the necessarily high security standards
that El Al maintains.
What initially sparked off a
controversy that otherwise
could have been avoided, was an
ill-considered decision by a former El Al employee to take his
grievances with his former
employer to the media.
Normally, this would not be
something that the Board would
involve itself in. The question of
international flights is essentially addressed between the countries concerned at a state-onstate level, while the Board’s
brief is to represent the local
Jewish community’s concerns
in the domestic sphere.
In this case, however, we felt
that the tremendous importance
to our community of safeguarding the direct El Al flight to this
country,
necessitated
our
involvement.
For nearly 60 years, El Al’s
NK
Why the El Al-South Africa
link means so much to us
presence on our soil has been a
visible manifestation of our
community’s enduring relationship with the State of Israel, and
a source of tremendous pride to
each and every one of us.
To lose it would be a heavy
blow, not just on the practical,
but perhaps even more importantly on the emotional level. As
a result, we have devoted considerable effort (almost entirely
carried out behind the scenes)
to helping resolve the problem.
The nature of our involvement, almost ironically, revolved less around persuading our
own government over the
importance to our community of
the El Al flight, than around
convincing the Israeli side in
that regard.
Here, we left no stone
unturned. Urgent representations were made to all parties
who might be in a position to
assist, including Prime Minister
Benjamin
Netanyahu,
the
Minister of Transport, the former head of the Jewish Agency
and prominent Knesset members.
I personally went to Israel to
attend a meeting of all the concerned parties, convened by the
office of Minister for Diaspora
Jewry Yuli Edelshtein.
It was continually stressed
throughout that the suspension
of the flights would cause enormous distress to South African
Jewry, as well as negatively
17
impacting
on
Israel-South
Africa relations.
We further emphasised that
the South African Government,
with which we had engaged at
the highest levels on the issue,
had reacted positively to our
community’s concerns and was
open to finding an amicable and
legally defendable solution to
the problem.
What is truly remarkable
about El Al is that, despite being
particularly
vulnerable
in
terms of terrorist threats, it has
a safety record second to none.
This does not just happen.
Rather, El Al’s absolute commitment to ensuring the safety
of its passengers, Jewish or
non-Jewish, is underpinned by
its rigorous, thoroughly considered security policies.
No matter what arrangements are being made to
address the essentially technical, diplomatic snags that have
arisen, we can be assured that
this crucial aspect of El Al’s
operations will never be compromised.
As things stand, El Al’s South
African flights are continuing,
safeguarded, we believe by a
common desire among all the
relevant parties, to resolve
whatever difficulties that might
arise in a way satisfactory to all
concerned.
This column is paid for by the
SAJBD
18
SA JEWISH REPORT
19 - 26 March 2010
There’s a time to come
and a time to go...
STORY AND PHOTOGRAPH BY
RITA LEWIS
CHANGE IS inevitable but, alas,
not every change is good.
For all the Jewish customers of
Norwood Pick n Pay who are
used to seeing Eric Kantor walking around checking the aisles
packed with kosher goods, his
leaving the organisation will be a
sad day.
Kantor, who will be leaving
Norwood Pick n Pay at the end of
the month to make way for
“younger members of staff”, has
been a staff member of this retail
outlet for over 35 years.
During that time he worked
within the company as a store
manager and buyer. He then
became the kashrut adviser, during which time he built up the
variety, quality and good price
Eric Kantor who will be leaving Norwood Pick n Pay on March 29,
stands with a customer in front of shelves packed with Pesach goods.
structure of the kosher foodstuffs on offer to the public.
Looking back over those years,
customers can recall the dearth
of suitable eatables - many of
which had to be made at home
due to the unavailability of
ingredients or manufacturers
being unable (or unwilling) to
make up foods to the required
standard of kashrut.
Many quoted the inability to
source the correct ingredients,
while others felt that there was
not sufficient demand to warrant
the extra expense in making
goods kosher.
In the ‘70s, a gradual demographic shift as well as a small
groundswell in religious interest
and observance, was starting to
take place.
This was causing circumstances to change in the Jewish
community - especially in
Johannesburg where the late
Rebbetzen Doreen Bender had
created the Kosher Consumer
Council.
With her initial focus being on
supplying the community with
Pesach goods which up to then
had not been kosher, a very
happy Jewish population found
that Coca-Cola (and similar products) could not only be kosher,
but Pesachdik as well - and if
they could not be made here then
they could be easily imported.
Very soon, other manufacturers were being encouraged to
make more items kosher and
gradually the idea steamrolled
among the outlets - especially
with the increasing numbers of
people beginning to become more
aware of keeping kosher.
With Raymond Ackerman at
the helm of Pick n Pay, there was
no lack of encouragement.
In 1975 Kantor joined the team.
He encouraged people “to try
this” or “try that” - things that
had been imported from the
United States and which until
then had been totally unknown and untested - by the community.
In order to keep up to date with
the often asked questions regarding ingredients, hechshers (certificates of approval) and origins
of foods etc, Kantor involved
himself in attending the different
courses in kashrut regularly put
on by the kashrut department of
the Beth Din.
Kantor said he was sad to be
leaving but was very happy with
what he had achieved during his
time there.
He said originally the retirement age at Pick n Pay had been
65, but that had been changed
some 10 years ago. It had then
been arranged for him to continue working on a contract basis,
which he did for another two
years, but he had recently been
told that his contract would not
be renewed.
Rabbi Yossi Baumgarten who
is head of kashrut at the Beth
Din, said he was sorry to be losing Kantor who had done a fine
job in building up the kashrut
section.
Since it had become known
that he was leaving, Kantor had
been inundated with letters of
support and encouragement
from customers.
AROUND
THE WORLD
NEWS IN BRIEF
ISRAELI DEFENCE COMPANY
AWARDED AUSTRALIAN
CONTRACT
SYDNEY, Australia - An Israeli
defence company has won a
$300 million contract to develop
a cutting-edge command and
communications system for the
Australian Defence Force.
The
Haifa-based
Elbit
Systems, one of the world's
largest defence electronics
manufacturers, won the international tender, Australian
Defence Personnel Minister
Greg Combet said on Tuesday.
"The introduction of this new
capability will increase the
ADF's battle space awareness,
automate combat messaging
and assist in the successful conduct of operations," Combet
said
in
a
statement.
"Importantly, this capability
will significantly reduce the
possible risk of casualties
resulting from friendly fire."
The technology will help the
army towards having a fully
networked brigade by 2012, he
added.
Elbit CEO Joseph Ackerman
said the project would take
three years to complete and
would spur additional contracts
from other foreign armies.
"We are in talks with a lot of
different countries," Ackerman
told the Jerusalem Post. "All
militaries are interested in such
command-and-control capabilities." (JTA)
19 - 26 March 2010
SA JEWISH REPORT
19
20
SA JEWISH REPORT
19 - 26 March 2010
19 - 26 March 2010
SA JEWISH REPORT
21
Chabad rabbis leave for a
two-day conference
OWN CORRESPONDENT
PHOTOGRAPH: JOFFE
BERKOWITZ
CHABAD RABBIS from all
over the country left on
Tuesday, March 9, to attend
a two-day conference of the
Kinus Hashluchim South
Africa at Thandeka Lodge
in Bela Bela, Limpopo.
They are pictured here
before their departure, on
the steps of the Torah
Academy
Shul
in
Orchards.
SAJBD
NEC bids
farewell to
Mickie
Helman
DAVID SAKS
THE NATIONAL Executive Committee of
the SAJBD bid farewell to one its longestserving members, Dr Mickie Helman, at
its first meeting for 2010, last Sunday.
Helman is stepping down after more than
25 years as chairman of the Free State and
Northern Cape Council, in which capacity
he also sat on the NEC of the Board.
He is also retiring from medical practice
after 51 years as a GP in Bloemfontein, and
moving to Cape Town, where his children
and grandchildren now live.
In making a presentation to Helman
from the Board, Chairman Zev Krengel
described him as a dedicated stalwart of
Free State Jewry who had led his community with dedication and vigour and whose
departure marked the end of an era.
A further tribute was made by Mr
Justice Ralph Zulman, who was closely
associated with Dr Helman and the Free
State community during his years as an
Appeal Court judge in Bloemfontein.
Hellman said it had been a pleasure and
a privilege for him to have been “associated with so many great people” during his
years on the Board. He remarked that
when he first became involved in Jewish
communal affairs, there were 2 000 Jews
living in Bloemfontein; now, there were
120, most of whom were elderly.
Nevertheless, Jewish communal activities still continued. One of the regular
functions of his committee in which he
took particular pride, were the dignified,
well attended Yom Hashoah ceremonies it
had
organised
each
year.
(The
Bloemfontein branch of the Union of
Jewish Women is also still active, and regular Shabbat and Yomtov services take
place).
SAJBD Chairman Zev Krengel (right) and
Dr Mickie Helman.
22
SA JEWISH REPORT
19 - 26 March 2010
YOUTH TALK
Alison Goldberg [email protected]
SAUJS gets off to a hectic 2010 start
STORY AND PHOTOGRAPH BY
BENJI SHULMAN
It has been a hectic start to the year for
SAUJS branches all over the country. A
corps of newly trained SAUJS committee
members fresh from a leadership development tour, were the key drivers behind the
activities.
To start with, they put together the legendary SAUJS "O-week" packs which included T-shirts, pens, information and SAUJS
vuvuzelas in honour of the Soccer World
Cup.
Not only were the number of Jewish signups record breaking, but a large number of
non-Jews joined as well. Next it was off to
the wilderness of Magaliesberg for
"Hadracha," the SAUJS yearly planning session, where new campus committees were
elected and the year's activities outlined.
To kick off the year, lunchtime braais were
held on all campuses, where hordes of
Jewish students were able to consume vast
quantities of food while relaxing in the summer sun, in a vibey Jewish atmosphere.
A number of specialty events were also
conducted, such as a Friday night dinner in
Cape Town with radio personality Gareth
Cliff as the guest speaker, and the opening of
a Beit Midrash on Wits' campus, to mark a
special place of learning on campus in memory of the late Dr Jocelyn Hellig.
SAUJS Pretoria has also re-launched this
year and we look forward to bringing a
Jewish flavour to Tukkies.
The religious front has not been quiet
either with weekly shiurs on all campuses,
as well as morning minyans being conducted. Of course Purim proved a huge hit;
Kids take up Jungle
Book energy in this
ever-green romp
"Oh help me,
Bagheera!", Mowgli
(Thulasizwe
Cruickshank) is rescued from the
nasty coils of Kaa
(Sama Yoyo), by
the trusty panther
in question (Andre
Lotter).
PHOTOGRAPH BY
JACQUI WHYTE.
Show: "The Jungle Book" (The
People's Theatre, Joburg Theatre,
Braamfontein (011)403-1563)
Children: Estiaan Conradie,
Thulasizwe Cruickshank,
Naushaad Dada, Maahir
Kauchali, Sitara Makanjee,
Jaydene Marais, Vashiv Naiker,
Zanelle Ndlovu, Adam Preston,
Svarya Rajeev, Kelly Rose,
Robynne Scheepers, Omar Swart,
and Sabrena Visser.
Cast: Solomon Cupido, Andre
Lotter, Chris van Rensburg,
Sama Yoyo.
Writer: Rudyard Kipling (1895)
Directors: Jill Girard and Keith
Smith
Design: Marius Boshoff (set),
Linda Wilson (costumes),
Cathrine Hopkins (musical direction)
Until: April 18.
REVIEWED BY ROBYN SASSEN
"YO!" A BOY shouted as tiger
Shere Khan slithered through the
landscape. "His nails aren't real,"
10-year-old Jason Alexander, from
Midrand's
Summit
College
assured us. "They seem to be of
cable ties."
But this didn't dampen collective empathy for Mowgli's cause.
The worst part for nearly nineyear-old Nicholas van Niekerk
was "when Mowgli chased Shere
Khan". You know a small boy
could not beat a big tiger; the horrible possibility of nearly losing a
beloved bear who gets caught in
the frazzle, made it worse.
But, while some grade 3s were
sure they could not be man-cubs,
"you must be born in a jungle",
Langa Masiza patiently explained,
class-mate
Leila
Williams was coyly ambivalent
that she couldn't be considered a
girl-cub. She labelled Baloo her
favourite: "He's funny." Indeed,
prompted by the twangs of
swing, Baloo is a good-natured
mountain of a bear, willing to
risk even his macho identity,
when it comes to diverting evil
and saving Mowgli.
High on the cute stakes, Mowgli
(played by Naushaad Dada on this
occasion) is shrill in the audio
department. With the baby elephant (in this case Kelly Rose), the
child performers in Jungle Book,
including four monkeys, headline
the play in adorability.
Nine- and nearly-nine-yearolds, Nina Bayigama, Melissa
Muzenda, John Wazara and
Sithabiso Madonsela, took the
challenges of letting go of loved
ones and being man enough to
cry, in their stride, and didn't
mind that Raksha, the wolf who
raised Mowgli, was abstracted.
"We read the book," they
explained.
Learners from Summit, St
James Preparatory (Belgravia)
and
Glen
Oaks
Remedial
(Kensington) in this audience
were nonplussed about complicities. They collectively refused to
reveal Mowgli's whereabouts to
Shere Khan, but did so vociferously for Bagheera and Baloo.
"Trust is when you keep your
word," said Nicholas. "It's when
you can rely on someone," Jason
intoned. "It's about making everyone happy," Leila added. The
finale was Langa's favourite: "No
one was bad anymore. Even Shere
Khan had become good." And
trustworthy? No one was willing
to predict.
The fire chasing Shere Khan
into cowering exile, sent ripples
through the audience; the girl
who changes Mowgli's heart sent
tear-thickened aaahs through the
auditorium. While it was impossible to ascertain whether this was
from teachers or children, it does
not matter: Jungle Book's energy
won't fail to soften hearts.
SAUJS members attended the Ohrsom
Purim and enjoyed mishloach manot at the
University of Johannesburg, and music and
hamantaschen at its and UCT.
In all the festivities, protecting Jewish students and building South Africa, has not
been forgotten. SAUJS with the Association
of Black Security Investment Professionals
(ABSIP) hosted political analyst Moeletsi
Mbeki (former President Thabo Mbeki's
brother) on the fate of African capitalism.
We also flew in Noam Bedein from the
Israeli town of Sderot, that has been mercilessly bombed by rockets from the Gaza
Strip, in order to combat "Israel Apartheid
Week" that was held in the first week of
March, and to make students aware of the
reality of the Middle East situation.
The SAUJS focus now shifts toward community events. We are starting a tutoring
KD Primary
Sandton
raises funds
for Haiti
SAUJS National Chairman Stephanie
Hodes (centre) and Wits Chairman Dina
Hendler with Moeletsi Mbeki (brother of
former President Thabo Mbeki).
programme in various localities and assisting with Yom Hashoah and Yom Ha'atzmaut
events, as well as having a few of our own.
Of course the social side of things is never
forgotten at SAUJS and plans are being
made to ensure that we party our way into
Africa's biggest event ever, so watch this
space.
Kelvin Glen accepts the donation from Jared
Greenstein, a pupil at King David Sandton.
JARED GREENSTEIN
PHOTOGRAPH: ARNOLDO MANDEL
JARED GREENSTEIN, a grade 5
pupil at King David Sandton, took
the initiative and undertook a
fundraising exercise for Haiti.
After seeing the news about the
earthquake, the subsequent aftershock and the devastating effects
on the people of Haiti, he decided
that he would do his bit to help. He
approached Mrs Horwitz, the
principal of King David Sandton,
to request permission to raise
money at school and donate it to
the South African Red Cross for
their Haiti relief effort.
Jared spoke in the school assembly and appealed to the learners to
contribute to this worthy cause.
His appeal was also printed in the
school's weekly newsletter.
On February 26, Kelvin Glen of
The South African Red Cross,
attended the school assembly to
receive the donation of R11 750.
Glen gratefully accepted the donation and explained that this
money would be used to help children in Haiti.
'Sandwich Marathon' at KDS
for outreach school Mayibuye
JANICE SPIRO
PHOTOGRAPH: ARNOLDO MANDEL
ALL THE learners from King
David Sandton Primary had a
"Sandwich Marathon" on Friday
March 5 as part of their outreach
programme.
Sasko Bakeries donated 200
loaves of bread and Pick n Pay in
Edenglen donated tins of jam
and jars of peanut butter for the
fillings. The sandwiches were
then delivered to Mayibuye
Primary School in Tembisa for
their school lunch.
Matzah in the making
at Rosabella Klein
King David Sandton learners
with Mayibuye learners from
Tembisa.
Full house for Hirsch Lyons
girls in public speaking
STORY AND PHOTOGRAPH BY SANDRA HIRSCH
THE GRADE Rs from Rosabelle Klein (Waverley)
Nursery School in Johannesburg, took a trip to the
Matzah factory in the city last week.
It was a very special treat, but what made it even
more special is that they were joined by some grade
ones from Yeshiva College.
Great fun was had by all, rolling and pricking the
dough. Unfortunately the children weren't quite fast
enough to finish in the stipulated 18 minutes, so the
matzah wasn't Pesachdik - but that's OK as it was all
eaten before the end of the day anyway!
Front: Tamar Oudmeyer; Elisheva Kacev; and
Lauren Ribeiro. Back: Batsheva Welcher; Cayla
Ackerman; Ruth Aronson; Leah Fihrer; Shannen
Marks; teacher Yehudis Gralnik; Esther Levin;
Gabriella Snoyman; Efrat Jacobs; and Devorah
Wolberg.
YEHUDIS GRALNIK
PHOTOGRAPH: RABBI STEVEN KRAWITZ
Pictured are: Sam Klaff; Judd Sandler; Erin Novick
and Alexi Picker; with the legs of the Yeshiva
College children in the background.
ENTERING THE Speech and Drama Guild public
speaking competition for the very first time, Hirsch
Lyons Girls High School emerged with a full house
when all three teams achieved A symbols.
The school fielded two teams of grade 8 learners
and one team of grade 9s - all of whom are pictured
celebrating their victory.
19 - 26 March 2010
SA JEWISH REPORT
YOUTH TALK
23
Alison Goldberg [email protected]
TA welcomes Motti Hadar,
says goodbye to Calla Niemand
Incoming and
outgoing
principals of
Torah
Academy
Boys' High
School, Rabbi
Motti Hadar
and Calla
Niemand.
STORY AND PHOTOGRAPH BY SUZANNE
BELLING
IT' S BACK TO school for former head boy of
Torah Academy Boys' High School, Rabbi
Motti Hadar, who has been in the leadership
and teaching position of menahel for the
past eight months. This month he replaces
Calla Niemand as principal of the BHS.
During his short tenure, Rabbi Hadar has
brought a wealth of teaching and learning
experience to the school.
While exploring with students the depths
of Jewish heritage and imparting the teachings and values of the Lubavitcher Rebbe
Menachem Mendel Schneerson (zt"l), Rabbi
Hadar brought an extra dimension of
enthusiasm and knowledge gleaned at a
yeshiva in Melbourne, where he spent 18
months; a yeshiva in Crown Heights, New
York; his shlichus in Paris; his work among
the Pretoria Jewish community, where he
obtained smicha in 2006; and his in-depth
learning at 770 - the Rebbe's headquarters in
New York.
He previously studied at a kollel yeshiva
in Crown Heights and taught at its boys'
high school, while tutoring privately.
"I am very pleased to have the opportunity and privilege to give back to Torah
Academy - an institution that gave me so
much. Our goal is to provide our learners
with the tools and values necessary to be
great leaders of the future, fulfilling the
Rebbe's vision of our wonderful South
African community."
Rabbi Hadar is the son of Yoram and the
late Zahava Hadar, of Johannesburg. In 2008
he married Temmi, daughter of Rabbi
Yechezkel and Devorah Kornfeld, the
Rebbe's emissaries in Seattle, Washington.
Temmi teaches in different departments of
the Torah Academy and works in administration at the school.
Members of the Chinuch Hanhollah
(Academic Board of Governors) and staff of
Torah Academy attended a farewell for
Niemand, outgoing principal of the BHS,
who leaves to take up a position at Parktown
Boys' High.
Dean of Torah Academy, Rabbi Dovid
Hazdan, paid tribute to him for his strength
and stability and having brought leadership
to the school.
He commented on Niemand's vision and
wished him continued strength and spirituality. "Wherever you walk, may Hashem
smile on you."
Niemand replied, saying he had grown
spiritually during his tenure at TA.
Cycalive's impact reverberates
far wider than the race itself
ONE OF THESE days it's Cycalive time
again, when this bonding relay race to
Durban, initiated by Rabbi Dovid Hazdan,
dean of Torah Academy, gets under way.
Dan Zimba, principal of Pace
Commercial Secondary School,
one of the participating schools
in this highly popular event,
tells what 13 years of Cycalive
has meant to him.
"Writing in my capacity as
principal of Pace Secondary
School and former principal of
Moletsane High School, I cannot
sufficiently stress the impact
that Cycalive has had on the development both educationally and on transformation in both these schools.
"Pace, which was previously dysfunctional, now achieves pass rates of between 93
and 100 per cent. One of the reasons I attribute this to is to my association and partnership with Torah Academy and through
them my patronage of Cycalive.
"The very idea of working with a good
institution, influences and changes one's
life and world view. Needless to say, there
have been financial gains for the schools
from Cycalive, which have assisted us in
requiring assets which would otherwise
have been difficult to purchase from school
fees or Gauteng Department of Education
allocation (most of which is
used to buy textbooks and stationery).
"Through Cycalive, Pace and
Moletsane have been able to
purchase computers, PA systems, photocopiers and library
books. At Moletsane, we were
able to do some paving and roofing (like a carport) of a muddy
(and dusty) piece of land where
we used to hold our school assemblies.
"The success of Cycalive is interpreted as
the success of the group and therefore of
the schools. Younger boys who have just
joined the schools, immediately ask questions about Cycalive and their eligibility.
Once they realise they can only join in
grade 11, they work harder towards that
goal...
"Cycalive has indeed made a difference
to our schools, My wish is that Cycalive
could grow because, if it does, so will its
impact."
KDL High bids farewell to the Lewis family
KEREN LUNTZ
PHOTOGRAPH: GARY BLOCK
ON FRIDAY March 12, King David Linksfield High
held a special assembly to mark a farewell to the
Lewis family - Leon, Fay and their three daughters. The Lewis family is moving to the US.
As a family that has seen all three of their
daughters pass through KDL High School, they
have been incredibly generous to the KDL family.
The new KDL High debating academy has been
set up with gratitude to the Lewis family. Leon,
Fay and Carmen Lewis joined the KDL assembly
as a final goodbye to our school. We wish them
every success as they embark on this new chapter
in their lives and a safe and exciting journey to
Boston.
Pictured at a farewell for the Lewis
family who are moving to Boston:
Leon, Fay (left) and Carmen Lewis
and headmaster Marc Falconer
(second from right).
24
SA JEWISH REPORT
19 - 26 March 2010
WHAT’S ON
NOTE: Deadline for all entries is 12:00 on the Friday
prior to publication.
Key to organisations, venues, contact
details and cost:
• Beyachad Resource Centre/Library, 2 Elray St, Raedene, 2192. Norma Shulman (011) 645-2567. email:[email protected]
• Bikkur Cholim - Jewish Society for Visiting the Sick,
7A Chester Road, Greenside East, Johannesburg.
Joy Gafin (011) 447-6689.
• CAJE - College of Adult Jewish Education, Sydenham Highlands North Shul (011)640-5021.
• CSO - Emergency phone number 086 18 000 18.
• ELBM - Emunah Ladies Beit Midrash. 60 Mejon St
Glenhazel. (011) 887-2910. “Lessons of our Lives”
course on Wednesdays at 10:00. R350 for the
course or R50 per shiur.
• FFHS - Friendship Forum for Holocaust Survivors,
Second Generation and Members of the Community
Affected by the Holocaust. Presentations held at the
Gerald Horwitz Lounge, Golden Acres, 85 George
Ave, Sandringham
• HOD - Hebrew Order of David International. HOD
Centre Oaklands Road, Orchards. Office (011) 640
3017 - [email protected]
• JAFFA - Jewish Accomodation for Fellow Aged.
(012) 346-2007/8.
• KDSF - King David Schools’ Foundation. King David
Alumni [email protected] (011) 480-4723.
• Nechama Bereavement Counselling Centre - Room
A304, 3rd Floor, Hospital Wing, Sandringham Gardens, 85 George Avenue, Sandringham, 2192. Contact (011) 640-1322.
• New Friendship Ladies’ Group - A group for single
women - contact Lucille (011) 791-5226 or 082927-5786.
• ORT and ORTJET South Africa - 44 Central Street,
Cnr 10th Ave, Houghton. Contact (011) 728-7154.
• Preview Theatre - 9 Valerie Crescent, Bagleyston,
(011) 640-1061.
• Rabbi Cyril Harris Community Centre (RCHCC) and
Great Park Shul, Johannesburg. Contact Hazel, (011)
728-8088 or Rene Sidley (011) 728-8378. Cost usually R50, including refreshments.
• SAIJE - Sandton Adult Institute of Jewish Education,
Sandton Shul. E-mail: [email protected]
(011) 883-4210.
• Second Innings, Johannesburg - Jewish Community
Services - Donald Gordon Centre, 85 George Avenue
Sandringham. Their group meets at the Gerald Horwitz Lounge, Golden Acres, 85 George Avenue Sandringham every Sunday morning for tea at 10h00
followed by the meeting at 10h30. Contact Grecia
Gabriel (011) 532-9718 for information.
• Society of Israel Philately (SIP) - [email protected]
Contact Maurice (011) 485-2293.
• South African Jewish Board of Deputies (Johannesburg) - Beyachad, 2 Elray Street, Raedene. Contact
(011) 645-2500 or (011) 645-2523.
• South African Zionist Federation (SAZF), Johannesburg - Beyachad, 2 Elray Street, Raedene. Contact
Froma, (011) 645-2505.
• The Israel Centre. Contact Debbie (011) 645-2560.
• The Jewish National Fund (JNF) Choir, Beyachad, 2
Elray St, Raedene. Contact Crystal Kaplan. 083-3765999.
• The Jewish Outlook Team. Contact Ryan Cane. Support line: 27 76 215 8600; e-mail [email protected]
look.org.za; website www.jewishoutlook.org.za
• The Jewish Women’s Benevolent Society (JWBS) Sandringham Gardens, 85 George Avenue Sandringham 2192. Contact Carolyn Sabbagh. (011) 485-5232.
• The Simcha Friendship and Cultural Circle (SFCC),
Johannesburg - Sandton Shul. Contact Sylvia Shull,
(011) 783-5600. Meetings on the 1st, 2nd and 3rd
Wednesday of every month at Sandton Shul at 10:00
unless stated otherwise.
• The United Sisterhood, 38 Oxford Road Parktown.
Contact Marian (011) 646-2409. website: www.unit
edsisterhood.co.za
• Tiyulim (Jewish Outdoor Club) - Contact Martin 082965-7419 or Greg 082-959-9026
• Union of Jewish Women (UJW), Johannesburg - 1
Oak Street Houghton. Contact (011) 648-1053. Cost
R15 for the Friendship Luncheon Club and a R20
donation for lectures unless otherwise stated.
• Union of Jewish Women (UJW), Cape Town - (021)
434-9555, e-mail: [email protected]
• UJW Cape Town AED Programme - Venue: Stonehaven. Time: 10:00 for 10:30. Entrance: R15.00 (incl
refreshments).
• United Zionist Luncheon Club (UZLC), Johannesburg Our Parents Home. Contact Gloria, (011) 485-4851 or
072-127-9421.
• UOS- Union of Orthodox Synagogues (011) 4854865. E-mail: [email protected] Fax 086-610-3442
• WIZO Johannesburg - Beyachad, 2 Elray Street Raedene. Contact Joyce Chodos (011) 645-2548 or Sandy
Kramer (011) 645-2515. [email protected]
achad.co.za
Today Friday (March 19)
• UZLC is hosting Isaac Reznik, on “Past, Present and
Future”.
Sunday (March 21)
• Second Innings presents Ann Cluver Weinberg on
“Looking for Goodness”.
• RCHCC is screening “The Courageous Heart of Irena
Sendler” at 19:30.
• Muizenberg Reunion for all former residents of, and
regular visitors to, Muizenberg and for contributors to
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* Answer to follow
with next puzzle
Note to readers: Our bridge
column and our new Sudoku
puzzle will henceforth alternate week by week.
6
Answer - Puzzle 4
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Tuesday (March 23)
Tuesday (March 30)
• WIZO Tuesday Movie Club presents: “Charlie and a
Half” a comedy about Charlie, who lives in a backward town, makes money through fraud and
exploitation and is assisted by his small friend, Miki.
Beyachad, 09:30, R20.
• Northcliff Shul is having a second night communal
Pesach seder. To book call Louis on (011) 678-3015
(mornings).
• SAZF presents Philippe Karsenty on “The
Mohammed al-Durah Incident” at 19:30 at Beyachad,
2 Elray Street, Raedene. Bookings (R50): (011) 6452512, [email protected]
• UJW Cape Town presents Ronnie Gotkin on “Israel:
Refugees, Settlements, Jerusalem and Fundamentalists (Arab and Jewish) - What are the Obstacles to
Achieving a Two-State Solution?”
Wednesday (March 24)
Friday (April 9)
• Second Innings has an outing to the Sammy Marks
Museum. Meet the bus at 08:30 at Oxford Shul parking. Cost: R160 per person, includes entrance, guided tour, lunch and the bus.
• UZLC presents Scully Levin on “The Role of the ‘Black
Box’ in Aircraft Accident Investigations”.
• SFCC - Israeli dance lesson with Ora.
• Second Innings Tea n Talk presents Dr Irving Lisoos
on “The Synagogues of India”.
• Torah Academy is hosting a business breakfast with
former Manchester United goalkeeper Gary Bailey on
how you and your business can benefit from the Soccer World Cup. Venue HOD Hall. Time: 07:30 for
08:00. R500 per seat.
• UJW Cape Town is hosting Lauren Snitcher on the
“Ochberg Orphans”. Entrance R15.
• RCHCC is screening Tony Palmer’s Film of Rachmaninoff - “The Harvest of Sorrow” at 19:30
Thursday (March 25)
• WIZO AGM at Beyachad at 09:30. Guest speaker
Rebbetzen Aidel Kazilsky. RSVP Sandy on (011) 6452515.
• RCHCC is hosting an audiovisual presentation by
Paula Slier - “Camera lens on the Middle East” at
19:30. Donation: R60.
Friday (March 26)
Monday (March 29)
Wednesday (April 7)
Sunday (April 11)
• FFHS presents “An afternoon with Dr Nathan Durst”
at 15:00, followed by tea and refreshments.
Sunday (April 18)
• WIZO SA launches “Campaign 2010” with WIZO
India President Yael Jhirad. She will appear in
Johannesburg today, tomorrow and the day after
tomorrow.
• The Embassy of Israel, SAZF, Israel Centre, IUAUCF and Zionist youth movements will be hosting the
annual Yom Hazikaron ceremony to commemorate
Israel’s fallen, in the Solly Liebgott Hall at the Yeshiva
campus in Glenhazel, at 18:30. Everyone very welcome. For more information call Miriam Garb on
(011) 645-2531, fax (011) 640-1992 or e-mail [email protected]
• Second Innings Tea n Talk presents Prof Emeritus
Trefor Jenkins on “Darwin, Race And Slavery”.
Thursday (April 22)
• UZLC presents Paula Slier on “Middle East Reporter
at Large”
• WIZO SA launches “Campaign 2010” with WIZO India
President Yael Jhirad in Cape Town.
Sunday (April 25)
• Second Innings presents Mandy Wiener on “Life as
a News Reporter - Behind the Political and Judicial
Scenes”.
• WIZO SA launches “Campaign 2010” with WIZO India
President Yael Jhirad in Port Elizabeth.
CROSSWORD NO 155
1
9
1
• JAFFA is having first and second night communal
Pesach seders. Costs: R130 - adult, R65 - children
under 12.
Sunday (March 28)
(Easy, difficulty rating 0.42)
8
the “Memories of Muizenberg” exhibition at the SA
Jewish Museum, Succah Hall, Albow Centre, 88 Hatfield Street, Cape Town. Time: 10:00. Enquiries: David
Lazarus 082-550-4559 or Dinky Braun 072-8353535.
Monday (March 22)
Sudoku Puzzle 5
3
Barry Bilewitz [email protected]
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1
BY LEAH SIMON
ACROSS:
1. Arabic ruler hides in Moremi reserve (4)
3. It helps keep one in good standing (4, 4)
8. You French have a short foot in the hair growth! (4)
9. Natal colonist who rode 600 miles in 1842 to ask for
help for a besieged British garrison (4, 4)
11. Late projects? (12)
13. There’s aptitude in the hospital entrance (6)
14. Compel bile to go around (6)
17. Have seer watch rod, somehow - but there’s one
too many present (6, 1, 5)
20. Sun god returned from vacation - and was taken
into custody (8)
1
2
21. King David’s nephew and army captain (4)
22. Spit came around to tented area
(4, 4)
8
23. Rats upset by celebrity (4)
DOWN
1. Turns set around and puts into care
(8)
2. Non-believer to find lie, somehow (7)
4. Flowers scare one, somehow (6)
5. Apologise for insult and reclaim
property (4, 2, 4)
6. Nothing but flight organ to pay for (5)
7. Get to travel to West African country
(4)
10. Since press is upset, find king’s
daughters (10)
12. Curve is finished, so move back
down (4, 4)
15. What the press does to solve a problem? (4, 3)
16. Agree, like being delivered (6)
18. Rabbit puts mob leader in seraglio
(5)
19. Student gets into the act for powder
(4)
SOLUTION TO CROSSWORD NO 154
ACROSS:
1. Soil; 3. Half moon; 8. Ursa; 9. Coal mine; 11.
Presents arms; 13. Sedate; 14. Pirate; 17. Paint
brushes; 20. Rush hour; 21. Numb; 22. Renowned;
23. Ogre.
DOWN:
1. Sour puss; 2. Instead; 4. Aborts; 5. Fallacious; 6.
Odium; 7. Neer; 10. Best in show; 12. Feasible; 15.
Achtung; 16. Abjure; 18. Arson; 19. Dror.
3
4
5
6
7
9
10
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12
13
15
14
16
17
18
19
20
21
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23
19 - 26 March 2010
SA JEWISH REPORT
Brides deadline
is looming
SMS Code 63
Lorin Bulkin (née Bayer)
Groom: Adam
Married: June 16 2009
Chuppah: Shepstone Gardens
Photographer: Andrea Carlyle
SMS Code 65
Karen Kalish (née Klein)
Groom: Jared
Married: November 29 2009
Chuppah: Oakfield Farm
Photographer: Irene Quist
SMS Code 67
Nicola Chemel (née Grabman)
Groom: Daniel
Married: January 21 2010
Chuppah: Mizrachi Shul
Photographer: Joffe Berkowitz
OWN CORRESPONDENT
THE POPULAR bridal competition, a joint effort
between WIZO Aviv Shaff and SA Jewish Report,
with Lechaim.co.za providing online voting facilities, has a March 31 deadline. So, time to enter is
of the essence.
This is a call for brides who got married
between February 2009 and March 31 this year
and who haven’t submitted their photographs
yet, to get a move on to meet the deadline.
This is why the public, by voting online for their
favourite bride, can assist the panel of experts in
charge of judging.
Our readers are invited to make use of the SMS
facility of online voting, to make their views
heard. Each voting SMS costs R2 and proceeds go
to WIZO’s various projects.
Each bride has been assigned an SMS code (it
appears on her entry) and friends, family and the
public are encouraged to go online and SMS their
vote to 34008 followed by the code.
Entries for Bride of the Year can be dropped off
at the WIZO Johannesburg offices, 2nd floor
Beyachad. There again will be a host of mouthwatering prizes to be won by the bridal beauties.
Rolene Marks and Sandy Kramer are the WIZO
contact persons. They can be reached at (011) 645SMS Code 64
2522 or at [email protected]
Liora Sochen (née Kramer)
The rules are as follows:
Groom: Greg
1. Entries close early on March 31. All brides marMarried: February 17 2008
ried from February 1 2009 until the end of
March 2010, are eligible for entry.
Chuppah: Sandton Shul
2. The bride must be present in Johannesburg at
Photographer: Mandel
the time of judging.
Bernstein
3. The top 25 finalists must be in Johannesburg
for the final interview judging, at their own
expense or they will be disqualified.
4. The winner must become an active member of
WIZO for one year following the competition.
5. No photographers are permitted to send in photographs. The only photographs permitted for
entry are those submitted by the bride herself,
or by her photographer with her explicit permission. All entries MUST be signed by the
bride herself.
6. Photographs will be printed within the time
frame and discretion of the Jewish Report.
7. All photographs submitted will be judged with
the original photograph, so no digital images
SMS Code 66
are permitted.
Jodi Suchard (née Osher)
8. Brides must specify whether they would like
their photographs returned to them after the
Groom: Craig
competition.
Married: January 25 2009
The
photographs will be available from the WIZO
Chuppah: Great Park Synagogue
office at Beyachad in Johannesburg after the culPhotographer: Mandel Bernminating function.
stein
9. Very importantly: Please note, all photographs
MUST be submitted to WIZO and NOT to the
SA Jewish Report.
Send the photos to: Attention: Sandy or Rolene
WIZO/SAJR Bridal Competition
PO Box 29216, Sandringham, Jhb, 2131
or hand-deliver to: (WIZO at) Beyachad, 2 Elray
Street, Raedene, Jhb, 2192
SMS Code 68
Shelley Solomons (née Hahn)
Groom: Lior
Married: February 11 2010
Chuppah: HOD
Photographer: Mandel Bernstein
Please send in your photograph with:
Bride's first and maiden names
Groom's name
Place of chuppah
Date of wedding
Name of photographer
Contact telephone number (bride)
Contact telephone number (groom)
E-mail address
Postal address
postcode
Cell number
Signature, consenting to the printing of
this photograph
Would you like to get your photographs
back? YES / NO
Note: No entries will be accepted unless
all the fields (name, telephone number,
e-mail address etc) are filled in correctly.
SMS Code 69
Dinah Sacks (née
Burke)
Groom: Michaeli
Married: March
25 2009
Chuppah: Torah
Academy Garden
Photographer:
Quinton Kwait
25
19 - 26 March 2010
26 SA JEWISH REPORT
Classifieds
IMPORTANT NOTICE
THE JEWISH REPORT RUNS ADVERTS IN THE
CLASSIFIED SECTION IN GOOD FAITH, HOWEVER WE
WOULD LIKE OUR READERS TO KNOW WE CANNOT
BE RESPONSIBLE FOR THE QUALITY OF SERVICES
OFFERED AND CLAIMS MADE.
To book your classified notice or advert contact: Tel (011) 023-8160, Fax (086) 634-7935, email: [email protected]
HOW TO PLACE A CLASSIFIED ADVERT: 1. Only adverts sent via email to [email protected] will be accepted.
2. You will be advised on cost & payment details.
3. Payment is prior to the advert appearing. 4. DEADLINE for BOOKING and PAYMENT is Tuesday 12pm. If deadline is missed the advert will appear
(when payment is received) in the next edition. Our banking details: SA Jewish Report, Nedbank Randburg, Account Number: 1984 514 865, Branch Code: 198405
28
SA JEWISH REPORT
19 - 26 March 2010
Grant on the sinking Passing of bowler
Fansye Aremband
Portsmouth ship
Portsmouth’s soccer back into
the spotlight when its financial failures were grabbing all
NOBODY CAN call Avram
the headlines. Suddenly Grant
Grant a quitter. On Tuesday
is being hailed as the quiet,
the Portsmouth soccer managunassuming inspirer, who has
er admitted his financially
united his group of players in
crippled club’s fortunes were
the midst of a crisis.
not looking good, but says he
“It is only a few weeks since
will never give up on survival.
rumours surfaced of Grant’s
Grant, who was speaking
plans to quit Portsmouth, folafter the 1-4 reverse conceded
lowing a management decision
at Anfield on Monday night
to transfer goalkeeper Asmir
against Liverpool, admitted it Portsmouth
Begovic and defender Younes
was becoming more of déjà vu
Football Club is
Kaboul made behind his back.
every time he spoke of a
teetering on the
Yet Grant has shown he is not
defeat, but insisted there was
brink of bankrupta quitter.
still a glimpse of hope.
“As the club freewheeled
“What has happened this cy but Avram Grant
into administration with debts
year at Portsmouth, you could is still prepared to
of £86 million, as players were
write a book about it. I cannot fight to the end.
not paid for months on end, he
speak about this anymore
somehow brought the club together and
because I just end up repeating myself.
won the respect of both the fans and a
“We are fighting for this club and fightbegrudging media in the process.
ing for this city. But we need help.
“The image published in many UK
“Never in my life will I give up and I
newspapers on Sunday morning showed
won’t start now.”
a picture of relief - Grant dressed in a
In an article published in the
black coat, arms raised and head back as
Jerusalem Post last week, columnist
he screamed for joy.
Jeremy Last paid tribute to Grant’s
“It was instantly reminiscent of the
never-say-die approach. It makes for
scene at Stamford Bridge in April 2008,
interesting reading.
when Grant fell to his knees and threw
In “The Last Word: Leader of the pack”,
his arms in the air after Chelsea beat
he writes:
Liverpool 3-2 in extra time in the
“Former Israel coach Avraham Grant
Champions League semifinal.
is far from your typical chief of staff.
“The man from Petah Tikva does his
Quiet, unassuming and, at least accordbest to remain understated, but, on rare
ing to much of the English media for the
occasions, his emotions spill out. Their
last couple of years, no beacon of inspiraquarterfinal victory showed a side of
tion - a Moshe Dayan or Yitzhak Rabin he
Portsmouth which has hardly been seen
is not.
in recent months.
“However, as Portsmouth’s FA Cup
“Just a week after the club entered
quarterfinal victory inched toward
administration, Grant’s boys won a secfruition, the club’s passionate supporters
ond consecutive match, following up a 2-1
made it known that, for them, Grant is
league win over Burnley with an excelthe perfect man to lead their troops into
lent performance against a Birmingham
battle, and victory.
side enjoying one of their best seasons
“With the seconds ticking away, and
ever.
Pompey 2-0 up at home to Birmingham
“No matter that Alex McCleish’s Brum
City, the reality of a Wembley semifinal
got revenge in the league a few days later,
hit the Fratton Park faithful and they
Frederic Piquionne’s double lifted the
broke out in song, praising the individual
spirit of the entire city.
they see as responsible for the few posi“For much of the quarterfinal
tives in a season of tremendous difficulty.
Portsmouth played crisp, entertaining
“‘Avram Grant’s blue and white army,’
soccer, capped by Piquionne’s delightful
the thousands of fans chanted in unison,
second goal where he turned the visiting
before cheering the final whistle as if
defence inside out before slotting home.
their team had won the cup final itself.
“There was controversy over an appar“It has been a remarkable turnaround
ent Birmingham goal not given 10 minfor the 54-year-old Pompey manager. For
utes before the end, but Grant, his playnearly two years he has been dismissed
ers and fans had every right to celebrate
by the majority of the soccer world as
the win to their hearts’ content.
nothing more than a lucky chancer, a
“There is now a cup semi against
wheeler dealer who somehow found himFulham or Tottenham to come on April
self at the top of his profession without
11, and then the possibility of a mouththe skills or experience to deal with it.
watering FA Cup final against Chelsea.
“When Grant led Chelsea to the 2008
“Life is not going to be easy for anyone
Champions League final, he received litconnected with Portsmouth FC in the
tle praise, most commentators instead
coming weeks and months. Last week
claiming the Blues’ success was down to
they announced that 85 staff members
team spirit.
had lost their jobs as the administrators
“Grant’s arrival had clearly coincided
attempt to cut costs.
with a change of fortunes for the West
“The club is five points adrift at the botLondon club, which had been hurtling
tom of the Premier League table and the
downhill before Jose Mourinho extravaspectre of being hit with a possible ninegantly walked out. But a John Terry slip
point penalty for going into administraended the dreams of European glory in
tion, is hanging over Fratton Park like
Moscow.
the angel of doom.
“Soon
(Chelsea
boss)
Roman
“However, it now seems that if anyone
Abramovich had shown him the door,
can hold the club together it is Avraham
apparent proof that Grant had never
Grant.
been a suitable candidate and his
“Perhaps he will even achieve the
appointment had been a mistake from the
unthinkable and keep the team up. But
start.
even if he doesn’t, Grant deserves all the
“But now the critics are beginning to
plaudits he has been showered with for a
eat their words.
superb attitude under extreme pressure.”
“The unlikely FA Cup run has shot
JACK MILNER
JACK MILNER
MACCABI SOUTH Africa has lost another stalwart, with the passing of bowler
Fanyse Aremband, last month, at the age
of 77. She represented South Africa at
three Maccabi Games in Israel.
Aremband was a member of the
Killarney Bowls Club and has been
described by fellow members as “a highly
esteemed bowler”.
She was respected in bowling circles
and was a national selector from 1996 to
2000. She was also a selector for the 1993
Maccabiah for both the men’s and
women’s teams.
Aremband was also a Central Gauteng
selector from 1991 to 1997 and was convener from 1995 to 1997.
She was also selected to play in the
Maccabiah in 1981, 1985 and 1987. In 1985
she skipped both the women’s fours and
triples, where they came away with a silver and bronze medal respectively.
However, she also supported the local
Maccabi tournaments with her “golden”
period undoubtedly coming in 1985 and
1986. In the 1985 Maccabi Interprovincial
she captured gold in the pairs, silver in
Bowler
Fanyse
Aremband,
who
passed
away last
month.
the fours and silver overall. She bettered
that a year later with a gold in the triples
and gold overall.
While a member of Waverley Bowls
Club, she was club open singles winner no
less than 10 times between the years 1974
to 1996.
While Aremband was a pharmacist
assistant and director of pharmacy, much
of her life centred on bowls, a sport,
which she clearly loved.

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