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Op-eds

    • AboveBoardShaunZagnoev

    SA hosts prestigious WJC Community Directors’ Forum

    Oct 19, 2017 Go comment!
    At the time of writing, preparations are being finalised for the World Jewish Congress Community Directors’ Forum, to commence this weekend in Cape Town. This is the first time that this prestigious event will be taking place on the African continent, and we are honoured to have been entrusted with organising and hosting it.
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    • IsraelFlag

    Togo becomes a no-go: Africa-Israel Summit cancelled

    Sep 28, 2017 Go comment!
    From October 23 to 27, up to 30 African heads of state were slated to attend the first Africa-Israel Summit in Lomé, Togo, but Israel abruptly announced its postponement on September 11. While key states like Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda supported the Summit, South Africa, Morocco, the Palestinians and most Arab states openly opposed it, in solidarity with the Palestinian cause. Israel has reaffirmed its continued interest in engaging Africa despite this cancellation. Why was the Summit called off, and what lessons emerge?
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    • AboveBoardShaunZagnoev

    A time for remembrance

    Sep 28, 2017 Go comment!
    Speaking at last Sunday’s SA Jewish Ex-Service League’s memorial service at West Park cemetery, Rabbi Ron Hendler emphasised how appropriate it was that this event should always be held between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, a time when the theme of remembrance looms so large in our thoughts and prayers.
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    • GeoffEditorial

    Skin deep: Is conflict still inevitable between colours and races?

    Sep 28, 2017 2 Comments
    The past week’s events in the United States and Germany add fuel to a perennial question: What is a nation’s true nature behind its outward veneer? What demons hide there? The relevance for South Africa is clear.
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    • antisemitism

    Anti-Semitism in South Africa: Should we be concerned?

    Sep 14, 2017 1 Comment
    South African Jews were justifiably outraged at a recent Holocaust-related tweet (and subsequent comment) from Andile Mngxitama, the leader of Black First Land First (BLF).
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    • GeoffEditorial

    Master stories and their multiple virginities

    Sep 14, 2017 Go comment!
    Nigerian poet and novelist Ben Okri wasn’t referring specifically to South Africa when he wrote: “To poison a country, poison its stories… A people are as healthy and confident as the stories they tell themselves.” But he might as well have been, if measured by the toxicity pervading our body politic today.
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    • AboveBoardShaunZagnoev

    Celebrating Yomtov in safety

    Sep 14, 2017 Go comment!
    ​This being my last column before Rosh Hashanah, I would like to use this opportunity to wish you all a ktiva ve chatima tova. For all of us, for Israel and for the Jewish people everywhere in the world, may we be inscribed and sealed with a year of success, health, happiness and peace.
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    • AboveBoardShaunZagnoev

    SA Jewish students on frontline in fight for Israel

    Sep 07, 2017 Go comment!
    Last week the Academic Freedom Committee (AFC) at the University of Cape Town, at the behest of the Palestine Solidarity Forum, hosted a debate on whether or not, UCT should sever its ties with Israeli academia.
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    • MichaelSieff

    A spring in my step

    Sep 07, 2017 Go comment!
    I’m writing this column on the first day of September. The weather is idyllically perfect for Spring Day. The temperature is warm, the sun is bright and there is a strong aroma of jasmine in the air - a clear sign that temperatures are on the way up.
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    • GeoffEditorial

    Sick men hold the doomsday nuclear button

    Sep 07, 2017 1 Comment
    Sigmund Freud is probably frowning in his grave while world citizens watch despairingly the rising momentum towards nuclear war between the United States and North Korea, driven by politicians holding nuclear buttons he would have had much to say about. Two at least are psychologically dysfunctional.
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    • Sifrin Geoff HOME
    • Sifrin Geoff HOME

    Statues and heroes: the dangers of erasing too much

    Sep 01, 2017 1 Comment
    Wits faculty members have been warned to prepare for trouble, as universities brace for protests against university fee hikes for 2018, amidst vehement demands for “decolonisation” in academia and abolition of symbols of the country’s racist past.
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    • BenitaLevin

    Long-term lessons learnt after a five-month course…

    Aug 31, 2017 Go comment!
    It’s been a good few years since I sat down to write an exam. But I don’t ever remember being as excited before a test, as I was at the end of our five-month Hebrew language course.
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    • JTAOpEdBillyJoel

    Billy Joel wore a yellow Jewish star. Thanks, but the trend should stop there

    Aug 31, 2017 Go comment!
    Few artefacts of the Holocaust move me like the yellow star. Homely and seemingly innocuous, they sit in museum cases either by themselves or still attached to a jacket or blouse, the stitching rough and the lettering surprisingly crude.
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    • AboveBoardShaunZagnoev

    Mngxitama will have to explain his anti-Semitism in court

    Aug 31, 2017 Go comment!
    The past week at the Board has been dominated by the fallout following the posting of two repulsive Holocaust-related tweets by Black First Land First leader Andile Mngxitama.
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    • YadAharonColumn 2

    Some real food for thought…

    Aug 31, 2017 Go comment!
    One of the key qualities which drew me to volunteer at Yad Aharon & Michael some 19 years ago, was the aura of holiness, integrity, humility and simplicity which has remained a hallmark of the organisation to this day.
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    • AboveBoardShaunZagnoev

    Looking back on a very successful biennial conference

    Aug 24, 2017 1 Comment
    On Sunday, the Board held its 49th biennial national conference, where we took the opportunity of reporting back to our constituency on our work over the past two years as well as honouring community members adjudged to have made an especially outstanding contribution to South African Jewry and the country as a whole.
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    • GeoffEditorial

    SA Jewry dwindles; not for the usual reasons

    Aug 24, 2017 Go comment!
    When asked how many Jews remain in South Africa, Jewish leaders usually fudge the question, though they know the community’s size is falling. No-one wants to be a prophet of doom. The generally accepted figure is 60 000-70 000, roughly half of the community’s 1970s heyday.
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    • MichaelSieff

    Simply not true

    Aug 24, 2017 Go comment!
    I have a perennial problem. It’s at this time of year - just a month away from Rosh Hashanah - that my inbox starts to fill up with appeals for funds from various sources to save destitute Jewish families in our city.
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    • GeoffEditorial

    Charlottesville and Johannesburg: The impact of a blunt instrument

    Aug 18, 2017 Go comment!
    It has seemingly again become a trend to stifle arguments with blunt instruments. It might appear to be stretching a point to contrast recent horrific events in Charlottesville, Virginia in the United States, with post-apartheid South African discourse.
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    • Jeff

    All systems go for the biennial conference

    Aug 18, 2017 Go comment!
    Preparations are being finalised for the Board’s 49th biennial national conference, taking place in the Sandton Shul hall this Sunday at 15:00. To book your place, e-mail sajbd@sajbd.org or call Roseanne on (011) 645-2521.
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