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SA Organisations

Darren Sevitz appointed to head Hatzolah

  • Chief Rabbi Ant Interview Lo-res
Darren Sevitz, pictured, has been appointed as the Executive General Manager of the Hatzolah Jewish ambulance service as of 1 February. Darren left the Union of Orthodox Synagogues (UOS) in December after serving as Executive Director for 14 years. Hatzolah director Lance Abramson made the announcement at a breakfast of Hatzola staffers yesterday (Tuesday 20 Jan).
by ANT KATZ | Jan 21, 2015

Chief Rabbi Ant Interview Lo-resDarren today told Jewish Report that Lance had approached him in December. He had a few preliminary discussions with the Hatzolah board, they did some e-mailing over the holidays and signed and sealed everything last week.

Since the announcement, says Darren: “I have had an outpouring of support. People have been calling me and posting greetings and good wishes on social media.”

Lance Abramson advised the Hatzolah staff on Tuesday morning at a special breakfast, after which the addressed the following letter to members:

“For a long time now it has been the board’s firm view that Hatzolah has grown to the point where it has become very difficult to oversee the day to day management of the organisation on a part time basis.   With the number of phone calls, e-mails, meetings and issues that the board are dealing with it is truly amazing that any board member has time to get any of their regular work done!

“Whilst the current managers are doing a most excellent job on their respective portfolios, there is clearly a need for a high level general manager to co-ordinate and oversee all aspects of operations from a holistic point of view on a day to day basis, and then to report into the board on a regular basis.  It is also clear that the current managers are operating at full capacity in their respective portfolios and would not have capacity to take on a different role with a different focus,” wrote Lance.

Opportunity became available

“This discussion has been going on at board level for a long time now and in early December an interesting opportunity arose with Darren Sevitz becoming available,” explained Lance Abramson. 

“Most of you will know or have heard of Darren for his outstanding work in the kashrut department but his role at the UOS was much broader than that as Darren was effectively the CEO of the UOS.

“Exploratory meetings were held with Darren and the board were amazed that his function at the UOS was exactly the same function that we had been thinking about for a long time for Hatzolah – holistically managing things on a day to day basis and reporting into a volunteer board, as well as conceiving and bringing into existence new dynamic expansion projects to enhance the organisation.

“Discussions progressed quickly and we are now delighted to announce that Darren will be joining Hatzolah on 1 February as our “Executive General Manager”.  We believe it’s a case of Johannesburg’s favourite Jewish personality joins Johannesburg’s favourite charity!

Chief Rabbi logo new
LEFT: Darren Sevitz

“All full time staff will now report directly to Darren who will then report into the board,”

New projects on cards

Darren, wrote Lance, will also be tasked with exciting projects that the board have always wanted to tackle but simply have not had the capacity to do so.

“The board believes the appointment of Darren will be another important step in the growth and continual improvement of our organisation and the service we deliver to the Johannesburg Jewish Community.

“We take this opportunity of welcoming Darren on board and wishing him Hatzlocha Rabbah in his new role!”

Lance Abramson went on to list a short CV of Darren’s, the tachlis of which his studies of Commerce, Accounting, Business Economics and Industrial Relations at WITS and Corporate Business Administration at the SA Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators.

Darren is also a member of the board at the Waverley shul.

Darren told SAJR Online that he was approached by lance “shortly after I left the UOS.”  He says that the negotiations were conducted in an “open and truthfully manner,” and that there were no issues standing in their way. “We made the decision on the spot last week,” Darren told Jewish Report today.”

7 Comments

  1. 7 Melanie Klein 21 Jan
    You just can't keep a good man down!
    Kol Ha'Kavod - SA Jewry is in good hands again.
    I feel safe.
    Mazaltov Darren
  2. 6 Cindi Onia 21 Jan
    Mazeltov on your outstanding choice of individual. I do believe you can only go from strength to strength with Darren heading off the team at Hatzolah Jewish ambulance service. The few points that springs in my mind about Darren is:

    *Appearance : First impression lasts a long time
    *Attitude: A learned behaviour, make it positive
    *Friendliness: Be generous, give smiles unconditionally
    *Impression: What's left in the room after I leave
    *Response-Ability: Take action, exceed customer's expectations
    *Commitment: My pledge to service and teamwork
    *Team Thinking: My actions affect everyone in my organisation
    *Communication: Active listening and positive responses
    *Service: My personal commitment to make a difference
    *Personal Excellence: I believe in my ability to make a difference

    Just a few thoughts that I believe you have made the very best decision in making Darren your Executive GM!

    You have said it all already:

    "We believe it’s a case of Johannesburg’s favourite Jewish personality joins Johannesburg’s favourite charity"

    I wish Darren all the success in his new and exciting future with Hatzolah
  3. 5 Elaine 21 Jan
    What a shidduch! I'm so pleased. We thought we had lost Darren, so glad he's back. Now this is kosher!
  4. 4 Meyer 21 Jan
    New Facebook Group

    Hi Darren - I have a headache lol

    Well done boet, best news of the decade.

    And well done to Hatzolah for nipping this in the bud. Quick thinking, excellent results.
  5. 3 Robin 21 Jan
    Hatzola - you guys rock!!
  6. 2 Sandra 21 Jan
    Mazaltov Darren and Mazaltov Hatzolla....a marriage made in heaven :)
  7. 1 Ashne Segal 22 Jan
    Brilliant move, wishing him well in his new venture.  Hatzolah is very lucky to have such a wonderful leader.

    Well done Darren, all the very best

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