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SA Organisations

SAUJS - Our future is in good hands

  • 2a-Mary Kluk tightcrop
On Monday evening, the SA Union of Jewish Students held a special SAUJS alumni dinner, attended by present and former SAUJS leaders and members going back well into the last century.
by MARY KLUK | Jul 29, 2015

National Director Wendy Kahn, who represented the Board, reported that it was an enthralling evening, during which past national chairmen of SAUJS shared their memories of what it was like to be a Jewish university student in years gone by and the kind of challenges that confronted them as Jewish student leaders in their day.

Many of those SAUJS veterans have since gone on to hold important leadership positions in Jewish communal affairs, both in a lay and professional capacity.

SAUJS is today one of the organisations with whom the SAJBD has a particularly close working relationship. It has been a constant source of inspiration to witness the dedication of these young Jewish leaders, who are at the coalface of so many of our own struggles on behalf of our community.

Operating in an environment that is always challenging and not infrequently hostile and unpleasant, SAUJS continues to take a firm principled stand on behalf of Jewish rights on campus, whether this relates to combating anti-Semitism, assisting religious students whose exams have been set on Shabbat or Yomtov, or ensuring that there are opportunities for Israel’s case to be heard.

At the same time, it promotes Jewish-related cultural, religious and social activities, builds bridges with other faith and ethnic communities and finds innovative ways to involve the Jewish youth in issues of wider importance in the wider society.

I commend SAUJS for all they have done and are doing, and can truly say that if they represent the future of our community, then we are in excellent hands. 

 

Limmud - respect for diversity

 

This year’s long-awaited Limmud festival of Jewish learning and culture kicks off in Johannesburg on Friday. From there, it will move to Cape Town before concluding in Durban on Monday, August 10.

Board members, both professional staff and lay leaders, feature on the programmes at all three centres. I myself will be speaking on a panel on Holocaust education in Durban, and as always look forward to being part of this rich, diverse and rewarding initiative.

Limmud, while broadly supported by the community at large, remains controversial in some circles. From my perspective, while I believe strongly in promoting as much learning as possible, it is with the important proviso that this does not involve making negative judgements about people’s religious choices.

By all means, express and explain your point of view, but do so in a way that does not denigrate the deeply-held beliefs of others. Discussion around all issues, but particularly with regard to religious practices and beliefs, need to be managed sensitively and respectfully.

So long as Limmud-SA continues in that vein, I will remain one of its most whole-hearted supporters.

 

  • Listen to Charisse Zeifert on Jewish Board Talk, 101.9 ChaiFM every Friday 12:00 - 13:00.

 

 

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