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Achievers

Absa Jewish Achiever Awards winners – painting a masterpiece of hope

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The extraordinary personalities who won the 2021 Absa Jewish Achiever Awards tonight have brought hope to us all. Glynne Wolman of The Angel Network kept hundreds of thousands alive, while Jewish burial societies around the country worked around the clock to help families who lost loved ones.

Thousands of South African Jews locally and internationally have gathered to watch the 22nd SA Jewish Report’s annual gala fundraiser, which was celebrated for a second time virtually.

This year, we focused on celebrating those who have brought hope to us all at a time in which positivity was limited. The Absa Jewish Achiever Awards 2021 has painted a masterpiece of hope when we really need it.

We recognised home-grown South African talent across a spectrum of award categories, focusing on the work done to bring hope back into our lives.

We celebrated business legend Eric Ellerine as Kirsh Family Lifetime Achiever Award winner for his impact on retail and private equity. His name is synonymous with old-school business in South Africa.

Ivan and Lynette Saltzman, the founders of Dis-Chem, were honoured as winners of the Absa Business Icon Award. This couple forever changed the face of pharmacies in this country.

Glynne Wolman, Humanitarian Award winner, epitomises hope. With The Angel Network, she has kept millions of South Africans from starvation since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. And that’s not all…

Professor Lucille Blumberg won the Professional Excellence Award. Blumberg, the founding head of the division of public health surveillance and response, now one of the largest units at the National Institute for Communicable Diseases, designed a COVID-19 national hospital surveillance system for South Africa.

The Community Service Award was jointly won by Rebbetzin Rochel and Rabbi Yossy Goldman, the latter now life rabbi emeritus of the Sydenham Highlands North Hebrew Congregation, and the South African Jewish burial societies. In very different ways, their joint contribution was immense.

The Goldmans’ life-long religious innovation and dedication to this community is immeasurable, and the members of the burial societies are unsung heroes in the time of COVID-19.

The Mann Made Media Arts, Science, Sports, and Culture winner is one of the world’s all-time top-selling musicians, Manfred Mann.

From leaving corporate life to starting her own business in order to spend more time with her children, this year’s Europcar Women in Leadership Award winner Cara Saven has created an internationally successful business.

Andrew Canter, Futuregrowth Asset Management executive director and chief investment officer, won this year’s Absa Business Leadership Award. He took a huge risk back in 2016 by defending his company’s withdrawal of funding from South African state-owned enterprises at the height of state capture. He and the company have gone from strength to strength since then.

Entrepreneurship Award winner Barney Isralls has created a company that is helping to create food and water security in Africa.

“For the past 21 years, we as a community have gathered in hotel boardrooms and convention centres to celebrate the remarkable and disproportionate contribution made by the Jewish community to the development of post-apartheid South Africa,” said Howard Sackstein, the chairperson of the SA Jewish Report and the Absa Jewish Achiever Awards.

“In a complex and complicated world, hope is a choice, an active decision, a decision to believe that our best days are still before us. We have reason to be hopeful.

“As a community, we have made a profound and disproportionate contribution to the development of South Africa. We have done so in the struggle for freedom; in the development of the economy; and in the arts and sciences, culture, and philanthropy.

“This is us – this is who we are as a community. We are proud, unabashed, and unwilted as we emerge into hope.”

 

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