Another spectacular Absa Jewish achiever awards
SA JEWISH REPORT STAFF
The banquet was sold out and was attended by over 600 nominees, past winners, prominent business people, key sponsors, media, and glitterati. The emcee for the evening was the hilarious Alan Committie who kept the audience laughing while 1st Project, the sensational pioneer industrial percussion act, was captivating.
The theme of the annual Achiever Awards this year was ‘We built this country with heart and soul’ which highlighted the contributions made by South African Jewry in all spheres of life, and the commitment by the community to giving back to the country and helping those who cannot help themselves.
Over 400 nominations were received for the nine categories, which included the launch of a new category for a Woman in Leadership Award sponsored by Europcar. Four panels of esteemed judges were involved with three of the panels interviewing 64 nominees. The judges were impressed yet again by the quality and achievements of the nominees.
Thulisile (Thuli) Madonsela, Public Protector of South Africa, an advocate and fighter for the people, won The Chivas Humanitarian Award in honour of Chief Rabbi Cyril Harris.
Issie Kirsh, businessman, philanthropist and founder of 702 talk radio, was bestowed The Lifetime Achievement Award in honour of Helen Suzman.
Tali Nates wonThe Kia Community Service Award in recognition of all her work to combat and educate on the Holocaust, genocide and intolerance, and for her instrumental efforts to build the Johannesburg Holocaust and Genocide Centre.
Dov Fedler, political cartoonist for The Star for almost 50 years, secured The SA Jewish Report Arts, Sports, Science & Culture Award.
In the inaugural Europcar Jewish Woman in Leadership Award, the honour went to Paula Slier, an international war correspondent and founder of Newshound Media International, a one-stop global media production company.
Claudia Swartzberg, CEO of Top Dog Education, an online, technology-led education company, walked away with The Creative Counsel Young Entrepreneur Award.
Competition for the The Absa Entrepreneur Award was so fierce that two winners were selected: Paul Berman (pictured), CEO of Berman Brothers, a Cape-Town based property company, and Tom Goldgamer and Danny Aaron of Benatar Productions, a group of 14 diverse and successful businesses.
The Absa Unlisted Award was awarded to Bernard Stern of Metal Concentrators SA, South Africa’s largest independent gold refiner.
The final award of the evening, The Absa Listed Company Award went to Stewart Cohen, co-founder of Mr Price, the fashion-value retailer of apparel, homeware and sports products.
The event, which is in its 17th year, certainly met and even exceeded all expectations. The talent, achievements and commitment of all the winners and nominees left all who attended feeling inspired, optimistic and confident that the work that is going on in this country will truly contribute to building a better tomorrow, complete with heart and soul.