Big turnout for Mitzvah School Prize-giving
H Brown & M Rose-Hicklin
By Hayley Brown (SAUPJ) & Madeleine Rose-Hicklin (Bet David)
The Mitzvah School recently held its 27th Annual prize-giving function that took place at Bet David in Morningside. It was a wonderful opportunity to join in the celebrations of the myriad of achievements of the Mitzvah School’s 2013 matric learners.
There was a wonderful turnout from all the learners’ families, as well as members of the Bet David Kehillah and congregation. Everyone was thrilled to have Israeli Ambassador, The Honourable Arthur Lenk, and Wendy Kahn of the Jewish Board of Deputies, Steven Lurie Chairman of the SAUPJ with them as they honoured the hard work of the Class of 2013.
Despite the inclement weather, the afternoon kicked off with a spirited rendition of Sanbonani by Mitzvah School singers and dancers. A moving welcome address by Mahlatse Sakuneka was a wake-up call to many of the audience as she spoke about the need and desire to break the shackles of poverty that encircled many of the learners. Mahlatse emphasised the need to “Seize The Day” and take advantage of the wonderful educational opportunity that was presented by the Mitzvah School to those learners chosen to be part of the programme. “Remember,” she said, “through equal education and hard work, no one has to inherit poverty. It may be the situation you find yourself in at the moment – but it is something you can work your way out of.”
Molly Smith, co-founder of the Mitzvah School, read a heartfelt message from Bet David’s Rabbi Robert Jacobs who was unable to attend the function as he was officiating at a wedding. The large turnout was then treated to some exceptional gumboot dancing from the talented students.
Several presentations from learners followed, including an outstanding acapella rendition of Joy In My Heart by Mpho Marima and friends. The clarity of the voices, the richness of the song and the emotion expressed by the trio ensured that there wasn’t a dry eye in the house!
LEFT: Sabelo Mbonjwa and his proud mother. Sabelo received a bursary of R40 000.00 – made up of R20 000.00 from the Yeladim Trust and a Trust fund contributed to by an anonymous donor
He went on to get 100% in his matric final exam for Business Economics. Julius is a perfect example of how determination, commitment and courage can break the shackles of poverty and allow us to become masters of our own destiny.
The awarding of certificates followed – and the students demonstrated their appreciation of their own individual achievements as well as those of their fellow students and learners. The star of the show was undoubtedly Brilliant Moyo who not only walked away with a number of individual certificates and a full bursary from ZenProp. This Dux Scholar received a full university scholarship for a degree in a field of his choice and also included a R2,000 per month living allowance. Sabelo Mbonjwa received a bursary of R40,000 – made up of R20,000 from the Yeladim Trust and a Trust fund contributed to by an anonymous donor. Kamagelo Mphanga received a R20,000 bursary from Boston City Campus for 2014, while Mahlatse Sakuneka received the Sybil Abro Ubuntu Prize.
The afternoon culminated in the singing of the South African National Anthem and Heveinu Shalom Aleichem, followed by a tea in the Bet David Rondavel sponsored by Kehillah.
Kol Hakavod to principal Lesley Rosenberg, vice-principal, Cheryl Crossman and the wonderful team of educators who give so much more than time to the learners of the Mitzvah School. What an incredible and emotional afternoon that honoured and celebrated the wonders of education, commitment and drive.
Best of luck to all the Mitzvah School educators and learners for the final exams!