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Catch up with old friends, best Holy Days read




The year 2016 has been a milestone year for the Southern African Jewish Association of Canada (SAJAC). It is their 40th anniversary, having been founded by Alan Sandler, Hilly Cohen and the late Ronnie Roth back in 1976.

“The newly-arrived immigrants to Toronto started the SAJAC NEWS,” says long-standing editor Heather Super, “and it continued for a few years”.

But then the publication was curtailed for a few years until, in 1987, SAJAC was “revived by a new crop of immigrants with Colin Baskind as president – and the SAJAC NEWS was revitalised,” says Heather.

This is now the second time in their 40-year history that SAJAC NEWS will be available online.

  • CLICK HERE to download SAJAC’s PESACH edition

Heather has been on board as assistant editor for the decade from 1987 to 1997, and as its editor for the past 19 years.

SAJAC COver 16 RoshThe publication comes out twice a year and all money raised from advertising in their Pesach and Rosh Hashanah magazines goes to a bursary fund for children of former South Africans who need funds for post-secondary education.

“We give out almost CDN$20 000 (R228 400 at today’s exchange rates) each year and will help a student through until the end of the course,” says Heather.

SAJAC NEWS is a free publication and is posted to over 2 000 expat South African Jewish households, mainly in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). Some also go to Vancouver on the Pacific coast of Canada and places in between with Jewish SA migrants.

“We also have some going to the US,” adds Heather, and “one goes to the Centre for Jewish Studies at Cape Town University; and one is kept in the Toronto Jewish Archives.”

SAJAC NEWS is a great read. “Articles come from all places,” explains Heather. “People write for me; The Canadian Jewish News; The SA Jewish Report; shul newsletters; poems and short stories – I gather the whole year round so when it comes to publishing time, I have a wealth of material.”

Other members of the team include:

TRACY SEIDER – who does the layout and design;

EDNA LIPWORTH – who follows up on the Announcements; and

ILANA GIMPLE – who keeps the database up-to-date and does the mailing.

They are all volunteers who put out the whopping SAJAC NEWS twice a year just for the naches they get from it.

Heather is thrilled that Jewish Report is taking the publication online. “I hope you enjoy our on-line edition of the SAJAC NEWS,” she says to SAJR readers.

The files of SAJAC NEWS are around about the same size as a weekly digital edition of the Jewish Report and can be downloaded to read, print or sent to friends and family.

Of course, with over 35 per cent of Jewish Report Online users coming from overseas, predominantly the five countries that most SA Jews have emigrated to, this offers expats in, say, Australia or Israel, the opportunity to meet old friends too.

There are other SA expat Jewish groups around the world. Why not contact us: about our doing the same for you; even if you have existing online editions, we can link them?

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