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DEISI plans big Israel celebration later this month

The great love of the Jewish State which Olga Meshoe, CEO of Defend, Embrace, Invest (in) and Support Israel (DEISI) International, possesses is a hard act to follow, even among Jewish youth.

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Suzanne Belling

  

DEISI Event
“When I try to recruit young members among the black community, they often ask why more Jewish people their age don’t share our passion,” she told Jewish Report before her major event on September 25 at the Fountain of Life Family Church in Boksburg themed “South Africa Night to Honour Israel”.

“We are celebrating the contribution that the Jewish community has made to South Africa over 175 years and we are showing support for and solidarity with the State of Israel,” she said.

DEISI has invited all the Christian friends of Israel organisations, including Bridges for Peace, Africa Bless Israel, Africa for Israel, many pastors and the Leadership Summit.

“In fact everybody in the Jewish and Christian communities are invited. It is going to be an evening of singing, dancing and celebration for the whole family.”

(For directions and more information, e-mail events@deisi.org)

Olga’s love of Israel was passed on to her by her father the Rev Kenneth Meshoe, head of the African Christian Democratic Party, and her mother, Lydia, an ordained pastor.

Having a brother, Joshua, and a sister, Esther, she explains why she is the only one who does not have a biblical name: “Olga means ‘Holy’ and my second name is Mpho (Gift), so as the first born, my parents considered me a holy gift.”

Born in South Africa, Olga began her schooling in the US where her parents joined the well-known evangelist Reinhard Bonnke, travelling to various African countries on their mission.

Her high school years were spent in the township of Vosloorus (still during apartheid) and thereafter she studied at the University of Pretoria, where she graduated in law. “I was told because of being black I would not be able to reach that height. People at that time did not want to sit next to me.”

But she became a successful lawyer and a partner (before the age of 30) in the firm Webber Wentzel, which she has now left to devote more time to pursue her studies and the aims of DEISI. She intends to study towards an MBA degree.

“Our organisation was born of the desire to be part of something meaningful after apartheid and to counteract the aims of Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS). We wanted to provide platforms of education and exposure to the truth with regard to the Middle East and Israel’s right to exist within secure borders.”

Olga has visited Israel four times. “The country is a beacon of democracy, of being able to do the impossible from being a desert to being able to export water.

“Its technology is a blessing to African countries, training them in security, agriculture and medicine. It is a forerunner in all these fields.”

Deeply involved in the church, Hope of Glory, she says, “We serve G-d in various ways through the church.”

She is not always popular on social media, but DEISI is growing despite this. “We seek enlightenment, not only by praying but through action. You can’t be an invisible friend – we have to show solidarity.

“Scripture tells us not to be keep quiet and to pray for the peace of Jerusalem.”

Olga says the media is deceptive regarding Israel’s role in the Middle East conflict. Israel’s adversaries are not fighting for freedom “but for the destruction of Jerusalem.

“We are all G-d’s people and they should not call for any nation to be destroyed. This is not as it is reported to be – we need a response from South Africa,” she said.

“Trust is difficult to come by but it doesn’t deter us. We have a mandate, underpinned by our faith.

“We need to stand up for Israel – especially young Jewish people – and show the world that Israel is not an apartheid state. We know what apartheid is. We have been through it.”

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SA Jewish Report is looking for a journalist

The SA Jewish Report is looking for a journalist, who is passionate about and hungry for news and who writes both news and features beautifully.

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The applicant must to be tech savvy, comfortable online, on social media and in a newsroom. The applicant must have at least five years’ experience as a journalist and a relevant degree. Please forward your CV and an introductory letter to the editor, Peta Krost Maunder on editor@sajewishreport.co.za.  

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Apologies

On the wrong page at the wrong time

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The SA Jewish Report wishes to apologise to Dr Yossi Unterslak, a specialist gynaecologist and reproductive medicine assistant at Vitalab, whose face and title was in an advert on the page three of our Rosh Hashanah edition this week. The advert just happened to be on the same page as “Johannesburg doctor guilty of unprofessional conduct”. I wish to place it on record that Dr Unterslak was on that page advertising his participation in Torah Talks and has absolutely nothing to do with the story about the doctor on the page.  The SA Jewish Report apologises to Dr Unterslak for any harm or unpleasantness that derived from the advert being on this page.  – Editor

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Jewish Guild Orchestra reaches out through sweet sound of music

A musical tour around the world was presented to residents of Golden Acres, Sandringham Gardens and members of Second Innings last Sunday by the Jewish Guild Orchestra.

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MARGOT COHEN

Jewis Guild Orchestra

Professor Brian Buch who conducts the orchestra and is also its musical director, had his appreciative audience clamouring for more. The Jewish Guild Orchestra, although founded in 1944, has still been able to retain its fresh sound. It okays a wide range of light classical pieces and its repertoire last Sunday ranged from the operetta Gypsy Baron by Johan Strauss to the all-time Neapolitan favourite, O Sole Mio.

Expenses of the orchestra are met by its 35 members themselves; they derive no income from its activities. The orchestra was named after its original sponsor, the Johannesburg Jewish Guild which no longer exists. Its founder was the late Dr Solly Aronowsky who served as musical director for 46 years. Its current leader is Dr Bernard Caplan.

The orchestra provides support for amateur musicians, irrespective of race or religion, to develop their skills to perform in public and to enhance their appreciation of music. It also plays to audiences who would not otherwise have access to light classical music, such as residents of old aged homes, the Red Cross, Hospice and the Cancer Association.

“One of our objectives is to provide performances through which we are able to assist various charities or to promote music appreciation among scholars,” says Buch.

“We welcome new players,” says Buch. “We need female vocalists, string and brass players. We need players who are at grade 6 level.”

* For further information, contact Dr Buch on (012) 348-8653 or 071-633-0869

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