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Farewell to a mensch

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This week at the South African Jewish Board of Deputies (SAJBD), we bid farewell to a consummate mensch and 30-year veteran, David Saks. David has been a mentor, teacher, and aid to many professional staff members who have come through the Board’s doors, predating most of our lay leadership. An expert in antisemitism and a walking archive, David has been at the core of the Board’s efforts and legal cases to combat Jew-hatred in our community. Chairperson Wendy Kahn refers to him as the “brain at the centre of the operation”.

David’s passion for history and for archiving the events that have shaped the South African Jewish community is unparalleled. His contributions are felt not only at the Board but also in numerous community organisations that have benefited from his outstanding research, thinking, and beautiful writing. In fact, many of the prayers given on the community’s behalf in public forums were authored by him. As the editor of Jewish Affairs magazine, David has collated and produced a beloved cultural forum cherished by many of us.

We remember with admiration how, while we sought beachside holidays, David, with his passion for the Anglo-Boer War, would use his vacation periods to enjoy the battlefields of KwaZulu-Natal.

We’ll miss David’s institutional knowledge, archival memory, exceptional writing, and his general presence around the Board. On behalf of the SAJBD and the community as a whole, I would like to wish him every success in his next chapter in Israel. We’ll miss him sorely here in South Africa.

  • Listen to Charisse Zeifert on Jewish Board Talk, 101.9 ChaiFM, every Friday from 12:00 to 13:00.

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  1. Lisa Starr

    June 28, 2024 at 1:28 pm

    Very proud of my big brother and look forward to welcoming him home.

  2. Jenni Lazarow

    June 30, 2024 at 8:50 pm

    בהצלחה בהמשך הדרך With love from your proud aunt in San Diego.

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