Happy 80th to community stalwart Herby
Paying tribute to Herby Rosenberg – a gentleman and a scholar. A veritable feast of family, friends, felicitations and fine food hosted by Hilary and Bertie Lubner was a fitting tribute.
Hosted by Bertie and Hilary Lubner at their Johannesburg home, the recent sparkling 80th birthday celebration for community stalwart and Jewish Report board member, Herby Rosenberg, was everything he wanted and enjoyed. Surrounded by his family and long-standing friends, Herby was visibly moved both by their presence and by the many accolades paid to him.
Herby’s passion, enthusiasm, warmth, sincerity, and dedication have formed the cornerstone of his personal and communal life. This was evident through all the speeches made.
His relationship with Bertie, going back many years, has always been one of mutual respect, responsibility and esteem. Aside from other projects, they have together given many years of dedicated service to outreach organisation Afrika Tikkun, building an organisation which is acknowledged as one of the finest NGOs in the country.
Nothing, said Bertie, was ever too much for Herby, whose assistance and presence added immeasurably to the success of the venture, as well as to enriching Bertie and Hilary’s lives.
Reminiscing on their long association, Ann Harris amused the guests with a number of delightful anecdotes concerning Herby, each of which was a perfect example of the fine man he has always been.
Herby’s compassion for those with whom he worked, his ability always to see the best in everyone, his understanding of the contrasting lives people lead and his acceptance of their differences, form part of the special characteristics that so define him.
Bertie’s son Marc’s esteem and admiration for Herby shone through his address: A man for all seasons, dependable, calm, reliable and professional, who better than Herby to have been Marc’s mentor in the latter’s early days as CEO of Afrika Tikkun, the position Herby held until he exchanged it for that of executive deputy-chairman of the organisation.
For Marc, the regular meetings with Herby were and remain a highlight of his working day, bringing him a sense of calm and clarity, and giving him time to reflect on issues of importance before he makes vital decisions. They have an enviable working relationship – something which for Marc was most special and cherished.
Having travelled from Australia with his family to be with Herby on this special occasion, Clifford, Herby’s son, spoke of his father’s tolerance, perception and insight, as well as the essential values of giving and sharing that he has passed onto his children.
Non-judgemental and accepting, Herby was and is a remarkable father and husband, able and willing always to give quality time and attention to his family despite his incredibly busy work schedule.
What filtered through all the speeches was Herby’s devotion to his work and the pleasure and pride he takes in what he does. Those with whom he interacts cannot but be struck by his zeal and commitment to ensuring that every organisation – and there are many – with which he is involved, strives for and reaches its own heights.
In responding to and thanking everyone, especially the Lubners, for the evening, Herby paid tribute to his wife Sandra, his companion who had stood by him for 55 years as well as his two sons Clifford and Stanley. .
A brief interlude of hilarity was provided by comedian Marc Banks, who had guests shrieking with laughter at his irreverent comments and his pointed satire. This was followed by food and drink in a warm and hospitable atmosphere.
Shabbat Around The World beams out from Jozi
More than 75 devices around the globe logged in to Beit Luria’s World Union for Progressive Judaism (WUPJ) Shabbat Around the World programme on Friday, 15 January.
Whether it was breakfast time in California, tea time in Europe, or time to break challah in Johannesburg, participants logged in to take part in Beit Luria’s Kabbalat Shabbat service.
Among those participating were Rabbi Sergio Bergman, the president of the WUPJ; chairperson Carole Sterling; and Rabbi Nathan Alfred, the head of international relations. Singers Tulla Eckhart and Brian Joffe performed songs from a global array of artists, along with Toto’s Africa to add a little local flair to the service. After kiddish was said and bread was broken, Rabbi Bergman thanked Beit Luria for hosting the WUPJ. The shul looks forward to more collaborations with its global friends in the future.
UJW Sewing School graduates model creations
The outfits modelled by graduates of the Union of Jewish Women’s (UJW’s) Sewing School were all the more spectacular for the fact that some of their creators had never seen a sewing machine prior to the four-month course.
They were modelled at the school’s graduation ceremony at Oxford Shul on 15 December to much excitement and applause.
UJW executive member and Sewing School Manager Ariane Heneck expressed her gratitude to Chido Tsodzo, the school’s superb teacher, and the event ended with a much appreciated lunch for graduates and their invited guests.
The self-empowerment Sewing School for unemployed men and women was started by the UJW 10 years ago. It now has a small production team of ex-students, and some of its graduates have been employed in factories, while others are selling their own creations.
Israel Rugby 7s to camp with the Blitzbokke
The thrill-a-minute Rugby 7s have captured the hearts of fans around the world. The Blitzbokke, South Africa’s national Rugby 7s team, ranks second in the world, and is among the most exciting, formidable, and feared of 7s teams.
Exactly 9 191 km away are the Israelis, an emerging rugby nation that has talent, determination, and a world-class coach in South African Kevin Musikanth. Now, these two squads will meet. The Israeli 7s side will be travelling to the SAS Rugby Academy in Stellenbosch to train with the Blitzbokke.
The Blitzbokke will have the opportunity to prepare for the coming 7s rugby season by measuring their skills of play against the Israelis. And the Israelis, well, they will be rubbing shoulders with, and learning from the best in the world and honing their skills for their coming European Rugby season.
“It’s an opportunity for our boys to learn from the world’s best,” says Musikanth. The SAS Rugby Academy is run by the legendary Frankie Horn, a technical expert whose coaching guidelines and methods are second to none in World Rugby 7s.
Musikanth took over as Rugby 15s head coach in Israel in 2018, and in October 2019, he became director of rugby for the Israeli Rugby Union and head coach for the national programmes of both the 15s and the 7s.
Horn visited Israel last December at the behest of Rugby Israel and its supporting Olympic body and since then, the partnership has continued to grow. The upcoming training camp will begin in Israel, where Horn, together with Phil Snyman, the former Blitzbok captain and multiple world champion winner, will spend a week with the players and coaching staff at Wingate, Netanya, the home base of Rugby Israel. They will then all travel to Stellenbosch for a week’s camp with the Blitzbokke.
“We’ve already seen the difference through our partnership with Frankie. Two of our players were spotted by him on his previous trip to Israel, and have been training at SAS on the off-season,” says Musikanth. The two players are Omer Levinson (scrum half) and Yotam Shulman (lock).
Horn, technical advisor to Rugby Israel’s 7s, says “It is a great opportunity for both teams to derive positive benefit from the camp.”
Israel Rugby has been making considerable professional strides since Musikanth took over the reins. Israel 15s played their 100th test match against Cyprus and celebrated with a 34-22 victory.
“We’re in the top 25 in Europe in 15s and in the top 16 in 7s, the toughest, most competitive continent in world rugby,” says Musikanth, “and I can realistically see us setting our sights on the Top 15 and Top 12 respectively in the future.”
Currently, there are three eligible South Africans who are on the Israeli national squad: Jayson Ferera as flanker (Pirates Rugby Club), Daniel Stein as fly half (studying in Israel), and Jared Sichel as prop (Hamilton’s Rugby Club, Cape Town). Eligibility to play for a national team in rugby is stricter than in other sports. One does not qualify just because one has a passport. One has to have had a parent or grandparent that was born in that country or one has to have lived in the country for at least three years.
“With so much Jewish rugby talent around the world, we would be able to put a world-class Israeli national team together if not for the measures that restrict eligibility to national call ups,” says Musikanth.
The Israel Rugby development project was accelerated thanks to Musikanth initiating Bridges through Rugby. This project is the collective effort of a few South African Jewish businessmen who appreciate the long-term vision of Israel becoming a stronger rugby nation. They have come on board to assist with this most opportune tour. National financial support is fixed and, as such, is limited. While the strong players and national coaches will be attending the training camp in Stellenbosch, there will be some that will, unfortunately, have to stay behind.
“This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for our players and coaches. To get to see the best upfront and feed off their knowledge is going to be incredible,” says Musikanth. “Everyone is eager to go, of course, but there is a cap to the support we have in place. We would like to take a development u20 squad as well as coaching staff who would carry the benefits of this into the future. A rugby visit to Stellenbosch can change rugby lives in many respects. Stellenbosch is rugby utopia!”
Rugby aside, with the Israelis and South Africans camping together, the question of what will be for dinner after a gruelling day’s training may be a matter of contention. A tussle for whether to serve boerewors or shwarma may result in a scrum in the SAS dining hall to determine the outcome.
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