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Jewish Achiever David on CNN this week

David Goldblatt, recipient of the 2013 Jewish Report Art, Sport, Science & Culture Award, will make a rare public appearance on CNN’s African Voices






In accepting his award David Goldblatt said that if there was any merit in what he has done in his career, it is due to the unrelenting support of his wife Lilly.


The award was introduced by struggle stalwarts Jules and Selma Browde who have been married for 65 years


World-renowned SA Jewish photographer David Goldblatt will be featured on the CNN programme “African Voices” several times in the coming week – starting today. Goldblatt was the recipient of the 2013 Jewish Report Art, Sport, Science & Culture Award.

Born in Randfontein in 1930, David Goldblatt was the third son of Eli and Olga Goldblatt who had come to SA as children.

After matriculating he worked at his father’s clothing store in Randfontein while doing his B Comm at Wits and developing his interest in photography.

The CNN International show will be screened on the following days and times in South Africa: Sunday (3 Nov) 20h30; Monday 12h30 and 17h30; and Tuesday at 07h30.

For those wanting to watch but not able to make the time-slots, it can be recorded on your FVR or viewed on the CNN website from later this week.

Who is David Goldblatt?

When David’s father died in 1962, he sold the business and followed his dream of becoming a photographer. “Gradually I built up a professional practice, specialising in work outside the studio, photographing for magazines, corporations, advertising agencies and institutions. In my personal work I have, for the most part, photographed and published essays on various aspects of SA society.”

He says he regards himself “as an unlicensed, self-appointed observer and critic of SA society which I continue to explore with the camera.” Recognising the need for a facility to teach visual literacy and photographic skills particularly to people disadvantaged by apartheid, David founded the Market Photo Workshop in 1989 and continues to serve as a member of its Advisory Committee.

Despite having been so highly recognised both locally and internationally for his work, David says that he has “never sought to win awards, they don’t mean a great deal to me.” He says that recognition is “balm to the ego, but it doesn’t figure high in my constellation.”

However, on hearing that he was the recipient of the Jewish Achievers Award, says David, he found that “very pleasant. It is pleasing to be acknowledged in one’s own community,” he said. David also recently received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the International Centre for Photography in New York and he is an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Photographic Society.

He acknowledges that “In my field I have been given major recognition for work I have done,” but, personally, he says “there are things I feel I could have done better, there is always room for improvement.”

He insists that he is “not trying to minimise what I have done,” but feels that within the context of South Africa, “as an observer and critic of this society, I believe I could have done better.”

Goldblatt says that he was exposed to anti-Semitism in his youth and growing up, but that this is not something he personally encounters now. But, he says, he realises that Jews – by virtue of our history – are required to be more observant of the nuances of anti-Semitism.

David lives in Joburg with his wife, Lily, has three children and two grandsons.

Jewish Achiever Award

9c-Goldblatt Jules and Selma Browde
PICTURED LEFT: David’s Jewish Report Jewish Achiever Award was introduced by past winners and well-known struggle stalwarts Jules and Selma Browde – who have been married for 65 years

David Goldblatt was the recipient of the 2013 Jewish Report Art, Sport, Science & Culture Award.

David is currently working on two projects. The one he has dubbed “Post-apartheid Public Art and Structures” which, he says represents expressions of our ethos. Now well into his eighties, Goldblatt says that while in the historical context “it might be a little too early,” for this project, “considering my age I might as well get on with it!”

The other project David has been working on for some time is photographing ex-offenders at the scene of their crimes. “Who are the people doing crime? How and why do they come to do it?” he asks. “I am curious to know, it is a conversation between me and myself,” which, he says, is something he does a lot of.

 “I choose not to meet them while they are prisoners, he says, but rather as “ordinary citizens when they are free or on parole. I meet and tell them that I am curious about their life and what they have done.”

He pays the ex-offenders for agreeing to collaborate and does a portrait at the scene of crime and records an interview. “I do this because I am curious. I have undertaken not to make money out of this work. After paying gallery commissions the balance of any sales is given to organisations dealing with the training and rehabilitation of offenders.”

David has now done 35 people in SA and some in the UK. He has exhibited some of the work but hasn’t published it yet. When does he plan to publish it? He says he will know when the time is right.

A selection of the Prizes and Awards David has been given:

  • Camera Austria Prize 1995
  • Honorary Doctorate of Fine Arts, University of Cape Town 2001
  • Hasselblad Foundation International Award in Photography 2006
  • Honorary Doctorate of Literature, University of the Witwatersrand 2008
  • Henri Cartier-Bresson Award 2009
  • Lifetime Achievement Award, Arts and Culture Trust, 2009
  • Lucie Lifetime Achievement Award, 2010
  • Kraszna-Krausz Photography Book Award (with Ivan Vladislavic)  2011
  • Infinity Lifetime Achievement Award from the International Center for Photography, New York, 2013
  • Jewish Report Art, Sport, Science & Culture Award, 2013 

Works of David’s are housed in public collections such as:

9c-David Goldblatt Achievers

  • South African National Gallery, Cape Town
  • Johannesburg Art Gallery
  • University of the Witwatersrand
  • University of Cape Town
  • Museum Kunst Palast, Düsseldorf
  • Bibliotheque Nationale, Paris
  • Museum of Modern Art, New York
  • Victoria and Albert Museum, London
  • The French National Art Collection
  • Huis Marseille, Amsterdam

PICTURED RIGHT: Despite all the awards he has won, David became emotional both when mentioning how important it was to be recognised by one’s own community, and when he thanked his wife, Lily, for her years of support


Selected publications of David Goldblatt include:

  • On The Mines with Nadine Gordimer, Struik, Cape Town, 1973
  • Some Afrikaners Photographed, Murray Crawford Johannesburg, 1975
  • In Boksburg, Gallery Press, Cape Town, 1982
  • The Transported of KwaNdebele with Brenda Goldblatt and Phillip van Niekerk, Aperture and Duke University, New York, 1989.
  • South Africa: the Structure of Things Then, Oxford University Press, Cape Town, and Monacelli Press, New York, 1998
  • Particulars, Goodman Gallery Editions, Johannesburg, 2003 [Awarded Arles Book Prize 2004]
  • Intersections Intersected, Museum Serralves, Porto, 2008
  • Kith, Kin and Khaya, Goodman Gallery, Johannesburg, 2010
  • TJ with Double Negative by Ivan Vladislavic, Contrasto, Rome, 2010
  • On The Mines, with Nadine Gordimer, new edition, Steidl, Göttingen, 2012

Some of David’s better-known solo exhibitions:

  • Museum of Modern Art, New York, 1998
  • Modern Art, Oxford, 2003
  • Johannesburg Art Gallery 2005
  • Arles Rencontres, 2006
  • Serralves Museum, Porto, Portugal 2008
  • New Museum, New York,  2009
  • Jewish Museum, New York, 2010
  • Jewish Museum, Cape Town, 2010
  • Amherst Art Museum, Massachusetts, 2010
  • San Francisco Museum of Modern Art 2012

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  1. joseph

    Mar 6, 2015 at 3:27 pm

    ‘well done David’

  2. joseph

    Mar 6, 2015 at 3:30 pm


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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.

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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.

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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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