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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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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Kalman Lurie

    Nov 4, 2018 at 3:43 am

    ‘PHi Prof Buch,

    Do you perhaps have any photographs of the orchestra from the years 1956 – 1960? If not, where could I get them?

    Thanks

    Kalman Lurie

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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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Teaching the Holocaust and genocide in the digital era

A new way of preserving testimonies of Holocaust survivors through holograms was presented this week by two leading voices on Holocaust and genocide matters, Dr Stephen Smith and Dr Matthew Boswell.

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MARGOT COHEN

The programme, “Remembering the Holocaust and Genocide in the Digital Age”, continued until September 13.

Smith, who is a professor of religion and is chairman of Genocide Education at Unesco and executive director of the University of Southern California Shoah Foundation, gave his talks at the Johannesburg Holocaust & Genocide Centre with Dr Boswell.

Dr Boswell who has PhD in Holocaust literature from the University of Leeds has, with Dr Smith, captivated their audiences with their knowledge, insight and innovative approach to understanding the Holocaust and genocide.

Smith has also recently become a patron of the South African Holocaust and Genocide Foundation.

Director of the JH&GC, Tali Nates, was involved in several of the workshops and took part in one on Monday, focusing on post-memory.

The Shoah Foundation, founded by Steven Spielberg, contains the largest archive of oral history – some 54 000 survivors’ testimonies – including testimonies from Nazi-era survivors and the Rwandan and Armenian genocides. 

The information is available online to scholars. It’s a new dimension which acknowledges that survivors are few – and getting fewer – and that their stories must be preserved.

Added Smith: “This database is a treasure trove of historical memory for now and the future.”

One such Holocaust survivor, Pinchas Gutter from Poland, who has lived in Cape Town for more than 30 years, answers questions and engages with audiences through an interactive hologram that can be projected in 3D, answering questions about his experiences during the Holocaust and his life before and after.

Questions about Gutter’s gruelling experiences as a young boy during the Second World War are directly answered in a very hands-on approach.

Adds Boswell: “It’s a new way of training scholars and volunteers who want to fire questions at survivors.

“Each story is unique and each survivor responds in his or her own way, showing resilience, hope, tenacity.” There are also many survivors living in Eastern Europe, living in dire poverty, whose losses were never addressed.

“We have to learn from each testimony. Anti-Semitism is lethal and often leads to genocide – as history has shown,” says Smith. “The Holocaust targeted Jews, but hatred was made by Western civilisation.

“We are all responsible and memories must be preserved to ensure that mass murder does not recur.”

* For more information contact Shirley@jhbholocaust.co.za or telephone (011) 640-3100.

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