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Jumping through hoops… with precarious rewards




It was with a growing sense of trepidation that I returned from a meeting at the Department of Social Development last week. I attended it with some of my key colleagues to discuss the business plans we had submitted for subsidies for Selwyn Segal, Kadimah, Sandringham Gardens, Arcadia and Social Services.

This is a process that occurs several times each year – we submit business plans and the Department responds with service level agreements advising us of what they will subsidise, how much they will subsidise and what we must achieve to merit this.  

Believe me when I say we jump through hoops to acquire that support and will continue to do everything that is demanded of us.

But it’s getting more and more difficult for them to justify supporting us. In a sense, our problems are tiny by comparison with those the country is facing is a whole. 

Being less than 0,5 per cent of the population, and having certain standards and expectations, they are increasingly disinclined to consider the needs of a faith-based organisation with low numbers and high ideals.

Of course for us, our numbers are anything but small and our budget, at R200 million per annum, is enormous. By Jewish standards our welfare offerings are adequate, not luxurious. But I understand that everything is relative.

The bottom line is that it is becoming more evident, with every passing year, that our reliance on government subsidies is an illusion. As we watch our grants plummet, it is clear we need to adjust our expectations.  

In the interests of responsible planning, we have to accept the reality that the Chev will become completely reliant upon the community. In 2010 we received R15,2 million in subsidies, assessment rates and Lottery. In 2011 that figure was only R8,6 million and in 2012 it was R4,574,440.

While the reality is daunting, I also know that we Jews are a resilient, enterprising people and quite used to being self-reliant. It seems we need to summon those resources again.

I wish you all a restful holiday period. Travel safely.

May our partnership continue to thrive. Talk to me on

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  1. Choni

    Nov 26, 2013 at 9:58 am

    ‘Don’t fret Michael; Within 20 years all Jews will be living in Israel.

    Your analysis should prompt our young generation of Jews to prepare for their future in Eretz Yisrael.

    It is the only place where ‘susidies’ for Jews is guaranteed.’

  2. Alsn Zeligson

    Dec 20, 2015 at 1:48 pm

    ‘Hi there .u know the SA jewish pop has gone down from 120 000 down to 60 000..This means that there are 60 000 landsman living in countries where a doller in ten rand and a pond is 24 rand, Why not start an international fund raising event.Have a telethon to raise funds for the chev..i can’t do it from this side but if I was asked I could definatly afford an amount like 10 pounds a month which is 240 rand or 2800 pa.’

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