SAUPJ elects its first female national chairman

  • Monica
The South African Union for Progressive Judaism (SAUPJ) has elected Monica Solomon as its new national chairman, the first woman to hold this position.
by OWN CORRESPONDENT | Jul 20, 2016

Solomon is “no stranger to the world of Progressive Judaism”, said SAUPJ in a press release. She has been active in the SAUPJ since 1997 and is also a member of the board of Women of Reform Judaism, headquartered in New York.

Solomon said she was humbled by the faith the community showed in her, and pledged her commitment to working with all structures in Jewish life on a national level - Progressive and Orthodox alike.

“I am proud to head up this wonderful organisation with its rich history of commitment and dedication to the Progressive communities in the country,” Solomon said. “In addition to the cohesive role the SAUPJ fulfils within our community, we have a long tradition of working for the less privileged in our society.

“I am hoping that our ethos of tikkun olam will continue to be reflected in the leadership and working of our organisation.”

Solomon says she intends to work closely with the chairmen of South African Centre for Religious Equality and Diversity (SACRED), Netzer, Arzenu and the Women of Progressive Judaism, South Africa (WPJ-SA).

“As a vibrant and dynamic community who actively tackles the issues confronting Progressive Judaism, we will work hand-in-hand with all these organisations to offer assistance to secure their growth.

“I hope to forge a respectful working relationship between the SAUPJ and the Chief Orthodox Rabbi, as well as the Chevrah Kadisha.

“We need to strengthen ties between our organisations, deal with potentially divisive issues, and present a united front in dealing with the challenges we face.”

She also pledged greater structural autonomy to the regions.

“The SAUPJ constitution will also be completely revised to reflect our changing society,” she said.



  1. 6 Uriel 20 Jul
    Is the Progressive community really vibrant and dynamic as she says? This is a genuine question.
    What are membership figures for their shuls?
    What activities, programs and learning opportunities do they have during the week, in the evenings and in general - and what are the numbers of attendees. 
    How do they define vibrant and dynamic?
  2. 5 Madeleine Hicklin 21 Jul
    Kol Hakavod. Well deserved. Thank you for putting Progressive Judaism first
  3. 4 Carol Standfield 21 Jul
    I am so proud of you.  Your strength and determination will see you through this challenging role, and I wish you the very best of luck with it.
  4. 3 Ros and Vic 23 Jul
    Wow!!!!!!!!!!!! You are amazing.  Mazeltov.  We know that you will do the family very proud.
  5. 2 Monica Solomon 27 Jul
    In reply to the genuine question from Uriel - the Progressive communities around South Africa have a myriad of learning programmes - from fun kid's activities to Talmud and Torah study, and everything inbetween.  We encourage all our members to engage in study and discussion on all levels. I am not at liberty to disclose membership figures.  To the congratulatory comments - thank you all ...... as a proud Jewess I will strive to make you all proud of your Progressive Jewish heritage.
  6. 1 Choni 27 Jul
    Talmud and Torah study? I am curious who the teachers are.


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