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Chaya Singer wins trailblazing award

  • ChayaSinger
Chaya Singer, the South African Jewish Board of Deputies’ parliamentary and diplomatic liaison, was awarded a Gauteng Provincial Government Premier Youth Excellence and Service Award on Sunday evening.
by OWN CORRESPONDENT | Jun 20, 2019

Gauteng Premier David Makhura and the MEC for Arts and Culture, Mbali Hlope, presented her with the award in the sports, arts, and culture section for the South African Jewish Youth National Identification Project.

Singer has co-ordinated the project for the past four years to foster youth development and social cohesion. It involves encouraging Jewish youth to participate in commemorative ceremonies on public holidays.

The project offers Jewish scholars the opportunity to visit locations of historical events that changed the course of our country’s history. It allows them to hear the eyewitness testimonies of survivors and families who lost loved ones during apartheid, and to engage with government and the media.

“I am honoured to receive this award in recognition of this innovative initiative,” said Singer. “Our goal is to encourage South African Jewish youth to be part of greater nation-building efforts that include a respect for democracy, human rights, and harmonious relations amongst all South Africans.”

The identification project started after the 2016 National Anti-Racism Campaign of the arts and culture department, when communities from all over gathered in Sharpeville for Human Rights Day.

Singer co-ordinated the presence of Johannesburg Jewish scholars at the event. Since then, they have attended all the commemorative events facilitated by the Gauteng arts and culture department.

The aim of the youth excellence award is to celebrate the positive contribution made by people under 35 years old to improve their life and those of others. It recognises inspiring young people whose development has had a significant impact on people and communities in Gauteng.

“It’s difficult to foster social cohesion and a sense of nationhood and belonging in a country that still interacts at a distance,” said SAJBD head of communications, Charisse Zeifert. “This initiative bridges the gap between communities which often don’t interact. More importantly, it allows young and old to share in each other’s history, present and future, by commemorating our past.”

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