Meeting politicians strengthens Jewish position in SA

  • AboveBoardShaunZagnoev (3)
Following our attendance at the State of the Nation address (SONA), the South African Jewish Board of Deputies’ (SAJBD’s) National Vice-President Zev Krengel and Parliamentary Liaison Chaya Singer last week attended the national budget speech in Parliament. This was preceded by various scheduled meetings with, amongst others, National Assembly Speaker Thandi Modise, ANC Deputy Chief Whip Dorries Dlakude, Economic Freedom Fighters President Julius Malema, and Democratic Alliance Interim Leader John Steenhuisen. Additionally they had the opportunity to interact with ministers and members of parliament from all political parties. Following the budget speech, they attended the annual reception at the American Chamber of Commerce.
by SHAUN ZAGNOEV | Mar 05, 2020

Singer subsequently attended a Parliamentary Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs lunch for traditional leaders, and is engaging with various actors regarding participation in parliament on the Cultural, Religious and Linguistic Rights Commission and the regularisation of religion.

In the same week as the budget, our representative on interfaith relations, Reeva Forman, represented our community at a meeting to establish an interfaith task team to work with the government towards societal renewal, including facilitating the establishment of the Presidential Interfaith Working Group. This follows a meeting of faith-based leaders on 5 February at the Union Buildings, convened by President Ramaphosa “to engage with religious leaders ahead of this year’s State of the Nation Address”.

Engagements like these are part of our continued work to build relations with government, policy and opinion makers, and political parties across the spectrum. Such relationships continue to be of vital assistance to us in fulfilling our mandate of representing the interests of South African Jewry, upholding its civil rights, and dealing effectively with issues whenever they arise.

Through this kind of regular engagement, the Jewish community is seen – as President Cyril Ramaphosa put it at our 2018 Gauteng conference – as being “valued partners in building a better society for all”.

We strive to position ourselves not as a narrowly-focused special interest group, but as an identifying, participating component of South African society. Our visible presence and participation on public platforms and in national events such as SONA further helps to strengthen our own community’s feelings of connection to the society of which it is part, while creating avenues through which we can find ways to continue contributing and building bridges.

  • Listen to Charisse Zeifert on Jewish Board Talk, 101.9 ChaiFM, every Friday from 12:00 to 13:00.


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