Nominations open for a historic Jewish Achiever Awards

  • JAA_2020_
The Absa Jewish Achiever Awards 2020 is now open for nominations.
by JORDAN MOSHE | Jul 23, 2020

Just when you thought nothing familiar and fabulous was going to happen, the SA Jewish Report is calling you onboard to begin its journey to this year’s Absa Jewish Achiever Awards.

COVID-19 may have brought live entertainment and events to a grinding halt, but this year’s awards will be held in a format that will make history and give ample recognition to those who have achieved great things.

This is the 22nd year of this unique awards ceremony in which Jewish individuals are acknowledged for the powerful, influential, and life-changing roles they play in South Africa. The Absa Jewish Achiever Awards acknowledges those who deserve recognition for their contributions to society, paying tribute to the men and women who have enhanced our community.

Scheduled to take place in mid-October, the annual extravaganza evening will go ahead in spite of a host of virus-related challenges.

“For the first time in the event’s history, we will be holding an online-offline event,” says Howard Sackstein, the chairperson of the SA Jewish Report. “While the actual event will be streamed live for people to watch without being present, guests will still be able to take part in this incredible event.”

Sackstein explains that while tables can be purchased as usual, the seating is virtual, as guests will experience a gourmet dining experience in the comfort of their own homes while watching the live event.

“Those who buy tables will have their meal delivered to their home, from cocktails to dessert,” says Sackstein. “We will also feature a virtual red carpet, with guests taking photos of themselves at home and sharing them online.”

While they tuck into their meal at home, guests will enjoy a livestream of the event, enjoying the evening’s entertainment and awards.

The awards are another area where exciting changes have been made.

“While guests are eating and watching the event, award winners will be announced live and have their awards handed over to them at home by a team waiting to ring their doorbell. This means that guests will actually see the handover of the award, and feel as though they are still part of the event without actually being there.”

Some of the award categories have also been transformed. In spite of the challenges posed by our trying circumstances, members of our community remain determined to stand out and make tangible contributions, and the awards need to reflect this, Sackstein says.

“Beyond being online, the event must be experiential in that it is relevant to the times in which we are living,” he says.

“COVID-19 has ensured that the Absa Jewish Achiever Awards has changed, and certain award categories have been adjusted to reflect our reality. Business leadership in the time of COVID will replace the usual Business Leadership Award, the Professional Excellence award will become the Professional Excellence in COVID award. Other categories will be similarly adjusted.”

Changes like these are essential, Sackstein says.

“Awards which ignore our circumstances would be meaningless,” he says. “We have moved to recognise those doing remarkable work and their efforts at this very moment which are most relevant to our community.

“We are celebrating our heroes. Heroes emerge in moments like these. Ordinary people have really grasped the mantle of leadership and provided such a remarkable example that we should all emulate.”

Every member of our community is encouraged to participate in acknowledging the tremendous efforts of those who have risen to the occasion of COVID-19 and beyond.

“While a lot of people are depressed and fatalistic about our reality, others have seen the opportunities it offers and striven to make our lives so much better,” says Sackstein. “We have to recognise and celebrate them, using them as an example of what we can do in these difficult times.”


  1. 6 Andy Da Costa 23 Jul
    I would like to nominate Yaacov Lazarus from Moishies for the humanitarian award of endless and abundant generosity and thoughtfulness 
  2. 5 Beth-Ann Keschner 04 Aug
    I would like to nominate Glynn Wolman who runs The Angel Network SA.
    Glynn, her team and their vast Network have always made impressive contributions to people and communities in need. However during this time of Covid, more so than ever her reach to feed and clothe and supply PPE products to needy and starving communities is commendable. The relationships that she has forged with contributing businesses and extended networks of generous individuals has uplifted (and continues to uplift) the lives of so many of the underprivileged. 
  3. 4 Moira Schneider 09 Aug
    How does one nominate for the Achiever Awards?
  4. 3 Darren 14 Aug
    i would like nominate Mila Ben David for her inedible achievements in Sport of martial arts.
  5. 2 Heather Dawson 19 Aug
    Dear Team,

    Please explain how a nomination for the Jewish Achiever Rewards works.

    What is the deadline to nominate?

    Are there categories?

    Many thanks.

  6. 1 joan bigham 12 Sep
    i would  like to nominate President Donald Trump for his work to gain peace with Isreal and the UEA as well as Isreal and Bahrain. This is a monumental step for peace in the middle east and the safety of Isreal.


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