Welcome to our American visitors

  • AboveBoardShaunZagnoev (3)
We had hardly had a chance to catch our breath after the whirlwind visit of our Women Wage Peace guests from Israel when it was time for us to welcome another prestigious delegation to South Africa, this time from the American Jewish Committee (AJC). One of the world’s most effective Jewish advocacy organisations, the AJC has a long and proud history of building relationships with different religious and ethnic communities, and world leaders.
by SHAUN ZAGNOEV | Aug 15, 2019

The guiding ethos of the AJC is to further the safety and well-being of world Jewry and find ways in which Jews can contribute to global peace and prosperity. Every year, an AJC delegation visits a different part of the world to meet the local Jewish community and engage with leaders and opinion-makers about political, economic, and regional challenges, including anti-Semitism. This year, the delegation is visiting South Africa and Mozambique, and the South African Jewish Board of Deputies (SAJBD) has partnered with it in organising the itinerary. In the course of this week, it has met leadership of the Jewish community, government officials, senior political figures (including a past president), academics, and business leaders.

The board has a close and cordial working relationship with the AJC going back many years, in large part thanks to the unstinting support of Stan and Marian Bergman. The Bergmans left South Africa way back in 1976, but they have never forgotten their roots, and remain meaningfully connected to the country and its Jewish community, including through generous support of local universities. A past president of the AJC, Stan was also instrumental in the establishment of the AJC’s Africa Desk. It has been a pleasure to welcome them back to South Africa together with other distinguished members of the delegation, and we thank them for helping our community to remain a connected, relevant, and indeed respected component of global Jewry.

University exams and Yom Tov

With the three weeks of mourning culminating in Tisha B’Av now behind us, there are just six weeks left before the commencement of the main Jewish festival season. It is around this time that the board is particularly called upon to address the problem of university exams being set on the chaggim (Jewish holidays). A number of UNISA (University of South Africa) students have already contacted us concerning scheduling clashes, and no doubt others will be brought to our attention in the coming weeks. In the past, we been able to resolve nearly all problems of this nature by working closely with the relevant institutions. In order for us to continue doing so, we rely on the students concerned to inform us about their situation in good time. Those with scheduling clashes who have not yet informed the board are therefore strongly advised to do so as soon as possible by writing to [email protected]

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


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