Op-eds

    • Geoff

    Scourge of the open plan

    Mar 26, 2020 Go comment!
    Architecturally and sociologically, the “open plan” was a “wow” moment in 1980s design. The idea was that creativity would flourish without walls or doors to contain the energy of workers in offices. Office workers could see each other at work; and their space wasn’t private as it had been in previous eras. Even among management, board meetings were held behind glass walls rather than in private so workers could see their directors talking to each other. Similarly, domestically, kitchens spilled into the rest of the living spaces with a mere counter separating them.
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    • ChiefRabbi

    For the good of all

    Mar 19, 2020 Go comment!
    Times like these require us to respond with heroic strength. One of our foundational Torah values is the sanctity of human life – every human life – to the point that, as our sages teach us, whoever saves one life, it’s as if they have saved an entire world.
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    • Steven Gruzd

    Coronavirus wrecks Israeli Apartheid Week amid BDS rebrand

    Mar 19, 2020 Go comment!
    Maybe there is a small silver lining around the Covid-19 cloud.
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    • AboveBoardShaunZagnoev (3)

    Banding together to stay ahead of the curve

    Mar 19, 2020 Go comment!
    The unprecedented events of the past few weeks have turned the world as we know it upside down. To get through these difficult and stressful times, we will all need to be resilient, patient, flexible, and, where necessary, innovative. Above all, we must be united. Coronavirus affects everyone, and to minimise its impact on our country, everyone needs to work together, co-operate, and wherever possible, help one another.
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    • Howard Feldman 2018

    Be still as the universe resets

    Mar 19, 2020 Go comment!
    Whereas I’m no coronavirus expert, I have been a hypochondriac for some years. I’m also a radio talk-show host, author, and social commentator, which perhaps qualifies me in some way to speak about the social impact of this illness.
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    • Geoff

    How to laugh at what scares us

    Mar 19, 2020 Go comment!
    How long does it take a global catastrophe to turn into humour? In the case of coronavirus, not long. The online world is replete with hilarious songs and vignettes concerning the terrible threat this world faces.
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    • Steven Gruzd

    Is democracy damaging Israel?

    Mar 12, 2020 Go comment!
    Winston Churchill said, “No one pretends that democracy is perfect or all-wise. Indeed, it has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.”
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    • ToniStrasberg

    Apartheid’s atrocities should never be forgotten

    Mar 12, 2020 Go comment!
    Toni Strasburg, the daughter of anti-apartheid activists Rusty and Hilda Bernstein, recently wrote a book about their experiences. She tells us why it’s important to keep these anti-apartheid stories alive.
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    • Patricia Schonstein

    Encourage reading by example

    Mar 12, 2020 Go comment!
    My parents read all the time. I remember my father in his armchair and my mother at the dining room table, each absorbed in a book at the end of their working day.
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    • AboveBoardShaunZagnoev (3)

    Putting our money where our mouth is

    Mar 12, 2020 Go comment!
    There is an unfortunate tendency for people to resort to irrational scapegoating when confronted with threats they are unable to fully understand. History has shown time and again how collective fear can lead to the emergence of all kinds of noxious prejudices, usually aimed at those faced by those very same threats. Almost invariably, scapegoating targets vulnerable minority groups who are seen as an alien element in society and therefore somehow untrustworthy. In our own history, the blaming of Jews for the Black Death and the horrific persecutions that resulted is a particularly grim example of this phenomenon.
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    • Howard Feldman 2018

    Shark-infested waters and macho men

    Mar 12, 2020 Go comment!
    A few years ago, when it wasn’t as windy in Muizenberg, and when great white sharks would still hang around the False Bay area, it was fairly common for the siren to sound and for swimmers to be told to get out of the water. The “shark spotters” would keep a close eye out, and then signal when the danger had passed.
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    • Geoff

    Pandemic for peace

    Mar 12, 2020 Go comment!
    Picture the scenario: it’s winter in Europe. Snowing. Young men – soldiers – are in the trenches, at war with one another. And then midnight strikes on 24 December, and for a moment, they are just young men, very far from home, celebrating Christmas.
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    • Howard  Sackstein

    Time to chill in the Purim Slow Lounge

    Mar 12, 2020 Go comment!
    One of my favourite components of Purim each year is the “Purim Shpiel”, a Purim tradition going back centuries, equivalent to the secular April Fool’s joke. Jewish media around the world prank their readers once a year just before Purim with a patently obvious nonsense story in homage to the tradition.
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    • AboveBoardShaunZagnoev (3)

    Meeting politicians strengthens Jewish position in SA

    Mar 05, 2020 Go comment!
    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.
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    • DanielleSack

    The perils of planning

    Mar 05, 2020 Go comment!
    I remember the evening I chose my Grade 10 subjects very well. I was 15, hardly thinking about university and gap years, and yet there I was, sitting in a room where it was the topic of conversation.
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    • Howard Feldman 2018

    Are we peaking too soon?

    Mar 05, 2020 Go comment!
    In typical South African style, we are at the risk of peaking way too soon. The virus has hardly even visited the African continent, and already we are behaving like it’s been here for years. We are corona-overachievers, and we need to slow down before someone gets hurt.
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    • Geoff

    Beware of China hate speech

    Mar 05, 2020 Go comment!
    If anyone can give you a disease, everyone potentially becomes an enemy. Infectious disease is especially divisive socially, and Covid-19 tests not only medical technology, but social prejudice.
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    • AnthonyChait

    Budget a pre-Purim gift

    Feb 27, 2020 Go comment!
    It is indeed a good omen that Minister of Finance Tito Titus Mboweni delivered his budget speech in Cape Town on Rosh Chodesh, the first day of the month of Adar. Within the next two weeks, we celebrate Purim and the minister had plenty of mishloach manot (gifts) for all – or almost everyone.
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    • Ambassador Jakštonytė_photo

    Never again, says Lithuanian ambassador

    Feb 27, 2020 Go comment!
    Since the time of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania to the present, Lithuania has been a multinational, multilingual, and multicultural country. Jewish history has been an integral part of Lithuanian history, and the Jewish community has made a significant contribution to the development of Lithuania’s statehood, history, culture, and science.
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    • DavidBilchitzOpEd1

    Gay, equal – and married

    Feb 27, 2020 1 Comment
    When a child is born in the Jewish tradition, their parents bless them that one day, they will get married. For same-sex couples, that aspiration hasn’t been a possibility until recently.
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