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Op-eds

    • Howard Feldman 2018

    Trying to understand Angelo Agrizzi

    Feb 28, 2019 Go comment!
    One of my favourite books, But – He Was Good To His Mother by Robert A Rockaway, details the “life and crimes” of Jewish mobsters in the 1920s to 1940s in the United States. Moral contradictions abound, and it is almost impossible to settle into a singular understanding of some of the greatest hooligans that country has produced. They were ruthless in their “business practices”, but when it came to their families, in some cases to community and to Israel, they were devoted and supportive. Model citizens.
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    • AboveBoardShaunZagnoev (3)

    Taking an active role in our democracy

    Feb 28, 2019 Go comment!
    When the South African Jewish Board of Deputies (SAJBD) first introduced a pre-election education and awareness campaign for the Jewish community back in 2009, the name we chose for the initiative was Make Us Count. The underlying message was that in a democracy, citizens should not be passive onlookers, but should strive to be an active, identifying part of the democratic process. The name has been retained for all subsequent pre-election campaigns, including the present one.
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    • Geoff

    The Knesset: is it open to racists?

    Feb 28, 2019 Go comment!
    A democracy cannot be judged by the nature of every party in its government. Its power is its ability to encompass widely different viewpoints. Even in extreme cases such as apartheid South Africa, where democracy existed only among whites, every white South African could not be classified as racist. Now it is Israel’s turn to be tested.
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    • HaafizahBhamjee

    Why Israel and apartheid can never be the same thing

    Feb 21, 2019 1 Comment
    We have all heard the term before, and either flinched, cringed, or nodded our heads. The words “apartheid Israel” have become a term so often used in the discourse around Israeli-Palestinian conflict that we have somewhat lost our ability to think critically about its use.
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    • AnthonyChait1

    Mboweni rings the changes with ‘aloesterity’

    Feb 21, 2019 Go comment!
    Minister of Finance Tito Mboweni presented a bitter-sweet budget to Parliament on Wednesday that will have an impact on every one of us, not least in increased fuel levies.
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    • JudithAncer

    When the lights go out, and you can’t look on the bright side

    Feb 21, 2019 1 Comment
    The first night our power went, we made the best of the experience. My family gathered around the braai, my husband prodded the meat, I sipped a glass of wine, and we reminisced by firelight. We went to bed early, and I woke up refreshed the next morning.
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    • AubreyKatzef

    The Israeli elections and the politics of the individual

    Feb 21, 2019 Go comment!
    In just eight weeks, Israeli voters head for the polls. Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu will be seeking re-election for the fifth time. However this election will be like no other election in the history of the state. The Labour Party, once the major political party and still a dominant player right up to the last election, is predicted to be on the brink of a meltdown. In the last election, it won 24 seats in the Knesset, but now polls predict only five to eight seats.
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    • AboveBoardShaunZagnoev (3)

    Growing ties in Africa

    Feb 21, 2019 Go comment!
    South African Jewish Board of Deputies National Director Wendy Kahn last week accompanied a delegation from the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organisations (COP) on a visit to Kenya and Uganda. Among others, the delegation met with Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni and Prime Minister Ruhakana Rugunda. Wendy also gave a presentation on the South African situation to the COP.
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    • Howard Feldman 2018

    Spitting in the well

    Feb 21, 2019 1 Comment
    It has always amazed me that South African expats around the world refer to themselves as “ex-South Africans”. Meet a Brit living in New York or an American living in Tel Aviv and ask them their nationality, and they will most likely answer “British” or “American”. And yet, South Africans add a prefix that is more appropriate to use when referring to a divorced spouse than a country and place of origin.
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    • Geoff

    Is there such a thing as too many babies?

    Feb 21, 2019 Go comment!
    South Africans take it for granted that they live in a large country where the population of 56 million fits easily, and they can drive for hours in the countryside and pass through only a few towns with a few people.
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    • HabonimShaliach

    Looking back at Ethiopia as more countrymen arrive in Israel

    Feb 14, 2019 Go comment!
    I often ponder about my simple life in Ethiopia. Sometimes I miss the uncomplicated life that we once had. I miss the days of being a shepherd boy. I miss the daily chores of collecting water and searching for food. Each and every one of us has a strong link to our past and a longing for what was.
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    • Geoff

    Looming elections: can the centre hold?

    Feb 14, 2019 Go comment!
    Two elections coming up will provoke serious arguments about values around South African Jewish dinner tables.
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    • Howard Feldman 2018

    Learned helplessness

    Feb 14, 2019 Go comment!
    South Africans do not need to be told that they are not happy. The only question is just how miserable they are. Luckily there is a way to determine just how bad this feeling is. At first glance, it is worse than one might have thought.
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    • AboveBoardShaunZagnoev (3)

    Keep anti-Semitism in perspective

    Feb 14, 2019 Go comment!
    At the start of the new millennium, there was a widespread belief in global Jewish circles that anti-Semitism was a diminishing problem, and that it was likely to diminish further as the world moved into a hopeful new era of burgeoning democracy.
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    • Thurgood8

    Morasha goes from darkness to light with new Sefer Torah

    Feb 07, 2019 Go comment!
    Sunday, 3 February, was a day of intense emotion for the Beit Midrash Morasha and the Cape Town Jewish community. We began the day by burying the remains of six Sifrei Torah which were destroyed in the fire that engulfed the shul in December 2018, and ended it by completing and welcoming a new Sefer Torah.
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    • 12J

    How to do good and reduce your tax bill – legally

    Feb 07, 2019 1 Comment
    Around the Shabbos table, I get asked the same question every week, “What is Section 12J?” It’s not an easy conversation to have, as most shtetl folk are stereotypically “experts” in tax, finance, investments, share portfolios, and offshore investments.
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    • AboveBoardShaunZagnoev (3)

    Stellenbosch University denies being anti-Israel

    Feb 07, 2019 Go comment!
    In December 2018, the South African Jewish Board of Deputies (SAJBD) was involved in a public spat with Stellenbosch University after several Israeli academics, as well as a Palestinian peace activist, were removed from the speaking programme of an upcoming conference.
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    • Howard Feldman 2018

    Deciding who to vote for

    Feb 07, 2019 Go comment!
    It’s going to get ugly. It always does. Anywhere in the world, an election year unleashes a tsunami of negativity, as each party does their best to show why the other would make a very poor choice.
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    • Geoff

    Playing to the seekers of excellence

    Feb 07, 2019 Go comment!
    Is Eurocentricity still a proverbial four-letter word in today’s South Africa? After the coming of democracy in 1994, there was political and social pressure to be more Afrocentric. This was to counter eons of brutal white and colonial rule that emanated from Europe, and persecuted Africa’s people.
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    • WIZO

    Worldwide WIZO sisterhood in Israel in 2019

    Feb 07, 2019 Go comment!
    One hundred Women’s International Zionist Organisation (WIZO) leaders from across the globe assembled in Israel last month for the 2019 Meeting of Representatives. This week-long event expresses solidarity and support for the work WIZO does to advance all sectors of society in Israel. It sets the policies for the coming year in WIZO’s 800 institutions, projects, and programmes, and offers an excellent opportunity to share ideas.
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