The Jewish Report Editorial

Some weeks stay in memory

  • Vanessa
As we went to print on Wednesday, news had broken of Donald Trump’s election as the 45th president of the United States. After the shock, came the jokes, including a very memorable one from the Jewish Report’s chairman, Howard Sackstein, who posted on Facebook: “Syria - how many American refugees are you prepared to take in?”
by VANESSA VALKIN | Nov 10, 2016

And now people around the world are forced to reflect on how a billionaire, reality television star with no political experience, managed to get himself into the White House.

A few things are clear. Americans had decided they didn’t need a perfect man as their next president (tax evasion, bigotry and sexual assault allegations to name a few of the glaring fault lines) but they did need someone who might possibly fulfil his overriding and often-repeated promise to “make America great again”. 

Also apparent was that, as Ronald Reagan understood the power of television in the ‘80s and Barack Obama understood the power of the Internet and the early power of social media during their campaigns to victory, so too did Donald Trump and his team masterfully use a now more established social media to broadcast their slogans and seduce voters.

What this new era of Trump will mean for the world and more specifically for American Jewry, world Jewry or America’s relationship with Israel remains to be seen. Our story on page 6 raises some of the questions that American Jews are asking.


On the local front, like a revolution of goodness, the Shabbos Project has caught on with a fervour - from its humble South African roots in 2013, it will be observed in an astounding 976 cities this year. If you want to know how you can keep it in a connected and communal way, see our to do list on page 4. You can go “glamping” at the Gardens Synagogue in Cape Town or join an open street dinner at Ohr Somayach Savoy in Johannesburg. 

Also, project founder, Chief Rabbi Warren Goldstein, writes an inspirational piece about the significance of this week’s parsha -“Lech Lecha - go on a journey” as a fitting portion for the Shabbos Project, which he describes as “an exhilarating journey of discovery for the Jewish people” .

It’s been quiet Down Under where father and son lawyers, Ronald and Darren Bobroff, have settled since escaping allegations of overcharging clients and overbilling the Road Accident Fund, in the process amassing hundreds of millions of rand. But more details have now come out, including the probable purchase of a multi-million-rand home by Darren Bobroff in Sydney, where he was recently served a sequestration order by a local law society (page 6). It remains to be seen whether South African authorities will be able to bring them back here to face trial.

We also cover numerous worthwhile events organised by our community: engaging fundraisers, interesting Holocaust remembrance events and creative initiatives at our schools.

Look out for our special Education Supplement in next week’s issue. In light of the crisis in tertiary education, we look at what educators and young people are feeling about their futures and which other options are available, including studying overseas or applying to private local institutions.

Let’s see what the world looks like next week…



1 Comment

  1. 1 Shira Druion 11 Nov
    Great editorial as always Vanessa Valkin! On the money!


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