Outstanding calibre of Jewish achievers
As the SA Jewish Report opens nominations for Jewish Achiever Awards 2022, we recognise the incredible calibre of people who have won in the past and what it means to be a Jewish Achiever Awards winner.
The judges, all of whom are selected for their expertise in specific areas, deliberate extensively over the nominees, ensuring they pick only the best of the best.
In the past two years, our focus was partly on COVID-19-related winners, but now that the pandemic’s hold has loosened, we’re looking for achievers whose activities are unrelated to illness and restraint.
We’re looking for winners who have, in spite of any hardships, made magic happen.
We have had winners like Business Icon 2020 Professor Michael Katz, whose achievements know no bounds, having created our present-day tax laws among other amazing feats. In that year, we gave the Lifetime Achiever Award to veteran struggle lawyer Sidney Kentridge, who has left an indelible mark on the judicial system of South Africa and the United Kingdom. He also just happened to defend Chief Albert Luthuli, Nelson Mandela, and Desmond Tutu along the way.
In 2019, we honoured Sir Mick Davis with the Lifetime Achiever Award. His impact in business, parastatals, politics, and helping Israel is renowned. In the same year, Discovery co-founder and Chief Executive Adrian Gore was awarded Absa Business Icon Award.
Advertising guru Mike Abel won the Absa Business Award in 2018 along with Professional Excellence Award winner Judge David Unterhalter, who has been scratching at a Constitutional Court judge role for a couple of years now. Human rights lawyer, Professor Bonita Meyersfeld, won the Europcar Women in Leadership Award the same year.
In 2018, Investec founder and business guru Stephen Koseff won the Absa Business Icon Award, with theatre and entertainment champion Hazel Feldman winning the Arts, Sports, Science, and Culture Award, and international resort and business magnate Sol Kerzner taking home Lifetime Achiever.
We have also had the calibre of Woolworths’ Simon Susman winning the Lifetime Achiever Award in 2017, and Minister Pravin Gordhan taking the Humanitarian Award that year.
Esteemed High Court Judge Sharise Weiner won the Europcar Women in Leadership Award in 2016 with veteran human rights lawyer George Bizos winning the Humanitarian Award in the same year.
We have also honoured cartoonist Dov Fedler as Arts, Sports, Science, and Culture Award winner in 2015 and Issie Kirsh as a Lifetime Achiever. In the same year, we awarded then Public Protector Thuli Madonsela the Humanitarian Award and Johannesburg Holocaust & Genocide Centre Director Tali Nates the Community Service Award.
Prior to that, retired judge and veteran African National Congress activist Albie Sachs won Lifetime Achiever (in 2009) and South African music Icon Johnny Clegg won an Arts Award. Others went to Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu, Gill Marcus, and President Nelson Mandela.
Suffice to say, whoever wins this year is bound to be phenomenal.
So, look around you, and nominate now.