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Seeking any information about missing father

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Letters/Discussion Forums

I’m looking for information about my father, who may have emigrated to South Africa in the early 1960s. His name was Victor Vinegrad, and he had British citizenship. He would have been in his forties when he emigrated from Britain. He would be 101 today, if alive. Any help you can give me about his life or death would be greatly appreciated.

My father disappeared in Australia in 1952, leaving my mother with two small children. She was forced to fend for herself and to return to the United Kingdom. Searches for Victor yielded nothing. Sometime in the late 1980s, she met a man who said he had seen Victor in London in 1960 or thereabouts. He confided to him that he was going to emigrate to South Africa. My mother, at 98 years old, is still an Agunah. It would be a blessing if she could be freed before she dies. It would also help me if I could find out what happened to my father. Email: jlfestival@gmail.com

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Letters/Discussion Forums

Looking for descendants of Lithuanian great-grandfather

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I would be grateful for any information a reader may have as I search for descendants of my great-grandfather, Eliahu Zvi Bloch, a Kohen who lived in Anassisic/Anusshishok, Lithuania, near the Latvian border, from roughly 1820 to 1900.

My grandfather, Elchanon, the son of Eliahu Zvi and his third wife, Sarah Oralowich, who grew up in an orphanage, is the only one of the family who emigrated to the United States. I recall hearing that some of Elchanon’s siblings or half-siblings emigrated to South Africa in the first half of the last century.

I know very little else. I believe the family migrated to Lithuania from Germany around 1750 or 1800, that Eliahu Zvi’s father lived to be 100, and that Eliahu Zvi was 66 years old when my grandfather was born. It’s possible that some family members migrated to Israel, either prior to statehood or after living in South Africa. I would welcome any information, even if marginally related to my family, such as knowledge of life in Anassisic/Anusshishok. I live in Silver Spring, Maryland, United States, and can be reached at farrellbloch@aol.com

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Only those on the frontline should be vaccinated

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I read in dismay of doctors, often in private practice who never see a COVID-19-positive patient, who are rushing off with their wives and administration clerks to get to the front of the queue to be vaccinated. I see psychologists and other allied professionals flaunting the fact that they have been vaccinated or elbowing their way to the vaccine table.

While this happens, nearly a million health workers in the public sector who are actually dealing with COVID-19-positive patients in surgery, anaesthetics, intensive-care units, and emergency departments, treating patients with hands-on care, haven’t yet received their vaccinations. These are the frontline workers who are at risk. These are the doctors, nurses, and allied professionals who are dying. They aren’t there for the glory or the large salary but because they are committed to making a difference, to healing, and to contributing to a better world. I urge all of you who aren’t dealing directly with patients who breathe, cough, or spit at you, who can treat patients while maintaining a social distance and wearing masks, not to rush to the front of the queue. Leave the limited supply of vaccines for the real frontline workers. Everyone will get a vaccine. You may have to wait a few more months, but in the meantime, you can take precautions and be safe.

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Protest not a creative solution to education funding crisis

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Regarding your editorial (SA Jewish Report, 19 March 2021), in which you support Gabi Farber and others in protesting against inadequate funding for tertiary education, I agree with you about the importance of education and your sympathy for those who have difficulty financing their aspirations. Furthermore, I commend Farber for all the effort she has put in to explore multiple avenues to assist these students.

The truth as you so clearly state is that South Africa finds itself in a very difficult financial reality for multiple unfortunate reasons. But, confronting this reality requires creative and innovative ideas rather than avoidance with protests, which almost always result in significant vandalism – though I’m certain that was never Farber’s intention. In addition, whenever the government has been intimidated into providing additional funding for students as a result of violent protest, it has almost always been to the disadvantage of other South Africans in greater need.

I don’t deny that there are times when protest is the only option available, but this isn’t such a time. In her op-ed, Farber insists that all alternatives were explored before resorting to protests. However, if thousands of our brightest young people are unable to find creative ways out of their present difficulty, it’s unlikely South Africa will ever extricate itself from its present quagmire.

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