Setting the example as accountable leaders
PETA KROST MAUNDER
Our president appears to feel nothing about firing a group of top ministers, leading to the economy plummeting into a recession and apparently selling our country to the highest Gupta. Instead, he accepts no responsibility and blames the country’s woes on apartheid and the so-called white monopoly capital.
So, it is heart-warming and inspiring when a leader of the Jewish community shows he is accountable to his people. Three years ago, there was a highly publicised botched bris. It was horrible and has left a little boy and his family scarred. Nothing can take that from them. However, as is apparently the way in many sectors of this country, people could have swept it under the carpet.
Instead, the Chief Rabbi arranged a commission of inquiry into what happened. He then created a Regulatory Board of Brit Milah, which included the highly respected Netcare CEO Dr Richard Friedland and top trauma surgeoun Dr Reuven Jacks and international expert on brit milah regulations, Dr Joseph Spitzer.
They have now implemented stringent regulations, an interactive website and other vital tools to ensure that mohelim are seriously regulated and are doing the best possible job in fulfilling this covenant of brit milah.
As is our part of our mandate at the SA Jewish Report, we hold all Jewish leadership of the community to account on behalf of our readers.
And just as we hold our leaders accountable, we have to give credit where it is due.
It took a long time – three years – to get to this point with these regulations, but it appears to me that no stone has been left unturned and an exceptional job was done.
The regulatory board brought in the international expert to guide and advise them and created something that is a world first. Kol Hakavod to both Chief Rabbi Warren Goldstein and Dr Richard Friedland (who chairs the board)! I do believe a lot of leaders could take a leaf out of your proverbial book. You have done us proud!
Because of you, Jewish parents and parents-to-be will be able to sleep soundly at night, knowing how seriously the formulating, setting up and implementing of these regulations have been taken.
They were just little kids when Sidney Frankel abused them. They were vulnerable and to all extents, helpless. For a long time, they lived silently with having experienced unspeakable deeds at the hands of a powerful businessman, who most in the community respected.
But these eight men and women this week took back their power for keeps. Because of them, and a team of top lawyers, other people who were abused more than 20 years ago, have the right to legally take their accuser to task.
These eight people did not get to see Frankel punished for his sick deeds, because he died before they had the chance. However, they can hold their heads up high for having made the country see that the law that prevented them from seeking justice when they felt able to do so, was unjust.
This may not have healed their wounds entirely, because they have been through hell, but they have won their battle for the good of others. They have forced the legal leadership of this country to be accountable for those who were molested as children and take a long time to be able to take their abuser to task.
You eight may have been victims, but you are now victors!
The excitement is palpable in our community. Our sportsmen and women are kitting up and are soon to be flying to Israel to compete in the Maccabiah.
It must be incredible to have the chance to represent your country, the chance to participate in an international sporting competition where you compete with people from all over the world. What a thrill!
Are these the best sportsmen in their field in South Africa? Maybe or maybe not. Are they all going to come home with fortunes of medals? Who knows! Are they all going to have an experience of a lifetime? Undoubtedly!
We at the SA Jewish Report wish all South African Maccabi sportspeople Behatzlacha (good luck)! We will be rooting for you! Make us proud!