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WIZO celebrates service and excellence



The centenary celebrations of the Women’s International Zionist Organization (WIZO) Port Elizabeth took place on Sunday, 19 February, with an enthusiastic audience of more than 80 WIZO members and friends.

Chairperson Merle Katz gave a report highlighting the outstanding achievements of the past 100 years, mentioning the remarkable women who shone as workers and leaders of the Women’s Zionist League in Port Elizabeth. She mentioned successful WIZO projects like the Bargain Shop, Collectable Markets, fêtes and kosher catering functions. She spoke about the 50 years of publishing and distributing the PE Jewish Chronicle, as well as the WIZO online Rosh Hashanah greetings booklet that elicited generous donations.

The audience was touched by the warm, empathetic presentation by WIZO SA President Shelley Trope-Friedman on the work WIZO does, and her recent visit to Israel as part of the World WIZO Meeting of Representatives.

Michael Bagraim, accompanied by his wife Patsy, gave an informative analysis of the situation of the Jewish community in South Africa.

It was a wonderful opportunity to get together after three years in which no community gatherings were held. Rabbi Lewis Furman, who gave the opening prayer said, “It was really uplifting for our community – a great social event!” An excellent tea, made by the Theodor Herzl catering staff, rounded off a special afternoon!

Trope-Friedman said she appreciated the effort that WIZO PE went to organise this outstanding event, which brought together Jewish and Christian friends. New energy has been injected into the PE WIZO society. Congratulations to co-chairpersons June and Merle, and to Janice for their contribution to this memorable day.

WIZO Cape Town hosted a wonderful event on Sunday, 19 February, with Rabbi Selwyn Franklin as keynote guest speaker. Rabbi Franklin has been spiritual leader of congregations in South Africa, Australia, and United States. Rebbetzin Eileen Franklin, an active member of WIZO Australia, was also present.

The first talk, hosted by WIZO Ruth Branch, was by Rabbi Franklin on “Jerusalem – the centre of the Universe”. Telfed Director Dorron Kline said a few words, and Cantor Ivor Joffe played beautiful songs on the piano.

WIZO Cape Town hosted the second session which included their 121st annual general meeting. Rabbi Franklin spoke about “The miracle of modern Israel”.

Trope-Friedman sent warm greetings via video, saying, “Congratulations to WIZO Cape Town on a successful event which had a great turnout of WIZO members and Christian Zionist supporters.”

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