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WIZO SA thrives in challenging year



In spite of the challenges of 2021, WIZO (Women’s International Zionist Organisation) South Africa, under the excellent leadership of President Shelley Trope-Friedman, enjoyed a productive and successful year. Ranging from thought-provoking Zoom talks and increased media exposure to local community outreach and international workshops, WIZO South Africa’s activities have borne great fruit.

A brilliant initiative by Trope-Friedman has been her regular “Shelley Shares” column. Through it, she has ensured that WIZO South Africa uses its platform to motivate and inspire. Her messages have been applauded by those involved with WIZO and beyond, locally and internationally.

WIZO South Africa is delighted that international participants and local Jewish community leaders have regularly registered for its Zoom talks. The organisation secured exemplary speakers who provided relevant and meaningful discussions, shining a light on the high standing and stature of WIZO.

WIZO South Africa actively promotes co-existence and unity. In September, the organisation joined hands with Christian Zionists for the hugely successful Jerusalem Woven Destiny concert. How significant this friendship is right now at a time when antisemitism is rearing its ugly head!

Trope-Friedman perfectly summed this up when she said, ‘’The reality of the sharp rise of antisemitism in our own backyard as well as around the world makes the genuine friendship and solidarity expressed by our Christian Zionist friends even more essential and appreciated. The concert gave a platform to the voices of unity, hope, and love.”

All of WIZO South Africa’s societies in Cape Town, Durban, Johannesburg, and Port Elizabeth have worked diligently through a challenging year to raise funds for its projects in Israel, and they must all be commended for their effort and dedication to advancing the mandate of WIZO.

As members of WIZO South Africa, we are committed to raising funds to ensure that all our projects in Israel continue to flourish but we also recognise the needs of our own country and have used our WIZO spirit to bring about opportunity and hope locally as well.

WIZO South Africa’s nationwide Wheelchairs of Hope project continues to transform the lives of South African children by giving them the gift of mobility through the donation of Israeli-designed wheelchairs. In a recent visit to Mitchells Plain, Trope-Friedman along with WIZO Cape Town members personally handed over wheelchairs and promoted WIZO to local families.

In addition, WIZO Cape Town’s outreach arm makes a big impact in Khayelitsha and other townships in the area. Members help to support soup kitchens and crèches by donating provisions, toys, books, and food. They have also worked to establish gardening projects to achieve food security and sustainability.

As 2021 draws to a close, Trope-Friedman remains committed to making a difference in the lives of those who need it most by breaking down socio-economic barriers and furthering the vision of WIZO to empower, equip, and educate in Israel and in our backyard.

  • Galya Tregenza Hall is WIZO South Africa national administrator and PA to the president.

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