JOHNNY REMEMBERING BEAUTY
CLEGG THE HOTELS OF AND
REFLECTS ON MUIZENBERG THE BEE
HIS ROOTS / 8 /7 / 14
www.sajewishreport.co.za Friday, 13 June 2008 / 10 Sivan, 5768 Volume 12 Number 22
‘President Obama’- Davis: New book
on SA Jewry
good for Israel or not? lawyers, activists
Clem Sunter: The
ISRAEL’S LEFT WING hopes that an Obama administration will be more hands-on in Israeli-Palestinian
peacemaking, perhaps even pressing the parties into a mutually beneficial deal. By the same token, the
sun from the
right wing fears that an Obama administration and the Israeli government could be on a collision course,
east / 10
especially if the Likud’s Benjamin Netanyahu wins the next Israeli election. PAGE 11
THE WORLD was seeing the end
of 600 years of European domi-
nation of the world economy.
Talking to Iran? Discussing the burgeoning
economy of China, the awaken-
ing dragon, Sunter reminded his
The main worry in Israel is over audience that in the thousand
years 400 -1400 CE, China had
Obama’s readiness to talk to Iran. the largest economy in the world.
By contrast America had only
Israeli officials and pundits are had the largest economy for the
last 150 years.
concerned that the Iranians will
play the Americans for suckers, Sasfin golf day
building nuclear weapons under brings funds for
the cloak of ongoing negotiations. Hatzolah / 6
raises funds for
Sderot / 3
Mike Schalit - ad
of the Year’,
Barack Obama insisted that Jerusalem must remain Israel's undivided capital, in his speech at AIPAC forum on June 4. (CREDIT: AIPAC) success / 5
YOUTH TALK / 18-19 SPORTS / 24 LETTERS / 16 CROSSWORD & BRIDGE / 20 COMMUNITY BUZZ / 7 WHAT’S ON / 20
2 SA JEWISH REPORT 13 - 20 June 2008
PARSHA OF THE WEEK AND YOMTOV TIMES
S A Jewish Report (Pty) Ltd,
Suite 175, Postnet X10039,
Don’t let the light go out another plane.
Of course, that would defeat the
purpose. G-d placed us on Earth to
June 13 / 10 Sivan
June 14 / 11 Sivan
WE DARE not tempt fate by men-
tioning how stable our electricity PARSHAT make a difference here. Fleeing to
the mountains to live a hermit’s
Printed by Caxton Ltd
supply has been for the last few
weeks. Let’s just pray that it stays
B’HA’ALOTCHA life is not the Jewish way. Allowing
the soul to run away with itself, Starts Ends
this way; and let’s keep some can- Rabbi Ari Shishler making you into a spiritual 17:06 17:57 Johannesburg
EDITOR - Geoff Sifrin dles handy, just in case. Chabad of Strathavon recluse, is not kosher. 17:26 18:21 Cape Town
email@example.com Electric light is certainly more Sure, a Jew should aspire to high 16:46 17:39 Durban
powerful than the faithful candle, spiritual ideals, but he should also 17:07 17:59 Bloemfontein
Sub-Editor - Paul Maree but there’s a certain beauty to that know how to translate spiritual 16:57 17:52 Port Elizabeth
flickering glow that light bulbs Like the candle, we are made of theory into practical reality. 16:50 17:45 East London
Senior Reporter - Rita Lewis cannot simulate. two parts. Our body, like the wick, Being Jewish is as much about
A candle represents much for is stagnant and somewhat life- impacting your world and uplifting
the Jew. Solomon, history’s wisest less; our soul dances like the it, as it is about following the laws You don’t need large amounts,
Editorial Assistant - Shelley Elk man, called the human soul G-d’s flame. and studying the texts. just consistently keep adding
firstname.lastname@example.org candle. For centuries, the Menorah A Jew is expected to live in two That’s the lesson of the candle - some and your flame will stay
has been Judaism’s primary sym- worlds simultaneously. We go to that there are three elements to alive.
Sports Editor - Jack Milner bol. Jewish women usher in the work, weave through traffic, eat, being Jewish: the wick, the oil or This week’s Torah portion is
email@example.com peace of Shabbos with candles keep fit and enjoy the company of wax and the flame. about this message. It tells us
each week. family and friends. At the same Your soul is the flame; it’s how to light the Temple’s meno-
Youth Editor - Shelley Elk Next time you have a chance, time, we pray, study, meditate and vibrant and naturally pulls in the rah, the supernal source of light
firstname.lastname@example.org watch a candle in action. Its flame try better our connection with right direction. Your body is the that illuminated the entire world.
dances, reaching upwards, then G-d. wick, keeping the soul where it Judaism teaches us how to light
Books Editor - Gwen Podbrey falling back to its wick. Notice how Watch that candle closely, it needs to be, here in the human our personal menorah, inspiring
the wax slowly melts and the can- almost looks like the flame tries experience, where it can achieve ourselves with constant doses of
Arts Editor - Robyn Sassen
dle shrinks until there is no fuel to escape the wick. Fire naturally its true potential. Torah and brightening our
email@example.com rises; so does our soul. Give your
left and the flame softly dissolves Keeping the soul-flame alive, immediate environment.
Cape Town correspondent into smoke and air. soul half a chance and it would requires fuel, Torah and mitzvot. That way, we become like the
Everything about that candle bolt from the tedium of life to You cannot expect the flame to original menorah, and we make
Moira Schneider: 021-794-4206
encapsulates life itself. enjoy pure spiritual bliss on burn if you don’t replenish its fuel. the whole world a brighter place.
Diane Wolfson “However, the Rebbe searched
MANAGER: SALES AND DISTRIBUTION
Britt Landsman : firstname.lastname@example.org
SA 1st as Hayom Yom published here out every single Jew in order to
He said that in the present time
Sales Executives - (011) 886-0162 RITA LEWIS inspirational insights - one for English. It will be available in four of turbulence, when South Africa
each day. This is the first time that different coloured covers with a cer- was so challenged with negativity
Britt Landsman: 082-292-9520
ANOTHER SCOOP has been achie- permission for this has ever hap- tain number being leather bound. and violence being the order of the
Tammy Freedman: 082-820-0509 ved by Chabad House’s director, pened outside of the US. The new specially bound edition day, publishing a book of this
Rabbi Dovid Masinter, who has The South African edition of the will be launched at a special event nature would bring light to the
Freelance Sales Executives
been given the green light to pub- Hayom Yom - which will be a at the Sandton Convention Centre. country.
Marlene Bilewitz & Assoc: 083-475-0288 lish a South African edition of deluxe edition of which 1 000 copies Rabbi Yisroel Meir Lau the former “Kahoss, the publishing arm of
Manuela Bernstein: 082-951-3838 Hayom Yom, which is a book of will be printed in both Hebrew and Chief Rabbi of Israel, will be com- Chabad, has given special permis-
ing to South Africa especially for sion to us for this book to be pub-
the occasion and will be the guest lished outside of the US - specifical-
email@example.com speaker. ly for South Africa.
Design and layout The function will be held in hon- “They understand exactly what
our of Gimmel Tammuz which is we are trying to achieve - to bring
the yahrtzeit of the Rebbe, Rabbi hope to those without it.”
Nicole Matthysen Menachem Mendel Schneerson zt”l Robbie Brozin, chairman of the
and to commemorate the day which Hayom Yom project, said he had
will fall this year on Saturday, July found Hayom Yom “invaluable,
Avusa Publishing (Pty) Ltd
5. packed with meaningful messages
Tel: 0860-13-2652 Rabbi Masinter said the Rebbe on how to live each day in a mean-
had been determined to rebuild the ingful and fulfilled way”.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Jewish people from the ashes of the Members of the community who
Honourable Abe Abrahamson (Chair- Holocaust. He said Hitler had made wish to place personal or special
man), Issie Kirsh, Dennis Maister, Bertie Director of Chabad House Rabbi Dovid Masinter (right), the man it his life’s work to search out every messages into the new tome, may
Lubner, Herby Rosenberg, Russell behind the soon-to-be published South African edition of Hayom single Jew in order to destroy each phone Chabad House on (011) 440-
Gaddin, Marlene Bethlehem, Yom with Minister of Finance Trevor Manuel and Robbie Brozin. and every one of them. 6600 before July 1, 2008.
Stan Kaplan, Norman
Mr Justice Meyer Joffe
(Chair, editorial comm)
Solidarity meeting for southern African olim
DAVE BLOOM mitment to helping and “being
there” for southern Africans living
KASHRUT TELFED LAST week organised a under the constant threat of rocket
solidarity meeting for southern and terrorist attacks emanating
The following symbols will appear on African Olim living near Gaza. Over from the Gaza Strip.
advertisements and/or advertising fea- 100 people enjoyed a couple of The audience was given a power-
tures to indicate whether or not they are hours “break” from the stress of liv- point presentation by Dorron Kline
kosher. Where no Kashrut mark appears ing near the border of Gaza as on the various activities of Telfed
on an advert, the Jewish Report guests at a Telfed brunch in and many expressed their surprise
assumes no responsibility for the Ashkelon. at the wide-ranging services which
Kashrut status of that establishment or Coming from moshavim like Sde Telfed provide to the community.
advertiser: Nitzan and Talmei Yosef, kibbutzim A local resident of Ashkelo,
NK Non-Kosher K Kosher like Nir Am and Ashkelon itself - Shmuel Pivo enthralled the audi-
the visitors were treated to a buffet ence with his one-man dramatic
Where no symbols appear, consult the meal on a recent Friday morning piece on the dynamics between a
Beth Din Kosher Guide or contact the and were able to meet up and mother and son in the face of age-
advertiser. shmooze with fellow southern ing and “old flames” that come to
Africans whom they hadn’t seen for visit.
Advertisements and editorial copy from a long time. Everyone went back home after a
outside sources do not neccessarily reflect Telfed Chairman Maish Isaacson morale booster from the event and
the views of the editors and staff. brought greetings from Telfed and with a feeling that they were not all
expressed the organisation’s com- on their own.
UPCOMING FEATURES 2008....
Kosher Korner June 27 - July 11
For everything kosher Jewish Report’s 10th Birthday National Antiques Faire
Contact Manuela Bernstein Contact (011) 886-0162 Contact Tammy Freedman
TO ADVERTISE TEL: (011) 886-0162 for more information
13 - 20 June 2008 SA JEWISH REPORT 3
Serebro launches Sderot
support action for victims
DAVID SAKS enemy explicitly bent on Israel’s future was now being threatened.
destruction, and was resulting in While in Israel, Serebro attend-
A LEADING South African Jewish deaths, injuries, trauma and dam- ed the launch of his acclaimed
businessman and author is looking age to infrastructure and busi- book Beyond Redemption?, which
to raise local support for victims of nesses. appeared last year, at the Massuah
rocket attacks in Israel. Despite this, the international Institute for Holocaust Studies in
Dr Harold Serebro’s recent trip to community not only refused to Tel Aviv. The book examines the
Israel included a visit, in the com- acknowledge what the Israelis wartime and subsequent career of
pany of Israel’s Minister of were being subjected to, but Kurt Becher, a senior SS officer
Internal Security Avi Dichter and demanded that Israel limit its who was initially complicit in
his aide Allan Dykman, to the retaliation. major war crimes but subsequent-
beleaguered town of Sderot near He pointed out that even ly - for selfish rather than altruis-
the Gaza border. President George W Bush’s tic reasons - was instrumental in
He was shocked at the daily national security adviser, Stephen saving many Jewish lives and
threats, both to their lives and their Hadley, had sharply rebuked the thus, in addition to enriching him-
livelihoods, that the town’s people Olmert government for its failure self at the expense of those he res-
were being subjected to, and also to deal decisively with Hamas’ cued, was able to evade prosecu-
about how little was being done to aggression. tion after the war.
assist them. “The reality is that you have to All available copies were sold
Serebro said few outside Israel meet force with force, otherwise out at the launch. As has been the
were even aware of the sheer vol- your enemy will consider you case with all sales of the book
ume and persistence of Hamas’ weak and keep coming for you,” worldwide, the proceeds were ear-
bombardment of Sderot in the Serebro said. marked for victims of terrorism
three years since Israel’s pull-out Serebro was particularly affect- in Israel.
from Gaza. In the latter half of ed by the plight of Eli and Sophie Since September 2000, terror-
2005, over 400 rockets were fired Cohen and their four children, ism has claimed the lives of 1 134
over the border. whose house in Rehov Yermiyahu Israelis, with over 9 000 being
That number more than quadru- was devastated by a direct rocket injured. One Israeli in every 800
pled, to 1 716 the following year and strike. Mercifully, there were no has become a terror victim, a sta-
dropped only slightly, to 1 271, in injuries, even though Nitzan, the tistic that would translate into
2007. In the first four months of oldest son, was in his bedroom over 300 000 casualties in a popu-
2008, 1 136 rockets have landed, not when the rocket fell, and only just lation the size of the United
just on Sderot but also on Ashkelon managed to escape before the wall States.
further north. collapsed. Serebro is in the process of
By any reasonable standards, Visiting the family, brought establishing a committee to assist
Serebro said, such a sustained home to Serebro the reality of the the victims of rocket fire in Sderot
assault, particularly one aimed pri- human tragedy unfolding in what and elsewhere. Anyone wishing
was once a peaceful, unpreten- participate in the project are invit-
Dr Harold Serebro at the Cohen home after the rocket
marily at civilians, was intolerable.
It was being carried out by an tious Israeli town and whose very ed to contact him. strike.
AROUND THE WORLD
NEWS IN BRIEF
ISRAEL TO GO HUMBLE IN DIASPORA TIES
JERUSALEM - The Israeli government will for Diaspora relations.
present a "more humble" policy for its rela- "We have to move away from a dynamic
tions with the Diaspora. based on money and aliyah," Yehezkel told
A policy report featuring the government the Post.
strategy's redefining its Diaspora ties will "We have to add more values, to establish
be made public on June 22 at the Jewish co-operation. Israel has to take responsibil-
Agency Board of Governors meeting in ity for Diaspora issues as well, such as
Jerusalem, The Jerusalem Post reported. Jewish identity, education and continuity."
Cabinet secretary Ovad Yehezkel and At the same time, he added, Israel must
Alan Hoffman, the director-general of the swallow a dose of humility and stop telling
Jewish Agency's Education Department, Diaspora Jews how to be Jews.
wrote the report, which is part of an Israeli Yehezkel also told the Post that there
government retooling of how Israel and the needed to be a reduction in the number of
Diaspora relate to each other. groups claiming to represent the Israel-
The process began in February with the Diaspora relationship and a strengthening
establishment of a Cabinet-level committee of communications. (JTA)
JEWISH GROUPS HAIL 2009 BUDGET
NEW YORK - Jewish groups have priations process, we must continue to
applauded the 2009 budget approved by ensure as much funding as possible is pro-
the US Congress. vided to help support services for those
The United Jewish Communities, the who need it the most." The budget
Jewish Council for Public Affairs, and the includes modest increases for pro-
National Council of Jewish Women, all grammes related to education, veterans
released statements last week Thursday benefits and social service needs. NJCW
hailing Congress for preserving funding commended Congress for "highlighting
for social services in the $3,1 trillion the critical importance" of programmes
spending plan. for women, children and families.
"We are pleased that Congress kept the "NCJW is pleased that Congress has
needs of our nation's most vulnerable in rejected the president's misplaced priori-
mind and rejected major cuts to social ties by adopting a budget resolution that
safety net programmes," said William reinvests in vital housing, home energy,
Daroff, UJC's vice president for public pol- nutrition, health, education, and other
icy. services for young and old alike," said
"As Congress moves through the appro- council president Nancy Ratzan. (JTA)
DIPLOMAT DOCUMENTS SHANGHAI JEWISH COMMUNITY
JERUSALEM - An Israeli diplomat in Vienna in the late 1930s who ignored orders
China is compiling a database of from Beijing to desist.
Shanghai's historic Jewish community. The database project is being led by Uri
The Shanghai Jewish Refugees Museum, Gutman, Israel's consul general in
a former synagogue in the Hangkou Shanghai, with help from survivors and
District of the city, has begun documenting descendants of the city's Jewish communi-
the influx of tens of thousands of Jews flee- ty, most of whom immigrated to Australia,
ing Nazi persecution in Europe. Israel or the United States after the Second
Many of the refugees were Austrians World War.
who received emergency travel visas from "This is a vanishing generation," Gutman
Ho Fengshen, the Chinese consul general in said. (JTA)
4 SA JEWISH REPORT 13 - 20 June 2008
Abuse in the home a Israel Now’s memorable
common phenomenon Barmitzvah Tour 2008
SANDY SHER backgrounds, religions REEVA FORMAN
and nationalities. There
LOVE ADDICTION was are only 16 of us at the THE SAZF Israel Now Tour has
every bit as addictive as any moment, but that’s better just completed its 13th tour.
narcotic, was the wry com- than zero! Since its inception in November
ment of Carol Wyattt, author “What these men have in 2002 more than 500 South
of the book Look Me in the common is they have taken Africans have visited Eretz
Eye who gave an account of responsibility for their Israel as a participant on an
her life, in particular her Irene Zuckerman (chairman, behaviour and have a Israel Now Tour.
abusive relationship with Shalom Bayit project) with desire to identify the cause The itinerary of each tour was
her husband over 15 years. speakers Sheri Hanson, Caryl that triggers the abusive changed according to and
No community was Wyatt and Bearnard O’Riain. behaviour.” depending upon historical, polit-
immune to abuse in families Social worker Sheri ical or socio-economic events
in one form or another, Irene Zuckerman, Hanson confirmed domestic violence occurs that took place in Israel between
chairman of Shalom Bayit told a meeting in many relationships. She said there were our May and our November
no official statistics, but sadly admitted that
Rabbi Dovid Hazdan of Great Park Shul, tour leader
under the auspices of the Co-ordinating tours.
Council of National Jewish Women’s 60 per cent of all women would be abused in Reeva Forman, Helen Goldberg, Shirley Gordon,
This year, the largest ever
Organisations of SA at Beyachad recently, their lifetime in South Africa. group of 80 people, led by myself Lynn Zlotnik, Hazel Goodman at the Israel Museum
when she opened the speakers’ forum, intro- “Community efforts offering assistance to as vice-chairman of the SAZF, cocktail party prior to dinner with Prime Minister
ducing Wyatt and other speakers. abused women, such as the Shalom Bayit experienced and took part in Ehud Olmert.
Wyatt said through her own life experi- project, are invaluable. Sadly, many women Israel’s 60th anniversary cele-
ence she had become painfully aware of the due to lack of options available to them, brations together with the lead-
fact that there were many more women than return to their abusive relationship. And ership of the Jewish world.
we would care to admit, caught up in this unfortunately if a man abuses his wife, he The tour was present for the
macabre dance. usually abuses the children. In turn, abused Yom Hazikaron ceremonies,
“Love addiction is every bit as addictive as mothers may also abuse their children.” sharing in the mourning of those
any narcotic. I knew I shouldn’t stay in an Hanson further added it was important to who gave their lives for Eretz
unhappy, abusive and destructive marriage. delve into what triggered the abuse. Israel. We were also at the
I hoped if I stayed and loved him enough he “Was it something in their childhood? Machal ceremony for those
would change - but I was wrong,” she said. Sometimes abuse is based on fear - fear at “Volunteers from Beyond the
Founder member of the organisation the loss of control; not being respected or lis- Borders” who fought in the 1948
MURAL (Men Understanding Respect and tened to.” War of Independence. This cere-
Love) Bearnard O’Riain described his long The credo of Shalom Bayit and associated mony was organised by the JNF
battle to stop his abuse of his wife. While organisations: and took place in the Sha’ar
writing his book Running to Stand Still, he Share your problem with someone who Forest.
discovered there were men’s support groups you trust; speak to a professional counsellor; We attended the official Israeli
in the townships but none in the northern confidential counselling provides support, Government ceremony on
suburbs of Johannesburg. information and the opportunity to link up Ammunition Hill and another
Hence O’Riain founded the support group with other resources, that is, safe shelter can official state ceremony at the An Israel Now tour group at the Roman bath ruins at
which was originally called Abusers be provided; seek legal advice; you have the Kotel. Telfed organised a special Bet Shean.
Anonymous. right not to remain silent; you have the right tribute for those South Africans
“At this moment the group consists of not to be abused; you are not alone; unless who gave their lives in all the wars. This ficult backgrounds.
men aged between 27 and 69 from different you come forward, we can’t help you! took place at JNF Lavi Forest in the north. Then we had the wonderful and exciting
There were events of sheer magic. There experience of being in the Independence
was the superb 60th anniversary celebra- Museum hall on the exact date that Ben-
tions on Mt Herzl with Israeli government Gurion declared the establishment of the
and international leaders (Tony Blair) in State of Israel (Medinat Yisroel).
attendance. There was the honour of There we sang Hatikvah together with
attending a dinner with Prime Minister the recording of the orchestra that was
Ehud Olmert and JNF world leadership playing the national anthem for the first
which took place in the grounds of the time in the independent Jewish homeland.
beautiful Israel Museum. In a room in the floor above - the very
We had the spiritual high of a Shabbat at room where the orchestra had first played
the Kotel sharing the utter joy of our reli- the national anthem in the independent
gion with Jews from all over the world. We Jewish state - we had a party in which we
had the thrill of walking on the very steps thanked our wonderful sponsors.
of the Second Temple where our ancestors Marty Davis, from the Department of
had walked. They are now part of the new Zionist Activities WZO, presented myself
Davidson Museum. and the tour with a magnificent trophy in
When we visited the WIZO bomb shelters honour of the only Diaspora community
for children in Sderot and Askelon, we that has given 13 tours to Israel in five and
shared emotional empathy and oneness a half years.
with them. We visited Beit Sha’an in the Our thanks go to Eti Nissan for all her
north and experienced the new IUA project hard work in organising our tour and also
called Nyala where university students to Isla Feldman for her excellent contribu-
give back to their country by living among tion in the pre-planning of the tour.
disadvantaged and developing children In a packed 11-day tour, we experienced
from the area. many of the great achievements of Israel
In Bnei Brak at Achazat Sarah we met in so many different fields. Suffice to say
the first Israeli Ethiopian rabbi and he told that the participants of the 13th Israel Now
his amazing story of having to walk across Tour - the Barmitzvah Tour - became part
the desert on his way to Israel. He grew up of the very fabric of Israeli society for
in an Emunah home for children from dif- those 11 days.
AROUND THE WORLD
NEWS IN BRIEF
JEWISH GROUP COULD LOSE UN CREDENTIALS
JERUSALEM - A Jewish group could lose pose agenda items for the Human Rights
its observer status credentials at the Council.
United Nations. Cuba, a non-aligned nation, brought
The UN Committee on Non- what its representative called the abuse of
Governmental Organisations, was sched- the council to the attention of the commit-
uled to take up the issue at its meeting this tee in charge of NGOs. The 19 members of
week. At issue is whether the representa- the committee will make their recommen-
tive of the World Union of Progressive dations.
Judaism to the UN Human Rights Council Sudan chairs the committee. Other
abused the council when he tried to criti- members include Cuba, Pakistan, Egypt,
cise the Hamas charter during a January Angola, Qatar, United States, Britain,
session in Geneva. Burundi, China Colombia, Dominica,
The only item on the agenda was Israel's Guinea, India, Peru, Romania, Russia and
human rights violations caused by mili- Turkey.
tary incursions into Gaza. Union representatives have been meet-
NGOs with general status, which the ing with the countries' observers in an
union has enjoyed since 1972, are entitled attempt to convince them not to take away
to attend and speak at meetings and pro- its credentials. (JTA)
13 - 20 June 2008 SA JEWISH REPORT 5
Mutually agreed: A rose by any other name...
ROBYN SASSEN her private home, and that we are as wel- Now in existence for 11 years, Old Mutual ed: “In our business, we have to focus on
come here as we would be there. Theatre on the Square has taken on new life, developing and stimulating the economy. Our
“GOING TO Daphne’s” trips off your tongue And yet, obviously, the business of run- and in an evening coloured with Old assets are our people. Daphne is not in this
more easily than “going to Old Mutual ning a privately-owned production house, Mutual’s signature acid green, the opening industry because she’s trying to make a quick
Theatre on the Square”. It’s the same thing that season after brief season shows new of “Beauty and the BEE”, by Ben Voss also buck. We partner in the long term, and
of course: the warm hospitality that Daphne work and makes new efforts in bumping up signified the relaunch of the theatre, under Daphne certainly has the commitment and
Kuhn, owner of Old Mutual Theatre on the the discipline, as well as entertaining the the sponsorship of Old Mutual. the passion it takes.”
Square, in Sandton proffers her patrons broad public, isn’t easy and is often unfor- According to Kuhn, “with ever-rising Nicola Danby, CEO of Business Arts SA,
makes the theatre feel like an extension of giving. rental, running and production costs and concurred. “This is the reality - we know that
the lack of state subsidy, the theatre’s clo- art can work with and for business... but it
sure was imminent without sponsorship. requires a long-term view and a sustained
“In difficult times when ticket prices alone investment to bring result. Thanks to the
cannot suffice to keep theatre alive, it is determination and tenacity of Kuhn and the
more than ever praiseworthy when a corpo- vision of Old Mutual, this theatre - an
Sue Brett (PR), rate associates itself with the growth and extraordinary gem in the heart of a major
Regina Dube development of a theatre and commits itself commercial space - survives.”
(resident stage to keeping the arts alive.” The fresh Old Mutual green represents a
She cited winner of the Man Booker Prize, whole new lease on life for the theatre, which
Yann Martell: “If we do not support our boasts an exciting line-up, including chil-
Daphne Kuhn artists, then we sacrifice our imagination on dren’s shows, classical music on Friday
(producer and the altar of crude reality and we end up lunchtimes and theatre, there to challenge,
owner of Old believing in nothing and having worthless stimulate and entertain audiences, tirelessly,
Mutual Theatre dreams.” night after night after night.
on the Square) Kuhn’s big dreams are, thanks to Old Old Mutual Theatre on the Square is tucked
(PHOTOGRAPH: Mutual not just the stuff of fantasy. alongside Sandton’s library, facing the com-
SHELLEY ELK) Old Mutual MD Peter Hanratty comment- mercial glamour of the square. (011) 883-8606.
‘What are you doing for us tomorrow’
ALISON GOLDBERG “I believe advertising in this country has Year 2007 and 2008), BBDO Consultancy and ativity as the sharp
to do more than sell. It has the power to build The Embassy (an experimental hub in business tool it is,
“AGENCY of the Year” is the premier acco- hopes, to raise collective consciousness, and Newtown where art meets craft meets the and who under-
lade in the advertising industry, awarded to if it can tickle and seduce in a way that adds street).” stand the power of
an agency which has over-achieved on a something to the weary (and wary) con- BBDO Network is currently ranked in the ideas to change the
number of levels, both from a creative and sumer, why not? As much as trends and the Top 10 in South Africa in terms of size; world.
management perspective, inspiring industry way we execute ideas may change, a value “more particularly around five or six, but for “And then I
leadership. like this remains constant.” us it is not about size - but about quality. guess it all goes
This is the award BBDO Net#work has What challenges face Schalit in his work What does Schalit believe makes his the back to our values:
just won. Jewish Report interviewed its chief today? “We have always been very positive in best agency in South Africa today and to An outrageously crazy belief in our people
creative director, Mike Schalit (pictured). everything we do. Yet honest. The climate in what does he ascribe his success? and our work. Yeah, it has to be our energy
Schalit says this is the third time the com- South Africa today is anything but positive - “Well, in this industry you can only be as and passion... mixed in with dollops of
pany has won the award in the last five it is disingenuous to try and put a spin on good as your clients. And we’ve managed to naïveté, idealism, and a sprinkling of
years, which is testimony “to our incredible that. attract our unfair share of awesome mar- healthy paranoia. Not forgetting our core
people, the Net#workers, and the awesome “South Africans who have the means, keters. Bold, visionary partners who see cre- platform (or was that merry go round): fun”.
work they do. have a huge responsibility to make things
“But that was yesterday. In this industry happen, no matter how small or humble
there is no time to rest on your laurels, the their offering. Our bumbling politicians and
minute you think you’re hot - you’re not. We bureaucrats sure as hell ain’t managing.
can always do better. So we’re busy trying to We’re in a crisis of leadership, so best we
get ahead of the game. It’s time for a quan- wade in however we can,” he says.
tum leap for a South African agency to rise BBDO is a global giant headquartered in
above itself.” New York with 287 offices across 79 coun-
Schalit, who has also been named tries, employing 17 200 people, “but most
“Achiever of the Year”, says: “That was a few importantly, it is recognised as the most cre-
years ago that I got my walking stick. But ative network on the planet.
I’m still an infant, really. Actually, I sur- “It is the current ‘Cannes Agency of the
round myself with truly great people, so I Year’ and ‘Worldwide Agency of the Year’,
guess they make me look good. and we are proud that our little agency down
“Achiever of the Year”, he explains, “is an yonder at the bottom of Africa is ranked
accolade given by an industry panel to an fifth among these hot agencies.
individual it reckons has contributed to the “This is exciting for South Africa as a
industry over the years. Although I’m in my whole: with our can-do attitude and spirit,
26th year now, I feel like I’ve only just our disproportionate share of creative tal-
begun.” ent, we can out punch our weight on a glob-
Asked what trends he follows since say al scale.
1994 in his work and whether he has had to “From three and half idealistic spirits in
change his approach to the public, Schalit April ‘94, Net#work is now able to call on a
says: “It’s all about values. That is some- posse of around 250 brilliant people among a
thing which has and always will be very quilt of creative specialisation in our group:
important to me. Like making a difference full service agencies in both Jozi and Cape
in everything you do. In your work, with Town, Proximity#TTP (a CRM hot shop),
your people. Gloo Digital Design (Digital Agency of the
6 SA JEWISH REPORT 13 - 20 June 2008
SOCIAL SCENE Rita Lewis firstname.lastname@example.org
The organising committee: Philippa Sundelson, Melissa Berger, Nicky Kaplan, Francine Gilchrist, Tanya
Rubin, Estelle Kahan, Mandy Merkel, Hayley Harberer, Lisa Etkind (team leader), Ethne Marks and The day’s winners, Darren Etkind, Daniel Nathan and Evan Rubin
Carianne Marx. (Absent Nicole Cimring). with the organisers Lisa Etkind and Tanya Rubin.
Golf day raises
funds for Hatzolah
RITA LEWIS Kevin Lurie who was awarded some which was won by Felicity Berger.
PHOTOGRAPHS BY PHOTOGENIC Jim Furyk memorabilia which was The golf day committee, under
donated by Daniel Nathan. the leadership of Lisa Etkind, was
HALF A million rand, which was The day was won by the four-ball made up of only 12 women who
donated recently to Hatzolah from Prodium made up of Darren worked extremely hard to find
Medical Rescue, is the sizeable sum Etkind, Daniel Nathan, Milton sponsors for the event, as well as
raised at the popular Sasfin Maloon and Evan Rubin. Their gifts to be raffled and auctioned - all
Hatzolah Golf Day held at the prizes included a Panasonic digital for a very good cause.
Killarney Golf Club in video recorder and a getaway stay The primary sponsor for the sec-
Johannesburg, when 128 golfers at Ivory Trees Game Lodge in the ond time - the previous time being
came out to support South Africa’s Pilanesberg. in 2006 - was Sasfin Bank who once
own Jewish medical rescue service. The four were not the only win- again proved they were prepared
The standard of the play was very ners on the day, as every one of the to help the Jewish community as
high throughout the day and a great 32 four-ball participants also were the four other sponsors,
time was had by all. received prizes. Melrose Nissan, Richmark, I-
One happening at this year’s event An auction was held by Barney Burst and 3 Pigg’s Poker and many
to make it memorable was when a Girnun of MSC which raised more companies who gave their Winner of the longest drive on
Hole-in-one winner, Kevin Lurie hole-in-one was scored on the par R125 000 and more money was services for free or for a nominal the 5th hole, Jonathan
with his prize. three sixth hole. The scorer was raised with a raffle of an I-phone amount. Blumberg.
Gilly Levy with Philip and Rilla Jacobson and Hatzolah’s Hatzolah responders, David Klatzkin, Levi Singer, Shaun Ryan Holmer, Jonathan Blumberg, Myron Berger and
Des Goldberg. Spruch, Uriel Rosen and Yudi Singer. Jason Nestadt.
Auctioneer Barney Girnun with Philippa Sundelson and Carianne Marx holding a Neil Cloud, Gus Sayegh, Moshe Duek, Darren Etkind and George Sayegh.
Steven Gerrard memorabilia up for grabs.
13 - 20 June 2008 SA JEWISH REPORT 7
1951, a most important event in boarding houses and guest estab-
COMMUNITY the history of Cape Province
Jewry took place at Port
lishments that were filled to
capacity during the season
Elizabeth when the two major
Jewish congregation’s namely
the Port Elizabeth Orthodox
“In his Memories
Muizenberg 1930s & 1940s, Hymie
Jocum writes: ‘There were 55
Hebrew Congregation and the hotels in Muizenberg 1939. When
082-444-9832, fax: 011-440-0448, Port Elizabeth Hebrew Congre- we schoolboys played a game
email@example.com gation decided at a general meet- called general knowledge, we
ing to amalgamate. included a category called
JOHANNESBURG/ “This decision was the out- Muizenberg Hotels, for there was
YEOVILLE come of many months of negoti- at least one hotel for almost
ations between the two bodies. every letter of the alphabet from
From Milton Sher: “The Port Elizabeth Hebrew Alexandra to Waverley.
Congregation is the second old- “So, rack your brains, jolt your
“I was about five years sold est Hebrew congregation in memories, dig through your
when my parents got divorced. South Africa. In his History of albums and send us whatever
My mother, my brother Dennis the Jews in South Africa Dr L you can that relates to the cate-
and I moved in with my bobba Herman has briefly sketched the gories that we are currently
and zaida, Harry and Stella development of the Jewish com- working on. Hotels - Other
Chemel at 15 Page Street, munity in the Eastern Province Accommodation - The Shul.
Yeoville. until 1895, but an adequate histo- “The e-mail address is:
“I can remember the names of ry has still to be written. firstname.lastname@example.org tel: (011)
most of the Jewish families who “There were few Jews in the 728-8378, PO Box 117, Klerksdorp
lived in Page Street, between Eastern Districts in the early 2570, South Africa “
Grafton Street and Fortesque part of the 19th century, the first
Road. There were the Creamers having come with the 1820 JOHANNESBURG
and their son, Alan who went to Settlers. The early Jewish set-
cheder with me. Then there were tlers came mostly from Germany A relatively new book called The
the Schneiers, the Coopers and and Britain and did their full Rabbi’s Daughter by Reva Mann
their children, Wayne, Sheina share in the colonisation of the (Hodder & Stoughton, London)
and Baynis. In the flats next to province and in every aspect of has been causing quite a storm
the Coopers lived my Uncle Abe public and cultural life. and a lot of excitement here in
and Auntie Lily. Next to them “They were deeply conscious of Johannesburg. The authoress
were the Silvers. their Judaism and wherever any was born in London and has an
“On the other side of the road number settled in the territory as impeccable Jewish pedigree; she
were the Zwick family who lived in Graaff Reinet and Grahams- is the daughter of a rabbi and
in the block of flats next to us and town, congregations were estab- granddaughter of a former Chief
had a ‘laat-lametjie’ son, Selwyn. lished and services were held. Rabbi of Israel. The book is
“On the other side of my bobba The communities early on subtitled ‘A true story of sex,
was Mechaelowitz. Next door to obtained burial grounds and by drugs and Orthodoxy’ and it
them were the Gordon family and 1860 Graaff Reinet, Grahams- apparently is just that, although
next to the Gordons were the town and Port Elizabeth each had her border between veracity and
Buntmans who had two sons, a burial ground. imagination sometimes seems
Percy and Johnny. They were two “In 1845 the Jews of Grahams- blurred.
tough Yiddsher boys who played town had contributed £25 to the Some of the descriptions tip the
water-polo and ‘bokbok’ at the Cape Town community towards book into pure pornography. The
Yeoville Swimming Baths. the expense of bringing out a blurb on the inside cover calls the
“Below the Buntman flat at mohel from Europe. book “a brutally honest and often
ground level, lived another “The following year Grahams- shocking memoir”. Indeed some
Jewish family whose name slips town asked Cape Town for assis- of her comments about strict
my mind and they had a pretty tance in building a synagogue Orthodoxy are shocking. She
young daughter called Roseanna. and forming a congregation, but quotes Rabbi Nachman of
“Noo, I suppose that after 57 the actual establishment of a Breslov “falling from a spiritual
years someone can forget a congregation did not take place height is necessary to enable an
name!” until much later. In Graaff- even higher ascent”. If she thinks
Reinet the Congregation was that she has managed that, well,
To be continued. established in 1858.” frankly she is wrong.
Gwen Podbrey in her review of
WATERVAL BOVEN MUIZENBERG the book which appeared in The
Jewish Report in February
From Rhona Goodman: From Joy Kropman: wrote: “Reva Mann, for reasons
best known to herself and her
“The Rosettenstein family, “To all of you who have shown publisher, has chosen to unbur-
after whom Rosettenville in such enthusiasm for our on- den herself of a tale that would
Johannesburg was named also going ‘voyage of discovery’ based be tragic, were it no so transpar-
came from Estancia. Their on your memories, a big thank ently self-adulatory, so cheaply
daughter married a Colonel you. We are thrilled with the pho- disguised as enlightenment and
Lonsdale and they were very tographs that you have sent in. so utterly lacking in taste.”
anglicised. Each one has been scanned and Further on, Podbrey writes:
“When we left Waterval Boven notated and will be returned in “There is the brazen dishonesty
we still belonged to the Ermelo due course. of presenting Judaism as a prop
Shul - it was one of the nearest “But we need more. Some of in a pornographic stage act.”
shuls but also because we had the interviews have given us just Then she adds: “Of all the betray-
relatives living there. There were the sort of information required als in her sad life, this one,
about 80 families in Ermelo; now for an exhibition of this nature towards Orthodoxy - and her
I believe if there is one Jew living and we now have valuable data disingenuous portray of its val-
there, it is a lot. relating to Muizenberg hotels, ues - is hardest to swallow.”
“We occasionally used to have even during the war years. Anyway, someone walked into
Jewish days for the area of “Our entertainment file is also a bookstore in Johannesburg and
Belfast/Nelspruit/Barberton/ growing and to date we have took a knife to the copies which
White River/ Waterval Boven facts and stories about the Lizard were on display and slashed them
and if we found 12 souls it was a Club, the Masque Theatre, the severely. Podbrey, when told of
lot. Now I believe it is a thriving Pavilion Shows and more. this incident commented: “I won-
community. Programmes and photographs der why it has taken this vandal
“Anything else you want to are still coming in. No doubt you fully four months to work up a
know, you can just ask. can all add to this section as it rage over it. Also I hope that the
email@example.com” formed such an important part of person who did this despicable
Muizenberg holidays. act gets nailed. That is unforgiv-
PORT ELIZABETH “Although we know that there able, cowardly and criminal.”
were over 50 hotels in It is worth noting that destroy-
From Maurice Horwitz: Muizenberg in its heyday, we ing books with a knife is but a
don’t as yet have all the names of step away from burning books
“On Monday evening April 9 the various hotels, annexes, and we all know who did that!
MISTRIAL CALLED IN SEATTLE FEDERATION SHOOTING
AROUND SEATTLE - A mistrial was called in the case could not give them any more help.
of the Seattle Jewish federation gunman. Haq, who has a history of mental problems,
THE King County Superior Court Judge Paris stormed the federation in July 2006 and shot
Kallas declared the mistrial last week six employees, killing one woman. He said he
WORLD Wednesday, the eighth day of jury delibera- wanted to send a message about Israel and
tions. The jury wrestled with the issue of the Iraq war.
NEWS IN whether Naveed Haq, 32, was not guilty by Prosecutors said Haq planned the shooting
BRIEF reason of insanity. carefully and knew the difference between
Earlier in the deliberations, the jurors right and wrong when he executed the plan.
asked Kallas in writing to clarify the legal They say they plan to retry the case this year.
definition of insanity. The judge said she (JTA)
8 SA JEWISH REPORT 13 - 20 June 2008
Johnny Clegg’s journey
and remembering roots
Say ‘Johnny Clegg’ and you think of a white guy who sings and dances like a
Zulu. You think ‘Scatterlings of Africa’ and other iconic crossover classics.
ROBYN SASSEN a place with black men, and was police - ed as racism results from economic fac- Africa and Jews is about remembering
PHOTOGRAPH: ILAN OSSENDRYVER worthily contravening the Group Areas tors, not innate hatred. “The competition roots.
Act. for resources is desperate. Our govern- “I’ve always felt perplexed by the dual-
LAST YEAR, he garnered high-profiled His new show is about dance. He ment must create balance between the ism expressed by South African Jews.
acknowledgement. Wits University con- explains middle-aged breathlessness in immigrants who bring wealth and those With my sons’ barmitzvahs - one was six
ferred an honorary doctorate on him; he his last show, which blended autobiogra- who bring their appetite to grow a future. years ago, the other is imminent - I have
was the first recipient of the Jewish Arts phy with song and dance: “Dancing and In a melting pot society like ours, the become aware of Israel and South Africa
Award, at the Absa Jewish Achievers talking impact differently on breathing. immigrant communities stick together, being represented as equally important.
function. “They’re honours, but don’t add Having danced for 20 years, I know when which enables scapegoat identification. “I am African. My horizons were not
to my career. They acknowledge my jour- to breathe. Singing is similar: you breathe “These problems are exacerbated: we affected by Israel’s identity or her poli-
ney.” always at the same point. ‘Heart of the don’t have economic means to integrate tics. My Jewish identity is feeble. I
Another honour conferred on him was Dance’ is about how dance shaped me. I local people. Often Malawians and refused to have a barmitzvah; my kids
decades earlier, maybe more significant, quote everything from pantsula to Indian. Zimbabweans are better educated and get have strong Jewish identity. But I’m
but less glamorous. “Wabaleka no “The Sikh community controlled laun- better paying jobs. This sets up an identi- ambivalent. My father’s people still claim
Checkers” was the traditional Zulu name dry businesses in South Africa during fiably foreign economic niche. Like with me as Unitarian!”
given him by his dance mentors in the apartheid, and had a powerful influence the Indians.” And the Jews. Having celebrated his birthday last
servants’ quarters of Killarney in the on beadwork and cloth worn by locals, as Foreignness is not foreign to Clegg him- week, at 55, Clegg sports specs for far-
1970s. It means “you ran away with your well as cuisine and muti - the symbiosis self, who, over the years, has called many sightedness; his perspectives demonstrate
Checkers bag” - the Checkers bag con- between India and Africa reflect on the places, from England to Zimbabwe to he’s had this “affliction” much longer.
tained his dancing takkies; he ran from xenophobic crisis.” Zambia to South Africa, home. “The link * “Heart of the Dancer” is at the Nelson
the caretaker who felt a white boy hadn’t Clegg argues that what has been reflect- between immigrant communities in Mandela Theatre, June 17-29. (011) 877-6300.
SA Jewish women a
beacon of light
through the ages
ALISON GOLDBERG Jewish Chronicle of May 1905 and Flora
Berman’s My Fifty Odd Years in
WOMEN PLAYED a vital role in the work of Johannesburg 1906-1966.
Jewish institutions in Johannesburg of the The latter writer who settled in Berea,
late 19th and 20th centuries, Naomi Musiker Johannesburg after her marriage in 1906,
told a Union of Jewish Women meeting was one of the founders of the Union of
recently. Most of those institutions were still Jewish Women in the 1930s.
in existence. Musiker says in 1890 there were approxi-
Musiker bases much of her research on mately 1 000 Jews in the Transvaal. The
the daily life and activities of the upper-class Sanitary Board’s first census in July 1896 (10
Jewish lady of Victorian era Johannesburg, years after the founding of Johannesburg)
on the writings of Miss C Bruce, The New revealed 6 253 Jews in Johannesburg of
Transvaal, London 1908, the South African whom 1 549 were women.
Most of the early Witwatersrand settlers
were unaccompanied males, due to unpleas-
Most of the early Witwatersrand ant conditions in the early goldfields days.
Wives of families followed their menfolk at a Naomi Musiker holding an old manuscript in the South African Jewish Board of
settlers were unaccompanied later stage. Deputies’ archives. (PHOTOGRAPH: SHELLEY ELK)
In 1904 the Jewish population had risen to
males, due to unpleasant condi- 25 864 males and 12 237 females. By 1911 lowed by Bella Isaacs, wife of Reverend to Sandringham.
these numbers increased to 27 820 males and Harris Isaacs. The Jewish Ladies’ Communal League,
tions in the early goldfields days. 12 237 females. During the Anglo-Boer War (1899-1902) attached to the Witwatersrand Old Hebrew
Women had a difficult period of readjust- some members assisted Transvaal immi- Congregation, was formed in 1989. Its tasks
Wives of families followed their ment, particularly those newly-emigrated grant refugees at the Cape. Rebecca were to attend to the vestments of the
from Eastern Europe. Their greatest Klagsbrun, the president, carried on with President Street Synagogue and oversee the
menfolk at a later stage. requirement was to attend to family and charitable work in Johannesburg. running of Hebrew and religious classes.
domestic matters and assist their husbands After the war the Society was reconstitut- At the instigation of Rabbi Dr J H Hertz,
In 1904 the Jewish population in small businesses. ed and a Dorcas Society formed to supply the league expanded its activities to work
Spare time was taken up in the participa- clothing to the poor, chiefly orphans. among the poor section of the Jewish com-
tion in women’s benevolent associations and In September 1907, the name of the munity. In 1903 Dr Hertz founded the South
had risen to 25 864 males and ladies’ synagogue guilds. Women’s volun- Society was changed to the Johannesburg African Jewish Orphanage.
tary work in charitable and Zionist organi- Jewish Women’s Benevolent Society. Henceforth the League’s activities were
12 237 females. By 1911 these sations was of fundamental importance to The work of running the Kosher Kitchen mainly directed towards the establishment
the operation of the community as a whole. in the Johannesburg Hospital was handed and maintenance of a proper building for
numbers increased to 27 820 The Chevrah Kadisha was the earliest over to the Jewish Ladies’ Association the Orphanage. In 1905, the first permanent
Jewish communal organisation formed in which received an annual donation from the Jewish orphanage in Johannesburg was
males and 12 237 females. 1888 and had a Ladies Messakos who attend- Women’s Benevolent Society. After 1915 the established in Kensington on four stands
ed to the final rites of females. Kosher Kitchen became a well-supported donated by Max Langermann. His wife,
Women had a difficult period of In June 1983 the Johannesburg Jewish enterprise incorporated into the Federation Alice, was president of the Jewish Ladies’
Ladies’ Society, attached to the Johan- of the Women’s Guilds of South Africa. Communal League until 1915.
readjustment, particularly those nesburg Hebrew Congregation, was formed. In 1912, the Chevrah Kadisha established Likewise the Zionist movement was great-
Its aim was to assist the Chevrah Kadisha in the first Jewish old age home at the corner ly indebted to the work of Jewish women
newly-emigrated from Eastern relief work, arranging various fundraising of Banket and Smit Streets in Joubert Park. volunteers, particularly in secretarial and
benefits. Efforts were mainly directly at This was the beginning of the fundraising fields.
Europe. Their greatest require- poor immigrant women, particularly mater- Witwatersrand Jewish Aged Home Beth The earliest official society in
nity cases. Moshev Zekinim. The first elected commit- Johannesburg was the Ladies’ Zionist
ment was to attend to family and Members also attended to the needs of tee consisted of men, but a “Ladies’ House Society formed in 1904. At the first South
Jewish patients in the Johannesburg Committee” performed much of the admin- African Zionist Conference in 1908, eight
domestic matters and assist their Hospital and made home visits to widowed istration work. women were present. In 1914, Rabbi Landau
and sick women. Funding came mainly from The home later moved to “The Turrets”, and his wife established the Women’s Zionist
voluntary subscribers. the former residence of Sir George Albu in League in Johannesburg with Annie
husbands in small businesses. The first presidents were Dinah Joel, fol- Louisa Street, Doornfontein and eventually Landau as president.
13 - 20 June 2008 SA JEWISH REPORT 9
Fasten seatbelts for a bumpy ride - Malala
LIONEL SLIER months,” went on Malala. “There are two may not proceed with the case against him
centres of power. At the first National or the Cabinet will pass a law saying that a
THABO MBEKI had become paranoid and Executive Committee meeting after sitting President can’t be charged as is the
believed that he had enemies everywhere. Polokwane, Mbeki did not even pitch up. case in the USA. In the meanwhile all Mbeki
He had become increasingly isolated with Matthew Phosa, the ANC Treasurer said people will be fired.”
policy blunders over Zimbabwe, HIV/Aids that there is a leadership vacuum. Joel Malala predicted, “I think that Zuma will
and the arms deal and xenophobia. He had Netshitenzle, a Mbeki advisor, maintains only serve one term. He is not good on
destroyed his legacy. Prominent people had that it is a tragedy that we have a paralysis in details. The new leaders will come from
withdrawn - Cyril Ramaphosa, Tokyo government. There is uncertainty, both Kgalema Motlanthe, Matthew Phosa, Pallo
Sexwale, Cheryl Carolus... domestically and internationally.” Jordan or Tokyo Sexwale. Cyril Ramaphosa
Giving an overview of the situation in the Malala predicted, “The April 2009 election will only stand if he feels he can win.”
country, well-known columnist, political is a winner take all. Jacob Zuma will be pres- Malala was not sanguine. “Our electoral
analyst and presently general manager of ident but is he fit to govern the country? I system is allowing a lot of corruption to go
publishing house Avusa, Justice Malala told don’t think so. His financial status is a sham- through. Who knows their Member of
a packed Parnassah Club meeting, spon- bles. 10% of the new NEC have criminal con- Parliament? No one is accountable. There is
sored by Sasfin, Chabad, PFK Auditors, the victions. At Zuma’s coming trial there will a massive skills flight; we are losing special-
Alliance Group and Compu-Clearing recent- be an appeal to the Concourt and this will ized people. This is the road to Perth.
ly: Malala gave the audience on overview of take years and by then he will be president. Looking at the last week we are headed for Alan Greenstein, MD of Sasfin Bank, and
the situation in the country. “It started with The National Prosecuting Authority may or turbulent times.” Justice Malala (PHOTOGRAPH: SHELLEY ELK)
the (ANC’s) Polokwane Conference (to elect
a new party leader, with the choice between
President Thabo Mbeki and former Vice
President Jacob Zuma). Business confidence
plummeted. Further depression was caused
by the failure of Eskom to manage the elec-
The Parnassah Club is a business net-
working group which encourages people in
the commercial world to get together and to
meet each other in a social atmosphere.
Malala, who has been blacklisted by the
SABC, believed to be as a result of his forth-
right views, gave a Powerpoint presentation.
The first person shown on the screen was
President Mbeki looking depressed. Malala
explained the country had an inflation rate
of over 12 per cent; new car sales were down
by 24 per cent; the country was facing anoth-
er interest rate increase; and there was also
the case of the Chief Justice of the Cape
(John Hlope) being condemned by the
Constitution Court for allegedly trying to
influence some judges of that Court in cases
concerning Jacob Zuma.
Malala spoke about the horrific picture
which had been on the front pages of the
newspapers, of a foreigner being burnt alive
and he asked how could this happen.
“This is the work of barbaric savages.
Nine years after Nelson Mandela left, we
must have serious considerations about
where we are going.
“People are again beginning to talk about
leaving. We are in the situation that we were
in 1992 with the same kind of picture unfold-
ing in front of our eyes, only worse.
“Look to the north of us,” Malala said, “In
Uganda, President Museveni tackled AIDS
but has remained in power too long; in
Kenya 1500 people died after President Mwai
Kibaki stole the election there, and he, too,
has been in power too long. Zimbabwe has
an illegal president, also in power too long.
Thirty days after the election we still have
not heard who won. It is a failed state.”
“Mandela said after he had been in power
for five years, that others should take over.
At Polokwane the ANC said that we cannot
have a president who wanted to extend his
period. The ANC did us a massive favour.
Mbeki was kicked out also because he made
a great many people very angry.
‘The ANC Youth League gave Zuma a plat-
form by mounting rallies and Zuma got his
image back. Cosatu and the SACP fell out
with Mbeki and also gave Zuma a platform.
Sexwale backed Zuma although the two
have nothing in common”
“Helen Zille described Zuma as a political
polygamist, trying to satisfy everyone simul-
taneously. Max Sisulu who is head of
Ukhamba Holdings has said that nationali-
sation has never been off the agenda. It is an
option but not the best one and Sexwale, one
of Zuma’s advisers, wants to buy Telkom.
Nationalisation then doesn’t make sense.
Jabu Moleki of the Communist Party has
said that the ANC is such a broad church.”
“We will have turbulence for the next six
10 SA JEWISH REPORT 13 - 20 June 2008
OPINION AND ANALYSIS
FORUM FOR DIVERSE VIEWS
One big ‘but’ in brilliant book Friedman (at the time the very best
labour relations journalist) and the
THE RECENTLY published book The Jews Had the authors researched this issue,
Not a million, but still in South Africa by Professors Richard
Mendelsohn and Milton Shain, has come in
for deserved praise. It is superbly produced,
THE JURY they would also have discovered the
amazing generosity and principle of
a cry of anguish contains a wonderful collection of photo-
graphs and illustrations which bring long
IS OUT Benny Rabinowitz who helped ensure
the Weekly Mail’s financial survival in
its early years.
IT HAS been said so many times that the pan- Dennis Davis
lost aspects of our community to life. And if that is not enough, the other
demic of violent crime - armed robberies, More importantly, the authors have not key element in civil society at that time -
child abuse, women abuse and other forms - hidden from dealing with the great dilemma the rise of the independent trade unions
engulfing South Africa is killing this country, which confronted the community - being Jews responded to this new country in which gained life from the 1970s thanks
driving its most talented and skilled people to faithful to Jewish values in apartheid South which they found themselves over the partly to another Jewish business, The
emigrate, and making foreigners reluctant to Africa. For all these reasons, this work is a past 200 years. Frame Group of Phillip Frame - is stun-
come here, either as investors or for other rea- significant contribution to our understand- Once the book is viewed in this con- ningly ignored.
sons. But it cannot be said enough times. ing of our community. text and with this commendable objec- In those perilous days, Johnny
People who travel overseas to Europe, The reader will no doubt sense the arrival tive, the weight and nature of omission Copelyn, Bernie Fanaroff, Taffy Adler,
Australia or other places, come back raving of the “but”. And there is an important one, must raise questions about the choice David Lewis, Mike Morris, and Alan
about many things. But one of the sharpest is at least for this reader of their book. made in the material. Within the limit- Fine, were major builders of the union
often the feeling of safety they experienced While activists like Joe Slovo, trade union- ed context of this column, I will concen- movement that eventually became
walking in the streets, whether by day or ists such as Ray Alexander and Solly Sachs trate on forms of key activity over the Cosatu.
night. are discussed, lawyers like Sydney Kentridge past 50 years. Not a word in the book, although I sus-
Ironically, while Israel remains a country at and the first Chief Justice who presided from There is no mention of a cadre of pect that Copelyn will probably be guar-
war, with dangerous enemies determined to the Constitutional Court, Arthur human rights lawyers, some maybe less anteed a photograph in the second edi-
attack it and eliminate it, its streets are among Chaskalson, are mentioned, and the note- prominent than the few mentioned like tion, owing to his astonishing financial
the safest in the world. It is not uncommon to worthy feature that all the white Rivonia tri- Maisels, Kentridge and Chaskalson, success on behalf of the unions over the
see individuals and couples strolling around in alists were Jewish, is canvassed, the balance who were critical to the retention and past decade!
the late hours of the night in Tel Aviv, without of the book is inexorably tilted to the rabbis, development of a legal tradition that I readily accept that authors make
a fear. Cars parked in the street overnight will those who held communal positions of allowed for the construction of a consti- choices in selection of material. My
still be there in the morning, to the amaze- importance, those who were in or in opposi- tutional culture. objection has nothing to do with the
ment of the average South African. tion to official political power and enormous- Gerald Gordon, Hymie Bernadt, need to truncate. It concerns a skewed
The “Million Man March” at the Union ly successful business people who helped Denis Kuny, David Soggot, Raymond perspective, as if the account of the com-
Buildings in Pretoria on Tuesday, aimed at create the economy of this country. Tucker, Geoff Budlender, receive not a munity does not require treatment of
drawing attention to the utter urgency of the Yet we are promised on the first page of the single mention between them. Yet ask these remarkable individuals and the
issue and demanding that government take introduction that “this new history spans the anyone who was a political prisoner, a structural contributions they made to
action, was a desperate cry from the citizens of entire Jewish experience in South Africa pass law offender, a detainee who was South African society.
this country. Unfortunately it did not attract a over the past two centuries”. there in the dark days, and these men It says so much of how a small com-
million people - a far smaller number of peo- The authors then inform us that their are invariably recalled. munity makes itself even smaller when
ple participated, in the region of about five work “is not a narrow institutional history of The Jewish contribution to the very it concentrates exclusively on its own
thousand. Many had been victims of crime. a community; rather it attempts to encom- foundations of our constitutional “machers” and those that are conven-
This small number is very disappointing, pass a broad swathe of Jewish life, from the democracy surely deserves at least a tionally known because of proximity to
but it should not be taken as a sign that the bimah and the boardroom, to the bowling page of account and analysis! power, of either the financial or political
populace is not deeply alarmed about the vio- green”. Let’s move on - there is no mention of kind.
lent crime that threatens the personal safety of So, the reader is entitled to expect that the the role of Jews in the independent In this sense The Jews in South Africa
everyone. record will not be based simply upon a nar- press - Joel Mervis, Benjamin Pogrund, speaks volumes of our inability to talk of
Several government people were on hand to row inward looking community but will and the real press heroes of the 1980s - and about more than 30 per cent of our
receive a memorandum from the organisers of extend to accounts of the manner in which Anton Harber, Irwin Manoim, Steven own.
the anti-crime protest and were applauded by
the crowd when they joined speakers on the
They included Correctional Services
Minister Ngconde Balfour, Public Service and
The rising economic sun glows in the East
Administration Minister Geraldine Fraser- LIONEL SLIER for oil had grown enormously. It was the the Premier League, not at the top but in
Moleketi and Provincial and Local same with other commodities such as the middle. We had Mandela and democ-
Government Minister Sydney Mufamadi. THE WORLD was seeing the end of 600 years platinum, steel, copper and so on and racy together, followed by Manuel’s sen-
Consistent with his “absence” from the of European domination of the world econo- everything had gone up in price. It was sible policies.
scenes of this and other recent burning issues, my, futurologist Clem Sunter, chairman of the poor who had been hardest hit by the “Last year we were placed 38th out of
President Thabo Mbelki was not present. It’s a Anglo American’s Chairman’s Fund, told a general rise in prices. 55 countries; now we are 53rd. Only
great pity, and serves to reinforce the percep- Second Innings meeting at the Geral Horwitz “There was this group of economists Ukraine and Venezuela are below us. We
tion that he is appallingly out of touch with the Lounge at Sandringham Gardens in who met in Rome, called unsurprisingly, are in the relegation zone. We won’t
deepest concerns of the citizens. Johannesburg recently. the Club of Rome, who said that the attract sponsorship and we won’t get
There are many huge challenges facing Discussing the burgeoning economy of earth’s resources were finite. Everyone investments. Nigeria with the largest
South Africa, and it is hard to say which China, the awakening dragon, Sunter remind- pooh-poohed this but there are short- population in Africa will get them.
should be tackled first - we don’t have the lux- ed his audience that in the thousand years 400 ages which now means that the infra- “Then like a football team that is rele-
ury of addressing them one at a time, they -1400 C.E. China had the largest economy in structure that delivers the commodities gated to a lower division we will suffer
must all be tackled together. the world. By contrast America had only had now have to go into the ‘hard stuff’ and from a talent leakage. We will seriously
But without a serious decline in the lawless- the largest economy for the last 150 years. look for them in places like the middle of lose both black and white talent. Our spe-
ness and violent crime engulfing this country, Although he sketched a gloomy scenario for the Amazon jungle. cial status will go. We will have a differ-
progress in all the others will not lead to a South Africa should things not go right, he “Grindrod the shipping company ent scenario; we will be together with the
healthy society in which people want to live believed things would go right. reported that it used to cost 18 000 dol- bulk of the Third World.”
and to which they want to contribute. He was a scenario planner and not a lars a day to keep a 165 000 ton tanker Another scenario was the decline in
prophet, Sunter reminded his audience. “If afloat; now the price was 260 000 dollars competence; this, plus widespread vio-
he is wrong he can always say that, after all, a day. lence would turn us into a failed state.
Standing in front of Hitler it was just a scenario,” he said tongue in
“China,” he said, “wants to have the The picture of that man (in xenophobic
raw materials when everyone else runs attack) burning on the front pages of the
HOW WOULD it feel to walk into the famous “Look at the scenario since 1980. Peter out - and Africa is its continent of choice newspapers, was flashed around the
wax museum Madame Tussauds and be con- Schwartz in California invented the phrase, ‘a to get them.” world and it did a lot of damage to our
fronted with a full-size, lifelike model of long boom for the world’. The pendulum Sunter spoke about the failed property brand.
Adolph Hitler? It is already possible, since the swung from the West to the East to Japan. In market in America in the wake of the “What we need are three conditions:
Madame Tussauds wax museum Berlin the ‘80s Japan produced good cars, the video- sub-prime debacle. Firstly, inspirational leadership. We need
branch decided to place a doll of Hitler on per- recorder, the Walkman and then the economy House prices had fallen by 20 per cent a president, who studies the world’s eco-
manent display, based on their view that hit a wall. Singapore and South Korea took and in places like Miami and Detroit by nomic game, surrounded by knowledge-
Hitler played a key part in German history, over. as much as 70 per cent. America was able advisers, not struggle comrades. We
and for the education of German children they “Now we are seeing the end of 600 years of experiencing its first recession since the must have a leader to motivate the coun-
should be able to see Hitler at the museum. European domination of the world’s economy 1970s and the US Federal Bank was low- try; we want people to feel good about the
The decision has predictably caused vigor- which is growing by 5 per cent per annum. By ering interest rates to stimulate the country and then talent will not leave.
ous debate for and against in some circles, contrast China is motoring and growing by 10 economy, when it should be doing the “Thirdly we need a leader who holds
including Holocaust educators and scholars. per cent and India by 8 per cent per annum. opposite. people accountable; people with skills not
Although it may be shocking to stand in These last two are undergoing their The question was whether their “hard struggle credentials. There is a huge
front of a life-size Hitler, and have all sorts of Industrial Revolutions and many billions of time” scenario would impact on the rest number of black talented people here but
terrible images evoked, the decision of the people there are now enjoying an American of the world. they cannot get jobs. The electricity crisis
museum is the right one. Hiding Hitler, or lifestyle.” “The worst scenario, the perfect shows that we suffer from analysis paral-
making his image disappear or be forgotten, By the year 2030 the five leading economies storm,” said Sunter, “would be a bad ysis.
opens the door towards a form of Holocaust would be, in order, China, US, Japan, military involvement with Iran going “The role of the government is to make
denial. Germany and India and the US would become nuclear. Then America would have no laws and also to act as a service provider.
Hitler and his murderous regime most cer- less important. option but to stop it. Iran is different to We must be a gateway into Africa for
tainly did exist, and German children and Sunter said that the new technology, Iraq. It is much larger and it would mine countries to do business.
other people need to have his image placed Internet and cellphones had created an unbe- the Straits of Hermuz and close the “On the continent we have the infra-
clearly in front of them, if the slogan “never lievable boom and mass markets out of noth- Persian Gulf. The price of petrol would structure, the best banking system, the
again” is to be remembered and have mean- ing. This in turn had led to a tremendous be $400 a barrel.” technology and a modern economy that
ing. demand for commodities. On South Africa, Sunter used the I absolutely believe can lead us back into
China had seen millions of people give up English Football League as a compari- the Premier Division. I am not nega-
bicycles and now drive cars and the demand son. “In 1994 South Africa vaulted into tive.”
13 - 20 June 2008 SA JEWISH REPORT 11
OPINION AND ANALYSIS
FORUM FOR DIVERSE VIEWS
‘President Obama’— good for Israel?
JTA STAFF vided capital. Palestinians.
JERUSALEM But the officials also offered two caveats. On Iran, any US administration would try
Although Obama, an Illinois senator, is say- diplomacy before using force, the experts
ALTHOUGH Israeli officialdom is not com- ing all the right things, there is no way of agreed, including McCain. They also saw
menting on the possibility of a Barack knowing what he would actually do in office. merit in Obama’s argument that if the
Obama presidency, in private some officials Unlike his Republican opponent, US Sen United States negotiated with Iran in good
in Jerusalem are expressing mixed feelings John McCain, Obama cannot boast a long, faith and failed, it then would have far more
about the prospect. unwavering record of support for Israel. moral justification if it resorted to force to
Some in government quarters are con- Second, some pundits argued that his com- destroy Iranian nuclear installations.
cerned that Obama, the presumptive mitment to a united Jerusalem was so obvi- “I don’t think diplomacy and even direct
Democratic nominee, might be soft on Iran, ously over the top that it cast doubt on the negotiations are necessarily a sign of being
pressure Israel to make concessions on the rest of what he had to say on June 4. soft,” one of the experts, Alon Pinkas, a for-
Palestinian track and even change the tenor Following harsh Palestinian reaction to his mer Israeli consul general in New York, told Barack Obama insisted that Jerusalem
of the strategic relationship between Israel comments on Jerusalem, Obama clarified his JTA. must remain Israel’s undivided capital in
and the United States. remarks the next day, telling CNN that the “I think it’s an avenue that if successful, his speech at the AIPAC forum on June 4.
Yet Foreign Ministry experts on US foreign fate of the city would be up to Israel and the could be beneficial to Israel, especially since (CREDIT: COURTESY OBAMA FOR AMERICA)
policy say no American president, Obama Palestinians to discuss. he’s not taking the military option off the
included, would adopt an overtly anti-Israeli The main worry in Israel is over Obama’s table. “If this is part of a grand US strategy to iso-
posture. readiness to talk to Iran. Israeli officials and “I am not sure the Rambo - let’s bomb them late Iran, then it could be very much in
Israel’s left wing hopes that an Obama pundits are concerned that the Iranians will back into the Stone Age - is necessarily a bet- Israel’s interest,” he said.
administration will be more hands-on in play the Americans for suckers, building ter policy.” On the Israeli right, however, suspicion of
Israeli-Palestinian peacemaking, perhaps nuclear weapons under the cloak of ongoing Pinkas noted two more reasons why Israel Obama remains strong. Likud hawks are still
even pressing the parties into a mutually ben- negotiations. has nothing to fear from Obama. One, after seething over remarks Obama made to a
eficial deal. In late May, the Foreign Ministry’s the staunchly pro-Israel Clinton and Bush group of Jewish leaders in Cleveland.
By the same token, the right wing fears research department convened a meeting of administrations, the classic conflict between “I think there is a strain within the pro-
that an Obama administration and the Israeli ministry and outside experts to discuss pro-Israeli and more “even-handed” Israel community that says unless you adopt
government could be on a collision course, “American foreign policy after Bush”, includ- American policy is a thing of the past, he an unwavering pro-Likud approach to Israel,
especially if the Likud’s Benjamin ing the possible implications of an Obama said. Two, Obama almost certainly will then you’re anti-Israel, and that can’t be the
Netanyahu wins the next Israeli election. presidency. appoint an overwhelmingly pro-Israel measure of our friendship with Israel,”
Obama’s powerfully expressed commit- The conclusion: Israel has no reason to Cabinet. Obama said in March.
ment to Israel at the annual American Israel worry regardless of who wins the White “I just cannot see Obama deviating from Likudniks recall the severe strains in rela-
Public Affairs Committee policy conference House. that general pro-Israeli position,” Pinkas tions between Israel and the Clinton adminis-
on June 4 in Washington went a long way The consensus was that because support said. tration when (then Prime Minister)
toward assuaging Israeli fears. for Israel is so strong in both Congress and Where Pinkas does see a possible change in Benjamin Netanyahu refused to make con-
Israeli officials noted Obama’s readiness to American public opinion, no president would US policy under Obama is on the Israel-Syria cessions to the Palestinians.
use force against Iran if necessary, his prom- take a radically different tack. peace track. He thinks an Obama administra- Perhaps more than anything else, the ques-
ise to maintain the Israel Defence Forces’ Pressure on Israel was unlikely, the tion might make the Syrians an offer they tion of how the next US president will relate
qualitative edge, his support for isolating experts said, since the main focus in the can’t refuse, coaxing them to leave the to Israel, may rest on another as-yet-unknow-
Hamas and his commitment to Israel’s Middle East for the new US president would Iranian axis and join the moderate pro- able factor: who will be Israel’s next prime
Jewish character, with Jerusalem as its undi- be Iraq and Iran, not Israel and the Western Arab coalition. minister. (JTA)
12 SA JEWISH REPORT 13 - 20 June 2008
13 - 20 June 2008 SA JEWISH REPORT 13
14 SA JEWISH REPORT 13 - 20 June 2008
ART, BOOKS, DANCE, FILM, THEATRE
ARTS MATTERS Alas, Beauty can’t stand in Evita’s stilettos
COMPILED BY Show: “Beauty and the BEE” (Old Mutual the performance itself.
ROBYN SASSEN Theatre on the Square (011) 883-8606) Voss mercilessly and oft brutally lays into
Cast: Ben Voss most sacred cows this country is heir to, with
Call 084-319-7844 or Writer: Ben Voss mixed success - some of the jokes lack an edge
firstname.lastname@example.org at Director: Janice Honeyman of knowledge that would enable them to typify
least one week prior to Until: June 21 reality and thus hilarify it.
For instance, she chortles at the need of her
publication REVIEWED BY ROBYN SASSEN Jewish neighbour to call the security police in
response to her moving into Houghton with
Civic Theatre, Braamfon- CASTING ONESELF, a white man, to represent her family, but lands up shooting himself in
tein: In the Nelson Mandela, a crass black woman replete with the ugly shal- the foot, armed as he is with a Torah in his
“Queen: It’s a Kinda Magic”, lowness of the nouveau riche 14 years into gunless hand. This crude stereotype isn’t
until June 15; Johnny democracy, is a theatrical gesture some may offensive, it’s worse: it’s silly and pointless,
Clegg’s “Heart of the regard as foolhardy and yet somehow it feels causing the parody to dissolve before one’s
Dancer”, June 17-25. In the right. eyes.
Tesson, John Vlismas in Ben Voss’s alter-ego Beauty Ramapelepele Pieter-Dirk Uys set the tone in South African
“Lucky Plebian”, until June offers us a mirror to the splinteringly miserable theatre for constructing a female alter ego,
22. In the People’s Theatre, position this country is currently in, due to with his irrepressible Evita Bezuidenhout, an
“Winnie the Pooh”, until political faux pas, ignorance and monstrous utterly unlikely mish-mash of cross-cultural
August 9. (011) 877-6800. legalism. values hatched out of the bizarre hybridity of a
Ramapelepele, the middle-aged outcome of a new South Africa, falling over herself to be
RCHCC, Oaklands: Michael rag to riches tale, speaks to us from her boudoir sensitive to every possible proclivity of
Schur’s exhibition of oil in Houghton, comprising an Angolan room humanity in this country.
paintings has been extended, divider, a Eurocentric settee and knickknacks of The edge that Evita offers her following is
by popular demand, until contemporary African chic. endearing. She’s everyone’s tannie, yet she has
July 31. (011) 728-8088. Having just won SA Businesswoman of the political savvy that she’s not afraid to use.
Year, with her BEE-registered fabric company, She’s also shamelessly self-caressing and non-
Kim Sacks Gallery, Park- Beauty chats tête-á-tête to the audience. Her chalantly hypocritical and she’ll bring out all
wood: Ceramics by Clemen- repartee is glutinous with pun and cliché, deal- her dirty linen and that of everyone else she
tina van der Walt, until June ing with everything from linguistics to sex, knows to hilarious effect.
21. (011) 447-5804. spawned by BEE-identity. Beauty attempts to stand in Evita’s stilettos,
In its excessiveness, this play entertains; its or ones of that stripe, but she hasn’t the stami-
Market, Newtown: In the delivery is quick and slick, but the humour is na.
Main Theatre, James Ngcobo sometimes overshadowed with Beauty’s lack of As a woman, Beauty is thin in conviction
directs Wole Soyinka’s “The conviction, which renders the work a serial roll and becomes a small-bummed cardboard cut
Lion and the Jewel”, until out of political gags, too evocative of Voss’s out of the stereotype she represents. Her cross-
June 22. In the Barney “Mambas”, to give this play the freshness or nar- cultural window through which she glances at
Simon, “Original Skin” by rative depth it needs. South Africa, is grubbied with shallowness Ben Voss is Beauty Ramapelepele.
Phillipa Yaa de Villiers, until Beauty’s bio fills the production’s press and red herrings, causing the work to be noth- PHOTOGRAPH (COURTESY OLD MUTUAL THEATRE
June 22. In the Laager, release, with details needlessly side-stepped in ing more than a passing frippery. ON THE SQUARE)
“Itsoseng” by Omphile
Molusi, until June 29 (011)
In the Studio, Claire Watling
Frenetic tempo spoils Coriolan Overture
and Brian Heydenrych in
Concert: Johannesburg Philharmonic importantly, if the orchestra can really play concerto. At the soloist’s first appearance
“Kissed by Brel Too”, until
Orchestra (Linder) it well at the chosen speed. some expressive intonation on the high lead-
June 29. In the Pieter
Conductor: Grant Llewellyn Many of the repeated ‘cello figurations, ing-notes were troubling, while throughout
Toerien, “One Rocco! One
Soloist: Philippe Graffin, violin for example, could not be properly articu- the work there were occasionally some
Piano!” with Rocco de
Programme: Music by Beethoven, Brahms lated at this tempo, while the overture’s rather ugly “hacked” bow strokes and some
Villiers, until June 29. In the and Elgar tragic ending sounded like an afterthought. double stops in which the intonation fal-
Teatro, Mel Miller’s “Big Fat
No dramatic impact here. Even if one hates tered.
Comedy Show”, until June REVIEWED BY PAUL BOEKKOOI the sluggishness of a conductor like, say, Much of the slow movement was expres-
14. (011) 511-1988.
Otto Klemperer, one must agree that by per- sive as it should be - especially when the
ONE ESSENTIAL aspect of Beethoven inter- forming it in the tempo the structure of the mood has been so beautifully set by the
National Children’s Thea- pretations is the level of revolutionary impact work allows, much more of the program- JPO’s principal oboe, Gary Roberts. The
tre, Parktown: “Cinder- a performance of many of his works should matic subtext can be revealed to stir the usually brimming and energetic finale had
ella”, directed by Joyce be able to communicate. Not only was he a soul. its moments, but overall the lack of real
Levinsohn, June 20-July 26. renewer, but he also experimented with a Philippe Graffin is apparently quite new emotional involvement by the soloist, con-
(011) 484-1584. myriad issues that lesser souls would not to the Brahms Violin Concerto since he per- ductor and orchestra stalled the work’s
even consider: extended dynamics, harmon- formed it from the score on Wednesday last potential.
Old Mutual Theatre on the ics, melodic phrasing, rhythmical impetuses week. He still has a long way to go before he Grant Llewellyn nevertheless shone in his
Square, Sandton: “Beauty and many more creative issues. can achieve full maturity in this, his very interpretation of and grip on his orchestral
and the BEE”, by Ben Voss, The only level on which conductor Grant personal vision. Again there were driven forces in Elgar’s Enigma Variations. Being
until June 21. (011) 883-8606. Llewellyn brought us Beethoven’s Coriolan tempi that reflected surface excitement, but on home ground, he even inspired. A slight
Overture, opus 62 that reflected some level of little more. hint of stiffness at the start did not hinder
SA Jewish Museum, Cape excitement, was the very driven tempo. I’ve There was already some slightly scrappy - Llewellyn in the variations proper to strike a
Town: “When Cape Art was never heard a live performance this fast - or call it nonchalant playing, if you want - thoughtful balance between serious passion
Coffee with Joe”, an exhibi- which is fine if it can convince, and more in the orchestral introduction to this grand and boisterous high spirits.
tion about Joe Wolpe. Until
July 31. (021) 465-1546. On
June 25, Friends of the SA
National Gallery host a school in Orlando, Florida, is played by Sean companionship and support, are solici-
walkabout led by Joe Wolpe
and Estelle and Joe Jacobs.
FELDMAN ON Faris. He is a handsome individual, a cross
between Tom Cruise and Manchester United
tous of the other’s needs, and don’t argue.
Harry’s unmarried best friend, Richard
(021) 467-4662. FILM football star, Christiano Ronaldo.
Also adding to the glamour stakes is the
(Pierce Brosnan), remarks that if he was
to take the plunge, he’d like to have a
Standard Bank Gallery,
Peter Feldman striking, Amber Heard, the blonde cheerleader union like theirs.
Johannesburg: Pieter Hugo’s who helps guide our hero through the teenage But things aren’t what they seem. Harry
“Musina/Messina” upstairs Never Back Down minefield. wants to leave Pat. He craves affection and
and Joni Brenner’s “Collec- has fallen for a younger woman, the bottle
tion” downstairs. Until July 5. Cast: Sean Faris, Cam Gigandet, Djimon Married Life blond Kay (Rachel McAdams). Harry,
(011) 631-1889. Honsou, Amber Heard however, doesn’t want to hurt Pat by pro-
Director: Jeff Wadlow Cast: Chris Cooper, Pierce Brosnan, Patricia posing a divorce because he believes she
Victory Theatre, Hough- Clarkson, Rachel McAdams will fall apart.
ton: “Rocky Horror Show”, “Never Back Down” is aimed at a younger Director: Ira Sachs So he conceives a “kinder” alternative:
choreographed by Vicky generation and follows a familiar premise spike her daily “digestive medicine” with
Friedman, until July 31. (011) about an underdog who achieves self- Ira Sachs’ beautifully textured “Married Life” poison that will let her die in her sleep.
728-9603. respect through training with a karate is a thoughtful study about how people in a A problem occurs when Richard meets
master (Djimou Honsou) and then putting marriage communicate or, as is often the case, Kay. He’s bowled over and sees in her an
Wits Theatre Complex, Bra- all his training together for the one big fail to do so. The narrator puts it aptly: “When opportunity to end his bachelorhood, even
amfontein: In the Theatre, fight - against the school bully. you go to bed at night, how much do you know if it means betraying Harry.
Johannesburg Youth Ballet Jeff Wadlow’s film hits all the expected about what the person lying next to you is As the plot unfolds, in its slow, leisurely
performs “La Sylphide”, until notes but feels tired and overworked and thinking?” way, there is the element of Hitchcock
June 14; Ballet Bugs Theatre stirs very little emotion. Set in 1948, the story looks at the relationship about it all. This simply, character-based
Company performs “The The key character Jake Tyler, a quick- between Harry and Pat Allen (Chris Cooper drama is an engrossing production with
Selfish Giant”, June 20-28. (011) tempered young man who is suffering a and Patricia Clarkson) whose friends consider sterling performances from its small
717-1380. degree of angst when he moves to a new them to have a “good marriage”. They provide cast.
13 - 20 June 2008 SA JEWISH REPORT 15
ART, BOOKS, DANCE, FILM, THEATRE
Snippets on some good reads
de-siecle, when British colonial-
ism slowly gave way to a new, and
far more defined, sense of nation-
As the schisms within
REVIEWED BY GWEN PODBREY grating range from the reasoned who had been his intimate and accepted and alternative mean- Babylonian society deepened,
(“the spirit that prevented this cherished companion. ings to both Biblical and tradition- forming faultlines that continue
Don’t Panic! A Book for country going the way of Iraq or Hellmann’s training as a psy- al passages, yielding surprising to plague modern-day Iraq, the
South Africans by South Burundi... is still there in the vast chologist and his subsequent insights. country’s Jews were, likewise,
Africans, edited by Alan majority of people you meet every counselling of other bereaved Again and again, they echo the forced to confront growing hostili-
Knott-Craig (Penguin, R50) day. individuals, did much to help, but urgency of passing time: ty. Capturing both a family’s and a
“People are scared, but not cow- - ultimately - it was his innate “Sometimes / When I just sit there country’s history, the book is a
If you were about to pack for ards”) to the sublime (“If your courage and the realisation that / enjoying being / I am knocked beautifully written, nostalgic trib-
Perth, hold off long enough to mind is full of mayhem and mur- Bloom, while removed physically, off my peace / by angry Words - / ute to a lost era in Jewish life.
peruse this powerful little book. A der, you will create more”) and the is alive and well and only a words strung into lines of poems.
compilation of writings from ridiculous (“South Africa really moment away from this one, / They kick my fragile quietude / The Appeal by John Grisham
South African writers, business- rocks - where else can you do all which helped him find healing. jab a finger at my brows / (Random House, R250)
people, community leaders and your shopping at the robots?”). An Though the text is, understand- demand: Write us down, / If not
ordinary citizens, it reminds us of uplifting, if somewhat contrived, ably, somewhat florid and repeti- you, who? / If not now, when?” When a chem-
all the reasons there are for stay- handbook for hope. tive, it is also laceratingly honest. A collection which skilfully ical company is
ing and seeing our present crisis And, while creating an outlet for weaves between shadow and light found guilty of
through to better times. Soul Conductor Hellmann’s grief, it pays tribute to in its dance of identities. dumping toxic
The book was sparked, explains by Bryan D the extraordinary personality and waste into the
Knott-Craig, by an inspirational Hellmann magic of Richard Bloom, then and Last Days in Babylon by Marina water supply of
e-mail he wrote in his capacity as (Aardvark, now. Benjamin (Jonathan Ball, a small town in
managing director of iBurst to R128) R169,95) Mississippi, the
employees who were overcome by Life in nine justices of
depression and anxiety about their A beautiful and Translation by Sub-titled “The Story of the Jews the state’s Sup-
future in this country, given the moving tribute Azila Talit of Baghdad”, this book was reme Court are called in to either
crime statistics, power shortages, to Hellmann’s Reisenberger sparked by Benjamin’s childhood uphold or remove the verdict of
rising interest life partner, (Modjaji, ISBN in London and the awareness of the jury.
and fuel rates, Richard Bloom, 9780980272918) her growing estrangement from As the company owner - a New
civil unrest and who - with their mutual friend, her family’s Middle Eastern roots. York billionaire - attempts to buy
corruption. actor Brett Goldin - was brutally, An award- Based on her grandmother’s himself a seat on the Court, an
Contributors and senselessly, murdered on the winning author, early life, it explosive wave of corruption and
include Chief night of April 16, 2006, by drug- published poet- recalls a lost era intrigue is unleashed which will
Rabbi Warren crazed thugs in Cape Town after ess and playwright, Reisenberger of Jewish tradi- challenge the very foundations of
Goldstein, Dr leaving a dinner party. here explores the many roles tion, where the American judicial system.
Dorianne Weil, With a foreword by Sir Antony (mother, student, wife, artist) that Shabbat and Another enthralling, fast-paced
David Bullard, Sher, the book explores Hell- demand her energies, while she Jewish holidays best-seller from one of the world’s
John Robbie and mann’s personal despair, his slow, translates her life from Hebrew to co-existed com- most popular crime writers, made
Branko Brkic (editor of agonising search for meaning English and back again. fortably with even more disturbing by its
Maverick), among others, and after the tragedy and a way to Wryly humorous, poignant and Arabic culture, echoes of issues only too familiar
reasons put forward for not emi- return to life without the man rueful by turns, the poems play on up until the fin- to us.
16 SA JEWISH REPORT 13 - 20 June 2008
AROUND THE WORLD The Editor, Suite 175, Postnet X10039, Randburg, 2125 email: email@example.com
NEWS IN BRIEF Disclaimer
The letters page is intended to provide opportunity for a range of views on any given topic to be expressed. Opin-
TALANSKY HEADED TO US COURT OVER ALTERCATION ions articulated in the letters are those of the writers and do not necessarily reflect the views of the editor, staff or
directors of the Jewish Report
NEW YORK - The US businessman linked to bribery allegations
against Ehud Olmert is due to appear in a New York court.
The case involves an alleged altercation between businessman Guidelines for letters
Morris Talansky, 75, and his longtime dentist. Letters up to 400 words will get preference. Please provide your full first name and surname, place of residence, and a
daytime contact number. We do not publish letters under noms de plume. Letters should preferably be e-mailed. Let-
The dentist, Leonard Barashick, 84, says last summer Talansky
ters may be edited or shortened.
threw him against a wall with a fist as big as a "kosher ham" in a
Baldwin, New York, dental lab, the Jerusalem Post reported.
According to the Post, the Nassau County District Attorney's office OF DESMOND TUTU AND WAX IMAGES...
says Talansky was arrested in July and charged with third-degree
I WOULD like to comment on the Serbs, Roma in Kosovo after Nato character (at least one who is no
editorial in the June 6 edition of took over, nor did I ever hear Tutu longer alive) be “banned” from
Talansky flew to Tel Aviv last week Thursday from New York to
the SA Jewish Report, which try to speak out against genocide in being represented as a wax image?
attend a family function. He declined to speak to reporters, and it was
justify Archbishop (Desmond) Southern Sudan (which, thank G-d, And who is actually supposed to
not clear how long he planned to stay in Israel.
Tutu’s position about Israel’s ended a few years ago) - a genocide decide who to “ban” and who not to
Talansky was not available to respond to questions about the alleged
actions in the Gaza Strip, and which included slavery. “ban”? I don’t see any harm in cre-
altercation with the New York dentist.
“reminding” the reader how much A different subject I would like to ating images out of wax, of any
Talansky sent Israeli politics into disarray last month by testifying
of a “great freedom fighter” he is. comment on, is the question (men- person, be it Ottoman Sultan
in court that he gave Olmert some $150 000 in cash campaign contribu-
My question is: Why didn’t I ever tioned in another article, on a pro- Mehmed the Conqueror, Moroccan
tions and unreturned loans over the 13 years before Olmert became
read the same things written in posed Hitler image in a wax museum Sultan Mulai Abdurrahman, Idi
prime minister. Olmert has denied wrongdoing in the case. (JTA)
this newspaper about former US and objections raised about it) as to Amin Dada, or anyone else.
President (Jimmy) Carter? After what characters, if any, “shouldn’t
EGYPTIAN JEWS SEEK UN HELP
all, I have never heard Tutu speak be presented” in a museum. Avner Eliyahu Romm
NEW YORK - An Egyptian Jewish group has asked the United Nations out against random arrests of My question is: Why should any Cape Town
to help it recover the community's historic archives.
The Historical Society of Jews from Egypt says the government has WITS DOES NOT SANCTION HATE SPEECH - BALLIM
refused to release the documents due to fear of restitution claims, the
Jerusalem Post reported. I WOULD like to correct an impres- what can clearly be considered as that Wits does not in any way sanc-
The society has written to the United Nations Educational, Scientific sion that may have been created in hate speech. As your pictures show, tion this sort of intolerance and,
and Cultural Organisation asking it to intervene in the matter. an article entitled “Graffiti vitriol the offensive writing was not wherever possible, we will act
"It's our history, everything we own going back hundreds and hun- passes for ‘free speech’” that restricted to our “Graffiti Walls”. against it.
dreds of years," said Desire Sakkal, the society's president. The appeared in the SA Jewish Report. We were unfortunately not able Such behaviour does not fit with
Egyptian Embassy would not comment on the matter. The pictures and the text refer to to identify the persons involved in our values as an institution of
The society's letter was prompted by comments from Egyptian an incident that recently took place these incidents and are therefore higher learning and we consider it
Culture Minister Farouk Hosni, who said last month that he "would on our campus at Wits. With our not in a position to take discipli- as fundamental to our institutional
burn Israeli books myself if found in Egyptian libraries". permission, one of our student nary action against anyone. culture that we oppose all negative
Hosni, who hopes to become the next head of UNESCO, subsequent- organisations invited the campus Nevertheless, I responded by with- forms of social exclusion or dis-
ly claimed the statement was hyperbole and that he did not condone community to express their opin- drawing the permission for the stu- crimination.
the burning of books. A UNESCO spokesman told JTA the organisa- ions on the situation in the Middle dent organisation to use the
tion had not yet received the society's letter and could not comment. East on our approved “Graffiti “Graffiti Walls” in this manner and Prof Yunus Ballim
(JTA) Walls”. our maintenance staff painted over Acting Vice-Chancellor and
This invitation was used by some all the comments and opinions. Principal
people as an opportunity to express I wish to assure your readers Wits University
A WELL-BALANCED ARTICLE ON TUTU’S VISIT
YOUR LEADER entitled “Tutu’s Israeli assaults is for them to After all, the anti-Israeli senti-
visit to Gaza” in your issue of cease firing rockets at Israeli ment has been sustained for long
June 6, was such a well-balanced civilians.” (I would add as well as enough for the general public to
analysis of Emeritus Archbishop suicide bombers.) believe the lies. Israel and the
Desmond Tutu’s visit to Gaza, This sentence should be embla- Diaspora need to highlight the
with the last sentence being the zoned continuously on the front simple truth you so clearly
most impressive. This was: pages of every Jewish publica- expounded throughout the world:
“People who generally seek tion throughout the world. It the cost would surely be worth it.
peace in the Middle East know should regularly appear as adver-
that the best way for Palestinians tisements in all the media on a Edna Freinkel
to be protected from further long term, sustained basis. Johannesburg
CONSTITUTION DID NOT PROTECT XENOPHOBIC VICTIMS
IT IS the height of “chutzpah” for any sensible person realizes that Even before this latest incident
Marlene Bethlehem to claim that this is not the case in the new South Africa sat back and watched
“her” Constitution protects the South Africa. while millions of its own citizens
rights of foreigners. She knows It is to the great credit of the suffered a slow and painful death
full well that over 100 000 hard- Jewish community that they went because of Aids - “Aids is caused
working, decent people, the vast out of their way to help these hap- by poverty and you treat it with
majority of whom are completely less people, but this can only ame- garlic and potatoes.”
innocent, were mercilessly thrown liorate a portion of their suffer- South Africa simply did not
out of their homes. ing, it will not restore their lives bother to give these poor people
Their very meagre possessions nor their dignity. anti-retroviral drugs; perhaps Mr
which they accumulated after I would also like to ask Mr Bagraim is “over the moon” about
many years of hard honest labour, Michael Bagraim if he is still this too.
were either destroyed or “confis- “over the moon” about South It’s long past the time that the
cated” and over 50 of them were Africa? Jewish leadership started wishing
murdered in cold blood. It is disgraceful that Jewish those who leave for Australia
Mrs Bethlehem is fully aware leaders who are descendants of “Yasser Koach” instead of criticis-
that her Constitution did NOT pro- our father Abraham can be “over ing them and those who help them.
tect these people nor help them the moon” about a country that
one iota. Laws only become mean- treats foreigners in such a despi- Irwin Gutkin
ingful when they are enforced and cable manner. Jerusalem, Israel
DIFFERENT TAKE ON WHO IS A JEW
THANK YOU for opening the sub- they were then known, if they the ways of nations that did not
ject on who is a Jew. My under- were not even Jews? keep the Torah “or you may
standing of who is a Jew is very dif- The “Megilat Rut” I think become like them”.
ferent from that of Rabbi Yossy answers this very nicely: “Don’t Did anyone know that Ruth was
Goldman. urge me to leave you or to turn the great-great-grandmother of
This is it: When Israel was living back from you. Where you go I will King David? Nobody will deny that
in Egypt under suppression of go, and where you stay I will stay. David was a Jew. I think the rabbi
Ramses 2 and G-d sent the plagues Your people will be my people and knows the point I am trying to
to release the Hebrews, the final your G-d my G-d. make.
plague got them out, but it was not “Where you die I will die, and Stop this senseless argument
just the sons of Israel that left, it there I will be buried. May the L-rd and let’s focus on being “good Jews
was a vast mixed company who deal with me, be it ever so severely, together”. You are a Jew because if
went with them. (“A mixed multi- if anything but death separates you follow Torah you are bound by
tude also went up with them” - you and me.” (Ruth 1:16-17 NIV). it and to it, by G-d who gave Torah
Exodus 12:38.) Ruth was not born a Jew; she at Sinai (and of your own free
What does the rabbi think hap- was a Moabitess! Moab was a will).
pened to those “mixed” company nation that worshipped other gods
after they reached Sinai? Why did and Israel was commanded in the Eben Louis Britz
they leave with the Hebrews, as Torah not to marry or mix with Durban
13 - 20 June 2008 SA JEWISH REPORT 17
18 SA JEWISH REPORT 13 - 20 June 2008
YOUTH TALK Shelley Elk firstname.lastname@example.org
Habonim is at the
ROSH SHORASHIM 2008
PHOTOGRAPH: TAMMI FAVIAN
OVER THE past few weeks,
many of us have borne wit-
ness to the xenophobic
attacks that have swept South
Africa. It can be said with
pride that Habonim Dror has
been at the forefront of this
campaign of support and
compassion, with both the Cape about the role Jewish youth in the
The team of social workers, madrichim and psychologists, with Rabbi Ramon Widmonte. Town and Johannesburg Kenim community had played in aiding
playing an active part in the on those displaced by the violence.
going relief efforts. From assess- Daniel further explained how
ing the situation at most distress hardship in our Jewish history
Drinking among the points, to running activities for
displaced children, to volunteer-
ing within the relief centres, to
acting as a collection point for
has taught the Jewish youth to act
with passion against hate, vio-
lence and intolerance to any
group of people.
donations, Habonim Dror mem- In this time, we can be proud
young a real problem bers have given their time and
skills to work towards the better-
ment of a truly terrible situation
in this country.
that the Jewish community as a
whole is not silent against injus-
tice. Hundreds of people have
been exceptionally generous;
STORY AND PHOTOGRAPH BY extinguishers, under-age drink- and popular. At age14 a friend Habonim’s great efforts were donating blankets, food and cloth-
SHELLEY ELK ing, defacing toilets, SMSing dur- and I mixed cocktails, got drunk, recognised when recently of a ing to the Habonim Dror Bayit
ing speeches and general lack of and did crazy things, which we rally was held in Cape Town at St which has since been redistrib-
BECAUSE OF a worry that chil- respect. thought was funny at the time. At Georges Cathedral, demanding uted to aid the victims of xeno-
dren were starting to abuse alco- He appealed to the parents, 15 and after, the drinking contin- an end to the attacks and calling phobic violence. The Jewish com-
hol at an ever younger age, a pro- regarding their kids’ behaviour ued, and “eventually it was not for unity amongst all South munity has truly placed itself at
gramme facilitating dialogue at functions. “We can’t phone if such fun. I vomited, passed out, Africans. In acknowledgement of the moral forefront of this coun-
between parents and Barmitzvah they get drunk, or be policemen felt sick, embarrassed myself, our involvement in the relief try and thus, can and must be
boys, took place at Sandton Shul, or disciplinarians. We will do our and others, got my driver’s efforts Daniel Linde, the head of proud of this.
to help build trust, openness and best, the rest is up to you.” licence, crashed cars, got caught Habonim Dror Cape Town, was In conclusion, as was said so
communication on the topic, as a The barmitzvah boys, listened drunk driving, and was put in a asked to speak at the Rally along- eloquently by Daniel in his speech
pre-emptive measure. to an account by a recovering cell and my mother had to come side distinguished guests and at the rally, “We all have a choice
Barmitzvah was not about enti- alcoholic, Daniel, who went to to get me.” leading activists. Habonim Dror to make. A choice between pes-
tlement, but measures in control, KDL, had a “normal upbringing Often he would wake up, not was one of the largest movements simism and action. It is easy to
taking responsibilities and creat- and normal parents”. At his bar- remembering what happened the present with over 40 members give up on this country, but we are
ing boundaries, said Rabbi Ramon mitzvah it was considered cool to night before. proudly attired in their blue living in the most resilient of
Widmonte, director of the bar- drink alcohol. Before his parsha “I destroyed relationships, chultzot, with three Combis of places, a nation that has been a
mitzvah programme “Horizons he was given a mixture of whisky couldn’t talk to my family, and Herzlian Habonim kids being shining example of reconciliation.
for greatness” who recently and raw egg “to help my voice”. had to work it out myself. It bussed into the event. Indeed, If we unite in action, as South
organised a workshop at the shul, Later at his party, his father would have been easier, if my Habonim Dror was given opportu- Africans and as Africans we can
for barmitzvah boys and their par- said: “You are a man now, and family had been involved; I would nity to share the stage alongside overcome this new struggle.”
ents, on alcohol abuse. The pro- opened a bottle of whisky he had have had their love and support. such dignitaries as Chief Justice Daniel Linde is Head of Habonim
gramme, “possibly the first of its kept since Daniel’s bris and “I thought family, friends, Pius Langa and the Deputy in Cape Town.
type in the world”, aimed at facili- poured a tot, for himself and schooling, wasn’t important and I Secretary General of the
tating a healthy dialogue between Daniel. thought that alcohol was.” His Treatment Action Campaign, Aleh Ve’hagshem
the barmitzvah boy and his par- “It was a great moment for me. parents eventually accepted him Zackie Achmat. Daniel spoke Habonim Dror South Africa
ents. I drank it down. It was like fire back, after he started “behaving
Rabbi Widmonte explained in a burning through me.” like a human being”.
presentation that the media gave
the impression that alcohol gave
superhuman powers, was great,
and it was “cool” to drink.
Dennis Cohen from Stan and
Daniel explained how he car-
ried on and on drinking and alco-
hol addiction spiralled him into
an out of control life, where the
relationships and trust with his
Now, sober, Daniel has a house,
girlfriend, a company, and is part
of society again. “Alcohol,” he
said, “took all that away. I would
have wound up dead if I had con-
Getting into the
Pete caterers, told the audience
the reality of what goes on, with
11-13-year-olds, at parties and
family were destroyed, and he
had to get sober on his own.
“When the adults left (his bar-
mitzvah party), my friends and I
Rabbi Widmonte cautioned
against allowing a bottle or per-
son to think for you. He asked
spirit of Shavuot
“Lately, the general level of all drank, danced and talked to parents to pledge that alcohol not MIRIAM SCHIFF
behaviour has deteriorated to the girls. The problem was it (the be freely available to children at PHOTOGRAPH: JODY BLOCH
food throwing, breaking and drinking) carried on and on. It parties and barmitzvah celebra-
bending cutlery, playing with fire started out as fun. I was ‘cool’, tions.
PHOTOGRAPH: BELINDA LIEBMANN
SHARONI NOVICK and Jared Mosselson of the King
David Linksfield grade ones, have been learning about
Each pupil then took all the ideas that they had Daniel Garb and his mother, Elizabeth, prepare his basket for
learnt in class and created a model, using all types of Shavuot. The mothers of the Junior and Senior groups at King David
materials which depicted Bnei Yisrael standing around Pre-Primary School, Linksfield, were invited to decorate the baskets
Har Sinai. before the Shavuot party.
13 - 20 June 2008 SA JEWISH REPORT 19
YOUTH TALK Shelley Elk email@example.com
YC matric boys make
a dream come true
MOSHE LICHTENSTEIN from the renal unit. After their recent
ordeal, where they had trouble being dial-
THE PAEDIATRIC renal unit at the ysed, we decided to make their dream come
Johannesburg General Hospital is home to true - a trip to Durban.
many children who suffer with kidney dis- With the help of kulula.com airlines the
ease. Under the supervision of Dr Cecil Levy boys and their nursing sister, Sister Beauty
and his staff, the children receive dialysis, Sangweni, were flown to Durban. Upon
schooling, food, shelter and committed care. their arrival they were whisked away to the
Since January, four matric learners from Protea Edward Hotel in Durban, where they
Yeshiva College Boys’ High School - Moshe each had their own rooms for the evening.
Lichtenstein, Rael Demby, Gil Aronowitz and The next day the boys were treated to a
Ilan Brest and the school PRO Cheryl Harton- day at u-Shaka, with their own private tour
Hotinsky- have initiated an outreach pro- guide for the entire day. They each received
gramme that involves visiting the children spending money, raised by the matric boys,
regularly and providing them with additional to do with as they pleased.
toiletries, sweets and love. The boys and Sister Beauty will truly
Although most of the children are in a sta- remember this experience for many years
ble condition, two of the boys were recently ill. to come.
Darion Mplobosho (20) and Xolani Khumalo A special thanks to all the sponsors for Gil Aronowitz, Ilan Brest, Xolani Khumalo, Rael Demby, Darien Mplobosho and Moshe
(19) are two young men who receive treatment making this trip possible. Lichtenstein. Front: Sister Beauty Sangweni.
Very special bond Israel timeline Like brother
between the in unique way like sister in
grandparents, tots ‘talk the talk’
KING DAVID Primary Linksfield’s new upmarket
sci-fi science and biology lab is headed up by the
STORY AND PHOTOGRAPH LYNDA ROMAIN new science teacher, Dorrie Ronald, who in the ELIZABETH LEAVER
short time she has been with the school has made KDVP DEBATING CO-ORDINATOR
THE CHILDREN at King David Victory Park Pre-Primary our science lab into the most magnificent place in PHOTOGRAPH: YAEL GORDON
school spent a wonderful morning at school last week Friday which to learn. The children can’t wait for their sci-
with their grandparents. ence lessons. ILAN PRICE, a grade 11 learner at King David Victory Park,
Together they decorated their bikkurim, sang songs, told The grade 5 class of Venilla Kohler has done their has emulated his sister Jessica by being selected to repre-
the story of Shavuot and had delicious ice-cream. Israel timeline for social science in a unique and sent South Africa at the World Debating Championships to
It was heart-warming to see the special bond between grand- fun way, integrating arts and culture into their les- be held in Washington DC between September 5-15 this year.
parents and children. sons. Jessica, last year’s head girl at KDVP, made the South
African Worlds Team in 2006 and 2007, and now Ilan has
made sure that he maintains the family tradition.
Ilan already has an excellent track record in debating. He
was a member of the KDVP SACEE B team that went
unbeaten through the entire 2007 debating season, and he
was also selected to represent Gauteng at the South African
National Debating Championships in December 2007. He is
now a member of the 2008 KDVP SACEE A team.
King David Victory Park is one
of South Africa’s top debating
schools and has been runner-up in
the SACEE Gauteng Champion-
ships for the past three years. This
year they hope to win, and Ilan
will play a central role in that
attempt. He was also in the South
African National team that won
the African Schools Debating
Championships held recently at St
Israel’s history of the past 60 years is painted on Johns College in Johannesburg.
this beautiful mural cloth at King David Primary KDVP salutes Ilan who contin-
From left: Ben Grieve-Fitzell, Alexis Koonin, with Goggo in Linksfield. From left: Sam Zlotnick, Shachar ues to keep the KDVP debating flag
the background, and Cassidy Lipchin, making their baskets Rosenfeld and Matan Mann. flying high.
20 SA JEWISH REPORT 13 - 20 June 2008
WHAT’S ON Shelley Elk firstname.lastname@example.org
NOTE: Deadline for all entries is 12:00 on the Friday prior email@example.com (011) 480-4723. • RCHCC invites you to a, fun-filled evening of ers, Jewellery, clothing, stationery, candle making
to publication. • CAJE - College of Adult Jewish Education, Sydenham “Mamaloshen” anecdotes, proverbs and a “kviz” and more.
Highlands North Shul (011) 640-5021. with Rochelle Winer and Len Kay will lead a sing-
Key to organisations, venues, contact details and cost: • JAFFA - Jewish Accomodation for Fellow Aged. (012)
Wednesday (July 2)
along, at 19:30. Prebooking advisable. Cost R50
346-2007/8. includes refreshments. • SFCC is going on an outing to South African
• The Jewish National Fund (JNF) Choir, Beyachad, 2
• SAIJE - Sandton Adult Institute of Jewish Education, Breweries (SABMiller). Cost R35 includes trans-
Elray St, Raedene. Contact Crystal Kaplan. 083-376- • UJW, Milnerton presents John Lloyd, award-win-
Sandton Shul (011) 883-4210. E-mail: saije@sandton- port and two beers. Meet at 10:00 at the Sandton
5999. ning marketer at 10:30, at the Green and Sea
• The Jewish Women’s Benevolent Society (JWBS) - Point Shul (021) 434-9555.
• CSO - Emergency phone number 086 18 000 18.
Sandringham Gardens, 85 George Avenue • WIZO Tikvah branch is having a “Personality
• Salon Soiree: A morning of song, dance and
Sandringham 2192. Contact Carolyn Sabbagh. (011) Today, Friday, (June 13) lunch”. Cost R75.
satire for women. Starring Helen Heldenmuth,
• UZLC is hosting Lionl Slier on “The war in Holland and Roz Basserabie and Patricia Flaum, at the Yeshiva • UJW Cape Town is having a social morning and
• The Jewish Outlook Team. Contact Ryan Cane, Support
hidden letters”. Shul Hall Long Ave, Glenhazel at 10:30. Tickets demonstration. Jo Maxwell will show how to make
line: 27 76 215 8600; e-mail info@jewishoutlook.-
R50 includes refreshments. Call Helen at 083- a plastic sleeping bag.
org.za; website http://www.jewishoutlook.org.za Sunday (June 15)
272-8541 or Roz at 082-568-6016.
• Nechama Bereavement Counselling Centre - Room • RCHCC is hosting Dr Nicholas J Evans, of the
• Second Innings is hosting Evelyn Green and Prof
A304, 3rd Floor, hospital wing, Sandringham Gardens,
Russel Lurie on “Tradition - a journey of Jewish life
Monday (June 23) Wilberforce Institute (University of Hull, UK) who
85 George Avenue, Sandringham, 2192. Contact (011) will lecture on “The Litvaks’ journey: myth and
through song” at 10:00 for 10:30 at the Gerald Horwitz • UJW Johannesburg is hosting Prof Adam Habib,
640-1322. reality” at 19:30. Cost R50 includes refreshments.
Lounge, Golden Acres. deputy vice chancellor, research and innovation at
• New Friendship Ladies Group - A group for single
women - contact Lucille (011) 791-5226 or 082-927- • The Friendship Forum for Holocaust Survivors,
University of Johannesburg, who will talk on “The Thursday (July 3)
role of religion in a post-9/11 world”, at 09:30.
5786. Second Generation and others affected by the • UJW Cape Town is hosting a bridge afternoon with
• ORT and ORTJET South Africa - 44 Central Street, Cnr Holocaust, will be hosting a panel discussion - “Do Tuesday (June 24) Toni Saphra at Temple Israel in Wynberg.
10th Ave, Houghton. Contact (011) 728-7154. memories matter?” Panellists and Survivors String
• Rabbi Cyril Harris Community Centre (RCHCC) and ensemble will play Jewish music. Tea, refreshments.
• WIZO Ilanit branch is hosting Dr Moshe Fayman, Sunday (July 6)
plastic surgeon, discussing “New trends in facial
Great Park Shul, Johannesburg. Contact Hazel, (011) Our Parents Home Auditorium, cr Spring and High • Second Innings celebrates Israel’s 60th birthday at
rejuvenation and body aesthetics” at 09:30 at
728-8088 or Rene Sidley (011) 728-8378. Cost usually Roads, Gardens at 14:30. 09:30. Israeli breakfast followed by “Klass Act” at
Beyachad, Elray St. Donation R90 includes tea.
R50, including refreshments. 10:30 at the Gerald Horwitz Lounge. Tickets R50.
• Tiyulim is going on a guided walk, near Glenhazel, Phone: Andrea 083-677-8999.
• Second Innings, Johannesburg - Jewish Community Contact Grecia Gabriel on tel (011) 532-9718.
through parts of Huddle Park, view a wetland, and the
Services - Donald Gordon Centre, 85 George Avenue
Bakenveld grassland. Meet at Balfour at 09:00 (by the
Wednesday (June 25) firstname.lastname@example.org
Sandringham. Contact Grecia Gabriel, (011) 532-9616.
• The Israel Centre. Contact Debbie (011) 645-2560.
carwash) Contact Benji 084-499-6411. No cost. • JWB Gresswold is having a booksale at Balfour Monday (July 7)
• The Simcha Friendship and Cultural Circle (SFCC), Tuesday (June 17) • SIP - 1st session of South African award-winners
Johannesburg - Sandton Shul. Contact Sylvia Shull, • SFCC is having Israeli folk dancing lessons with from Israel 60 International Philatelic Exhibition. At
• Second Innings is hosting Mr Justice Stanley W Sapire
(011) 783-5600. Ora at 10:00 at the Sandton Shul. 19:30, Waverley Shul boardroom. Entry free.
on “Matters of legal interest” at Our Parents Home at
• The United Sisterhood, 38 Oxford Road Parktown. Refreshments.
14:30. • RCHCC presents a documentary “I have never for-
Contact Helen (011) 646-2409.
website:http://www.unitedsisterhood.co.za Wednesday (June 18) gotten you” (life and legacy of Simon Wiesenthal) Wednesday (July 9)
at 10:30. Cost R50 includes refreshments.
• Society of Israel Philately (SIP) - email@example.com. • SFCC is hosting Rabbi Michael Katz who will speak
• Second Innings is going on a two hour guided tour of
Contact Maurice (011) 485-2293. • UJW Cape Town, is hosting Rosamund Handler on a subject of topical interest at 10:00 at the
the Hollard Art Gallery. Meet at the Oxford Shul parking
• South African Zionist Federation (SAZF), Johannesburg who will talk about women’s issues. Sandton Shul.
at 09:00, departure 09:15. Cost R80, includes tour, tea
- Beyachad, 2 Elray Street, Raedene. Contact Froma,
and scones. Annette (011) 485-1640 before 18:00 for Thursday (June 26) Sunday (July 13 - 18)
• South African Jewish Board of Deputies (Jhb) - • UJW, Constantia cookery demonstration at the • SAZF is hosting an exhibition at RCHCC of “60
Beyachad, 2 Elray Street, Raedene. Contact (011) 645- • SFCC is going on an outing to the Johannesburg Art Pick n Pay Centre at 10:00. Cost R50. Warm win- years of Zionism in South Africa” and community
2500 or (011) 645-2523. Gallery. Bea Katz will talk about “The history of the ter favourites. involvement in Israeli issues. firstname.lastname@example.org
• United Zionist Luncheon Club (UZLC), Johannesburg - gallery”. Cost R30 includes transport. Refreshments at or (011) 645-2512.
Our Parents Home. Contact Gloria, (011) 485-4851 or your expense. Meet at 10:00 at the Sandton Shul.
Sunday (June 29)
Wednesday (July 16)
• Second Innings is hosting Ben Brasg and friends
• UJW Cape Town is hosting Milton Shain “Reflections
• Union of Jewish Women (UJW), Johannesburg - 1 Oak for a morning of light music at 10:00 for 10:30, at • SFCC is hosting Clem Sunter, chairman of Anglo
on the Jews of South Africa”.
Street Houghton. Contact (011) 648-1053. Cost R10 the Gerald Horwitz Lounge, Golden Acres. Cost American Chairman’s Fund, who will talk on “China
for the Friendship Luncheon Club. Sunday (June 22) R20 members, R30 non-members. - the awakening of the dragon” at 10:00 at the
• Union of Jewish Women (UJW), Cape Town - (021) Sandton Shul.
• Second Innings is hosting attorney Mike Judin on “Hey • Tiyulim will be going to Bullens Bush Lodge, near
434-9555, e-mail: email@example.com
folks, you’re spending my inheritance” at 10:00 for Hartebeespoort for a guided (fairly difficult) hike. • UJW Cape Town is hosting Elana Glassman.
• WIZO Johannesburg - Beyachad, 2 Elray Street
10:30 at Beyachad. Hundred pairs of breeding Cape vultures; great
Raedene. Contact Joyce Chodos (011) 645-2548 or Wednesday (July 23)
view of the Magalies. Cost to be announced. Meet
Sandy Kramer (011) 645-2515. • SAZF invites you to their 60km cycle ride for Israel.
at 08:30 at Balfour near the carwash. Greg 082- • SFCC is having Israeli folk dancing lessons with
• Bikkur Cholim - Jewish Society for Visiting the Sick, 7A Registration at 07:00. Donation R60. Starting and fin-
959-9026. Ora at 10:00 in the games room at Sandton Shul.
Chester Road, Greenside East, Johannesburg. Joy ishing at Protea Park, corner Kranz and Tregoning
Gafin (011) 447-6689. Streets, Linksfield. Proceeds to victims of terror. • ORT SA Art Competition and Exhibition from Thursday (July 24)
• Tiyulim (Jewish Outdoor Club) - Contact Greg 082-959- Registration at www.sazionfed.co.za or lisa@bey- 10:30 to 12:30 at King David Linksfield Primary
9026 or Martin 082-965-7419. achad.co.za or (011) 645-2512; or firstname.lastname@example.org School Hall. Mini market offering freezos, chip ‘n • WIZO health and beauty expo at the Vineyard
• King David Schools’ Foundation. King David Alumni at (011) 645-2551. dip, scrap booking, Tupperware, clothing, stick- Hotel, Claremont from 09:30 to 12:00. Cost R200.
THE BRIDGE LOUNGE by Jeff Sapire CROSSWORD NO 74
IN TEAMS bridge, swings can come North dealer, neither vul BY LEAH SIMON
from all sorts of unexpected situa- NORTH
6 ACROSS: SOLUTION TO CROSSWORD NO 73
tions. Observe what happened in a
friendly match between Italy v a K10632
KQJ5 1. Make company be quiet in the club (4) ACROSS:
mixed USA/Norway squad.
K95 3. German child meets Heather to get firewood 1. Pair; 3. Tribunal; 8. Iota; 9. Scorpion; 11.
Once East elected to lead a dia-
WEST EAST (8) Curtain calls; 13. La mode; 14. Swathe;17.
mond, that was that. West took the
AQ82 1073 8. Mother is in the sea (4) Brings to book; 20. Pigtails; 21. Lion; 22.
ace and the defence got one diamond,
Q AJ 9. Deny to oneself, and confuse Ben about pre- Tuesdays; 23. Heed.
one spade and two trumps tricks, for
A10632 874 cious stone (8)
50 to EW.
Q63 108742 11. He holds the workplace up - in name, at least DOWN:
South has a difficult choice over 1H.
SOUTH (6, 6) 1. Princely; 2. Interim; 4. Recent; 5. Birnam
4H does not do justice to the hand at
KJ954 13. Spill broth in the south - it pulsates (6) Wood; 6. Neill; 7. Lone; 10. Hand in hand; 12.
all – one could bid 4H with 5 small
98754 14. Give good man a lift to the step (6) Reckoned; 15. Two time; 16. Ashley; 18. Rogue;
spades, or with 2 small clubs instead
9 17. Not much of a rate for heavyweights! (5, 2, 5) 19. Spit.
of the AJ. With an ace and a king plus
AJ 20. Stick around each easterner, and
a singleton and 5 card trump support, 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
perform winter sport (3, 5)
plus a good side spade suit to boot,
West North East South 21. Just food, we hear (4)
there could easily be a slam. But how
1H P 4H 22. Bull in a thousand for guiding! (8)
do you describe this hand?
Opening lead: D4 23. Leonard’s point of view (4) 8 9
Responding 1S may help, but it’s
going to be impossible for partner to
know that you have 5 hearts with him.
that the defence actually had TWO 1. Console Tom for cent, somehow (8)
I think that you have to overbid slight- 11
trump tricks as well, so he thought 2. Give ref fist, being more rigid (7)
ly with a splinter 4D, showing game
that it was vital to attack clubs, 4. Drink in Thabavimbi beerhall (6)
values with a singleton diamond. 12
playing partner for the king, to 5. Stood deals up - but obeys (4, 2, 4)
In the other room, where the
establish a trick there before declar- 6. Nine upset by article? That’s silly! (5) 13 14 15
Italians were sitting NS, the bidding
er could play a diamond towards his 7. Ecstasy of choral group (4)
went somewhat differently.
honour(s) to set up a club discard 10. A chilling way to start a conversa- 16
North opened 2H, which was simi-
from dummy. tion? (3, 7)
lar to a regular 1H bid. After the same
Declarer said “thanks very 12. Puts back answer about provisions 17 18
4H jump, West, I thought, had an obvi-
much”, won the jack of clubs, (8)
ous double with that shape, and East
cashed the ace, ruffed a spade to 15. He’s not very thankful to be in the 19
passed, with nowhere to go. It now
hand, and pitched dummy’s single- hot seat! (7)
looked like EW would get 100 for a 2
ton diamond on the king of clubs. 16. Southerner frequently to ameliorate 20 21
imp gain, but look at what happened.
4H doubled making meant 590 to NS (6)
East, not unreasonably, led the
and a 12 imps gain from almost 18. Bit of tranquillity, we hear (5)
three of spades which West won with
nowhere to Italy. 19. Jokes about children (4) 22 23
the queen. Now it didn’t occur to him
13 - 20 June 2008 SA JEWISH REPORT 21
DIANE WOLFSON Kumin.
PRETORIA Back: Rabbi Mendel Goldman, Rabbi
Dovid Schurder, Derek Ossip, Howard Yuter
AT THE AGM of the Pretoria Hebrew and Diane Wolfson.
Congregation last week, the new incoming Confirmation of the start of a new Kollel
committee was appointed for the 2008/2009 programme and the influx of new families to
year. They are: front row: Rabbi Gidon Fox, Pretoria, are but two of the exciting pieces of
President Evan Seligmann, Vice President news discussed and a happy and fulfilling
Jonathan Zetisky and Secretary Sharon year is expected for the new committee.
PHOTOGRAPH: CAPTAIN MAFOPA
WOMEN OF THE WORLD recently handed
over much needed supplies, such as blan-
kets, to victims of xenophobia, currently
housed in a compound at the Bramley
Police Station in Johannesburg. The
refugees are being ably taken care of by
Captain Mafopa of the Bramley Police
Mandy Bloch, Ronit Beleli, Limor Azaraf
and Janice Leibowitz with some recipients.
PHOTOGRAPH: RABBI LEVI SILMAN
PRE-SHAVUOT cheesecake and a flower
demo with Rebbetzen Leah Silman at the
Marais Road Shul in Cape Town.
22 SA JEWISH REPORT 13 - 20 June 2008
Good marketing (and a good
product) packs them in
RITA LEWIS Cohen and the spirit of the Sydenham together with the entire congregation under
Choir”, this week sure pulled them in as the stars, must surely have been a first for
“THOSE WERE the days my friend, we some 1 200 people listened as Rabbi Goldman any shul choir.
thought they’d never end”... but end they did spoke on the parsha Numbers, telling them People queued for food in an orderly man-
- until last Friday night, when almost every how the Jews were counted in the desert; ner at each of the many points set up along
seat in the Sydenham-Highlands North Shul how important every single Jew is. Main Street, Rouxville, which had been com-
was taken up. It was the return of the “old He spoke of how needing a quorum, 10 pletely closed off to traffic for the event.
days”, the turning back of the clock, to the men to make a minyan, often created an Drinks were on offer as was 900 portions of
time when shuls were full and there was urgency, a desire for men to respond to the biltong which was passed around in individ-
standing room only - and that was only in call to make up the number, but how often ual plastic dishes.
the aisles or corridors outside. when there were 11 men regularly available, From the stalls which had been set up in
But this is 2008, when so many Jews have that urgency fell away as everyone abrogat- the middle of the roadway, soup was served
left South Africa and many of the big shuls ed their responsibility to be present and left from massive pots and over 1000 bread sticks
here are slowly emptying to fill the growing it to everyone else to make up the number. were supplied to accompany it.
number of shtieblach or shuls abroad - so it He said every Jew should make the effort It would seem that this first experiment in
was amazing to see how the offer of a Black as all Jews were responsible for each other. shul marketing which was sponsored by
Label Johnnie Walker together with biltong At the end of the service they filed outside Blue Label Telecoms, was highly successful
and soup in order to “Catch the Friday Night into the street to listen to the sound of and Rabbi Goldman was thrilled to see his
Fever” was able to help induce so many peo- Chazan Yudi Cohen, soloist Len Kay and the shul once again almost splitting at the seams.
ple to attend that evening. Sydenham Choir intoning the first two vers- The younger generation was also present
They attended in their droves, to fill the es of Shalom Aleichem, welcoming the in large numbers and as an incentive to
seats almost to capacity and in the process Sabbath and then intoning the kiddush come again, each child and teenager present
rekindling memories and reminiscences of before eating and drinking. was given a raffle ticket which would go into
Rabbi Yossy Goldman, rabbi of the
days gone by when capacity crowds for It was a magical feeling outside in the a draw during the week. Two prizes would
Friday night, Shabbat and the Yomtovim street, hearing the magnificent singing soar- be awarded for the teens: a R1 000 clothing Sydenham-Highlands North Shul and
were the order of the day. ing heavenwards. voucher and a 4GB iPOD NANO with one main mover of the idea of “bringing back
“A super service plus the mind of Rabbi The sight and sound of the choir standing prize for the younger children of a R500 the glory of the Friday night tradition - in
Yossy Goldman, the soul of Cantor Yudi on the stairs outside the shul and singing Build-a-Bear voucher. style” as he appears on the pamphlet.
Saving Europe’s cemeteries and memories
TOBY AXELROD under the leaves and earth”.
BERLIN In 1994, Ruthenberg published a lexicon
with Jewish studies professor Michael
ECKEHART RUTHENBERG stands beside Brocke and photographer-filmmaker Kai
tombstones overgrown with moss and lay- Uwe Schulenburg that named 300 cemeter-
ered with leaves to have a smoke, then dons ies.
a yarmulke and enters the gateless ceme- Ruthenberg estimates that only a small
tery. percentage of the cemeteries he has seen
This nearly forgotten Jewish burial site can be restored.
in the Polish forest is one of 600 that German occupiers laid waste to some
Ruthenberg, a non-Jewish German, has during the war, according to Rabbi
documented painstakingly. His self- Andreas Nachama, director of the Lander
imposed mandate is to rescue the names of Institute for the Communication of the
Jewish families. Holocaust and Tolerance at Touro College
The cemeteries “are like orphans who in Berlin.
were abandoned”, Ruthenberg says. “I “But the other pattern was that after the
adopt them.” war, there was no longer anyone to take
Many non-Jewish Germans have tried to care of these cemeteries,” says Nachama, a
restore dignity to Jewish cemeteries, but historian. “They were very often forgotten
Ruthenberg’s efforts range further than and then destroyed.”
most. Since 1987, he has been “adopting” Abandoned sites have become a resource
cemeteries across the German state of for stonemasons, says Ruthenberg, recall-
Brandenburg and into western Poland. ing a cemetery that had 10 stones two years
Ruthenberg, who was born in 1943 and ago. “When I went back a few months ago,
grew up in the former East Germany, says they were all gone,” he says.
his journey began as a form of rebellion. So far, Ruthenberg has made impres-
His father, a committed Nazi and student sions, or rubbings, of 60 memorial stones. Nirit Ben-Joseph, an Israeli, and Eckehart Ruthenberg, a German non-Jew, inspect an
of “eugenics”, threw Ruthenberg out of the Ben-Joseph translates the inscriptions. abandoned Jewish tombstone in a Polish cemetery. (CREDIT: TOBY AXELROD)
house when he was 21. The young “If I find a stone under the earth, that is
Ruthenberg stopped looking into his when I am happiest,” Ruthenberg says dur- removed from the Gute Ort Jewish ceme- bounces past the disbanded border posts
father’s past after learning that as a soldier ing a recent trip to Poland. “It is like I saved tery near Niederhof, in the former East and zips along wet roads. The sun glances
he’d been stationed near where the first a family. Everyone was forgotten.” Germany. furtively from behind fast-moving clouds.
gas vans were used in mass asphyxiations. In many places, a cemetery is the last Such people “have tried to preserve the In the village of Cedynia, narrow streets
“I was afraid,” Ruthenberg says. “It went trace of a destroyed European Jewish com- memory of something that was important wind uphill past old farmhouses and crum-
too far for me.” munity. to the Jewish community”, says Arthur bling brick walls. On a well-mown slope
In 1983, after East German authorities It is also the closest thing to a Jewish Obermayer, whose German-Jewish overlooking the surrounding plain, several
confiscated his passport when he applied to holy place, says Phil Carmel, the director of History Award has honoured Ehmke and tombstones stand lovingly restored but
go to the West, Ruthenberg opted to cross a new online database of Jewish cemeter- Schaell. face the wrong way.
another forbidden boundary - into Jewish ies in Europe called Lo Tishkach, Hebrew “In Germany, cemeteries have been Several kilometres on, past low hills
cemeteries. Local officials literally told for “Do not forget”. The project is co-ordi- much more effectively maintained than in fringed with birch trees, another cemetery
him it was “foreign territory” when he nated by the Conference of European Eastern Europe because of Germans who - marked by a memorial plaque - lies along
asked for details about a site in Rabbis and sponsored by the Claims care.” the wall surrounding the town of Moryn.
Eberswalde. Conference. “Sometimes local, non-Jewish groups Ben-Joseph crouches between a hedge and
“Jewish history was a taboo theme,” he The database’s website contains infor- have the best possibility of ensuring some a tree, pulling tenacious vines from a stone
said, as Jews were identified in East mation about the condition of 4 000 ceme- kind of protection or care for these places,” in search of names.
Germany as capitalists, bad guys. teries; eventually it will have at least 10 000. said Rabbi Andrew Baker, director of inter- In the town of Mieszkowice, chickens
Four years later, in a dusty shop in East Other efforts include the Jewish ceme- national Jewish affairs for the American strut and peck in the yards, chasing their
Berlin, Ruthenberg found what he calls his tery project of the International Jewish Committee and a member of the own reflections through puddles.
“golden book”: a 1914 listing of German Association of Jewish Genealogical Claims Conference board. Ruthenberg says this is a “typical ceme-
towns including population identified by Societies and the Jewish Cemetery He said he had encountered cases tery used as a garden after the war. You see
religion. On maps of towns with Jewish Database Project, which has information “where a town historian or school group almost nothing left”.
communities, he sought the tiny “L” indi- about 34 Jewish cemeteries in Germany studying about the history of the Jewish Nearby, a man scrapes at the earth with
cating a Jewish cemetery. and nearly 20 000 individual gravestones. community decides to take a kind of a shovel, seeking potatoes.
“I would guess the ‘L’ stands for Such umbrella projects demonstrate the responsibility for the cemetery”. Not far away, in Boleszkowice, a sign
‘Lebenshaus’, house of life,” says Nirit vastness of the Jewish life that was Lo Tishkach hopes to inspire those with among trees points to the forest cemetery.
Ben-Joseph, Ruthenberg’s Israeli friend, a destroyed. In Germany, people like ancestral connections to Europe to support A stone wall encircles the secluded plot.
professional tour guide and an amateur Ruthenberg have done much of the leg- local efforts. Tombstones lie asunder, the soft earth
historian who has lived in Berlin for 20 work already. Ruthenberg, who describes himself with turned up around them - probably by wild
years. “In Hebrew, a cemetery is ‘Beit There are others, too. Ernst Schaell is a the German term for “memory worker”, boars, Ruthenberg says.
HaChayim’.” retired mechanic who spent 20 years supports himself through a small art He kneels near a fallen stone. A trace of
Ruthenberg started visiting the sites restoring the Jewish cemetery of gallery in the former East Berlin. gold gleams in the groove of a Hebrew let-
with his youngest son, Jonas, who was Laupheim in the former West Germany. On this day he sits with map in hand next ter. Only the rustle of footsteps in dry
born in 1985. He says they would “walk Klaus-Dieter Ehmke convinced his neigh- to Ben-Joseph, 46, who is driving through leaves and the chirp of a bird break the
around with sticks”, poking to find “stones bours to return the tombstones they had Brandenburg into Poland. Her van silence. (JTA)
13 - 20 June 2008 SA JEWISH REPORT 23
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24 SA JEWISH REPORT 13 - 20 June 2008
in his heyday
in full flight
when he was
deemed to be
the best field-
er in the game
Jonty to thrill Israel’s cricket fans
Former South African cricket great Jonty Rhodes, will bring international attention to
the Israeli cricket team, which will be competing in July against the India A squad in
honour of the 60th anniversary of Israel’s founding.
RHODES WOULD be in Israel for five be speaking to different groups, includ- outstanding athlete,” Perlman Jonty Rhodes will be participat-
days and would compete in three cricket ing the “youth, senior cricketers, people said. “He has this name of being ing in three one-day matches in
one-dayers, said Stanley Perlman, chair- who are involved in cricket and hopeful- a miraculous fielder. His partic-
Israel as part of the country’s
man of the Israel Cricket Association. ly to the minister of sport who will be at ipation will have immediate
The games would be held in Tel Aviv and the 60th anniversary dinner”, Perlman impact on the Israeli cricket 60th anniversary celebrations.
Ashdod from July 13-16. said. community. We’re hoping to
Rhodes, along with former Israeli coach “Time is going to be very tight,” busload at least 500 children to Cricinfo. The Israeli component
Roland Lefebre, planned to give back to Perlman added, as Rhodes also planned each game.” of the team included wicket-
the Israeli community by coaching Israeli to visit the religious sites during his stay. Cricket was the only sports keeper Shai Chayun and left-
youth during their free time, Perlman, Rhodes, who retired five years ago due team that had scheduled an arm spinner Solomon Varsulkar.
also a former South African, told the to injury, is a well-known player in the event in honour of Israel’s 60th “We see this as a golden oppor-
Jerusalem Post. international circuit for his fielding and anniversary, Perlman said. tunity to show cricket to the rest
“We will be bringing up loads of kids to great athleticism. He was voted one of “This is a chance for the pub- of the Israeli public,” Perlman
Tel Aviv, and Rhodes will hopefully be the Wisden Cricketers of the Year in lic to see why cricket is such a said. “We’re looking to put the
giving them a coaching session.” 1999, according to Cricinfo.com. special game and the most exciting game game across to the public at a really high
Although the date of the coaching ses- Perlman said he hoped that Rhodes’s in the world.” level that we’ve never had before. We’ve
sion had not been finalised, it was tenta- appearance would encourage more The Israeli team would bring in seven had stars come across before, but never
tively set for July 15, Perlman said. Israelis to become interested in cricket. overseas players from South Africa, one team with so many exceptional
In addition to coaching, Rhodes would “Jonty Rhodes’s appeal is that he is an Australia, Ireland and India, according to people.”
JUNIOR MACCABI Netball trials will take between 1991 and 1994.
place on Sunday, June 29 at King David The cost of trials is R30 per person. Any
Linksfield High School courts from 10:00. senior player who is keen to go, must please
Girls who qualify for juniors must be born contact Ilisa Waksman on 082-801-2003.
Two of KDVP’s top
JACK MILNER chosen to represent the Regional team, the
only player from the district.
CAYLA SEBBA, a grade nine learner at At the Gauteng trials she competed against
King David High School Victory Park, has players from schools like Waterkloof,
been chosen to represent Gauteng at the Garsfontein etc, which are well known for
National Netball Championships in July in the excellent netball players they produce.
the under-15 age group. This is a wonderful Under-16 player Jessica Friedman was
achievement as the road to the final selec- selected from 78 players to represent the
tion for the team is not easy. District 10 team. She was chosen to repre-
She was first selected from 68 girls to rep- sent the Regional team (Districts 8-12) but
resent the District 10 team. She then went on unfortunately did not make the Gauteng
to the Regional trials (Districts 8-12) and was team.
Cayla Sebba. Jessica Friedman.