VOLUME 26 No 5 JUNE 2009 5769
A wonderful Yom Ha’atzmaut From Welkom to West Coast —
celebrated in a cosy new venue a double simcha at Chabad!
A special moment when the Youth lead the ‘march in’. The Welkom Torah en route to its new West Coast home.
T he entire Albow Centre campus
was effectively transformed for this
from the fun and festivity to the quiet
of the Gardens Shul, was the brilliant D espite the pre-Pesach rush,
5 April, on the Sunday before
Pesach, over 150 men, women and
UJC executive director Barry Levitt
and vice-chairman of the UOS Ivan
Klitzner, and Norman Chavkin shared
year’s Yom Ha’atzmaut celebrations on and passionate address by top Israeli
Tuesday 28 May. The atmosphere was journalist, and former South African, children gathered at Chabad of the Welkom memories and the excitement
warm and buzzing, with all the usual Hirsh Goodman. West Coast for a double celebration - of this Torah coming to a new home.
fare — food stalls, entertainment and the dedication of the Welkom Torah at The Torah was then ‘dressed’ in its
lucky draw prizes. Pictorial coverage of the event on pages the shul of Blouberg-West Coast, and beautiful new sash and cover, and
A highlight for those who moved on 12 and 13. the opening of the ‘Expansion 09’ with a SAPS escort and a decorated
project at the Gan Chamesh Jewish music truck at the lead, the ‘Torah
Hagshama Montessori Pre-school.
At a nearby park a beautiful
parade’ departed, bringing the Torah
to its new home amidst joyous singing
enjoys a ‘chuppah canopy’ was set up where and dancing. see page 17
Bedouin YAD checks out the
Lag Green Point stadium
B’Omer INSIDE THIS ISSUE
Young people enjoy
the ‘bash’ laid on by
Hagshama and the
Marais Road Shul. Appeal page 8
(see report on page
Tribute to a Herzlia legend ‘Champions of the Child’
A t a morning assem-
bly last month Mrs
Marianne Marks, prin-
Having arrived from
England, John commenced
teaching mathematics at
cipal of Herzlia High Herzlia High School on 14
School, noted that dur- April 1969.
ing one’s lifetime one He has taught under Daniel Graham and Jodi Sher. ROBERT COHEN
does not always come
across ‘a legend of their
time’. But to know and
seven principals and seen
umpteen alumni pass
through the corridors of
O n Wednesday 6 May
football enthusiasts attended a
presentation at the new Green Point
YAD World bantamweight
interviewed page 23
work with one in one’s the school. He has never Stadium Visitor Centre entitled ‘2010
lifetime is indeed a forgotten a face, a name World Cup — Cape Town is open for
privilege. or even the year each one Business’.
John Mills is a Herzlia matriculated. And not one The time for welcome drinks gave our ‘WHO IS A JEW
legend! He has now of them has ever forgotten fans the opportunity to explore the centre’s REVISITED’
celebrated 40 years of John Mills. him! He has always been fascinating array of pictures, equipment, by Arnold Levin
unbroken, dedicated respected by students designs and architectural models and courtesy
and committed service to the United and staff alike for his professionalism also to read fascinating articles written in Jewish Affairs page 26
Herzlia Schools — the high School in and dedication to his subject, to the exciting lead up to this phenomenal
particular. education and to Herzlia. event.
2 CAPE JEWISH CHRONICLE JUNE 2009
D r David Scher is the current
chairman of the Jacob Gitlin
Library, which is under the auspices
asked what the
Krawitz, Chait and
of the Western Province Zionist Schneider have in
eminar Council and is a wonderful facility for common. They are all
Nechama S local Jewry. On 9 September 2008 tailors, in different
2009 David delivered the 20th Jacob Gitlin languages.
Memorial lecture, his topic being ‘The Portnoi – Russian;
ing The following or
‘From Mourn ga
affiliated to Jew nisations are
Birth of Israel: The Myths and the Krawitz – Polish;
to Mornin g- ish Care Cape Realities’. The lecture has now been Chait – Hebrew; Schneider – German/
published in booklet form and gives a Yiddish.
Insights into ’ • Cape Jewis fascinating account of the birth of the
aling h Seniors
Grief and He Association Jewish State. Here are the closing two At my 85th birthday kiddush brocha
• Glendale paragraphs: bash at the Claremont Wynberg Shul
Wednesday • Highlands
• Jewish Com se
In conclusion, it is clear that the on 18 April (for 26 March) I devoted
5th August • N echama
munit y Servi
creation of the Jewish state was the first portion of my speech to
achieved in a window of historical ‘Years’ and this is what I said:
Hebrew opportunity. Without international
Cape Town on • Jewish She
ltered Employ legitimacy, achieved through
Psalm 90 states that the days of
Congreg ati ment our lives are 3 score years and 10,
UN Resolution 181 of 1947 and
••• and by added strength (gevurot) four
AGM will be American-Soviet recognition, Israel
14 October an Wedne sday
score years. I suggest we add: “by
d no would have had no patrons and extra, additional strength — 4 score
as previously t 3 June
For more info stated no arms supplies to survive in a years and ten”. We then renumber
and registra e:
deadly hostile neighbourhood. the psalm to 100, which makes 70,
stin The decision of the United Nations
contact Ju General Assembly on 29 November
80, 90 and 100 and provides for vat
021 465 -93
and cost of living.
1947 to partition Palestine was,
PLEASE however, largely unconnected to
Bob Hope, the famous comedian,
reached 100. He said that at 70 he
NOTE! the Holocaust. Certainly, the fate
of Jewish Holocaust survivors and
still chased women but only downhill.
At 90, he said you know you are
W he n m DPs, by now interned in miserable getting old when the candles cost
the Cap ing a paymen conditions for up to three years, more than the cake.
e Jewis tt was of secondary importance to
by dire h C hr o n o Western statesmen. Although there
We Jews wish each other “Bbiz
ic le 120” (till 120) — but what do you
Gardens Shul c t dep o
p l ea s e si t , was sympathy for the recent Jewish
catastrophe, this did not influence
say to someone who reaches 120?
e n s ur e “Have a good day.”
Friday Night Live t ha t t h the voting pattern. Every state, then How do you know you are old?
number 18 invoice ere i s a and now, acts according to what it
numbe n When you are 50 years older than
r / nam considers its own interests. the rabbi.
BaLLaNtiNeS aNd a s re f e
s o t h a t e r e nc e
Whereas so many present-day When you go to a wedding and
Birthday BaSh your pa members of the United Nations the groom’s grandpa was your tax
can be y men t were handed their independence student.
5 June 5.45 pm re c o r d e on a platter, the Jews, despite
d. losing a third of their brethren in the
See page 9 Holocaust, were only able to bring This comes off an e-mail received
a Jewish state into fruition through and is headed ‘Men Are Just Happier
their own strenuous efforts. Without People’. The Shammash publishes it
the American Jewish lobby, which without comment or prejudice:
galvanised a sluggish if not hostile Future
Administration into action, the A woman worries about the future until
UNITED HERZLIA precious 29 November vote might she gets a husband.
SCHOOLS not have been achieved. Without A man never worries about the future
the heroic efforts of the Haganah on until he gets a wife.
OPEN DAY 18 JUNE the battlefield in April-May 1948, a Success
‘The Real Time Experience at Jewish state, its number grievously A successful man is one who makes
Herzlia Middle School’ depleted by the Holocaust, would not more money than his wife can spend.
have been attainable. A successful
See page 16 qqq
woman is one
who can find
Ben-Zion Surdut, at a recent lecture, such a man.
UNLESS OTHERWISE STATED FOOD AND CATERING SERVICES ADVERTISED IN THIS PUBLICATION ARE NOT UNDER THE SUPERVISION OF THE CAPE BETH DIN
CAPE JEWISH CHRONICLE JUNE 2009 3
BRIDGE AND A VERY PROUD SAVTA
The Way My bridge friends were as amazed as I A-plus rating for Herzlia
was proud, to hear that my 10 year-old
IC it granddaughter Shira, and her partner,
Danielle, came first out of 83 pairs
A n article headed entitled ‘Paper
chase for the city’s top schools’
in the Weekend Argus on 16 May was
suburban primary schools when the
classes were already filled, provision
is made for the learner to attend
from grade 5 to 11 in the North Jersey
F rom time to time over the years,
particularly as editor of this paper,
synchronicity has played a major role.
(USA) Schools Bridge Championship. In
a contingent of pupils from Solomon
heartening in more than one respect.
Firstly, in the Western Cape
Education Department’s listing of
one of the other primary schools. In
the Middle School, should the need
arise, another class could be added
Schechter Westchester School, they and the High School also presents no
A typical example was my being given the top ten schools in the Province,
trumped all competitors. And what is problems in regard to space.
the story of Chinese General ‘Two Gun Herzlia High School was placed
more, Shira emailed, “Savta, I made a Furthermore, where parents cannot
Cohen’ punkt, at the time that the SA number 4. The criteria for this ‘poll’
slam!” afford the fees, bursaries are available
Jewish Museum was about to stage its were the consistency in the number
The girls brought the greatest nachas to ensure the UHS commitment that
Chinese ‘Harbin’ exhibition. of grade 12 candidates over a period
to a savta who ’aint ever gonna win any no Jewish child will be refused a
Now, once again synchronicity has of three years; an overall 100% pass
bridge trophy as long as she lives. Jewish education.
struck. rate last year; the number of subject
Yes, bridge is a marvellous game, This is in sharp contrast to the
I had just received and edited Willie distinctions, and an endorsement
requiring logic, memory and some experiences listed in the Argus
Katz’s Shammash column, which you rate for a bachelor’s degree of at
measure of card sense, and there is no article, of parents battling to get their
will see includes references to Jewish least 60%.
logical reason why it cannot be played children into good schools, its sub-
surnames denoting ‘tailor’ — Schneider That the United Herzlia Schools
by youngsters. We oldsters all agree heading reading: ‘Getting children
(German/Yiddish) etc — when Tessa, features so high in what is in essence
that had we started so young, we would into reputable institutions means
our secretary, mentioned that a man a secular education rating is in itself
have been making our marks in the frustration, anxiety for parents’.
who claimed to be the last Jewish tailor cause for celebration. In fact, the
bridge world today. The description of Herzlia as ‘the
in Cape Town (and possibly the world!) community has complacently come
had just come in to place a chronicad. MAKING MARKS to accept this level of achievement as jewel in the crown of the community’
Synchronicity! the norm, with Herzlia matric results is more than just a trite boast.
“Call him back. I must interview him!” Those who voted in the recent general being exceptional every year. Indeed, as Geoff Cohen says, “Herzlia
And, as you will find somewhere elections had some pretty indelible What is unique in regard to Herzlia’s is a great school that always strives
among these pages, I did. marks made on their thumbs, before success is that it is an inclusive to bring out the best in our pupils so
marking their Xs. The marks of Zuma? school, which caters for every level that they can reach their maximum
MORE TALES Zille? Zorro? Well, the mark of Mbeki of academic ability. There is no potential. As an inclusive school we
that I got five years ago took nearly a requirement for the stress of an don’t turn pupils away due to learning
A far more exciting interview I had,
year to disappear. ‘entrance test’, which according to disabilities, financial difficulty or
which is covered on page 23 was with
Here’s hoping that our new State the article, most other top schools religious affiliation. This makes our
Robert Cohen, who was without any
President, Jacob Zuma, scores full require. success at matriculation level that
doubt the only Jewish bantam-weight
marks and that good times lie ahead. Confirmation of this was provided much more significant.
boxing champion in the world … ever.
Robert and his wife Zita spend six SYNCHRONICITY STRIKES AGAIN by Geoff Cohen, UHS Director of “We believe that our pupils need to
months of the year here and the other Education and principal of the Middle experience a sense of belonging so
six months in Brussels, and I was lucky Just as I was contemplating how to end School. Certainly there are initial that they feel part of the nurturing
to meet with them in their Sea Point flat this piece in the space still available interviews with parents and children, and embracing Herzlia family.”
just before they left for the Brussels … Voila! … an email arrives from the he said, but it was established policy The Middle School will be holding an
leg. I took pages and pages of notes, owner of another eatery higher up that, other than in extraordinary ‘Open Day’ on 18 June, for learners
covering the courtship, marriage, 40 (towards the mountain) in Long Street, circumstances, no Jewish child would in the morning and parents in the
years in the Congo and even some of Israeli born and former Herzlia student be refused entrance to a Herzlia evening. An excellent opportunity
his boxing career. (Amit Raz. He opened his Masala Dosa, School. Where a problem might arise for those interested to examine this
Since Robert (pronounced in French Indian restaurant, two years ago. with an application to one of the three particular jewel in our crown.
fashion — Rob-air) speaks very little I’ve actually been there myself — very
English, it was Zita who told the stories, good — didn’t know that the producer of
with Rob-air interjecting in French from
time to time … (“What’s he saying,
Zita?” — me) … and repeatedly asking if
this Asian fare was actually an Israeli.
He’s done so well that he has opened a
branch in Sea Point.
The Leah Todres
I would like an expresso! Proves that whatever your origin 2009 YIDDISH SONG FESTIVAL
ethnicity wins when it comes to food.
I’m a cappuccino girl. And you should
What was it that Jackie Mason quipped
a couple of years ago? — “The Jewish A Naye Velt
dynasty is 5700 years. The Chinese Songs Bridging Oceans
know that people of discernment
consider the truly authentic cappuccino dynasty is 4100 years — so where did
not to be the high-froth cup with the Jews eat for 1600 years? Your passport to a toe-tapping and joyous celebration
chocolate powder sprinkled on top, but Knowing Jackie Mason’s blank-faced, of song!
the far more subdued and delicious ‘flat understated delivery, I decided to check
white’. Being one of the discerning few, out his facts via google — a true mine Cape Town is once again staging a mini miracle, also known as the Annual
I make it my business to log the places of information. And indeed, it appears Yiddish Song Festival – now in its 9th year at the Baxter Theatre!
that do a really good ‘flat white’. The list that the Chinese calendar is just over a
Probably the best thing about the Yiddish Song Festival is the discovery that
is steadily lengthening as Capetonians thousand years behind ours. While we
you do not need to understand Yiddish to feed into the emotive and universal
become more selective, forcing are in 5759, the Chinese year is 4706.
language of song.
restaurants and cafeterias to raise their And this is the Year of the Ox!
standards and lower their froth. The Chinese work on a 12-year cycle,
This year we take you around the world in song. From nostalgic old world
Just the other day an establishment with one of twelve animals a symbol
melodies to the sultry rhythm of Argentinean tangos. Soulful songs and lusty
in Long Street qualified for the list, for each year. If you google, I am sure
Broadway numbers and some of that special brand of Jewish humour that can
bringing my City Bowl total to eight. This you’ll find out whether you were born
make one laugh through tears. You will be amazed at the countries where
latest ‘find’, just a coffee bean’s throw in the Year of the Rabbit or Monkey or
Jewish song has bridged time and cultures.
from Embassy Travel, is co-owned by an something more fearsome.
Israeli and her Capetonian partner. For us Jews the laws of kashrut limit
Together with stars Aviva Pelham, Beverley Chiat, Dragana Jevtovic, Ivor
My first visit was for lunch with my our animal choices. Even Swine Fever,
Joffe, David Gordon and Richard Gore discover the wide world of Yiddish
Thursday afternoon bridge pals, since has an alternative name among the
song. Playing With Fire Klezmer Band will be under the direction of the
which time the word has spread and ultra-orthodox. And quite right too. Not
multi-talented Matthew Reid. The Herzlia Vocal Ensemble and the massed
RCaffe is ‘on the map’. Another bridge only halachically does it need to be
Herzlia Yiddish Festival Choir will be making their spirited contribution.
foursome has already followed suit. avoided. So take care and Zei Gezundt!
Staging by Irma Kessler and Musical Direction by Fay Singer & Matthew Reid.
Shabbat and Yom Tov Times Come along and enjoy nostalgic favourites and newfound treasures that will
transport you on a joyful journey of musical discoveries and delights. This is
your passport to a whole new world of song. The Yiddish Song Festival is a
Date Portion Candle lighting Ends
true celebration of life, in the universal language of song. And off course it is
5 June 13 Sivan Naso 5.27 6.21 in aid of the CJSA.
12 June 12 Sivan Behaalot’cha 5.26 6.20
19 June 27 Sivan Shelach L’cha 5.27 6.21 SUNDAY 2 AUGUST at 5.30pm and 8pm
26 June 4 Tammuz Korach 5.28 6.23 Tickets R60, R85, R100, R120 Bookings Computicket
Inserted by the Union of Orthodox Synagogues For further information: email email@example.com
Issued under the auspices of the Western Province Zionist Council and the SA Jewish Board of Deputies (Cape Council)
87 HATFIELD STREET CAPE TOWN 8001 P.O. BOX 4176 CAPE TOWN 8000 PHONE 021 464-6700 FAX 021 461-5804 e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org EDITOR: IRMA CHAIT
4 CAPE JEWISH CHRONICLE JUNE 2009
How the land lies ... Hagai M Segal writes on the Middle-East
Hagai is a lecturer in Middle-Eastern Politics at New York University In London, and consultant on terrorism and geo-strategic risk.
THE PoliTicS of REcogniTion ... PaRT ii !
as Bibi ponders committing to two states, and abbas rubbishes idea of a ‘Jewish State’, the Pope arrives!
I n my column in March I looked at the
Politics of Recognition that has again
taken hold in the Middle-East. Two
Lieberman told his Germany
counterpart Frank-Walter Steinmeier
that the conflict in the Middle East was
repeatedly expressed his support for
a Palestinian state to emerge, as part
of a peaceful two-state reality, causing
Nazi criminals in Germany and has
visited Yad Vashem once before”, and
“has expressed empathy for Jews
months on the game is still being played not between Israel and the Palestinians, quite a stir in the process. and for Israel”, in his speech, “he
in earnest, with the recent events played but rather between extremists and Speaking on his arrival, the Holy inexplicably said Jews ‘were killed’, as if
out by the most important actors of all moderates. Steinmeier, in turn, called See stated, “I plead with all those it had been an unfortunate accident”.
of this — the elected leaders of Israel on Lieberman to abide by previous responsible to explore every possible The article carried the stark title:
and the Palestinian Authority. Oh, and agreements with the Palestinians and avenue in the search for a just “Benedict’s speech showed verbal
the Pope has decided to get involved to back a two-state solution. resolution of the outstanding difficulties indifference and banality.”
too! “It’s important to strengthen moderate so that both people may live in peace All this was not helped by a PR debacle
When it comes to the Politics of forces in the region and actively engage in a homeland of their own within at an inter-faith meeting with Jews and
Recognition in the Middle-East, nothing in peace efforts,” Steinmeier said in a secure and internationally recognised Muslims on May 12, his very first day
more dominates than the issue of a statement after the meeting. borders.” in the Holy Land, that was supposed
Palestinian state. Yet despite huge The previous day German Chancellor He also added, “Today I have the to emphasise the unity between the
attention and pressure, the government Angela Merkel, at a press conference opportunity to repeat that the Catholic three faiths. The Palestinian cleric
of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu following a meeting with King Abdullah Church is irrevocably committed to ... participating, Sheikh Taysir Tamimi, the
has yet to formally commit itself to a II of Jordan, had made it crystal clear a genuine and lasting reconciliation chief justice of the Palestinian Islamic
two-state solution. The international that Germany, and the EU, expected between Christians and Jews.” courts, grabbed the microphone to
debate and clamour is thus growing as such a commitment from Israel. And speaking today at a news give an unscheduled speech calling
the days pass. “There is no alternative to such a conference at the residence of PA on Benedict to “pressure the Israeli
On May 6 the EU foreign policy chief solution ... We hope that the new Israeli leader Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen), government to stop its aggression
Javier Solana publicly stated that government will make progress here.” the head of the Catholic Church against the Palestinian people”.
the European Union will only make a And most notably such statements reiterated his support for a Palestinian Oded Wiener, director-general of
decision on a frozen plan to upgrade are now coming from the new US state, while stating that Palestinians Israel’s Chief Rabbinate, later issued
ties with Israel when Netanyahu’s administration, the President, Vice- should “resist temptations to resort to a statement saying: “Sheikh Tamimi
government completes its review of President and his Secretary of State, acts of violence”. embarrassed the Pope.”
peace talks with the Palestinians. all now having publicly called for a Later Benedict XVI branded the
Solana said “not much has advanced” policy aimed at a future two-state West Bank separation barrier — while WELCOME TO THE HOLY LAND, YOUR
during talks with the Israeli Foreign solution. Vice-President Joe Biden, for standing near a section of it at a refugee HOLINESS !
Minister in Prague, and that Israel example, deliberately chose his speech camp near the city of Christ’s birth, Back in the day-to-day tensions of the
was well aware of the stance of the to the American Israel Public Affairs Bethlehem — a symbol of ‘stalemate’ conflict, as the questions are raised
EU in regards to the need for policy Committee (AIPAC) conference on May between Israel and the Palestinians. — and anger increases in the Arab
recognising the two-state solution. 5 to call on Israel — while demanding “Towering over us, as we gather here world — about whether the current
The previous week the EU’s Palestinians halt violence, of course this afternoon, is a stark reminder of Israeli government will recognise the
commissioner for external relations, — to “work for a two-state solution ... the stalemate that relations between core Palestinian self-determination
Benita Ferrero-Waldner, criticised not build more settlements, dismantle Israelis and Palestinians seem to have demands, what has been emerging
Netanyahu’s refusal to endorse a existing outposts and allow Palestinians reached — the wall. hand-to-hand with this is a Palestinian
Palestinian state, directly linking the freedom of movement”. “How we earnestly pray for an end to trend to attack the core aspect of Israel,
upgrade with an Israeli commitment to No such commitments came from the hostilities that have caused this its identity as a ‘Jewish State’.
a two-state solution. Lieberman during his European trip wall to be built.” As I have detailed in these pages
however, but notably, he didn’t publicly in the past, since the collapse of the
THE LIEBERMAN FACTOR or privately rule it out either. THE POPE AT YAD VASHEM
Oslo peace process and the outbreak
Yet in Germany last week — on his THE POPE’S IN TOWN The pontiff began his trip by saying of the Second Intifada, it has become
first foreign trip since controversially in Tel Aviv that antisemitism was increasingly common for key PLO/
becoming Israel’s Foreign Minister — The Pope too, currently in the middle of totally unacceptable, moving on to Fatah officials and leaders to publicly
Avigdor Lieberman reportedly portrayed a historic visit to the region, has waded Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial in state that they have not, and even that
events to date as a “peace industry” of — carefully, but quite deliberately — into Jerusalem, where he stated that the they will not, accept that an implicit
fruitless diplomatic meetings. the debate. While on the trip the pontiff suffering of Holocaust victims must aspect of accepting Israel is to accept
never be denied. its Jewish character. (3 accepts — is
E lbit Systems Ltd, never far from
the financial “May the names of these victims never that okay with you?)
headlines, has won a $55 million contract perish. May their suffering never be So common has this become that
from Lockheed Martin Canada Ltd to supply denied, belittled or forgotten,” he said everyone feels they have to get in on
the Canadian navy with electronic warfare at a ceremony attended by dignitaries the act, and even the PA leader has
equipment for its Halifax-class frigate and survivors. now found it impossible not to fall into
modernisation programme. It is “They lost their lives, but they will the trap.
predicted that the contract will lead to never lose their names,” he added. On April 27, at a preliminary
more contracts for electronic warfare equipment Yet despite his condemnation of conference of the Palestinian Youth
worldwide. antisemitism and visit to Yad Vashem, Parliament in Ramallah, televised
G T he red carpet on which the Pope treads on his visit to
Jordan, had ‘Made in Israel by Carmel Carpets’ stamped
the pontiff’s comments regarding a
Palestinian state have unsurprisingly
on Palestinian Authority TV, the PA
President Mahmoud Abbas (Abu
on it, discreetly, of course. The order for two 100 metre long carpets not been well received in certain Mazen) — undoubtedly one of the most
was delivered within 48 hours, when all the workers chipped in to work quarters in Israel, and has thus resulted moderate Palestinian leaders — stated
on the carpets around the clock. One of the founders of the company was in a rather personal backlash against “The ‘Jewish State’. What is a ‘Jewish
overheard saying, “I’m sure the Pope will notice the carpet is of prime quality.” him! State?’ We call it, the ‘State of Israel’.
Being a man of impeccable taste, used only to the best, we’re sure that he will. His alleged history as a former member You can call yourselves whatever you
of a part of Hitler Youth was splashed want. But I will not accept it. And I say
N ew Tel Aviv University student dormitories and Bikkur Cholim Hospital in
Jerusalem are going solar with the installation of solar energy systems on their
roofs. Solaria Ltd will erect three units on the roofs of Tel Aviv University’s new
across the Israeli media — bringing a
panicked and confused response from
this on a live broadcast ... It’s not my
job to define it, to provide a definition
the Vatican PR people — and just as he for the state and what it contains. You
student dormitories. Each unit can generate 40-50 kilowatts, with a total output was about to tour Yad Vashem. can call yourselves the Zionist Republic,
of 140 kilowatts, and the same facility will be provided for Bikkur Cholim. Good, Numerous Israeli and Jewish the Hebrew, the National, the Socialist
clean, effective energy and getting cheaper all the time. Now that’s GN! commentators have even taken issue (Republic) — call it whatever you like. I
T eva, the world’s largest generic drug maker’s first quarter revenue of $3.15
billion was up 22% compared with the corresponding quarter of 2008. Net
profit was $634 million, 4% up on ’08. And need we say it; all this in a very chilly
with his statements in condemnation
of antisemitism and his speech at Yad
Vashem, arguing that he did not go
And before leaving the conference
Abbas was presented with a large
economic climate. nearly far enough. For example, Tom framed map of ‘Palestine’, including
E CI Telecom announced that the Company will participate in the replacement of
Deutsche Telekom’s telephony network in a deal worth tens of millions of euros;
to be more precise the amount is some $100 million.
Segev, writing in Haaretz, said that
while Benedict “supports annulling the
statute of limitations on prosecuting
within it the whole of the State of
continued on page 5
CAPE JEWISH CHRONICLE JUNE 2009 5
A Board Perspective New Kaplan Centre Oral History
From SAJBD National Chairman Zev Krengel Project to be launched
The Xenophobia Crisis Remembered T he Kaplan Centre for Jewish Studies
and Research at the University of
T his time last year, South Africa was in
the throes of the xenophobia crisis,
in which hundreds of people were killed
and educating children or helping the
victims to reintegrate into society,
Jewish individuals and organisations
Cape Town is about to embark on a
new Oral History Project, building on
an earlier project which was carried out
or injured and tens of thousands more were at the forefront of the relief effort. nearly thirty years ago.
left homeless and destitute. What was The SAJBD was very proud to have At that time the focus was on life
heartening was how our community coordinated all these worthy endea- histories of elderly Jewish men and
rallied so magnificently to the challenge vours as the representative body of women who had grown up in South
of bringing relief to the victims. Whether SA Jewry. At the time of writing, our Africa or at least came to South Africa
it was in providing food, clothing, Cape Council is participating on the as children. About 300 interviews were
blankets, toys and reading matter, committee arranged by the Social conducted in the early 1980s by a team
assisting the over-burdened police Justice Coalition planning a vigil to of interviewers.
and public welfare services logistically commemorate the outbreak of the These valuable memoirs were
and organisationally, entertaining attacks in the Western Cape. transcribed and archived. Subsequently
Professor MIlton Shain and his colleague
the interviews have been used by
Mission Accomplished at the Durban Review Conference scholars in the reconstruction of the
O n 20-24 April our national director
Wendy Kahn and Gauteng Council
member Marc Pozniak were in Geneva
another Israel-bashing and Jew-baiting
It could hardly have been more
South African Jewish past.
According to Professor Milton Shain,
director of the Kaplan Centre, the new
appropriate interviewees over the next
“We look forward to acquiring at first
to attend the United Nation’s Durban different from the Durban 2001 project will focus on Jewish leaders. The hand the testimony of those who gave
Review Conference of the 2001 World conference, where all too often the kind emphasis will be on the ways in which so much of their time to the community,
Conference Against Racism. of venom frothed by the likes of Iranian Jewish leaders entered into communal shaping its policies and priorities,”
Ever since the travesty that was President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was life, the burning issues they dealt with adds Lauren. “All interviews will be
Durban 2001, the Jewish world has allowed to pass without comment. and the changing priorities. Interviews transcribed and archived for posterity.”
worked intensively to prevent its I commend Wendy and Marc for their will be led by Lauren Snitcher. Professor Shain notes too that the
successor from following the same extensive work, the details of which “This is an exciting and timely Kaplan Centre wishes to build an
route. We were pleased to see those are far too numerous to list here. project,” Professor Shain explains. archive of visual material. In this regard
efforts crowned with the success they Wendy, in particular, worked long and “It is an important dimension of the he asks the community to consider
deserved. well with members of our government South African Jewish experience. passing on old 8/16 mm visual material
Many states boycotted the flawed involved and was also of considerable We need to build on the memories of for archiving.
proceedings altogether, while a high assistance to international Jewry those who were at the communal ‘rock “This too will contribute to our
proportion of those that did attend as well as an active member of the face’ in recent decades. Ultimately knowledge of the South African Jewish
were sensitive to our concerns that International Jewish Caucus team. Very each interviewee will have important experience,” he says.
the conference not be turned into well done to her! information to share – and this will add Anyone having visual material should
to the richness of our history.” please contact Janine Blumberg: 021
Elections 2009 Lauren Snitcher and a team of 650-3062 or Janine.Blumberg@uct.
S outh Africa’s fourth successive
free, fair and peacefully conducted
national elections since the 1994
included a series of election-
related supplements in the Jewish
Report, a pre-election debate with
interviewers will be contacting ac.za
political transformation have been representatives of the six top political
successfully concluded. Prior to and parties, an information dissemination
on election day itself, the Board ran a programme and an online virtual
multifaceted education, awareness and election awareness campaign.
mobilization campaign, dubbed ‘Make I warmly thank our staff, in particular
Us Count’, to encourage our community Alana Pugh-Jones, and all community
to identify with and participate in members who involved themselves in
the elections. Projects implemented this successful undertaking.
SA Jewish Museum stages historical
“Jews of Harbin’ exhibition
At the recent opening
of the exhibition on
the Jews of Harbin
at the SA Jewish
Kaplan, benefactor of
the Museum examines
a catalogue with
Ms. Fu Mingjing,
director of Harbin
Jewish Studies Centre
of Social Sciences,
who was instrumental
in putting this
Hagai Segal writes continued from page 4
A photo of a smiling Abbas holding up negotiating table.
the map to reporters appeared the next So it’s been another month of mutual
day on the front page of both PA daily accusations, public talk of peace by all
newspapers. None of which is what sides while with mumbling under their
those on the Israeli side who claim breaths about the other’s failures, and
that he is a potential partner for peace both sides scrambling for the political
want to see, and hardly something that and moral high ground from the US, the
is going to help the Netanyahus or the EU and visiting foreign dignitaries.
Liebermans to abandon their cynicism Yep, just another month in the Middle-
towards the PLO or encourage them to East!
go to — let alone take chances at — the
submitted London, 13 May
6 CAPE JEWISH CHRONICLE JUNE 2009
IntegrIty • dIversIty • communIty
Talking Tachlis Survivor Hannah Pick-Goslar shares her
story at Yom Hashoah
with David Jacobson story and photo: Moira Schneider
Executive Director of the BOD (Cape Council)
Take a ‘You’ Turn E ighty-year-old
I t could be argued that perhaps the
most defining institution of the Jewish
people was the creation of the ‘minyan’.
come from you.
What makes Cape Town so unique
is our genuine and sincere attempt
a childhood friend of
Anne Frank, recounted
her experiences in
It was this institution that forced Jews to to make the Board of Deputies as
Amsterdam as a
gather together in numbers and create democratic as possible. Whether you
schoolchild and later as
the communities that subsequently agree with the decisions taken by the
a prisoner at the Bergen-
sustained the Jews throughout their Board or whether you think we are
centuries in exile. doing a poor job or a good one, please
camp, at a Yom Hashoah
The past month has been one of know that what we do, we do only with
commemoration held at
remembering for our community: Yom the best intentions and are driven only
the Cape Town Holocaust
HaZikaron, Yom HaShoah and Yom Ha- by our commitment to ensuring the
Centre on Thursday 23 Holocaust survivor Israel Ketellapper, Hannah Pick-
atzmaut. continuity of the Jewish people. Goslar and Dr Lina Spies, who translated ‘The Diary of
I want to talk about a different type Your strong opinions on how we can Anne Frank’ into Afrikaans.
The event was not
of ‘remembering’ — the re ‘membering’ do a better job are needed. You are on park benches was the inscription,
without its own drama
of our community leadership; in other needed. So please do put your name
though, when 92-year-old survivor “Jews and dogs not wanted”.
words, the influx of new members forward to stand for public ballot or find One day, when she went to play with
Israel Ketellapper quizzed Pick-Goslar
onto and into the various leadership someone you think would do a good job
at question time and the pair realised Anne, she was told by their Jewish
structures. I know I am flogging this around our boardroom table.
that they had been on the same train tenant that the Frank family had left
one to death, but I cannot overstate There is much work to be done over
when they were liberated from Bergen- for Switzerland. In fact, Margot, Anne’s
the importance of breathing new life the next two years and some tough elder sister, along with other 15- and
into our community structures. decisions are going to have to be made.
Pick-Goslar recalled that shortly after 16-year-olds, had received an order to
The Jewish world is facing enormous What direction this community takes
fleeing Germany for Holland with her go to a work camp in the east and Otto
challenges, from without and within. in the coming years depends solely on
family in 1933 she had met Anne Frank Frank decided that the family should go
Now is the time that we need visionary the people who make those decisions.
and her mother in a grocery store. The into hiding instead.
leadership, with new ideas and a fresh When the SS came to arrest Pick-
Let one of those people be YOU. friendship was sealed when, a few days
perspective. That leadership can only
later, the three-year-old Pick-Goslar Goslar’s family, she remembers a
started kindergarten, where she again German Catholic neighbour asking if
T he Jewish Board of Deputies (Cape Council)
would like to congratulate the following members
of the community who have recently received public
met Frank who “ran into my arms – it she could take her little sister.
was also her first day”. “Aren’t you ashamed, a Dutch
When the German army invaded Christian and you want a Jewish girl?”
honours for their outstanding work: Holland in May 1940, trouble for the was the reply.
Jews did not begin immediately, as “She said, ‘I’m a German Christian
RAYMOND ACKERMAN — Honorary HEATHER TAGER — Mayor’s Medal had happened in Poland, “because the and I’m not ashamed’.”
Doctorate in Commerce from University honouring civilians for outstanding Germans knew the Polish hated the After spending eight months at the
of KwaZulu Natal, for promoting the service to the community, for her work Jews”. But with time, the girls had to Dutch transit camp Westerbork, Pick-
progress of human society and uplifting as Chief Operations Officer of the leave their school, wear the yellow star Goslar was transferred to Bergen-
South Africans through the introduction Sea Point City Improvement District and attend a school with only Jewish Belsen. She said that her three-year-old
of people-oriented human resources and Chairperson of the Sea Point children and teachers. sister survived the war owing to three
practices, his contribution to social Community Police Forum. “Everything that was fun in life was miracles, one of which occurred when
upliftment, his gender and cultural We are privileged to have in our forbidden,” she remembered. They Pick-Goslar got jaundice and had to go
sensitivity as well as his non-partisan community so many heroes, both could, for instance, only buy from into isolation, without having anybody
and non-racial practices. recognised and unsung, and we salute Jewish shops at designated times, and to look after her sister — their mother
HERBERT HIRSCH — Mayor’s Medal them all. had died in childbirth earlier in the war.
honouring civilians for outstanding
service to the community, for having
dedicated much of his life to community
BOD meets ACDP continued on page 8
matters — particularly from an economic
HELEN LIEBERMAN — the 2008 Roger
E Joseph Prize from the Hebrew Union
College — Jewish Institute of Religion in
New York, for having made a distinctive
contribution to human, kind by virtue of
religious and moral commitment. Meetings and
BEN RABINOWITz — Mayor’s Medal Greetings
honouring civilians for outstanding
service to the community, for In the last month, Board
embodying the spirit of altruism and members and staff
using his formidable legal knowledge to
fight worthy causes. • Met with executive of the Union
of Orthodox Synagogues
• Met a former president of the
American Jewish Committee
chapter of Washington DC
Rael Kaimowitz, Owen Futeran, MP Steve Swart, MPL Lydia Meshoe, Michael Bagraim
and Li Boiskin. • Hosted the Chairman of Jewish
Issues of the month Care Cape
• Durban Review Conference in
InspIr tIOn • Met with the Foreign Affairs
editor of ‘Die Burger’
• SA elections Being chosen is no longer enough, Jews must now become choosing. • Hosted the members of the
• A month of ‘remembrance’ ACDP for lunch
CAPE JEWISH CHRONICLE JUNE 2009 7
Yom Hashoah Vehagevurah at Pinelands 2 — 21 April
Owen Futeran, Chairman of the Cape Council: “Those of us Tali Nates, the director of the Johannes-
gathered here represent realistically an ever diminishing Standard bearer SAJEX Captain Howard Shagom stands in front of the burg Holocaust Centre, spoke passionately
direct living link between the generations of the survivors 1500 Capetonians who turned out to commemorate Yom HaShoah this and moved the crowd with a number of
and the dorei hemshech.” year. relevant anecdotes.
Menno de Jong spoke on
behalf of the Holocaust
survivors and recounted Moonyeen Castle, WPzC
The choir of the Green and Sea Point Hebrew Congregation his experiences in chairman delivers the
under Cantor Ivor Joffe intoned the Hazkarah and other Holland. message from the State Archbishop Lawrence Henry and the dean of St George’s
songs magnificently, and cantor Joffe’s of Israel. Cathedral Rowan Smith were among the many dignitaries
Kaddish was inspired. who attended the ceremony.
A s Owen Futeran, Board of Deputies
(Cape Council) chairman, reminded
the 1500-strong crowd at Pinelands
Cemetery on Yom Hashoah Vehagevurah,
there is, in Judaism, a sacred duty to
remember the souls of the departed.
According to British Chief Rabbi Jonathan
Sacks, the act of remembering is one of Maurice Kushner assists survivor Clara Soriano
our most important halachic responses kindle a memorial flame while her grandson
to tragedy and to live in a way so that Louis looks on. Auschwitz survivor,
those who died “al kiddush Hashem” Miriam Lichterman,
live with us and carry us forward. gave an emotionally
Since the late 1940s, Holocaust A Yiddish and Ladino poem was recited emotionally charged reading of the
commemorative functions and edu- by Adv. Joy Wilkin and Auschwitz-survivor Sara English translation of
cational programmes have been held in Jerusalmi respectively. the Partisan Song.
Cape Town. Even during the war mass
memorial meetings were organised in Photos by Shawn Benjamin
the City Hall by the Board of Deputies
and the Zionist Council, when Jewish
businesses would be closed and the hall
packed out. Since 1976, Yom Hashoah
ceremonies have been held at Pinelands
No 2 and form one of the major events Herzlia Head Students, Abigail Gotleib and
organised by the Board of Deputies. Daniel Tadmor recite poems in Hebrew and
This year the guest speaker was English.
Tali Nates, the director of the new
Johannesburg Holocaust Centre which
hopes to open later this year. A child of
Holocaust survivors — her father was
one of the people rescued by Oscar
Schindler — she has been extensively
involved in Holocaust and genocide Holocaust survivor Bella Deputy Mayor Grant
education both here and in Poland and Sigufa lit a memorial Haskins represented
Rwanda. flame. the city of Cape Town.
Tali devoted her talk to the one a half
million children killed during the Shoah,
and there were few dry eyes in the Holocaust survivor Shmuel Keren with his son
audience as she gave some poignant Avi stand by the lit memorial flame.
Menno de Jong spoke on behalf of the
survivors, telling the audience how he
spent the war years in hiding on a Dutch
farm — for two years of which he lived
in a locked room with his parents, often
hiding under straw. Of his school class,
there were only three survivors. Every
teacher was killed.
This year’s service was particularly
well attended and was a fitting tribute to
the memory of the millions who died in Commander Trunell Morom David Slevin lays a wreath on behalf of the SA
Two members of the Young Lions from of the SA Navy lays a Jewish ex-Service League while Henry Werb of
the Shoah. Manenberg sound the ‘Last Post’. commemorative wreath. Machal/Nachal looked on.
To view all images of the Yom Hashoah service go to http://www.arkimages.com
8 CAPE JEWISH CHRONICLE JUNE 2009
‘If I am not for myself, who am I, but if I am only for myself, what am I? And if not now, when?’ hillel
W inter has arrived and with it, the cold wet
weather. For many, winter is not a threatening
time, being fortunate enough to enjoy warm shelter,
often devastating results, launches its WINTER
Kindly assist us in our collection of clothing,
appropriate clothing, heating and nutritious food. blankets, baby items and non-perishable food
Sadly, for too many of our Cape residents, this is items.
not the case. All goods may be dropped off at the Samson Centre,
The Outreach Committee of the Jewish Board of 87 Hatfield Street. These will be appropriately
Deputies (Cape Council), as part of its ongoing distributed by the Salvation Army.
commitment to the wider community, and in Monetary contributions must bear the reference
anticipation of the harsh weather to come with its ‘Winter Appeal’.
The banking details are:
Branch: Adderley Street
SA Jewish Board of Deputies (Cape
Account number: 40-6049-3647
Branch code: 312109
Account type: current
We knoW ThAT We cAn
relY on our communITY’S
generoSITY of SpIrIT And
cIvIc mIndedneSS And AcTS
of gemIlluT chASSIdIm.
Become part of
Get onto the Board of
and have your say.
We are calling for
for election by postal ballot
continued from page 6
“I met an elderly lady from Amsterdam
who went and fetched a family member
with seven children of her own. ‘Your
father always helped everybody, now
it’s my turn,’ she had said.”
In February 1945 she heard that Anne
Frank had arrived at Bergen-Belsen a
few months earlier and was in another
part of the camp.
“I called Anna and Peter’s mother
(whose family had been in hiding with
the Franks) answered, saying she would
“After some minutes, a very weak
voice called me and it was Anna.”
Anna had explained that they had
been in hiding in her father’s office but
that “we were betrayed. I have nobody
Pick-Goslar, who was in a better part of
the camp, was able to smuggle in food
for Anna on several occasions before
she was evacuated and put on a train
to Terezin. She died shortly afterwards
without knowing that her father had
been liberated from Auschwitz the
CAPE JEWISH CHRONICLE JUNE 2009 9
10 CAPE JEWISH CHRONICLE JUNE 2009
WESTERN PROVINCE ZIONIST COUNCIL
‘They did not die in vain’ Hirsh Goodman spells it out
H irsh Goodman, noted
becoming a viable possibility.
Hamas and Fatah have totally
different worldviews, he said.
founder of the Jerusalem There was not a word, protest
Report, enthralled a group of or call to intifada from the
Media Committee members Palestinians in the West
and WP Zionist Council Bank during the Gaza War.
honorary officers last month This was because they knew
with an informative and that Hamas executed many
refreshing talk on media top Fatah personnel in Gaza
issues and the Middle East. during the war, according to
Hirsh explained that for many years he Human Rights Watch. The rift between
has been part of a ‘think tank’ at Tel the perspectives of the two groups is
Aviv University, which gathers some of widening, he said, and a ‘three-state-
the best minds in the country to “think solution’ is therefore becoming a
outside the box” about Israel’s security realistic option.
and how the media interprets it. Hirsh brought a fresh and insightful
Hirsh works with Israel’s public approach to the group, who are always
diplomacy and attempts to co-ordinate interested in new perspectives from
and plan how the media will react to the region and steps towards solutions
security issues. This think tank knew for the conflict. He brought up-to-the-
about the Gaza operation beforehand; minute ideas to the table, leaving the
and because of their planning on group motivated to continue working
how to frame the events, the media towards a balanced media on Middle
Herzlia’s Memorial Room for the fallen soldiers. response was a lot better than it could East issues.
have been. In his address to the community in
Y om Hazikaron 2009 was a This kind of thinking ahead is a result the Gardens Shul at Cape Town’s Yom
multifaceted and thought-provoking of events such as Jenin in 2002, “where Ha’atzmaut celebrations Hirsh spoke
event. The focus of the evening was Herzlia Middle and the whole world thought we were with tremendous passionate about
on the outstanding film ‘Blessed is
the Match’, about the life and death
High Schools conducting a massacre”.
This blatant untruth came about
Israel’s achievements, its democracy,
the honesty in its systems of checks
of Hannah Senesh. Although it was Yom Hazikaron is a very special and because of a lack of cohesion in and balances, and its strength and
essentially in the Holocaust era, important day for the Jewish community. responses to the media, which Hirsh ability to defend itself.
Hannah’s life story unfolded to reveal It’s a day when we remember the people is now working towards co-ordinating. “If Ahmadinejad fires one missile in
the values of heroism, a belief in who sacrificed their life for the State of Such planning is usually very simple, our direction, he is dust. Iran is a push
fighting for Israel and defending one’s Israel, our homeland. and creates a unity of message, he on the button from destruction, not
people, and the loss of a young life — all The Israeli mishlachat erected three said. Israel.”
thoughts that we should focus on in Yom museums for the fallen soldiers. He also looked at the situation with His powerful address was very much
Hazikaron. The film also demonstrated Students from the Herzlia Middle and the Palestinians as it stands today, appreciated by the many who had left
that remembrance is and always will be High Schools toured the museums and how a ‘Three State Solution’ is the celebrations to come to hear him.
a feature of the Jewish past, present and and then listened to a talk given by the
future; and that the defencelessness mishlachat, about what Yom Hazikaron
of the Jews in the Holocaust is directly means to them as a South African
linked to the need for the IDF. Jew. The reaction and responses were
The event ended with a discussion by incredible and to quote a few:
Azila Reisenberger, who told personal “… With their death comes sorrow but
stories of meeting Hannah’s family their families will always be able to find
and researching her life for her MA relief in the things they fought for and
thesis. The audience were given a rich left behind …”
understanding of the heroism of ordinary …”an amazing experience, sad
individuals, from Hannah Senesh of experience that I have learnt a lot from.
the Holocaust era to the fallen Israeli I feel very sad for the people who have
soldiers since the establishment of the lost their life …”
The audience was captivated by the “… what I have seen today makes me
gripping narrative of the life of Hannah feel like I lost my family member, the
Senesh, who epitomised such values one I loved. I cannot describe the pain I
in her choices as a normal girl. Senesh feel as well as my gratitude…”
grew up in Budapest but became a “I feel grateful to belong to such a
Zionist at an early age and made aliyah powerful, giving, heroic nation”
at the outbreak of WW2. She chose to “Words can’t explain how grateful I
volunteer to parachute into Occupied feel but at the same time heartbroken.
Europe to attempt to help the Allies and These soldiers made me who I am
the partisans and to save Jews. This today.”
was based on a love for her mother
- still in Europe- and her identification
with the Jewish past in her home of WP ZIONIST COUNCIL
Budapest and the Jewish future in her
home in Palestine. HEBrEW ULpAn 2009
Throughout the film, Hannah
demonstrates that it is the choices of Hebrew Classes for beginners,
ordinary men and women that shape
history. Those who have defended the
intermediate and advanced
Jewish people since the establishment commencing Monday 20 July
of the State of Israel have continued
this legacy. 5.30 at 88 Hatfield Street,
Thank you to the organisations Albow Centre, Gardens
which made the screening possible:
WPZC; Jewish Board of Deputies (Cape Morning classes also available.
Council), Union of Jewish Women and, For info and registration, contact
of course, the Cape Town Holocaust Ilana: 0732341235/021 439 9310
CAPE JEWISH CHRONICLE JUNE 2009 11
Aliyah gimmel – Another successful Aliyah flight
the expo at the Hotel where all the ‘first steps’ of the
The Jewish Agency goes all out to welcome olim were facilitated.
the South African olim to the Kotel.
O n 22 April 15 Capetonians left on the
Aliyah Gimmel Flight, proving that once
again Ofer Dahan, director of the Israel
(The Movie Library)
The South African olim disembark from the airplane. 255 Main Road, SEA POINT 021 439-5392
Centre was right when he said, “Nothing is
Representatives from the Ministry of Interior
were on the flight with the olim to ensure that the We Stock a Large Variety Of Movies
ID Documents would be processed and ready in
24 hours. Special
Arriving in Israel on the Wednesday evening, our
olim were warmly welcomed by representatives of All Movies Only R12
Telfed, and the Jewish Agency. They spent two jam- Per Movie
packed days at a hotel in Jerusalem processing all Monday to Thursday
their first steps, including registering for medical (Excluding Public Holidays)
aid, opening bank accounts and receiving all the
information needed to start their new lives in Israel. We stock a comprehensive range of
The ceremony at the Kotel proved once again to
be a very moving and emotional experience. ISRAELI & JEWISH Movies
We are looking forward to our next Aliyah Flight
on 4 July. Selected Movies can be hired
Those who would like to sign up for this flight NO CHARGE
or open an Aliyah file should please contact
the Aliyah Department: 021 464-6718 or email The welcoming ceremony at Ben Gurion Airport where the Ministry of Log on to us at
email@example.com Absorption gave them their first set of documents. www.pyramidvideo.co.za
12 CAPE JEWISH CHRONICLE JUNE 2009
Great atmosphere at Yom Ha’atzmaut 61 ...
CAPE JEWISH CHRONICLE JUNE 2009 13
... in a new venue at the Albow piazza
14 CAPE JEWISH CHRONICLE JUNE 2009
CAPE JEWISH CHRONICLE JUNE 2009 15
UNION OF JEWISH WOMEN – CAPE TOWN
Women’s United Communal Fund
Launches its 30th Biennial Campaign
Estelle Yach Wendy Ackerman Sheila Kaplan Sheila Samson Ann Susman Lies Rabinowitz
BEV COHEN, MARGOT EPSTEIN, LAUREN FABIAN, PATRICIA FINE, COLLETTE LEVIN, DOROTHY SANK, BELLA SILVERMAN,
SILVANA SILVERMAN, GILL VAN EMDEN, ETHEL WIDAN, MARY SOLOMON
the uJW takes pride in announcing that our beneficiaries will be:
CSO – Community Security Organisation • YAD SARA – Medical equipment on loan to the Jewish Community • HEBREW PRE PRIMARY –
Special needs Education • TALMUDEI TORAH – Orthodox and Reform • Tikvah – Meals for needy Jewish families • Union of Jewish Women
Maimonides: “No one ever becomes impoverished by giving charity. Let us give graciously and with spirit fro the needs of others”.
The Union of Jewish Women thanks all our patrons and benefactors, as well as all those who have sponsored us so
generously over many years. We depend on your support, and any contribution you wish to make is always most welcome …
Union of Jewish Women P O Box 339 Sea Point 8060
16 CAPE JEWISH CHRONICLE JUNE 2009
CAPE JEWISH CHRONICLE JUNE 2009 17
Inspiring address by Keren Hayesod emissary Ami segev
D uring May the UJC was
privileged to host Israeli
Emissary Ami Segev.
Ami has had a distinguished
military career and was a highly
decorated leader of the Israel
He donates a week of his time
annually to assist the UJC in its
efforts to raise sufficient funds
to the meet the needs of our
beneficiaries. With him he brings
a wealth of ‘insider’ information Col. Ami Segev, Tali Ginsberg and Gerald Eddie and Moonyeen Castle with Geoff Jennifer and Amanda Herman with Gerald
Kleinman. Friedlander. Goott.
and experience — assets which
he is able to use to educate all
those he encounters in issues
regarding the current situation
in Israel, global affairs and how
these affect Israeli and Diaspora
On Tuesday 5 May, Ami
addressed a gathering in the
Nelson Mandela Auditorium of
the Albow Centre. He captivated
everybody’s attention as he
Barry Levitt, Brian Goldberg and Marco Van
focused on pertinent current Embden.
issues that concern all. These Simone and Robert Sulcas. Leonard Reitstein, Ruth Goldberg and Myra Swersky.
included the looming threats
against Israel and Israel’s
capacity to defend itself against
such threats, and the possibility
of a two-state solution for Israel
and the Palestinians.
This was a unique opportunity
for his audience and the UJC
looks forward to future visits by
Ami, when we will have more
time to bring his knowledge to
a broader audience from within
Esta Levitas and Tamar Lazarus. Daniela Peiser with Jade Avinir. Robert Lewenson, Tali Ginsberg, Darryl Oberstein and Fiona Sacks.
Chabad West Coast enjoys its double ‘welcome’ celebrations
A Torah from Welkom and a brand new school wing see page 1
Welkomites Raymond Klitzner and Jeff
Borstrock dance with the Welkom Torah
being dedicated to The Shul of Blouberg Ward Councillor Mayoral Committee member Ian
- West Coast. The Torah surrounded by local Welkomites rejoicing in the celebration. Neilson with Rabbis Popack and Deren.
T he lively double celebration at West
Coast Chabad in April continued,
with the ceremony moving on to the
was taking place on the birthday of
the Lubavitcher Rebbe, of righteous
memory, who was personally involved
second level of the Gan Chamesh in the founding of Chabad of Cape
Pre-school, where a new wing was Town.
being dedicated. It now boasts a new Ward Councillor Ian Neilson brought
fully equipped Montessori classroom, greetings from the city of Cape Town
indoor Arts and Recreation room, new and congratulated the community on
bathrooms, and a covered walkway, its continuous growth.
increasing the school’s intake capacity The mezuzah was affixed by Gary
by fifty percent. Milner on behalf of the Moshal family of
The renovation, which was made London, long-time patrons of the West
possible by a grant from Foundation Coast community. Chanale Deren, a
2000 and numerous participating Cape student at the school, then cut the
Town families, began in late 2008 and ceremonial ribbon, assisted by her
was completed in the first few months mother, Rebbetzin Zeesy Deren, who
of 2009. directs the school, and to the cries of
Rabbi Mendel Popack, director of “Mazel Tov!” the celebration continued,
Chanale Deren cuts the ribbon
Chabad Lubavitch of the Cape, opened with a delicious lunch, l’chaims and lots to the new classroom, assisted
the proceedings, noting that the event of laughter and joy throughout the day. gary milner affixes the mezuzah on behalf of the
Moshal family of London. by her mother Rebbetzin zeesy
18 CAPE JEWISH CHRONICLE JUNE 2009
Family Announcements nechama
9 Gorge Road, Highlands Estate Tel: 021 465-9390
Fax: 021 462-5866 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
ENGAGEMENT CONDOLENCES — THANK YOU
Your questions answered —
GILLIS - GRADNER / GODFREY MAURICE BEILINSOHN
by Rabbi Dr Abraham Twerski
Arthur, Lauren, Annette, Wray,
Sandra and Raymond are thrilled to
Adele Beilinsohn and family would
like to warmly thank all those who
R abbi Dr. Abraham J. Twerski is a scion of a Chassidic dynasty. He is also a
psychiatrist and founder of the Gateway Rehabilitation Center in Pittsburgh, a
leading programme for substance abuse. Here, he answers readers’ question on
announce the engagement of their offered their condolences and the topic of death and mourning.
children Ashli and Brian sympathies on the passing of our QUESTION: I was at a shivah call where constructively. Some people have
email@example.com beloved Maurice. you were present, and I heard you misguided ideas. When I practised as a
discourage the wife of the deceased rabbi and officiated at a funeral, it was
Your support was touching and
from taking tranquilisers. I don’t often difficult to get the family members
SACKS / GOODWIN understand that. Is it really a mitzvah to remain at the cemetery until the
to suffer when one can get relief? burial was completed, and then say
It is with immense gratitude to MARJORIE MINDE ANSWER: No, there is no mitzvah to Kaddish, as Jewish law requires. Some
Hashem that the engagement has suffer if one can get safe relief. The people would urge having the family
been announced between Lesley, The family of the late key word is ‘safe’. In general, pain does leave before the actual burial, to ‘spare
daughter of Evelyn and Harry Sacks Marjorie Minde would like to not provide healing. It is different with them the pain’.
and Bernard, son of Isa and express our thanks for all the grief, which, while very distressing, is Judaism is not cruel. Presence at the
the late Arthur Goodwin, support, care and compassion important in healing. burial is a component of accepting the
of Johannesburg. shown to us at the time of her When someone has lost a loved one, difficult reality that the loved one is
tragic death. the survivor must deal with the reality gone, so that the survivors can make
We are ecstatic about this
David and Hilary Kaplan, Stan and of the loss and be able to go on with the adjustment to the new reality.
Pam Joffe, Naty and Sandra Kagan life. Failure to grieve the loss prevents Refusing to accept reality stands in the
and their families. the necessary adjustment to the new way of readjusting to life.
RECUPERATION - THANK YOU reality. If the grief is in any way averted, Judaism does not approve of a
it may show up at a much later time as quilted coffin. It is ridiculous to think
FRED SANDERS RUTH KLEIN ‘unresolved grief’’, which can be very that the deceased can be made more
disruptive, and is difficult to treat. comfortable. A ‘more comfortable’
Tessa and I herewith express our We wish to thank all our family Tranquilisers may be used very briefly. coffin is really a refusal to accept
most sincere thanks to the many and friends, the nurses and However, it should be remembered the reality of death. It is sometimes
family members and friends who support staff and all her friends that tranquilisers are a medicine, and hypocritical when children who were
sent cards and gifts and made at Highlands House for their medicine should be used only when not properly attentive to their parents
phone calls, visited and voiced messages and words of sympathy there is illness. Grief is not an illness. during their lifetime suddenly become
concern about my condition during on the passing of our beloved It is a normal feeling. Grief requires devoted and spend huge amounts of
my recent extended hospitalisation. mother, grandmother and empathy and support, but does not money on an ornate coffin because “we
Your repeated messages of support
great-grandmother. require ‘treatment’. Furthermore, want to give Mom the best”.
frequent use of tranquilisers can result There is a safe use for tranquilisers,
and encouragement were highly She was an Eshet Chayil, a caring
in a dangerous addiction. but they should not be used in an
valued, and very much appreciated. person and a woman of valour.
The laws of mourning prescribed attempt to avoid acceptance of a
With deep gratitude We will miss her. by Judaism help a person to grieve difficult reality.
Lovingly remembered and sorely
missed by her daughter Marion 5th BIENNIAL NECHAMA SEMINAR
Levine, grandchildren Barbara
ErrOrs, OMIssIOns AnD COrrECtIOns
and Gerald Saacks, Jeffrey and ‘from mourning To morning – Insights Into grief And healing’
The Cape Jewish Chronicle regrets
Charmaine Levine and her eight
any errors or omissions that may
occur in the paper and, where
great-grandchildren. Cape Town Hebrew Congregation
possible, will attempt to rectify these Hatfield St, Gardens
in a subsequent issue, should such a
measure be deemed appropriate.
ALEC TROSS Wednesday 5 August
No repeat advertisement or credits
We extend our heartfelt thanks 9 am – 2 pm
will be given for small typographical
for the kindness, support and
errors which do not appreciably lessen R300.00 per person including tea and brunch
condolences received on the
the value of the advertisement. The
passing of our beloved husband,
appearance of an advertisement does
father, grandfather and A variety of excellent professionals will be
not necessarily indicate approval by
the Editorial Board for the product or
great-grandfather. addressing us
service advertised, and it takes no Tross family Programme subject to change
responsibility for any loss or damage
suffered by any person as a result FOR REGISTRATION please call Justine on 021 465-9390
of the reliance upon the information To place a family announcement phone or email firstname.lastname@example.org
contained therein. Tessa 021 464-6736 (am)
Rubi and Anne
Chaitman DAVID AND
Foundation MERLE HORWITZ
THE CAPE JEWISH COMMUNITY RECORDS ITS GRATITUDE AND APPRECIATION TO OU
Meyer HirscH Paul Arieli
of the Goldschmidt
Foundation Family Trust
CAPE JEWISH CHRONICLE JUNE 2009 19
Fond farewells at the Samson Centre
D uring May, fare-
wells were said
on two occasions at
the Samson Centre to
people who have for
decades been integral
— though in different
‘fields’ — to a number
of our communal
The departure of Jack
and Riva Tworetzky,
who left Cape Town
for Sydney towards
the end of May, was
reported on the front
page of the last issue.
The Chronicle Editorial
Board expressed their Heather Arendse, Anita Shenker, Gerald Kleinman, Rose Arendse and Don
own regrets at their Finberg at the farewell tea for Heather and Rose.
CJC Editorial Board chairman, Ben-zion Surdut, with Riva and Jack
treasurer’s leaving and Tworetzky after presenting them with a painting for the walls of
wished the couple a warm ‘lehitraot’ at a Wednesday lunchtime gathering in the Boardroom. their future home in Sydney.
The Boardroom was the scene of another parting when the entire staff of the
Forever young – when you volunteer!
Samson Centre bade a tearful farewell to Rose Arendse and Heather Arendse (not
related). Rose began working as an 18-year-old some 40 years ago at Zealand
House, and was later joined by Heather at Leeusig House, subsequently moving
across with the organisations to Hatfield Street. These two friends and colleagues Two valued members of the Astra family
have been valued members of our communal family for decades.
H ilda Shenker, born in Upington, lived absolutely passionate
in Pretoria for many years, where about her garden at
she had her own beautiful garden. the Centre. She is
She moved to Cape Town over 20 years there every Monday
ago, “swopping her garden for the sea”. at 7.00am, rain or
At the time, Sara Pascal, introduced shine.
Hilda to Astra Jewish Sheltered Hilda works purely
Employment Centre and suggested she on instinct, chooses Hilda Shenker
got involved and start a garden. She the plants personally,
gave Hilda some plants from her own and does all the ‘spadework’ herself!
We invite you to visit us in our stunning garden. Hilda recalls that there was no She takes immense pride in her work.
soil to work with and she had to start by The result is the stunning garden that
NEW SHOWROOM" making her own compost! she has created and maintains, whose
Her other interests include playing beauty is enjoyed by the staff, workers
tennis, cooking and baking but she is and all who visit the Centre.
M arcia Orlin, who turns 81 this
month, is a retired special
education teacher, having worked for
many years with autistic children. has enabled her
After retiring 16 years ago, she to engage with the
volunteered to assist at Astra workers, inspiring
Jewish Sheltered Employment in the and motivating them.
workshops, using her creative skills They look forward to Marcia Orlin
as well as her experience of teaching their sessions with
people with special needs to be her, learning new skills or improving on
productive. existing ones.
Marcia is exceptionally talented Prior to the establishment of Coffee
and creative, enjoying embroidery, Time, Marcia used to bake with some
needlework and creating miniatures of the Vriende House residents.
of all sorts of objects She is a member With so many interests and activities
of the ‘Miniature Society’. She also keeping her busy, Marcia still manages
teaches English to Xhosa speaking to assist with the baking at Coffee Time
children. every week.
AND THE BONUS … Hilda Shenker and Marcia Orlin met at Astra Jewish Sheltered
Employment Centre where they were both working as volunteers, and discovered
they were actually neighbours! They have become firm friends sharing interests
other than the Centre.
With compliments The Susman
The Jack & Ethel Charitable
UR PATRONS FOR THEIR GENEROUS SPONSORSHIP OF THE ‘CAPE JEWISH CHRONICLE’
20 CAPE JEWISH CHRONICLE JUNE 2009
union oF ortHodoX synaGoGues oF soutH aFrica
Birkat Hachama draws hundreds BH
What’s love got to do with it?
O nce every 28
years the sun
is in the same
by Rabbi Levi Silman
position that it was
in on the day it was
W e have just concluded the seven students of Rabbi
weeks between Pesach and Akiva”?
Shavuot, which is a special time. One cannot be
created. At this
Everyday we counted the Omer — a 49 simul t ane ou sl y
special time we
step programme to perfection. Each on both sides of
recite a blessing
day corresponds to another Kabbalistic the coin!
to Hashem to
Sefirah (Divine Attribute) which we work We must
to incorporate into our everyday lives. conclude that
For the duration of this seven week they did indeed
This year, 14
period we looked forward to reaching have love for each
the 50th step — Shavuot, the time of other, and a whole
the giving of the Torah, which is the lot of it at that, and
culmination of Pesach, the Festival of for this reason, to this very day, they are
8 April 2009,
Rabbi Mendel Popack recites tehillim at the Birkat Hachama our Liberation. given the honorary title of Rabbi Akiva’s
marked this ceremony, with from left, Rabbi Osher Feldman of the Gardens
Everything has a flip side to it. And Students. The problem then could only
special event. Shul, Rabbi Asher Deren of The Shul in Table View and Rabbi while we counted our days to perfection, be that they had too much love for each
Yoram Bogacz, Moshe Ordman of the Yeshiva of Cape Town in the background.
we also observed a period of semi- other. So much love that it came to a
an expert in
mourning. point where they wanted the others to
The Talmud tells us of a tragic episode be as great as them and they didn’t love
involving the students of the great sage and accept each other just for who the
visited Cape Town
Rabbi Akiva. During the time between other person was.
on 24 March,
Pesach and Shavuot some 24,000 of Often we feel the need to advise our
and spoke at
them passed away. The reason? They friends, family and neighbours what
didn’t have proper respect for one we think is best for them. We are quick
another. to offer our advice and save our loved
Can this really be? The Torah ones from what we consider to be
also at a public
commands us to love our fellow Jew as spiritual self-destruction. But perhaps
ourself. Rabbi Akiva taught that this is we should consider whether someone
the significance of
the great principle of the Torah. Could it else’s behaviour is really unkosher.
possibly be that his own students didn’t Or is it just that he follows a different
Chief Rabbi Dr
follow his legendary teaching? And if custom, another path, but one that
indeed they did not follow his instruction, leads to the same destiny?
was the driving
why do we still refer to them as “the There is a legend that it was time
force behind a The crowded piazza. for the long awaited Messiah to finally
come. So Hashem sends him down
to initiate public awareness of
this occurrence. He organised
unified communal events to
In and around Cape Town to the Jewish people. He comes to a
shul, but they reject him saying that
he’s wearing a leather yarmy, and in
recite the blessing in five cities:
this town we wear knitted ones. So he
Johannesburg, Cape Town, Durban,
puts on a knitted yarmy and goes to the
Pretoria and Port Elizabeth.
next town but they say that the Messiah
All shuls in the Cape Peninsula
must be like them, and wear a velvet
encouraged their congregants to
yarmy. And so it goes on.
join together for one minyan to be
He comes back to Hashem and says,
held at the Gardens Shul and the
“What shall I do? The people don’t
UOS Cape distributed booklets
explaining and detailing the
A lesson from the Omer period is to
procedure, printed by the Chief
love our fellow Jew unconditionally and
not to look for ways to change him or
For the over five hundred
her. Of course we always want what is
attendees who gathered for the
best for our friends, but the fact that at
Shacharit service — hardly a
the moment they’re not where we hope
regular number — it was truly awe
for them to be shouldn’t take away from
our love for them.
At the conclusion of the service
Wishing you and yours a happy and
Rabbi Mendel Popack studied the
end of Masechet Tamid, in order Rabbi Moshe Ordman, Rosh Yeshiva of Cape Town, delivers an inspiring talk at the
that all first born males could Union of Jewish Women's annual Pesach Luncheon.
partake in a siyum.
Rabbi Osher Feldman of the
Gardens Shul asked all those
present to gather in the piazza for
the formal ceremony of reciting
the bracha for Birkat Hachama.
Rabbi Matthew Liebenberg of
the Claremont/Wynberg Hebrew
Congregation and head of the
Rabbinical Association opened the
ceremony, with each of the local
rabbis saying special tehillim.
Rabbi Desmond Maizels, a dayan
of the Cape Beth Din, then recited
the blessing together with the
community, after which all were
treated to a sumptuous breakfast
catered by Café Riteve.
What a way to move into Pesach
— the festival of our freedom - Mrs Miriam Lichterman and Mrs Sara Jerusalmi with
inspired, encouraged and with the the Italian Consul at the Shearith Hapletha dinner held
Members of Sephardi Hebrew Congregation at the dinner.
knowledge that ‘Am Yisrael Chai’. at Sephardi Hebrew Congregation.
CAPE JEWISH CHRONICLE JUNE 2009 21
UJW fundraising projects bring light to many
Kesher group raises over R170,000 Baz Bus shares birthday with
in glamorous fundraiser Masikhululeke Crèche
Barry zeidel of Baz Bus hands cheque to Children from the creche at the Baz Bus
Nxolo Dlabantu, creche principal. party.
B az Bus, a door-to-door back-
packer bus service, celebrated
their 13th birthday by partying with the
handed over a donation of R13,000
which will go into the building fund.
children of the Masikhululeke Crèche in
Joe Slovo, Milnerton, as part of their
‘give back’ day.
They arrived with party food, packs
of crayons and colouring in books and
a clown to entertain the children. The
morning ended with a talk by crèche
principal Nxolo Dlabantu about the
Members of the UJW's Kesher Group at their ‘Glamour in the City’ fundraiser. Back: plans which she and the UJW Kesher
Michelle Cohen, Jane Plit and Jann Saven. Middle: Cathy Barnett, Laura Wisenberg, group have to build a second classroom.
Karen Shandel, Helene Rabinowitz, Toby Shenker, Peta Feldman and Barbara Gurwitz. Barry Zeidel, the company founder,
Front: Silvana Silverman (chairman), Dana Goldberg, Audrey Bieler, Adele Klitzner and
U sing the theme of ‘Glamour in the Na’arot’s novel Tzedakah Project
City’, the Union of Jewish Women’s a’arot Group have launched an stickers with a similar message are
Kesher Group raised enough money to easy way of giving tzedakah. The given to children at the end of a party,
build a new classroom and upgrade the next time you’re invited for Shabbat or in lieu of a party pack.
playground of the Masikululeke Creche for dinner, instead of giving the usual The funds raised from these projects
in Joe Slovo, Milnerton. box of chocolates, buy from Na’arot an are used to buy Pick n Pay food
An entertaining morning of makeovers, oversized box of Lions matches labeled vouchers for the two underprivileged
hairstyling, fashion and glamour was ‘In lieu of a gift, thank you for lighting up crèches we support in Samora Machel
held at the Centre of the Book in Cape the life of a hungry child’. The amount and Kayamandi.
Town, hosted by MC Julian Mc Naidoo you would have spent on a gift is the Call Jodi at 021 434-6022 / 073
from Heart Radio 104.9. donation you make to us. 4241884 for the matchboxes and
Upon arrival, the ladies were treated This concept follows on from our very party pack stickers. Also available are
to a charming singing performance successful and ongoing ‘Hungry Child gift certificates in lieu of birthday gifts,
by several children from the crèche, Party Pack’ campaign, where colourful anniversaries etc.
after which they were given ‘goodie
bags’ with donated gifts valued at over
R300. The highly entertaining Reto
Carmichael of Reto Hair selected three
volunteers from the audience who International Council Of Jewish Women
were then ‘transformed’ with stunning
haircuts and blow waves. Next up was
Robin Mc Broom, national training
manager for MAC MakeUup, who
Convention 6 - 12 May 2010
answered questions from the audience
and together with his team did full
makeovers on eager volunteers.
The morning was most informative for Beyachad – UBUntU – together
the glamour conscious women looking
for up-to-date fashion ideas and useful
make up tips. Further entertainment Jewish Women United – IcJW a century
was provided by the ‘gorgeous’ drag
artiste Deon Bisschoff, shoes modelled of achievement – the Future Beckons
by Errol Arendz, and the Out of Africa
This excellent function would not have
been possible without the generosity of Hosted by the
hundreds of donors throughout the City
Union of Jewish Women
The Kesher group has been assisting of Cape Town
the Masikululeke Creche for eight years
by providing essential equipment,
learning materials and much needed
food. Presently it educates 64 children
between the ages of 3 and 7. The
principal, Nxolo Dlabantu, provides day
care for 23 babies and toddlers in the
lounge of her small house. However, For further enquiries please contact:
thanks to 18 months of successful Union of Jewish Women
fundraising, plans for building the new Telephone 021 434 9555
classroom are already well under way.
22 CAPE JEWISH CHRONICLE JUNE 2009
Cape Town Progressive Jewish Congregation
consider This Cozy Collections and Countdowns ...
by Rabbi Greg Alexander
O ne might easily question the social
significance of the counting of the
TISA. (Temple Israel Social Action) has
chosen to focus on the Omer as a way
Laughter and Death Omer in contemporary urban South
Africa. This practice of marking the
to raise social consciousness. As we
count down towards Shavuot, we in the
W e live in uncertain times in a
society undergoing profound
changes and challenges. Death is
to die. The man in whose feast you
shared, and who said to you, ‘Of this
wine, I will store away a portion for
forty-nine days between Pesach and
Shavuot has its roots in our ancestors’
agricultural practices and Temple
southern hemisphere also count down
the weeks until the heavy rains begin
and the destitute suffer from floods,
not an easy subject for anyone to talk my son’s wedding feast,’ lo, his child’s offerings. homelessness etc.
about, especially our own. But the time has come. He is to be snatched So how does that relate to us today? We have been collecting clothes, non
most difficult deaths are those for away after thirty days.” Neither are we farmers, nor can we perishable foodstuffs and blankets, but
which we have no words at all. (Midrash D’varim Rabbah 9) walk to Jerusalem, and living in the in addition are also collecting recycled
A parent should never have to bury a The story sounds like a classic southern hemisphere we are expecting materials such as newspaper, fabric
child, and how can one explain those ghost tale. A party filled with joy and rains rather than summer harvest. offcuts, wool and empty milk-juice
painful and difficult deaths of people celebration makes way for the dark The Omer reminds us of harvest time tetra pack boxes to make waterproof
who should have lived to a fullness of night on a dangerous road, with a lone and the story of Ruth that we read on sleeping mats and covers.
years? traveller meeting none other than the Shavuot. In this story we consider how We would love to extend this initiative
There is a dark midrashic story that ‘grim reaper’. But the tragedy of the property owners opened their fields up further into the whole Jewish community,
points precisely to the painful mystery midrash is all too real — at every bris we to the poor, allowing them to glean after inviting all who are interested, young
of this question: bless the child with the expectation of the harvest. We explore the mitzvah of and old, to contribute and to join us on
Rabbi Shimon ben Chalafta went to Torah study, good deeds and standing loving the stranger, as Ruth (a convert) Sunday June 7 for the creative sleeping
a bris. The father of the child made a under the chuppah at his wedding. supports her Jewish mother-in-law in mats workshop.
feast and gave those present 7 year- This bris was no different, with the times of hardship. We also remember We will also be collecting bikkurim for
old wine to drink. He said to them: “Of proud parents breaking out the best the imperative of ‘Veahavtah lereacha the poor and will distribute via Haven
this wine, I will store away a portion for wine available and expectantly putting Kamocha’ (loving your neighbour as Homes in Woodstock. Contact Teri for
my son’s wedding feast.” some aside for the next great simchah. you would love yourself), a principal further details: 072 0750498
The feast continued until midnight. Only that simchah was never to come. that Rabbi Akiva’s students had to learn Let this be a time of self accounting
Rabbi Shimon, who trusted in his own For Jews it is a mitzvah to celebrate through sickness and mourning. and of counting our blessings.
strength, left at midnight to return to the start of life of a boy or girl and the
his city. On the road the Angel of Death coming together of two lovers under As I write this we are still in the period
of the counting of the Omer. Each day
Herbert Hirsch honoured
met him and Rabbi Shimon noticed he the wedding canopy. In the rituals azaltov to
was laughing. Rabbi Shimon asked that surround these moments we give we add one more to the count of the
the angel, “Who are you?” meaning and structure to the cycle days from Pesach to Shavuot. We mark
Hirsch for the
The latter answered, “I am God’s of life. Yet life and love are two of the the steps taken by the Bnei Yisrael
messenger.” things over which we have absolutely from slavery in Egypt to revelation
He asked him, “Why are you no control. We rely on the rituals to at Sinai. As we count the days, may
being one of the
laughing?” give us order and understanding, and we count our days. May we rejoice in
The angel, “On account of the talk of yet ultimately we must realise that we the blessings and gain strength for
human beings. They say, ‘This and that can only plan and hope. meeting the challenges. And may each
a gold medal at
we will do,’ and yet not one of them And so it is with death. The Angel of day be an opportunity for celebration,
the Civic Awards
knows when he will be summoned Death laughs at our chutzpah. reflection and gratitude.
by the City of Cape Town on 16 April
Shabbat Magic at Temple Israel Wynberg 2009. Herbert, a retired Sea Point
resident , has dedicated much of his
W hat was the simchah that
saw our shul packed to
overflowing on a rainy Friday
life to community matters – particularly
from an economic development
evening in April? Was it a big
barmitzvah? Or an international
celebrity guest speaker? Netzer
No, it was Shabbat Magic, a
magical shabbos evening at Mini
Temple Israel Wynberg.
Not just the inspirational service Machaneh
with everyone joining in. Not just
the great food and company or the
crowds of children; but crowned
10 – 12 July in
off with a mystifying feat of magic beautiful Glencairn
from illusionist Larry Soffer. Grades 1 – 12
All shabbatot are magic, but this
one had something extra-special. Mark Nicholson, Roy Lipman and his daughter Gabi. For more information
Or phone 021 464 6761
B’sha’ot tovot ...
Some of the many children waiting anxiously for the show to
Graeme Gordon, Anton Chait and Jonathan Ackerman. begin.
ThIS pAge IS co-SponSored BY The dAvId And BerThA ShermAn foundATIon
CAPE JEWISH CHRONICLE JUNE 2009 23
A world boxing champ in our midst
Robert Cohen is interviewed by Irma Chait
A ‘little bird’ informed me that among
us in Cape Town was a really major
celebrity of earlier days — Robert
15 rounds. His
hand was tightly
strapped in his
Cohen, the former world bantamweight gloves and he was
boxing champion — and that he had an so fired to win that,
interesting story. he says, he didn’t
Well, as I was to discover from Zita, feel the pain. Not
Robert’s wife when I visited them in then.
their flat in Sea Point, theirs certainly The match was
was a fascinating tale, not only covering declared a draw,
Robert’s boxing career, but also the though Robert
personal details of his courtship of, and insists that was not
53 year marriage with Zita. the right decision
Admittedly, since I cannot speak as he had in fact
French, and Robert’s (pronounced Rob- knocked Toweel
air’s) English is not too good, it was Zita out in that second
who directed the narrative, with Robert round – he says
adding in his penny’s — or rather franc’s the ref, deliberately Above: The world champion in
action in the 1950s. On right:
worth, where necessary. ounted slowly! So Robert and zita Cohen in their
Robert was born and grew up in Bone the world champ sea Point flat 2009.
in Algeria in November 1930, the fifth he remained.
of fourteen sibings. A keen sportsman, It is well to note that Zita, now about to element”, just as she had felt when English “I have had a good life …” and
he favoured boxing and at age 19, be his fiancée, did not go to the match. they were living in Paris. then both touched and amused when
he moved on to Paris to further his “I hate boxing!” … as she repeats Despite that, near the end of our three- Zita translated the few words he had
training. Not long afterwards the ‘Little throughout our talk. way discussion, I was very touched added in French, – “My wife is the only
Algerian’ as he was known, became After the fight Robert took his title and when Robert smilingly remarked in one who knocked me out.”
the French Bantamweight Champion broken hand back to Paris, leaving Zita
and in the years following, from 1950 to return with her family to the Congo.
to 1956, the European and then the When he called his mother in Bone to
World champ. tell her he was engaged to an African
I couldn’t help asking if, as in the woman, her response was a shocked
case of many young men of old, he had “African?” – with huge relief to hear
been drawn to boxing as a response to that the fiancée was white Jewess.
being called “a bloody Jew”! He said But the fiancee’s Belgian Congo family
no. Zita thought otherwise — “He was were not 100% sure about this marriage,
aggressive.” so off they went with her via Brussels
It was in 1995, while in South Africa to suss out the situation, only to find
to defend his world title against Willie that Robert was indeed a celebrity,
Toweel that he met up with the beautiful with a bunch of reporters waiting for
18-year-old ‘Élisabethville-ian’ (Belgian them with Robert at the Paris station.
Congo) Zita Hasson, while she was on Robert, a wealthy celebrity, made sure
holiday with her family in Durban. Robert that they were accommodated and
was there to fight in an exhibition match feted in style.
before the Johannesburg title fight. “I was very flattered,” says
I have to say that their story, as Zita. “Remember, I came from
described by Zita, was the most Élisabethville.”
entertaining and at times hilarious And so they married in Paris in January
account of any love story I’ve ever 1956, with Zita’s only family presence
heard. Together with the boxing, there’s that of her Turkish Sephardi father,
great film potential here. Leon, and her Lithuanian mother,
But that is not the matter for Sarah.
discussion now. We must focus on our As mentioned, their personal story is
bantamweight. long and novel-ish. I have it all logged
The arena moves on to Johannesburg in my notebook. Suffice it to say that it
September 1955, where Robert has was Zita who determined its progress,
to defend the world title he won the at least as regards the boxing and
previous year before 70,000 people, where they would live.
including the lovely newly married Robert’s last match was the defence
queen and her king of Thailand (or was — and loss — of his title in June 1956
it Siam then?) in Bangkok. in Rome. A defeat that he feels was
When he got to Johannesburg, Robert orchestrated, or as he puts it, ‘fixed’,
explains, he needed sparring partners. when it was stopped. Perhaps one can
His manager organised black boxers get a fuller idea by googling Robert’s
from a local compound. All was going well name on the net.
till the police stepped in and stopped Thereafter, from 1957 to 2001, the
them — “No shaking hands here!” All Cohens lived in Élisabethville (renamed
of Robert’s protests and arguing were Lubumbashe in 1972), where Robert
in vain. And, as he now notes “Africans initially had his own boxing academy,
are the best sportsmen.” training and kitting (without charge)
Well … at the Toweel fight on 19 young boxers, some of whom left to
September, there were some 45 000 achieve fame and fortune outside of
people, the vast majority, other than the Congo.
the (few) Jews, rooting for Toweel. Robert then put boxing aside and ran
His other fan base were his erstwhile his father-in-law’s textile factories for
sparring partners and a large crowd about 40 years, till ill health caused
of African fans, standing apart in their their departure from Élisabethville for
allotted section. their base in Brussels. For some eight
It was a tough fight, largely because years have been spending six months
Robert was not well. He had in fact there and six months here in Cape
tried to postpone the fight. Still he Town, where two of their three sons
floored Toweel twice in the second reside — and two young grandchildren.
round, breaking his (Robert’s) hand in Surprisingly, Zita acknowledges that
the process. Nonetheless he fought during all those years in Élisabethville
on like the champ he was for the full Robert was “completely out of his
24 CAPE JEWISH CHRONICLE JUNE 2009
AprIL DrAW rEsULts • JEFF KAtz - r5 000 • DAvID KAtzEFF - r2 500 • sIDnEY OBLOWItz - r1 250 • COnsOLA
High School Middle School
Highlighting aspects of the Congo at assembly Remembering Gilad Shalit
T he United Africa Society (UAS)
organised two speakers from
the Democratic Republic of Congo
In response to the continu-
ing dilemma with regard
to Gilad Shalit, Micaela
(DRC) to address the assembly, in Lurie decided to launch an
order to highlight the purpose of the awareness campaign titled
UAS fundraising drive. The speakers ‘Free Gilad Shalit’. As a
succeeded in highlighting aspects of show of solidarity, yellow
their country and connecting us to ribbons were given to every
the land, in all its beauty as well as pupil and teacher, and yel-
its problems. low kippot were sold. The
James Jamala Safari spoke about money raised was donated
to the school library in Gilad Principal Geoff Cohen congratulates
the history of his country, his
Micaela Lurie on an excellent
peaceful childhood in the DRC, how Shalit’s name. achievement.
the war affected him, and his journey Fran Favero, Ricky Novis, the poet James Jamala Safari
to South Africa. He read one of his and Keren Futeran, chairman UAS. Anne Frank’s friend, Hannah at Assembly
poems on these themes. Africa (DRCASA) and the amazing work they
Maurice Mbikayi spoke of the Democratic are doing for some of the 300000 Congolese
Republic of Congo Association of South refugees of war currently in South Africa.
The Physical Science and Life Sciences Expo
Hannah Pick-Goslar, a Holocaust survivor and childhood friend of Anna
Ayrton Sweeny discusses his project with Frank, addressed the assembly to commemorate Yom Hashoah.
Gabriella Kempen discusses her project with
Professor Tim Noakes. Professor Tim Noakes and John Bransby, head Ending the season in victory
G rade 10 Physical and Life Sciences pupils of Physical Science.
exhibited at the 2009 Grade 10 Expo. Two
teachers evaluated each learner’s project,
including a 15-minute interview in which they
assessed the understanding of the topic and
the procedures adopted.
The process involved in presenting their
projects is of considerable educational value,
and the quality of work done by Herzlians is
always very impressive. Each year they are
encouraged to exhibit their projects at the
Western Cape Inter School Expo which is
held at the MTN Science Centre in August. Middle School cricketers who are part of the victorious UHS combined U13
Our grade 10 pupils compete against pupils Professor Tim Noakes is intrigued at the height cricket team: Yaron Eisenberg, Jordan Flax, Joshua Kaplan, Adam Lazarus
in grades 10 – 12 from other schools, and of the heels! nicole Lee explains her findings. and Brent Shone.
invariably do exceptionally well.
Last year Herzlia was once again the
most successful school, with eight Pre Primary
pupils chosen to exhibit their projects Celebrating Israel’s birthday Shabbat
at the National Expo in Pretoria. Seven
Parents and visitors were encouraged
T he heads
of all the
T he children
loved their trip
to view and discuss the work with the
Pre Primary to Israel. They
pupils. Guest speaker was Professor
s c h o o l s passed through
Tim Noakes, head of the Sports Science
combined passport control
Institute at UCT.
efforts to without a hitch
Mazeltov to: provide child- and were so
ROSS HORWITZ gr 11: Completed the centred Yom happy to land in
Cadiz Freedom Swim race from Robben H a’a t z m au t the Holy Land.
Island to Big Bay in a time of 2 hours 35 a c t i v i t i e s
minutes — 30 minutes better than his for
previous best for this crossing. community
A t as young
as 2 years
old the Kerem
Gan Aviv’s Middle Group (Jackie’s class) wait
BRYNN TRAVILL AND JOSHUA KATZEFF event at the to take off for Israel. including writing Alon-Ashel younger playschool
gr 11: have been chosen to participate Albow Piazza. letters to place group children all aboard children learn
in the Face to Face/ Faith to Faith Young children and their parents escaped the noisy in the bricks the flight to Israel. of the mitzvah
Conference in New York in June this and joyous atmosphere of the communal areas to spend of the Western of tsedakkah as
year. tranquil quality time beading and creating Israeli dough Wall, making they put their
cakes in honour of the birthday celebration. flags, sand art and blue and white coins in the
The HIGH SCHOOL / OLD BOYS As Gan Aviv’s Airway departed for Israel to land at Ben necklaces. They ate falafel, cottage blue box each
WATERPOLO match: the 1st team was Gurion Airport in time for the Yom Ha’atzmaut celebrations,
cheese and Israeli salad and decorated Shabbat upon
4-0 down in the first quarter and fought air hostess (Gladys Mgwenyeni, teacher assistant at Gan
their own cookies in blue and white. After arrival at school
back strategically to win 8-7. This is the Aviv) of the El Al airlines stamped the tickets which the
much singing and dancing, it was time to as does Xara
first time the 1st team has ever won children held on to as they boarded the plane.
return home aboard EL AL Airlines. Hung. (above)
CAPE JEWISH CHRONICLE JUNE 2009 25
AtIOn prIzEs • sUsAn FrEEMAn • sELWYn BLOOM • BEn rABInOWItz • DAvID sHApIrO • CLIvE HIrsCHOn
Team building can be fun Yom Ha’atzmaut festival on Van Riebeek field
G rade 5s enjoyed a
2-day team building
camp at the Cape Times
(Yossie Eshed and
Fresh Air Campsite in Doron Moshe),
Simonstown. assisted by
The pupils worked in the bachurim,
groups for the duration organised a festival
of the camp, which on the field with
emphasised teamwork, a record number
co-operative work skills of games and
and bonding among them. activities — and
The variety of activities food! — for all the
ranged from building nests, pupils of the Jewish
constructing fortified day schools in Cape
castles on the beach, Town. The weather
examining newspapers held off and pupils
to building shelters and from grade 1 to
Making pita bread at the Yom Ha’atzmaut Fun Day: Amy
many more. FUN was the grade 12 enjoyed
Group bonding activity: Jack Moss, Ben Orkin, Saul Levin, Staniland, Ron Neuman, Ashlee Pittaway, Isabel Raffaelli and
order of the day! Ron Neuman, St John Grimbly and (front) Dean Joffe. fun and frolic. Shalev Neuman.
The joy of giving at her own birthday party Cookbook raises funds for Beautiful Gate
Back: Daniella Moore, Hanna Friedman, Leila Chin and Eden Gordon. Middle: Kaelly Handing over the cheque to the representative from the Beautiful Gates Foundation:
Berkovitz, Isabella-Rose Miller and Jessica Alhadeff. Front: Sarah Cranko, Aura Booth, Miss Jacobs with Sabrina Cohen, Gabi Yach, Kayla Bagg, Levi Uranovsky, Josh Kadish,
Saskia Kerton and Emma Merdjan. Shai Kadish and Gabi Berman. Front: Geena Kopping, Michaela Symons, Adi Futeran
and Mikka Chesno.
sabella-Rose Miller, grade 4, decided Community Services.
to do something meaningful for her
birthday party. She and her friends
The activity was so enjoyed by the
children and appreciated by the T he Sunshine Club spent many
months of hard work putting
together a cookbook (which should
The Sunshine Club donated R2000 to
an anti-retroviral clinic associated with
Beautiful Gate. They are proud to be
packed special Pesach hampers, recipients that it could become an
which were then distributed by Jewish annual event. be in every Herzlia home’s kitchen). helping such a worthy cause.
They then spent time researching Recognising achievements
Leah enthralls at soiree The Danziger Award various charities before deciding to
hand over the money raised from
their cookbook to Beautiful Gate,
an organisation that helps HIV
positive children and their families in
Student of the Term award
Leah Gluckman, grade 3, enthralls the Matthew Symon (gr 6) received the
audience at the recent music soiree Danziger Award from Mr Helfrich for
evening. excellent progress in the first term
Benatar Music Award
J o s h u a
Goldberg (gr 6)
F irst term award winners. Back: Jordan
Arelisky (gr 1) and Jamie Sulcas (gr 2)
— a very special award for setting a fine
Ella Joffe (gr 5)
Benji Schaffer example by showing such good manners
(gr 6) and in and always being polite and respectful
Gabi with principal Howard Goldberg.
both to their teachers and peers; Sasha
abi Yach (grade 6), was
Gluckman Abramowitz (gr 6) — for being chosen to play
(gr 3) share awarded ‘Student of the Term’,
in the WP U14 chess team; Mikka Chesno
the Benatar in recognition of her enthusiastic
and Adi Futeran (gr 5) — for displaying
Music Award embrace of all aspects of her school
outstanding interest in newspaper
for excellence life at Weizmann. She is always keen
in the first
geography. Front: Chad Fanaroff and Kyle
to volunteer her services and is a fine
term. Nash (gr 5) — for general knowledge.
example to her peers.
26 CAPE JEWISH CHRONICLE JUNE 2009
from Jewish Affairs Chanukah 2008 ‘Who is a Jew’ Revisited by Arnold Levin
T he question of “Who is a Jew” is
indeed a very vexed one. It is of great
concern especially to Reform converts,
which a component of the cell structures
outside of the nucleus, namely the
mitochondria, also possess DNA. The
cultures which may have been
propogated in some species of mankind
during many decades and milennia. The
Dr Arnold Levin is a medical practioner
with particular interest in overweight,
and children whose fathers were mitochondria are the ‘energy source’ of Jewish environment, or ‘yiddishkeit’, is menopause, and HIV/AIDS research.
Jewish but whose mothers belonged the cell. This mitochondrial DNA does one of these influences. He has authored ten books dealing
to a different religious faith. The signifi- not play a role in the personality profile, If the above facts are accepted, and with topics encompassing public
cance is of great consequence in regard but rather it has a small influence in the they are currently well documented, speaking, finance, personal
to acceptance of these individuals by production of those factors necessary then it is the parental DNA of the Jewish relationships, dieting, and the running
the Jewish people. for the production of the energy as mother, as well as the Jewish father, of a successful business.
Traditionally it was always believed, undertaken by the mitochondria. It is either together or singularly, which is
and unconditionally accepted that worth repeating that only the nuclear responsible for the development of the members of Jewish congregations, both
Jewishness is determined by the DNA is responsible for the individual’s Jewish personality. Perhaps, as may Orthodox and Reform. With the second
mother. Jewish conversion by the characteristics. reasonably be assumed, having both method of acquiring Jewishness, it is
Reform movement is frowned upon During conception, it is only the parents who are Jewish may result in interesting to speculate that a different
and its validity openly denied by maternal DNA which is introduced a ‘double dose’ of Jewishness, which personality genetic DNA may add some
Jewish Orthodoxy. In an attempt to into the newly fertilised ovum. This is may be more influential that a ‘single additional strengths to the Jewish
provide some clarity to this problem, because the male mitochondrial DNA, dose’ if only one parent is Jewish and characterisitics.
the following scientific facts will be as found in the neck of the sperm, falls thus the Jewish characteristics are Hopefully, the above discussion will
presented. away during the process of fertilisation. more diluted. offer acceptable guidelines when
It has become universally recognised Therefore, because of this maternal Notwithstanding this possibility, a considering the question “Who is a Jew”,
and accepted that DNA in the cell mitochondrial DNA transfer, it has now single Jewish parent in a marriage is while at the same time bring comfort,
is responsible for the development become scientifically possible to trace still capable of transferring Jewishness strength and tranquility to those who
of the genetic personality of the the origins of the different human to the offspring. have chosen to embrace Judaism
individual. The exact mechanism of this species by assessing the presence of Therefore, there are two ways of rather than follow the traditions and
biochemical function is not relevant to this DNA. Thus the evolution of Man acquiring Jewishness. The first is as cultures of their inherited non-Jewish
this discussion. Suffice it to say that from his primate ancestors, and his described above. The second would faith.
the human characteristics which have subsequent migration throughout the be through the learning and adoption
evolved over millennia are dependent different countries of the world, can be of the Jewish culture and traditions Jewish Affairs is published
on the underlying genetic profile accurately documented. as implemented during the process three times annually
and the influence of its surrounding As with individuals, the characteristics of faith conversion. This confers
environment, be that physical or and personality behaviour of the educational membership of the Jewish Annual subscription R70
cultural. The DNA responsible for this different human species is determined people, rather than through genetic including VAT and postage
manifestation resides in the nucleus of by the nuclear DNA, subject to its transfer. However, this does not imply P O Box 87557, Houghton 2041
the cell. surrounding environmental influences. that it will be of a lesser quality, as Phone: 011 645-2523
There is, however, a unique situation in The latter includes traditions and many converts have become devout
YAD visits Green Point Stadium
M embers of YAD enjoyed an eye-
opening experience when they
visited the Green Point Stadium site
when planning the various
aspects of this project — but
rather to focus, develop and
last month. expand on Cape Town’s unique
They watched an exciting bird’s multi-cultural strengths,
eye view 3-D Virtual Tour of the talents and spirit.
stadium, which clearly put into The evening ended on a high,
perspective the magnitude of this with the opportunity to view the
amazing project. work in progress from a viewing
Andrew Boraine the CEO of The CT platform which displayed what
Partnership and Accelerate CT then a huge amount of hard work as
gave a very informative talk and visual well as dedication had already
presentation. He focused on the event achieved.
as a whole, including how vital the It was a great event
build up is to get all South Africans and certainly has created Adrian Jessop and Joshua Lurie. Rabbi Yehoshua and Hanna Green.
involved and excited about the project excitement for 2010!
and the importance of the legacy and YAD is very keen to present another
extensive city development that will be 2010 related event in due course,
sustainable thereafter. should all the puzzle pieces click into
He also explained the importance of place. So keep sending in your positive
trying not to mimic other global cities energy and watch your inbox!
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CAPE JEWISH CHRONICLE JUNE 2009 27
JACOB GITLIN LIBRARY
ALBOW CENTRE PHONE: 021 462-5088 FAX: 021 465-8670
FICTION dvds of Israeli feature films
LETTERS TO AMERICA. Michtavim le America (“Dear Dr Waldman”) (DVD 785).
APPELFELD, Aharon. LAISH (09/14433). Towards the end of the 19th
century, a caravan of Jews, holy men, luftmenschen, dreamers and thieves, THE DEBT. Ha Chov (DVD 786).
embark on a trek through Eastern Europe to reach the Holy Land: a brilliant LOST ISLANDS (Iyim Avudim) (DVD 787).
metaphor for the Jewish situation in Europe, conveyed in a surrealistic style OR. (My Treasure) (DVD 789).
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WALTz WITH BASIR (Animated) (DVD 788)
GOLD, Avner. THE LONG ROAD TO FREEDOM (09/14399). An historical novel
set in Europe during the Inquisition. A religious Jewish family is caught up in Heartfelt thanks to our caring supporters who have enriched the Library’s
the intrigues between monarchy and church; they experience loyalty, betrayal collection with their donation from last month’s wish List: Ben and Shirley
and survival, rescue and disaster, whilst dealing with friars, bishops, kings, Rabinowitz
GUTFREUND, Amir. THE WORLD A MOMENT LATER: A Shadow History of
Israel (09/14408) Brilliant Hebrew writing in translation. A new literary genre,
breathtakingly powerful and moving. A family saga unfolds, set before, during
Jos Gerson Memorial Lecture
and after the establishment, of the Jewish State, complex under the veneer
of bland realism. (Also available in Hebrew). O n
2009, the eve of
TANENBAUM, Robert K. ESCAPE (09/14428). A masterfully conceived legal
thriller, conveys the climate of violence in New York, portraying the American the Yahrtzeit of Dr
Jewish upper crust leftist intellectual scene and examining the subject of Jos Gerson, the
crime and Islamic terrorism based on religious conviction. Library, inspired
by Kirsi Gerson,
HISTORY – BIOGRAPHY hosted an evening
of tribute to his
DRAITSER, Emil. SHUSH! Growing up Jewish under Stalin: a Memoir (902 Memory with
/ 09/14430). Recreates the dread-laden post-Holocaust era in Russia, a lecture by Dr
experienced by an uncomprehending child who learned that being Jewish Kenneth Hughes
was shameful and dangerous. He practiced to be inconspicuous, and show entitled: . "Spinoza
patriotism for fear of his very life. and Spinozism:
EBAN, Suzy. A SENSE OF PURPOSE. Recollections (902 / 09/14406). A A great Jewish Julian, Daniel and Kirsi Gerson with Dr Kenneth Hughes.
memoir by the wife of Abba Eban. Small details generally omitted by the grand Philosopher on impact upon the world of ideas, and he
sweep of history reveal this great historical figure of the Jewish State from a the brink of Modernity". Dr Hughes connected the life of Jos Gerson as a
more intimate angle. outlined the life and work of this modern Jewish thinker with this stream
KOPPEL, Lily. THE RED LEATHER DIARY: Reclaiming a life through the brilliant philosopher whose powerfully of originality and bold innovation with
Pages of a Lost Journal (902 HOW / 09/14426). A forgotten diary of a lively, innovative thought continues to that of the great Baruch Spinoza.
spoilt and rebellious young girl who grew up in New York during the 1930s.
Her parents were intellectuals who came from Eastern Europe in 1886, and
aspired to wealth and status.
HOLOCAUST – HISTORY
CHIGER, Krystyna. THE GIRL IN THE GREEN SWEATER (964.302 / 09 /
14434). They hid for months in the sewers of Lvov and in the underground
passageway of a church. Living among rats and filth, protracting dysentery
and diarrhea she wore her sweater which is now on permanent exhibition in
the Holocaust Museum in Washington.
EVANS, Richard J. THE THIRD REICH AT WAR: How the Nazis led Germany
from Conquest to Disaster (964.31 / 09/14405). In this concluding volume
the implementation of the genocide of the Jews, and its centrality in the history
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JEFFREYS, Diarmuid. HELL’S CARTEL. IG FARBEN AND THE MAKING OF
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development of the firm from an innovative dying business, its spectacular
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WOODSTOCK. A Selection of Articles from the Woodstock Whisperer
2003 – 2007. (966.8 ATH / 09 / 14425) A Journey into the colourful and
fascinating character of South Africa’s earliest suburb — a meaningful piece
of history and nostalgic reflection.
GREENBERG, Michael. HURRY DOWN SUNSHINE. A Father’s Memoir of
Love and Madness (902 / 09/14435). A moving experience of a beloved
daughter’s sudden attack of severe mental illness, and how he learned to
cope with unforeseen experiences and fluctuations between normalcy,
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ORBACH, Susie. BODIES (150 / 09/14436). A psychotherapist analyses the
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28 CAPE JEWISH CHRONICLE JUNE 2009
The tailor Stephen Transfeldt … the
tailor Stephen Transfeldt …
(headline to be read to tune from ‘Fiddler on the Roof’)
I ndeed it was not ‘The tailor Mottel
Komsoil’ who came to the CJC office
to put in a Chronicad, but Stephen
Keys-Transfeldt, a Capetonian who
declared with some degree of certainty
that he was “the last Jewish tailor in
SALES Cape Town”.
Retail hours, young, technically minded, good interpersonal skills. Full training Beyond the curiosity such a claim
will be given. Ref V140409 piqued .. (could this be true?) .. was
the incredible synchronicity of his
I had just that minute finished editing
RESTAURANT MANAGER Willie Katz’s ‘Shammash’ column for
CBD. Day shifts with some evening events. Previous restaurant experience June, which included a short item on
necessary. Good people and communication skills. Ref CR14409 the various Jewish surnames for tailor
Portnoi, Schneider, Chait, … etc and
their origins. And here was this tailor…
FACTORY MANAGER adding moreover that he had “quite a
story to tell”.
CBD. 8am – 5pm. Clothing industry or related background. Will include The message was loud and clear —
new product development, doing costings, overseeing training centre. Ref interview the man — and so I did.
IL0409 followed about 8 years in what he calls
‘the shmatte industry’ naming a few of
the ‘shmatte’ manufacturers — Jenny
SALES REPS, TECHNICIANS, MANAGER Stephen was born in Israel in 1952 Button, Parachute, Riviera Fashions
of immigrant parents — both doctors … hardly what their customers would
Internet, Cellular and VOIP provider looking for people that are able to multi- — who’d come to Israel from Bremen, consider producers of ‘shmattes’!
task, aged 25-50, computer literate with Excel, drivers license and own car, Germany. Things were not easy for And then he was off again — this
fluent English, sales experience not necessary. Ref W180409 them in the new State and hearing that time to the USA, where still with the
there were good prospects in South ‘shmatttes’ he worked for some years
Africa they took their baby and made as a pattern-maker, designer, tailor and
PROGRAMMERS a second emigration that very year, doing alterations, for men and women.
where they settled in East London And now he’s back, drawn by the need
Rapidly growing IT company looking for programmers. You are passionate and worked hard in their respective to find out more about his forbears, his
about computers, must know a program language to develop a simple medical specialities — radiology and roots.
programme. Talented but not necessarily experienced, Ref ME30409 anaesthetics. “I got the gene from the Lithuanian —
Sadly they both died when Stephen my mother’s — side of the family, the
was only 12. An only child and with Rosens. They were all tailors.”
nobody to look after him, the young He added the ‘Keys’ rather than
For more information concerning available positions or applicants, please ‘Rosen’ to his name by deed poll a few
orphan was sent on to a family friend
contact Joanne or Tammy: in Cape Town. As it happened, Suzie years back, “for professional reasons”.
Telephone: 021 - 464-6700 Fax: 021 – 086 6263397 Kowolski was in the clothing industry. Does sound more impressive!
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Web: www.staffwise.org.za A designer. She very soon noted Stephen’s other motivation for
Stephen’s talent in drawing, and also returning was “to set up something for
in sewing. myself”.
“Sewing?” Cape Town seems to be his comfort
IMPORTANT INFORMATION: “Yes,” says Stephen. “In East London,
when I was growing up, my parents were
zone, specifically Fish Hoek, although
he does have hopes of making aliyah.
ALL DONATIONS TO GLENDALE ARE NOW TAx DEDUCTIBLE always so busy, so I spent time with my He works from home. Sporting a
old Auntie Yenta and she taught me kippah, he has become a regular
to sew. I used to do alterations for the attendee at Muizenberg Shul, and
Thank you most sincerely for your bobbes and zeides.” generally seems to be pretty much of
continued support. Suzie entered him (at age 12 and a an optimistic “glass half full’ type of
chap. Even when asked the obvious
Our residents are most grateful. half) in a Young Designers competition,
which he won, and after having to do question: “Who would want to travel all
a Std 9 and 10 crash course, he was the way to Fish Hoek to the tailor?” he
Our well known shabbat, miniature shabbat, yartzeit candles and able to take up the prize — a bursary cheerfully replies, “I’ll come to them.”
shabbat glass candle holders are now available from all supermarkets to study at the Ipswich Polytechnic – a Well, I suppose it’s only to be
2-year course recognised by the Royal expected that the last Jewish tailor in
and at our office. Bridge cloths are also available at R120. Tailoring Guild. He was just 14. Cape Town would not be located in the
After the 2 years he came back to most accessible of spots! Nonetheless,
Getting married overseas? Ask your guests to donate to Glendale Johannesburg and worked there for from the designs he showed us in his
Home in lieu of wedding gifts. An appropriate letter will be sent to the some 10 years before returning to Cape notebook, we agreed that our ‘Tailor
bride and groom advising them of your donation . No amount will be Town — which would make him about Stephen (Keys) Transfeldt’ would be
26 according to my calculations. There worth the shlep!
disclosed for further details contact the office .
GLENDALE GREETING SERVICE
Letters can be sent to your loved ones and friends for birthdays, wed- BARGAINS GALORE
ding anniversaries and chaggim or any special occasion. Make use of
this service which is available world wide. SECOND HAND SHOP
TINS: If your tin needs collecting please phone the office Are you moving house or cleaning out cupboards?
10 Galway Road Heathfield PO Box 40 Bergvliet 7864
Think of us!
website: www.glendalehome.co.za email: email@example.com We need assorted clothing and bric-a-brac
tel: (021) 712-0270 fax: (021) 712-0873
305 Main Rd, Sea Point (next to Laughtons)
Glendale activities now on you-tube: www.youtube.com PHONE: 434-7142
search Glendale Cape Town. Under the auspices of Jewish Community Services
CAPE JEWISH CHRONICLE JUNE 2009 29
Howard Rubenstein to Taryn Talberg Barry Lobel to Lee zingol
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32 CAPE JEWISH CHRONICLE JUNE 2009
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34 CAPE JEWISH CHRONICLE JUNE 2009
Local men and women put themselves in ‘the line of fire’
as members of the Volunteer Wildfire Services
W hile the February fires on Devil’s
Peak and along Table Mountain
may be a closed chapter to some, the
evidence of their destructive swathe
is still very clear to people living and
also travelling along their route. And
the admiration and gratitude to those
valiant fire fighters remains.
These include the members of the
City Fire Department, who protect the
urban edge — the buildings and the
property and … the other vital arm —
the Volunteer Wildfire Services, who
battle against sometimes seemingly
impossible odds — raging winds and
uncontrollable flames — to conquer and
tame the fires raging above, along the Mandy Goldberg Gavin Goldsmith Ravid Goldstein
length of Table Mountain.
Mandy has been a member since and battle on the ground with the
Among the latter heroes the Chronicle
the big Table Mountain fire some three support of the helicopters, when they
discovered a young Milnerton housewife
years ago, spurred on by the desire to are able to get near.
and mother who is a totally passionate
help, as she says, “wherever needed”. In fact, speaking to Mandy opens up a
member of the 10-year old Volunteer
This immediately involved her in whole new world, in that we really don’t
Wildfire Services — Mandy Goldberg.
active duty training and also obtaining know much about the workings of fire-
a Code X license, qualifying her to drive fighting bodies, even though we enjoy
a truck. And in her first season she saw the protection that they provide. Her
active duty both in the fire line in an specific volunteer organisation includes
8-man ground-crew team, with hand a definite range of portfolios and areas
tools (flame beaters … etc), as well as of expertise, all of which are vital to the
PRINTING & a driver. success of their operations.
PACKAGING In her second season, and now on Part of their training is abseiling with
SPECIALISTS the committee, Mandy took over the hand tools, in case they have to get to
logistics portfolio and, since she felt or out of inaccessible places, and, for flame-beating fire fighter!
PRINT CENTRE concern about her level of fitness, obvious locational reasons, GPS and Another name that comes up, who
confined her active duty to driving the mapwork. Mandy also admires enormously is
WESLEY STREET Gavin Goldsmith, “an old hand …. he’s
truck. Now in her third year, Mandy runs
CAPE TOWN It is important to note that these the Control Centre, with the Table been active for a long time … knows the
TEL. 021 461-7030 fighters venture into areas inaccessible Mountain National Park manager and mountain very well”.
to the conventional ‘hose’ fire fighting, a rotating volunteer body of nine. This And Ravid Goldstein, who is now in his
‘communications hub’ keeps contact second season and a crew leader.
and control over the crews on the But further than that, Mandy has
mountain, the Table Mountain National even pulled in her mother, Val Mazinter.
Parks contractors, the helicopters Val’s active duty involves control room
and the Cape Town Fire Emergency service and catering etc.
Services. They also handle the press A number of people became ‘fired
calls and those of the public, which up’ after the recent Table Mountain
include reports of danger and calls of blazes and Mandy reports that there
real distress. have already been 200 new applicants
And how does she feel about it all? wanting to join the Wildfire Volunteers.
“I love it!” Whatever sparks their enthusiasm —
So much so that she recruited her adventure, excitement, the passionate
best friend, Tracy Urdang. She may need to help, as in Mandy’s case, it is
have “dragged her in”, but Tracy is as very dangerous work and we can be
fully committed. She’s now an active hugely grateful.
To learn more, check out their website
Call a Rikkis
0861 745 547 24 hours 086 18 000 18
www.rikkis.co.za CSO emergency number for medical and security
CAPE JEWISH CHRONICLE JUNE 2009 35
HABONIM DROR Young Adult Department of
World Zionist Organisation
A new generation of leadership is born!
A pril proved to be a wonderful month
for Habonim Dror. From 12 – 17 April
channichim added to the level at which
the activities were run. Hagshama goes ‘Bedouin’ for Lag B’Omer
we ran our Premier Leadership seminar
for grades 11 and 12, a resounding
success, with over 40 people from all
But it wasn’t all about serious educa-
tion. There was also the beauty of the
Habonim Dror camp-site, with butter-
O n Monday 11
and SAUJS held a
over the country participating; almost flies everywhere and magnificent weath- Lag B’Omer bash in
doubling last year’s numbers. er, enabling the channichim to spend true young adult’s
The grade 11s engaged seriously with time on the beach. Every night a camp style hosted by
the notion of joining the leadership of fire burned and the fireside culture fea- Marais Rd Shul at
Habonim — the bogrim. They looked at tured skits and even a wonderful night the home of Rabbi
what Habonim’s core beliefs are and of ‘Whose line is it anyway?’ planned Hayon.
the basics of being a madrich. and run by the brilliant shomrim. The Rabbi’s home
The grade 12s delved deeply into tech- On the seminar’s last night chan- was turned into a
niques of leading and facilitating activi- nichim and madrichim enjoyed an out- party haven for over
ties for young channichim as well as the ing to the beautiful town of Hermanus. 140 young adults.
influence and responsibility involved That evening around the camp fire much A huge Bedouin-
with leadership. As the new bogrim of sadness was expressed at the prospect style marquee was Daniel Mackintosh, Steven Casper, Justin Goldman and Tahlia
the movement, they were able to exam- of leaving the next day and the feeling erected, furniture Yesorsky.
ine critically where they would take Ha- of the close-knit Habonim community was hired, live mu-
bonim in the next few years and looked was tangible. sic was pumping, drinks were flowing for the day. On this day Rabbi Akiva’s
carefully at the movement’s newly More than anything, the seminar af- with an open bar and lots of food was students did not die and Rabbi Akiva
amended constitution. firmed the incredible calibre of current continuously supplied straight from the started to reveal the light of the Torah
braai. All this at no charge! to new students, including Rabbi Shi-
Long time friend Zackie Achmat joined and future young leaders in the move-
All this celebration … but what for? mon bar Yochai. Also, on this day, Rabbi
us on the Monday night and as always, ment today — with the potential to take
Zackie brought an incredible amount Habonim Dror forward towards incred- Before one can understand what Lag Shimon bar Yochai, the author of the
of knowledge to the seminar, speaking ible heights. These young leaders will B’Omer is about, one needs to under- central work of Kabbalah (Jewish mysti-
to the entire group about the history have an opportunity to implement much stand the meaning of the counting of cism) called the ‘Zohar’, died.
the Omer. His death is a celebration because
of Iran and the challenge of the Irani- of what they have learned this winter at
Pesach marks the beginning of grain on the day of his death he revealed the
an leadership for the world today. The Habonim Machaneh Chazon Nivnah.
chaverim were given the opportunity to Our Winter Camp is happening at the harvesting season. The Omer symbol- light of the Torah to his students. Many
think critically and, as always, appreci- beautiful Shelley Beach from 29 June — ises a starting point in the countdown celebrate Lag B’Omer with large bon-
ated Zackie’s taking time out to be part 5 July and we’d love to have your child to the giving of the Torah. Jews are ob- fires, which are symbolic of the light of
of the Habonim magic. take part. ligated to count the days from the sec- the Torah as revealed by Rabbi Shimon
The seminar was run by the most ex- To sign up visit www.habo.org.za/ ond night of Pesach to the day before bar Yochai.
Shavuot. This period is known as the Hagshama and SAUJs would like to
perienced madrichim in Habonim, many signup. Places are limited, so if you’re in
‘Counting of the Omer’. thank Marais Rd Shul and Rabbi and
of whom sit on the Hanhaggah (Nation- grade 5,6,7,8 or 9 or interested in being
al Executive). Their ability to pass on a madrich and are in grade 11 upwards On day 33 of the Counting of the Omer Rebbetzin Hayon for yet again hosting
their knowledge and experience to their make sure to get signed up now! (Lag B’Omer), we stop our mourning such a wonderful young adults’ event!
Fun for the whole family!
T his month has been a very exciting
month for Netzer, focusing on fun
family and also inspirational Tikkun
Netzer also ran a Lag B’Omer event
at Temple Israel Wynberg for the com-
munity. It was a great evening, full of
Olam activities. fun, singing, dancing around the fire
In educating the youth we realise the and roasted marshmallows. As per the
importance of family involvement and Lag B’Omer tradition, there was a large
so we have run several family-orientated bonfire and Netzer led songs, as adults
activities. We are also maintaining our and children alike indulged in as many
commitment to Tikkun Olam and giving roasted marshmallows as they could
back to the community. eat. Netzer ran an activity about the
As part of our monthly Tikkun Olam significance of Lag B’Omer in the past
activities, Netzer went to a home for and in our lives today. It was a most en-
children who have been removed from joyable fun family evening.
their own homes. It was in desperate We also held a Fun Day for our chan-
need of a therapy room, where the nichim and their families with a picnic
children could feel safe and comfort- in Newlands Forest. There were activi-
able. Netzer madrichim helped paint ties for the kids while the parents got
this room into a vibrant and colourful a chance to chat, relax and enjoy the
therapy room which will be used by the scenery. It was also great to see the
children in the future. parents and children playing and en-
Doing this was an extremely meaning- joying their time together in a game of
ful experience for all our madrichim, Machanaim (an interesting Israeli ball
who also got to play and interact with game).
the children. Netzer is committed to Tik-
kun Olam and making the world a bet- Nilmad v’na’aseh! We will learn and
ter place. we will do!
NETZER’S WINTER CAMP FOR GRADE 10 TO 12 will take place from 2 - 8 July
in Gauteng. Winter camp is our annual nationwide hadracha (leadership) and
ideology seminar, and for Grade 10 to 12s one of the highlights of the year.
We will also be holding our SECOND MINI MACHANEH - Mini Machaneh Hashra’a
(Mini Camp Inspiration) from 10-12 July at our Glencairn campsite.
Don’t miss out on these exciting events!
Contact Maia: 0767355272 for details.
36 CAPE JEWISH CHRONICLE JUNE 2009
Brandon at 15 — the youngest ever
King David golf champ!
W hat a difference a year makes!
Exactly a year ago Brandon
Joffe, playing off a 17 handicap,
won the C Division of the King David
Club Championships. He was warmly
congratulated by all and earmarked as
a player with potential.
Little did one know how fast this
potential would reveal itself! Brandon
took the King David Championship
division by storm this year, leaving
some seasoned campaigners trailing in
his wake. With rounds of 74 and 73 he
won by 4 shots from Martin Stockigt.
It was the manner in which Brandon
won that was so impressive. After the
first round, when he was tied for the
lead, the numerous onlookers didn’t
really think that this youngster with no
experience could hang on and win.
When Brandon started the second
round with two straight bogies, the
doubting Toms thought it would all end Brandon Joffe receives his trophy from
in tears for him. However he rallied like golf director James Loughnane.
a true champion and played the last 16 Brandon is only just beginning on the
holes in one under par. winning trail. You read it here first …
A player of immense determination, Here comes Brandon Joffe!
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