Op-eds

Mr Justice Ralph Zulman, o”h

  • AboveBoardShaunZagnoev (3)
Over the weekend, we were saddened to learn of the passing of our esteemed friend and colleague, Judge Ralph Zulman.
by SHAUN ZAGNOEV | Aug 13, 2020

Zulman combined a stellar career on the bench (culminating with his appointment to the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court) with more than three decades of dedicated service to the Jewish community, including on the various subcommittees of the South African Jewish Board of Deputies (SAJBD). He was a former national vice-chairperson of the board, and a key member of its constitution and legislation subcommittee that did much to ensure the inclusion of anti-hate speech provisions in the South African Constitution.

Zulman’s advice and guidance in terms of understanding the newly established Equality Courts, which he was instrumental in getting off the ground, was also invaluable. He chaired the Board’s country communities department for many years, and was a stalwart and active member (particularly in terms of the many book reviews he furnished over the years) of the editorial board of our journal, Jewish Affairs. In addition to his work with the Board, he was a former chairperson of the South African Yad Vashem Foundation.

Zulman was a stellar example of someone who had reached the very top of his profession, yet was still willing and able to put his skills, time, and energy at the disposal of the Jewish community he cared so much about. It’s thanks to him, and people like him, that the SAJBD has been able over the decades to realise its mandate of ensuring the safety and upholding the civil rights of South African Jewry, while also preserving and promoting the heritage of the community in general.

COVID-19: no time to drop our guard

The reported decline in new infection rates over the past week has offered a glimmer of hope that the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic may be behind us. That being said, the safety measures necessary to minimise risk to ourselves and those around us need to be strictly maintained for the foreseeable future. This week, we were given a fuller picture of the number of Jewish community members whom we have lost as a result of the pandemic. This should be seen as a wake-up call for all of us not to let down our guard, remembering how in other countries this has been the cause of renewed upsurges in infections after restrictions began to be lifted. The dangers we face are still very real, and it’s incumbent on us to continue to be vigilant and act responsibly at all times.

Reminder: Gauteng Council conference

This Sunday evening, the SAJBD Gauteng council will be holding its biennial conference, the main components of which are a “town hall” report-back and discussion meeting where people will be able to put questions to the Board’s leadership; and an address by world-renowned psychologist, public speaker, and Holocaust survivor Dr Edith Eger. If you have not already done so, make sure to book your place. The link for the town hall booking is https://bit.ly/333lO5X and for Dr Egar, https://www.excelacademyinc.com/sajbd-2020-editheger

  • Listen to Charisse Zeifert on Jewish Board Talk, 101.9 ChaiFM, every Friday from 12:00 to 13:00.

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