The Jewish Report Editorial

Taking care and looking after our own

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Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur have come and gone, and we are now winging our way to the December holidays. We are literally in the last stretch of this year and, normally, we have our holidays booked and the young and more academic among us are well into exam and study mode.
by PETA KROST MAUNDER | Oct 08, 2020

This year is such a different year, and there is a unique atmosphere around us.

While there’s definitely excitement about summer and a reserved sense of freedom, we simply can’t escape the fact that COVID-19 is still with us.

Though we have all been gearing up for freedom, and some have literally thrown away their masks and caution, we are hearing about people in the community having just contracted the virus. Worse, some of us know people who have died very recently of the virus.

We were hoping this wouldn't happen. We were all counting on being lucky enough to go into a relaxed, devil-may-care countdown to the end-of-year holidays. We were hoping to be able to have holidays as close as possible to what we normally experience, but I don’t think that’s going to happen.

If your regular timeout is staying in a hotel in small coastal towns, where you eat in communal places, and hang out on crowded beaches or around hotel swimming pools, you may want to rethink it. Should the pandemic escalate, how close will you be to a hospital or Hatzolah? This is just one of the crazy things we have to think about now.

I wish we were through this tunnel, and didn’t have to worry about COVID-19, but we aren’t and we still do.

To be honest, I’m tired of it, and wish I didn’t have to wear a mask and keep social distance. I know I’m not alone.

Driving through areas where young people congregate to either socialise, dance, or drink, you would be amazed to find how many have discarded COVID-19 precautions. I won’t name and shame, but I hope those people who have thrown caution to the wind don’t bring the virus home to their loved ones. The chances are unfortunately strong that they could do so.

On the flipside, we need to look forward to a new tomorrow. During this tough time, so many members of our community have achieved extraordinary feats to save or enhance lives in and outside the community.

The extent to which people have gone beyond any call of duty to safeguard us since March is astonishing.

We owe such a debt of gratitude, and I feel so grateful to be a part of this community. As the SA Jewish Report, we will honour our heroes on 1 November at the Absa Jewish Achiever Awards, which will this year be like no other. Although it won’t be a physical gathering, our team under the guidance of Howard Sackstein, is pulling out all the stops to make sure it’s an event you’ll never forget.

However, as the SA Jewish Report, we make it our business to help and give back to our community. We certainly don’t have oodles of money to throw at anyone, but we can do what we can to get the community back to work.

We are aware that our community – much like every other group – has been hit hard in terms of job losses. I’m aware of many who, having been gainfully employed for decades, are really battling to find work and feed their families.

There are people with degrees and years of experience who are happy at this point to do just about anything to put food on the table. And, for the most part, they would be an asset to your business.

So, we are offering space in our newspaper for people to advertise their skills and the work they are looking for. We trust that those able to employ people will look to our newspaper to see the calibre of those needing work, and employment shidduchim (matches) will be made.

Let’s help each other to get the community back to work and kickstart our economy. If you are in the job market, simply go to to fill out your details, and we will put it into our next “Get the Jewish community back to work” pages.

As hard as it has been for people whose livelihoods have dried up, we are still able to help each other. As they say, as long as we have our health, we can work out the rest.

In the past week, we have lost a few icons in the community, not least of all Rabbi Avraham Tanzer. While I certainly can’t say I knew him well, I had occasion to interview him a few times. I was always bowled over by his dignity and humility. He would offer advice without sounding like he knew better than you, although he obviously did. Because of this, he was the rabbi that the most senior of rabbonim went to for advice.

Losing him is huge for our community, and he will always be remembered. So too will Linda Goodman Givon, who was an icon in the global art world. Hundreds of South Africa’s top artists owe their careers to Givon.

As we move forward toward our end-of-year break, let’s be inspired by the great people who have given so much of themselves for others. Not all of them will be recognised, but every little bit counts.

However, first and foremost we need to look after our health and that of our loved ones. Let’s keep a second wave of COVID-19 at bay.

Shabbat shalom and chag sameach!


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