SA Organisations

The SAJBD and world Jewry

  • 2a-Mary Kluk tightcrop
In fulfilling its mandate as the spokesbody and civil rights lobby of South African Jewry, the Board benefits greatly from its relationships with international Jewish organisations. Through our maintaining contacts with these bodies and participating in global forums dealing with issues of concern to world Jewry, we have ready access to the skills, expertise and knowledge that our counterparts abroad can provide.
by MARY KLUK | Jun 10, 2015

The relationship is by no means a one-sided one, since we bring to the table our own insights and experiences. Indeed, our community plays a very active role in international Jewish affairs, well out of proportion to its relatively small numbers.

This week, our Cape Vice-Chairman Eric Marx, National Director Wendy Kahn and Head of Communications Charisse Zeifert, attended the American Jewish Committee Global Forum in Washington DC.

Our close relationship with the AJC goes back many years, and here I can fulsomely acknowledge the friendship and support we have unfailing received from Stan and Marian Bergman and Eliseo Neumann. Stan, a former South African, is today president of the AJC while Eliseo heads its Africa desk.

Wendy gave presentations on anti-Semitism in South Africa to both the AJC and the Anti-Defamation League. During her visit, she also met with SA Ambassador MJ Mahlangu and Political Counsellor Mgojo and with the US State Department.

Last week, I participated in an International Conference on Genocide Prevention, Culture of Peace Education and Holocaust Education in Africa, held in Dakar, Senegal and hosted by Unesco and the Aladdin Project. The subject of the presentation I gave was “Racism, Discrimination and the Holocaust: the South African Experience”. It was inspiring to see a roomful of Senegalese students coming together to learn about the Holocaust, which increasingly is being included in the school curricula of African countries.


Upcoming events


This year’s much-anticipated Sinai Indaba kicks off in Cape Town on June 16, moving to Durban the next day and concluding in Johannesburg over the weekend.

Billed as “an annual Torah convention led by the foremost international Jewish thinkers and leaders”, the Sinai Indaba was an instant success when first introduced in 2011 and has if anything been even more enthusiastically supported by our community since then.

A second important upcoming event is a commemorative evening to mark the 60th anniversary of the Freedom Charter, to take place under the auspices of the SAJBD at the Great Park Centre on June 23.

Former President Kgalema Motlanthe will be speaking on this auspicious occasion and sharing his thoughts on the significance of the Charter in the struggle for democracy in our country.

We hope to see as many of our readers as possible joining us in remembering the men and women - many of them from the Jewish community - who were involved in the birth of this visionary document, thereby helping to lay the foundations of our democratic, non-racial society.

* For more information or to RSVP, contact Jennie Fearnley on (011) 640 2521/ [email protected]


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




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