SA Organisations

Attend Conference in large numbers

  • 2a-Mary Kluk tightcrop
The last issue of this newspaper included a forum where various community members gave their views on what they would like President Jacob Zuma to speak about when he addresses our National Conference on November 22. In all likelihood, all or most of the issues raised will indeed feature in what will effectively constitute a “State of the Nation” address specifically geared towards South African Jewry.
by MARY KLUK | Nov 11, 2015

This is not an opportunity that comes around often for our community and I certainly hope that as many of you as possible will join us for the occasion.

Along with President Zuma, we have on our programme two very distinguished international speakers, World Jewish Congress President Ronald Lauder and world-renowned public intellectual and human rights activist Dr Bernard-Henri Levy.

Both in their different ways have been at the coalface of dealing with the core challenges facing global Jewry, including the fight against anti-Semitism, activism for Israel, Holocaust remembrance and reparations and inter-faith dialogue. 

The Board’s national conferences are also occasions for honouring community members for outstanding services, whether in the broader realm of human rights activism, or more specifically on behalf of SA Jewry.

In 1999, we introduced the SAJBD Human Rights Award, to be presented to those in our community considered to have made a particularly significant contribution to combating injustice and promoting democracy in South Africa.

Arthur Chaskalson was the first recipient of the award, since which we have honoured such anti-apartheid icons as Arthur Goldreich (posthumously), Sidney Kentridge and Helen Suzman. This year the award (now called the SAJBD Rabbi Cyril and Ann Harris Human Rights Award, in acknowledgment of what these two eminent individuals have contributed in this area) will be presented to veteran anti-apartheid campaigner and trade unionist Leon Levy.

Earlier this year, Mr Levy was one of the speakers at our 60 Years of the Freedom Charter evening. He was a leading figure in the congress movement during the 1950s, which included helping organise the famous Congress of the People in Kliptown where the Freedom Charter was adopted, and was among those tried, and eventually acquitted, in the long-running Treason Trial. 

The second award presented at conference is the Eric Samson Mendel Kaplan Jewish Communal Service Award. The practice has been to make two presentations, one to a lay leader and the other to a Jewish communal professional.

This year, the recipients will be Dr Bertie Lubner and the professional leadership of the Community Security Organisation.

Those who have known and worked with Bertie will be well aware of the truly remarkable contribution he has made, not just to the Jewish community and Israel, but at least as much to the upliftment of his fellow South African citizens.

As for the CSO, all of us will testify to the high standards of dedication and professionalism that characterise the work of that organisation, and recognise how much this is due to those at the helm who go beyond the call of duty to ensure the protection of Jewish life and the Jewish way of life in our country.  



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