Content for class "past" Goes Here



- By Michelle Gerszt

The finish line for CycAlive 2016 at the DJC included a real finish line, the younger members of the community acting as cheerleaders, and a rousing welcome performance by the Field Band from KZN. The Executive of the SAJBD KZN Council (formerly the CKNJ) were there to congratulate all involved and hosted a braai in their honour. 

35 young men from South Africa and Israel set off on the 750km trip from Johannesburg to Durban. 

The boys hail from Torah Academy, Moletsane High School and Pace College in Soweto. Five cyclists from Israel, brought out by Partnership 2Gether also joined the team. Rabbi Dovid Hazdan once again led the team.

The objectives of Cycalive are to build bridges and form bonds between young South Africans and their respective communities; inspire Ubuntu; fundraise for educational projects - 75 per cent to previously disadvantaged schools; highlight road safety and encourage leadership and self-confidence among the participants. The boys prepared care packages, including stationery and refreshments for schools and hospital patients en route. 

One of the cyclists mentioned that the arrival in Durban was incredible, the energy and spirit was awesome, and a definite highlight of the trip for him.

We look forward to next year’s event and hope to make it even bigger and better.



- Jeremy Droyman

As the incoming president of the Durban Jewish community, I am constantly reminded what a special and vibrant community we have.

There is no reason to be alone in Durban because our community, and its events, are constantly happening at the Durban Jewish Centre, which is the secular home of our community. 

Whether it is the constant buzz in Hashalom, the kids arriving at the Holocaust Centre, the bridge ladies having their weekly events, the KNZC movie nights, our SAJBD Events or Limmud, there is an endless amount of activity that is driven by our affiliates.

One event that really touched me this month was CycAlive with Rabbi Hazdan, who lead a group of young cyclists 750km from Johannesburg to Durban. The 35 cyclists were from Torah Academy, Moletsane High School and Pace College in Johannesburg, and 5 from Israel, who were brought out by Partnership 2Gether. These boys prepared care packages, including stationery and refreshments for schools and hospital patients en route. (There is a full article on this event in this issue of Hashalom.)

What makes CycAlive so special, is that in one event we cover so many aspects of our SAJBD KZN mission, namely Youth Education, Local Outreach, Interfaith, our link to Israel and of course the finish line being at the Durban Jewish Centre where our community can participate.

Please scan the QR code to see a short video of the CycAlive finish, or type the following in your web browser (We believe this is a technological first for the Hashalom open since 1923!) 

Another significant event this year is our name change from CKNJ to SAJBD KZN Council, this change means that we are able to align ourselves with the SAJBD national structure and its strong brand, making it easier to engage with the community at large.

The SAJBD KZN Council wishes all readers L’Shana Tova Tikateivu V’Teichateimu and a meaningful Fast. May the New year bring peace, good health and happiness to all.



By Michelle Gerszt

The 85th Annual General Meeting of the Council of Kwa Zulu Natal Jewry was held on Monday, July 25 at 18:00 at the DJC.

The torrential rain influenced attendance at the AGM, and those who did attend were thanked for making the effort to be there.

Ronnie Herr gave his President’s speech and address and highlighted events that had taken place during his tenure, accomplishments and challenges faced. He thanked the team and the executive for its support and wished everyone well going forward.

Jeremy Droyman gave an incoming President address and ratified the name change of the CKNJ to the SAJBD KZN Council. This is to ensure consistency and brand alignment with the South African Jewish Board of Deputies nationally. Jeremy’s vision for the forthcoming year is to continue the excellent progress made to date, galvanize further support and community involvement, and launch some very exciting projects.

Jeffrey Katz gave a fascinating report on the primary role of the SAJBD, which includes advocating for students at universities around South Africa, fighting anti-Semitism, hate-speech and the like, and finally confronting terrorism.

A key point touched on by all speakers was that despite the size of the Durban Jewish community, our reach and the impact we have is considerable, and this is certainly something to be proud of.


Council of KwaZulu-Natal Jewry

By Alana Baranov

During the first week of May, Jewish communities around the world come together to mark Yom Hashoah – Holocaust Remembrance Day. On this day, we remember the six million Jewish victims of Nazi tyranny; singled out for mass extermination for no other reason than that they were Jews. We also gather to remember the millions of other innocent victims murdered by the Nazis during World War II.

In Durban, Yom Hashoah was commemorated on Sunday May 8th at the Durban Jewish Centre. Held under the auspices of the Council of KwaZulu-Natal Jewry, the morning began with a message from Council of KwaZulu-Natal Jewry President Ronnie Herr as well as the reading of Psalm 23 by Rabbi Hillel Avidan and Eden Shapira. A moving candle lighting ceremony followed, led by Jordan Strous.

The ceremony, expertly organized by Mary Kluk, Roseanne Rosen and Jen Hackenbruch, drew a large audience and was particularly poignant this year as it fell on Mother’s Day. A moving ‘Tribute to Mothers’ was included in the proceedings and honoured the memory of the mothers brutally murdered in the Holocaust. An insightful presentation by March of the Living participants Oren Cohen and Zak Schwartz as well as a flag ceremony added to the touching atmosphere of the day. The traditional Ani Ma’amin; the Partisan Song; Hazkarah prayer and Kaddish were also recited alongside the Survivors Pledge and the Israeli and South African national anthems. 

The highlight of the day was an address by special guest and Holocaust survivor Veronica Phillips. Born in Hungary, Veronica survived years of internment in the international ghetto in Budapest, The Ravensbruck, Penig and the Johannesorgenstadt Concentration Camps as well as the Death Marches. Veronica shared the heartbreaking tale of how she and her father were split from her mother and brothers by the Germans in the Budapest ghetto. She tragically lost her father during the war and Veronica was forced to work as a slave labourer in East Germany. Veronica shared with us her story of survival and triumph against the odds. 

“In the picture book of my mind I can still see, smell and taste how they took us to Ravensbrück” Veroncia said. She also highlighted the role of education in building our humanity and fighting prejudice. “I am a survivor. My eyes saw what eyes should never see. Children poisoned by educated physicians. Infants murdered by nurses. Education, math,’s only important if it serves to make our children better people”. 

After being liberated by the Allies, she returned to Budapest to find her mother. Upon being reunited her mother gave Veronica back her beloved doll that she had been keeping safe all these years. This doll has recently been handed over to the Johannesburg Holocaust and Genocide Centre where it will become part of the new exhibition. We were privileged to hear Veronica’s testimony as these personal insights into the horrors of the Holocaust bring a personal perspective to the tragedy.  

A central theme of Yom Hashoah this year was the relevance and importance of the lessons of the Holocaust for South Africa today. As Durban Holocaust Centre Director Mary Kluk made clear, the death camps were the culmination, not the starting point, of the Holocaust. What began as hateful rhetoric against the Jewish people paved the way to legal discrimination, expulsion and eventually systematic mass murder. Yom Hashoah is a grim reminder of the dangers of allowing racial hatred to run wild. During the Holocaust, and in our own nations; history, we have seen how verbal incitement and hatred ca lead to violent acts. All South Africans have the responsibility today to take a firm stand against prejudice and discrimination wherever we encounter it.

Yom Hashoah 2016 was a powerful reminder of the importance of remembering the past, honouring those who died and who survived, and committing to putting the lessons of history into action for the future. 


Council of KwaZulu-Natal Jewry

It was with a heavy heart that the Council of Kwa-Zulu Natal Jewry bid farewell to their office administrator Roseanne Rosen, who is relocating to Johannesburg. The breakfast held at the Circle Café was a fitting tribute to Roseanne. Linda Nathan welcomed all guests and recounted some special moments during her term of office as CKNJ President. Alana Baranov emphasized the impact and legacy of Roseanne’s tenure with the CKNJ and then CKNJ President Ronnie Herr thanked Roseanne, paying tribute to her devotion and loyalty. Roseanne was presented with a gift from the community and the CKNJ, a Certificate of Excellence and a beautiful bouquet of flowers.

Roseanne joined the CKNJ in 2009 and immediately stamped her mark! She has been the backbone of the organisation with her incredible organising skills, her admirable dedication and commitment far beyond the call of duty and her wonderful demeanor. 

Rosie, we will miss you! May the sun always shine on you and may all your dreams become reality. As you embark on the next stage of your life’s journey, we wish you B’Hatzlacha, much happiness in your new home and in your exciting position with the South African Jewish Board of Deputies and with your darling Tanna.


Council of KwaZulu-Natal Jewry

Collection from the community for the ECR

Grateful thanks and appreciation is extended to everyone who so generously contributed towards this project.

Thank you for your continued support whenever asked!

Ronnie Herr CKNJ President 


Council of KwaZulu-Natal Jewry

By Alana Baranov

Communities from across the racial, religious and financial divide coming together to not only feed the homeless of Durban but to sit down and share a meal as friends – a true embodiment of the spirit of reconciliation. 

To celebrate Reconciliation Day, on 16 December 2015, the the Denis Hurley Centre together with the Muslim development organization SANZF, hosted a ‘Meal of Reconciliation’ at the Denis Hurley Centre. The Union of Jewish Women Durban generously provided refreshments for the meal and participants from the Muslim, Christian and Hindu communities all contributed to this special event.

Representing the Jewish community as Vice President of the Council of KwaZulu-Natal Jewry, I was honored to be a part of the celebration with my husband Gary and our daughter Luciana, and to play a small a part in this inspiring act of engagement, understanding and friendship.

The Denis Hurley Centre has become an important place of interfaith cooperation in the city. Named after the former Archbishop of Durban for over 45 years, Denis Hurley, the Centre is committed to bring about change in the inner city - for the poor, homeless, hungry and sick of the city – through various programmes, including a clinic; feeding scheme; and vocational training. The CKNJ has previously partnered with the Centre’s Refugee Pastoral Care office and contributed goods and donations raised by our community to their work during the xenophobic violence of March this year.

We look forward to working together with the Denis Hurley Centre, and other faith-based organizations in Durban, to build bridges of understanding and cooperation between our communities.


Council of KwaZulu-Natal Jewry

Alana Baranov

The call to ‘welcome the stranger’ through protection and hospitality, and to honour those different to us with respect and equality, is deeply rooted in all major religions. The Jewish community, with its own history of persecution and immigration in search of a better life, is particularly concerned with providing support to the strangers in our midst.

Following the recent outbreak of brutal xenophobic violence in Durban, which left 5 foreign nationals murdered and thousands displaced from their homes, the Council of KwaZulu-Natal Jewry (CKNJ) felt the need to take up a leading role in dealing with the crisis.

Our first call to the community went out on April 13th 2015 just days after the xenophobic attacks erupted in Durban. The CKNJ immediately reached out to the Denis Hurley Centre in Durban and began working in consultation with Makusha Hupenjy, coordinator of the Archdiocese of Durban Refugee Pastoral Care, to assess the needs of the victims of the ground.

Our community went into action and hundreds of essential items desperately needed by the victims were generously donated. We were also able to raise thousands of rands in our fund for the foreign nationals affected by the xenophobic attacks, and used this money to purchase goods needed at the sites of safety.

Alongside the humanitarian relief effort, the CKNJ was also intricately involved in the provincial and government, as well as civil society, response to the attacks as well as efforts to deal with the causes of the violence and long term solutions to the problem.

Alana Baranov, the CKNJ’s 2nd Vice President, represented the community at the Peace March through the Durban CBD on Thursday 16th April 2015. The 10 000 strong march was joined by civil society and faith groups to take a stand against xenophobia.

The following day, Rabbi Avidan represented the Jewish community at the Anti-Xenophobia Imbizo at Moses Mabidha Stadium hosted by the KZN Premier Mchunu and King Goodwill Zwelithini.

Also on Friday April 17th, CKNJ President Ronnie Herr and 1st Vice President Jeremy Droyman handed over of 1 500 bars of soap at the Isipingo camp for displaced persons, together with ANC Bluff Councillor Jaco Pienaar.

A large handover of goods to Makusha and Refugee Pastoral Care, including much needed clothing; blankets; baby goods; and groceries, took place on Sunday April 19th 2015.

Alana Baranov has also organized a collection point for xenophobia donations at the Umhlanga SuperSpar at the Umhlanga Centre, and to date at least 7 large trolleys worth of goods have been collected by Alana and distributed to both the International Red Cross of KwaZulu-Natal and Refugee Pastoral Care.

The CKNJ, on Thursday May 7th, also received a donation of 15 boxes and 14 packets of essential items from the South African Union of Students (SAUJS) as their contribution to our relief project.

As our collection is still on-going, the Denis Hurley Centre regularly stops by the DJC to pick up what we have collected.

Our efforts have garnered much media attention both locally and nationally, with Alana Baranov’s opinion piece ‘Rainbow nation goes up in smoke on Durban’s streets’ appearing in the Business Day newspaper and an article on our fund in the United Kingdom’s Jewish Chronicle newspaper.

The Long Term Response

The CKNJ, as well as the national South African Jewish Board of Deputies, continues to be involved in government partnerships and civil society efforts to address the source of the xenophobic crisis and find long term solutions to the problem. For example, since 2008, we have been a part of the Hate Crimes Working Group, a multi-sectoral network of NGOs who advocate against hate crimes.

Partnership with SANCO

In the aftermath of the violence, the CKNJ has partnered with the South African National Civics Organization (SANCO) to assist their initiative engaging with the South African communities where the violence exploded.

Working with SANCO and with the generous donation of 82 boxes of donated essential items collected by the Johannesburg Jewish community and delivered to the Durban Jewish Centre by the national office of the South African Jewish Board of Deputies, we have been able to roll out handovers of goods to these communities affected by the recent violence. This initiative forms part of SANCO’s effort to bridge the tensions between foreign national and local groups in these locations and we are delighted to assist in some way in addressing the long term problems of lack of resources and impoverishment. The official handover of goods to SANCO took place on Thursday May 7th in Commercial Road in Durban’s city centre, attended by Alana Baranov of SAJBD Chairperson Mary Kluk.

So far, our xenophobic relief effort has collected R62 000 in donations and several truckloads of provisions. On behalf of the CKNJ, we would like to thank the community for their amazingly quick and generous response to our call for assistance for the victims of the attacks. We are incredibly proud of all the contributions that have been made and the role that our community has played in dealing with the crisis.


Council of KwaZulu-Natal Jewry

Alana Baranov

Yom Hashoah - the day the Jewish world stands together to remember those who perished in the hell that was the Holocaust.

This year was an especially poignant memorial, as 2015 marks 70 years since the liberation of the notorious death camp of Auschwitz.

On Sunday April 19th, our local Jewish community came together at the Durban Jewish Centre to mark this solemn day and the anniversary of the liberation. The proceedings were opened by the Council of KwaZulu-Natal Jewry’s President Ronnie Herr with a moving message on the importance of recalling the past and applying its lessons to our future, as well as the screening of the new short film Auschwitz. Highlights of the ceremony included a candle lighting service; the recitation of a Yiddish poem by Rochelle Winer; and a message from recent March of the Living participant Rachel Murcia. A liberation play, narrated by Shani Cohen and participants Dylan Cohen, Amy Groer, Kendyll Jacobson, Joel Kaplan, Alexia Manduell, Lara Rabinowitz & Joshua Serjeant, captivated the audience.

Our guest speaker for Yom Hashoah 2015 was Holocaust survivor Hugo Marom, whose remarkable story will linger in the hearts and minds of all who were privileged to hear him speak in person. One of the children rescued by Sir Nicholas Winton, 86 year old Marom shared the remarkable tale of his rescue from Czechoslovakia as a young boy on the kindertransport.

Hugo and his brother Ruby spent the war in England. Tragically, his parents died in concentration camps during the Holocaust. In 1944 Hugo joined the RAF to become a fighter pilot and was then sent back to Prague with his brother to join the Czech Air Force. In 1953 he was asked to form the 110th night fighter squadrons and six years later led the development of Israel Aircraft Industries.

In 1964 he left the army and founded a company for the construction and design of airports, which leads to the present day.  In 2011, Marom received the Gratias Agit award for promoting the Czech Republic’s good name abroad. Hugo married Martha, a survivor of 6 concentration camps and had two daughters.

The commemorations of Yom Hashoah 2015 drew a large audience and the Council of KwaZulu-Natal Jewry would like to thank the community for the wonderful attendance at this year’s ceremony. It is only by understanding and remembering the past that we can learn lessons for the future, and in this way put the words ‘Never Again’ into action wherever we find prejudice and hatred.


Council of KwaZulu-Natal Jewry

Hot on the heels of her visit to Johannesburg for the SAZF national conference, Paula arrived in Durban and shared her knowledge and experiences of the Middle East. The Minor Hall at the DJC saw more than 220 people arrive to hear this accomplished journalist. As the co-hosts, Ronnie Herr (CKNJ President) introduced Paula, and Antony Arkin (KNZC Chairman) thanked her for her time in coming to visit Durban and speak to the community.

We were very privileged to hear all her stories which highlighted how the political aspect of the world can have such a huge negative impact on the human aspect, as she related stories of human experiences that crossed the boundaries of religion and race and sounded alarm bells to the state of security and humanity in the world.

Paula held the attention of the audience for an hour as she related the horrors of ISIS, the corruption and delicate balance of world politics and security and how inter-personal experiences bridged the divide of religions. All of this is frightening to hear, but very necessary to understand where Israel stands in the Middle East, and how Jews and Christians need to deal with the spreading fanaticism that is emanating from extreme elements within Islam.

We were very pleased to have Paula visit and share her experiences with us. Our hope is that the world wakes up to these atrocities and that on all levels we must do what we can to have our humanity take control to interpret our ideals in a way that is not harmful to others. Respect and a place for all people is what the world needs to see.


Council of KwaZulu-Natal Jewry

Alana Baranov

The Council of KwaZulu Natal Jewry, together with the KwaZulu Natal Zionist Council, was delighted to host former Durbanite Steve Linde for a visit to our community last month.

Linde was appointed editor-in-chief of The Jerusalem Post in July 2011 after serving as managing editor, news editor and night editor at the paper for 14 years. He also served as director, editor, reporter and news reader for Israel Radio’s English News over a period of 21 years.

Born in Zimbabwe and raised in Durban, Linde attended Carmel College. He has a Bachelor of Journalism and Media Studies degree from Rhodes University and graduate degrees in sociology from the University of Natal and journalism from the University of California at Berkeley.

Linde, who is now 54, made aliya in 1987 and went on to serve in the IDF Artillery Corps. He has lived in Jerusalem for the past 25 years and graciously agreed to spend time in Durban and meet with our community and leadership. Linde’s itinerary was filled with various important events and functions, and he was given a true Durban welcome.

On Tuesday evening of November 18th Steve addressed a packed open community event, co-hosted by the CKNJ and the KNZC, and the following morning he spoke about his work at an exclusive IUA-UCF Donor Breakfast at the Durban Holocaust Centre to invited guests.

Later that day, Linde met with the local media, as well as the professional staff of the South African Jewish Board of Deputies, during a media workshop on current events in the Middle East. In attendance was the editor of the Sunday Tribune Mr Akash Bramdeo as well as editors of the SABC in KwaZulu-Natal, amongst other print and broadcast journalists.

Thursday 20th November gave the community leadership the opportunity to meet with Linde during an informal, intimate breakfast to discuss pressing issues in Israel. Linde also managed to visit the JNF’s Eco Centre at Hammarsdale whilst in Durban, as well as the Izinga complex, and was hosted by WIZO at Beth Shalom at a function for residents.

The CKNJ wishes to thank Steve Linde for his time in Durban and hopes to welcome him ‘home’ again soon.

CKNJ donates wheelchairs to Sunnyside Park Home

The Council of KwaZulu-Natal Jewry, as part of its Outreach Portolio under immediate past President Linda Nathan, handed over 3 wheelchairs to the Sunnyside Park Home in Pietermaritzburg at a function at the Durban Jewish Centre.

CKNJ President Ronnie Herr was delighted to handover the wheelchairs to Hillary Mumford, CEO of Padca (Pietermaritzburg and District Council for the care of the Aged) for residents of Sunnyside Park Home - one of the facilities in their establishment.

The wheelchairs were the last in a larger consignment of 110 wheelchairs that were donated by the Moshal family in the name of the Durban Jewish community. John and Anna Moshal are highly respected members of the Durban Jewish community, with John holding the position of Honorary President of the CKNJ. The Moshal’s generosity and philanthropic commitment have made it possible for the CKNJ to carry out much of its outreach projects.

Wheelchairs have previously been given to various Jewish organizations, as well as organizations and institutions doing incredible work in the broader community. Some of

the previous beneficiaries have included the Natal Settler’s Home; Golden Gateway School; Ikhwezi Welfare Organisation; Mavela Hospice in Ndwedwe and Nazareth House.


Celebrating 10 Years of CHIVA

Susan Abro

On Thursday 17 July 2014, the CKNJ hosted a function on behalf of the Moshal family in celebration of the 10th anniversary of CHIVA, a nonprofit, non-governmental organisation started by Dr Karyn Moshal, in 2004, which makes a big difference to the lives of many children and young people living with HIV in South Africa.  

CHIVA sends volunteer teams of doctors, nurses, dieticians, pharmacists and psychologists to South Africa from the United Kingdom, to provide mentoring and training to those working on the front lines of the HIV epidemic, ensuring the best long term treatment and care for the most vulnerable victims. 

The attendance was gratifying and the audience diverse, including members of the Moshal family, the CKNJ Executive Council, Community Leadership representing CKNJ Affiliates, the President, past President and Rotarians of the Rotary Club of Isipingo, Morningside, CHIVA invitees including the Honourable Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi and Mrs Elizabeth Tryon, on behalf of Dr Zweli Mkhize, the Honourable Mr Justice Alan Magid, Honorary Life Member, and his wife Brenda, Mr Per Bjorvig, former Danish Honorary Consul and his wife Annetjie, Mr Alan Benn, Honorary Life Vice President of the CKNJ, Mrs Mary Kluk, Chairman of the SAJBD and her husband Graham, Juliet Houghton, Country Director CHIVA SA, and other invited guests. 

Linda Nathan, the President of the CKNJ, at the time, welcomed the guests and gave an overview of the Jewish Community of KwaZulu-Natal, and the contributions by it and of the Moshal family, to the community in general and specifically the contribution by CHIVA. 

Mr Saran Naidoo and Ms Shemi Chetty, past Presidents of the Rotary Club of Isipingo Morningside, introduced and presented Dr Karyn Moshal with the prestigious Paul Harris Award.

They then surprised Mr John Moshal with a second Sapphire Pin also awarded by the Rotary Club of Isipingo Morningside. This was presented to Mr John Moshal by the Honourable Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi, and John, with his wife Anna by his side, was at a loss for words, however, he managed to thank the Rotary Club Isipingo Morningside for the honour. 

Dr Karyn Moshal then provided a synopsis of the past 10 years of CHIVA in South Africa, and gave a most inspiring and informative presentation. 

She then introduced Dr Neil McKerrow, the Head of the Department of Pediatrics, KZN Department of Health, as the keynote speaker. 

Dr McKerrow gave the audience an overview of the current circumstances with relation to HIV in KwaZulu-Natal, and nationally, and also drew attention to the fact that the next issue would be the adolescents who were treated as children, and have now grown up and adopted a different attitude towards their healthcare and whether or not they wished to be treated. This was an extremely illuminating presentation.

John Moshal then addressed the audience, and messages of goodwill were delivered by the Honourable Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi, Mrs. Elizabeth Tyron, manager in the office of the Treasurer General, on behalf of Dr Zweli Mkhize, who assisted Karyn in the beginning of CHIVA and is still very supportive of the project. John then closed the evening. 

It was a wonderful occasion to mark an incredible journey, and the CKNJ and the Durban Jewish Club and catering service provider did the community proud as always. 


Council of KwaZulu-Natal Jewry AGM

Lauren Shapiro

In light of the current difficulties confronting Israel and Jewish communities around the world, the 83rd AGM of the Council of KwaZulu-Natal Jewry (CKNJ) at the Durban Jewish Centre last Tuesday took the form of a solidarity ceremony. Communal leaders lit yahrzeit candles in honour of the fallen soldiers of the Israeli Defence Force, as well as the innocent civilians of Israel and Gaza who have tragically perished during the latest conflict. 

South African Jewish Board of Deputies (SAJBD) Chairman Mary Kluk, National Director Wendy Kahn, and Head of Communications Charisse Zeifert addressed the crowd, discussing the difficulties facing our community both nationally and on the streets of Durban, where a pro-Palestinian protest march just days earlier had attracted thousands, including the Mayor Cllr James Nxumalo. 

The CKNJ - the regional office of the SAJBD - plays a vital role in KwaZulu-Natal. In her President’s Report, outgoing President Linda Nathan recapped the work of the CKNJ, whose mission is to safeguard, unite and represent the Jewish community in the province. The CKNJ is responsible for projects such as the annual Yom Hashoah ceremony, bursaries for tertiary education, and the LivingKZN outreach programme. During Nathan’s two-year term of office, and through the generosity of the JAKAMaR Trust, 110 wheelchairs and 300 reconditioned computers were distributed to deserving schools and institutions across the province. 

‘My term of office has been challenging, yet fulfilling and rewarding. I felt an immense sense of pride each time I represented this community. I hope I have achieved my goal which was to bring the CKNJ closer to the community.’

Continuing this goal is incoming President Ronnie Herr. Of her successor, Linda says: ‘He is forward-thinking, goal-driven, and absolutely dedicated to this community, and I wish him and his incoming council a successful term of office.’

Herr will be assisted by an able team including Vice Presidents Jeremy Droyman and Alana Baranov, Honorary Treasurer Gary Baranov, Chairman of the Financial Management Committee David Simpson (current vice-president SAJBD), Past Presidents Mary Kluk (current chairman SAJBD) and Sidney Lazarus and Hon President John Moshal. Jeremy Droyman will also chair the United Communal Fund (UCF), while Alana Baranov will function as Public Relations and Media Officer. Prof Antony Arkin, chairman KwaZulu-Natal Zionist Council serves ex-officio on the executive.

Elected members chair various portfolios. Susan Abro is Legal Advisor, Clive Bernstein assists the UCF, John Patlansky takes over responsibility for the Durban Jewish Centre, and David Unterslak heads a new informal education portfolio, the aim of which is to combine local Jewish educational resources onto a central database and to share these amongst the Jewish educational facilities in Durban.

Herr recognizes the challenges facing him. One is finance, with several of the 17 affiliate organizations relying on the CKNJ for support. The second is unifying the community. ‘We need everybody to stand up and do something - to be a part of the community, not apart from it,’ he appealed. 

He continued: ‘My roadmap for the next two years, with the help of my executive committee, is to stretch our limited resources and manpower and to try to make a meaningful contribution for the betterment of this community.’

For more information on the CKNJ and its projects, visit 


CKNJ Democracy Debate 01/04/2014


Alana Baranov

“As South Africa’s young democracy moves from its adolescent years into early adulthood, it is crucial that each and every citizen takes an active and informed role in shaping a brighter future for our beloved country”. These closing remarks by Political and Media Liaison Alana Baranov not only captured the essence of the Council of KwaZulu-Natal’s ‘The Democracy Debate’ held on April 1st, but the mission behind the Jewish community’s ‘Make Us Count’ campaign.

As part of the SA Jewish Board of Deputies’ ‘Make Us Count’ election awareness, education and mobilization campaign, the CKNJ held a highly successful public election debate at the Durban Jewish Centre. With a packed audience of 200 people, the debate gave, not only the local Jewish community, but also members of the press, civil society and other religious leaders in attendance the opportunity to engage directly with political leaders. 

Moderated by the charming and well-known journalist Greg Arde, Deputy Editor of the Sunday Tribune, the debate opened with a welcome by CKNJ President Linda Nathan and then kicked off with political parties summarizing their manifestos. From there, three rounds of questions were posed at each representative on the topics of skills development and unemployment, corruption, and foreign policy, and the evening ended with rapid fire questions from the floor.

The impressive panel of high-level speakers comprised both national and provincial leaders: Mr Narend Singh, Treasurer General of the IFP and a Member of Parliament; Ms Jo-Anne Downs, Chair of the National Executive Committee of the ACDP & a member of the KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Parliament; Mr Mosiuoa Lekota, President and Leader of the Congress of the People and a Member of Parliament; Dr Wilmot James, Acting Parliamentary Leader for the Democratic Alliance; and finally Mr Willies Mchunu, Provincial Deputy Chair of the African National Congress and KwaZulu-Natal MEC for Transport.

The debate saw the panellists and audience interacting with each other in a lively but respectful atmosphere. All parties agreed on the need to combat hate crimes and the need to protect the LGBTI and refugee communities in South Africa. They also reiterated their support of a two state solution to the Israel and Palestine conflict. The issue of government officials allocating themselves RDP houses was raised, as was the scandal around Nkandla. 

The Democracy Debate is just one aspect of the ‘Make Us Count’ campaign, which is currently recruiting volunteers to join our IEC-accredited election observer team to monitor voting stations on Election Day.

Council of KwaZulu-Natal Jewry

Mitzvah Day 2013

Alana Baranov

Sunday November 17th was International Mitzvah Day and in honour of this wonderful initiative the Council of KwaZulu-Natal Jewry held a highly successful food collection drive.
Mitzvah Day is the Jewish community's global annual day of social action and giving where many thousands of participants give their time and not money, making a huge difference to a range of people, causes and charities throughout the year. Born out of the belief that we can all make a positive difference to our world by taking action, Mitzvah Day is a concerted effort to bring the entire community together on a single day to participate in the holy task of tikkun olam, repairing the world.
The CKNJ was determined to bring a taste of Mitzvah Day to Durban and sent out a community-wide call for Durban Jewry to participate in a food collection drive, held between 10am and 12.30pm at the Durban Jewish Centre. We had a fantastic response with very generous donations and all proceeds will go to a truly worthy cause, Jewel House.
Part of Durban Jewish Social Services, an organization which has been looking after the needs of the community since its establishment in 1898, Jewel House is a comfortable home for up to 18 members of our community. As in any other society, Jews need help and support and it is the mission of Social Services to see that no Jewish family is left without a roof over their heads, food on the table and a warm environment for their children.
This year, the CKNJ partnered with the Union of Jewish Women for Mitzvah Day. UWJ volunteers visited Beth Shalom with an array of delicious cakes and spent quality time there interacting with the residents. They also put together a party, with wonderful gifts, and entertained the children at the Durban Children's Home as well as holding a dog/cat food collection on the day for the SPCA.
Our successful Mitzvah Day strengthened not only our community’s commitment to social action but also our identity as a caring community. Our President Linda Nathan and the rest of the CKNJ Executive and Team would like to thank each member of the community who participated in our Mitzvah Day food collection drive. We hope to have an even greater response to Mitzvah Day 2014!

Council of KwaZulu-Natal Jewry

‘STEERING SOUTH AFRICA’S FUTURE’ - Tony Leon’s address to the CKNJ’s 82nd AGM

AdAlana Baranov

“To live in South Africa today requires us to be in South Africa, not just physically, but mentally, spiritually and politically. Too often, particularly in minority communities, there is a tendency to be a bystander and not an “upstander” in charting the country’s progress. It is a case of politics and civil engagement being “their” responsibility and not “our” concern or obligation. And so because some of us adopt what I call “the half a loaf” attitude of living in the country but not in a civic sense being engaged with it, our commitment -no less than our expectations – is half baked”.
Our moral duty to be civically engaged in building the future of South Africa was the message at the heart of Tony Leon’s keynote address at the Council of KwaZulu-Natal Jewry’s 82nd AGM entitled “South Africa Then and Now”.
The AGM which took place at the Durban Jewish Centre on Tuesday July 23rd 2013, was a poignant evening for Leon and his wife, Michal. “I am particularly pleased to have the opportunity of presenting my remarks in my home town and at a venue, the Durban Jewish Club, which so framed my childhood and early political career” Leon stated.
In both looking back and casting forward with respect to South Africa, Leon felt there was certainly no “inexorable pattern” of events, absolute certainties nor any inevitabilities. Leon concluded that essentially there are two South Africa’s. “In truth, we live in both of them and there is enough evidence to point to our country either becoming a fast tracked success story of the future, or a failing state, remembered for the big things it got right two decades ago, but for the many things which have gone wrong since then”.This ‘schizophrenic republic’which Leon describes could move towards either inspiring success or, more worryingly, great failure.
As South African Ambassador to Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay, Leon had the opportunity of looking at our country from a distance and examining it against the backdrop of the modern experience of the Argentinean state. A lesson from Argentina to all nations is surely that living on past glories relieves you of having to make tough choices going forward but also holds the future back from becoming a reality. Leon’s suggests that to ensure that South Africa is not only remembered for the big things which we got right twenty or more years ago, we must not see state-failure as the failure of our country.“Left often to our own devices, we discover that in the process our own devices are still considerable”, Leon said whilst highlighting the performance of our private sector and our promising positioning on the southern tip of the world’s fastest growing economic region.
Leon ended his speech with a call to reflect not on our ‘adjectival limitations’ but rather on our own ‘South Africaness’. In this way, we claim the safe space created by our democracy to stand up for the values which matter not only to the Jewish community, but to all South Africans. Referring to the work of the current Chairman of the South African Jewish Board of Deputies, Mary Kluk, Leon praised the more recent leadership of the Board’s forthright advocacy and expressed his wish for this to continue to be the tone of future Jewish communal leadership. Drawing upon Natan Sharansky’s book on freedom entitled, ‘The Case for Democracy’, Leon outlined the need for freedom to be rooted in the right to dissent and declare one’s views without fear of censure.
A fitting idea to guide the CKNJ as it enters another year of leading a small but dynamic Jewish community is to proudly protect the democratic rights enshrined in the South African Constitution for its citizens. In Leon’s words, “For the many things that have gone right and wrong with South Africa  since our first steps toward becoming a free society back in 1990,  Sharansky’s universal observation that, “the democracy which sometimes dislikes us is a much safer place than the dictatorship which loves us” must serve as our guide into the future”.
The AGM was well attended and President Linda Nathan’s address well received. Certificates of Appreciation were presented to Stephanie Budlender, Garth Feinberg and Malcolm Werner for many years of meritorious service to the CKNJ and the Jewish Community of KZN.
The CKNJ elections brought in President Linda Nathan for a second term, as well as Ronnie Herr and Clive Bernstein as 1st and 2nd Vice presidents respectively.
The rest of the Executive committee is Gary Baranov (Hon.Treasurer); David Simpson (Immediate past President); John Moshal (Hon.President); Mary Kluk, Sidney Lazarus (past Presidents); Alana Baranov (Media); Jeremy Droyman (IUA-UCF); David Unterslak.

Council of KwaZulu-Natal Jewry

Cycalive 2013

AdAlana Baranov

Cycalive is an event for Grade 11 students of different cultural and religious backgrounds. Started in 1998, this has developed into a tradition and experience that has touched and changed so many lives. Each year fifty learners are selected to represent the participating schools, cycling in relays from Johannesburg to Durban promoting the following goals:
• To build bridges and form bonds between young South Africans and their respective communities.
• To inspire ubuntu - optimism and commitment for the common good of a positive future in South Africa.
• To raise funds for much needed educational projects.
• To highlight the importance of road safety andthe ARRIVE ALIVE campaign particularly relating to cyclists.
• To encourage leadership and a spirit of adventure, personal challenge and self-confidence.
On Sunday 4th August, the participants of Cycalive 2013, left Johannesburg following a high profile launch. Four days later they were welcomed at the finish by representatives of the CKNJ, the UJW and members of our community. The Field Band once again led the procession to the Moses Mabhida Stadium. One of this year’s highlights was the group of cyclists, organised by Jeff Isaacs, who accompanied and escorted the cyclists from the finish to the stadium.
The Cycalive Team were accompanied by Rabbis Dovid Hazadan (Torah Academy) and Motti Hadar (Principal Torah Academy), members of staff and parent representatives of the participating schools. The participants were from Torah Academy (Johannesburg), Moletsane High (Soweto), Pace College (Soweto) and an added bonus of Yitzchak and three students from Bet Shemesh Israel.
Logie Naidoo representing Mayor of Durban, Councillor James Nxumalo and the Etekweni Municipality addressed the gathering at the Moses Mabhida Stadium.
The CKNJ are proud to be associated with CYCALIVE and thank all members of our community who supported this most worthwhile initiative.

Council of KwaZulu-Natal Jewry

Mandela Day Collection

AdAlana Baranov

Thank You! Thank You!
Our sincere appreciation to all who responded with such BIG hearts to our Mandela Day Appeal of food items for donation to the Issy Geshen Home for the Aged in Lamontville.  We were totally overwhelmed by your generosity and thoughtfulness.
Most exciting was the fact that we were able to "spoil the residents" with luxury items as well as donating "sensible" groceries. We are certain they are going to enjoy the cupcakes, muffins and biscuits with their tea in the next few weeks.
Once again our special community has risen to the call and exceeded our expectations!
Shabbat Shalom

Dear Linda
On behalf of everyone at the Home I would like to express my sincere gratitude for your donation in kind of the eats collected for the Mandela Day birthday celebration. All the residents were happy to enjoy such a treat and it will always be a day that they will never forget. Please convey our heartfelt thanks to your Trustees.
Thank You and Kind Regards.
Sifiso Ngidi, Administrator, The Issy Geshen Lamont Home

New Year Messages From ...

Linda Nathan, President Council of KwaZulu-Natal Jewry

AdThe Council of KwaZulu-Natal Jewry is proud to be associated with Hashalom and congratulates the editorial staff on another successful year.
As we celebrate ninety years of Hashalom, we pay tribute to those who have made this possible and appeal to you to offer continued support to Hashalom, to ensure that this exceptional publication continues for many years to come.
There is no doubt that the quality, content and presentation of Hashalom is unmatched in any communal publication in South Africa.  It not only keeps all readers up to date with local issues in our Durban Community, but focuses on National and International matters of interest. Yishar Koach to Professor Antony Arkin, Mikki Norton and the present editorial team for this outstanding monthly publication.
As we look towards the New Year, we need to look introspectively, ensuring that we maintain a strong and vibrant community, with each and every one of us having a responsibility, maybe not to LEAD, but to PARTICIPATE OR SERVE in some way. I urge you to do just that.
The CKNJ wishes all readers L’Shana Tova Tikateivu V’Teichateimu and a meaningful Fast. May the New Year bring peace, good health and happiness to all.

Council of KwaZulu-Natal Jewry

Debbie Gross Visits Durban

AdAlana Baranov

‘Silence and denial are not going to protect our community’

The Council of KwaZulu-Natal Jewry hosted renowned international guest speaker Debbie Gross in Durban last month.
Gross is the founder and director of the Crisis Centre for Religious Women in Israel and Board Chairman of the Israeli Coalition of Rape Crisis.  She made aliya in 1978 after having completed her Bachelor of Art in Psychology from Barnard College.  Gross did her graduate studies in Developmental Psychology in Hebrew University, Jerusalem and following this developed an educational workshop program to give children and teenagers the skills to recognize and prevent sexual abuse and domestic violence.  She has trained hundreds of volunteers in the areas of crisis intervention and recently returned from training volunteers and setting up a hotline in Belgium which will serve all of Europe, and a hotline in Melbourne, Australia. Gross has received the Jerusalem Foundation Teddy Kollek Award for Community Leadership and Excellence in 2003.  She received the Jerusalem Mayor's Volunteer Award from Prime Minister Ehud Olmert.  
“We have a responsibility to ensure the safety our community and need to be proactive”, said CKNJ President Linda Nathan. It was to this end that the CKNJ hosted Debbie Gross  an outstanding expert on rape and abuse.  She presented in Durban both a professional’s workshop in the afternoon of June 11th 2013, with an open community forum held later that evening. The initiative, which gave participants insight into how abuse works and what can be done to prevent and stop the cycle of violence and molestation, was endorsed by Chief Rabbi Goldstein. As well as in our province, Gross also spoke to various Jewish groups in all major centres around South Africa.
Community members who attended Gross’s presentations, which took place at the Durban Holocaust Centre, learned skills that will assist them in not only detecting abuse amongst our children but also methods to empower children to protect them from harm and avert the cycle of violence exploitation. By creating strong and secure young people who have the ability to defend themselves against predators,  our community can go a long way towards ensuring that the scourge of rape and molestation does not inflict damage on the next generation.
The CKNJ would like to thank the following trusts for their very generous and on-going sponsorship: JAKAMAR, The Victor Daitz Foundation and the Aaron Beare Foundation. We would also like to thank Gaynor and Sidney Lazarus for their warm hospitality and support.

Council of KwaZulu-Natal Jewry

Rena Quint’s Visit To Westville Prison

AdLinda Nathan

After Rev.Bongane Hlatshwayo, Head Chaplain of Correctional Services KZN, heard a radio interview with Rena Quint, our guest speaker at Yom Hashoah this year, he immediately contacted us to inquire if he could attend the function and meet Mrs Quint in person. After Yom Hashoah, Rev Hlatshwayo extended an invitation for Mrs Quint to address the female inmates at Westville Prison.
On Tuesday 9th April Linda Nathan (President CKNJ), Roseanne Roseanne (Executive Office Administrator CKNJ), Oz Bilu and Shlomo Weiner (Chabad) accompanied Rena and her grandson Boaz to the prison.  We were met outside the prison by Rev Hlashwayo, who directed us to the Women’s Prison building and lead us through some very strict security measures.
Westville Prison is the largest correctional services facility in South Africa and is home to some 10 000 inmates. As we entered the prison building we were surrounded by the most beautiful singing which emanated from the chapel service being held in the hall.
About 150 female inmates were present. Pastor Thabile Khumalo, a retired prosecutor, recited the opening prayer followed by Rev Hlatshwayo who warmly welcomed us and introduced the speakers. Linda Nathan introduced Mrs Quint and explained the purpose of the day. Rena then addressed the inmates. She told her story through an interpreter to a captivated audience, many of whom were reduced to tears.
Gifts were presented to all present and then Roseanne Rosen eloquently gave a vote of thanks and a message of inspiration. Shlomo Weiner closed the proceedings with a prayer and a rousing rendition of “Ya’aseh shalom”, with many of the inmates joining in the singing.
We were then asked to stand in a reception line so that the women could personally say thank you. They walked out of the hall in single file, singing and embracing those of us present.
To quote a survivor, “We have shown that the misery, cruelty, despair and injustice that were afflicted on us, did not break our indomitable will. It did not consume us with hatred to the point of destroying our own and other people’s lives. Instead we set out to create a new life”.
Hopefully the lesson learnt was that despite adversity, tragedy, despair and hopelessness, one can live one’s life with purpose, meaning and fulfilment.

Council of KwaZulu-Natal Jewry

Yom Hashoah 2013

AdAlana Baranov

“Rena Quint was liberated from Bergen-Belsen as a young child, with no memory of her real family. Taken away from her mother and later from her father, in the camps she had seen one adopted mother after another sent to the gas chambers, while she somehow survived the unspeakable - a lone flame among the ashes”.
The Durban Jewish community was honoured to hear the testimony of Holocaust survivor Rena Quint, who was the guest speaker for this year’s Yom Hashoah function that took place at the main hall of the Durban Jewish Centre on Sunday April 7th.
A capacity audience listened in a hushed silence to Rena’s remarkable and inspiring story of survival. Born in Pietrokov, Poland in December 1935, her hometown was the site of the first ghetto established by the Nazis. Rena was forced to work in the slave labour camp in Pietrokov and was later liberated from Bergen Belsen death camp by the British army, the sole survivor in her entire family. She has no recollection of her parents or brothers.  
Rena’s tale of being hidden by her father in a cellar and dressed as a boy, after the ghetto was liquidated and her mother and two brothers were taken by railway to Treblinka, was truly heart-breaking. In the camps Rena was cared for by a series of ‘mothers’ who all perished in the mass murder of the Holocaust. Equally jarring was her account of the displaced persons camp in Sweden, where she met Anna, whose daughter had died and subsequently left Anna with an extra immigration document. Using this twist of fate, Rena was able to emigrate and start a new life for herself. Unfortunately months after arriving in the USA, Anna passed away. Rena was taken in and later adopted by the Globe family. To this day they are the only family she knows.
This remarkable woman holds a Master of Arts in Remedial Reading from Brooklyn College in the United States. She made aliyah with her husband and four children in 1984, and has held various important positions in international Jewish organizations, including Vice-Chair of World Emunah and volunteers as a guide for Yad Vashem in Israel. She is married to Rabbi Emanuel Quint, has four children, twenty three grandchildren and 9 great grandchildren.
Rena was accompanied on her travels to South Africa by her 18 year-old grandson Boaz Silverman. She was the guest of honour, speaking to the capacity crowd at the Yom Hashoah commemoration ceremony in Johannesburg. She also addressed the Jewish community in Cape Town.
President of the CKNJ Linda Nathan opened the proceedings. She stressed the importance of not only remembering those who had perished but honouring those who had survived and rebuilt their lives, passing along the lessons they learned from their experiences during the Holocaust to the rest of the world.
Psalm 23 was read and followed by a moving candle lighting ceremony. Younger members of our community accompanied survivors to kindle the memorial lights.
There was a presentation on the Warsaw Ghetto and a reading of the poem “One Pair of Shoes” by Rifke Galin.
An amazing audio visual presentation was screened followed by the singing of Ani Ma’amin.
Director of the Durban Holocaust Centre, and national chairman of the South African Jewish Board of Deputies, Mary Kluk reported on her recent visit to Thessaloniki to attend the Memorial to those who perished in the Holocaust. She spoke of the vibrant Jewish community who in 1940 numbered 49 000 and by the end of 1943 numbered approximately 1 950.
The flag bearers walked slowly through the hall and Frank Melman sang a beautiful rendition of the partisan song “Zog Nisht Keynmol” by Hirsch Glik.
Haskarah was intoned followed by Kaddish. The Survivor’s pledge was recited in unison by all present after which Nkosi Sikeleli iAfrika and Hatikvah were sung. Worth mentioning was the visual Hatikvah presentation filmed at Bergen Belsen at the time of liberation
Yom Hashoah 2013 was a most memorable and beautiful commemoration ceremony and sincere thanks must go to Mary Kluk and Roseanne Rosen for compiling the programme.

Council of KwaZulu-Natal Jewry

The Computer Project

AdAlana Baranov

The CKNJ Computer Project, ably run by Lew Heilbron and assisted by Roseanne Rosen, is one of our most successful outreach programs.

Funded by the Moshal family and administered by the CKNJ, the project imports reconditioned computers and distributes them to various underprivileged institutions. Begun in 2000 and after dispensing 1,200 computers in the first two years alone, the project has sustained a monthly average of 60 machines donated to over 80 schools, orphanages, pre-primary schools; with a special focus on schools for children with special needs. Recently, the project donated 15 computers to the Queen Kamsweli Junior Primary School in Nongoma.

The school, named after King Goodwill Zwelithini’s grandmother, is run by Her Majesty Queen Nompumelelo Mchiza. The school currently has 287 learners and is situated about 1.5km from the Traditional Royal Palace of Enyokeni.  The request for these computers came through Prof. Antony Arkin of the KwaZulu-Natal Zionist Council after an approach by the Israeli Deputy Ambassador Mr Yaakov Finkelstein.

Council of KwaZulu-Natal Jewry


Alana Baranov

The CKNJ has been very busy on the media front, composing and disseminating various press releases. Media Liaison Alana Baranov and President Linda Nathan have also had meetings with various members of the media, including Sunday Tribune Editor Jovial Rantao and Sunday Tribune journalist Jeff Wicks. Jeff was the KwaZulu-Natal representative on a recent media trip to Israel, where he made an impressive impression on the organizers and experts who met with the delegation.

Linda Nathan, Alana Baranov and Durban Holocaust Centre Director Mary Kluk welcomed Sunday Tribune’s editor Jovial Rantao, as well as one of the newspaper’s leading journalists Greg Arde, to an informal lunch at the Circle Cafe after which they were guided through the DHC exhibition.

Council of KwaZulu-Natal Jewry

Opening of the KZN Legislature

Alana Baranov

On February 26th 2013, President Linda Nathan and Vice President Ronnie Herr attended the official opening of the KwaZulu-Natal Legislature, addressed by His Majesty King Zwelithini.

Two days later, on February 28th at the Pietermartizburg Royal Show Grounds, President Linda Nathan, SAJBD National Chairman Mary Kluk and Roseanne Rosen attended the KwaZulu-Natal State of the Province Address by Premier Dr Z Mkhize.

Council of KwaZulu-Natal Jewry

Durban Jewish community donates 110 wheelchairs to those in need

2013Alana Baranov

“Giving back the sun”

On Monday January 28th, the Council of KwaZulu-Natal Jewry held a special function at the Durban Jewish Centre to handover 110 wheelchairs to the needy of the province on behalf of the Jewish community.

The wheelchairs, donated by the Moshal family in the name of the Durban Jewish community, came in various sizes and would be used to “give back the sun” to those who would use them.

In July 2012 thirteen-year old Harrison Hochman and his family from the USA visited Durban to hand over wheelchairs to local benefi-ciaries through Rotary International. Harrison had used the occasion of his bar mitzvah to collect money for the wheelchairs, and the CKNJ was approached to co-host a reception with Rotary for the Hochman family to perform a handover ceremony.

It was at this function that community leader John Moshal approached Milton Frary, Chairman of the Wheelchair Foundation UK, to purchase 110 wheelchairs in the name of the Durban Jewish Community. The Wheelchair Foundation UK delivers hundreds of all-terrain wheelchairs to the needy in developing countries across the world. This non- profit organisation also plays a leading role in the international effort to create awareness to the needs and abilities of people with physical disabilities.

John and Anna Moshal, along with their family, are highly respected and active members of the Durban Jewish community, with John holding the prestigious position of Honorary President of the Council of KwaZulu-Natal Jewry. The Moshal’s philanthropic commitment to both the Jewish community and the community at large is an inspiration to all, and it is through their generosity that the CKNJ is able to carry out various outreach projects. Initiatives associated with the Moshal family include the distribution of re-conditioned computers to school and institutions around KwaZulu-Natal; CHIVA Africa providing mentoring and training to those working on the frontlines of the Aids epidemic; and DIVOTE, which helps survivors of terror in Israel.

Wheelchairs were given to various Jewish organizations, as well as organizations and institutions doing incredible work in the broader community. Some of these beneficiaries included the Natal Settler’s Home; Golden Gateway School; Ikhwezi Welfare Organisation; Mavela Hospice in Ndwedwe and Nazareth House.

CKNJ President Linda Nathan dedicated the evening to, “individuals and organizations that are making such a difference to the lives of so many” and ended the evening off with the Talmudic quote, “It has been said that that he who saves one life, has as it were saved the world in its entirety”.


Council of KwaZulu-Natal Jewry

Alana Baranov

On Monday October 29th, the leaders of the Jewish community of KwaZulu-Natal, under the auspices of the Council of KwaZulu-Natal Jewry , met with the Mayor of Durban Councillor James Nxumalo and Councillor Fawzia Peer at a luncheon at the Durban Jewish Centre.

The luncheon, hosted by the CKNJ and at their invitation, was held for the Mayor and his esteemed colleagues to have the chance to meet one-on-one, and discuss various issues of mutual interest, with the leadership of the KwaZulu-Natal Jewish community.

Mayor Nxumalo brought a message from his office that emphasized the importance of the Jewish community as a stakeholder in the city of Durban and thanked them for all their charity and upliftment efforts in the region, most notably the CKNJ’s Computer Project in which over 60 computers are refurbished and distributed around Durban to underprivileged schools and institutions each month. The Mayor also noted the good work of CHIVA, the Children’s HIV Association which, started by the Moshal family and supported by the CKNJ, brings out teams of medical experts from overseas to train local health workers and care for children affected by HIV in the South Africa.

Linda Nathan, President of the CKNJ, spoke about the values intrinsic to the Jewish community. “Despite being a small community, we are strong and flourishing, so proud of our history and extremely optimistic about our future”. Nathan went on to quote the famous Jewish saying ‘If I am not for myself, who will be for me? And if I am only for myself, what am I? And if not now, when’, and continued, “Righteousness, kindness and charity are primary and we must always remain sensitive to the suffering of others and those less fortunate than ourselves. We are required to look at other human beings, to understand what they are lacking, and endeavour to help them”. Nathan stressed the CKNJ’s history of service and its mandate to ensure that the community were active citizens building a just and prosperous society.

Part of the CKNJ’s mandate to build open channels of communication with government and civil society, the warm gathering is part of a growing relationship between the Mayor and the Jewish community. The afternoon ended with an open discussion during which the community leadership committed to continue, and even expand, their educational, developmental, and poverty alleviation efforts in the city.


Council of KwaZulu-Natal Jewry

Lindiwe Mazibuko Guest Speaker at CKNJ AGM

On July 23rd 2012, the Council of KwaZulu-Natal Jewry held its 81st Annual General Meeting at the Durban Jewish Centre where guest speaker Lindiwe Mazibuko, Parliamentary leader of the Democratic Alliance, addressed the audience.

Ms Mazibuko spoke about her childhood as a pupil of the Carmel College Jewish Day School in Durban. Quoting the Talmudic verse, ‘He who saves a life, saves the world entire’, she described her experiences growing up during the 1980s under the scourge of Apartheid. She pointed to the importance of education in changing the lives of our children and called for the CKNJ to continue to play a strategic role in nurturing and building a spirit of reconciliation and upliftment in South Africa.

The evening also paid tribute to the incredible work, wisdom and leadership of previous President, David Simpson and saw the election of the new Executive Committee of the organization for 2012/2013. The CKNJ’s new President Linda Nathan, a social worker by profession who has many decades of experience in Jewish communal life, is joined by Vice Presidents Ronnie Herr and Clive Bernstein as well as Honorary Life President John Moshal. John Moshal addressed the audience, which included special community figures Judge Alan Magid and Alan Benn, paying tribute to the past presidents of the CKNJ and calling for continuity in communal organizations.

Treasurer Stephanie Budlender and elected members Alana Baranov, Warren Shapiro, Malcolm Werner and Garth Feinberg make up the rest of the Executive. Mary Kluk and Sidney Lazarus represent the Past Presidents on the Council.

The CKNJ is the umbrella representative body of the KwaZulu-Natal Jewish community and works to create unity within the community as well as protecting Jewish civil liberties and human rights. The CKNJ is also involved with protecting the rights of all South Africa and fights against racism and discrimination whilst building interfaith, government and civil society relationships.

Alana Baranov


Council of KwaZulu-Natal Jewry

Barmitzvah Boy Donates 140 Wheelchairs To Needy In Durban


On Tuesday July 24th 13 year old American teenager Harrison Hochman, together with his father Nathan Hochman (former Assistant Attorney General for the Tax Division of the United States Department of Justice) and his family, arrived in Durban to donate 140 wheelchairs to various charitable organizations.

Choosing to mark the occasion of his Barmitzvah, by raising funds to change the lives of the disabled on the other side of the world, Harrison collected over $80 000 and has donated a total of 280 wheelchairs to deserving causes in South Africa.

The CKNJ, together with the Rotary Club of Durban, hosted the Hochman family for a function at the Durban Jewish Centre for a ceremonial hand over of a wheelchair to the Natal Settlers’ Society. The evening consisted of a moving presentation by Harrison on why he chose this project to mark this special event in his life, as well as messages from Derek Hucklesby of Rotary Durban and newly elected President of the CKNJ, Linda Nathan.

The wheelchairs will be donated to 40 Rotary clubs for distribution to different charities in South Africa through the assistance of Rotary's Milton Frary.

Alana Baranov

Council of KwaZulu-Natal Jewry

Lest We Forget

On Monday August 6th, representatives of the SAJBD, the CKNJ and members of the Jewish community travelled to attend the formal unveiling of the Jewish Boer War Memorial near Ladysmith. This monument commemorates Jewish Burgers who died serving on the side of the Boer Republic during the Anglo Boer War 1899-1902. The memorial which includes texts in English, Afrikaans and Hebrew is located close to the Burgher Monument on Platrand that was the scene of bitter fighting during the war.

Amongst those present were Mary Kluk Chairman of the SAJBD, Rabbi Moshe Silberhaft Country Communities Spiritual leader, CKNJ President Linda Nathan, Vice President Ronnie Herr and SAJBD Associate Director David Saks, author of the 2012 publication Boerejode: Jews in the Boer Armed Forces. Also attending this unique ceremony were a number of dignitaries, including representatives of the Ladysmith Emnambithi Municipality and members of Ladysmith’s active local heritage committee.

Keynote speaker Mary Kluk complimented the Ladysmith Siege Museum Trust on taking this initiative in partnership with the SAJBD to bring this event to fruition. She emphasized that the gathering was to honour and remember the 12 members of the Jewish community who gave their lives for the Boer Republics but at the same time, to remember all brave men who fell in combat in the service of their causes. Ronnie Herr laid a wreath on behalf of the Jewish Ex Servicemen’s League. David Saks unveiled the simple memorial and was the guest speaker at the post ceremony lunch. Linda Nathan gave the vote of thanks.

This is a unique memorial as it is the first ever official recognition of Jews who fought on the Boer side as well as being the first monument solely in recognition of Jewish soldiers ever to be erected in a public space in South Africa.

We pay tribute to the benefactors The Victor Daitz Foundation, The Aaron Beare Foundation and the JAKAMaR Trust. We are forever grateful to the trustees of these Trusts for recognizing the relevance and importance of preserving Jewish Heritage in KZN, for their ongoing and generous support of our many initiatives, as well as their noble support of projects outside of the Jewish community.

Alana Baranov


Council of KwaZulu-Natal Jewry


Cycalive is an annual event for Grade 11 learners of different cultural and religious backgrounds. This year the students from Torah Academy Boys High School in Johannesburg, Moletsane High and Pace Secondary Schools in Soweto, were joined by some lively students from Beth Shemesh in Israel. The forty participants led by Rabbi Dovid Hazdan had an interesting week, experiencing KZN weather at its worst but yet most beautiful, while cycling in relays from Johannesburg to Durban

This incredible journey is not just about cycling but forges bridge building, sharing of common goals, fundraising, highlighting road safety, encouraging leadership and sharing a sense of Ubuntu and personal growth!

On Thursday 9th August the Cycalive Team were met by CKNJ President Linda Nathan together with Ronnie Herr, Roseanne Rosen and members of our community. Led by a Police escort and the Durban Field Band (made up of young previously disadvantaged musicians), the cyclists rode to the Moses Mabhida Stadium where they were welcomed by members of our Jewish community, including many young children who were waving flags. Rabbi Hazdan (Dean of Torah Academy) and Rabbi Hadar (Principal of Torah Academy) addressed the gathering followed by a rousing rendition by all the cyclists of Aveinu Shalom Alechem!

Thereafter the participants and their teachers attended a Braai at the Perling Hall, hosted by the CKNJ. Youth Leaders, Grade 11 and 12 Jewish Learners from schools in the Durban area and other invited guests. Also present, were a few of the international Limmud guests.

Linda Nathan welcomed the Cycalive Team and praised them for their incredible efforts. Rabbi Hazdan gave the vote of thanks.
Special thanks go to the Union of Jewish Women for providing the “Welcome Snacks and Drinks” for the ravenous cyclists.
The CKNJ looks forward to seeing more of our community at the finish next year

67 Minutes For Mandela

11h00 – 12h07 Sunday 29th July 2012

In response to an appeal by the CKNJ for clothing and blankets, members of our community generously responded and in doing so honoured the 67 minutes for Mandela Campaign.Our thanks go to all those who supported this initiative. The goods were delivered to the Diocese on behalf of the Abahlali Project for donation to the Kennedy Road Settlement.

Eliseo Neuman Visits Durban

We were honoured to host Eliseo Neuman, Chairman of the American Jewish Committee (Africa Region). Eliseo attended the unveiling of the Boerejode Monument and then travelled back to Durban with the Durban participants. En route we visited the new Mandela Monument at Rosetta and were overwhelmed by this awesome structure. Special thanks to Alana Baranov for organising a most worthwhile programme for Eliseo during his short stay in Durban.

Alana Baranov


President, Council of KwaZulu-Natal

New Year Messages From Linda Nathan


The Council of KwaZulu-Natal Jewry is proud to be associated with Hashalom and congratulates the editorial staff on another successful year. There is no doubt that the quality, content and presentation of Hashalom is unmatched in any communal publication in South Africa. It not only keeps all readers up to date with local issues in our Durban Community, but focuses on National and International matters of interest. We appeal to you to support Hashalom, to ensure that this outstanding publication continues for many years to come.

The CKNJ wishes all Hashalom readers L’Shana Tova Tikateivu V’Teichateimu and a meaningful fast. May the New Year bring peace, good health and happiness to all.

Council of KwaZulu‐Natal Jewry


High Commissioner Praises SA Jewish Community’s Key Role in Transformation

In May, chair of the Jewish Leadership Council’s Board of Trustees Mick Davis hosted the UK launch of the book “Jewish Memories of Mandela”. The launch took place in the presence of South African High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, H. E. Dr. Zola Skweyiya.

Jewish Memories of Mandela is a unique publication which chronicles the story of Nelson Mandela and the anti-apartheid struggle through the lives and recollections of Jewish South Africans who were a part of it. The book also records the remarkable extent to which Jewish South Africans participated in the anti-apartheid struggle, as well as in the post-apartheid era of nation building, reconstruction and reconciliation.

Highlighting the importance of the book Mr Davis commented:. “In generations to come, when the many South African Jews who worked closely with Nelson Mandela and who vigorously worked against apartheid are no longer here to tell their stories, we will have this book to remind the world of the Jewish contribution to the struggle”

Guests at the event included His Excellency Daniel Taub, Israel’s Ambassador to the Court of St James, National Director of the South African Board of Deputies Wendy Khan and a number of Jewish South Africans who had played a personal role or whose families were central in the struggle against Apartheid.

In his remarks High Commissioner Skweyiya thanked the leadership of the UK Jewish community for highlighting this important publication. He said: “While the Jews constituted a small minority of the population, they were greatly involved with Mandela’s struggles and the broader struggle for democracy in South Africa.” In relation to the process of building the New South Africa he added: “The Jewish community and communal leaders, including the South African Jewish Board of Deputies and the Chief Rabbi went about leading the Jewish community in being an active part in the process of transformation into a multicultural democracy.”

Wendy Kahn, National Director of the South African Jewish Board of Deputies said: “London has a special place in the history of the struggle against Apartheid. It seems fitting to launch this book together with the Jewish Leadership Council at this very memorable event.” She added: "Jewish Memories of Mandela not only tells the special relationships between members of our community and Nelson Mandela but it also documents the disproportionate role that Jewish South Africans played in the struggle against Apartheid. It pays tribute to the many inspirational Jewish men and women who stood up against injustice."

Many guests took the opportunity to buy a copy of the book, many of whom bought copies for children, reaffirming the history contained within its pages.

Jeremy Newmark, Mick Davis, High Commissioner Zola Skweyiya, Israeli Ambassador Daniel Taub, Wendy KahnAd

Council of KwaZulu‐Natal Jewry

In the spirit of Raoul Wallenberg – Yom Hashoah 2012


“Oppose all forms of racial, religious and colour discrimination in the world’. With these words guest speaker John Dobai, a Wallenberg Holocaust survivor, captured the spirit of the Council of KwaZulu-Natal Jewry’s Yom Hashoah Commemoration 2012 held at the Durban Jewish Centre on April 18th.

Dobai, a Hungarian Jew who survived the tragedy of World War II through the protection of one of the many ‘schutz passes’ issued by Swedish diplomat Raoul Wallenberg, was brought out to our shores for this year’s Yom Hashoah by the South African Jewish Board of Deputies. Wallenberg risked his own life by using his political position to save the lives of as many Jews as possible during the Holocaust and was arrested by the Red Army in 1945. He disappeared into the Soviet prison system and his fate is still uncertain to this day, but his deeds are remembered. This year marks the 100th anniversary of Wallenberg’s birth and as such has been used to honour this hero and ‘Righteous among the Nations’. It was a unique privilege to have John Dobai, one of the many innocent souls he saved, speak to the Durban community as a witness to the spirit of Wallenberg.

John Dobai was born in Budapest, Hungary in 1934. The Dobai family had converted to Catholicism in the mistaken belief that this would protect them from persecution in Europe. However when Germany invaded Hungary in 1941, the country was forced to adopt the fiercely anti-Semitic Nuremberg Laws and John’s father was sent to a forced labour camp whilst he and his mother were confined to a ‘Jewish’ house. John was sent to live with a peasant family by his mother after the deportations of Jews started, but returned to her side after he fell ill. When the camp where his father was interned was disbanded, the family managed to obtain ‘schutz passes’ organized by Raoul Wallenberg through the Swedish Embassy. Thanks to this pass, John lived to see liberation and the end of the war in January 1945. He immigrated to the United Kingdom with his family in 1948.

David Simpson, President of the CKNJ, opened the evening with a stirring call to the community to follow in the footsteps of individuals like Wallenberg. “He stood up for justice, not just in words but in actions”, said Simpson. “We must commit ourselves to standing up to injustice too”. After John shared his incredible story of overcoming against the odds, Rabbi Sam Thurgood introduced the March of the Living presentation by stressing that for learners today, the Holocaust is a distant historical fact. The responsibility to keep awareness about this event and rebuild Jewish life after such a tragedy falls to our generation. Jenna Werner then spoke with maturity and confidence about the impact the ‘March of the Living’ trip had on her life. Touched in particular by the piles of victims’ shoes at Majdanek concentration camp, Jenna was able to relate to the horror of the Holocaust through her own experiences of being bullied and ostracized at school, and made a direct connection between the lessons of the Holocaust and not allowing oneself to be a bystander to injustice against those who are different.

The ceremony also included a narration of the Warsaw Ghetto and the symbolic significance of the uprising by Allan Rosen and a reading of the Janice Jackson poem ‘Raoul Wallenberg, Humanitarian’ by Joel Kaplan. Memorial candles were lit by Holocaust survivors in the Durban community, accompanied by their grandchildren and great-grandchildren, as well as on behalf of the SA Jewish Ex-Service League and in memory of the one and a half million children who perished during the Holocaust.

A screening of the DVD ‘Rainbow in the Night’ was a special feature of the ceremony. Funded and created by Cecelia Margules, the daughter of Holocaust survivors, this viral music video campaign is as a response to recent debates in the international media questioning the existence of the Holocaust. Inspired by her parent’s stories of survival, Margules is driven to pass on the history of what happened during the Holocaust. ‘A glint of hope deep inside never died’ exclaims one line from the powerful song, and it is this sentiment which succinctly captures the purpose of both the DVD and the CKNJ’s Yom Hashoah ceremony – we must triumph over evil and educate the world on the horrors of genocide.

The inclusion of so many of the young people in the community, as well as the innovative incorporation of technology into the ceremony added a unique touch to the event. Linkages between history and our current responsibilities and daily choices were made all the more pertinent. The hard work of Mary Kluk Director of the Durban Holocaust Centre and Chairman of the SAJBD, CKNJ's Roseanne Rosen and their teams ensured that this year’s event in Durban was a memorable one whose impact will be carried in the hearts and minds of all those who attended. May the lesson and spirit of Wallenberg, and survivors like John Dobai, allow us to live lives committed to standing up against evil, discrimination and prejudice wherever we may find it.