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COMMUNITY NEWS

Durban Progressive Jewish Congregation

On Wednesday, 7 September 2016 the congregation of the DPJC held its annual general meeting at the Durban Jewish Centre. The meeting was attended by about 60 members of the congregation and representatives of communal organisations. The affiliates of the DPJC presented reports confirming that in spite of the move from Ridge Road and the temporary nature of the organisation’s residence at the DJC it is business as usual for the DPJC. Shabbat and festival services take place, weekly Hebrew School classes are held, funerals and unveilings are conducted by the Chevra Kadisha.  The Sisterhood of the DPJC is preparing for the communal Rosh Hashanah dinner and booking is brisk.  The move from their home of half a century and the sojourn at the DJC has presented challenges but the executive and congregation have met these with the firm belief that the congregation will be invigorated and strengthened by these challenges.

Lorna Harris, co-president, in her address noted that the move to the DJC has been a plus in many ways. The fact that the DPJC is now part of the wider Jewish Community and integrated into its life can only benefit us all. She went on to say that the ’health’ of the congregation was very good.  Despite comprising only about one fifth of the Durban Jewish population we are well represented in all facets of Durban Jewish life. Lorna ended by urging all congregants to pull together and work towards a vibrant future for the congregation of which she is certain. 

At the AGM the congregation said goodbye to Ken Duveen who has served as co chair with Lorna Harris for the past two years. Ken said in his speech that although he had only been co chair for two years so much had happened that it seemed like a life time. Ken thanked Rabbi Avidan who is an inspiration to all with his vast knowledge and the energy with which he serves his congregation. Ken & Lynne will be greatly missed.

And as we all begin the journey of Teshuvah during the coming Days of Awe the members of the Durban Progressive Jewish congregation wish all a blessed New Year, L’Shanah Tovah


ROSH HASHANAH MESSAGES

Durban Progressive Jewish Congregation

- Rabbi Hillel Avidan

The practical formula characterising the Yamim Noraim is contained in the U’natanei Tokef prayer recited on these days of Awe… Tshuva, tefilah, tzedakahAt the Yom Tov market held at Izinga on Sunday 17 September the hundreds who attended testified to the fact that the Durban Jewish community is still very much alive and thriving. Ours is a close knit community where differences between diverse expressions of Judaism are more accepted and tolerated than in either Johannesburg or Cape Town. We are relatively few in number but very strong in our allegiances to Judaism, to Israel and to the Jewish communities within and beyond South Africa. Of course, so many of us have children, grandchildren, siblings or cousins, living abroad so that we can boast of links with other continents; with Asia (Israel), Europe, North America and Australasia.

As we gather in our synagogues on Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur let us be conscious that we are part of a universal people bound to one another by a common faith and history and subject to the universal rule of the Holy One, blessed be He. May our prayers at the outset of 5777 be offered with sincerity so that we, our families, our community and our people, be blessed with a year of peace and self fulfillment.

My wife Ruth joins me in wishing you all SHANAH TOVAH


COMMUNITY NEWS

Durban Progressive Jewish Congregation

By Diane McColl

After a sad farewell to 369 Ridge Road the congregation has settled in its temporary home at the Durban Jewish Centre. The office is operational and all the auxiliary bodies are functioning. Everyone has had to made significant adjustments not least of all the Hebrew School children. A visit by Habonim youth workers from Johannesburg got the children excited and lots of outdoor activities created much laughter and noise.

There are at present 17 children enrolled in the DPJC Hebrew School ranging in age from 10 to 16. The mission statement of the school reflects the core values of Progressive Judaism. The school aims to provide a well rounded, liberal Jewish education. We strive for a balanced program of instruction in Jewish religious concepts, Hebrew and progressive religious practices. In all our dealings with the children we emphasise that every Jew is a link in the chain of Jewish connection between the past and the future and endeavour to instil in every learner a sense of belonging to our community and the Jewish people.

Since arriving at the DJC the Durban Progressive Congregation has held several special services. Recently the congregation held a special service to honour their caretaker of 25 years, Mr John Zulu, who retired at the end of February.  In her address during the service, Mrs Lorna Harris, co-president of the DPJC praised Mr Zulu and acknowledged his enormous contribution to the wellbeing of the congregation over the past quarter century.

The congregation wishes Mr Zulu a peaceful and satisfying retirement.

Another special service was held on Friday, 4 March the DPJC when the congregation celebrated Women’s World Day of Prayer with a special service acknowledging the role of women in all spheres of life.  This worldwide initiative represents women of diverse national and religious traditions who come together to observe a common day of prayer each year, and who, in many countries, have an ongoing relationship through prayer and social outreach programmes. It is observed in more than 170 countries and regions.


COMMUNITY NEWS

Durban Progressive Jewish Congregation

- By Diane McColl

The DPJC held its final service at the Ridge Road Temple, on Sunday, 31 January 2016. The Minchah Service was followed by a service of deconsecration at which time the Ner Tamid was extinguished by Keith Gild, son of Mervyn Gild, the first president of the congregation. The deconsecration service was attended by a large number of congregants, many who have been members for 50 years, as well as representatives of communal organisations. Ronnie Herr - Chair of the CKNJ, Mary Kluk - National Chair of the South African Jewish Board of Deputies as well as Alvin Kushner - National Chair of the South African Union for Progressive Judaism and Giddy Lief - National Chair of Women of Reform Judaism , were all in attendance among others.

In his final addresses from the bimah at 369 Ridge Road, Rabbi Avidan paid tribute to all past members who had helped build the congregation as well as the synagogue. Co-presidents, Lorna Harris and Ken Duveen urged all present to embrace the exciting changes and challenges that we face and to continue attending services in our temporary home at the DJC. 


COMMUNITY NEWS

Durban Progressive Jewish Congregation

By Diane McColl

On 31 January 2016 the Durban Progressive Congregation will hold its final service at the synagogue in Ridge Road which has been our home for 65 years. It is however just  the beginning of an exciting new chapter in the history of the congregation, for as soon as the new Durban Progressive Jewish Centre in Durban North is completed, that will be our new home. But still the closing of the doors of the Ridge Road synagogue is a poignant and emotional moment for all its congregants. This synagogue has been the centre of Progressive Jewish life in Durban and its outlying areas for over half a century. It has seen baby naming ceremonies, b’nei mitzvah and weddings, in some cases for 3 generations of Reform families. It has seen countless Shabbat services and study. We have celebrated festivals of joy and we have commemorated the Days of Awe and listened to the shofar in solemn silence within the walls of this synagogue.   

Although the Durban Reform Congregation was established on 10 May 1948, Temple David was only built in 1950, on property purchased in Ridge Road. The synagogue’s foundation stones were laid by Rabbi  M.C. Weiler, life president of the South African Union for Progressive Judaism  and Mervyn Gild, the first president of the Congregation on 27 August 1950. The synagogue was consecrated on 23 March 1951 and it was in this year that the first Seder was held at Temple David, in Ridge Road. Since then, many annual functions that have become synonymous with Temple David. Women’s World day of Prayer Services and Free Mason’s Services are examples of these. Rabbis of great learning and dedication have served the congregation. Men such as Rabbi Meyer Miller, Rabbi Isaac Richards and our incumbent rabbi, Rabbi Hillel Avidan, to name a few. The congregation has been blessed and enriched by its rabbis. 

And now even as we look forward with hope and eagerness to re-establishing ourselves at the new Durban Progressive Jewish Centre we cannot help but say goodbye to our home of 65 years with a touch of sadness and nostalgia. We remember all those congregants who, over the past 65 years, have made contributions to the welfare of Temple David and its congregation. Men and women who have dedicated themselves to the continued existence of a Progressive Jewish presence in Durban. All the celebrations and sorrows, the commemorations and mournings form part of our collective memory and go with us as surely do our Ark and scrolls.

On 31st January 2016 Keith Gild, son of Mervyn Gild who unveiled the foundation stone in 1951, will extinguish the Ner Tamid and the door of Temple David Ridge Road will close for the last time.

Note: The offices of the DPJC and Rabbi Hillel Avidan will be housed at the Durban Jewish Centre until the relocation to Durban North.

Religious services on Shabbat and festivals will also be held at the DJC. For further details contact the DPJC via email: dpjc@sbsa.com or phone 0605270461


COMMUNITY NEWS

Durban Progressive Jewish Congregation

- By Diane McColl

Durban Inter-Faith Meeting

An Inter-Faith meeting was held at St Joseph’s Church hall in Durban, on the evening of Thursday, 29 October. It featured Rabbi Hillel Avidan, Cardinal Wilfred Napier and Sheik Saleem Banda addressing two Vatican statements, “Nostra Aetate” (from Pope Paul VI in October 1965) and “Laudato Si” (from the current Pope Francis). 

Rabbi Avidan praised both papal declarations and gave credit to Pope John XXIII and Cardinal Bea who, between 1958 and 1963, did the groundwork for “Nostra Aetate”. Rabbi Avidan recounted how this declaration recognized the validity of non-Christian religions and repudiated the doctrine of ‘no salvation outside the Church’. The charge of ‘Deicide’ was lifted from the Jewish people and all negative references to Jews and to Judaism were to be expunged from the Catholic liturgy. 

He went on to say that this was particularly gratifying to the Jewish people because negative Catholic prayers and statements in the past had done so much harm. Rabbi Avidan gave credit to the many popes who had denounced the forced conversion of Jews (as in Iberia from 1390 onwards) and the infamous “blood libel” which first appeared in the English city of Norwich in 1144 and persisted in to the 20th century. 

Despite papal protection of the Jews, the Roman ghetto was the last one in Western Europe to be dismantled (in 1870). During the Nazi period, while thousands of Jews were saved and sheltered by individual Catholics and Catholic institutions, there was no public papal condemnation of Nazi policy. 

Turning to “Laudato Si” Rabbi Avidan, as a committed environmentalist since 1961, praised the commitment of Pope Francis to environmental care. Pope Francis, he said, is the single most important figure in the struggle to save the planet from further degradation at the hands of industrialists, arms dealers, multi-national companies and uncaring or  short-sighted governments.  

DPJC Property News

The Durban Progressive Congregation purchased a property in Durban North to house the new Durban Progressive Jewish Centre in November 2013.   As the property was zoned for residential purposes the DPJC had to apply for special consent from municipal town planning to operate a place of worship from the property. This was granted in January 2015 however, shortly after this the Ethekwini Municipality received notice that a nearby retail store had lodged an appeal with the Town Planning Appeals Board to have the special consent rescinded.  

On 30 June 2015 the Town Planning Appeals Board convened a hearing at which the retail store through their legal representative put forward its case calling for the cancellation of the special consent.  The Ethekwini Municipality with the assistance of documentary evidence provided by the DPJC, was called to justify its decision.  

It has been confirmed that the decision of the Municipality has been upheld by the Town Planning Appeals Board and confirmed by the MEC for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs. The DPJC is now able to proceed with planning for the new property.   


COMMUNITY NEWS

Durban Progressive Jewish Congregation

Diane McColl

Warren & Sharon Bank

It was with sadness that we welcomed Warren Bank and his wife Sharon to Temple David for the High Holy Days. Warren has for several years been the visiting Cantor for Temple David over Pesach and the High Holy Days. This will be the Banks’ last visit as they are leaving for the UK in December. We shall miss Warren’s beautiful rendition of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur liturgy and his amusing anecdotes that accompany his singing.  We wish Warren and Sharon N’siyah Tovah and hope that when they return to visit family in Durban they come to visit their ‘family’ at the DPJC.

Sukkot Simchat Torah

A small band of intrepid Sukkah builders led by Nick Meyerowitz spent Thursday, 24 September, a public holiday, building the communal Sukkah in the gardens of Temple David. Those congregants, who enjoyed more sedentary activities, spent their time making decorations under the watchful eye of Rosh Netzer, Amy Groer. 

The festival of Sukkot, a great favourite with the children of the congregation, was well attended. It was colourful and reminded all of us of the connection between past and present through the ancient rituals we perform every Sukkot.

Simchat Torah

During the festival of Simchat Torah the DPJC honoured dedicated congregants Jeff Isaacson and Fran Myers as Chatan Torah and Kallat Bereishit. Both Jeff and Fran have been tireless volunteers for numerous projects of the DPJC and richly deserve this acknowledgement. The DPJC is indeed fortunate to have Jeff and Fran call Temple David their home from home. 

The joyful celebration of the Giving of the Torah culminated in the reading of the first parashah of our cycle of readings by Rabbi Avidan and the children of the Congregation.


COMMUNITY NEWS

Durban Progressive Jewish Congregation

by Diane McColl

DPJC 68th AGM - The last at Temple David Overport

The DPJC recently held its 68th Annual General Meeting at Temple David, in Peter Mokaba Ridge. The meeting was attended by members of the DPJC and by representatives of many communal organisations whose support of the congregation is valued. At the meeting, co-president of the congregation, Lorna Harris, acknowledged the contributions of many congregants and affiliates of the DPJC, without whom, the congregation could not function or offer the range of services it does. The Sisterhood of Temple David warranted a special mention, not only for their work in the DPJC, but for their many outreach programmes and involvement in the wider Durban community. Lorna praised the Sisterhood members saying they were exemplary ambassadors for the congregation.

Two dedicated and indefatigable congregants were honoured at the meeting with honorary life membership of the DPJC. Jeff Isaacson and Fran Myers whose tireless efforts on behalf of the congregation have been invaluable.

The guest speaker at the meeting was Cathy Nolan-Ferguson, a town planner, who has been spearheading the process of applying for special consent, required by municipal by-laws, for the new property which will house the DPJC. Cathy gave an informative talk on the process of  special consent application and the challenges presented by the municipal regulations, as well as solutions that the leadership of the DPJC, together with Cathy’s team, have formulated.

The meeting, almost certainly the last in the property that has housed the congregation for over 60 years, was bittersweet. The congregation will soon end one chapter of its history but a new and exciting one is just beginning.


COMMUNITY NEWS

Durban Progressive Jewish Congregation

This year Rabbi Avidan has given two series of lectures on topics of Jewish interest. During the summer, Rabbi gave two lectures on the liturgy of Shabbat. This was an evening series and those who attended came away with a much deeper understanding and appreciation of the prayers we recite every week during the Shabbat services. Rabbi’s winter lecture series, which was held on three consecutive Wednesday mornings in June, gave a fascinating insight into the character of King David and the world in which he lived. Rabbi once again, presented a series of talks that provided the congregants of the DPJC with an invaluable adult learning programme.


COMMUNITY NEWS

Durban Progressive Jewish Congregation

The DPJC celebrated the Festival of the giving of the Torah at a well attended service on Erev Shavuot. The ‘Bring & Share’ supper afterwards was a lively gathering with cheesecakes and other dairy foods in abundance. This year’s Star Baker and second time winner of the Annual Cheesecake competition was Louise Sinclair whose traditional baked cheesecake proved a favourite with judges and congregants alike.  Musical entertainment was once again provided by Stephen and Stan with guest appearances by Ronnie Serjeant and the talented youthful duo of Dylan and Daniel Cohen.

On Sunday morning the service included a study programme on Torah which was given by Rabbi Avidan.  Rabbi expounded on Midrashic texts as well as the Zohar.  This was followed by a traditional Israeli breakfast sponsored and prepared by Lorna Harris who was assisted by a group of congregants.

The children of the Hebrew School are learning all about Torah scrolls, their manufacture and their contents and on Shabbat morning, 30 May, they had a ‘hands on’ lesson with Rabbi Avidan. Rabbi explained about the Ark, the garments and decorative objects used for the scrolls.   Teachable moments present themselves when children ask questions and these came thick and fast.  For a number of the children this was the first time they had seen a scroll open and up close. With humour Rabbi Avidan described aspects of the scrolls and the children were enthralled by facts such as which animal skins are used to make the scrolls and that scrolls were hand written, not word processed on a computer.


COMMUNITY NEWS

Durban Progressive Jewish Congregation

Lag B’Omer

On Saturday, 9 May the Netzerniks hosted the annual Lag B’Omer braai for the congregation.  While the youngsters made a fire, cooked (and in some cases burnt) sausages and toasted marshmallows, the older folks enjoyed covers of old classics performed by Stan Lipschitz and Stephen Abrahams, and despite a head cold Stan’s harmonies were impressive. 

Amy Groer, Rosh Netzer Durban entertained the children around the bonfire under the watchful eye of Netzer Dad, Jason Schwartz. The children of Netzer had a sleepover on Saturday night and went home tired but happy on Sunday morning.

Rabbinic Kallah

On Sunday and Monday of 26 and 27 April, the rabbis of the South African Association of Progressive Rabbis met in Durban for a rabbinic Kallah. Since the last Kallah in June 2014 Rabbi Adrian Schell has arrived to serve Bet David in Sandton. In addition South African based rabbinic student, Julia Margolis received Smicha from Potsdam-based Abraham Geiger College in September last year. This was an opportunity for all the rabbis to meet face to face, discuss issues of mutual interest and aspects of religious practice and custom that from time to time require new input.

On the Shabbat prior to the Kallah Rabbis Margolis and Schell delivered sermons during the Shabbat services highlighting themes of the weekly parashah. Both rabbis gave meaningful and relevant talks that left us with much food for thought.


Community News

Durban Progressive Jewish Congregation

After learning all about Pesach the children of Temple David Hebrew School made their own matzah covers, decorating them in their own unique way. These artistic children produce interesting artwork related to the learning programmes that they cover during lessons.  

The DPJC celebrated Pesach with the annual First Night communal Seder so ably catered by the Sisterhood of Temple David and attended by seventy congregants as well as three American exchange students based in Durban.  


COMMUNITY NEWS

Durban Progressive Jewish Congregation

Purim 5775 

Purim remains a favourite festival at Temple David and despite the Chag falling on a ‘school night’ there was a larger than usual turnout of children.  Rabbi Avidan read from the Megillah and the children of the Hebrew School retold the story of Esther and Mordechai to an appreciative audience.  What is Purim without hotdogs and Hammantaschen and the Sisterhood of Temple David made sure there was ample of both. The children, and older congregants, of Temple David outdid themselves with clever costumes for the fancy dress parade. The judges were hard pressed to select winners in the different age groups and in the end all those who took part were rewarded for their efforts.

World Women’s Day of Prayer

The annual women’s prayer service organised by the Sisterhood of Temple David was held at Temple David on Friday, 6 March. The theme selected by women from the Bahamas for the 2015 international day of prayer was from Micah 6:8, “Act justly, love mercy and walk humbly with your G-d”. 

In 1887 women from the Presbyterian Church in the United States of America were deeply concerned for the needs of immigrants and the aftermath of slavery in their country. A call for a national day of prayer was made and the Women’s Day of Prayer was born. Women from other denominations joined in and the movement rapidly spread to other countries. By 1927 it became known as a World Day of Prayer and its widespread significance was recognised. 

The service at Temple David is conducted by women and the speaker this year was Lorna Harris, co president of the Durban Progressive Jewish Congregation. Lorna’s speech focussed on the great strides women have made in the Western World to achieve equality and recognition. She cautioned that we cannot claim to be acting justly or with mercy if we do not act on behalf of women who do not share these rights.

The service was attended by women from the broader Durban Jewish community as well as women from other faiths. To round off the evening a wonderful brocha was enjoyed by all those who attended the service.


COMMUNITY NEWS

Durban Progressive Jewish Congregation

On Sunday, 8 February 2015 at Bet David in Sandton, Johannesburg,  Rabbi Hillel Avidan, Rabbi Emeritus of Bet David, inducted two new Reform rabbis to serve the Reform community of South Africa. In his address Rabbi Avidan outlined the many roles of a modern rabbi; teacher, pastor, mentor and one with the ability to reach out to people in time of need. The newly inducted rabbis, Rabbi Julia Margolis and Rabbi Adrian Schell are both graduates of Abraham Geiger College in Potsdam named after one of the giants of early Progressive Judaism, Rabbi Avraham Geiger. Although based in other centres, the new Reform rabbis will work closely together for the wellbeing of the Progressive Jewish Movement in South Africa. 


COMMUNITY NEWS

Durban Progressive Jewish Congregation

The Hebrew School of Temple David is small but vibrant. The learners, spread over 2 classes, attend weekly lessons throughout the year, study, write assessments and produce some wonderful individual and group art projects highlighting topics covered in the classrooms.

In late November the school held its annual prize giving at which the efforts of all the learners were acknowledged.  Parents who attended the function had the opportunity to view their children’s artwork and thank the teachers who work in the school. Lorna Harris, co-president of the DPJC and guest at the prize giving, praised the children for their dedication and commitment to their Jewish learning. She emphasised the importance of a sound basis for lifelong learning. Rabbi Hillel Avidan, principal of the school and Lorna presented the prizes.


COMMUNITY NEWS

Durban Progressive Jewish Congregation

#Spreadinglight on Shabbat

On 24 October 2014 the women of Temple David joined women from

around the world as part of a WIZO initiative, the #SpreadingLight

Campaign, and lit candles together to mark the beginning of Shabbat.

Elizabeth Groot, Chair of the Sisterhood, spoke about the essence of

Shabbat and the importance of Tikkun Olam.


COMMUNITY NEWS

Ex-servicemen & women’s Shabbat & Brocha

On Friday, 7 November, during the Erev Shabbat service, the

veterans of various wars of the 20th century were honoured.

The names of Kwazulu Natal Jews who died in conflicts from the

Boer War to the war in Lebanon were read out. John F. Kennedy

once said “A nation reveals itself not only by the men (and women) it

produces but also by the men (and women) it honours and remembers.”

It is with this sentiment in mind that the DPJC acknowledges the

significance of these remembrance services and in ensuring that the

servicemen and women of the past are never forgotten.


COMMUNITY NEWS

Durban Progressive Jewish Congregation

Diane McColl

JUNIOR CHESS CHAMP VISITS TEMPLE DAVID

The World Youth Chess Championships was held in Durban at the ICC from 18 to 30 September. Young chess players from 8 to 18 competed against their peers from around the world. Among the 1500 competitors was 8 year old Justin Friedlander from Arizona. Justin and his father Robert attended Rosh Hashanah services at Temple David and Justin endeared himself to all with his humility despite being a child prodigy. “This is kind of funny, but I don’t know how to tie my shoes, even at the age of 8,” Justin said. “So, I usually wear Velcro shoes. Now, I’m wearing lace shoes but my dad tied them yesterday.” Justin received a special blessing from Rabbi Avidan and went on to win most of his matches during the tournament.

SUKKAH BUILDING 

On Sunday, 5 October congregants met to build the communal Sukkah in the grounds of Temple David. Under the expert guidance of Nick Meyerowitz the frame was erected and then the children were called on to decorate with colourful paper chains, drawings and fruit. Each year the Temple is graced with a vibrant, cheerful and welcoming Sukkah in which to commemorate the happy festival of Sukkot.

CANTOR HITS THE RIGHT NOTE FOR YOM KIPPUR

Once again the DPJC was delighted that Cantor Warren Bank took part in the services for Yom Kippur. His deep appreciation for liturgical music and his beautiful but accessible voice add a solemnity and profound meaning to the prayers so special to Yom Kippur. We hope that Warren’s connection with Durban and its Jewish community will continue for many years.

SIMCHAT TORAH - Paddy Meskin

After a joyful and colourful Simchat Torah service with much singing and dancing with the Torah scrolls, a delicious Bring and Share Simchat Torah dinner, organised by the Sisterhood, was enjoyed by all.

We celebrated with the Chatan Torah, Jeremy Droyman and the Kalat Bereshit, Tracey Droyman. There was added celebration as Tracey Droyman and Zoe Schwartz were celebrating their birthdays on Simchat Torah. 

Mazal Tov to our Chatan Torah and Kalat Bereshit, and a very Happy Birthday to Tracey and Zoe!


COMMUNITY NEWS

Durban Progressive Jewish Congregation AGM

On Wednesday, 13 August 2014 the DPJC held its 67th Annual General Meeting at Temple David. Several communal organisations such as the CKNJ, Beth Shalom, the Union of Jewish Women and WIZO were represented. The main focus of the meeting was to report on the status of the relocation of the congregation to Durban North, as well as the election of the new executive committee who will oversee the move.  Incoming co-president Lorna Harris appealed to all the congregants to embrace the changes and restructuring. Her co-president Ken Duveen presented some members with certificates after a decision by the Executive Committee to confer honorary life membership on these members for exemplary service to Temple David and its congregants.  Alan Cohen earned special mention for all his efforts on behalf of the DPJC regarding the sale of the property. 

Ronnie Herr, newly elected president of the CKNJ made mention of the important role the DPJC and its affiliates play in the Durban Jewish community and wished Ken, Lorna and the new committee every success. John Moshal, honorary life president of the CKNJ paid tribute to the Rabbis and lay leaders of the DPJC who have, over the years made invaluable contributions to the wellbeing of the Durban Jewish community and their practice of Tikkun Olam

The meeting was followed by tea and the usual cornucopia of delicious things to eat provided by the ladies of the Sisterhood and other congregants.

The DPJC has been greatly blessed under the leadership of Professor Antony Arkin with his sound judgment, his rational response in times of difficulty, his wry wit and inexhaustible knowledge of South African Jewish society. As he finishes his term of office as president of the Congregation we thank him for his unwavering dedication to the DPJC.


COMMUNITY NEWS

Durban Progressive Jewish Congregation

On 19 July 2014 Rachael Hess, daughter of Justine and Hilton Hess (nee Meskin), granddaughter of Paddy and Phillip Meskin and great granddaughter of Lionel Meskin will celebrate her bat mitzvah at Temple David. Although living in England Justine and Hilton wanted Rachael to have her bat mitzvah in the synagogue that has seen so many important milestones in the life of the Meskin family. 

Lionel Meskin, seen here in army uniform was a founder member of Temple David in 1948 and a stalwart member of the Durban Progressive Congregation all his life. Lionel during WWII was taken prisoner at Tobruk and ended up in a prisoner of war camp in Germany. Lionel volunteered to go to Auschwitz on a work detail of POW’s in 1943, but was later sent back to a POW camp. Lionel witnessed first-hand the horrors of the concentration camps, and after the war related stories bearing testimony to this.

Lionel’s son Judge Philip Meskin, a president of the DPJC, married Paddy at Temple David in 1970.  She is a Past President of DPJC, an Honorary Life Vice-President of both DPJC and the Sisterhood of Temple David and has been a member of Sisterhood since 1970. Philip was vice president of the Council of Natal Jewry which became the CKNJ.  Philip was a talented playwright and wrote several plays with a Jewish theme for communal production. Philip and Paddy’s three children, Tamar, Mark and Justine, were third generation DPJC members and they all had their b’nei mitzvah at Temple David. Justine and Hilton Hess were also married there. 

Justine and Hilton’s two children, Rachael and Ethan, are the fourth generation of the Meskin Family with Temple David connections. Both were named there and this year Rachael will celebrate her bat mitzvah there with her close family and her extended family of Temple David


COMMUNITY NEWS

Durban Progressive Jewish Congregation

The annual DPJC Lag B’Omer Braai was held on the evening of Saturday, 17 May. The celebration of this fun holiday was preceded by the Havdalah service and then the fire and fun began. Congratulations to Kendyll Jacobson, Rosh Netzer, and her band of Madrichim who once again did all the work while the 60 congregants who attended enjoyed the cool Autumn evening air and music by Stan & Stephen, Ronnie Serjeant and newcomer on the DPJC music scene, Dylan Cohen. 

Netzerniks honoured the traditions of Lag B’Omer and demonstrated their pyrotechnic skills with an impressive bonfire. This was followed by a ‘Sleepover’ at Temple David. These events organised by Kendyll provide an informal learning opportunity together with the chance for our young members to bond with one another and explore their Jewish identity together. 

The congregants enjoyed a good dinner, excellent music and warm company. This annual event is not to be missed. 


COMMUNITY NEWS

DR MOVSON RETIRES…

Lee-Anne Lipschitz

Dr “Issy” Movson (Specialist Radiologist) recently retired after working in the X-ray department at Addington Hospital since 1992.

His dedication, compassion, guidance, extensive knowledge and exemplary mammographic expertise endeared him to colleagues and patients alike.

During the years that he worked at this institution he was instrumental in building a comprehensive and detailed mammographic film museum which plays a huge part in the training of all radiology staff.

He commanded a high standard of work and his gentle and charming nature ensured an easy rapport with both staff and patients.


COMMUNITY NEWS

Donation to The National Sea Rescue Institute

The National Sea Rescue Institute recently received another donation from the estate of the late Michael Lipschitz (a former Mayor of Durban).

This was presented by Stanley Lipschitz to Clifford Ireland, Station Commander of NSRI Durban at their annual awards evening.


COMMUNITY NEWS

Durban Progressive Jewish Congregation

Why Translate the Bible Anew

Diane McColl

Rabbi Cherie Koller-Fox and her husband, Professor Everett Fox were the guests on Friday, 28 March at Temple  David where they attended the Erev Shabbat service. Professor Fox gave a short lecture entitled, “Why translate the Bible anew?” in which he proposed that newer translations of the Bible were needed so that newly discovered knowledge of the Biblical World can inform translations of ancient texts. He stated that he seeks to follow the principles developed by Franz Rosenzweig and Martin Buber, and “to draw the reader into the world of the Hebrew Bible through the power of its language.”

Professor Fox’s publication, a translation of The Five Books of Moses was published in 1995 followed in 1999 by Give Us a King!, a translation of the books of Samuel. His translation of the complete Early Prophets (the books of Joshua, Judges, Samuel and Kings) will be published in November 2014.

The DPJC congregants had the opportunity to meet Rabbi Koller-Fox and Professor Fox after the service during a communal Brocha.

The Brand Africa

Lorna Harris

On Wednesday 26th march 2014, Brand South Africa in partnership with Hope Africa, the Social Development Programme of the Anglican Church of South Africa, held a workshop to discuss the National Development Plan. I was privileged to take  part in this  conference which brought together representatives from a diverse group of faith based organisations, the DPJC included.

The National Development Plan was introduced by Mr Sabelo Mashwama, a consultant with the Hope Africa Organisation. Mr Mashwama outlined the aims of THE BRAND AFRICA initiative and what it was undertaking in terms of global exposure of the South African brand and efforts to underscore positive information to attract foreign investment. Ms Mpumi Mabuza then explained the aims of HOPE AFRICA also working to raise awareness and create a  positive image for the country.

After tea the delegates were split into Groups in order to discuss 3 commissions:

1 Public Policy and Advocacy

2 Building Social Capital through empowering communities

3 Economic & Youth Empowerment

The morning ended on an upbeat note with a report-back promised in 6 to 8 months time.


COMMUNITY NEWS

INTERNATIONAL WORLD WOMEN’S DAY OF PRAYER

Diane McColl

On Friday, 7 March the DPJC hosted a special Shabbat service to commemorate International World Women’s Day of Prayer. The Women’s World Day of Prayer is an international initiative. It is celebrated annually in over 170 countries on the first Friday in March.

The movement aims to bring together women of various races, cultures and traditions in a yearly common Day of Prayer, as well as in closer fellowship, understanding and action throughout the year.

Every year, worship services focus on a specific theme nominated by a participating country. Three years ago Egypt put forward for this year the theme of ’Streams in the Desert’, a quote from Isaiah and a theme of great irony in a country like Egypt where the ‘Arab Spring’ has not lived up to its promise. Dr Miriam Maltz,retired Durban academic who has lectured in Jewish and Holocaust literatureat the Hebrew University and UKZN gave a talk on the Bible and Feminism. After the service a lively Brocha was held in the Rabbi Isaac Richards Memorial Library.


COMMUNITY NEWS

The chairman of the League, Mr Esmond Jacobson read out a

Diane McColl

On 28 February, the DPJC honoured Beryl Israelite on the occasion of her 90th birthday. Beryl has been a loyal member of the congregation for over 50 years, and until not so long ago an active and involved member of the Sisterhood. Beryl is known and loved for her gentle ways and her optimism for the future of a world that has changed so much in 90 years. To mark the occasion Beryl’s daughter Avril, her granddaughter, Lisa and great granddaughter, Siddha Rose made the trip to South Africa from America.

The Sisterhood of Temple David catered for a family dinner during which there was much laughter and calling back the past.


COMMUNITY NEWS

DPJC

Diane McColl

On the 3rd night of Chanukkah, the 29th November, the newly elected Premier of KwaZulu-Natal, the Honourable Senzo Edward Mchunu and Mrs Thembeka Mchunu attended the Shabbat service and a dinner at Temple David, the home of the Durban Progressive Jewish Congregation. The initiative came from the Premier's office. The Reverend Sipho Mtwetwe, Head of the Religion Desk in the Office of the Premier, contacted Rabbi Hillel Avidan, of the DPJC and highly respected for his inter-faith work, with a request for the Premier, to spend a festival evening with the Jewish community of Durban. Premier Mchunu expressed a desire to build relationships with Jewish leadership and the Jewish community in Kwazulu-Natal. In his welcome address Professor Antony Arkin, president of the Durban Progressive Jewish Congregation said that the festival of Chanukkah commemorates the first recorded war in history for religious freedom. The Maccabean struggle rescued Judaism as a civilization from annihilation.

The Premier was introduced to the congregation by the MEC for Human Settlement, Mr Ravi Pillay after which the Premier spoke of the long and proud history of the Jews in the province. He acknowledged the role that Jews had played in the social and economic life of the province. He said that his vision for KwaZulu-Natal correlated closely with the precepts of Judaism; the eradication of poverty, care of the vulnerable and ethical leadership. Premier Mchunu pointed out that the flames of Chanukkah can be a symbol of freedom for all people.

The congregation was honoured to host the leadership of the Durban Jewish community at an elegant dinner after the service. Among the heads of organizations were Mrs Mary Kluk, Chair of the South African Jewish Board of Deputies, Mrs Linda Nathan, President of the Council of Kwazulu-Natal Jewry, Professor Antony Arkin, Chair of the Kwazulu-Natal Zionist Council, Mr Philip Levinson, retired Deputy-Judge President of Kwazulu-Natal, Prof Jane Meyerowitz, Registrar of the University of Kwazulu-Natal and Mr Steve Lurie, Chair of the South African Union of Progressive Judaism. Lorna Harris, vice-president of the DPJC presented the Premier with a copy of Julia Prosser’s book, The Jews of Kwazulu-Natal-A History and a kippah with traditional Zulu beadwork made by Ruth Avidan.


Durban Progressive Jewish Congregation

Mazal Tov Jordan Shapira

The DPJC would like to congratulate Jordan Shapira on his recent achievements.  Jordan was recently elected a Leader (Prefect) at Westville Boys High School and has earned KZN colours for U19 Waterpolo. He also received the Sportsmanship Award and Most Improved Player Award (Waterpolo) at his school. Jordan is a dedicated member of our congregation. We say Kol Hakavod and we wish him all the best for the future.


Durban Progressive Jewish Congregation

Diane McColl Simchat Torah - The Brazils Honoured

Diane McColl

Simchat Torah was celebrated at Temple David on Wednesday evening, 25 September and Thursday morning, 26 September.  Both services, in keeping with the traditions of Simchat Torah were lively, noisy and joyful. Members of the congregation sang and performed the Hakafot followed by flag- waving children earning their chocolate reward for enthusiastic participation.  Some of the more energetic (while perhaps not the most rhythmic) congregants danced with great gusto round the synagogue.
This year the DPJC honoured Glenn and Sylvia Brazil as Chatan Torah and Kallat Bereishit for their services to the congregation.  The Brazils are long standing members whose commitment to the DPJC has earned the gratitude and affection of its members.  Glenn and Sylvia are worthy recipients of this year’s honour. 
The evening service on Wednesday was followed by a communal dinner and after the morning service congregants enjoyed the beautiful Durban Spring weather and a Brocha in the Rabbi Richards Memorial Library Courtyard.


Durban Progressive Jewish Congregation

Sukkot Simcha

Diane McColl

Sukkot is one of the most festive and colourful Chagim in our calendar.  After the solemnity of Yom Kippur, Sukkot provides an opportunity for happy celebration.  Building and decorating the Sukkah, waving the Lulav, having a brocha in the Sukkah and watching the children (of all ages) enjoying the Chag is reason enough to smile.  
A small but enthusiastic number of congregants attended the services on Wednesday evening and Thursday morning and enjoyed fulfilling the mitzvot of this ancient festival.


Durban Progressive Jewish Congregation

Mazaltov Paddy

AdDiane McColl

This picture was taken at a wonderful ceremony when Paddy Meskin was honoured by the Induna and members of the Mavela Community for the wonderful work she has done for this hard working self reliant community over the years.


Durban Progressive Jewish Congregation

Mazaltov, Barbara!

AdDiane McColl

Kol Hakavod to Barbara Lipschitz who was recently presented with the “Rotary Ann of the Year” award from the Durban Rotary Club.
Her sons, Michael (of blessed memory) and Stanley have both previously been recipients of the prestigious “Paul Harris Fellowship” award, which is the highest honour that Rotary International bestows on those who contribute to society. Certainly a hat trick for the Lipschitz family who are the embodiment of the Rotary motto,  “Service above Self”.


Durban Progressive Jewish Congregation

Rosh Hashanah at Temple David

AdDiane McColl

The DPJC was very fortunate this year to have had Limmud presenter and cantor, Advocate Warren Bank sing during the services for Rosh Hashanah.  Warren’s musical knowledge and beautiful voice enriched the services.  Warren and Sharon Bank were the guests of the DPJC at the communal Rosh Hashanah dinner and will be back in time for Warren to sing at Temple David for the Yom Kippur services.


Durban Progressive Jewish Congregation

DPJC Annual General Meeting

AdDiane McColl

The 66th Annual General Meeting of the DPJC was held on Wednesday, 7 August and despite the chilly weather the attendance was good.  The meeting was attended by congregants and representatives of communal organisations. The sub-committees of the DPJC as well as the president, Antony Arkin and treasurer, Lewis Kaplan presented reports.  At the meeting two members of the congregation were presented with special awards acknowledging their contribution to the congregation.  Antony Arkin presented the President’s Award to Ken Duveen for his ongoing efforts relating to the property and its sale.  Ken has worked tirelessly on an often trying and frustrating task, one that was of paramount importance to the congregation and required patience, expertise and a sense of humour.  Gary Budlender was commended for his service to the Hebrew school.  At the beginning of this year Gary retired after many years of teaching in the Hebrew School.  The congregation owes him an enormous debt of gratitude.  His patient perseverance, even with the most languid student is, in part, the reason why the Bnei Mitvah candidates coped so well on their big day.
The guest speaker, Dr Monique Marks gave an insightful analysis of the tragedy at Marikana, which happened a year ago this month.  Her talk raised interesting questions about community policing in South Africa and its future.  Monique is a member of the DPJC and was a presenter at Limmud 2013.


New Year Messages From ...

Rabbi Hillel Avidan, Durban Progressive Jewish Congregation

AdRosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur are not tied to seasonal or to historical events but are entirely spiritual in character.  This is why secular Jews in Israel who may observe Pesah and other historical or harvest festivals tend to neglect or studiously avoid observance of the Days of Awe.  These special days call to the individual to open his or her heart to the positive influences emanating from our Divine Creator and to negate or abandon the negative influences which are all around us.
It is difficult to always resist the allure of things forbidden but that is exactly what we are expected to do, throughout the year but especially during this penitential season.  No one can claim to be free of sin but everyone is called upon to renounce sin and to strive for moral self improvement.
May the Holy One, blessed be He, assist us in our endeavours to live better lives in the year ahead.
Shanah Tovah umetukah.


Durban Progressive Jewish Congregation

Children’s Activity Centre

AdDiane McColl

The Children’s Activity Centre at Temple David is held once a month under the watchful eyes of Tracy Droyman and Kendyll Jacobson.  This important service to the community is aimed at integrating children from a young age into Shul life.  As well as having a good time with friends and doing art projects, these young congregants get to hear Bible stories, Hebrew songs and learn that Shul is an exciting place to be.


Durban Progressive Jewish Congregation

Shavuot at Temple David, Durban South Africa

AdDiane McColl

As Rabbi Avidan is away on extended leave, the Shavuot evening service was led by Stephen Abrahams.  Harold Shapiro, a congregant and leading Durban attorney gave a talk and managed to bring humour to the rather frightening topic of home invasions.  Harold’s talk entitled, ‘The thief in the night: A comparison of Hebraic and South African Law relating to the killing of an intruder after dark’, gave everyone a good idea of the rights and responsibilities of the home owner in this all too familiar situation.
After the service congregants enjoyed a Shavuot supper comprising a variety of dairy and vegetarian dishes.  The much anticipated Annual Cheesecake Competition was this year won by Louise Sinclair, a worthy recipient who now has bragging rights as ‘Cheesecake Champion’.


Durban Progressive Jewish Congregation

Lag B’Omer with the DPJC

AdDiane McColl

Sunday, 28 April saw the annual Lag B’Omer braai at the DPJC.  Members of Netzer manned the fires and cooked while the hard working ‘Friends of Netzer’, the Mums, made salads.  The lazy afternoon was topped by music provided by the talented duo of Stephen Abrahams and Stan Lipschitz who played old favourites to a small but appreciative audience.  So good was the music that the more adventurous present were up on their feet dancing. It was a charming way to end a weekend.

Rabbi Hillel Avidan and Ruth are on a three month break in Italy and then on to England where Rabbi will be celebrating his 80th birthday in July with family and friends.
The congregation of Temple David wish him happy travels and a very happy 80th birthday.


Durban Progressive Jewish Congregation

March of the Living 2013

AdDiane McColl

Three of our young congregants, Gemma Krausey, Amy Groer and Jordan Shapira took part in the March of the Living in Poland during the Yom Hashoah commemoration.  Together with Cheryl Unterslak they form part of the South African delegation to this event.


Durban Progressive Jewish Congregation

ARZENU hosts the Beutel Seminar Report Back

AdDiane McColl

Earlier this year Lorna and Shelly Harris visited Israel as delegates to the Beutel Seminar.  This is an annual conference held in Jerusalem at the Anita Saltz Institute with the purpose of bringing together representatives of Progressive Congregations from around the world to attend lectures, share the challenges and insights of these communities and immerse themselves in Israeli life for two weeks.  Both Lorna and Shelly returned from the seminar feeling inspired and enriched by their trip. At a recent dinner held at Temple David, and hosted by ARZENU, they shared their experiences and thoughts on their visit.  The talk was made all the more meaningful by a well put together powerpoint presentation which gave a wonderfully visual immediacy to their talk.  Lorna and Shelly answered questions from the audience and everyone left with a greater appreciation of life and its challenges in Modern Israel as well as an insight into the difficulties facing Jewish communities around the world and the creative solutions that these communities so often devise to solve these difficulties.


Durban Progressive Jewish Congregation

Pesach 5773 at Temple David

AdDiane McColl

Preparations for Pesach began as always with the Sisterhood’s big day of koshering the kitchen for Pesach.  The women of the Sisterhood are not afraid of hard work.  Industry on a scale that is awesome (as the poet said) results in a kitchen that is Pesach-ready and like new.  The Pesach Seder, always a highlight of the year, was conducted so well by Rabbi Avidan.  A number of Israelis attended the Seder.  Adar and Varda Eyar-Assael and their 2 daughters from Israel who were on holiday in Durban from Israel, as well as Omer Katz enjoyed the experience of sharing the Chag with the congregation of Temple David.
The children of the Cheder prepared for Pesach during lesson time by learning about the history, meaning and rituals of Pesach.  Tracy Droyman and Kendyll Jacobson taught the Pesach Early Learning Programme to the little ones.  The children of Temple David produced some wonderful Pesach art, especially beautiful were their Elijah cups. The Pesach services were well attended and a meaningful Pesach will be remembered for a long time by those who were present.


Durban Progressive Jewish Congregation

Purim 5773 at Temple David

Purim remains a favourite festival with children of all ages and once again the young and the young at heart entered into the spirit of the day.  Much thought and resourcefulness went into the costumes for the Fancy Dress Competition this year. The children of the Cheder had learned all about Purim during classes and made masks and graggers.  After a reading of the Megillah the Cheder learners who had prepared a retelling of the story of Esther delighted the parents. Sisterhood of Temple David provided the congregation with a delicious lunch. Purim wouldn’t be Purim without Hamantaschen and Sisterhood didn’t disappoint.

Kendyll Jacobson, Rosh Netzer Durban and the madrichim kept the children busy with mask making, music and fun and games.  Tired but happy children went home.

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Durban Progressive Jewish Congregation

Tu B’Shevat at Temple David

AdWe celebrated Tu B’Shevat on Shabbat, 26 January 2013. The Cheder learners and the members of Netzer made a ‘Prayer Tree’ and held a special prayer service during the Shabbat morning service. Kendyll Jacobson, the new Rosh Netzer Durban explained the significance of the festival and the importance of trees. The service was followed by a brocha. The children and some of the grownups enjoyed green ice lollies which went down a treat on the sultry hot day.


Durban Progressive Jewish Congregation

AdOn Friday evening, 14 December 2012 the DPJC held a service in honour of the South African Jewish Ex Servicemen and Women. The chairman of the League, Mr Esmond Jacobson read out a roll of honour, the names of Jewish men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice. This important and deeply moving service in its small way expresses our gratitude to those Jewish men and women, some unknown to us, whose efforts in times of war have contributed to the halt of tyranny and oppression; we salute them all for their services and sacrifices. After the service the members of the League were presented with small gifts and everyone present enjoyed a brocha and finger supper.


Durban Progressive Jewish Congregation

At Simchat Torah this year, the Durban Porgresive Jewish Congregation were delighted to honour Shelley and Daryl Harris for their devotion to and hard work on behalf of Temple David. Both are long standing members whose involvement in synagogue life has enriched the congregation and serves as an inspiration to others.

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Durban Progressive Jewish Congregation

New Year Messages From Rabbi Hillel Avidan

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The 10 Days of Repentance (ASERET YEMEI TESHUVAH) will soon be upon us and our synagogue services will again be better attended than at other times of the year. The word TESHUVAH, often translated as “repentance” actually means “return” or “response”. For example, after the completion of the Talmud in the 6th Century CE questions of HALAKHAH (law) would be sent to leading rabbis of the day who would respond with answers. These questions and answers were called SHE-EILOT UTESHUVOT. This process continues till today. So a TESHUVAH can be a rabbinic response to a SHE-EILAH.

In the context of ROSH HASHANAH and YOM KIPPUR the word TESHUVAH denotes a human response to the call of the Almighty and a return to Godly ways, to the ways in which our God would have us walk. The Holy One, blessed be he, is ever calling us to forsake evil and embrace good but selfishness and moral frailty so often stand in the way of us responding as we should. May these approaching days of repentance (or return) encourage us to make a real effort to cast off unhelpful behaviour and embrace that which is positive and ethically acceptable. This is how we could affect a genuine return to God, a real and authentic “TESHUVAH”.


Durban Progressive Jewish Congregation

Inspiring conference celebrating 80 years of Progressive Judaism in South Africa

The South African Union for Progressive Judaism celebrated
80 years of Progressive Judaism in South Africa, on June 7 – 10, across three Johannesburg Progressive Synagogues.

The cream of world Progressive Jewry participated. International visitors included World Union for Progressive Judaism (WUPJ) president and chairman, Rabbi Stephen Lewis Fuchs and Mike Grabiner; chairman of the Israeli Movement for Progressive Judaism (IMPJ), Yaron Shavit, and chairman of the European Union for Progressive Judaism (EUPJ), Miriam Kramer. The Director of the Israel Religious Action Centre for Reform Judaism (IRAC) and chairperson of the Women of the Wall, Anat Hoffman, Union for Progressive Judaism of Australia/New Zealand’s (UPJ) president, David Robinson and executive director, Steve Denenberg, Rabbi Helena Rubinstein of the Sha’arei Shalom Congregation, St. Petersburg, Russia and Rabbi Danny Rich, Chief Executive of UK’s Liberal Judaism added lustre to the full programme.

SAUPJ’s Annual General Meeting, chaired by Mr. Steve Lurie, Chair of the SAUPJ, took care of formal business. Setting the tone for learning, the panel “Defining the Progressive Challenge” led to interest groups discussing future possibilities for the Movement. “Using Technology and Social Media for Our Benefit,” “Reviewing the Work of Congregations and Sisterhood” and other sessions reported their vision to the plenum. Friday’s Luncheon Keynote address was “Progressive Judaism in Action” by world-renowned Israeli activist Anat Hoffman. Sponsored by South African Centre for Religious Equality and Diversity (SACRED), this came as a welcome follow up to SACRED’s recent video, Exclusion of Women.

Rabbi Stephen Fuchs inspired the audience with his “Vision for Progressive Jewry in 2012.” Later that evening, Mike Grabiner spoke about “The Importance of the World Union for South African Jewry.”

Sunday was devoted to a day of learning. Speakers were Ya’akov Finkelstein, Deputy Israeli Ambassador, who was introduced by ARZENU SA Chairman Professor Antony Arkin (Durban) on “The Place of Israel in the Changing Middle East.” “The Changing Politics of The Middle East” chaired by Reeva Forman, brought Yaron Shavit (Israel), Arzenu executive director Dalya Levy (Israel) and journalist Paula Slier to the podium

“Seeking Justice in Africa” was the luncheon keynote from the Director of the Johannesburg Holocaust & Genocide Centre, Tali Nates, moderated by Jeremy Gordin. The audio-visual presentation and in-depth discussion of the Rwanda Genocide touched everyone deeply.

The Closing Plenary Panel included Anat Hoffman, Yaron Shavit and Paula Slier who discussed “Tsedek, Tsedek… Progressive Jewish Views of Justice” moderated by Prof. Merle Williams.

Yaákov Finkelstein (Deputy Ambassador), Reeva Forman, Steven Gruzd, Wendy Kahn, Yaron Shavit, Rabbi Robert Jacobs concluded the conference with a closing ceremony that was enjoyed by all.

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Durban Progressive Jewish Congregation

AdPurim was celebrated in style with a kaleidoscope of colours and most original ideas at the Durban Progressive Jewish Congregation. There were prizes for the best costumes in three "age" categories, but ultimately everyone who participated was a winner. The children were well entertained in the Netzer "Circus" and the evening was greatly enjoyed by all.