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COMMUNITY NEWS

Umhlanga Jewish Centre

- By Gilad Friedman

As we begin, as a community, to reflect on the past year, we can declare with confidence that this community is indeed thriving.

I am regularly approached by people who ask about Jewish life in Durban: How big is the community? Are people moving down to the coast? Is there a school? 

The incredible chavarshaft  that this community displays towards one another is the glue that keeps Durban Jewry connected, active and proudly Jewish Durban.

Reflecting on growth points at the Umhlanga Jewish Centre is endearing. The UJC demonstrated that people want a shul that they can call their own, where everyone is welcome from any background. The Umhlanga Jewish Centre…it’s all about community.

The UJC Shul has seen major growth this year, evolving from full Shabbat and Yom Tov services to daily minyanim for shacharit, mincha and maariv, as well as frequent dinners and lunches.

5776 saw new events come to the UJC. Holiday restaurant and take away evenings, Challah bakes, regular Shabbatonim and community events.

The UJC is much more than a shul. It is a community centre, a place where people can gather together within a Jewish communal setting, be it for learning, sports or a social get together for a meal. Akiva College continues to educate the next generation of Durban Jewry and has in a short space of time become the premier destination for Jewish education in Durban. We are blessed to have a Jewish day school right at our doorstep in Durban.

Tracey and I take this opportunity to wish you all a Shana Tova. May you all be written and sealed in the book of life, wishing you a happy, healthy and successful new year.


COMMUNITY NEWS

Akiva College

- By Kerryn Feigenbaum

In the heart of Izinga, Akiva College is a centre of growth and education. With a focus on holistic education, our Jewish school offers its students an exceptional general studies curriculum as well as positive exposure to the heart of our faith. Our children are encouraged to be proud of their heritage and how to embody the values and integrity of a Torah life. In the process of being educated, our inquiring youngsters are taught to interact, engage and inspire. Life lessons of integrity and joy are enmeshed within the daily programme. Our students are happy, active, well - mannered and wonderfully inquisitive. 

As a central part of the Durban Jewish Community, Akiva College aims to love, nurture and educate the next generation while instilling in them a love of learning and a passion for Judaism. We thank you all for your continuing support of this exceptional institution. May 5777 be a year of good health and happiness. We wish our Community a shana tovah umetukah. 


COMMUNITY NEWS

Akiva College

By Jessica Stout

The 3rd term of 2016 has started at Akiva College and it has taken no time for the staff and students to get back into things. 

On the morning of Friday the 4th of August we were privileged to host South African author and illustrator, Niki Daly.  Mr Daly gave us a live reading of his books, The Herd Boy, and Nicholas and the Wild Ones, along with a slide presentation of his beautiful illustrations. A very big thank you to Mrs Karen Plen for organising this wonderful event.

Below are some pictures of the first two weeks back at school after the June/July holidays. 


COMMUNITY NEWS

Umhlanga Jewish Centre

By Gilad Friedman

The Umhlanga Jewish Centre continues to evolve, a place where people of all walks of life can gather to connect to community. 

This month a number of exciting food evenings were held in the UJC hall.

Selma put on an exquisite ‘Indian themed dinner’. The hall was decked out as an exclusive Indian restaurant and the food was themed accordingly. People were so excited for authentic Kosher Indian that many dressed up to look the part. It was a most memorable evening.

Now in its fifth year, the UJC has become a place where people flock to when visiting the north coast. A number of successful burger and falafel takeaway evenings were held this month giving locals and tourists respectfully the option for a wonderful night out.

We welcomed two new families to our community: Sidney and Gaynor Lazarus, as well as Brad, Carryn, Daniel, Galia and Yael Meltz.

The SAJBD KZN council hosted a Kiddush in honour of Lew Heilbron’s exceptional service to the community. Hatzlacha Raba for your journey to Cape Town.


COMMUNITY NEWS

Akiva College

By Jess Stout

The run-up to Pesach at Akiva College was both busy and exciting.  Akiva College ran two Sedarim, the Junior Seder from the play group to grade 2, and the Senior Seder from grade 3 to grade 7. 

The younger Seder took place on Thursday 14 April. The children led the Seder, singing songs as well as asking and answering questions. The students showed off their Pesach knowledge and the sound of their singing filled the whole school. Well done children for putting on such a beautiful Seder.

The senior Seder took place on the following Tuesday. The hours, upon hours, of practice paid off with the children running the entire Seder. Each child dressed up as if they were coming out of Egypt, which added to the genuine atmosphere. The children read their parts beautifully, in both English and Hebrew. The plagues were a hit, especially the hail that was thrown over all of the parents and grandparents watching. The students were able to leave the Seder feeling confident that they could lead their own Seders at home, which many of them did.

Once again shke’ach to both the students as well as to all of the staff involved in creating and running these beautiful and meaningful Akiva College Sedarim.

Akiva College returned to school after the Pesach break feeling refreshed and ready to tackle the rest of the very busy term. 

Yom Hashoah took place on the first Thursday back, with the children congregating in the school foyer for a presentation by Mr Friedman and the high school students. This was followed by a minute silence to commemorate those that lost their lives in the Holocaust. A meaningful display, by Mrs Plen, was put up in the entrance to both educate and remind everyone who entered the school about the lives that were lost. On their way out of the foyer, each child took a stone and placed it in front of the yartzeit (memorial) candles in order to remember those that had lost their lives. Each child also took a paper butterfly, a symbol of freedom and renewed, beautiful life. Like a butterfly emerges from its cocoon, the Jewish people have emerged from the Holocaust strong and beautiful, and with a land of our own, Israel. The ceremony ended with the whole school saying Tehillim and singing Hatikva. The grade 3 – 10’s were then educated by watching a short and inspirational video about Anne Frank.


COMMUNITY NEWS

Umhlanga Jewish Centre

By Angie Sacks

Our tree, Haskarat Neshamot (Memorial of the departed) is a cherished Jewish tradition.

We now have a gorgeously designed tree, standing proud in our shul to commemorate your dearly beloved departed. You can inscribe their name on the memorial tree. Haskarah prayer will be recited in loving memory of your departed on an annual basis on the Shabbat or week proceeding the Yartzheit. 

Our memorial tree has been donated to the shul by Jason Kluk, in loving memory of Jean Kluk and Petra Mansell OBM.

We would also like to wish a hearty mazaltov to Ivan and Cara Puterman on the Barmitzvah of Levi. May his parents and grandparents, Jack and Marcia and Miriam and Dennis and all the members of his family derive much nachas from Levi.


COMMUNITY NEWS

Akiva College

As Purim fell during the school holidays, we ran a fun and educational programme during the last week of term to ensure that the children would get the most out of the day. Our pupils were split into groups and the high school students guided the younger ones in making their very own megilah. Every child had the opportunity to make delicious hamentaschen with Morah Dina and Mrs Plen. Thus the Akiva College students entered Purim 2016 with a wealth of knowledge and  yummy hamentaschen!

The term ended with a dog show.  Akiva College students were entertained by the amazing tricks that a variety of dogs were able to perform. The highlight was definitely one of the dogs spelling “good bye” at the end of the show. What a fantastic way to end off the term!

Akiva College returned well-rested and excited for a very busy second term.  The school has been filled with beautiful singing as we practice for the school Seders. We look forward to reporting back on these next month.


COMMUNITY NEWS

Umhlanga Jewish Centre

Akiva College, together with the Umhlanga Jewish Centre hosted a fun day for the entire Durban Jewish Community.  The glorious weather on Sunday the 10th of April provided the perfect backdrop to this wonderful day. Activities spread across the beautiful surroundings included Face painting; sand art and balloon making We extend a very big thank you to the union of Jewish Women for providing a host of exciting activities for the children to partake in and the delicious chocolates the contestants received as prizes. The mammoth inflatables were enjoyed by students, parents and even some Akiva College teachers. A soccer clinic and lazer tag kept the children very active and many parents participated in the superb tennis demonstration by China’s former number 1 tennis player. An impromptu hypnotist show by Bradley Meltz ensured everyone left with a smile on their faces. The day ended with a lucky draw with prizes graciously donated by the Pillemers and the Gerings. Thank you to Itai Mizrachi for his coffee bar; Jacqui Burne for her delicious treats at the tea garden; Gary Furman and Itai Mizrachi for the terrific music; Johhny and his team and Brett Hummel for the scrumptious food; Robbie Pillemer for his chess expertise and to all the parents who manned stations on the day. This phenomenal event would not have been possible without Angie Sacks, Rabbi Zekry, Karen Plen, Terri Pillemer and particularly Nicole Tuttle who was the powerhouse behind it all. Thank you all for your generosity of spirit and to all of those who came to participate in this special day.


COMMUNITY NEWS

Umhlanga Jewish Centre

- By Gilad Friedman

The joyous festival of Purim is celebrated on the 14th of Adar. It recalls the salvation of the Jewish people through the heroism displayed by Queen Esther, Mordechi and Klal Yisrael, when the evil Haman sought to wipe out our people.

Four megila readings were held this year at the shuls! With each major centre the DUHC & UJC holding readings on the eve of Purim. 

The community event this year, took place at the UJC in the main hall and terrace overlooking the sugarcane fields. It was exceptionally well attended by members from both sides of the Umgeni as well as a massive influx of tourists. 

The theme “Mexican” took the evening to the next level, with a delicious Mexican style menu, Mexican drinks, Mexican dessert and Mexican decor. Guests arrived wearing costumes beginning with the letter “m” and activities included a mechanical bull, jumping castles, costume parade and prizes, piñata, line dancing and a chili eating competition. 

We extend our gratitude to those who gave tirelessly of their time to make this event happen. Thank you Gary Plen, Joanne Mizrachi, Michelle Nathan, Carryn Meltz and Selma Lurie.

Sinai X was a wonderful event, this year held at the UJC. Yishar koach to the Chief Rabbi for a wonderful event. People came in droves to hear the inspirational speakers and to be a part of the experience. 


COMMUNITY NEWS

Akiva College

Our Umhlanga Jewish day school in Izinga began 2016 with many changes. UJDS has been officially named, Akiva College. The name reflects the ethos of its namesake, the famous, pious, Rabbi Akiva who taught the importance of acquiring knowledge. The school’s motto, “Veshinantum Levanecha” which comes from the Shema, “You shall teach them thoroughly to your children,” echoes this sentiment.

Under the leadership of Kerryn Feigenbaum, along with her outstanding team of educators, Akiva College aims to equip its pupils with an excellent academic and Jewish education while imparting yidishkeit and middos to our pupils. 

This year also marks the start of an official high school at Akiva College. The students are studying the Cambridge Curriculum which will provide them with a matric that is recognised both nationally and internationally.

Akiva College students have been on a number of outings this month. On Monday the 29th of February, the Akiva College Pre-school took a trip to People’s Park at Moses Mabida Stadium. The morning was spent playing in the beautiful Durban sunshine which suited our summer theme perfectly. All the children took advantage of the park’s wonderful jungle gyms and climbing apparatus including giant spider webs, challenging monkey bars and very high slides before settling down in the shade of the trees to enjoy a delicious picnic together. The day out provided not only a change of scenery and a different playground for our children, but also a chance for our students to tackles new challenges and to learn in a different environment. Tremendous fun was had by all and it was a wonderful and worthwhile day out.

Grades 5 – 7 had an informative, fun-filled excursion to the Baynesfield Estate on Tuesday 1 March. They met Johannes, a Khoisan gentleman who showed them how to make a fire using two fire sticks and how to shoot a bow and arrow. On attempting these tasks themselves, the pupils found that they were not as easy as Johannes made them look. We then walked to a nearby forest where the pupils worked as a group to complete an obstacle course. It was wonderful to see how all the pupils participated with enthusiasm and how they encouraged and assisted their peers.

The school was a buzz of excitement on Thursday 3 March as we celebrated World Book Day with dress up costume parades and prizes.  A wonderful array of characters visited our school; Captain Hook; Fancy Nancy; Doc Mac Stuffins; A Transformer; Wimpy Kid; Harry Potter; Hornton hears a Who; Charlie Brown, Lucy and Peanuts; Tweedledum, Tweedledee and Alice; Witches and Vampires and even some Superheros. The students then found a quiet, cool spot and read aloud to each other for half an hour. It was heart-warming to see the older students reading so expressively to the little ones. We all had a really fun morning sharing our love of reading.


COMMUNITY NEWS

Umhlanga Jewish Centre

The UJC has seen a busy month. The DJY – Durban Jewish Youth, attended a Shabbaton this month. A youth dinner was hosted by the Friedman’s and a shul lunch was held on Saturday. The Shabbaton was topped off with a beautiful musical havdala service.

We welcome Brett Hummel to the community, Brett has relocated from Johannesburg. Welcome Brett!

Each Shabbat Bnei Akiva have started to run youth programs each week with local madrichim.

New shiurim have begun at the UJC, a children’s parasha club each Saturday, see ‘the connection’ for more details.

New fitness activities have begun including line dancing, with Mrs Carol Behrman, all ladies are invited to attend on Wednesday evenings. Yoga takes place twice a week once in the morning and once in the evening.


COMMUNITY NEWS

Umhlanga Jewish Centre

- By Gilad Friedman

The number 10 plays a central role in our Jewish lives. We have 10 fingers and toes, Hashem created the world with 10 utterances, there are 10 commandments, the 10 plagues in Egypt. 10 is also the number required to recite certain holy prayers: Kadish, Torah reading, repetition of the amidah etc. This magical number makes up the quorum of men in a minyan.

The Umhlanga Jewish Centre has grown in leaps and bounds. The Shul at the UJC has likewise developed from holding Shabbat services, to Yom Tov services and now daily weekday services. We are blessed to have another functioning minyan in this province, which serves as a tribute to the active Jewish way of life in Durban. If you have not yet visited or experienced a Shabbat service at the UJC, please be in touch with the office. For more information admin@umhlangajewishcentre.co.za or 031 566 3227.

The KNZC hosted their annual Tu B’shvat ceremony at the JNF garden at which can be found at the UJC. 


COMMUNITY NEWS

Akiva College

- By Jessica Stout

The 2016 school year at Umhlanga Jewish Day School began with the launch of our new name – Akiva College. It is the school’s fifth year and as it grows from strength to strength we pray that our new name only adds to the values this special school stands for.

Tu B’Shvat fell at the end of January and we celebrated the new year of the trees with a tekes (ceremony) led by the high school followed by some songs about the Eitzim (trees). The ceremony was completed with the planting of a couple of trees that were specifically chosen to grow fast and thus, Bizrat Hashem in a few years, provide plenty of shade in the playground. This was followed by the children eating 5 fruit of the 7 species of Israel in class.

Kwa-Zulu Natal is currently suffering from a terrible drought where so many people are living daily without fresh water. East Coast Radio put out a plea for people to donate water, to be taken to those parts of KwaZulu Natal where it was most needed. The appeal went out in the morning, and by that afternoon, Michelle King had spoken to the whole school about the drought and an email went out to the parents of the school requesting their assistance to this worthwhile cause. Within 24 hours, our small school of only 40 families, had managed to donate over 1400 litres of water.

A special mention needs to be made of Itai Mizrachi who managed to source bottled water at a lower price, hitched up a trailer to his car and two trips later delivered 1250 litres of water to the East Coast Radio parking lot on behalf of UJDS from money raised by the parents. Sh’keiach to Michelle King and Melanie Montgomery for spearheading this amazing project. 


COMMUNITY NEWS

Umhlanga Jewish Centre

The Umhlanga Jewish Centre held a Channukah event on 9 December 2015 – 4th night of Channukah. The event saw many guests coming together to celebrate the miracles of Channukah, the victory of the Maccabees and the oil burning for 8 days, when there was only enough for a single day.

During the December holidays the UJC held two burger bar evenings, 29 December and 5 January. This is the second year in a row that the UJC has proved a popular venue for holiday makers to find quality kosher food, activities for children and regular minyanim.

Rabbi Hoppenstein gave a daily shiur throughout the holiday period which was well attended. 

The UJC shul now runs a weekday shacharit service at 7am in addition to the regular Shabbat services.

We are delighted to welcome the Moss, Lowenstein, Gering and Feigenbaum families, to our wonderful community. We wish you a warm Durban welcome.

We welcome Ms Kerryn Feigenbaum as the new principal of the Umhlanga Jewish Day School, Hatzlacha Raba.

For more information contact admin@umhlangajewishcentre.co.za  or 031 566 3227.


COMMUNITY NEWS

Umhlanga Jewish Day School

By Gilad Friedman

When the Umhlanga Jewish Day School opened just a few years ago a great dream was achieved, bringing a full time Jewish Day School back to Durban. The UJDS is delighted to announce that 2016 will see the opening of a High School (grade 8 -12) on the school property.  UJDS now caters for all ages - playgroup (18 months) to matric. Our learners will be doing the Cambridge International Examinations in O and A levels, giving them access to any university both locally and abroad.

Our school aims to instil a sound educational foundation and Jewish identity in our children by encouraging a passion for lifelong learning, excellence in academic achievement as well as fostering a devotion to the study of Torah and a commitment to the land of Israel.


COMMUNITY NEWS

Umhlanga Jewish Day School

The whole of UJDS got involved in the excitement of the Shabbat project by painting challah covers. Throughout the day different grades spent time with Tracey Friedman and Jess Stout, designing and painting their challah covers. Pupils spent their breaks and asked for extra time in order to finish their beautiful work. 

Following hot on the heels of the Shabbat project was Grandparent’s Day. Pupils spent time practicing various poems, songs and skits, in both English and Hebrew. The grannies and grandpas were treated to a delightful ensemble on the day, followed by a delicious tea. Pupils gave each of their grandparents a beautiful vase with flowers that they had arranged themselves.

The Grade R and 1 have visited Beth Shalom twice this month. They handed out sweet treats to the residents before entertaining them with some fun songs and poems. These visits bring so much joy to the residence of Beth Shalom. The pupils learn the importance of this chesed (act of loving kindness) and really enjoy these trips.

Below are some of the photographs taken from the school play, Creation, and the highly successful 


COMMUNITY NEWS

Umhlanga Jewish Centre

- By Terri Pillemer

On the 24th and 25th of October thousands of Jews around the world embraced Shabbat with increased awareness and observance under the Shabbat Project banner. 

In Izinga, the small community felt the extra level of observance and connection strongly too and, perhaps surprisingly, it was the younger generation leading the charge to recharge, heeding the call to disconnect in order to re-connect. 

“The eagerness from my girls was just huge,” Mandy Shargey, mother of three, tells us. “Walking to shul as a family, the chatting and laughing began. This feeling of not only being part of a wonderful community but being part of the Jewish world was enormous. We felt connected and unified as a family, a community and as a people and so very blessed to be part of the beautiful gift we been given in Shabbat.” 

For Gary and Sandy Furman it was also a Shabbat like no other. Their family embraced the Shabbat project wholeheartedly, with 12-year-old Danielle leading the way. “My daughter who is recently Bat mitzvah is striving to be the best Jewess she can be and has committed herself to be Shomeret Shabbat,” explains Gary. “We as a family are proud of her and encourage her and over this Shabbat we were able to join her fully in this Mitzvah”.  

“The whole weekend was filled with fun, Torah learning, dynamic interactions and togetherness,” says Desrae Williams, who is rediscovering her own Jewish identity, following the lead of her 12-year-old grandson, Jared. “I was awe-stricken at not only sharing a Shabbat with the Jewish people of the world but also of having the opportunity to observe and conform to Shabbat from beginning to end with the great UJC community. The UJC community is more like family; there is an atmosphere of mutual respect and togetherness with deep connections. It was a soul-satisfying phenomenon,” concludes Desrae. 

With a community of inspired Jews and Shabbat rolling around weekly, one hopes both young and old can continue to harness and be invigorated by the powerful sense of connectedness that has been ignited.


COMMUNITY NEWS

Umhlanga Jewish Centre

Gilad Friedman

Baruch Hashem I have just had the privilege of attending the Nachum Goldmann Fellowship program, run by the Memorial Foundation for Jewish Culture. This year the 27th Annual Nachum Goldmann took place in Israel and it was represented by fellows from 18 countries all over the world.

For 12 hours a day, the 45 fellows were engaged in dynamic discussion and thought provoking lectures given by an in incredible faculty. The breadth and scope of Jewish communal representation from all over the globe was a fantastically unifying experience. We actively discussed issues relating to Jewish peoplehood/Klal Yisrael and creating sustainable diasporas. 

Back home in Umhlanga, The UJC hosted a special ‘minyan with the chiefs’, it was wonderful to have all the Rabanim visit our centre.

Bnei Akiva ran their annual Camp Snoopy, which was hosted by the UJC – Umhlanga Jewish Centre, yishar koach on a wonderful program.

A yoga class has started in the club house at 83 on Wager this month and was well attended by all ages – ladies only.

The holiday season is in and the UJC hosted an incredible Burger Bar on the 8th of July. Holiday makers and locals flocked to the UJC. Delicious burgers and chips were served, the children’s activities were amazing and a wonderful evening was enjoyed.


COMMUNITY NEWS

Umhlanga Jewish Centre

- Gilad Friedman

Shavuot comes 49 days after the second night of Pesach; traditionally a Dinner and Tikun Leil are held. This year over 100 community members attended a wonderful dinner catered by Selma. A learning program began at the dinner and continued until 2am. Yishar Koach to all of those who were able to stay up a little bit later to learn a little bit more.
Yeshivat Meharsha from Johannesburg joined us for Shavuot and a Shabbaton. This is already the second time this year that these boys have spent Shabbat at the UJC.

The daily minyan marches on: a minyan made up of a quorum of 10 men is required for services. We are excited that more and more people are waking up early looking for a place to daven shacharit. The UJC is beautiful and inspiring to daven in!

The UJC is now offering ‘kosher self-catering accommodation’ at very marketable rates. These units within the eruv of the shul have become a popular alternate to the hotels just down the road.

Generation Sinai was hosted this month at the UJC; parents and children filled the shul to the rafters as we prepared for the receiving of the Torah.


COMMUNITY NEWS

Umhlanga Jewish Day School

Jessica Stout

On the 22nd of April, Umhlanga Jewish Day School commemorated Yom Hazikaron. We remembered the service and sacrifices of IDF soldiers, policemen, victims of terror and their families. Rabbi Zekry spoke to students about his time in the army and touched on the lives of friends who died serving their country. The Grade 7, 8 and 9’s presented a moving assembly remembering those who had fallen for the State of Israel. 

In the evening the UJDS choir opened the community Yom Ha’atzmaut festivities at the Durban Jewish Club, singing an ensemble of beautiful songs. 

The next day, we celebrated Israel’s 67th birthday at the school. Six stations were set up and the students were given the opportunity to eat Israeli foods, have their faces painted, learn Israeli dancing, go through “Israeli army training” with Oz, make posters of #StandWithIsrael and write and place letters to Hashem in the “Kotel”. These letters will be placed in the Kotel in Jerusalem later this year. 

Grades 4 – 9 went to Clubventure on the 29th of April for a fun filled team building day. They were split up into two groups of mixed ages and had to compete in an amazing race challenge and obstacle course. Many of them overcame their fears during these events, and learnt to work together in order to complete the tasks successfully. The day culminated in a refreshing swim in the pool. It was a memorable and spirit building day excursion.

The older students are busy preparing for their first set of exams for the year. We wish them all behatzlacha. 


COMMUNITY NEWS

Umhlanga Jewish Centre

The UJC welcomes Angie Sacks and children Aaron and Noa from Johannesburg, who have recently joined our community. Angie has taken up an administrative and marketing position at the UJC and can be contacted on ujc@iafrica.com for any queries or information about shul services or upcoming events at the UJC.

We welcome back Oren Cohen who participated in the most recent ‘March of the Living’ to Israel and Poland.

Gilad Friedman represented the Jewish community and the latest HWPL event called ‘Peace this together’. Peace This Together is a monthly dialogue series where prominent religious leaders in South Africa come together for the purpose of comparing and contrasting religious texts/scriptures to identify as religious leaders from Hindu, Buddhist, Jewish, Muslim, African Hebrew, Bahai, Christian and Sikh backgrounds analyse and discuss their sacred texts. This month the event was hosted by the Bahai in Durban.

Mazel tov to Gilad Friedman who has been selected to be a fellow in the upcoming Nahum Goldmann Fellowship Program, taking place in Israel later this year.


COMMUNITY NEWS

Umhlanga Jewish Day School

Jessica Stout

Grades 4 to 6 had an informative and educational morning at the Sharks Board on Tuesday the 3rd of March. The staff had been there the week before, and compiled a quiz for the pupils to complete on the outing. This was an terrific way of consolidating information they received on the day. 

We had such an amazing Purim morning, with staff and children all joining in with the fun. The morning started with davening with the Grades 6 to 9, followed by the Megillah reading by Rabbi Zekry. The entire school, Grades 000 to 9, sat through the Megillah reading without a sound (apart from the Haman outbursts). We were all so proud of them stepping up to the plate and having such self-control and respect. Well done UJDS!!

The staff then presented a play about Purim to the school with a Lion King theme, which was completely hilarious. Stations of activities followed, with the final culmination of the dunking of Rabbi Friedman and Mr Friedman by Yael Meltz, Jared Nel and Callie Saul, who were the only ones who managed to hit the target to gain the privilege. Callie handed her win over to Mrs Ducasse who joined in the fun by dunking Rabbi Friedman and Mr Friedman again. Well done to Rabbi Friedman and Mr Friedman for their commitment to the spirit of the day. Shkei’ach to the staff for all their hard work and effort they put into this day to make it so much fun.

Two UJDS pupils have celebrated their Bar/Bat Mitzvah in the last month. Both Ethan Plen and Ayelet Garber embody the school spirit beautifully and have given us so much nachas! Mazal Tov!

The first term ended off with the annual school seders. On the 24th of March, Grades 000 to 1 showed off all of the songs they had learnt about Pesach as well as answering many questions. Everyone who attended was very impressed with the beautiful singing and bountiful knowledge that the pupils displayed. Sh’keiach to all of those involved in putting together a magnificent seder.

Following the success of the junior seder, Grades 2 to 9 held their seder on the 25th of March. Once again everyone in attendance was greatly impressed by the level of knowledge and particularly the Hebrew reading done by the students. Well done and thank you to all of those involved in putting together and readying the students for their seder. The students learned a lot from this experience, and are not only able to participate in their own seders, but many are now able to run their seders at home. 

Lastly, to end off a very busy term, there was extra excitement around the school as Tracey and Gilad Friedman gave birth to a gorgeous little girl. Many UJDS students attended the naming of Tehila Noa. Mazal tov!


COMMUNITY NEWS

Umhlanga Jewish Centre

Gilad Friedman

The Umhlanga Jewish Centre, together with Beare Holdings, hosted a cocktail and information evening at The Capital 20 West Hotel and Apartments in Johannesburg this month. The event saw tons of people come to hear what the UJC has on offer and to learn about community life in KZN. Relocating to Umhlanga is once again a real option for Jewish families living anywhere in South Africa, check out our video on youtube “Umhlanga Jewish Centre”.

This month the UJC celebrated the naming of Tehila Noa Friedman just two weeks before Pesach. A beautiful Thursday morning shul service took place followed by a traditional naming service and Kiddush Bracha. We are delighted to welcome Tehila Noa to our community. 

The UJC continues to become a popular venue for all types of events. This month the UJC hosted an ISASA curriculum training workshop (Independent Schools Association of Southern Africa).

Pesach shul services were very popular with many out-of-towners davening at this UJC and a communal seder was held by the residents of “83 on Wager” on second night of Pesach. Yishar Koach to all who were involved, a special mention must be made of Gary and Karen Plen, their effort in making the Seder a success is commendable and it would not have taken place without you.

Moedim Bsimcha


COMMUNITY NEWS

Umhlanga Jewish Centre

Terri Pillemer

83 on Wager has brought families together, built new friendships and laid the foundation for a flourishing community.

“From day one we have been surrounded by love and support from the families that make up the 83 On Wager community,” says Danielle de Gaye who moved in ten months ago. 

“Living here is food for the soul. Sheer bliss. No regrets,” agrees Stan Nadel who, with his wife Janine, was amongst the first to buy in the new complex. Selma Lurie feels “very blessed to be in a lovely home surrounded by lovely people,” and Bev Cohen says her family is “privileged to live in such a warm and loving community”. 

Security

“My daughter can walk to school and stay at home alone - but surrounded by community. My past stress about security has all but disappeared,” explains single mom Jacqui Burne. 

The ability to walk safely to attend services on Shabbat and Yom Tov at the nearby UJC has been nothing short of liberating for young and old alike. Some, like Clem de Gaye, walk daily to attend morning and evening prayers. Clem once suffered from anxiety, but Izinga has “rejuvenated him,” declares Danielle. “True to the saying, ‘A change of environment can change your Mazal’”.

Social ambiance

The camaraderie is palpable. “We love living around younger families who are both kind and willing to help in any way. Although we live in close proximity to each other, respect and privacy is not compromised,” says Danielle. 

“I love popping in, as do my kinderlach,” says frequent visitor Mandy Shargey. “I love the way children are all so comfortable in each other’s homes and how play just happens”.

Blessing 

“May Hashem help us all to grow from strength to strength and enjoy many more years in this lovely habitation,” says Danielle de Gaye. And I imagine the chorus of happy residents responding, “Amen”.


COMMUNITY NEWS

Umhlanga Jewish Day School

Jessica Stout

The year started off with a very busy week for the UJDS teachers. The Kodesh staff attended a two day seminar on a new Hebrew syllabus by Rabbi Orkin, an expert on the Hebrew language. The whole staff then attended a staff development by Lindsay McKenzie who spends six months in the UK and six months in Kenya. She works with teenagers in danger of being lost in the system due to behaviour issues or social problems. We looked at different learning styles and how to adapt and use different teaching methods.

We welcomed teachers onto our staff this term. Gilad Friedman has come in as the Head of the Kodesh Department and Tracey as the Grade 000 and 00 teacher. We look forward to a wonderful first year with them, and many more to come. Ms Sutton has also come in as a temporary teacher for the Grade 2 class while Mrs Porter is on maternity leave. 

We have added two new classes to the school, the Playgroup run by Morah Meltz and Nonhlanhla Mdunge and the Grade 9s being taught by Mr King and his team of teachers. These classes are a welcome addition to our school. We wish the Grade 9s all the best for their final year with us and a fantastic start to the UJDS journey for the playgroup toddlers.

On the 27th of January we held the UJDS parents evening. Parents were first given an overview of what we hope to achieve this year, including the focus on respect in and out of the school environment. The Kodesh staff then gave an overview of the many of topics that will be covered in each grade. This was followed by grade meetings.

Tu B’Shvat was celebrated in conjunction with the JNF and the KNZC. UJDS hosted four pupils from Rippon Primary school in Sydenham. The Rippon pupils put on an interesting skit about the importance of trees, in particular the importance of the pomegranate across many religions. This was followed by a short play put on by a group of our pupils about a flower trying to find her way home. Three pomegranate trees donated by the JNF were planted and the morning ended off with five of the seven species available to all who wanted to taste them. Many came back again and again to savour the delicious pomegranates, dates, olives, figs and grapes, supplied by the JNF. Thank you to all those involved in making this a fantastic, informative and meaningful morning.

Beth Shalom visits have started once again and as always were a resounding success. The grannies and grandpas gain so much joy from the personal connections that they make with our learners. Our children always come away knowing what an important mitzvah they have performed. A big thank you to the UJW for the financial assistance which enables these visits to continue.

The rest of this term one promises to be jam packed with learning and fun. We at UJDS look forward to sharing as many of these activities with you in next month’s article.


COMMUNITY NEWS

Umhlanga Jewish Day School

Jessica Stout

The final term at Umhlanga Jewish Day School was a busy one. 

On November 24th, Karen Mitchelson, who has been taking the Grade 000 and 00 class for music for the past year, hosted a year end music ring. The parents were all invited to watch as the class showed off everything that they had learnt throughout the year. The children sang songs and played various musical instruments. Thank you to Karen Mitchelson for all of the hard work she has done this year.

On the 4th of November, Grade R and One classes, after covering themselves in sun lotion, embarked on an outing to Umhlanga beach. The children spent a fun morning exploring rock pools, jumping over waves and even catching a fish or two (which were released before leaving). Thank you to Mrs King’s son and daughter who joined us for the morning.

On Friday the 5th of November, Umhlnaga Jewish Day School held their final assembly for the year. Parents were invited to join their children for davening before heading to the auditorium for the assembly. All Grades presented Channuka poems and songs, as well as an informative presentation by Grades six to eight on the lighting of the Channukia. Rabbi Jarrod Garber and the Grade two and three’s sang their song of all of the parshiot of the Torah. Awards were presented to all grades and the Grade Ones were given their first Siddurim. The Gimmulut Chassadim award, presented by the Union of Jewish Women, was awarded to Rachel Rosen. Mazal Tov Rachel! The choir closed off the morning with a beautiful rendition of Sky Full of Stars. She’keiach to everyone involved and to everyone on their awards. 

During the final week of the year, Grades four to eight joined Rabbi Ariel Garber on an outing to go bowling. It was a fantastic way to end off a busy year and bid farewell to Rabbi Ariel Garber.

Well done to everyone on a phenomenal 2014! We look forward to another fantastic year in 2015. 


COMMUNITY NEWS

Umhlanga Jewish Centre

Gilad Friedman

On the eighth night of Chanukah corresponding to 23 December 2014, a community Chanukah celebration was held at the Umhlanga Jewish Centre, where over 300 guests, both locals and out of towners were in attendance. 

The evening featured a live music performance by Johnny Sklar from Johannesburg, a Chanukiah lighting ceremony, a wonderful children’s program and a delicious dinner, prepared at the UJC.

One of the central ideas of Chanukah is pirsuma nisa - publicising the miracle. This event was an incredible display of community commitment, spirit and unity, coming from near and far to see the giant Chanukiah being lit.

Search YouTube “Chanukah @ UJC 5775” to view highlights from the Chanukah celebration at the UJC.


COMMUNITY NEWS

Umhlanga Jewish Day School

Carryn Meltz and Alka Butler

The grade eights toured the Beacon Sweet and Chocolate Factory at the end of the second term, on Wednesday 1 October. This outing complemented the learners Economic Management Science (EMS), History and Technology curriculum. The learners thoroughly enjoyed learning about the manufacturing and production process, partly because they were allowed to eat an endless number of sweets and chocolates during the tour.

In Parsha Vayera we learnt how Avraham lived in the desert in a tent. The dwelling had four openings so that he was able to see guests coming from the north, south, east and west. When a guest arrived, Avraham would welcome them into his tent, wash their feet, and give them

refreshments so that they were well rested for the rest of their journey. At Umhlanga Jewish Day School, the grade 000/00 class decided to build a tent in their classroom. We welcomed in guests that were passing by, washed their feet and gave them refreshments. Guests who visited our tent included the Grade R and One classes, as well as Mrs Ducasse. Great fun was had by all.

The Media Centre launched a reading competition this term called “Get Caught Reading”. Clues are posted around the school which tells the learners where they should go in order to “get caught reading”. When the learners were caught reading in the specific places, they received rewards. This reading promotion encouraged learners to enjoy reading in different environments in and around the school.

Umhlanga Jewish Day School wishes everyone Chanukkah Sameach and a fantastic December break.


COMMUNITY NEWS

Umhlanga Jewish Day School

Carryn Meltz, Ashleigh Burger and Jessica Stout

As term three comes to a close, the pace at Umhlanga Jewish Day School has not slowed down! 

Our school delights in the creative expression and development of the learners, and encourages them to express their individuality and imaginative thought through both the visual and musical medium. The school community was delighted to present its first Art and Musical Extravaganza 2014 cultural evening. Parents and guests gathered at the Umhlanga Jewish Centre to appreciate the art displays and take part in the extravaganza. Those attending were fortunate to enjoy a musical performance by the group Amici. This was organised by our music teacher, Katharine Embling. After the musical ensemble, the parents were directed to the balcony by the MC for the evening, Gary Furman, where they enjoyed cheese and wine under the stars before viewing the group and individual art created by the pupils of the school. Parents and visitors were addressed by well-known Durban artist and guest speaker, Judy Wentzel, on the importance of creative expression in children and the development of a free-thinking and uninhibited creative spirit. Pupils and guest exhibitors’ art work was auctioned by Bradley Meltz as a school fundraiser. A great evening was had by all, appreciating the art and enjoying each other’s company.

On Tuesday 23rd of September there was great excitement as the 000/00 and grade R children waited for their grandparents to arrive for our Rosh Hashanah grandparents ring. The grandparents were entertained by the children singing Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur songs as well as answering questions about these two chagim. The grandparents enjoyed refreshments after the ring and were given gifts from their grandchildren to take home. Great fun was had by all.

Grades one to eight got into the Rosh Hashana spirit with an exciting game of Pick-a-Box. Students answered questions related to the topics of Elul, Rosh Hashana, Yom Kippur, Sukkot and Simchat Torah, and were then able to choose a “box”. They then had to decide whether to choose the sweets being offered to them or the box. A lot of fun was had by all, with everyone sharing their sweets and prizes. Sh’keiach to all of those involved in this fun morning to start off the chaggim.


COMMUNITY NEWS

Umhlanga Jewish Day School

Lynn Cutter and Michelle King

The end of term two was very busy at Umhlanga Jewish Day School. Here are some of the events and outings that took place:

VISIT TO FLAG FARM

The Pre-Primary School and Grades One, Two and Three had a really fun outing to Flag Farm in Salt Rock at the end of the third term. The children were all treated to a pony ride and were then given the opportunity to milk a cow. Amidst much face pulling and nose holding most of them took the opportunity to try to milk the cows. Feeding the animals was very exciting, especially when the greedy goat ate all the food AND the packet as well. It was lovely to see all our little ones running around freely and patting, holding and feeding all the animals.

UJDS PUPILS READ AROUND THE WORLD!

The students at our school participated in a reading competition called ‘Passport to Read’. Enthusiastic readers took up the challenge of reading books of different genres which were matched to the continents of the world. Children were given passports and on the completion of a set number of books they would journey around the world and earn voyager miles. Avid readers took up the challenge and became reading jet setters! The top travelers were awarded prizes for their reading efforts. Congratulations to all who participated and make sure that reading is alive and well at UJDS.

We wish the whole community Shana Tova Umetuka!



COMMUNITY NEWS

Come on, be a sport!

The multipurpose Astroturf field allows even the smallest students to get a taste of the benefits of sports (without risking their little knees).

A full-sized, professionally surfaced tennis court is used for group and private lessons with a certified coach. Love all!

(Newsflash: the court is open to community members in the evenings – even grown-ups! Call Robbie on 082 444 2541 to book your slot)

The newly painted basketball and netball courts on the lower parking lot will cater for Grades 1 to 8 (and Grade 9 when the school expands again next year). It’s good enough to dribble over!

“It’s great for kids to be introduced to sports at such a young age,” says sports coordinator Daniel Sibbald. “It gives them a break from the classroom environment and teaches them about healthy living, competition, teamwork and allows them to make friends.”

UJDS currently offers tennis, hockey, soccer and netball, as well as judo and ballet. The Tuesday extramural sports club allows learners to sample a variety of other sports including cricket, touch rugby, and baseball.

“This is a really good school with really good facilities,” enthuses Daniel. “And it’s only going to grow and improve.”

For more information about UJDS’s sporting facilities, contact Karen on 031 566 3593.


COMMUNITY NEWS

Umhlanga Jewish Centre

Lauren Shapiro

Why wait till Sunday? Take our virtual tour of this exclusive development right now…

Take a slow amble down Campbell Drive from the Umhlanga Jewish Centre, turn left at the traffic circle, and mosey along Wager Avenue. You’ll soon see the welcoming sign announcing 83 on Wager, the new private residential development aimed at the Jewish community. 

The friendly guard will greet you at the gate, then you’ll move down the driveway to three tiered rows of houses, all in-keeping with the attractive style of the suburb of Izinga, an earthy African colour palette combined with Mediterranean/Balinese form. 

The homes, ranging from one- to four-bedroom units, all boast Caesar-stone kitchens, Hans Grohe taps, piping for DSTV and security systems, and covered patios (crack open a beer - sunsets are spectacular!). 

The units have been designed with an eye to yiddishkeit, offering double sinks, Shabbat switches, and of course the complex is within an eruv. 

The four-bedroomed units are double-storied, and the three-bedrooms offer a loft perfect for an office, guest suite, staff quarters or bachelor pad. The gardens are beautifully maintained by the complex, so you can spend your weekends relaxing in them, not mowing them. 

The development overlooks a stunning green belt with walking/cycling paths, benches to relax, and a playground for the kids. 

Like what you’re reading? Want to see it for yourself? Contact 

Gary Plen 083 236 6692 or gary@rosedeubler.com

Adam Pincus 082 450 9372 or adampincus@iafrica.com 

Julian Beare 082 554 2999 or julianbeare@iafrica.com 


Umhlanga Jewish Day School

Umhlanga Jewish Day School

- Jessica Stout

Umhlanga Jewish Day School has had a very busy term filled with exciting outings and shows.

UJDS hosted Lloyd’s Incredible Dog Show which was filled with tips on how to look after your pet. Clever performances by the talented dogs delighted the children who even took part in some of their tricks. 

All Grades watched an amazing performance by Hooked on Books on the 3rd on June. Some of the students were chosen to take part in the entertaining skits, acting out selected scenes from a variety of books. The students were so inspired by this show that they were lining up at the school library as soon as the show ended to take books out for the weekend.

On the Friday the 13th of June, the pupil’s fathers were treated to a Father’s Day breakfast with their children. Each grade recited their class poem and gave presents to their fathers. 

Grades 000, 00, R, One, Two and Three went on an exciting trip to the Umhlanga Fire Station. The pupils were taught about the fire engine, and what to do if a fire breaks out. The children asked some very clever questions, watched the firemen “respond” to a fire, and then got a chance to play in the foam. 

The older students have been very busy writing exams. The students have shown dedication to their studying and it shows in the results. Well done to you all!

We are looking forward to a fun filled and productive Term 3!


COMMUNITY NEWS

Dedication of the Umhlanga Jewish Centre

'At Sinai we received the Torah, and 3000 years later at Sinai Indaba we launch a new Torah project,’ commented Rabbi Dr. Pinchas Zekry at the official dedication of the Umhlanga Jewish Centre (UJC) on 17 June.

He unveiled the foundation stone along with Chief Rabbi Dr. Warren Goldstein, Rosh Beth Din Rabbi Moshe Kurtstag and Dr. Jonathan Beare. Mezuzot were affixed to the entrances to the centre, and the Rabbis, dignitaries and donors rejoiced with Hakafot around the exquisite new Shul. To mark the occasion, two Sifrei Torah were donated to the UJC by the Mann and Zekry families. The Aron Kodesh was dedicated by Morry Sacher in loving memory of his late parents. 

The ceremony incorporated the official opening of the Leah Masinter Mikveh, the library of the Beit Midrash (endowed by Ronnie and Erica Wellisch in memory of their parents Walter and Lilly), and the Gunter Lazarus Media Centre in the Umhlanga Jewish Day School (donated by Gaynor and Sidney Lazarus and Joan Handlesman in memory of their father and husband), all on the same campus. 

The dedication was followed by a gala dinner to mark the occasion. The magnificent hall and balcony were packed with well-wishers. Mary Kluk’s elegant décor created a beautiful ambience, and Selma Lurie and her catering team excelled themselves.

Guest of honour Chief Rabbi Goldstein likened the builders of the UJC to the prophets Moses and Joshua, and the chalutzim of early Israel. ‘This community has come together with vision and enormous courage,’ he noted. ‘Tonight we salute and celebrate with the builders of the UJC.’

Rabbi Kurtstag paid tribute to Rabbi Zekry and his wife Dina for thirty years of service to the community this June. The full Beth Din was present to lend support to this worthy cause. 

Rabbi Zekry thanked his steering committee for their sterling commitment over the past three years. The committee comprised congregants with several years of community leadership experience: Julian Beare (Project Management), Mary Kluk (Marketing and Décor), Lew Heilbron (Community Liaison), Judge Philip Levinsohn (Legal Advisor) and Gaynor Lazarus (Education). Over and above their obvious skills, Rabbi praised their positive attitudes and passion for the project.  

Rabbi also thanked the many generous benefactors - chiefly Dr. Jonathan Beare - whose support made this centre possible. “In times when many communities in this country are sadly shutting down, we are privileged to witness the opening of a new community,” he said. 

The UJC is a haven for Jewish life on the east coast, with its thriving school, flourishing Shul with dedicated Beit Midrash, beautiful Mikveh, superb function facilities, state of the art auditorium, gym, tennis court, and more.

Become part of this amazing development. For more information contact 031 201 5177, or follow our blog on www.durbanshul.co.za  

Go noooorth…

The Village People got it wrong. It’s northwards you want to be heading, if you want a change of pace and a new life under the clear blue skies. 

Izinga has a laid-back atmosphere that’s difficult to describe unless you’ve experienced it. Minutes from the beach, it’s as if the salty air blowing over the ridge washes all your stresses away. The entire suburb has been designed around fostering a safe, active lifestyle - there are walking paths, nature reserves, and security patrols 24 hours a day. Kids walk to school and ride their bikes to the park. 

Add to this a thriving shul and school, and what more do you need? (Whatever it is, you can probably get it at Gateway, the largest shopping mall in the southern hemisphere, that’s a two-minute drive away). 

So go on, go north. Life is peaceful there… lots of open air…  okay, someone stop me before I bring out the karaoke machine!


COMMUNITY NEWS

Umhlanga Jewish Day School

Ashleigh Burger and Jessica Stout

On the first Friday of the term, Umhlanga Jewish Day School held a very special Mother’s Day breakfast for our mothers and grandmothers. We started with a beautiful Mozart piece played by Kathy Embling, followed by the choir singing “Yesterday” and “Yesh Tikvah”. A heart-warming presentation was given by Morah Meltz’s class, the Grade R class, and the Grade One and Two classes. Rabbi Friedman shared some words of wisdom and encouragement with everyone. The students personally gave presents to their moms. Shkei’ach to everyone involved in putting together this lovely morning.  

Our bi-weekly Beth Shalom visits started again on the 16th of May. Selected grades go together for each visit and they take with them specially packed parcels, filled with feel good food. Each child writes a note that is attached to the parcels. These visits are greatly appreciated by everyone involved, and both the students and the residents at Beth Shalom look forward to every visit! 

On Tuesday the 20th of May 2014 the learners from Grade Four to Eight packed their backpacks and ventured off to Shongweni Nature Reserve, home to zebra, buck and smaller wild animals, and spent the day at Spirit of Adventure. The moment the children climbed off the bus into the wilderness, a nervous anticipation filled the air. The learners were briefed, introduced to their guides and split into teams.

Each group completed a number of tasks aimed at team building and self-development. Many of the learners attempted these activities for the first time in their lives. With the help of the Spirit of Adventure instructors and their teachers, the learners were able to conquer their fears and master new skills. The children were challenged to abseil, build a raft and zip-lining. A series of dark underground tunnels, which they had to navigate in the dark by holding on to their team mate’s ankles, tested their courage! All these activities were aimed at encouraging the learners to attempt something new and participate in the group activities on offer. The highlight of the day was abseiling. The children were strapped into harnesses and taught how to abseil down the Shongweni Dam wall, which is roughly 30 metres high. On completion of their first abseiling experience, the learners grew in confidence in their own abilities. Many pupils would have been quite content to spend the remainder of the day lowering themselves down the wall and climbing up countless stairs to repeat this activity over and over again.

After a beautiful Durban winter’s day, the very tired Umhlanga Jewish Day school learners, who had had the adventure of a lifetime, climbed back onto the school bus, reluctantly said goodbye to Spirit of Adventure, and travelled home with hair raising stories to tell their parents of the adventures they had had.


COMMUNITY NEWS

Umhlanga Jewish Centre

Lauren Shapiro

Lag B’omer at the UJC

Lag Ba’omer celebrates the anniversary of the cessation of a plague that killed the students of Rabbi Akiva, and it also commemorates the death of Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai, Rabbi Akiva’s student and a great Kabbalist teacher.

The chag means a welcome break in the mourning period of the Omer, and warrants a shindig of epic proportions. Enter one seriously dynamic team to organize…

The “Dynamix” group is an independent, self-funding group that was formed three years ago to get dynamic Jews to mix, while celebrating their heritage and religion. 

The nine young families that power the team really pulled out all the stops to create a Lag Ba’omer “Survivor” challenge on the UJDS sports field, followed by a street party in the school’s courtyard. Live music (including English and Hebrew favourites), boerie rolls, chocolate cake, and of course marshmallows to roast on the bonfire - what more could one ask for?

Well, there was more! A spectacular fire display commemorated the occasion, much to the delight of participants young and old. “The dynamic mixing of people of all ages in our community was just great to see,” enthuses Dynamix representative Aubrey Nathan. “And the kids programme was a huge success. They will remember this for years to come.” 

If the Jews won’t go to the mountain…

…then bring Sinai to the Jews, wherever they are in the world. Even if that’s in a gorgeous little town on the south-east tip of Africa.

The Gemara says: “The world exists in the merit of children learning Torah”. Well, I guess that means the UJC just did their bit towards the preservation of the planet, with a very successful Generation Sinai.

The Generation Sinai project has, in the three years since its inception, involved 9000 students from 44 schools around the country. Last year it branched out into over 40 cities around the world, in six languages and on six continents. Such a great, global movement makes the Jewish people “Ke’ish echad, be’lev echad - like one man with one heart”, as our Sages said of the Children of Israel at the original Sinai experience. 

Umhlanga Jewish Day School stepped up to the plate. Children from Grade 000 to Grade 8 sat with their parents in the magnificent Shul and studied handouts about Megillat Ruth, which was read on Shavuot the following week. 

“It gave parents the opportunity to interact with their kids in a completely new, different way,” praises Head of Judaica Rabbi Mark Friedman. “It’s a continuation of our primary legacy as Jews. How beautiful for parents and children to connect within this framework.”


COMMUNITY NEWS

Umhlanga Jewish Centre

Lauren Shapiro

Lag B’omer at the UJC

Lag Ba’omer celebrates the anniversary of the cessation of a plague that killed the students of Rabbi Akiva, and it also commemorates the death of Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai, Rabbi Akiva’s student and a great Kabbalist teacher.

The chag means a welcome break in the mourning period of the Omer, and warrants a shindig of epic proportions. Enter one seriously dynamic team to organize…

The “Dynamix” group is an independent, self-funding group that was formed three years ago to get dynamic Jews to mix, while celebrating their heritage and religion. 

The nine young families that power the team really pulled out all the stops to create a Lag Ba’omer “Survivor” challenge on the UJDS sports field, followed by a street party in the school’s courtyard. Live music (including English and Hebrew favourites), boerie rolls, chocolate cake, and of course marshmallows to roast on the bonfire - what more could one ask for?

Well, there was more! A spectacular fire display commemorated the occasion, much to the delight of participants young and old. “The dynamic mixing of people of all ages in our community was just great to see,” enthuses Dynamix representative Aubrey Nathan. “And the kids programme was a huge success. They will remember this for years to come.” 

If the Jews won’t go to the mountain…

…then bring Sinai to the Jews, wherever they are in the world. Even if that’s in a gorgeous little town on the south-east tip of Africa.

The Gemara says: “The world exists in the merit of children learning Torah”. Well, I guess that means the UJC just did their bit towards the preservation of the planet, with a very successful Generation Sinai.

The Generation Sinai project has, in the three years since its inception, involved 9000 students from 44 schools around the country. Last year it branched out into over 40 cities around the world, in six languages and on six continents. Such a great, global movement makes the Jewish people “Ke’ish echad, be’lev echad - like one man with one heart”, as our Sages said of the Children of Israel at the original Sinai experience. 

Umhlanga Jewish Day School stepped up to the plate. Children from Grade 000 to Grade 8 sat with their parents in the magnificent Shul and studied handouts about Megillat Ruth, which was read on Shavuot the following week. 

“It gave parents the opportunity to interact with their kids in a completely new, different way,” praises Head of Judaica Rabbi Mark Friedman. “It’s a continuation of our primary legacy as Jews. How beautiful for parents and children to connect within this framework.”


COMMUNITY NEWS

MODERN-DAY CHALUTZIM ARE SETTLING THE NORTH

83 on Wager, the Izinga housing development catering to Jewish families, is nearly fully complete. As the dust settles and the final coats of paint dry, the building site is starting to feel more like a welcoming village of attractive houses looking out over a spectacular green belt.

Seven families have already moved in, and more are scheduled to follow, so watch this space!

Residents recently met to discuss ways to build a vibrant and thriving community, based around the shul in the Umhlanga Jewish Centre. “It’s unbelievable how keen everyone is to make this work,” says Gary Plen, one of the first occupants of the development.

“The sense of community is already amazing."

Although some of us knew each other before, it’s so wonderful to really get to know each other. It’s also great for the kids.

They’re in and out of each other’s homes all Shabbos afternoon and they just love it.”

For more information about Umhlanga Jewish Day School,
CONTACT: Karen Plen 031 566 3593 or Karen@ujds.co.za
For more information on 83 on Wager, contact:
Gary Plen 083 236 6692 or gary@rosedeubler.com
Adam Pincus 082 450 9372 or adampincus@iafrica.com
Julian Beare 082 554 2999 or julianbeare@iafrica.com


COMMUNITY NEWS

MORE PROGRESS IN UMHLANGA

Lauren Shapiro

Umhlanga Jewish Day School (UJDS) has become the jewel in the crown of the Jewish community in the north of the city. Offering outstanding Jewish and secular education along with top-level extramural activities and enrichment programmes, it’s no wonder that so many parents are choosing this school for their children. Many young families are following the demographic trend of moving north to Umhlanga, Izinga and the surrounding areas. But for those families still living south of the river, the school provides a bus which travels daily from the shul in Silverton Road.

All seats in the 19-seater vehicle are fitted with three-point seatbelts for the children’s complete safety, and younger children are welcome to bring carseats and boosters as well. Students have a great rapport with the capable driver Richard Kweyana, and a teacher always accompanies the children to supervise.

“I love the bus!” enthuses five-year-old Ariel Shapiro. “We play travel bingo and sing songs.” PICTURED ABOVE: Ariel Shapiro, Yael Meltz, Lexi Levin and Danielle Nathan.

Parents love the set-up, too. “It cuts my travelling time in half,” notes Westville mom Leanne Cramer, whose boys Josh and Leo are in Grade 2. “I love that it links my childhood to his,” says Ralph Bronzin, father of Max (Grade R). So there you have it: the wheels on the bus go round and round, all the way to Izinga!


COMMUNITY NEWS

A VISIT TO BETH SHALOM AS PART OF CHESSED

The Staff of UJDS

It was with great excitement that the Grade Threes, Sixes, Sevens and Eights of Umhlanga Jewish Day School set off last Wednesday to Beth Shalom. We arrived at 10 am and went through to the lounge where residents were already gathering for their tea. With little hesitation or shyness the children of UJDS quickly got to work distributing little goodie bags and sharing lots of happy smiles.

We were so proud of our children as they stopped next to each person and asked how they were and even, on occasions, lent in for a little cuddle. The bags are packed by the children and include a note or drawing to add a personal touch.

This expression of 'family' and togetherness is very important for our children. Mrs Skevington ended with a song “yesterday” with the guitar. Rabbi Jarrod Garber shared a bit of Yiddishkeit with the residents and sang a Hebrew song with the children. The children did us proud; their enthusiastic singing and obvious enjoyment in sharing were heart-warming.

The blessing when visiting Beth Shalom is not only for the residents but more so for the staff and learners of UJDS. It is a privilege to interact and listen to these men and woman who have lived such full and interesting lives. The residents are so warm and generous with their time and we all love hearing about their interests and thoughts.

It is so important that young children learn early on to “see” the elderly and “hear” the wisdom they have to share. The social skills gained when doing so will benefit these children well into their future.

We look forward to our next visit.


COMMUNITY NEWS

MORIAH

Shelli Strous

In their article, Why Choose a Jewish Preschool, Dr Paula Sayag ,Director of Temple Beth Ami Nursery School in Rockville, Maryland, and Amira Rosenberg a Jewish Education Consultant in the Greater Washington area state:

"What is unique to Jewish education is the opportunity to stress the importance of family…to convey contemporary ethical and moral messages through traditional stories…to provide connections to history through hands-on experiences…to develop a sense of responsibility for caring for each other and helping make a better world"

These tenets are so beautifully carried out at Moriah School. We are looking forward to a fun filled year ahead with lots of "learning through play" and Jewish activities to reinforce the concepts of our rich cultural heritage.

Our first exciting event will be a tree planting ceremony for Tu Beshvat. The children just love to assist with their plastic spades! We welcome back our learners and look forward to settling in our new little joiners who will soon form part of the Moriah family.

For more information about Moriah School, kindly contact Shelli Strous on 031 201 7439 (mornings). Moriah caters for children ages 16 months to 21/2 years old and is set in beautifully equipped surroundings with a "home away from home" ethos.


COMMUNITY NEWS

UMHLANGA JEWISH DAY SCHOOL

Rabbi Mark Friedman

For Umhlanga Jewish Day School’s final assembly of the year, we had a Channukah themed assembly.

In addition to an assortment of songs performed by all of the students
(Grades 000 - 7), certificates of excellence were handed out and a very entertaining and educational Channukah play (brought all the way from Johannesburg) was enjoyed by all.

Parents and staff were extremely proud of all the students, not only for the hard work and effort that they put into the performances of the day but for all their achievements throughout the year.

The end of the year, just like the end of any process, brings with it an opportunity to reflect. We are incredibly proud of the accomplishments of the Umhlanga Jewish Day School, all which have been achieved in the very short time of two years.

Results such as these can only be realised by the common vision and dual efforts of the school’s Jewish and General Studies Departments. Not only do we pride ourselves on our students Judaic and academic achievements but also the unity and cohesion of the entire school.


Umhlanga Jewish Day School

Umhlanga Jewish Day School has a Winner

Mark Friedman

Levi Katzer, a Grade one pupil at Umhlanga Jewish Day School, qualified to participate in the Semas (Abacus and Mental Arithmetic Association) National  Competition 2013 by winning a trophy at the Semas Regionals.
Four hundred and fourteen pupils between the ages of five and eleven took part in the Nationals and Levi won gold in his division.  He received a medal and certificate for his efforts. In addition to this amazing achievement he has been invited to take part in the Worlds Semas Competition.
Well done Levi, we're so proud of you!


Umhlanga Jewish Day School

Our second "Man" of the moment

Mark Friedman

On 27 October Aaron Berchowitz, a Grade 7 student at Umhlanga Jewish Day School, celebrated his 13th birthday. Unfortunately for us, we were unable to share in this special milestone with him as he had the great privilege of celebrating his Bar Mitzvah in the holy city of Jerusalem.
On behalf of the staff of the Umhlanga Jewish Day School we would like to wish a hearty Mazeltov to Aaron, his parents and the entire Berchowitz and Raiz Families.


Umhlanga Jewish Day School

Mark Friedman

On Wednesday the 4th of September, the Umhlanga Jewish Day School conducted our Rosh Hashana assembly. Rosh Hashana is a time for reflection and stock-taking, so we thought it would be an appropriate time to give our parent-body an opportunity to see and experience first hand just one of the many benefits their children enjoy at Umhlanga Jewish Day School.
All of the Grade R through Grade 7 students were joined by their parents in the Izinga Shul to present their Davening (Prayer) skills. Not only was this a fantastic opportunity to give their parents a healthy dose of "Yiddisher Nachas"  but it also gave the students an opportunity to experience the differences in the service when davening with a minyan (10 men).
After davening a full Shacharit service, the children and parents were invited next door to the function hall where many different  types of art and craft activities were available. Both parents and children created Rosh Hashanah cards; honey dispenser bottles; Tzedaka boxes; and beaded serviette rings.
The morning however would not have been complete without the delicious  honey cake; biscuits; tea and refreshments that were served and enjoyed after the activities.
Thanks again to all parents, staff and  students who were involved in making the morning such a special occasion.


Umhlanga Jewish Day School

AdMark Friedman

Approximately half way through the first school term, Umhlanga Jewish Day School embarked on a new school project - visiting the residents of Beth Shalom. Once every two weeks approximately 25 students make their way to Beth Shalom along with their teachers and family members. The visit takes place on a Friday afternoon at 1.30pm and its purpose is to bring a little extra light and love into the lives of the residents.
Each resident receives a "goodie bag"  which contains a small slab of chocolate, a roll of sweets, chips and a packet of biscuits. This packet is always extremely appreciated but is by no means the main reason for our visit. The primary purpose of our visit is to provide care, companionship and encouragement to those in need.
This project is associated with and has been modeled on a very successful Johannesburg based initiative called Project  Smile :), a project of the Charity Trust for the Aged.
A very positive spin off that has come from these visits is the effect they have had on the volunteers. Many of them experience a deep appreciation for the many blessings that they take for granted. In addition to this, they become inspired by experiencing first-hand the difference they can make in the lives of others. It really is impossible to explain to people who haven't seen it for themselves how appreciated these visits are. Accordingly we invite and encourage anyone who is interested to please join us in giving a little back to those who have given us so much.


Umhlanga Jewish Day School

AdRabbi Mark Friedman

From the 5th - 7th of August, the Umhlanga Jewish Centre had the privilege of hosting the Annual South African Rabbinical Conference. On the last day of the Conference, Chief Rabbi Dr Warren Goldstein graciously took time out of his very busy schedule to attend an assembly at the Umhlanga Jewish Day School.
At the assembly the Chief Rabbi engaged with the students, asking them what aspects of Shabbos they most enjoyed. There was no shortage of answers. After taking suggestions from almost all of our students, Chief Rabbi Goldstein took the opportunity to launch a very exciting countrywide project.
This project - entitled " The Shabbos Project" -  has as its aim to get the entire South African Jewish Community to keep one Shabbos in its entirety from sundown to stars out. The Shabbos chosen will be Parshat "Lech Lecha" on the 11th/12th of October.
There will be more information to follow regarding the particulars of the project but we would like to start by thanking the Chief Rabbi and his office for implementing such an ambitious and unifying initiative. We feel incredibly privileged not only to be able to participate in such an important project but also to be given the opportunity to be the platform from which it was launched.


Umhlanga Jewish Day School

Our "Man" of the moment

AdMark Friedman

The celebration of a Bar Mitzvah is always memorable and exciting but all the more so when it's your first. This is true not only for a family but also for a school. On the 12th of June Daniel Meltz,  a Grade 7 student at Umhlanga Jewish Day School, celebrated his 13th birthday. His father Bradley Meltz was invited to take part in the Davening as well as be personally involved in this special occasion. Bradley was on hand to assist Daniel in the performance of his first two Mitzvot as a Jewish man that of Tallis and Tefillin. This was a truly memorable experience and one that was celebrated and enjoyed by the entire student body. On behalf of the staff of the Umhlanga Jewish Day School we would like to wish a hearty Mazeltov to Daniel, his parents and the entire Meltz and Liansky Families.


Umhlanga Jewish Day School

 Robert SussmanAd


Umhlanga Jewish Day School

AdRobert Sussman

Busy, busy busy – there’s no other way to describe the last few weeks at UJDS. In honour of Yom Ha’Atzma’ut, we had a fun-filled visit from the Israeli Caravan, who brought with them food to taste and games to play. Grades R to 7 went on outings to the Natural Science Museum where they had an opportunity to learn all about the earth and the many creatures that inhabit it. Some students were even brave enough to hold a giant Madagascar hissing cockroach, one of the largest cockroaches in the world! Grade 6 and 7 students had their own adventure on the school campus – bivouacking! The students erected temporary shelters and stayed overnight on the school playground under the supervision of the very dedicated (and brave) Grade 6/7 Teacher Duncan Rankin and UJDS Librarian, Lynn Cutter. The students had a great time braaiing, playing games, and staying up late.


Umhlanga Jewish Day School

Robert Sussman

Thanks to Rachel Skevington, daughter of our Grade 2/3 teacher Julie Skevington, our school (Grades 2 to 7) was the first to visit the Dube TradePort AgriZone – where 16 hectares (the equivalent of 128 Olympic size swimming pools) produce 40 tonnes of fresh produce each week – including cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, and sweet peppers for Woolworths and other shops. On 7 March, thanks to parent Sarah Levy and UJDS Librarian Lynn Cutter, our students celebrated World Book Day, dressing up as their favourite storybook characters and having lots of fun making bookmarks and book covers. The first term culminated with an incredible Pesach Assembly for Grades 1 to 7, a Seder for Grades 000, 00, and R, and our second annual game of Sederopoly for Grades 2 to 7. With parents in attendance at the assembly and seder, the students demonstrated some of what they had learned in preparation for Pesach and choir teacher, Katharine Embling, lead the students in singing Somewhere Out There (from An American Tail) and a very moving rendition of V’hi She’amda (from the Pesach Haggadah). By the time you read this...our second term will be well under way. Watch out for Generation Sinai on Friday, 10 May!Ad


Umhlanga Jewish Day School

Robert Sussman

Purim (which fell out on a Sunday) saw the students of UJDS delivering m’shloach manot that they had collected for the residents of Eden Crescent, Jewel House, and Beth Shalom – all of whom greatly appreciated the gifts, as well as the visit! The next day, Shushan Purim, was no ordinary day at UJDS. Students came to school in costumes, where they paraded in front of the whole school, watched a Purim play put on by the Grades 4-7, and enjoyed a carnival with games and yummy hamantaschen from Morah Dina Zekry.

Mazel Tov to the 3/4 Graders and their Chumash teacher, Rabbi Jarrod Garber, on making a siyum (celebration on completing a portion of study) on Parshat Lech Lecha (the third Torah portion in the Book of Bereishit) and to the 5/6/7 Graders and their Chumash teacher, Mr. Dan Burke, on making a siyum on Parshat Bo (the third Torah portion in the Book of Shemot). This is a tremendous accomplishment of which we should all be very proud – and wish them continued success and growth in their Torah learning!

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Umhlanga Jewish Day School

Robert Sussman

UJDS continues to go from strength-to-strength, thank G-d, with grades now ranging from 000 (age 3) up to Grade 7. In honour of this achievement, new 6/7 Grade teacher Duncan Rankin nominated each of the students in his class to become school Monitors, serving as role models for the younger students and helping those students wherever they can. The Monitors were installed at a recent school assembly - congratulations to: Danielle Burne, to: Danielle Burne, Daniel Meltz, Kedem Papo, Ethan Plen, and Rachel Rosen. Since Tu B’Shevat fell out on Shabbat this year, Morah Dinah Zekry made special challah covers with the Grade 6/7 students from them to use at their Shabbat table. On the Friday before Tu B’Shevat, learners planted a new tree, kindly donated by Mr. Rankin, in the school garden. Rabbi Zekry came just for the occasion and addressed the students and Morah Dinah baked a delicious cake, in addition to managing to obtain all of the fruits associated with Eretz Yisrael for the children to taste.

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Umhlanga Jewish Day School

Robert Sussman

The first year of UJDS came to a close with activities dedicated to Chanukah – a Ring for grades 000, 00 and R, and an Assembly for grades R through 5. Parents thoroughly enjoyed watching their children perform some of their choral verse, sing, dance, and put on a Chanukah play. To view some videos from the Assembly, please visit: https://vimeo.com/album/2208410.

UJDS Librarian Lynn Cutter ran a successful multi-week library training program for 10 local participants from the LEARN Project, an organization which aims to establish reading centres and programs in schools that are currently without reading books and to encourage a love for reading and learning in both teachers and learners.

By the time you read this, the second year of UJDS will be well underway….and we look forward to telling you all about it in nextmonth’s issue!

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Umhlanga Jewish Day School

Robert Sussman

It’s hard to believe, but the first year of our new school has almost come to an end. In fact, by the time you read this, the year will be just about over. And, with thanks to Hashem, what a year it has been! I would just like to take this opportunity to thank all of those who have contributed to the success of the school – from those behind the scenes, to those on the front lines, to the principal and teachers, to the parents and students – to everyone who dared to dream of a Jewish day school for Durban and to take a chance on making that dream come true.

Grade 1 students and their Kodesh teacher, Morah Noa Sussman, made a siyum on the Aleph-Beit at a special school assembly attended by their parents and grandparents, and demonstrated how they are learning to read Hebrew!

Mazel Tov to them and we look forward to their first parsha siyum sometime next year!

Students from Grades R – 5 recently participated in our first Speech and Drama Festival (under the auspices of the Speech and Drama Association of South Africa), memorizing passages for individual and group (by grade) performances. Eleanor Stewart, who judged the festival, and UJDS Speech and Drama teacher Kathy Nugent were most impressed by the students' performances!

Grades R – 5 also went on an exciting outing to the KZN Science Centre. Grades 000 and 00 will be going on their own outing…but more about that in the next issue of Hashalom! If you have any questions, please let me know. All the best, Robert

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Umhlanga Jewish Day School

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Robert Sussman

Another eventful month has flown by at UJDS. Grades 4 and 5, along with their Chumash teacher, Dan Burke, made their second siyum, this time on Parshat Va’eira (the second Torah portion in the Book of Shemot/Exodus)! Mazel Tov! Parents and grandparents were treated to a most amazing and inspiring “Cultural Evening,” overflowing with sights and sounds.

Artwork from our students was proudly displayed throughout the school, which was decorated to reflect some of the various books that the children had read. The students performed songs and dances, which they had rehearsed just for the occasion, and reenacted passages from their favourite books.

Close to Rosh HaShanah, we had a visit from “The Bee Man”, Gavin Dawson, who brought bee hives, honey, and bee keeping equipment to show the students.

While in Durban for the resent SAHISA Conference, principals of Jewish Day Schools from around South Africa visited UJDS. We received an email from one of them stating: “Thank you for the most inspiring morning. What an amazing school it is. Your facilities are magnificent and your teachers are just superb!”


Umhlanga Jewish Day School

Another eventful month has flown by at UJDS. Grades 2 and 3, along with their Chumash teacher, Rabbi Jarrod Garber, made their first siyum (a celebration in honour of the completion of a portion of Torah study) on Parshat Noach (the second Torah portion in the Book of Bereishit/Genesis)! Mazel Tov! To share the celebration with the rest of the community, the siyum was repeated at a school assembly and will happen again at the DUHC on Shabbat. Rabbi Garber also gave the students a hands-on lesson in Sofrut (the art of writing on parchment – for use in Torah scrolls, tefillin, etc.). Grades 4 and 5, along with their Chumash teacher, Dan Burke, will soon be making their second siyum, this time on Parshat Va’eira (the second Torah portion in the Book of Shemot/Exodus), which they will also repeat so that everyone can share in the simcha. Mazel Tov! In preparation for Rosh HaShanah, the children have been hearing the shofar blown each morning after davening during Elul. As part of the term’s theme of “Literature” – which will culminate on the 11th of September with the school’s elaborate Cultural Evening – the entire school recently went on an outing to Corrie Hook’s Pottery Studio, where each grade made a beautiful bowl decorated with designs from a book that their class had read,. This term has also seen each grade hosting Tuck Shop on Fridays, as well as an assembly at which their parents could be in attendance. Thus far at the assemblies, the Grades 4/5 have put on a dramatic re-enactment of the first Olympics, followed by PowerPoint presentations on various topics; the Grades 2/3 presented a poem by A.A. Milne; and the Grade 1’s each presented a book report on a favourite book. Be sure to check back next month for pictures from our Cultural Evening!

Robert Sussman

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Umhlanga Jewish Day School

London wasn’t the only place that people were going for the gold! The end of the second term saw UJDS hosting its very own Mini-Olympics. A fun-filled afternoon was enjoyed by all of the participants. Events included: obstacle course, bean bag toss, water balloon throw, sack race, sprint, shootout, tug-of-war, and others!

Thanks to UJDS Librarian, Lynn Cutter, sports weren’t the only area where the students had an opportunity to medal. The children had a reading contest, managing to read thousands of pages, with Ayalet Garber having read the most of anyone! Congratulations to Ayalet and all of the students – and may their love of reading only continue and grow!

Students celebrated Mandela Day, acknowledging the power that every person has to change the world, by sending a cake made by Grade 00 teacher Charlotte Thurgood, along with help from Grades 00 and 000, as well as donations of other food provisions by parents, to the Care Centre run by Mrs. Thoko Clara Xulu, mother of our very own Thabasile (affectionately known as ‘Thabs’).

We are accepting applications for next year and families interested in visiting the school should contact us at 031 566 3005 to schedule an appointment. On behalf of everyone at UJDS, we wish the entire Durban community a sweet and happy new year – may 5773 be a year filled with peace, good health, prosperity, blessing, success, and every good thing. And may our new school and all those involved with it go from strength to strength!

Robert Sussman

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Umhlanga Jewish Day School

It was another eventful month at UJDS, beginning with an exciting visit from Lloyd Bristow and his “Incredible Dog Show”, who have been thrilling audiences across South Africa for more than 11 years. The students watched in awe as Lloyd’s amazing and talented dogs, some of whom are multiple SA Champions in Jumping and Agility (as well as Guinness World Record breakers), performed stunt after stunt before their eyes. Some of the children even volunteered to help with a few of the tricks. 

Our Grade 00’s and 000’s had their turn at an outing, visiting MiniTown. The children had a wonderful time seeing all of the model cars, trains, planes, boats, and buildings and then played for a bit on the beach. 

Our first Open Day was a great success. Students and parents were able to attend one of two time sessions. While the students visited our classes and got a taste of the general and Judaic studies, their family members watched an amazing video about our new school produced by Grade 000 parent Terri Pillemer, after which the Principal, Lynn Ducasse, and the Head of Judaic Studies, Robert Sussman, spoke about the school and the curriculum in more detail. Families interested in visiting the school and/or having a “private” Open Day for their child should contact the school at 031 566 3005 to schedule an appointment. The term came to an exciting conclusion with our very own Mini-Olympics in honour of the upcoming Olympics in London – but more about that (and pictures) in the next issue!

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Umhlanga Jewish Day School

It has been a fun-filled month at UJDS, starting with exciting Lag B’Omer festivities. The children were treated to an archery demonstration and individual lessons from the very talented (and nationally ranked!) folks at Blackhawk Archery. Each child got to try his hand at shooting several arrows. While patiently waiting their turns, the children sang and danced along with the Kollel husbands and wives.

Grandparents’ Day was a huge success with the children dressing up, singing songs, reciting poems, and showing a glimpse of their kodesh studies (davening and chumash) to the many grandparents who attended. For this event, the primary school honoured as their special guests Gaynor Lazarus, Chairwoman of the UJDS Committee, and Rebbetzin Dina Zekry, who teaches Hebrew throughout the school. The pre-primary school honoured as their special guest well-known Durban educator, Mrs. Marcia Saul, at their special Shabbat Ring.

Generation Sinai, the unity program created by the Chief Rabbi and in which more than 10,000 Jewish students and parents across SA participate each year at area day schools, was pure electricity. We began the day with the first ever shacharis minyan at the Izinga Campus, followed by the 30 minute Generation Sinai learning program on this year’s topic: the 10 Commandments. Afterwards, parents and children watched in amazement as the 4th and 5th grade students and their Chumash Teacher, Mr. Dan Burke, made a siyum (a celebration in honour of the completion of a portion of Torah study) on Parshat Shemot (the first Torah portion in the Book of Exodus). In their daily studies, the students have read through the entire parsha in Hebrew, translating each word into English as they went along. For the siyum, the students took turns leading each other in reading and translating several verses from the beginning and the end of the parsha, before finishing off by reading and translating the entire maftir in unison. Many of us held back tears watching this remarkable milestone. May they be blessed with making many, many more such celebrations and may the school go from strength to strength! Following the siyum, the Grades 1 – 5 presented their version of the Jewish Village (aka “JewZulu”), a project on Jewish identity inspired by our recent outing to PheZulu. Grades R and 1 recently went on a fun-filled outing to MiniTown.Ad


UMHLANGA JEWISH DAY SCHOOL

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The momentous inaugural term of UJDS culminated on the last day of the term with a special Pesach Assembly for Grades 1-5. With parents in attendance, the students demonstrated some of what they had learned in preparation for the Pesach sedarim, followed by a short performance of a few musical selections under the direction of the Choirmistress. Just after the recent start of the second term, learners in Grades 2-5 went on the school’s first outing to PheZulu in the breathtaking Valley of a Thousand Hills. The children enjoyed hearing about Zulu culture, seeing a demonstration of Zulu dancing, and getting an up close view of the many crocodiles and snakes kept there. The children were even able to handle and touch some of the snakes, including a massive Burmese Python! The Grades 000-1 will soon be taking their own trip to Mini Town.

Important Dates to Diarize:

18 May – Grandparents’ Day

22 May – Chief Rabbi’s Second Annual Generation Sinai – Parents and children learning together – as well as other special activities that we’ve added on. This is one day not to miss!

21 June – Mini-Olympics Day – Parents and children competing in UJDS’s very own Olympic Games (more details to come)