Positioning Statement

The SAJBD is the umbrella representative spokesbody and civil rights lobby of the SA Jewish community. It promotes the safety and welfare of South African Jewry, including combating antisemitism in all its forms, and builds bridges of friendship and understanding between Jews and the broader South African population.   

Celebrating Israel’s 70 years in song with Yonina

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Charisse Zeifert

Charisse Zeifert writes for Political Analysis on the importance of remembering our past:

In October 1934, my great-grandfather was the last Jew in Germany to be buried with full military honours. That same year his son, my grandfather, was at a university class when another student warned him that he shouldn’t go home - the Gestapo were at his house.  He cycled from Cologne to his cousin in Amsterdam.  Eventually he made his way to South Africa. 

​The SAJBD are saddened to note the passing of politician Zola Skweyiya.

The SAJBD are saddened to note the passing of politician #Zola Skweyiya, and extends its condolences to his family, friends and colleagues.  Mr Skweyiya will be remembered as a dignified and committed leader who always put his responsibilities to the betterment of the South African people first.   The SAJBD worked closely with him when he was one of the envoys appointed by former President Jacob Zuma to finding a lasting solution to the Middle East. To this end we appreciate the tireless diplomatic effort he put into finding resolutions to the Palestinian Israeli conflict.

Winnie Madikizela Mandela message

On the 30th of April 2013, former resident of Brandfort Faisia Shaskolsky with assistance from the SAJBD’s Travelling Rabbi Moshe Silberhaft, published a booklet recording the history of the town’s Jewish community. At the launch event, Winnie Madikizela Mandela, who was banished to the town during the Apartheid era, wrote a moving piece about the Brandfort Jews which was read at the event.

David Saks

Ceremony to commemorate victims of the Holocaust

On Thursday, South African Jewry will gather in cities around the country to mark Yom Hashoah, the annual Day of Remembrance for the estimated six million Jews who died at the hands of Nazi Germany during World War II. This year, the focus will be on remembering those who, despite the impossible odds, physically resisted their persecutors, with a particular emphasis on the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. However, the prevailing mood will, as always, be one of sorrow and sombre reflection. 

Shaun Zagnoev

Ms Thokozile Xasa would like to give her support to the Palestinian people

Ms Thokozile Xasa would like to give her support to the Palestinian people (Star 27/03/18). The goal is a worthy one. However, one of the best ways of finding a solution to any given situation, is to first properly identify the problem. Notwithstanding her emotive ramble, and her evocation of a range of admirable people whom she quotes, the Israeli – Palestinian conflict cannot be resolved by sensationalising the issues. Nor can it be resolved by such overtly partisan interpretations of what it is all about.

Jewish Affairs: Pesach 2018

We are happy to announce that the Pesach 2018 issue of Jewish Affairs has just come off the presses and has been posted on the SAJBD’s Website. The printed version will be mailed to subscribers shortly.

SAJBD says no upside to an Embassy downgrade in Israel

The South African Jewish Board of Deputies (SAJBD) notes the 54th National Conference Report & Resolutions, under the theme, Remember Oliver Tambo: Towards Unity, Renewal and Radical socio-economic transformation.   The SAJBD is firmly supportive of the ruling party’s efforts and commitment to improve the lives of all South Africans and make meaningful its promises to improve economic growth and meaningfully address inequality and unemployment.

David Saks

Genocide+ apartheid = Israel won't fly

Could it be that die-hard Israel bashers are realizing that the “Israel Apartheid” ploy is a kite that just won’t fly? This might explain why the Media Review Network’s Firoz Osman, one of the most vociferous local proponents of the analogy, has now chosen to go a step further. According to him (, 10 March), Israel is no longer ‘merely’ guilty of apartheid but of the ultimate crime against humanity – genocide. This means that in his view, Israel is carrying out a deliberate programme of mass extermination against the Palestinian people, specifically those living in Gaza.

SAJBD meet with newly-appointed ANC Secretary-General Ace Mogashule

Rising concerns over the proliferation of antisemitic conspiracy theories within the ANC’s Western Cape branch was the main subject addressed during a first-ever meeting between the SAJBD and newly-appointed ANC Secretary-General Ace Mogashule on Tuesday afternoon. The meeting, which took place at the ANC’s Luthuli House headquarters, was attended by the Board’s National Chairman Shaun Zagnoev, Vice-President Zev Krengel and National Director Wendy Kahn.

Water Crisis: Experts Focus on Solutions with Hamanth Kasan

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Water Crisis: Experts Focus on Solutions with Clive Lipchin (part II)

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Water Crisis: Experts Focus on Solutions with Clive Lipchin (part I)

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Water Crisis: Experts Focus on Solutions with Anthony Turton (part II)

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Water Crisis: Experts Focus on Solutions with Anthony Turton (part I)

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Water Crisis: Experts Focus on Solutions with Jeunesse Park

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SAJBD refers to further antisemitic comments from ANC Western Cape

The SA Jewish Board of Deputies (SAJBD) and SAJBD (Cape Council) condemn in the strongest terms the reprehensible statements made by ANC MPL Sharon Davids and the attempts since made by ANC Provincial Secretary Faiez Jacobs to justify them. The SAJBD (Cape Council) received the following statement from the Western Cape ANC spokesperson, Yonele Diko on behalf of the Provincial Secretary Faiez Jacobs, in response to MPP Sharon Davids’ antisemitic remarks in the Western Cape legislature on 23 February 2018:

STEVEN GRUZD

Seeking solutions to the country’s water crisis

The Western Cape is not the only province gripped by drought and running out of water. The rest of the country faces profound water stress too. The real problem is not a lack of ideas, technology or money, but rather one of outdated paradigms, political short-sightedness and policy uncertainty.

Charisse Zeifert

SA embassy downgrade hurtful to Jews, SA citizens

When the issue of a possible downgrade of the South African Embassy in Tel Aviv was first mooted, there was an understanding that research into the implications would be conducted. With this in mind, the SA Jewish Board of Deputies (SAJBD) held a number of symposia. The findings were revealing. 

A letter to Ahed Tamimi

Dear Ahed

Firstly, let me tell you how sad I am that you are in prison. Prison is certainly not the place for children. If only you could be shopping with your friends, swimming in the pool or going to a movie.

Monessa Shapiro

Jerusalem backlash one-sided

ABDULLAH al-Tal, commander of the Jordanian assault on Jerusalem's Old Cityduring the 1948 Israeli War of Independence was, of course, proven wrong. After 19years of Jordanian occupation, Israeli forces recaptured the Old City, and Jews were able to return to the historic Jewish Quarter, rebuilding their ruined homes and synagogues and once more making pilgrimages to the holysites from which they had been barred for so long.