Just as many Jewish community members in Johannesburg have involved themselves in various hunger relief initiatives in and around the city, so has Pretoria Jewry thrown its weight behind a range of crucial humanitarian projects in the greater Pretoria area. The work is being spearheaded by the Pretoria branch of the Union of Jewish Women, with the support of the Pretoria Council – SAJBD. The UJW is represented on the Council and functions as its social outreach arm. Currently, its representative is Ciska Lewis, who has been at the heart of the Covid-19 relief effort.
During these past weeks the, the UJW and SAJBD partners have been rendering substantial assistance to both its own constituents and to the wider community. An ongoing project has been daily deliveries of bread to needy families in the Silverton area and nearby townships. There have further been food deliveries to Moot area squatter camps, to residential students at Pretoria University and the various Sunnyside-Up Projects. There have further been bulk deliveries of badly needed hygiene materials, including toilet paper, to the elderly in the Sunnyside precinct and two local orphanages, as well as donations to the Pretoria Chevra Kadisha.
Shaun Wilkinson, DA Ward Counsellor for Muckleneuk and Sunnyside where the main Jewish institutions are located, has frequently praised the UJW and the Pretoria Council on his Facebook page. The Pretoria Council’s long-serving administrative secretary Diane Wolfson said that the Board did a lot of work with Wilkinson, whom she described as “an amazing and tireless worker in the broader community”.