Welcome to our new Cape Director

Last month, the SAJBD – Cape Council appointed Joshua Hovsha as its new executive director. Joshua has very much hit the ground running, and we have already had the opportunity of working with him on issues of national concern. I wish him all success in his new position, while knowing that he has an excellent team of lay leaders and professionals to back him up. 

The Cape Council can look back on another successful year, despite having to deal with various complex challenges.  The latter included having to address the sensitive question of women singing solo at Yom Hashoah, and here, thankfully, it was possible to come to a mutually acceptable solution for all those concerned. As in previous years, the Council continued to be active in the interfaith arena and broader social outreach, was much involved in making this year's commemoration of 175 years of Jewish life in South Africa such a success and in general played a key role in fostering unity and cooperation within the Cape Town Jewish community. Kudos to all those concerned, and especially to Cape Council chairman Eric Marx for his dedicated and hands-on leadership.

Recent Articles

Durban Jewish Exhibition

Since its initial conceptualisation in 1919, the historic Durban Jewish Club has been not only the centre of Jewish communal life in Durban, but a frequently used public space for the broader society. The building itself, "surrounded by bush, rippling dunes of corrugated white sand mingled with ochre earth", was officially opened on 4 May 1931. Since then, it has been host to generations of people, with a history that has witnessed wars and political unrest, conferences and public meetings and music and theatre performances. 

Sara Gon compares the experience of Penny Sparrow with that of Bongani Masuku

“COSATU has got members here even on this campus; we can make sure that for that side it will be hell”

“COSATU is with you, we will do everything to make sure that whether its at Wits University, whether its at Orange Grove, anyone who does not support equality and dignity, who does not support the rights of other people must face the consequences even if it means that we will do something that may necessarily cause what is regarded as harm…”

The Bongani Masuku Judgement - Implications for South African Law

Determining where the boundary lies between legitimate freedom of expression and prohibited ‘hate speech’ can never be an exact science. During the flurry of debate that took place around the controversial Prevention and Combating of Hate Crimes and Hate Speech Bill earlier this year, this was something that came through especially strongly. Err too much on one side, and victims of genuinely hurtful and insulting verbal abuse are left without a remedy; err too much on the other, and a fundamental pillar of democracy is undermined.