Chesed Around the World – LINKed together

Chesed Around the World – LINKed together

  Catering to the needs of children and teenagers who are faced with the devastating loss of a parent   By Ilan Preskovsky Like so many great ideas, LINKS – an organisation dedicated to helping Jewish children and teenagers who lost one or both parents – came from the most humble of beginnings. Sarah Rivkah Kohn was nine years old when her mother passed away and, as an only child, she always sought out other children who were in a similar situation – children who could understand what she was…

Read More

Kosher Gourmet – Passionate cooking

Kosher Gourmet – Passionate cooking

  Some scrumptious ideas for Yom Tov Text by Jade Singer, recipes by Sharon Newfield Sharon Newfield, mother of two wonderful boys, works for Hatzolah and is an avid chef in the kitchen. Despite not being employed as a chef, her meals are always wholesome, delicious, and made with her passion for cooking. Whether it’s a supper during the week, a pop-by cup of tea, or a meal on Shabbos and Yom Tov, all of her guests are excited to be part of her table. Sharon’s love and warmth cannot…

Read More

Finding light in the darkness

Finding light in the darkness

The incredible story of Der Blinde Chazzan, Cantor Abe Immerman By: Moira Schneider Being blind virtually from birth and orphaned from the age of five was no bar to Cantor Abe Immerman’s lifetime of service to the Jewish community. Known as “Der Blinde Chazzan”, he had memorised the entire Torah off by heart, including, quite incredibly, the trop (its musical cantillation), as well as all the synagogue services by the time he was in his mid-twenties and went on to lead many congregations around the country. And now broadcast journalist…

Read More

The world that was

The world that was

The memories of Yeoville of yesteryear are ingrained in the psyche of many South African Jews today. No faribles please – we remember just the tip of this much-loved South African shtetl’s iceberg.   By Chandrea Serebro Yeoville. What started out advertised as a “sanitarium for the rich” where the air was clearer because it was upper-middle class aspirations high on the ridge overlooking the dirt of the smoky mining town of Johannesburg, the city of gold, soon became a hive of multi-culturalism with a distinctly Jewish flavour. While the…

Read More

Hugo’s Heroes

Hugo’s Heroes

An invaluable community service to make our schools safer   By Ilan Preskovsky There’s probably no one in our Jewish community unfamiliar with Hugo Paluch; no one who wasn’t touched by how this fourteen-year-old boy tragically died from injuries sustained by a freak accident at school or how the community pulled together as one to daven for Hugo and to provide emotional and physical support for his family. It wasn’t just the Johannesburg Jewish community either, as his story has truly gone global – incredibly, so widespread is his impact…

Read More

Sweets for my sweets, sugar for my honey

Sweets for my sweets, sugar for my honey

Honey is a key feature of the Rosh HaShanah table – but ever wondered where it comes from and why it’s kosher?   By Chandrea Serebro One of the enduring features of the Rosh Hashanah table, and one that the kids and even most adults love the most, is the honey pot. It’s a sweet year we are after, and all the better that we get to indulge in this most wonderful of natural sweetness that is honey to symbolise that. It’s not for no reason that the land of…

Read More

There’s no such thing as a bad Jew

There’s no such thing as a bad Jew

  We’re all works in progress   By: Robert Sussman There’s a famous Midrash[1] on the verse[2] that contains the Torah commandment to take the arba minim (the four species) – aka the esrog (citron), the lulav (date palm branch), the hadassim (myrtle branches), and the aravos (willow branches) on the first day of Sukkos. The Midrash ascribes several allusions to the arba minim, but I’d like to focus on one of them in particular:   The esrog (citron) which has a taste and a fragrance – this is an…

Read More

Making the case for Yom Kippur

Making the case for Yom Kippur

Waking up late and finding ourselves in the midst of the Ten Days of Repentance   By: Robert Sussman When we think about many things in Judaism, we unfortunately tend to associate non-Jewish ideas with them. What do people normally do in the non-Jewish world when New Year’s rolls around? Yeah, besides drink a lot, they make resolutions – they make New Year’s resolutions. “This year, I’m going to join a gym!” “This year, I’m going on a diet!” “This year, I’m going to more shiurim!” But the Jewish new…

Read More

The “head” of the year

The “head” of the year

  Believing in the gift of absolute limitless   By: Dovid Samuels Rosh Hashanah literally means the head of the year. All of the characteristics of Hashem in the way He conducts Himself with this world correspond to the limbs of our body. It is perhaps for this very reason that we have the limbs that we have in our bodies, to have some sort of physical way of relating to otherwise illusive spiritual concepts. It is no mere coincidence that Rosh Hashanah is called the “head” of the year….

Read More