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Sep 08

Mahatma Gandhi Award for Paddy Meskin of Durban

Paddy Meskin, who for many years has been an active and creative member of the Bet David congregation in Durban, recently received a Mahatma Gandhi Satyagraha Award for 2011. This recognition is afforded to people who have contributed significantly to building a democratic society in South Africa, to the expression of social justice and human rights or to various humanitarian projects. The organisers have honoured Paddy for her ‘role in the community in furthering the cause of religious harmony and peace’. In this way, they wish to ‘celebrate the values that guide [her] in [her] service to the cause of the poor and the deprived’.
The international winner of this year’s Mahatma Gandhi Award is the Dalai Lama.
Assisted by members of the Jewish community in Durban (especially the youth), as well as a range of charitable trusts and organisations, Paddy has initiated the teaching of more than 4,500 black Matric pupils from economically disadvantaged backgrounds. She has also been involved in developing human rights programmes about the Holocaust, Israel and related issues; these were run at the Jewish Club for nearly 25 years, attracting more than 20,000 students. In addition, exhibitions and educational programmes following these themes have been taken to schools throughout KwaZulu-Natal.
The congregation of Beit Emanuel would like to congratulate Paddy warmly on her outstanding contribution to tikkun olam. Kol ha’kavod lach!