Beit Emanuel Matters 29/30 March 2019

(Russell Cohen, Executive Director)

Akierrah Magrath Bat Mitzvah

The highlight of this week’s Shul Calendar will be the Bat Mitzvah of Akierrah Magrath at 09.30 on Saturday Morning. Because of the Battie, the service will be held in the Shul rather than the Boardroom or Garden, and the Brocha will be held in the Janks Hall. Mazal Tov to Akierrah on realising this Jewish life-cycle milestone.

Our week of load-shedding

Almost our entire programme for last week was affected by Eskom and City Power’s load-shedding schedule, including our Purim festivities, Purim Night Market, Friday’s Shabbat evening service, the Broach sponsored in celebration of Clive Chipkin’s 90th birthday, as well as our Shabbat morning line-up. Despite the load-shedding (perhaps even partly because of it) all the events were a stunning success, held by the light provided by our generator, emergency lamps, torches, and of course the ubiquitous smartphone LED torches! Suffice to say that we managed to do justice to all the occasions and events, but it’s no something I would like to contend with every time we have something on! The generator has just been serviced (it was running a little ragged towards the end!), so we’re ready for the next outage, but grateful that this has been a load-shedding-free week (at least so far).

Erev Pesach Communal Seder

Booking is now open for Beit Emanuel’s Communal Seder, which will (predictably) be held on Erev Pesach, Friday 19 April 2019 in the Janks Hall. The menu and pricing have now been finalised. The cost for Adults is R350, Children (7-13) R225 and R120 for those under 7. The Menu and Booking Form are attached.
Please book through Morgana Segel in the Shul Office (from Monday) on 011 646 6170 or To simplify the administration, please complete and return the Booking Form by email, Fax or hand (don’t post). Please note that bookings will not be confirmed until payment in full is received. Please use the Beneficiary Reference YOUR SURNAME/SEDER. Bookings will close on Friday, 12 April 2019.

Prodding debate

We’re including an extract from Paul Davis’ Chair’s address at our recent AGM, which he titled ‘What I think I think’, along with a response from Michael Fridjhon. Paul believes that this might be a good goad to prod the SA Jewish community into some discussion.
Hopefully we’ll see this piece published in the wider SA or international Jewish community. If so, remember you saw it here first!

Sizwe Hospital School

We received a very nice letter from the Principal of Sizwe Hospital School (Tahera Seedat) to say thank you for the Teddy Bears (Ubuntu Bears) which were donated for their young patients. The thank-you letter forms one of the many attachments to this week’s Bulletin. On that subject, I apologise for the blizzard of attachments this week, but there’s a lot happening out there, and we’d like to reflect some of it here, especially as it impacts on Beit Emanuel.

Night of Solidarity against Hate and Islamophobia

As one would have expected, Rabbi Saar was invited to attend and address the Night of Solidarity against Hate and Islamophobia held by the Jamiatul Ulama (Council of Muslim Theologians) in Mayfair on Moday. (The event was held in response to the recent shooting in Christchurch, NZ.) I don’t have a copy of his address to hand (I hope to publish it next week), but I have attached a copy of the letter of gratitude and thanks signed by E I Bham, the Secretary General.

Pink Smoke over the Vatican

This award-winning 2011 documentary on the ordination of Catholic women into the priesthood will be screened in the Slome Auditorium on Saturday, 30 March at 15.00 for 15.30. The screening will be followed by discussion to be led by invited guest Bishop Patricia Fresen. This is not a Beit Emanuel event, so please RSVP to A small donation to cover the cost of the venue hire and light refreshments would be much appreciated by the organisers. Please see the attached flyer for further details.

Cinema Emanuel

Please pencil in the afternoon of Sunday, 7 April for the next Cinema Emanuel (JFilm) event in the Slome Auditorium. The movie title, format and cost will be published in next week’s Bulletin.

Please don’t forget to bring along a non-perishable food item for the bin in the Foyer, in support of the United Sisterhood’s important work.

Shabbat Shalom, and see you in Shul.

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