Beit Emanuel Matters: 12/13 October 2018

When Avi’s away, the Choir will play. Choirmaster Avi Kanar is away this week, so the format of this evening’s service will be slightly different. The venue is the Janks Hall, and the Choir members will be distributed amongst the congregation. To accommodate this, the Brocha will be in the Courtyard/Boardroom/Slome Foyer area. The JKids Shabbat service takes place in the Boardroom, so a quick set change will be needed once the kids have left.

JTalk next week in the Slome

Speaking of venue changes, the JTalk on the 20th (next week) will be in the Slome Auditorium, to accommodate what we hope will be a larger-than-usual attendance. See the attached flyer for details.

The Auerbach Lecture

Just in case you’ve forgotten to pencil in this year’s Auerbach Lecture, the date you’re looking for is Tuesday, 23 October, 19h00 for 19h30.

Proudly Progressive Shabbat Project

The Proudly Progressive Shabbat Project is the weekend of 26/27 October. Our programme is more or less the same as usual, although there will be a couple of extra goodies (details to be announced) and one or two special flourishes as a hat tip to the P/P Shabbat Project.

Electronic Communications

Since the untimely demise of the SA Post Office (at least for all practical purposes), we’ve struggled to get material out to those who don’t have some means of electronic communication. This has come up as an issue again with our automated Yahrzeit Notices. So, if you don’t already have an email address, mobile (Cellular) number or fax number on file with us, please provide one. Those are the only options available to us for sending out these Yahrzeit Notices to you.

Useful links

And while we’re talking of things electronic, here’s a couple of links you might find useful:

  • Request to attend a service at Beit Emanuel: This is to simplify the process for non-members wishing to attend a service here. The link is also available on our website.
  • We’re experimenting with trying to make our JTalk sessions available as podcasts. This is where you’ll be able to find them:
  • Copies of our weekly Bulletin will in future be made available online. You’ll be able to find them here: Beit Emanuel Bulletin – Google Drive:


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Beit Emanuel Matters 5/6 October 2018

The High Holy Days “season” is well and truly over, and our staff routines and the Campus are now returning to normal. The Introduction to Judaism (ITJ), Religion School, JTalk and Talmud Study sessions will all resume in terms of their own schedules, especially with the KDS school holidays coming to an end next Monday.

Routine doesn’t mean things come to a standstill though. In fact, there’s always something happening at Third and Oxford, and here’s a taste of what’s on in the week ahead:

  • United Sisterhood Food Collection (Benmore/Gallo Manor/Morningside shopping centres), Sunday, 7 October, 09:00 – 13:00 (Please contact Marian Gonsalves at The United Sisterhood on 011 646 2409 [email protected] if you can assist with this ongoing “existential” project)
  • UNiTE – Worldwide Circle of Sound – Interfaith Sacred Chants (The Garden, Beit Emanuel, at Third and Oxford), Sunday, 7 October, from 18:00 – 20:30
  • Eve Kantor Golden Age Club (Courtyard, Stalson Building), Wednesday, 10 October, from 09:00 – 12:00

Finally, mentioned elsewhere is the next Auerbach Lecture, with guest speaker Irwin Manoim. Pencil it in for Tuesday, 23 October, 19:00 – 21:00

Shabbat Shalom!


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Beit Emanuel Matters 28/29 September 2018

The trend of strong attendance at our High Holy Days services continued during Sukkot, especially the Erev Sukkot (Open Sukkah) service on Sunday evening. The Shul, Janks Hall and Sukkah were all filled with members and visitors, both regulars and curious first-timers, of all faiths.

This weekend will bring the “season” to a close, with our Pride Shabbat service on Friday evening and Shemini Atzeret/Simchat Torah services on Sunday evening and Monday morning. Treasurer Ian West and former Chair Liebe Kellen will be honoured as Chatan Torah and Kallat Bereshit respectively. On Tuesday, our facilities staff will start to take down the Sukkah, and after that, 5779 will be in full swing.

Just while I think of it, a quick “Thank You” to those who donated towards the new state-of-the-art sound system for the Choir, which operates independently of the hard-wired sound system in the Shul and Hall. We hope you all enjoyed listening to the Choir without the audio glitches we’ve been experiencing.

A note on membership

It was wonderful to see so many old and new friends over the HHDs, with the Kol Nidrei service being particularly well-attended. If you’re not a member, and we only see you here once or twice a year, please remember that for our doors to open one day a year, we have to keep them open 365 days a year (or 354/384 days a year, if you prefer the Hebrew calendar).

One of the ways we do that is to encourage people to become members of the congregation. This means accepting our “Ts & Cs” and contributing to the finances of the Shul. We have a variety of options for those wishing to become members, and as a matter of principle and practice, we never turn away anyone unable to afford our standard pricing. So, if you’re hesitant to enquire about membership because you don’t think it’s affordable, put your mind at rest and make that call. We’ll meet you at least halfway.

Russell Cohen (Executive Director)


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Beit Emanuel Matters 21/22 September 2018

While the High Holy Day “season” is far from over, Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur are now behind us. Attendance was strong at all our services, and feedback regarding the new Machzor (Mishkan HaNefesh), the allocation of honours and the increased participation of lay readers in services has generally been positive.

A second presentation of our Vision for Sustainability was held Motzei Shabbat on Saturday, 15 September (Shabbat Shuvah). We plan to hold further presentations, perhaps during one of our Friday evening Oneg Shabbat meals? Your feedback in this regard would be appreciated.

We expect that many of our regulars will be “Shul-ed out” by Friday evening, so we’re not expecting a big turnout for our Shabbat services this weekend. We will still be open for (spiritual) business as usual, of course, and we do hope to see you all on Sunday evening at 18h00 for Sukkot.

“Crowdfunding” the Shul

You all know what’s coming next. DON’T skip ahead, unless you have no interest in the future of Beit Emanuel.

It should be no surprise that shuls in general are to a large extent “crowdfunded” by means of membership fees and donations from congregants. Beit Emanuel is no exception to this, although we have managed to build up other sources of income over the years. In a sense, though, Beit Emanuel is more dependent than most on those fees and donations, because we have very few “Machers” or mega-donors to give us that boost. It should also be no surprise that many shuls rely on their High Holy Days fund-raising appeals to build reserves or close the gap between quality income and expenses. Once again, Beit Emanuel is no exception to this. We are therefore very concerned that donations in general (and over the HHDs in particular) have dropped off over the past few years.

We therefore appeal to all our members (and friends who aren’t members) to revive the tradition of HHDs’ giving (whether it’s R180 or R180,000) to help bolster this essential component of the Shul’s revenue streams.

Our members and friends tend to be quite effusive in telling us how much they love Beit Emanuel. We need you to show us the love in a concrete way, by contributing financially (over and above membership fees), to whatever extent you can afford. We’re attaching a copy of our High Holy Days appeal form, which may help you in deciding how much to contribute, and by what means.

Help us to make crowdfunding a part of the ethos at Beit Emanuel again!


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Our services this Shabbat, 17, 18 Feb: Hand-over to new management team


22 SHEVAT5777

TORAH: EXODUS 18:1 – 20:23

HAFTARAH: ISAIAH 6:1 – 7:6; 9:5 – 9:6



Kabbalat Shabbat Service: 06.00 p.m. – in the Shul, followed by a Kiddush in the Janks Hall.

This Friday’s Brocha has been sponsored by Tammy and David Bolon.  Thank you!


Shabbat Morning Service – 09h30 in the Garden, followed by a Kiddush in the Courtyard.

 JTALK – 11h30 (Boardroom) – Ivor Chipkin on the subject of “A new right emerges in South Africa”.

 TALMUD STUDY  – +/-12h45 –  Tractate Berachot, using the new Koren Hebrew/English edition of the Talmud.

The Talmud Study Group meets in the Community Library (Classroom 3).




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Outgoing chair Manoim praises quality improvements at AGM

The Annual General Meeting of Beit Emanuel went off smoothly on Thursday night, with a good attendance and no dissenting voices from the floor, thanks to a positive financial report from Treasurer Ian West. The meeting, ably chaired by Professor Merle Williams, went through its business in record time.

The newly elected committee for 2017 consists almost entirely of experienced people who have served previously on management, headed by Liebe Kellen as Chair and Bianca Shakinovsky and Hester Hollander as Co-Vice-Chairs. Ian West continues as Treasurer.

Outgoing Chairman Irwin Manoim described the major decisions of the year, including protracted negotiations to sell a portion of the property to our neighbours PPS, which fell through when they declined to meet our price. An attractive new option, still under negotiation, is to rent the courtyard, boardroom, offices and garden to the Mina Lopato Nursery School, which brings a compatible organisation with a reputable name on to our campus. Manoim praised Rabbi Saa’ar Shaked for his dynamism and for bringing many new members to Beit Emanuel. He also praised the teaching staff for the outstanding improvement in the quality of our Bar and Bat Mitzvahs.

Rabbi Shaked himself talked about how Beit Emanuel had almost collapsed 24 years ago, and how it has pulled through to again become a successful congregation. He talked about how new young people are coming in to the congregation and how many weddings and baby-namings we have had. In the month of January alone we had ten new families joining. He also praised the work of the full-time staff of Beit Emanuel in supporting him.

Treasurer Ian West gave a clear picture of the income, expenses and financial prospects of the synagogue.  He urged continued vigilance when it comes to expenses, as well as continued efforts to secure other sources of income and organise fund-raising events.  Maintenance work had been stepped up following the severe hailstorm in November 2016 and the end of the PPS negotiations, and will continue into 2017.

Former chairman Diane Fine, who was elected to the Board of Guardians, presented a gift from the congregation to Richard Mkhabele, who retires this month after 45 years of service, going back to the days of Rabbi Norman Mendel. Outgoing member of the Guardians, David Fienberg, who led the negotiations with PPS, was also presented with a gift in appreciation of his leadership through difficult negotiations.

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Netzer to run a Shabbat-themed treasure hunt on Friday night for the kids

Kids/Youth programmes

JKids: This Friday evening Netzer, our Progressive youth movement, will be running a Netzer Shabbat-themed treasure hunt for the kids.

Youth Zone: Always available as a place to hang out and chill.

JKids Jnr: Normally 09h00 every Saturday morning.  No JKids Jnr this week.

Benny Stalson Religion School: Mondays from 16:00-18:30 and Saturdays from9:30-11:30.

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JTalk this week: Ivor Chipkin on the new right in SA

World politics has increasingly shifted towards what was once the fringe right. We have had the election of Donald Trump, the Brexit vote, an increasingly right-wing Israeli government, and the real possibility of populist victories across Europe in the next few months. What has been much less noticed, is how the ethnic, nationalist and protectionist rhetoric of the international right, shares similarities with an increasingly vocal Africanist group that has lined up behind President Jacob Zuma.


ABOUT THE SPEAKER: Ivor Chipkin is the director of the Public Affairs Research Institute and a writer on government, governance and nationalism.

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Our AGM is on Thursday, 16th February at 7.00pm. Please try to attend

Beit Emanuel’s Annual General Meeting is next week, on Thursday, 16 February, and all paid-up members are welcome to speak, to volunteer and to vote, whether you’re a twice-a-year-Jew or a regular.

The Rabbi, the Chairman and the Treasurer will present annual reports on activities during the year, plans for the future and the state of the bank balances. The key business will be the election of a new Management Committee. Several members of the current committee have indicated that they will stand again. There will nonetheless be vacancies, and some important functions need filling by people who can bring a new energy to the committee. Even if you have no desire to stand for election, there are certain kinds of voluntary activity in which we always need help:

  • Planning and executing of events, ranging from Pesach Seders to Purim fun days to fundraisers and concerts.
  • Marketing and communications of Beit Emanuel events.
  • Security.
  • Care for the sick and Tikkun Olam.

The Management committee consists of a minimum of ten people elected at the AGM, to which another four co-opted members may be added. The committee generally meets once a month. A small Executive consisting of the Chairman, Vice-Chairman and Treasurer meets more often. The AGM will also elect one member of the Board of Guardians, which is an oversight committee, to serve a three-year term. Guardians are required to have served previously on the Management Committee; they are generally former office-bearers.

Those members who wished to put resolutions before the AGM needed to have done so by 2 February, 14 days before the meeting.

Nomination forms for candidates for the Management Committee and Board of Guardians must be with the Shul Office by end of day on Monday, 13 February 2017. The same deadline applies for notification of any matters you wish to raise at the meeting.

Nomination forms are available at the Shul Office, and have also been emailed to members.

The AGM starts at 7.00pm in the Slome Auditorium. Refreshments will be provided afterwards

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Rabbi Shaked presents a Tu-Bishvat seder, Saturday after service

Tu-Bishvat, a festival celebrating trees and fruits, coincides with this week’s Shabbat, starting on Friday night and ending on Saturday night. In modern times, particularly among Progressive Jews, it has become a celebration of ecological awareness. As a minor festival, Tu-Bishvat is often poorly understood. Rabbi Sa’ar Shaked will present the JTalk this week, leading a mini – Seder, explaining its significance and the various rituals associated with it, and reading and singing the traditional songs.

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Retirement gift for Richard Mkhabele, retiring after 45 years service

There will a presentation/farewell for Richard Mkhabele (who is retiring after 45 years’ loyal service to Beit Emanuel) at the end of the AGM proceedings.

If anyone is still planning to contribute towards a retirement gift for Richard, please make your donation by end of day on Tuesday, 14 February 2017.

Donations can be paid into our bank account, as follows:

Temple Emanuel

FNB Killarney Branch 256 205

A/C no. 5486 0049 352

Please use the Beneficiary Reference [YOUR SURNAME] [RICHARD]


Groundsman required to replace Richard

With Richard’s retirement, we will be looking for a new groundsman from 1 March.  The individual will need to be physically strong and active and be able to use his initiative, follow detailed instructions and work as part of a team.

He will work a 5 ½ day week (Mon to Sat), and may be required to work overtime.  Accommodation is provided and the salary is negotiable.

CVs and/or applications can be sent to the Shul Office, or emailed to [email protected].


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Last chance to sign up for Reform Tours of Israel

We recently distributed the itineraries for the proposed Reform Tour/s of Israel, which will take place in April and/or May 2017 (subject to demand).

  • Please contact Johanna Crystal at Azure Travel on 011 442 8044 or email [email protected] for further information or to book
  • Bookings must be made by 15 February 2017 at the latest
  • Costs are based on 30 passengers including children
  • There will be a lucky draw for a prize of R2,000 in spending money for participants in the tour/s, generously sponsored by an anonymous donor.

Brochures are available at Beit Emanuel from Ian West, our Treasurer.

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Mazaltov to Dr Leslie Cooper on his Third Barmitzvah


To Dr. Leslie Cooper, who will be flying off to Tasmania with his son Russell on Sunday, following his third Bar Mitzvah on Saturday, also attended by his son Lance and the grandchildren.

Dr Cooper, who turns 96 soon, gave a remarkable performance to many friends and relatives on Saturday, reciting his portion in fluent Hebrew and following up with a short speech about his life story, including tributes to his late wife, Hazel.



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Hochschild and Lipman memorials this Sunday

The Unveiling for The Late Simon Hochshild takes place at Westpark Cemetery on Sunday, 12th at 10h00.

A Memorial for  the Late Beata Lipman takes place on Sunday, 12th from 14h00 – 17h00 at Constitution Hill.


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Our services this Shabbat, 27th January. Bat Mitzvah: Adelaide Ruiters


1 SHEVAT 5777

TORAH: EXODUS 6:2 – 9:35




Kabbalat Shabbat Service: 06.00 p.m. – in the Shul, followed by a Kiddush in the Janks Hall.

Our Brocha this Friday evening has been sponsored by the family of The Late Simon Hochschild. Sweets for the kids sponsored by Adelaide Ruiters.



Shabbat Morning Service – 09h30 in the Shul (Bat Mitzvah of Adelaide Ruiters), followed by a Kiddush in the Courtyard/Garden.

The Brocha this Saturday has been sponsored by Adelaide Ruiters to celebrate her Bat Mitzvah.

JTALK – 11h45 – Yda Walt talks on Where is Kovno? The journey back to Lithuania in search of roots. JTalk will be held in the Slome Auditorium this week.

TALMUD STUDY  – +/-12h45 –  Tractate Berachot, using the new Koren Hebrew/English edition of the Talmud. The Talmud Study Group will meet in the Community Library (Classroom 3).


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