JTalk this week: Yda Walt talks on holocaust exhibition Where is Kovno?

Yda Walt will speak about her exhibtion Where is Kovno?, which will open at the new Johannesburg Holocaust and Genocide Centre (JHGC).  The exhbition explores the tragedy of the genocide of Lithuanian Jewry, many of whom shared close ancestral links with the South African Jewish community.  Lithuanian Jews, Litvaks, had lived besides their neighbours for hundreds of years. During WW2, almost the entire community was murdered  and buried in over 200 mass killing sites scattered throughout the country.

Please respect our speakers by being on time for the talk.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.beitemanuel.co.za/2017/01/27/jtalk-this-week-yda-walt-talks-on-holocaust-exhibition-where-is-kovno/

Our services over the holiday period


23-24 DECEMBER 2016

24 KISLEV 5777

 TORAH: Genesis 37:1 – 40:23

HAFTARAH: Amos 2:6 – 3:8


Kabbalat Shabbat Service: 06.00 p.m. – in the Slome Auditorium, followed by a Kiddush in the Foyer/Courtyard.


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

 JTALK – +/- 11h15 – No JTalk for the remainder of 2016. JTalk will resume on 7 January 2017.

 TALMUD STUDY  – +/-12h45 –  Tractate Berachot, using the new Koren Hebrew/English edition of the Talmud. The Talmud Study Group will break until 21 January 2017.

Shabbat evening services will be held in the Slome Auditorium from 23 December 2016 through 6 January 2017.  Friday evening Kiddushim will therefore be held in the Slome Foyer/Courtyard for the same period.  Shabbat morning services will still be held in the Garden (weather permitting), with the Saturday morning Kiddushim being held in Slome Foyer/Courtyard.  If you’re in Joburg over this period, please help to ensure that we always have a Minyan.

 We will be lighting candles for Chanukah on Friday, 30 December.  Please bring your kids, your Chanukiot and 7 candles to the Shabbat evening service on the 30th.  Speaking of Chanukah, the ladies from the Union of Jewish Women (UJW)’s empowerment projects have come up with some interesting wire/bead Chanukiot, which are on sale in our Judaica cabinet in the Shul Foyer.  If you’re looking for something unusual, for a gift or for your own home, please have a look.

 Our choir will be taking a well-deserved break over the Festive Season, and will be back to enhance our Friday evening worship as from 13 January.



Permanent link to this article: http://www.beitemanuel.co.za/2016/12/23/our-services-over-the-holiday-period/

Rabbi Dr Robert Ash visits BE this weekend

We are delighted to advise that Rabbi Ash will be visiting South Africa in December/January.

He will arrive on 19 December, but then immediately depart for the Kruger Park.  He will return to Gauteng on 23 December and remain here until 30 December, when he travels to KZN.  He then returns to Gauteng on 5 January, remaining until his departure to Manchester on 11 January.

Rabbi Ash will be attending services at Beit Emanuel on 23/24 December and 6/7 January.  He will be delivering the sermon on the evening of Friday, 6 January and has also generously offered to sponsor our Kiddush that evening.

If anyone can host Rabbi Ash for a few days during his stay in Johannesburg, either during the last week in December or between 5 and 11 January, please contact Prof Merle Williams on telephone number 011 646 4681 or email address [email protected]za

Permanent link to this article: http://www.beitemanuel.co.za/2016/12/23/rabbi-dr-robert-ash-visits-be-this-weekend/

Courtyard off limits while roofing repairs done in the courtyard

Our insurance-appointed contractors will be replacing the Polycarbonate sheeting over the Courtyard in the coming days, so the Courtyard might be off limits for a few days.  They will also be replacing or restoring some of the carpeting in the Janks Hall (and later at the rear of the Shul) during the coming weeks.  The damage is all related to the severe thunder- and hail-storm in November.  While some of the damage has been covered by insurance, we will have no choice but to embark on a programme of proactive maintenance work in 2017, to preserve the congregation’s assets and ensure that future claims are not repudiated.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.beitemanuel.co.za/2016/12/23/courtyard-off-limits-while-roofing-repairs-done-in-the-courtyard/

Beit Emanuel office to be closed until after secular New Year

Although Beit Emanuel will operate throughout the summer break, the Shul Office will close during the week between Christmas and the secular New Year, due to overlapping leave dates for our office staff.  Rabbi Shaked will be available during normal hours, and a skeleton grounds staff and security will continue to operate throughout.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.beitemanuel.co.za/2016/12/23/beit-emanuel-office-to-be-closed-until-after-secular-new-year/

JTalk in January by US Rabbi Josh Salter, who works with the Lemba

JTALK will resume early in January with a talk by Rabbi Joshua Salter, who is working with the Lemba in the Northern Province. He is an African-American who is the associate rabbi of the 200 member mostly African-American Beth Shalom B’nai Zaken Ethiopian Hebrew Congregation of Chicago, Illinois. The head rabbi of this community is Rabbi Capers Funnye who is Michelle Obama’s cousin.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.beitemanuel.co.za/2016/12/23/jtalk-in-january-by-us-rabbi-josh-salter-who-works-with-the-lemba/

Galasa, school for gifted kids opens at BE on January 11th

GALASA, the Gifted & Advanced Learning Academy of South Africa will open its doors to students on Wednesday, 11 January 2017 on the Beit Emanuel Campus.

Contact: David Silman, Tel: 083 554 7647, E-mail: [email protected], Web Page: www.galasa.org.za

Permanent link to this article: http://www.beitemanuel.co.za/2016/12/23/galasa-school-for-gifted-kids-opens-at-be-on-january-11th/

Teddy bear project: delighted faces tell it all


Beit Emanuel’s Kehilla Committee handed over about 140 knitted teddy bears at the children’s ward of the Raheema Moosa hospital this week. The expression on this child’s face tells it all… Another 70 teddies will be handed over to Edenvale Hospital.


Beit Emanuel’s Kehilla team of Max Green (back row) and Diane Fine (centre row, right) with members of the Thembalami Care Centre, who between them have contributed 103 teddy bears to the Beit Emanuel outreach project for children in hospitals. Thembalami is a Rand Aid-funded care centre. Some of the volunteers have never knitted before. Thembalami volunteers in the photo are, from the back, Cynthia Liptz, Lara Hurwitz, Elize Raath, Doreen Calder, Mariaan Venter, Heather Abrams and Mongalo Ngoasheng. Our thanks to all of them.


Permanent link to this article: http://www.beitemanuel.co.za/2016/12/02/teddy-bear-project-delighted-faces-tell-it-all/

Services this weekend: Barmitzvah of Ethan Lewis

Shabbat Toldot

2-3 December 2016

3 Kislev 5777

TORAH: Genesis 25:19 – 28:9

HAFTARAH: Malachi 1:1 – 2:7


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


Shabbat Morning Service – 09h30 in the Shul (Bar Mitzvah of Ethan Lewis), followed by a Kiddush in the Janks Hall, provided by Herb and Norma Lewis in celebration of Ethan’s Bar Mitzvah.

 JTALK – +/- 11h15 – No JTalk for the remainder of 2016. JTalk will resume in early 2017.

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



Permanent link to this article: http://www.beitemanuel.co.za/2016/12/02/services-this-weekend-barmitzvah-of-ethan-lewis/

A thank you from the producers of Together, Against the Odds

We received the following positive feedback from the actors/directors/producers of the Israeli play Together, Against the Odds:

Shalom Russell,

Our show on Saturday night at your hall was splendid. We had a great crowd.

Thank you for letting us do it there. We’ll definitely be using it again on our next tour.

It’s raining in Israel – all is good 🙂


Grant and Daniella Crankshaw


Permanent link to this article: http://www.beitemanuel.co.za/2016/12/02/a-thank-you-from-the-producers-of-together-against-the-odds/

Anyone able to help with a lawn-mower and edge-trimmer (“weed-eater”)?

The past few weeks have proved to be quite trying with regard to maintenance and repairs, and this week has been no exception. Our petrol lawn-mower and electric edge-trimmer both decided to “hand in their notice” to us. Even Mandla, who is something of a handyman, has admitted defeat. If anyone in the community has a lawn-mower and/or weed-eater they no longer require and would be prepared to donate to the Shul, please contact Sandy at the Shul Office on 011 646 6170 or [email protected]


Permanent link to this article: http://www.beitemanuel.co.za/2016/12/02/anyone-able-to-help-with-a-lawn-mower-and-edge-trimmer-weed-eater/

Last reminder about Netzer summer camp which starts on the 12th

Netzer Machaneh Lech Lesha

A reminder that Netzer’s annual Machaneh (summer camp) takes place in December. This year it’s Machaneh Lech Lesha (Go Forth), and runs from 12 to 26 December 2016, with the rear-guard remaining until the 31st.

Details and forms are on the Netzer South Africa website www.netzer.org.za, email [email protected] or call Daniel on 078 647 1285.


Permanent link to this article: http://www.beitemanuel.co.za/2016/12/02/last-reminder-about-netzer-summer-camp-which-starts-on-the-12th/

More ideas for the BE Community Hub: Teacher training, peace initiatives

A second meeting this week of those who have volunteered to help with the proposed Beit Emanuel Community Hub, came up with some more concrete suggestions.

Skills development for teachers. Our community includes many teachers, ex-teachers and lecturers in the Education Department at Wits, whose knowledge could be tapped to provide skills development for teachers. One example, suggested by Karen Lazar, is the English set books for the IEB matric syllabus, which have changed this year. Many teachers are likely to need help with the new books.

A proposal will be developed to present to the Catholic Schools, who reach many underprivileged children and who have already expressed some interest. The idea has the potential to be taken much wider, to include skills training in fields like maths and science. Courses can also be offered to state school teachers. Anyone who has an interest in this, or has further suggestions, should contact Diane Fine at [email protected]

Peace Cluster. A number of groups around the world have specialised in conflict resolution or peace programmes. Beit Emanuel could link up with such groups, which use Internet technology such as webinars to communicate globally. A related topic was to join existing interdenominational programmes around ethics, with Beit Emanuel offering to discuss Progressive Jewish ethics. Mike Nulty will explore the issue further in the New Year.

Mind Body Cluster. This will incorporate yoga and tai chi, activities which are already offered at Beit Emanuel, and be expanded to other, related activities. An occupational therapist has volunteered one morning a week to run activities for older congregants around maintaining and improving intellectual flexibility. Ray Sher has offered a discussion group about finding meaning in later life and retirement. We can also look at extending this to include psycho-educational activities.

Activity Cluster. Making more frequent use of the Slome Auditorium or the Courtyard for small concerts, plays, or other events hosted and organised by outside third parties. The successful use of the Slome for last week’s Israeli play, and for an American Jewish choir earlier in the year, are examples of this.

It was agreed that the biggest challenge the community hub faces is marketing, always a weakness at Beit Emanuel. Success requires that the hub become widely known beyond our own community. Those who have the expertise to help with marketing, using both traditional and social media, would be most welcome. Once again, please contact Diane Fine at [email protected]


Permanent link to this article: http://www.beitemanuel.co.za/2016/12/02/more-ideas-for-the-be-community-hub-teacher-training-peace-initiatives/

Kol Isha: Board of Deputies reaches deal with SAUPJ on Yom Hashoa format

The South African Union for Progressive Judaism (SAUPJ) has reached agreement with the Jewish Board of Deputies on the basic format of the Yom Hashoa commemoration service to be held in Gauteng.  The same model as the Cape has been agreed on and the community will have the option of participating in either or both parts of the ceremony.

Monica Solomon, SAUPJ National Chairman, said: “We are thrilled that agreement has been reached by the Gauteng Board of the SAJBD which will enable women to participate in the commemoration services.  We look forward to participating with the SAJBD in the organisation of a meaningful Yom Hashoa ceremony.”

“This represents recognition of the rights of women in South Africa’s Jewish community as a whole. It is totally in line with the egalitarian nature of Progressive Judaism and serves to uphold our wonderful South African Constitution that guarantees equality to all members of society.”

The agreement has been welcomed by the South African Centre for Religious Equality and Diversity (SACRED), the social action arm of the progressive movement, which was a party to the Equality Court action earlier in the year to compel the SAJBD to drop its ban on women singing.

SACRED Chair Rabbi Julia Margolis said: “This agreement fills me with optimism about the future of the South African Jewish community. SACRED hopes that all future SA Jewish Board of Deputies ceremonies and events will be infused with respect for the equal treatment of all – regardless of sex and gender.”

James Lomberg, Executive Director of SACRED, said: ‘It is our hope that people who were alienated from the Holocaust Memorial due to the 11 year ban will once again feel able to participate in a manner which reflects their values and the lessons of the Shoah. We have also affirmed that our Jewish communal structures must infuse all their actions with the key constitutional value of equality.”

Permanent link to this article: http://www.beitemanuel.co.za/2016/12/02/kol-isha-board-of-deputies-reaches-deal-with-saupj-on-yom-hashoa-format/

Our services this Shabbat, November 25-26th

Shabbat Chayei Sarah

25-26 November 2016

25 Cheshvan 5777

TORAH: Genesis 23:1 – 25:18

HAFTARAH: I Kings 1:1 – 1:31


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


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

 JTALK – +/- 11h15 – This week, Professor Merle Williams will talk on Nathan Englander, Raymond Carver, Anne Frank and the Legacy of the Holocaust.

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



Permanent link to this article: http://www.beitemanuel.co.za/2016/11/25/our-services-this-shabbat-november-25-26th/