Mancom Talk: Ex-chairman Simon Hochschild of Board of Guardians

Message from Simon Hochschild – Board of Guardians

I have been involved in the affairs of three Shuls over the past forty odd years: Temple Israel in Port Elizabeth, Bet David, and of course our own Beit Emanuel. The major period has of course been Beit Emanuel during which I have been privileged to work with six Rabonim.

My main tenure began with Stan Abrahams (not inviting me) but telling me that I had been elected to Management immediately after a particular Special General Meeting. It was a decision I have treasured ever since, culminating in my being elected as chairperson, and finally as a member of the B.O.G.

Most of the membership know what the functions of the board are, so I thought I would mention what I consider to be some of the more important aspects of the functions of management.

Many portfolios are intertwined with each other. Although in the past, we have gone through some tough periods without Rabbinic leadership, our lay leadership has always come through. Some of the management members of that period include people such as Kito Holz, Leonard Singer, David Fienberg, Steve Lurie, and of course, our current Chairperson Professor Merle Williams. Then on the other hand we need to remember members of Staff who give unstinted service often under trying and difficult circumstances.

I cannot carry on without mentioning the efforts of Netzer who introduce our children to the concepts of Judaism. I have often spoken from the Bimah regarding the importance of nurturing our youth who after all are the future of our community. I will continue however possible to continue to support the efforts of Netzer.

Many of you are probably thinking why I have not mentioned finances. This is an ongoing debate. Our treasurers over the years have obviously done a sterling job, as we continue to offer our members all necessary facilities and our membership shows that although we have been in decline (like many religious organisations), our numbers are once again showing a positive trend. Maybe it’s the Friday Shabbat brochas which give those present an opportunity to relax with a meal and a lachayim. The kids also enjoy the various activities AND CHOCOLATES on offer.

Undoubtedly as far as I am concerned Rabbi Sa’ar and his family have been a most positive influence.

I am also responsible for the operation of the Wall of Remembrance at West Park which generates funds allowing us to operate as a charitable organisation.

I look forward to many more years of service to, and friendship from so many of you.

Shabbat Shalom.


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