Beit Emanuel Matters, 2 October 2021

Bnei Mitzvah season begins!

The High Holy Days and related Chagim are now behind us. Our October Bnei Mitzvah season begins this weekend with the Bat Mitzvah of Micah Shapiro. If you’re an invited guest, please join us in Shul at 09h30 on the 2nd, otherwise please join us on Zoom, using our usual Shabbat morning service Zoom link. Mazal Tov to Micah and her family, and thank you to Aubrey and Janine Shapiro for the generous donation in celebration of Micah’s Battie.

But wait, there’s more! There’s a B’Mitzvah each week in October, apart from the weekend of the 9th, as follows:

16th, Bnei Mitzvah Challens family
23rd, Bnei Mitzvah Mostert family
30th Bat Mitzvah Beth Levin

Due to the numbers game we need to play to respect social distancing limits, we earnestly request that only invited guests attend any of the Bnei Mitzvah in person. For the rest of us, the services will be live on Zoom, and also streamed to Youtube.

Care Committee

Our Care Committee is unfortunately down to only five members, due to work and other commitments affecting past members. If you have a few hours to spare each month to do some “inreach” to other members of the congregation, please have a chat to Diane Fine about what’s needed. You can contact her on 083 450 2089 or email address .

Security Team

Now that we’re reopening the Shul for Shabbat services, we will need more of a security presence, particularly on Friday evenings. If you’re a former, current or prospective member of our Security Team willing to push beat again every now and then, please get in touch with team leader Graeme Hochschild (083 457 7848 or or 2 I/C Peter Joseph (082 900 1044 or

Leaf Blower

Our leaf blower appears to have reached the end of its useful life. If you have one that’s not being used at home due to leaf-blower rage, we’d be happy to take it off your hands!

Communal Magazines

We have dozens of copies of the JHB Chev’s Our Community annual report, as well as Hatzolah’s publication available in the Shul Foyer. Please feel free to pick up a copy of either or both when you’re next in the area. Perhaps when you’re dropping off your contribution to the Sarmies Project?

High Holy Days 5782/2021 Magazines

The final volume of our High Holy Days Publication (Yetzira: A Harvest of Creative Writing) has just been published. The links to all four volumes of this superb publication are as follows:

Rosh Hashanah Magazine

Yom Kippur Magazine

Sukkot Magazine

Yetzira Creative Writing Magazine

Shul reopening: The details

We were all starting to think it was never going to happen! For those of you who’ve been waiting for this moment (and we’re awed at how many there are!) here’s an outline of the plan:

  • Shabbat evening services in person to commence on Friday, 8 October
  • Shabbat morning services in person to commence on Saturday, 6 November
  • Although there will be in person Shabbat morning services during October, attendance is limited to invited guests of the Bnei Mitzvah families
  • Our much-loved Friday evening Brachot will re-commence on Friday, 5 November (subject to confirmation).
  • During October, only a brief (standing) Kiddush (Challah and wine) will be held in the Janks Hall.
  • Sponsorships (including partial sponsorships) for the Brachot will be gratefully accepted
  • All services will effectively become “hybrid” services, with both in-person and Zoom participants. Due to financial constraints, our technology platform is not quite where we wanted it to be, but we will be enhancing that as and when funds permit

Please see below for an outline of the protocols to be applied at our in-person services

COVID-19 Protocols for hybrid services

  • Limits. A maximum of 100 participants per service/event
  • Ventilation. Both sets of doors on either side of the Shul will be kept open and fans will be used to ensure air circulation
  • Vaccine mandate. In the case of those over 18, proof of COVID-19 vaccination must be provided on request
  • Mask mandate. All participants must be masked at all times, except when speaking or reading from the Bimah
  • Attendance register. Contact details (for at least one person per household) must be provided, to alert other participants in the event of an infection
  • Sanitising. Please sanitise or wash hands on entering or exiting the Foyer. Foot-operated hand-sanitiser pumps are available. In addition, the Shul’s bathrooms will be refitted to facilitate improved hygiene levels
  • Social Distancing. The Shul has been taped off to ensure that every second row of seats is kept vacant, and at least two seats are kept open between members of different households
  • Please don’t attend services or other events if you’re exhibiting any COVID-19 symptoms, or are feeling unwell in any way

We can’t wait to see you all again (masked, of course), in person instead of virtually. We also hope to see all of those who chose not to participate online for one reason or another.

Shabbat Shalom!

Permanent link to this article:

Beit Emanuel Matters, 11 September 2021

Shabbat Shuva at Temple Israel Hillbrow

Please note that the Kabbalat Shabbat service this Friday evening will be a joint service at Temple Israel Hillbrow.
The service will be led from Israel by Rabbi David Benjamin, and will honour the memory of the late Rabbi Arthur Saul Super, who led Progressive Judaism in Johannesburg as Chief Minister of the UPJC.
The links below will allow you to participate in the service via Zoom or view it on Facebook.

Yom Kippur services

Yom Kippur begins with Kol Nidrei on the evening of Wednesday, 15 September. All services will use the Zoom link, and the schedule is as follows:

Wed, 15 Sep, 18h00, Kol Nidrei
Thu, 16 Sep, 09h30, Shacharit
Thu, 16 Sep, 13h00, Midday Shiurim
Thu, 16 Sep, 15h45, Avoda and Mincha
Thu, 16 Sep, 16h45, Yizkor
Thu, 16 Sep, 17h30, Ne’ilah
Thu, 16 Sep, 18h30, Havdalah

JKids Club activity packs

If your kids are part of the JKids Club age cohort, please collect the marvellous High Holy Days activity packs from Morgana in Reception prior to Yom Kippur.

Sarmies Project

A huge Toda Raba to the Care Committee and all those who were still able to donate sarmies and fruit for the project, despite Rosh Hashanah. We were able to give out sarmies (although fewer than usual), apples, oranges, bananas and some dry soup and lentil mixes. Thanks to the monetary donations we were also able to provide hard boiled eggs, a few extras for those living on the street and the very needy, and some special treats for the kids. More than 200 people were fed this week. It was all very much appreciated. Because of Yom Kippur next week, we’ll be running the project in Hillbrow on Wednesday the 15th and would very much like your support. This is an excellent time to be giving Tzedakah and giving to this project, where you know that 100% of what you give gets to the people who need it most. It would be wonderful to have a full load of sarmies and other goodies to give out on Wednesday, so if you have the time, please drop your donations off at the BE foyer on Tuesday 14th.

Barmie next week

Straight after Yom Kippur, we’ll be celebrating the Bar Mitzvah of Samuel (Sam) Alexander next Shabbat (the 17th/18th). Proud parents David and Helen Alexander will assist in leading the service, as will Sam’s uncle, Rabbi Greg Alexander from Temple Israel Cape Town!

Rosh Hashanah Content

With Rosh Hashanah now done and dusted, here are the links to some of our amazing Rosh Hashanah content.

Our short “Shana Tova 5782!” greetings video:

The brilliant (not to mention professional) video of our Choir’s rendition of “Unetaneh Tokef”:

A video extract of Rabbi Saar’s Rosh Hashanah 5782 Evening Sermon:

All four of Rabbi Saar Shaked’s Rosh Hashanah 5782 Sermons have been assembled in this .PDF document:

You can find the recordings for our High Holy Days 5782 services on the Beit Emanuel Youtube Channel, here:
or here: .

Links to summaries for the High Holy Days

We’ve published a lot of information regarding our High Holy Days programme on a variety of platforms, but the concern is always that we’re giving you “too much information”, or that it’s not all available on a single platform. Just in case we’ve been guilty of that, you should be able to find everything you need using just these two links:

Links for the High Holy Days 2021/5782

All about the High Holy Days 2021/5782

High Holy Days Publication

We won’t be distributing a hardcopy/physical version of the HHDs Publication this year. Because it’s a bumper edition, the publication team decided to split it up into four “magazines”, one for each of the major holy day clusters. The magazines for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur are now available to read online or download, at the following locations. Enjoy!

Rosh Hashanah Magazine
Yom Kippur Magazine

Matthew Nell

Family, friends and congregants paid tribute to the late Matthew Nell in a hybrid Memorial Service on Sunday the 5th. Matthew sadly passed away on Friday morning after a long struggle with the effects of COVID-19. 50 people attended the service in Shul, with another 200-plus households attending on Zoom. If you missed the service, you can view it on Youtube here:

Matthew’s memorial page can be found here:

Shabbat Shalom and G’mar Chatimah Tovah!


Permanent link to this article:

Links for the High Holy Days 2021/5782

HHDs Calendar

All the activities, services, dates and times for the High Holy Days “season” 2021/5782.

HHDs Services

This link will be used throughout the HHDs (from Selichot through Simchat Torah), apart from:
– Shabbat evening and morning services
– SAUPJ joint regional and national services


The link to the free flipbook version of our prayer book for the High Holy Days (Machzor), Mishkan HaNefesh.


Please use these links to bring your membership dues up to date, or to donate to our 2021/5782 High Holy Days Appeal, our most important fundraiser for the year.

Shabbat Services

Shabbat evening and morning services will continue to use the usual links, except for SAUPJ joint regional and national services NOT hosted by Beit Emanuel. These links and times will be advised in due course.


The link to our Siddur for Shabbat services (Mishkan T’filah) is the usual one, i.e.:

HHDs Publication

The publication this year has been split into four parts, due to the size and publication deadlines. Here are the links to the Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur volumes. The links to the Sukkot and Simchat Torah volumes will be made available once they’ve been published.
Rosh Hashanah Magazine
Yom Kippur Magazine


All Jkids Club activities and services will take place using the following Zoom link:

Youth/Young Adult

All Youth/Young Adult activities will take place using the following Zoom link:

SAUPJ joint regional/national services

These links will be published as soon as they become available.

Shana Tova!


Permanent link to this article:

All about the High Holy Days 2021/5782

This post is all about the upcoming High Holy Days (2021/5782), now just weeks away. Here’s what we’d like to share with you.

Yes, we’ll be on Zoom

The first thing to note is that all our services will unfortunately be online only, using Zoom, our chosen videoconferencing platform. While the crucial Third Wave numbers are trending in the right direction, we can’t predict where they’ll be in a few weeks from now, nor what Lockdown level we’ll be at. So, Zoom it is, and we hope and pray that this will be the last time we’ll be saying that.

Links to services

There will be a single link that will allow you to access all our HHD services over this period, with the exception of our Shabbat evening and morning services, where the time-honoured links will still be in use. The links are therefore as follows:

All HHDs services, Shiurim and other events:

Shabbat evening and morning services:

Calendar for the HHDs

As mentioned in last week’s Bulletin, our programming for the HHDs has been wrapped up into a stunning Calendar (thanks to the efforts of Rabbi Saar, Irwin Manoim, and a team of contributors). We would have liked to be handing this out in the Shul Foyer, but we’ll have to make do with sending you the link instead, as follows:

Honours, readings, etc.

Our Receptionist, Morgana Segel is contacting all those who have been allocated a reading or any other form of honour over the HHDs. Expect an email message or a call from her in due course, and please respond as quickly as you can, so that the honour can be reallocated in need. You can reach Morgana on 087 188 9000 or email address .

Greetings video

We’re planning to put together a congregational greeting video for the HHDs. Please take part in this by making a 10-30 second video clip of you and your loved ones sending Shana Tova greetings to everyone, in your own unique style. Please email the video clips to Morgana at for editing and compiling.

Are you a musician?

We’re also putting together a database of congregants and friends with musical abilities and inclinations. If you can envision yourself contributing to Beit Emanuel’s emergent centre for Jewish music (or just jamming), please let Morgana have your details.


Even although our services will be virtual, you’ll still need a copy of Mishkan Hanefesh, our Machzor (prayer book for the High Holy Days). You are welcome to use the free online flipbook version of the Machzor, kindly made available by the CCAR (Central Conference of American Rabbis), which you can find here:

A better alternative, though, would be to purchase your own set (separate volumes for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur). These are available from the Shul Office for R700 per set. Yet another reason to get in touch with Morgana on 087 188 9000 or email address .

Fees and Donations

It is traditional to settle outstanding shul membership fees prior to the Days of Awe. We know that many of our members are feeling the pinch, but if you are in a position to settle your outstanding fees, it will help take some of the strain off the Shul’s finances, after almost two years of flagging activities and revenues. Please contact our Financial Administrator, Christine McIntosh, to check on your outstanding balance or arrange for payment. You can reach her on 087 188 9003 or email address .

It’s never too early to make a donation towards Beit Emanuel’s High Holy Days Appeal, and it’s surely never been needed more than during this, our second year under one form of lockdown or another.

The theme of this year’s appeal is “A bisl un a bisl, vert a fule shisl – a little and a little, becomes a full bowl.”
Membership fees do not, unfortunately, cover the entire costs of running a synagogue, which include salaries and operational costs, upkeep and maintenance of facililties that are almost 70 years old, as well as unexpected expenses.

This year, we have two additional areas for which we would like to find funding. Both relate to the reality that for some time to come, our services will have to take place digitally:

  • Exploring new and more sophisticated forms of musical presentation, adapted to an online environment.
  • Upgrading our technology to enable us to deal with the complexities of streaming hybrid services (partly in the synagogue, partly online) in a more user-friendly manner.

We really mean that bit about “A bisl un a bisl, vert a fule shisl – a little and a little, becomes a full bowl.” We always encourage our members to “give generously within your means”. Whether that means R50 or R50,000, any and all donations will gratefully accepted and acknowledged. To make donating as painless as possible, we have several payment mechanisms available, which can all be accessed from our Website’s Donations Page, here:

There’s also a donations page on Quicket if you need even more payment options!


Permanent link to this article:

Digital Out of Home (DOOH) advertising

Are you a marketing person in the corporate world? Do you have any influence over outdoor advertising for your company or clients, or know someone who does?

The Beit Emanuel Campus now hosts one of the biggest and best Digital Out of Home (DOOH) screens in the South African market. This Super Sign Digital Screen (4.5m x 18m) is clearly visible from the M1 North, just before the Houghton/Killarney offramp.

You can see how it looks from the highway here: , here and here: .

This is seen as a prime location, and Beit Emanuel shares in the net revenue from the signboard, a welcome addition to the Shul’s income.

If you’d like to secure a timeslot slot at this prime location, please contact the folks from Evolv Outdoor at or on +27 82 553 4373.

(There is also a conventional/static signboard available on the reverse of the electronic signboard, facing the M1 South.)


Permanent link to this article:

Farewell Stan Abrahams, ten times chair of Beit Emanuel

Tribute by Irwin Manoim

Stan Abrahams

A younger Stan Abrahams, centre, presides over the farewell party for Rabbi Arthur Super in 1975. His wife Sally is on the right.

Stan Abrahams’ career at Beit Emanuel began, so he told me, right at the bottom, bailing buckets of water, along with his good friend Dickie Lampert.

On the first High Holy Day service at Temple Emanuel in 1954, the roof leaked, as it would continue to do for the next 66 years. Unfortunately, it was leaking right on to the Bimah, which is why the rabbi inspanned two nearby teenagers to bail water while the service proceeded.

The rabbi made a good choice. Dickie Lampert later became rabbi of Temple Emanuel, and Stan Abrahams became one of its most prominent lay leaders: by my count, he was chairman ten times and that leaves out all the other committees he chaired.

The Abrahams family were remarkable in that he was the third generation to be prominent in the Progressive movement. His grandfather Isaac Abrahams had already been a Reform Jew in England when he was brought out after the Boer War, first as principal of the Hebrew school in Oudtshoorn, then of the Commercial High School in Johannesburg. He also became secretary of the Zionist Federation and founding editor of the Zionist Record newspaper.

Stan’s great uncle, AM Abrahams, who immigrated to South Africa at the same time, became principal of Johannesburg’s first Jewish school. The two of them were founding members of Rabbi Moses Weiler’s fledgling Reform movement in 1933, and for decades afterwards, their printing firm produced all the movement’s publications and even its prayer books.

Stan’s father, Arthur G Abrahams was one of three men who raised the money to buy an abandoned high school and convert it into Temple Emanuel, in 1954. That’s one of many reasons why there is a garden in his memory right next to the synagogue front door, which Stan continued to look after for many years.

Grandfather, father and son were heavily involved in Jewish education, all three serving multiple stints as chairs of the School Board, an institution which in its heyday taught both cheder and post-bar mitzvah classes to a thousand pupils in Johannesburg, and employed a principal and 34 teachers.

At age 27, Stan followed in his father’s footsteps by becoming the youngest chairman of the school board. Five years later he was chairman of Temple Emanuel for the first time. Little known – particularly down the road in Sandton – is that he was also a founder of Temple David, and its chairman in 1977.

Stan became president of the United Progressive Congregation of Johannesburg, the umbrella body of all the Johannesburg congregations, during the era of Rabbi Arthur Super, and he can be spotted in various photographs of the era, seated at top tables at important functions, the youngest man amidst the greying eminences. Later, he became chairman of the national body, the SA Union for Progressive Judaism; indeed, there were very few posts he did not hold.

When Temple Emanuel began fund-raising to build what is now the main synagogue building, Stan played a central role. The synagogue was particularly lavish and expensive, intended to seat 1200 people, during a golden era of great optimism. And Stan too, was a great optimist. I found an article in the Jewish press in which he predicted that the movement was poised to go from strength to strength: unfortunately he made that prediction shortly before the Soweto Uprising of June 1976, after which the movement all-but imploded due to emigration.

According to his close friend Leonard Singer, who would follow Stan as chairman several times over, Stan was passionate and proprietary about Temple Emanuel and its community, indeed “almost fanatical”. He had the charm of a good negotiator. He was also steely, and when he decided on a matter of principle, nothing would shake him from it.

That would explain why Stan was a central figure in more than one of Temple Emanuel’s civil wars – and there have been plenty of those. Most famously, he was a key member of the Temple Emanuel Survival Committee, a group of former chairmen who battled against the regime of Rabbi Ady Assabi in the early 1990s. Despite losing an expensive court case, they eventually forced the rabbi’s departure. The issues were too complicated to summarise here, but perhaps personality was part of it: Assabi was flamboyant, dictatorial and a rule breaker; Stan represented an old-guard, cautious and conservative, determined to preserve tradition.

If one day we are allowed back into the Shul, look out for a board above the Janks Hall door listing all the chairmen from that moment onwards, with Stan’s name the first on the list. Temple Emanuel was down to 80 families in 1993 and had no rabbi or money. It is a significant tribute to Stan and those around him that within a few years, they had a rabbi and more than 500 families.

Stan had a reputation as the man to manage crises. When a stormy special meeting ended the Temple Emanuel career of yet another rabbi in 2008, and a number of members quit, Stan was brought back for his last term as chairman, as the person most likely to restore calm. Less publicly, he was a regular and generous donor to the congregation and all its causes. In between all this, he was an equally fanatical runner and cyclist.

Stan was one of only two men to be awarded the title of honorary vice president of the congregation, the other being the much older Jack Jankes. Perhaps the greatest honour though, was one he would never know about. The Chevra Kadisha buried Stan in the “Gedolim” section of West Park, reserved for illustrious celebrities of the Jewish community. I can think of no other example of a leader of Progressive Jewry being given such an honour. But as of this week, there lies Stan, alongside Donald Gordon.

Stan is survived by his wife Sally, married to him for 58 years, three children, and eight grandchildren. Ailing for a long time, he died on Tuesday, aged 83.


Permanent link to this article:

Beit Emanuel will not yet return to on-site services

(From Dr Paul Davis, Chairman, Beit Emanuel Management Committee)

Our Management Committee met along with Rabbi Shaked earlier this week to discuss whether to return to physical services from this Shabbat. Our unanimous decision was that this would be premature, given the demographics of our congregation, and the risk that the pandemic might enter a second phase. We will also not be opening the administrative offices yet. The issue will be reconsidered in six weeks’ time, i.e. mid-July.

Among the issues that were raised were:

  1. The pandemic is likely to continue for some time, months or even years.
  2. Our community includes many aged members, and people with medical conditions. Face-to-face communal engagement could be a real danger to them.
  3. Our virtual services, educational programs, social and communal activities have been well supported and seem to be gaining in favour. Our use of the technology is becoming more sophisticated. We are so far managing quite adequately without use of the physical infrastructure.
  4. It seems likely that hybrid activities (i.e. face to face, indoor and outdoor and virtual) will become a permanent feature of our future offerings. We should aim to be leaders of this new methodology in vision, content and technology.

The following broad actions have been agreed:

  1. There will be no on-site services for at least six weeks, when the matter will be reconsidered.
  2. We will use this time to prepare our Campus for our return. We will appoint a COVID-19 Compliance Officer to ensure that BE meets the requirements and is up to date with any new or changed circumstances. We will announce the appointment in the near future.
  3. Prior to any return, the BE campus will be properly prepared (cleaned and sterilised) and have all the necessary PPE, disinfectants, COVID-19 spacing plans and cleaning procedures, training and facilities in place.
  4. Administration offices will be opened on a needs-only basis. Before and after each session, facility and personal compliance with anti- COVID-19 measures are to be followed.

We hope that these arrangements, though not perfect, will suit most of us and keep us safe. This is a fluid and uncertain time, so our position will be reviewed frequently and if changes are required, we will of course notify you all.

I ask you all to take great care.

Kindest regards



Permanent link to this article:

A new togetherness while apart

Dear Beit Emanuelnik,

COVID-19 is a Groot Klap! As we emerge from this crisis it seems to me that we should not even try to recreate what we thought we were. Honesty and reality are the new watchwords of the way forward.

The spiritual side of Beit Emanuel is emerging stronger. A dedicated sense of community and devotion rooted in our Jewishness is growing without the need for the buildings or the accoutrements of our Jewish practice. We are getting to know and appreciate each other at a different and more satisfying level. Our care programs have expanded and intensified to those most vulnerable. Most of our educational and study groups continue with a new vigour. The important life cycle events are acknowledged and marked in new and exciting ways.

A strong solidarity and mutual understanding is emerging with our sister congregations. South African Progressive Judaism is strengthening, gaining confidence, and drawing the attention of the wider Jewish and other communities. All these are positive and optimistic portents that can enrich our lives.

But COVID-19 also forces us to deal with our community’s survival. Lockdown has reduced or removed essential revenue that has kept us afloat over the years. More than R75 000 per month of income from renting out premises for church services, a school and the billboards, has been lost. Up to the end of May we will have lost R150 000.This unrecoverable amount will increase to R450 000 by the end of September. We can just manage to meet our obligations until the end of June, but after that it is very unlikely without your help.

What will make a huge difference, would be the rapid collection of outstanding subscription amounts that are not covered by debit orders. This figure currently stands at R435 000. If that amount can be garnered, it would greatly assist in seeing us through to Rosh Hashanah.

We are very aware that hard times are upon us all. But I entreat all those who are able, to make every effort to settle as much of your subscriptions as soon as possible.

To those who can, may I also ask if you can consider an additional donation in support of our congregation?

In the meanwhile, we can assure you that your management committee are making every effort to seek other financial lifelines. COVID-19 has in a sense undressed us, forced us to look at ourselves with x-ray eyes. Our hope is that this is our opportunity to rebuild ourselves, focusing on what has been revealed to be relevant and meaningful and worth continuing. A plague has given us the opportunity to clear the decks.

Thank you,

Dr Paul Davis
Chairman, Beit Emanuel Management Committee

Link to our Donations Page:


Permanent link to this article:

Appeal on behalf of The United Sisterhood


Due to the lockdown, The United Sisterhood has not been able to do our normal monthly food collections outside Pick n Pay branches.

Without these collections, we have been unable to supply food parcels for the families that we feed on a monthly basis.

In April and May, because of the lockdown, we donated the cash equivalent of a food parcel to our recipients.

Our organisation unfortunately, is not in a financial position to continue monetary funding in lieu of food, for these families.

We are asking for help from all of you.

By either donating non-perishable food items, (we can collect), or EFT any amount, (no matter how big or small), so that we can continue with our vital work of feeding the needy.

Food items needed:

Tinned Fish
Peanut Butter
Baked Beans
Maize Rice/Samp
2 minute noodles
Mealie Meal
Tea or Coffee
Milk (long life/powder)
Cooking Oil
Soup (cup-a-soup)
Soup (packets)
Soya Mince
Toilet Paper
Toilet Soap
Canned Meat

Bank Details:

The United Sisterhood
Nedbank, Current Account
Branch Code 191605 Account Number 1916 004 172

We thank you in anticipation, on behalf of those who will benefit from your thoughtfulness.


On a lighter note, during the first few weeks of lockdown, I decided to do some decluttering (never seem to get time to do this).

I found items in my clothing cupboards that I had not worn for years.

Then the kitchen cupboards!! I found utensils that I used a long time ago, but now no longer find useful.

If you have bags of what you may feel are worthless items, please give us a call on (011 646 2409), or e-mail us ( We will gladly collect your “unused and unwanted items” which could become someone else’s “treasures”, when we reopen.

All items will go into our second hand “boutique” and when we get back to some sense of normality, we hope that we will be selling again, to raise much-needed funds for The United Sisterhood.

Permanent link to this article:

The Care Committee under Lockdown

Our Care Committee has met the challenge of the COVID-19 Lockdown head on. A matrix of resources available to provide support and deal with issues around mental and psychological well-being has been published and is widely referred to. Several weeks ago, the Care Committee looked at ways to extend that care beyond our immediate community and suggested a few options for those in a position to donate financially. Details were published in our weekly Bulletin and are now being made available on the website for ongoing reference. Please make use of the links below.

Support, Mental and Psychological Well-Being



Permanent link to this article:

Beit Emanuel under Lockdown (Revised)

Our schedule of services, activities and resources for the initial 5-week Lockdown period in SA has been extensively updated and simplified. The schedule covers all regular scheduled events on the Beit Emanuel calendar, apart from Festival evening and morning services and ad-hoc events. The schedule is available in Google Docs format from the link below, and can be downloaded for easy reference as a Word or .PDF document.

The document outlining the resources available for support and mental and psychological well-being during Lockdown is now also available online, and can be found at the link below. The document includes contact details for our own Care Committee, as well as organisations such as Lifeline JHB.


Permanent link to this article:

Beit Emanuel under lockdown

The schedule below lists our online services and other activities/events for the duration of the Lockdown in South Africa.

All services and other events have been set up as recurring meetings, so links to Zoom meetings will not change from week to week. (The recurring meetings have been scheduled up to 2 May 2020. Let’s hope this will suffice!) All Zoom meetings are now password-protected to counter the “Zoom bombing” phenomenon. The password will remain the same across all Zoom meetings for the remaining duration of the Lockdown, unless it becomes compromised in some way.

Various other security measures have been applied to our Zoom meetings, depending on the nature of the event. We have tried to find a balance between making our online services and other events accessible and ensuring that they are not disrupted by bad actors. In the interest of conserving Internet bandwidth, video will be turned off by default for all meetings but can be turned on once you’ve joined the meeting.

The links to some of our classes and study sessions have been provided for the sake of completeness, but we suggest that you liaise with the organiser beforehand, rather than simply “arriving” at the session. The affected sessions are the Beginner’s Hebrew Class, the Introduction to Judaism (ITJ) Class and the Talmud Study Group.

Links to Weekday and Shabbat services

Rabbi Saar’s morning davening
Monday through Thursday mornings at 07h00

Temple Israel Hillbrow evening (Ma’ariv) service led by Lael Bethlehem
Saturday through Thursday evenings at 17h45

Shabbat Evening Service
Fridays at 18h00
Meeting ID: 887 443 725

Shabbat Morning Service
Saturdays at 09h30
Meeting ID: 382 538 745

Links to Classes, Lessons and Shiurim

Talmud Study Group
Sundays at 15h00
Meeting ID: 809 634 868

Beginners’ Hebrew Class
Mondays at 10h00
Meeting ID: 945 601 176

BE Zoom Club (#BEZoomClub)
Wednesdays at 15h00
Meeting ID: 939 000 571

Introduction to Judaism (ITJ) Class
Wednesdays at 18h30
Meeting ID: 904 837 018

Links to online Texts

Masorti-Conservative prayer book, “Va’ani Tefilati” (“And so I Pray”)

Mishkan T’Filah

Sefaria: A Living Library of Jewish Texts Online


Permanent link to this article:

WhatsApp and Telegram channels

If you haven’t already done so, please subscribe to the Beit Emanuel WhatsApp Channel by clicking on the link below. Updates will usually be sent weekly (with more frequent updates in unusual circumstances such as these).

If Telegram is your instant messaging service of choice, you can subscribe to the Beit Emanuel Telegram Channel here:

(Please note that these are not chat groups. You will receive only official updates from the Admins.)


Permanent link to this article:

High Holy Days: Sermons, speeches and photos

Beit Emanuel’s High Holy Days compilation of sermons, speeches and photographs, as promised by Rabbi Sa’ar Shaked. The publication, compiled by Irwin Manoim, features an introduction by Professor Merle Williams, sermons over the three weeks by Rabbi Shaked, the Yom Kippur speech by BE chairman Dr Paul Davis, and the Pride Shabbat speech by Zandi Sherman, accompanied by photographs of our events.

View or download the .PDF document:


Permanent link to this article:

Beit Emanuel HHD Publication 2019/5780

The Beit Emanuel Rosh Hashanah Magazine 2019/5780 has now been made available on the web, at the following location. The file is just over 20 MB in size.

In the words of the publication’s editor, Scott Hazelhurst, “This publication shows the vibrant life of the shul, as a proudly Jewish and South African community. The theme of the publication explores progressive Jewish identity in Africa. Some of the contributions are adapted from sermons given by lay readers or our guest rabbi while Rabbi Shaked was away, others are from JTalks, while some are specially written contributions. My thanks to all the contributors for their time and insight.”

If you haven’t yet been able to pick up a hardcopy of the publication (available in the Shul Foyer), please feel free to view it online or download it to your PC or other device.

Happy reading!

Permanent link to this article:

%d bloggers like this: