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Capetonian Conversation

L-R: Fundraising Chairman Steve Handler, Myra Osrin and former Telfed Director Sid Shapiro

There are friends, there is family.  And then there are friends that become family.  This was largely the sentiment, when Myra Osrin was welcomed to Telfed this month.  An unofficial visit, the gathering provided an opportunity for the Telfed leadership to receive updates of Cape Town news. 

The entrance to the Telfed offices is fittingly named “The Eliot and Myra Osrin Administration Centre”, a testament to the special friendship shared with the dynamic duo over many years. Also in place of pride at the entrance is a copy of “My Life”, an autobiography written by Eliot on his (family) history, including his early years, career and community involvement, amongst other notable ‘chapters’.

Telfed Chairman Batya Shmukler expressed appreciation for their support of the organization over the years, commenting on “the indelible mark” made by the couple in the community and how their family’s involvement “has been integral to Telfed’s survival as a service provider“, on behalf of the SA community in Israel.  “You are a cherished friend and we are honoured to have you here”.

Of particular interest amongst the topics of discussion was the recent formation of “The Eliot Osrin Leadership Institute”.  The program, conceptualized by the Osrin family, was developed to honour the memory of the patriarch of the family, Eliot, who was renowned for his immeasurable contribution and fundraising finesse on behalf a multitude of Jewish communal organisations.  In a previous extract from the Cape Jewish Chronicle, Ronnie Stein, the Chair of the Steering Committee for the program, shared his thoughts on the initiative: “Eliot led from the front and modelled an honest, values-based leadership that needs to be imparted to the generations of leadership now and that follow. The broad objectives of the Eliot Osrin Leadership Institute will be to develop and empower senior leadership with ethical, strategic and innovative skills.”

In association with The David Susman Community Foundation, the institute is targeting those in the 40-60 age bracket, in order to fine tune the skills of current lay leaders and recruit new potential community leaders.  The faculty is made up of cutting edge academics and professionals from business schools and public leadership and as the first cohort gets underway, we wish all involved in this endeavor great success.


L-R: Myra Osrin with Telfed EXCO member Annette Milliner Giladi


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