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Welcome Julie

L-R: Julie Berman, Batya Shmukler and Robby Hilkowitz

This week, Telfed was delighted to welcome Julie Berman, Director of the Cape Zionist Council, to address the organisation’s lay leaders at the monthly Directorate meeting.

Julie spoke of the value of the close co-operation between the two bodies, whom she considers ‘one’ entity in service to the South African Jewish public.  She spoke of the local issues they are dealing with in Cape Town, including the undertakings of the Board of Governors, SAUJS (South African Union of Jewish Students) and the apparent trends.  “Many more people are opening Aliyah files in Cape Town.  Capetonians are starting to view moving to Israel as an honest option and not as a means of ‘running away’. The Samson ‘SASI’ academic support programme for South African Students in Israel who wish to study in Israel in English (without necessarily committing themselves yet to making Aliyah) has boosted the viability of Israeli education. Previously this was not an option financially for many,” said Julie.

Batya Shmukler, Telfed's Chairman, expressed appreciation for the close rapport shared between the Cape Zionist Council and Telfed.  Vice Chair Robby Hilkowitz posed what turned out to be the ‘million dollar’ question of the evening, enquiring what the challenges faced by the Cape Zionist Council are.  Sourcing funding for their initiatives was the primary need identified, an issue which all community organisations struggle with.

Julie concluded by expressing her admiration for the work undertaken by the Cape Zionist Council Chairman, Rowan Polavin, whom she described as both ‘innovative’ and ‘dedicated’ in his endeavours.

We look forward to maintaining the current levels of co-operation, as Telfed CEO Dorron Kline heads to Cape Town next month, to continue meetings with community leaders, Telfed friends and supporters.

Telfed lay leaders with guest Julie Berman

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