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An online forum for South African Women in Israel

Earlier this year, South African Olah Cindy Sivan created an online forum on Facebook for South African women in Israel. After great demand to meet in person, a second gathering took place in November at the Telfed building in Ra'anana. Following the event, Cindy shared her thoughts with us: 

'In April last year, I wanted to extend my friendships in Israel. As much as I wanted to integrate with Israelis, I have always felt a connection to ladies with the same South African roots. I started the Facebook Group, “South African Women Living in Israel” with the 40 or so South African ladies that I knew. Before I knew it, our group had extended to over 1200 South African Women living throughout Israel. 

The excitement was incredible. The connections we all share are unique. The business and professional successes we have all accomplished, whilst being in a foreign country is remarkable.

The women are divine, supportive and passionate.

Since the group started we have had two meetups, one in Modiin and the second in Raanana at the Telfed Moadon. Members of the Telfed team were present at our meetup and were kind enough to offer their room in order to facilitate our get together.

I have created many more new and special friendships. I have found a second cousin I never knew I had. I know that so many other women have extended their connections with others over the last few months, because of the group. The support these ladies give to each other is incredible.

I am sure our next meetup will be in Tel Aviv at the Telfed Building again. 

Thank you to the amazing women in this group who continue to support each other. May we continue to grow and further create beautiful and meaningful friendships.'

Telfed Chaiman, Batya Shmukler, was excited to join this get-together. Reflecting on the evening, Batya said 'this wonderful group of women have a natural affinity with Telfed, with our common South African heritage, an emphasis on community and volunteerism, all with the purpose of connecting to and supporting South Africans living in Israel. Well done to Cindy for spearheading this initiative. By creating a forum to support one another, this group once again highlights the uniqueness of our community.

Sometimes all people need is to reminisce about a memory from their childhood or share advice on where to buy SA food products in Israel, occasionally they need a shoulder to cry on or someone to laugh with as they deal with the highs and lows of immigration. I have so enjoyed being a part of this forum.

Going forward, Telfed hopes to engage with this group as we have much to offer these women and their families. From klita advice to employment counselling, a social worker to an extensive scholarship programme, we want these women to engage with us and to work in partnership with us for the benefit of our olim.'


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